This post today is totally unrelated to my books so you can all heave a sigh of relief.
Instead, I just had a really neat experience that I wanted to share.
Most of you know that other than write and publish books, I wear a few other hats: mom, wife, youth leader, school board vice-chair, etc. One of my other roles is that one night a week, I go teach a group of kids ages 10 to 14 life skills. This is a ministry through our church and we help the kids understand and learn discipline as well as do crafts, hobbies and learn practical or sometimes just plain fun skills.
Right now, we’re concentrating on bicycling and for the past few weeks my husband and I have been teaching these kids proper bicycle safety, how to change a bike tire, what to bring in packs when going on a bicycle trip, etc.
Now, I have to admit, that while all of this sounds like fun, sometimes it isn’t. In fact, a few weeks ago, I nearly resigned because I was so tired and frustrated. It seemed like the last few months things had been on a decline. The kids weren’t listening, and instead being really mouthy and back talking, refusing to do what I asked, and disinterested in following any kind of instruction. I just felt like I was done. Maybe I wasn’t the best person to be in this role. But I had committed so until I either found a way to reach the kids better or I found a replacement to be the leader, I felt like I NEEDED to be there–even when my heart just wasn’t in it, which is easy to have happen when you think what you’re saying is falling on deaf ears.
Then, out of nowhere it happened… I was minding my own business writing about a certain wedding between two particular characters living in Fort Gibson when my phone lit up.
I meant to tell you. Last week Alexander and Willie were outside playing and decided to repair a bike tire. (Side note these kids are 10 and 11.)
Willie: “Let me try.” *gets tire off wheel*
Willie: “Now, how we gonna fix it?”
Alexander: “Get some DUCT TAPE! It’s just a small leak.”
Of course Bob and I showed them how to use real patches to fix leaks, BUT, I’m thrilled to pieces that they knew how to get the wheel off the bike and the tire off the wheel, then back on again . Will the duct tape hold? Probably for a while. Although she mentioned nothing about what happened when they went to re-inflate the tube…
What’s the point?
This got me thinking–something I try not to do too deeply. We all have skills, no matter how obscure or underdeveloped they are. We all also have struggles, myself included. Sometimes it’s easy to walk away or hold back because it feels like nobody appreciates us or cares, but believe me, there are people who do–they just don’t always know how to show it–once again I’m included in this.
After I got past the face value of this set of text, I really got myself in trouble with some deeper thinking. Over the past two and a half years, I’ve received so much encouragement from my readers–Facebook posts/shares, personal emails, comments, reviews, and so much more and while I don’t often draw attention to some of these things, they are all appreciated. It’s hard sometimes to put yourself out there in the world to invite public criticism and be made into an example, and I know without question that I wouldn’t have had the courage to come along this far had it not been for the AMAZING readers I have. So if I’ve never called attention to your review or shared your post on Facebook, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t appreciated it. I have and I want to thank you ALL for being so awesome and supportive!
(Now, that I’m done, I can say, nope, deep thoughts DON’T lead to headaches–although sometimes NOT thinking things through can.)