Tuesday, June 30, 2020

IMAGINE: The Pause - Looking back and coming out of COVID lock down with Iona

Notes from "The Pause" 

You can do this exercise here:


COVID has helped us to slow down. Pausing to really think about it. It is a "liminal space" for global humanity. It fertile and space for new possibilities if we are willing to pay attention and not rush to the next thing. 

This saying comes to mind:

"Don't just do something, stand there"

Be intentional about not launching in the doing. What are the gifts latent in this space? God does not stand aloof and watches us in our "merry mess" who is intimately involved and laboring for good and the flourishing of life. 

Look back over the months and notice. 

How is God present to you here and now? Very. Right there with me. 

Ask for help in remembering the glimmers of life God has been weaving during this time of COVID-19. Trust what comes to your memory and not every minute detail. 

In your memory take yourself back to right before the lockdown impacted you. Where were you and what were you doing?

I had a wonderful dinner and a Downton Abbey movie with Nancy. I went out with Amy at Applebee's. Pilates with a great class of eager students. I love my job and face to face. The very last thing was a long walk with Kim in the south end of town. School had already stopped for the kids, but we talked and talked and walked and walked. Also had Renovare meeting at six feet apart in my living room. 

Initial Shift to these different times. What do you remember? What was going on in the shift?

Sister Joan canceled my first supervision meeting with the group. We realized we would have to do Enneagram Studio E and my final module with Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction by ZOOM. 

Wondering if Paul had COVID because there was the first patient, and he had cleaned the room. We could not find a thermometer or hand sanitizer or beans or toilet paper, but we were fine. I started looking at all the numbers and prayed for each country in Europe that week in the Seek God for the City app. Europe was getting it really bad at that point, especially Italy and San Marino. 

Chris died of COVID. :( One of the first people in Washington. 

Things that you found difficult or you had trouble with because of the lockdown?

The scramble to figure out how to teach Pilates by ZOOM. The learning curve was really high for me. The technology was challenging. I had done lots of ZOOM one on one and even a couple of group meetings (more Skype in the group though), and it was challenging for me to enjoy the preparation. 

What are the things that you have been missing or people and parts of life?

I really did not like teaching Pilates remotely. Half of the reason why I do it is getting on campus, seeing coworkers two times a week, and seeing my students two times a week. I love the interaction that I have with many of them as I am teaching. There are always some I bond with through conversations before and after. I miss my regulars who graduated, and I probably will not see them again. :( 

I like face-to-face spiritual direction meetings. 

Seeing Debbie for the last Boise Spiritual Direction module and what a gift it was to revitalize our friendship after not seeing each other very often. 

With that missing, maybe you have realized what you cherish and what is important to you. 

Being part of the larger Oregon State Unversity community vibe. I love the interaction with people I run into on campus, riding my bike there and back, seeing students, and moving with them in Pilates. Seeing them grow in technique. 

Small intimate gatherings over food and wine with low light and deep conversation with people. 

One on one with people

Spaces of Life opened up and more fertile during Covid-19?

Intimate lunchtime or evening walks with George. More time to talk together. 

Broader things opened up.

Saving lots of time commuting up and back to Portland for the rest of Studio E and going back and forth to Boise one more time. 

Love more time at home just being cozy at my home. I love my home. 

More time with Paul. 

Seeing Italy and the singing and the lauding of first responders. 

Seeing "Some Good News" with John K. 

Also, meeting CP and HB and the possibility of doing more Spiritual Direction online than I ever realized. Reaching a wider group of people. 

What might God want to draw your attention to?

Family is first on my priorities. My marriage is a first priority, and this is an amazing answer to prayer that we prayed to be together after seven years of him living up in Newberg/Hillsboro during the week. The timing was perfect for him to take care of his aunt in her last days and to be with his mom, but that time is over. We feel called to be back together every evening, and we don't want to go back to the way it was before COVID-19. 

It was also confirmation that we were at the end of our missional community time after a year of a being together that was really good. God is revealing we love one on one and smaller group time. 

If you could take one thing from COVID that would expand your life and the life of the world, what would it be?

Being with George full time again. 

Life of the world? More prayer for the whole world. It was really great to pray for each country during this time. I have been doing it since my teens, but it took on even deeper meaning to have us all in this fight together. 

What might you need to ask for to help you to foster or collaborate with that?

Ask for George to be given the freedom to telecommute after COVID-19 is over. 

I give thanks for remembering all the GOOD things that have happened as a result of COVID. 

2020 Running Reading List

I am going to just keep reposting this for a running list of the books I have read this year.

1. Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
2. A Gentleman in Moscow
3.. Slaughterhouse-Five
4. Dombey and Son
5. Chronically Hurtful People: How to Identify and Deal with the Difficult, Destructive and Disconnected
6. Cat's Eye
7. The Guns of August 
8. Interior Castle 
9. The Guermantes Way
10. Enneagram Transformations 
11. I'm From Earth? How Understanding Third Culture Kids Can Connect a Divided World
12. The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith
13. Jude, the Obscure
14. Spiritual Direction: A Practical Introduction
15. Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life
16. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)
17. Pigs Have Wings
18. Diary of a Country Priest 
19. Silence 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Prayer Walk Freewrite

This is my second day of using the Pray As You Go Guided Prayer Walk that just came out yesterday. It was lovely. :) 

Here is the link: https://pray-as-you-go.org/player/prayer%20tools/2827

I do it on their app, and I downloaded it because I am in the high desert, and I lost connection with the internet while I was walking yesterday. 

