Monthly Archives: February 2018

The sun….

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After what seems like a month of rain (though it hasn’t literally been a month), the sun is shining again, the sky is blue and I have crocus growing in one of my flower beds.  We have only lived here since July last year, so I had no idea what flowers might come popping up this spring.  I’ve never had crocus before, so their appearance is thrilling to me!

Crocus are my two favorite colors, purple and green.  They are such a welcome sight, even though we haven’t had as much snow as I like to have and even though my heart still feels a little reluctant to welcome spring.  Still, they are beautiful and bring me joy, especially since they showed themselves during the rainy days and the flooding we’ve been experiencing.  They symbolize the first reminders of spring that God makes all things new.

It’s good to be reminded of this during Lent, as I prepare my heart for Easter.  I seek renewal during this time every year, in some form or another, as I lean into the hope and truth of the resurrection of Christ and seek His Kingdom to come, on Earth, as it is in Heaven.  More and more, as I’m getting older, I seek to be a part of bringing His Kingdom into the here and now of my day-to-dayness.  My prayer for Lent  is that my habits and disciplines in this time will not only renew me but will spring forth into lasting change that can impact others for the sake of the Kingdom.

This week, since Wednesday, I’ve been focusing on solitude, on more listening and less noise.  The first week of Lent, my focus was on confession, more grace and less guilt.  I am following a guide for Lent that I got from a weekly email I receive from the Renovare’ Institute.  It comes from a book, “Less is More: A Lenten Guide for Personal Renewal,  that helps us make space by prompting intentional reflection on the aspects of our lives that stand in the way of walking in God’s spirit. Each week, a classic spiritual discipline provides the entry point for self-examination, God reflection, and godly action.”  The weekly foci are as follows:

  • Confession: Less Guilt/More Grace
  • Solitude: Less Noise/More Listening
  • Fasting: Less Consumption/More Compassion
  • Simplicity: Less Stuff/More Freedom
  • Frugality: Less Spending/More Peace
  • Intercession: Less Me/More Others
  • Reflective Reading of Holy Week Story: Less Fear/More Love

My weeks are going from Wednesday to Wednesday, since I started with Ash Wednesday.  Perhaps you are still trying to find a focus or guide for Lent, or maybe this has drawn your interest to consider Lent in a new way.  Feel free to join me as we traverse the weeks ahead toward Easter.  I’ll share more each week forward and would love to hear from you!

For now, this week of focusing on less noise and more listening is drawing my attention back to nature and God’s work that is all around us….

Psalm 19
19:1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
19:2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
19:3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
19:4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
19:5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
19:6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.
19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;
19:8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;
19:9 the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
19:11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
19:12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.
19:13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

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New habits

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As I wrote in my last post, I’ve come up with some new tricks to help me seek greater balance and keep moving forward. I’m keeping a chore chart, for myself😉, and I’ve also made up a system of drawing little post-it’s from 3 little dishes, to care for my soul. Yes, I’m sort of chuckling at myself about it all because it reminds me of being a mom to my 3 kids when they were young.

My hope is that having everything written down helps keep it off my mind all the time , thus easing my anxiety and the paralyzed feelings I get from being overwhelmed. When I have moments free from my job(s), which are mostly all done from home, I can go pick a chore to do or pick from my soul care choices. I’ve decided if I do one chore each day (outside of dishes, laundry, trash, which are daily must-dos) then I can accomplish all that’s needed each month and not stress or feel guilty about it. Also, the soul care system is to keep me living life with movement towards holistic balance.

So, I have three bowls that are three categories….physical, social, and mental/spiritual. I’ve decided that emotional is all wrapped up with each of those, and vocational is a given (since I have to keep making an income😁).

I have exercises and activities in the physical, stuff to keep me moving while giving me variety. Stretching and walking the dog are there, as are lifting weights at the fitness center and learning Tai Chi from YouTube. I also put in choices like taking a hike, walking around downtown and going to a mall to walk on a rainy day.

I’m still getting in the groove with this system , but it’s a nice change and is getting me back into gear with taking care of myself. I’ll share more next time on the other souls care choices I’ve created and why I’ve decided to do all this.

Until then, I’m tired of rain and don’t understand why we couldn’t have more snow ❄️. So here’s what I wish I was seeing out my front door. 😓

In the depth of winter…

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It’s been close to a month since I wrote here. The month was filled with heaviness as unexpected grief mingled with post holiday blues and seasonal depressed emotions. I haven’t felt like writing…for that matter, I haven’t felt like doing much more than what was necessary for each day.

My eating and exercising have been poor, not horrible, not completely awash, but rather pathetic, especially for someone trying to learn how to stave off the onset of diabetes ( being right on the borderline of type 2). But I haven’t given up completely. I’ve simply tried to be gracious with myself, giving leeway for my emotions.

I’ve learned a couple things during this time. One thing is the Keto diet isn’t the best choice for losing weight unless you are committed to sticking with that way of eating for the rest of your life. The second thing is that my emotional struggles with generalized anxiety disorder and recurrent depressive episodes are never going to completely disappear in this lifetime; therefore, my proclivity to be tempted to manage my emotions with food is always going to be a challenge.

How to proceed? Keep trying to do better, to move forward towards eating healthier, be wiser, and move more. I won’t be doing the Keto diet as I had thought, but I will lower carbs and focus on eating more whole foods as much as possible. I’ll keep taking one step at a time , as per usual.

Part of my progress depends on making adjustments to my “rule of life” plan , overall. This is a way of wellness that I have learned and involves focusing on living a balanced life. To do this, I set goals, short and long term, in the six areas of life, physical, spiritual, social, emotional , mental, and vocational. I’m currently in process of adjusting my plan to bring it up to speed to my current daily life. This is a process of evaluating my desired outcomes weighed against my current realities.

I’ve come up with some new ideas of how to find the balance I need in each of these life areas. I’ll be sharing with you here in the next couple weeks as I feel I need to keep pushing myself to write by using this avenue of accountability.

Until next time, happy 6 more weeks of winter and enjoy the super bowl (or the commercials and halftime…😂).