Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angry Thighs

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself, and thought, "WHO IS THAT?"  

It happened to me on our trip to Oregon.  We were going over some pictures from the beach and I kept thinking, who is that plump lady playing with my children?  When I realized it was me, I felt my heart sink.  I didn't even recognize myself.

During the last few months, my body has packed on a significant amount of extra weight, and I have felt almost powerless to stop it.  It started during my training for the 5K this last summer, and it hasn't slowed down!  It feels like it is on some kind of mission to bust out of every pair of pants and stretch out every sweater I own!  I've done a lot of thinking and analyzing my situation, and it seems as though my body is crying out for my attention.  It seems it is looking for acceptance, patience, love.  All the things I haven't been giving it, and so......it is acting out, it is rebelling, and it is waiting for me to accept it, no matter how big it is!!

In the book, "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay, she talks about different parts of the body and the possible emotions they are holding on to.  One thing that stood out to me was a comment she made about "big, fat, angry thighs filled with childhood resentments."  I had to reread it a few times!  My thighs are one of the places I have always carried extra weight, and the theory is that there are emotions stored in different parts of the body. One of the places anger is stored is in the thighs!  


If this is true, I really feel sorry for my thighs!  They have been carrying around my anger, suffering with the heavy load, which right now.....is heavier than ever!  I don't feel that angry on a conscious level, but it would not surprise me to know that anger is festering deep down inside.  The sad part is that my thighs continue to grow, they are bumping into furniture, knocking down small children, and making a tight fit out of everything.

Growing thighs make me feel panicky, like I'm in a fight I just can't win, and the more I dwell on it, the weaker I become.

The other day, while doing my hair, a scripture came to my mind, so I went and looked it up.  As I read it, I felt the spirit explain to me that I have been battling against my body, when in reality there is only one enemy.  He works night and day to shift the focus off of him, and onto something that is not even the real problem.  My body is not the enemy and just like so many other areas of my life, it is just lacking my love and attention.  In order for it to heal, I must trust it, and treat it with respect.  And if I must battle (and battle we must), the fight should be for my family because that is my job, and everyday it requires my faith and vigilance.  There is no time to compare my angry thighs to any other person's.

And who knows, maybe they won't be so angry when I quit picking on them so much!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Someone to love

Isn't love amazing?  I mean really!  I've watched my two girls, from the moment they are old enough to grasp a soft bear or dolly, hold and cuddle and kiss them just as though they knew they were born to love.  Their little caring hearts long to nurture everything soft and warm.

I know some women are more nurturing than others, but the gift of warmth and the need to comfort is innate, and I don't think anything puts a smile on my face faster than seeing love in its purest most organic form.  It is this love from my children that heals me and puts me in my place.  It whispers that there is a God.  A home in a faraway and lovely place, that our babies are sent to remind us of.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Charming Babies

While we were driving the streets of Coos Bay and North Bend last week, we saw the cutest little house for sale!  I gasped, and told Tyler "we just had to buy it".  He said something like, "Well I guess we could walk up to the door and show them our charming babies"  to which I replied, "Who wouldn't want to sell their home to someone with charming babies? It will be ours for sure!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hungry for Sand

For me, the coast is magical, and I think I know the magic my girls felt as they ran barefoot on the beach, dug their tiny fingers in the cool sand and gathered sea shells, sticks and rocks in their tight little fists and bulging pockets.

They ran, skipped, waddled, jumped, twirled, splashed and reveled in the grandeur and magnificence of the world around them.

Rewind to my twentieth birthday. The day I entered a new decade of life, I also boarded a plane and flew to Los Angeles to be a nanny!  It was there where I fell in love with the beach and the wind and the waves!  During that year we lived in Vancouver BC for a short time.  On a day off, we took a day trip to the near by mountains!  We rode a gondola up.....higher and higher until everything was covered in a thick white snow!  The soft white made everything feel slow and quiet.  As we stepped off the gondola, we stepped into a winter wonderland!  Children were bundled in mittens and snow caps.  They laughed and chased each other around on a small ice skating pond.  A horse drawn carriage brimming with rosy cheeked faces trotted through the trees.  There was skiing, sledding, and a beautiful mountain lodge to escape the wintry nip and warm yourself with a huge mug of hot chocolate.  It was a scene from a Norman Rockwell calendar.  Complete perfection.

