Clicking My Heels

I woke up today, and I knew I was ready.  This place has been nice- refreshing and restful– but it’s not home.  It’s not where my roots are, So, I’m packing up and headed for the Sift, where it all began for me.

Hope you’ll come to.

PS.  I have gotten all the wanderlust out my system, so don’t worry about having to change your bookmarks anymore.  🙂

Do Hard Things

“Do hard things. ”

I can’t lay claim to this gem of a phrase– I first heard it from some friends of mine who use it regularly in their household.  I love it.  I am wallpapering my life with these three little words right now.

It’s a concept that goes everywhere.  It obviously has a place in teaching our children to do things they’d rather not, or think they can’t.  I freely dole it out like candy–  “Here,” I say with a wide smile, “have some do hard things!!”  They think I’ve lost it.  But it’s just that great.  It melts in my mouth.

Of course, then it swings around and knocks me a good one– because I also have to apply this to myself.  I don’t want to wash the dishes for the umpteenth time today.  Do hard things.  I don’t want to clean up that vomit.  Do hard things.  I don’t want to sacrifice, be selfless, put somebody else first.  Do hard things.  I don’t want to crucify my old self, my laziness, my envy, my bitterness.  Do hard things.  I don’t want to forgive, forget, repent, confess- be still and know that He is God.  Do hard things.

See?  It’s an awesome phrase isn’t it?  It will stick to any surface.

Want some, too?

Mkay.  Here we go.  These are a few of my favorite (hard) things:

Say what needs to be said, even when it means someone will probably be mad at you.  (practicing wisdom, grace, and above all, love, of course!)  Don’t be afraid for someone to not like you for five minutes.  Or five days.  Or five years.  That’s what it costs sometimes, y’all.   And it’s not about being RIGHT and proving a point and having the last word.  It’s about really loving somebody enough to look them in the eye and say, “You shouldn’t, you’re in trouble here, you’re making a mistake.”  Hard?  Oh yeah.  But do it anyway.  Because God didn’t ask you to ensure that nobody ever gets mad at you.  He called you to truth and righteousness and love.  Sometimes that requires gentle rebukes and admonishments, and that might mean you don’t make somebody’s Christmas list if they don’t like the message.  Don’t be afraid to be rejected for His sake.

With me so far?  Let’s have some more!

Love other people more than yourself.  Not just with words.  Actions, my friend.  Sacrifice and give.  Even when you’ve already been sacrificing and giving all along.  Do it more.  Even when… wait for it… IT’S HARD!!  Like, you’re tired.  Feeling underappreciated.  Underpaid.  Unnoticed.  Undervalued.  Even when you get the short end of the stick, the raw end of the deal, and you get left holding the bag.  Dig deeper.  Go farther.  For as long as these people (your spouse, your neighbor, your sibling, your child, your parents, your whoever!!) are in your life to love, DO IT, even when it’s HARD.

Be faithful to your commitments and vows.  Even when you’re hurt, when you’re wronged, when you’re tempted, when you’re lonely, when you’re bored, when you’re sick, when you’re confused, when you’re poor, when you’re disillusioned, whenEVER.    We don’t make vows for the easy times.  Those are a no-brainer!  Sure, I’ll stick to my word when things are fun and great and new and light!  But what about when it’s not?  What about when it gets really, REALLY tough?  Time to do hard things in our marriages and relationships and our responsibilities.

Go to church.  Even when it’s filled with hypocrites.  And weirdos.  Even when the music isn’t perfect or the pastor preaches too long or it’s cold and flu season and there are germy kids all around or you’ve worked six days of the week or you’re on vacation, or you’ve been hurt by someone in the pew next to you.  Do it.  Dig deep.  Get dressed, grab your keys, go see Jesus.  How can you not, Christian?  How can you not?  You have a personal, engraved invitation to feast with the King of the universe, for goodness sake.  God, Creator and Author of LIFE ITSELF lays a table for you, and you think you should mow the lawn or catch up on sleep instead?  There is no need for any man to starve in this world, no reason your seat at God’s table should be empty.  But it means doing a hard thing:  getting past all the excuses.

Wrapping it up here, with the last one.

