Thursday, April 30, 2020

Thursday Thirteen Freewrite

It has been sort of a blah morning. I even slept in. George says that this is a sure sign that I am coming down with something as I am usually up before dawn. I did wake up at about 4:30, but I told myself I needed more sleep and slept in until 6:50. 

Time in prayer was muted too. I think it must be allergies. I kept going for walks with George telling him how amazed I was that my allergies had not been bothering me this spring. I was thinking it was because I was not riding my bike the three miles to campus through a variety of pollen foes. I was thinking maybe in my neighborhood, the pollen that hits me is not here. So I continued to walk, and yesterday, it just hit me. I always think it is some kind of achy flu-like thing and then realize it is pollen. I am someone who feels REALLY good about 90 percent of the time. (I think I have not had a cold for over five years and maybe longer. I know I have never been sick from a cold from work at OSU, and I have worked there since 2015.) So, when I don't feel well, I wonder.

I am also winding down from my editing of Exercises for Everyone. This took me nine days of pretty heavy editing. I was going to "just" proofread for editing, but I ended up making some major changes (well I guess I knew I was going to majorly change the last two weeks of the Exercises) and adding some incredible links to Pray as You Go meditations and links to the Creighton University Online Retreat, and linking to that made me have to do some editing of some of their content that did not line up with the majority of people's beliefs who would be using my manual. So I learned how to edit MP3 files. Well, I did know how to do that about 10 years ago when I would painstakingly edit Thelma's lectures to fit our needs for the homeschool class I led. That would take me HOURS in Windows Movies Maker. Then I lost all my edited lectures in a hard drive drop on the floor. :(. It is a lot easier to edit now. 

All that to say is that editing was really edifying as I read through the manual and meditated on Scriptures in it as I went. So, now that is over. I am also not super wild about what I will be doing for prayer until the summer. I have the sequel to Moment by Moment called Finding God in Each Moment: The Practices of Discernment in Everyday Life. It is very informational, but it is not quite what I am looking for in prayer. So I am praying about the next step for me in prayer. I am planning on "Walking for the World" for my summer intercession. Last summer I went through Kenneth Boa's prayer book on Creeds and Psalms. Also, Dietrich Bonhoeffer inspired prayer book. Maybe a prayer through the Psalms or Proverbs? I will let God lead.

I am heading into two days of ZOOM, and I am not super jazzed about this. I would rather have been driving to Boise this morning with George through the Columbia Gorge. I think these every other month's trips to Boise were good for my mental health. I need to "get out of town" on a regular basis, and last summer during the break from Boise, we went to the coast for three nights in July. Now, we are staying in place because of COVID-19.

There is my thirteen-minute timer. I am going to go and correct Cognitive Learning Assignments now and prepare for my "SILENT PILATES" class. SHHHHH. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Sixteen Freewrite

Such a sweet sense of his presence right now. I started out my time at 5:45am with what I am praying through as follow up to the Exercises Finding God in Each Moment: The Practice of Discernment in Everyday Life. It was a nice prayer time. Now I am editing my book, Exercises for Everyone, and I am listening to two different Pray as You Go recordings of John 1:1-18, deciding between the two, which one would be good for using as a link in my book. 

I was just overwhelmed with his presence as I listened to the first. Now I am listening to the second and it continues. "Power to become children of God." 

It is really difficult to explain these times. They are the "apophatic" times, and I sensed it so often in my second time through the Exercises that continues to happen. 

More words from the second recording:
"The Word became flesh and lived among us." Our God is now, forever and always Emmanuel, God with us. Is there a time you can recall when you felt that closeness of God? If so, take a moment to re-live that experience.
How about right now? LOL! I love this. I wish I could bottle it and give it out for free. It is truly good to seek the Lord. It is so true that if we draw near to him, he always draws near to us (James). 

This book editing keeps me in his presence all day long! Yesterday was another one of those times. I was looking at the story of the Prodigal (both God and the Son), and I have the words to the Native Kingdom song "The Reckless Love of God." So, I decided to include a YouTube of the song, and I found this one by some artist (not Native Kingdom and don't remember his name), but he stops in the middle to read Luke 15 and explain about the reckless love of God from the same passage that is a meditation in my book. 

