Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Freewrite Tuesday Twelve

Twelve minutes on the timer. Go! 

I love that I can just tell Siri to set my timer for twelve minutes. Or I can ask Alexa doing it. Some gadgets are just fun.

I have loved having this Apple Watch. I have had it for one full month, and it has kept me moving. There are three "rings" that you try to close. One is the MOVE ring where I have an active calorie goal every day. The next is the EXERCISE ring where there is a goal for the number of minutes you exercise. I have noticed that when I set my exercise on Endomondo, all the minutes did not transfer over to the Apple Activity Rings, but when I used the exercise app that is built into the watch, all the minutes transfer. I will be sad to leave Endomondo. I have used it since November 2012, but it is just easier to have everything transfer with the Apple, but I do like that the Endomondo app on the Apple Watch has the bars that show you what cardio zone you are in! That was very helpful to see that visually. So I am a bit torn. Isn't that a great problem to have? First world dilemma. Oh brother.

Today is Paul's follow up appointment with Dr. Over in Eugene. This will be the last time we go down there unless Paul wants to make adjustments to his teeth. What a long 15 year journey for both of them! Man, it seems like yesterday we went down there. I don't even want to count the number of times we went there.

Tomorrow I will finish my Psalms in a Month Examen on the www.examen.me site. I love that site, but it will be nice to go back to my regular Prayer of Examen . I am also going to walk 1.82 miles every morning and pray in my Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship book. I love the mental health of being outside in the early morning before the city really wakes up! I don't always do that, but I sit too long in the morning. AND, I realized I was overeating 182 calories a day. So 1.82 miles is about 182 calories for me! I have always said that this is what I need to do, and I am going to do it. At least until the weather is super bad, but I am going to try to do it even when the weather is not good. I like the early morning because it is light. In the Winter it will be harder, but I am determined to keep the weight off this time (famous last words). Of course, I am not 'overweight" according to the charts, but I know that I am better hallway through that range of pounds, and I am determined to get down to at least a 23 BMI which is not too far away. I will definitely be there by Lisa's wedding.

Speaking of Lisa's wedding, I am excited for them. I had a little scare that maybe the cousins were not invited, but she had just sent them their invitations separately from ours. Whew! That sort of hung over my head after them not being invited to the wedding for their other cousin even though ALL the cousins AND their significant others were invited on the mom's side of the family. My kids would not have been able to come, but I still thought it was inappropriate to invite one side and not the other, but my brother was not alive to represent our side of the family. It was not my call though.

There is the timer. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

30. Sacred Companions by Benner

After reading this book, I realize that I have been doing Spiritual Direction for most of my adult life without even realizing it. I always called it encouraging or even shepherding, but according to his definition, I have been doing direction. I have never been one to say "I am the authority" and that is how he delineates shepherding from direction. I like people to hear God and follow His authority so I guess I have been doing direction. I have done discipling where I follow a set curriculum, but even then, must of what I do it just listen and direct them to God. 

This is a good basic starting book, and it was very sweet to read in my outdoor office this late summer. It encouraged my soul quite a bit. It is the first book in the spiritual direction school I hope to enter as soon as enough people from Portland apply. (Oh Lord, make it so.)  I am hoping that will be some time in the next year. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Freewrite Fifteen on a Thursday Afternoon

The beginning of the week was quite busy (Sunday on). I was just needing to catch up on some things here at home and more importantly to catch up with myself. 

I am rereading Les Miserables, and can I just say that I still think it is the most wonderful book ever written! It is so good. I even enjoy his pontifications on politics and certainly understand more of the context than I did the first time I read it over 20 years ago!

Tinker's memorial was Sunday. It was sad to think he was gone so soon at 62. I told the story of how we "met" when he came in with a ski mask on and scared us all when we were having a simulation of a communist Bible study. LOL! It made people laugh.

Health wise I am cardiovascularly more fit than I thought. I am in the "Superior-Athlete" range! My resting heart rate keeps going down as I add more challenging cardio to my fitness regime. (But I was in that range before I started doing this - go figure.) I was biking and running and swimming because those really are the only three things that keep my heart rate up for a sustained length of time BUT the running irritated the "high hamstring tendinitis" that I got from pulling it when I fell playing Ultimate Frisbee on the beach, but it did not get bad for another three weeks later. So, my glute and hamstring on that side had atrophied. So I am going to Physical therapy, and she is a graduate of George Fox and is really helping, and she even does astym (sp?) which gets the blood flowing in the hamstring. It worked for my tennis elbow and bicipital tendonitis too. SO, I am on the mend, but I miss biking the most, but it also got really smoky outside so I probably would not have biked this week anyway.

