Friday, January 31, 2020

3. Slaughterhouse Five


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Wow! This was so hard to get through even though it is only a book that takes a little under six hours to listen to. I will type out the audiobook description to give you an idea of what it is all about:

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Bill Pilgrim, a man who becomes "unstuck in time" after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously  through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. 
Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is almost as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch-22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basic in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it unique poignancy - and humor.  

I cannot say that I enjoyed this book. It was weird, yet brilliant all in the same breath. He was making a point about war, and I hear you on the bombing of Dresden. The British were TICKED after the Blitz and bombed innocent people to smithereens. We went to a museum in Wurzberg, Germany and the before and after models of the city were incredible. It was amazing that 90% of the city was destroyed by 225 British Lancaster bombers in just 17 minutes. 

The book made me want to go to Dresden, Germany on the Elbe River (been eyeing that river cruise for years). It is so weird in parts though, like a PTSD dream. It is on most book lists as a classic to read. It is hard but a valuable part of our literary history. 

The audiobook narration by Ethan Hawke was flawless. My audiobook also had a ten minute interview with Vonnegut at the end that I fast-forwarded to halfway through the book because I was having such a hard time getting through it. It motivated me to finish. 

Friday Freewrite

I feel like this is a liberation day for me. Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days being tested by the devil. I have been so tested to believe truth over lies in the last 40 days. It really has been 40 days, but the grace I have been seeking this week is perfect for this:

I seek the grace to experience more interior freedom so that I can respond with ALL my heart to Jesus' invitation to be with him in loving union and communion. 

Interior freedom is something that can be difficult to determine. I feel like each time I do the Exercises (this is my third time doing the 19th annotation), I can go "deeper still" into union and communion. In last year's Exercises, Mike said I did so well with my drug of choice: the approval of man. I suspected non-approval but 40 days ago, I realized it was far worse than I ever could have imagined. So new testing for the last 40 days ensued. 

Today's meditations were perfect for me (Mark 4:26-34 and Matthew 9:9-13). It is more about moving on to start that public ministry like Jesus did after the Temptation in the wilderness. Yes, I have had a "public" ministry for quite a while, but actually, I have really held back on so many things for so many years. I love what God is doing in me at the deeper soul level that is hard to explain in a freewrite.  It is about the Kingdom of God and the white harvest. (I have to tell you how much my living room is filling with light right now - I started out my time in pre-dawn and the "path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the noonday comes" Proverbs 4:18). God spoke through my Van Gogh on my wall. There is a wheat field there. I have always thought it was somewhat morbid because of the black crows, but I am looking at the golden wheat fields, and that is what I am called to do, go out into the harvest fields. Jesus went on from the wilderness testing to preaching and proclaiming the Kingdom of God. The Matthew 9 meditation was perfect too because Jesus ate with the tax-gatherers and sinners of the world. I feel like that is what George and I are called to do. We have that kind of calling on our life. And I think those black crows may always circle, but they scatter and flee when you just move forward into the field. 

Oh so hard to explain but the sun is shining on the golden wheat field today, and angels are ministering to me in my heart that truly wants to be interiorly free from this approval of people thing. It is so good that he has brought me into another layer of "deeper still." I cannot remember what my word for 2020 was, but maybe it should just be DEEPER. I am not sure. I am going to have a Last Friday Fast Day today. Trying to review my December 31st day of prayer with at least a half-day today. I want to keep on track.

Oh, and something has come up for me that I am praying about. Alison, from my Enneagram Cohort, is recruiting me to be a Habits of Health coach. So I am praying about that. I already do so much of that because I am so committed to people being "Well" (the name of this blog) spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically (Isn't it horrific that my accuser would kick me in the gut on almost all of these four points since it has been the dedication of my life to find wellness for myself and help other people to be balanced and have wellness in all of these areas? The only thing that person did not do was denigrate my physical appearance, but maybe if it had gone beyond the 2 1/2 hours of accusations the person would have gotten to that too - but I digress.) I am going to pray about that. She said, "It sounds like you are already doing so much of this, but you just need a vehicle." And it is true. I led the FACED group for years. I incorporate education in healthy habits into my listening prayer, spiritual direction, and personal training/Pilates ministry. We are all so tied together spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

Deeper still today (more sun in my living room). I am loving my life today. I am loving my Lord today. I am loving my husband (what a rock he has been for me throughout these past 40 days - the accuser even tried to tear our relationship apart by telling me things he has said about me - but I know for a FACT he did not say the things the accuser said he said). I love my children (Michael's loving, strong, quiet response to the news and Paul's words of wisdom and insightful questions that help me get a glimpse of the man he is becoming). I love my friends who don't sugar-coat a thing. I love my mentors who ministered to me in different ways. I love the people in my community (who are also dear friends - beyond friends; brothers and sisters) who challenge me to press on to the upward call. I am so blessed and grateful for this latest trial. 

Upward and onward into the harvest fields of the world. 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

2. A Gentleman in Moscow


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I read The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn several years ago, and it was so eye-opening to read about the brutality of communism in the Soviet Union. This is not about the Gulag (although characters in the book are sent there), but it is about an aristocrat sentenced to 30 years in the Metropol Hotel of Moscow after the Bolshevik Revolution. It took me a while to get into it, but once I could commit to it, I was all in. It is a dear story. It has everything love, friendship, chivalry, espionage, etc. 

Here is an interview with the author in a Russian tea room: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amor-towles-expands-his-portfolio-with-a-gentleman-in-moscow-1472743341

One fun thing: Bill and Melinda Gates both loved this book. Here is Bill's review:  https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/A-Gentleman-in-Moscow

I also found the author's website fascinating: 
http://www.amortowles.com/gentleman-moscow-amor-towles/

1. Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life


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This is my second time reading this because I am discussing it with a friend. I thought maybe I missed something the first time because I really did not think it was that great the first time around, and I still don't think it is as great as everyone raves about. I feel like he never really gets to the point. He has some nice things to say but he skims the surface of what could be a really great subject. I really prefer this one I read last year:

The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith 

That book has life stages mapped out with practical wisdom for the different life stages. I also think that Rohr is a little too pluralistic for my taste. 

Thinking about your second half of life is a great topic though, and there are some nice quotes and a great analogy with The Odyssey. What are you going to do with this one life you have? It is weird to think that I am 60 now, and I am thinking about the second half of life. I want to finish well. 


