Friday, October 27, 2006

Such a nice day

I wonder if anyone every reads these Blog entries anymore? Oh well, no matter. I am just journaling.

I am in a happy place with my lovely children. I am sick. So, we didn't go to International Cooking Club this morning or Scandanavian Dancing this afternoon. Instead, the boys had their usual reading time (Narnia for Paul and Pooh for Michael), Bible (Mark - but Paul is thinking he is not as wild about The Message - He is so much like me about being literal in the translation), and journaling. Then, I read Mara, Daughter of the Nile about a slave girl in Egypt. So far, we like it, and this is the first historical fiction that I have read since last spring!

After this, I decided to plug in The Story of the World by Susan Wise-Bauer in the CD format. I was thinking that it was a bit too elementary for them, and it was also a repeat of what we did last time we went through history, but they LOVED it. We listened to the whole first CD (about 60 minutes), and I had forgotten how much I love how Bauer inserts stories/myths/tales from the culture of that time in history. It is very effective, and the boys drew while we all three listened. It got us up to the time we are studying in our regular history book, and it is good reinforcement. So, I will do this on a periodic basis even thought Bauer is no longer my "spine" for history.

After the CD ended, Bach came on, and the kids were excited. We have decided we are in love with Bach now. It has helped to play these for the last month and a half. It was so nice to get them from their music teacher. She is such a wealth of musical knowledge for us!

So, Michael just finished up math, and he just stuck a load of whites in the washing machine while Paul and I are continuing to listen to Bach while he does his math and I do my journaling for the day.

I already had some delicious time in Ephesians this morning, and I am going to take a shore walk and prayer time in the afternoon sunshine. Even though I am sick, it will be good to get out in the fresh air for this. I am praying through the prayer in Ephesians 3 for myself, my family, my church, and those I am in ministry with.

I supposed I should also journal on the great time that I had with Kim S. on Wednesday. We didn't have Kids' Club (which I absolutely love!) this week. The last Wednesday of every month we take a break from club, and this is nice. So, I initiated with Kim, and she was very excited. I had prayed about our time, and I felt the Lord talking to me about asking Kim how she gets fed with all the giving out that she does. She is the Children's Ministry Director at our church (my new and improved church :)), does Kids' Club at Orchard Court Open Door House, homeschools her oldest daughter, does cooking club, studies Foundation for Faith with another couple, teaches Sunday School, etc. So, it was interesting when SHE brought up the fact that she is really wanting to get deep in Scripture and dig deeper in relationships among others in leadership. She said that she was throwing it out there to me for my consideration. Was she asking me to lead her in this? I guess she was? So, I mentioned that I have a real heart for women in leadership that give and give and give and are not fed. I told her that my experience in the Navigators was that we were in a leader's study while we led a study. My experience with Phil Wroblicky in the college group was also the same.

Well, I talked to her the next day, and she had already talked to the Discipleship/Outreach Pastor and Senior Pastor about starting a "Leader's Study." I like her. :)

So, we will see where that goes.

I am running out of battery on this computer. So, I will send this off, and maybe I will journal more later.

Loving the peace. Loving my church. Loving my family. Loving my Ephesians and Bird's Eye View Bible studies. Loving the Kids' Club. Loving my relationships. Loving everything aobut my life right now.

Freedom is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lazy Day

It is already 8:39 a.m., and there is no sight of my children. George went to have breakfast with James, and I slept in and didn't go work out this morning. I went to sleep at about 10:15 p.m., but I slept until 7:15 a.m. That is two nights in a row where I slept 9 hours. So, I am figuring that my body is fighting something. So, I am OK with taking the majority of the week off of exercise in order to get better physically.

Paul just stirred, and he went straight to breakfast. Must be the new cereal that I bought yesterday. :)

Yesterday was a good day. I slept in. Finished my Ephesians study. I homeschooled and John came for the day while Barb was somewhere (can't remember where she went though). We went to music, and Michael is done with the banjo and going for the Psaltry, which is a wonderful sounding instrument. I usually run or shop or visit during that hour, but I quietly read Captivating and did my Bird's Eye View study. Captivating is getting a bit better now. I feel like I have worked through much of what she is talking about though. I know what the issues are for me, and 99% of the time, I can function really well, but there are 1% of the people whom I just cannot work with or the wounds resurface. That 1% was the Women Becoming situation, and I am so glad to be out of it now. So much in retrospect realize that given the people with and over me, I would not be able to avoid that 1% quagmire. I am not perfect. I am also not perfectly healed. So, I met my match in M. Bottom line. I can't go there again or with that type of person ever again. Hoping my trip to see Carol C. will shed light on this little wound that still remains with me.

