Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hula Hoops

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  My thirty-something birthday had dawned bright and busy.  Tucked into a pile of bills I found a card.  The message inside wished me a "Hoopy Birthday," and that made me smile, but the picture on the front was what really grabbed my attention.  Taken back in the early 1950s, the photos showed a young woman in Greta Garbo shorts with eight or nine Hula-Hoops swinging madly around her waist.  'How does she do that?' I wanted to know. ...I looked once more at the girl on the front.  There were so many hoops, but she appeared calm.  Her upper body seemed to be perfectly still, her arms outstretched slightly, as the hoops raced around her waist in synchronized chaos.  Her face captured me.  Looking straight into the camera, she smiled peacefully as though she hadn't a care in the world.  Then it dawned on me -- I saw her secret.  'She found a rhythm,' I whispered to myself.  'She established her center, then let everything move around that.'
Condensed from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver, pp 99-100

Life is filled with Hula-Hoops.  And while I wanted to be encouraged by Joanna's story, it made me a little discouraged instead.  Here is a woman writing about finding time to balance work, marriage, parenting, being a pastor's wife, and probably five other things I'm forgetting (and I'm too lazy to open the book back up and check).

Right now, I feel like I can barely handle my one hoop.  I don't have to worry about anyone else but me.  And yes, I have my roles...but it's just me.  How in the world do I expect to handle more than that?

For example:  It's partially my fault, but I haven't worked out regularly for a while.  I miss it.  My body misses it.  But I feel like every time I start to get my rhythm back, my hips just lose it and the hula hoop falls back down to the floor.  I may try to frantically save it, or stop the embarrassing rattle of a fallen hoop by spreading my legs out as far as they go.  But it's no use.  It's lost. 

And it's just one hoop!  Yeesh.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I think what the picture doesn't show is the journey to nine hoops.

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