Saturday, November 24, 2018

Type Twos go to Type Four in Integration

So I am looking at the healthy loop of the Type Four today. This is probably why I like personality tests so much because they help me to be more self-aware. :) 

Here is the healthy loop of a Type Four:

Healthy loop controlled by Basic Desire:

Need for self-understanding -> examine self -> understand themselves -> Need for self-understanding

In the healthy state, the need for self-understanding induces Type Fours to allow their emotions to surface and examine these emotions in order to understand themselves. (This is probably why I love the Examen so much!) When Fours achieve self-understanding, their need is satisfied and a balance is reached.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wednesday Morning Freewrite

I have loved doing these Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola again this year. I loved it last year through Creighton University Online Retreat, but I love doing it where I have a spiritual director that I meet with every other week and a cohort of people with a small "Sacred Listening" group of 10 people (three of whom are directors of the other seven). And the best part is doing it with my sweet, gentle giant of a husband: GEORGE (DGG is my nickname for him - Diplomatic Gentle Giant)! The face-to-face contact with others in the journey make it that much sweeter. I am so thankful that there is a program here in Oregon even though we have to commute there twice a month for our spiritual direction and the monthly retreat ( It is so worth it.

So, what am I learning. Well, Mike, my spiritual director, almost became a Jesuit priest. So he so knows his stuff and is an older man (I would say he is in his mid- to late- sixties) who is steeped in these Exercises. He gives me things to meditate on, and I meditate and share every other week.

The "Preparation Week" (which is more than a week) was all about looking at the Principles and Foundation of the exercises and praying through my "Graced History" year by year. It was so good! I did this last year, and it made me sad, but this year, I was so hopeful and grateful for the "mothers" that God gave me throughout my journey! Then he gave me verses on God's love: "OH the overwhelming, never ending, restless love of God!" 

Then in light of that "LOVE BUBBLE" I looked at that Graced History and saw patterns of sin in the "first week" of the Exercises. That was so healthy and freeing for me. I had a SIN PATTERN from last year, but God brought me so much deeper still with underlying causes of these, and this coincided with me understanding my Enneagram Type 2 and the sin patterns associated with this that I wholeheartedly concur with. I was able to embrace those patterns and be up front with God about them. Giving them to Him to CONCEAL rather than me concealing them from Him. I had lots of confession and also forgiving of people. This also coincided with our Kingdom Community doing the Knowing Rediscovered videos by my friends! It all just gelled so beautifully together. 

Now, I am on the beginning of the "Second Week," and I have been steeping myself in the "Call of the King" where I imagine myself before a wonderful, kind, benevolent earthly king who calls me to great things. Then I imagine myself before the King of kings! Mike has kept me in this for quite a while since I went on to the sin patterns naturally and slightly ahead of the liturgical year where we hit the Incarnation and Nativity at Christmas. That is OK though because the "Call of the King" has made me stop and think about fears I have because I think that I am afraid to approach some people about what I feel like God is calling me to, and someone that I thought might be an "in" to this sort of blew me off! LOL! What is so great is that I did not take this personally, and I did not think I was "unwanted and unloved" (as is typical for a Type 2)! I just said, "Hmm. 'When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window" (God even had The Sound of Music on TV the day I got blown off!). So I am GOOD, and I may just have another trail to blaze. It is all good! 

Well, I better go. It has been fifteen minutes. I am thinking about doing a VLOG regarding these Exercises

Monday, November 19, 2018

51. Educated: A Memoir

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Best book of 2018 for me. I really, really loved it, and I could not put it down. Read it in 24 hours. She was raised in a dysfunctional Mormon survivalist family in Idaho. It is journey out through education. The writing is really well done. I highly recommend this book. 

50. Becoming Dallas Willard by Gary W. Moon

Word cannot express how much I loved this biography. Gary Moon offers it with such love and affection for this wonderful man. This is a Renovare Book Club pick.  

Update: I led a discussion with six people. It was such a great discussion, and I had narrowed down the questions that the author gave in supplementary material for the book club. So I am going to put them here in case you ever read the book and want to think about your own spiritual formation. 

I.      NATURE/NURTURE/CULTURE: “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” (Parker Palmer)  What is your life telling you about your deepest desires?