Don’t follow your heart, no matter how much Disney wants you to.  Don’t make decisions based on how you feel about something.  Feelings are great,!  I am a big fan, especially of the good ones.  But they are not the compass for our lives.  They cannot perform that function, they aren’t meant to.  They will fail miserably.  Because we are wonderfully complicated creatures,  we will feel a multitude of emotions over our lifetime.  It’s a gift.  It’s also a curse.  Because sometimes we feel things we shouldn’t.  Sometimes our feelings aren’t true reflections of what we believe or know to be true.   Feelings come and go, ebb and flow– and are utterly unreliable.  Because they aren’t fixed points.  Only one thing is, and that is God’s word.  If you make major life decisions based on how you feel and not on what God’s word says, you are in for a world of heartache.  No matter what you tell yourself, you are NOT the exception.  Do hard things.  Choose to live according to His will and purpose for your life, even if your heart is telling you something else.  Deny your heart.  Funny thing happens when you do– it gets with the program.  It shapes up, gets straight.  Follow Christ, and then your heart will follow you.  True story.

I know, this was a lot.

Do hard things… is hard.  If I hit on anything relevant to you in this post, great!  I’m glad, and I hope you’re not too mad.  (but see number 1.  Ha.)  Really though, I write stuff here because I need to hear it.   I put it out there, because I am struggling to incorporate this idea into my life, too.  I figure, if I need it, somebody else might, too.  The fact is, it’s not in any of our natures to want to do hard things.

But here’s the BEST part of it.  If we can do it, if we dig deep, keep going, feel the burn– there is something that follows it.

Joy.  Blessings.  His pleasure, His smile.  His loving words, His encouragement.  We are gathering up glory in those moments.  I don’t know how else to say it.  But I know that our faithfulness, our willingness to do this hard thing of living for Him  — that is the best thing we can give Him.  It is the humblest of gifts, but it is our greatest.  He died just so we could give it to Him.  That’s how much He wants it, and values it.   He didn’t count the cost, He didn’t hesitate, but He laid His own life down for you.

So.  Do hard things.

Because He certainly did.

A Wonderful Kind of Scary

It’s that time again, and they can sense it.  I’ve got books scattered about, I’m constantly jotting things down on lists, and our web browser is open to fifteen tabs as I price out different books.

School’s a’coming.

But they don’t know what’s gonna hit them this year, friends.  Because I had a major epiphany yesterday.  It was such a big deal, that I have to record it here on my blog so I don’t forget.

I’ve been homeschooling for seven years.  This year I will have an 8th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st grader.  I used A Beka exclusively until about two years ago, then I began to branch out a little bit.  This year, I have been looking at a major curriculum overhaul, especially for the older kids.  Homeschoolers are sorta known for this- we like to tweak our program.  It’s half the fun, really.  Every year, we try new school room arrangements, new lesson plan techniques, and when we’re feeling brave, new curriculum.  Takes a while to build up to that step, at least it did with me.  I was too scared to stray off from the marked path for the first five years.  A Beka is tried and true, and will get the job done.  But along the way, I’ve discovered that I want more than simply getting the job done.

Now, this post is not about me knocking A Beka.  It’s a great program and we are still using major components of it.  But I let the curriculum run me for a long time without realizing it.  I needed that at first, since I had no clue what I was doing.  But something really cool has happened, and that’s where I’m going with this.

So, back to the topic.  I started looking at Apologia’s Zoology system, and one aspect really piqued my interest:  the student notebook journal.  It’s designed to help them take notes on what they read, and it has a lot of blank spaces for details, drawings, etc.  I’ll give you a moment to go check it out.  When I saw it, I knew my kids would love it.  So, I started looking around to see if there were notebook journals to accompany the other subjects I’m teaching, and I stumbled upon the world of notebooking.

See, Apologia is basically trying to reproduce something that is already happening independently in the homeschooling community.  What is notebooking exactly?  Well, it’s not lapbooks, if that’s your first thought.  I had heard of these and already decided I didn’t have the time or energy or interest in these.  This is different.   One resource site defines it this way:  “Notebooking is a simple but flexible instructional method which many homeschool families use to reinforce and record what their children learn.”   There’s no wrong way to do it.  Basically, your child creates a page that demonstrates what they’ve learned, using their own creative interests and methods.

Here’s just one example:

There are literally kajillions of ways to do this, depending on what your child enjoys and their learning level.  Google it, and you’ll see.  It’s limitless.  (Here’s a great page, if you want a shortcut to some examples!)

