Showing posts from 2019

Monday Morning Examen Freewrite

Sometimes I like to type out my Examen 

Review of Yesterday . . . Breathing and I am asking you Lord to be with me. Looking at my day with you. 

Grateful for: 

George! How lovely to just talk and talk and talk on Sunday morning. He has been so encouraging to me over the last few days, not afraid to process the hard stuff that I went through. He is purposely working in the living room rather than his downstairs office to be available to me as I recover from my heart-breaking thing. Family! I loved that my kids wanted to go and celebrate Teala's birthday with her.Teala! We have 41 years of deep friendship. Happy to celebrate her 61st with her. Morning - It was not rush. It was calm. God was all over my review of the Exercises I have covered so far. God has freed me from the approval of man and led me to go forward. He wants me to "walk-on" to the call he has on my life. 
Mid-Morning - Talking with George about the wonderful corner I have turned. I am so grateful! 
Afternoon - D…

2019 Reading Wrap Up

These questions are from a Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Tell us about your reading year? What was your goal this year and did you have a plan, and/or follow rabbit trails or wing it? 

My goal was to get through all the book lists for the Book Babes Book Club, the Renovare Book Club, Spiritual Direction, Enneagram Cohort, and last but not least the 1000 Book to Read Before You Die list.

Where did your armchair travels take you? 

Nigeria, National Parks, Chernobyl, Russia, England, Oklahoma, North Carolina during the slave era, Chili. North Korea, Too many places to count.

Which books stood out, made an impression and/or stayed with you the longest? What did you learn from them? 

The Good Neighbor - Fred Roger's life is an inspiration to us all. 

Half of the Yellow Sun - This fictional novel was beautifully written and gave me an insight into the country of Nigeria.

Why We Sleep - So fascinating and informative. I learned so much, but I am still not good at taking naps. :(

Which book had t…

133. The Man in the High Castle

This SO different from the TV series. The TV series adds so much more to the basic plot of this dystopian novel where Japan and Germany have both won the war, and America is divided between the Nazis in the East and the Japanese in the West with a "free zone" in between.  

I liked it, but the end sort of just fell flat, and you say, "That's it?"  The TV series is much better, in my humble opinion. 

Freewrite - Prayer Question for Doors into Prayer

What first drew you to prayer? Has that original experience affected your prayer life? Have you been affected by a prayer mentor? In what way?

My original experience of prayer was as a very young child praying that familiar prayer that even kids from non-church going homes prayed at bedtime:

Now I lay me
Down to sleep
I pray the LORD
My soul to keep
If I should die
Before I wake
I pray the LORD
My soul to take.

I remember having several questions about this prayer:
1) Why was I praying about dying at six years old? Do we really all have to die?

It scared me. It was weird to think that someday everyone I loved and cared about would die. 

2) Who was this LORD guy, and why would he take my soul? 

We did not go to church. I knew Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, but I could not have told you what Easter was about. I just wore an Easter bonnet and a new dress went to the home of one of my Swedish relatives and ate ham. I had no clue it was about the resurrection of Jesus. I also did not know the L…

132. Under and Alone

This is a gripping, first-hand account of an undercover agent who infiltrated the Mongols motorcycle gang of Southern California in the 90s. It is salty with bad language and sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It is a side of life I don't like to look at, but it is part of life. 

I could never be an undercover agent, and this guy did this for two years at a great cost to him and his relationship with his two sons. That broke my heart. The relationships within the Mongols really broke my heart too. I am glad that I am done with this read!

Wednesday Freewrite

I can do a fifteen-minute freewrite before my timer goes off for the first rise of my french rolls that I am bringing for Christmas dinner (or really it is lunch). 

I had such a lovely devotional in Pray as You Go this morning:

I am listening to it again as I type. It has more formal music at the beginning: a choir of voices.

Yesterday was just so lovely. LOVELY! I woke up to making bad coffee for Dania, but she still drank it. It was so lovely to have Dania and Zahra here. I love them so much. They taught me an Arabic phrase: Bad Gel Be which means literally "my heart runs toward you." 