Another moment where I was just sent into a God moment. 

Little by little, God moments come closer and closer together. God knows the desire of that 19-year-old woman's heart. Right there, walking away from Gill Coliseum, going by the track (which is now the sports park) on the way toward Weatherford Hall. "I want a minute by minute (24/7/365) kind of sense of your presence with me, not affected by the "stuff" that people bring because of their stuff. 

Thank you, God, for your indescribable gift. I am so grateful for this morning. May I bring honor and glory to you today. 


P.S. I still don't know which recording I like better. I like them both. :) 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

16. The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)

I did this backward! Xfinity had a free week of HBO. So I watched this series. 

I loved the series. So I checked out the audiobook. It is an excellent narration with a full cast. It is a compelling story. I know many Christians say that it promotes atheism, but it is just a compelling fictional story. So I disagree. 

Also, the series follows the book really well! 

I had forgotten that I had it on my phone. Then I realized that it was due. So I blitzed through it with 11 minutes to spare before it was due! LOL! 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday Freewrite Fifteen - Examen Prayer

Grateful for . . . 
1) Walk - Going now a newer path and finding myself in one of my favorite fields that I usually do not go to in the winter because it is too mushy. It was perfect and green and lovely. It was a God moment, and I thought "Oh this is going to be my biggest blessing of the day!" It was just filled with an awareness of his presence.
2) Pilates in the sunshine - I changed my Pilates II class to outside on the deck at the very last minute. I loved it.
3) Amaryllis blooming right before my eyes!

Where did you notice where God has been?

Getting up - calm and not rushed. I meditated on the concept of awareness. Examen prayer has made me more aware!

Morning - Did a minor bit of editing of my Exercises for Everyone. Then I did attendance and correcting of papers because I kept putting it off. It was quick! So I got a book review in and more editing. Got ready for my classes and then taught my two class. One on the deck. I did a medium speed 50s, 60s, 70s class, and static stretching. The other was a relaxation slow class.

Midday - Lunch and walked in the sunshine, listening to my book that is due on Saturday.

Afternoon - Editing of Exercises for Everyone. Did an Examen on Taken, Blessed, Broken, Forgiven as I edited the Last Supper week. Made up a Facebook page for the PUMP party.

Evening - Ate early so I wouldn't overeat. I did better today, but I had a lot of chocolate. :( Continued to edit and watched the news and two shows. 

End of the Day - I was tired even though I was not done. That was good because if I am close to finishing something, I usually keep going. GROWTH! 

Regret - eating too much chocolate! 

Most meaningful - Experiencing his presence in the green field on my walk. 

Love for today - pray on the first day of Ramadan for friends around the world. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

15. Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life

I am going to post both my reviews since this is my second time through. One was just reading it through, and the update is after doing it. I liked it better DOING IT! 

Review from 2018:
I liked many of the questions that are posed during each of the 32 "moments," but some of them were very difficult to figure out what the authors were getting at in the questions. I felt like I needed a commentary from the authors to explain. 

I did like some of the "Suggestions" though. I was especially touched after the Incarnation exercise to have it suggested that I go to a public space and sit and watch people for 5 to 10 minutes to "gaze upon the people in reverence for our shared humanity in all its diversity." I did that in my doctor's office, and it was profound!  

I will definitely use some of the things from this book when I am directing people through the exercises, but I wouldn't use this as the primary text for people doing the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. The Exercises have a beautiful order to them, and I felt like many things in this book were taken so out of order that it just didn't flow as beautifully as the Exercises are meant to flow (like why am I looking at my Graced History in Moment 18 when most interpretations of the Exercises do it in the Preparation Days and First Week - it just seemed out of place and too late in the process). I feel like it doesn't emphasize Ignatian Contemplation which is a hallmark of the Exercises.

Update 2020: I did this in conjunction with doing my book because I had recommended this to someone looking for a shorter version of the Exercises, and I wanted to find something more suitable for someone I was leading through the Exercises that could not keep up with the time spent each day in prayer. While things are out of order, I do think there is a beauty to this book that was designed by the authors. I still agree that there is a not emphasis or guidance on Ignatian Contemplation. So the Scriptures were given (good ones) are merely read and not contemplated, which I see as the beauty that Ignatius has brought to our world. All that said, this book would be great for people who need exposure to the Exercises but would be too intimidated by the longer version. Each moment took about 45 minutes to pray through. I already have a dream of bringing a group through this in seven-weeks which would involve about 20 minutes of prayer a day. So, I think this book definitely has a place in the whole realm of possibilities for people who want to taste the Exercises. (Oh, and for Protestants, there is only one place so far Moments 19 and 24 where there is a suggestion to "pray to Mary.")

Thursday Freewrite

The moist heat full back heating pad I have been using for ten years quit working today. 

Let us pause for a moment of silence.

I do think it has a lifetime guarantee. So I must find the box it came in. I had it until recently. I hope I did not throw it away!

I have two classes today. On Tuesday, my internet went out two minutes before I was to start my class. Everything was set up. I had Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 1 all cued up on my phone and connected to my Bluetooth Bose speaker. I had my mat out and my computer on the floor. ACK! They could not hear me very well on my phone which I cannot quite figure out. Maybe it was still connected to my RayCon Earbuds? I don't know, but George got it going, and I started class 10 minutes late. 

I gave them too pretty hard classes. I did kneeling sidekicks with my advanced students. I also surveyed them for what equipment they have. I am sad because I love teaching Fitball/Stability Ball classes at least two times for Pilates one. Sometimes I do it three times. I also do Bender Balls one time for Pilates I and two times for Pilates 2. I have to get creative about what I will do with my students now since they are limited. I plan on teaching "Reformer on the Mat with my Pilates Two students, but the online continuing education course is not until May 22. So I will only have four classes after that to teach this class. BUMMER. I am thinking about having them do one of Michelle's classes for variety. I could give it to them through the share screen and Faculty Staff Fitness. SIGH. 

I am almost done with the editing of my Exercises for Everyone manual of the Spiritual Exercises. I wanted to go through the book on my own to see how it flowed, and I am making a major overhaul. I am on Passion week (Week 27). I decided to include links to Pray as You Go meditations if the Scriptures in the Exercises match the ones on their site. I downloaded them and put them in DropBox. That will be a nice alternative for them if they are doing meditation. 

This morning I did the meditation on the woman who touched Jesus' robe. I decided to add it to my manual because I want more of Jesus' interaction with women. It was pretty powerful.

So, I just want to say that I will be done with my certification for spiritual direction in only 8 days and 8 hours! I am excited to have this done. Also, the final draft of our Type 5 paper was sent out, and the Type 8 paper has been done for weeks. So, I have just the Type 5 and 8 panels and two more cohort meetings: Conducting a Typing Interview, Professional Applications.

It is great to have my CECs for Power Pilates all done through the online classes (or online with Marie). I wonder if I will be able to look back and reference them. That will be really important to me because the other online classes I have done give me unlimited access to look at them again for reference. That is the advantage of those over a live class with Marie. I love Marie though. I hope she is not hurt that I will do the class with the New York people instead of her. It would just be much easier and cheaper!

Today's agenda will be:

1) Attendance and correcting of early Cognitive Learning Assignments CHECK
2) Teach Rolling techniques and Disney day to Pilates I CHECK - changed to 50s,50s,70s, and static stretching instead.
3) Teach a MELLOW slow and flow class to Pilates II CHECK
5) Finish up editing for Weeks 27-33 for Exercises for Everyone
6) Take a cardio walk (maybe Glen Eden with George?)
7) Listen to audiobook due on Saturday at 2pm
8) Pray at sunset for the beginning of Ramadan

9) Do not overeat! (SNACKING in AFTERNOON NOT ALLOWED!) 
10) Pray about PUMP. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Freewrite

Note: For those of you who are new here, a FREEWRITE is writing that does not stop for a set time without worrying about punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc. I did it with my kids when they were growing up. Now I do it for me to just think through what is going on in my head and heart. It is also a creative outlet because I realize that I love to write. :) 

I used to have to set my timer on a webpage. It is so nice to tell my watch or Alexa to do it, and it obeys. Tee Hee. I am one of those people who sees that technology has its uses, but I don't have to be consumed by it. 

