Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I hate movies with helpless chicks. The ones who are always waiting around for some dude to rescue them. Often, it's after, she has done something dumb to cause a problem. She mostly stands there, screaming. She does nothing to help herself. Sometimes, I wish I could jump through the TV, shake her violently, and yell, "calm down, fight back, or shut up!" I appreciate it when women are portrayed as they are, strong. Not mannish, but very capable. I've pushed the limit of gender roles a time or two, but I've come realize, my strenght isn't in being as strong as a man. My power is in being a strong woman. We are trained to believe we can do everything a man can. That's a lie. Truth is we are different. I know men that can eat 50 wings without gaining weight, and live in a house with three pieces of furniture. Some of them need very little human contact. There appears to be is no need to express a "feeling" or even a thought. There is no drama, not even on their TV screens. In their world, there are only eight colors, you only need a few pieces of clothes, and two pairs of shoes. If they had their way, all spa like facilities, most department stores, shoe stores, grocery stores, fabric stores, pharmacies, salons, fancy restaurants, would be out of business. I'd rather not live that way. Plus, if I'm busy trying to be manlike, on some level that means his gender is superior. I believe no such thing. Most women don't. We try to prove it. Unfortunately, many of us set out to prove it in the wrong way. We try to compete with men on innate men qualities. That's like a man trying "out feminine" a woman. There is no way (aside from steroids) I can have the strength of a man. Let's not be delusional. Show me the woman equipped to trade punches with Mike Tyson, and I'll drop this whole thing. Point is, our strength lies in different areas. The first step to unleashing it, is embracing that knowledge.

I had a recent brush with this truth when I decided I'd tackle, two diseased trees next to our house. Tackle meaning, I decided to cut them down. Now this was a project more suited for two people, preferably of the male persuasion. But I'm capable right? So, why not? This is probably a good time to mention, the hubby was NOT at home when I did this. He dislikes my use of power tools, especially his. In his absence, I saw an opportunity to spend some quality time with his chainsaw. The most important thing when messing with Ken's stuff, or a project that he wants me to leave alone) is, don't injure yourself, or anyone else, and don't damage property. As long as I comply with those, he usually shakes his head, and ignores my crazy. So imagine the absolute terror that occurred when I realize that I was about to break rule two in a major way. I cut a limb that came down on the roof, and gutters of our home. There I was, huge limb on the house, husband at work, and no man to rescue me from the mess I created. Whatever will I do? Ha ha. The good news was, I hadn't completely severed the limb from the tree. It was holding on, barely. The bad news was, the limb could snap at any second. I was literally running through the yard, grabbing tools, frantically trying to fix the problem, before the climb came down, and took the gutters with it. I climbed the ladder, and begin cutting the limb of the roof. It was working. Slowly, hope. Perhaps that hope came, because I was praying like the desperate woman I was. Things were going great. It was about that time I realized, I was standing under the limb I was cutting. No rocket scientist needed to see where this was going. No head is hard enough to withstand the accident I was creating (Ken would argue otherwise). So, there I was, standing on the top wrung of on a 6ft ladder. In my right hand there is a chain saw. My left hand is pushing the limb away from my head. This could go so wrong, in so many ways. That's when it hits me. No, not the limb, the truth. There is no amount of proving you are capable, worth injuring yourself for. It's not weak to ask for help. It's smart. An definitely less painful. I certainly knew enough to ask God for help. I was pleading to Him for help. Why not asked help of those He's placed in my life? I managed to get the limb off the house, and gutter. The only evidence of the close call is a scratch on the brick of the chimney. Ken hasn't notice. And no, I'm not telling him... yet.
You would think, I would have learned my lesson, put the chainsaw down, and ended it. You'd be wrong. There was another tree on my agenda. I was able to get it down, no threat to anything. Feeling inspired, I returned to the first tree. The one closest to the house. I had left the largest limb on it, and it was leaning directly over the house. I was afraid to messed with it, but to stubborn to leave it alone. My daughter attempted to reason with me. A friend called. He also tried to convince to stop. No go. It had to be done. No way was I leaving that limb. I studied that thing, and prayed. This must have gone on for about 20 minutes. Oddly, I felt I needed to do it, and not for pride's sake either. I would do this even if it meant, *gasp* asking for help. I must have looked ridiculous pacing the driveway, staring, and pointing at the tree. It came to me that if I attached a rope that pulled the limb away from the house as I cut, I'd be fine. I did, but it didn't look right. I should have payed attention in physics class. About that time a neighbor stopped by. Great! I'll casually ask her, that way, I won't have to GO, get help. She offered no advice on the rope I had rigged to the tree. Smart lady. I guess she'a not in the practice of commenting on obvious, impending disasters. I decided it was time to humble myself, and get a second opinion. I took the short walk of shame next door, and asked the neighbor to critique my project. He agreed, the rope was to low. He also offered to attached a larger rope, at a higher point on the branch, and pull the limb away from the house, as I cut the branch. In about five minutes the limb was down. Disaster averted.
I couldn't help but think of the importance, of having support, and NOT "going it alone." There is power in knowing your limitations, and wisdom in asking for help when needed. The time and potential aggravation alone, is worth the humility. I couldn't imagine a better way for God to teach me this lesson. Nothing like dangling from a tree to show you, you are not so tough after all. I am thrilled to have learned this, and to be in one piece.
How about you? Is there some area in your life, where you could benefit if you humbled yourself, and asked for help? What's stopping you? What do you have to loose, really?

Pictures of the project.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the good sense to take them until most of the drama was over. These don't do it justice.  It's just to give you an idea:

Hopefully, this is my last "brush" with ignorance for a while...

1 comment:

  1. There are no words for this post except...what!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank God for Jesus and prayers, that was really scary and you could have done some real damage all around. Glad you are okay and learned a lesson in the process, now, lol, please stay out of trouble. P l e a s e. Let the hubs trim the trees next time.


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