Thursday Freewrite

Timer set for 15 minutes.

It is hard to believe that I did not do a freewrite yesterday. I was home all day, and I was free after 12:30. I was supposed to have a Renovare Book Club meeting, but the only one that could definitely come was Betty. So, I moved it to next week. 

I had a great morning with Nessa. She likes to go deep, as I like to go deep. So, she did not mind my questions. Some people do not like questions, and I am a little gun shy about asking them since the traumatic thing that happened 38 days ago. I am so much better with all of that, but it does cause me to pause with people. When my motives were so judged and questioned 38 days ago, I want to make sure that people know I am asking questions to move toward them in love. Period. I am still flabbergasted with how twisted thinking turned me into someone with ill motives. All my counsel has said "consider the source," but it still causes pause. It causes me to be careful and tentative sometimes. This will just take some time to not be so tentative. It was an attack, for sure, but I asked for it. I will not do it again, but now I know (it is what I have always suspected but never realized it was worse than my wildest speculation). 

All that said, I am getting so much better. I know it will still take time, but my time with Sister Joan nine days ago was so significant. She said that I need something to practice when the hurt starts creeping in or the lies start trying to take hold again. It was so helpful to have my meditation in the Spiritual Exercises be on the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. He combated it all with the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit), and I have the promises that God has given me for this situation. I also have the "paralytic" prayer for the person who so brutally attacked me. It was brutal, but it was not eviscerating. Nothing was lost of me. If anything, I see how God has ministered to the depths of my soul through this and rooted out that unrealistic hope that I have that everyone will eventually like me. It is disordered love. It is something that hinders me from allowing all of me to be committed to his service and praise. So, I welcome it. I rejoice in my weakness (thorn in the flesh) for when I am weak, he is made strong in and through me.

So today is another more laid-back day. I just have a bike ride to work, two classes, and a bike ride back. I will teach a big ball class for the first and a quick Latin rhythms class with observation for the second. They are both doing swimmingly. The form is good. Now we will work on precision and flow for the Pilates II folks. 

Yesterday, I read more of Falling Upward. It is my second time through, and I am reading it so that I can discuss it with Michelle. I still have the same feeling that I had the first time I read it. It has some shining parts,  but he seems more like a universalist. He can be whatever he wants to be and believe whatever he wants, but I wonder if his order realizes what he really believes. 

I don't have a difficulty with his premise that we need to grow up and grow into the second half of our life (and love his analogy from the Odyssey), but he is pretty judgemental and critical of other people who do not agree with his "enlightened" status. I know people love this guy, but I am reading it for the second time and still feel the way I did the first time. To each his own, but if he would just stick to the point at hand it would be a much better book.  I have to say it was the most deadening part of yesterday to read this book. I am almost done, but I won't pick it up for the third time. I tried. Sorry, Fran (my spiritual director who loves this book) and Michelle (who has said she really loves this book and wanted to discuss it with me). 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tuesday Freewrite - Matthew 3:31-35

I will freewrite as I listen to the Pray as You Go reading for today.

Matthew 3:31-35 

"Find Rest" by Salt of the Sound

Find peace in hope and don't let go. Find rest my soul. 

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

Why were they trying to speak to him? Imagine yourself as one of the crowd. What does it feel like? Well, why isn't he acknowledging his family? 

How do you feel as one of his family? Perplexed. Why wouldn't he acknowledge us? We are a family. 

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

That is the key phrase for me. I have done a lot of contemplating about what family really is. Cammie called is "soul family." We have such a rich "soul family," and we are loved and cherished by them. They are a bunch that seeks God with their whole heart. I feel so blessed to have a family like this. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

4. Mrs. Wilson TV Mini-Series


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This is based on a true story about an agent who lived a double life. What makes this series so fascinating is that the actress who plays Mrs. Wilson is her real-life granddaughter! 

This is a great series. I cannot believe I just discovered it on my ROKU PBS Channel. 

3. Sanditon TV Series


Sanditon (2019)

George and I binged watched this (because we have PBS Passport). I thought it was well-done. The acting was wonderful with an intriguing storyline. On top of all that, who doesn't want to see Mr. Pamuk as a leading man? I hear that ITV in Great Britain canceled it because it did not get the desired audience, but there are rumors that it might go if the Americans like it.

So here are two Americans who loved it. Also, I don't know if it ended the way Austen would have ended it had she lived to finish the book. So, let's see more.


Monday Freewrite

I think this library wi-fi is faster than our home wi-fi. I think it is time to maybe see if there might be something wrong. I thought it was my computer, but it is pretty fast right now at the Hillsboro Library.

I rode up with George this morning because we are going to our class tonight that starts at 6:30. We will go on a date for lunch in about 1 1/2 hours. I took a walk around Dawson Creek and then went into a study room for preparing for the Boise Cohort in March. Now, the main library is open, and I am sitting comfortably next to a big window overlooking the duck pond. It is an ideal place. 

I just have a few more questions to answer for my Type 8 Study Sheet. So, I plan on doing a lot of reading today. I think I will also review some movies/series on this blog. Or not. I am tired. It ended up being a somewhat full weekend.

I am reading A Gentleman in Moscow. It is a fictional look at the changes that were the result of the Bolshevik Revolution. I am up to the 30s and the changes that Stalin made to everything. Idealism turned sinister. I wonder what Stalin's Enneagram Type was. 

I am looking forward to more time with George. We are talking about some big changes for him. I am open to whatever. I would not mind having him home more. He said that we need to battle together rather than apart (not battle each other - outside things). I love that man. Praying for God's perfect plan.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday Freewrite

It is the third Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Two or Three Things You are Grateful For:

1) Jack and Wayne's 60th Birthday Party - It was lovely to go and to think I am known them for 40 years. We were able to sit down and have a good talk with both of them during the party. 

2) Time with family for Michael's birthday. They are truly my favorite people. 

Review of Day from Start to Finish:

Getting Up - Finished up time in my Belovedness. I had a deep time presenting my "paralytic" before Jesus.

Morning - We drove up to Portland for the party. I read Falling Upward Introduction to George, and we talked about it. I am still not blown away by this book, reading it the second time with Michelle, but the discussion with George was good.

