Backyard Trampoline Basics

Backyard trampolines.  What is your opinion?  Being a gymnastics coach needing to be certified on trampoline as well as artistic gymnastics, I hate them.  The word hate, doesn’t even touch the surface of my negative emotions towards this piece of play equipment.  In my opinion, it shouldn’t even be available for the public to purchase.

My daughter being 12 years old now, has wanted a trampoline for many, many years but eventually gave up asking for one.  Their danger factor is off the radar for me, and I have a long list of reasons why she was never going to get one.

My husband wanted to come watch our daughter at Atlantics, but I convinced him to stay home.  He had to fly there, and it wasn’t really worth it for him to travel that far to see her do a total of two minutes of routines.  I just felt it wasn’t worth the cost, but knew that our daughter would be devastated that her father wasn’t coming.

In attempts to ease the pain, the idea popped into my head to buy her a trampoline as a replacement for her father not travelling to watch her competition.  She was ecstatic!  It was a dream come true, but then had doubts on why I was changing my train of thought on the backyard trampoline.

It didn’t change my feelings about this bouncing death trap, but I did feel that she was old enough to follow my rules about it, and that the neighborhood kids were old enough as well.  It’s when there is more than one person on the trampoline at a time that this apparatus becomes dangerous.  If used properly, maturely and under a certified instructor, a trampoline is very useful tool for a gymnast because the elements on the trampoline are transferable to the other events.

This is the same with our spiritual world.  When we are younger, just like using the trampoline, we don’t realize the danger of not believing that there is a greater power that controls the universe.  We are oblivious to what can happen to us if we bounced out of control and lose our air sense.  The same is true with spirituality.  We can bounce out of control and lose our way, and usually do.

As we age, and learn from our life experiences eventually we learn the value of spirituality and that is transferable to our real life, just like trampoline skills transfer to the gymnastics world.  We begin to understand more of the power that is within us, and God.  We learn the reward of being selfless and charitable and having a strong spiritual connection.  Just like our daughter using the trampoline now that she is older.  She realizes its value, along with its power.  Now what was once a devise that she didn’t understand its ability is now a great tool for her to use in her to better herself in her gymnastics career.

Colossians 1:9-10 explains, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Just like being filled with the knowledge of being safe on a trampoline and having the wisdom to understand its dangers, it’s the same with spiritual wisdom.  As we increase in our knowledge of God, our potential is limitless.  Take time every day to walk in the manner worthy of the Lord and watch your life transform.

Just like my daughter and her backyard trampoline.  Bounce your way from living dangerously not knowing the power the trampoline has to educating yourself and using it to benefit you in other parts of your life.  You will love the ride!

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Spring Cleaning Time

Spring Cleaning—does that give you the shivers, like it gives me? Don’t get me wrong, I love the final product, after all the hard work is put into washing down the walls, cleaning the light fixtures, dusting out the registers, scowering the baseboards, dusting behind the furniture and scraping the scum off the windows. Cleaning one room in your house consumes your entire day! And, if you are anything like me, when you have a free day, cleaning is the last thing you want to do.

We all need to do it, and it is part of everyone’s yearly routine. Some people might enjoy it, like Danny Tanner on Full House, but he is a fictional character, that everyone laughs at. Do these people really exist? Are there really Danny Tanners in real life, who love to clean?
I guess we have to look at it from the point of view, that we are fortunate to have a house to clean. Be thankful that the winter months are over and the windows that we are cleaning are going to enhance the bright sunlight that is shining into our homes. We have to be grateful that we have a collection of dust-bunnies under our bed, because at least we have a comfy bed to sleep on.

Everyone gets dust-bunnies, everyone’s windows get dirty from the winter months. It’s how we deal with these pesky bunnies, or these dirty windows that shapes our lives into what they are. Everything in life has a season. I look back on my university life, and think how great I had it. My parents footing the bill, my life was carefree and whimsical, and all I had to be responsible for was myself. But at the time, I couldn’t wait to get out in the real world and get my life started. Man, was I stupid!

We all want what we see at quick view, or what we might see what others have, that we want.  You might think that you might not have to do spring cleaning this year. You may think that you don’t have any dust-bunnies, you may think that dust hasn’t been collecting in your registers, you might think your baseboards are dust-free, but think again. We all have dust collecting in our lives, and we all have to clean this nasty pollution out of our worlds. It might not be your season…maybe you are more of a fall cleaning kind of person, but we all have cleaning needs.

