Showing posts from 2019

Lightworks 2/6 (The Prodigal)

This parable always is sweet to me. The father wouldn't even listen to the youngest son's apology. He was too excited. My son was dead and now he is alive! He was lost and now he is found! My youngest son graduates today. We will kill the fatted calf and have a celebration for him (although he did not particularly want a party - the deer are walking in the yard right by the deck  - no doubt wanting to get in my husband impenetrable garden). I don't think my oldest will mind. I do want to plan a celebration for both of them as Michael is now laid off of work and George has to take 12 days of PTO before September. So, I need to get around to planning something. 

I think pollen is really bad. I am out on my deck and my eyes are even hazing up a bit. My poor oldest son who has major grass seed allergies! I hope he is OK sitting outside in Reser Stadium for all those hours today.

Yesterday was a very fulfilling day. I did something I just had to do. I said NO to subbing. I got a …

24. The Secret Garden

This book is absolutely DELIGHTFUL! I loved every minute of it, and the narrator is the same one who narrated Pride and Prejudice, and she doesn't even sound like the same person when she does all the different voices for this delightful children's book that really is meant for everyone. It is a story about transformation and growth! Love. Love. Love.

Lightworks 2/6 (Jn 8:3-12, Lk 15:4-32) FREEWRITE

I couldn't sleep again last night. So I got up and had some meditation time at 1 am on Jn 8:3-12. I kept on thinking something was eating at me all evening, but it was a burden that I am carrying for my oldest son. He called me at 5:06 pm yesterday to say that his job was being outsourced to Atlanta, and he was immediately out of a job. This was after they had given him a 30% pay raise six weeks ago telling him that they did not want to lose him. Say what?

I kept hearing HOPE for my son as I had my Examen. I had such a wonderful day. I had gotten up and was already mostly done with getting my house ready for the housecleaners (This was a gift from my hubby back in 2006 when I was so full up with homeschooling, discipling women, and having back problems - so George hired housecleaners, and now I don't really have back problems, but they are like part of the family now. So I cannot let them go.) I woke up to a non-rushed morning, no pain in my QL/Psoas, and no more sickness. I ha…

Lightworks 2/5 Freewrite

Ah, I am out on my deck again. It is supposed to be in the 90s again today. I love sitting out here, and I hope to do it everyday I am here in the summer months and maybe into the fall. 

I had a hard time falling asleep last night. I usually have this after being sick and sleeping more than my sleepless elite 6 hours (have a gene that makes me only need that much - I have been in a study so no question I have the gene). When I do that, I usually recalibrate and have shorter nights of sleep to equal always to 6 hours. 

So, I got up and had an Examen prayer time by candlelight and had some time in Scripture. This week, my verses are...

Deut 30:11-20 - I listened to this over and over again yesterday as I walked up and over hospital hill and really mulled on "Look what I've done for you today: I've place in front of you . . .

Life and Good Death and Evil 
And I command you today: Love GOD, your God, Walk in his ways. Keep his that you will live, really live, live…

Examen - June 10, 2019

I have not done this on my blog since I reviewed my November trip to Boise. So here goes . . . 

The setting of this Examen is on my deck overlooking my backyard. It is cool at 7:55, but it will heat up to 97 today so I am taking advantage of the deck now.

Holy Spirit, I pray you would shed light on my weekend and help me to see yesterday through your eyes. The coolness of this morning settles me into your presence. 
What I am grateful for:  A day of complete REST yesterday. (I could have maybe prayer walked with Mindy, but I waited for her to initiate that (and we have said after our 30 period that we could keep doing it periodically rather than weekly), and I decided to not go to Nick's going away party on campus (my bike is in the shop until Thursday).  Getting some "self-preservation" things crossed off my list.  Walking twice in the cool of the morning and cool of the evening. Reading on my deck George making me soup for the week All the graduation announcements done Review of…

Lightworks Two/4:2-3 (Rm 7:14-25; Mt 5:1-12)

Continuation of Considerations:

Paul knew that by his sin, he thwarted God's achieving his original purpose. He did not hate himself, though. Instead, he let his sin drive him to trust and to love the One who saves him from himself. For love of Christ, he lived out his original purpose against all odds, including his own weaknesses.  (Rm 7:14-25 - my meditation from this passage. What stood out was Paul saying, "Something has gone wrong inside of me", and Jesus Christ is the only person who can set things right.)A member of Christ's Mystical Body, you are truly God's project for the world. How does God expect to achieve the Reign among free persons? By co-creating your core self and shaping you in your concrete gifts, both natural and graced. You are one of the building blocks of God's Reign.What does Tetlow mean by saying God is "co-creating your core self"?
I will chew on that for a while. I am not feeling well today. I know it is not allergies. I h…

Lightworks Two/4:1 (Lk 4:16-30) Freewrite


Grace desired: This week I ask Jesus to help me see my purpose in life as clearly as he saw his, so I will not have fallen short of it when I come to die.

