On Monday, my dear friend Lindsay Durrant took me on a kayaking trip. One that had been rescheduled two other times due to sickness or the kayak shop keeper not showing up. It actually worked out for the best. Andy took the kids to and from preschool so we weren’t rushed, while the other days I would’ve had to get out of there quick to get back to the school to pick up the girls and Harvey. We took our sweet time. We rowed six miles and it took us about three hours. We saw three raccoons, a deer, an owl, a hawk, a falcon, egrets and herons, a beaver, and more turtles than I could count. The turtles would stick their back leg out as we got closer and if we got too close some would slip into the water and we could see them swimming along side our kayak. The brave ones would keep their foot down and remain on the log, keeping a close eye on us as we slowly rowed by. I was thrilled to see the darling raccoons washing their faces in the water, the beaver diving under its den, and the owl wading in the water, hoping to catch some breakfast. I can’t wait to get back out there. I want to take my paint brushes and do some plein air painting on the kayak. It was even better to share that adventure with a best friend. I can’t wait to go with Andy too.
At first, Lindsay and I mentioned that we didn’t think it was much of a workout. She even stopped recording her exercise on her watch on her watch because she didn’t think she was getting much of a workout, but I kept mine going. By the end our shoulders, hands, arms, and backs were sore and tired. I looked at my watch and I had burned over 1000 active calories and had nearly 7000 “steps.” My shoulders and hands hurt the next day, but by the third day I had recovered. This made me think about the gospel. Often times we think the little efforts we make each day of serving others and checking in with God don’t make much of a difference, but just like those little strokes on the kayak, they pushed me forward and built my physical strength, and then before I knew it we had returned home and were stronger and happier. Living the gospel does both of those things for me. It builds my emotional and spiritual strength and brings me peace and joy. There were times I was rowing that I didn’t want to keep rowing, but then I started spinning in a circle or veering off towards the weeds and not staying on course. I had to row harder to fix myself and get back on track. The gospel works like that too. Sometimes we might feel overwhelmed or burdened by what is asked of us. It is ok to do slower or less frequent strokes, but we need to keep rowing or we will get off track. But even when we get off track, it is possible to fix our course.
Today at church a new brother spoke in our ward and quoted Brad Wilcox. He said, “Christ doesn’t make up the difference, he is the difference.” I put a lot of emphasis in what WE have to do to stay connected to Christ, but ultimately it is Christ that is filling in the endless gap between him and I. He is who empowers me to keep rowing. He is the one who provided the spiritual kayak and the ores, and even the muscles I use to row. So in times when you feel like you’re just “coasting” or maybe even stopped, remember, Christ can help you pick up those ores and keep on going. He can take you further in the gospel and in your life than you ever thought possible. I can’t wait for this weekend where we get to sit down and listen to the prophet and apostles for ten hours. It’s a spiritual marathon. I’m always exhausted by the end, so it may be, if you will, like a spiritual white water kayaking experience, the only difference is I just have to sit there and listen, the Savior, the Prophet and apostles, and the spirit are doing the work.
With sick kids and sports every night the week was busy and stressful, but we made it! And we got a lot done too. I’m really enjoying having Andy around more. Tonight he gets to go do his first attending shift at AU- where he did his residency.