Monday, December 31, 2012

That Feeling of being Light

I have now been moved out of dear old Minnesota for 5 weeks. When I first arrived I was sure that this place was going to do amazing things to my life. Shortly after thinking that, I wished I hadn't. ( Thats a whole other story.) Since that moment of thought regretting I have constantly been on the edge of something. Im not sure it's got a name so Im going to give it one; forced happiness. Now sometimes this "forced happiness" is not as bad as one would think, occasionally it has turned into real moments of happiness, however short. Other times though I would find myself laughing because that's what everyone else was doing or smiling at the right times but not feeling fully committed to it. That has all changed in the blink of an eye. Possibly two blinks, actually that's a lie-two full days of blinking and all that negative stuff is gone. Just gone! 

This is what Saturday included: Hello Panda, an Asian party with egg rolls, Red hair, the Temple, a Sister missionary from Madagascar, hot chocolate, and an awesome friend!

This is what Sunday had in store for me!: Church that felt as though it was scripted just for me, another hour of church sitting with the coolest kids, home cooked amazingness in my mouth, new music, kent, game night, and a new friend that I think is already one of my best.

The forced happiness feeling I now recognize as weight. That staggering, debilitating weight has disappeared, and I am light.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let's Kick some Kevin Butt!

"Let's kick some Kevin butt!" My cousins are so awesome! We spent the entire week together playing, and playing, and playing. Every time I thought that I was going to get worn out they would say something so funny or start another Nerf gun war and the crazy fun would just keep going! Let me try to describe what we did this week, they are the coolest kids. Ever.

Christmas eve we did what most people do on the real Christmas ( Christmas Eve is kind of just a wanna be..) we opened presents! I was absolutely astonished to see just how many Lego sets are actually in existence because Im 97.67% sure that they have every single one. AND to make my astonishment greater, they came with instructions! The Legos I played with as a kid were basically just blocks, or very tiny blocks, but they never had a guide of what to build...we will get back to that later. Matt ( 10 years old) also got a bunch of Pokenmon stuff! I say "stuff" and not just "cards" because again there was so much more than just the original cards! He had guide books, and cheats for his DS game, he had chips and stories too! Before Monday night if I had been asked if Pokenmon and Legos were cool, I would have said "Absolutely no way!" But I would have been SO wrong! 

Christmas morning was the next adventure. We were all told, by Aunt and Uncle..or Mom and Dad to the cousins, that we could open our stockings but could not wake them up. They had warned me that sleeping on the couch I might be woken up by smaller cousins playing. I underestimated exactly what they meant. I have never before Tuesday morning been woken up by getting shot in the head by a Nerf gun. So many new experiences! The harmless weapons became the most favorite stocking suffer ever invented. Actually I take back calling them "harmless", although they don't exactly cause pain when shot directly at the body they may eventually cause temporary insanity.

Orange rolls, cinnamon rolls, egg bake and orange juice made up a delicious breakfast! So after the eating came the building! We built a police station! I got to put together the car and that was the most proud of myself I have been in a very long time. I decided that anyone would be proud of themselves if they spent an hour connecting Legos creating the coolest police car anyone has ever seen! It had stickers and lights and even had a little police guy inside, although he didn't last for very long because he got shot. 

We didn't have a set time of playing pokemon. This was because pokemon was constantly being played! I learned more about that game in three days than I had in 21 years! The littlest cousin is so good at it too! He would discover new poke-guys and then battle them! He is so good, he never loses.

Yesterday was Bryan's birthday! He is 16! I couldn't believe it! The baby cousin that my older brothers taught how to give a peace sign and say " Waazz uuup" in the cutest voice ever to be imagined is 16! His day started out with donuts! Mmmm, mine had pudding cream stuff in the middle. Be jealous. After that we played with mustaches! Yep, mustaches! Kevin ( 11)  got them for Christmas. I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed so hard I was crying when we turned Bryan into a Hun. And then when Uncle Dave became Charlie Chaplin I stopped making noise all together and just giggled, rolling around on the bed. 

The playing continued at Jump Time! Jump Time is to a gymnast like meth is to a drug addict. It had trampolines, foam pits, and dodge ball! Smacking little kids with balls is actually more fun than I thought it would be. But they got me back. The little ones ganged up on me. I guess it was fair because I thoroughly beat up on them. Bryan also learned how to do a back flip. I think I count as a pretty cool cousin too! 


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Grandpa and Dolly

                                                                (Family Reunion 2006)

Each Christmas Eve my siblings and I piled into our car squeezed in as tight as possible with our over sized fluffy coats, we were headed to Grandpa's! We knew that this was the place where we would crack open nuts, tease a tea cup poodle, open presents, and hear the story. Taken for granted it was always the same story. We knew the end already, actually we knew the beginning and middle as well. I can't speak for the rest of them but in all honesty I didn't care to hear the same story over and over so I would let my mind wander. I thought about what presents laid waiting for me under the tree at home. I thought about building snow men and how I was being forced to take one day off from gymnastics. Christmas was fun, but often times it was an inconvenience.