Oh, I started freewriting this morning because I had this presence of God kind of moments. I was just sitting at the dining room table after my silent morning walk, and I just sensed him so real and present and there. I love this. So I usually try to write about it, and who can describe the presence of God? Really. So, I am just enjoying this and writing.

I meditated in 1 Kings 19 this morning. Elijah in the cave after he had had enough of Jezebel (fearful, he ran - I don't blame him - I would probably do the same thing). So cool that it is the first verse in the new prayer journey I am on. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have finished my third 19th annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. It was so grand and wonderful. I don't know if I will ever be tired of reviewing my life story and meditating deeply in Jesus' life story! More and more freedom happens every-single-time. Praise be to God for his glorious and wonderful gift.

So, I had also done a parallel 18th annotation of the Exercises called Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life. I had purchased it on the recommendation of a friend about two years ago, and just glancing at it, it had some nice things about it, but it was not the "full-leaded" version of the Exercises. So I was not that impressed (except some of the questions were really good). But I thought it might be good for the woman I was doing the 18th annotation with. I decided to pray through it in parallel and ended up really liking it after all! (Except Moment 24 in the book - I am not Catholic.) So, I noticed the authors had written another prayer book called Finding God in Each Moment: The Practice of Discernment in Everyday Life. It will be a nice prayer book to go through to the end of spring. Great follow up, and today was about STILLNESS and 1 Kings 19. So cool because I had mentioned 1 Kings 19 in my talk on leadership with the HOME group women yesterday, and there it was this morning. God's trains are always on time and never miss their connections. I needed to pay attention. 

This was about Elijah and God not being in the wind, earthquake, or fire (all powerful symbols for God), but he was in the gentle stillness (sheer silence) and a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12). 

Ahhhhhhh. That is where he usually meets me. 

The grace prayed for is "to allow myself to be drawn into the quiet interior space and to bring that stillness to my relationships."

So, that is what I will do this week. Stillness in relationships. My application was to go for a stillness walk. No phone. No music playing or audiobooks. (My body was moving so I guess it was more about silence really.)  I will bring stillness into my relationship with Marge this morning as we finish up her 18th annotation of the Exercises today. I will bring stillness to my walk with Kim during lunch. 

Fifteen minutes fini.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wednesday Fifteen Freewrite

So far, I am loving today! :) It is 1:30pm, but it is never too late to start a Freewrite. 

SLEPT in until 6:45am! OH MY! It was so late for me, but that is because George and I finished Baptiste, a Masterpiece Mystery show that came out this week. We have PBS Passport. So we binged it over two nights. But we didn't stop there. When I read the reviews of it, I read on IMDB that this is the SECOND series with this same character. The first one is called The Missing. And we can watch it FREE on Amazon Primes. OH MY! So good. We stayed up late watching it, and I am not afraid to say so. I don't usually like murder mysteries (George watching them alone on his computer most times), but these are really good. I love the main character!

So, up at 6:45 to meditate on the final "Contemplation to Attain the Love of God" in the Ignatian Exercises. Oh, how I love this contemplation! I sort of breezed through the "Easter Week" contemplations on Easter Day having three times with God because 1) I can, 2) It was Sunday, and 3) I was trying to maintain my focus after struggling a bit on Friday/Saturday with the whole December 23rd thing. It came back for some weird reason. So it was so nice to spend time before Easter Sunrise, then on our deck in the bright sunshine, and then from 11-midnight on Sunday night. 

On Monday, I went through the next week because Pray as You Go has a whole retreat series on the Acts of the Apostles. It was SO GOOD! I went on a long walk and meditated and prayed through it. 

So yesterday I landed at the prep for the "Contemplation to Attain the Love of God," and today was the main thing. I will still linger longer in this, but so good to meditate and review all the graces I have received through this third time (five if you count the two 18th ones I did) through the Exercises. 

Then, we got our house ready for Valentina and Peter, and I know I don't NEED housecleaners anymore, but we are like family now. I just could never let them go. It is only once a month, but they have been part of our lives since 2006 or 2007! 