  1. NATURE: How has your nature (e.g. temperament, learning style, etc.) become part of your becoming?
  2. NURTURE: How has the image of one of your parents (or grandparents) contributed to forming your image of God?
  3. CULTURE: What do you carry with you from the early years of your church-life experience that continues to help shape your spiritual formation? What aspects have you needed to rethink, or find for yourself?

II.     WORK/FAMILY/MINISTRY: Three Stages for Living a with-God Life. How is the drama of your with-God Life playing out on the stages of work, family, and ministry?

  1. WORK: What aspects of your work-life are/were you most grateful and which pose/posed the biggest challenge to your Christian life?
  2. FAMILY: How do you see God’s hand in your family relationships?
  3. MINISTRY: Is there something you have come to understand or to do that helps you see the image of God in every person you meet? If yes, please explain. (I have an exercise attached that I did last December for the Renovaré Institute, and I thought it would be perfect for you as you head into this December! It was written by Jan Johnson who was mentored by Dallas Willard. Enjoy!)

III.    FINISHING WELL: Ideas for Time and Eternity/Intentionality in Living the “With God” Life/Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines/Loving God Flowing to Loving Neighbor

  1. At your stage of life, how are you intentionally living in light of eternity? (I attached praxis exercises for Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer. Practices by Dallas mentioned in the book)
  2. What are some barriers you have experienced for being able to life in love with God and neighbor as you go through the day? What are your ideas for bursting out of those barriers?

52. The Enneagram and Prayer by Metz and Burchill

Stephen Coffey, OSB Cam, an ordained monk of the Camaldolese community of California led the "Appreciating the Wisdom of the Enneagram" Conference at the Queen of Angels Monastery in November, and this was recommended to us. At first perusal, I didn't really like it, but it has great depth and gave me insight into helpful prayer practices for people. I really ended up loving it!

Sunday, November 18, 2018


I feel Your gaze on me.
I sense that with You are all the great beings of heaven --
angels and powers and martyrs and saints.
Lord Jesus, I think You have put a desire in me.
If You will help me, please,
I would like to make my offering:
I want it to be my desire, and my choice,
provided that You want it, too,
to live my life as You lived Yours.
I know that You lived an insignificant person
in a little, despised town;
I know that You rarely tasted luxury and never, privilege,
and that You resolutely refused to accept power.
I know that You suffered rejection by leaders,
abandonment by friends, and failure.
I know. I can hardly bear the thought of it all.
But it seems a toweringly wonderful thing
that You might call me to follow You and stand with You.
I will labor with You to bring God's reign,
if You will give me the gift to do it. Amen. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

49. The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith

25191847From Publisher: The Critical Journey, at its core, is a description of the spiritual journey: our response to our faith in God with the resulting changes that follow. In this book, authors Hagberg and Guelich address the following issues: the struggle to find meaning and wholeness, the crisis of values and identity at mid-life, the quest for self-actualization, the healing of early religious experiences, and questions about the spiritual journey. Their goal is to help us understand where we are on our individual faith journeys and also appreciate where others are in theirs. The Critical Journey does not reveal exactly how or when we need to move along in our personal pilgrimages, nor does it offer formulas for spiritual growth. Rather, it describes six phases of the spiritual journey and illustrates how people act and think while in these stages. This is an excellent guide for those who are wrestling with their faith and wondering how others have resolved their “dark nights of the soul.” Here is an answer for those who have wondered why everyone doesn’t respond in the same manner to the message of the Gospel. 

I found the stages somewhat obvious, except the part about "The Wall." That part was really wonderful. I also felt like there was quite a bit of redundancy as the stages are described again at a later time. I think a good updated edit is in order for this book. 

Also, I bought the Kindle, but it is a copy of the original book and not in Kindle format. So that made highlighting more difficult, and I am still not sure how the notes will export! I should have just bought the regular hard cover book. 

Nurturing From a King

Type Two EnneaThought® for November 14th
When Twos learn to nurture themselves and look after their own needs, they achieve a balance in which loving and satisfying relationships are not only possible—they will happen as surely as the sun rises. Presence alone will allow your nurturing of others to transform into genuine self-nurturing. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 149)

This has been such a lovely season for me of achieving balance. I am loving my time in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. I prefer not to call it "self-nurturing" but "nurturing from God." God is speaking to me! I also love the balance of exercise (which is also my work) and sitting for ministry and writing (my other work).  It is a good season. 

