Perhaps you're a little waterlogged with all of my amazing tales of our waterpark vacation to Wisconsin. We, however, are still drying out! We continue to soak up all the wonderful memories of our family time and it's fun to "splash" through the pics and reminisce about this fantastic time away. I have one more little story I want to share. I think. You never know ... there might be another little snapshot floating round in my head waiting to be written.
On our last full day at the condos, we headed over to the final remaining indoor waterpark of the campus. One we hadn't been to yet. Actually, the "we" I'm referring to was an abbreviated "we" as Brett was off enjoying a breakfast with the guys and would meet up with us later. The "we" from above was actually just me and my four fish ... and a monster wave pool. In my mind, I had a plan for how we would all enjoy the crazy, sloshing pool and all keep our heads above water. But, considering how well my lazy river adventure went, I was feeling a little trepidation.
As we walked into the pool area, the first thing that struck me was the roaring noise that drowned out the (happy) screams of the swimmers being tossed among the waves. The second thing that struck me was the impossibility of any of those friendly lifeguards from being able to tell the difference between a happily thrashed swimmer and a swimmer in danger. Thirdly I was struck by the absurdity trying to do this without Brett.
My first task was to strap the two littlest into their life vests. My next task was to march my little group over to the edge of the pool that filtered into the play-land and lay out some ground rules.
"You must stay where I can see you."
"You may not go out any farther than the blue pole."
"You need to stay in your inner tube at all times."
"Good luck ... and I love you."
The little girls frolicked over to the kiddy area while the big kids seized their tubes and gleefully flung themselves into the pool. I stood in the middle of the two areas, tried to watch all four of the kids at once and prayed, "Jesus, keep them all above water, please. Amen."
And that was before the water started churning with the next cycle of waves!
Amazingly enough, the big kids actually enjoyed being tossed about and stayed afloat almost 93% of the time. The little ones, on the other hand, were intrigued by the waves rolling by and soon lost interest in the boring ol' toddler-friendly zone and began edging out into the deep. With a grip on my girls' little hands/wrists/arms/necks, we enjoyed the waves crashing against our feet/knees/legs/faces.
You can imagine my relief when Daddy showed up!
It was at this moment that I started breathing again and I began to truly enjoy myself.
The two big kids stayed in their respective inner tubes and Brett and I retrieved two double tubes. A genius of some sort designed these fantastic tubes that were closed in on one end for little people to sit in comfortably while the other end was open so that we big people could hang down inside. I would have LOVED one of these on our first day! Together as a family we waded out into the surf.
For the next hour we were buffeted around (in 10 minute increments with 5 minutes to recover in between ... I would have preferred it the other way around!) and sloshed from one end of the pool to the other. Brett had Ashley in his tube and kept a close eye on Aaron while Lydia and I rocked and rolled around in our tube and tried to keep up with Norah. My "professional" technique for keeping us afloat was to hang down in my end of the tube and grip the handle of the tube with one hand and Lydia's life vest with the other. I found that I gripped both with an equal, yet unknown strength.
With each cycle of waves, there were more and more swimmers joining the throng. It was quite literally a sea of heads bobbing up and down among the waves. This congestion did little to calm the little waves of worry that washed over me. As much as I would have liked to relax and enjoy the current, I felt a need to track my little-big kids, keep Brett in my line of vision and continue my iron-grip on Liddy.
I'll let you in on a little something: this grasping for control is just a drop in the ocean compared to my need to be in charge of the rest of my life.
I admit that I'm a control-freak! I am a micro-manager, a non-delegator, a "Me-Do-er" and a hyper-planner. But I would like to add that I am also in rehab. :) In the recent years, I have been able to let go a bit of my internal desire for utter perfection and allow God to rescue me from that ocean of failure, guilt and regret. I have been able to release to Him my desires for "how things should be done" and invite Him to do my life His way. I have been able to release my expectations on those around me, allow them to be themselves and celebrate who He is molding them to be. I have been able to ride the waves of life and rest in knowing that in spite of feeling like I am in dangerous waters ... I am right in His hands.
So ... you can imagine my surprise and amazement when Lydia presented me with a beautiful illustration of this trust and rest! As we bounced and bounded around on the top of the waves, sometimes bumping against other "wavers", sometimes being bashed against the walls of the pool ...
... she started to doze off.
In the midst of the roar of the water and the screaming of the other swimmers, she was rocked to sleep by the constant ebb and flow of the water.
She knew she was safe. Her Mommy had her. And because of this confidence, she could enjoy the ride, laugh and squeal happily as waves washed over her head and ... even doze off for a bit.
Oh, to feel such peace in my soul!
The next time that you feel like you are being tossed about by the waves of life, I hope you will remember that snapshot. And this promise:
In Psalm 29, David writes about the power of God. And in verses 3, 10 and 11 he specifically addresses God's sovereignty over the waters ...
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Remember ... You're safe. God has you.