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  • Writer's pictureRyne

You might need to go slower

A few weeks ago we got our daughter her first “real” bike. It’s all girl: white wheels, pink accents, and even a little zippered bag on the front for her baby doll to take a ride with her. She was so excited when I showed it to her and wanted to jump on and go for a ride right away.


We live next to a semi-busy street so as I walked alongside her as she tried to navigate the first ride, I was nervous she’d pull right out into the street. She spent most of the first ride going from the grass on one side of the sidewalk to the grass on the other side. I tried to encourage her to go straight, but she would turn the handlebars so quickly and drastically that it was difficult.


She was trying to go straight but her focus was on the ground she was on, instead of the sidewalk right ahead of her. We talked about looking further ahead and almost immediately she started to navigate her bike down the middle of the sidewalk.


How often have you done that when learning something new? Maybe you haven’t, but I have. I’ve focused on what is right at my feet instead of looking a little ahead of me. That’s why it took me about 50 attempts to make a good stir fry.


If you didn’t know, I am a BIG fan of cooking. I’ve been cooking 95% of the meals in our house since Rachel and I got married. I like to try new things (see my previous blog post about marshmallows) and love learning about cooking techniques. One of my favorite foods to eat is stir fry. Whether it is a noodle dish or meat & veggies to put over rice, I’ve always loved stir fry.


For a long time, my struggle was not technique but my planning. Let me take you through what NOT to do when making pretty much any dish in a wok. Don’t - cut up the meat and then put in the wok, then slice the onion and put in the wok, then break down the broccoli and put in the wok…etc.


Don’t do that.


What should you do instead? What did I learn that transformed my ability to use a wok? Mise en place - putting in place. When I learned that before stir-frying anything I needed to have everything else ready, my stir-frying game dramatically increased. When I looked ahead, just a little bit, everything changed. Like Linnea when she started to look down the sidewalk, I was able to make a good dish.


Two days after her first ride she wanted to go for a ride again. We put on her helmet and started riding down the sidewalk. She was doing a great job and she really wanted to ride around the block. We were halfway through the block when we came to a downward slope. She hadn’t gone down a slope on her bike yet and as she saw it in the distance, she slammed on her brakes.


“It’s too steep daddy!” she told me. “I can’t do it. Let’s go back home the other way!”


She was distraught. She was afraid. The decline was pretty steep and it was her first time seeing the decline from a bicycle seat.


“I can’t do it!” she repeated.


I knelt down next to her and looked right in her eyes, “Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it…tell yourself that you might need to go slower.”


“Tell yourself that you might need to go slower,” I repeated.


I kept repeating it as she s.l.o.w.l.y. worked her way down the 20 feet of a decline in the sidewalk and got to the bottom. She made it! I gave her a big hug and we cheered. She could do it, she just needed to go slower. She now is less afraid of going down declines as she knows what to do if she feels afraid.


In only a few bike rides she went from someone who was so focused on where she was (and therefore her path was all over the place) to looking out in front of her a little bit, to knowing that if difficulties come she could just “go slower.”


Isn’t that essentially what is best for us in our faith journey during trials? When we are in the trial we do want to take things one step at a time, but if we only focus on the single moment we are in, we lose the eternal perspective of God at work in our life. We already had experiences of God’s goodness and presence when Anders died. If we would have forgotten that, walking through loss would have been impossible. We have hope in a future that is more glorious than we could ever imagine. While we need to walk one day at a time, we need to also keep in mind the future glory.


And when times get tough, when things feel like they are about to spiral out of control, we need to make sure we don’t tell ourselves we can’t do it; we need to remind ourselves that we might need to go slower.

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For those of you that are joining my blog for the first time, welcome! I’m so glad that you are here. Most of my posts have something to do with our journey through infertility and loss - but there is also a good chance that I will talk about either food or sports as well. Take some time to check out a few more pages on my website, follow me on social media, and subscribe to my newsletter.


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2 comments

2 Comments


Emily Curtis
Emily Curtis
Aug 04, 2022

I'm ashamed I haven't read your blog till now.. but so glad I finally did. So good! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This was a powerful and encouraging post. It's the littlest life lessons-- like from a bike ride-- that can mean the most. Love this. God bless. 💚✝️

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Ryne
Ryne
Aug 05, 2022
Replying to

Thanks so much for the kind words, Emily. If you have time, and you find this content useful, check out some of the other posts.


As we've walked this road, my kinds have shown me over and over again how to live with a childlike faith.

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