Wednesday, December 29, 2010
So, I am at an impasse. I am determined to slowly, but completely align myself with the ambitious Morgen. Sometimes I get very afraid of really being healthy, really being disciplined, or truly meeting my goals. Why do we let fear stop us? Maybe the other identity is more comfortable. The "two roads" diverge and the one well traveled is so much easier to wander down. But, I want the difference. I don't like where the well-traveled path leads, and whenever I choose the other path, no matter how briefly I wander down before getting nervous, I am always always happier. So, today I take a step down the road less travelled and trust that I will enjoy "all the difference."
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Am I the only one who dreamed this dream? I sat down to make Isaac's first stocking and it came together perfectly. . in the beginning. How hard is it anyway to sew red felt in the shape of a large sock. And then I cut and stitched a cute little snowman on the front. But then, the name section ruined me. An abbreviated crafting tip: Felt and Puff Paint do not a good mix make:
I was totally distraught. My first maternal Christmas was a mess. I was a failure as a mother and a homemaker. But, with a sigh, I hang Isaac's stocking up every year. Lucy's is storebought with a charming homemade touch. Emma's was homemade. . . by my husband. Isaac's is a bit of a sore thumb when they are all in a row. So, this year I said, "Isaac, I think I better make you a new stocking." Gasp! "What Mom! I love my stocking! I love it! I don't want a new one!" He hugged it to his chest with an impressive look of terror. I was completely surprised and thought perhaps a trip to the eye doctor was in order. Could he see his stocking? Couldn't he see the smudged letters, the tattered snowman and the lopsided sewing job? Then I got it. All he saw was love. All he saw was the first stocking he ever had, one his mom had made just for him. I see smudges of paint, he sees his name. I see flaws, he sees creation. Unlike his mother, Isaac can look past flaws when there is love involved. My life is filled with countless flaws and shortcomings. But, it is also filled with love. I shout and lose my temper. I also cuddle and summon the energy to vacuum because I know it makes the house look so nice when Daman comes home. My sewing is crooked, and my bread sometimes burns. But apparently, a frumpy stocking made (imperfectly) with love is exactly what Isaac wants. So a life lived (imperfectly) with love is good enough for me too. Thanks, Isaac, I love you too.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Last week I had the talk with my 6 ½ year old. No, not that talk. It went something like this:
Isaac (eyes full of trust and hope): “Mom, is Santa real?”
Before you hear what I answered, let us cut back to the time when I was a perfect mother. . . that time before I had children. At this all-knowing stage my husband and I heartily decided that we would play along with the Santa illusion, put out some cookies, orchestrate a mail delivery system, and give the jolly elf credit for a few presents. But, we asserted, should one of our impressionable children get down to brass tacks and ask the inevitable, we would simply tell them the truth. This was a very good plan.
But I just couldn’t do it. The question was too full of a sad fear that made me think he knew what was coming and needed me to prove him wrong, giving him permission to believe. He needed the lie. Well, I couldn’t do that either.
So, I made my therapist husband proud:
Me: “Well, what do you think?”
Isaac: “I think he is.”
Phew. Tragedy averted. Or, maybe not:
Isaac: “Do you believe in Santa?”
Now my mind was really racing, carefully weighing honesty with magic.
Me: “I think. . . that it is fun to believe.” (Holding my breath)
Isaac: “Me too. I am going to believe.”
And that was it. No tears or crushed dreams. No healthy dose of reality. I’m not sure where we stand now. I think that Isaac has, against all odds, decided it is more fun to believe than to not. And I’ve decided the same. I remember a Christmas many years ago where somehow my parents orchestrated a flawless Santa drop-off that seemed downright magical. I was old enough where I had begun to doubt, and at that moment I remember being completely amazed, thinking, “It is real! He is real! How does he do that?” I was totally suckered, and I loved it.