I saw this, and a few things became really clear.  The first was that the moments my children have really enjoyed school have been tied in with the crafts/activities like this.  They respond to this type of work, and I didn’t really see it till now.  They retain the things they learned when it was accompanied by something like this.

And then my big moment.  My big realization.  I can teach them to read, and write, and do their numbers.  I got that.  I can educate them.  They can do the quizzes and worksheets and speed drills.  We can get to the end of the workbook.

But, that’s not teaching them to love it.

That’s not reaching into their hearts and minds and sparking their curiosity.  It’s not stoking the fires of their intellect, or giving them a lifelong thirst for knowledge.  I see this especially with the older kids.  They KNOW their reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  But they’re restless.  Unsatisfied.  I could see the problem, but not why it was there.  Now I do.

The basics are important, fundamental.  Can’t get very far if you can’t read.

But that’s not the end goal.  I want more, and so do they.  And to get there, it’s time to go off the marked path.  It’s time to blaze our own trail.  It’s time to trust them, to trust myself.  Their innate curiosity about life, and my instincts as their mother– we’ve been laying the groundwork for this and we’re ready.

I’m not throwing out the books, by the way.  I’m not teaching out of a sweat lodge in the backyard (a joke from the husband) or letting let them learn math organically.  (that would be the end of math in this house, I promise.)  I’m just approaching education from a different direction.  I’m not getting caught up in the busywork or the formula.  I’m going to let them use their hands more.  I’m going to let things get messier.  I’m going to talk to them more, and lecture less.  I’m going to be more of a “home base” for them to venture out into their own education.  I’ll be there, guiding things, but I’m gonna let them walk ahead a little.  This year is about inspiring, not just educating.  I believe that notebooking our way through the things we study will do that.  And if doesn’t… we’ll figure out what does.  No more letting the curriculum run us.  We have crossed the threshold of something big here, and there’s no going back now.

I can’t tell you how exciting and liberating this feels.  I answered the call to homeschool seven years ago, and after all this time, I thought I knew the whys and the hows and all that.  But I figured out yesterday, that just like everything else in life, it’s a journey.  I’m still learning and growing in this call.    It’s a wonderful kind of scary.

It’s gonna be a great year.

Perfect

I’m gonna think out loud here for a minute.

“God doesn’t give us a perfect life.  He gives us the life we need to perfect us.”

This quote has been rolling around in my head for a couple of days now. I can’t remember where I read or heard it, but it is SO relevant.  It fits me like a glove right now.  I bet it does for you, too, huh?  Because we’re all looking for the Perfect Life.  The one where we have financial security, healthy and faithful children, amazing marriages, manicured lawns, thriving and fulfilling relationships with our friends and neighbors and loved ones, time for our hobbies and interests– no hangups or hurts.  Just happiness.

Not gonna lie, that sounds pretty sweet.  I want one of those.  And not just for me. I want it for the people in my life who are struggling, who just can’t seem to catch a break, for those who can’t find their way.  I want it to be easy for all of us.

But, alas, it isn’t real.  The Perfect Life is a lie cooked up by the enemy.  Because the truth is,  Life is messy, y’all.  It’s hard.

It’s messy and hard for my friend who seems to have it all together.  It’s messy and hard for my pastor.  It’s messy and hard for my dad.  It’s messy and hard for the Duck Dynasty people.  It’s messy and hard for the smartest, prettiest, richest, most amazing person I know (or wish I knew.)  For every single person walking this earth right now, they have messes and hardships I know nothing about.  Because that’s LIFE.

So glad that’s not the end of this post, though.  Life’s tough, get over it.  Great message there.

No!  There’s a purpose to it all.  Something is happening in us because of this imperfect life.  We are learning patience in a new way.  We find new ways to forgive.  We experience the freedom of repentance and humility.  We grow stronger, wiser, more compassionate… Our sharp edges are worn down.  We are broken, and rebuilt better.

The fact is:  We’re all going through something.

But the beauty of it is this:  We’re all becoming something else.

God is working in us, like a blacksmith in a forge.  It hurts sometimes, and there’s no minimizing that.  Sometimes, it really, really hurts.  We lose people.  We lose things that matter to us, or we are denied them.  We are wounded, and we wound others.  Our world crumbles.   We may be sitting on top of the rubble pile of what used to be our life, wondering where we went wrong and why God would allow this to happen.