I am disappointed to discover that I had gained weight from "Seminary Sitting/Renovare Rest" and multiple injuries over the last year. Ack! Anyway, I realized this time it was about 182 calories per day of overeating. When you think about it, that is a just 2/3 cup of regular vanilla ice cream! And ice cream is my downfall! I had this picture of pints of Haagen Daz attached to my gut and on my love handles! That is about how much I am currently bulging in those areas these days! I ate a lot of that this year for some dumb reason! So, I am going to walk around the block two times on top of all my other activities. That is also about 182 calories, and then I can splurge on ice cream now and then! 

The good news is that I am on a ROLL, recording everything since August 1, and the "France Five" has already come off. The "Seminary Seven" with be next! The "Fatal Five" from the injuries will be after that! LOL! I am on a good track, and I will not be doing Renovare again this year as it drew me out of the balance I had in my life with very little new things learned. I am growing so much more now actually. Cost far outweighed the Benefit, but that wouldn't be true for most people. It is a good program for most. Just not for me and my uniqueness.

It always seems to be three steps forward and two steps back for me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

29. Jonathan Edwards: America's Genius

What a lovely pleasant surprise. It was the "Free Book of the Month" for Christianaudio. I loved it. It is for kids but encouraging for all. I really knew little of his background. So it was very informative. The narrator was also very good.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Things I Love About Today Freewrite Fifteen

A reminder: a freewrite is a device where one sets the timer for a certain amount of time, and you just write whatever is on your mind without worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation. I did it with my kids, and we had fun reading their freewrite journals last Saturday as we cleaned out their papers from 14 glorious years of homeschooling. My son who most resisted this exercises does it EVERY DAY as a 23 year old. Go figure! 

Here we go! 15 minutes.

I love that I got a nice response from Coleman, a Renovare Institute small group buddy saying that there was no need to apologize for leaving. He loves what I do. I love what I do too! I love that God revealed to me that the RI was interfering with what I do best. 

I love that I fixed the Apple Watch "stand" counter problem all by myself. It was silly that it frustrated me yesterday because I didn't want to ruin my "streak" (19 days) because of a glitch in my watch. You see, I would stand and walk around, and the "stand" counter would not count it. I got up and walked around for many steps each hour for nine hours (totaling 3000-4000 steps), and it would not register my "stand"! It did not work again this morning so I unpaired the watch and repaired and reset everything, and it works now. Stupid first world problem really, but it is nice to get credit for my efforts! HAHA.                                            

I love that I don't have to be anywhere until 11:30 today, and I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow! YAY! After my 11:30 lunch date with sorority sisters, I don't have to be anywhere until 7 pm, and I might ride my bike there since I think I can get home before dark from her house, and even if I don't, I can walk my bike home because it is only about 1.6 miles away. 

I love that I have Amazon Prime Music and an Alexa so I can have worship dance times in my living room. I never knew that something like this could lead me into worship. I don't have to go searching for music. I just name a song and it plays. I love that. My worship in song has increased a hundredfold.

I love that I am spending the "Summer in the Psalms"! Man, are they really bringing back memories of when I struggled with so much in my 20s, and these Psalms got me through. They helped me get through that difficult student, and now she has been gone for three weeks, and I think she is not coming back. YAY!

I love that all my men are working in good jobs in their fields. Geo interviewed for a job in town on Tuesday. The impetus for leaving his current job is leaving at the end of August though. But he made this move to look for something here back in May. It sounds like an interesting job at his old place of employment, but I highly doubt the pay will be as good, but it sure would be nice to have that man home every night and me not having to be concerned about him driving on the roads every day.

I love that I am controlling my eating after about 15 months of no regard for how much I was stuffing in my mouth! I decided not to weight myself and go by feel because I want to feel when I am gaining. My stomach is shrinking again. I am not overweight according to the charts, but I have a weight I feel best in when I wear certain clothes. That is what I am looking at, I want to go by the fit of my clothes. It is going well.

I love that my sons thought to text me about getting me a Blizzard last night, and I took them up on it because it was so sweet of them to ask. I went over for the day, but I will make up for it today and tomorrow! 

I love that it is a bit cooler today. I will check the air quality.

19 seconds to go. I am out and sending this without a proofread. 

I love this song!

