Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Journey Through Job and Life

I went from an overview of Romans this morning with Kim and Rachel (a dream to study this book with them that is finally being realized, YAHOO!) to my journey through Job.

Since both kids are at their college classes, I broke into song at the top of my lungs:

 "I know that my Redeemer liveth . . . and because He lives . . . I, too, shall live."

Oh I must break out Handel's Messiah and put it on my iPod!  

I sang something like this in high school - I was in Job's Daughters. Some evangelicals would tell me that this wasn't a good thing, but they don't know what we learned there. They look from the outside and condemn it all as bad, but I only learned good from it, and it was so much praise and worship and Scripture!

They were lessons from the book of Job, and for a high schooler, they were excellent lessons that would develop my theology of suffering later on in life. I took the memorization very seriously, and they were great Scriptures and beautiful hymns like this (At the end of every meeting we aligned in the shape of the cross and sang "Nearer my God to Thee." It was always so wonderful.)  I didn't know then what it was to suffer, but life has brought its share of sufferings and this was my beginnings. I am grateful.

I am praising God that my Redeemer liveth as proven in my study of Romans and Job today!

Life is such a great adventure with God!

Monday, November 21, 2011

So Grateful

I am studying Ecclesiastes 11-12 this morning, and I am so grateful for my mentors who taught me to enjoy life by enjoying and remembering God!  This is Thanksgiving week, and there is such joy and freedom in remembering my "Creator in the days of my youth." It is a privilege to counsel with 20 somethings who are still finding their way. I want them to enjoy these days of their youth.

My heart broke talking to a girl last night who is struggling and lonely. I do not want to go back to my 20's, and I know Ellen Slifer was so right about that when I had my nervous breakdown at 23.  She said she would never want to relive her 20's. She was the only touch of kindness that I felt in those dark days at Loyd Chiropractic (with the maniacal boss who posed as a believer and follower of Jesus). She touched me and rubbed my shoulders. It was balm to me.

I looked her up on the internet and found she passed away in 2004. I tried to contact her husband to say thank you but the phone was disconnected. I thanked God for her today.

Here is her obituary:


She was my angel in 1983.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life is Beautiful

Ecclesiastes really makes me wax philosophic. Life is beautiful. God does make all things beautiful in His lovely time. I look at the events of my life, and I see that God is sovereign in everything that has come my way. You can get bitter or better.  I saw examples of bitter recently, and I don't want that for my life. He can make even the bad beautiful. One prime example is Louis Zamperini in the Unbroken story. He could have been so bitter from his POW experience, but he chose to forgive.  So beautiful.

Forgiveness is so powerful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Freewrite

I haven't had a freewrite here for a while. So I am setting the timer (or watching the clock) for ten minutes and typing away. I don't have anything significant to write this morning, but Friday Freewrite sounds like a cool thing.

I have been back from Las Olas for nine days now. I think I am finally back to normal. My back is totally free from pain (for two days now), and my bruises are fading. There were many things I liked about the experience, but in many ways, it was very lonely for me. People kind of broke up in to couples from our group, and my other half was sweet but struggling and withdrew quite a bit. When we did talk, it was more counseling mode for me, but I loved her for her vulnerability and beauty.

So, I was pretty alone, especially from the third day on (we were cohesive until the second night and then everything changed). My third day was difficult. While I received original compassion, I felt it turned into ridicule when I came into my own on the fourth day and wanted to continue surfing. Then, my "I don't like this" comment from the third day came back to haunt me with ribbing comments.

While I felt invisible at times (people not even asking if I was walking into town and leaving without me, not asking me to enter into the traditional pool nightly activity and not even noticing I wasn't there), I didn't seem to care and just looked at it from a cooler, analytic perspective. Such growth for me. Invisibility used to really hurt my feelings, but I didn't have as much in common with our other two roommates (common history and present life stage), and no one seemed to really want to ask questions about me and my life (Although a LOAD of assumptions were made which were at best comical ("You are so naive you don't know when a gay woman is trying to pick up on you." LOL! Hello, former college athlete here, surrounded by gay people since I was 18 years old!)  and at worst frustrating (After another dismissive put down, I just had to walk away down the street, laugh it off, and sing my song, "I am not an idiot." Because I am not!).