But, He never said we’d have perfect lives.

He never promised a perfect journey.  He promised something better:  a perfect heart at the end.  He promised it would all be worth it.  He promised every bad thing will be worked for our good.  He promised that though this world is sand underneath us, He would be our solid place.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

I love that:  a little while.   Every suffering fits there– into the phrase, a little while.  The heartaches, the life breaks, every single moment of suffering, – is just a little while.  We have to look up from the pain and imperfections, and remember, He’s doing something.   Even if all we feel right now is the burn, we must cling to the promises.  He is making something happen inside us that we need.  He’s moving us closer to Perfect.

The life you have, the messy one, the one full of hardships and imperfections– is the one you need.  It’s exactly, perfectly tailored to fit you like a glove.  It’s been custom designed by the one who loves you with the Perfect Love.

I’d rather have that, than the Perfect Life.

So, what to do while we’re waiting on the final version of our existence?  Love Him back.  Obey Him.  And ultimately, just trust Him.

Okay, that’s all for me.  Laundry, supper, and sick kids to tend.  Happy Wednesday, everybody.

 

Becoming

Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

I always thought the imagery was quite beautiful of the two becoming one. What a romantic notion, of two hearts melding together, beating in a single rhythm. No longer my body, or his body- but ours. So poetic and dreamy.

And it is, truly. It’s a wonderful picture of what happens when two people are married. But as the years roll by, this image comes into focus more clearly, and we learn that becoming one is far more complex than we could have ever imagined. It happens in an instant, that moment you say, “I do.” But it also happens in every instant afterward, for the rest of your life. You are constantly becoming one person, in every word, every thought, every deed. And it’s not always easy. You’re taking two totally, completely independent beings, and fusing them into one. At times, there will be struggle and discomfort, as the pieces are reconciled together. Compromises must be made. We must yield our fingers and toes and all the things we were before– so that something new is created. There are times when I don’t want to do that. When I like my own fingers and toes just fine, thank you. Times when my heart rebels.

But what happens if I resist it? We are still becoming one– that was set into motion on a winter day in December sixteen years ago. But one what? One big mess, that’s what. If I fight it, and insist on having my own fingers and toes– we will become an atrocity. We will be deformed by our resistances. We will be an unnatural being, with two heads, four arms, twenty toes… we will not be glorifying anybody. We will not be the picture of Christ and the Church. We will be a sad and scary abomination.

Becoming one flesh– it’s never finished.  Every day we choose the shape of this new being.  Will we be in harmony?  Will I be soft and gentle, pliable in the Master’s hand?  Will I allow Him to make a beautiful thing of us?  If I insist on my way, or hold pieces of myself back from my spouse- then what is a blessing from God will become a curse.  What God has made, we will tear apart.  What the world doesn’t understand, what we ALL don’t understand– is that it’s not the big things that break marriages.  It’s not infidelity, or sickness, or finances, or addictions that destroy.  Those things are just the grand finale.  What tears a marriage apart are fingers, and toes.  It’s the small things we won’t surrender.  It’s the damaged one flesh that we create with our choices, that can’t stand properly in this world.  We can’t move, we can’t think, we can’t function.  We can’t survive.  What chance have we to stand against what the world will throw at us in this condition ?  We have resisted what God wanted to make of us, and now we will fall.

It can be beautiful, this one flesh.  We’ve all seen marriages like that.  But that didn’t happen at the altar.  It wasn’t simply a vow that makes their union glorious.  It is sacrifice, it is enduring growing pains, it’s in having patience and kindness and mercy with each other.  And those only come through submission to Jesus Christ every. single. day.

Becoming one isn’t just a fanciful, romantic idea.  It isn’t just lighting a unity candle at your wedding, or pouring sand in a vase.  It’s sacrificing fingers and toes– it’s relinquishing what you were, so that together you are something new and strong and enduring.  It happens today, when you are faced with the little rebellions in your heart, that you decide what kind of new creature you will become.

Yield, and be beautiful.

Fight, and be broken.