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
And You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

28. Sanctuary of the Soul by Richard Foster

This is a sweet little book to introduce someone to meditative prayer. I liked it. I read it outside in my outdoor office (deck) in the evenings this week, and I practiced meditative prayer as I read it. It was lovely.

Circle me, Lord

Circle me, Lord,
keep protection near
and danger afar.

Circle me, Lord,
keep light near
and darkness afar.

Circle me, Lord,
keep peace within;
keep evil out.

In the name of the Father, 
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Oh Lord, I pray that you would . . .
Surround me with the light of Jesus Christ;
Cover me with the blood of Jesus Christ; and
Seal me with the cross of Jesus Christ.
This I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Morning Freewrite

Psalm 52:1 - The steadfast love of God endures all the day.

This is the verses that stuck out to me this morning in my Psalm meditation. It has been so fun to meditate through the Psalms this summer! The psalms were my constant companion ever summer for years as I pored over them in the decade of my 20s. I really believe that this is what gave me an accurate concept of God. I am meditating through them now and think about specific instances where God met me in the pages of the Psalms. 

Today, I will be aware of the steadfast love of God throughout the day. It is a free Saturday which is so rare these days for us. It will also be cool so I hope that we can go for a little hike/walk when George wakes up. 

Yesterday, Mindy came over to get homeschool things. I thought that we had a box of books. I know we do, but George does not think we do. I did sell many of the books, but I thought there was still a box that I could not sell anywhere. But maybe not. Through her coming, I went through the "science" and "art" cardboard drawers. I have had that cardboard chest of drawers since before I was married! I think I bought them when I moved into my first apartment alone in 1983! Imagine that. Regardless to say, we are tossing it. It held up really well, but we are getting rid of it. After she left, we made a "Goodwill" pile from the extra stuff that she didn't take (which is most of it - I had a lot of high school stuff, and she is just not there yet). I have a paper tub for each of our kids, and I am going to have them go through them and toss what they don't want to save. It was fun to look at Michael's freewrite stuff. I have to find Paul's because his freewrites were so silly because he hated doing them, but it is ironic that he now does a freewrite EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. as a 23 year old. Go figure. The one who hated it the most would make it a habit.

We also have all these Seed to Fruit books we got for free, and they are just taking up space! I need to just get rid of them somehow. I want more space in my closets. This is a project that will probably go into the fall term when it gets busier with work, but I will not have the Kingdom Community or Renovar é to contend with for my time. So I should be much better. 

The weight loss reboot is going really well. I calculated that I was overeating only 143 calories a day throughout the last year to put on half of the weight I lost 5 1/2 years ago. I am still in the "healthy" weight range, but as I have said here many times, I know what weight I like the best, and that it about eight pounds lower than I am right now, and I like to be even lower than that so I have "wiggle" room. So, I have just about got the five pounds I gladly gained eating my way through France in June. Now I want to get the eight to ten I gained with two back injuries (bad massage and fishing day fall), two broken toes, and Renovaré Institute sitting! It should not be too hard. I already feel so much better with just a three pound drop. What I have loved is this new Apple Watch that I got for my birthday (thank you George!). It keeps track of my beats per minute so I am looking for cardio that is going to get my body into higher ranges for fat burning and cardio training (although I am, surprisingly, in the athlete/superior range for my age group already). So far, swimming and biking have won with an average of 138/140 bpm average. Biking on a hybrid mountain bike (touring or road bikes do not get my heart rate as high due to smaller tires resulting in less resistance on the road) depends on the traffic and stop lights. My first ride did not yield as high of a BPM, but my second ride definitely did. I loved doing both! The elliptical interval training was 126 BPM. I would love to go back to running, but I am not sure my knee is ready. I realized there was no lift in my shoe, and who knows how long that has been out of there. I think I remember switching them when I was in France in JUNE! So that might have been why the knee was acting up. We will see. 

I have run out of time for my 15 minutes of freewriting. Off to more time in the Psalms! 

