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Quote About Prayer - So true!

In the final analysis, talking about prayer doesn’t matter; rather, only the words that we ourselves say to God. And one must say these words oneself. Oh, they can be quiet, poor, and diffident. They can rise up to God’s heaven like silver doves from a happy heart, or they can be the inaudible flowing of bitter tears. They can be great and sublime like thunder that crashes in the high mountains, or diffident like the shy confession of a first love. If they only come from the heart. If they only might come from the heart. And if only the Spirit of God prays them together also. Then God hears them. Then he will forget none of these words. Then he will keep the words in his heart because one cannot forget the words of love. And then he will listen to us patiently, even blissfully, an entire life long until we are through talking, until we have spoken out our entire life. And then he will say one single word of love, but he is this word itself. And then our heart will stop beating at this word…

Friday Fifteen Minute Freewrite

I have not done a FRIDAY freewrite in a while. I am writing this morning after riding my bike to the library and going to the Volunteer Breakfast. I didn't win a thing this year, but I am so content with that. The prizes were huge, but one year ALL FOUR in our family won a prize. What is the probability of that? I feel like we had enough prizes for a lifetime.

Anywho, I got back at about 10 am and decided to do my hour of writing on Exercises for Everyone, the book I am writing for the Spiritual Exercises. I am writing for week #28 out of 33 or 34 (cannot decide how many total I will do), and it is the week of the crucifixion. I am so moved. How do I convey that, even though this is a very familiar story, it is important to approach it with fresh eyes. I am recalling my dad's death, there was intimacy there with him and with God that I had not experienced any time in my 25 years. Being with Jesus at the cross should be like that. Anywho, I just was moved. Deeply moved by this t…

Freewrite Wednesday

Wednesdays, by and large, continue be my more free day for a Freewrite. 

So here I go. 

I love my life. Just saying. Today, I was up at 5:50 to experience Jesus in the Upper Room and talking about the Holy Spirit and love from John 14. I am on Week 27 of the Spiritual Exercises and I love that we go through the Last Supper and Upper Room Discourse two weeks before Holy Week. When I am leading the Gospel Harmony Book Club, I have everyone read through it all in "real time" where you are going through each day of the week, but this way, I can linger LONG over some passages. Actually, Ignatius didn't suggest John 14-17, but I think they are important. So, I added them to the guide that I am writing for the Exercises (If you want the guide, contact me. I really feel like it will be a nice addition to the guides already offered. It is simple and concise.).

Anywho, I just got a text from Manar, "Love you too!" I have been texting back and forth with her today because I …

Freewrite Wednesday

It is always a challenge to get back to work after a spiritual direction time with someone. I am still sort of basking in the glow of being able to observe the work of God in someone's life. It is a beauty to behold, and I feel like I have just walked on holy ground. 

It was a longer session than normal because it is someone overseas. I usually allow two hours for these. My local ones are usually just one hour. It is interesting because the person said as we closed out our time in prayer, "This was a life-giving time." I got off and went about doing some other things, and I felt God whisper, "You are a life-giver." 

Well that was nice to hear. Thank you. Not getting a big head about that. I get that a lot from people. I don't think they are trying to flatter me. I often talk to people overseas, and that is how they close. Or I have people who are even in the states but in particularly dry situation community-wise, and they want me to know that it was life-giv…

Two Standards Repetition

If you are reading my blog. I used to have those who would read it all the time, but I don't go on here as much.

If you are reading, can I heartily recommend that you take The Spiritual Exercises at least once in your life. I am on Week 24 and a little more than halfway through the life of Jesus. Usually in the Exercises, your spiritual director picks vignettes of his life to contemplate, but my director left it very open. So I decided to go through all four gospels (since my church is reading through all four this year). I am a bit ahead because Easter is on the later end this year. 

I am also writing a simple, free guide for going through the Exercises, and I am writing on Week 17: The Two Standards. During my conversation with God after my daily Examen, I felt him guiding me to do a repetition of The Two Standards. A repetition is where you go back over it and pause where you experienced consolation from the Lord. Usually, you will do a repetition of a contemplation you had only …

Freewrite Friday Fifteen

Today has been a day of catching up on things. I woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 3:40am! I thought that it was probably about 5 am, but I came out to my prayer spot and looked at the clock and thought, "OH MY!" So I climbed back in bed but my body did not want to go back to sleep.

So, I prayed through another part of the greatest story ever told. This was about Jesus being the Good Shepard, and the problems that ensued after this claim. I also watched the Book of John movie excerpt with that actor that was on Lost. I love how the You Version Bible app is tied to all those clips. I love the visual picture after the meditation. I also wrote about the Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises guide that I am writing. What a great daily project this has been for me. I have committed to at least an hour of writing at day. I have written the Introduction and 12 1/2 weeks out of 33 or 34 weeks. I love it so far. 

Then I listened to the audiobook Why We Sleep. I really like it! T…

5. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

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If you have read my book selections, you know I readGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief  in December of 2016 because I had read another book earlier that year by the excellent journalist, Lawrence Wright and thought I would give it a try. OH MY! I was fascinated. That book delves into the whole history of L. Ron Hubbard. 

This story is a personal memoir by one of Scientology's more famous defectors: Leah Remini. 

Prior to reading Going Clear, I remember seeing the infamous interview between Matt Lauer and Tom Cruise many years ago and thinking that Tom Cruise was a very angry person and Scientology had done nothing to help him. 

