Skip to main content

greg vs. the bunk beds

when we moved into our new parsonage, we decided that it was time for our two sons to share a room, which meant that we needed to look into getting some bunk beds.  after doing some comparison shopping, we finally landed on a web company, so we ordered the beds online and waited for them to arrive.  finally, on wednesday, the beds arrived around 3pm.  by 4pm i had begun to approach the two giant boxes with a box cutter, and some expectations about proving my dominance over any and all building materials that could be lurking within those elephantine boxes.  with agility and all the confidence that opposing thumbs can generate, i opened the boxes and reverentially pulled out the contents, setting up what would, unbeknownst to me, become an epic battle.  it sort of went like this...

imagine if you will, the voice in my head, a deep and dramatic baritone, in pompous tones: laaaaaaaaaaaadies and gentlemen, welcome to the big fight tonight.  in this corner we have greg, champion wordsmith but generally inept at anything that involves a screwdriver and instructions.  he has had many fights with pre-fab furniture and has lost them all to TKO.  looking for his first victory, he approaches this battle with high expectations, thinking that he'll actually finish in a couple of hours (the crowd roars with laughter).  aaaaaaaaaand in this corner, we have the bunk beds, champions of the heavyweight circuit, daunting and taunting, a mess of pre-drilled boards, various types of unrecognizable hardware, and indecipherable instructions.  aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare you ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmble? 

ding ding.  the battle began.  i started with energy, exuding an alpha dominance over the stained boards and shrink-wrapped hardware.  round one finished with a flourish, and the next couple of rounds followed suit, with me taking the clear lead.  it looked like i might just finally have a dominant victory.  one bed was made, one obstacle (poorly threaded hardware) had been creatively overcome, and i had begun the second bed.  i began to feel cocky.

that's when it all fell apart.  as i began to place one of the sideboards on the second bed, i realized that the instructions showed a tiny dot on the side of it.  i could find no such dot on the board i had left.  in a moment of panic, i looked over at the bed i had finished, which, by necessity, had to be the bottom bed, and i found the missing sideboard.  yep.  all my confidence had been misplaced and all my momentum was gone.  i had to undo what i had done and start over.  i took it like a mike tyson uppercut to the jaw.  i reeled.  i whined.  i even yelled out in turmoil.  i would have shaken my fist to the heavens, but i lacked the energy.  and i wasn't the only one.  by this time, my drill had also lost its mojo, and i was reduced to use a screwdriver while my drill recharged.  with each turn of each screw, the bed mocked me, like captain ivan drago.  i stammered, and even hit the mat a few times, ready to throw in the towel.  if not for my two little boys who needed somewhere to sleep, i would have.  but i thought of my two little guys; i imagined them lying uncomfortably on the hard floor, with kinks in their tiny necks, and i summoned the energy to pick myself up for one last shot.  i basically flung around like a wild man, but in the end i landed the final shot, and, against all odds, prevailed.  i put the ladder together, hung it on the top bunk, and fell to the floor in exhaustion, if not victory.  it was 9:30. 

so the 5 and half hour epic contest ended well, with two boys tucked in snugly in the defeated bunks.  i slowly dragged myself to my bedroom, and fell asleep on the floor, in a pile of sore muscles and a nearly-broken spirit.  i awoke on thursday without the ability to grip my coffee mug or walk like a normal human being, but with the sweet taste of victory in my mouth.  i fought the bunk beds, and i won.  and here is the proof:


Emoly said…
I'd say that picture alone had to be worth it.

Joel said…
hahaha. you are good with words because even though i was not there for the 5.5 hour fight i had a very vivid image of your battle and could not help myself but to laugh at your inept ability to follow step by step directions. I really wish I could have been there not to help but to laugh. I’m glad to hear that your boys did eventually get a place to sleep.

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …