This is a sand dune.

It went almost straight up.

Like a mountain.

It was steep enough several people had gathered at the top to sandboard down the other side.

I took this picture because I couldn’t-


It hurt.
All of me…

I realized that all my family had gone up…

Maybe I wouldn’t die,
pass – out from exhaustion.

I am NOT in athletic shape!

I whined–


I can’t do this…

Where’s the escalator?

Pooh and some baloons!…

Eyes begin to turn in my direction. 
Most of them belonging to my family, who are looking down at me.

But it’s the teenage girls who walk past me like this was a stroll through the park that motivate me to give it another go. (Funny how pride can be used.)

Huffing and puffing like the old greedy grey wolf who couldn’t blow down the brick house, I finally arrived at the top.

What I saw surprised me.

I hadn’t made it to the top,  off to the right it crested and to get up there was even steeper.

Guess who was there.

My family.

I smiled.
Sat down and tried to regain my breath (Which took a lot longer than I want to admit.)

The family wearied of the activities before I could muster the energy to try going UP again.

So off we tromped.

Back down, then up some and down others till we reached camp.

And I honestly couldn’t say,  “Wow, that was fun!”

For who likes to see their inability shoved in their face?

Who enjoys knowing that others can but you can’t?

Who likes to admit their faults?

I had to admit to myself that I’m not in shape.

I had to refuse to be embarrassed by past choices that have brought me to this inability.

(Choices like staying home when I could be working out.)

But even when I took this picture, in am effort to gain time to breathe,
I knew I had to go up.

No matter past choices, no matter what physical obstacles, no matter even my unwillingness,

I had to go


Because I refused to give up on my family who was rooting for me.

Because I refused to allow my selfishness to dampen my family’s fun.

Because I knew I was supposed to climb.

Life is often the same.

The difficult,  backbreaking, hard things are often the ones we are supposed to do.

It is a difficult thing to understand and something I am continually teaching my kids.

To look at the mountain, knowing that it will be tough, knowing that it is right to go up,
and then to follow through to the end,
is maturity.

“When I was a child,  I understood as a child, I thought as a child; But when I became a man,  I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11

I love the saying:
Do HARD things!

Because character is built by being stretched out of the comfortable.

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