Tuesday, February 28, 2017

6. No Knives in the Kitchens of This City by Khaled Khalifa

This book was not an easy book to read because the disintegration of a society is hard to read about. It is a very sad book, but it is beautifully written and helped me get a glimpse into the city of Aleppo after Assad rose to power. I am glad I read it. It is my first book of Arabic fiction. I love expanding my horizons.

Good review:


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Freewrite on Tuesday Afternoon

It has been a while so here goes. I am a little "low ebb" this afternoon. I am too tuckered out to go and work out. Plus, it can be a rest day as I have exercised many days in a row, and I think I am due a rest day. I am frustrated because other than Thursday at my mother in laws, I have been SO GOOD with my eating, but the scale does not show it. I am 2.2 pounds away from my goal, and I am STUCK and have been stuck since February 13. Even on the Thursday at my mother-in-law's house, I did OVEREAT. I just ate more than I have on previous days that week. Sigh.

Am I getting sick? Maybe so. I hope not though. I have a full day tomorrow. SO, it is probably best to rest right now.

I am putting the final touches on our Kingdom Community Curriculum today, and we had a lovely group meeting this morning. I am going to miss these women. We are over the halfway point of our journey, and it has been a very good year. They have been an excellent group. The last two weeks, I have really reworked my stories so that next time it won't be as much work for me, and I can just practice them myself. They have all learned that it really helps if they record them.

I know this group will take things away that they will do for the rest of their life. Still praying for real breakthrough though.

Oh, now I said I was going to do a fifteen minute freewrite, and I am only five minutes in and am too tired to even finish this. Fickle as I am, it is my FREEwrite and I have the FREEdom to do anything I would like to do.

Five minutes is all I got.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wellness of Body Freewrite

This is a Wellness Blog. I been reporting spiritual (Prayerful Reviews) and emotional (Prayerful Reviews) and mind (book reviews) wellness, but it has been a while since I did some physical stuff.

Well, my lifelong effort to maintain my weight really has gone well over the years. I pretty much have not been overweight since January of 2013. So I have kept myself in my weight range for over four years now!


But, I do like to be at the middle of that range rather than the top. I was pressing toward the top of that range in December 2016 (five pounds away from the top but still too close for comfort). So, I decided to get down to the middle when I stepped on the scale on December 12 after eating for five days at an "all-inclusive" resort for my niece, Jenna's, destination wedding in Mexico.

I know weighing the day after I got back was probably really stupid. I quickly lost weight that first week.

I am now in my little range of four pound fluctuation that I want to stay in for the rest of my life!


I have been successfully recording my eating for 61 days since I came back. I am at a 22.5 BMI, and I have eaten an average calorie deficit of 895 calories a day. The deficit was probably more for the last half of December because I was doing much more cardio. I lost 10 pounds between 12/12-1/12 (but seriously probably three pounds of that was water weight after traveling and eating a ton of food).

It is always harder for me to lose when I start teaching Pilates at OSU and SNAP because I only have so many hours in the day for exercise, and those formerly cardio hours at about 400 calorie burn per hour were replaced by strength and stretching hours of about 120 calories per hour. So, the loss has been much slower (and my daily burn is naturally going down as I lose more weight too) at only six pounds from 1/12-2/11. I also started weight training at the beginning of January, so it is probably due to muscle weight too.

The good news is that I traded two of my six Pilates hours for cardio hours because I quit teaching my SNAP night classes. I have three students who really want me to continue teaching the class in my basement, but unless I get enough students, it just is not worth it for me to teach, and I could do the whole routine on my own in 23 minutes and use the rest of the time to do cardio.

Speaking of cardio, I am going to do some aerobic weight training and elliptical today. So, it might be more than six pounds by tomorrow!

That is a quick overview.

The big thing for me to record is the average calorie deficit was 895 per day. I want to get down a little more to be at the bottom of my four pound weight fluctuation (3.2 pounds to go). Then, I will slowly add in more calories so I can really determine how much I should eat each day to maintain! That is my goal for the rest of the year starting in March.

Little by little gets the job done.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Friday, February 10, 2017

5. Wilderness Time: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat by Emilie Griffin

I have been doing Spiritual Retreats since I was 21 years old (1980). I love this book because it will be nice to give to someone who is doing it for the first time. It has the Renovare philosophy of life behind it, and I love that! I don't know how I missed it when it came out. There was an excerpt from it on the Renovare website, and I had to have it!

