As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Paddling With One Oar


Right after we "finished" sprucing up the sun porch, I spied something in one of our favorite antique stores: an old oar. 

Okay, maybe I'm not quite finished with my sprucing. Just this one last nautical touch. 

But, even though a sale tag dangled from it, the price was more than we wanted to pay for the oar, so we passed on it, deciding to think it over. I came home (now convinced that I "needed" an oar on the sun porch) and searched the internet market. Eek. Most were costlier than the one we had seen in the shop.

Oh well. We'll just keep our eyes out for an oar. Maybe we'll stumble on one some day . . . 

The following week, Ron returned home from a day out with his brother and brother-in-law at a steam show and flea market. "I have a surprise for you," he said. "Meet me on the sun porch."

He went out to retrieve my surprise and came in with . . . 

An old, weathered, perfectly gray-blue oar! 


I love it . . . even more than the one at the antique shop! It is prettier. It only cost $20. And it was a thoughtful gift from my sweetheart who not only noticed it in the myriad of items at the flea market, but bargained for it, and then had to drag the cumbersome thing around with him until they found a shuttle to my brother-in-law's truck. Priceless! 



Some women may want diamonds or expensive vacations. I am happy with my oar!




Have you ever felt like you were paddling with one oar? 

You get the picture? You're paddling as hard as you can, but with that one oar, your boat just keeps spinning around in circles and you're not making any progress? 

That's kind of how this summer has seemed.

So far the highlights (lowlights) have been driver's ed and dental surgery. Because that is what we have accomplished.

Two different beach outings? Cancelled. A "grand" summer sleepover? Postponed. Rescheduled. Postponed again.

Between our families, we have had strep throat, a Morton's neuroma, respiratory viruses, bronchitis, scarlet fever, hives, ear infection, and I may have left something out. Sigh . . .

Yes, it does feel like we're paddling 'round and 'round and not making much headway.

But . . . 

Is summer "fun" what it's all about?

Do we expect things to always go our way?

Are we learning and growing through our struggles and through our disappointments?

Are we depending on Him to direct our steps?

Are we trusting His goodness in our lives, knowing that it doesn't always look like what we pictured?

Can we accept the detours as readily as the anticipated route?

Could it be that when we think we are paddling 'round and 'round that we really are making progress, and that, in spite of our crazy paddling, the boat is moving closer to our destination? 





Dental surgery update:

First of all, thank you all for your prayers and your kind words! I have recovered surprisingly well! For the first few days, my jaws were sore and stiff and swollen, but the pain was manageable. Motrin, Tylenol, and ice were my friends. After mid-week, each day brought improvement. I have a big, ugly bruise to show for my troubles.

Even though I felt that I could probably do more, I gave myself permission to rest last week. Rest and healing go hand in hand, and it was refreshing both physically and mentally to put down the to-do list and the obligations. (I have to admit that I enjoyed my blogging break too.)

I am so grateful to the Lord for successful surgery and a smooth recovery! 


34 comments:

  1. Cheryl, I'm so glad to hear that you are doing well after your surgery. Dental is a bigger deal when we are no longer teens! Your gift speaks of true love from your sweetie. The oar is a beauty and looks perfect above the window on your sun porch. My summer has had its challenges as well, but God has seen me thus far. Take care and row safely to the shore. ♥

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    1. Martha Ellen, your words warm my heart. Praying for you through your own challenges. ♥

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  2. The oar is indeed one of the sweetest gifts ever. It looks perfectly at home there on your porch and will serve as a reminder of all your Beloved went through to gift you with it.

    That analogy reminded me of what's been going on with my family. For one of them, "one oar" is literally the story. Seems as if multiple concerns are the story for many people's summers.

    I'm all for learning things from trials and tribulations, yet I want everyone to have better memories of this summer...ones that get them through a long cold winter.

    So glad that you are well on the mend. Don't overdo now that you are feeling better...you've still got some healing to do.

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    1. Thank you, Vee, for always being thoughtful. I will pray for your loved one who is having a "one oar" summer.

      Love my oar . . . and my sweetheart!

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  3. What a truly sweet treat from your hubby. The oar looks perfect where you have it.

    So glad to hear you are getting all better. You may not have the wisdom teeth anymore, but the wisdom still resides, as I think of you not getting on your to-do list and taking time to rest and heal.

    Wishing you a beautiful evening. Oar else! harhar

    Brenda
    xox

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    1. As a fellow punner, I laughed out loud at your last words! :D

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  4. The oar fits just perfect! What a sweet husband you have. Mine never listens to me. :) I hope you are recovering from your surgery with no issues. This surgery seems to affect everyone differently. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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    1. Ron not only listens well, but he is able to hyper-focus on a detail. When I go in an antique store or a flea market, I see everything, the big picture! Ron, however, will remember a particular item that one of us has mentioned and, if it is there, he WILL find it!

      Thanks for stopping by, Terri!

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  5. I'm so glad you have recovered well--you were wise to take the time to rest and to heal. And the oar--perfect! And it has a story to go with it. I love those "conversation pieces" in our homes. And a wonderful analogy. Keep rowing!

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    1. "Conversation pieces" are the best!

      Yes, I will keep rowing!

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  6. So glad you are recovering nicely from your surgery.

    That oar is perfect and the story behind it is much better than buying the one at the antique store or finding one online. This one is a gift of love from your love.

