Monday, April 30, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 252

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Early morning birdsong
  2. Fog muted sunrise colors
  3. A warm bus
  4. the beauty that is central heating (something I appreciate more as I remember the month I spent in winter in a place that didn't have it, and as I laugh with one of my best friends who is currently wintering in a spot without it, and walking around with oodles of layers of clothing on, indoors)
  5. the wonder a child has for everything - the fish in the tanks at the grocery store seafood department, the plastic dog bank that solicits donations for guide dogs, a little toy, a pair of shoes
  6. babysitting N. for the first time while A. took a sub job
  7. lunch and time to talk about life with A.
  8. prepping some food for the week - a desk full of freshly washed berries waiting to be consumed
  9. watching the movie The Way
  10. a skype date for an hour and a bit with my bestest friend
It was a full, rich day.  The sort that don't happen all that often, and are worth reveling in and storing up and celebrating.

Monday Confessions

Can I admit something to you?  I do much better at prescheduling and writing well thought out blog posts when my days are somewhat driven by schedule.  On those days, those busy school and work days, I write up to a week of posts in advance.  I think about them, I ponder them, and then I sit down on the weekend to write them.

I'm not good at keeping to that plan when I don't have a schedule.  I tell myself things like "look how much time there is, you can do it later" and then later comes and I repeat myself, until I find myself frantically staring at a to do list and realizing that the post I'd planned to write - the well thought out one that I'd been pondering, is not going to get written for the day I'd hoped to see it go live.

Today is one of those days.  I'm writing this post frantically, somewhat late on Sunday night, because I just realized that Monday is one of the days with posts that I can't quite just throw together, and I do actually have a schedule on this particular Monday.

I've agreed to spend the morning hanging out with one of my favorite small people, while her momma does some work.  But this particular small person and her parents live on the other side of the city, which neccessitates me catching a 6:17am bus to arrive on time for this hanging out gig.

And so, it's another Monday with a thrown together post, because I'm going to love on a small person, and I need to be awake to do it.  Fear not, however, I go back to school in only 9 more days, and then my life will resume it's previously scheduled structure and discipline!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 251

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the beauty of a Sunday morning and quiet
  2. bubble bath
  3. a small personal healing victory of sorts
  4. great news by text message from a friend
  5. the freedom to borrow a car and accomplish some errands on my own this afternoon

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 250

Today's Daily 5:

  1. lazy morning
  2. compliments on my new hair color
  3. my M*A*S*H* t-shirt (still a favorite...)
  4. exceptional customer service at Chapters while I checked into whether an e-reader would work for some upcoming school needs, bought one, tested my needs for pdf reading and hilighting out on it, and ultimately returned.  Often I get no service at Chapters whatsoever, so exceptional service is worth smiling about!
  5. hanging out at mom and dad's, doing lazy, restful things.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 249

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet day at home
  2. working a bit at a creative project
  3. chicken shwarma for dinner with a friend
  4. a thought provoking evening event
  5. late night car conversations

Friday Reflections, April 27, 2012

Today's reflection is once again from Henri Nouwen, and is a reminder to me of why I continually pursue a life of healing and freedom.

Freedom Attracts 

When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not.  Freedom attracts wherever it appears.  A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell.  Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us.  But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.

Where true inner freedom is, there is God.  And where God is, there we want to be.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 248

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sweat pants day
  2. fresh strawberries
  3. listening to some podcasts that gave me motivation and ideas for pursuing health and better relationships with my body and food
  4. using my SAD lamp
  5. trail mix with chocolate pieces
  6. a ripe mango
  7. a new crockpot recipe
  8. just a bit of chocolate
  9. a quiet day at home
  10. settling in to read and rest for the evening

Thursday Randomness

It's Thursday, and my week goes on slowly and restfully, just the way I like it.

I've been using this time off to hang out with friends, to catch up on things at home.

Today is dedicated once again to some cleaning, to my to do list, and to trying out a new recipe in the crockpot.

I'm spending time this week pondering my body and food again, slowly considering new habits and ways of addressing things.