I walked down to Pringle Falls on the Deschutes River and around the loop in Wild River. 

Now there are reflection questions that they encourage you to journal about. So, I thought I would do it here:

(Just got waylaid because of this Tribute for my basketball coach. More connecting for me. That is what people call on me to do. Every. Single. Day. But I digress.)

What natural objects, plants, animals, weather, and physical features caught your attention?

What didn't capture my attention? I loved the trees reaching up toward a sky doted with clouds, the brisk morning air against my bare legs, the rushing of the water through Pringle Falls and the sound it made crashing along, the rocks, the unusual wood that is different from the valley I live in. 

What feelings, thoughts, memories did they stir up in you in response? 

Freedom. Every single thing about nature tells me that I have freedom. I am not bound by the chaos of the times. This is my Father's world, and out of the chaos he brings peace and order and freedom. 

What might God have been speaking to you through these?

That I can free from the chaos of other people's lack of inner peace and freedom. That I am not bound by it. I can be "careless in the care of God" (Matthew 6 in The Message version). I can fly free and unfettered. Not held down by another person's perceptions of me. I am not bound. I am free. I am free to believe in my heart despite the persecution that is occurring in our country today. Thought police are everywhere. I will not let people who are not free chain me down. He spoke really specifically about something that happened to me. I was right to find out the truth about a person. They showed me who they truly were. My heart breaks. I prayed for their soul. I am free from them. I feel like my emotional eating lately has been related to this being stirred up in me while in the Mental Health Coaching classes. I keep hearing him tell me to let it go for good. I am not bound or fettered by their opinion of me. I continue to go back to what He told me the first day George and I prayed about this situation. So, it was good to talk to God more about it since it was stirred up when I thought it was worked through. 

How did your walk reflect the way you relate to yourself, the world. God? 

I want to "walk in a relaxed manner" (like the book of the same name - I should reread that thing). I do when I am with God. I am careless in his care. I want to relate to the world with kindness not with chaos. Peace in my own soul before I engage with the lack of peace I see everywhere around me. 

Were you keen to get to the end? 

No, I could have gone on, but there is limited trails in this little development. So, I was right back at the cabin after walking to the length of all of them and the circle in the development.

Did you have a goal in mind? 

My only goal was to connect with God, appreciate the beauty of his world, hear his voice, and have a dialogue with him. 

Did you find yourself wandering aimlessly?

Not really. I did have a purpose to get to the other side of the river and to enjoy its beauty from that side rather than just one side. I went to the end of the trail. I suppose if it had continued, I would have continued to wander. I have no place I have to be today. 

Did you find yourself playful?

Yes, at one point, I did feel like skipping. I think I need to relearn skipping. I did some stretching on the bridge, and that was invigorating. 

Were you engaging your sense of touch, taste, and hearing or 
remaining at a slight distance by just watching and thinking?

I engaged them all. I loved it. The faint pine smell is something I do not have in Corvallis. 

What was God like?

"Indeed he is not far from each one of us...'In him we live and move and have our being.'" I believe this with all my heart. He was not just "with me" but "in me" during my walk. 

 How did God experience the walk with you? 

I believe he delights anytime someone wants to come to him and connect with him. He was delighted to take a walk with me. 

Did you discover sense of healing or wisdom for you on the walk? 

Yes, there was a question whether the phone call I made in December was wise, and I felt very distinctly that it really was. It was helpful to know so I can move on from here without a vague notion. Now I know. I know better. I do better. So he gave me wisdom about all of that on the walk. It was a benchmark moment. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Abbey Day of Prayer

I feel like it is Monday morning, but it is really Wednesday morning. George had one more day to take off for June. (Mandated five days by his company.) Four of them are/were for our two extended weekend getaways. So we decided to take the fifth one to go to the beautiful and serene Mount Angel Abbey.

This is my "Serene Bean" husband spending time with God overlooking the valley floor. 

I have brought all the "My Lord and Me" Journals since 2014, but I only looked over the last full day of prayer on December  31, where I evaluated the entire year. I was still a bit blown over by the tongue lashing I got on December 23, but I looked at my evaluation of the year, and it was lovely overall other than that particular thing (and my son being suddenly laid off from his career job). And yesterday's day of prayer was a continuation of the peace and presence of God. It was lovely. 

I "considered the lilies" as I looked at the beautiful splashes of color everywhere at the Abbey. I have gone there in all seasons, but I forgot how nice June is in terms of the flowers blooming. Because of Covid-19, we were not supposed to walk on any of the trails and to stick to the Stations of the Cross and the top Abbey grounds. So I did not get to see all the beautiful flowers at the lower trail ring. Next time. I wanted to honor their rules. It was lovely to just sit and ponder the peaceful setting. 