Then I went for a walk to the bank because I am out of cash. Meaghan called me about the leadership class I am teaching on Sunday, but I had to call her back. So we played tag, and I called Nancy in the process and Facetimed, and she finally realizes she really is an EXTROVERT! LOL! (I knew it all along.) She is very ready to be done with the quarantine, and I probably could go on indefinitely (68% Introvert here - even though no one believes it since ISFJs are the masters of relationships). 

Anywho, Nan gave me great insight and affirmation about where I am going with the leadership class. Then I had a nice talk with Meaghan. There will be 9 mostly thirty-somethings. It should be really good. I got insight. Then I worked on the class and am so liking how nicely it dovetails with what we will be discussing in the last Module of my Spiritual Direction Training and also my Enneagram class. Actually, we talked about me someday teaching more on the Enneagram to this group. 

Then, I worked on it by reading that great Ph.D. Thesis. 

Then George and went on a mammoth HIIT walk to Glen Eden and back. Our goal is four times this week. We are getting into such good shape. 

Now I will go back to preparing! I have three minutes left here. I also might just do a Pietra Fitness Exercise too.

All I have to say is that I feel like God was so good to give me a nervous breakdown when he did! I learned so much from it. It helped me navigate the "doing to being boundary." 


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tuesday Twelve Minute Freewrite

George is clamoring around in the kitchen right now. So I thought I would come into my little cave in my spiritual direction room to have some freewrite time. 

I am to the Suscipe (soo-chi-pay) of the Spiritual Exercises today:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.[2]
I am playing a song I found on YouTube for this. I cannot believe I am at the end of the third time through the 19th Annotation! I just love this. I thought this morning how nice it would be to rejoin the SEEL PDX next year as a director. Now that they have all come to appreciate doing Zoom. They might be open to me doing my direction from Corvallis and not require me to come up to Portland two times a month to meet with my directee. So I will dream.

I am at the end of my Boise Cohort. I will not miss the extra time involved in travel that has made my commitment twice as long as everyone else in the group. I do like the group, and hopefully, we can meet by Zoom in the future. 

I met with my directee for the Spiritual Exercises yesterday, and I was so encouraged by that person's growth. That person is seeing the benefit of spending regular time in prayer. It is life-changing. 

I also got to meet with Fran yesterday for the first time since early December! She is ready to meet again. I am so glad. I caught her up with my grieving process since December 23, and she was so wise and helpful for me. I am coping well. I am very grateful that I have helpers in my life to listen along the journey. 

She was really encouraging about this next season being one of creative output. I am really hoping for that. I know I finished writing the Exercises manual last year this time, but I would like to do a big rewrite. 

Today, I will introduce rolling with a tennis ball in the Pilates class and a faster-paced Latin rhythms routine. I do miss interacting with my students. It is so weird, but that is the nature of what we are doing these days. With this I am content. 

I am almost at my twelve minutes. Last night, we had the Type Two panel. I was hoping to be a full member of the panel, but it was just me "chiming" in. I was a little disappointed to not have a "full-voice," but it is no matter. I can handle a little disappointment. 

Off to face my day!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Morning Freewrite

Throughout the day, I try to keep myself in a mood which is marked by happiness and spiritual joy. As a result, anything in my environment -- the sun and warm weather or the white cover of snow, all the different beauties of nature and so on -- is used to reinforce the atmosphere of consolation...God's love shines down upon me like the light rays from the sun, or God's love is poured forth lavishly like a fountain spilling forth its waters into an unending stream. Just as I see the sun in its rays and the fountain in its waters, so God pours forth a sharing in divine life in all the gifts showered upon me. God's delight and joy is to be with the ones called God's children -- to be with me, God annot do enough to speak out and show love for me -- ever calling and inviting me to a fuller and better life, a sharing in divine life (Spiritual Exercises 229, 237)
He is risen! 
He is risen indeed! 

I woke up fairly early before the sunrise. It is a beautiful Easter Sunday, and there really is JOY in my heart. God's love is shining down upon me like the light rays from the sun. I plan on a walk when it gets a bit warmer. 