This is where I think that I have grown. I am OK with being in a group now and being ignored or not asked questions about myself (George says it happens to us all the time. I guess we are used to it). One time at dinner, one of the girls asked about my sons, and that was nice, but it was a dearth of intimacy in the relationship department all week.  Even though I knew I was alone, I just went with the flow and enjoyed it. That was a good thing. While debriefing with Penny at the airport before we took off, she wished we could have had more time together, and I agreed. It was a lovely give-and-take of conversation! Most of the others people in our larger group were really nice, down-to-earth people that wanted to know about me and what I did. My roommate asked me, but no one else in our group did.  I wished I had spent more time with the larger group (a couple of time we sat at the hotel restaurant talking, and that was lovely). My roommate ended up doing that and was more comfortable with them than our own group. It almost would have been easier for me to go alone in many ways. Trying to get a party of six to gel was hard, especially since I don't live in the same area as the other four, and I don't have the history that the person who invited me to her party had with her roommate. They would be immersed in conversation, and I would try to break in; but while they were polite, I always felt like the third wheel. The best time I have ever had with my friend was at the beach one-on-one almost three years ago. I am more a one-on-one person, and I don't begrudge the dynamics. I was happy for my friend at a distance, and one-on-one, I think I would have enjoyed the other people in our group more, and I did in little one-on-one conversations I had throughout the week. The group dynamic usually brings out the cutting and snippyness in people that I don't understand with women. I could write a book!

I just was glad to have people to talk to at home. I have so many intimate relationships here that I missed them and grew to appreciate them so much more, especially my sweet, chatty George!

I went from hating surfing one day to finally figuring out what I needed to do to get up and wishing I had more time to improve. (The jury is still out as to whether I "loved" it, but contrary to what people told me, I didn't hate it because I am used to "excelling at everything I do."  That is rubbish and told to me by people who don't know me at all.) That is why I want to do it again in Hawaii in February. I will also have George to take pictures of me. If I had one suggestion about Las Olas, it would be that they have a photographer there. I guess they did in the past. I think Connie and Heidi (returning people) were a bit disappointed that this was not offered this year like last year.  I get the drift that many things were different this year (less about empowering of women and more about get up on that board and surf), and the returning three didn't like it as much. I liked it though, even though I wrenched my back on the third day and was in a lot of pain (until my massage).   I am going to try it again in February and August (when I go to California for my 35th reunion). We will see if I take it up or not.

Well, this was WAY more than 10 minutes, but it was good to get my thoughts down!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Well-Educated Mind BHAG Complete - 100% (158/158)

What began in August 2003 ended this morning at 12:37 am. I tried not to finish it so late at night, but I could not stop.

Goal achieved! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(By the way, BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

The well-educated mind: a guide to the classical education you never had [Book]

Ancients (15 out of 15)
2000 Epic of Gilgamesh/Ferry/Poetry
800 Iliad (*+ T)/ Homer/Lattimore/ Poetry
800 Odyssey(*+ T) /Homer/Lattimore/Poetry
600 Greek Lyrics/ Lattimore/Poetry
458 Agamemnon(*+ T)/ Aeschylus/Drama

450 Oedipus Rex(*+ T)/ Sophocles/Drama
441 Histories/ Herodotus/ History
431 Medea/ Euripedes/ Drama
400 Birds/ (Clouds – T) /Aristophanes/ Drama
400 Peloponnesian War(*+ )/Thucydides/ History
375 Republic(*+)/ Plato/ History
330 Poetics(+)/ Aristotle/Drama 
65 Odes of Horace/Poetry

100 Greek Lives/Roman Lives by Plutarch

Medieval Times (19 out of 19)

400 Confessions*+ T Augustine Fitzgerald Autobio 
426 City of God+ Augustine History
731 Ecclesiastical History of the English People Bede History
1000 Beowulf* Poetry

1300 Inferno*+ Poetry 
1300's Everyman Drama

1350 Sir Gawain & the Green Knight* Poetry
1386 Canterbury Tales* Chaucer Poetry
1430 The Book of Margery Kempe Autobio

1513 Prince*+ Machiavelli History
1516 Utopia* Sir Thomas More History
1564 Sonnets Shakespeare Poetry 

1580 Essays+ Montaigne Autobio
1588 Life of Teresa of Avila Autobio
1588 Doctor Faustus Marlowe Drama

1592 Richard III Shakespeare Drama
1594 Midsummer's Nights Dream* Shakespeare Drama
1600 Hamlet* Shakespeare Drama
1600 Poems* Donne Poetry (British)

Early Modern -1600-1850 (33 out of 33)

1605 Don Quixote*+ Cervantes Penguin Novel
1611 Psalms KJV Poetry
1641 Meditations+ Descartes Autobio 
1667 Paradise Lost*+ Milton Poetry
1666 Grace Abounding Bunyon Autobio 
1669 Tartuffe Moliere Drama

1679 Pilgrim's Progress* Bunyon Novel
1682 Narrative of Captivity & Restoration(T) Rowlandson Autobio
1690 True End Civil Government Locke History

1700 Way of the World Congreve Drama 
1726 Gulliver's Travels* Swift Novel 
1754 History of England, V.5 Hume History

1757 Songs of Innocence and Experience by Blake/Poetry (British)
1762 Social Contract+ Rousseau History
1773 She Stoops to Conquer Goldsmith Drama
1776 Common Sense (T) Paine Dover History
1776 Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire Gibbon Wormsley(Ab) History
1777 School of Scandal Sheridan Drama
1781 Confessions* Rousseau Autobio 
1791 Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (T)
1792 Vindication of the Rights of Women+ Wollstonecraft History (British)
1798 Lyrical Ballads* Wordsworth, Cooleridge Poetry (British)
1813 Pride & Prejudice*+ Austen Novel 

