Wednesday, May 30, 2012

52 in 52 Week 22: Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Click image to view full cover Well thought out. I loved this book. I had heard her on a Ted Talk and was intrigued. I slightly prefer introversion and can go either way on the descriptions between the ISFJ and the ESFJ. 

The book jacket says:

"Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, QUIET shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the listener on a journey from Dale Carnegie's [my hero] birthplace to Harvard Business School from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects." 

This book really is wonderfully written (just a little slow at the end because it talks about how to raise introverted kids, and I don't think I would have ended it that way because many of the readers will probably be older, empty nesters or near empty nesters like me). To get a taste of it, watch the Ted Talk that first turned me on to this book. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Arrogant Man in the Making

Ack! I spent some time with a teenager who oozed arrogance: put down his sisters and mother, and ME! Wow! It was so weird. My husband and kids are such respectful men.

How do I tell this teenager not to turn out like his father did who put down and ground his wife so into the ground that she divorced him after 20+ years of marriage and many children?  How do I warn him that he is on that same path? 

My heart is heavy with prayer this morning for this young man. 

52 in 52 Week 22: Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale

 This is a tremendously encouraging look at what God is doing with Muslims in Africa. I have had the pleasure of learning from one of the people who catalyzed a movement there, and he is a humble and wonderful servant of God. 

Our African brothers and sister in Christ put the Western church to shame in their commitment to obeying (applying) the Word, praying, fasting, and accountability. I loved hearing each and every story. The book is also very practical. One could walk away and have tool that will help them in catalyzing their own disciple-making movement, and it will replace Church Planting Movements by David Garrison in the curriculum we use (we may still use the 60 page PDF version though). 

The biggest drawback of this book is that it implies that no one has every thought of obedience-based discipleship before, and that no one had ever discovered what was "hiding in plain sight" in the Bible. Have you ever read The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman and The Training of the Twelve by A.B. Bruce (written in 1871 and the book from which Coleman derived his principles)? These biblical principles were discovered and have been practiced for many years. In fact, the rich biblical heritage in which I was raised called for obedience-based discipleship and application of 2 Timothy 2:2. We were always to pass on what we received resulting in a disciple-making movement. It is as old as Genesis 12: You have been blessed to be a blessing. My mentors, who spent 25+ years in Japan also practiced these principles. While fading in Western Churchianity, they have been practiced long before the people of this book "discovered" it. 

All that said,  I do believe that, of the majority of people who have come to believe in the West, most have NOT been exposed to obedience-based discipleship. I just have a problem with someone claiming they discovered it. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

52 in 52 Week 21: The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun

From This is the story of a brother in Christ who is the same age. It is such a moving autobiography about perseverance in suffering and persecution. VERY inspiring. I am so glad I "had" to read this for our training group! It has been on my bookshelf for quite some time, and I have never had an opportunity to read it

The miracles will blow you away. 
The Scripture will blow you away. 
The fasting and prayer will blow you away. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Divine Presence

I haven't been writing as much here because I have had some back problems that are directly related to sitting too much. The retreat last weekend did me in. I sat too long in one place. My back has been perfect for the last two weeks because I have gotten up every twenty minutes and walked for two minutes (at least) and broke up my day with work around the house. Last Saturday, I led the last retreat for our Kingdom Community. It was a lot of relating while sitting. So, pretty much from 8:30 am - 6:30 pm I sat (other than two breaks and lunch that included walks). TOO MUCH.

So, I am taking back my body and walking more today.

All that said, I had to write. I am wonderfully feeling the covering of God in this moment. I love it when I can stop and pause and give praise. I know that He is with me in this moment. I am aware of His peace and presence as I write this, and I want to give testimony that He is, indeed, real and active in the lives of men and women around the globe. 

Cannot deny it, and I gotta' shout it. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Morning Freewrite

Well, much of the stress of the last few weeks are really over. H. is happy with the decision for me not to go to Washington, D.C. with her and her mom, decisions about our summer have been made, and the Abilities, Heart Passion, and SHAPE review and affirmation weekend are OVER! I loved this weekend, but I didn't realize how much it was pressing hard upon me!

