Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Fifteen Freewrite

We are so blessed in so many ways. I just made the decision to not plan a big anniversary trip. It is too exhausting for me, but I feel like we need to be all here. I started trying to plan, and I got a call from someone distressed. So much of what I do is not planned on a day to day basis. So much of what I do is connect people, help people, dream with people. So, I have to have such fluidity to my schedule that I cannot put on a time card. It is an interesting thing.

Anyway, I just realized it was getting too stressful to try to plan something, and I was not enjoying it anymore. I think there will be a simple trip to the coast, to the same hotel we went to on our honeymoon, 25 years ago. No big trip. Just a couple of nights together on the Oregon coast. I do think that is plenty. If God wants to drop something in our lap, then I am totally up for that, but it has to be God directing the ship (or plane), not me. So I am crossing it off my list and saying: WAIT!

I just have this feeling that it is going to be much better than anything that we would have ever been able to plan. God just said, "Be a light" when we were praying about it. Again, he said "Wait on France." So, I am going to do just that.

This will be a summer of jaw surgery and carpet laying so I am totally fine with waiting for something to become really clear! 

I am excited to see what He will do when we just let go. :) Last year was the fulfillment of so many dreams in Europe. I know I have other ones that I just will have to wait on. I have no problem with that. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

30. The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines by Nathan Foster

 I read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster in the 80s not long after it came out. This is a book by his son, Nathan, as he tried putting those disciplines into practice. While Richard's book is more teaching, Nathan's is a heartfelt memoir of his struggles to practice them. It is beautiful, easy reading. 

Richard and Nathan did a conference by the same name in my husband's hometown. They did not do that many of them, and they did one in this little town because Richard wrote his book when he was a pastor at the Newberg Friends Church in the 70s. It was fun to go to it. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Fifteen Freewrite

I really need to reinstate the tradition of freewriting on Fridays. I have had so much happening this week. It is good for me to process through the keyboard and give myself some time to reflect about all the goings on.  I think there are some exciting things afoot. I just have to pace myself and pray and obey accordingly. I do not want my enthusiasm to get in the way of the Spirit's leading. 

Had a good conversation with J yesterday about what they do up in Portland. I want to see a partnership happen with them. They are a dynamic foursome up here. They are doing great things. Somewhere along the way there was a big miscommunication over a very minor issue that made for a disengagement with my boss and them. Also, we let a third party interpret some things they did and communicate it to a whole team of people that made us think they were not open to working as a team. My meeting with them could not have been farther from the truth! UGH! Four years of miscommunication is really not a good thing. I am so glad that I obeyed and made the connection with them!

 I am wondering if we are to be the connectors (as that is one of my StrengthsFinder key themes along with Learner, Empathy, Achiever, Relator).  I need to tread carefully. I need to listen to the Lord. I need to do just what He is telling me, no more and no less! There is power in proper partnership. You know. I just obeyed when You told me to make contact. 

Also had a lovely meeting with the B's and M's. I had a fun adventure taking the MAX to the eastside and Lloyd Center area. Met with M first for some enthusiastic talking with this like-hearted friend of mine. My picture of our meeting never posted, and I have no idea why! I tried three times! I will have to try again. 

After that, I went to this big apartment complex to meet with people I have never met before and other people I have only met once. It is amazing how God can knit hearts immediately. We are going to have a "Portland Prayer Pow Wow" to beat all! I don't know who will spearhead it. I think I will just be the connector of all things.

I also walked with Caroline from college and my sorority. That was fun. We also visited with T and K, and I will go with K for a Swedish tasting treat in about an hour. Should be fun. Been visiting with my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law this morning too. Took MIL out for her 86th birthday last night. Red Mill Market in Dundee! SO GOOD! Loved my steak salad and bites of George's pizza!!!! 

In between all the meetings, I have been reading The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines and am about halfway through it. I went to Nathan and Richard Foster's conference in Newberg in April, and it was good. Just getting around to reading the book that it was based on. I want to discuss it with Jamie. That is who is on my heart about it. 

Well, I think I might end this fifteen a little early so I can go and read a bit more before Katherine comes and fetches me for our little outing OR I might take a walk!  I cannot decide!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

29. Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

I have always known that detox cleanses were not possible, but this author refers to all the studies that prove you cannot detox your body by buying expensive cleanses. He also discusses myths about juicing and gluten-free diets.