1819 Odes* & Poems Keats Poetry (British)
Longfellow Poetry (American)
Tennyson Poetry (British)
Whitman Poetry (American)
1835 Democracy in America* Tocqueville History

1838 Oliver Twist Dickens Novel
1847 Jane Eyre Bronte Novel
1848 The Comunist Manifesto+ Marx&Engel History
1850 The Scarlet Letter* Hawthorne Novel

Modern History - 1850 to present (87 out of 87)
Rossetti Poetry (British)
1851 Moby-Dick/Melville/Novel
Uncle Tom's Cabin/Stowe/Novel 
1854 Walden/Thoreau/Autobio

1857 Madame Bovary* Flaubert Novel
1860 Civilization of Renaissance Burckhardt History
1861 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Jacobs Autobio
1866 Crime & Punishment Dostoyevsky Novel
1850- 1866 * Dickinson Poetry (American)
1872 Dunbar Poetry (American)
1877 Anna Karenina* Tolstoy Novel
1878 Return of the Native Hardy Novel 
1878 Sandburg Poetry (American)

1879 Doll's House Ibsen Drama
1881 Life & Times/Narrative of Frederick Douglass * T Autobio
1881 The Portrait of a Lady* James Novel 
1883 Williams Poetry (American)

1884 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn* Twain
1895 The Red Badge of Courage Crane Novel

1899 Importance of Being Earnest Wilde Drama
1901 Up From Slavery Washington Autobio
1902 Heart of Darkness* Conrad Novel
1902 Hughes Poetry (American)

1903 Souls of Black Folk DuBois History (American)
1904 Cherry Orchard Chekov Drama
1904 The Protestant Ethic & the Spirit of Capitalism Weber History (German)
1905 House of Mirth Wharton Novel 
1907 Auden Poetry (American)

1908 Ecce Homo Nietzsche Autobio (German)
1913 Poems* Frost Poetry (American)
1921 Queen Victoria Stachey History
1922 Larkin Poetry (British)
1924 St. Joan Shaw Drama
1925 Mein Kampf Hitler Autobio
The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald Novel
Mrs. Dolloway Woolf Novel
The Trial* Kafka Novel 
1929 An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth Gandhi Autobio
1932-1963 Sylvia Plath Poetry (American)
(1865-1939) William Butler Yeats (Irish)
Auto of Alice B. Toklas Stein Autobio
Born 1934 Mark Strand Poetry (American)
Born 1929 Adrienne Rich Poetry (American)
1935 Murder in Cathedral T.S. Eliot Drama
1937 The Road to Wigan Pier Orwell History
1938 Our Town Wilder Drama
1939 Seamus Heaney Poetry (Irish)
The New England Mind Miller History 
1940 Long Day's Journey into Night O'Neill Drama
Native Son Wright Novel
1940 Robert Pinsky Poetry (American)
1942 Stranger Camus Novel

1944 No Exit Sartre Drama
1947 A Streetcar Named Desire Williams Drama 
1948 Seven Story Mountain Merton Autobio

1949 1984 Orwell Novel 
Death of a Salesman Miller Drama
1952 Invisible Man Ellison Novel
Waiting for Godot Beckett Drama
1955 The Great Crash Galbraith History 
Surprised by Joy C.S. Lewis Autobio
1956 Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) Poetry (American) (DO NOT RECOMMEND ICK!)
1956 Seize the Day Bellow Novel
1959 The Longest Day Ryan History
1960 A Man for All Seasons Bolt Drama
1963 The Feminine Mystique Frieden History
1965 The Autobiography of + Malcolm X Autobio
1967 One Hundred Years of Solitude Marquez Novel
Rosencrantz & Guildenstein Stoppard Drama
1972 If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Calvino Novel 
1973 Journal of Solitude Sarton Autobio
Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn Autobio
1974 Roll, Jordan, Roll Genovese History
1974 Equus Shaffer Drama 
1977 Born Again Colson Autobio

Song of Solomon Morrison Novel
1978 Distant Mirror Tuchman History
1978 Jan Kenyon (1947-1975) Poetry (American)
1982 Hunger of Memory Rodriguez Autobio
1985 White Noise Delillo Novel
1985 Rita Dove (1952- )Poetry (American)
1987 All the President's Men Woodward & Bernstein History

1988 Battle Cry of Freedom McPherson History
1989 Road from Coorain Conway Autobio

1990 Possession Byatt Novel
A Midwife's Tale Ballard Autobio
1992 The End of History & the Last Man Fukuyama History

1995 All Rivers Run to the Sea Wiesel Autobio

(*ITC, +D overlap, T)

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 ...