Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stuck Under A Ladder

My beautiful sisters in Christ!

Time to tell on myself a bit with a positively RIDICULOUS happening last week.

We have been working on getting our house trim painted, etc.

We have two ladders. One is a regular 6' ladder and one is a HUGE ladder that I think is 20 feet long, and that telescopes in on itself like a fire truck ladder. I needed this one to do a lot of the high trim on the house, as we have a 1.5 story house.

Ok, now TWS is still limited in his lifting ability, so it has mainly been me hefting this ladder. I am a fairly sturdy woman, so that had not been a problem. However, that morning we had put a new piece on the ladder. It is a large semi- circle metal brace thingie that is supposed to be wider than a window so that you can lean the ladder up at a window without the ladder top resting on the glass.

This thing is phenom. It makes the ladder much more steady. And heavy. Just heavy enough to tip the scales (pun fully intended) away from my ability to wrangle the ladder. I can lift it, but cannot really control it because of the extra weight. A couple of times the kids heard the ladder CRASH to the ground because all I could do was swing it away from the house, not guide carefully.

Ok I was painting trim in the front, and at one point I needed to move this ladder over a foot or so. In order to move it, I had to slide it under the edge of the roof, under two cross braces, and then back up under the roof edge all without smashing the ladder into our large, beautiful, and new triple pane windows (no, I did not break the windows!).

I was not strong enough to stand behind the ladder properly and pull the ladder to myself. So I got under the ladder and tried to "walk" the rungs to make the ladder stand up. However, the feet of the ladder were in soft dirt and kept sliding. I was afraid I would break the glass, so I figured I would just put the ladder on my shoulders and walk it out to the yard to adjust.

So I slid the ladder down until my head was in between two rungs and the ladder sides were resting on my shoulders. I walk out to the yard, away from the windows, with my head through the rungs and my arms just keeping the ladder steady.

Then I tried to lift the ladder off of my shoulders. Uh oh.

I soon realize my arms seriously had no strength left after toting, painting, and hefting all day. I could not budge the ladder over my head! Ok, no problem, just put the ladder back on my shoulders and rest a bit and try again....

And again....

And again.

Greeeaaaat. I'm stuck.

The ridiculousness of the situation started to hit me and I got an attack of the giggles, which makes lifting the ladder REALLY TRULY ENTIRELY impossible at this point. But I still do not get that it is entirely impossible. I keep asking myself "No, I really stuck? As in...stuck?? Cause I do not want to call out the cavalry just in time to lift the ladder off of my own head.". Try again. Nope, I am really seriously stuck.

So I called my mom who was inside, but she did not hear me. THEN I call to TWS who was in the garage on the far side of the house, but of course he could not hear me.

So much for cavalry.

"AHA!" I thought to myself "Just slide my shoulders through the rungs and slide the ladder down off of me like a skirt!". However, I soon found out that the...ahem...sturdiness of my shoulder means they do NOT fit through the rungs.

Then I start to panic just a little (ok, not panic, but get a bit concerned!). I have my head stuck through a ladder, my arms are too weak to lift it, and no one can hear me. My frame is strong enough to hold the ladder at the moment, but for how long? Do I need to flag down a passing motorist? Would YOU stop for a woman waving wildly wearing a 20' ladder around her neck like an accessorizing gone horribly awry?

I mull my options as my shoulders start to ache. I mean....can someone DIE this way? How long can I stand there? Should I sit? What if I cannot get back up??

I figured I would have to walk to TWS to get his help. But there is no easy way to get to him. My truck is between him and me and I do not want to accidentally hit my truck with this ridiculous piece of paint splattered bling. So that means I would have to walk off the property, down the street, and back up into the other side of our circular drive way, again the view of neighbors and motorists. What would YOU think if you saw this dreadful living see-saw ambling down the side of the road? Yeah. Well at least if someone called the cops, they might be able to get this blasted thing off my head.