Lunchtime - Portland Party. It is a blow away to see what good friends they are and for so long. They are very different, but as we talked I realized they are part of the same 

Afternoon - We rode home, and I read another chapter. Then we had a bit of downtime, and I finished watching Pitch Perfect 2. I thought the beginning was so dumb, but the ending made me cry. 

Evening - We went out to Papa's Pizza. That was nice. It was low key and lovely. 

We came back, and I tried to stay awake. I had a bit of prayer time in the Exercises. Then, I started to watch Nicholas Nickleby, but they were just too cruel. I realize I had started watching it another time and stopped that time too. I switched to Downton Abbey, but I could not stay awake. 

Sleep was easy. I will be private about my confession time. :)

Most Meaningful Part of the Day - Time with George in the car going up to Portland. We talked about the first half of life and identity and destiny sorts of things. I love that he loves to talk deeply about things. I love that I feel 100% comfortable and myself with him. 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Saturday Freewrite

Yesterday was grand. I realized I did not have a lot of things on my plate. After a wonderful time meditating in my belovedness in Ephesians 2:4-10 and presenting my "paralytic" person before Jesus (application from our DBS the night before), I had a Skype time with Elizabeth for 1 1/2 hours. She is doing well. Nice things are happening in her ministry, and she has Ann to partner with. She is a happy camper, and that makes me happy. She invited me to raft the Colorado River this summer, and I just might do that! One fun is that she had just done Ignatian Contemplation on the paralytic just like our Missional Community had the night before!

Then, I went for a nice walk and listened to A Gentleman in Moscow. It is slow-going, but I am enjoying it. The sun was even peeking out from behind the clouds. 

After this, I worked on my Type 8 Study Sheet. I know I am not meeting with Jules until March 10th to discuss this Study Sheet, but I have some time right now. So, I am just going for it because I want to learn all that I can about this Type. 

Kim and I had a lovely spiritual direction time, and then I worked some more on the sheet and took another walk and listen to my book. 

After this, I watched a bit of news (Jim Lehrer of the Newshour died - sniff, sniff). Then Michael came home. I had thought earlier in the day that I should make him a Dutch Baby because it was his 28th Birthday, and he came up and asked for that for his birthday dinner. So, I made it, George came home, and we all sat down to a candlelight dinner. 

Then, I watched a 20/20 show and went to sleep. 


It was a good day. I felt like time with God in Ephesians, SD with Elizabeth and Kim, and time at the dinner table with family were the most life-giving things of the day. I think also doing the Type 8 Study Sheet was very good. I also liked walking in the sunshine. I love sunshine, I really and truly do, and I am ready for it with all the gray days we have been having.

I cannot think of anything that was deadening other than hearing people talk about the impeachment. Since everyone knows what the outcome is, do we really have to listen to all of this? Just vote and go on and solve some of the country's problems like homelessness and health care. 

Kim also gave me a bit of insight into the interaction that I had last Saturday after the memorial service. Oh, how I wish I would have just not talked to that person. It was the weirdest interaction, and I think I need to not always move toward people that I don't know that well. 

I have five more minutes on the timer, but I am tired of typing. I am going to go and listen to my book. :) 

I looked at the time, and I had only three minutes before 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Friday Examen

Reviewing yesterday

Two or Three Things I am Grateful for . . . 

1) Pilates teaching - life-giving and fun
2) Missional Community - Sitting with people I love, looking more deeply at Jesus healing the paralytic, praying, and talking. 

Review of the Day from the Start to Finish (Notice where God has been and where you turned away from God)

Rising - Calm. Time in Romans 8. No condemnation. 
Morning - Rode bike - no rain - peaceful ride - pleasurable teaching of two classes. Nice students. I like this term so much. 
Mid-Day - Pedaled to Calvin Presbyterian. Lunch at the Dizzy Hen with Wendy. LIFE-GIVING deeper talk. She asked me lots of questions. I love her! 
Afternoon- Pedaled from Calvin to visit with Karina (Jude and Isobel) for a couple of hours. 
Evening - Pedaled home and rested for 2 1/2 hours before MC. I rested, and that was good. Watched a bit of news. Missional Community was seven of us. So good to connect with others in the word. It is LIFE-GIVING to have a deeper talk. I loved that some lingered to talk more. Presenting a paralytic person in my life to you was meaningful, and I will continue to do that. 
End of Day - Debriefed with George and fell asleep. 

Regrets - none

The most meaningful part of the day - Probably getting to know Wendy better. 

Letting God say something to me - She is a good one. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thursday Thirteen Freewrite

Setting my timer for 13 minutes starting now. 

I am still in the "Baptism and Belovedness" week of the Exercises. It has been a deep soak in my Belovedness that I have extended since I am a bit ahead of schedule. (One of the people I am encouraging is still at the Two Standards meditation. The other is about a week behind me. The other is just starting. The last is giving up because she is traveling so much.)

This morning was a soak in Romans 8. That and Ephesians 1 and John 15 and Psalm 27 are my favorite chapters. The main message of Romans 8 is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, that we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us, that God causes all things to work together for good because I am predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Lastly, nothing will separate us from the LOVE of God in Christ Jesus.

I got a lot of condemnation. Even if it were true (which it was not - but that took me about a month to REALLY believe it was not true), it is no basis for condemnation. That is not the voice of truth that tells me that I am loved, forgiven, justified by the blood, walking in the Spirit. All that. I believe. I truly do believe. Regardless of whether the condemnation was true or not, that fact is still there. There really is nothing that I can do. I can pray according to the Spirit. That is what I have been doing, and it has been so great. I love that my house is empty almost every night so I can light a candle and pray (and sometimes worship dance) like I start my day before anyone is up. Last night was so lovely. I love soaking, bathing in him. 

Today, I ride my bike to class (probably in the rain again). I will roll with balls in the first class and do ball cueing. In the second class, we will do both balls and rollers and do a quick, perhaps Latin rhythms, class. Then I ride my bike to meet with Wendy for lunch. That is my "love" thing for today. To love Wendy at lunch. 

Then I will love Karina and welcome her to Corvallis. Then I will ride home (probably in the rain) and get my heart and home ready for the invasion of many Millenials at 7 pm. I will also see my GEORGE! If only for the evening because he goes back up on Friday (because his new boss took away him working at home on Fridays). 