    Happy Summer ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you, Lorraine! I like how you say that: "a gift of love from your love."

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  7. I'm glad you decided to rest and recover well. Wow, that is quite the list of ailments within the family. My goodness. Love the oar, the story behind it and the lessons you chose to share connected with paddling with one oar. :)
    Hope everyone recovers well and soon!

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    1. It is quite a list, isn't it?! We are hoping to fill the second half of the summer with more pleasant things!

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  8. I do like that oar and how sweet of your Ron to get it for you. Like you, gifts like this mean more to me than all that fancy stuff. It's good to hear your recovery is going well. Dental "stuff" is among my worst fears and I have been fortunate to not anything done in my mouth, other than the regular check-ups. Being in the dental chair is something that makes me feel my most vulnerable...even more than a visit to my GYN! Yes, it's fun to make plans and all of that but God's plan is always the best. Hugs & Blessings!

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    1. Debby, I hear you! Every. single. time I sit in the hygienist's chair, I think, "Never again" and "I don't have to do this." The dental surgery was actually easier because I was anesthetized. (Of course, the "after" part was not as pleasant!)

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  9. That Ron is a keeper! :)

    Thankful to hear of your recovery but sorry to hear of all the illness this summer. I guess you've all needed a quieter, restful summer.

    Rachel found out today all her wisdom teeth must come out! One is growing in sideways! Crazy! The dentist did say that the roots look shallow and so she shouldn't have much pain or swelling! We'll be seeing to that after we get back from California!

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    1. Yes, he is a keeper!

      My advice to Rachel is to go ahead and have it done while she's young! When you're (ahem) older, there are things like roots fusing to the bone (eek!) and more time to heal.

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  10. Glad to hear you are healing well! Some years are nice to see go - as may be with your summer . . . Pray for good days ahead before the busyness of school. What a special gift the oar was; isn't it great when someone we love does something so thoughtful?

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    1. Thank you, GrammaGrits!

      Yes, it was such a thoughtful gift!

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  11. Dental work is dreadful and I'm certain you feel relief at having it behind you. I'm glad that you are healing well. Taking the time to let one's body rest is very important. It seems that many of us are having a summer of a different sort. How wonderful to know that our loving Father is with us through it all.
    The oar is not only a beautiful piece for your porch, but a symbol of love and caring from your husband.

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    1. I am so relieved at having the surgery behind me!

      For those who are "having a summer of a different sort," this:
      I'm so glad I learned to trust Thee,
      Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend.
      And I know that He is with me,
      Will be with me to the end.


      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
      Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus,
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

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  12. It's great to read that you're doing well after the dental surgery. The oar looks like it was made for that spot. What a sweet and thoughtful gift from your hubby!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl! It is a valued gift!

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  13. Your oar is just the perfect thing! What a lovely and thoughtful gift - and how wise you were to put off that impulse to purchase beyond your budget.
    You have a special way with making things look warm and inviting. God has given you a talent for blessing others with the way you decorate. I admire that.
    Praying for continued healing and joy in your days!

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    1. Linda, thanks for your kind words and for your prayers!

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  14. Glad you had an uneventful recovery from surgery, Cheryl! Praise God. And as for that oar, it is perfect above your gorgeous windows! Your porch looks so inviting - including that wonderful Nantucket sign. I've got to find a sign for my front porch. I know that I'll recognize it as 'the one' when I see it. I just hope it won't be tagged with an arm and a leg. Blessings on you.

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    1. Thanks, Judy!

      I get it. That "tagged with an arm and a leg thing" prevents some purchases here too. :)

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  15. I am so glad you are feeling better Cheryl, you probably needed that rest with all that has been going on this summer, The oar is perfect, I am so amazed at how God is always working in our lives to give us the desires of our heart, and by learning to wait He brings it into fruition! Ron reminds me of my Dh, if I mention anything I want or need, he will start looking for it and try and get it! I call that "Love" Like you I am not a diamond girl, just a simple life with this I love! As always I enjoyed my visit, and your insights and thoughts inspire me! Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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    1. Thank you, Sue! Sounds like our hubbies have lots in common!

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  16. I love the oar and the wonderful story of love behind it! So glad you are on the mend. I totally can relate with your analogy of paddling with one oar. This Spring and Summer (so far) has been very unkind to me. I could make a long list of health issues and now am fighting a horrid cough that I simply cannot shake! I've heard it called the 100 day cough so that means I only have about 5 more weeks to go - ugh! It sure has slowed me down with blogging and all. The weeds continue to grow with very little motivation to get out there.... Sigh! This too shall pass - I need to have faith in that.

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    1. Rosella, bless your heart! I will certainly be praying for you!

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  17. Almost missed this post, so I am really glad I found it as it is full as always with such good things. First of all, the oar is PERFECT...not only in it's placement, size, color and look, but also in the story that goes with it. What a sweet reminder you will have that your hubby LOVES you. This story just made me smile. And your analogy about it I have a feeling many can soo relate to. I know I can. Goodness...we have kicked up almost a wind with our round and round motion over here this summer, lol. But there' always so much to learn if we are willing to look. So glad you recovered quickly and well. PRAISE God!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! I had to smile at your "kicked up almost a wind" because that is the perfect word picture! Yes . . . trying to look and learn . . .

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