if you could have one wish

If you could have one wish.  Just one.

What would it be?

none of this wishing for infinite wishes stuff either.  Just one wish.

that’s okay.  I’ll wait.  did you think of one?

What was it?  Now be honest.

World peace?

fabulous wealth?

Athletic, strong,  healthy body that would allow me to eat anything I wanted and never get fat or have any injuries? (That one was mine by the way.  Can you tell?)

children?

cure all illness?

Well here is what the psalmist wished for – simply the opportunity to contemplate Jehovah.

Psalm 27:4-5 “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

I want a super body and all the Psalmist wants is to gaze upon the beauty of God.

Can we say “attitude adjustment” boys and girls?  yup, I thought we could.

Is there someone in your life that you are content just to look at?  Most of you mature people probably haven’t felt like that since high school, but I still feel that way about a few people.  People whom I want to just gaze at.  If they talk to me I freeze.  Yes.  Even though I’m almost 40.  My goodness, If I ever met Beth Moore for instance I would probably just stand there and grin like a fool.  I very nearly did that when I met Travis Cottrell back in January.  And that was just in an autograph line.  So it’s not like I actually had to say anything witty or original.  Just be a human being.  but oh man did I nearly bust myself trying to think of something to say.

I feel the same way about Ginny sometimes.  It just makes me happy to look at her.  Especially when she does something new, or cute.  Like this

first bites of rice cereal. yummmm

first bites of rice cereal. yummmm

So anyway, my point here (I had a point?  yes.  I’m sure I did.  hang on and I’ll find it….somewhere) is that we all know the feeling of just wanting to bask in the presence of a beloved person.

even once we got out of high school and developed real relationships. *grin*

I enjoy just being in the same room with my husband.  Even if we don’t say a word.  Even if all we are doing is reading separate books, enjoying the scenery on a long road trip, or working on our computers, just being near him makes me happy.

Do I know what it is like to feel that way about God though?  I’m not sure.  I know I enjoy corperate worship experiences.  Especially through song.  But I don’t know that I can honestly say that I have ever felt like I was basking in the presence of God when I was alone with Him.

So how can I echo the Psalmist when I’m not even sure I know what it is he is aspiring to?

Of course the picture gets more complicated when you realize that, becasue of the Holy Spirit,  our current bodies ARE the temple of the LORD.

No I am NOT advocating navel contemplation.  Try to follow me here.

If I am going to “seek God in His Temple (my body)” then I need to take better care of the temple.  I need to see the beauty that HE created there and not let it deteriorate through sloth and gluttony.

There is also the interpretation which speaks to my heart of enjoying the God-created beauty all around me, especially in all the other temples (people) that are walking around this planet.  Each one is a beloved temple of Jehovah and deserves respectful, kindness from me.

Even those that seem to me to be unlovable.

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upstairs downstairs

Everybody knows that going up stairs is exercise.  It is hard work.  You can feel the burn in your legs. You get out of breath seemingly faster than almost any other bi-pedal type activity.

But what about going down the stairs?

It would seem that gravity is doing all the work so going down the stairs wouldn’t count.  I mean it doesn’t take any effort right?

well…..

yes.  If you just cal-lump down the stairs like most people do, then yes.  Gravity is doing most of the work and you are getting nothing out of it.

So why waste the time?  Truth is that you CAN get benefit from walking down stairs.

the key is to take. your. time.

Yes, I see that quizzical look.  But if you take your time and do it right, going down stairs can burn calories too.  here’s how

let’s say you are ready to take the first step down with your right foot.  your left leg is bent, waiting for your right foot to connect with the stair tread.  Now STOP.  hold that pose.  Don’t touch your right foot to the stair tread yet.  Make your left thigh do the work of holding you up, then SLOWLY bend your left knee to lower the right foot for the last two or three inches till your right foot hits the stair tread.

then take the next step making your right leg do the suspension work.

At first this will be a stop-n-start kind of thing, but eventually you will get where you can just flow slowly down a stair case and never have a moment where your thighs are not getting a workout.   After you’ve been doing this for a while you will get to the point where you can freeze in place at any point in the suspensions.   The fun part is that no-one will notice!  You will just look like you take stairs very gracefully without the clump clump clump of a standard American.

