Saturday, August 27, 2011

Growling Belly and Gurgling Bubbles

     These last few weeks of summer have been challenging and amazing in a variety of ways. I'm almost at the end of my 20 day fast with the Lord's Table II and I've lost just under 15 pounds. Wow! I'm thinner than I've been in 6 years and I feel so much better. It hasn't been without its unique hardships, however. Planning meals and cooking for a family of 7, and having the audacity to try new recipes...what was I thinking?! And yet, I was told they were tasty. Hearing the *crunch* *crunch* of my little Sunday School students munching their Saltines almost made me grab the whole sleeve of crackers and inhale them like Cookie Monster does with cookies on Sesame Street. I refrained, however. Or lying in bed at night and hearing my belly growling and churning and finally surrendering to sleep despite the discomfort. Oddly enough, waking up not so hungry, though. It has been a juice and smoothie fast, so I haven't struggled with low blood sugar. In fact, I've had more energy than normal and have been able to get in a fairly rigorous swim workout every morning.
      Ah! The return of my first-love sport - swimming.
Before: July of '10 just before starting The Lord's Table I
     I swam competitively as a child. I have vivid memories of weekend-long invitational meets and waiting for my race to be up. I remember the nervousness as I got to those blocks and then *pow!* the gun went off and so did I. I wasn't a fast swimmer or particularly talented at any stroke, but I enjoyed it. In high school I began to swim competitively again. The exercise throughout my high school years was so helpful to me. I still wasn't a very fast swimmer, but I had fun.
     And so now, in my early 40's I've found a way to start swimming again and oh, how soothing and invigorating it is! I delight in watching the bubbles I exhale in the water gurgle up to the surface as I pull my arms through the water. One particular and lovely memory I will always cherish occurred last week. I was in an outdoor pool and doing back stroke kicking with a kickboard. I stretched my body out as straight as I could and pulled my tummy muscles in. As I kicked, I felt myself floating and gliding through the water. I gazed at the gauzy clouds above and the blue sky and breathed in a sweet, enchanted breath. "Oh, Lord, how beautiful the sky is this morning!" I sensed God looking down at me and smiling, keeping close watch over every breath I took, every move of my muscles, every wet hair on my head swaying in the water....and lovingly enjoying my pleasure in the beautiful morning he had created for me.
     Oh, what a glorious and precious Creator who calls me by name!
After The Lord's Table II - August '11 - 40 lbs. lighter

Friday, August 12, 2011

Funny People Should Be Banned or Move in With You

     Let me explain the title. This last week, I was observing one of my daughters' swimming classes. Her instructor is F*U*N*N*Y. His energy is over the top. In the spring, Daisy had this same instructor and I remember hearing him clear across the pool. I then saw him run around in circles on the pool deck yelling, very loudly, "Okay kids! Let's jump in!" and then seeing him jump in the pool with a loud splash. He would enthusiastically teach the kids their requisite swimming skills and his instruction was very thorough, enthusiastic, and energetic. Daisy later called him "crazy" because he "runs around and then jumps in the pool." I thought he was a great instructor. He got Daisy swimming her "scoops" with her head face down and not holding her nose. Yeehaw!
Daisy's swim teacher "coaching" her class on their win!
     Fast forward to a couple of days ago. The instructors and students of several classes joined together for a rambunctious, splashy game of "sharks and minnows." He carefully instructed his "Advanced Tiny Tot" class to stay near him against the wall so that his whole class got safely across. He then proudly and loudly exclaimed, "MY WHOLE CLASS GOT ACROSS!" When one of the other instructors made a move to tag one of the instructor's students he jumped on her and dunked her in the water. She came up laughing as all of his students made it across. I couldn't help but laugh at his antics. That just scratches the surface. There are various other amusing things he does and says that make me chuckle. His energy and sharp wit combined make an entertaining person to watch. In fact, he would be fun to take home. He would probably have our whole family laughing on a regular basis. And wouldn't that be a scream?
     But, of course, how would I explain the 25 year old man who suddenly started living with us? He's our family comedian that we feed so that he'll make us laugh? No. That wouldn't work. And what 25 year old man would ever want to live with our crazy family of girls and Tim's quirky ways? Yeah. I didn't think so. That would be too weird. I don't set out to be purposely weird. Really. I don't.
     The next option would be to ban him. When someone is that funny they shouldn't be around. It's too hard not to see them on a regular basis because the laughter becomes addictive, sort of. I remember one person years ago who had me in stitches on a regular basis. I don't see him anymore and quite frankly, I miss him at times. He should have been banned way before I met him because I don't like missing people. It hurts my heart in this raw, gushy spot.
     My sister's boyfriend, Dave, is another very funny person. His humor is d...r...y... and quick. He says the wackiest, funniest things so quietly and quickly, that if you're not paying attention, you'll miss it. I usually catch it and am laughing myself an aerobic workout. He hasn't moved in with us, but he comes over regularly enough so that it keeps me in a funny fix. I make sure I feed him tasty food so that he keeps coming by.
     I don't know why I like funny people so much. I just do. I appreciate the intelligence behind many styles of humor. I don't know many people who are funny without being very intelligent and perceptive as well. Perhaps I so appreciate a good laugh every now and again because it offsets the gloom I feel at times. Or, perhaps I sense it's a foretaste of what I know eternity will be like. And how how I long for that day at times. People erroneously say that hell will be fun because they will be partying with all their friends there. No, not even close. Heaven will be that deliciously wonderful place filled with laughter of all different kinds; the kind of laughter that bubbles from your mouth and fills your entire being with deep, penetrating JOY and magnificent delightIn fact, when I think of those I love that have passed on, I remember their laughter quite clearly. And of course, I then miss them. That's why they've been banned. And at the right time, I'll move in with them!