There’s a First Time for Everything – Yoga

Tonight I went to a yoga class with my friend Pam.  It was my first time doing yoga and it was quite an experience! I wish I could have live tweeted the “event” – I was cracking myself up!

1. Despite all the wonderful relaxation benefits of yoga, it’s likely you will get sweaty.  Perhaps even during the warm up (ok, maybe that was just me and not the rest of the class). And all that sweat might possibly make your yoga mat a tiny bit slippery. Just an FYI. Oh, and in spite of black being a good color to sweat in (you know, unlike gray or something that shows horrible sweat marks), sweat spots do in fact come through. My husband was quick to point this out – thanks, honey. And let’s hope those sweat spots made anyone else checking out my backside look away very quickly.

2. It’s a terrible idea to chop and mince fresh garlic within a few hours prior to going to yoga.  It doesn’t matter how many times you wash your hands, the smell lingers.  And thanks to the sweat (see point 1) and the proximity of your face to your hands at times…well, it’s rather unpleasant.

3. It looks like I’m going to have to go to yoga more than once to experience that “yoga magic” our instructor kept referring to.  I’d tell you more, but I just don’t really get it yet. However I am pretty sure that whatever I’m feeling tomorrow will be anything but “yoga magic”.

4.  If yoga is your second workout of the day (insert pat on back here) your legs very well might shake like the earthquakes we’ve been having here in Southern California while doing yoga. This is a good time to take the instructor’s advice and only do what you can do, lest you topple over. (Thankfully I heeded her advice and avoided a minor disaster and potential of embarrassing Pam and having to attend all future classes at the gym alone).

5. The best part of yoga is most definitely the child’s pose and that part at the end of class where you get to lay on the floor and breathe. Now that’s my kind of yoga!

Believe it or not, after all that I definitely hope to go back. At least that’s what I’m saying tonight.  We’ll see tomorrow when muscles I didn’t know I had are screaming at me.

Namaste.

The Broken Picture Frame

Several months ago we invited some missionaries over to our house for dinner. It was one of those moments for me where you think  God wants you to do something, so you do it. Then you kinda sorta regret it.  Anyone else ever feel that way? 

It wasn’t a great evening. It was awkward…long…did I mention awkward?! Their kids were kind of out of control. And by out of control I mean jumping on our bed (how did they even get into our bedroom?!), dropping my little 5 lb dumbbells on the floor like it was a game (sorry neighbor downstairs – don’t worry, this is only temporary!) and running face first over and over again into our sliding glass door. A couple of hours after we left we found that one of our favorite picture frames from Ethiopia had been broken. 

For the past several months I have had a hard time letting that awkward night go. I don’t look back on that night fondly and too often I allow it to taint my attitude toward them. I know it’s just a picture frame – it’s just a thing which doesn’t really matter. I wish that they had told us – it seems easier to show grace when someone owns up to a mistake. But if that’s what I’m looking for, it isn’t really grace at all – certainly not the kind of grace that God shows us.

Today as I’m packing up to move I wrapped that broken picture frame in newspaper and some unpleasant feelings about that night started bubbling up. Then I realized, here we have in our living room a reminder to pray for a family doing God’s work in a country far away and a powerful reminder of reflecting the grace to others that Christ shows to me. 

 

Last night we were invited to a beautiful Easter celebration. Initially upon the invite, we just thought we were being invited over for dinner. These friends have kindly invited us over before and we always enjoy their company and the opportunity to meet many new faces.  We had no idea the special night they had planned for us.

From young adults to great grandparents, from many different ethnic backgrounds, we gathered around the table united in Christ. Together we shared a feast – delicious food and enjoyable conversation. We heard stories from a couple in their 80’s about the mission field and work in development for Christian organizations. Our hearts were moved by stories of tragedy and the hope that comes with moving forward and overcoming. Isn’t it amazing the stories that come out around the table?

By the time dessert was over our hearts and bellies were full. But the night was not done. Our hosts began filling tubs of warm water and humbly washed our feet. Our gracious hosts had already served us in so many ways – yet they continued to pour themselves out in service. This was the first time I’ve had my feet washed. Truthfully, it made me squirm a bit. And of course I was wearing shoes that make my feet stinky…but somehow, that didn’t really matter.

The evening concluded with a time of reflection and taking communion together. There was tremendous beauty in this gathering of brothers and sisters reminding me of the beauty of the body of Christ we experience at our local churches each weekend. May we always remember that this beauty is only possible because of Christ’s body broken for us as we reflect upon His death and resurrection this weekend.

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A New Apartment

After a relaxing spring break, we arrived home thinking that April was going to be a fairly calm month until the end of the month when we travel to the Midwest.  Nothing out of the ordinary happening…just our regularly weekly commitments, work, jobs, small group, Perspectives, etc.   

And then last Saturday afternoon it all changed.  Our buliding sold about a year ago, so it’s been in the back of our minds that we might have to relocate.  A few things happened, including the upcoming end of our locked in rental price, that spurred us to action to see what kind of 2 bedroom apartments are available (in our price range and still within walking distance of our life).  Well little did we know, we’d find the perfect place less than 48 hours later!  We are so excited to move to a much bigger and nicer place, just a few blocks from where we live now!  All the appliances are new, there’s loads of natural light, there’s a 2nd bedroom to turn into an office for me, more closets than I can count on one hand, a pool, quiet, away from the freeway…. Let the packing begin!

Spring Break

I don’t know if it’s spending 17 (ish) years in school or what, but this time if year it is ingrained in me that it is time for a break! Fortunately our lives still revolve to some extent around a school schedule which means that we just had Spring Break.  I took a couple of days off to make longer weekends to rest and have some fun (outlet malls, beach, Las Vegas).

We had a nice trip to Las Vegas. Definitely not our favorite city, but just a few hours away, it was a great place to get away.  Some of the highlights for us were Cirque Du Soleil – Zarkana, dinner at The Wicked Spoon, our non-smoking/no-casino hotel and pool, and a free ride on the newly opened High Roller.

It’s always amazing how a little break from the day to day can refresh and re-energize you. I’ve heard it said that you should divert daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually. A good approach for a healthy work-life balance if you ask me.

Here’s a few pictures from our trip – enjoy!

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