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What to Do with Fear

On Saturday, I experienced something I have never experienced before.  A couple of weeks ago, I heard that a friend from our church who is a part of a ski club, needed someone to climb to the top of a pyramid.  I honestly had no clue what that meant, but I called her to ask for more details.  Basically the criteria was: they had to be under 100 pounds, not afraid of heights, kind of a risk-taker, and able to climb.  Since Jack enjoys jumping off great heights and reminds me of a cross between a cheetah and a jack-rabbit, I thought it was the perfect fit and volunteered him for the task. We told him about it the night he got home from soccer camp.  He practiced the next day by doing a dry run, with no water, and learned how to climb.
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The following week there was rain off and on, but he managed to practice once in the water before the actual performance day.  Stacy is an incredible teacher, and instilled a lot of confidence in Jack, who had shown a bit of uncertainty to us the day before.  On Saturday, a few things happened which made it so he never was able to climb during practice that morning.  The pyramid was the last act of the day.  We sat on the side of the river, praying the rain would hold off and for a small window of sunshine and calm so they could do the show.  God answered affirmatively.  When it got to be his turn, my stomach started doing all sorts of flips.  There was no doubt in my mind that he could do it.  Yet, there was an undeniable trepidation at the thought of what he was about to do!  2016-07-30 14.47.03
The team took off, Jack on the shoulders of the middle man.  2016-07-30 14.59.11
The boat cruised down the river,  way beyond where we could see them.  As it turned and came back into view, we saw the two girls had already climbed onto the three guys’ shoulders.  I was filming and nervously talking to Matthew at the same time.  When I saw this little figure, climbing up these bodies, I lost it.  It was almost like he was created to do it.  Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.  Right as they passed where we were yelling and screaming from the bank of the river, he confidently made it to the top of the girls’ shoulders, stood tall, turned his head to the crowd and smiled.  I could NOT stop screaming.  I didn’t even KNOW I was screaming until I watched the video later.  One-hundred or more times.  The epitome of freedom right there.  Literally staring fear in the face.  Because I’m quite sure fear lives at the top of a swiftly moving human pyramid on water.  He didn’t fall down.  He climbed down.  They finished the run, and we learned later,  it had been 15 years since they had last done a 3-tiered pyramid.

We all face fear.  It’s what you DO with fear that’s the key.  Fear is not from God, so if you know you’re supposed to do something and don’t because you’re afraid… then fear won.  Fear cripples and freezes us.  Fear clouds our thinking.  Not letting fear win, sets us free!  Free to change, free to grow, free to step out of our comfort zones.

We don’t all have to stand fifteen feet in the air, balanced on someone’s shoulders who is water-skiing, to prove fear no longer has a hold of us.  But you might have to quit your job, or move to another country, or step into that gym, or birth a baby, or make that phone call, or make some dramatic changes in your life.  You might have to ask for help, or admit you’re wrong, or stare blankly at an unknown future.  And you know what?  You will most likely still be afraid!  But if fear is no longer keeping you from acting, moving, changing or growing, then you will become stronger and reach higher.  Even higher than fifteen feet.

By the way, if you want to hear this mama’s reaction to seeing her little boy flying down a river on top of everyone’s shoulders, check out the live video on my facebook page:

If you want to see the filmed version of the entire act, from the perspective of the boat, here it is: 


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Hippy At Last

Yesterday two pretty momentous things happened.  First, it was Jack’s eighth birthday!  Everything about the day was exactly how it was eight years ago: the blue skies, spring flowers blooming everywhere, and excitement in the air.  Yesterday we also welcomed a new member into our family.  Please, meet Oceanus, named by the kids this morning.  Our bright blue happy van!  (Oceanus was the name of the baby who was born on the Mayflower when the Pilgrims came to America.  They like that story, plus the color reminds them of the ocean.)  We are so very thankful for this blessing from our Father above, who cares about every detail of our lives.  We are excited to make many memories and road-trips this summer, bouncing along in Oceanus.

Phone Pictures2

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Life Unedited

Today as I went to make our bed, I turned down the sheets to discover a small baby doll with lots of purple corn chips scattered around her.  She lay quietly in the sheets and I could tell she didn’t want anyone to know about the chips.  I had to choose a smile over a bubbling up annoyance.  I wonder what was going through that little mind while they ate chips in Daddy & Mommy’s bed.  I also wonder what my reaction would have been had I climbed into bed tonight in the dark and felt those things crunch beneath me.  I’d say their pain level upon contact with skin is akin to legos.