I just started studying the book of Mark, through the Woman Living Well website, and as I read Mark 1, verse 40-45 is all about Jesus healing a man of leprosy. It really got me thinking, that we ALL have leprosy of some sort. Whether it is our need to gossip to make ourselves feel better about ourselves by other people’s misfortunes, maybe it is our marriage that is going downhill fast, or it could be a financial burden that has been lurking around our necks that we can’t seem to get rid of. Whatever your leprosy is, do what this man did in Mark 1:40-42, “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy? It really is—ask for God to make you clean from whatever your Spring Cleaning needs are, whatever leprosy has a hold on you. Stop looking at what people seem to have from a quick glance at their homes. We ALL need to spring clean, it’s just whether you want to admit to it or not. We all have our areas of need or our areas of weakness, our dirty areas in our home. We easily cover them up with a quick cleaning, but sometimes, we have to bow our heads and ask for help in prayer.

This spring, dig deep into your cleaning regiment. Move the furniture, vacuum down the register vents, suck up those dust-bunnies and give your home an overhaul. Once you start praying for the areas to be cleaned, like this man with leprosy, it will amaze you the difference you will witness in your life. Prayer is the best form of cleaning there is—cleans your soul today! I assure you that you will love this final product as well!

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Ignoring Our Whispers

Did you ever have that feeling like you are invisible? You talk, talk, talk but nobody is listening. Or you try so hard to get through to people and they just don’t learn? I have a classroom with a handful of children like this. Some days I feel like my own children don’t want to listen to me. How many times do you tell your husband a story and he doesn’t listen. I have this one gymnast that I have been working on correcting her sickle feet on beam, and it’s going on 6 years and she still turns her foot in. Is it just me that nobody listens to or does this happen to other people?

I love all of my jobs! There is nothing better than being a mom! I love being a teacher and a gymnastics coach! Even being a wife has its rewards, I am a person who enjoys doting on my husband and children it makes me feel good. Each of these jobs can get very frustrating by times especially when you feel like you are talking to the walls. I know that every one of these people don’t set out in the morning to ignore me. They don’t purposely strive to irritate me, but when you try hard to make a difference, and people don’t seem to listen, it is a frustrating situation.

I’m guilty of being one of these people too. Ask my mom, my coaches and even my husband. I know we all can be guilty of not doing what people ask of us, or what we think others expect us to do. It’s human nature, but out of all the important things that we do, we have to learn to listen to what the Divine is whispering to us.

I know some people don’t think that God is talking to them, but if you listen close enough he talks to everyone of us. Where do you think those thoughts that pop in to your mind come from? Your inner thoughts. Those that you keep thinking over and over again, for no apparent reason. It is our inner souls trying to reach out to us. It’s the Great Divine trying to form our destinies. We can choose to ignore these signals, and thoughts, or we can investigate them and listen to them and see what happens.

We have to be open to these thoughts. Ready to roll with the punches and have trust in what our inner souls are whispering in our thoughts. Sure, we sometimes have those thoughts that aren’t what we should be thinking, things that we know are definitely wrong. We have to ignore those thoughts are listen to the inner self that knows right from wrong.

When our inner soul is trying to connect to us and we are ignoring it, it will even try to come to us in our dreams. You might feel that what has been haunting your thoughts during the day is now haunting your dreams at night. God tries to reach us whatever way he can. As I study Job, I love learning the lessons in this chapter.  Job 33:14-16 tells us, “Although God speaks again and again, no one pays attention to what he says. At night when people are asleep, God speaks in dreams and visions. He makes them listen to what he says and they are frightened at his warnings.”

Has this ever happened to you? That haunting thought that you are being whispered in your mind, then the same thing comes to you in a dream. Listen to it! It is your inner soul trying to reach out to you. Trying to help create your destiny. Trying to form you into the person that you are destine to become. Try listening to it, and see where it takes you. You just might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Nobody likes talking when nobody is listening. God is no different. Don’t make the mistake to ignore what is trying to be taught to you. Take the time to sit alone with your thoughts and see what you hear. It will amaze you just what you are being told to do, and just what you haven’t been listening to for many years!

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Parlez à la Plante

Are you a lover of houseplants? I really love them! They add such a nice touch of color to a home, and make it more attractive and inviting. Don’t you find? My mother-in-law has the most inviting home. She has such a gift for home décor, and plant rearing. She can bring any plant back to life with ease…trust me, she’s saved my own.

Over the years of trying to have plants in my home, I am finally getting the hang of keeping these green little buggers alive, but I’m still struggling with the balance of water, plant food, and TLC. I am aiming to have this art mastered eventually, but I have to admit, I really should do more research…or maybe even talk to them. They say that talking to a plant like they are human promotes their growth…but don’t you find that a bit farfetched? Talking to an object that is growing out of dirt…really?

I definitely have gullible tendencies, but this is one thing I can’t wrap my head around. Having a conversation with a heap of dirt and green leaves isn’t on the top of my list of sanity, neither do I feel that it is worth the bother.

