This summer we were blessed enough to go to a sweeeet resort in San Antonio with Jeff’s family. It was actually our second year there, our kiddos have the so much fun enjoying the water activities like a lazy river, sand castle building and best of all - water slides.
Last year, the slides were pretty self explanatory. We could do the baby slides and the medium slides, but the kids weren't big enough (or brave enough) to do the two BIG slides. But this year was different. This year, we all set out to do The Plunge (pictured below), which in true waterslide form, is exactly as the name describes it.
The first afternoon we were there, we walked over to the platform with the big kids to check it all out. Jeff decided it would be a good time to demonstrate how non-scary it was. So while Charlotte, Brady and I watched, Jeff climbed the 1,000 steps to the top and headed straight down.
"Woohoo! Great job, daddy! We will do that tomorrow!" I said as we started to head toward the medium slides.
"Mommy, I want to do it." Charlotte grabbed my hand. "Will you go with me?"
I think my brain almost exploded, y'all.
I did NOT want to go down that slide. Not because it was too scary for me, but because, well, I'm older than I used to be, okay? I don't really find that fun and my body doesn't hold up as well to the rattling around you do at the bottom of the slide.
But she asked me, and I'm determined to show my little girl that girls are just as brave as boys (and mommies are just as fun as daddies).
Jeff hurried up to use this as a teachable moment. "Brady, let's all go together right now!"
But he wasn't having any of it. He wanted to watch just one more time.
So then it was my turn to climb those 1,043 steps to the top. In true mom fashion, I went first. Ugh. But I did it. I got banged up at the bottom quite a bit, and it gave me a pretty wicked wedgie, but it did not make me as sick to my stomach as I thought it would, so that was a plus.
Even through all of our bribing and contriving, Brady convinced us that he would try it the next day, and in all honesty, he is definitely our careful one. Jeff kept encouraging him to do it - just once - because he knew (we knew) that the biggest challenge is to really just make up your mind that you're going to do it. After that, it's all a piece of cake.
Isn't that the same way it goes in life? Making up our mind that we are going to do that hard thing - the one that we find intimidating or scary - is most of the battle? Sure, we might fall flat on our face, go down guns a-blazing or flail our arms like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, but when it's all over, we can say we tried.
I can't tell you how many times Brady walked back down those stairs before finally going down the slide. I can tell you that the number of times he walked back down those stairs after having been down the slide one time was even more. It was frustrating, defeating and honestly just plain demoralizing for him and for us. Because he would keep saying he would do it, walk up there with the rest of us, and then just not do it.
And that got me to thinking.
The first time he walked down those stairs probably felt like a punch in the gut to him. He probably talked to himself saying, "next time I'll do it. Next time, I'll be brave enough… next time." But then the next time came and he walked down again. And every descent after that, got easier and easier.
Just as it gets easier to keep going the more we go, it gets easier to quit the more quit.
As much as I got frustrated that Brady kept walking down those stairs instead of deciding to cowboy up and get his rear down that slide, I realize I do this all the time. I quit hard things. I say I will but don’t, I tell myself I can’t, and the more I let those lies whisper to my soul, the more I believe it.
I can’t write consistently.
I can’t promote what I do.
I quit teaching a bible study.
I can’t do a live video.
I quit recording that podcast.
I quit writing that bible study.
The lies of I can’t turn into the truths of I quit more often than I care to admit. But the reality is that I am in control of those thoughts, right? The reality is that no one can make me do those things for myself, just like we couldn’t make Brady go down that slide. But we knew - as parents - that he absolutely was capable of doing it. He just got inside of his own head and decided NOT to.
What have you decided NOT to do? What do you need to stop quitting today?
The impossible thing about God is that He can do the impossible. Even with quitters.
The wonderful thing about the Word is that it combats the whispers of the world. Even the “I can’ts”.
The beautiful thing about community is that it holds us accountable to staying the course. Even when we are exhausted.
If you feel like quitting today, get with God, get in His Word and get with your girlfriends. Be honest about what’s tripping you up - honest with yourself but also honest with God and a friend! Keep going, let others cheer you on and just. stop. quitting.