Showing posts from June, 2016

Well Update - Sister Joan Freewrite Follow Up

I am trying to get used to my new computer. It takes a bit of time, but I have it today. I have been reserving my Thursdays to go up and see George, but he is coming down tonight. So, I don't need to do that. (The learning curve is high at first.) 

So here is the Well Update

Heart/Soul - I am emotionally on a very even keel lately. I am well-rested. Balance has been restored after the end of May - Early June realization that I had become a bit out of kilter. I am so thankful for Sister Joan, and her words of wisdom for me. I was reacting to other people rather than responding to the Lord. That always gets me in a bit of trouble. I think it started with feeling low-ebb with allergies and progressed from there. The rudeness of the man in the class after mine also contributed. The ongoing negativity of another person that I had to see at the end of my mostly positive class day on Mondays and Wednesdays also contributed. Negative people are toxic people. 

Here is a list that I was remind…

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings Quotes

For Tolkien, the Happy Ending lies at the heart of fantasy and fairy story; it is so essential to the genre that when he revised his talk for publication in Essays Presented to Charles Williams, he coined the word “eucatastrophe” for eu (Greek for good) and catastrophe (Greek for overturning) to describe those glorious volte-faces in which evil, on the verge of triumph, gives way to good, corruption to innocence, grief to rejoicing, certain death to yet more certain life. It is “a sudden and miraculous grace . . . a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.” There are echoes here of Lewis’s idea of Joy, that painful, delicious longing that only God can fulfill. It may be that Lewis drew inspiration for his carefully constructed account of Joy in his autobiography from Tolkien’s earlier presentation. In any event, eucatastrophe is for Tolkien the crucial even in fairy tale, the hinge upon which the greatest stories turn, imparting “a catch of the br…

25. The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Zaleskis

I was so excited for this book. I had Humphrey Carpenter's book,  The Inklings, in my reading queue, having spied it on my mentor's shelf about a month ago; but I noticed this new one that came out last year, and it was at my library in the "new book" section with no other holds! What a find! I had such high hopes! 

The word that continually came to mind while reading this book was SLOG. To slog is to "keep doing something even though it is difficult or boring: to work at something in a steady and determined way" (Webster). That is what I had to do with this book.

Was it worth it? I would say overall, "Yes." The subjects were fascinating, but I had a love/hate relationship with this book. The first 200 pages were mostly boring with moments of brilliance. The authors did not make a very readable book for the lay public by using incredibly difficult words when they could have chosen a more common and accessible word that your average Joe would not hav…

Learned a New Thing

I rarely have pain these days, but I did a LOT of walking and riding two days ago (16 miles), and there is a limit for my QL. It was sore last night so I took an anti-inflammatory. I got on the scale (after a great deficit day), and my weight had JUMPED almost a pound!

I don't worry about that, but I traced back to what it might have been, and it had to be the anti-inflammatory. So I did some research, and here you go:

Why do NSAID's cause fluid retention?

NSAID's block the formation of certain "bad" prostaglandins which cause inflammation and pain. However, they also block some "good" prostaglandins too .. in particular those that are needed do keep blood vessels in the kidneys dilated. When blood vessels in the kidneys are constricted, then the flow of blood is reduced, which in turn reduces the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), or the rate at which the kidneys filter blood. This slowed filtration rate causes a bit of a backlog in the bloodstream whic…

Health and Wellness Freewite

Well, my journey to wellness of body this summer is going swimmingly (oh, I should go swimming this summer, but I digress)! 6.6 pounds in 21 days. 

I am back down to what was really my "set point" weight for most of the three years after I lost 15% of my weight between December 23, 2012 and April 18, 2013. This "set point" was really easy for me to maintain. It was 10% of my previous body weight.

I had a lightbulb moment this morning. Kim (my Registered Dietitian soulmate who works with Pediatric outpatients [most of whom are obese] at the hospital) and I went to a continuing education workshop for healthcare professions about 10 years ago, and the speaker talked about how we need to only lose 10% at a time and then maintain that 10% for at least three months. She talked about the predilection of fat cells to want to grow back to the size they were before, and they need to find a new normal. Well, I realized it was EASY for me to have that 10%, but that extra 5% was …

24. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

I have to admit that even though I have said that I read this book in the past, I listened to it while my kids listened. I got distracted many times. This time, I took a long bike ride and fell in love with this book. As I rounded the corner toward the morning sun rising over the mighty Willamette River, I marveled at this profound interaction between Aslan and Lucy:
"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger.""That is because you are older, little one," answered he. "Not because you are?""I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."(p. 136) 
As I grow, God becomes bigger in my life. I see how "BIG" He really is. 

