what’s up with all the skating posts?

In case anyone wants to know why I am posting so much on facebook about Ice Skating recently and seem so over the top crazy about it.

 Well, you have to know the history. 

 First of all I skated every day of my life, sometimes twice a day, from 2nd grade through the middle of 10th grade.  A one hour drive to the rink, 5:30 a.m. ice, one hour drive back, go to school, another hour drive to the rink, 4:00 p.m. lessons and practice sessions, go home have dinner, sleep.  Repeat.  Everything my family did was arranged around the rink schedule.    I loved skating itself, independent of any competitive accomplishment. Which is a good thing really, since I never made it past a regional competition, but I loved it.  Just moving on the ice is such a joy. 

 In a fit of pure teenager idiocy I gave it all up before 11th grade because “I wanted a social life”  Silly me.

Fast forward to January of 2000 when my right knee got shredded in a non skating related sports accident (sword fighting, if you must know).  My ACL was obliterated and the MCL was 75% ripped.  Surgery and physical therapy followed, but even when that was all over, my doc wasn’t particularly encouraging about me ever getting on the ice again.  Ice skating hadn’t been a feature in my life for over a decade at that point and I was okay without it, so I just pushed the thought aside.

Three years later I developed a tumor (benign) in my left knee that had to be scraped out in order to restore some stability to the joint.  Again I asked….think I’ll ever skate again?  The answer came back – “probably not”   I shrugged my shoulders, oh well.

 I had accepted it.  I have two bum knees.  I’ll never skate again.  I’ll just watch it on TV ….which was somewhat like probing at a sore tooth.

 Until the advent of Ginny in my life.    Ginny watched the winter Olympics and went “skating” around the living room.  “watch me jump!  Look mama, see? I spin!”  she was still too young, but his summer, we put Ginny on the ice.  She really likes it.  Seeing Ginny on the ice..sitting there watching…I just had to give it one good shot…..  So I lost 40 pounds, dealt with getting new skates (since my old ones don’t even come close to fitting anymore) and got my scared self back out on the ice. 

Bliss.  

 Even though I am massively out of practice.  Even though I was not steady and could not go fast yet.  Even though I only lasted  over an hour on the ice.  Just being there felt right and real in a way that I’m not sure I can fully explain.  

 The years didn’t roll back.  I didn’t instantly or miraculously recall how to do things I haven’t done since 10th grade.  This isn’t a movie.  But it still felt good.  I know I’ll never compete again.  I may never even jump again.  There is a lot of real physical work ahead of me.   But as I rediscovered last night, just skating, just being on the ice is enough to make me deliriously contented.

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thoughts on crosses

Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 10:38)

My pastor, Jim Cantrell said last Sunday morning that he would be preaching on this topic this coming Sunday.  So I’ve been thinking about it and what it means to me. 

In the past when I’ve thought about someone “taking up their cross” for some reason it has always seemed like a voluntary thing.  Like someone went over to a table of “possible burdens in your life” and chose which one to carry.  Personal elective martyrdom.  Something performed by saints and people who are way more spiritual than I am. 

Now I see it differently.

I am starting to think that the crosses in my life are the things that knock me down.   Job loss, knee injury, infertility, illnesses, death, various surgeries.  And when something knocks me down I have a choice.  It is a very simple choice really.

Stay down, or get up.

Once I’m up, I also have a choice. 

Move forward in life, or stand still.

And as long as I’m moving forward, I have a choice between depression and joy.

So, I cry, I pray, and then I choose to get back up and smile.  I choose to show that Christ and my Salvation is my source of joy.  Not my job.  Not my family.  Not financial success.  Not physical health.

The end result is a person who has picked up her cross and follows Christ.  That sentence surprises me even as I write it, because I am NOT a saint.  I have made some really bad decisions in my life.  Sometimes I fall down.  But the crux of the matter is this – will I get back up?

The answer, for me, will always be

YES.

Why? It is because I’m strong or brave ? 

No.  It is because I know there is a God up in the heavens who breathes life into me every single day.  And He wants me to just keep walking.  One foot, one step, one mile at a time.  After all He has done for me, how could I possibly say no?