I am so wiped. I am not sure if I will be going to church today. We have a going away party for Heather at Corey's house today at 3 pm, but that is all. I plan on just enjoying the day. It should be a good one with nothing pressing over me except the usual picture albums that I am behind in and papers that need to be filed. YAY!

My back survived the weekend even though I slept in a difficult bed. I missed my Tempur-pedic though! It was fun to sleep in the Cottage Room on the couch, but I could tell I had to be really careful and not make too many moves or my back would be toast. I looked forward to my time in there in the morning, but when I came out of the shower, my room was occupied by someone having time with God. I was a bit disappointed, but I just went out in the living room. I didn't need to do too much prep. time for time of teaching, but it was a more public place. So, people wanted to talk. 

I need to write down how the weekend went:

Friday night - Peacemaking
8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 - 9:45 Prayer through Psalm 139
9:45 - 12:00 
12:00 - 1:45 Lunch and walk 
1:45 - 
        - 5:50 Affirmation in Personality that contributes to the team

I'll look in my notebook and fill this out later. :)

I walked three times outside yesterday, but it resulted in a big pollen hangover this morning. So, I think I need to stay inside today for most of the day. I do need to go to the club and exercise though. I haven't burned a sweat in two days, and that always makes me have hot flashes. :)

Well, the bell is going to ring. Listening to The Ascent of George Washington as I make my chai tea this morning. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Balancing my Life

Thursdays have been a counseling day, but I am trying to get back into balance. So, I am going to take some time off from it. It was just a "when it rains it pours" kind of season in April and May.

I would really like a new schedule. Like the thought of spending an hour every day in my room to work on things in there or the master bathroom. I want to be standing up for that amount of time. I am also starting to feel munchy at the time, and it helps me stay active.

I also feel like an afternoon workout really is better for me, but I LOVE Pilates. It just is not at a good time for me. I wish there were an afternoon Pilates class. The one they have on T/Th is too late for me to get home and have dinner with the family. Need to think through all of that.

52 in 52 Week 20: Bruchko by Bruce Olson

I have always wanted to read this book. Elizabeth even got it from the library for me because she could not read I had never read it. I would always put it on the back burner for other books that I felt were more pressing (Book Babes, The Well-Educated Mind List, homeschool books). True to form, it was "required" reading for our Kingdom Community. So, I read it, and I was HOOKED. I think everyone needs to read this fast-paced account of a 19 year old who believed God for big things among the Motilone people. He had no education but he was so gifted at knowing how to work in their culture. Very impressed!

Thursday Freewrite

I am so ready to write today! I have gotten some really good rest and exercise since last Thursday. I am back in balance! YAY!

I haven't written on the Bible Book Club in ages. Now that I am not going to Washington, D.C. with Heba, I dont' need to worry about getting ahead in my postings until we go on vacation later in the summer.

I feel like I have let go of worrying about disappointing everyone. I needed to get back in balance, and I need to continue to speak truthfully to others. I cannot commit myself to things that are not humanly possible for me.

So, today is free other than some exercise. I will work on Bible Book Club and prepare for the retreat.

YAY. Time to go make some tea. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Charlotte Tulowetzki (1846 - 1920) - Find A Grave Memorial

Charlotte Tulowetzki (1846 - 1920) - Find A Grave Memorial

Monday Musings

Well-Watered Soul/Well-Adjusted Heart

These two are so inexorably combined that I cannot separate the two. So, I will do these together from now on. The music from this song is gently playing in the background:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It really is well with my soul after almost two weeks of not doing very well. 

