Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ode to My Exercise Ball

In light of the New Year's resolutions that will be made across the world, I share my own Ode to My Exercise Ball.

Ode to My Exercise Ball

Shiny and round,
its spherical luster invites me.
I hesitate.

Soft and curved.
In this way
we are similar.

Memories of times past
fill the space
between us.

Good intentions
smothered by countless excuses.
Still it sat,

untouched for days,
while I grew
and changed.

But no more.

It is cold.
My hand recoils.
No, I must be strong.

Today is the day.
A resolution has been made.
A goal has been set.

Today I begin anew.
I steady the ball
and sit.

Deeply I breathe
and begin to count,
one, two, three.

Forgotten feelings reborn
of pain and perseverance.
Weak core wakes and shakes.

I heave and I breathe.
I crunch and I grunt
and wipe the sweat off my brow.

To fifty I count.
It is finished
and I rejoice.

Shiny and round,
once again nestled in the corner.
I celebrate.

Until tomorrow,
My shiny and round,
cursed exercise ball.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Believing is Feeling

This year, inspired by our favorite Christmas movie, Elf, I decided to decorate our house with paper snowflakes and chains. We made nearly a hundred snowflakes and dozens of feet of chains, then hung them from the ceiling with clear tape.

That blur is my daughter unsuccessfully 

 It was a lot of fun - until it came time to take them down.  It took me and all three of my kids to get them all down - not fun.

At the very end, my youngest pointed out some tape in the ceiling.

I glanced at the ceiling  and didn't see it.

So, I told her it wasn't there.

"Yes it is," she said.

I looked from another angle and still didn't see it. I told her again, it wasn't there.

"Yes it is," she insisted.

So, I climbed on a chair for closer inspection. I still didn't see it.  I told her I was right, that there was no tape there.

She pointed to the spot and said, "You're not looking at it right."

I cocked my head, and squinted my eyes. Nothing. So, I reached out and ran my finger over the spot she was pointing at, eager to prove the persistent child wrong, and sure enough, I felt the smooth back of a small piece of tape.

I felt it, but I couldn't see it. And I only believed it after I felt it.

I pulled it off and handed it to my daughter. "Told you," she grinned.

Yes she did.

You've heard the saying, "Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing." I submit that it is just as equally powerful to say, "Seeing isn't believing, believing is feeling."

Our faith- our testimony- is made up by things we cannot see, but things we can feel.

Why is that?

I've thought a lot about this question, and I've reached my own conclusion.

You and I can look at the same thing, and argue over what we both see. I say the color is Cinnamon, but you say it is Burnt Red. I say a zebra is black with white stripes, and you say its white with black stripes. Mankind can argue and justify most any point of doctrine, and analyze and define most anything we see.

God gave us the Bible, and yet, how many religions interpret it differently.

If you're anything like me, I can think about something so long that I can end up thinking myself in a circle, going from one side or the other.

The answer isn't always in what we see.  But what we feel.

There is something deep and personal in the feeling of something.

I know that I feel good when I pray. No one can argue with that.

What I feel belongs to me. No one can change that, or tell me I am wrong.

When I am sitting in church, and I sing a hymn about Jesus Christ, I feel the Spirit testify that He is real. No one can tell me I felt something different, or I am wrong. I know what I feel.

This makes my testimony mine, my faith untouchable.

I've also heard it said that Spiritual things are learned by spiritual means.  God speaks to us through the Holy Ghost. He speaks to our hearts.

Minds can understand and justify, but hearts can internalize and believe.

God has given us so many things that teach us and point us towards Him: the scriptures, prophets, commandments, etc.  These things are important, and even necessary for our salvation. But, it is in the quiet chambers of our hearts - what we feel - that harbors our faith and our testimony. It is here that the Holy Ghost can testify of the truthfulness of the scriptures, prophets, commandments, etc.

It is in your heart that we come to know the truth of things - because we feel them.

For me, that is where my faith and testimony lie- in my heart, born from things that I have felt.

When I pray, I feel His presence.

When I serve, I feel His gratitude.

When I obey, I feel His satisfaction.

When I come to Him, I feel His welcoming arms.

When I am sad, I feel His comfort.

When I am weak, I feel His strength.

When I am lost, I feel His guidance.

When I make a mistake, I feel His forgiveness.

When I read the scriptures, I feel the truthfulness of His words.

When I worship Him, I feel humbled.

When I follow Him, I feel safe.

When I progress, I feel His joy.

And when I tell Him I love Him, I feel His love in return.

No one can argue with what I feel. I feel it. I believe it. I know it- even if I can't see it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook. Two words that, apart, hold a plethora of meanings.

But together, they mean only one thing: Sorrow.

I am watching an interview right now of the father of a 6 year old boy who was killed last week while sitting in his kindergarten class.  The emotion on his face is raw and moving. And his message was even more moving.  He was not angry, nor was he calling for gun control, revenge, or anything else.  He simply said he hoped this tragedy would remind the people of the true meaning of Christmas: Love.

That is the word he hopes people will think of when they hear the words Sandy Hook.

He loved his son, and his son love him.

His voice cracked and his chin quivered as he spoke of the affect of the outpouring of love from all around the world.  That love has helped support and sustain him during this time of unfathomable loss and sorrow.

It was love that he wanted the world to remember, to give, and to receive this holiday season.

I loved him for his courage, and his nobility in his response.

This season I will do just what he has asked. I will remember love. I will give love. And I will receive love as well.

God be with all those that have been so deeply affected by this tragedy. May He bless them to feel His love, and ours, at this time. And may we live our lives with an added measure of love every day.