Saturday, May 30, 2015

Notes From Making Mud Pies

When I was a kid, I loved playing in the mud. Really, I still love playing in the mud.
But this week as I was brainstorming for today’s post (Procrastinator= Me.) and I realized that all those years of playing in the mud have taught me lessons.
The first lesson would be to think before you act.
I remember one day when I was about ten (ish) when my brothers and I turned the hose on the garden and made one giant, epic, mud puddle. After mom came out and took some pictures (and threatened to give us baths.) we started getting bored with our creation. Right there next to the garden was a huge blank wall of the house. And in my ten year old head, it made perfect sense to play “caveman” on that wall. So, with enthusiasm (and mud) we went full out to paint the house. (Ok, the one wall that we all knew mom wouldn’t see.) When we were done, we went inside (and got the promised baths.) About a week later… well… I’ll just let you guess what happened a week later. I’ll give you one hint. It rhymes with all three of us out there scrubbing the house.
My second lesson is to lead like you mean it. At the camp I’ve gone to for years and years, there is a mud pit. And I use that term loosely. It looks like a huge hole in the ground full of muddy water and awesomeness.

It has always been my favorite part! Getting muddy and having fun? OH YEAH!!  In elementary school, it was a race as to who could get in first but in middle school; I noticed that the girls my age weren’t jumping in with the same enthusiasm. Like, they didn’t want to get in. (Getting dirty? In front of boys? Really?)  Well. I don’t have that problem. I would jump in whole heartedly and get “Nice and dirty.” (*nods head with satisfaction*) Then people would follow you. Like being the first one was big and scary, but after that it was fun. If you are a leader, lead like you don’t care what the world thinks of you, because most likely you’ll be the one to change the world.

Playing in the mud also taught me to take advice. One time (Ok every time) my family goes camping, it rains. Not the nice and sweet kind of rain-the down-pouring-I don’t want to play in the rain kind of rain. But, somehow my family always ends up having a ton of fun. One time, we were hiking around the little lake that we like to camp next to, when we saw the first sign. Being the hard headed Schaus’s that we are, we totally ignored it. (It said, “May be hard to pass-mud”) So, with vim and vigor, we marched on, making our normal amount of noise.

 Then, we saw a bridge that was out. My dad scooted along the tree that was laid out and proclaimed it “safe” and came back for all three of us kids, then my mom and then my Grandma. (Personally, as I look back at that event, we should have turned around right before that. Like when we saw the sign) and trucked on. Then we saw another sign-saying the same thing. But no, we marched on. Then we saw the mud they were talking about.

Now, you’ve heard of mud puddles-right? You’ve walked by something and said, “Well, that’s a mud puddle” This was the mother of all mud puddles. Actually, this was the king of all mud puddles. Actually, this muddle puddle would be better classified as a lake. Or maybe a small ocean. (I’m bordering on exaggeration.)

 And to make matters worse, we were so close to “Home”. And I was hungry. But, we had to turn around and go back. Had we turned around at the first sign, we wouldn’t have had to walk all the way around. Again.

At my co-op, the high-schoolers go to the park on nice days. When the lilacs start to bloom, the gardeners of the park that we go to turn on these massively awesome sprinklers to water the grass. (I don’t actually know if they turn on the sprinklers when the lilacs bloom. There might be a more scientific answer to that.) We have a lot of fun playing basket ball, or capture the flag (The one I like the best) or kickball, duck-duck-goose, or the other games that we play. (I’m so sorry Co-opies that just came out.)

One day we were playing tag. (I love tag) and the sprinklers were going. (Can you see where this is going?) and I chose to run though the mud to get away. (And under the sprinkler) because of that, I got away. (Not for very long though.) The thing about running under sprinklers is that you get wet when you do so. Like, you know, wet enough to make people wonder what is actually happening in your brain.

I learned that standing out from the crowd is ok.

Some people are just afraid to start the craze themselves and you doing it makes them feel more normal.

(On the last week of Co-op, all the girls ran out and danced in the sprinklers and got really wet- a memory I won’t ever forget.)

Now that I am, “Good and old” I work for a family friend in her backyard pulling weeds and pruning her bushes into swans. (I don’t actually do that. I wish I could though!) the thing about working outside is that you never end up as clean as you started. Like, ever. Even though I love playing in the mud, it isn’t what I would like to do all the time. I would rather write or take pictures or play music. You know what I mean. Playing in the mud has taught me to work hard-even thought you might want to be somewhere else.

My Sixth lesson is to believe in the impossible. In John chapter 9, Jesus was walking along and he met a guy who had been born blind. Jesus’ followers talk to Jesus about this man saying, “Lord, whose fault is this man’s blindness. His or his parents.” (I’m paraphrasing here.) Jesus says, “Neither”.” And with that he spits in the dirt and makes a little bit of mud. Then he puts it on the man’s eyes and then says, “Go wash off in the Pool of Siloam.” The man did so, and reserved his sight.

 After trying that trick. (Um. Not on a blind man and I didn’t spit on anything. I just kind of turned on the hose and made mud then put it on a cat scratch.) It didn’t do anything. But Jesus can do miracles. I can’t. With Jesus’ power and faith in him, I could, but with our Jesus, I am nothing.

Playing in the mud. What fun. So many memories and so much fun. I could go on for much more than three posts about mud. I could actually go for about a week on it. Like the time that… well… we’re not getting into that.  But I think that I’ve made my point. Lessons can be made in a million ways-it just depends on how you view it. If you say, “well, everything just sucks.” Then you won’t learn anything, but if you look back and say, “what did I learn from that event” then you might just make yourself smile.

Rachel Joy editor in Chief of “Notes From my Corner of Creation.” 

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