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  • The Farmer's Wife

What I'm Learning the Hard Way...


Slack lining is a ridiculous sport. I don't like it, because I can't do it. It's supposed to be fun, but for me, it's just repetitious falling with the occasional zing of the line on my inner thigh as I fall. Sign me up! It's a 'blast'...

Life right now is unfortunately similar to this stupid sport.

*Sorry if you love it - keep reading bc I need your expertise.



Depending on one simple factor, I’m guessing you’re navigating this stay-at-home-forever-while-the-world-ends feeling like a superstar, or you’re getting zinged as you fall into a pile on the ground.

I got zinged this week…… so maybe you don’t have to.

For those who have never slack-lined before, I would suggest trying it. It quickly puts your humanity in perspective. I can feel so powerful and so able,

So wise with the rise of medicine - so astute with the grander of knowledge, and then I try to simply balance on a strap tied between two trees

and suddenly I am met face to face with how human I am.



Slack-lining has a way of instantly taking whatever I trusted in and throwing it out the window.

The ground? Gone. My legs? Noodles.

The wisdom of my brain? Unhelpful. The shred of pride I carried as a calm, capable, collected adult? Bye-Bye.


It reduces me.

Very few people can stay on the line. My husband is one of them.


For those who can successfully slack-line, there is one thing in common:

The focus of their eyes

If they aren't looking ahead to a focal point, they're on the ground in seconds.


Staying on the line requires focus - and determination: they can't carry on a conversation, they can't look at their feet, or the sky, or to the side.

Their success is purely determined on where their eyes are focused.


Ok….. “thanks for the useless sports lesson…super helpful in a pandemic”

Why am I talking about a stupid sport that I can't do? Because living in this world is remarkably the same.


My mental ‘success’ in this Covid world is purely determined on where my eyes are focused.


If my eyes are focused on medicine, I see worried people who don’t have answers.

If my eyes are focused on typical American comforts, I see empty shelves.

If my eyes are focused on my kids, I see people who might not make it if they got sick.

If I focus on myself, try as I might, it is near impossible to not touch my face.

If I focus on my husband, I’m flattened by stories of Covid separating marriages.

If I focus on the news, I’m a giant ball of fear in 1.2 seconds.

If I focus on Fearbook (my new term for Facebook), it’s like an emotional rollercoaster with every scroll.

If I focus on my friends - oh wait - #shelterinplace


This reduces me.

Typically, I’d like to believe I'm calm, cool, and collected - not giving in to fear - until my focus is lost... And suddenly I'm a pile of tears and "what-ifs".


The truth is: falling is the only option if my focus is off.

If my eyes are on the news, I will fall.

If my eyes are on myself, I will fall.

If my eyes are on my kids, I will fall.

You get the idea.


Maybe it’s just me, but I’m guessing you’ve been there too.


So where on earth are we supposed to look? Truth is - that’s exactly the problem. When we look on earth - we will fall.

We humans are so good at looking at what we can see.

But what happens when we can’t see it?


What happens when we can’t find the answers?

What happens when it’s OUR uncle who is in the ICU on a ventilator, barely making it through the night?

What then?


Somehow, we need to realize that there is nowhere on earth to look.

We don’t have the answers.

Maybe the end of answers is the best place to be.

I read this week on BBC’s Science Focus magazine that, “all the DNA in all your cells put together would be about twice the diameter of the Solar System.”


Um…. excuse me…. What?


If Pluto is the “end”, the solar system is 7,440,000,000 miles long.

Your DNA can span that - TWICE.

Let. that. sink. in. - TWICE!!

(Fyi - the entire U.S. is a mere 2,800 miles wide)


Do you realize the intentional organization required to *simply* wash and fold your family’s laundry? How much more would your 14.8 BILLION jaw dropping MILES of DNA require some sort of organization? (Suddenly laundry mountain sounds like life’s easiest job)

If there is a 14,880,000,000 mile long party going on in our bodies, why don’t I have eyes in my armpits? Or feet on my face? Or toes on my knees? It. is. remarkable!!!



Here's the point: Where are your eyes? (Literally and figuratively)

#1 Last time I checked, my eyes were on my face. Just above my nose. In a rather useful spot. What told them to go there?


#2 Where are your eyes focused?

This week I took my eyes off the focal point. I binged Fearbook. I Googled things. (Pretty sure Google says you can die from a hangnail) #ThanksGoogle. I Bubble-wrapped my kids. I *almost* set up a dating profile for my husband for when I die. #morbid #justbeingreal

I focused on the ground and I got zinged on the way down.


You know what the ONLY hope of staying on the line is? - Fixing my eyes on the Organizer because He is way smarter than me. Anything else leaves me in a pile. I really don't want to be in charge of 14.8 Billion Miles of anything anyways. "For in him we live and move and exist." Acts 17:28



So where are you looking?

If we're looking on earth, we will fall.

The Organizer of your 14.8 Billion miles is pretty capable.

Please breathe. I will join you.

Check your focus.

Don’t get zinged.


"The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?" Ps 27:1


Want to hear more from the Farmer's Wife? Email elisabeth.gerdes@gmail.com and just say "Subscribe" :)




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Caledonia, MN 

612-619-3256

elisabeth.gerdes@gmail.com

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