Many non-believers, or non-spiritual people would probably think of praying in this manner. Why would people pray? Why would people meditate? Why would people waste time reading an ancient book where people do crazy things, like being swallowed by a whale for three days and survive? Or a man being able to part a sea so people can cross to the other side…really? The best one I saw lately was on Facebook. A post comparing Noah’s Ark to the RMS Titanic, and demonstrating the difference in the dimensions, the amount on board, amount of food for the year, etc. It floors me to see such dubious people. Don’t they understand what they are messing around with here?

There is scientific evidence that they found Noah’s Ark. It is very fascinating and sure the skeptics can say what they want, but the evidence is chilling! The same dimensions, the same material, the same structural characteristics and even found close to where it was said it landed. I find it marvelous to study, but again, some might frown upon my naïve nature.

Think what you want about my naïve nature, or gullibility, but I have witness the power of prayer. I have witnessed the benefits of meditating daily. I know that my life has changed since I have engulf myself in the word of God. Just like these plants might benefit from the odd conversation with a person. Who knows for sure? All I know is how I benefit from making time every morning, and throughout my day, for our Divine Creator!

It is written in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Are you being kept in the dark by the evil god of this world? Are you too grand in your own mind, letting your own EGO control your thoughts that you aren’t seeing the light? Are you afraid you might be the “W” word…WRONG?
It takes many to make this incredible world go around. We have our skeptics with everything. Even within Christianity, there are differences of opinions. I’m not here to frown upon anyone, not even the skeptics that feel that God doesn’t exist. That is their choice. My theory is, what would it hurt to talk to plants? If it helps them grow, feel better, why not? The same goes for believing in God, what does it hurt to believe?
What scares me is the thought of not believing! This is your soul you are playing around with…your eternity you are gambling here. Are you ready to venture that away? This girl will talk to plants, fast, pray, meditate, or do whatever else is asked of me! I know the reward is going to be incredible!

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Snow Day Priorities

snowMost Canadians love a great snow day…especially the students and teachers and luckily I’m a teacher. When we get about 30 centimeters of snow, the entire city will shut-down and we get a nice quiet day at home with our family. It is priceless!

I love them because I get to get caught up on my time in my home. Being held captive in your own home is a good thing now and then. You get caught up on your laundry, get to play some board games with your children and cook a nice meal that isn’t rushed. Some days I even grab a nap! There is nothing like a good afternoon snuggle with the kids and a nap. It’s just icing on the cake.

As I age, and learn through my mistakes, I’m learning that sometimes we get our priorities out of order. It wasn’t until my quest to become a better wife that I learned that the husband should be a wife’s number one priority. Man, did I ever have my priorities all wrong. My list of priorities went more like this: my children, my work, my gymnasts that I coach, running the home properly, my friends, and then when I could find time, I would squeeze a little time for my husband.

Instead of giving him my best, I was giving him what was left of my life after all my other commitments. Thank goodness I finally came to the conclusion that things had to change. I’m very fortunate that this became my New Year’s Resolution, because I started to do my research and found out that I had it all wrong. I was so busy making sure that my children were going to be successful, I forgot that without having their father in their world, their lives would come crashing down.

Before snow days were all about catching up on things I needed to do, but this year, things changed. Our last snow day, I got up earlier than the rest of the house and spent my time with God, but after that it was back to cuddle with my husband this time, and not the kids. Then it was make my husband’s favorite breakfast, instead of my picky-eater of a son I have. If he didn’t like what I was making he is old enough now to make his own toast.
Then my husband and I watch 3 episodes of our favorite Netflix original program and cuddled on the couch watching the snow accumulate. This time, the kids played board games together while I was spending some catch-up time with their father. Did it hurt the children any? Absolutely not. Instead they were learning what a healthy marriage should look like.

Finally, I made dinner…my call this time…and as the snow slowed down my husband ventured out to our local restaurant to try and get it open for the public. Now, that my husband was gone to work, I had lots of time to spend some alone time with the children. My housework might not have been finished, my laundry might not have been caught up, but I was prioritizing this extra spare time that the snow day left me, and since my children are third on my list of priorities, I owed it to them to spend quality time with them.

You can judge me if you wish, but the way I had my priorities previously wasn’t working. Proverbs 12:4 is a verse that I became to love, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Not only was I decay to my husband’s bones, I was also decaying my entire family unit.

If you were to list your priorities, would they have looked more like my first list, or would it be in line with my second list? We all have to prioritize, and this is difficult. Please believe me that when we prioritize our husbands before our children it is a win-win situation. It is the way that God created it. We can frown on it, and go with the way society of today feels it should be…which I was very guilty of…or we can follow the instructions in the Bible.

I’ve had it both ways, and trust me, the way that the good Lord made it initial is definitely the most rewarding for you, your husband and your children. Make the change today, and enjoy your extra time with the people that need your attention the most, and watch the instant change. My husband still rubs it in to the children that he is number one, but the kids completely understand and love it too!

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