When my husband and I first got married, we laid down the first, and longest standing rule in our marriage.
He takes out the trash. I kill the spiders.
I know this may sound like a trivial rule, but it has been really important in our life together. It has stood the test of 8 years of crazy life and is a good place to go back to when we need a reset. You take out the trash, I kill the spiders. Simple expectations – easy to accomplish.
Spiders don’t really bother me, because I know I can make them go away. But, like anyone, I don’t want them hanging around, because . . . they’re super gross. So, I’m happy to oblige my end of the deal.
Tonight, I’m sitting in my hammock in the backyard after a VERY long roadtrip.
I took my kids BY MYSELF 6 hrs away to see my family. The stay itself was fine – great even. But, the way back was wrought with terror. (I am fully aware there are far greater problems in the world than what I am about to relay, but today totally sucked for me.)
It was ok until we hit the pass . . . at which point Ryder decided he wanted to be home, right then. He did not understand that we needed to drive there and was convinced that I just needed to turn “that way” and we would be there. Tell me again, small child, which way?
Then, after a few “are we there yets”, a couple, “I’m gonna throw ups”, and 2 or 3 “NOOOOOOOOOs”, we arrived at the exit to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry. I think, FOR SURE, we will make the 4:45p boat across to our Kitsap home, when we pulled off the exit at 4:30p.
Clearly, I’m not a commuter.
The line for the ferry not only stretched outside of the terminal waiting area, but at least 2 miles into the designated ferry wait area. I was not getting on a boat.
After a short panic attack (I wish I was kidding) and calming the desperation in the small child that “really wanted to go on the boat”, I headed toward the dreaded I-5 at rush hour to descend upon my doom.
We stopped to get some dinner, had a nice tantrum and succumbed to our fate.
What, at best should have taken 5.5 hrs, took us 11 hrs to accomplish. 11 HOURS with little, angry, ginger cherubs stuck in carseats that were “too tight”.
Not the best day, my friends. A few times, I remember thinking, I’m just hanging on by a thread, today.
Which brings us back to my backyard hammock and me, sitting here, staring at a spider.
Mr. Spider is really small. (I read somewhere most spiders are guys)
It’s a windy night, with a nice summer breeze coming to cool off the hot PNW day – and the spider is being tossed around a lot.
He’s busy, though, spinning his web. Making bridges between branches on the small tree by the hammock. He’s making progress too, though it’s slow. At first, I thought it was a dead spider, just stuck on his web, because how could something so small make it through such wind?
Because if I can feel the wind, what a storm it must be for the spider.
Then, saw him moving slightly, so I thought – his grip must be strong. And, his web – the thread he is hanging on to, must be strong.
The spider isn’t letting a storm, even one as big as tonight’s stop his work.
The spider is only hanging on by a thread, but the thread is his lifeline. He’s not letting go – besides, his whole life is built hanging by a thread.
Some spiders can lift up to 100 times their body weight! They are small . . . but they are strong . . . And their web is their security and their haven. They build their livelihood with the threads they hang by.
It’s the times in my life that I have the least connection to my haven, to my Creator that storms seem to have victory over me.
My lifeline has to be strong or I will be carried away by the worries and exhaustion and failures of this life.
It’s days like today, in which I set out only to survive, I feel like hanging by a thread is something to lament. It’s when the thread I am hanging by is one I make myself – and it’s not nearly strong enough for what’s coming at me. It’s days that I don’t slow down long enough to listen – because I have a 6-11 hr drive ahead of me . . .
I am so deeply affected by the absence of the voice of my Creator-Redeemer to my heart that I start to view life as a hopeless cause – a never ending roadtrip. But, when I give the truth a voice in my life – even a small one, the thread I get to hang by is far stronger than any I can hope to make myself.
And, that was me over-reacting to a long day. You’re welcome.