Wednesday, March 31, 2010

my personal compass...another journaling activity

looking to the south...
where do I feel my creativity being called forth? what do I really long to do or be? how do I nurture myself? what are the hobbies I am passionate about?

(feeding others....physically and spiritually......deeply rooted.....writing....reading.....candid

best quote on page 95...
"We hear in these words (Hebrews 12:1-2) the longing of our own heart to be about the urgent business of God's work here on earth. But if this becomes our single goal, we might fill up our lives with churchly activities and ministries of compassion, striving for the goal only to find that it is no longer Jesus ahead of us but a future of weariness and burnout. When we hear the instructions of the psalmist encouraging us to "take delight in the Lord, / and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4), we wonder what it might mean to delight in the Lord. We wonder, how can I ask for the desires of my heart if I no longer know what I really want?"

looking to the east...
what light is just beginning to appear on my horizon? What am I being asked to take hold of in a new way? Where am I being called to embrace something? What areas of my life need change or transformation?

(unknown....more education....wisdom....words....need a mentor...need to change my attitude)

"Others might need to let go of perfectionism, outward success, or the need for control."
looking to the west...
what maps no longer work for my life? What (or perhaps who) needs to be released and let go? What beliefs or attitudes or patterns do I need to die to? Where is deep healing needed? What areas in my life need transformation?

(impatience, ungentleness, the need to always be right (and to make sure everyone knows), skepticism)

"When we live for God rather than with God, it is easy for us to move ahead on our own steam only to find ourselves resentful or frustrated, exhausted, or burned out. Living with God means following his lead rather than leading out; it means being in his time rather than our own; it means letting God's love instead of our own effort fuel our actions."
"Living with God means staying close to the Word, keeping up the practice of prayer, and living in the Christian community."
looking to the north...
who is it that deeply loves me and guides me? What are the images or pictures of God that nurture and sustain me? Is there a grace story or salvation story from my life that is central to my understanding of God or brings clarity to my own life? Who are my spiritual guides and deepest friends?

(Luke 24:32....I wish it wouldn't take me so long to answer these ones)

That's all for now. All quotes and journaling exercises came from this book.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I think I haiku'd about this awhile back....(I did a search on my blog for "roots" and this is what I came up with).
And then I remembered how much I like my own blog, even though my search came up with nothing I was looking for (no haikus, anyway).
So I searched my previous blog.
And my searches came up empty. But I remembered how much I love Get Fuzzy. So not all was lost.
So then I looked in my Facebook notes, which mostly consist of filling out questionnaires, but sometimes the occasional haiku will sneak in.
And I found it.
And it pointed me to the original post. Why did the search not find it I wonder? Oh well.

Here is the haiku, in case you don't have time to click on the link:
Planted; digging deep
Only to be uprooted
Oh where to blossom?

I wrote it nearly two years ago (when I was moving on, again, from yet another place), and while I am ready to move on from this current place, my heart is aching for something more permanent...a place to be for longer than 2 years. I hope wherever we end up next (and your prayers are appreciated in that arena) will be a place where we can dig roots....where people would know us, and we would know people. For better or for worse. Community.

That's all I have. Sorry to be depressing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

making a list, checking it twice

This is a journaling exercise from a book I'm reading.

Make a list of one hundred things you want to do or be before you die. If this feels too intimidating, try a list of fifty. But follow these instructions: Let your imagination run free. Allow yourself to repeat some items. Postpone the question, "Do I really want this?" Don't worry about the practicality of some of your desires.

I am hoping to do this quickly, so there's no time for questions or practicality.

1. Travel to all continents with Steve
2. Raise a family
3. Start a garden
4. Compost
5. Coffee shop
6. Bachelor's degree in Art
7. Seminary
8. Master's degree in something awesome
9. Teach on some level (even if it is 2 year old's sunday school)
10. Own a piano
11. Sell something I've made
12. Author a children's book
13. Learn to sew well
14. Start a business
15. Find out if ceramics is my thing.
16. Live in a place for more than 2 years at a time
17. Be a stay-at-home mom
18. A regular giver
19. Become an early bird
20. Develop a green thumb
21. Volunteer
22. Travel photographer
23. Work at a church
24. Make a recipe book of all my favorite recipes
25. Read the Bible once a year
26. Write some curriculum
27. Bicycle as main source of transportation
28. Disciplined
29. Be a well-educated mom
30. Cook a lot
31. Support/help a young adult who is in trouble financially
32. Get rid of all junk
33. Have no items left suitable to be a white elephant gift
34. Leave my grandchildren a wealth of wonderful memories (instead of $)
35. Host a foreign exchange student
36. Support missionaries
37. Be aware of the needs of my immediate community
38. Build a house
39. Design a building
40. Start liking berries
41. Develop a taste for fish
42. Learn to be wise with words
43. Short term missions
44. Have a porch and sit on it every night
45. Be a good neighbor
46. Know Scripture exceptionally well
47. Figure out what I want
48. Survive without a clock
49. Make/grow a large portion of my grocery list
50. Become a vegetable farmer

Ok. I am tired. So 50 it is.

Here is a quote I really like from the book:
"Understanding the difference between hope and expectations is critical if we are to allow our future to be shaped by God. Hope longs for good but is able to be flexible about how that good might appear. Expectation grasps at solutions and becomes easily attached to outcomes. When we are hopeful, our imagination and creativity flourish. But when we are locked in expectations, it is easy to turn our picture of the possible future into an idol." (page 87)

51. (I just thought of one more) Release a rock album of hymns, lead female vocals.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Maybe for Lent next year? (I added some italics)

Isaiah 58

True and False Worship

1 "Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don't be timid.
Tell my people Israel of their sins!

2 Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.

3 'We have fasted before you!' they say.
'Why aren't you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don't even notice it!'

"I will tell you why!" I respond.
"It's because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.

4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.

5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the LORD?

6 "No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.

7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

8 "Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.

9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer.
'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply.

"Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!

10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

11 The LORD will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.

12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.

13 "Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don't pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the LORD's holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don't follow your own desires or talk idly.

14 Then the LORD will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the LORD, have spoken!"

Monday, March 15, 2010


I read a quote on facebook (I know, I know, there's my mistake) that said, "nowadays, 80% of women are against marriage."
If I didn't dislike the word "nowadays" so much, I would maybe wonder how much credibility and accuracy this quote has.
All that aside, I don't think that this is accurate. But maybe I hang out in different circles than the person who made up this statistic?
What do you think?

Should be the theme verse for the best holiday ever (Thanksgiving, being that)

There you and your families will feast in the presence of the LORD your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the LORD your God has blessed you.

Deuteronomy 12:7

Friday, March 12, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Recommendations

Spring Break is coming up, and I would like to spend it reading. Any recommendations? My limitations are:
I want to read something I've never read before.
The library here has to have it.

That is all. Could be anything, fiction, non-fiction, whatever.

Do I bless or curse?

An idea that I've been thinking about lately is how I think about myself and others (and therefore how I talk about myself and others).
Do you often start out with a blessing and end in a curse, or do you do it the opposite way around? Here are a couple of examples:
Blessing first:
She has really good people skills, but she has never even finished reading a book.
Or, blessing last:
She doesn't read many books, but she can read people really well.

With the idea that we are likely to remember the last part of a statement, I am challenged to end statements with hope rather than with negativity. The more I think about it, the more I notice the way I think about others and myself...and the more I am trying to train myself to end on a positive note.
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