He also debunks the myths about anti-aging products. I like his practical, down-to-earth, and humorous approach to these myths. The part about plastic surgery is just plain scary (go to Sun Valley and drive around, and you will see REALLY SCARY results of the "fake and bake" culture there!).

I have been a nutritionist for 34 years. I have to hold my tongue when people are doing the latest detox or diet. Usually the person telling me usually has a degree in history, and I paid thousands of dollars to learn the science behind nutrition, but they know more than I do. I could have saved my money and just read the internet! Who knew? 

It just does not work to try to tell them otherwise. Even some of the reviews for this book still will not believe this author who carefully researched everything. They slander him something terrible. 

Over the years, I have learned that the placebo effect is REAL. So, there is no use talking people out of their misconceptions. You will be crucified if you try. Just last week I was having a private conversation, and someone who knows my nutrition background (and my success at keeping my weight down at 55 years of age) was asking me sincere questions about how to lose and keep off weight. Another person overheard the conversation and started challenging me. This is why I do not usually share my expertise (Yes, it is expertise - like I said, I paid a lot of money for my degree, and I am not afraid to say that it does allow me to say I have expertise in the area of nutrition. I graduated with high honors, by the way) in groups. 

So, I think that if they think it is working for them, let them do it. If they do not want my expertise, I do not give my opinion. I only share it when I am asked. This time I was asked, and I have learned that I will pull the conversation to the side and have it privately. It really bothered me for days afterward. 

The only things that are proven as helping in the anti-aging process are:
1) Retinoids 
2) Resurfacing  
3) Fillers 
He concludes Part I by saying that, "We should not let celebrity lies defy the science-informed six." 

Here are the six: 
1. Don't smoke, and drink alcohol in moderation. 
2. Stay active, stand often, exercise regularly, and include some vigorous activities.  
3. Eat a balanced and calorie-appropriate diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein (such as fish, chicken, beans, and nuts), and healthy fats (such as olive oil); avoid bad fats (those of the trans variety). 
4. Maintain a healthy weight (tough, I know). 
5. Wear sunscreen. 
6. Get an appropriate amount of sleep (which for most, is between seven and nine hours). p. 119
Part II of the book was not as appealing for me as Part I. It was more in the psychology of why we admire celebrities, and the low-probability of becoming famous. It is alarming that children today want to be famous. 
"Twenty-five years ago the top five career ambitions of grade-school children were teacher, banker, doctor, scientist, and vet. Now according to a recent UK survey, they are, in descending order of awesomeness: sports star, pop star, actor, astronaut, and lawyer." p. 124. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I forgive

Forgiveness is such a beautiful thing. It is what Jesus did for those who were crucifying Him. It is the least we can do for others. A woman I worked with through almost three years of very painful abuse from her husband said how important forgiveness has been for her journey and something she wished she had learned sooner rather than later. I have found that I can educate on this, but it is a choice on the other person's part that cannot be rushed or forced upon them. God has to work the forgiveness in them. It is beautiful that she reminded me that one thing I need to do is provide a safe environment for the person to forgive as I am counseling people. His kindness leads us to that. I gently and safely lead, but I cannot make a person drink the peace that forgiveness brings to the soul. 

So, I am going to put these two readings forth.

1) The chapter on forgiveness in Healing Life's Hurts by Ed Smith: 

"Releasing Those Who Have Hurt Us"

2. This lovely article is on my other blog called the Bible Book Club. It is related to the Genesis 50 and Joseph's forgiveness of his brothers and it in the APPLICATION section of this post:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

28. Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

"As long as we search for enemies anywhere but inside ourselves, there will always be a Middle East problem."

This is a fascinating look from the inside by a son of the religious leader of the Hamas organization. It gives one important historical background that helps one understand the who, what, when, where, why, and how of this most complicated problem. 

In the midst of this coming of age story, he was asked to come and discuss the Bible. It is his personal journey toward Jesus too. 

Loved this book in so many ways. I feel like I understand things so much better. 

Monday, June 08, 2015

Every Once in a While . . .

I get the blues!

Which is weird because I was fine this morning, but then something turned for me at about 1 pm, and I struggled for a few hours. Nancy was SO SWEET to call me even though she has family coming from out of town. George listened and then Nancy listened, and God pieced it all together. I was great for a bit. Then another little dip. You know what really shook me out of it?

