Thursday, May 24, 2018

17. Snapshot Loire Valley by Rick Steves

35397895I love these little Snapshot books because I don't need to read the majority of the big France book. This helps me concentrate on just the places we will visit. Getting excited!

Update: It was great having a smaller, intact book to carry around in my purse when we went to the sites in the Loire Valley. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

16. Rick Steves Snapshot Normandy

35397894I really like this smaller book instead of carrying around a big France guidebook! I always enjoy his fun style and history and great tips. I used his guidebooks in England, and it was great. 

Sunday Sixteeen Freewrite

This is the third freewrite in one week. I think this is indicative of several things: 1) I got over the five week hump of grading 60 papers for my two Pilates classes 2) I am not teaching a Tuesday night class anymore 3) No one is staying at our house (late April/early May) 4) TOAG homework this week is very "wrap it up" so not so labor intensive 5) I am done reading all but the articles (that I don't have yet) for Renovare Institute, and 6) My kids did not come home this weekend (Michael is Ashland and Paul busy studying). 

So I am not as busy this weekend. I still have this planning for the Nav Reunion. There is only so much I can do from my vantage point 90 miles south. I will not have a lot of time to do anything prior to the reunion. I should tell Jack and Wayne that as I am now running a retreat July 8-10 and the reunion is July 14. And Patty wants to get together prior to that. So I need to be up front about how much I can do for this reunion. 

So maybe I should think through my next few months

21 Class
22 Nav Reunion Planning afternoon and evening
23 Class
24 RI Praxis Discussion, Final TOAG (sniff, sniff)
25 Day of Prayer?
26-28 Family Getaway for Memorial Day
29 Fran, Southside Volunteering
30 Class, Dial a Book, Small Group for RI
31 Elizabeth, Rachel 
1 Rika's Master's Defense, Iftar at Mosque
2 PUMP Party, Iftar at Calvary
4 Malay Prayer, Howerton, Class
6 Last class, Submit Grades 
6-8 Trappist Abbey TWO nights?
8 Dr. Myers?
9 Wedding
10-22 France
23 Manar
24, 26 TAC Pilates, DAB
27 Elizabeth
1 Sub for TAC Pilates
2  TAC Pilates, Malay Prayer
6-7 Advanced Mat CEU in Salem
8-10 TOAG Retreat
11 NASM CEU - Women's Fitness Course
13-15 NAV Reunion
16, 18 TAC Pilates
21 28th Wedding Anniversary weekend
28 Elise and Isaiah's Wedding
31 RI Paper Due

August 1-September 20 is just TAC Pilates and completing my Women's Fitness Specialist Certification!

We might start a TOAG September 6 and first retreat September 7-10. 

Oh my time is up. It was good to get it down in my head. August is going to be much easier for me to have some flexibility. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

Two in one week. OH MY! 

Musings on Heaven with Chris Hall and Nathan Foster

It is podcasts like this that make me love Renovaré. It does make me go "oh my" like Augustine. Heaven is our "fondest hopes fulfilled infinitely." We have glimpses of it now. It gives me such hope. I love Renovaré people. There is a part of me that still feels like I am on the outside looking in. It is something I have struggled with the whole time I have been doing this. It is a lot of time. It is so academic. More academic than I thought. I am not sure it really is for me. I am leaving this in your hands to reveal to me in your time. I love you, and I know that you do speak. I think my trip to France will be a time to totally unplug. I want to be totally there with all my heart, Lord.

So, I am waiting on you. I hope in you. 

What else am I thinking about. I love our Kingdom Community. I think everyone will be glad to have their Thursdays free again, but I want to keep the fire burning. I love the challenge of this community. I love seeing their hearts in prayer. I think the little hiccup last week was OK for us. I love that. 

Yesterday two friends initiated, and that was so good to spend four hours of face-to-face time with friends. One is closer than another. One, I have more in common with ministry-wise, and she really made an effort to listen to me saying, "Enough about me, how are you and Jesus?" Lord, would she be someone to do Spiritual Direction training with me? This is a hoop to jump through, but I really want more experience in going through the Spiritual Exercises with someone more experienced than me. Would you reveal those people you would have do this? I really want to hear your voice, Lord.

So what else am I thinking about (really freewriting here because there is no specific topic I am pursuing with this freewrite)? Oh, today is George's day. I am so glad that Kim and I decided to meet yesterday because George has been called up to meet with his new boss. He is so sad to lose his old one, but the supervisor over him has caused him to leave. He is not a good supervisor, and no one likes him. I think if George's two best friends at work leave, he will probably leave. I am wondering if you might bring him back here so I can have him with me here every night. Lord, would you make it so? I do miss him, but I am a "what is, is" kind of person so have made do with what you have given me. I am content.

Love my students this term, Lord. I have at least half returning students in my advanced class, and they are a great group. I hope they are growing. They are all great. I am so surprised. 40% of all college students struggle with anxiety and depression of some sort during their college years. It is such a crucial time. I want to be a person who lifts them up and loves them. I want them to learn skills from doing Pilates that will help in pain management and with mind/body connection. Lord, help me to be an instrument of yours. Help me to be salt and light. I think I will play that song. I love that song. I cannot remember the artist, but it is such an nice thing. Two minutes left. I will go up with George and bring The Transforming Friendship to finish and Sacred Companions and Living Wisely with the Church Fathers. 

