Sunday, August 30, 2015

From yesterday

In preparation for the write 31 days challenge, I've been trying to be more intentional about writing down a thought or two about my practice. 

Today, during my practice, if I was getting off focus, I returned to the Les Leventhal questions - Do you like the experience you're having in your body? Are you grateful for it? - And for me, of course, it's also a Jesus question, am I thankful for this moment, for this breath, for this newness of life? I also figured out deaf man's pose to camel. I felt it, and it went. From a constriction pose to a heart opening one, from closed to open. It felt like breathing life into death. This is what Jesus does for my poor, needy, wandering soul. 

1. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!  
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son, 
who yielded his life an atonement for sin, 
and opened the lifegate that all may go in. 

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 
let the earth hear his voice!  
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 
let the people rejoice! 
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, 
and give him the glory, great things he hath done! 

2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, 
to every believer the promise of God; 
the vilest offender who truly believes, 
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. 

3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done, 
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son; 
but purer, and higher, and greater will be 
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

On how learning helps me teach

Tonight, I'm here, thinking about how my yoga practice makes me a better teacher and coach. The more I'm on my mat, the better I feel about being on the floor. It helps me see things in a new light. It gives me perspective. Unleashes my creativity. I learn from my teachers. I get ideas for moves that will help my kids, but also new cueing, because when you've been saying the same things the same way for years, changing a word or two can make a big difference. 

When I'm challenging myself, I can challenge them. I can know they're capable of more, because I'm discovering I am capable of more. I can help them sit in discomfort, because I'm consistently making myself uncomfortable. I can read them because I'm reading myself. I can tell them that falling is better than not trying because I am living it. And when I'm surprising myself, I find myself more open to being surprised by my kids. My practice grounds me and brings forth gratitude. And this frees me to me an encourager, a strengthener, a holder, a notice, and hopefully, an inspiration. 

{I am clearly on a coaching yoga high right now. I am not always this psyched on life. But today, I am, and I'm embracing it} 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ps on gratitude

Remember how I'm trying to remember to be grateful for what my body can do? 

Today I was stretching with 6 year old girls and we were in our pikes. One of my kids asked "how does it feel for you to go all the way down like that? Does it feel good?" 

Humbled by the question, I said "yeah, it does feel awesome" 

Her classmate replied, "like being at Lego land? That kind of awesome?" 

I might be all sappy and reflective because it's my birthday but I thought that was something else. Can I be as grateful for a pike sit as a six year old can be for Lego land? 

Today I am. 

Beautiful things


I am 24 years old today. 24 has come in simply but surely. Secure. Calm. 

I went to 6am yoga and the instructor knew it was my birthday so he helped me celebrate. I worked and all my coworkers and the kids helped too (with plenty of tutus and birthday treats and cards and singing of course). My church family lit candles and sang to me, and Zoe gave me a hilarious card and a necklace she'd made. Being at group tonight reminded me how dearly known and loved I am by Jesus and His people. 

But it was noon yoga that really got me today. I rarely go to Monday noon class or practice with this instructor, Devyn, but I wanted to go today. We were using straps to work into king dancer, a balancing back bending pose done on one leg while you reach for the other foot and pull it to your head. I have never had this pose, not really. I had a scorpion as a cheerleader, but just barely, and only when I was wearing my cheer shoes. But today, Devyn saw my first side and as she guided the second side, she came over and told me to drop the strap "I'm going to try to get you in the real one" I think I chuckled nervously and shook my head, not believing it could happen. But she brought me through a standing mermaid variation, and sure enough, I grabbed my foot over my head. I don't think I have words for that moment, honestly. I don't think she really knows the gift she gave me. I just got king pigeon a few weeks ago, and she said usually it takes about a year to go from king pigeon to king dancer, but she saw me and she knew I could do it. This is what I wrote afterwards - 

Laying in savasana, I had a really freeing realization: I may have done things a long time ago and since lost them, but it doesn't mean I have to stop discovering and trying new things. Packing athletically at 16 or 17, it does something crazy to you. It gets in your head. It makes you believe that you've already become all that you'll ever be, and it's all downhill from there. But yesterday, with the press handstand and today, with King dancer, have me believing a new story, one that is still unfolding. God knew this day would come for me, and He's the one who knows what's coming next. And He is the one making all things new, and making beautiful things out of me. 

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:16 

And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new" Revelation 21:5 

I'm on my phone and adding videos is tough, but now would be an appropriate time to listen to Beautiful Things by Gungor 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

God writes beautiful stories

Christina, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Kate, born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. 

Christina meets Daniel at church camp in Georgia. 

Daniel goes to college in Wisconsin. 

Kate meets Daniel. 

Christina meets Kate. 

Zoe, born in 2011 in Seattle Washington. 

Daniel tells Christina Kate will pray. 

Kate prays for. 


Laughs with. 

Weeps with Christina. 

Christina visits Kate. 


Daniel loves Tina. 

Kate loves Tina. 

Kate goes to Georgia. 

Tina goes to Seattle. 

Zoe makes cards 

Kate makes a card 

Zoe asks why Christina is sad 

Kate answers simply. 

Zoe mails Christina a card. 

How on earth do a four year old from Seattle and 23 year old from Georgia become pen pals? 


He writes stories our small, faithless minds could never dare to imagine. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Remember your gifts

This morning I was teaching beginning boys gymnastics. I was leading stretching and we were in a straddle, crossing one arm in front of our bodies and reaching the other overhead. I can bring my head all the way down to my leg. One of my boys said "wow! That's amazing!" We kept going, and as we moved to pike I folded myself in half and heard, "whoa, that's even more amazing!" 

I've done this, in general, between 3 and 10 times a day, almost every day, for the last 20 years. To say it no longer surprises me is to put it lightly; in fact I expect it. It has become a part of who I am; I have no idea what it would like to not be this flexible. 

But their wonder stirred something in me. 

I'm reading a yoga memoir about this guy who was in some deep stuff and then found yoga and it changed his whole perspective on life. He talks about accepting your own gifts with gratitude, no matter what they might be. The word that came up in my head was mindfulness. Can I be thankful for my first forward fold of the day in the same way I'm thankful for the last one, even if it's the hundredth time? 

Here's Les Leventhal on that -

"The experience you're having inside your  body right now - do you want that? Are you grateful for that? So you've got tight hamstrings; can you be grateful that you have hamstrings at all? Grateful you have legs? Grateful that you even have legs?...When you see people around the room taking challenging variations, can you look at that person and think, thank you? Thank you for expressing yourself. Thank you for showing me something beautiful". 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Oh hi

Remember when I posted 3 times a day? 

About that...

Anyway. In my journey to "change my mind" I have made it all the way into Philippians. I got chills reading from chapter 3 yesterday - 

But whatever gain I had, I counted as a loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain resurrection from the dead. 
(Verses 7-11) 

Paul was not only willing to lose every worldly possession, his status and his very life for the sake of the gospel, he welcomed the opportunity. 

That is gospel fearlessness.