I also give people this little handout when they go to spend time with God:

They are both wonderful resources!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

4. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

30253864This was an enjoyable, quick read. I love behind-the-scene information. She is a delightful and funny person. Loved her writing voice. If you are a Gilmore Girls fan, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Prayer Review from Last Saturday to Today

What made me feel most alive and in tune with God's plan:

  • Resting at home all weekend and not going to any of the prayer events. Listening to my God about taking care of my body.
  • Eating healthy
  • Teaching Pilates at OSU and dropping SNAP Fitness Pilates
  • Riding my bike to and from work in the crisp winter air
  • Listening to the end of Genesis and the story of JOSEPH! (still my favorite person in the Bible behind God and Jesus!)
  • Prayer - sweet hours of prayer. Especially with Kingdom Community.
  • Prayer and meeting with this stellar group of Kingdom Community people this year - Heather, Rebekah, Nancy, and Sharon. So life-giving to me on so many levels. They liked reading The Divine Conspiracy. Go figure!
  • Reading Divine Conspiracy and finding it continues to touch my SOUL.
  • Discussing Divine Conspiracy with Kingdom Community.
  • Amy asking me to mentor her. I love to mentor women! That is so life-giving for me and so in tune with God's design for me.
  • Serving at Southside for the 9th school year!
  • Doing this with my family and one of my besties (Teala)!
(So right now, I am spending a day in prayer and am going to go over the last few months of doing this exercise and seeing the pattern of what is life-giving and what is deadening. I see the most life-giving things are exercise [and teaching others about the benefits], prayer [especially intercession], Bible, meeting and mentoring/training are all very life-giving for me.)

What made me feel most dead and not in tune with God's plan:
  • Feeling overwhelmed at having to take the food handler's certification exam again because I had no margin.
  • People-pleasing. Should I do this Pilates class as home? Do I have the margin? Am I just doing it because others want me to do it?
  • Trying to schedule things with other busy people! UGH!
Ways to show my love for God and others today:

Worship and Intercession

Follow up from yesterday's commitment:

Prayer walk with George once the fog clears (the fog never cleared, and I stayed in bed all day; but we went for a walk on Sunday). Take care of my body by resting more today (all day). I think I was too busy this week and run myself down a bit (very true - I am a true introvert. I had extra people time and was plum worn out). Continue to pray for Molly's support so she can go back to the Dutch Bros time (I don't think I did that, and I will do that today) . 

Gifts God has given not already covered in feeling alive:

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Freewrite Wednesday

I have been doing "Prayer Reviews" rather than Freewrite lately. So I am switching it up. Anything to avoid doing paperwork for my Pilates class this morning!

Speaking of Pilates, I have let go of the evening SNAP fitness class as of Monday. I told them months ago that I don't think they are making any money, and the manager seemed to be tense about the money situation. I don't know if they get pressure from "corporate" or not, but the old manager never seemed to be concerned about the size of the class and certainly didn't expect me to recruit for it. Now the old members want to continue in my home at the same price, and I don't think I am willing to lead Pilates classes for below minimum wage. The new day and time would afford me not having to do three Pilates classes in one day, two days a week and would spread it out. Also, it would be after three hours of sitting in a chair, but it would make for an extra hour on Tuesday. So I really need to think through things. I am not feeling well this week. So it is not a good time to make a decision.

With that comes multiple requests for my assistance in some way. Every day. I am happy to give my input and meet with people. I just need a bit more margin. I need some more "I" time. I get it in the evenings as there are not any weekly evening commitments for me (extra the SNAP class that ended at 6:30 on MW which, as I said above, has ended). Yesterday was a woman asking me to mentor her, another asking my opinion about putting two people together on a team and do I think that they would click with the team leaders? There were students wanting special treatment because they have medical conditions - if your grade is 78% participation then you are in trouble if you get sick. I am only allowed to have 12% extra credit that does not involve activity. So, they must participate in my class two hours in a row or go to a adapted physical activity class to make up for the time lost. I also always have people in our Kingdom Community asking my opinion too.

So, all the different "pots" don't know what the other "pots" of activity are doing. So, the pots of people don't know how busy I really am. I LOVE having to teach Pilates because it gets me on my bike or walking and then doing Pilates every Monday and Wednesday. I will not give that up any time soon because it gives me balance. A third class was ok for the first year when I was trying to get to 500 hours of instructional time (which I think I am very close to achieving). Getting certified in Pilates was a VERY good decision. I do not regret it.

So, I may not go up to Newberg. There is snow in the forecast. I am not feeling well. The other alternative is to go to the Abbey in Lafayette. I think I need to sort through stuff. It has been a month since I had a day of prayer too. SO, I am evaluating how I feel at the end of the whole thing.

Lord give me wisdom about the rest of this week.

Give me wisdom about Wellspring. I want to do the right thing. I am glad that the little "blip" was resolved, but I must confess that it brought to light that I don't feel like it is the best "fit" for me. I didn't really think about what my needs were in the whole thing. I really would like to be around like-hearted people who are my age. I have closer to that with the new Kingdom Community, and in some ways, I hate to have it end in the Spring. This is a GREAT group. I don't know if they like it as much as I do, but I REALLY like them. SO, there you go. They are leaders in their own right and a little bit more outwardly focused than the Wellspring group.

I just need to think it through.

I will say one thing. I love my time with You God! My mornings are my oasis time. I love getting up early and soaking in your stories. This morning was halfway through the story of Joseph. I couldn't stop!

But my freewrite time has concluded so on to prayer and the pesky paperwork I was avoiding. I have 1 hour 15 minutes before I need to leave though. SO, I think I am fine.


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...