Truth exists whether we like it or not. I can doubt, disdain, or dismiss, but it will not alter truth. I do not define truth by how I cast my vote. I define my life. I can choose to believe, choose to hope, choose to trust. I can choose, knowing that it is a whole lot more fun if I believe in magic, light, faith, hope, and love. Isaac, I think, has figured out that no one is really getting those letters he tears up and puts in the oven for Santa. But, he has decided that life will be more interesting if he believes. I’m with him. I choose to believe. I choose to believe in God. I choose to believe that these prayers I am sending up are received, acknowledged, and answered. I choose to believe that Jesus Christ was born in a stable, suffered in a Garden, died on a cross, and rose on the third day. My choice doesn’t make those things true. My choice makes me better. It makes me believe and it certainly makes me happy. So, Isaac, thanks for the talk. Let’s keep believing together.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Option A: A 2X4 which I use to beat myself into “healthy” submission (temporarily)
Option B: A change too dramatic, too different, and too scary. This keeps me from breaking through to that level of health and wholeness. (an option which made me turn back in self sabotage lately and undo a ten pound weight loss from the Summer)
Are these my only options? I think I’ve finally realized that they are not. I can want that vision and be okay with where I am right now. . and tomorrow. . and in two days when probably not much will have changed. Goals are good. Direction is necessary. The other day on NPR I listened to this wonderful report about scientists who set people to walking in a straight line across a huge field. They blindfolded them and turned them loose. Across the board, everyone’s first 10-20 steps were straight, but then they began to veer in one direction or another. Then they veered some more. And then something incredibly curious happened with all of them: they began walking in circles. Still, the people were convinced they were walking in a straight line. The scientists created countless variables to understand why, but couldn’t figure it out. Their only deduction is that unless there is a point in the distance they are marching for, everyone just winds up going in circles. What a peek into humanity in general. If I don’t have a goal, I will just wander in circles without progression or growth.
I need goals. I need that vision of a more wholesome me. But, I can have that vision without spitting the present out of my mouth in disgust. I can have direction without disdain. So, I’ve gained a few pounds in the last few months. Wah wah wah. Life goes on. The common denominator between the Morgen that is now and the Morgen that will be when I am living a more wholesome life is me. I will still be here. I am the one taking on this challenge. If I try to run away from that to catch this other vision, I won’t be complete, and I certainly won’t be happy.
So today, I let go. Today I don’t think so much about food. Today I eat a few meals and make the best decision I can at each of them. And between those meals. . . I live.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Caroline, The Bubble-Gum Pirate
Friday, November 5, 2010
I was probably eleven or twelve when I first cried about being fat. We’d gone to see a doctor and he spoke to mother about my weight, gruffly warning her that I was going to be obese. I don’t remember saying anything on the way home, I only clearly remember sitting on the deck when we got home, sobbing, and asking my mother “why God made me fat.” She didn’t have an answer for me. Probably because there wasn’t one.
I’ve since come to believe that God didn’t make me fat. . . food did. And I also have realized that I wasn’t really all that fat. I wasn’t slight by any means, but the middle school taunts created an image in my head of myself as a bloated, disgusting, ugly, fat thing. I always wanted to be skinny and pretty, I just couldn’t do it. I was the fat girl. Smart, funny, blessed with great skin and a killer set of cheekbones, but fat. Every once in awhile, I’d get to a point of total self disgust and vow to give up this or that, and exercise this much. Guess how well that went. I tried countless plans, ambitiously taking hideous “before” pictures and gearing up to finally be pretty if I could just learn to like running.
And then one day, through a process I couldn’t really outline, I woke up and looked in the mirror and realized that I was just fine, thank you very much. I decided I was pretty darn good looking, hips and all. And it was at that moment that I began to lose weight. I stumbled across a plan that looked promising. I signed up and began. And I succeeded. I lost sixty pounds, having three babies in the process and losing baby weight plus a little more each round. The difference was that it came from a place of acceptance, not disdain.
I began to see food as fuel, instead of entertainment. I wrote down what I ate and became aware of my body and how it felt when it ate what. Then, I began to move. I had always dreamed of running a marathon, but then would remember that I hated running. Most people would see that as an impediment. So, I decided to go out and run until I didn’t like it, and then I’d stop and walk. I put zero pressure on myself. That’s the place of acceptance talking. I wasn’t in a race to become a different person, just a journey to be a better one. So, the first time I went out I probably ran 30 seconds, then walked the rest of the way. Bit by bit, I began to enjoy the running portions more. I ran/walked my first 10K in 2002 and ran my first marathon in 2005. Running has become a sort of meditation for me, a place I never dreamed I’d reach on that first “jog.”
In the years since I began to change my body and my lifestyle, I’ve had several peaks and valleys. I reached the jean size that I had once thought would be the pinnacle of success and beauty. But I rarely feel successful or beautiful; I still somehow always yearn to be a little skinnier, a little stronger, a little more beautiful. When I hit low points, when food suddenly takes over my life again, I feel terrible about myself and wonder how I can get back to that good place again, that place where I relish the good feeling of healthy eating and steady exercise. I have learned though, that those feelings don’t create self worth, they follow it.
