Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Hope of a Seed

I like seeds, all kinds of seeds.  I love the process of watching/helping them grow.  There is great satisfaction and joy that I get through the entire process from seed to sprout, to plant, to flower, to fruit.  I'm not a master at what I do, but I enjoy it immensely. 

At last year's Women's Conference a speaker used an analogy I'd never thought of before.  I wish I could remember the class or the speaker, but I can't.  I'm grateful the idea has stuck with me.  She pointed out that in order for a seed to become what it was meant to become, it had to be willing to be destroyed.  If it held on to what it currently was and fought against the changes that were meant to occur, it could never grow into the plant it had the potential to become.  The new life is fragile, but exciting.  Given enough time, sunlight, water, and nutrients it has the potential to become a full grown plant that not only has the strength to grow, but also to produce fruit and seeds of it's own.

We are like that seed- put here on this earth to grow into something infinitely more grand than we can currently see or even imagine.  Sometimes it's hard.  Sometimes it might hurt.  Sometimes it is beautiful.  Even the very first evidences of growth are more majestic and complex than the original seed.  Each the smallest bit of further growth is cause for excitement as it brings us one step closer to the being we were meant to become.  Someday, given enough time, experience, patience, and effort we have the potential to become just like our Father who planted us here.

I also like the idea that Heavenly Father is up there tending to this large garden of his which happens to include me.  I like to think that he watches me sprout, produce new leaves, mature and begin to flower and bear fruit.  He knows why I was planted and what He hopes me to become.  My job is to give myself over to the process and grow, fulfill my purpose her, and bear all the fruit I was meant to bear.

The Savior was, as in everything, the perfect example of losing himself in the process of fulfilling his mission and becoming who He was meant to be.

"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38)

Everything He did was to please the Father and accomplish His mission of atoning for the sins of the world.  And, He did it.  And, I am eternally grateful.  Because, as much as we'd like to avoid it, we're all going to make mistakes while growing.  He lives again and wants nothing more than for us to return home.  The Saviors atonement allows us to repent, change, and get back to the true business of becoming that being we are meant to become.  As long as we keep trying, there is hope.  That is the beautiful message of Easter.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Christmas Anyone?

Don't the backhoes and chain link fencing look almost magical when covered in snow?  
(No, not really.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Irrational Fears

It's 4:41 am and I've been awake for 41 minutes.  I'm somewhere between nervous and scared to walk my children to school today.  That seems really dumb to me.  I knew from past experience that dislocating my knee last month would result in one more activity added to my list of "Do Not Participate"s.  I assumed that activity would be cross country skiing, since that's what we were attempting to do that day.  Instead I find it to be walking down hill.  If you know where I live, you know that being afraid/nervous to walk downhill creates a few issues with life- one of those being walking to school.

Just to be clear, I have still added cross country skiing to my list- just like downhill skiing has always been on the list and I've never even been to a ski resort.  No injury involving that sport, just common sense that sliding down a hill at possibly great speeds with skis to act as levers to create extra torque on certain joints wouldn't be very smart for me.  It's also pretty easy to avoid tether ball or gymnastics since you tend to reach a point where those activities drop out of your life anyway.  I'd still occasionally play around with soccer or basketball a little, but nothing remotely intense or competitive at all.  I've never been nervous about something that's so much a part of everyday life. 

I've taken a few walks up and down my street since February 21 and my knee does fine.  Until this week, I couldn't bring myself to walk down the hill to church.  I'd stand at the top and look down the hill and move on.  The stupid thing is I'd continue to walk up to the top of the hill on my street and then turn around and walk back down to my house.  That hill doesn't bother me as much.  Maybe it's not as steep, I don't know.  That's part of the "irrational".

I don't like being scared of something so minor, so my goal on Monday was to walk to my friend, Lisa's, house and back.  That would require me to go down the steepest part of the hill but not be too far in case it was too much for my knee.  I wasn't going to visit or anything, just walk to her driveway and back.  Lisa must have been inspired because she called and asked if I wanted to go for a walk that morning.  I explained my fear and hesitation and she said she'd be happy meet me at the top to walk down the hill with me.  What a good friend!  I made it to the hill before she did and decided to bite the bullet and just go down.  Know what?  It was totally fine.  I met Lisa part way down, my knee felt great at the bottom and we ended up walking a good mile or more that morning.  It felt fabulous!  Exercise is so good for me in a lot of ways and I'd really missed it.

In the excitement of my success that morning, I promised Steven and Ryan after school on Monday that we could walk to school Friday morning.  It's supposed to be in the 70's today, no snow/rain to worry about, and nothing I really have to be in a rush for so we can take our time if needed.  I do have physical therapy this morning, but that was part of the plan.  I could go get a good dose of ultra sound, electric stem, and ice if the walking really bothered me.  I'm sure it won't, though.  I walk all the time.  That's the rational side of my brain.  The irrational side is coming up with all sorts of other possible scenarios.  I'm ignoring it, or at least trying to.  Hopefully it will fade away in time.

It's only been 4 days and I know I've walked down that hill once, but I'm still nervous.  I guess it's like most situations involving trust- the trust has to be earned.  I do feel a little "betrayed" by my knee since I wasn't doing anything very unusual when the injury occurred.  I am slowly allowing myself to trust it again, but I think it will just take time and experience.  It is feeling and performing much better than it was and every day it gets better.  My brain just needs to let go a little.  Like with people, I need to give my knee a chance to "prove" it's "trustworthy".  I think that's almost the hardest part.  Too bad there's not some ultrasound or electric stem for that!  All I've got is determination and the freedom to choose and I refuse to let something like this rule my life.  So, off to the shower and to face my day head on.  That way I'm ready for the rest of my day (rational) or at least I'll be clean when the paramedics come to scrape me off the sidewalk (irrational).  Should be an interesting morning!

Update:  The walk went well.  Yea!  Downhill was a little more tiring on the non-existent quad muscles.  The all downhill and then all uphill was a little more strenuous than flat, but it wasn't too bad.  I think things always look better in the morning.  Thinking about things in the dark always makes a much bigger mountain out of them than it really needs to be.  One step closer to normalcy!