 

 

 

 

Sending a Pigeon

I tell ya what, this blog is a tight squeeze for the big thoughts I’ve been having the last few months.  I come over here at least once a week, with the intention of sharing all these things I’ve learned or experienced recently, and I simply cannot find the space.  It’s huge.  I really just need you to be right here with me, watching the whole thing up close.  I want to pull you over, and point out these huge moments, and say, Get a load of this!  Blogging just can’t cut it.  You gotta SEE this thing.

But, that’s not gonna happen.  You don’t have time for me to be dragging you all around, and if I ignore this poor blog anymore, it’s just gonna shrivel up and die.  So, I’m gonna get to this thing the best I can, and hope I can convey just how epic this past year has been for me.

We’re almost one month away from the year anniversary of our Big Move.  This time last year, I was packing, painting, and crying out some goodbyes.  We were excited, nervous, and absolutely unprepared for what was ahead.  King Pen was getting ready to start his own business, and we were finally going to “live our dream.”  We had no clue how difficult that would be, or how very much God had to teach us in the months to come.

It’s been tough, I am not gonna lie.  We’ve been stretched in every way imaginable.  Financially, emotionally, spiritually.  It’s been sheer battle.  We have been busted up, patched together, and busted up again.  But as this year draws to a close, and there’s a lull in the fighting, I want to share what I’ve learned on the field.

1.  My husband is a faithful general.    He plans and strategizes, long after the troops have gone to bed.  He calculates his next move, and marches fearlessly alone into the fray.  He doesn’t give up.  He doesn’t expect me to have the answers for him, but he welcomes any input I have.  And seeing him like this, whether he wins that day’s battle or not, has become larger than “living our dream.”  Being the general’s wife IS living my dream.  I’ve always known how blessed I was to have this man as my husband, but boy do I know it FOR REAL after this year.  He doesn’t abandon his post.  Ever.  He has taken to heart the responsibility and gravity of being head of this family, the lead of this charge, and there is nothing in this world that could make me happier than that.  I would do this all over again, just to see the fight in this man.  It is something to behold.

2.  I trust what God is doing.  This one is the doozy to try and put into words.  Some days I’m better at trusting in God than others.  But I’m slowly coming to understand the REALITY and ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of this concept– that following Him means we must trust Him, every day, in every battle.  And we can only do that if we truly see Him as sovereign and loving.  I thought I was doing this already, ya know?  I’ve been a Christian a long time, and I’ve trusted Him fairly well during the hard moments of my life, or so I thought.  But I had a serious wake up call this year.  I realized that rather than trusting in God on many occasions, I was just trusting in a formula:  that if I do this and this, (say, King Pen gets his degree and then his license) then eventually, life will be great and it’ll all work out.  Reality check for me– I can’t trust in a formula.   The formula didn’t deliver immediate results.  Maybe it won’t EVER.  That’s a possibility.  Not saying I think that’s going to happen, but it could.  The world could fall out from under any of us, and every bit of our plans and formulas might count for nothing in an instant.  I had to face that reality, and it wasn’t pretty.  But what happened when I was stripped of this falsehood, was that it left room for me to believe in the RIGHT thing– in the truth that I serve a God who is constantly seeking to turn my sorrows into joys.  Whatever hardships or trials we face, He is doing things in and around us that we can’t even see, to turn those things into blessings.  Maybe it’s different from what we expect, maybe the road twists and turns and our joys end up being something we never could have anticipated– but they’re coming.  Joy is coming, no matter what the sorrow.  So, with truth like that, who needs to worry?  It doesn’t mean hardships and trials are fun, or feel good, or that we have to plaster a smile on our face and pretend it isn’t painful– but we can REST.  We can shrug at them, laugh at them if we’re able, endure them while we must– but we do not live in them, we are not defined by them.  The trials are temporary.  The joys that come from them are eternal.  I get that so much more than I did a year ago.

3.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.   Can I just keep saying this word?  I learned some REAL stuff about prayer this year.  Like, how much I need to do it.  And how the more I do it, the more I know I NEED to do it.  I find endless things to pray about now. I pray over and over, the same things, for the same people, and I just won’t stop until those prayers are answered.  I’ve learned that God wants us to be tenacious in our prayers.  He wants to hear us, He never tires of our prayers, and He IS answering them.  And when I feel discouraged, when I wonder if these prayers will bear fruit, then I just refer back to #2.  Sorrows into joys, my friend.  That’s what our God does.