Then the wood chipper went roaring. I could handle the chain saw when we first got there because the tree they were pruning was around the corner near the residence hall for the monks, but the wood chipper was right near us in all its loudness! I thought what an analogy of the world today. It is roaring and loud and overwhelming. I wrote:

 Lord, my heart has to calm down a bit. The turmoil is like the roar of that wood chipper in the background. It was starting to grate on my nerves. Now, it just wound down and drove away. . . Lord, our world is in turmoil right now. Yet you say, "'Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while'...They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves" (Mk 6:31-32). You are so good. With you, there is peace, God.

 Yes. Yet, my tree has been pruned through the uproar in our world these past weeks (and months, really). I tried to be a peacemaker on Facebook and to hear both sides of the issue for my opposing friends. But then I think it was time for the chain saw and chipper to drive away in my life. It was good to be in the quiet. 

God and I talked about the year, and how we are moving along in many ways, except one. That was a subject of much prayer and listening that has continued into this morning as my meditation in Finding Christ in the World: A Twelve Week Retreat in Everyday Life was in the Lord's Prayer and the admonition by Jesus to "keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking." The dialogue will continue because I want to grow in this one area, but "not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit" (Zech 4:6). I think I have "worked on it" by my will and discipline, but I want it in partnership with him because that is only when a lasting change will happen. 

God also allowed me to dream a bit about the future. Doing this website has pushed me to really think through many things about what I really want. That is so Ignatian too! God is constantly asking me "What do you really want?" I want to grow from the inside out and companion others on that journey from the inside out. Contemplatives in Action. Set the world on fire. I said, "Let's do this together. I am passionate about giving all away, Lord." That is primarily all the things that I have developed over the years. Just on Monday, I had a life coach email me for a guide on how to spend a day of prayer because one of their clients was asking how to do it. I have that! I get asked all the time for things like this. That is what I mean by "giving it all away." I want to share the abundance of resources I have gathered. 

Further, in prayer, I asked more of what God wanted me to know. Philippians 3:13-14 came into the picture: 

Forget what lies behind.
Reach forward to what lies ahead.
Press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus. 

With forget, I immediately thought of being blasted in December. All my older women counsel (Cammie, Carol, Joan, and Fran) asked:

  • Why did you call in the first place?
  • Why did you listen to 2 1/2 hours of false accusations?
  • Why would you pick up poison ever again? (Cammie specifically asked me, "If you had poison on the counter, would you drink it every day?" Why no, Cammie!) 
Joan especially gave me some good tips about forgetting on March 2. So I am reminded to let my mind dwell on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute (Phil 4:8). They were mostly projections as my Mental Health Certification classes have reminded me. Empaths should steer clear. It breaks my heart to do that because I long for a connection, even with that person.

So, when someone tells you, you are a useless piece of nothing. Not worthy and "high" enough spiritually to associate with them. It is easy to stop and think, "I cannot reach forward. I cannot press on. I am worthless." But the voice of truth tells me a different story. I am a beloved child of God. I am a loved sinner. I am chosen for a purpose. 

So I reach forward. Forgetting what lies behind. 

Reaching forward without fear. 

I did feel sad yesterday. Sad for the sides. I feel like Switzerland. Sad for people who think you are not spiritual enough if you don't protest or do protest. RUBBISH. I'm just going to be me and 


That was another big theme of yesterday (Col 3).  Seek the kingdom. 

After this, I read a chapter called "The Universal Presence" from The Pursuit of God by Tozer. Such food for my soul. PRESENCE was my word for 2019, and I think it is for 2020. I think seeking his presence is so key for me (for all of us) to living life in an incarnational way. George and I talked about that in the middle of our time of prayer. I am going to reread this book this week at the cabin. 

Then, I went to midday prayer with the monks of the Abbey. I know mass is closed to the public, but this was open, and it was lovely. They sang through Psalm 71 and 126. So I meditated on this afterward. 

When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion,
We were like those who dream.  (Ps 126:1)

George and I talked later about a return to the Malay world. that would be so lovely. We are praying. 
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. 
He who goes to and fro seeking, carrying his bag of seed,  
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, 
bringing his sheaves with him. (Ps 126:6)

We had a lovely day until it got very hot at about 1:30 pm (and the bench I was sitting on was starting to rotate my pelvis). So we thought it might be cooler at Minto Brown Park. We walked and prayed, but it was 90 degrees there and, unlike Mt. Angel, no breeze. So, we decided to finish our day of prayer at home in the air conditioning after stopping by the Grain Station in Monmouth for a very late lunch. George got into a talk with the recently graduated quarterback for Western Oregon University. 

I am still praying about doing a "light" training with Simple Steps, Inner Life Growth, and tips on Cross-Cultural Communication.

God gave me this summer for REST - REFLECTION - RESTORING and going deeper with him. He said, "Let's walk together." I think I have been doing too much "scanning" lately. Looking for approval in some new groups I have joined. Wanting to be "let in" so I feel like I belong when I already belong. God is calling me to my Type Four Healthy Inner Room for a while! 

To conclude my time, God said in the gist, "It is all going to come together. Be free. I'll bring it all to you." 

So I am reaching forward and pressing on. Flying free "careless in the care of God." 


Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday Freewrite

I am not sure I particularly like the "new blogger" because I don't see how I am to embed things. It will change in 10 days, but I am going to use the old one until the last minute.

It has been an eventful week. Other than a little blip that I handled with honesty, integrity, and love. I have had incredibly deep and meaningful conversations, even a face to face one yesterday. 

