Saturday, April 9, 2011

Get Lost (in the run)

How do we sometimes get tricked into focussing on the less important things in life?! Take running, for example. I usually prefer to run outside, alone with my thoughts (and sometimes prayers). I'm not a gifted runner, but it feels like running to me and I love what comes of it. But somehow, I get distracted by the loooooong term goal of someday qualifying for the Boston Marathon--as do thousands of other runners. When this happens, the focus is then on the timer of the Garmin and less on the beauty of the route. Our hearts pound faster and our breath is gasping, but we don't hear the splash of the puddle or the crunch of the leaves beneath our feet. We come home having run the same distance, but the run itself may seem somewhat less fulfilling. Getting lost in the run allows our minds to wander to far off places and become inspired and return safely to it's normal existence. For me, this is the reward for the effort.

Since life really is like a run, here's another thought. Are there days when we are so focussed on completing more things in a less amount of time, that we lose sight of the beauty of the day itself? Do we forget the life experience as our focus shifts to the checkmarks on the list of things to do? Yesterday Dave and Benny sat under a big umbrella on the LoveSac and watched Kipper the Dog. Certainly, Dave had other things to do. Positively, Benny didn't need another TV show before he got going for the day. But together they enjoyed time bundled up together at Benny's lead, and I got a fun picture out of it. Dave got his reports finished, and Benny eventually got dressed and had breakfast.

When I look back on my life, I want to see a steady pace of fulfilling and thrilling events. I want to FEEL every turn in the route, every tiny moment, every big adventure. None of us will likely remember how many times we cleaned the toilets or emptied the dishwasher. But we might remember a late night walk or a hike with our daughter, or finger-painting with a toddler, or a long aimless drive with our love, or a secret service done for someone in need. We need not be fast paced to know our life's run, but each step by beautiful step, will qualify us for bigger things. So... I'll run in the morning at sunrise and feel the beauty of hope. I'll run at sunset and know the calm of the hour. And some day, after miles and miles of experiences, I'll find the power of the sun in my steps and I'll "qualify."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Message Through Bubbles and Fingerprints

My favorite time of year comes twice a year... lucky me! Sitting as a family in a semi-cluttered house filled with the aroma of cookies and waffles while watching the LDS General Conference is probably the most rewarding, calming, fulfilling, rejuvenating, and grounding experience I have the honor of knowing. I can honestly say, even if I weren't a member of this church, I believe I would truly benefit by doing the very same thing. The messages are for everyone, after all, and who couldn't benefit from a little guidance, direction, and anchoring during turbulent times such as these?

This year, particularly, was something I'll never forget. On Saturday, we could barely see the screen through all the bubbles it took to keep 2 year-old Benny quiet enough to hear the words, and when the sun hit the TV just right, the ONLY thing we could see were the hundreds of fingerprints smeared in just the right/wrong spots. Regardless, the spirit was strong as Dania and Tori had their journals open to take notes of the treasures making their way through the mess and into our hearts. That priceless image reminded me that busy-ness in our lives can cloud our ultimate goals like bubbles and fingerprints clouded our view of the speakers... BUT, there is always a way to find what we're looking for. The blessings for good efforts and real intents will always come!

I walked away this time wanting to do better, serve better, give better. I felt myself disappearing, sort of, and caring less about my concerns, my struggles, my worries, my goals, myself. Conference is good for that. The simple reminder that there are bigger and better things than the hand-wringing and nail-biting that often goes on (at least in my life), is just what I needed at that moment. We don't need to sweat the small stuff, do we!? There are hearts to touch, loads to lift, smiles to find. There are tears to wipe and time to share and miracles to witness. There is love to give.

Elder Holland said that somewhere among all of the talks given this conference, there would be something, even if it's just one thing, meant just for each of us. This was meant for me.