A few months ago, I watched an A & E documentary, and they advertised another A & E show:Leah Remini: Scientology and Its Aftermath  which was then on the verge of its third season. I proceeded to binge watch the entire first and second season and would end up in a puddle of tears every single episode. 

Scientology has messed …

4. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

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This book deserves that National Book Award Finalist accolade. Nothing to Envy is my book club's read for May, but with the North Korean Summit last week, I decided to read it now. I knew very little about North Korea other than news reports of a man with funny hair (Kim Jong-il) and his young son who took over and likes to do nuclear testing (Kim Jong-un). I also knew something about this regime because of the tragic story of Otto Warmbier (who was the same age as my youngest son). This book goes back to North Korea after World War II and Kim Il-sung coming into power. This is the only communist regime that has stayed in the same family. 

WOW! I heartily recommend this book. The author is a journalist and takes personal stories of North Korean defectors and weaves it together with the history of this awful regime. I could not put it down. It is written so well. 

I happened upon the National Geographic Documentary calledInside North Korea's Dynasty at the same time. It is a perf…

3. The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Riso and Hudson

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I put this book on my "shelf" on Goodreads on November 18, 2012! I have been exposed to the Enneagram since 2011, but I had to read the "gateway drug" books like The Road Back to You first to get into the heavier material. 
I am so glad I finally got around to reading this. I kept checking it out of the library with no hope of ever getting through its almost 400 pages. I finally ordered my own copy, and I am so glad I did. I underlined so much and wrote a lot of notes in the margin. I would say this is the most comprehensive book of any of the Enneagram books I have read so far. What finally pushed me over the edge to read it was taking a 10 Week class from Russ Hudson with a live Q & A at the end. I was so IMPRESSED by this warm and generous soul that I had to read the book. I also wanted to read it because I get daily EnneaThoughts in my email, and they are often quotes from this book.
It is so comprehensive. It is not Christian because they wrote it for all fa…

Freewrite Fifteen on a Wednesday Afternoon

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After a gloomy and rain-filled morning, the sun is setting in the west and streaming through silver clouds and my French doors to sunlight on the table in which I write this. There is a touch of God in this moment that I wanted to write about. I am at peace. Much of my life lately has been an attempt at "presence." I read The Practice of the Presence of God in my 20s, and there have been such glimpse of that glory throughout my life. But lately, I see my part more and more in the equation. He is always present, but I am more and more able to bring my presence as well. To bring all of me in that moment.  It is hard to even write about it now because it has been lasting through the freewrite. So often I could try to capture this in writing, but once the mechanics of the writing started the moment was lost, and I would have to speak of it in past tense, but the sun continues to stream through the  window, and I am continuing to bring that presence to Him as He continues to stre…

2. Vanity Fair: A Novel Without a Hero

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After seeing the new Amazon mini-series on this novel, I was inspired to listen to it. Thirty hours of listening later (the last 5.5 hours straight because it is due at 10:23 pm tonight), I am impressed. What a great book! I wonder why it is not on Top 100 Lists. It is good. I am very familiar with this narrator as he read the last tome to me (Les Miserables). Poor Becky Sharp! 

I am determined to read more fiction this year than last, and I am really hoping to read more classics too.

1. Glittering Vices

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I finished this several weeks ago, but I am just getting around to writing about it. It was slow going at first. It has a history of the desert fathers that was pretty long and drawn out. I did like it once she got to the Seven Deadly Sins. Her definitions were helpful. I especially liked that I did it with the Renovare Book Club. The author did podcasts, including a Q and A and study guide questions. That added to my enjoyment of it. I discussed  it with a group of thoughtful women, committed to growth last week. That is helpful too. 
This is my 8th year of doing 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge. Come on along and join me!

(Wow, just noticed that 16 of the books I read last year were rereads!)



Thursday Thirteen Minute Freewrite

Here I go. It has been ages since I have done a freewrite, but I will let my fingers do the walking across the keyboard.

I am in the "Second Week" of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius, and I love it as much this second time through as I did the first. I am praying for the "deeper still" as I understand so much more this time around. The grace sought for much of the Second Week is to see Jesus more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly (Yes, Godspell - Ignatius got this from Richard, Bishop of Chichester who prayed:


Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day. 

Pretty cool! Ignatius gives you certain particular meditations in the life of Jesus and gives the spiritual director the freedom to add in "other mysteries&…

The Examen Prayer Card

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Reading Wrap Up of 2018 Books

This was my SIXTH year doing 52 Books in 52 Weeks(http://www.read52booksin52weeks.com/). I love it! She always has an evaluation at the end of the year 

Did you reach your reading goal or did you decide to just meander about and follow rabbit trails and end up getting lost in the enjoyment of reading?

YES, I met my goal. I am an Enneagram Two with a THREE (achiever) wing. So I love achieving my goal every year! 


Where did your armchair travels take you?  Which countries and time periods did you journey through?
To Christ's birthplace, Ignatius of Loyola's Spain, Southern US after the Civil War, 1970s Alaska, Idaho, an Iranian community in Southern California, WWII France, Germany, and Holland; Russia, Barricades of Paris, Chile and California during the Gold Rush, London during the Cholera epidemic in the 1800s, Today's France, Bedford Falls. 

Which books stayed with you the longest?  Did you set any aside to read again at some point and savor the story all over again?


Educated…