After 49 years, I found my thing.
Growing up and living at the ocean, I have body surfed, skin dived, kayaked, sailed, and just about any and everything else having to do with the big blue. But it wasn’t until 4 years ago that I and that great expanse became one and since then, it’s all been about the board.
The great thing about stand-up paddle boarding is your vantage point. As you glide high above the surface of the water you are afforded great views of what’s under the surface as well as what’s out in front of you. I’ve paddled on my Takayama Ali’i II Wolf bought for me on Mission Bay, Trinity Lake, Tahoe, and all over the Sea of Cortez. But it doesn’t matter where I’m paddling; as long as I’m on the water, I’m a happy girl. I’ve seen sharks beneath me, have been followed by sea lions, and have chased dolphins. Lola loves it too and in carrying her extra 90 pounds, my overall balance has gotten strong.
I started paddling with my pal Holly off the Lawrence Street beach on the backside of Shelter Island. Like me, she’s fearless, doesn’t care if it’s raining or sunny, and is just as happy going out on a windy day when there’s chop as she is to go out on morning glass. We even like it when a big wake from a boat hits us because it forces us to get creative in how we’re going to stay upright as we know from experience that even the smallest stirring of the water can throw you in if you’re not on the alert. As we’ve raced and challenged each other, our power has increased and our balance has gotten rock solid and now, we rarely even get wet. Secretly, I think we’re a little puffed up about that.
Not long ago though, Holly and I were paddling hard out in the harbor and a speedboat came up from behind, passing us way over to the right. We accounted for his wake, waved and kept on paddling and talking. The boat quickly went out of view but a few minutes later, remnants of its wake touched us from behind and bam, I was suddenly overboard. It was the smallest of ripples but it knocked me over with the strength of a cresting wave. Major bummer too, as I was fully clothed.
As I pulled my soaking wet, red-faced self back on to my board it occurred to me that in that moment, I was a living metaphor. I was struck that it’s not the big stuff that most typically tosses me on my butt; no, it’s the little things that throw me off balance and put me into the soup.
Funny how we can flip out when we forget our wallet, lose our keys, or hear we’ve been criticized by a coworker we barely know. We practically alert the media when our cell phone company messes up our account, we ding our fresh pedicure, a friend cancels at the last minute, our flight’s been delayed, or discover that our bank account is overdrawn. I’m convinced it’s not the elephants in the living room that typically get us… it’s the ants in the kitchen!
I need to not be a drama mama over little things that ultimately don’t matter. As Richard Carlson so aptly puts it in his book title of the same name, Don’t sweat the small stuff and (by the way)– it’s all small stuff. For God’s sake, there are way bigger things to be concerned about. I want to be consistent and surrendered to the Power that is greater than I, even in little matters. If I am going to call myself a Christian, then for crying out loud, I’d better live more like I believe it… even with small things. People watch how we handle what life doles out, large or small, and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be derailed, uprooted, or thrown overboard by things we’ll forget about by Tuesday. I, for one, want to handle life with more consistency and grace, aided by the power of my faith and the strength of my tribe, no matter the tiny little ripples that might hit from behind.
“Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with big things.” Luke 16:10a ETRV
Sylvia Lange is a Christian women’s speaker from Southern California.
Read Sylvia’s other posts, and LIKE her on Facebook!
86 thoughts on “In the soup”
This paragraph provides clear idea in favor of the new viewers of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.
My wife and i got quite happy Jordan could round up his investigations from your precious recommendations he made while using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to always be offering ideas that many some people might have been selling. And we all remember we now have the website owner to be grateful to because of that. The entire illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the friendships you will make it easier to engender – it’s most exceptional, and it’s really helping our son in addition to us consider that that subject is amusing, and that’s incredibly fundamental. Thanks for the whole thing!
I would like to convey my affection for your kind-heartedness supporting people who require help on this one subject. Your personal dedication to passing the solution all over had become wonderfully beneficial and has usually made employees much like me to reach their aims. Your new informative guideline indicates so much to me and extremely more to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.