Monday, August 06, 2018

Monday Morning Freewrite

23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.    He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

I am lying down (or is it lay) in those green pastures. Clearing many things off my plate this  August, and I am so grateful to have extra time that I usually do not have. I have been able to concentrate more on my health, and that has been so good. (My health is good, but half the pounds I lost in 2013 crept back on from the back injury at the Santa Barbara residency, two broken toes, sitting and doing Renovare reading and writing and lectures, falling while fishing in December, stress eating from too busy a schedule, and France.)  
As I walk and rest, you are restoring my soul, Lord. I know, for me, my body must be part of that soul restoration. I need to walk along quiet places. I have LOVED having one on one time (or two on one or two on two when George is home, and we have singles/couples over). I so missed that last year. It is more life-giving to me than anything. If I don't do a Kingdom Community, I would like to meet this way with people all year.  Restoration of my soul. Thank you.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Admittedly, I fear someone right now. You are with me. Leading me to meditate in the Psalms while I face this newest challenge with a difficult person in my class has been so good. Your character reminds me that I am not alone.  

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
I am so grateful that you are with me in any and every trial, every and any ministry challenge, every and any heartache. I believe in your goodness and mercy. 
Thank you for letting me dwell with you all the days of my life.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

What a great week.

M & C were visiting from Pittsburgh so they came for brunch on Sunday. That was fun.

I taught my class on Monday, and the problem student was gone AGAIN! The class is so much easier to teach without her interruptions. I had also taught one on Sunday night with Squishy balls that had a younger crowd so I could really challenge them.

I had a long talk with my boss, and she was very supportive. So I am going to wait and see if this student returns or not. She did not come on Wednesday either. I just have zero tolerance for bullies. 

I ran over to meet with P who is part of a pregnancy resource center that wants to know how to better serve the OSU campus. That was a fun two hour conversation. She is a delightful person. 

Then, a woman who is going overseas came and told me her story since we last met up about three years ago. Wow! So much has happened. It was a very long story and took 5 1/2 hours to tell. I was exhausted afterward (yes, I an introvert, but you would not know it until afterwards when I crash from all the people contact). 

At the end of my time with this woman, Nan called me quite upset because someone in our community drowned, but she could not release the name. Prayers. Now we know who it is, and the community is reeling. I did not know him, but we have 48 mutual friends. So, he is close to those I am close to. 

Tuesday I met with people for my new job. I am required to meet with the directors, and there are eleven! I also had a 68 question "test" to learn about the facility, and the nice front desk guy helped me and the service desk director. I can see the advantage of doing this because I get to know the people that I am working with. Again, my boss was so nice to me and very supportive of my stuff with this new class.

After this, I picked Paul up from his impressions for his new retainer and took him to work afterward. I went to the library and the store.  I came home and got caught up on a lot of home things. I love more days at home. 

Wednesday she was not there AGAIN! I did a rolling class, and it was great. I was supposed to meet with someone for listening, but she had to postpone. 

Thursday was reading my book club book and meeting with more directors. George came home.

Also, I got this new Apple Watch, and I love its features. I have learned something: I am in the "athlete" category for my aerobic fitness. I knew I was in pretty good shape aerobically, but my resting heart rate that the Apple Watch reads regularly is BELOW the average for even an "athlete" category for a 20 something. Go figure. I certainly did not feel that way when I was hiking up Cascade Head with those 23-30 year old people on June 9th! I think it was because I had pulled my glute muscle the day before though. All that said, I am really happy with my watch, and WALKING really does keep one cardiovascularly fit! I have a hard time getting my heart rate up to my training zone unless I run. I am going to try biking today to test how high it gets. 

All that to say that when I was running on one day this week, my knee did this funny thing. I think it was latent from me pulling my glute in July. Neurologically, it sort of "gave out" on the back side of my knee. So I had to stop running. Then, later that day, I fell down the stairs! So, now my whole left side is a mess. My back hurts now. So I am going to see Dr. Myers at 2:45. So I might have to take a rest day from my experiments with my Apple Watch (I feel like "Get Smart" talking on my watch).  By the way, I love that it makes you stand and walk around for one minute every hour. HUGE help for me who gets so focused on things.

One last thing about health, I am taking August to adjust some bad eating habits that I have been slipping into, and I am on Day 3 and going strong. I am recording on Lose It! again, and I love that community there. I also quit all the sitting and writing papers for good by dropping out of the RI. It was the BEST decision for me. 

I am over my freewrite fifteen by four minutes. BYE! No proofreading. Just pressing. 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

27. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

This is the August book for my Book Babes Book Club that I have more recently been able to rejoin because we do not have our ministry training on Thursday nights anymore. I learned a lot about the California Gold Rush, and that was really interesting. I also think that she is a very good writer, but I wasn't overly wild about the story. I seemed like characters were in and out so quickly that one never got attached to them like I think the author would have liked me to. It was just an OK story. Not bad but not great. 


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...