Part of it was I realized I had said, "Yes" too much, and the "No's" I had said were challenged, or I perceived a challenge. Death, nausea, tiredness, deadlines, pressure, complaining where all pressing on me too much. I needed to disengage for a while to get perspective. Honestly, the biggest turning point was going on a walk with Nancy on Friday afternoon. I managed to keep it together at different points along the journey, but I realized how very alone I felt. I am not a very dependent person, but the one local person that I do go to just doesn't have the capacity at this stage in her journey, and I do NOT begrudge that, but where am I to go. I tried it with the dear little 25 year old, but I realized it wasn't fair to her or to me. She doesn't have the whole picture of life yet to see where I am coming from. Does not have the balancing act of husband and children. She is so sweet, but she is limited in what she can really understand or hear my heart. Plus, she is a personality type that I often don't feel heard. My "go to" people are those who are similar to my own type. They "get it" because they understand how hard we work at everything we do.  It is even hard to explain here, but I felt "heard" by Nancy on the walk on Friday afternoon. I felt heard by Debbie and Carol too, but they are not local, and I realized that I needed local, face to face being heard. 

I do have one friend  who has heard me on occasion, but she has had so much on her plate, and she doesn't really have anyone to listen and care. So, even when I left from my walk with George with many tears and decided to go to lunch by myself, she called an dumped on me during my private, relaxing lunch. I can go into that mode of listening, but I also steered the conversation away from all of that.

 Then, God had providentially given me a massage because I needed one when Dr. Koen couldn't see me (and I was sitting trying to schedule an appointment when that SNOTTY runner and her friends walked by me at Timberhill. That was another difficult thing that happened that I had forgotten about!), but I couldn't get a hold of this person and eventually saw Dr. Koen. Then, the girl called back last Wednesday, and I thought, "Well, I have no pain, but it might be good to see if she is good for future reference, and she was the BEST message I have ever had, and it was so perfectly timed with my very teary day. 

Then, my mother-in-law came to town, and we dropped everything to go to the Farmer's Market, look at rhododendrons on the OSU campus, go to a Mexican fiesta with free food and entertainment (totally unplanned surprise), dessert at Applebee's, movie with Teala and mom, and more talking at home. The perfect day that I would not have picked had I not had to. 

I did work that day, but the marriage devotional on Colossians 6 really was helpful and lovely.  I probalby took me seven hours on Saturday and Sunday and was one of the things on my "stress plate" but it helped. 

Also, somewhere in the blur of last week, I filled out all the paper work for Beyond Lebanon High School for Paul (I think while the men were on a walk), sat down with George to pound out a schedule for our summer trip, bought tickets with our reward points, put our names into Peter DeFazio's office for congressional aide tours, and made contact with my relatives in Pennsylvania! GREAT to get things off the PLATE! I had to disappoint Heba in the process, but I am OK with that. 

So, now I sit with the boys and George gone earlier than usual because of their dental appointments, and I am going to go for a walk, prep for the retreat on Friday/Saturday, and read Bruchko. No meeting with Stacy I. until AFTER my bible study and kingdom community wrap up. YAY!

I am back to balance. But I have had to realize that I need to seek out face to face friend time with people my own age and outwardly focused. 

Well-Educated Mind

This is part of my balance, and I haven't been going forward in it. It isn't just one more thing to do for me. It takes me to a different dimension in my mind and relieves stress and makes me think of things that affect my soul and heart! I have to write about this someday, but last week did not include as much of this dimension for my taste, and I have to have it and fight for it in my life or else I am back in Bellevue, WA wondering who I had become and on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

To say I am a life-long learner and value that is an understatement. Continuing to learn helps me to continue to develop as a whole person. So, last week was a bust on that. I eked out a short audiobook and a bit of Hemingway, but I need to keep pressing on my list. Keep moving forward.

Well-Tuned Strength

Another dimension of the balancing act. I cannot say that I have necessarily neglected it lately, but I had to rest after surgery on some of the most gorgeous days, and I haven't walked as much as I would like (primarily because I haven't done the audiobook thing very much lately), and that always gives me wonderful perspective. That is why walking out in the sunshine with Nancy on Friday and  with mother in law on Saturday was so special. Sunshine and Sweat are necessary for all of us..

Again, this is part of my balance

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fascinating Radio Interview about Exercise

Mother's Day Freewrite Fifteen

"This person realized that their pity party affects other people, and she didn't like it."

