We were on a family trip with my in-laws in Mazatlan Mexico. We were hanging out on the beach relaxing when I decided I wanted to go play in the ocean. The sea was angry that day my friends. A big wave came and hit me in the back of my knees, it slammed me down under the water. I tried to adjust my swimsuit that was all twisted as I moved a little further out into deeper water. A wave hit me knocked me down and pulled me out further into the ocean. I had never experienced an undercurrent like that and it freaked me out. When my head came up out of the water my hair was completely covering my face I couldn’t see anything. I went under water to try to wash my hair back out of my face so I could see. When I came up I got hit in the face by another wave, apparently my mouth was open and everything because I swallowed salt water and was coughing and choking. Salt water was in my closed eyes, I knew how ridiculous I must look to everyone on shore. I had so much sand in the crotch of my swimsuit I would look like a man if I were to stand up. So I was trying to wash the sand out of the bottom of my swimsuit as I got slammed again by another wave. This kept repeating over and over. I would get knocked down, flipped around in the water, I was dizzy and disoriented.
My husband seeing the distress I was in came out to help me. I was so relieved when I felt him grab my arm to help me. I got hit by another wave and was knocked under water again a few more times. He kept saying “Babe, are you serious?” I was still getting knocked under water, coughing and choking. All I could think about was how overwhelming it was, how were there so many waves hitting me so quickly back to back and completely owning me? I was a wreck. “Babe are you serious?” He said again. I was laughing at my struggle, he was laughing. I was still trying to not take anymore water in my face. I said “Babe! HELP!” He calmly said “Stand up!”
I was confused. I then placed one foot in the sand and wobbled as I stood up. I was still dizzy and he helped to stabilize me as I held onto him laughing so hard trying to now stand on my own two feet. My body was so tired from trying to fight all the strong waves. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even realize I was on my knees. I had been knocked down and moved around but I kept going back to my knees. We now jokingly refer to this as the day he saved me from drowning.
As I was looking for a picture the other day I came across a picture of my husband and I standing on the beach after this had happened. I thought about the similarities to that event and how life can be that way at times. Sometimes I get so focused on how hard and overwhelming life can be, how much there is to do and get caught up in all that’s going on right now. Sometimes it seems like I keep getting knocked down and slammed in the face by one thing after another. It’s especially easy to get disoriented in life if we don’t have a specific focus. At times it may take getting knocked to my knees to make me realize I need to spend a moment on my knees asking for help (and I don’t mean from just my husband). Then, stand up, dust myself off, hopefully laugh a little, see the big picture and move on.
It breaks my heart to think of people who think that it will never get better. That things will never change. Things can always get better in life and we are all capable of change. Sometimes it’s our perspective that’s a bigger problem than what we are actually dealing with or going through.
I’m convinced that God blessed me with children for many reasons, the biggest reason is for him to be able to teach me, through them. The other day my young daughter kept asking me “why?”. Not in the annoying way, she sincerely was trying to understand a situation. I tried to explain it to her the best I could but sometimes it’s hard to put adult life into context that a child can understand. Sometimes you just have to explain it to the best of your ability on her level and leave it at that. “You will understand one of these days” type scenario. Sometimes children aren’t capable of understanding certain things or some things they aren’t mature enough to understand.
I think that perhaps we as adults aren’t always capable of understanding everything. God see’s the big picture, like we often do as parents and he knows what is best for us. He is our father. And perhaps many times when we don’t understand why things happen we need to just take a step back and realize it’s in Gods hands. Then, let it go and know that one day, this life or next, we will better understand why. He knows better than we do. I know I need to have more trust in him but it’s hard because I always want to know WHY. It’s a simple three letter word but it’s a hard one to let go of. My new goal is to stop asking “why” and just do what he asks of me. I know how frustrating it is when I ask my kids to do something and they keep asking why. I don’t always have the time or patients to stop and explain precisely why something needs to be done. The job could already be finished if they would not worry about why but instead have trust and JUST DO IT.
Remember the old cliche, you bring home a date and your mom gets out your embarrassing baby pictures and starts showing them off? Well clearly this is an old fashioned thing of the past. Thanks to the popularity of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and family blogs you can now find out far more than most people want to know about a person. Am I the only person that gets a little nervous about the fact that we are posting pictures of our kids and everything they do? Have you read some of these family blogs? What used to be written inside a diary and sealed with a lock and key, is now out there shared with the world. Pictures that used to be kept in a scrapbook at home are now available anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Heck, I know what some people eat everyday, what their workout routine is and most everything they do. We are adults and control what we put out there. Our kids however have no control over what we put out there on them. How do you say, “don’t speak to strangers” when the “stranger” knows everything about you? What will this information be used for in the future by peers, teachers, employers etc.? We don’t know.
I guess I’m old fashioned. Honestly, the older I get and the direction I see the world moving in the more “old fashioned” I become. Don’t get me wrong there are many great things about all the above mentioned social media. I love being able to see and keep in touch with family and friends that I would otherwise not. Technology can and is used in so many great ways. I just think some things need to remain private. Everyone doesn’t need to know everything about each other. What seems like a good idea today may not be a good idea tomorrow. We need to always be in control of the “private parts” of our lives.
I don’t always take the time to act on the things I think of doing. If “it’s the thought that counts” then I’m doing AWESOME because I think of doing a lot of great things. However, it’s not the thought that counts its the action. Who ever came up with that saying anyways? I hope it was someone on the receiving end of a kind gesture that didn’t really like a gift they were given and was like, “it’s the thought that counts”. Not the other way around as I usually use it. Like when I’ve done a half ass job on something and as an excuse say, “it’s the thought that counts”, in some weak attempt to make myself feel better.
Today one of my students missed class. The parent posted a nice comment on the class Facebook page saying that she forgot about preschool today and her little girl was crying and so sad she missed it. She thanked me for the fact that her daughter loves coming to school so much. I texted the mom and asked if I could drop something off to her. I took her a Dr. Seuss hat kit and rice krispy treat, nothing really. It was so simple and not a big deal to do at all. The mom texted me later saying how much it meant to the little girl and to her. As I left their house I realized there are many days that I’m too busy to do something and wouldn’t have taken the time to stop by their house. Or I would use that as an excuse to not go drop something off. It literally took ten minutes. I tell this story as a reminder to myself to act on the little things. Even small gestures of care are important and meaningful. I feel good knowing I did something that made someone else happy. Even if it was small and simple.
Note to self: Always ACT on ideas to show someone I care about them, no matter how small the act may be.
For some reason I keep coming back to the idea that I want a blog. I like to write. Ironically I failed english in high school and took remedial english classes in college. So this should be all sorts of interesting. The plan is to talk about what’s going on in my world and be a journal of sorts for my kids to read and for myself to reflect on. My own little journal or newspaper if you will (or won’t). This will just be my place.