I grew up spending my summer on adventures with my grandparents at camp in in the UP, a cabin on Diamond Lake in Canada or a cabin on a tiny lake in Northern Wisconsin. The common elements of the 3 included unplugged family time with each other, God and nature. As a kid, the common element was the lake, all day lake time. I am a lake girl at the core. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the ocean but there is something special about a lake, maybe it’s my shark phobia, but I digress. I am a lake girl just like my Gram.
My Gram lead the charge to the lake every day, no matter the temperature. Those northern mornings are not what many would consider swimming weather but we typically did not take that into consideration, every sunny day was a swimming day. My sisters and I would get in our suits, stay wrapped in our towels and stand at the end of the pier waiting. We were waiting for an adult to come down, of course there was no swimming with out an adult near the lake. We giggled and danced on the pier. We stared at the water. On warmer mornings we would dangle our toes in, but not on the side where a Muskie lived. Our toes were only safe on the swimming side. We did all the things we could do to distract our minds while we were in the waiting. Sometimes, if we waited long, mind you 4 minutes is long in a young mind, on the cold mornings we began to question why we were standing there watching the fog from the cold air hitting the warmer water. Minute 5 is when the doubt began to creep in. Maybe we should find something cozy to do? Maybe today should start out slower? Maybe today was not made for adventure? MAYBE….but then we would hear the screen door creek open and hear the squeals and joy of my Gram. The adventure filled day was about to erupt.
Gram greeted us each with her laughter and love. She got to the end of the pier and exclaimed… MOSI-VALI-TATU which is 3-2-1 in Umbundu and then she leaped off the pier. The hooting and hollering started as soon as she bobbed up. She laughed and yelled it was cold, cold, cold then had to reassure us that is was not too cold. It seemed the hooting and hollering made the cold fade and soon she began to count down for us to jump, MOSI-VALI-TATU, MOSI-VALI-TATU, MOSI-VALI-TATUuuuuuuu, until we each jumped in. Filled with excitement and fear, we jumped into the cold dark lake. Sometimes we jumped alone and sometimes together. Sometimes we jumped on the first count but sometimes it took a second count.
Each day was different but lake days started with this little ritual. It seemed like nothing more than a fun game at the time but as I wrap up 2018 and think about 2019, I see all that it provided. First, we learned the value of waiting. Waiting can be hard, but worth it. When I have a plan in mind and I wait on God’s plan instead of rushing in, the blessings are better than I anticipated. Gram taught us that we needed guidance and we could trust her. Today she is gone but I remember her ways. She also taught us that God is our true trustworthy, everlasting guide. She showed us how to be brave and to encourage others to be brave too. We need to cheer each other on and count down together. Sometimes it looks like cheering from the water and sometimes it is standing next to each other holding hands and counting it down. Finally, choose the adventure! Don’t doubt yourself, retreat or sit on the sideline. Jump in, the adventure is waiting. The adventure is worth it.
So, spend some time and write down bold dreams for 2019. Think about who will cheer you on or hold your hand and count it down. Pray about these dreams and ask what more God has in store for you. God’s plan is always good and bigger than your dreams. It requires you to be strong and courageous and requires a YES and AMEN.
Are you ready?