Tuesday, June 30, 2009

By Small and Simple Things

I love the LDS hymns. Nothing brings the Spirit of the Lord and the peace that always follows, into my heart quicker than the singing of hymns. My testimony has been strengthened more in church by the singing of hymns than by listening to the sermons given. (Is that terrible to admit? Maybe so, but it's nevertheless true). There is something about sacred words put to music that bespeaks holiness and sinks the reality of the truths sung deep into my heart and soul. Truly "the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me" [Doctrine and Covenants 25:12]; and many's the time that my heartfelt singing of hymns has been answered with "a blessing upon (my) head".

We went to choir practice after church the other day, something I really didn't want to do. I was tired. We were all hungry. I had to drag all of the kids with me, and two of the three really didn't want to go. But we went. We only sang two songs, both hymns of the restoration. As we sang I again felt the witness that our Redeemer truly is our "shadow by day and our pillar by night" That he saves us today, just a literally and readily as he saved ancient Israel. That the "tokens already appear" and so, we can be sure that "the hour of redemption is near." It's all stuff that I already know and love, but to have it reafirmed as we sang was a sweet and tender mercy from a loving Father.

It's interesting to me that the spirit speaks so powerfully in such quiet ways. No one sitting near me had any idea that anything beautiful and sweet was being experienced nearby, but I came away from that practice refreshed, uplifted and more sure than ever that God is intimately acquainted with me and my struggles. All just from a hymn. "By small and simple things..." [Alma 37:6].

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Thoughts

A smattering of thoughts rolling around in my noggin:

Fitting into the next smaller size is exponentially better than chocolate!

Being a Mom is the best and the toughest job on the planet!

Mega intense workouts are good for the soul as well as the body.

Organization may have to wait 'til the next life.

A tag-a-long on the back of your bike is harder than it looks.

Husbands are beautiful things.

You're always tougher than you think you are.

Without the peace and joy of the gospel I'd be ready for rubber wallpaper!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pain and Results (I hope!)

I just started an exercise class. There were only five of us in the class and one personal trainer. Now, I love tough work outs. I don't see any point in doing it unless you're gonna go for it and push yourself. Having said that, I was totally unprepared for the beating. I've been working out for some time now and although I still have more fat on this body than is recommended, I have some good muscle tone under that fat, thank you very much, and some pretty good stamina going on. But within ten minutes into this hour long class, my entire body was jello with fifty minutes to go.

Here's just the first part of class, so that you have an idea of the experience. First, for our warm-up, we ran up and down the flight of stairs five times. Keep in mind that these are stairs in a commercial building and so they are longer than the flight of stairs in our homes. We were breathing really hard by the end, but it was doable.

Next, she set us up with five different stations and we were to do each exercise for one minute. I could see that most of them weren't going to be that bad. Push-ups for a whole minute would be tough, triceps behind the head with a 10 lbs weight--I'd really be feeling it, but knew I could make it. The bicep one I knew would be the easiest. The tossing the ball over your head against the wall as fast as you can, didn't look too hard, and running the stairs for the other station would leave me winded, but I knew I could do it. Not a piece of cake, but remember, I like tough work outs.

I was at the bicep station to begin with. It wasn't that tough, but my eyes got big as I watched our trainer go over to my friend at the push-up station, place one hand on each shoulder blade and push down. You gotta be kidding me?! Push ups like that? Thirty seconds into it, she moved over to the tricep station, took hold of the bottom of the weight and pulled down. The friend at this station started grunting heavily with each rep. Yep, by now I was nervous!

My second station was triceps. I've done tricep with a twenty lb weight before, but I have NEVER worked those muscles like I did with her pulling down on the weight! At the end of the minute my arms were feeling things they had never before felt.

I moved over to the station with the ball. It looked like a regular basketball. Imagine my chagrin when I picked it up and realized that it weighed ten lbs!! My arms were complete jello from the last station, so the ten lbs felt like thirty, and the minute like at least five!

I then ran stairs and now my whole body is completely exhausted, and it's time for push-ups! Every time she pushed down on my shoulder blades, my arm muscles collapsed! I just didn't have it in me.

She then let us take a quick sip of water, towel off the sweat that was dripping like rain and said, "One more time." We did the circuit again.

That was just the first part of the class. She didn't let up for the whole hour. And I do mean hour --she worked us the entire time, to the last minute and told us that we could cool down and stretch on our own time!!!

When the class finally ended I was very sad to realize that those who designed the building didn't have the forsight to put an elevator in. Didn't they realize that there would be people who were in the state where they'd rather just sleep there for the night than to go down those stairs to get to their cars?

It's only because my dad taught me stay on two ibuprofin to prevent stiffness that I can actually make it all the way down to the toilet seat today. I have a dress for the upcoming wedding that I can zip up, but can't wear until I lose a few lbs. If anything can get me there, this is it. That is, if I can get up enough guts to go back on Thursday!