Looking at all those refugees in the boat on the Mediterranean, and I felt God say, "YOU are not alone!" :) Those people are in such desperate situations. I have so much! I have it so well. 

Then a friend texted me, "It is national best friend day" with a very sweet little message attached. So I texted my besties! And they both responded with the sweetest texts back.

I really need to text George too because he is my best of the besties! 

So, I am so much better. Just a little six hour dip. Not too bad if you ask me! Thanks for speaking truth to me so quickly, Lord. 

(Tomorrow morning will be so much better!) 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

27. A Guide for Listening and Inner Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places by Rusty Rustenbach

My friend wrote this, and I finally got around to reading it since he was coming to give a conference on the subject for my church. I have always believed that God can speak to us, and I have been facilitating Inner Healing Prayer since 2001. What I like about this book is it is written by someone who didn't really know that God could speak directly until 1999, after many years of being a believer, so he gives a good biblical basis for the whole subject before he launches into the particulars. I really appreciate that. I have already loaned my copy to a kid that my kids grew up with who questions whether God can speak. 

It was fun to have Rusty stay with us and to see the personal transformation in his own life. I have known him since 1980 but have not seen him since 1983!  It was delightful to see that he is "walking his talk" regarding this book. 

Thursday Thirteen Freewrite

I think I like this font best. I am going to the timer and standing up as I do this freewrite!

May was a "wonderful whirlwind." Now I am taking today to just "chill" and listen to God. I was going to go up to Lafayette to the monastery, and I still might do that, but right now, I am POOPED. I stayed up too late watching Pride and Prejudice and doing the Jane Austen puzzle and slept in until 8 am. That never happens! I had a full day yesterday, unintentionally.  Nancy, Rebekah, and Kim trying to find a time to have me facilitate a listening prayer day, talking to "A" about what she is hearing from God about her future (2 1/2 hours), unpacking the listening prayer conference with my mentor in TX, Carol, talking with Chris L. about two women possibly moving here from Iowa to do our internship that we have not decided whether we are going to run, emailing about getting more listening prayer books, housecleaning, going to get money at the bank, then Kellie time and starting that puzzle (My need for closure can sometimes be so funny - I don't even like puzzles, but I had a hard time just letting it sit there unfinished after Kellie left!) and P & P. A good dose of Austen was good for my soul and fun to just chill with Kellie after a really hard week on her part. 

Oh, I also made oatmeal raisin cookies because I was craving something sweet and had nothing in the house! Paul was so appreciative, and I realized that I really should do that more often! I love that he made an extra effort to come back upstairs to tell me how much he appreciated me making cookies. What a sweet guy. Hang what everyone says about him moving out. I like him here. 

This morning was time in Isaiah 14 & 15. Learning about the Moabites, talking with Sinor (my Kurdish friend) who liked one of my Facebook posts while I was reading my Bible Book Club post about Isaiah 14 and telling people about her experience. Then Kimberly popped up and I sent her the ISIS prayer guide and talked about a trip to that region to help refugees. Then I responded to Luke's inquiry about the strengths and weaknesses of our internship versus other ones. That has led me to doing this freewrite. I will pray and maybe even take Paul to his class since I need to go to the library to do Dial a Book. Oh, I also ordered 6 LP facilitating workbooks and 6 Personal LP workbooks. they will be good tools for the TOAG! 

So, should we do another internship next year, Lord? I am just not very sure about all of this. So many opportunities and so little time. I love my life.  I am tired, but I am surprisingly NOT as tired as I was when Elizabeth was staying here, primarily because I got more sleep while Rusty was here and he was only here four days as opposed to seventeen! 

The good news about today is my house is spic-and-span clean, my laundry is pretty caught up (other than Rusty's sheets and towels from his visit, and I do not anticipate another guest for quite some time), the new carpet is ordered, the Bible Book Club is DONE, and I am just enjoying reading my posts as just a participant in the club rather than writing and editing. 

I was going to head up to Newberg for an overnighter with my sweet husband and mother in law and his aunt, but I am just too tired to do that. I am going to chill here.

Well there you go, my thirteen minutes is officially up!!!! Bike ride? Walk in the sunshine?

No proofreading! No judging! That is why it is a freewrite! 

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...