It’s been a WILD couple of weeks weather wise on my part of the planet. We’ve gone from warm and dry, to a dumping and a half of snow (2.5 feet…well past my knees…and all of it coming since Christmas Day), to bitter cold (-20 F) daytime temps, freezing rain, to now heavy rain, thunder, lightning, 60+ degrees warmer than it was on Friday, and lots and lots and lots of water that has nowhere to go…and of course, there is more rain and snow coming this week.
All of that combined ultimately means flooding. At my house, flooding looks like water in my basement. I’ve had it happen enough times to know it’s nothing to mess with and we want to prevent it at all costs. It makes a huge mess and causes lots of damage, not all of which is readily apparent. Who would have guessed, though, that flood warnings would come on day when it was so cold they cancelled school? That’s what happened, though.
My family spent the better part of the last week digging out from Snowmagedon 2017 and then preparing for Floodmagedon. On the coldest day in many, many years, I bundled up myself and all my kids and we removed 2.5 feet of snow from our back patio and window wells. We then spent most of Saturday building custom covers for said window wells because, of course, the ones they sell at the stores don’t fit our windows. It was a HUGE (and expensive) undertaking. It was still -8 degrees when we started. We finally finished the project at 1:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. Yup. We kept our kids up with us and had them working alongside us the entire time.
Here we are today. It is indeed 60+ degrees warmer than it was on Friday. It has been raining heavily since last night. It’s a wet, sloppy, icy mess outside…but we’re toasty and warm inside. The best part is our basement is dry and all the water coming off our roof is running down our patio and away from our house where it where it is supposed to go.
This whole scenario got me thinking about how this applies to life and even to our family situations. How many times do we merely wish or hope for something (or someone) to change…or for something good to happen or something bad not to happen? How many times to we even pray over those things and ask God to intervene and work a miracle that fixes things the way we want them fixed? How many times do we get tired of trying or waiting, resign ourselves to living with what is…, and don’t realize we’ve actually put ourselves in free-fall mode by doing so?
I believe many of us get stuck in that gap between desire and reality. We get all excited in the beginning, we set new goals, and we give it everything we’ve got, only to find ourselves spinning our wheels and not getting anywhere. That is such a frustrating place to be…and one I’ve been in many times myself. When the going gets tough, we tend to slack off, become passive, and allow life to merely happen instead of us taking charge and making it happen. In all the messy details, we forget that not everything is left up to luck or fate or even stinky circumstances. We forget that we DO have power to influence the outcome of situations and make things happen if we want to.
Once we have the courage to peel back all the layers, drop the excuses and blame games, and set aside what we think we know about things, we can often see the real reasons we are stuck. Rarely ever is our lack of progress about lacking will power or commitment. So very often it is because we don’t have a sustainable plan, we lack the proper support, skills, or tools needed to get from point A to point B, or we simply don’t know how to change our own situation.
It Takes More than Wishing and Hoping
No amount of wishing and hoping or even praying that would have kept water out of my basement today. In fact, praying would have been quite ridiculous and even counterproductive. People all across this region have been praying for rain and snow for months now because it’s been so dry and our water supply depends on it. The copious amounts of rain and snow we’ve received in the past couple of weeks are answer to many, many prayers. I’m choosing to be grateful for it no matter how it comes.
However, heeding the warnings that were issued, assessing our own situation and needs, and then taking action even when it hasn’t been comfortable or convenient, using all the tools and resources we had available (including knowledge, materials, creativity, money, hard work etc), and some family teamwork did make it happen. As of tonight, we are all safe and toasty warm inside house, our basement is dry, and we’re ready for round 2 to hit tomorrow.
Is there something in your life or your family that needs to change? Are you wishing, hoping, and maybe even praying over it? How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Are you sticking to them or have you blown them all out of the water? How are you doing with family relationships and calming chaotic situations before they spiral into a crisis?
As you think about those questions above and consider what it will take to get you from wherever you currently are to the outcome you really want in your life, I challenge you to also take a look at the following:
- Do you know how to make those changes you want or need happen…and do you know how to make them last for the long haul?
- Do you have the right tools, skills, and support needed to make those changes you want happen?
- Are you putting your effort into the right actions that will bring about the results you want?
- Are you willing to do what it takes to turn things around and make those good things you desire a reality in your life?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, if you’re stuck in the passively wishing and hoping zone, or you are giving it everything you’ve got, but are still spinning your wheels without getting anywhere, try fixing even just one of those things and see what happens!
I’d love to hear how it goes for you. Feel free to email me or leave and comment and report one action step you are taking today to move out of the wishing and hoping zone and into the “Make it Happen” zone.