I have three minutes left on my thirteen-minute timer. I love going in to work. We have a new administrator (well he has been there a year). He is a Spirit-filled Type Nine Peacemaker, and I really like him. I love that I see Amanda and Melinda and Nikki and Kaitlyn most mornings. I love my job. I am still a bit sore from adding Nikki's weight lifting class in on Tuesday and adding bands to the Pilates routine. I am getting back to the shape I was in before I broke my leg. Now I want to lose the 10 pounds I gained while lying in bed and eating yummy meals brought to me. I lost five before I went to Europe and gained that five back after the trip and Christmas. I did really well yesterday, but I have not been really good at recording. 

George is safely in Hillsboro, and I am safely in God's hands. I really and truly feel like I have moved on from this latest hit. 

Thankful.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wednesday Evening Examen

I ask you to be with me. I am entering into your presence, God!

Two or Three Things from Today that I am grateful for:

1) Getting new glasses! My last ones fell in the lake five minutes before I broke my leg. It is so nice to go to an office with such lovely and joyful people too.
2) Delivering for Dial a Book and also getting errands done in the process.
3) An evening of calm and study.

Morning - Not rushed. Pretty calm. I slept in until 6:45. Must be fighting something for me to sleep so long, but I had plenty of time to soak in Belovedness verses. That was so life-giving. "Do not fear" of Isaiah 43. I am precious in your sight. You are with me. You make a way through the sea. Again the admonition "do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new." LIFE-GIVING moments with God. 

Then Valentina and Peter came to clean. Yes, I can clean now since I am not homeschooling anymore, but they have become like family. So, it is always LIFE-GIVING to have them come. 

Mid Morning - New glasses. I can read small print again. LIFE-GIVING! Dial a Book is always LIFE-GIVING for me. I made a mistake and delivered the wrong bag to K, but it was nice to see him rather than just pick up his books at the door. I had to wait a long time for someone to come and help me with more cinnamon sticks at the grocery store, but it didn't bother me. I love non-hurry kinds of days. 

Noon - Picked up lunch for my sweet young man who is working full time. I came back and ate my lunch with him. 

Afternoon - Watched some of the impeachment hearings. DEADENING! Walked and listened to A Gentleman in Moscow. Did some more belovedness scriptures. Texted with Nan, Karina, Brittany, Missional Community, and George. Read a bit of Falling Upward. I danced in my living room. 

Evening - Had some centering prayer time and talking with God about many things by candlelight. Worked on Type 8 Enneagram Study Sheet for 2 hours. Did class attendance and graded a paper. Now I am winding down to sleep.

Regret - Anxiety about M still not having a job. I wish there was something I could do to help. I release it to you.

Most Meaningful - The fact that I have finally moved on from the trial of last month. I really, really know that I have turned a corner. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tuesday Evening Examen

I pray Lord for Light upon my day.

Two to three things I am grateful for:
1) Healed leg - how wonderful to ride my bike in the rain and through the cathedral of trees. With the rain and sunshine, there was a rainbow. My leg had some trouble during weight lifting class. I still cannot do lunges, but I am so grateful that I can do almost everything.
2) Healed heart - Sticking Sister Joan. It did stick. I am healed. I am not eviscerated. God used the hurt heart to take me to deeper places.
3) Face to Face with Nancy - To say I have true and deep friends would be an understatement. I loved my Pastini's lunch with Nan. 

Morning - Calm. Dwelling in my belovedness as I meditated through more verses. Examen prayer to review the good day to the Abbey and Sister Joan. 

Late Morning - The bike ride through my cathedral. It is OK to take that longer route because it is part of nourishing my soul. Classes with bands. I love my students. They seem eager and receptive. What more could I ask for?

Noon - Back to the weight lifting class. They wondered about the broken leg. The women that were cliche and post-bac are gone to other jobs. It is a more permanent and fun crowd. Nikki teased me, but I did not mind. I am still having to do alternatives to some exercises though. It will take time to totally heal.

Afternoon - Riding my bike to Pastini's for a 2 1/2 hour lunch with one of my dearest ones, Nancy. YUMMY food and even yummier company. I love talking about soul things.

Evening - Shower and lunch. Some more Spiritual Exercises. I talked with George. I will probably have an early night tonight. I am tired from all the activity.

Regret - None
Meaningful - Time with Nan. So nourishing to my soul.

Lord, thank you for this wonderful day. 

Life-Giving
Teaching, face to face time, and riding my bike in the rain with a rainbow. 

Deadening 
Nothing that I can think of. It was a good day.

Now I am going to press the button and more to the next thing!

Tuesday Morning Examen

This is my Examen for yesterday, Monday, January 20.

Martin's Message: This is the second week of ordinary time. A measure of calm after the holidays. :) Simple days. Can you accept the gift of calm? 

YES, I CAN! I welcome the gift of calm!

Grateful for:
1) Sister Joan - I knew her listening ear would be a big stepping stone in my healing, and I was right. What wisdom and insight her almost 80 years have given her. 
2) Friends - Nancy was so sweet to call and listen and reflect yesterday. George is the best friend. He did warfare prayer for me.
3) Mt. Angel Abbey - Peaceful place for me to go to and reflect. 
4) An unexpected free day to do the above. 

Morning - Calm. Meditating on verses that are part of my Belovedness. Finished Psalm 27 meditation. So good. Texted with George. He had been praying. So grateful for him. I also went back and forth with Michelle in Marco Polo over many things. We are going to read a book together. I just love her and miss her in the cohort.

Later Morning - I finally got a hold of Sister Joan. I couldn't meet in the morning on Saturday after all. I wanted to meet in the afternoon, but she really sensed that we would need time, and Saturday afternoon would not work with an evening engagement. She was willing to meet that day in 1 1/2 hours. 

Mid Day - Drove up to Mt. Angel. I talked to Nan most of the way. More reflection and helping me process. Realize much of the unexpected low was being triggered by the talk after the Memorial Service. Good to pinpoint that. Nancy also could give me perspective from her family situation. When I was almost at the Abbey, I got a call from the author of the book I am reading. She had some quick tips. She is an empath also. She understands why this has been so hard. The one thing she told me to do was so powerful. WOW! She said we could talk more. I must finish her book and glean more. A book that has been on my shelf for years, and I have never read it! (Because I thought people like this were out of life, but I guess not.) 