All the  Pray as You Go meditations are around the Coronavirus and the fact that people cannot go to church. I am fine with being at home with my family. They are those people on my yellow sticky note whose opinions matter to me, and they know me best. So, I am content and happy. I love being with them. We took a walk Good Friday evening, and it was so pleasant for all of us. I love going out and about, but I have loved the slower pace and no social obligations. We are saving a ton of money in gas too! We are not driving up to Portland every other week for our Enneagram panels (all by Zoom now with just my cohort of eight people). George is not driving back and forth to Hillsboro either from Corvallis or Newberg. We are not going to take the eight-hour drive through the Columbia Gorge to Boise on April 30. That is a lot of money saved there (although we were going to take George's hybrid car this time). 

I love the simplicity of life here and now. It has been lovely. I am never bored at home either. I am also losing weight. Some people would be staying home and eating, but I find I am better able to plan my meals and stick to not overeating. Going out for eating dates always packs on the pounds for me. 

So, there are so many blessings for me that have come from this Stay-at-Home mandate. I think George feels the same way. We made a goal of adding on a walk up to Glen Eden each week. So we are up to three times a week now. It is a 3 mile up and down hills kind of walk like HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). It is lovely. 

The only thing I don't really like is teaching Pilates remotely. I really miss my students and coworkers. It is just a very positive place to go every Tuesday and Thursday, and I love the ride into work, especially in the spring when the "gates of thanksgiving" are blooming with spring colors. So that is the only thing that has not worked very well for me. I have really small classes. I am also still trying to figure out how to deliver quality audio and do Pilates with props from home. FIRST WORLD PROBLEM though. My goodness!

I am also doing OK with the whole recovery from what happened to me in December. One of the questions in Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life today was, "What disappointments or hurts or failures are preventing me from moving on with my life? Would viewing them as a share in the death-resurrection of Jesus give me the freedom to entrust them to God?"  Last week's grace sought was "to experience sorrow and compassion for Jesus in his suffering," and my own sorrow helped me identify with him.  But now, I am living a resurrection life and will not allow this to prevent me from moving on. 

He is risen, and I have risen with him. Indeed. 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday Sixteen Freewrite

I don't want to spend my whole morning sitting. So I will spend this sweet sixteen minutes of freewriting and then go on a walk in the glorious sunshine. 

I feel like asking a group of friends to hike up to Chip Ross Park tomorrow. All of us can go on separate trails. We can meet at the top 6 feet apart and sing at sunrise. It would be glorious to have an impromptu Easter Sunrise Service. 

I did something risky earlier in the week. I sent a message to a member of a family. The head of the family does not particularly like me, but I have never had an issue with this person in the family. I heard no reply, and now I am sad. I had made such headway in my healing from the brutal attacks on my character on December 23, 2019, but this has set me back a bit. I have to say it has not affected my other relationships. I have grown in this desire to have "everyone like me." George says if it were just anyone, it would not affect me as much, and that is where I have grown because I truly wanted EVERYONE to like me when we were first married. Now, this is the next level of people in my life, and it hurts because the whole thing is so wrong. So unjust. So judgmental. Such an attack on who I am, not what I DID. A person who does not like the essence of who I am as a person is so hard on me. So, I took that risk, and maybe I should not have. Just as I question if I should have taken the risk on December 23. I would have preferred to be in ignorance than get the tongue lashing that I got that day. I had just gone through the years having no idea that the judgment bullets had been flying at me all those years. No attempt to clarify. Every intention and word judged and condemned. I walked into every shooting session with God's presence so real to me that I had just felt nothing but peace for years. I just was careful what I said so that I would not be slammed with snarky comments. It is scary when this is called "the high road" by the condemners.

That is why this week was so sweet to me. Jesus was condemned too. He forgave too. So, I follow his example. I forgive. I am sad though. I really feel like they would prefer I not exist. that is what is so sad. It was truly heart-wrenching to know that even people beyond the one person I had a pretty good idea did not like me, apparently do not like me either. 

Why is it so important for me to have people like me? The curse of the Type Two! 

