Day with God: July 11
I had some time up on the hill before, and I am going to document it here to have it for perpetuity. (I love the way that word rolls off one's tongue.)
Prior to going to see her at 1 pm, Nancy and I went to the hilltop Mt. Angel Abbey, and it was a feast day. Consequently, the library was closed, and we could not go in the little area off the coffee room due to construction. The coffee room was occupied by young people. So, the receptionist asked the Father in charge, and he allowed us to go down to the private area reserved for paying guest of the retreat house. Score! It has big windows overlooking a garden and the hills below. Nancy took the fireside room which is beautiful with no view.
I know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
So true as I looked out from the hillside to the fields below!
May I . . .
prepare my mind for action
setting my hope fully
on the grace to be given me at Your revelation, Christ Jesus.
(1 Peter 1:13)
The Message says:
So roll up your sleeves
put your mind in gear
be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives.
(1 Peter 1:13)
and goes on to say:
Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then, you do now.
As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy, you be holy."
Blazing with holiness! I love that!
Then I felt God had me doing some examination where I was slipping into old ways of life. I also felt led to pray for my kids. I want to spend more precious time with them while they are home for the summer. Praying into when that might be with Michael's crazy work schedule. Our Saturday evening movie nights have been precious though. We like many of the same things, and we all laugh so much together. I would like to do a summer study together though. So, am praying into that right now.
The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the GLORY of Christ, who is the image of God.
(2 Corinthians 4:4)
Spent time praying for unbelievers. I had spent time before the Abbey praying for even more. There are so many more. The light of the Gospel is so glorious. Who would not want that?
Arise and bless You, Lord my God
Thinking of ways to bless God throughout my days.
Then I evaluated the last month since I last saw Sister Joan on June 8.
I had written on my last days of prayer:
"I am putting my health as a priority this summer."
This is my eval:
- I have eaten super healthy all summer
- I have increased my cardio so that my appetite has been curbed.
- I did 100 miles of biking in June and broke my workout record with 103 workouts!
- I got my Pilates CEU's on June 25th. Six hours of Pilates was really fun!
Sister Joan and I talked about doing things that are "life-giving" to me rather than "soul-draining." Here are some things I have been doing this last month to do that:
- Storytelling - SO GOOD! (I even told Sister Joan the Creation and Fall stories, and we had a wonderful conversation about that!)
- Sabbatical - Last time, God said, "Step out of the traffic and spend a long, loving look at me" (Psalm 46:10). Isn't that the coolest way to put that? So, I have purposely tried to step out of the traffic. It is not always easy. I am not tempted to go into it to feel significant. My significance has not been in my ministry or what I "do" for God in many, many year (probably since my breakdown where God so graciously relieved me of that burden - 1983). I still don't know how to relieve myself of the burden of people contacting me CONSTANTLY about every little thing under the sun. That is where I do not know how to stop that. It is not even me saying, "Yes" to their questions. It takes time to say "No"! It takes time to answer all those inquiries. Still thinking through that.
- STOP - My biggest thing was saying "NO" to any more Skype Training Team meetings. They suck the life out of me more than any other thing I have ever had going on with me. So, I am done with those. I am glad for that. I not only took a sabbatical, but I disengaged even after that. That has been really healthy for me.
- Supplication - I am, in my heart of hearts, an intercessor. I feel that is my primary calling. It is the main part of discipling people (God is the the one who causes the growth, not me), sharing with them, and interceding for people all over the world. Since June 8, I was able to get through two, eye-opening and wonderful, prayer books. I could not WAIT to get up every morning and pray. It gave me such joy. I KNOW that we affect the world more by our praying than all our labors.
With that in mind, the PUMP Party that I organized was a wonderful thing. We prayed 12 hours instead of the 26 from last time, but it was so good. There were 17 (+ one remote person who sent a video message that kicked off the whole party) instead of about 40, but it was a great 18 people. The only draining thing was having all the burden of contacting people about coming. I am, at heart, an introvert. So that was time-consuming and draining for me.
- Surgery - Last meeting, I felt great anxiety about Paul's surgery. That is why I went away. The stress leading up to it (trying to find the medication on a hot June day) was difficult, but once the surgery was over, and his recovery has been SO SO GOOD, that anxiety has melted away. Praise God for Paul, and his wonderful, wonderful attitude about his liquid diet and eating with a syringe!
- Simplify - Still trying to take me out of the equation as a connector of people. I love people, but a person of "too many friends, comes to ruin." When you look more deeply at that verse, it is talking about "unreliable, indiscriminate friends," and I do not let myself get caught up with those kinds of people anymore; but still, lots of friends, means lots of people contacting me about things. So hard to simplify.
The home is getting simpler, and I am working on that today! I am also hoping to streamline our ministry in the fall. I hope to think about that in August.
Back to STRENGTH:
August into September will also be a time to increase physical strength. I have held off on resistance training because it is quite time consuming for me. Pilates is resistance training, and I have kept that up, but I need more for my arms.
I got a picture of my POUNDS (down arrow), PAIN (down arrow). That is what I have been working on over the last few years, and I am happy to say, I have stayed away from being overweight for 3 1/2 years. YAY! My PAIN subsided when I learned about corrective flexibility and proper Pilates technique. NOW, it is about POWER!
I want to become stronger. I was on that road from September - February of last year when I injured myself. I think being in Phase III - hypertrophy was too much. I will stay in Phases I (Stabilization Endurance) and II (Strength Endurance) and skip Hypertrophy to IV (Maximal Strength) and V (Power) for overall performance. I would like to get back into running too. Not a lot, but just enough to help with heart disease risk (2 times a week for 10-15 minutes is all it takes to reduce that risk by 40%, but you can really wrench your back if you are not careful and build up to it).
Then God gave me a final "S" word that was a verb!
"Spread your wings and fly, Carol!"
That was fun and unexpected and goes along with my journey from the "caged bird" (at my old church) to today. I feel like I am flying!
Also, I love teaching Pilates I love integrating health and wellness physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
I wrote (before I went down the hill to Sister Joan):
"So here we go, Lord! It is so well with my soul today! TIME to walk in nature!"
Then God reminded me:
"Remember My vision and move toward My vision (for you). I am the sun that shines down on you. I am the sunshine on your shoulder (long history of God speaking to me by having the sun shine on my shoulder - yes, the John Denver song is part of it)."
The time with Sister Joan was two hours and life affirming. She was so shocked that I would put all the things we talked about into practice, but I enjoy having things to implement and seeing growth! She wants to meet again because it is so refreshing for her, and I like my new friend!
Another verse God gave me regarding my kids:
be anxious for nothing
let my requests be known to You, oh God, in everything by prayer and supplication
peace guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Also reminded me of the 2016 word: SWAP (another "S"!):
I want to pray more into those characteristics too!