Afternoon - I walked around the grounds of the Abbey and went to the church before my appointment. Then I had two and a half hours with sensible, sweet, Sister Joan. SO HELPFUL! She is so wise. That is what 80 years does for you. I feel like I have some skills for moving past little funks. My 44-hour funk was lifted as we processed and prayed. So grateful! When I said "eviscerated," she challenged that with a question, "What was taken away?" When I asked her to explain, she said when you do that to a fish, the guts are taken away. I had to answer honestly that nothing was taken away. Absolutely nothing! I am still ALL here. My guts are all intact. Lightbulb. 

Evening - Ate dinner (had forgotten to eat the whole day because of my "funk 44") and enjoyed my shows. 

Later Evening - I probably stayed up too late, but I loved my evening. I felt so peaceful. I have more tools and feel like a corner has been turned. 

Regret - I confess the FEAR that has kept me from being who God made me to be. Confess not accepting who I am to conform to the expectations of another. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I embrace that. 

DEEP BREATH

Something especially meaningful - Lord God, I am SO GRATEFUL for the relationship that I have had with Sister Joan over the last 21 years (I think I met her after I came back from Malaysia). She has been more influential in the last ten as I have gone to her for direction periodically. I knew she would be helpful for this particular situation as she helped me so much with a somewhat similar (but much less severe and all resolved now) situation in the summer of 2016.  I am so grateful for spiritual direction. She is the one who helped me on this wonderful path of spiritual direction that I am now on too. It is wonderful that the author of the book I am reading said how much she loves Sister Joan too. I knew that Sister Joan had recommended the book to me, but I didn't know that they knew each other! So, my 2 1/2 hours of sanity with Sister Joan wiped away, for good, the 2 1/2 hours of insanity that I experienced. I have some tools for getting back on track too. 

Lord, what do you want me to know about yesterday? She is part of my provision: Cammie, Fran, Mike, Carol, Lorraine (in heaven), Roxanne are all older and wiser mentors. Gifts to you. 

I get by with a little help from my friends. So many who have come alongside me this past month to sort things through. It was good that I asked for prayer also. 

I was not eviscerated after all (but I still think it is a cool word).  I am still ALL here. :) Nothing shall separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. 

YAY! 


Monday, January 20, 2020

Monday Freewrite Fifteen

George and I continue to dialogue. I had a lot of tears yesterday. I think it takes me a long time to totally absorb things. 

I have decided to make an appointment with the person who wrote Chronically Hurtful People. This is a book that Sister Joan told me to read several years ago, but I put it on my shelf and never read it because I had set appropriate boundaries with these types. It was easier to move away. But this latest hurtful person cut me so deep, and it is awkward to move away. I need to know how to navigate when others are involved. My spiritual director said I cannot just disappear, even though that would probably make the CHP overjoyed. I just need to navigate it all and continue to work through the hurt from the eviscerating. It is probably the worst this has ever happened. I am glad the person got everything off their chest, but it left me in a pile eventually (once I got in touch with all the feelings that I had repressed), and one of the characteristics of the CHP is a lack of empathy for others (but much for themselves). I need to just work through this. I know it will take time. It took six weeks before I could put a little weight on my broken leg. It just takes time to heal. I am healing, and I am so grateful that I have such a good and generous God. He pours out love on me every single morning, and I carry that throughout the day with me. It is just hard when George goes away to work, and I know I don't have him until Thursday night when we have missional community. It will be so nice to be back with these lovely people again since I couldn't meet with them two Thursdays ago. They ended up not meeting either. 

I told George that it might be good for me to have some time away in nature. So I need to figure out how to go to an abbey somewhere. I might go to the Trappist Abbey. But they require a two-night minimum. So, I need to think through all of that. 

I am breathing deeply, and my heart literally hurts. I don't know what chemical is released, but it is there in my heart right now. I know that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I wish I were more like George, able to "brush it off."  I have not felt like this for such a long time. I have felt this hurting heart for others more recently, especially my sons. They move my heart. 

That really was the only area of anxiety that I had in 2019 until the eviscerating, the jobs. P is firmly working and really enjoying it. M has interviewed for yet another job that he did not get. We went for a long walk and begged and prayed. M seems to be very even-keel and fine with it all. I need to just let my momma bear heart be still. I will trust. Last time I trusted, he got a dream job. The dream job died when the owner died. :( There is a reason for everything. I know that. I pray he knows that.  

Today turns out to be free. I thought I was subbing for Kris, but I think Heather is subbing. So, I am wanting to maybe take a trip out of town. It always helps me to do that. 

I know that I am doing better physically. I have had 1 1/2 days of almost total rest. That is so nice. I have Pilates and three appointments with others. Heart to heart appointments.

Oh, and I am going to be on the Type Two Portland Panel. I think it is in March. I took the instinctual variant tests, and I scored in the intimate, one-on-one two out of three of the times, but the social one was almost even. So, I think I am a combo of both. It asks me about the group and intimate one on one relationships, and I always vacillate between the two. I like them both, but I have to say that if I had to choose, it would be one-on-one. I just have that so deeply with George. So I don't crave it. I have to look back on my life before George. That is a better barometer. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday Morning Freewrite

In honor of my mom's 93rd birthday this week. This was the last birthday we spent with her. It was her 80th. 

I started a freewrite yesterday but not sure what happened. I never finished it. I woke up super early yesterday, and it was a review day in the Spiritual Exercises. George had inadvertently brought my journal to work/his mom's for the week so I wrote in a notebook from Tuesday through Friday. So, I spent much of Saturday morning copying the graces I received into my journal. What a powerful exercise (and review is something Ignatius strongly encouraged)! I am still healing. I know that. It will take some time. 

I think that is why when we went to a memorial a few hours later, at the reception, there was this really weird interaction with an acquaintance. I walked out and asked very carefully of George, "What did you think of that interaction?" He had exactly the same feeling: strange and almost hostile. What on earth was wrong with that person? Why were they reacting in such a strange manner to the polite conversation? George proposed his theory, and I stewed all the way home. What did I do wrong? Did I say something offensive? George can brush those kinds of things off, and I cannot. My heart hurts. I have always had positive interactions with this person in the past, but this was such an odd conversation. Granted, I do not know the person very well. So, this may be another side that I have never seen. 

It was a weird ride home, and I know some of it has to do with what has happened to me. It will be a month ago this coming Thursday, and I am, for the most part, doing really well, but I am doubting myself, doubting my ability to relate to people. 

