Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Things I Thought I Would Never Do – Yoga

Shhh.  I’m trying to keep it a secret, but I did actually go to a yoga class at our friendly neighborhood YMCA.

I know, I know.  What’s the big deal?  Who isn’t doing yoga these days?

Well, you have to remember, I’m a card-carrying, ultra-conservative, homeschooling, dress-wearing Christian mom to 7+2, and in our circles, well, you just DON’T DO YOGA!  The fact that yoga is so closely linked, whether people realize it or not, with Hinduism brands it with a big red X for most people like me.

I’ve never had the desire to do yoga (or any other exercise, for that matter), so it’s been easy to push it away and throw it into the bag of things I dare not do; but I’ve been doing a little examining of the contents of that bag lately and yoga is one thing I’m examining more closely.  See, with people with Down syndrome living longer and longer, I will have to live to be approximately 106 in order to outlive Noah.  With a resting heartrate of over 100, at this pace, I’m not going to make it.   I’ve gotta start somewhere and yoga seemed like a good place.  My first class was a huge success.  Julie, the yoga instructor at the Dripping Springs Y  who taught my class, met me at the door with a big serene smile and words of encouragement.  She talked us through every little step in the class, and I felt completely at ease.  Well, completely at ease until I mixed up my right and left foot.  I left the class feeling soooo relaxed, and on the way home I realized I had completely range of movement in my neck – something I haven’t had in about five years.  It was amazing!!!!

I also found a peculiar transformation in my thought process as well.  I felt so relaxed and at peace after the class and had the desire to remain in that state.  As we drove home and my mind started drifting to the stress inducing situations in my life, as soon as those thoughts entered my mind, they were met with a response along the lines of, “But I’m not going to let that rob me of the way I feel right now.”  It wasn’t even a conscious decision on my part.  And while I do find it imperitive to live in reality, not allowing stress to dominate my emotional state I think is not only a positive move but also a scriptural one.

6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Phillipians 4:6-7.

22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galations 5:22-23

23 “‘Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience,26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”27 If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake— 29 the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10: 23-31.

As a Christian, honestly I did feel a little uncomfortable with some of the verbiage and earth energy stuff, and I’m wondering if I can personally Christianize the yoga experience for myself.  Any suggestions?

More Conversations With Noah

Okay. So this was a one-way conversation. Noah (6- with Down syndrome) and I were outside in the back of the house where we have an incredible view of the Texas Hill Country. The sun just so happens to sink behind the hills across from us every single night. I got down and looked Noah in the eyes.

“Noah, isn’t that sunset beautiful?”
“Da.”
“Noah, do you know the same God who made that beautiful, perfect sunset made beautiful, perfect you? He designed every square inch of you, and he made you beautiful and perfect.”
“Da.”

So too for all of our children, special, typical, on or off the spectrum, extra chromosomes, deleted chromosomes, speech delayed, cognitively impaired, neurotypical. And so to for all our children’s mommies, tired, overwhelmed, worried, anxious, stressed, patient, impatient, demanding, loved, loving, doubting, believing. Our weaknesses don’t make us any less of God’s own workmanship – beautiful and perfect and all precious in His sight.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

“1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:1-16

Blessings,
Alyson

Humbled

Part of my Saturday Solitude routine is eating breakfast at Jim’s every week.  This week I happened to run into a young family in AWANA leadership who knows my kids.  I’ve never really spoken to them before, and I’ve helped their son with his AWANA verses, so I stopped to say hello and then went on to my table.  At the end of their meal the wife came to say good-bye and to tell me that she just wanted me to know that both she and her husband have noticed my kids are pretty amazing.  The words she used were calm and well-behaved.

Of course, I thanked her and made a joke about I’m glad they see them when they are well-behaved, and I even agreed that my kids are rather calm.  I don’t think I sounded too proud.  But I was.

I interpreted her comment as, “Good job, Mom.  You and your husband really have it going on – you’re doing great work.”

But that’s not what she said.

She was praising my kids, not me.

But I didn’t really get it until later on that afternoon when I went to the grocery store.  There’s a little boy (age 9 or so) at AWANA who the Lord has really been putting on my heart.  I can’t put my finger on what I like so much about this boy – perhaps it’s the way his face lights up when he sees me walk through the door (I’ve found a way to help him with his memory verses that works really well for him), perhaps it’s because he makes such good eye contact and treats everybody with respect, perhaps it’s just his enthusiasm for getting his memory verses checked off, or perhaps it’s the way he can explain each verse to me that he memorizes, even though understanding the verse is not required.  Anyway, I ran into him and his mom at the store today, definitely a Divine Appointment.  I introduced myself to her and told her how amazing her son is, how he treats people with respect, makes eye contact, is an enthusiastic learner.  I could tell my words meant a lot to her.  But you know what she did as she realized where I was coming from and that I was praising her boy?  She turned to him, said his name, looked at him with such pure love and affection, and gave him affirmation and kudos for his behavior that had initiated all this.  She was grinning from ear to ear, but she took none of that praise for herself – she gave it all to her boy.  She was proud of him, not herself.  And proud might not even be the right word here – she seemed genuinely happy, ecstatic, that he had behaved in such a stellar manner.

She gave me a hug and told her I had been a blessing, but I came away blessed.  Blessed and reminded, once again, that it’s not always about me.  Reminded children are pretty amazing beings separate and apart from their parents.  Reminded that it is in giving Someone else the glory, we pass it on to the One who truly deserves it.

Blessings,

Alyson