Jesus knew his purpose - proclaim the good news to the poor, release to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, etc. proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord - the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound (Is 61:1,2). 

The bolded phrase is where I camped this morning - the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound. That just effuses God's goodness, doesn't it? Free favors. I feel like we can live in that now. All is gift. All is gift. I love when I go into the prayer of Examen, and the first thing that I am asked to do is to look at the favors of God that profusely abound, but that I might not have noticed as of yet. Then I present them before my mind and savor them one by one. Each a delicious bite of God's goodness that profusely abound…

Lightworks Two/3:3 (Exodus 20:1-20) FREEWRITE FIFTEEN

Here I go. I have not been freewriting about this 18th annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. I am really enjoying it. Today, I meditated on the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. I did it in The Message. How many times have I read the 10 Commandments and never really clued into this at the end?

Moses spoke to the people:  "Don't be afraid. God has come to test you and  instill a deep and reverent awe within you  so that you won't sin." (Exodus 20:20)
So, all the other versions say to "the fear of God" instead of "deep and reverent awe within you," but the Message really captures the essence of the "fear of God" in this context. 

So Anywho, YES YES YES YES YES! It is so my DRUM TO TAP about sin. When we have this deep and reverent awe of God - it is not about dos and don'ts but about NOT WANTING TO SIN. You are filled up to his fullness and you see his goodness and who would want to turn away from THAT! 

It all happened when I was meditating on …

23. Spiritual Direction: A Practical Introduction

I think this book is my favorite over any that we read last year, or it is tied with Seeking God Together which was also lovely. This book is so full of resources and examples through dialogues between director and directee. It is great.

I am more convinced than ever that certification in spiritual direction is the right course of action for me. This book excites me with simple chapters like:

Listening to God
Responding to God
Listening and Responding to Ourselves
Listen and Responding to Others

It was lovely. I will definitely use it as a resource in the future. 

Lightworks Two/1:2 (Rm 8:35-39) FREEWRITE

I think these Jesuits are some of the wisest people I have ever met. Just a reminder: I am going through the 18th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. The 18th Annotation is a portion of the larger Spiritual Exercises that can be done in a 20th Annotation (30+ days at a retreat center away from any distractions) or the 19th (8-9 month prayer journey of about 34 weeks through the entire Exercises). I did the 19th two years in a row, and I ate it up!

This version is called Lightworks which is "simple exercises" of the 18th. You can do some or all and is broken up into One (4 weeks) Two (7 weeks) and Three (3 weeks) or done for 14 weeks through from start to finish). I am doing One-Three May - September when I will lead some people through the 19th Annotation. 
I say Jesuits are wise because I am reading the things that Joseph A. Tetlow has written in Lightworks. I just love the philosophy of being a "Contemplative in Action" which is something I…

22. You Are What You Love

This book started off strong describing our "liturgies...rituals that are loaded with an ultimate Story about who we are and what we're for" (p. 46). I loved his description of the disordered liturgies as those that "bend the needle of our heart . . . when such liturgies are disordered, aimed at rival kingdoms, they are pointing us away from our magnetic north in Christ" (p. 47). He has a fantastic description of the shopping mall as part of the "liturgy of consumption." He also nails my problem with "seeker sensitive"churches and "hip church youth groups," but I felt like the solution to the disordered liturgies (ancient liturgical practices like worship, praying the Hours, etc.) were not getting to the heart of the matters which is our "disordered loves," and I think Ignatian books deal with this matter in a better way.  I got bored with the book toward the end too.

21. The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making

"Discernment means making a discriminating choice between two or more good options, seeking the best for this moment. These choices, while personal and conditional, are set within the community of faith and honor our previous well-made decisions. Discernment does not bring us absolute certainty, but rather operates in a climate of faith. Seeking to follow God’s call moves us toward that which is better for us individually and for our world, and assures us that God will accompany us into the unknown." (Location 440)

I really loved this book. My spiritual director had given me a summary of the principles and practices in the book, but it was so fun to read them directly from the source. She uses mostly Ignatian principles of discernment, but she also throws in other people's thoughts like those of Jonathan Edwards. Discernment is seen in the larger context of contemplation and intimacy with God. She made discernment a loving process with a loving God. WIN-WIN. 
It was a joyf…

20. God's Many Splendored Image

I really loved this book. She makes a case that the early Christian fathers saw being "made in the image of God" as our true nature rather than having a "sin nature." She is not saying we are not marred by sin due to the fall, but in Christ, we can go back to our true self as an image bearer of God. 

Is what I am as a human being fundamentally bad? Do I have to reject my own inherent identity in order to become acceptable to God? Is God opposed to me because of who I am? If God created me in his own image, how can what I am be opposed to God? Is it even possible to love such a God? . . . many secretly fear they are so evil inside that they can never do good for others or become the good persons they long to be. How can they hear the good news of the gospel if Christianity only confirms their worst fears about who they are? (p. 4) The popular idea that Christianity says “human nature” is inherently bad is actually the opposite of what the earliest Christian theologian…