Examen - Thursday through Sunday
Taking a deep breath and asking God to be with me: I am imagining Jesus sitting at the table with me. I get chills just thinking about that! Exuberant joy might be even a better description of what I feel.
Call to mind two or three things that you are grateful for:
1) GORGEOUS GEORGE - I already said this in my freewrite, but he was so helpful to me during my trip to Boise, and I never could have managed everything without him. He even slept on a futon so I could have the whole bed at Debbie's. What a guy. It was also so nice to travel eight hours in the car with him. He appreciates beauty like me. He drives super safely through rain and thunderstorms. He communicates with me. He loves to pray together. He loves to do the Examen together. He loves reflection and pondering big questions today. My soulmate.
2) GORGEOUS GORGE - Once we get through Portland on the way to Boise, the grandeur of the Columbia Gorge does something for my soul. What a marvel of the Maker of heaven and earth. It makes an eight hour drive so enjoyable.
3) RIVERSIDE RESTURANT, Hood River - Oh my. We went there on the way to Boise back in March, and we ate inside because it was too cold. But this time there and back we sat on the deck, ate excellent food, and had this view of the Columbia River that was so peaceful and lovely.
4) BOISE BUDDIES - (I really was not intending to have the SAME letters for each of my gratefulness points, but that is what has happened). I am so thankful for Marty, Sandy, Pam (made a deeper connection with her on a crutching walk), Val, Marg, Gene, April, Bill, and Kayla. What a lovely group of people. They are all listening to God and growing and wanting to help others grow. What more could a girl ask for? I am also grateful for Debbie, and her hospitality. It is like a home away from home, and Debbie is very warm and inviting. Ralph kept George occupied during the time too, and I am grateful. We ate great meals both nights with them Apple Sausage, veggies, and Trader Joes Baby Grains! YUM. The second night we went out for ETHIOPIAN FOOD that was so great. Love my Boise Buddies.
5) BACK BOLSTERING - It did not go out with all the moving and shaking and crutching and sitting. That is a miracle, and I am more than grateful to God for that.
Thursday - We did not leave until 10:45 so I was able to have a really good time with God and also really good rolling and stretching which was important before I folded myself up and got in a car for an eight hour drive.
Friday - I was actually able to bend down and get my milk frother (I am not getting paid for this link, but I needed to find out if I spelled that right, and I love this frother so much that I thought I would link it for people who love frothed milk. It is the BOMB. I have had it since January, and I love, love, love it.) and tea mix for my chai latte.
Saturday - I could not do it the second day because my back was stiffer. But I was proud that I did not have to wake up George to help me that first day. I know it sound weird, but my increasing independence because I am walking with one crutch now is so lovely. Anywho.
All days - After my chai making, I sat down to have really good time with God all morning. Friday, I meditated on my 3-4 month examen that I would be sharing with the group later that morning.
Thursday - Traveling and loving my time with George. I asked him the Examen questions of the last three to four months that I would be doing with my cohort and then told him what I was reflecting on. Did some prayer for jobs for our boys which is really burning on both of our hearts.
Friday - George took me to the Boise cohort the first day, and it was the highlight of my day to spend time in the car together.
Saturday - The second day, I drove myself which was a big thing. I had a worship session (a continuation of my worship from earlier in the morning - I even danced a bit - I am so looking forward to dancing again.)
Friday/Saturday Later Morning: Both mornings was our stories from the last 3-4 months, and I went first. I liked it. I was not nervous. April mentioned my story reminded her of the song "The Warrior is a Child" by Twila Paris, and she didn't know that was my anthem of the 80s! I liked hearing other people's stories. I see God in each of their stories. That was so nice. :) I wish I could live in Boise to be with them more, but I am praying about building this kind of community here. Lord, make it so.
Thursday - Riverside on the Columbia River - PERFECT. Weather, Weaver Man (George), Wonder of God's creation as we ate Wonderful food!
Friday - Had a harder time following the conversation at lunch time. I think because I had been sitting all morning, and that was 1) the longest I had sat since my injury, and 2) I needed to process all that had transpired by a walk (like I usually do). I did take a five minute crutch walk.