I spent a lot of time with a complainer a while ago, and it has affected me for quite a while. Why am I so sensitive to this type of thing? When I attempted to speak truth that they didn't want to hear, she complained about ME. UGH. I must disengaged. I am so sad about that. So hard when you truly care, but it is difficult when people just want to stay stuck in their stuff.

I had some pain in the early morning. I would have preferred to sleep in, but it looks like I am not going to have that option as it is better for me to sit or stand up to relieve the pain. This happens to me every once in a while.

Yesterday was totally lovely because I did no work AT ALL. Well, George corrected me when I told him how wonderful it was to not work all day. I said, "What do you mean? What work did I do?"  His reply, "Marriage retreat devotional, Carol."  OH I forgot. I got up at 4:45 am and worked until 10:15 am on the marriage retreat devotional. LOL! Well, once my mother-in-law came, I didn't work!

We visited in the living room. Then we drove to the Farmer's Market and saw Nessa and Pete holding hands! I was shocked. I went to hug Nessa, and I said, "We must talk!"  I turned around to have Peet say, "Carol, remember when you asked me a few months ago if I liked anyone. Well, I really didn't then."  LOL! I love it. Apparently, it was a very new relationship.  They have known each other since they were in their mother's wombs!

We had a lovely day at the Market. The sun was out. The produce was spectacular. Lots of flowers and samples and music and people. I LOVE CORVALLIS!

After this we drove to the campus. The rhododendrons were in FULL bloom. We could not have picked a better time. We try to do this on a yearly basis with George's mom, and they always bloom around Mother's Day. So, it is nice to combine the two. (I may add some pictures later, but this is a freewrite after all)

When we were walking I heard some music, and there was a FULL ON Mexican Fiesta with free FOOD! So, instead of spending money on an expensive lunch we ate there and watched a full show with singing and dancing. It was delightful (pictures maybe later).

Then, we continued looking at flowers and went to Applebee's for dessert. Then, Teala met us for the movie Mirror, Mirror at the Carmike. Teala and I both had very WEAK weeks (hey that sounds funny). So, we couldn't be there for the other. So, she said on Friday, "I just want to go somewhere where I can laugh." So, this was our solution. My mother in law loves Teala. So, it was very nice. I don't think MIL liked the movie a whole lot, and it was very slow in parts, but it was also very funny. The acting was also very good. So, I liked it.

After that, we came home. MIL and DH had some coffee, and we talked. Then, she drove home, and I did a bit of stuff. Then we watched that funny BBC comedy on PBS called Outnumbered (best kid actors I have ever seen). Then, we watched What a Girl Wants with Colin Firth and Amanda Bynes. Nothing like seeing "Mr. Dashwood" dance in leather pants to top off a perfect day.

Well, I better go. The timer went off a while ago, but I got distracted by BBC Africa and forgot I was doing a freewrite. I am doing better every day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sad to Glad

Sad that Maurice Sendak died. Sorta' sad in general today, but counting blessings. 

Sad to glad:

Glad that George Weaver noticed we were almost out of milk and gas. 
Glad he went to get both.

Glad he made me chai tea and brought it to me all before he went to work.

Glad that my "little sis" Joann Linder is turning 50 and is counting down the 30 days.

Glad that this reminded me of my own 50 countdown: with warm and wonderful friends.

Glad that we finally decided our general itinerary for our east coast trip.

Glad that my kids wake up nice rather than grumpy.

Glad that I have some time this morning to write (which has not been possible and needs to be a part of my everyday life like breathing).

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

People in Pain

Why do people in pain always knock me off my kilter. There is a picture of compassion and frustration that mingles together in the hours I spend with them. They need help, but they don't know that they need help.

Monday, May 07, 2012

52 in 52 Week 19: MondayAgain?!