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Bad gel be! Love these two!!!! A post shared by Carol Weaver (@carolfoasia) on Dec 24, 2019 at 9:32am PST
Then I took Zahraa to Starbuck's to study for her math class. Dania and I went on to Katherine and John's for a Christmas Eve brunch. Some of my favorite people were there. John gave me a

131. Slay by Brittney Morris

This is a Book Babes selection, suggested to us because she is a graduate of our local Christian high school. 
The author is obviously borrowing from her own life as she was one of only a handful of people of color at this local high school. The main character is at a private high school in Bellevue, Washington, and she has created a video game called Slay which is just for black people. No one in her "real-life" knows she created and plays this game. 
It is a good first novel, but it did go on a bit too long on the video game aspects of her life. The book will generate a discussion about our obsession with virtual life that takes us away from real life. Interesting that I would read Fahrenheit 451 in the same week as I recall the wife of the main character and her obsession with the "screens." It will also generate discussion about race in America. 
I would put this in the Young Adult novel genre. Usually, I like these kinds of books, but this one left me a bit flat.…

Sunday Freewrite

I am not feeling super well. I have been fighting something (but have not succumbed), and I am just trying to lay low while I heal. I have been around a lot of sick people lately. 

I feel a bit somber today. I had a long spiritual direction time with George yesterday. Then we had a long talk about our Christmas and the difficulties with someone recently. I came away sad. I am still pondering that this morning. What is, is. I have let it go and all I feel is compassion for that person. My Helper type just wants to scream "There is a better way to live!" Yet, I am not one to scream.

Today, I meditated on John coming into the world and putting myself in Elizabeth's shoes who had waited so long for a baby. The narrator asked how I respond when long-filled hopes are fulfilled, and I did think about this family situation. I am not sure what more I can do. I have tried to cope the best I can. I have tried to be as kind as possible while not letting the person control me. That has…

Saturday Seven Freewrite

I am doing a short seven-minute freewrite today. I want to get to some little projects that I am much better at completing in the morning. This is my prime-time of day. 

I like the Reimagining the Examen app. It has different subjects to pray through and examine. Today, it was on "a relationship," bringing that relationship before God, examining your feelings about the relationship, what God wants to tell you about it, talking to God about your hopes and desires for the relationship. I had a very good time, and God reminded me of Ps 131:1-3:

O LORD, my heart is not proud,Nor my eyes haughty;Nor do I involve myself in great matters,Or in things too difficult for me.Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;Like a weaned child rests against his mother,My soul is like a weaned child within me.O Israel (Carol), hope in the LORDFrom this time forth and forever.
So much of life and relationships is putting hope in God rather than the other person. It is also about walking humbly wit…

Friday Fifteen Freewrite

Just a reminder that a Freewrite is where I set the timer for a predetermined time (most of the time it is fifteen), and I type away with no particular agenda. I try to do this regularly. More recently, I have done it every day but one day since November 22. I also did a freewrite blog of my time in Europe from November 11-20. So, I have been on a roll for over a month now. WOOHOO! It has been fun. 

Yesterday was so good. I have LOVED doing Ignatian Contemplation on the narratives in the gospels leading to the birth of Christ. I have loved going through the guide I wrote for the Exercises. Even if I am the only one who benefits from these, I love going through it. 

I got up early with candle burning to meditate on Mary visiting Elizabeth. LOVE! I have also really enjoyed the Advent contemplations in the Pray as You Go app and will include the text in my guide now. The music they pick for these are so awesome.

After this, I needed to run some errand before going to tea with Dee. So I took…

130. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

There are no words.

What an amazing book. I could not put it down! It gripped me from the get-go. It is an appalling story of greed, power, and prejudice with twists and turns you will not believe. 

I came away so sad that there could be such abuse. I came away so mad that there could be such abuse. 