I really liked my Zoom with the Jesuits in Britain where the leader had us look at the other 70+ participants for a full two minutes before we continued with our time. It helped me to bond with the mostly British crowd. My small group had a man from the Orkney Islands, a man from Wiltshire, and a woman from Nottingham. We introduced ourselves and then we went to meditation. There were hardly any men, and we got two of them in our group. I liked that. The meditation was of us overlooking the city. It was so nice.

This morning, I had a nice prayer walk. It is going to be warm and wonderful today, and I plan on going on a hike/walk with Maddy before the day is done. 

Yesterday's face to face time was with Stacy who just recently moved back here from Anaheim. They will be here for about six months. They are a family in transition, but they seem to be doing really well. 

I realized she is a seven-minute walk away from Mindy's house. So I gave them each other's addresses, and I hope they see each other. 

Dania got a job in Albany, and she is living in Philomath. I am excited for her. Hope to see her. 

I am reading Silence by Endo. It is a classic, and I have not read a physical book in so long, I don't know what to do with myself! So far I really like it. It is about Jesuits in Japan. So, of course, I would love that. 

The weird thing this week was that I felt unwelcome by someone in a new group that I joined. When I took it out of the group chat, he blasted me about an innocent mistake. I think there is something else going on there. it was resolved. I think he has his own journey to go on. He is part of the old-guard, and I don't know how open he is to others coming into his orbit. He knows me, but there is something there that maybe doesn't have anything to do with me. I am going to let it go. Something he can take up with his spiritual director.

On a good note, my website is being built, and Tessa sent me the "mock-up" of the homepage, and I really like it. She heard my cry at the beginning of last week to use my pictures. It is so ME. So, I am glad she heard me.

Customers need to be happy.

On a fun note, I really like Finding Christ in the World, the 18th annotation written by Tetlow. I should have signed up to facilitate a small group though because I did it too late. So now they cannot seem to find people to fit my time. Most are east coasters who want to do it at night. They aren't very organized. I just have to trust that God knows best in me not pressing the "I will facilitate" button. I need a rest probably, and I think I need more face-to-face time than I need distance learning again. 

A summer of silence? Maybe? I was supposed to direct Heidi through the Exercises this summer, but she had to drop out because of a lay-off. I want to accept this.

Lord, what do you have for me to do? Photos. Writing. Organizing. I must do a Self Pres Sixty today. 

I could go back to bed. I really don't know why I am so tired. I got woken up by what I thought was a knock on our door, but I think it was part of my dream. 

I read an article about "expressive writing." I have done this for years! LOL! 

The time is up! 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday Morning Freewrite

It is 6:38 am, and I decided to move my Corvallis intercession time on Sundays to 8:30 instead of 6:30. I SO ENJOY my morning times with God, and I even though I was up by 5:20. I just love a long and leisurely morning for our personal time together. Not that intercession for Corvallis cannot be personal, but I felt like we were cutting off the good conversation to get on to the next thing, and I knew 8:30 would be better. Sometimes, I will be sitting in church (and actually praying from the pulpit at the morning service at about this time) or taking a morning walk before going to one of the later services at church. It is just a better time, and sometimes, I will even be walking the six miles to church, and I can prayer walk while I am on my way. So it is a better time. I might even change all the other times to a later time because I like to go for a morning walk when it gets a little warmer, but maybe 6:30 will be GREAT once the days get a little warmer. 


Today's meditation is another repetition of Jeremiah 29:11-13. 

"I know the plans I have in mind for you, Carol."

Sit and soak in that phrase right now. 

What a lovely first week in Finding Christ in the World by Tetlow. It is a spendy book (especially when you include shipping), but I have thoroughly enjoyed its simplicity. Tetlow knows his stuff and his God. So blessed to discover this new way to enjoy God. 

What I am even more overjoyed about is 1000 people from 40 different countries going through this book this summer! WOW! I feel like I am part of a global phenomenon of LOVE. 

By the way, I am looking out over Proposal Rock at Neskowin right now.  After three months of staying in the city limits of Corvallis and only going out for essentials (and walking in the neighborhood), we are having a family GETAWAY! George was required to take five days off from work. So this is two days of his off time and two days of the weekend. We are staying at a place we stayed at 1 1/2 years ago, but even though we had rented it for two nights, we only stayed one because my back went out, and I had to go to the doctor before we could go. So, we vowed to return because I do believe it is our favorite place to stay on the coast. Michael and Paul have their own beds and a separate room, and George and I have our own bathroom and bedroom. Then there is a separate common area and kitchen so I do not have to tiptoe around in my early morning time with God (and chai tea making). I am sitting in front of the big sliding glass door and looking right at Proposal Rock. It is going to be SUNNY today. So we plan on a hike where there is an observation deck at the top. I cannot remember what the name of it is, but it overlooks rivers and the ocean. It is a spectacular view on the Oregon Coast. We played the Dr. Seuss Trivia Game on Friday night and watched The Fellowship of the Ring last night together. It has been soul-nourishing family time. 