I enjoy you because of all of the hard work on this blog. My mother delights in managing investigation and it’s obvious why. We learn all regarding the lively tactic you render very important information via your website and in addition strongly encourage response from other people on the concern so my child has always been discovering a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. You have been doing a really great job.
Thank you so much for giving everyone a very brilliant possiblity to read from this website. It is often very pleasant and as well , stuffed with fun for me personally and my office peers to search your web site at least thrice a week to find out the new stuff you have. And definitely, I’m certainly fulfilled with all the exceptional tips and hints you give. Some 1 facts in this posting are certainly the very best I have ever had.
I must convey my passion for your kind-heartedness in support of all those that really want assistance with the niche. Your very own dedication to getting the message all-around ended up being extremely advantageous and has consistently allowed people like me to attain their ambitions. Your amazing informative guideline can mean this much to me and extremely more to my office colleagues. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.
I must show my appreciation to you just for bailing me out of this type of incident. Right after searching throughout the the net and obtaining recommendations that were not pleasant, I figured my entire life was over. Living without the approaches to the difficulties you have resolved by means of your good guide is a crucial case, and those that could have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your site. Your main expertise and kindness in playing with all things was very useful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a thing like this. I can also at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for this specialized and results-oriented guide. I won’t hesitate to endorse your web site to anybody who needs to have guidelines on this issue.
My spouse and i felt relieved that Chris managed to complete his homework through your precious recommendations he obtained in your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply find yourself releasing tips and hints which usually the others could have been trying to sell. We really do know we need the website owner to appreciate for that. The main illustrations you have made, the straightforward site menu, the friendships you can make it possible to foster – it is mostly remarkable, and it’s really leading our son and the family do think that concept is amusing, and that’s especially important. Many thanks for everything!
I precisely wished to appreciate you all over again. I’m not certain what I could possibly have gone through in the absence of the actual suggestions shown by you regarding that situation. It had been a daunting circumstance in my opinion, however , understanding your specialised mode you resolved the issue forced me to weep for contentment. I am thankful for this assistance and hope you really know what a great job you were providing training people today through your website. More than likely you have never met all of us.
I as well as my pals came checking out the great key points located on the website and then before long developed a terrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the site owner for those tips. Those boys were for that reason very interested to read through them and already have without a doubt been loving these things. I appreciate you for actually being quite kind and for choosing varieties of very good information most people are really eager to discover. My sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.
I simply needed to say thanks all over again. I’m not certain the things I could possibly have handled in the absence of the type of solutions revealed by you regarding such subject matter. Entirely was a challenging setting in my position, however , spending time with a new specialised avenue you dealt with the issue took me to weep for delight. I am just grateful for your assistance and in addition have high hopes you comprehend what a powerful job your are carrying out educating the mediocre ones all through a blog. Most likely you haven’t met any of us.
I and my guys have already been looking through the good advice found on your website then instantly I had a terrible feeling I never expressed respect to the web site owner for those secrets. All of the young men came totally very interested to learn all of them and have surely been making the most of these things. Thanks for indeed being considerably considerate as well as for considering these kinds of outstanding themes millions of individuals are really eager to be informed on. My personal honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.
Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this additionally ?taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article?however what can I say?I procrastinate alot and certainly not appear to get one thing done.
My husband and i ended up being very fulfilled that Emmanuel managed to finish up his research from the ideas he was given from your very own weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to just possibly be giving away thoughts many others could have been trying to sell. We really do understand we’ve got the blog owner to appreciate because of that. The type of explanations you have made, the easy site navigation, the relationships you will help to promote – it is most terrific, and it is letting our son in addition to the family reckon that that subject is pleasurable, and that is extremely essential. Thank you for all the pieces!
My wife and i felt very glad Michael could finish up his research from your ideas he had when using the web site. It’s not at all simplistic just to happen to be giving away strategies which other folks could have been making money from. And we recognize we have the website owner to give thanks to because of that. These explanations you have made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships you can make it possible to foster – it is mostly extraordinary, and it’s really facilitating our son in addition to our family know that that subject matter is excellent, and that is highly mandatory. Many thanks for all!
