"I am so glad you have one now, too, Mom."
"You are, why?" I asked.
"Because it is so much more fun riding with somebody else."
When I was a child growing up in New England, my sister and I, as well as all the other neighborhood kids seemed to live on our bikes. I can remember my first yellow bike I got for Christmas when I was about 7. I think it was the only new bike I ever had as I grew into my older sister's green and then purple bike. That was, however, a time when hand-me-downs were normal for everybody (I think most of her bikes were hand-me-downs from friends or relatives), so I just viewed all her things as my future belongings: a double reason to be so happy for her when she got fun things.
The area where I grew up was all rocks and hills, woods and ocean, so everybody owned a bike. We kids spent countless hours following each other over neighborhood selected rock jumps and bumpy trails.
When I grew up and eventually got married, I took my bike with me, but there wasn't anywhere for me to ride in the area where we were and my life became busy with other things. The bike had flat tires and just took up space, so we got rid of it
I have missed riding a bike. A couple times in the years since, I have kidnapped a bike or two belonging to a sister, aunt, or nephew and enjoyed the momentary exhilaration it gave.
When my daughter began riding, I wished I could ride with her, but when your life is busy with so many other things and the money seems to be going out in so many directions, a bike dips further down the list. To me, retirement was looking more like the nearest opportunity for me to renew my ownership of a bike.
I have to admit, sometimes I have a bad attitude about the things I want and don't have. It's easy to look at others and feel like, well, like life isn't fair sometimes. And, as I tell my kids, sometimes it isn't. Most often, we have well more than we really need. But I also know that the only true happiness comes from contentment. Sometimes we have to wait and go without, but the sun seems to shine a bit brighter when a long awaited desire is received. Still, it seems to be a battle: knowing these things but not always FEELING them: it is a struggle, a matter of choice.
Things like this, things that seem frivolous and unnecessary when so many other people have so many other real needs, just seem like something not worth praying about. It's almost like a child praying for an icecream cone. I knew I didn't need it and just didn't even want to bother God with my list of unnecessary "wants". The funny thing is, years have gone by: I have gone through pregnancies, a move, beginning an adventure in home-schooling, dealing with babies, and other things that just would have made getting a bike really inconvenient at any time in my married past.
My dad never knew how much a bike was a secret desire of mine, but when he told me I could have it, I was amazed and thankful that sometimes, even if there may be 14 years of waiting involved, God sees even the small things we desire and delights in giving even those things. Granted, I might never have gotten a bike again in my lifetime, and that would have been understandable to me, but when out of the blue, God sends a smile along, there isn't much else sweeter.
It is at these times that I also realize that if I did have more money than I needed, these moments where God sends a special surprise would be further and farther between because I know myself: I would buy more of the things I want. Although it would still be a gift from God, and others who are able to do things like that can certainly be grateful even in their greater abundance, I am the type of person who would likely miss seeing it that way in those circumstances. God gives us each what we need and sometimes even what we want, in the time when it is best for us and for His plans for us.
"Are you coming or are you just going to take pictures all day long?"
Violet's voice flew back over her shoulder.
Violet's voice flew back over her shoulder.
She and Spot were on the move.
I have to agree with Violet,
it is more fun riding with somebody again.
Crock Pot Pork Neck Bones and Sauerkraut.
This is a recipe I had never tasted before I met my husband.
Pork necks are not expensive, although they have a lot of bones in them.
To make the dinner even easier, sometimes I put potatoes in the bottom,...
then the pork necks,...
and some home-made sauerkraut
(although this is better to add when there is only an hour or half hour left of cooking time.)
It's a scrumptious and simple recipe:
Linking up to:
Pork Necks and Saur Kraut