Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Who's draining your wagon? Lessons from the beach!

We took our 5th wheel to Faria Beach campground last Monday anticipating the holiday weekend and our 28th wedding anniversary. Gotta love Southern California and the beautiful beaches right here in Ventura, but it really is an art and expense to get a campsite during any weekend of the summer. Three of the four areas to pitch your tent or RV are first come, first served, which means campers arrive early, pay for several nights you won't even use, just so you have a spot on the nights you do. But, the whether was beautiful and it was close enough that our kids and friends could come up when their schedules allowed, which is worth every last nugget of charcoal!

We spent the first afternoon sitting on the beach where the Deeds found a friend to play with. The friend had a sand wagon and some pretty great sand toys. Well, they sort of totally looked the same as the Deeds sand toys, but its always more fun to try out someone else's stuff. Dot and I watched and listened to them play and chatter back and forth about current events, like who was 3 and who was 4 and exactly how many fingers that is in digital reporting.

I have to say "little red headed friend" broke all the red head temperament rules and even with a fair amount of sand in both sets of britches, these two got along so well. Dot and I chatted about who knows what as they played until I looked over and saw that Red was filling the wagon and with each scoop he put in the Deeds was taking a big double fisted lot out.

I watched for a few minutes knowing that at any moment Red was going to notice that his efforts were being undermined at an alarming rate and it wasn't by accident. I figured if he was working so hard to fill the wagon, he just might be more than a little frustrated that someone was draining the sand as fast as he could put it in.

I was concerned that this brand new kindership might not have the foundation to survive such a wave of confrontation. So I tried to tell the Deeds that his friend was working pretty hard at filling the wagon and he might just feel bad when he realized he wasn't getting any support on the project. I mean afterall, this whole situation was sitting on not just little bit of shifting sand.

I had barely gotten the facts on the table when Red said "that's ok, I don't care if he takes it out". Seriously? You are willing to work that hard at keeping the wagon full, all the while someone is draining your efforts?

Can't get that picture out of my mind. More accurately, can't get this question out of my mind..."What makes me feel like my wagon is being drained?" Cause I was all frustrated for Red, even though in his limited life experience he seemed fine and I think he is much too young for the sophisticated "denial" response.

So I have been feeling drained all day thinking about the situations or occasions that feel like I have been drained by someone or something. Situations where my efforts have felt undermined and not necessarily by accident. Somehow someone loosens the plug on something important and lets a bit of hard work or passion escape just because they didn't recognize how important is was. A sharp word or critical statement that starts a slow drain, because even though they only said it once, I repeat it over and over again in my own mind all the while trying to scoop like crazy so I can feel filled up again.

More painful to consider is "Whose wagon have I help ed drain?" "When have I pulled two fistfuls of enthusiasm or sincerity or value from someone else?" Lord, stop me before I ever start and show me what I've done while I am still close enough to apologize.

So lets call this interactive Tuesday/Wednesday...What situations drain your wagon? You know, you are excited about something, working hard on something and in comes someone or something that starts the drain...two fistfulls at a time.
Be as interactive as you are comfortable with, but let's be contributors and encouragers and even if our friend says "that's ok" let's know it's probably not really and turn and help him fill his wagon instead, no matter the sacrifice, let's just do.


Julie O said...

Hmm, honesty? Alright then...my wagon gets drained when I have been feeling good...doing things...living...able to be functioning...and then there are three someones in my life who say something like...."well you've been busy lately...(long pause)....well that's good I guess" or the other someone says..."you sure are doing too much lately"...and then there's the infamous "you're always so busy".

I mean here I am finally doing things because GOD has blessed me with GREAT days and all I want to do is share that...but before I can someone expresses their remark that is riddled with "concerned scolding". I mean here I put all this work into trusting God, working with God, having FAITH in God, and GRASPING for HIM on so many really hard days....that when HE blesses me I quite frankly don't want to sit at home! I want to FEEL His blessing by going out and doing the normal things that we all take for granted!! But why do these someones feel that I can only do that from my couch? It makes me feel like they only want to be there for me when I am stuck at home...but I say how can we pray for healing and yet only accept it in the "completed" phase? Why can't I be excited about the days or weeks of healing HE gives me? Why do someones have to make me second guess this happiness?

Sorry, I guess that really has drained me. I think it's at the surface because I'm not doing too good lately, been struggling for air again, and the someones are trying to come back...since I'm home : (

Just a thought... said...

Ya I get it, mostly the "you're always so busy". Said in a way that says...and you shouldn't be. And you know people care, but sometimes I think they only know how to feel from one perspective...theirs and you want to jump up and down and say..."take another stab at your response, cause I want you to celebrate with me and if you can't, could you please get off my dance floor?" or "that felt kind of draining, could I give you a shovel to help me refill my wagon now?" or "Man, you are missin a whole lot of joy and celebrating over me and God!" Ah humans...gotta love us for trying!