MondayAgain?! by Marquese Martin-HayesI really enjoyed this quick audiobook, and it was free from It had some great encouragement, quotes, and useful information! Surprising how much I enjoyed it for a motivational book. I listened to it on Monday, and it was just what I needed after a very hard week last week.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

52 in 52 Week 19: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford

A new book, "Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath," by Mimi Beardsley Alford is displayed at Barnes & Noble bookstore on February 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Mimi Beardsley, now Mimi Alford, a 69-year-old grandmother and retired church administrator, chronicles her 18-month affair with President John F. Kennedy when she was a 19-year old intern at the White House. She claims the affair started in 1962 and ended when he was assassinated in 1963.I listened to the audiobook read by Susan Denaker (6 hours, 28 minutes). Kennedy was beyond the label of "womanizer" and by this book can be put in the classification of sinister sexual predator. 

DISGUSTING!  I have no respect for the man. Not one inch of respect. He is no hero and was a horrible president just because he was a VERY immoral, sexually deviant man. The blind, women's rights feminists who slam Alford are also immoral. Their left-leaning political persuasion should not blind them to the truth of this book by slamming on Alford. I see her as a victim even though Alford does not see herself as one. 

There were times when I thought, "What an idiot!"  But then I remember I, too, was naive at 19 years old. There is so much you don't know about life, and if your circumstances put you in the wake of a predator, it is hard to be rational, especially since you haven't been warned about them. I had a similar predator at that age that sucked me into their web. Didn't know what hit me.

Just at the time I was thinking, "Where were her parents?" She said that they just weren't that involved with her at that stage of her life. As a mother of a 20 year old, that is hard for me to fathom, but those were different times. My parents weren't involved very much in my life either. We are much closer to our kids.

Yes, she was too naive, and she made a choice to continue in the affair.  She does not see herself as a victim, but I believe she was. She is too gracious to this man. I wonder if she has dealt with anger toward him. She seems very passive by nature. 

So sad how it really did affect her whole life. 

I really did not care for this narrator. She sounded too plastic and fake. 

Friday, May 04, 2012

State of "The Well" Freewrite

I haven't done one of these for a while. I haven't written for a few days either. So much has happened.

Well-Watered Soul

The state of my soul is good. I feel like I want to soak deeply today in Isaiah 9, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light." I want to blast that song from Messiah this morning, but I don't want to wake the whole house up. The sun is coming up, and the light is coming into the house. I love that Jesus came to bring light into our dark, dark world, and I believe it with my heart and soul. 

I am also reading in (I just had a 50 minute Skype chat with Julie B. So I must restart the timer. LOL!) different New Testament verses about the incarnation of Jesus. It goes along so well with Jesus being the "light that dawned" for those in darkness! 

I have loved the interaction of the Old and New Testament I have had with doing the Bible Book Club AND the stuff for our Kingdom Community. 

We are still praying about inviting those to join our Kingdom Community with a missional purpose. Looking outward as our life together in the Kingdom flows out into the lives of all we touch. I like that!  Lord, give us words to communicate that.

I have a full and free day today and I want to pray as a friend, Glenn Ginder, died of a massive heart attack on Tuesday. He was one of our friends when we lived in Malaysia. 

Well-Educated Mind

I took a little break from depressing, tragic 20th Century novels to read some other stuff, but I am back and am listening to Hemingway's For Whom the Bells Toll. I told George that I love his writing, and I know that he does too, but he said, "Just wait. It will get depressing too." 

Oh joy. LOL!

(OK, this is attempt #3 at writing this freewrite because I decided to go to Pilates. LOVED it. I am freeeeeee of pain! Felt awesome).

I listened to Hemingway as I rode to Pilates and did dinner prep. I like it so far. Could anything be more weird than Steppenwolf? We will see.

I am also reading Bruchko for Kingdom Community. SO, that should be fun for a change. NEVER read it before, and I can't believe it!

Now that I am no longer tied to the Book Babes reading, (I needed to free myself from the obligation by dropping out.) I hope to read more of books I really like. I haven't been really wild about most of the reading except Unbroken that I loved. The rest have been so-so. I love the William Wilberforce but no one else in the group did. So, I realize I have REALLY different tastes from the rest of the women and am more polite about reading and commenting on those books than they were polite about my book: SLAUGHTERED IT! OUCH! Not a lot of tact by a few of the people, but I can see why. They aren't my closer friends in the group. Those friends were tactful even though they didn't like it. :)

Well-Adjusted Heart

I'm so good now. I made a decision to leave the Book Babes which was heavy on my heart. It just wasn't a healthy or good fit for me anymore, and Kim said, "If you are struggling five days after the meeting is over, then maybe it is time to move on."  I thought that was a good thought. I don't have the mental energy to struggle with negativity that is elective. We have enough negativity that is not elective. Book club should be fun not frustrating!  So, I am out of there!

