You know how sometimes the sky is so spectacular and you want to take a picture and share with everyone you know, because it’s so awe inspiring and fabulous? Yeah. That’s how it was at my house – the new house – a recent Sunday. The girls and I – KIDS and I J – went out there to play while Brad shingled. It was a gorgeous day and Eddie was sleeping (probably too much), so I got my hands dirty and felt like I was contributing to the house effort. It was nice.
Pretty much every time I go out there I am struck by how beautiful it is. I know many people complain about how flat Illinois is, but I like being able to see for miles and miles. And the sky is massive that way and the clouds are puffy and enormous when you can see everything – I love it.
When we first got out there the girls got right to their own thing and I headed over the porch to see how Brad was getting along. He called down from the roof, “Are you coming up?” Hmmm. I’m not scared, but I’m not a big fan. Happy to not be pregnant and capable of climbing a ladder, I went for it. About 5 rungs from the top, they change from double to single rung and suddenly I was not feeling so brave. It’s not even that far up there – just to the top of the porch. I’m sure my children will someday contemplate escaping the house this route. But I had my arms on the porch roof and I was stuck. Couldn’t move. I looked at Brad.
“What’s the problem?”
“Uh, I don’t like this anymore.” Fresh beautiful air surrounding me, staring up at my husband – it was amazing how frozen I was. I was ok, but unsure of how much control I’d have over the situation if I moved. Of course. Another control issue.
Snickering at me, Brad came over and offered enough guidance that I felt safe enough to move forward. I scrambled away from the edge and sat down. Ahhh, this was much better. I felt very stable, nestled in a valley or two, out of the wind. If I didn’t move I was quite content. And the view was great. And while Brad shingled we just talked and it was really nice. He seemed to enjoy that I came to his space – the place he’s been spending so much time lately. Maybe this is what my self-help relationship book calls Recreational Companionship. Not much of a recreation for him, but it is what he spends a lot of his time doing.
Not moving. Content. Unsure of how much control I will have if I move. I remember feeling that way. Before we moved here, neither of us had much interest in rocking the boat. It felt safer to keep things the way they were – even though the way they were was not really the way things should be. Too busy, too much debt, too many distractions. But I never dreamt we would do anything drastic to change our situation.
But then the company Brad was working for went under. And he was faced with the best opportunity ever to do what he’d always wanted to do and start his own construction company. And then we wanted to expand our family. And when I thought about life with 2 kids, I knew I couldn’t continue to work full time.
Most of us come to a T in the road more often than we realize. There are plenty of things about life that we might want to change, and it’s much easier to take the less dramatic path, then it is to do something real about our problems. It’s scary. And we may just be more comfortable holding onto the roof with both hands, frozen on one of those single rungs of the ladder. But is that really a good place to be? It’s dangerous and silly and kind of ridiculous. It’s not good for our kids and it’s not good for our marriage. We have to take a leap of faith, grab the hand that’s being offered, and move forward.
When we do, we can inspire others. Recently I’ve been inspired by people doing dramatic things, uncomfortable things, because they couldn’t stand keeping things the way they were. Check out my newest blog link – Band in C-U – written by a woman who has decided to go forward with the Lap-Band procedure to change her weight issues. Her journey can teach all of us a lot. Check out RE:MISSION – the blog of a couple whose lives have been turned upside down with their decision to leave their comfortable lives and become missionaries in Taiwan. I’m also inspired by my friends and family who work hard to fight their depression, who open their home to help those in need, and who search for and try new strategies for improving their children’s behavior. Who are looking for a new job, who are going back to school, who are trying to get better at making pies. Who are doing something. Maybe after I drastically clean my kitchen, I’ll learn how to wire my new house. Change can be good.
I challenge you to look around. I am amazed at the number of people I can think of in my life who are Doing Something with their lives, with their problems. You may be pleasantly surprised too. And maybe even motivated.
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper.” Psalm 118:6,7