While we want to take the boys on their graduation present trip to France, we cannot do that until COVID-19 abates. So we are in Oregon and loving it. Unafraid of COVID-19.  I am looking at videos and pictures of our trip to France two years ago. It makes me want to go back with them. They are such appreciators of good art that I think this would be such a great trip for them. We would have to go at a slower pace though. George and I are used to going and seeing so much in a day. 

Well, I am going to get dressed and go for a walk on the beach. SUCH a perfect day to play.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Foundation of the Ignatian Exercises

The human person is created
to praise,
and serve God our Lord,
and by so doing save his or her soul;
and it is for the human person that
the other things on the face of the earth are created,
as helps to the pursuit of this end.

It follows from this that the person has to use these things
in so far as they help toward this end,
and to be free of them
in so far as they stand in the way of it.

To attain this, we need to make ourselves indifferent
toward all created things,
provided the matter is subject to our free choice
and there is no prohibition.

Thus, for our part we should not want health more than sickness,
wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace,
a long life more than a short one--
and so with everything else;
and choosing
only what leads more to the end for which we are created. (Michael Ivans translation) 

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Tuesday Turmoil Freewrite

I am really sad today.

The good news: I am not sad about the thing I had to work through from December-April. The tongue lashing I got is a distant memory. I did not shy away from working through all of that. I learned so much through the process. Positive reframing now, but it was after experiencing the pain of hurt and loss. I did not shy away, but I prayed toward peace. I have it now. Peace and perspective. 

Now, I am developing this website. I have someone helping me. It was my first free day, and it was her first day to work on it. She sent me possible pictures, and I thought, "Uh oh. She doesn't get me, at all." She is more working with people who want to sell their "brand." I don't want to sell anything. I just want to have a central location to house things that will help people grow and tell them about opportunities I have for them to grow (spiritual direction, Spiritual Exercises, body stuff like Pilates and personal training, self-awareness tools to help grow closer to God and others). The pictures she sent me were more like an advertisement for a home or a spread in Better Homes and Garden. 

I was so disappointed. 

My friend said, "You have such great photos. Why doesn't she just use yours?" 

I don't fit the color palette or the psychology of color or something like that. I did write to her and communicated my sadness. It was a well-crafted letter. I think I always fear rejection after things like this, but it is better than being frustrated or caving to her vision rather than mine. She is millennial and "cool." So her colors are cool and trendy. Mine are older and woodsy. 

I am sad. 

I think, too, this designer's rant with profanity on her business page also really made me question whether she is the right fit for me. I think we have freedom of speech, but it is her business page. Do you really want me to see that? I cannot find it now, and it makes me wonder if others found it offensive. I just left the page. It hurt my spirit. 

I have had to do a lot of "snoozing" of people. I think I have already mentioned that in my posts recently. I don't want this to be a Democrat/Republican thing. I believe that Black Lives DO MATTER. I have given this week to causes that lift people out of poverty (Woodson Center) rather than enrich the people administering the programs to help the poor.

 My heart breaks for George, and his devastated family and his poor child who has to live without a dad and the way he died. My heart also goes for that poor retired policeman who was shot dead outside the store he was trying to protect, or that older black woman who said, "Black lives don't matter to you. You burned down my business," or my friends' son who lost his eye to a rubber bullet from Minneapolis Police when he was in a peaceful and unprovoking demonstration. My heart breaks for my friend who called me terrified when rioters surrounded her house at 11:30 pm. It comes from all sides and angles. It is a LOSE-LOSE proposition. 

We all have things to learn. We all play our part. It just hurts my heart to read a profanity-laced rant. 

My heart breaks for the hate. 

My heart breaks for the rants that divide rather than unite. 

I am at a crossroads of time. I was so looking forward to crossing the finish line of Pilates OSU, Enneagram Portland Certification, Sustainable Faith Certification. The First Exercises with SEEL Portland. No more  "required" Zooms. 

But yesterday, I was confronted with a day of rest, and I was sad. I had cleared the week for this website development and now I wonder if I have the courage to work with someone I am not sure is the right fit for me. 

I fear. 

(15 minutes are up.) 

Monday, June 08, 2020

Monday Freeeeeeeeeeeewrite

Fifteen minutes and counting. 

FREEDOM! I had my last big Zoom meeting last night. I keep saying that I am done. I was done with Pilates on Thursday, Enneagram Certification on Friday, now I am done with The First Spiritual Exercises, "Inner Peace in Darkness and Light" last night at 8:35pm. 

WOOHOO! The only thing that is holding me back from total freedom is submitting my grades, which for some reason, I am unable to do. My grade submission worksheet is NOT on my OSU webpage. I have asked my activity area leader, and she has asked my boss. I have also contacted the Registrars Office. 

So strange.

Well, that will take me five minutes to complete once I am able. 

So, I really am done. January to June was pretty busy. July 18 to January was pretty slow for me because of my broken leg and not teaching in the summer, but now I am on my feet. I plan on walking a lot this summer. I want to get this weight off! I still have about 10 lbs that I gained from all the inactivity and yummy meals. I know, it was almost a year ago, but I think I am finally 100 percent back to the activity. 

Part of my activity this summer will be from what I sensed from God yesterday: Lay down prayer pavement (in purple - but I don't tell people that because they don't understand how much God speaks to me in alliterations :) ) So I have my Windows 10 map, and I am drawing all the prayer pavement laid down over the summer. I alerted others, and I am asking them to tell me when they prayer walk or bike the streets of our great town. 