Thanks so much for giving everyone an exceptionally pleasant chance to read critical reviews from this web site. It can be very beneficial plus full of a great time for me personally and my office fellow workers to visit your blog a minimum of three times a week to read the fresh issues you have. And lastly, we are always amazed with all the good hints you give. Some 1 areas on this page are undoubtedly the most suitable I’ve had.
I wish to voice my admiration for your kindness in support of all those that have the need for help with this important study. Your real commitment to passing the solution all through became definitely functional and has consistently enabled workers much like me to arrive at their ambitions. The warm and friendly guidelines can mean this much to me and still more to my peers. Thanks a lot; from all of us.
I must point out my gratitude for your kind-heartedness supporting persons that must have help with this important issue. Your very own dedication to passing the solution across appears to be surprisingly productive and have continually permitted guys and women like me to arrive at their ambitions. Your entire interesting information indicates much to me and far more to my office workers. Thanks a ton; from all of us.
That is the suitable weblog for anybody who desires to find out about this topic. You realize so much its virtually exhausting to argue with you (not that I really would need匟aHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
I intended to write you that very little note in order to say thanks a lot again for all the striking opinions you have documented on this page. It is shockingly open-handed with you in giving without restraint precisely what many of us would’ve advertised as an ebook to earn some profit for themselves, most importantly considering that you might well have done it if you ever considered necessary. Those strategies as well served as the easy way to know that someone else have the identical eagerness like my very own to find out whole lot more with regards to this problem. I’m certain there are numerous more pleasant instances up front for folks who read through your website.
I want to express thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular dilemma. After browsing through the world-wide-web and finding strategies which are not productive, I assumed my life was well over. Living devoid of the approaches to the difficulties you’ve sorted out through your entire article content is a serious case, and those which might have in a negative way affected my career if I had not discovered the website. Your good capability and kindness in touching every part was very useful. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not discovered such a solution like this. I’m able to now look forward to my future. Thank you very much for your impressive and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to recommend the sites to any person who needs tips on this issue.
I simply desired to thank you very much once more. I am not sure what I might have worked on in the absence of these opinions contributed by you regarding such area. Previously it was the frightful crisis in my position, however , observing the very specialized strategy you dealt with the issue forced me to leap over joy. I’m just thankful for the help and then pray you are aware of an amazing job you have been undertaking training other individuals with the aid of your web blog. I’m certain you haven’t encountered all of us.
Needed to draft you that tiny observation to finally say thanks a lot yet again on your pretty pointers you’ve discussed on this page. This has been so wonderfully open-handed with you to present unreservedly precisely what many of us would’ve offered for sale for an ebook in order to make some profit for themselves, primarily considering that you could have tried it if you ever considered necessary. Those things likewise served as the good way to comprehend other individuals have the identical desire really like mine to know a little more in regard to this issue. I’m certain there are some more enjoyable times ahead for people who read through your blog post.
Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article?however what can I say?I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get something done.
I not to mention my pals happened to be reviewing the good tactics on your web site while the sudden I had an awful suspicion I never thanked the web site owner for those techniques. All the ladies were definitely for that reason glad to see all of them and now have honestly been using those things. Many thanks for simply being so considerate and also for getting some brilliant tips millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. My very own honest apologies for not saying thanks to sooner.
I wish to express my gratitude for your generosity for people who really need guidance on this important idea. Your very own commitment to passing the solution throughout became wonderfully helpful and have usually permitted many people like me to reach their ambitions. Your own helpful hints and tips entails much a person like me and even further to my office colleagues. With thanks; from all of us.
Thanks for your whole work on this web site. My aunt take interest in making time for investigations and it’s really easy to understand why. A number of us learn all relating to the dynamic way you offer advantageous suggestions through this web blog and as well attract participation from website visitors on the point so my simple princess is undoubtedly understanding a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You are always carrying out a really great job.
