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Posts Tagged ‘honest’

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Roy Sullivan was hit by lightning seven times between 1942 and 1977. The chances of this occurring are 4.15 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I can relate. It seems like if something bizarre is going to happen, it’ll happen to me. I have no idea what it is about me that invites this.

Case in point. I flew down to Victoria to see my sister, brother-in-law and adorable nephew (I mean off the charts adorable) a couple weeks ago. My sister fed us wonderfully healthy and tasty food. (Some people were having trouble digesting all those beans. Ahem. But I won’t mention names.) And I initiated the Tube Olympics where we had to shimmy through my nephew’s play tunnel.

On my last evening there, my dad and brother left early and everyone else went to bed early. I was moping a bit about the fun being over. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I caught sight of the bathtub.

If you know me well, you know I don’t have running water which means that I have to heat water in pots on my wood stove and carry them to my little bath tub. It’s been about a year since I’ve had a bath with more than a few inches of water. And while it is a method of getting clean, shivering in a few gallons of  luke-warm water is far from enjoyable.

I tried to fight the temptation. “Rachel,” I told myself, “what kind of a guest would help themselves to a bath when everyone else is in bed?” But I was like a starving person rationalizing the theft of a hot-out-of-the-oven loaf of bread. “They know I don’t have running water. They’d want me to enjoy a piping hot bath with water all the way to my chin,” the other voice in my head said.

My willpower melted the longer I gazed at the tub. I locked the bathroom door, put the plug down, and turned the water on. I cringed at the noise of the thundering water. My sister had been up much of the previous night with her son, and my brother-in-law had a long day ahead. I hoped I wasn’t waking them up. “Worst guest ever,” I muttered while sinking down into the steaming water.

Bliss. For about one minute I was in heaven. This is so worth it. The water was as high as it would go, and I turned the taps to shut off the water. But nothing. The water still poured full force. I turned the taps the other way . . . and then one at a time. I had to start letting water out so it didn’t overflow.

This isn’t happening to me! Please, God, I pleaded. Please let the water turn off.

By that point I was out of the tub, dripping, and going back and forth between pressing my hands against my face in despair and trying with all my might to turn off the water. I watched all the hot water swirl down the drain. I paced back and forth between the toilet and the bathroom door. I got dressed and went to my sister’s bedroom door and tentatively knocked, but not hard enough to wake them. I pretty nearly just hung my head and cried while the water continued to pour into the bathtub.

Finally, I went down the stairs where my mom and step-dad were sleeping. “Mom, Scott. I tried to have a bath, but now the water won’t turn off and I don’t know what to do.”

So then the three of us were in the bathroom trying to turn off the water. “I just should have resisted the temptation,” I moaned with my head on my mom’s shoulder.

At that point, my sister and brother-in-law were wondering why the water had been running for half an hour and why the three of us were in the bathroom talking. Believe me, no one was sleeping and I was fervently wishing it was all just a bad dream.

By the end of it, even the landlord had to be woken up, and the water for the whole house needed to be shut off for the night. Turns out that the rubber ring inside the tap chose that moment to disintegrate.

Sigh. Groan. Sigh. When I shared my story with a close friend she just laughed, “It would happen to you, Rachel.”

I’m tempted to ask why. Why in all the time they’ve lived at this house—turning that tap on several times a day—did it decide to let go the one night I snuck an illicit bath?

But some people are just lucky like that. 😉

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Be a True Friend

Photo credit: Jan Willem

Photo credit: Jan Willem

Today, as I think about my friends, I’m so thankful. I can’t imagine life without these women encouraging me and setting examples of strength and inner beauty.

Even though I am rich with good friends, I rarely have the chance to get away and just hang out with them. Life is busy with mothering and homeschooling, but an opportunity came up at the end of November for a weekend away with some of my closest friends. I didn’t turn it down.

It was a time of crazy hilarity and soul baring honesty. We shopped at thrift stores, went out for dinner, swam, ate lots of chocolate, stayed up late, and slept little. We prayed and sang. Laughed and cried.

Friendships like these don’t just happen. It take openness and humility and coming through trials together to ripen into deep life-long friendships. And it’s not an argument that kills a friendship, but the lack of forgiveness and understanding.

I always feel uncertain when a new friendships hits that place where there’s a misunderstanding or hurt feelings. Sometimes the friendship fizzles out there, but when there is forgiveness and healing, the friendship goes to another level and depth.