This is a five-star book. I highly recommend it. What I particularly loved about the audiobook is the three different voices. The first is a woman voicing a third-person narrative,  I assume it is to reflect the voice of the Osage Indian, Molly Burkhart. Her story will absolutely break your heart. The second voice is to emulate the voice of a detective with the pre-FBI. The hero here is Tom White. The last voice, I assume, is the voice of the author in a first-person narrative of what he uncovered many years later. The plot thickens. It is meticulously researched. 

Here is the blog of the author:

This is an amazin…

Thursday Thirteen Freewrite

After three straight days of nothing really pressing on my calendar other than my Enneagram of the Higher Mind class (which I almost forgot to go to), I have Tea with Dee in Hillsboro! We have wanted to do their Christmas tea for years, and they had an opening which is a miracle!

It means an extra trip up and back instead of me being their already, but I don't mind. I will just listen to an audiobook and enjoy the ride. 

We also have missional community, but I might just stay up there and go back to Newberg to be with George's mom instead. I have not decided, or rather we have not decided. 

This week has been lovely meditating on the Incarnation, Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, and Joseph's dream. It has coincided with the Pray as You Go readings. They have even done two Imaginary Contemplations which is lovely. 

I have had this weird smell in the kitchen. So I have worked feverishly to eradicate it. I cleaned the refrigerator on Tuesday and the freezer on Wednesd…

129. Voices from Chernobyl

Paul said, "Not a very cheery read right before Christmas, Mom." So true. This is NOT an easy read, but it is an important one. These are first-hand accounts from "Chernobylites." It breaks your heart.

Many blindly followed the call to go and help with disastrous consequences for them and their children. Radiation kills. The monologues give insight into the Slavic mindset that is very fatalist. It also gives insight into the mindset of the commitment of many to the call of their government that did little to protect them.

This is an important but difficult read. It will break your heart.

128. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Oh my! I cannot believe this has not been on my other "must-read" lists? It is excellent. I was mesmerized from beginning to end. 

This is a dystopian novel. It is so beautifully written. I found an interesting comment about what Bradbury thought his book was about:

"Ray Bradbury stated in a lecture (at UCLA) that his novel 'Fahrenheit 451' wasn't about censorship. He made it clear that the theme of his book IS about the role of mass media and its effect on the populace. Basically he believed the old "idiot box" makes people less capable of assimilating complex information. Popular opinion dictated that 'Fahrenheit 451' is about censorship because Bradbury wrote the book during an era of actual book burnings. For example: During a college lecture on his novel, when he presented the truth of the book's theme to an auditorium full of students, he was stopped in his tracks by someone loudly exclaiming "No! It's about censorship!&quo…

Wednesday Freewrite

I am having such a God moment right now. I am drinking it in. I am breathing deeply. God is SO good. After listening to the Reuters TV blurb played to me every morning, it is good to return to the serenity that my time in the Exercises brought me this morning. "DO NOT BE AFRAID" to Joseph in a dream. I skipped ahead a day because the Pray as You Goapp had it as the meditation for today, and she leads you through a specific Ignatian contemplation that was pretty spectacular. 

So, back to the peace. "DO NOT BE AFRAID!" I was led back to a feeling of real dread that I felt as I was drifting off to sleep last night. I gave it to God and had a restful night of sleep. My dreams were calm (even though I cannot remember what I dreamed). So I think I really did let it go, but I was reminded of this when the angel said to Joseph, "DO NOT BE AFRAID." So, I gave it again. It is hard to trust when it is someone else you are trusting God for. They have choices. But I ca…

127. Doors Into Prayer: An Invitation

This is the second book in the Renovare Book Club. I did not mean to finish it in one sitting, but it is a very short book. I will spend the rest of the time doing the exercises at the end.

It is a simple book with short vignettes about prayer. Even though it is very basic, I still found it very sweet. 

