Friday, November 26, 2010

Control Z

I have a new computer. I play Spider Solitaire when I just want to think. I can go backward with a control z. I didn't understand that when I first started playing this. So I didn't score as many wins. With the slate clean, I have more wins now because sometimes I know that if I back up just a few steps, I can succeed. It is just that simple. I just intuitively know now that there was probably a wrong turn somewhere, and if I retrace those steps. Voila.

There is a metaphor for life. As I get older, I realize that I can retrace my steps and create something totally different out of the seemingly stupid messes I get myself in. Sometimes if involves humbling myself and just saying I am sorry. It involves working at the things that are important. It involves finding another route to a person's heart. Sometimes it involves stopping the fast pace of the game of life long enough to come away and think. The route seems so much clearer when I take a step back. My time with Kim on the couch last Saturday was one of those days. As much as I would have tried to put out the fires that her old roommate made that reflected falsehoods about my character, time would tell. Kim said, "I pretty much learned that she didn't tell the truth or that she created her own reality and really believed it to be true."  That is what she did about me. So, I ceased trying to correct the untruth, and time told Kim how to discern what the truth really was after her own experiences with this person. So, the way was cleared toward the swishing of the Kings to Ace set of cards swishing to the left side bottom corner. SWISH! There is no doubt that Kim and I have both grown over the last 20 years.

Then there are the times where you just have to backtrack and get yourself out of ridiculously unhealthy relationships both individually and corporately. Just Control Z and start over. Rewrite the game. There is a way to the swishing, but sometimes I requires going all the way back to the beginning to make better choices the next time around. The choices I made for a church at 19 years old were not the choices I would make for a church at 47. So, I backtracked to make better choices the second time around (only time I have ever left a church was in 2006 after 28 years - gave it the old college try, and that is when I made the choice: in college. I also made it following someone who was also very unhealthy for me at 19 too).  I have had to do that in a few individually. Control Z and go back and see where I made the wrong turn. Often, it was because I didn't hear God's whispers above my compassion for messed up people. This game of life has often told me that messed up people who blame everyone else will someday end up blaming you for their mess. I was sucked in compassion by their stories of injustice only to find they tell the next sucker that you were the one being unjust when you put forth truth in love. There have been so few of these though, especially when I realize that I don't have time to even play their game, and I don't even press the button because there is something so much more important that I could be doing with my time.

Control Z is a nice function. Sometimes, I know there is another way if I just retrace my steps and learn from the mistakes I made before.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Well-Educated Mind Update: 145/158 = 92%!

I have 13 more to go!!!!

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (all in the Modern Period)

1948 Seven Story Mountain Merton (Sept. 27, 2010)
1965 The Autobiography of + Malcolm X (November 15, 2010)
1973 Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn (Nov)

EARLY MODERN (1600 – 1850)
1776 Decline & Fall Roman Empire Gibbon (Dec)
1835 Democracy in America Tocqueville (Jan)
MODERN (1850 – present)
1860 Civilization of Renaissance Burckhardt (Feb)
1904 Protestant Work Ethic/Spirit of Capitalism Weber (Mar)
1937 The Road to Wigan Pier Orwell (Apr)
1938 The New England Mind Miller (April/May)
1955 The Great Crash Galbraith (May)
1974 Roll, Jordan, Roll Genovese (June)
1978 Distant Mirror Tuchman (Aug)
1987 All the President's Men Woodward & Bernstein (July)
1990 A Midwife's Tale Ballard (July)
1992 The End of History & the Last Man Fukuyama (Sept)

Patty's 50 Blues Made Me Smile Again

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Musings: Fifteen Minute Freewrite

I suppose I don't really have a ton of time to do this, but I haven't posted a "musing" here in a while. Last time I posted was November 4. This is definitely the blog I post to the least.

What a whirlwind month November has been. Is it really Thanksgiving in a week? Where did the time go?  I think six days in Phoenix made for a big cut in the month, but it was so worth it. I went there and spent time with many like-hearted people. It was great. I made some new friends, and I saw an old one: Sue Brock. It was fun to see that history plays a big part in who we are, and she was a huge part of my history. It felt really intuitive to be with her, as though I had known her my whole life. Well, that is because I have or at least since we were five years old. She might have even been four when we first met, but the cut off date in California schools was December 1, and she was born on November 21st. So, she probably was four at the beginning of the school year.  She was always smart though. So, I am sure she had no problem keeping up with the older people in the class.

Today, I get back to teaching on the Iliad. I thought I had prepared todays stuff at the end of the last class, but I think I just sent out Study Guide Questions and didn't prepare the quizzes and do the lecture outline for "The Embassy of Achilles."  Oh, one thing I did do is preview the whole movie of Troy to see where it lined up with the parts of the books we are reading. I was going to show the whole movie at the end, but I think it is very effective to show it in pieces as we read it. They really did destroy the book, but I still think it is interesting to compare and contrast the book and movie.

