I have had this beautiful morning.
Hearing the garage door open at about 5:30 am is my signal to pray for my boys as they head off to work at the farm. I meditate on Psalm 145 as I wake up.
I make my Chai tea as per my tradition (Could it be that this has happened more than 10 years?). This morning (since my boys are not sleeping), I play instrumental praise music on my Bose speaker as I make it. Ahhh.
I sit at my happy place desk and center my heart as my tea comes to a boil on the stove.
I bring my tea over to my happy chair, and I find a deer fixedly staring at me from my backyard as the dawn is breaking on this end of August day. Another gift from the Father. I cannot tell you how much it calms my heart.
Now I sit to write for a "Freewrite Fifteen" (and I finally add "Freewrite" to the dictionary on Google so it will no longer have that ominous red line under it that warns me that I am in danger of spelling error). I am again touched by the finger of God because my new Flylady App (better than those annoying emails that flood my box at the wrong time because she is three hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time) has a FIFTEEN MINUTE TIMER (sorry for shouting)! It is already preprogrammed in; almost as if the Flylady knew that, in addition to needing to do "Fifteen Minute Fling Boogies" to my junk, I would need to do "Fifteen Minute Freewrites"!
Today, I will "fling a little emotional junk" and type away. I processed a LOT on here on Saturday, but then something happened that made me afraid that the wrong people would read this. You see, I don't think anyone reads this, but I know they do because I have a page view count on my page that tells me that people are doing so. There is really only one person I would prefer not read this blog, and I think that person has in the past. If anyone knows how to block people, let me know! I don't think I know how to do so.
Anywho. I am doing WAY better than I was on Saturday where I had a true panic attack and have never had one of those in my life. I am not normally an anxious person. I always joke that my mom had enough of those for all generations to come. (Come to think of it, the panic attack was triggered by something related to a person a lot like my mother. Hmm. Must explore that with God this morning after I write.)
Yesterday's time with God was very significant. He led me to listen to the Michael Card song,"Why Will You Not Listen?"
Wow! I just listened to it again this morning (By the way, my fifteen minutes is up, but I am on a roll!), and I am blessed all over again. I am adding this to my morning worship playlist next to Jon Thurlow's "I Want to Be With You."
Yesterday, I took time to listen, and my goodness, everything just fell together like none other! The fruit of listening is that I am running a "Tuesday TOAG Light"!
So these are just a few of the things (in quotes) I wrote down in my journal as God talked and I listened:
1) LISTEN: Duh! "As much as you (me) say you have. You haven't." I think I had the discipline of "LO" (Listen and Obey) cemented during the last two TOAG's, but I think I have slipped in that discipline and am going to rectify that. Maybe it was the busyness of last year's new career in Pilates and Personal Training? I am not sure. I also wrote in my journal, "Behold I will do something new, Carol. Watch and wait for it." Yes, He told me that at the coast in mid-August. (So glad I did not know about all the crud that was going on during that retreat and the two glorious weddings. Talking with Nancy yesterday, I realized that God protected me from it so I could truly enjoy everything about that JOY FILLED weekend which was really a JOY-FILLED 14 days after we came back from our trip to England [because of Elizabeth, Stacy, Micah and Christen, Houcks, closure with MBA, and sunset in a vineyard] which was, come to think of it, a JOY-FILLED 14 days prior to that! Oh my! Too much JOY followed by such CRUD!). So I continue to wait and watch for something new. I think part of it unfolded after that quiet time though.
2) LEARN: "LIFE TOGETHER, LEADERSHIP, LIGHTROOM, LAPTOP"
LIFE TOGETHER - The CRUD made me realize that I need community, and I cannot have community that never prays for us (I cannot tell you how many times we share prayer requests along with everyone else and no one prays - these are YOUNG PEOPLE - I need to be around people that don't see us as leaders who do not need prayer!) or cares for us too. I am going to finish Life Together by Bonhoeffer. In fact, I need to just buy a copy and mark it up. I borrowed Steve's, and it has a lot in it that is markable!
With LEADERSHIP, I need to set some ground rules, I think I have been feeding into followers' selfishness for a while. It is all about them. "Who listens to the listener?" was Sister Joan's comment to me, and that is why I got to the point where I was in June. I made some changes: Tuesday night walks with Kim and regular meetings with Sister Joan. That is so healthy! I was spending so much time with people who were just dumping on me all the time. I let people dump and complain too much. I need to politely encourage sharing but not whining or complaining. It was good to talk with Mary yesterday and hear we are at the same place in that we both do a lot of listening to people (She had some amazing insights into a certain person too -- wow!). Leadership means you train people to be other-centered. Listening prayer sometimes lends to people being very much self-absorbed!