July 3rd 2012 was a very special day. It was the day that I said good-bye to my biggest fan here on earth. He has cheered me on and loved me all the way back until I can't remember anymore, and probably before that too. Watching his frail frame suck in breaths of air that wouldn't ease the harshness of his brow was hard. We sang hymns, I wasn't really sure why though, maybe to help set him at peace. Or perhaps the singing was so awful he wanted to leave. I sang for a while until I just felt sick. We went to the hall, David and I, and quickly began to play. It wasn't 5 minutes later that Daddy came out to tell me he was gone. Gone? His body is right there, I could still see his feet. Dad was right though, his spirit had gone to be with Grandma. In those 5 minutes I had forgotten the sick feeling but seeing Dad's face made it come right back. I ran away. Out the door, down the sidewalk. There was a fence in my way, higher than my head. I climbed over and ran some more. Now I was rushing through a pasture all I could see was the mountains. I knew there were highways blocking me from flying to the peaks but I kept my pace for as long as I could. I wouldn't have stopped but he made me slow down. He let me just cry.

I had planned on being sad some more when I got back home but other events gave my grandpa a swift shove to the back of my mind. Thinking about the Christmas story was what made me crave his voice. He called me "Dolly". I suspect that's the name he used for all of the grand girls if he couldn't remember our names. 

I am 9 years old again, crawling into the back seat of his silver Intrepid. It always smelled like his old man smell, plus a yucky toy poodle that everyone forgot to wash. It was cold outside but being inside the car made me sweat. He wore his hat and jacket, the same ones every winter. Even though he wore thick glasses I knew he could navigate our way to gymnastics, he knew that town better than probably anyone. We slowed to a stop, I unbuckled and opened the door " Thanks! Love you Grandpa!" I closed the door.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Seeing Christmas

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
And this child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God
Oh, Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you know?

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?
And this sleeping child you're holding
Is the great I am

I have no words to express my gratitude for Christ the Savior of the world. How could I possibly put in to words the pain and sorrow he has saved me from? This Christmas all I ask is that you remember to give your praise to the Almighty and His Son who love us so much to become subject to such a cruel death and humiliation. 

This awe inspiring song adjusts my perspective to focus on the beauty and grace that I am given the chance to partake in. My world spins up storms of trouble, heartache, and hardship and yet none of it can compare to the ultimate joy that is in store for me. When things go off course I get frustrated but always there is a soft feeling of importance in that trial, a reminder that I have no reason to fear

When I think of Christmas I picture in my mind a quiet night full of stars dancing in the sky. I see a tiny child with a serene face being worshiped by grown men who have bowed down before the Son to give him adoration. The gratitude and joy that is in their hearts as they gaze at Him cannot be verbalized. It's magnitude is too great for spoken words, so they send prayers to heaven knowing He will hear. Each person who sets their eyes upon him feels wonders with their soul. They are given the understanding that before them lays the Messiah.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

True and Honest Words

I crawl onto the top bunk and wiggle under the covers again, just enough to conceal up to my chin and I lay there sprawled out in an awkward position. Not even having the energy enough to hug my knees and bow my head this time. But it's still the same. I cry out to the silence, knowing that someone is there, knowing that He is holding me so closely. "Please just allow me to fall asleep fast this time, please" I pray.... An unknown amount of hours later I wake up the troubled hurried feeling from the night previous has dulled but I know if I go digging, if I go thinking it will swell up again and hit me like a tsunami- that's why I had no power, you wouldn't either after being thrown back by a title wave.

It's scary every time it happens. Like the last time didn't teach me anything. So unprepared, even though I prepared for it. It isn't like a really hard test or routine that with enough practice and study gets easier each time. It is more like breaking your ankle while ripping all of the ligaments in your knee at the same time, letting them heal and then doing the exact same thing that destroyed them before. It probably hurts the same amount except for this time I feel complete stupidity too because I wasn't careful enough, I didn't protect myself enough. So I got ripped to shreds. Again.

Why is it that when happiness comes around I still cannot feel safe? The answer must be simply because I am not. Maybe that's what trust is? Not being safe but allowing someone else to know you, letting that person in deeper than the last, actually giving another human being your very soul right there on a beautiful silver platter and saying " Here, this is for you. I want you to have it because sharing it with you makes so much more out of it than I could all by myself." And now, even when I put all of my desire into not wanting to trust or hope I find myself letting others in. That must be the flaw disguised as a gift. 

A dear friend on mine told me a few weeks ago that he doesn't worry about me. He, being one of  the watchman of spiritual safety for me specifically said "There are people who have not experienced a tenth of the tragedy and hard times that you have and I worry for them, but not for you. You will be okay." That is what I cling to. That this man has faith in me. He has been on the sidelines and seen me fall time after time and yet still he bets in my favor. 

"You don't want to fight anymore do you?" He asked
"No, I don't....but I will."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Agency CAN'T be taken.

"I can't control what I say or do when I am that mad."- I refuse to believe that statement.

Anger, fear, resentment, pain, sadness, offense does not and cannot force us to DO anything.Our agency is a  masterful gift from a creator who knows in his infinite wisdom that humanity must choose for themselves what their thoughts and actions will be, otherwise the plan is flawed. So how do some rationalize that the instant they become upset that their gift of choice is taken from them? Why is it that responsibility for one's decisions disappears when the consequences don't look pleasing?

Choice is what will remain when everything else is simply gone.

My days are bursting with countless choices that I must make. I say must because even by not wanting to act  that feeling then becomes a conscious decision. Some of the things I will choose today are - To fight for my happiness. To be grateful. To smile. To love myself. I choose to control myself.

One of the most perplexing and scariest facts of life to me is that I actually can't control anyone else besides myself! Most often others do not want to be controlled, even children who depend on adults for necessities fight against being told what or how to do things. Adults then have that much more capacity to keep their agency safe even when the choices they are making lead to suffering.  

So what is the solution? Is there one?