Friday, December 5, 2014

May Joy always always be available to you!

Claire and I have a new favorite form of exercise -- barre class. Now don't even try to envision me doing this. Honestly, I am a meme waiting to happen in my little short body that was never lithe and elegant like a ballerina and certainly isn't today. But oh man do I love these classes. We stretch and bend and push the focus muscle groups until they are trembling in exhaustion and just when I think I can not take another second, the instructor says in her soothing voice that we should move to our happy baby pose, or our child's pose, or downward dog....all yoga moves that feel better than they should after the workout.

But perhaps my favorite part is that in any given exercise, the instructor is always certain to tell us to reach past our point of comfort. But rather than telling us to reach, to push ourselves to go go go, she calmly urges us adding that we should take it to this next level "only if it is available to us today."


I love that.

Only if it is available to me today.

Cause y'all, frankly there are days when I just can't push myself. And really, I am not simply referring to this exercise class. I have days where I just can't think past the first cup of coffee. And it might not even be the myriad of medical appointments weighing me down, it might just be the overflowing to-do list on my desk; or the overflowing laundry hamper in every single bedroom. We all have days where pushing ourselves in whatever the given area is just simply NOT available to us that day. Right?

As we decorated our Christmas tree this week, I smiled as I pulled out this ornament:

Two Christmases ago, we were in a dark place as a family. We had just learned Benjamin's spine had taken a horrible turn and would require surgery and we were wrestling with finding the joy of the season. I was honestly afraid it was not available.

We forced it as far as we could. We baked cookies with the letters J, O, Y. We immersed ourselves with the word JOY. We played music. We baked more cookies. And my girl, my sweet sweet girl made me this ornament as a Christmas gift. I simply love it.

And so I am here to tell you that sometimes we DO have to force joy. Sometimes, we have to grab the bar and exhale and bend up and over to reach all the way to our toes. Sometimes, even when it seems that joy is not available, we have to push and prod and find it. We have to. We must.

Oh my dear ones, I am praying that joy is available to you today and every day this wonderful Christmas season!

Carol - The Blessings Counter