I love this book. Good versus Evil and being brave even when you might think you are not ready. 

Since I am going to Oxford in a month, I am reading a book about the Inklings, the group that included Tolkien and Lewis. So I thought this series would be perfect to read. I am taking a break to read that humong…

Happy Father's Day to My Man!


Facts and Figures Freewrite

I am an "S" on the Myers-Briggs personality type scale. So, I LOVE facts and figures as long as I can treat them with "personal warmth" because I am an SF (ST's treat them with cool objectivity).

So here are some fun things I evaluated after this latest weight course correction (gaining HALF the weight I lost in 2013 BACK with HALF of that HALF being between March 16 and June 1 of this year. I FORGOT to be disciplined. Seriously!]) 

So here are the facts and figures:

I investigated historical data based on 94% accurate BodyBugg (2008-2015) calorie burns and my  LoseIt! member weight data since 2010 (but I preferred BodyBugg because it had all my foods so I was inconsistent with LoseIt! until BodyBugg/Body Media shut down in December 2015 [probably another reason why I gained weight because the BodyBugg helped me make sure I burned the right amount of calories everyday!])
My average calorie burn over the BodyBugg years was 2400 calories.
When I calculated how much I …

23. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Yes, this was a relisten. I had played this version for my kids more than once. One time was on a very long journey to California. Funny, I have never physically read this, only listened to a narration of this first one. The other books: my husband tried in vain the first year of our marriage (26 years ago), but I kept falling asleep! I am determined to listen to them all since everyone else in my family has read them and listened to them all! (I was too busy puttering around the house working when my kids listened to the other ones during homeschool in 2005 when the first edition of these CD's came out I think I was the first to check them out from our library!) 

Since I am going to the land of British Literature next month and am reading a book about the Inklings literary circle at Oxford in which this series was a result, I thought I would give them another try.

I love this story so much. It really gets wonderful in the second half of the book, and it is especially good in the la…

Peter Elbow was on Julie's Periscope!

Peter Elbow - Professor Emeritus of Amherst :) 

I am just freewriting as he is speaking so I can take notes and have them in one place.

 Ken Macrorie - Invented freewriting. 

(Definition of freewriting from Wikipedia: 
FreewritingFree writing, a term commonly used by Elbow, coined by Ken Macrorie, is to write without stopping, without editing, without sharing, without worrying about grammar, without thinking, without rushing. Elbow wants his students (and others) to write whatever they want, however they want but just write daily-10 to 15 minutes for one freewrite. Normal freewriting can be adapted to focused freewriting and public freewriting. Focused freewriting is trying to stay on a topic, which is particularly useful when a student has a specific assignment to do. Public freewriting is geared toward being shared, which makes it seem a little more risky but it is very useful in groups, especially where there is trust, and growth can occur. The goal of this exercise is to bring about a…

Liberation Day Freewrite

Today is the 10 year anniversary of our liberation from a 28 year dysfunctional relationship (28 for me and less for my husband). 

I celebrate this day every year, but this year is special because it has been 10. That is a milestone. 

One of the best decisions we have ever made as a couple was to leave that toxic and dysfunctional situation. Systemic problems are no longer ours. 

I was going to take a celebration bike ride, but after I got out of my 10 am meeting with my boss, it was pouring down rain! So, I came back home to write this freewrite.

I am also celebrating the sabbatical that I have been on for one week now. :) It has been phenomenal. I see from my Facebook memory pictures that I took a two week sabbatical at the same time this year. I remember it being really refreshing, and I cannot help but think that a full sabbatical for four months (except a Bible storytelling class and prayer party) and a partial one (adding in our missional group the end of September) until the end of…

22. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I could just eat up this book. Some things are a little outdated and more liturgical than some would like, but I loved most of it. 

As I am in reassessment mode about everything including how we do community, this had such yummy things to say about what community is and isn't. 

Another book I heartily recommend! I have loved reading all these classics that Richard Foster recommended when I read Celebration of Discipline!