So lots of walking and praying and listening to Atlas Shrugged because I honestly think it will take me all summer to read this book! LOL! I am 21 days in and only 20 percent into the book. 

So today holds 
1) Working with Bella Maven to get my website up and running
2) Walking or riding my bike 
3) Doing strength and flexibility training of some kind (Pilates, Pietra Fitness, or The Firm) 
4) Self-Preservation Sixty - some area of the house that needs my attention after months of writing and reading and studying. 

That is it for just today. I am so glad to be done with all my obligations. I invested a lot of time and money over the last 2 1/2 years toward certifications (or recertification in Pilates and Personal Training) and writing my Spiritual Exercises guides for the 18th and 19th Annotations. So I am ready to share those things I learned with others on a wider scale. But, it has to be what he opens up for me. 

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Saturday-Sunday Freewrite

Love will never fails.

I love this song. I am listening to Porter's Gate Neighbor Songs, and it is so perfect for this week of turmoil in our nation. So many have died.

I started this yesterday but I never finished it so I will do this now. 

I am wanting to do an Examen Prayer from my Saturday. 

I woke up WAY too early. I cannot remember why. Was I hot? So I embraced it. I even watched some episodes of Suits and then got to my time with God. 

It was the "Healing Examen" from The First Spiritual Exercises: Four Guided Retreats. I reviewed the last month looking for times where
  • I was blind, deaf, dumb, or living a half-life, and where I have blinded or stolen the voice of another.  
  • I was paralyzed by illness, a life situation, sinfulness, or fear, and where I have paralyzed another.
  • I was tormented by demons, hurting myself, and where I have demonized another.
  • I am dead, drained, grieving, or entombed, and where I have taken life from another. 
It ended with a resolution to seek healing through the path of adjusting lifestyle, seeing a counselor or spiritual director, bringing wounds to Jesus in prayer, take any needed healing action for myself or others I may have hurt. The last suggestion was one small act of healing in the next month. 

This was lovely. I went for a walk because the sun was out. 

One of my "in the future" for applying the Enneagram to myself and my practice of Spiritual Direction was to write inner work journals for each type. So I did that yesterday. 

Then, George asked to go for a walk, but I said let's wait and ride our bikes to the Corvalis High School Graduation Parade. So we rode our bikes and cheered on the graduates, including Kay! We knew a lot of the people in the parade. The cherry on top was running into Katherine, and we were with her for about an hour at the parade. Also, John patched in from Kosovo! That was so life-giving. 

Then I came back and fine-tuned the inner work journals and watched some more Suits. 

Then, we went to the Crescent Valley Graduation Parade. That one was easy because it was at the end of our block. I Facebook lived the event. 

Then I came back and did some work on the journals. I fell asleep by 7:30 because I woke up so early.

What was life-giving: Cheering on the graduates and going through the questions in The Wisdom of the Enneagram. I have always wanted to get back to those after I read the book. Now I made these journals. Next, I will do the exercises for my type. 

What was deadening? Nothing yesterday, but I will say that I woke up this morning to yet another person pontificating about their position. Only this time, it was on a business website, and it was laced with profanity, and I thought that just was not very professional. So I left that person's business group. I didn't really fit on the page anyway. So, I don't think it is a big deal. I realize that if something hurts my soul or is deadening to my soul, I need to just walk away from it. 

Well, there you go. Perfect timing. Freewrite fifteen minutes is over. 

Now on to pray for my beloved Corvallis.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Lauren Daigle - "Come Alive (Dry Bones) (Live at the CentricWorship Retr...

Verse 1
Through the eyes of man it seems there’s so much we have lost
As we look down the road where all the prodigals have walked
And one by one the enemy has whispered lies and led them off as slaves

Verse 2
But I know that You are God, Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come that we may not yet see
So with the faith You’ve given us we step into the valley unafraid

We call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts, come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones come alive

Verse 3
God of endless mercy, God of unrelenting love
Rescue every daughter bring us back the wayward sons
And by Your spirit breathe upon them show the world that You alone can save
You alone can save

So breathe, oh breath of God
Now breathe, oh breath of God
Breathe, oh breath of God
Now breathe

Copyright © 2014 CentricSongs (SESAC) See You At The Pub (SESAC) (adm. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com)

Friday, June 05, 2020

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

I love the alliteration of Friday Freewrite Fifteen. :) 

I woke up at about 4:50 am and made some Chai tea. I usually don't freewrite until after my time with God, but I thought I would reflect today. 

I made a time zone mistake and did not make it to the ESDA Webinar until it was almost 50 minutes underway. By then, someone was talking from a PowerPoint, and it was mostly things I was not really interested in. So, George had wanted to take me out for dinner. I was supposed to be in this seminar during dinner, but it was now an hour earlier than I had thought. (I even had it in my calendar at 4 pm, but for some reason, I got up yesterday morning thinking it was 5 pm. UGH! I should have looked at my calendar again.). So, George took me out for a Celebration of the End of the School Year! We went to the Spaghetti Factory, and I really liked what I got. We don't usually go there for Italian food, but it was so nice to sit at the window along the river. Afterward, we walked a mile along the Willamette River through Riverfront Park and to the Mary's River confluence. The weather was perfect. Downtown was nearly deserted. Even though people can go into businesses, I think they are still quite hesitant. I don't blame most people because we have quite a few people in the over 65 demographic. 

