The yoga ball


Amazon prime delivered a bright blue yoga ball to my house yesterday. After my kids and husband pumped it up, we all played with it like it was the toy of the century. After about three minutes and twenty seconds I reminded the little ones that this was "mommy's ball and it's time to be done."

This warning came after a near death experience of a few of my fragile keepsakes. A few bounces in their direction and I was blaring the whistle. These are things I want to be left alone. Treasures meant for me. Things I can look at and protect and keep from sticky grimy baby hands.

thank you very much.

And much like those keepsakes being threatened by a big blue ball and a fore mentioned tiny fingers, I've often side eyed the very thing the ball was purchased for: This pregnancy. In similar fashion, I've been eager to blow a whistle. Desperate to try and remind somebody, myself really, that the rest, the peace, the quiet I've been waiting for is not allowed to be interrupted. I'm due for it, alright?

While we're on the topic, I'm not too keen on the reality that me and that yoga ball are looking like not-too-distant relatives.

I don't want anything to come and mess up the tiny teensy little square of space that looks like my feigned control.

But that's exactly what this pregnancy has done. It's come and it's taken the rest and has ushered in the thoughts that drive out the quiet. (Oh the thoughts of a new baby, It makes my heart all so fragile and desperate to make sure only the best of things comes its way. Fighting fears left and right.) This pregnancy has made my insides come up every few hours for months and left my body aching and not sure what to do despite eating well and moving and "I'm doing it all right and nothing is working." It's reminded me that the 'peace' I keep chasing after is illusive and non-graspable and actually is more like self preservation. It's reminded me that I'm not my own.

We've lived in a giant change vortex for what seems like centuries and what has been years. we've embraced change like we're built for it. We've  allowed the waves to rush over us. Many, many points over the past few weeks and months and years we've had too big of waves, too much water, too many moments where there was a desperate need of saving from life's undercurrent.

And perhaps that is what this is all really about, I constructed in my mind that setting foot on my familiar soil, after due process, would equate to a kiddy pool of sorts. Familiar rhythms would make way for not so much saving. I could command the water for once.

And perhaps that is exactly why we have been given this great big beautiful gift right now: A hard pregnancy. With every ache I've been reminded forcefully that there is never a second where we won't need saving.

 He is the one that calms the seas, after all.

So I'm left looking over at that ball, currently being rolled around by my other big beautiful gift. The one who has taught me laughter like I've never known and a surrender to grace that surprises me at times. He has brought with him grief and joy.

I'm reminded that bringing that ball into our home invited both.  Yes, it has the potential of messing up all these little things I've set up for myself. Give it a week and I'm sure I'll be looking at something broken....

But that yoga ball also has already brought a great deal of joy. And comfort. It has offered stability and a realigning of posture. That yoga ball has given an ease to my body that makes its value larger than the 14 dollars I spent on it.

And while it's just a yoga ball, and lord knows I don't need another metaphor bouncing (budumpchh) around in my brain, it has been challenging me with every glance. This life was made for many things. The human experience, with all its grief and ache, has with it joy and hope.

If we allow for it, if I allow for it, that grief and ache can often metamorphose  into the latter. A woman labors and is given the very best of joys. A aching heart made whole. A controlling mother learning laughter.

This pregnancy has looked a great deal like obedience. A great deal like labor. If I am unwise, I will forget the great joy set before me. If I am unwise I'll choose to disregard that even in this I can grow in Christs likeness, as I learn how to respond to my own minor sufferings.

It's just a yoga ball, but it's been a great grace to me. Reminding me of the joy set before us. Reminding me that my body, my heart, my emotions may feel broken at times. My control, my sleep, my self-confidence may be sliver-thin but with it, just like all the best of things, unbridled joy will follow.

"Because of the Lord's great Love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Fourteen dollars well spent.

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