My wife and i ended up being now joyful Edward could deal with his investigations from the precious recommendations he discovered out of your web site. It’s not at all simplistic to simply possibly be giving out solutions that many some other people have been making money from. And we realize we have the writer to thank for that. The most important explanations you have made, the simple web site navigation, the relationships you help to foster – it’s got most spectacular, and it’s really aiding our son in addition to the family know that that topic is brilliant, and that is incredibly fundamental. Thank you for all the pieces!
I would like to voice my respect for your generosity giving support to those who really need help on that content. Your real commitment to getting the message all around appeared to be rather valuable and have all the time encouraged ladies like me to attain their objectives. Your own useful help signifies much to me and a whole lot more to my colleagues. With thanks; from each one of us.
You made some first rate factors there. I seemed on the internet for the issue and located most people will go along with together with your website.
I really wanted to develop a simple word to be able to thank you for those unique guidelines you are sharing at this website. My extensive internet search has now been recognized with incredibly good strategies to talk about with my contacts. I would suppose that many of us website visitors actually are undeniably blessed to be in a wonderful community with so many special individuals with good basics. I feel very much lucky to have come across the webpage and look forward to some more fun minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.
What a wonderful blog! Thank you so much for sharing and it was great to meet you this morning. I look forward to doing more SUPing with you and getting to know you more!
I tried SUP for the first time at the end of last summer (in Australia) at the age of 52 and it was great fun. Seeing some of my friend’s photos online and now reading this article has really inspired me to get out there and do it again!
I took a workshop on customer service once where the facilitator talked about something he called “precipitating factors.” The idea was that when a customer seemed to get upset with you or was being “difficult,” you needed to remember that you have no idea of what else that person had gone through already that day. Maybe someone had just come from a doctor’s appointment and had bad news, etc.
I think a lot of times people are working so hard to deal with the big things, that the little things push them over the edge.
On the other hand, sometimes the little things are just super irritating in the moment. 😉 I agree with you that accepting those irritating moments with grace is a worthy goal!
I am 53 and feel the same way. SUPing is so serene. It gives you a chance to experience life from a different angle, forces you out of your comfort zone, to slow down, and become one with the water. Life can throw you many challenges and it can eat you up, only if you let it. SUPing, for me, takes that away. Sylvia-thank you for putting your thoughts into print. Beautiful.
I was a windsurfer myself when I lived in a place called Georgian Bay. And like you, I was in and out of the water and the surrounding hillsides but when I discovered windsurfing, I was hooked. I was out every night. And it’s the little things that can change direction and take you out beyond your comfort zone as well. A hard wind is easy to control, you just tack back and forth and stay near the shore. But when it’s only a small gentle breeze blowing you, it’s hard to turn, hard to control and you’re at the mercy of the undertow and current. Which can take you miles away from the shore with no way of getting back in.
Thanks for the insight.
Thank you for the reminder! Much needed today and even in this hour of my day.
Thank you, Sylvia! As a Stand Up Paddleboarder myself, it’s a great metaphor, indeed, for “don’t sweat the small stuff”. The other thing I always think about as I’m out there on the ocean is how huge and vast it is, and how small I am in comparison. Yet, I always feel like I have a place in it; like I belong somehow, no matter how miniscule I am. This always reminds me that no matter how much is going on in this great, big world – all the pain, suffering, and strife – I am worthy of God’s love, and He is with me, loving me and listening to my prayers. Yes, little ol’ me. It makes me feel awesome!
So true, Debra. “Perspective” is a good thing, eh?
Thank you for your words of wisdom and practicality!
awesome!!! I LOVE THE METAPHOR…..SO TRUE!
Ditto on what everyone else has said. I just would have loved to see it! God is so gracious to had humor to His lessons of love, love, love. Bless you. Love this blog.
Sylvia, Another good one! Thanks for the great reminders. I’m a work in progress when it comes to staying calm when life knocks me out of balance.
Aren’t we all? Thanks for stopping by!
Good stuff! I love to hear how God keeps teaching you things. In the midst of all your adventures you manage to find the coolest lessons in life and then you cleverly share them … its awesome! I get tickled how much you and Holly love your paddling …what a sweet connection that is for you guys …keep it up Girlies! i love you both! Continue to live life large woman and allow God to shape you along the way!