Elsie learned how to ride a two-wheeler all by herself this weekend.  One push, and she was off.  Someone generously gave her their old hand-me-down which fits her perfectly, and now she is cruising around the block like she’s always known how.  In a dress, no less.
She also has her first loose tooth.  She is full of her typical, inquisitive conversation.  Today she chattered with me the entire time I buried 78 bricks around our side garden.  Or it might have been 104.  Or 42.  The number kept changing as she kept count.  I didn’t keep track of her questions and observations because my hands were covered in dirt and couldn’t write anything down, but I know I chuckled a lot.
Spaghetti and Daddy rhyme when they come out of Betty’s mouth.  Both bring excitement.  Other things make her excited too.  Playing hide-and-seek… which by the way happens in her world whenever she sees anyone.  She will almost always yell, Got you! whenever someone walks into a room.  She is learning the fine art of not always getting what she wants.  I think we all deal with disappointment each day, but Betty likes to show it in full: crocodile tears and all.  Either that, or The Slanted Eyes Look.  Actually, as I type this paragraph (this afternoon) the world is crumbling at the fact she can. not. have. a. banana. right. now.

Our egg carton seedlings are growing well, and we’ve been making all sorts of fun things outside in the garden.  Once things start to grow, I’ll put some before and after photos!  Stay tuned for June and July garden pictures!   Right now the tulips are blooming.  Some unedited shots of those beauties:

One of our many garden projects includes vertical gardens!  Matthew created some fabulous palette garden beds and they’re in the midst of getting filled with dirt and seeds.  Soon we’ll be making some honeymoon salad: lettuce alone.
Speaking of being alone, that doesn’t happen very often around here.  I even caught myself yelling from the shower today, You don’t need me!  If there isn’t blood, you don’t need me!  Talk to me after I get out of the shower!  No joke, the aforementioned caller hadn’t needed me for the previous hour.  It was only the moment the warm water hit my aching head that the urgency struck them like a bad bladder.  Nope.  Didn’t need me.  I have actual footage I took of Betty sliding things under the bathroom door, saying, Mommy… Mommy… Mommy… while I tried to get five minutes peace.

Matthew also chopped down three trees that were overtaking the electrical wires, and he will be building a shed to house the bikes and mower and outside toys.  The same day our trampoline ripped from side to side.  Twenty-four hours later, our Heavenly Father, who knows just how much our kids live and breathe on our trampoline, replaced it for free tonight!  It’s even bigger and nicer than our old one.  He’s a wonderful Dad, who knows our desires and loves to give us good gifts.
When the boys were playing hockey last week I ran out on the rink to take pictures.  Elijah said, There’s a fan on the court… She’s a big fan of Matthew Weldon.  You got that right, buddy!  The other night we ate our supper after the kids went to bed, outside in front of the fire-pit.  I am a really big fan of him.
On Sunday, Jack turned seven!  What a hunk of love.

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He built the Eiffel Tower all by himself.  All day today he had the perfect tuft of bed head going on, making me smile.  He is a conscientious little guy who likes to pack his own bag, make things straight, and color inside the lines.  He loves hard and deeply.  His heart aches for those who are sick.  He is loyal, seeks justice, and loves gifts.  His metabolism is always burning full steam ahead and he eats more apples and carrots in one day than most people do in one week.  He longs for Heaven.  We love you, Jack!

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Jack’s Treasure Shelf

Climbing onto the top bunk is like climbing into another world.  A world full of imagination and intrigue.  Jack is organized, precise, and treasures memories as much as shiny things.  His love language comes in the form of gifts.  He keeps everything special on his shelf.  I had to capture it.  His pockets used to fill to overflowing with treasures.  Now he keeps them more contained in a box or on his shelf.

Oh, sweet Jack.  I hope you always treasure life.



What’s in Your Pocket?


Well, at the end of the day I picked up Jack’s shorts and thought they felt pretty, um, heavy.  So, I emptied his pockets to find this treasure trove!  Money, chains, nails, sticks, a sock, a rock, keys… wow.  And all day I was wondering why his pants kept falling down!  That boy’s sweet spot is shiny things.  The paper money is pretend, by the way.  He rolls it up really small.  The keys are his, because our real ones kept disappearing.  So, Grandma Weldon made him his own set of old defunct keys.  That, my friend, is a look into Jack’s pockets.