My first job was at Six Flags Astroworld in Houston. I loved it. I worked in the games division. I mastered the basketball shot and the Wacky wire and won myself hundreds of stuffed animals from the crane machine, but my favorite thing to do was ride the Texas Cyclone. It was the world’s largest wooden roller coaster. I loved the sound the cars made as they struggled up the hills. It made you feel like you were never gonna make it to the top. I’d imagine the Little Engine That Could, chanting “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” and just when it seemed like we couldn’t go up even one more inch, BAM, we eased over the crest and went flying down. I loved the butterflies in my belly as we hit the bottom and started climbing again.
Do you ever feel like life is one big roller coaster? You struggle to chug your way up the steepest of the hills and just as soon as you reach the peak and see the view, everything comes crashing down! I think that’s the life I live. I made my way up the little hills and coasted through the ups and downs and then I climbed the bigger hills and faced the deeper dips but now I went up the biggest hill of my life. I was finally feeling like I was in a good place. It took me a long time to get used to handling so much, but despite anyone else’s opinion, I was doing it!
I love having a big family. I think the chaos keeps my mind occupied. I love picnics and football games and standing in the hallway just to overhear the special things they say. I know these kids like no one else does. I’ve seen their best and worst moments and it only makes me love them more.
I’m facing a truck load of criticisms right now. Everyone is throwing out all the things they think I could have done differently, and in hindsight I think we’d all make a few changes, so I’m overwhelmed to say the least. I once heard Paul Harvey say “There is only one perfect Father [God], and look at how all his children have turned out!” That thought brings me comfort.
My daughter left town. After months of struggling with health problems and post partum depression, our family hit a crisis and she left. Maybe it is the best thing for her. Maybe she will start a new journey and stand on happier feet. I miss her desperately and miss my grandchild to the depths of my soul. I had recently bought a book to read with her. It’s a sort of devotional, and I had thought it might take us on a path of healing together. It’s called 52 Weeks with Jesus.
Last night I sat with my son and my husband and we opened Chapter 1. It said there is only reason all that stuff about who gave birth to who that fills the Old Testament is important, and the reason is that it proves God knew the family Jesus would be born into 4,000 years ahead of time. I’m clinging to the idea that God chose this family for me, that he wove the fabric of who would be here, and that he will keep us in his sights as we face the challenges ahead.
Perhaps he designed me to love the Texas Cyclone because he knew it would take a daredevil to steer this ride…