It is nice to be done with Pilates for the year. I got a lot of good feedback from my students at the end. That was nice. It was a challenge to teach to a screen. Most of why I love teaching is the interaction with the students. It is so fun. 

So other than submitting grades (which has not opened up yet which is very late), I am done for the year. I am not going to set up my new Canvas pages for next year because I did that last summer, and it was a waste of time because I broke my leg and ended up not teaching. Since things with COVID-19 are still so fluid, I would rather wait and see. I do not want to teach remotely again. I will just work out on my own and wait until the university opens up. At this point, it will open up for me because my classroom is huge, and I don't even need to limit the size. I can easily fit 30 at 6 feet apart. I might need to use a microphone though. 

Today, I finish up my Enneagram Portland Certification. It has been a good 9 months, and I learned quite a bit. I feel like it is much more extensive than going to a seminar for four days and not doing anything beyond that. It is silly that the International Enneagram Association would certify someone with so little training. There is one training I was considering doing on top of the one I am doing now, and it is so limiting in what it teaches. It is that instructors bent on it that is not comprehensive in the least, but this certifies someone to teach it? YIKES! 

I am so excited to be done though. It was a lot of work, but I think that I learned quite a bit, and now I want to write Enneagram Inner Work Journals for each type. HAHAHAHA. More writing! For now, I will just stick to the summer projects that I have set aside. 

Well, that was fifteen. Now on to prayer. 

Thursday, June 04, 2020

The First Exercises Freewrite - "Inner Peace in Darkness and Light" Week Three

I have been doing this with a group of 12 other people through the SEEL Portland Group. The book contains four 25 days prayer retreats. This one has lasted from May 17-June 7. We have daily prayer Monday-Thursday, a different kind of Examen, Saturday, and some kind of Sunday service. 

Week Three is about asking for the grace to direct my whole self to the service of Jesus the healer and desiring to be raised to life. 

Today, we have three healing stories for prayer: Jairus' daughter, the widow's son, and Lazarus. I read the texts and then decide on one to put myself in the scene. 

I chose Lazarus (Jn 11) and listening to "The Tomb" by Pray as You Go and Sacred Space

"I am the resurrection and life. Those who believe in me, even though they die will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

I put myself in Mary's shoes. She had her doubts too. How do I respond to my doubts and fears?

The meditation ends with "Then, I surrender my vulnerabilities and healing to the Lord, so that he may better work through me. I offer, if he wills, to help heal and encourage others. 

Conversation: Thank you Lord for the faith that "makes me well." I do feel so well. It is well with my soul. I feel so healed. I feel such a sense of calm as I sit here at 6:15 this morning on what will be a 74-degree day (I always say a perfect day is between 70-75 degrees). I know that the cities across America have been burning, but I think last night was calmer. They called in the National Guard in many of them. But there is peace in my soul. There is sadness but there is peace. 

Back to the healing. I think I am finally fully healed from the traumatic event at the end of December. I might even be ready to put the things I wrote and then pulled back on here. It is documentation of a process from hurt to healing and new life. I am more convinced than ever of God's calling and choosing me, not because of my own effort, but just because that is what God does; he calls and chooses people not because they are better or special, but he just has a plan for everyone, and I know that his plan for me involves spiritual direction and especially direction through the Exercises.

Call it direction. Call it shepherding. Call it discipleship. Call it healing prayer. I have been doing this for 40 years, ever since Sharyl said, "Will you help me grow?" That was 1980. I made a mess of it because I was following the premade plan that was laid out for me by my leaders, but I always ended up doing direction (not knowing that is what it was). That road of growth fit and was so much more conducive to how God wired me. I just made it formal by getting this certificate, but I know I have been doing it all along, even when my leaders were encouraging me otherwise. It is nice to just call it that and not have to be a "listening and inner healing prayer" person either when sometimes that just did not fit the moment. That was just not the best thing. I was always more interested in hearing their story. 

I have been raised to new life. :)

Well, in three minutes, I start my intercession time for my great city of Corvallis. Then write my paragraph for Dale and my LAST Enneagram training class. Then, teach my final two RELAXATION Pilates classes at OSU! So TTFN. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Wednesday Freewrite - Christ Has No Body Now But Yours

“Christ has no body now but yours. 

No hands, no feet on earth but yours. 

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. 

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. 

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. 

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. 

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

I am embedding my first video in the new Blogger. So we will see how this goes. This was a poem that Jeannette read on Sunday at our First Exercises night from Teresa of Avila. Then Isaiah told me about this video set to it. It is so moving and beautiful.

I was so disturbed this morning. I had listened about a retired black police officer who was guarding his friend's store, and they shot him and someone filmed him dying, not offering to even help. Then, they posted it on Facebook. My heart was broken. 

I walked up Glen Eden Hill, and I just played this song, and there was a peace that just washed over me. I am grateful. I held my arms out to heaven, and I didn't care who watched. 

