Paddle Your Own Canoe

“I’ve traveled about a bit in my time

And of troubles I’ve seen a few
But found it better in every  clime
To paddle my own canoe.
“My wants are few.  I care not at all
If my debts are paid when due
I drive away strife in the ocean of life
While I paddle my own canoe.
“Then love your neighbor as yourself
As the world you go travelling through
And never sit down with a tear or a frown
But paddle your own canoe!”

By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura Ingalls Wilder

 I have a question for you…

Who is responsible for you? (I am supposing that if you are reading this you are an adult or a mature teen.)

That may seem like a bit of a silly question but some of the answers may surprise you.

Who is responsible for your anger?  Is it the person who cut you off on the highway?
Who is responsible for the extra change in your pocket?  Is it the clerk who made the mistake at the grocery store?
Who/what is responsible for your lack of Bible/devotion time?
Who is responsible for your weight?
Who is responsible for your mood?
Who is responsible for your joy?
Who is responsible for your ability to do your job (at home, (home)school, or in the workplace)?
Who is responsible for how much time you have in a day to do what you want to do?

All of these questions are, what we call in logic classes, loaded.  There is ALWAYS someone or something to blame for the way things happen in our lives.

Recently, I was faced with a situation that was not one of those feel good kind of things.  I had to react to the situation.  In fact, I would suggest that whenever we are in a situation that is not of our liking, we HAVE to react.

The thing is, how do we react?

Have you ever said, “So and so makes me so angry!”  or “Such and such happened, so I just had to do it!”?

How do they make you?  Why did you have to?

I have been reminded this week that regardless of what is going on around me, how I respond to a situation has nothing to do with anyone or anything except me.

I am a responder type person.  Often my first impulse is to respond verbally.  Ironic (tongue in cheek) that my devotions this week all landed in verses that spoke of the wisdom, discernment and blessings that come from guarding the tongue.  (For a good dose of instruction on the tongue, read Proverbs and James.)

How we respond to a situation or another person has a lot to do with how others are going to view us.  Our reputations/testimonies are based on our behaviour.

If we allow others to dictate how we behave or react (if we let them paddle our canoe) we are saying that we have no control in our lives.  But Scripture says that,

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

I can do all things through Christ

Wife to Jeff and mother of five, Stephanie has been involved in homeschool support since 1998. Living in the beautiful ocean community of the Eastern Shore in Nova Scotia, Stephanie and Jeff founded HEMS Ministries as a means of reaching out to others who share their passion for growing Godly families. Together, they facilitate the Provincial support group HEMS (Helping Encouraging Mentoring Serving) and with a fantastic team of volunteers, organize the Nova Scotia provincial homeschool conference. Stephanie speaks at conferences around the Maritimes and at the HSLDA National Leadership Conference and has published her first devotional book, Love the Journey. For more information on what's going on in Nova Scotia or to contact Stephanie about speaking in your area, check out the HEMS website hems-ns.ca and Stephanie's blog http://under-his-wings-hems.blogspot.com/.

One Reply to “Paddle Your Own Canoe”

  1. wanderingways

    This is a very thought-provoking post. It is a good reminder.

    Btw, I recently moved into the HRM area. I am really excited to try to get to know other homeschooling moms in the area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.