I have felt overhelmed lately, wanting to support my family who have many needs and struggles and support myself as I go through major transitions in life.
Elephants and ants can feel the same when we are struggling to feel in control.
I forget that the Lord is the only source of strength I need to go to. I don’t have to do it all, nor solve everyone’s problems.
You reminded me that prayer, is what I need more of, to calm myself and find the courage to deal with it all big and little, elephants and ants.
Great blog Sylvia, thanks for the food for thought, the time to reflect and make the God connections I sometime lose sight of, when my house is full of those challenges, big and small!!!
Thanks, Sylvia. The way you live your life has a way of challenging me and calming me all at the same time. I saw an Anita Renfroe post the other day that said, “When something goes wrong in your life just yell “PLOT TWIST” and move on.” The last few days have been particularly challenging with crazy undiagnosed health issues. I have been yelling PLOT TWIST (with a smile on my face) when they come up knowing that the Creator of the Universe knows everything and has my life in His precious hands! Now, I will see myself yelling PLOT TWIST as I laugh and get back up on the board and paddle. Thanks for the visual! I love you, by the way. 😉
Plot twist… I love it!
This is good, but what about the elephants? Don’t you think they can interrupt the equilibrium of our lives at least as much as the ants? I’m dealing with a new cancer diagnosis and it’s the biggest elephant I’ve ever had to cope with. Needless to say, I’m in the soup…
Hi Tabitha, I don’t think Sylvia meant to underplay the big stuff in our lives. If you read back on some of her posts you can see she’s acquainted with elephants of her own. I think she only meant to shed light on those times when we allow small stuff to hit us with more force than they deserve. For sure they don’t compare wiht the big stuff your dealing with-God bless you.
Tabitha, I don’t know you, but want to let you know I am praying for you to have peace within the storm. Go ahead walk on water, or in this scenario by Sylvia a paddle board ,while keeping you eyes on Him. The storm outside truly will be much easier to handle, and if it knocks you down a little, His peace will help you get up again. Reach out to your support people too. Take care, Vicki
Hi Tabitha, the elephant you’re facing right now is indeed huge, and enough to knock anyone into the soup. I commit to praying for you through your ordeal!
Wow, that was so well done. I love the paddle boarding metaphor and how you tied it all together so beautifully. Everything you wrote is so true; I really try to live that way, by not sweating the small stuff, and being anxious for nothing, but sometimes it’s so dang hard to do!
Your ripple metaphor reminded me of the current popular phrase, “First World Problems”. Both are a great reminder that we are so easily imbalanced (ha ha, get it?) by such little things. Guilty as charged. But the Word says, be anxious for NOTHING…, not just the big stuff; all of it. I think I’ll be working on that one for the rest of my life. As one who flailed and fell to the ripple less than five minutes into my first SUP experience, this is a great reminder to me.
Sylvia, thank you for your insights! I have not been in the soup yet on my SUP, but I sure have been in life! I love the analogy – and I am really feeling it now, as I seek direction from the Lord..I want to have smooth sailing following Him, but the ripples keep coming in, challenging my balance and direction. Your words are encouragement to find stability at the source!
I am finding that the big waves as well as the ripples send me to Him more often. Thanks for your comment!
Beautiful insight from a beautiful person. I will heed your words, God bless you!
As I was reading your blog, I was thinking of a phase that I’ve said many times, “I can throw a great funeral, but it’s the ants that get me!”
Thank you for being generous with your thoughts.
“Generous”. What a kind thing to say.
Amen sister! Though I learn this lesson as a young woman it continually haunts me. The big stuff is a no brainer – I know I can’t those things and typically put my trust in God, but, darn it, let something small get in my way and I’m all over it!! I’m trying and heaven looks better every day!!
Hi Sylvia! This was a message I really needed to hear…or more likely, have reinforced! This summer I tried SUP for the first time…the lady that taught me how to do it, said, “If you feel like you’re losing your balance, go down on your knees.” As I had several instances where I used this advice, I realized that this is what God wants me to do too. Instead of freaking out about everything and anything, I need to drop to my knees when I feel like I’m losing control. As I came to this realization, a peace that passes all understanding enveloped me and I just sat on my board, enjoying his creation and thinking about how God uses everything! I love it! Have a blessed day!
