Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday Freewrite

George's CPAP machine was squeaking at 2 am. He didn't hear it, but it woke me up out of a sound sleep, and I was not able to go back to sleep. I also have some pollen stuck in my throat or something because I keep coughing. So, I am sipping apple cider vinegar and enjoying a very EARLY morning. I went to sleep before 10 pm so am not that tired. I will just go to be early tonight. :) 

I had a great eating day. Chai, soup, salad, four strawberries, orange, salmon and hazelnut salad, and a McFlurry (not my choice but my sweet husband brought it home). YAY! 

I also had a wonderful talk with my boss yesterday, and I am really happy to say that he is very happy with what I am doing. He just wanted to check up and see how I am doing and his plans for me for next year, which were great. Same schedule. We talked about the transition issues in the room I am in, and that was very helpful. We have a game plan now. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Freewrite

I don't have a whole lot of time this morning as I stayed up late finishing up watching Dr. Thorne, an adapted screenplay by Julian Fellowes from a Anthony Trollope book.

It was lovely. Most of the actors were familiar to me. It was great to watch. Alas, I stayed up too late. I look forward to having the summer off where I do not have to rush out the door in the mornings. At this point, I am done getting up and out the door on Mondays, and I only have one more Wednesday, and I am done. I also finished up my Tuesday morning commitment, and I will be done with the Thursday afternoon commitment once on month this Thursdays. My only commitment will be the Summer Storytelling Symposium (or some other "S" to make it an alliteration). I am hoping to have that in the mornings, but I need to talk to the lovely girl who teaches at INTO to see if she is teaching this summer. 

All that said, I think my first priority will be getting a bit more cardio in. I have done a lot of core strengthening this year, and I am rock solid. I will continue to do Pilates each morning, and I hope to have Marie train me on the apparatus a bit this summer (expensive, but I am curious). But I want to combine that with more cardio. I have especially enjoyed riding my bike to and from class every Monday and Wednesday (except on days I have had Dial-a-book or it has rained too much. I think I have only had one day where the rain was the reason for me driving to work - amazing for Oregon). All that said, I need more calorie burn. My cardiovascular fitness level is still excellent, but I just am not burning calories like I used to with the extra Pilates. So, it is more walking and moving around every day of the week. I hope to do many home projects that always burn a lot of calories. I hope to go through each closet. I had started that last summer, and I got through many of them, but I also want to do a total kitchen reorganization, paint the wall in my bedroom. I also want to get the deck all spruced up as the plexiglass has been broken for years. 

I need to be faithful to do all of these things and not sit around! Move More and Eat Less.

I have been eating too much lately! I just snack in the evenings. But that will change as I hope to move more in the evenings too. The three shows I love to watch: Survivor, Amazing Race, and Dancing with the Stars have all concluded. So, in the evenings, I will move more; but I also hope to read more. I have so many books waiting to be read, and I just have not been good about reading them! 

I also hope to go up with George more often as I will not be limited on Mondays and Wednesdays. I will just not teach at SNAP on the weeks when I want to be up with George. If my enrollment for SNAP continues to be low in the summer, I will take a hiatus in the class. 

Well, that is almost fifteen minutes, and I need to get ready for my second to last day of class. I will be meeting with my boss after class today, and I am bit nervous. I am not sure why. I have debated about continuing to do this. I have not been able to develop my personal training, but I love being able to work with people who are young and establishing life-long habits of postural awareness, corrective stretching, and core stabilization! I use all my knowledge from personal training for this class too. It has benefited me greatly. 

I applied for the scholarship for further Pilates training, but I have not heard a word. I guess I didn't even make the first cut. Oh well!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Freewrite

I have been able to do more freewrites lately. I love them. I love that Paul does them daily now. YAY!

I am still suffering from allergies! I keep thinking I am better, take a walk in this beautiful weather, and then suffer the consequences the next morning when I am all stuffed up. I don't know if I will stopped walking and riding my bike though because I love outdoor exercise. What is a girl to do? We will see. 