Then, we went shopping, and I cooked them lunch. Boy, John eats so much more than my kids; but all their friends eat more than my kids. LOL!

After I was done with all this, it was already about 3:oo. So, I climbed into bed and rested my sickness away. George followed about 15 minutes later, not being able to make it through the whole day of work with his sickness. I rested until about 5 p.m and watched Oprah. Then, I sprung into action for beautification for the Suburban photo directory.

We all arrived at 6 p.m., and again, the contrast between this church and our old one is so striking. I can't describe it. You walk in, and there is PEACE. I remember walking in in May to our one at our old church, and there was not peace. So, the photoshoot was great, and we were warmly greeted and loved. The 8 a.m. service people were practicing their hymns, and I love the fact that they have a service for people who love to sing hymns, and I still want to go to that service when I get the opportunity to go. I also didn't know that Claudia sang and played the keyboard. My goodness, that woman is so multi-talented! I am so grateful to have a godly role model in my life like her.

M did say, "I wonder what the middle school Sunday School is like here?" We would love it if they would go there, but we don't want to push them, and I loved Jamie's attitude about it. That is cool and he is glad they are excited about going to church. So, this is where we are at.

After photos, we went to have a great family dinner at Elmer's, and I just want to say that I LOVE my family! They are the coolest people that I know, and I am so glad that we all get along so well and love each other so much.

I came home to watch Dancing with the Stars and I voted for Joey and Edina because I am afraid he will get eliminated because he isn't that well known of a star. Jerry Springer needs to go, and Jerry Springer wants to go, but his fans keep voting him to stay!

After that, I think I watched something else, but I can't remember what it was. Then, I turned off the TV read for a while and went to sleep.

So, there you have my day yesterday.

Today, I will homeschool, have tea with Kim and go workout. Then, I will go to Ephesians study.

A very slow day today, and I am glad about that.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Freewrite

My kids are doing a freewrite. So, I am doing one on my old computer, and some of the letters stick! So, I am not correcting this thing. (Warning: The "S" sticks a ton!)

This morning I went to Group Power, and it was great with Angie. I like her. She is very positive. After this, I went to a consultation with a trainer at the club, and she set me up on a program. She suggested that I not continue with group power and that I would get a better workout using her strength training program. So, I will try it for three weeks.

She also suggested that I run three days a week. I will also take her running class to help improve my running technique. It is 40 dollars, but that isn't bad for 8 weeks of classes. My goal is to lose fat in my arms and my stomach and above my hips in the back.

Well, the timer went off, and they are reading their freewrites to one another. They love freewrites now. Go figure.

Bye!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rain Must Fall

My kids are doing spelling and math right now. So, I am going to set my timer and do a freewrite for myself.

Yesterday, I sprang out of bed with such courage and optimism. I went to my "happy place" chair and spent three glorious hours in prayer and Scriptures. Such a great morning. We had already gone to our lovely church the night before. (I love the cozy feel of the Saturday night service, and we got to meet Jamie, the AWESOME Youth Leader.) So, I had the whole day until practice at 7 p.m.

So, when George brought the kids to Youth Sunday School, he dropped me off at Timberhill, and I worked out to worship songs, classic music, and Nora Jones on the elliptical and treadmill and read about the beginning life of Solomon. What a great workout. I love the club!

George picked me up about 1 1/2 hours later when he picked up the kids, and we all brought back books to the library and went shopping together. I love my family. Nothing give me more pleasure to just hang out with them doing the ordinary. I treasure these years because I know they won't last forever. Love the men they are both becoming.

After that, George fix a fabulous Shrimp Primavera from a frozen Contessa Bagged mix. Doesn't taste artificial AT ALL. It is also on SALE all the time at Fred Meyer! We ate our lunch and watched a couple of episodes of Forsythe. Then, he went to "be good" by working on his paper for DeDe while I called my mom and talked to Kenneth! He is in Portland now, and it was great to get caught up with him. We have to get together. He is doing so well. His speech has improved so much. He just gets better and better everytime that we talk to him.

After that, I watched Religion and News Ethics Weekly (or it might have been before), ate my dinner and went to worship practice. On the way to worship practice, I talked to Debbie on my cell phone, and she is still in love.

I walked into my lovely church with the lovely women who are doing the Jubilee Conference. Then, a person from NWH walked in the door, and I immediately froze.

