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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Multiple Jumpers

I thought I might try a more casual post for Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays, the brainchild of the pleasantly disturbed and awkward-tender-moment-infamous Duane Scott.
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"Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven
into the midst of our rough earthliness."
~ Henri Frédéric Amiel

My kids have a good daddy, who this week assembled the new trampoline he did NOT want (due to injury potential).

Our kids longed to jump with joyful abandon and break free of gravity. They came to me, believing I can bring the impossible to pass. They offered to pay for most of a trampoline (they did), to be careful and pray for safety (yes please, Lord), and to be good for the rest of their lives (do I really look that naive?) if I would talk Dad into a trampoline.

I told them to wait, and wait some more, until weeks passed and they thought they would die from waiting. Then when they'd performed a particularly gruesome, cruel and unusual chore to impress their father (the details escape me), I used my subtle influence to garner the coveted approval.

Surprise #1 was watching a deceptively small box birth a behemoth for which we'd not seen a display model. Surprise #2 was the inane warnings. MULTIPLE JUMPERS INCREASE THE RISK OF LOSS OF CONTROL LEADING TO PARALYSIS OR DEATH—ONLY ONE PERSON AT A TIME / DO NOT DO SOMERSAULTS (FLIPS) / SECURE THE TRAMPOLINE AGAINST ANY UNAUTHORIZED USE / NOT FOR USE BY CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 6 / AVOID JUMPING TOO HIGH OR FOR TOO LONG. Are you kidding me? Did the manufacturer's legal team ever experience a trampoline or a childhood? What are the standards for too high or too long? And secure it how? Disassemble and put back in the box after use?

Our house rules include being careful with the little kids, flips are allowed only when you jump solo, and if you involve me in a dispute about taking turns, you risk being the one to get a time out.

For the first few hours, my five darlings were the picture of consideration and caution. The following hours included the abuse of rules (either flippancy or shoving rules at others), the finger-pointing, and the selfishness which sadden and frustrate me.

Yet consideration and caution seem to have nonetheless prevailed. I'm hopeful that we've managed to instill in our daughters and sons the house rules suitable for all situations: love one another, look out for one another, and remember to be careful of your own self, too.

I cannot help but think of the church. We come to Jesus leaping with abandon, joyful to break free from the burden of sin. Everything starts out pleasant and lovely. Then people impose well-meaning but unrealistic rules which are powerless to compel the caution and consideration not inherent to our natures. Following close behind will be the abuse of rules (either flippancy or shoving rules at others), finger-pointing, and selfishness which sadden and frustrate me.

Yet I remain hopeful that the Holy Spirit will eventually prevail and convey this message: love one another, look out for one another, and be careful of your own self while you're at it.

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
~ John 13:35 (NKJV)

P.S. Surprise #3 is that I'm a favorite trampoline partner, because the kids love to make a laughing fool of me while playing Crack the Egg.

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  1. Sis, love the pictures of you, and your precious children. May you all continue to jump for joy in His Kingdom. I love you.

  2. You are airborne girl! That has got to be the greatest picture ever! My kids would love to have a trampoline! What joy. I would imagine that moving your body through space with such abandon is something akin to bodily worship. How fitting! I say haul out the radio and crank up the worship music--jump away!

  3. We LOVE our trampoline. And I'm a favorite jumping partner, too, for the same reasons! Though I think I laugh harder than the girls because they are still so little and have to work so hard to break me. Facial expressions are priceless. Great post, Anne.

  4. I love your face, the expression you're making in that shot!!!!!!!! I'm big time into trampoline jumping. I'll get on even if my kids won't.

    ~ Wendy

  5. I really like this ~ "love one another, look out for one another, and be careful of your own self while you're at it."

    Have fun and be safe!

  6. Love that photo! It should be your new avatar!

  7. That is so sweet- love to see this side of you, Anne. :)

    We had a trampoline for years, but we left it at our last house when we moved. I think we need another one! By the way, I'm a parent and break all those rules so I just realized I probably need to be more afraid for how my children use it! :)

  8. ...subtle influence, eh? our tribe had to use the same method. when we couldn't get past one "no" we worked on the other until we got a "yes." we learned to use our own subtle influence. we played their votes against each other. you're doing pretty good kiddo. from the swing to a trampoline. and're not naive. crack the egg? never heard of that game.

  9. Great pictures!

    And I appreciate your analogy. You know what's even worse than well-meaning but ineffective rules in churches? The failure to lay down rules at all. That's when people get hurt and paralyzed.

  10. Love you mid-flight. That's where He wants us all.. leaping and filled with joy.. all to glorify His name!

  11. What a terrific post--and lesson!

  12. see you in a couple of weeks, kiddo:)

  13. If you put a sprinkler under it on a hot day it water logs the whole thing making it less bouncy. It's tons of fun for the kids and a little less dangerous. It doesn't even get slippery. If only we could all keep the pace of being constantly others centered.

  14. Denise ~ Jumping partners for now, dancing partners one day ...

    T ~ Worship music! Oh yeah! That would be a wonderful inspiration for jumping. Must try!

    Ginny ~ I'm usually pretty strong until they get me bounced high enough to laugh. Once the giggles are out of control, I'm a goner.

    Wendy ~ I've never heard of children who will not get on a trampoline. You must feed them too well on music. ; )

    Patty ~ Thanks! We are praying ...

    Glynn ~ I'll give that some thought, but don't hold your breath.

    Jason ~ Yeah, about the time I'm having too much fun, I remember my kids are watching and bring it down just a notch. Or half a notch. Maybe.

    Bud ~ Crack the Egg means they bounce me high enough or hard enough that I can't hold my arms around my legs and let go. If you roll around on your side, you can land on your head, which seriously hurt the last time we did it on their cousins' trampoline. At our house, the rule is that you have to play sitting up so nobody lands on their head. It's a little harder to crack, but we always get one another. See you! Have FUN!

    Rosslyn ~ You know, Jesus didn't offer "love one another" as a suggestion. He actually called it a commandment.

    Karin ~ There is a joy inherent to playing with kids that nothing else in life can equal. Yes, I glorify my God in the joy I share with them.

    Linda ~ Thanks! Very nice to see you here.

    Mary ~ Shh. I was hoping to keep the clean-up to a minimum. But I know you, and it's only a matter of time before you spill the beans to Michaelle or John, and then I'm done. Love you!

  15. Now, for all my friends, a display of the kind of trampoline anctics we enjoy when I'm back home in Colorado's champagne powder:


  16. Loved the video! Now I feel like I'm stalking you. ;)

  17. I love the spiritual application you brought this around to. Really, really great stuff! Thanks for doing this.

    And, on #2? After reading those warnings, I'm going home to put our trampoline in the dumpster.

    Okay, maybe not. But it sure sounds scary!

  18. T ~ From you, it's not stalking, just your friendly presence.

    Duane ~ Me thinks thou doth protest too much! :D Thanks for spurring us on.

  19. Oh Anne, HOW did I miss this post??? That picture is the BEST ever! So, how soon after this pic did you "break"? :-)

    Much love,


  20. Gwen ~

    I usually don't last long. Once they get me laughing this hard, it's difficult to keep any semblence of composure. :D

  21. Love the quote and the photo. Great story. Great spiritual application.

    Our kids begged and begged for a tramp before we finally relented. They loved that thing to death.

  22. P.S. The trampoline's death . . .

  23. Oh, Snady! That's hilarious.

    What's even funnier is that I read my emails backwards, and got your second comment first. By itself, "The trampoline's death" has an altogether different meaning. So I'm laughing forward and backwards on your comments ... kind of like the way I wind up on that trampoline.


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