My heart is sad over the death of Glenn, but I had such an awesome talk with Julie H. via Skype because of it. It was really good. She is interested in learning more about Listening Prayer, and I think it would be so helpful where she is.

Emotionally I am doing really well. I still can't figure out what was wrong on Spring Break. So strange for me to be so unevenly keeled! 

Well-Tuned Strength

I was in pain from lifting something for Heba on Tuesday. I had to go to the Chiropractor, and it made me realize that I really can't do a trip like Washington, D.C. without George to do my heavy lifting. Mexico was a stretch, and I paid for it afterward. So, I needed to tell Heba that it wasn't going to work. I feel horrible, but we are also going to go to the East Coast as a family now. So, I think that will be better. 

I have been going to Pilates more consistently, and walks have been my cardio of choice over running or biking. That should change with better weather. I don't want to run until my core is EXTRA strong, and it is about medium now. So, I am trying to make at least two Pilates classes a week and three would be even better.

Still working on my eating. I am just four pounds overweight, but I don't like it!!!!!

Well, this has probably equaled at least 15 minutes with all the stops and starts. I look forward to a very quiet day as Teala can't get together for lunch and the boys will be out of house until at least 2:30. I am looking forward to the quiet and rest. Will walk though. 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Venting Freewrite

I did it! I disengaged from something that I had considered disengaging from many months ago. I was going to slowly creep away with my tail between my legs, but verbalizing it to a friend this morning made me realize that I needed to just cut the cord. The situation is a waste of my time, unhealthy, keeps me away from what I am more passionate about, and causes me to have to feel lousy for a few days after I have left.  So, I disengaged!

YAY! I feel like it was a brave thing, but I feel nervous about the repercussions and questions that will follow. 

I also had a very rude encounter with someone today. A stereotypical "mean girl"!  I know she was a really popular mean girl in high school. When she was so rude, her friends looked at her in shock. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they didn't agree with her little tirade (very little really, and I couldn't hear most of it because she had gone out the glass doors of the gym and was obviously telling them her choice words about me). It was almost comical, and I thought, "Really, seriously?"  But I had to get back to the task at hand. So, I moved on. 

Mean girl. Bully. I asked her politely to please be quieter because I couldn't hear the person on the other end of my phone and had to wait quite some time for her to move on out of the hallway. I had my lap covered with materials, and I was needing to write down a number, but she thought I should take all my materials outside and try to write while standing up rather than her being a little quieter (yelling across the hallway to people quite a ways down the hall). I had waited for quite some time. I guess I could have moved all my materials out of the room to outside but no one would have had to move if she had lowered her loud and booming voice. I wouldn't have been able to carry on a conversation with another person physically in front of me either. She needed to use her "inside voice" as I used to tell my children.

She started attacking me for the request, and I just was sort of in shock, and so were her friends. Oh well. As someone who can get loud myself at times, if someone asks me to quiet down, I just do. Case closed. I think she is one of those people who dominates her friends (I could tell by how they followed her sheepishly out the door) and probably her loved ones. I choose to feel compassion for her rather than anger. 

Shake it off. I took a shower (per Alicia's suggestion) because I felt slimed by her negativity, and her lack of politeness in social discourse left me flummoxed. She is part of that age group that George said, "Weren't disciplined as a child."  I know that age group. We worked with them in the mid to late 80's in the college group. Tough cookies. 

I didn't get accomplished what I wanted to get accomplished on the phone anyway. I should have just come home and tried to work on it from there. As it is, I found no resolution and must suffer through the day with a pulled muscle in my back (not out, just pulled with makes me very functional but a little out of sorts). I would rest, but I cannot. I am in charge of bringing the lunch for Heba's Graduate Committee before her dissertation. I think helping her with the groceries on Tuesday is what did this to me in the first place. I had to reach for one of her bag far away from me, and that did me in. I should have know better.