WAMOOO! I knew she was coming, but one look at her made me wonder. What does she know about me? What has she been told that isn't true but is the perception of a dysfunctional person and the enabling spouse. I know they are in the same small group, and I know that person is very verbal about how she feels about people.

I felt attacked, self-consious, and paranoid. What happened to the woman who sprung out of bed full of optimism just thirteen hours before?

What is wrong with me that one person walking in the room can send me into such a tailspin?

So, I focused on Jesus in worship, loved the women I was worshipping with (loving Wanda, Jewel, Betty, Karen, Melissa, and I have loved Cynthia for years!) So, it wasn't terribly bad, but I found myself traveling back in the car crying out to my God and rehearsing what I would say to those people who have wronged me if they every wanted to know what they had done (which they don't care to hear what they have done wrong and would rather blame it on me.).

I came in the door, and George knew immediately that something was wrong. Nothing said or done to me, but the demons wouldn't get off my back. I wondered through the internet and ate 500 calories worth of brie cheese and sourdough bread as I blankly looked at the screen for solice and comfort.

We watched some more Forsythe, and I layed my weary head down to rest.

Well,

"The Lord gives to His beloved even in their sleep."

I dreamed of being in a tent together with others, and we conducted some kind of experiment where there was a timed explosion that would rain radioactie dust particles in the sky, but we were safe in the tent . . . together.

I woke up refreshed and ready to go to exercise class (it beats some kind of nuclear fallout in my dream). I came in to do the elliptical and read my syrupy Christian book by a popular author's wife. (Not into it), but the cloud lifted as I sweated and saw Terri's bright and shining face this morning. Went to Group Power and love the instructors and being there with Terri.

After that, I went on the cycle and talked to Terri for an hour more. My relational cup was full.
Came back to tell George that the cloud had lifted (maybe there was symbolism in the nuclear cloud falling out of the sky!), and he said he had gotten up early and had a long quiet time and prayed for me for quite a while.

Silly. Other preventative things that I did:

Prayed
Pampering evangelism (scheduled haircut with Lisa and manicure with Sherry),
Tea date with Melanie today
Breakfast with Lisa tomorrow
Put off procrastination with the teeth thing
Drank some tea
Wrote this post

Life is grand once again, and people do love me. I must not forget that in all of this. Even my partner probably loves me, but she just had a funny way of showing all of that. Most important is that God loves me.

Now, the last day or so of pouring down rain has given way to sunshine on my shoulder. One of God's way of speaking to me through the years. Thank you. Rain must fall, but it doesn't fall forever.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Andree Seu Article on Forgiveness

The thing we don't do
Forgiveness is hard work Andrée Seu
Forgiving is the hardest thing you will ever do. That's why most people don't do it. We talk about it, cheer for it, preach on it, and are sure we've practiced it. But mostly the illusion of having forgiven is that the passage of time dulls memory. The ruse will come to light with hair-trigger vengeance when fresh offense hurls in to empty out the gunnysack of half-digested grievances.
I asked a few people if they'd ever forgiven anyone, and what it felt like. They gave me answers so pious I knew they'd never done it. I am at the present moment in the maw of temptation, and I can tell you there is nothing exalted about this feeling, this one-two punch to the gut that comes when you even contemplate forgiving, which is as far as I've come.
At first I decided I would forgive the person—and never speak to him again. This felt pretty good, but I saw the dissimulation in it at once. I alternately toyed with going to him to "tell him his fault" (Matthew 18:15), which is my biblical right, so there. I had the decree of rebuke written up in my head, a document of fastidious and plenary detail—all for his own good. A smarmy satisfaction accompanied the plan, so I nixed it. For now.
In C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, a woman confronted by an angel about forgiving her husband says, "Well, I have forgiven him as a Christian." The phrase is meaningless. She then bulimically seethes for pages about his wrongdoing and her longsuffering.
Keeping one's mouth shut is commendable, and more than I have managed in the past. It will work as long as I don't go near a phone or e-mail. But I am reminded that "Absolom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad" for two whole years after the rape of his sister Tamar, and it ate him alive till in the end he killed the man.
O my brothers, you cannot imagine the exquisite verbal retaliations I have hatched in the idle hours, each more perfect than the last: theologically impeccable, legalistically faultless, poisoned prose polished to a lethal point. Must I now relinquish these? Must I kill the little darlings? Are they not to see the light of day? Such a waste.
Forgiveness is a brutal mathematical transaction done with fully engaged faculties. It's my pain instead of yours. I eat the debt. I absorb the misery I wanted to dish out on you, and you go scot-free. Beware the forgiveness that is tendered soon after injury; be suspicious. Real forgiveness needs a time lag, for it is wrought in private agony before it ever comes to public amnesty. All true acts of courage are thus done in secret.
Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Church in Manhattan shares the following letter from a man who once had to forgive a woman:
"I forgave her and it took me a whole year and I had to forgive her in small sums over that whole twelve months. I paid those sums whenever I spoke to her and kept myself from rehashing the past. I paid them whenever I saw her with another man and refused self-pity and rehearsal inside for what she'd done to me. I paid them whenever I praised her to others when I really wanted to slice away at her reputation. Those were the payments but she never knew them. However, I never knew her payments, but I know she made them. I could tell."
And now the unthinkable: not only to forgive but seek the good. Nature abhors a vacuum and Jesus admits of no middle ground between hate and love. Pray for him.
When you were a child you thought like a child, that pain was something to flee. Now in the adulthood of faith, suck up your hundred denarii, because someone took your ten thousand talents upon Himself (Matthew 18), and like a lamb led to slaughter and a sheep before its shearers was silent (Isaiah 53:7). He did not retaliate but "continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:23). Be so awash in the ocean of His love, my soul, that the shortcomings of all human loves will, more and more, seem but a trifling thing.
Copyright © 2006 WORLD MagazineSeptember 30, 2006, Vol. 21, No. 37