I actually would have paid to see that see the police show up and extricate me from this ladder. They could also call the fire department...they know about ladders, right? Maybe I could get on the local news (we have a REALLY small town) "Local woman attacked by her own ladder! Chaos at the scene! The fire department worked frantically to rescue a woman from her own ladder which apparently turned on her as she was trying to transport it. After several tense minutes of uncontrolled guffawing, the ladder was tranquilized and removed from the woman's shoulders. The woman was taken to a local Ace Hardware as a safety precaution and was later released. Officials will not release the name of the woman, but c'mon, how many cross eyed, headcovering women do we see around here? She's the one who had those blue underarms that one time...".

Ok, so in the end, the police did not have to be called. The neighbors did not have a chance to laugh, and I did not get on the 6 o'clock news. It occurred to me that I might take the ladder off like a sweater instead of a skirt, and ducked my head until it slid off of my shoulders. Sweet Success!

(btw, I have not been on that ladder since. I am tired of painting. And it is raining, so I just play Bejeweled Twist all day instead.)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Thought For Today....

Hello my beautiful sisters in Christ...and that is what you are! Beautiful and in Christ!

I would like to share a thought that my wonderful adorable cousin gave to me the other day while we were talking. Her father was a pastor and told her this (I am using my words, though, to explain it as I forgot how she said it verbatim)

"Things that you worry about are always worse in your mind than they really would be. When you imagine something bad, you are imagining these things without the grace God will provide. He will provide grace for you when/if things happen. So do not worry about tomorrow."

Sisters, just THINK about that! When you are fretful and anxious, if you have OCD or panic disorder, if you are depressed or dreading something, you are living a situation in your mind that has not happened yet or is not over. The Lord HAS grace for you. He HAS mercy for you. He HAS help for you.

But He is NOT going to insert Himself into our "vain imaginings" of things that have not happened yet...He expects you to turn your anxiety over to Him and watch Him work in your life.

I never could have imagined that a brain tumor in my husband would lead us both to such heights of closeness with each other and with God. If I had thought about TWS having a brain tumor back in March, I would have imagined losing him, him in pain and suffering. I would have imagined that nothing would go right, that I would be miserable and in a state of panic.

I would NOT have imagined what really happened when we found out he did have one: that the Lord's grace would so fully overwhelm me, so incredibly spill over into my life to where I was utterly filled with mercy and grace. I would NEVER have imagined that I would look on the situation and PRAISE THE LORD. In my imaginings, I would imagine that the brain tumor was the biggest part of the picture, not the Lord and His grace and that TWS and I would both be THANKFUL for the experience. Yes, thankful! PRAISING GOD! We never could have imagined the blessings that come out of what seems to be so bad. Healed relationships, strengthened relationships, closeness with Him, peace that passes all understanding.

Now, it is possible that the outcome of things in our lives will be what we do not want to happen. However, I am slowly learning that even those times the Lord REALLY DOES work out for our good. He worked out so many years of fear and misery for my good. He worked out an incredibly painful past for my good. It took over 20 years for the bitter trees of fear, sorrow, pain, to bear sweet fruit, but they did!

Remember: our fears never imagine the Lord's grace. We NEVER think "Oh I could get in an AWFUL car wreck today! What if I wrecked?!? Oh and then what if the Lord had sent angels to guard me and we all walked out without a scratch! Or what if I did break my arm, but the Lord provided me with full grace so that it really did not hurt that badly AND He introduced me to someone who would minister to me in ways I could not imagine! What if He blessed me MIGHTILY today!?!".

So do not borrow trouble. The Lord taught me clearly that to worry about tomorrow is to intentionally put my hand on a hot stove--I might think that it helps me prepare for some other time when I might put my hand on a stove, but really it just gives me unnecessary pain. It keeps me from praising Him because my mind is too full of fear and anxiety (and we do NOT praise Him when we are saying "I praise You, of course, but I do not trust that You can take care of this for me...."). It is worthless, foolish, and a BIG HUGE SIN, just as bad as adultery or stealing because I am tainting the blessings He gives me each day with my fear and I am robbing Him of praise.

Our imaginings are without the grace of the Lord. So put bad thoughts out of your head COMPLETELY and trust Him. His grace WILL be there and will NOT fail because He is faithful. You will see, I promise! The Lord will show Himself MIGHTILY in your life when you stop your vain imagining and start trusting and resting in Him! You will be able to laugh at the days to come, just like the Proverbs 31 woman.