For about eight months now, I have started most days by writing down three things I thank God for.
So this morning, after waking up on ‘the wrong side of the bed, the wrong side of the room, the wrong side of the world’ (Thank you, Sara Groves, for that great lyric.), I searched through my negative thoughts for something good to list in my journal.
Then I remembered: God told us to give thanks for everything.
So, today I am trying to give thanks for: 1. The ‘winter weight’ I’ve gained. 2. This head -and joint-aching weariness I feel. And 3. The lack of inspiration for this week’s blog post . . . . . all because life has been over-busy with a big ox in our ditch.
Hmm….I think I just got inspired.
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“The ox is in the ditch.”
That phrase takes me back to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where Jake and I worked. Jake led long wilderness trips mentoring young men while backpacking, canoeing, and rock climbing. I worked in camp construction and cleaning and cooking. We both had the same ‘boss’: Harv Chrouser, called ‘Coach’ because when he wasn’t directing the camp he was coaching a college football team. Coach was known for his tough love and high expectations. He taught us to work hard.
I first met Coach when I interviewed for the job. From across his desk, he looked at me, a senior in college, and said, “Now, you are going up to camp to work. Not to find a husband, right?” Of course not. I am not like that.
Well . . . I actually did meet him and three months later I was engaged to Jake.
Back at college, telling my friends of my coming spring break wedding, I got flack. “What? Engaged? To who?”
I needed some reassurance, so I went to find Coach. I asked him: “Do you think we are crazy to get married so fast?”
His answer: “Most people court before they are married. You will do it afterward.”
It was crazy, but that is what we did and it wasn’t exactly what you’d call a smooth courtship. It took some years of work to get to the place we are now.
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At camp, sometimes Coach used the biblical phrase ‘The ox is in the ditch.’ It meant even though it might be after hours, or on a Sunday, everyone had to pitch in and work. There would be no rest ’til the job was done.
Next week, Jake and I will have been married 44 years. Because of this big ‘ox’ — because we are helping Daughter 4 renovate her ‘new’ old house — we may be too tired to get-away to celebrate, but that’s okay. We are used to working ’til the job is done.
Happy anniversary, dear Jake!
Wouldn’t Coach be proud of us?
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Wow. My blog is written. I feel energetic and awake. And I’m no longer disheartened by winter weight gain. Nor by our ox.
God knew what he was doing when he commanded us to thank him for everything, didn’t he?