Kick The Can

This morning I am looking at the barn behind my parents’ house. The barn was around long before I arrived on the scene. It was built around 1890 and stores generations of treasures that have long been forgotten. I have played, snooped and scavenged in this barn thousands of times over my lifetime. There is always something new to discover each time I enter. Outside the barn, there is something interesting on every side: garden vegetables; fruit trees; a greenhouse; grape arbors; an old wooden swing; a pond where ducks find a cool haven. On the east side of the barn my Dad has planted summer vegetables. Yesterday, I was recruited to help him pick because he has trouble keeping his balance with his neuropathy. Digging in the dark Florida soil, sweat pouring from every part of my body, picking scratchy cucumbers with my Dad saying every 30 seconds, “don’t step on the vines,” made me remember why I love the Farmers Market. This spring and summer ritual was repeated my entire growing up years.

As a child, the barn was at the center of all backyard activities and was a place we could possibly find a few moments of shade. On summer nights when the sun was almost down and the lightning bugs started to appear, my siblings and family friends would play kick the can. The barn was a great fortress for hiding and sneaking around. This game could go on for hours until mosquitos moved in and we had to run inside for cover. Today, thinking back about this game, I can almost hear in the rustling pecan trees the echo of, “Do Over” when something went wrong. It was shouted at the top of the lungs from “It,” when the cans tumbled to the ground without a kick, or a dog interfered or someone had cheated. It was always a disappointing shout as we had to go back to our hiding places and wait for the count to start again.

“DO OVERS.” We all would like to be able to call that at different times in our lives. We don’t like how we, or someone else, did something or the results that ensued. Some scenarios and actions can be repeated and others cannot. Two months ago I started learning to knit for about the 10th time and I always make mistakes. Some mistakes I try to do over and others I just keep knitting over. However the mistake is handled it becomes a part of the final product. I also think about this concept when I consider ways that my words and actions have hurt family and friends at various times in the past. Sometimes I get a do over by asking for forgiveness and a chance to make it right. There are other times I don’t get “do overs” and I have to keep walking, trusting that the Lord will use my mistakes and inabilities to make something beautiful. If I allow it, the mistakes can become a bigger part of the story that The Lord is knitting and weaving in my life.

A year ago, my dear husband, Bill, was very sick. It was such a dark time and my main goal was life. Life for him and our family. I don’t mean a fun, rollicking life, I’m talking about a breathing and heart beating life with a clear mind to take the next steps. I have come to realize that in these situations you don’t often get do overs. When you are in these dark times, your decisions are not always perfect or right; you are just focused on your main goal, “life.” Everything else becomes a side bar. When God chooses to bring life back, you do not take it for granted and your prayer is that He will take the situation, with all its mistakes, with help received and help not received, the dark and light, and redeem it. Make it redemptive for all.

“I pray to God- my life a prayer- and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. O Israel, wait and watch for God- with God’s arrival comes love, with God’s arrival comes GENEROUS REDEMPTION.” Psalms 130:6-7 (The Message)

If we had a “do over” in every situation, we might not see our need for Jesus. We would probably think that we had worked it all out on our own because we were so wise and clever. The “No Do Over” times in life allow us to see our need for Him. He is the only one who can take the broken pieces, scattered “cans,” and messed-up stitches and turn them into something beautiful.




9 thoughts on “Kick The Can

  1. So wonderful to share your joys and sorrows with other.
    We all have things in our lives, families that we wish we could change.
    I have to keep reminding myself that only “He” can make these changes in our lives.
    Love ya, M

  2. Beautiful, Lindy, but so much more than that. Thank you for sharing your insights, your heart, your journey. I love you. Faith

  3. And in some inexplicable way, this old barn can resemble a church. Wonderful memories you have shared, and yet another beautiful story reflecting God’s wonderful love to His children.

  4. You are using your giftedness so beautifully, my friend! I read and I am blessed… sweet memories and gentle exhortations to trust Him who orchestrates all things for His purposes and our benefit.

  5. Kick the cans!!! Yes, I remember, but perhaps most of all how irate when someone “illegally” swooped in, or for that matter “legally (if you were “it”), then poor”it” at square one! Philosophically, we NEVER do start from square one. We continue, begin “anew” (but wiser) and choose to continue with God’s great mercy, on the journey he planned for us “before the foundation of the world”. I am thankful for the colorful, small-town heritage we are infused with, which have a grounding effect. Also a true love for the Baptist Covered Dish Dinner, but I seem to be getting off subject……love you, Lyndon.

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