I am realizing that the idea that I’ll be good enough when I lose ten more pounds, or finally give up sugar, or can run a 5K in under 29 minutes is going to destroy me. I am good right now. I was good 60 pounds ago. I am happier now and grateful to have lost that weight. I don’t know where my life would be if I hadn’t turned that healthy corner. The fact that I did turn that corner when I did proves I was good then. And I am good now. That I consistently yearn to be better proves that I am good. And I’ll keep getting better.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Picture People is a wonderful place. A wonderful, crowded place that really should invest in a dvd player or some kind of brain-numbing device for everyone under the age of 17. Especially those that have been jammed into an outfit they hate to smile at a camera being held by someone they don't know. Doesn't it seem obvious that movies should be involved in this process? Honestly. Well, I at least was wise enough not to attempt a solo photo shoot with the kids in any serious kind of fashion. I let them wear what they wanted (except for Emma, I still control her) and brought a bag of books and toys for them to use as props, distractions, or tools of destruction. The photographer really enjoyed what came next, which was me getting crawled on by all three children at varying levels of intensity while at times looking at the camera and yelling "CHEESE!!" Honestly, it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a picture for Daddy D that would capture the laughter and energy that make our family so fantastic. Of course, another reason it was successful was that, being an evil mother, I put a cookie out there for all cheerful photo participants. Worked like a charm. . .until we found out that the Mrs. Field's cookie shop had been shut down. What kind of soul-less mall czar would close a Mrs. Field's? So, we walked a few laps in search of appropriate sugar laden bribery and as I walked around with Princess Belle a.k.a Lucy, I got to bask in all the smiles she brought. I really think she brightened people's days flitting about in that gown, and I decided she needed to wear it more often just to spread some joy. As one person said, "you only have so many years in your life where you can pull that off, I think she should milk it." I agree.
Well, we found some cookies, and then had another waiting period where I became an even more evil mother and then promised Burger King to whoever could sit on the bench until I said go. And that is why the day ended with a whopper and a very deep breath. Unfortunately I couldn't tell Daddy D anything about why the day was chaotic and I made the kids hide their kid's meal toys so as not to risk discovery of either the bribery or its purpose. But on Father's Day morning when he opened the fan family photo, it was the perfect reaction, and it made it all worth it. It was even better than a cookie. . . almost.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
So, if life comes at us in chapters, is a day a page? Is an hour a paragraph? Are there things in the morning I need to seize because they simply won't come again later in the day? I think so. These kids are growing up and time is passing. Sitting around this afternoon doing nothing but ordering carrot soup and hot chocolate from the stuffed animal restaurant staffed by Isaac and Lucy was a wonderfully unproductive chapter in my life. I think I need more of those. Do you?
Friday, June 4, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
It made me think alot of things. It made me get up and jump one more time on the trampoline with my daughter. . just because I could. It made me ponder how quickly life can change so completely. And it made me think alot about the woman I am, the woman I want to be, and if I am busy bridging that gap. I thought about talents I have and how I can use them to build up the Kingdom of God. First and foremost my stewardship is my children. My job, above all, I believe is to bring them to Jesus Christ. But I have to know the way before I can show the way. And along that path to bringing my children to Christ, I can reach out my hand and invite others to come and see. Come and see what makes me happy. Come and see and read and think.
So, out of all this pondering came an idea. This site has been used (sporadically) to post stories I am writing. And there will be those. But, I've decided that this will also be a place to share what I learn from the scriptures and the Spirit. Most will be brief. Some will be long. All, I hope, will be helpful. I know God lives and I know He speaks to us through His scriptures. And we can become more like Him as we read His words, then stop and think about what He wants us to do with them.
. . . so today. . . I read in Mormon 9. As a recap, this is Moroni speaking. Everyone he loves has been killed. It is near the end of The Book of Mormon. The Lamanites have destroyed every Nephite and now Moroni is left to wander for 20 years, writing, wondering, and observing. I can't imagine this is a happy time of life. And yet, he writes: "I will show unto you a God of miracles. . . Behold are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?" Does that sound like someone who has seen hundreds and thousands of his people hewn down? Does that sound like someone totally, utterly alone? It sounds to me like someone who looks around and sees the Hand of God when most people would look around and assume God was taking some time off. Miracles have not ceased. If they hadn't ceased for Mormon, they certainly haven't ceased for me. Maybe I can make it through Seminary after all. What miracles do you need??
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Red Wagon Revised
Friday, January 8, 2010
The Red Wagon
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The Fairy Teller
Friday, January 1, 2010
By the way--isn't that header picture cool? Totally accidental, but I think it a lovely accident.