I must remind Will that I need my membership refunded. Sue is the only one coming to my class lately, and I think it is weird that three weeks ago, I had a full class. The weather is much nicer so people are out and about. I am wondering about it all and will just have to pray about it.

I know it is silly, but I am watching the finale of all these shows that I watch in the spring: Survivor, Amazing Race (last Friday), Dancing with the Stars, and Selfridge. I am not sure when the finale for Call the Midwife is though. Anyway, I am excited to have more time to read! I have a pile of books I am ready to plow through in the evenings!

I got a book called The Inklings that Lorraine had on her shelf. I am very excited to do that since I will go to where they gathered in Oxford! YAY. 

I know it has not been fifteen minutes, but I am struggling for things to write. Today, I have to straighten up the house for Valentina, get ready to teach a Ball Pilates class (I cannot for my 10 am because Dee is using the balls for her class.), teach two classes, stop by free lunch and say hi to Ika on my way to having lunch with Teala. Then I go to the library to pick up dial-a-book books and then back home for a bit of a rest before my Wednesday Pilates night class. Then, it is that Survivor finale! 

Thursday is relatively free other than a lunch at Panera with Michelle. I have not seen her in forever. I have no idea what she is up to these days.

Friday, George is working from home so I am keeping the day clear and working on home projects which have been sadly neglected. 

Saturday, we are free! I had the option of going to a listening prayer workshop, but it was a basic level one and none of the women I mentor needed that basic level, and I certainly did not. I am excited about having a truly 100% free Saturday for the first time since April 16. Last Saturday was close to it, but we went to the wedding (which was a joy) in the afternoon and early evening. 

Well, now it is probably closer to the fifteen minutes. Valentina will be here in 1 hour and 15 minutes (I woke up at 5:15 but went back to sleep until 6:15!).  So, I must get this house ready for her. I don't care if there are allergens throughout the air, I won't to go out and enjoy the sunshine! 

Ta ta for now. 12 1/2 minute freewrite is better than no freewrite at all! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sixty Slim Down

Spring is always busy. I am not sure why. Five workshops between March 12 and May 5 and 12 weeks of teaching in Sunday School. I am through all the workshops and one more month of Sunday School, and we will be free.

Maybe I am just tired from the school year. I have been dragging the last two weeks. It also might be that spring always brings on allergies that seem to knock me out. 

Spring also brings on extra pounds. I don't exercise as much because I walk less due to the allergies and being busier than usual. 

So, over the next sixty days. I WILL be better (also helps that those holidays where George tends to buy me FOOD instead of something non-edible are all over until our anniversary.) 

So, I will be journaling more about my journey to wellness of BODY here. I may listen to more audiobooks instead of sitting down to read them. I need some Move more and Eat Less Training (MELT) for the rest of the spring and first month of the summer. 

Ready GO! 

P.S. June 1 update: I decided to wait until my classes were over so I started this yesterday and am on a plan with two other people for the next 45 days. That should get me down to my "low" weight again. I am still at an acceptable BMI, but I like to be at the lowest and healthiest BMI for me!

June 6 update: I have a five day streak going in recording and reporting! It is going great. I am biking more, and I am done with my allergies and the cold that followed and plagued me for 11 days! 

Monday Freewrite

Listening to Ephesians 2-6 and freewriting.

Ephesians 2: He sits us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus the Messiah. Saving is all God's idea. It is God's gift from start to finish. Whew!

Rich history of God's covenants. So rich to know the Old Testament covenants. It makes listening to this so joyful. 

Christ came and preached peace to everyone. Equal access to the Father through Christ. We all belong here in Christ. Building a home. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. A temple in which God is home. 

Ephesians 3: The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of it all their life are on equal ground before God through Christ. This is my life's work: helping people understand and respond to the Message. . . Came as a gift . . . God handling all the details. . . When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background . . . I was the least qualified . . . God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. 