All that said, I can put that away. I do not deny it. I do not repress it, but there is such JOY in my life in all other areas. I have been doing so well. I have been taking walks with George almost every single day. Last night, Michael came home, and Paul had the night off. So we took a sunset walk over Hospital Hill, laughing and talking and just loving each other. I love my harmonious family. :) I love George working from home.

I am also on a good eating rhythm. I have stuck to a plan for 11 days now! Once I am "in the groove," I can stay in it for a very long time. I feel so much better too! I have been eating lots of fruits and veggies and good protein. Staying away from a lot of high-fat stuff. I am not going to weigh myself until April 30. It will be good to get this "BROKEN LEG BAGGAGE" in my gut off! This is not me. It took me a long time to get it off (seven months), but I am getting there slowly but surely. YAY!

Well, there was sixteen minutes. BYE! 

14. Spiritual Direction: A Practical Introduction


This is my favorite of all the spiritual direction books that I read over the last two years. It is truly a "Practical Introduction" as the title says. She has so many links to websites that I have looked up and read. I like how she sees spiritual direction as an opportunity for outreach to all peoples. I do too. I don't necessarily agree with her about everything in her practice, but overall, I loved this book and will use it as a reference in the future. 

By the way, this was a reread.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

13. Jude, The Obscure


What an incredibly sad story! I cannot believe how sad. One thing after another. Grief upon grief. Maybe not the best thing to read in the middle of a global pandemic, but I found myself so engaged that at one particular scene toward the end of the audiobook, I cried out loud while on my walk, "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

I don't want to give away the plot, but it is about a man, Jude Fawley, who is a poor orphan raised by his aunt but has ambitions to be an educated man and go into the church. It is about that plan being thwarted by decisions that change his life trajectory. 

This is my fourth Hardy novel having read The Return of the Native, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and The Mayor of Casterbridge in the past. The guy can write, but they are all pretty sad. 

Here is what is said of Hardy's works:
Considered a Victorian realist, Hardy examines the social constraints on the lives of those living in Victorian England, and criticises those beliefs, especially those relating to marriage, education, and religion that limited people's lives and caused unhappiness. (
Yes, that is this novel in a nutshell. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Tuesday Twelve Freewrite

I have not done a freewrite for many days. So, I decided to do one! The person who first introduced me to Freewrites is Julie Bogart, creator of It is an online writing school. She is the bomb, and now she is being interviewed by people all over the country because everyone is having to homeschool their children, and she is an expert on the subject and has even written a book about homeschooling. So thank you to my friend, Julie Bogart, for teaching me about freewriting which is just setting a timer and writing (or typing) away without any thought about grammar or spelling. I did it with both my kids and they are excellent writers today. 

So, what is on my mind today. Well, the sun is coming up. So I am so glad that this is a shorter 12-minute freewrite because they are usually 15. I want to go and catch the sun. It is going to be a mostly sunny day today. I plan on going for walks. I do have two classes to teach today, but I spent about five hours already getting a nice YouTube playlist ready for them to review the fundamentals of the Pilates exercises that I taught in the first week of class. So I should be good to just give them the link when they come into the Zoom room and send them on their way to do their exercises. I made it 47 minutes, and I trust that they will be doing it in the 50 minutes they have for class. That 47 minutes includes the obnoxious ads that come on YouTube while you are watching. I remember when there were no advertisements on YouTube, but that is no matter. Actually, some of the ads are really interesting to me. Sometimes they are not. I was going to share the screen and have them do it off of my Zoom room, but my ads were about old lady skin products. I think they would rather see ads for them which are probably geared toward their interests. 

In the news, the world is seeing the global pandemic play itself out, but Jesus is King, and we are feeling the sorrow of the cross this Holy Week and the sorrow of the world's suffering because of this pandemic. It is timely that we would be meditating on Jesus' journey to the cross when others are so suffering. My heart. My heart. 

On the bright side of things, I love having George home. We take walks during one of his breaks and his lunchtime. We talk so much, and it is so much better than texting to be with him. I love being with him every night, and that has not happened for 7 years. So there is a silver lining for many things. It has also been so nice to see people who love deeply by making masks (our group has made over 1000) and helping hospital workers and first responders. I love that we are seeing this unity throughout the world. It is so heart-warming for me.