We are at the beginning of a new year and many of us are making resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier, quit a bad habit or cultivate a good one. All of these things are great, but here’s another resolution to consider, one that’s at the top of my list–be a true friend.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

❤ Rachel
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In my last post, I shared about our restaurant incident where Joel threw up—over and over again. (How long will it be before I feel safe in a restaurant again?) But that . . . was just the beginning of the story.

We drove across the road to our hotel and I went into the lobby to check-in. The receptionist handed me the key cards and told me where our room was. Just as I was headed out the door, I turned back. “Oh, can you tell me where the pool is?”

“I’m sorry, but the pool is closed for maintenance.”

Only 10 minutes earlier, our lovey dinner had turned into a nightmare and now the pool was closed too. “But we came here to go swimming,” I said. I was trying not to whine.

“I’m sorry, but the Four Seasons Pool is open until 9:00.”

I went back to the van and broke the news to the family. We contemplated going to the public pool, but there was only an hour before closing and it just wasn’t possible to get ourselves and six kids dressed and in and out of the pool in that time.

“What about going to another hotel?” Kevin asked.

“None of the other hotels will let us stay with six kids. Remember they told us not to come back to Esther’s Inn unless we get two rooms. That would cost a fortune and I don’t really want some of the kids in a separate room—do you?”

Kevin shook his head, “Let’s just go to the park.”

This whole scenario felt very familiar to me as we dove out of the parking lot. One year ago we’d taken our kids on a trip through the Rocky Mountains. I had told the kids, “We’re going to go to Fort Steele, and they have a real steam engine train that you can ride in!” But the train wasn’t running at the time so we skipped Fort Steele. Everyone was disappointed. “I’m so sorry you guys, but when we get to Jasper we’re going to ride in an air tram to the top of the mountain!”

But when we got to Jasper, we learned that there were no vacancies in any of the hotels. We went to the information centre and got a list of Bed and Breakfast accommodations and started calling. Nothing.

I rarely cry, but that did it. We’d missed the last air tram. There was nothing to do but keep on driving and arrive home in the middle of the night. I must have cried for two hours! It just hurt me so much that I’d broken my word to my kids.

Here I was again. I’d told the kids that we were going to Prince George to go swimming. During the whole 100 kilometre drive, the kids chattered excitedly about showing Daddy how they could swim and then I’d let them down—broken my word. It’s not your fault, I told myself. You can sit here and cry, or you can choose joy and go have fun with your kids. I chose joy.

The kids ran around, climbed on the monkey bars, pretended to drive the fire truck, flew down the slides, and played tag. “You’re it!” shouted Owen as he tapped me on the shoulder and gave me an impish grin.

I laughed and started chasing kids. We sprinted around the playground, tagging each other back and forth. I stopped when an elderly woman shot me a dirty look for nearly colliding with her.

We walked around the beautiful park and had a lovely evening. I snuck up to Kevin and whispered in his ear. “Can we go swimming at the public pool in the morning?”

“But we don’t have any towels.”

“Maybe I could borrow some from the hotel, or we could use Joel’s blankets.”

“Blankets?” Kevin raised his eyebrows at me and then smiled. “If it’s open in the morning we can go.”

I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. I had learned my lesson on not giving into disappointment and we would still get to go swimming!

I checked the pool’s schedule on my phone and it said they would be open at 9:00, so we told the kids we would get to go swimming after all and headed to the pool after breakfast.

The parking lot looked suspiciously empty as we pulled up to the pool. I ran to the door and gave it a pull, but it didn’t budge. I looked up at the schedule on the door. Closed.

“Sorry kids, but the pool is closed.” I can’t believe this! God, please help me to hold it together, I prayed. Joel started bawling as we drove out of the parking lot. I think everyone else felt like crying too.

We had some tension as we discussed going to the other pool in town. Kevin was just ready to go home. He’d had it. Besides we really didn’t like the other pool. I wanted to go, but not if he was going to be miserable.

We ended up driving across town to the other pool. We sat in the parking lot and waited for it to open. The tension was thick.

It turns out we did go swimming and we did have fun. The kids got to show their dad how they could swim, we floated in the “river,” and the kids scared me by jumping off of the diving board without a life jacket. (They actually can swim!)

At home later that day, Kevin gave me a hug. “Wow, that was a terrible trip,” he said while hanging his head on my shoulder. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. We did. 🙂

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