A Simple Strap

“One DIY project every two years!”

That was the statement expressed by my husband to slow down my DIY habit. This year we
envisioned a beautiful water feature on our property. Contemplating the best way to get all the
boulders for the waterfall, we took a late afternoon drive a short distance away from our home in search of a landscaping business. Pointing at boulders, watching a tractor load them on a big truck, and having someone else deliver them to my backyard seemed ideal.

The man we asked for directions to the landscaper wasn’t familiar with the GPS location, but he did point us toward the riverbed nearby and said that many people drove over to pick rocks up themselves. My husband couldn’t resist the challenge, so off we went.

It turns out that I have fine taste when it comes to waterfall rocks. It was that very attribute that led to our memorable afternoon. The boulders my heart longed for were across the sandbar a short distance away from the hard packed path we were traveling. Bravely, we sped across the sand onto the compressed rocks on the other side.

That wasn’t so bad! We loaded all the best boulders into the Toyota 4-Runner and headed back the way we came. Nervously, we stopped at the edge of the sand and reconsidered our bold actions. The sand somehow looked sandier now. More unstable. And the hill we had sped down so freely now looked intimidating.

Did things somehow change while we tiptoed in our flipflops through the rocks?

There have been times in my life when what was once satisfying wasn’t so satisfying
anymore. Nothing had really changed about my situation. The sand was still sandy, but
not so warm beneath my feet. The daily challenges of life I once took by the hand so
willingly, now seemed immense and drained me of all my energy.

We tried another path. It appeared firmer, but we soon learned it wasn’t. The Toyota 4-Runner
that was built to look like a 4-wheel drive wasn’t built to act like one. We had tried every
method we knew of to get out of the sand. Stuck in a situation we didn’t want to be in, we just
stood there looking at each other, shivering as the sun went down. We were in such a mess.
We didn’t know how to get out of it. How to move forward.

Would a tow truck even come out here? We had no tools or experience. We desperately
needed help.

Are you feeling like you don’t have the tools to move forward? Are you in a place in your
life where things aren’t as rewarding as they once were?

We stared in unbelief as the noise of dirt bikes and ATV's broke the silence, whipped around
and sped over to ask us if we were okay. We laughed humbly and explained our predicament.
One of the young men pulled a thin strap from his tool box and proceeded to hook up his ATV to our truck as if he could pull us out himself. Really?

Would a simple strap get us out of this miserable situation? Wasn't there something more heavy duty in his toolbox? Time and effort were required for success. But, eventually, with everyone’s help we crept out of the hole we had dug for ourselves, courageously shot across the sand pit and up the hill to solid ground.

There are times in life when we need someone to come alongside and help us through
difficulties. Having someone in our lives who will listen and ask questions that produce
insights, greater personal awareness and changed behaviors can be transformative.
There are times when we need to ask for help from people with the right tools. Who is a
part of your support system? Who has been a source of encouragement in the past? If
you are stuck in an overwhelming situation and need help, our coaches are available.

Please Contact Us.

Shelli Birdwell is a life coach serving her community of Ventura, CA as well as those living and working abroad. She and her husband spent 8 years in Central Asia before returning to California in 2007. They have two adventurous sons, 19 and 22, and a beautiful daughter-in-law who has recently joined the male-dominated family! When Shelli isn’t thinking of DIY projects for her husband to complete, she loves to garden, take long walks at the beach with her two chocolate labs, read and spend quality time with her husband of 25 years. Connect with Shelli at Encompass Life Coaching.