I think the whole reception at the memorial was interesting to see what I do. As a Type Two, I SCAN and ASSESS the room and then I MOVE TOWARDS people. I long for AUTHENTIC CONNECTION and LOVE exchanged between people. It is hard when that doesn't happen. 

George got up, and we talked about it some more. He is a Type Nine. His nature is just to go away. So he would have been happy to just leave after the ice cream. :) 

All that said, the rest of the evening really was lovely. I am not feeling really well. George watched Sanditon, and I fell asleep and waited until he watched the ending. Then we talked about it. I loved that series. Not sure that Austen would have approved of the ending. (It was a novel she did not finish before she died.)

Then we watched the first episode of Howard's End. How fun! 

Well, I think my time is almost out. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

Some ask about my Freewrites. These were introduced to me by my dear friend, Julie Sweeney Bogart, owner/creator of Bravewriter. I did this with my kids when they were growing up, and now I do it for myself (and my youngest still does it regularly). It involves writing for a set amount of time whatever is on your mind. There is no need for corrections. (I do sometimes because I have Grammarly.)

I woke up at 3:40am. I didn't get up until 4:24. I had a smashing time with God this morning. I am doing the Spiritual Exercises using the manual I wrote, and today was looking at verses that tell me about my belovedness. Ahhhhhh. God is so good to remind of that after my more recent evisceration. (Isn't evisceration a cool word?)

I meditated deeply in my birthday psalm: Psalm 27. YUM! So good. He reminded me of all the promises he has given me, and I happen to go back in my old Bible, and I had claimed the same ones when I was eviscerated way back when when I made a final decision to walk away from crazymakers for good. Since then, I have had such peace! So it is good to be reminded that sometimes, you just cannot walk away, but you can fall into God's word and find comfort and guidance! 

After this, I went and cleaned up the Study Sheet I wrote for the Type 5 panel discussion on April 27. Yes, I know, I am way far ahead, but I was so motivated to learn all I could about the Type 5 because one of my favorite people in the WHOLE WORLD is a Type 5, and it has brought us so much closer together and helped me to understand how I can support and encourage him in his growth. That Type 5 is none other than the incredibly wonderful Weaver son, Paul! WOOHOO! 

Then I went for a walk and listened to Pray as You Go. It was on the paralytic brought to Jesus. Some people just need healing. And that is what I am praying for in my most recent encounter with a person who is not well. It helps me have compassion and love! 

Good to get my walk in before the rain comes in about 30 minutes.

Then I got a nice text from my buddy Nan, and we set up a lunch date. Then George wrote to say he has a special appointment that I can pray for. WILL DO!

Now, I am eating breakfast (ham and cheese on sourdough) and will meet with Manar in three hours. So I could start working on my Type 8 study sheet! LOL! 

Tomorrow, I have spiritual direction at 7am by Skype. Then we will go up to McMinnville for Bill M's funeral and go out to Nick's for a date. Sunday is meeting with a couple who wants some counsel.

Classes are going so great. My Pilates I is really fun, and they laugh a lot. I want to make the class a safe and fun place for them every Tuesday and Thursday. Pilates II is much more serious, but they are the advanced people there to get a good workout. I will deliver! 

I have 1:20 left on the timer. Oh, I have to respond to another person about the Spiritual Exercises. I need wisdom about how to respond. It is spiritual direction by email/Marco Polo which is sort of weird because I like interaction. But it has been done in the past. So I am going for it. 




Thursday, January 16, 2020

Thursday Thirteen Freewrite

I want to get to class early today because my room will be cold, and I want to turn on that really loud heater to warm it up for my 30 students!

There is no rain today so I will ride my bike to class. Yesterday was a little bit more sedentary than I would have liked, but that was because I had a back check and realignment with Dr. Myers, and I didn't want to do anything too strenuous. 

Self-Preservation/Preserving Instinct is not very strong in me. So it is so life-giving when I do things to bring it out of my blind-spot and into my full vision. That was why yesterday was so good. 

I usually put things off that have to do with convenience for me. But I had a banner morning. I went to see Dr. Myers. There was no presenting problem with my back, but I had the appointment because I make place holders in case there is a problem. I often cancel them, but this time I went in. He was able to do deeper tissue work with me, and boy did he find a trigger point that I did not feel! He did acupuncture, and it was better. He also worked out the kinks in the leg of my fractured tibia. I can go down the stairs so much more easily now!  Something was off, and he worked it into alignment. 

After this, I went to see Dr. Flannery. I had my check-up last week, and he had concerns about a couple of spots on my teeth. In the meantime, my tooth cracked. So, he took care of the cracked tooth and the two spots in about 30 minutes. So glad I did not have anything for the rest of the day. 

Before Dr. Flannery, I had taken a short prayer walk because an area we have prayed in for years is right nearby. While walking back to his office, I walked by Dr. Baer's office and realized that I needed to reorder my glasses because my other ones were lost in the lake about five minutes before I fractured my tibia. The new year means a new set. It was funny because they could not find my file so I went to Dr. Flannery's while they looked. When I came back, they realized they were looking for Big Carol's file and not mine (Little Carol on the OSU basketball team). LOL! Anywho, I got new glasses ordered. 

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but things like that always get put on the back burner. So I took care of three things in three hours. It is great because when I asked how I could show love for the next day during my Examen the night before, God said to show love to myself. That can sound so selfish. Did I really hear him right? Then when I got out of my doctor's appointment, I saw this on the wall:


I knew that was what I needed to do. Often, what is life-giving to me is loving to myself, but I am always thinking about how I can help other people so this is why I love to write. Even posting the picture above generated discussion that was good. I love to pass it on. I don't think I am doing it to get love in return like an unhealthy Two might do. I love authentic community so there is a high that happens when I connect with people going through the same things or have something to add to the conversation about loving yourself and being gentle with yourself. 

Today, I get to go to Pilates. I think it is time for a Disney Day on this overcast and gloomy day. It might be too early, but I observed them, and they seemed to be doing well with the exercises. So, I am going to go for it with them.

Timer is going off. 


