The hidden gift, in the waiting

How to patch a Splash Mat

One of the joys (for me) of our summer beach vacation, starts at home.  I scour the web for the most fun beach toys, collapsible buckets, nets, crab terrariums and anything that floats.  My #1 goal is for the boys to have fun OUTSIDE the highest percentage of time possible.  I come up with the best mama lures I can think of, to keep them on the beach.  (If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember my foibles with the floating cabana poles.)

Same song, second verse.

These year, we worked as a group to acquire one of those giant, floating slip and slides.  In my mind, this was the best, imaginable way to keep two pre-teen and two teenage boys playing together in the water for the longest period of time.  But as we researched the dimensions, we quickly learned that we had to get an inflatable slide, due to the airline luggage size policies.

So we found one, ordered it and brought it with us.

Mission accomplished.

Well. . . not quite yet.  I unrolled the giant mat and read the directions.  I followed them to a T as I inflated it.  It’s enormous, so we laid it up against the side of the building temporarily until we were ready to go anchor it to the sand.  Just as we left, it got one final shove, to ensure it was all the way out-of-the-way.

That was all it took.

The next time I looked out the window to check on it, something didn’t look quite right. You can imagine the suspicion that instantly crept into my mind.  I walked, with urgency, out the back door to check on it. To my dismay, instead of being a firm mat, it was hanging over the corner… limp.  The center of the mat took a direct hit from the sharp corner of the building, creating a hole.

Here we go again!

I brought out the repair kit, which only consisted of a patch and glue, but called for sandpaper, rubbing alcohol, scissors, a permanent marker and a paintbrush.   So I improvised and did the best I could.   I followed the directions exactly and we waited 24 hours for the glue to cure.  Then, yesterday, with all the excitement in the world, we re-inflated it, only to hear the whizzing sound of air escaping through the patch.

I re-read last year’s blog.

Kidding… but I should have.  Maybe I will this afternoon, because I went through the entire 10-step process again and re-patched, the now bigger hole.   And we’re waiting.  Waiting to let the glue cure again. Waiting to see how it will turn out. Waiting with hope.

Waiting with great anticipation.

I have no idea how it will turn out.  I just know that this morning, I’m holding out hope.  And I know that we spend a lot of our lives in the waiting.  We do all we can do.  We pray, we love, we trust, and we hope.

And then, sometimes, we just have to wait.

What if the point of the waiting is to change us?  What if it’s there to teach us to be content with an unexpected circumstance?  I’ve seen that to be true in my own life, and with HeartStories, more often than not.  If things had gone as planned.  If what I wanted to happen, happened when I wanted it to happen, I would have missed so much.

You would have missed this entire blog.

I only started writing it while I was waiting.  The Girl’s Night Out’s?    They came from the waiting too.

What are you waiting for today?  What are you hoping for this year?  

Maybe, just maybe, there’s an unexpected gift hidden in the waiting.  You might just need to adjust your heart and your expectations to find it.

Will you let yourself be open to that?  

I bet you’ll be glad you did.

to more love,


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