I was going to go on in the Ephesians, but I think I need to pause and marvel. "This is my life's work . . . " that section is what I turned to while praying with Lorraine on Friday! I had written the whole passage out in my journal, but I had not written down the reference. I am grateful that God showed me it this morning because I think this is my life's work also! Lorraine said that hers was to "Sow the Word of God." She has done that her whole life. God can take care of the rest.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

5:18 and The First Bird Sings

I am up early this morning, and it is getting lighter earlier and earlier. I heard my first bird start to sing at 5:18 am, and now the other birds are joining in the morning welcome of the new day that God has made. "We sing the glory of our God!" YAY!

I went to a lovely wedding last night. It really was lovely. Anna B. married a man she has been dating for a little bit over a year. She was at Jesse and Kat's engagement party, and I knew there was something different about her. She was positively glowing! Then she told me about Michael. What a sweet, sweet girl who used to come to the Bible Book Club ( during our first cycle through back in 2008! I guess we have known her a very long time, and she has always been a very, very sweet girl!

I am not feeling really well with a bit of a fever. So, I am thinking of staying home from church and Sunday School this morning as I have a big week ahead of myself. 

I am currently reading through Galatians, and I am loving this! I should be able to start my favorite book, Ephesians, this morning too. YAY!

Well, I just wanted to write about the birds. Nothing significant or earth-shattering. This is more like a mini-freewrite to welcome the new Sunday, May 15! 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sweet Sixteen Saturday Freewrite

Sixteen minutes on a Saturday at . . . darn . . . I should have done it at 6:16 or 7:17! Then it would have been so alliterative that I would have been in raptures.


It is 9:46, and I have already started reading Galatians (yummy), sipped my chai (two days without it while up in Newberg and McMinnville is such a sad thing), listened to Tozer, written a review of Tozer, responded to emails about request to lead another thing (a good thing - so am tempted), and had a dialogue with a friend who wrote me in distress last night and then did not respond when I asked what was wrong (8:36-9:26)! ACK! All is right with her (I finally started praying when she didn't respond to my texts about her condition! Duh!)

Oh yes, then George got up, and we processed about a few things. I also cleaned up the kitchen, having neglected to totally clean it up before i left on Wednesday afternoon (bad homemaker!). 

So, here I sit three hours after having risen from my slumber (A good one - I might add after a very lousy one my first night in Newberg! I needed to catch up. I slept from 10:30-2:30 and had to get up due to Mexican food tummy ache, bad bed, and shifting hubby.) I have a free Saturday morning only because I opted out of going to book club this morning. They are discussing Wuthering Heights, and this group had already discussed it long ago, and I did not want to revisit it with the newbies. I like all those newbies though. They are reading Jungle Book next, and I definitely want to go to that one! :) 

George is going to pick up my hold. I want some more Bible Study time though. I think Galatians deserves my full attention, and I was distracted by my friend's distress. 

I sit here so happy to say that I "It IS well with my soul." I told George there was one thing that was causing me stress, but I pray for it daily, and I expect God to answer in a surprising and wonderful way. 

I sit here in love with God and my husband, and so loving my boys. They are men of exceptional character and responsibility. I really love them a whole lot. I love that Paul freewrites every day, and that I did not know it. I am so happy that Michael responsibly carries out everything that he needs to do without expecting us to hold his hand. I pray he gets an internship in animation this summer. :) He is so talented. I pray Paul gets one in graphic design, but I think that will come later these days. 

I love Tozer, and I hope that you can read my review before this post. SO yummy.

I got distracted by that handsome man in the room so I added five minutes to my freewrite time and am going to not stop (he is leaving to pick up library holds and tomatoes so I will be distraction free until my next thing - lol!).

So what else is on my mind (freewrites mean you can write about anything you want). I have been eating too much. For Mother's Day, I got twelve HUGE chocolate dipped strawberries, three cheesecakes, and one HUGE ice cream cake (and a partridge in a pear tree - oh wait, no). How can one person eat all that before they go back. George came home after a week, and I am forcing him to eat one of the cheesecakes and having Paul have ice cream cake. If it is in the house, I feel obligated to eat it! 

Well, I am now tired of freewriting and will go for a walk in the rain. I need to move more and eat less as I think I have put on five pounds since the beginning of the term! ACK! I can feel it keenly. 

