Hello!!! Guess what, I’m alive. Been behind the scenes and happily off Facebook for a bit. It has been so nice. One of the things I’ve done is write a few summer blogs for you until the Podcast is up. So I hope this one gives you a little inspiration.
How many of you have ridden a Stand Up paddle board? Well, I just started riding the one I got a few weeks ago at the lake and loved it. Loved it in the sense that I grew to love it. I knew it was going to be hard to get up and balance, especially on the unpredictable waves of Lake Michigan. I was up to the challenge, but I had to step out and step away from the shore.
It’s kinda like the time I’ve had off Facebook. It’s become so normal to just post on Facebook and scroll the news feed for all of us. It feels funky to be off it, like you aren’t with the “in” crows. But it’s freeing. It’s almost like we’ve become numb to the effects of it on our life that we forget who we are without it. Let me tell you, I haven’t now! (Another blog – gonna be good).
Anyway, so this SUP (Stand up Paddle) board experience. I am not the queen of balance, (kinda like life). Who is anyway? So the first day I go out and get up. I fall within a minute. I get up again and fall within 2. Then 3. Then 4. I had to have the board turned just so – so that I wouldn’t moved across the harbor with the waves. Let’s just say it was frustrating. Thankfully my husband was out there hanging out with me on the kayak, watching me get up and fall down, get up and fall down. Sometimes I’d fall forward and the board would fly behind me. The board would move so fast, he’d paddle across the water pretty far to grab it and bring it back cause I couldn’t get to it fast enough. One time I fell backwards and got a lovely bruise in the middle of my back. Totally worth it. Another time? Lost my favorite white sunglasses. Tried to go back and find them, never did.
But I went out again the next day and didn’t give up. I was stronger, able to balance better. I think barre played a huge part in keeping me up there. (Thank you Tammy Weisweaver) This day the water was rougher than I thought. I could not get up and stay on the board at all. So we went out on the kayak instead (another story.) The next day I was stronger, cruising along for a few minutes at a time. I felt like a rock star. lol
A few days later we were heading back home and I wished I had gotten out on the water again but the weather kept me from it. So we’re driving down Grand Traverse Bay and it is just beautiful out. I made a decision to turn around and stay another day, and it was the best decision I could have made. It wasn’t just because I had another day on the water and got some writing done. But because I woke up that next day to see the lake more still than I’d seen it in two weeks.
I remarked to my mother-in-law, “I have GOT to get out on that lake.” So I went to the basement, hauled that board down to the water and got on that puppy. Let me tell you – nailed it.
I got up on that board and never once fell. I got up with reasonable grace. I stayed up on that thing for over an hour. I laid down on it just looking out at the Manitous.
I did an Upward Dog. I did a Downward Dog. Didn’t quite make Warrior, but next time. I was moving on that lake feeling totally connected to God through nature in front of me and below me. It felt like the living demonstration of being still and knowing God. It took complete trust to stay up that long, over every wave knowing that even if I fell God would be there when I got back up.
So I found myself singing the song, “Oceans” by Hillsong. If you don’t know it, HERE it is:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deepMy faith will stand
And I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am yours and You are mine….
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I was literally singing this this to myself as I glided along. It was so very cool. It reminded me of how much I want to trust God, how much I want to trust Him to take me deeper than I could ever be on the shore.
Then I realized that He was using this board to teach me something. He was reminding me that because of Him I don’t ever have to get up. God is the one who gives me the courage to keep getting back up, no matter how many times I fall. It reminded me of all those times in life that I’ve been challenged, God gave me the strength to get back up. It was this God confidence that I could never get on my own.
You know what else I learned? That life IS all about balance. But it doesn’t always mean perfect balance. Some days we feel pretty balanced because things are going pretty smooth. Other times we’re trying desperately to hold on as the waves come. It’s a miracle we don’t fall off. Then there are the times where pretty quickly we are completely thrown off. But we come up from the water, and we give it another shot. Or we say, today’s not the day. But tomorrow I’ll get up and give it another shot. You just never give up. Why? Because every time you get up, you get stronger. So the more you trust, the more you step out, the more courage you’ll have to keep stepping out of that comfort zone.
So what if we fall off? So what if we look goofy trying to get back up? We’re doing it. That’s what matters most. We get up. We fall down. We fall down again. But we keep getting back up.
I think that time on the lake is what gave me the inspiration to step away from Facebook a bit and see how it affects me, affects us – to maybe help all of us realize we may just be giving it a little too much power over our life. That time on that SUP showed me how much more I want to fix me eyes on Jesus than a news feed. It showed me how much more I want to do God’s will, than what everyone else is doing on their news feed. I know I won’t be able to completely avoid it, because I do believe that there is a need for good content on there. I will just be working to fix me eyes on Jesus a lot more. Anything I can do to know Him more. God wants my time more than anyone else, and I want to be obedient.
So, I’m going to remember this time on Lake Michigan with this SUP where I learned that I can go deeper – “where my trust is without borders, where my faith can be made stronger.” I can leave the rest up to God because no matter how much my mind fights me, or the water gets rough, or the storms come – God is with me. He is with you too.
Today’s Bible verse was from Deuteronomy 31. It spoke of when Moses was handing over the leadership reigns. Moses said to all of Israel in verses 6-8,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
What’s your Stand UP Paddle Board story? How are you going to step out and trust that He’s got you?
One more thing, you know what that gave me the courage to do? Step out in faith in another area of my life. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I’ll be heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for the “She Speaks” Christian Writers Conference, and I cannot WAIT. I’m trusting that God’s got this call and all I have to do? Is step out in faith.
All you’ve got to do – is step out in faith.
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” -Eric Fromm