This week, I am at the "Call of the King" in the Exercises, and the free conversation "My Liege" and I are having are so precious. I am growing. I am learning. I like that this never stops with the LORD! I am excited to hear what He has in store for me. I trust Him because He is a good and benevolent King! 

Friday, November 09, 2018

Friday Fifteen Minute Freewrite

So much to say and so little time to say it. I have been lax in my freewrites lately. I love them so. The queen of the freewrites just had a birthday. We still love each other, but she doesn't really have time for me anymore, and I am so happy for her success in life and happy for the role I played in her journey and she in mine. Because she "doesn't have time" for me doesn't mean that I am unloved or unwanted. Something I am learning the Enneagram Type Two personality type. I have to let go of the fear that I am unloved and unwanted. I also need to go after what I want, and I don't think I necessarily want the deep relationship that we once had. I really love her, but we are going in different directions. We will definitely meet up and have a lovefest when we meet again (which I am sure will happen), but she is not a day to day friend, and that is OK! 

So today has been a phenomenal day. Because George listened to God and God told him to ask for every Friday to work from home instead of up in Hillsboro. I have him home from Thursday night to Monday morning. How cool is that! I love him at home. What a gift!

I am also over the moon because I am on Day 100 of recording my eating and exercise. I have a whole new WONDERFUL Lose It! online community of friends. That one person who rejected me (twice) and would nag at me about not recording daily is not in my friends anymore. That person was so shaming and guilt producing and not encouraging.  I only have one mutual friend with her now, and I left the other group we were mutually a part of so that I don't have to interact with her anymore. I am so glad that I came back. Some of my old friends are still there and really, really encouraging. It also helped to get the AppleWatch which is all connected to the website so I don't have to log in all my activities on the website. It also does not start subtracting exercise calories for each activity I do until I reach a certain calorie level. So I am not faked into believing I can eat more because of my exercise. It is so good, and I have gotten rid of all the weight that I gained for being in Renovare.

I guess that is the last thing I want to freewrite about. I loved the people and the curriculum, but it was not for me. Every day I would do the Examen and DESOLATION was always overeating. I also left Renovare 100 Days ago, and I have not struggled ONE DAY with overeating since I left, and I think it was connected. It caused me a lot of underlying anxiety. The way the community and small groups are set up was not what made me thrive spiritually. The academic nature was not what I wanted or needed. All the sitting writing papers and interacting online was brining me out of the sacred balance I had cultivated in my life. So leaving was the BEST decision I made of 2018, and the second and third best were doing Spiritual Direction training through The School of Sustainable Faith AND doing the SEEL Portland retreat with George. It is all SO GOOD. I am at the end of my 15 minutes, but it is a great day with great decisions all the way. 

God is so good. 

(No proofreading here)

The overall keynote of Twos is indirection. Personal needs and desires are expressed indirectly, through service to others. Twos feel that they cannot go after what they want directly: it must be given to them by others as a sign that they are really loved and appreciated. Notice today when you are being indirect. (Understanding the Enneagram, 78)

Sunday, November 04, 2018

48. What's Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidnece and Clarity

This book had a little bit more meat to it than the other book on Ignatian discernment that I read earlier this year when it was part of my spiritual direction curriculum. This is the replacement, and I think it is a good choice. 

The authors do a great job of explaining the principles of decision making that Ignatius laid out in the Spiritual Exercises. I particularly liked that they used scenarios and walked you through the principles for each scenario. It was quite helpful. 

What is so funny is that I went to a "Wisdom of the Enneagram" Seminar, and the Catholic priest who taught it tied the Enneagram types and Ignatian principles of discernment together. I thought that was providential that I happened to reading this book at the same time! 

47. Funny in Farsi

46349This is an easy and fun read. I read it in 2014. My book club was looking for something that would make them laugh after reading so many "heavy" books on World War II last year. So I suggested this. I love Iranian people and the book gives you insight into their wonderful, family-oriented culture.  It was the delightful, funny antics of a family who moved to Southern California in the 1970's. I highly recommend this book. 

EnneaThought® for the Day

Type Two EnneaThought® for November 4th
Today, can you discover positive qualities in yourself that you have not developed yet? Healthy Twos have immense goodwill and generosity of spirit. They are attracted to spiritual values such as love of God and neighbor, loving others as themselves, and forgiving others. (The Power of the Enneagram audiotapes)

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...