Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Intimidated!

   Don't hold back—you're not going to come up short. You'll forget all about the humiliations of your youth, and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory.
Isaiah 54-4
When I used to work in the corporate world, I had a friend who was a mover and a shaker.  By now, I’m quite sure Ed is a CEO somewhere in this universe.

Ed’s motto was don’t ask permission.  Do what you’ve got to do and apologize for it later!  He wasn’t a rule breaker, but Ed found success at every corner because people knew whatever he touched was going to get done and in a big way.

Christian, my eight-year-old, has the same motto.   I like the way he thinks.  When I took the boys to the local theme park, Carowinds, he was determined to ride the new roller coaster… The Intimidator.  Never mind that he’s about four inches shy of the height requirement!

Here he is standing as tall as he can with every trick in the book—tall Healey roller shoes that add about an inch and two hats stacked tall on his head. The Carowinds official measured him and sadly shook his head while choking back his laugh. 

Christian didn’t give up, he went to Top Gun next, and then the BORG Assimilator—two of the biggest coasters in the park.  Every time a park official with a big measuring stick shook his head, Christian smiled and stepped away, undaunted. 

“You’ll just have to eat your green vegetables,” I said.

Christian has since become a connoisseur of snap peas and carrots.  “I’ll keep trying,” he says.  “If I keep trying, someone will think I’m tall enough.”

I thought about Christian and Ed.

Then I thought about us ladies who have to take on life with unexpected challenges, like doing it alone when you thought you’d always have your husband by your side.

Sometimes, I think the world expects us to fold, to ask permission for steps we have to take to move forward.  I suppose I don’t think so, I know so.  I remember a decision I made a year after Tom died. I chose to build that sun porch Tom and I always wanted to build. 

I had a close friend question me on it. She worried over my decision to spend the money, and took it upon herself to discuss it among our circle of friends. It shook me up for a bit, not because I wondered whether my decision was sound, but because I wondered whether our friendship could endure her criticism.  It’s a sad reality but some friendships don’t survive when you loose your husband.  When you move forward as head of the household, you might find friends and loved ones unaccustomed to seeing you take on that role.  But you can’t hide behind a husband anymore. You have to become your own mover and shaker.

So I built the sun porch without anyone’s permission but God’s.  And guess what?  He blessed it. I didn’t even have to apologize for it later!  I’ve had it for two years now and the boys love it.  We have it wired with a flat screen and a DVD and it becomes movie central for the kids in the neighborhood on summer nights.  I consider it one of the best decisions we made in these years without Tom.

Lord, Please continue to guide me as I lean on You for direction.  When I seek permission, let it be You and only You I seek it from.  Help me to have the courage to act on Your guidance and not worry about the crowds, just as Christian kept walking unabashed to one ride official after another, going after his goal.

I pray for every woman having to step into that role as head of household, that she know she has You to turn to in all things.