Today, I will make edits in my book, Exercises for Everyone. It is my manual for the Spiritual Exercises. If you want a copy, email me. It is free. 

I have one minute and ten seconds which is good because I need to go for a walk! So, since I don't have much left. I will say good-bye right now! 

Friday, April 03, 2020

Friday Freewrite

I am running my Pilates Playlist on YouTube right now to make sure it is 50 minutes long. So I am sticking close to my computer to watch how it goes. I love this lady's teaching. She just has some different breathing. 

I have worked so many more hours on this class than I ever have in the past, but I will have a full Pilates playlist at the end for use in future classes. I think that I might use this as a requirement for the students so that they get the technique down. 

There is another thing that I have liked about doing this class. I have learned a lot about how to publish online content, and that has been really educational for me, and I will use it in the future. 

Another good thing is that I have a new computer out of the bargain. My old computer camera died. I tried to use it for Zoom groups, and it would start out for the first 30 seconds or so, and then blip out, never to return again. The last time it really worked was probably back in January when I had a Zoom breakout room for my Russ Hudson Enneagram class. So, it was time. This camera and screen are much nicer. I really like the keyboard on it too. So it is a win-win. 

So all that to say is that the time I am spending today is allowing me to just check in my students one by one and then send them on their way to do their Pilates routine on their own with the YouTube playlist. So I think that will be really fine. I was going to try to do it with a shared screen on Zoom, but I find that once the recordings come out, it is all muffled. So I am just going to let them do it on their own. I will know that they did it because I attached a "secret" password at the end of the time.  Eventually, I will also have YouTube Videos of me doing an entire routine with music. I have to figure out how to do music with everything, but I need to read up on that. 

I am learning, and I love learning. I need to go for a walk. I have to get cardio in. The last term was all about regaining my strength, and I have that all back. Now, I need to step up the cardio. I was riding my bike 12 miles a week and walking on the off days from my class, and doing cardio weight training, but I still have not gotten the weight off that I gained during my broken leg. UGH. I got off about five, and then I slipped back out of going for it. So, I am determined to have more cardio and less eating! I am still not technically "overweight," but I am again at the top of my range, and I do not like that AT ALL! So, I am back in a groove for the last three days. It helps that we are not going out to eat on our dates because we cannot during the COVID-19 quarantine! So, that is another blessing in disguise. We are eating many healthy home-cooked meals now. 

I am going to do about two hours of ironing of face mask straps today. Then about two hours tomorrow and two on Sunday. I don't want to overdo it on my back. That should be reasonable. 

I am still enjoying the Spiritual Exercises. I meditated on Jesus before Pilate today. Jesus' Kingdom is not of this world, and I am so glad that I am a part of the Kingdom! YIPPEE!

I am reading Jude, the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. I am also rereading another spiritual direction book for the LAST module of my Spiritual Direction certification. I am sad I will not be able to go see Debbie this last time in Boise, but we will save money on gas and my commitment will only be two days instead of four days. I am glad I went to Boise. It was good for my relationship with Debbie, and it was good to get to know these great people from Iowa and Idaho! 

I am also saving money not going up to Portland for my Enneagram Cohort! And George is saving money not commuting between Corvallis and Hillsboro and Newberg and Hillsboro. That is good news. 

Dee is on her way to deliver my microphone pack for my class. I ordered one for myself because I will probably use it for my YouTube videos when I do the Spiritual Exercises online. I hope this one I get from her works. 

Well, I am going to go and do some cleaning up of papers, and then I will go on my walk. George is marinating London Broil. I cannot wait to go back to London soon! I love that town. 


Thursday, April 02, 2020

Thursday Freewrite

Spiritual Communion - The Bread of Life - John 6

Bread of Heaven - Live forever 

Now let’s reflect together on the meaning of the Eucharist with a verse from the hymn, Adoro Te Devote, written in the thirteenth century by the Dominican, St Thomas Aquinas, poetically translated by the Jesuit, Gerard Manley Hopkins.      

O thou our reminder
Of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us
For whom he died,
Lend this life to me then:
Feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness
Man was meant to find.

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 ...