LIGHTROOM - How fun that Jeff R. and Jeff B. both responded to my inquiry. I am going to learn that software, and I think I am going to do a bit more photography again this year since my back is doing so well! YAY! Balance in something I love and helps me worship because I look so much more intently at God's great big world.
LAPTOP - I have a new one with a whole new upgrade in Windows 10. I WILL learn it and its capabilities.
3) LOVE: "Means loving other well and training them not to be selfish." I often make the relationship all about the other person while doing "violence to myself" (as Sister Joan so starkly put it). Love can be tough too, and I have not been very tough because my empathy often trumps everything else. I am a softy and cheerleader, and I realize that I do not listen to the spiritual gift of discernment half as much as I should. That is not love.
4) LAUGH: "Take time with George and friends to have fun." Often our weekend time together has been taken up with ministry, serious ministry. So, that is going to change too. People with emotional instability are not always that fun. I need to have more balance in that area. I did not realize how much fun George and I have together until I looked at the 2 hours of video we shot on our trip to England. :) We laugh a lot. George is the funniest person I know. Just a goofball. I love that he makes me laugh all the time. So, more time with George would be a welcome thing!
5) LOLLYGAG -
I do spend aimless time at night. I crash at night and have TV going in the background as I work on a goal or project! (So maybe not too aimless.) I do play Spider Solitaire, but I usually do it to help me think through a challenging situation. I thought this was funny that God gave me this word because I sometimes joke with George that he needs to "quit lollygagging" and get going. I need to slow down and smell the roses more. I think a better thing is REST (which was one of the "R" words He gave me at the beginning of the summer). I got that sign three times last week: EVERYONE NEEDS REST. Amen!
6) LET GO, LET GOD - the problem that I have been excluded from is a GIFT to be excluded from because IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM. I had this dream where the person's dress kept on catching on fire, and the singing people just kept on singing and ignoring the dress catching on fire. The person kept on walking toward it, and I felt totally responsible for it. God said, LET GO and WAKE UP. SO I woke up in such peace. Psalm 46:10! Praise GOD I am being excluded from helping (I think I am being "punished" because apparently I did things incorrectly even though I succeeded swimmingly in the long run - must be vague for privacy reasons.) and led by God to NOT BE INVOLVED in any way! YAY! I should be thankful, and I am! I am free to do His plan for me.
On another note, I am needing to LET GO of Corvallis. I love this town, but I am probably leaving in the next year. I need to laugh with George more. :). I also need to leave people who do not live authentic and lives of integrity. I should not have gotten myself involved with someone who does not, but I was deceived, and I regret the five year investment. OUCH!
7) LONG, LOVING LOOK at Me - That is the second half of Psalm 46:10 in The Message and my theme verse (combined with the NASB margin) for the next year:
This keeps on coming up over and over and over again. Must not ignore. I must listen and obey!
8) LEAVE well - I want to tie up the loose ends in Corvallis and leave really, really well. Get Paul settled with his teeth and jaw issues that should conclude Spring Break 2017. It will be 14 years of teeth issues for both the boys. Can you believe it? That is what has kept us in "Captivity in Corvallis," and it has been a beautiful one, as we have "planted fruitful gardens" as God directed us when we left Malaysia in 1999!
9) LOSE LAST LINGERING LAYER of fat! LOL! I am in my range, and I am doing well, but the last 12 days have been stressful (because of someone else's hardship because our life is lovely)! I have stress eaten, and I have come back to some old bad habits. I had about 5 lbs left to be at my favorite weight. So, tally ho!
10) LIFT - Dumb maybe, but I love it when I lift weights, but I have not put that discipline back in my life since I injured myself in February! I started two weeks ago, but I have only done it twice!
11) LIGHT - TOAG Light, that is! I want to be a LIGHT in Corvallis and BEYOND! So, I proposed to the two people who have wanted to do TOAG in the past, but they were not available until this year. It is not a full TOAG, but it is two people I feel safe with. So, I contacted them both and Tuesday TOAG LIGHT was the only day that I really had every Tuesday, and guess what? It was the only day for them too! So, we are meeting Nine to Noon for Tuesday TOAG to be a LIGHT in Corvallis! YAY! Our "Swan Song" for Corvallis TOAG!
I am well. It is well with my soul. This has been more like a 60 minute freewrite but good to get it all down!