Saturday - I decided to be bold and get up from the table. I did have a pretty meaningful talk with Sandy and Marty about the Spiritual Exercises, and I now know how to pray for the transition of Sustainable Faith to their new model. The thing I loved the most was being able to just get up from the table to walk because that is what I needed for my back health and continued growth in weight-bearing. I especially liked that Pam went with me, and we had a wonderful talk about BOOKS! I like her. She is so sweet and kind and I think I click with her the most behind Michelle (who is now no longer in the School of Spiritual Direction). I click with everyone though. Really and truly.
Sunday - Riverside Repeat and same as Thursday. All the "W" were there!
Thursday - Traveling and listening to Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Slow and ambling book like our journey through Eastern Oregon and up through the Blue Mountains. Also some rockin' out to my 60th birthday playlist that I didn't get to dance to at my party.
Friday - That was the hardest part of the cohort time. We had a very long talk on "Kingdom." I am all for "Kingdom," but I have never struggled with Kingdom like many people raised in the church. So, it was very long, and I didn't really like the book we read about that subject. So, that has been the only part of the training I thought was a bit long and drawn out but maybe others really enjoyed it. So I just sat and prayed. So it wasn't a waste. We also did supervision of two people, and that was meaningful.
Saturday - I like the book by Sue Pickering on Spiritual Direction much more than Friday's book discussion. I was able to tell the story about Sky and the Trappist monastery. I was also able to have an honest discussion with someone in the cohort about something that was concerning me, and she was so delightful to talk to. I really like her. They also did a group supervision on me, and I am pleased to say that I lived in the moment and was NOT ONE IOTA NERVOUS, which is so HUGE for me! It was actually good to reflect on why saying "NO" to people continues to have its moments of struggle. Strange encounter when I left the cohort which I am still processing.
Sunday - It rained cats and dogs between Portland and Corvallis. We could barely see the road in Salem. George is the best driver on the planet. The trip went so well, and the best part was seeing our kids at the end of the long trip.
Evenings and Bedtimes:
Thursday - Settling in with Debbie's welcoming us in.
Friday - Yummy dinner together of Debbie's favorite foods and mine too. Marionberry Moscato is the bomb! Stretching and early bed.
Saturday - Ethiopian, Lemon Drop, Mango Moscato. Stretching and early bed.
Sunday - Did some mindless TV watching and felt so tired. Could only stay awake until 10 pm because it was 11 pm in Boise.
Was there anything that you regret and maybe have to confess?
There was! I leave that as a private thing between me and God and will not post it here. It was related to encounters with two different people over the weekend.
What was meaningful?
I had several "most meaningfuls" so will go by day:
Thursday - Being with George every minute of that day. He is the best in every way.
Friday - April saying my story reminded her of "The Warrior is a Child" so significant since that was my song in the 80s. I had this memory of a roommate (maybe Jodie?) saying, "That song is describing you!" I was over my head in ministry with people and the enemy was fighting hard against me at every turn. I have had not that intense spiritual warfare since. So that was a God thing for April to hear that from him.
Saturday - Meeting of hearts in four situations with five people: 1) I had to have a more intense conversation with at the break. We laughed hysterically later when I said, "You can say 'good'! Inside joke but so funny that you can get passed things so easily with mature people. Thank you God. 2) a lovely walk with Pam and connecting on our love for books and her understanding of the Enneagram. She is also quite mature 3) I also really liked how Gene was so good at tying things together for my saying "NO" difficulty, and 4) Just connecting with Marty and Sandy over lunch on Saturday. I really, really like them so much and know how to pray more for them now.
Sunday - GORGEOUS GEORGE IN THE GORGEOUS GORGE!
Now I am listening to what God wants to say to me for each of those things above:
Thursday - George is a gift. The Gorge is a gift of my creation for you to freely enjoy.
Friday - Keep soaking in the song, Carol.
Saturday - Supervision cohort people are another gift to you.
Sunday - Same as Thursday. I will lead about that getaway with George and will drop it in your lap. Keep waiting for it for it will surely come.
Now ask for the grace of God to see him in the next day.