Truth be told, I have "snooze" a bunch of people for the next 30 days. There is a lot of pontificating. I am trying to remain positive. I am trying to ask how people are doing. I am just trying to be his hands and feet. I was sound asleep the other night when my friend called me at 11:30 pm, terrified with smoke filling the air, rioting, breaking of property, surrounding her house, Police SWAT teams moving in. I stayed on with her for 45 minutes until the smoke cleared and arrests were made. 

Do people not see what is happening?

Then I heard a wonderful 80+-year-old black man from the civil rights movement of the 60s who has started this wonderful organization that goes into communities and works with the people to lift people out of poverty. I was so encouraged. He said:
He argues that most government spending on poverty alleviation is misdirected. “Seventy percent of the money spent on poor people goes not to poor people; it goes to those that serve poor people. And so they ask not which problems are solvable but which problems are fundable. We’ve spent $15 trillion to aid the poor with the bulk of it going to middle class providers. We have created a commodity out of poor people and wonder why poverty expands as funding increases.”  
I was so encouraged by one of our former TOAGers who married a wonderful man who is a police officer and happens to be black. He wrote a letter, from his perspective, saying that 98% of all white people are not racist, and he said we should be forced to say we are. He was great. 

I am so saddened by that retired police officer who was shot. I am so saddened by the man who was murdered by a police officer. I am so saddened by people who throw bricks and destroy property and run over police officers. 

But I had peace this morning as I walked up Glen Eden, and I will continue to walk. 

Then I came back to work on the copy for my website. I think it is pretty done. I am still debating about adding the stuff about the Enneagram. 

Then I had a directee for the Exercises, and that was fun. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Tuesday Freewrite

I have the privilege of praying for this half-hour for the "welfare of my city of Corvallis. 

I am happy that our city had a peaceful protest. No violence. Just people talking. That is very good. I continue to want to pray for the "welfare of the city of Corvallis." 

I continue to see Oaks of Righteousness growing up. While on a Zoom prayer time for SEA, one of the workers said there was no unity in the body in her province, and the main thing is they have never been discipled. When they offer themselves to show them deeper time in the word, they are not interested. It is a very shallow faith. 

They are like those spring flowers. 

We want Oaks here, Lord. Grow Oaks of Righteousness here. Grow groves of Oaks of Righteousness. 

Crazy. I feel led to go on an "Oaks of Righteousness" tour of Corvallis. I know there are historic oaks all over this city and some arboretums. So, I am going to do that. 

Sort of like the prayer busing I did two or three years ago. (I am sure that those bus drivers thought I was crazy, but I was able to see Corvallis from that perspective, and it was so good.)

I am going to post pictures here. Maybe I will also do some prayer busing. 

I wish I didn't have to teach Pilates today so that I could start doing it today, but I do have some things I need to get done. 

I want to see Corvallis from your perspective, Lord. 

Oh, I want to go to Chip Ross, Bald Hill, Dimple Hill, East Saddle. All those wonderful perspectives from high above. They are always helpful to me. 

Maybe do some walking around churches too. Oh, this is going to be a fun summer of prayer walking/busing! 

Spring Flowers to Oaks of Righteousness. 

God, you exchange 
beauty for ashes
the oil of joy for mourning
a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness
So that we might be 
Oaks a righteousness
The planting of the Lord
That He might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)

The Message
To give them 
bouquets of roses instead of ashes
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"
planting by God to display his glory. 

Monday, June 01, 2020

Freewrite Monday

I had a very productive weekend. So I am slacking off today. I so enjoy working on something that I am passionate about, and making up the copy for this new website has definitely helped me to put in writing what I am really passionate about. So, in that sense, I could not stop this weekend. I probably would have had a pretty productive morning, but I finally got in to see Dr. Myers. It was so nice to see him, and even though it was a little "nag" of pain in my hip, and nothing was "out," I think it had weighed very heavily on me for many, many weeks because it is gone now, and I feel so great today. I always have to rest after he adjusts me. I had about seven people that I had to go back and forth in emails and texts about a variety of things. So, by the time I could start working more on the website, I hit my low time. 

So, I am trying to do this freewrite to get my creative juices flowing. Tessa is going to start setting up the website by next week. There are so many balls in the air, but most of those balls will be totally gone by the time she starts setting it up. I plan on giving my whole attention to this website except for a trip to Neskowin (12-15)and a trip to Lakeside (19-22) for a wedding. 

I teach two "Have a Ball" Pilates Class on Tuesday and two "Relax" into Finals class on Thursday and submit my grades for the term. I also need to write a four to five-paragraph essay for my Enneagram trainer. When I do that, I am officially done with all homework. Then I have a four-hour finale Friday and I will be officially certified in the Enneagram! Then I finish the First Spiritual Exercises with Jeannette on Sunday night. 

WOOHOO! I am still praying about leading a group through a 12-week Spiritual Exercises class. There are 800 people signed up from 22 countries. 

What I would still love to do is the 19th annotation with Katherine, Bri, Maddy, and me! :) That is the desire of my heart, Lord. True that. It would be so fun to be with them doing that. 

I am ready to go back to working on my website now. I have about a minute. 

Oh, quickly, I had my time with God at midnight last night because I was sound asleep and Teala called me terrified by rioters outside of her house. I was so wide awake that I decided to have my Monday time really early. YIKES!


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 ...