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Life's Simple Pleasures are the Best

Life's Simple Pleasures are the Best!

I posted in response to Susan's post about how we seek joy, and I thought I would post here what I posted:

You posted after I had gone to bed on Friday with a "full cup of joy." So, I was going to have a similar question like "What fills your cup?"

Actually, it was a "joy full" week in general. As I look at my At a Glance Day Planner (By the way, this is my new one, and I LOVE it - July to July with tabs for the months and a month and weekly calendar and lots of "Quick Note" space for taking notes - but I digress . . .constantly) I see the theme for joy is:

People . . . While people can bring great pain, they also bring great joy; and I am learning to be very selective with the people.

(Positive people are especially nice . . .this is a sub-theme for me because positivity in people is really good too. NOT that we can't have struggles and pain, but I do not find joy in being around people that are negative about other people and put them down all the time.)

Presence . . .Actually, I have a whole talk on the difference between joy and happiness. Joy to me is Jesus Over You. This sense of God's presence in the good, but also in the bad and the ugly. That "God with us" Emmanuel kind of thing.

Peace . . . It goes along with joy. I am most at joy when I am at peace with God and men. So, being in regular touch with God is so precious to me and brings me peace.

Prayer . . .Keeps me filled with joy to be communicating with Him.

Pampering . . .I think I really find much pleasure in pampering myself now and then; and if I can do that with people, I am blessed twofold. I am also including pampering myself by making myself sweat and eating right. Joining that club was a way to pamper myself, and it has brought immense joy to be free of pain and my gut!

So, I look at this joy full week, and I see all of those things coming together.

Joy this week was:

Sunday
Church (Peace and People) - Peace-filled church, peace-filled people, peace-filled pastor and leadership. AWWWWWWW.......JOY INEXPRESSIBLE in this department. You never know how sick you've been until you are well.

Pride and Prejudice Party (Pampering, People, Peace) - What felicity to spend five hours in a home theatre (Movie screen on the wall of their family room!) with safe Sharon on my right and safe Rebekah on my left and four lovely new friends on the floor. Baked brie and honey, scones, organic pasta, peanut butter M&M's and Colin Firth. Can you say JOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

Monday

Lunch with Amy (People, Pampering, Peace) - Yummy Chinese with safe Amy who came south one hour to see me!

Tea with Terri (P,P,P!) - Spending three hours sitting outside on a gorgeous 75 degree day and talking about life with someone who knows me well but I haven't talked to in years. Leaving a church makes those people who love you come out of the woodwork to tell you how much you mean to them. JOY.

Tuesday

Biking with Mary Beth (P,P,P!) - She teaches a class, and it brings me such joy to see one of my friends who at one time was so unhappy find her niche as an exercise instructor in a cycling class. So, joy comes in seeing other people be at joy. It also brings me joy to work up a sweat!

Homeschool with fabulous boys (P,P,P) - This self-proclaimed Pollyanna (another P!) finds joy in homeschooling these guys. It is a privilege and pleasure for me that I have yet to get tired of. How is that for sick? How great is it to assign some homeschool tasks while I sneak away for one hour to ride the bike with Mary Beth and come back to boys who have done all their work independently and are ready to cuddle on the couch and read The Epic of Gilgamesh and lean more about prehistoric times? These kids bring me joy.