I'm trying to build in time for creativity, amidst all the practical things that need accomplishing during this time off.

Basically I'm enjoying a slow sort of randomness.

Nothing particularly connected.  Just time for my heart to rest.

Time for me to reflect, to ponder, to meditate quietly.

Just the way I like it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 247

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in
  2. a simple breakfast of fruit
  3. spending the day with a friend from school, complete with loads of laughter
  4. dying my hair red temporarily, and then redying, because we didn't realize that one package wouldn't be enough for my not that long but super thick hair (so we went out and bought 2 more and did it again!)
  5. learning to make perogies from scratch and then feasting on them

Whimsical Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This week on Whimsical Wednesday, warm air and time off have inspired me to post some images from pinterest of clothing I'd absolutely love to wear, or styles that I love.  I hope it inspires you!  As always I'd love to hear if any of them stand out to you!

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 246

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sunshine
  2. lacy shoes
  3. skirt weather
  4. banana with peanut butter
  5. wearing one of my favorite pairs of earrings
  6. lunch with a long time friend
  7. a salad with arugula, goat cheese, blackberries, candied pecans and blackberry vinaigrette
  8. thai chicken pizza
  9. hanging out with my two favorite little guys
  10. good conversations at house church

Tuesday Anticipations, April 24, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • hugging and cuddling my two favorite little boys
  • a house church leader's meeting
  • lunch with a friend I've known since my first year of high school, at a gourmet pizza place
  • learning to make pierogis from a Polish friend
  • temporarily changing my hair color
  • our house church gathering
  • several more days of quiet, productivity, and rest
  • enjoying the spring/summer weather we're having
  • taking time for some creative projects
What things are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 245

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping late
  2. yoga pants
  3. a Jack Johnson soundtrack as I cleaned
  4. going through boxes and finding the kitchen implements and appliances that will let me live a bit more "normally" in the midst of the crazy
  5. picking out a couple new recipes to try out
  6. exercising body, soul, and mind all at once while walking to do a couple of errands (including groceries) and listening to a great sermon from Shawn Bolz.  "Chocolate is the single person's sex!" Bet that's the first time that's ever been said in a sermon! Love it! 
  7. Tackling several tasks that have been nagging for the last few months
  8. sitting and spending a bit of time in creative pursuits
  9. the thrill of a clean living space
  10. simple, healthy food today
  11. Sun!  It was 25 C today - summer weather!  Hooray! I might just break out the flip flops if it's like that again tomorrow!


I am luxuriating in the time off from school that I'm currently enjoying.

Yes, I'm tackling to do lists and projects, but I'm doing them in stillness, and at a pace that really works for me. (Yes, stillness, my word for the year is Still, so it's nice to embrace it in this way, instead of hunting for it amidst busy chaos.)

I stayed up way too late last night, puttering and reading online.

I slept in way too long this morning, making up for the staying up late.

But it's lovely.

And today I'm tackling little things - resume updating, menu planning, blog post writing.

I'm going to read and respond to comments on last week's post about the body and food.

I'm going to go through some boxes to see if I can locate the vegetable steamer and crockpot that have been in storage for two years, to make my living situation more flexible, and allow me to have a bit more creativity in meal planning.

I'm going to clean off my desk which has been the dumping spot for the detritus of the last couple weeks.

I'm going to knit.

I'm going to watch last night's episode of The Amazing Race (even though it makes the travel bug within me ache painfully) and vicariously enjoy the travels of other people.

I'm might go for a walk, or do a yoga video.

Basically, I'm going to luxuriate, and I think it's going to be amazing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 244

Today's Daily 5:

  1. A super slow morning
  2. lunch with my family
  3. fresh blackberries
  4. string cheese
  5. hanging out at home in a low key way

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 243

Today's Daily 5:

  1. 7 years of blogging
  2. sitting in a sun drenched car, reading a book while I waited for someone
  3. breakfast at a great local place, with a good friend, and talking nursing and nursing school
  4. the news that a friend had given birth to her second daughter
  5. getting voting in the provincial election out of the way by going to the advance polls, effectively giving me a day off on Monday.

