Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Canoe, Do You?

We recently celebrated Mother's Day, which made me think about canoeing.  That's how my mind works - from Mother's Day to canoeing.  I do this to my husband all the time.  We'll be having a discussion on one topic, and I will jump to another topic entirely different.  When he gives me that "How did you get THERE?" look, I feel compelled to drag him down the winding path of my random thoughts.  I'm not sure that he enjoys these journey's, but I think he has finally resigned himself to the fact that he's destined to go!

Anyway!  During Sunday School we discussed the Proverbs 31 Woman.  She is awesome!  She does it all!  She is so not me!  Actually, I would love to be her one day, but that would be a slow process and I would require a LOT of remodeling!  During the course of Sunday School, and on into church I kept thinking about this woman and her many roles.  This always leads me to start thinking about my role as the woman in our marriage.  I sincerely believe that woman was created to be a helper to man, Genesis 2:18 ~ "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him."  I also sincerely believe that woman should respect and support her husband's leadership in their marriage and family, Ephesians 5:22 ~ "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."  Now, I know that "submission" is a hot topic, and all I'm going to say about it in this blog is that I have never read in the Bible that to submit means to be "subservient" or a "slave", and I don't believe that either of those is the proper Biblical definition of "submission".

Now, back to my meandering mind-path!  The next thing that popped into my mind after all of this pondering is that canoe trip.  Now, we had successfully canoed together before with no problems, and we had a wonderful time!  This time we took two canoes, one for his mom and dad, and one for the two of us.  Dan and I were pretty newly-wed and hadn't had either of our children yet.  We brought some sandwiches, drinks and snacks for a lunch break during the trip.  His mom and dad put their canoe in and glided peacefully down the stream.  We watched for a moment as we looked forward to putting in next. We loaded the  coolers into our canoe and pushed it into the water.  I stepped in and sat down in the front.  My husband gave us a little push and climbed into the back.  We grabbed our paddles.  I noticed a large rock to our right, and mentioned it to him.  Immediately the canoe tipped over and dumped us and all of our lunch materials into the water!

We stood up, shocked that this had happened, and embarrassed that we were still close enough to the launch point that several people saw the whole thing.  Shall I mention that no one ELSE dumped their canoe over? We watched  helplessly as all of our stuff floated down stream.  We later learned that his mom and dad collected all of it as it floated towards them.  We were very grateful for that!  So we went about the process of righting the canoe and getting back in.  Somehow, when I stood up, I managed to get myself between the very large rock, well, boulder; and the canoe which was now submerged and laying on it's side.  We had to turn it over and dump all the water out before we could get back in.  Dan started rocking it, and as he did, it banged up against the boulder.  Well, it actually banged up against me, because I was in between it and the boulder!  Every time he rocked it, it knocked me into the rock hard enough to knock me off balance and back into the water!  Thankfully it wasn't deep, but deep enough for me to be nearly submerged with each of his efforts to right the canoe.

He was rocking it pretty quickly.  I'm sure it was equal parts of anxiety about trying to retrieve our missing belongings, and embarrassment because we were still on display for all of this.  In any case, he was rocking that canoe as if our lives depended on it, so we had a pretty good rhythm of rock, slam, dunk, rock, slam, dunk!  After a few rounds of this, he finally shouted at me, "Why aren't you getting up?!"  Spluttering from my repeated dunkings, I managed to yell back, "Because my leg is trapped between the rock and the canoe!"  "Oh!" He says and stops long enough for me to get back up on my feet and get my balance back. Once we were able to work together, we were able to get the canoe back up and emptied, and we were soon on our merry way.  Well, it probably took us a little while to get merry, but we did have a good laugh at the whole thing later on.

It turns out, we finally figured out, that as in our marriage, we have specific roles that we need to find and embrace as we canoe!  Dan needs to be in the front of the canoe, watching for obstacles and guiding me with directions on how to avoid them.  I need to listen to his directions and help to steer around them.  When I was in the front at the beginning of this trip, I didn't give good directions.  "Hey, there's a big rock!" isn't very helpful if you need to know WHERE it is to effectively steer around it!  We also discovered that he needs to be aware of my needs so that he can take the proper steps to keep me safe and perhaps not repeatedly slamming me into a huge boulder, in the process! 

Also, I have discovered that when it comes to traveling together, he is the one looking around, enjoying the scenery, and looking at the big picture and sharing it with the rest of us.  I am focused on the road, our refreshment needs, travel times and potential potty stops.  Without him, our trips would be very structured and boring.  Without me, children would be hungry and whining about needing to go potty NOW!  Now that we have found the roles that we are comfortable in, and more importantly, that honor our God-given marriage roles and personality traits, we make a good team, he and I.  I came home with a pretty good bruise on one of my legs after that trip.  But I didn't mind too much.  We learned a lot during that particular experience about each other and ourselves.  Oh, and one other thing we learned:  when we mess up, his parents are there to lend a hand and catch our lunch if necessary!

God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. This is an important message to all couples! The greatest peace and fulfillment in a marriage is when the two of you can come together in unity each doing what God called them to do and realizing that we complete each other... maybe that's why opposites attract? (lol)

    Voice From The End of Town