March 28, 2011

Margins, Tumbleweeds and Chainsaws

     The biggest news in my life right now is that I can drive!!  I could probably write an entire blog simply on that glorious freedom but nope other fun insights to share today.
    I didn't hear this story directly but I need to credit Jay Wright with its origins (props to you~Jay)  We've all seen westerns with tumbleweeds blowing through the town usually implying drought or the bad guys are on their way.  Well here is what I didn't know.  Tumbleweeds actually start out as green bushes growing about 3 - 4 feet high and some varieties actually have flowers.  OK here's a fun fact they actually originated in Mongolia ~  so much for that cowboy image now!  Anyway they have very very shallow roots which are so weak that when the plant dries it actually breaks away from its roots and "tumble" about wherever the wind takes it.  So onto the story as it relates to me.
     How rooted are you?  You can take this in many many contexts.  Are you rooted in spiritually?  Do you have a supportive community?  Are you a soloist and not only onstage?  We were not designed to flourish independently.  In order to thrive we have to be rooted.  And to even think about surviving the rough times we need to be deeply deeply rooted.  The tumbleweeds dry out because their roots don't go deep enough to get enough water for their survival.  They wind up not only disengaging from their roots but they don't even get to control where they are going.  There are so many ways that plays out in our lives today.  Politically do you just agree with whatever is the popular "thought of the day" is a good example.  I am not suggesting you need to be campaigning or door thumping but are you rooted in what you believe.  Do you vote for your party regardless of the candidate or are you willing to vote your some other way if your conscience prompts you?  (Wow guess I have politics on the mind and didn't realize it).  Having teenagers I am so aware of how public opinions so greatly influences their lives.  Without sounding way too uptight or up righteous but when I can't let Meg watch a show that is on at 8pm due to sexual content I think there's a problem with that.  I remember not being the only kid who wasn't allowed to watch The Bunkers because my parents never knew what was going to be said.  And if a show did have questionable content it was usually on after what was considered the family hour.  Tumbleweeds.  We need to be able to dig in and form deep roots on what we believe our convictions are.  Are you feeding those convictions through community?  While I believe it is important to listen to and understand various and opposing views I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves and our beliefs to do all we can to further understand and develop them.  The best way to do this is to be connected.  Don't be out on the fringe with a group rather get in there...get your hands dirty.  Those connections those roots are going to be what will sustain you through the dry times. 
I definitely learned that over the last 5 weeks.  If it wasn't for the community of New Grace I am not sure how I would have gotten through.  They have carried me and nourished me in ways I didn't realize I needed.  When we rely on others not only are we blessed but we allow them to be blessed by sharing whatever gift it is you needed.  It makes me think of that 70's song.... Lean on me.  Please dear friends don't be a Tumbleweed I want you to grow like those beautiful trees you see along a river. 
     Now at the same time that I want you growing within a community I want you to take a moment and look at your life.... are there any margins?  HUH?? Margins... you know those things on the outside of notebook paper where we weren't allowed to write in during school.  The empty parts of the page.  do you have any in your life?  Or is your life jam packed with activities?  Now this is definitely a bit of the pot calling the kettle black and I openly ashamedly admit that.  I am a stay at home mom so usually my day is pretty open... however.  Before school and after school never mind the weekends PACKED!  That's with just 2 kids at home.  Last year when Em was still at home there were many times I was literally in 2 places at once it seemed.  And I don't think my kids are any more active than most.  And because I was a SAHM I was the one volunteering at school (at one time in 2 different counties) or wherever the was.  The busy activities of the kids well half of them are church related so that can't be too much right?  Our BETA group had homework a week ago and we had to create a margin in our daily life.  Admittedly my life currently has  A LOT OF MARGINS in it.  But this made me realize how in the past a margin was needed and we didn't even see it.  Em loves singing and being in choirs were a incredible part of her high school experience.  However around Christmas senior year it was time to leave one.  Obviously we knew this would open up her schedule but both of us were surprised how less stressful our lives were with that one decision.  It doesn't need to be hours of time but try to find a few minutes of margin time in your week :0)

    Okay CHAINSAWS LOL.  I just absolutely love the chain saw we bought this past Christmas.  I have been (OK was until last month) truly having fun cutting down trees in our yard.  There was this one tree that has to go so my citrus trees can move on in. (FYI we don't have a large property at all but that hasn't stopped me from changing the landscape) So back to this tree.  Obviously we are 5/6 weeks behind on yard work and gardening.  I have a list of things that need to be done and frankly they have to be done in order.  So before I can proceed down the list this tree had to come down.  Usually I am the one wielding the chainsaw and they boys are pulling on the ropes and such.  It really hurt to not be a part of the process this weekend and simply take pictures.  The tree is down however it did drop in our neighbors and thank heavens he's safe but Michael had a close miss as it dropped.  What can I say except... Never send a man to do a woman's job is all I can say !  
MaryEllen, Becca and Patrick get ready!

Well it is down.. not in our yard but down

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