Should I say something to Carolyn about my doubts? Please advise. I want to do your will. I think I will stop now. It is only 6:21, but I have already been up for two hours. I had a good examen prayer time. I am a big promoter of the prayer of examen. I think that is why I want to switch to Spiritual Direction training. It is half the price, a smaller group, teaches me the Ignatian exercises, and more personal and less academic! Those are all things that are really appealing to me. I wonder if Fran can lead it instead of Dan, and I can get 7 other girlfriends to do it. Lord, would you lead and guide in that way? Jennie and Barbie and Kim. I would love that!

I love you Lord. :) I think it is going to ring any minute now. Any second now. What fun to get back to doing more freewrites. I would be so relieved to not have to do another academic and praxis paper, Lord.  I don't mind writing them but the critiquing and knit picking really bugs me! UGH! 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Freewrite Fifteen

Freewrite and not on a Friday. 

I sit in my comfy chair - glider rocker purchased at Bi-Mart for an insanely low price, and it has held up through babies who are now 26 and 23. We moved it out next to the big window in the living room, and in the winter, I could watch the sun rise. But the sun has shifted (and today is behind clouds) to the north of the window, and I can only see it rise through my kitchen window (or my bedroom one, but it is HIGH, and there is no place to sit to watch it). There is something about the sun rising in the east that gives me such hope for every new day. 

Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears. 

(I am going to Alexa to play this Fiddler on the Roof song for me right now.) 

I felt so lousy when I got up. V & P came to clean (a present from George when I was trying to balance homeschooling and ministry and my back was so bad, and then they became friends so we kept them on but only once a month - a gift!), and I told them I was feeling really bad.  I was in the room trying to get ready for work, and I heard a big THUD. I came out of my room to him lambasting me about the fact that he cannot dust and not knock the pictures off the walls because WE have too small of nails to hold up our pictures. (Really?)  He was probably mad at himself and took it out on me. Usually, I hold my tongue with their criticism of things around my house. (Very opinionated sometimes about how I should decorate.)  Most of the time, I would have just blown it off, but I was feeling really lousy. So I told him I did not appreciate his comment. Then they were all concerned that I was mad. No, I was just tired and felt lousy. So, of course, I felt bad for sharing my opinion until I got to class, and I was bombarded with positive and warm feedback from 60 20-somethings (and one 60 something) and moved my body a bunch. I felt better. As the day wore on, I felt better. I think the worst of this allergy thing is behind me. 

Well, there you go. That was 15 minutes. Time flies when you are processing out loud. It was helpful. I really want to walk according to the Spirit. Sometimes when my flesh is feeling weak, that is not always an easy thing to do. BUT I am improving and growing. So I am encouraged. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


So much reading about disciplines and about imitating Jesus and telling me to imitate Jesus, but too many books keep you from looking at his life and putting it into practice. Life is meant to be lived, not reading about how it should be lived. It is easy to get sucked into the academic vortex of a movement and not do what the movement recommends. That is where I am now. Since my mentor very strongly said, "You have a lot to do and you already know what to do and are already doing it," I need to continue to consider carefully whether I should continue. I am getting weary of reading, reading, Then the critiquing in an analytical way from people who really do not know me. I am one to put into practice what I read if it is a good thing. So, I put most of these things into practice 40 years ago; 1978 was the year of the greatest growth in my life as an apprentice of Jesus. It is good to revisit, but do I need to revisit all of these when I already wholeheartedly believe in their goodness, know why I am doing them, practice them, and have taught them to so many others for so many years?  

So there you go. Being honest. Wondering what God has for me in all of this. Today is a day for reflection. Sigh. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

15. The Spirit of the Disciplines

This is one of the books for the Renovare Institute. I read it in the early 90s, and it was fun to review it. He definitely supports his arguments, but I always think he could do it more succinctly! This book is not for everyone, but it is a good read if you want to know the "why" behind practicing the Spiritual Disciplines. 

Lorica of St. Patrick

I listen to this song in the mornings. I could not figure out the words so I wrote the singers today to get them:
By calling on it’s mystic Name the Three in One, the One in Three
Through whom all nature was created Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
I praise the God of my salvation, salvation won by Christ the Lord!

I clasp unto my heart this day with steadfast faith, our Lord made man
And him baptized in Jordan’s flood, His Cross of death salvation’s plan,
His rising from the enclosing tomb, His bright ascent to Heaven’s Way
His coming on the day of doom, I clasp unto my heart this day.

I clasp unto my heart this day the leadership of God’s strong hand
His eye to watch, His strength my stay, His ears to hear and understand.
The Truths God wills that I should teach, His guidance sure, His shielding arm,
The Word of God which I should preach, the angels guarding me from harm.

Against the spell of Satan’s wiles, against all lying heresy
Against all actions which defile, against all crass idolatry
Against all pride of earthly state, against hell’s pain and bondage stern
Against that endless fiery fate protect me Christ, till thy return.

Written on St. Patrick’s breastplate

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Daring Goal

"The daring goal of the Christian life is an ever-deeper re-formation of our inner personality so that it reflects more and more the glory and goodness of God... . You see, this life, this zoé that comes from God and is the salvation that is in Jesus Christ, is a character-transforming life."   Richard Foster from this article:


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...