7 Years Old

Today marks my 7th anniversary of blogging.

I still can't quite believe that something I signed up for as a whim has become an integral part of my life.

A friend was doing tsunami relief overseas, and I wanted to comment on his posts, but couldn't without an account of my own.  On a whim I decided that blogging might be fun, and I've been writing in this space ever since.


I've flown to a different country to meet someone because of my blog.  I've hugged the necks of several different people that I had never met in person before they showed up to meet me in a coffee shop.  I've skyped with others, and facebooked or emailed with still others.  I've made friends.

There has been a little community of friends and readers all over the world that has collected in this space, and it still astonishes me that anyone at all cares what I have to say in this space, much less wants to talk back!

This has been an outlet for healing, and sometimes it's been a place I hid from.  But mostly it's been the space that's mine.  One of the spaces where I can be the most "me" of anywhere in my life.  And that's what I love about it.

7 years.


I've been hearing that blogging is dead, but I'm pretty sure I'm just getting started!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 242

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sleeping in
  2. a walk in the sun and wind
  3. doing errands on foot
  4. writing cards for some good friends, and mailing them
  5. accomplishing several tasks that had lingered over the last month of busyness

Friday Reflections - April 20, 2012

I don't have any quotes for you today, just the knowledge that I'm quietly recognizing that 24 years ago today, I knelt on the dark brown shag carpet, next to the itchy brown loveseat in my parents' living room at the time, and invited Jesus "into my heart".

My life changed that day.

It changes still.

Jesus does that, it seems.

He's gentle, not forceful, but he brings change.

Sometimes the change doesn't feel gentle.  Sometimes the change isn't gentle.

Sometimes gentle and forceful aren't mutually exclusive.

My walk with Jesus for the last 24 years has been like that, and today I'm stopping to acknowledge that moment when the changes began in earnest.  The moment when joy was mine in fullness for the first time.

I'm thank that fullness of joy can still be mine today.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 241

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Shopping with a friend and her 2 boys (2 years old and 3 weeks old)
  2. lace shoes - bought some new shoes made of a lace fabric last week, and I LOVE the way they look.
  3. about 2 hours with the 3 week old baby in a sling as we walked around shopping
  4. greek food for lunch
  5. finding a new coat that will fit both my needs and desires for spring/summer
  6. being at a stage where therapy is less scary and more enlightening
  7. cookies
  8. getting a bit of an extra walk in
  9. house church with friends I love
  10. a day with lots and lots of laughter

Revisiting Thoughts on the Body and Food

I was pretty sure when I wrote my last post on this topic that the next post I would write in this series would be detailing the way I was managing to "control" my struggle with food and my body.  How I was losing weight, changing my diet, and being successful at those things.

That's not the post I'm sitting down to write today.

The truth is, I think I have more questions than answers.

I read that last post to my therapist, and she asked me to take a break from the plan for weight loss that had been working for me for the first three months of the year.  She asked me to take a break and spend some time learning how to honor my body.

In the month or so that I've been doing that, I've learned that I'm not very good at it.  I've learned that discipline and willpower are not my strengths, and that an at times addictive personality just might another challenge I'll need to face. I'm fairly certain that I've gained back the weight I worked hard to lose (almost half of my goal) over those first three months of the year.  I've been procrastinating on the homework she assigned, because I just can't quite figure out how to write a letter of appreciation and gratitude to my body.  It hasn't been that hard to do as she asked and do one nice thing for my body each day.  She set the limits wide, and since I live a generally healthy lifestyle, it wasn't hard to think of things like walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, drinking lots of water, and using my SAD lamp as little gifts.

I could make excuses - that this was the worst month ever to remove limits.  After all, it was the final month of the semester, and I was stressed beyond my limits by group work. Who could blame me if I had one cookie, or ten? Who would blame me for wanting to go for drinks with the girls after class, and deciding I needed a big juicy hamburger to go with the drink (after all, I'm a light weight when it comes to alcohol, and if I don't eat, well, half a drink can make me seriously tipsy.)

