under the fence

We moved to our house in 2010. And ever since then I have been pestering Brent to get a fence for our huge backyard. And last winter we did it!

Let me tell you about this fence:
It is awesome. I feel like we added on another room to our house. Seriously.

But also, here is what the fence has taught me, and it started with this:
Our fence went up right before Christmas last year. Actually, the last day of installation the two guys were out there making the finally adjustments in the snow! Bless them. They were always grateful for the hot chocolate I brought them.
And then the final piece was in place and I could not have been happier. It looked beautiful! It was going to change our backyard life! No more dogs! Or…

You see, the edge of our yard has one spot where it is quite a bit lower than the rest of the yard. To make the fence level across the top, we had to leave a gap in that section between the ground and the bottom. We would fill it in with dirt later. [Brent said this spring…cough, cough]. It was the first full day that we had the completed fence, and we had just had a coating of fresh snow, and we happened to have a two year old bursting with excitement to go out and play. So I bundled her up and Brent took her out that evening.

I was finishing up dishes and watching them out the window above the sink. I saw Brent running around the perimeter with a snowball cocked up in his arm. And then I saw it. The dog. There was a small-ish dog that had gotten under the fence who was frantically running around because it could not find the way out. Brent was trying to guide it back to the hole-- by gently pummeling it with soft snowballs.

And these were my thoughts: ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I wait FIVE years to get my DREAM fence to keep out dogs and keep in kids and THE DAY our fence is completed we have a DOG running around in our backyard?! 

Brent thought it was hilarious. But it made me think:
I try to put up a lot of fences in my life-- for my kids, for myself, for others. I try to protect us. I try to keep things in, but more importantly try to keep other things out. And I think that dog [it has only happened that one time] was God's way of saying, "Kels, look here. I'm the only one who can really put up fences. Or take them down. Or seal holes. Or keep you safe."

I thought of that hole in the fence again this week when I took the girls to a park in a nearby town. This park has three different play areas with varying levels of "difficulty." Blythe, of course, wanted to go down the biggest slide there. Now before you think I'm saying "big" about a normal park slide, let me describe it: it is about 20 feet tall. At least. [I'm terrible with guessing things like this]. The steps up to it are fairly steep. And there I was, in the mess of pebbles, watching Blythe slowly make her way up. And up. And up. And when she got to the top I was surprised that I was nervous. I try to be cool with letting her explore and do things, but it was pretty high.

And then I thought of that fence. And the hole. And my God who tells me that my sense of security is a farce.

And she slid down that slide with the biggest smile on her face. And I learned again that parenting [and life] is all about moments of letting go. It's all about moments of trusting God.

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