And while life happens, life is still good and while rodeo pictures will have to wait, I thought I'd share this post I wrote last week that's been sitting in my drafts.
Thank you for grace.
Each year, I know it's coming.
For four years now, I've climbed the same set of seed wheat bins to measure the amber grains inside.
I have this sign in my office that says "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." On a Thursday morning in early August, it couldn't be more true for myself. I know the requests will come in - farmers who need measurements for wheat stored in bins. The requests are light in tough years (crop insurance adjusters are out and about on farms in those years, and they measure too) and heavier in years where the wheat yields heavy kernels and the adjusters aren't there for claims. For those that keep their own wheat to seed with, the request comes every year.
I like to think that I'm not scared of many things, but I'd be lying to you if I told you I was 100% comfortable climbing grain bins. I'm not. My legs get shaky, my arms quiver a bit and I'm afraid I'll drop my tape. But it's part of the job, and I believe that you can't ask someone who works for you to do something you're not willing to do yourself.
And so I climb.
Slowly, the forklift fitted with a cage on it raises us up to the ladder. One of the gals from my office comes with me each year, and stays below in the cage with her pen and clipboard handy, ready to mark down the measurements I call to her. As the forklift tips to the ladder, this wobbling cage all lifted high in the sky, I grip my tape tightly in my hand and reach for the first rung.
I begin to climb.
Hand over hand, step over step, I climb slowly and cautiously towards the top. Falling from 30' in the air doesn't sound like the best way to end the work day and so while I normally dive head first into things on this day every year I am slow. The transition from the ladder to the top of the grain bin is the worst part. The ladder extends over the top of the grain bin, but the rungs have been cut out so there's just enough space to squeeze your body through. Changing footing and directions, I convert to a hands & knees crawl towards the center of the bin and carefully open the lid. They're spring loaded, but not permanently attached so careful is key. The first year I measured these I about let the entire lid drop to the ground, not realizing they weren't attached.
I try not to make that mistake again.
The grain is surveyed, the cone height and grain height is measured as the smell of warm, earthy goodness fills my senses. I call numbers down, roll up my tape and then inch my way back to the ladder. Slowly, I climb down each rung and step back into the cage of the forklift, and get lowered.
And then we repeat the process for the second bin.
Measuring grain bins isn't a normal part of my daily job (thankfully) and I have the utmost confidence in the safety precautions this farmer puts in place to make sure we get up and down safely each time. And I am thankful that one of the other girls from the office braves the forklift ride with me, so that there's an extra hand to record measurements so I don't have to haul all of that up with me to the top. But still, I get nervous every year. You just never know. And yet, I climb on.
Life is like that.
If we don't have the courage to step out and do something out of our comfort zone - we'll never rise. What's the quote - "If you're not in the front, the view never changes?"
Can it be scary sometimes - absolutely!
Do you have to make smart choices, and assess safety before jumping in - yes!
But should you sit out on life just because something scares you?
No. Please don't.
How would you feel if you missed out on the climb of a lifetime?
It's hard to be brave. It's hard to overcome fears. It's hard to do something different out of our normal routine. But have faith. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in the people around you. Have faith that God has given you the gifts needed to climb, and climb successfully. Have faith that He has a plan for us and it is grander than any plan we could have ever imagined.
I wish you the courage to climb.
I know you won't be dissapointed.