Music Lessons with Suz(All P) - I love this woman who teaches my kids banjo and piano. She is so positive (sub-theme). I spent some of the time watching my kids and some of the time going for a run and praying on campus as I ran through International Student housing and stopped to visit my old basketball coach!

Walking with Paul (another favorite Person!) - What a kid. Still love doing this while dad and Michael go swimming together.

Manicure with Sherri - It is pampering, but Sherry also just became a believer in Jesus last Sunday and couldn't wait to tell me all about it. So, it was so exciting to hear about what is going on in her life. The angels in heaven and I were rejoicing with great joy over that one!

Tea with Nourieh - My sweet B'Hai neighbor. Love this woman. She pampered me, and I love drinking Jasmine tea the Persian way (Sugar cube between the teeth until it dissolves)!

Telephone with Kim - A new friend named Kim! She is an evangelist, and we are soul-mates already! So exciting to talk about all the things God is doing in our midst among internationals.

Dancing with the Stars! - Pamper, pamper. Guilty pleasure.

Wednesday

Make up with Mary Beth - Arbonne personal party trying new make-up colors. Pampering at its finest with one of my favorite people. Mary Beth says that I am branching out like she has never seen me! This brings me great joy.

Swimming with Mary Beth and Elissa's kids - Three hours of sun, fun, pizza, and polite kids that play together without a single conflict. Mary Beth's kids and my kids have known each other since the womb, and Elissa is a new friend. It was so peaceful and joyful and Elissa's dry sense of humor made me laugh all afternoon!

Ephesians study with amazing people - I sat in silence as I listened to these wonderful ladies share from their hearts about what God is teaching them, awed and JOYFUL!

Thursday

Deep Tissue Massage with Anna - Already commented on this one in another post. Great JOY with a little pain and NO MONEY OUTLAY!

Bible Teaching with Beth - Watching Beth fly in her gifting and speak in front of women brings me such joy.

Friday - The most joyful day

Workout with Annie - Love my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of pampering my body by a good strength and cardio workout! Overjoyed at the results.

Visit at Lisa's - Deep sharing and tea while kids frolicked in the sunshine with remote controlled planes. No words for the joy.

Scandanavian Dance with the H's - My kids didn't want to go, but there was deep joy in being able to not coerce but to persuade them of the benefits (using my Dale Carnegie principles of persuasian!) and seeing them rise to the challenge of being enthusiastic, reaching out to a family in crisis, and learning dances because their mom is Scandanavian and they are too! They ENJOYED themselves, and I was able to listen to this mom in crisis pour out her heart like never before with 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted time while the instructor occupied the kids!

Malay food with Masons - Asian food and fantastic fellowship.

Saturday

Prayer and Lunch with Ginny and Lorraine - My mentors give me great joy as they listen and impart their 164 years of combined wisdom and life experiences. Joy in their persence. Joy in seeing a lightbulb go off as Lorraine read an article about true forgiveness from World Magazine. I love it how things come together. That brings me joy.

Genesis with Nourieh - Studying the Bible with my Bhai friend brought great joy

Church with new church body - Already gushed above, but there were friends from our old church there and it was so joyful to visit. Also, the message on confession was totally well timed. God was there last night. That brings me JOY to see him cause all things come together in my mind. I have been praying all week that God would give me a "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the true knowledge of Him" and that the "eyes of my heart would be enlightened," and I do believe this was an answer to prayer. Presence there and I know joy deep down.

Movie with dh - Pampering by watching Monarch of the Glen with my favorite person.

Survivor by myself -

Sunday

Slug with family - I am still in my P.J.'s at 3:45 p.m. Pampering myself by some internet time, talking with dh and children, eating good food.

All week:
Great time in prayer and the Word brought great joy as I meditated all week on the prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 and prayed it for myself and other people, read Desiring God (Piper is always delicious and joyful because he says, "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enJOYing Him forever"!), and read through some of the Psalms of David while Absalom was being a pill. The forgiveness, confession thing just came together this week. I can freely forgive and that gives me great joy.

And now I am done with these silly details of my life. Some of you might roll your eyes at this (I am just a detailed process person!) but it is good to reflect on the things this week that brought me joy. I am thinking that when we reflect with gratitude, it can bring us great joy, can't it?

39-40. The Fugitive and Time Regained by Marcel Proust

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