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Wednesday Freewrite

I am so in a "moment" right now. Sometimes I just want to capture them in a freewrite. How do you articulate a God moment?  The flush of peace and Presence is overwhelming, and as is often the case with God and me, the sun is peeking out from behind a cloud and beaming into my large back window and illuminating the Bible on the Bible stand, and my Christ Candleholder still there from Christmas. Isn't it grand to be in the presence of God? It is my PASSION to facilitate more and more people into the presence of God. Isn't that the center of everything? I think so. 

I could not sleep last night, but it was not a restless kind of not sleeping. It was a gentle and Presence-filled time. I knew I had an appointment with Dr. Myers at 8:45am, but I fell asleep from 10:30p-12:00a and was up until 4am. I listened to Pray as You Go for today, and it was about Samuel saying, "Speak Lord, I am listening."  So I listened. God so sweetly spoke words of love to me about my belovedness. It was such a sweet moment, and I wrote: "Every time I breathe in my heart is warmed, Lord." Then we had more moments that I wrote about. (The sun is glaring more in the window - almost blinding - "Speak Lord, I am listening.") It was about the capacity for change that we all have before us, but some people do not choose to change. I want to have that heart of flesh and a soft sponge that absorbs your living water rather than repels it like a stone.  I yielded more to any change that God had more for me, and asked again, "Speak Lord, I'm listening." He said "Carol Weaver. Gaining experience. Growing in confidence." (It was like what George Bush said about Dan Quayle when he was his VP.)  Then, I heard the word "RUBBISH." Then the next passage I was going to meditate on for the Spiritual Exercises was Philippians 3:7-14, and RUBBISH is in the passage! 
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christthe righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I doforgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (All the bolding is mine)

Earlier in the day, for Week 18 of the "Three Kinds of People" (the sun is still shining through the window, by the way - he is CONSTANTLY trying to get our attention in the ordinary moments, isn't he?), I had prayed for the grace to be "interiorly free from any attachment that would inhibit God's will in my life; choosing more for the glory of God and the service of others." The RUBBISH I must leave behind is tricky, but earlier in the day (and earlier that week with Pray as You Go, God had spoken to me about leaving house and family, etc. for the sake of the Kingdom of God promising that I would receive many times as much at this time and the age to come (Luke 18:18-30). I think I have an inordinate attachment (disordered love) to a particular ideal. I think he is gently breaking me of this, and he had told me to PRESS ON during my meditation in Boise. I need to become interiorly free for the upward call. There is a bigger plan that is more for the glory of God and the service of others, and this latest blip is a GIFT! He really did reveal that to me early on in the more recent trauma, Cammie talking to me about "soul family" that is tighter (and confirmed to me when I walked into Katherine and John's home on Christmas Eve morning - welcome to love). We do have a "soul family" that is lovely and large. So I "Resolved to Regard as Rubbish" that ideal I was holding on to and to PRESS ON to the higher purpose. We really can FLY FREE. It was an ideal that died long ago, I just did not realize how long ago it had died until recently. The reality was hard, but I am grateful that I know now. It frees us up. 

The whole "forgetting what lies behind" is that part that is hard for my false self! We like to look in the past, but it is time to move ever forward. I think I am interiorly free from disordered love and attachment to that ideal. This was a RUDE awakening for me.

I think this passage also spoke to the difference between self-righteousness and the righteousness that comes from faith. We have all seen self-righteousness, and it is so ugly and hateful. The righteousness of Christ accepts that we are all on a journey, and we extend grace (more sun pouring in) and acknowledge that there are no perfect people in the world. No need to go over and over my imperfections in certain situations. It is time to move forward. I don't need to read any more books about how to deal with difficult, crazymakers, or chronically hurtful people. I am free from their control over me. The inordinate attachment is severed. The plane is no longer tethered to the ground, it is flying high. 

That was so good to freewrite! I had written and meditated from 3-4am this morning, but in the light of day, it is even clearer what has been happening here. 

Thank you, God! Grateful beyond words.  (And thanks for the sun shining through the window because that has been our thing for 40 years.)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Evening Examen

What are you grateful for?

  1. My Pilates classes at OSU
  2. Riding my bike in the sunshine to and from class
  3. Resting in your presence as the sunshine came through the window
Where was God? Where did you accept his invitation to be loving grateful, and yourself?

Morning - Calm as I had time with God. I got ready for my class by doing my attendance. I got ready and rode my bike on a glorious day.

Taught two classes. We exercised to Celtic Music, and I enjoyed it so much. I love moving my body to music and teaching the class. We did the half-leg series. 

Enjoyed my coworkers

Lunch - Rode my bike - really sunny by then. I rode it to the library and picked up the book bags, and the rainbow was streaming into the front entry. It was so beautiful.  I came back home and had another time with God in the "Three Kinds of People" which is Week 18 of the Exercises. I showered. 

Afternoon - I had another time with God as the sun streamed in, and then I went and watched The Five. I also watched things I had recorded. Emailed with important people. Set up an SD appointment for next Wednesday. Connected B with the conversant program. Marco Polo with some friends. Read through April's Spiritual Exercises things. 

Evening - Nothing special. I am already needing to sleep. I just wanted to get an Examen in before bedtime. 

Regrets - None that I can think of. I definitely had to continue to work through the trauma of late December. So, I did it during my shower. I think that is OK. I am not dwelling, but I am also trying not to REPRESS my feelings which is something that I could easily do. 

Most Meaningful - Teaching class. I love it. It is great to be back at it. 

Love for tomorrow? I don't have a big agenda for tomorrow. I am hoping to just rest after my big week last week. I think I need to go to bed now. Wow! I really didn't realize how tired I was until I started doing this Examen. 


Tuesday Examen Freewrite

Things I am Grateful for:

- Long Examen with George almost all the way up to Hillsboro - Thursday - Sunday. I love that my hubby has things on the tip of his tongue, and he loves to share unhindered. And that I can do the same with him. Love all around.
- Almost all day of focused meditation in the morning and studying the Enneagram in the afternoon
- Going to Enneagram Portland for our first evening panel (Type 9). Thankful for Dale for leading it so well.

Getting up in the morning - it was a bit rushed because I had not packed up my day pack for the day of work, but I was OK getting out the door. George was so sweet to make me tea just the right way when I got up. I was tired from Thursday - Sunday in Boise, and he made getting out the door so much easier. 