So, I went to Pilates hoping to get it loosened up, and it does feel better. I did moist heat and took a muscle relaxant. Then, I got home to the kids saying that maybe they can take the car to school, but I need to car for picking up the pizzas. Paul couldn't find his wallet. He couldn't print his paper and would have to do it at school for money instead. He was on the verge of missing his bus. Dr. Hopkin's office was calling for payment for my implant next week (why didn't they just let me pay for it when I was in the office? They do things so WEIRD in that office, but this is the third thing I have had to deal with them on. What is also weird is they have you pay all this money up front only to send you a check for some of the money. What happened to waiting until all the bills and insurance pay and then paying the amount owed. That is how most offices do it. They have REALLY bad office management, but I have learned to just roll with it after Michael's implant surgery when they forgot to get the preauthorization and expected me to pay the FULL AMOUNT without a pre-authorization. I just rescheduled, but I digress . . . ).

I am also evaluating my summer. What should be do? Should I go to Washington D.C. with Heba only to turn around to go with our family eight weeks later when we go to Micah's wedding? Should we skip Micah's wedding and just go to the reception in August? Should I go with Heba and then go to California, see Samira, and then go to my class reunion instead? I am so confused, and I think I just need to wait until after today to make any kind of decision. I am not in a great space after getting slimed. 

So, I have vented. I need some focus right now because I am leaving for the big afternoon in 1 1/2 hours. YIKES!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tuesday Morning Free Write

There is something so nice about just freewriting away. I suppose I can do it on my computer without this public blog, but I have journaling for my most private thoughts, but this is totally fine for others to see. 

I slept in a bit more (7 am) again. I sleep so much more soundly and wonderfully on this Tempur-pedic. I got up to time with George, unpacking yesterday's full schedule of meetings with people and then a study of Romans 5 with Kim and Rachel. We went in the office as the boys' schedule has changed to where they need to get in the kitchen and eat breakfast and make their lunch in order to get out the door at the same time our Bible Study ends. 

I liked the office's warmth and coziness compared to the open expanse of the living room. Perhaps it was too warm, but it was nice to have the change of pace, and the Bible study is almost over for this year. We have one more time to meet (May 15) before we break for the summer or not continue at all. They are two very busy women, and while I am busy, I set more my own schedule that isn't motivated by having to work to put food on the table like they are forced to do. So, I can be much more flexible. Not sure if the time has been really "good" for them or just one more thing that they have on their plate. 

I, personally, have enjoyed the time because I like being with people who come prepared to study the Scriptures and don't just say what is off the top of their head rather than have opinions formulated from hours of private study. I miss that in the circles that we now find ourselves. I like it much more this time around than the last time I studied Romans. One finally got the vision for doing the personal study, but the other one was not every prepared, and it was obvious. It is hard to tell a person that, even though they have grown up in a religious home, they still need that time in the Word of God. I don't know how people function without it!  Much better experience this time around for me.

The rest of the the morning and early afternoon, I will be doing dinner prep while listening to Once Upon a Secret about Mimi Alford's affair with President Kennedy. I won't comment on it here because I have already formulated a review of it since I am 60% of the way through the book, and I DO have a very strong opinion about it. Stay tuned. 

I also hope to get some time in Isaiah. After that, I will either walk or ride my bike to the library to hear Heba run through her Ph.D. dissertation. My back is feeling a bit precarious right now, but maybe walking will loosen it up. I have 2 1/2 hour to evaluate that. So, I will wait and see.

After time with Heba, I will probably come home with George (or take the bus) and finish dinner and get ready to meet with Kathleen. I was hoping to have some time with Paul too because George is at a meeting and Michael has Bible study, but I am not sure if that is going to happen tonight because of meeting with Kathleen. 

Well, I have five more minutes to write, but I really want to get to time in the Isaiah. So, I will say GOOD BYE for now. :)

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...