Well, I am back into the thick of school work. I’ve been reading up a storm and have added a handful of post ideas to my list. If only I had a few extra minutes to really sit down and put my thoughts into form. Some day. I’ll just keep chipping away and keep you posted when it does happen.
I did have a day off with my boys on Monday. Thank goodness for teacher in-service days. I love my boys’ teachers and think they are all rock stars. So if they need a day off for training, I’m happy to give it to them. Of course, I also have some ulterior motives. A teacher work day in January translates to mom and sons ski day. No traffic, short lift lines, and Monday we were blessed with good snow and dry weather!
The Family that Plays together…
My boys have been skiing for a few years now, so they are pretty good. Just competent enough to carry their skis in from the parking lot, use the bathroom without their dad’s help in getting all their snow gear back on, and make it down the slope in one piece. Now, to clarify, they are actually quite capable on their skis. If we stayed on the intermediate runs, we could ski all day with out problems. However, they insist on taking me into the tiniest, iciest tree trails that can be found on the mountain. By God’s grace alone I haven’t taken them out as they dart around on their short little skis. I’m sliding around behind them with skis just short enough to make the hairpin turns necessary to stay alive. Still, I haven’t embarrassed them so much that they don’t want me with them. My youngest did make the observation the other day, “moms sure say ‘be careful’ a lot.” Yes, son, we do. And if I didn’t have to literally save your life about every 15 minutes I might someday stop.
I realize that skiing isn’t going to cut it for every family, what with the high priced lift tickets and daily opportunity for broken bones. Yes, for some it is a turn off. However, I hope you will all consider a recreational activity that the whole family can enjoy (note, skiing is not enjoyable for the parents for the first couple ofÂ years. But with time and hot chocolate bribery the kids will eventually grow to love it, and then parents can enjoy it again). Safety, fitness, and economic factors should be considered. But just be sure that the activity you choose gives each member of the family an opportunity for self-humiliation. This is where true bonding begins. My boys will literally tear up with joy when my husband and I tumble off of the top of an icy mogul. They will come to our aid, of course. But usually we are also laughing (please, adults, wear a helmet!) in spite of ourselves. And as often as possible, let your kids take the lead. This actually works well in skiing, because we can let the kids make their way down the mountain to the designated “stopping” point. Then we can blast down like slalom racers and impress the kids with our sweet moves (*please see previous sentence about moguls).
The Skiers Psalm
I have always struggled with memorizing scripture. But there is a Psalm that I can’t help but recite as we are riding the chair lift and taking a moment to gaze out at the beauty of God’s creation.
Psalm 121 (New International Version)
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountainsâ€”
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slipâ€”
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over youâ€”
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harmâ€”
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
I just wanted to leave you with this thought, friends. Our God delights in surrounding us with His presence. Growing up here in the great northwest, I’ve grown accustomed to the presence of the Cascade Mountains. They are ever present. Just a glance over my eastern-most shoulder and they are there. Granted, they are often enshrouded by a cloud. But with a little patience and effort, I could drive right up and touch them. Certainly, living in the foothills for most of my life, I sometimes forget that my home is firmly rooted on their foundations. And isn’t that the truth about God’s presence in our lives? Though some days He seems to be surrounded by a cloud and out of our vision, we are supported by His firm foundation of ever present love.
“Encore, Encore, Encore” photo for public use on Flick’r. http://flic.kr/p/7wZpPM