So you will be getting exercise AND look graceful while doing it.  How many other forms of workout can you say that about?

oh, and please rest your hand lightly on the stair rail.  I don’t want to get any posts from someone who fell down the stairs because they didn’t hold on!

found. One exercise bike.

This weekend was…interesting.

On Thursday we took Ginny for her two-month “well baby” check-up. She now weighs 9 pounds, 2.5 ounces and is 21 inches long. Everything is going according to plan. she is growing and cooing and even holding up her head very well for her age. She even got her first shots and only cried a little bit. Of course at some point we both looked at each other and realized that there are plenty of babies BORN at 9 pounds. Which just totally blows my mind.

Anyway. We got Ginny home, after driving past a polling spot where THOUSANDS of people were voting early, and decided that we needed to set up a photo shoot of Ginny in her Halloween outfit in a pumpkin patch. We didn’t feel like driving to our church pumpkin patch at that point so we set up one in our front yard with our own fake carved pumpkins. Ok, so the pumpkin patch is ready. the Pumpkin herself is ready. We place her amongst the pumpkins, dash for the camera and….

Every. single. time. our hands left the baby….she began to wail.

um.

Yea, did I mention that we are new to this whole parenting gig?

Intellectually we knew that some babies get crabby after their immunizations. but heck OUR baby was an angel on an airplane, surely she will weather the whole immunization trauma with aplomb.

um….

nope.

We got two decent photos out of about 30. The rest look like we are torturing our darling baby. Here are the two good ones.

After the photo shoot, things went even further down hill.

Ginny wouldn’t sleep all Thursday night, so Martin and I looked at each other on Friday morning and made a judgement call: we aren’t safe to drive therefore we can’t go to work. My mom took Ginny for 6 hours or so during the day with the plan being that Martin and I were supposed to get some much needed sleep.

any guesses what happened then?

no?

well we had just settled in for our long awaited nap…when the phone started ringing. and ringing. and ringing.

was it someone’s campaign trying to sway our vote at the last minute?

nope.

it was my sister-in-law Kris calling to tell us that my brother Stephen had been in a car wreck. He was hit by a guy going 80 mph and both drivers were on their way to the hospital. My brother in a neck brace and strapped to a board.

lovely.

Turns out he has so much damage in his neck from previous accidents that they had trouble telling new from old. but they were pretty clear about the conclusion: his neck is MESSED UP. Not broken, but he is in a lot of pain. The pain killers they have given him have sent him spiraling into delusion and depression too, compounding his already myriad problems.

Ok, so much for sleep.

So went Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday as well. It has been a rough weekend.

Georgia lost. Texas lost.

but there were two bright spots:

the Falcons crushed the Raiders.

and…..

I uncovered my recumbent bike. It has been huddled under pillows and throw blankets in one corner of my living room for the last year in a kind of neglected pitifulness. Every time I looked at it I would grind my teeth in frustration thinking “when do I have the time?”

Well this weekend, in spite of babies that won’t sleep, brothers I can’t really help, and football teams that can’t catch the dad-blamed ball, I MADE time to get back on the bike. I did one 30 minutes session and about five little 15 minute sessions.

What finally got me over there? A wonderful friend of mine, who runs and works out obsessively shared something with me last week. She told me that she NEVER wakes up eager to get out of her nice warm bed and run. She loves it once she is doing it, but that one revelation specifically from her was mind blowing. I just always assumed that she must be mentally wired different than me.

Turns out that nope, we would both rather stay fit by just curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. But she learned a long time ago how to make herself get up.

I guess I am finally catching on.

oh and Ginny finally started remembering how to sleep on Sunday night. Just in time for us to get sufficient sleep to be able to come to work today.

the same thing always happens

Every single time I get started in a fitness program I . Get. Hurt.

Not badly this time, but this is ridiculous. I mean swimming for goodness sake, who manages to hurt themselves while swimming? okay, other than my niece who sprained a wrist climbing out of a pool once. I meant aside from that. She’s accident prone anyway. She once busted a knee just standing still.