Susan, so true. I freak out too with some things,esp if I feel like I am losing control. I am almost 57 years old and finally learning to “fall on my knees”, not fight the tsunamis, or the ripples. ” If I feel like I’m losing my balance, I will fall on my knees”. thanks for the tip. It beats ” just keep swimming”.
Right on! If it weren’t for those those pesky ants…! God bless you!
I’m so glad we get your blog notices because you just talk “like it is”. This is another great moment for me on line. I hope you post more.
Thank you for the encouragement to post, Josh. I am still finding my way with blogging and appreciate your cheerleading.
Your blog says so much and so well. I so agree that Gods creation can teach me so much about myself if only I take the time and pay attention…
I love this…brilliant insight! I feel the same way when I am on my SUP, but you put it into words…a great analogy. I’d love to talk to you more about this. That dang board has brought me abundant joy, and taught me to live IN THE MOMENT and to understand the value of that. He is WITH me even “out there” and it increases my faith. Thank you so much!
I’d love to talk with you about it. See you on the water.
Your story serves as an even greater example of how we can transform even the most secular activity into a sacred moment. The moment became sacred when you realized that God was teaching you a lesson; or more importantly through the realization: God was with you. We get closer to Him the more we see Him in the everyday,in the mundane. Thanks for sharing.
Ray – indeed we should strive to perceive/experience every moment of life as sacred, with the occasional “secular” moment being the exception rather than the rule.
Beautiful, Sylvia. Just beautiful!
So true! Like when there is an accident, I deal with the major issues spot on, then when everything is over, I fall apart–shakes, tears, you know the drill. Sometimes we need to remember the verse “Be still and know I am God” through the “the ants in the kitchen” more than “the elephant in the room.” Thanks, as always, for your wonderful writing and giving me the thing I need to read at the very right time.
I appreciate your uplifting comment, Gloria!
Great blog, and SO true! Thank you!
Amen and thank you for this reminder. Taking these frustrations daily to the throne of Grace allows us to see our King in front of all our “stuff,” big and small, instead of vice versa.
Love this! I usually don’t have time to read blogs, but today I felt compelled to open yours and am so glad I did. What a great reminder to pay attention to those little things that throw us off balance. I can so relate to everything you said and will take it all to heart next time I start to freak out over something insignificant. Thank you!!
I’m glad you decided to open this one up!
I got the point loud and clear. You are so on target every time you open your mouth. Putting it in perspective with the greater things it was and is a small thing. I have determined to turn my focus on some newly acquired friends who I know are having “big time hurts”. I surely know better but need to work on acting better. Thanks for the little jab of reminder.
What great food for thought today as I’m cleaning up after an aging dog. Perspective! Love this reminder. Thanks for sharing the insight God floods you with. I shall chew on it!
Great blog and metaphor. Yep, it is the unexpected – or even inconvenient ripples of life that trip us up (like Windows 8- don’t even get me started)!
Your “balance” both on your board and more importantly in your PERSPECTIVE about life and following Jesus inspires me.
The elephants in the living room are pretty tough to take too, but you’re right. We melt down over inconsequential things (my husband left his wallet at home this morning) and seem to hold our head up high through something bigger (like cancer, me).
Youre so fresh. Not many writers just tell it like it is without preaching something that makes us feel less than.
Jennifer, it sounds like you have a hefty elephant in your living room indeed. I will pray for you on that right this minute. Thank you for stopping by.
I LOVED this blog, and amen Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
So true. Its so easy to allow ourselves to get separated from the blessings that God has for us in all our paths in life. He doesn’t promise us that He will be there in only the good times; He says He will be there in everything. With believing and trusting comes the relief in knowing He is there. He is the peace we need in the business of our lives that allows us to have the joy that He wants for us and the strength that it brings to our bodies, heart, and souls. So come on ripples, I’m ready.