So good-bye blog for today. :) 

16. Delighting in God by A.W. Tozer

My, oh my! Get this book. I am a HUGE A.W. Tozer fan. He was the first theologian I read when I was a fairly young believer. I remember reading The Knowledge of the Holy in the music room of the Memorial Union Ballroom on the Oregon State University campus in 1981 and being absolutely blown away! This book is a follow-up to that book, but it was only recently published. 

It comes so perfectly timed as our Celebration of Discipline chapter this week was on Worship. I did not have an "I WILL" statement from our reading, but I knew God would reveal that to me. I had downloaded this free book on to my iPhone (Christian audio gives away a free book every month. If you want to download this one, you can download the app and search for it or go to the website HERE. This book is only available for May 2016, but if you are reading this after that, there will be another one available on the website.), and I had a long car journey up to Newberg, down to McMinnville, and back home. So I listened and marveled at God's perfect timing.

He talks about passion for God, and how our perception of God can be shaped. The outflow of that is worship and much more. Perception is reality, but I really believe our perception of Him is based more on the church's anemic representation of Him, rather than who He really is. That, coupled with our perception of Him that is based more on our parents, makes for not seeing God as He really is. Therefore, we do not delight in Him. This book is a call to truly seeing Him for who He is: fantasy transformed to reality.

So good. I am in the middle of the book, but I wanted to post this before I finished so others could take advantage of the free book for the next few days. I may add more to this book when I finish! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

15. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Can I just say, "WOW!"? 

I had this as one of the books in my library. Somehow I have a memory of reading this in the Rustenbach's backyard in about 1981, but I remember a much smaller book. It must have been something else or maybe it is was just a chapter of it.

This book is so deep and rings so true in my heart. The advantage of listening to it in audio is that I don't find Bonhoeffer as difficult to get through (thinking how audio helped me get through C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard when I first began reading them), but the disadvantage is that there were so many gems that I would have loved to underline and cut and paste! 

I think everyone should read this (behind the Bible, of course). I think it will be hard for most to get through but well-worth the sustained effort. 

The audio narration was lovely too. 

This book is so compelling. I especially liked his words on the disciple and unbelievers. The bottom line is the way of love, which is the way of Jesus. I have said that to so many who have wanted to thump people over the head with the gospel. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday Freewrite

Things are slowing down so much that it looks like I can finally go up and see my mother-in-law, aunt-in-law, and George! I had to cancel something, but I was very happy to do that and wish I would have just done it last week since I was there already. 

I am really mellow this morning. I think I am still a little knocked out from allergies. Nancy is a little bit higher in elevation so her Scotch Broom was in bloom while they have stopped blooming down on the valley floor. So, needless to say, a 2 mile hike socked it to me. 

Nevertheless, the walk was so worth it. What a glorious and beautiful day! I loved it. We had a nice talk on worship yesterday. It was lovely. 

All of a sudden, I am thinking how nice it would be to have a webinar about spiritual growth with people all over the world. Women who are in countries where they are somewhat isolated. Or more specifically, single women who are isolated. I think about my talk with one of those single women. She is in the States right now though, but she is somewhat isolated, and she wants to have a "growth plan." What about a growth plan of spiritual growth going through Celebration of Discipline? 

I am going to pray into that, and we will see where that ends up. 

I went to my doctor for a little "check up" because I only see him once a month for back issues. Guess what, I went in there having not had any pain for a very long time, and I have had a pain in my right lower back ribs since he adjusted me last THURSDAY! That is six days. What gives? I don't understand what has happened.

I stayed at Nancy's until 4:30 yesterday. I got there at 9:30. It was was relaxing though. I needed a day "away" from things I could be doing at home. I needed a day to just talk. I talked about being tired. I am not as tired now. I think I am tired because of the allergies though. Seven hours is a long time, but I think Nancy enjoyed it. :) It was edifying conversation. 