We also do the physiology of the circulatory system today. This is more laid back since it is just Nathan and Paul. I like this.

Overall, I am spending about 1/4 of the time for two classes that I did for just one class the last two years. I love the more laid back pace of reading The Iliad too. I am still debating about having Paul do the classical literature class and just starting in after Thelma is done with The Iliad and the Odyssey since we already covered it. We will see. He also might go to LBCC full time by then. I am taking that slow because I would like him to get a little bit farther along in his writing abilities.

Michael seems to be holding his own at LBCC. I think he is getting A's and B's this term. He seems to be learning and enjoying the classes too. His persuasive writing class seems to be the most labor intensive, but he seems to really "get it" which is an answer to prayer.

Today is Paul's birthday. I can't believe my youngest is 16 years old today. In two more years, I will have two adult children. That is so weird. Over the next year, I will probably be transitioning out of homeschooling, which just blows me away, no end. I have never tired of the journey. It was born to homeschool, and I praise God that my kids were just as passionate about it as I have been. They always enjoyed it as much as I did. It breaks my heart to see so many former homeschoolers tell me that they don't miss it and are glad they are in public school. I don't have anything against public school though. I just see it wouldn't have been the right choice for our family, and I am so glad we had the lovely pace and rhythm of learning that homeschooling allows. The goal was to create a lifelong love for the Lord, learning, and literature, and I think that we have see that in our kids, and I am grateful for being able to be a part of that journey with them.

As I look to the future and an empty nest, I wonder where God will take us? I wonder what my kids will be when they grow up? I wonder what I will be when I grow up?

I know God knows, and that is all I need to know.

I think the timer will be going off any minute, and I feel like I am at a stop from all of this. There is goes. Stopping with no proofreading. Excuse the typos. It keeps me humble.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Prayer of Examen

This is nice:


Prayer of Examen
The Prayer of Examen is a daily spiritual exercise developed by St. Ignatius
Loyola. This practice seeks to grow followers of Jesus in their capacity to discern
God’s will, find God in all things, and enhance their understanding of God’s good
creation. The prayer may take between ten and twenty minutes. The majority of
that time will be spent reviewing your day. Try not to dwell too long on thoughts.
Instead, allow yourself to become aware and move on.
Begin by finding a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
Then sit comfortably, with good posture and both feet on the floor. Allow yourself
to relax and close your eyes if you like.
1. Recall you are in the presence of God
As you sit in silence, focus on God’s deep and abiding love for you. We are
always in the presence of God. Try to become aware of God’s presence in
an attentive way. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recall your day with love.
2. Recall your day with gratitude
After a few moments, remember the small pleasures of your day; things
like a good night’s sleep, a good conversation, or a beautiful sunset. These
are all gifts from God. As you remember these small gifts from God, take
a moment to reflect on the gifts that you gave today, whether to God or to
others. How did you bring your strengths, your sense of humor, your
abilities, your encouragement, your patience to others today? When you
have finished, pause briefly and thank God for these things.
3. Ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit
In a moment you will begin to retrace the steps of your day. Before you do,
ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your mind. The Spirit will lead and
guide you into the truth and mystery of your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit for
the capacity to recall your day with clarity and an understanding of your
4. Review your day
This is the central and longest step of the prayer. Go back to the start of
your day and allow it to play like a short movie in your mind. Pay attention
to the details. What were your feelings? What motivated you to respond to
certain situations in the way that you did? The purpose of this is to draw
out the positive and the negative aspects of your day.
As you are reviewing your day, ask the question, “Where did I fail today?”
Was there a moment when you lived out of anger or bitterness? Were there
things that you avoided? Don’t allow yourself to dwell on these things or
seek to resolve them. Simply allow yourself to identify them and move on.
Next, ask the question, “When did I love?” Was there a moment, or several
moments, in which you made the choice to live out of love. Perhaps it was
a kind act like holding the door or spending intentional time with your
family. Remember the ways that you chose to love this day.
Next, search for any patterns or habits during the course of the day. Do
you make coffee at the same time? Do you chat for a few minutes with a
co-worker? Are you always staying late at work? As you detect these
patterns, what emotions do you sense coming to the surface for each
habit? Do these habits help you face your day with love? Do they hinder you
from facing your day with love?
5. Reconcile and Resolve
Finally, picture yourself seated next to Jesus, talking as you would with a
friend. Maybe there was something in your day that you don’t feel good
about. Tell Jesus about this and express your disappointment and ask him
to be with you when you face that moment again. Allow yourself to feel the
sorrow in your heart as you share this, but also remember and give thanks
for Christ’s continual restoration of your heart. Remember all of the good
moments of your day and thank Jesus for His presence with you in those
6. End with the Lord’s Prayer
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. your kingdom
come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily
bread. Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. And lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Amen

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...