21. A Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. Kelly

"We have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power. If only we could slip over into that Center! . . . We have seen and known some people who seem to have found this deep Center of living, where the fretful calls of life are integrated, where no as well as yes can be said with confidence." 
This book is about finding that "Divine Center"! I loved it and read it on my retreat at the Abbey. I have made some course adjustments since then, and I am back in that "Divine Center" groove that I usually have and lost with sickness, injury, and anxiety. Thankfully I wasn't too off "Center" that I crashed and burned. Let's hear it for "course correction" before we slam into a reef or something! 
I heartily recommend this book! 

Freewrite: Sabbatical Update and Analogy

In the early 2000's, I started an accountability group called FACED. We focus on reporting about our 

Academic pursuits (from some it is Attitude toward the day)
Communion with God and people
Daily care of self and family. 

I had a contest for weight loss in 2005, and two women, Katrina and Rachel, emerged as the winners. All the other people in the group have dropped off, but Katrina, Rachel, and I still continue to try to maintain a healthy balance in all areas of our life as we FACE each day!
We have a new challenge to report to each other everyday from June 1- July 16. Katrina will be done with her nursing program on that day, and I will be going off to England. I do periodic reflections ("Health Freewrites") about my FACED progress, and this is what I wrote them this morning: 
Thanks to both of you for joining in this new phase of our growth. It is a lifelong pursuit, but we are moving forward even though it is sometimes three steps forward and two steps back!…

Sabbatical Until October

7503. רָפָה rāp̱āh: A verb meaning to become slack, to relax, to cease, to desist, to become discouraged, to become disheartened, to become weak, to become feeble, to let drop, to discourage, to leave alone, to let go, to forsake, to abandon, to be lazy. The word occurs forty-five times, often with the word yāḏ (3027), meaning hand, forming an idiomatic phrase that requires careful translation within the context of a particular passage. For

Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 1072). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

In the context of Psalm 46:10, this is what I am getting at. 

It is the Hiphil imperative where God causes me to slack, relax, cease, desist, leave alone, let go.

I feel a strong sense that I need to just STOP everything and know that He is God.

He will be exalted among the nations.
He will be exalted in the earth. 

Period, the end! 

So, without further ado,  my big "I will" statement:

I am taking a sabbatical.


20. The Message: Remix by Eugene H. Peterson

From 1981-85, I took my time and read through the Bible from cover to cover for the first time. I have read through it many times since then, but over the last nine years I have read through it in three year cycles. I am at the end of my third three year cycle. 

I write a blog called the Bible Book Club that takes people through that three year cycle. I put it all in a word processor, and it ended up being 3500 pages! It was a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that was SO rewarding. I cannot even begin to tell you wonderful it has been. 

For study, I use a New American Standard Bible, but I do love to listen to the narrated version of this paraphrase by Eugene H. Peterson. Kelly Dolan Ryan does such a great job of narrating it too! 

I have read many books in my life, but the Bible is the BEST. :)


I was afraid to weigh myself. I have been doing really well for six days (really eight, but I officially started on June 1), but I did not do a starting weight. I knew my spring was full of lots of eating (Mother's Day treats that were showered on me would have been enough to gain all of the weight!)

I am five pounds more than I thought I was! Still within my ideal weight range. Not panicking, 

BUT, I gained five pounds since March 16! That is five pounds in about three months which is overeating about 200 calories a day. Not much, but ACK!

True that I did not weigh myself at the same time I usually do, and I had 32 ounces of liquid and my full breakfast. So I am getting up tomorrow and starting from that weight. I am hoping it is less. :(

I always say I overeat about 200 calories a day. I would always just walk around the block two times, and it would take care of that, but I had allergies all spring (much longer than usual) and then I got sick. So, that could be those five pounds! I…

19. The Boys In the Boat by Daniel James Brown

"Where is the spiritual value of rowing? . . . The losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew as a whole."   George Yeoman Pocock from The Boys in the Boat

Another great book! I loved every minute of it. It reminded me of reading Seabiscuit so many years ago. They call it "Chariots of Fire with oars," and that movie is one of my FAVORITES of all time. (I have memorized almost every line!) I love how this author has combined this team's rise to the Olympic stage and personal stories, especially the story of Joe Rantz. There will be a PBS documentary about their story on August 2, and I cannot wait. The movie rights were purchased even before the book came out. So I anxiously await that! 
Here is a page that has a lecture by the author and some footage:
I cannot say enough good things about it. One of my favorite books of all time.
I just listened to a lecture by the author, and he was at…