carnival rides…

This summer, I told my mom about a distinct memory I have from either late elementary school or early jr high.  The really funny thing, is that my mom does not remember any of this.  So, either my mind is play tricks on me or I just wasn’t with my parents when this happened.  I’m hoping it was the later.


My memory goes like this, one warm summer night, our little town had a carnival set up in the empty lot behind and next to the VFW Hall.  Cotton candy, elephant ears, slushies, corn dogs and rides.  All the right carnival things needed for a fun night.


I do remember running around with a friend enjoying all the treats this little carnival had to offer.  After we had filled our bellies, we decided to do a few rides… uh, not such a good idea.


We couldn’t wait to ride the swings… you know, those carnival ones that lift you off the ground and the wind blows through your hair.  The same swings that go around… and around… and around….. 


We were the only two on the ride and about 60 seconds into the ride, I said “please stop this ride.”  Well, with the wind and the loud sounds of the carnival, no one heard me.  So, I yelled “PLEASE STOP THIS RIDE!!!”  


The carnie worker was none too impressed when he pulled the lever to stop the ride and I stepped down from the swing and promply threw up all over the ground right in front of his shoes.  Yeah, cotton candy, slushie, corn dog… all that stuff that makes for a good carnival time. I have never forgotten the look on that poor man’s face.


I’ve told this story to the kids and Chad every year at the fair.  And, every year, they laugh at their Mom’s weak stomach.  It makes for a good story.


Lately, I’ve felt like the 11 year old Heidi saying “please stop this ride” and no one hears me.  I’m afraid I may have to start yelling soon to be heard over the sound of school, practice, games, life, etc.  I just hope I don’t throw up when the ride stops.


Just like I chose to be on that ride years ago, I have put myself on this current ride.  Thankfully, the sports seasons end in 5 weeks.  Thankfully it is apple, pumpkin, colored leaf time… my favorite time of year.  Thankfully, God’s grace is sufficient… for when I am weak, He is strong.


Last night, my dad gently reminded me that just because this ride is coming to an end, doesn’t mean that another ride won’t start.  He’s right.  This ride called life, marriage, parenting, ministry is a wild ride.  It’s always moving, shaking, swinging.


Truly, I don’t want to get off the ride.  However, I wouldn’t mind if the ride stopped for just a little while so that I can catch my breath… and clean up anything that might have landed on the carnie’s shoes.

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