126. Slaves in the Family

I was so delighted that this non-fiction book came up on my 1000 Books To Read Before You Die list at the same time I was reading The Invention of Wings! He even mentions the real Grimke sisters, who are the main characters in The Invention of Wings in this book.Edward Ball's ancestors were even from the same town, Charleston, South Carolina. That was a nice connection and accidental that they would overlap in the subject matter.

This book is a big commitment of time, but I love how meticulously the author researched his ancestry and found ancestors and descendants from the slaves of his family's plantation. It is a worthwhile read. Slavery was is a terrible blight on our nation, and this is an important book. 

Tuesday Twelve Freewrite

I am sort of bummed that I didn't do a freewrite on Sunday! I broke my streak. 

No worries. I got distracted. I had to write that Valentina was coming this Friday instead of next Wednesday. I swear that much of time is scheduling things on my calendar. :)

I found a new album to love: Advent at Ephesus

It is the same group of nuns that sing to me every morning, but I didn't know that they did an Advent album. YAY!

I meditated on Phil 2 today in connection with the Incarnation. So powerful. It came on the heels of someone on my Type Two Helper Facebook forum who said she was not recognized for something with her coworker, and she was really mad and bummed. I used to be like that. Now I just laugh. It happens to me, all the time, that someone else gets recognized for something that I did. Many times it is my husband who gets the credit, and we just laugh and say, "Well, we ARE one."  I don't care about things like that anymore. Look at Jesus, he humbled himself, leaving…

Monday Freewrite

I forgot to freewrite yesterday! My first time in (I think) three weeks. 

Here I go. The weekend was mellow. We decided not to go to the coast to stay at our friends' house. We really wanted to go, but we had already RSVPd to the only party we were going to go to this Christmas. So, I thought it would be rude not to go, and it ended up being a lovely party. It was also nice to have the whole day.

I spent time listening to Messiah and reading the Renovare Book Club Book for these two months. It is a simple book on prayer. It is nothing new, but I loved her little vignettes. I cannot remember the name, and I don't want to stop this freewrite.

I have so enjoyed the Pray as You Go advent readings. So great. 

On Sunday, I listened to the WHOLE Messiah again without stopping. The guys had gone shopping, and I decided that it would be great to just sit and soak. I LOVE it. It never gets tiring to listen to this. 

So, now I have the WHOLE Messiah Meditations edited. I have not done a run t…

Saturday Sixteen Freewrite

I had one of my hyper-focused days yesterday. I had nothing on my calendar, my house is clean, and I only have to get one more Christmas gift. I did take an hour-long walk, but after my time in the Exercises this morning, I decided to start my Messiah Mediations, and I ended up spending the WHOLE day in it. 

That is just how I roll folks. LOL! George came home and said, "That does not surprise me in the least."

It was sort of fun to have a hyper-focused day. It seems like it has been a long time. I am still so surprised that I wrote a devotional through the entire Bible, but I write for growth. I think it has helped some people along the way too. YAY.

It was so lovely to read through it. I also corrected it as I went along. It was so good to read through all the Scripture of Messiah. It is really is my favorite piece of music. Paul did not realize this, but he woke up to it playing, and of course, he made fun of the melismas! 

It was a good day. I feel so full and free. I will l…

Friday Fifteen Freewrite - Examen

Well, here we go. I am going to Freewrite through The Examen with Fr. James Martin, SJ. 

Let's review the past day.

Imagine yourself sitting with Jesus any way that will let you enter into God's presence. This is a conversation with God to look back over your day with God.

Two to three things from yesterday that you are grateful for:
1) Time with N in Spiritual Direction - I love her heart for you. Her vulnerability. She loves to achieve balance. She is SUCH a humble leader. I count it a privilege to meet with her. 

2) Helping P get out the door and walking and praying under a RAINBOW during his interview. My Examen from yesterday was to show love for N (#1 above) and P, and I think it was so great. I was able to say I needed to end my time with N at a certain time so I could just be there to encourage and pray. The rainbow was so awesome to behold. He had a really GOOD interview. It was much longer than any of the others. I love my guy. He was so chatty afterward, and we celebrate…