At the conclusion of our afternoon in the clouds we worked our way back to the valley and ended our day on the beach.  My young heart pounded as I stood face to face with the crashing waves. The cold wind sent my hair whipping out behind me free and wild.  All of us held hands and screamed into ocean, something we often did together.  It was therapeutic, and in the end always turned into laughter.  On that day I felt so small in a big world.  I knew I was small, but I also knew I was an important part of this big picture!!  I felt like the Grinch with a heart that grew and grew until it would burst.  I wasn't a Grinch....just a changed person.   I had a new love for the world I lived in.  That day I grew hungry for sand and waves and trees and mountains and worlds within this world that I had not yet seen.  

A traveler was born.

Our trip to the Oregon coast reawakened this sense of wonder and awe at the creation God offered as our home.  We are lucky.....so lucky.

Our days on the beach were magic.  The warmth and sun and cool breeze in November where so unusual and I took it as a big "I love you" from a generous Father in Heaven.  

As we wandered the small trail away from the shore, Emilee whispered in my ear...."Mama, I'm hungry for sand".  I smiled.

A traveler is born.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Life Near The Sea

Howard and Haroldene live near the sea, in a perfectly charming blue house with blue walls, and even a blue hard wood floor.  Surrounded by rose bushes and knick-knacks and walls lined with books and photo albums, you can't help but feel the history and stories that make up their beautiful life together.

 Their faithful companion, Rosie, scurries about under foot and excitedly greets us with heavy panting and rough doggy kisses.  

My girls are in heaven.....and so am I.  

It is our first time meeting this part of our family.  Tyler has told us of their wit and chemistry......how together they make the perfect couple.....the perfect grandparents.  The type who dote on you and make you feel like the most lovable creature in all the world.  Being there in their presence only proved him right.

Emilee collapses in slumber on a nearby chair, completely worn out from our travels and adventures, as the rest of us enjoy a slide show.  You know, with the slide projector and one of those old white screens.  It is absolutely perfect!  Each slide that flashes by paints the picture of grandma's dream.   

To live in a look out tower on a mountain top.  

As the story goes, she took a job in her fifties, for the forest service at a forest fire look out.  She and her dog Maggie lived on the mountain every summer for ten years, and grandpa would visit on the weekends.  Grandma was good at her job, and living a dream made everything magic.  A tiny cabin perched on a cliff, equipped with wood burning stove, the perfect mountain view and dotted with vases full of wild flowers.  It was her home....and she made it her own.  Everything was more beautiful because she had been there.

I smiled, listening to them talk over each other, hastily trying to include every detail, then grandpa would apologize for interrupting and both would sit in silence for a moment waiting for the other to finish the story. They were so proud of their life together and the things they accomplished were important to us, because they were important to them.
Their stories made me cherish my own.  It made me realize that my life is the story I will someday tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren.  

Grandma's health has been failing in the last few years, and as a result Grandpa has taken over all of the household duties.  Watching him take care of his sweetheart was so touching.  It was evident that their years together had forged a love for her in his heart that was real and deep and long suffering.  On the first night we were there I came into the kitchen to dish some dinner up for Tyler.  Grandpa quickly thanked me for "taking care of my guy", reminding me that when we love someone we must serve them.  His example taught me this more than anything he could ever say.

As we backed out of their drive way on a Friday afternoon, the image of them sending us on our way, filled me up completely.  I knew I had been given something valuable.  I had been tutored in love and encouraged by a wisdom greater than my own.  I think I saw more clearly the value of family and how we are all in this together!

Grandma and Grandpa,
I loved sharing a small part of your life near the sea!  Everything about our visit inspired love and restored the magic of adventure in me!  You showed me what it means to be generous and inspired me to take care of everyone and everything around me.  Thank you for all of the gifts you give.

I'll love you forever and ever.