4.  It’s time to get real and be a grown-up Christian.  It’s time to get real about the WHOLE THING.  Real about worshiping Him.  Real about loving and studying His word.  Real about serving others.  Real about raising my kids, and loving my neighbor AND my enemies.  Real about not gossiping, real about forgiving people and real about the sin in my own heart. Real about reaching the lost people in our lives.  No more milk, no more excuses, it’s time to grow up in our faith.  It’s just time.  Time to have a heart like Christ’s.  To love the things He loves, to hate the things He hates.  To surrender ourselves completely into Him, so that He is what the world sees when they look at us.  No more coasting, no more resting on laurels or whatever else it is that is keeping us from rising up to the call.  We’ve heard it a million times.  And now the time has come to be not only hearers of the word, but doers.

So, there you have it.  A few of the big things I’ve learned this past year.  Can you see why I’ve been kinda quiet around here lately?  These aren’t thoughts you can just drop casually in conversation.  And they’re hard to write about when you’re slap in the middle of it.  Not that I’m done with these things, or that God is done with ME, but I do feel like I’m catching my breath a little now.  I can stop and send a pigeon with a note tied to his leg,  I’m okay.  Battle going well. Troops remain intact.

The truth is, Life is good.  It always has been, and it always will be– because it’s precious.  I will rejoice in even the hard moments, in the skirmishes and clashes, because they mean I exist.   I am.  I get to live my little flash on this earth, with it’s charming little problems, and then I GET TO LIVE FOREVER.

What’s a battle here or there in this life, when you know the war is won and eternal celebration awaits?

I smile just typing that.  It really puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it?

Okay, that’s it for me tonight.  Enough heavy heavy.  Any more, and the pigeon won’t be able to get off the ground.  Sweet dreams, everybody!  I’ll be back sooner than later, I promise.  No more month long blog absences, if I can help it.

Message In A Bottle

To You:

Hey.  I see you.  I know what’s going on over there in your boat.  I know you think nobody else has noticed.  But I have.  I see the leaks.  I see the rising water around your ankles.  I see you bailing furiously without stopping.  I see the panic in your eye.  The weariness.  The hopelessness.

I also know the frustration and  failure you feel at all the well-intentioned advice/encouragement floating to you across the water.  Buy these new, handmade, organic sails!  Make sure your children are taking time to enjoy the view around them!  Learn these wonderful old sailing tunes to whistle as you work!  Don’t forget to take pictures of the places  you travel!

It makes you feel like nobody really gets it.  Nobody knows that you are in trouble here.  Their words are absolutely irrelevant and unhelpful in this moment when you are SINKING.

But I see you.  I notice.

So, here are my words to you.  Keep going.  Keep bailing.  Keep moving your bucket.  Don’t worry about what’s going on around you.

Because what you don’t know, what you can’t see from here– is that there is an island coming up.  It’s small, nothing fancy– just a bit of land that you can pull your boat onto, and make some repairs.  Patch the holes.  Stitch the sails back together.  It’s not far, I promise.  You just have a little farther to go, and then you can rest your arms.  You can breathe.  You can look around at the beautiful view.  You can take a picture of it, even.

Look, I don’t know if you’ll ever have handmade, organic sails.  I don’t know if the holes ever get patched all the way.  I’m not going to promise you there’s a yacht with your name on it.  But I know this:  just when you don’t think you can keep this thing above water another minute, there’s an island not too far away.

‘Cause I’m not the only one who sees you.

Somebody else did, long before you even set out on this journey.  He knew the limits of your endurance.  He knew the size of your boat, the width of the holes, the weight of the bucket.  He knew all that, and grew an island just where you needed it.  The current carries you from one island to the next, and that’s no accident.  Until one day, when you can’t possibly expect it, you will reach the mainland.  And there, nobody needs a boat at all.  Yachts, rowboats, canoes, and rafts of flotsam and jetsam… they are all docked, for all time.  It doesn’t matter how you get there.  A boat’s no good on dry land.

One last thing, then we’ll both get back to bailing.

Your arms, they are tired. But friend– they are strong.  Look at them.  What seems like an endless, fruitless battle with the water has changed you, has made you better. You are sunkissed, windblown, and amazing.

Your boat may be leaky, sailor.  But your spirit is sound.

Love,

A fellow boatsman