I just want to say that I sense God's Spirit pretty powerfully now. I have been reading this heretical book by this guy who calls everyone else a heretic. I don't think he would know God's Spirit. I feel like he is always in his head, slamming every other legitimate spiritual leader in the world, not hearing God's still, small voice because he doesn't believe that God has a still, small voice. It made me very sad. I got his book because somehow it came up when I was searching for something else. The heretic who calls others heretics. The people he calls heretics are just going about their business helping others grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ while he is spending all his time and energy slandering and mocking others and trying to recruit people to his point of view. It is very interesting. You will know them by their fruit. Where is the fruit in this man's life. He really believes he is doing God's work, but he is creating destruction and disunity. I am resolved to pray for him.

On a fun note, I have LOVED praying for the world recently. I am in the "K" countries. :) 

And speaking of that, I am off to do it because my 15 minutes freewrite is officially over. 

Have a wonderful, sunny, lovely day!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Wednesday Fifteen Minute Freewrite

When I have time to freewrite, I know I have created margin in my life. I have been very busy. I told George this morning that we have been doing everything we love lately. There is nothing we have been doing that is outside of our giftings and passions, but even too much of a good thing is not so good! 

So, today, I made an executive decision to just "be" here. All here. I do not have a single obligation until 3:30 this afternoon. I am thinking that I will NOT do anything on Friday or Saturday either. We realized we had not had a "clear calendar day" since April 16th, and I think we are due for one. So, I think I can swing tomorrow as a free day for just me, and then Saturday is a free day for the two of us together. George does work at home on Friday, but he will not be free. 

I think I have a free day. I do not want to come up for air on this freewrite to look at my calendar though. Actually, I remember that I do have a possibility of something, but I am going to resist it. I am not going to go to it. It would be really fun, but it might mean an obligation of more relationship follow-up, and I have more than enough relationships for one person, and George does too. We are filled up to fullness, and it is fun. Too much would not be fun. It would be a burden.

Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline series has been lovely, and the "Discipline of Submission" chapter was pretty profound for all of us. He said something like, "Submission is also submission to your own human limitations." I know myself all too well that if I do too much, I crash. I have no energy left. I get crabby and lose perspective. I need those times of solitude and prayer beyond my daily time with God. I have learned the joy of a moment-by-moment relationship with Him more and more with each passing year as it has been my ambition to lead a 24/7/365 kind of life since I was in my early-20's. 30+ years of practice has made that more of a reality, but YET, I still need those times where that is my only occupation with no discipling others, no exercising, no Pilates, no teaching, no workshops, no social engagements, no writing work, nothing but me and Him and 100% focus. Both are important, but I follow Jesus' lead that He, "often departed to lonely places to pray." 

So, I sit here today. Actually, I do have something very important to do for my OSU Pilates classes, and I need to do them before Jennifer is off of work for the weekend because I might have questions for her. I also will need to grade two late papers that I anticipate will come in any minute. But that will be the bulk of my "work" for today. Then, I will help lead this Webinar at 3:45 - 5:15. Thursday night will be the beginning of my rest, of wait, I might go to the thing at Calvary tonight as Kellie is leading something fun. But FOR SURE, I will start bright and early Friday morning. (I may not go tonight either - I need to see if my partial rest this morning will be sufficient for me - I am very tired.) Friday and Saturday can both be those days. 

Well, I love to freewrite even though people always ask me what it is that I am doing. It still shocks me that anyone actually reads these things anyway! 

I also have to say that George always laughs when I say I have a free day because he knows that I will fill it with doing something productive, but I am not having to "work"! Productive does not mean that I cannot have restful productivity! I don't like to be a slug, at least not in the mornings. I am usually a slug in the late afternoon, and that has usually been my practice unless I meet with Kellie. I am sure glad we moved our Celebration of Discipline time to the mornings. I am so much more "with it" then!

I am sure it has been 15 minutes. 

I will say what is left of my longer term commitments:

Ahh. Saved by the BELL! No listing. I am pressing send. Please know I know the difference between there, their, and they're. I just do not proofread these things before I send and am aghast when I read them later on! LOL! 


Here I go for fifteen minutes. I did not do the fifteen-minute freewrite Friday as I thought. And I totally missed this last Friday. So, I a...