Morning - The Examen was time for George and me to get the inside story of our hearts for the past four days.  In the end, I told him I felt SHAME for making him a bit late for work. Then George went to prayer to ask God where that came from. I wish I could remember it all, but it was a good time with God. I saw a "shame cloud" at the tip of Mt. St Michel. It inhibited me from touching the finger of God like the Sistine Chapel. I know it goes back to me feeling like I always was disappointing my mom I know she was proud of me. I would hear her brag to other people about me all the time. But one thing about my mom, I KNEW she always loved me. So I always felt loved. I just usually felt like a disappointment. It was a good and honest time of talking about shame and what that really is. I know that Russ Hudson talked a lot about it in the instinctual variants class, and I knew this was my application for it. I think it is bigger than I have ever thought. So I will explore this more. All that to say that it was SO GOOD to talk to George about it and have him pray. I also felt like I was going to get the library late, and my study room would be taken, but I need to live in the present moment, and right there in the car, I was safe. I don't even know if this makes sense. But this is my freewrite. So it does not matter if it makes sense to anyone but God!

Later Morning - I had such a super time with God in the study room (that was NOT occupied). I had another "White Board Worship and Prayer" time. So good! I should have taken a picture of it!

Noon - I worked through lunch because George had a meeting, and I had the study room until 1pm. But again, sweet George brought me lunch! I would have just worked through it. I worked on the Type 5 study sheet for the Enneagram Studio E class and narrative panels. It was so good to review. I worked until the people came to claim their study room, but the one next to it was empty. So I reserved that one with George's email until 4:30 and kept on working. 

Afternoon - When the person came to claim their room at 4:30, I went for a walk at Dawson Creek. I had gotten an email at the end of my study time that somewhat unnerved me. I had an "out loud" conversation with God about it, and I thought the people leaving their work probably thought I was an insane person talking to myself. It was good to process.

Evening - George and I went through the traffic to get to PSU and our class with Dale. We processed the email that essentially said: "Have I done something to offend you because you looked at me so seriously?"  I appreciate not making the assumption that I was offended. But something similar to this has happened four out of the seven times we have been together where I get a "You did this or did not do this, and that hurt my feelings or are we ok?"  I am a people-pleaser and want everyone to know that they are loved, but I think this is the person's issue. I appreciate her wanting to clarify, but it has happened so many times that I am weary. Just weary. I know it is not the person's intention, but I am beginning to feel harassed. The message is, "YOU are doing something wrong, and you need to make me feel good about myself." That is death to my Type Two, and I know that is my false self.  

In this case, I knew that person had done nothing to offend me, and I had done nothing to give them that impression. I don't know if I can change how I look at a person.  (But the SHAME came popping up again - I am doing something wrong to make someone else feel uncomfortable, but I am powerless to change something I don't think I am doing.) George helped me process all of that. I feel compassion for someone who is even looking for how I looked at them and thinking I am unhappy with them. So, I finally responded, "We're fine. Nope, no problems here." Because there aren't any. I don't need to twist myself like a pretzel. I don't need a long dialogue. Maybe they just needed assurance. The other four times did not assure that person. I don't know if there is anything more that I can do. I need to let God speak truth to that person. I think a long dialogue would not be productive. 

I found a cheap parking place near our venue for the class, and we enjoyed 2 hours and 15 minutes of hearing about the Type 9. George is so sweet to go with me. I love Dale and my classmates in my cohort. This venue includes about 30 other people from the community too. I wish we could have gone to dinner with my cohort, but George got off work so late, and I treasure the time with him in the car on the way. We were quiet in the car for half of the ride back home, but I asked a question and George spoke from Salem to home and couldn't believe he went on and one. He is not a typical Type Nine though. He knows what he is feeling, but that is because he has grown so much in our 30 years together. So grateful for him. 

Late Evening - We tried to watch an episode of Sanditon, but I did not last very long and kept falling asleep. 

Regret - My original exasperation over the email. It is about me feeling like I cannot please people. It was me feeling shame for not measuring up to what that person thinks communicates harmony in a relationship. I am grateful for the walk to let me process all of that. I want that person to feel loved and accepted, but I cannot make that happen. I have done everything she has asked me to do, and I cannot do anything else. Give me the grace to relate the way you want me to relate, Lord. (I do appreciate her not making an assumption though. So that is good after my most recent difficult talk where someone made 31 years of assumptions.) 

An especially meaningful part of my day - The talks to and from Portland with George. They are always so deep and so meaningful to me. We have an authentic connection. What do you want me to know about that Lord? "This is a good match. I am so pleased." (It is what Tom said in our wedding ceremony. It is so true.)

I pray for the grace to see you in the next day, LORD! 

Amen. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Monday Freewrite FLYING

BE FREE!
FLY FREE!
BE FREE!
FLY FREE!

Yippee! I do think I have moved past the latest "turbulence"! 

Yesterday in Boise, in the early morning time with God, I had a moment. I heard the words from above, crisp as the cold and snowy morning I was observing from Debbie's window. 

THEN, eleven hours later, we hit major turbulence in our descent down through the clouds on the way back to Portland. I asked the flight attendant if that was common, and she said it was much worse on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Then she waxed philosophical, "But isn't that an analogy for life? Sometimes, we face major turbulence that tries to throw us off our intended destination, and we just need to keep on flying forward. It is just a little turbulence." 

I told her, "That is pretty much what I heard God say to me during my prayer time this morning."

It was a God moment. 

When I told George about this, he said, "You have continually had people say things that spoke truth unbeknownst to them of the turbulence you had just experienced." I think of Dania's card within a couple of hours of the turbulence that hit that contradicted. I think of running into a former Pilates student who told me how much she appreciated something about me that the turbulence maker had twisted into a negative. I kissed Sue's hand when she said it. God knew I needed to hear it. 

But all that said, I needed to hear God say it to me, not just people who knew me well. 

And I have heard him so many times. And guess what: I BELIEVE him. 

The Examen prayer that George and I did in the car on the way up to his work today brought more clarity to things for both of us. For him in his job situation, and me with this latest turbulence. I have things that I can work on, but I am flying straight through the turbulence to the ASCENT of the upward call. It would be silly for me to not continue flying for then I would crash. 

Not that I am perfect, but I PRESS ON (I fly forward) that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. One thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I PRESS ON (I fly free and forward) toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:12-13)

The SHAME clouds of my life are clearing, and it is a glorious day above. Reaching up I see and touch the finger of God from a house dug deeply into a firm foundation. 

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...