Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adventures Lead to Books

On Tuesday Ryan got home from work and said it was time for an adventure. We loaded Cim into the car and took off for the nearest pawn shop. I considered buying a drum set (okay, not really), or a cool sword with dragon wing crossbars. Ryan looked at guns and a bunch of random cds. But what did we end up with? 4 books. For $7. Oh yeah.

Next we went to a thrift store called "Someone's Attic." Cimorene made grabs at shiny aqua track suits and orange shirts. I dug through a bin of framed pictures and found a giant framed map of the geographical features of North America. I also found a pair of 4-inch-plus-an-inch-of-platform shoes covered in small sparkly stars. But what did we leave with? A book. $1.50.

Then we went to get the car's oil changed, filter replaced, and the state inspection. Less fun. We went and looked at guns in C-A-L Ranch while we waited.

And then we finally made it where I had been wanting to go all day: The used-book store! We spent about $20 there and picked up about 10 books (some were 2- or 3-in-1 books).

As we walked out, we realized that Jiffy Lube/C-A-L Ranch was the only stop where we didn't buy a book. Apparently, when we're bored or being spontaneous, we buy books. And I'm really okay with that. :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Walking Without Fear

We've entered the mobile-baby stage, and as Ryan says, Cim has entered it head-first. Crawling hasn't caused any damage yet, but she's begun cruising around the furniture, and with that comes a lot of falls. But she doesn't seem to mind the bumps and bruises on her head. If she falls against the wooden chair, she'll let me hug her for maybe 20 seconds, then she's done crying and trying to climb the chair again.

I'm sure all parents are amazed at this fearlessness and determination. After all, how many adults do you know who would try something over and over, day after day, getting bump after bump after bump...

Oh wait, that's like life, isn't it?

Some people, I think, deal better with life's jostling than others. Sometimes we get hurt and we won't ever let our defenses down again, even if it means we stay curled up in a little ball inside ourselves, unwilling to live life. Something I've been working on since my sophomore year of college is not holding on to old walls that don't have a purpose anymore. I started letting down emotional defenses just in time to get engaged to my wonderful husband, and it was a big lesson for me on just how important it is to walk without fear.

I no longer have the problem of letting down defenses around guys that I like (so glad to be out of the "single" stage--I was really bad at it ((probably one of the world's most incompetent flirts)). But my emotional walls are not all gone. I find myself sometimes even throwing up spiritual walls--I didn't get a prayer answered the way I expected, or a trial hurt more than I thought it should, so now I don't want to pray for things that are important (stupid, I know, but occasionally it happens).

But really, even when I think something hurts SO BAD, it's like my daughter who has hit her head on the wooden chair. It hurts a lot--in the moment. I may need a hug. But in just a short time the pain is gone, and if I would just let go of the memory of the pain, I could start climbing again.

And then, like my daughter, I'll be able to stand on my feet and wave at the people who helped me back up, laughing and pounding my hand on the chair as if to say, "See, it really isn't so mean after all."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finally Spring

I turn Cimorene's hat so that the brim shades her ear that is toward the sun. It's 66 degrees, the warmest it's been since last summer. I pull a piece of string cheese off and place it on my palm. Cimorene grasps it with her forefinger and thumb, then shoves her entire fist into her mouth.

We share the cheese bite by bite, sitting on the grass at the park. When the cheese is gone, Cim turns her attention to the dandelions. She manages to pop the head off one and delicately shreds it, holding it in one hand, pulling the yellow petals off and watching them fall onto her leg.

That was last week, when we went to the park every day and soaked up as much sunshine as possible. Today it's raining, but that's okay, because it's not snow. Through the window, through the rain, I can see daffodils in bloom. Spring is here, really here. Finally.

Edit: Same day, a few hours later, it's snowing. Sigh. Guess that's what spring is here...

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is My "Holdning"?

A few weeks ago my younger brother, who is currently a missionary in Denmark, sent home a translation of a talk he gave in church. He had a note at the beginning that caught my attention.

"Elder Nørgaard [his native Danish companion] translated it quickly for me, so the language isn't as polished as it would otherwise be. Also the word he translated as attitude was the Danish word 'holdning' which doesn't really have an English equivalent. It's basically attitude, perspective, conviction and position all in one word."

I've always been fascinated by words that don't have a good translation into another language, but this one made me really stop and think. In his talk, James mentioned several holdning (not sure how you pluralize in Danish) from the scriptures, good and bad examples, such as, "It's too hard" (1 Nephi 3:4-5) vs. "I must obey" (2 Nephi 33:15) He ended with the ultimate good example of holdning, which is Christ's expression, "Thy will be done" (Matt. 26:42).

Lately, my holdning has been pretty negative. I could probably sum up my attitude, perspective, conviction, and position with the phrase, "Why bother?" (Yes, I've been depressed. Picture the robot from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)

I've begun trying to change that. I've been reading my scriptures more, trying to find little moments to exercise (Cimorene likes watching me do push-ups, but I can't do sit-ups around her anymore because she tried to mimic me and threw herself backward onto her head). I've been taking Vitamin D3 to try to make up for the lack of sunlight. I've even put on makeup a couple times, because it makes me feel like I'm actually doing something with myself.

But more than anything, I've been praying for a change of heart. A change of holdning. And I'm getting there. I'm managing to be less irritated by little things, complain less about how little sleep I get. I'm smiling more. I'm enjoying my daughter more.

Someday my life will represent the statement, "Thy will be done." For now, I'm starting with, "I want to be good--please help me."

And He does.