Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Many a sunny afternoon has been spent with our kids at playgrounds.  Monkey bars and slides provide perfect photo ops.  Yet, how many moms can attest to how tired everyone is when all is said and done, the seat belts are buckled, and the minivan is headed home.  Despite the giggles and squeals, the kids clock many steps in their climb up to the top of the slide, wobbles across shifting bridges, and scrambles across monkey bars. 
In my big girl mindset, as I sit staring at my screen, I think my playground has hit a new reality.
Let me see if I can explain. 
Take the swings for example.  Once you learn to sit holding tightly enough so you don’t fall backwards, you need to pump and pump and pump to keep yourself going.  But where?  Just higher.  Aren’t some days like that?  You get on holding tightly working desperately to get somewhere higher.  Then the ride ends.  Just where you began.
How about the merry-go-round?  If you are fortunate to make it on without being dragged half way around to Pluto, you sit hoping you don’t get sick and wait for the spinning to stop.  Then you do it all over again.
Now the slide can be exhilarating.  Some slides reach the stars, or so they seem.  Others twist and turn with tunnels.  No matter which incline you choose, you have to make the climb first.  Holding on tightly to the sides at the precipice of mount playground, you lean a bit hoping the push will make the ride down faster.  It does.  You land on two feet.  Or your behind. 
The see saw takes two to truly experience the thrill.  Choosing your partner is key.  If you choose a lightweight you may find yourself sitting for a long while, on the ground.  However, if your partner sits more heavily than you, you may get a good view of the playground and have to beg to come down to earth.  Yet, if you choose well, the ride of ups and downs can be enjoyable. 
OK, so I have spoken the obvious.  Now the theoretical, think too deeply side of me will take over. 
Life in our home has been anything but easy recently. God has chosen to put us on some rides that resemble what I have described.  Often the days are not sunny, and many times they are blustery and downright cold.  We have ridden a set of swings that required us to pump and pump only to find ourselves right where we started, no higher.  Or so it seems. 
Every day seems like a spinning merry-go-round.  I have chosen this ride, yet many days it makes me sick and I just want to get off.  At least for a while. 
Our life can be exhilarating as the slides.  Sometimes that climb up is long.  Sometimes the twists and turns take us off guard.  We hope to land on our feet, but it hurts when we don’t.
The see saw is all too evident.  One moment of life is up, and the next is down.  It just simply is.  However, who rides with you makes a world of difference.  I could not do what I do without my sweetie riding along with me and my Savior watching me as a father would his child in any playground. 
This playground of life has bullies.  It may take risks.  I will be tired at the end of the day.  As I take mental photo ops along the way, I have valuable snapshots of the ups and downs, the twists and tunnels, and the thrills and tummy turns of life.  Please, Lord, help me enjoy the ride. 

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