I start ice skating, I develop a weak ankle.

I start running, I twist an ankle.

I start a martial arts/sword fighting program, I get my right knee destroyed and have to have surgery.

Anybody see a trend here?

When I had to slim down before the wedding I decided to go with something nice and SAFE. A walking regimen. Every morning I would get to work, put down my bags, put on my tennis shoes and go walk the halls of my building for 30 minutes. Every morning. Great plan, right? No stairs, no un-even ground, nicely air conditioned, no weather to worry about. The worst I’ve got to worry about is a random professor coming out of his lab to ask me an office question.

So what happens three weeks into my new plan and just five months before the wedding? My left knee starts to swell up. Then it gets really unstable, like there’s a jelly fish inside the joint and with every step it has to squish out of the way, or I just have to roll right over it. Finally it gets to the point where I’m on crutches and have to go have the knee drained, then get an MRI (inconclusive, but might be a torn meniscus) and then operated on. All in a rush so I’d be able to dance at my own wedding. The doc actually asked for an autographed photo of the event to put up in his office next to to all the athlete photos.

dancing at the wedding

Of course the doc, who is a sports medicine orthopaedist and very very good (he fixed my other knee. ‘nother story, ‘nother day) got a real surprise when he got into the knee. He had been expecting a torn meniscus. What he found was a weird growth that looked like a sea anemone. He took photos, faxed them over to the oncologists at the next building over (Emory University Hospital) and asked them “What IS this thing? and What do I DO about it?” so they walked him through scraping it out of there and that was that.

Turns out I have a very rare version of “pigmented villonodular synovitis” All of the previously observed ones have a blood supply, that’s how they grow. But mine didn’t. It was just filled with clear fluid. So I’m now in medical journals. Or my knee is anyway. But I digress….

My point is this, it seems like every time I try to start a fitness program, I get hurt. This time it’s my back. I have ALWAYS done my freestyle stroke with all of my breaths coming on the right side. I know, I know you are supposed to do three strokes and breathe, and then three strokes and breathe so you will alternate sides. But I just can’t. I’ve never been able to. It drove my swim coaches crazy. I learned to do 2, 4, 2, 4, 2, 4 instead of the 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, in races.

Well this past Tuesday in the pool I decided that I’m a grown up now. I can try to learn to do this stroke properly and do those darned alternating breaths. So I did it. Nice and slow. Not pushing hard I just did three laps with the alternating breathing. It wasn’t awful. I did manage it, but I felt like I was wrenching my head up out of the water for every single breath on the left side. The rest of my hour I did breaststroke and MY version of freestyle with all my breathing to the right hand side.

And now, two days later, I can hardly move I’m in so much pain. I’m going to the doc tonight after work to get her to straighten me out. And I’ll be back (hahahaha) in the pool next week, so it’s not nearly as serious as the knee thing was, but it does get annoying to always seem to get hurt three weeks into ANY fitness prgram.

I guess the answer to all this is that I just don’t need to stop. Ever again. Then maybe I won’t get hurt.

scared to hope

I think God just sent me two potential “leads” about two potential babies (not yet born) who need parents.

I’m kinda scared to hope that this is for real or could really work out. I can’t say anything more than that, just pray that God will be glorified no matter what happens.

So that’s what is on my mind today. I’m trying to concentrate on work (rather unsuccessfully as you can imagine). Oh, I have other good news: I started back on my swimming this past Friday. At one point last year I was doing an hour on Tuesdays and on Thursdays. Just long slow laps, nothing stressful, but it was really helping me feel better physically. That got cut short when we went through IVF and then when it failed I was too depressed to get back in the pool, but now it is a new year and I’m off my duff and back into the pool. It’s the only excersise I can do consistently without stressing my knees. Good thing I love it so much.

I wasn’t able to do the full hour Friday, but got through 45 minutes and had no real soreness. So I’ll try to go for the full hour Tuesday. Hubby doesn’t like swimming, so he is going to do racquetball and weight machines. Yay hubby.

Sorry I’m not profound or witty today. Just too occupied with possibility of baby through random life connections. Isn’t God weird?