He’ll Catch it, But He Won’t Eat It

He loves the thrill of the chase and can outmaneuver even the most slippery among them. He can find them in the deepest depths of the ocean. And, he’ll help you reel them in over many long hours of give and take.

But, he will not, I repeat, he will not eat them.

My brother, the Boat Captain.

Who doesn’t eat fish.

You want to take a fishing excursion to catch some delectable white flesh King Fish?  He’s your man.

You want someone to cook it up to artistically cubed perfection? He’s your man.

You want someone to pull up a chair at the table and enjoy it with you?

He’s not your man for that.

One of the things I most admired about this kid, who slept in the bedroom next to mine, was his ability to hear adventure calling so easily. He’d climb right on out of that bedroom window, without a backward glance, and go find it!

And as The Captain of many a boat over this past decade and a half, he’s had lots of adventures.  I love to hear about every one.

I raise my fish-laden fork to my brother, who turns the big 4 – 0 today.

May forty bring a renewed Spirit of Adventure.

And wrinkles.

May it bring you a ton more wrinkles than me.

Yes indeedy.

I love you, Kid.

Happy Birthday!

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I Need To Remember

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I’ve been giving My Story quite a bit of thought lately.  We all have one. Some of us long to share ours. Some hide it deep in the recesses of our hearts, hoping that we never have to.  And still others seem to be able to tell theirs with abandon.

Which one are you?

God seems to be settling the weight of my task more firmly in my heart. Those Petal Soft Whispers are coming more and more frequently.  Through them, He’s been making it abundantly clear that I am to bring my story to Him, first.  I can honestly state that I am well and truly scared.  I need to remember that Perfect Love casts out fear.

Why do I struggle so mightily to step out in faith, in defiance of that fear?

Sifting through memories places me squarely in the sinking sand of emotions.  I find myself getting stuck on a particular period of time, and then on an exact year, and eventually, I feel like I’m sinking in the quicksand of a Specific Memory. I need to remember that God can pull me out.

Who is my solid rock on which I stand?

I’m at the point where I’m weeding through the parts of my story that aren’t mine to tell.  Obviously, my story can only be told from the perspective of the very heart that taps out the words.  But, I’ve started fretting over the wording of certain thoughts for fear of offending.  I need to remember to heed God’s whispers, not those of men.

If God is for me, whom shall I fear?

I’m going into the deepest darkest places.  But here’s the thing – God keeps shining the light of His truth into those places as I continue to learn to trust Him.  He keeps banishing the fear that tries so desperately to cripple me. My trust becomes more fully formed the more He loves me. I need to remember that it’s a matter of eternal perspective.

How do I refocus on the eternal in the midst of the daily?

It would seem, for me anyway, that this is also a maturing process.  The more words I present to my Audience of One to be sifted through, the more I realize that He has lessons for me that I haven’t mastered yet. I continually have to go back to Square One and ask Him to keep maturing me. I must keep asking Him to fill me with more Love to drive out the fear.  I need to remember that He is a Patient and Merciful Teacher.

How do I learn those lessons more quickly, Teacher?

At the end of the day, my only job is to submit what I feel He’s allowed me to see.  Those glimpses of heaven I’ve been given, here, on earth.  Those insights into grace seen on this side of glory.  Each piece of my story that I bring to God, He tenderly shapes and edits to fit His good purposes.  I need to remember that it is His Story, after all.

What about you? Do you long to tell your story?

May I encourage you to start getting it down?  Or to keep putting it down?  Or to bravely step out, with story in hand, knowing that if God’s been laying it on your heart to share it – then He will use it for His glory.

Or, maybe the desire of your heart isn’t quite fully formed in you. Yet.  I’d like to encourage you to keep praying for your desire to line up with God’s will until it becomes clear.

The truth is, that none of us, no – not a one, is fully formed yet.  We are all a work in progress.  Whatever that work may be.

And our job is to trust, but be ready. We must wait, while holding tight to the belief that God will reveal all in His perfect timing.  Not ours.

Oh Lord, form us fully in Your Love and help us to see Your Light in our story.

One Word

I’ve struggled with this.

 

This notion of spending one year focusing on just one word.

 

It’s time.

 

This is the year.

 

2013!

 

I will be…

 

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I will be intentional about finding the joy in the moment, no matter how messy.

 

There will be intentional moments of taking thoughts captive. (I predict oh-so-many of these).

 

Reflection will be intentional, too.

 

Intentional time choices, media choices, and food choices.

 

And in the end?

 

Well, I have no idea! We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

 

After all, I believe Hellen Keller had it exactly right. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!”.

 

And with God at the helm, it is sure to be exactly that.

 

Join me, won’t you? An adventure is so much more fun with friends.

 

 
 

Gettin’ a Feel for the Place

We have a long-standing tradition, in this family, of driving aimlessly around a new town, state, or area and “gettin’ a feel for the place”.  Now that we (and by “we”, I mean everyone who was ever in the car with us) are adults, of course, we call that phrase out for what it truly is.  It’s another version of “We’re lost.”.  But, since we resided with Captain Ahab, let’s just say that implying that we might possibly be lost wasn’t an option.

Driving around a new place as an adult, with children of my own, I now understand the wisdom in using that phrase.  It seems brilliant really.  Little voices piping up from the back 40 of the car to declare that surely we’re “really really close, soon”, make using that phrase seem even more wise.   Especially when we potentially have another four hours to go because we don’t know where in the blue blazes we are.  And while I don’t condone lying to children, this certainly seems more in line with giving them what they can handle.  As opposed to say, declaring that, “No Sweetchildren, we are LOST!  So inconceivably lost that we may not make it to where we are going until AFTER Christmas. And you know what that means Sweetchildren, don’t you? NO PRESENTS!”.  Just sayin’. It seems a tad kinder to just say, “We’re gettin’ a feel for the place.”. Don’t ya think?

And, I’ll have you know that we’ve taken to using this phrase whenever we find ourselves in a new or difficult-to-navigate situation.  Take, for instance, the times we are stuck in an airport for a delayed take-off.  This, friends, is NOT a fun way to kill a few hours when you have a cranky preschooler and an antsy eight year old.  However, by employing this simple phrase, we turn the whole ordeal into an adventure!  Or, take the times we are headed to see an old friend at a new house and our 20 minute drive turns into an hour-long trauma, sans emergency snacks, because I thought we’d only be in the car for 20 minutes – all of a sudden, pointing out new trees and cool sounding roads as we “get a feel for the place” takes the edge off.

Pretty stinkin’ brilliant Captain Ahab…  Once again, you’ve shown us how to stave off the mutiny for a while longer. And we shall. Yes indeedy!