But the excuses ring hollow as I've pondered what I'd write here.  They're just that - excuses for a lack of self-discipline.  Excuses for not treating my body well.  (Though I wonder if the guilt I feel for failing, and then making excuses is equally negative for this journey.)

I don't have any answers today.

I have a lot of questions.

How do I learn to see my body differently?

How long will it take?

Can I create limits without them being a mechanism for control? A mechanism for beating back fear? How do I do that?

What does healthy look like in my circumstances?

What are the lines between healthy choices and those self-care moments when chocolate or a drink with the girls really is a helpful thing?

Am I attractive?

Can I ever be attractive to others if I don't believe it about myself?

And most of all, what does Jesus think of all of this? How does he see me? How does he ask me to care for my body?

I don't have answers, just a lot of questions, and I'm inviting you into those today.  I'd love to hear your questions, or just your thoughts about your own journeys with your body and food.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 241

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a lazy sleeping in kind of morning
  2. Vietnamese noodles
  3. the companionship of a friend who is so similar, to hang out with through this crazy process of school
  4. writing my last exam for the semester, and feeling deeply calm and peaceful going into it
  5. a long quiet evening at home, enjoying the feeling of freedom that comes with being done the semester and knowing there are a couple weeks of rest ahead.

Whimsical Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another collection of words and images that are inspiring me and catching my attention this week.

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 240

Today's Daily 5:

  1. moving through some much needed tasks on my to do list
  2. finding a few good deals
  3. quiet and alone time for the vast majority of the day, and space for creativity
  4. having a borrowed car for errands
  5. grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Tuesday Anticipations - April 17, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • The official end of the semester with the writing of my final exam on Wednesday
  • cooking for a friend
  • going shopping with another friend to help keep an eye on her two boys
  • the house church gathering
  • a meeting with a trusted advisor
  • lots and lots and lots of nothingness!
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 239

Today's Daily 5:

  1. A quiet, creative, lazy sort of day
  2. Time to sit in the sun
  3. old episodes of The West Wing on dvd
  4. making three different recipes from scratch (finger jello, pancakes, banana muffins)
  5. getting to watch TV live instead of delayed a day online

Lazy Day

For those of you who missed it, last Thursday was my last day of classes for my first semester of nursing school.  I have an exam this coming Wednesday, but it's not too bad, and so I've been luxuriating in quiet and space.  I slowly feel myself re-emerging from the haze of school.

And now, now it's Monday.  I'm house-sitting for my folks for a couple of days, and it's lovely to have a slight break from my usual more challenging living situation.  It's also lovely to have hours on end of alone time.

And so I'm propped in bed, knowing that in a little while I'll be propped in a sunny chair, and I'm making plans for today.

My day today will include:

  • just a bit of studying, to get things going for Wednesday's exam
  • cooking or baking of some sort
  • a short trip to the university, to wrap up my clinical placement in a 15 minute meeting with the instructor (trying not to think about the hour each way I'm going to spend on transit for that 15 minute meeting)
  • maybe some bus reading (you know, since I have that time on transit, and it's sunny outside)
  • a bit of creative time
  • a bit of television time
  • sending a few emails I've been waiting to dedicate some time to
  • curling up to do some writing that has also been on hold
It pretty much sounds like an ideal day as far as I'm concerned.  Nothing too strenuous.  A lot of time for creating, resting, being still in a different way than what I've been learning about since school began.  This sort of stillness is preferable if you ask me. It doesn't teach or challenge in the same way, but it's preferable.

And so I'm off to engage this day.  And I'm smiling, because days of rest are far too rare to waste!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 236-238

The weekend got away from me, and so tonight I present the Daily 5 lists from the last 3 days!

Friday's Daily 5 (Day 236):

  1. Sleeping in
  2. A whole day without anything school related to think about
  3. The feeling of knowing all school work was done
  4. a last minute invitation to join a friend for an evening of music
  5. an awesome grilled chicken, apple and brie sandwich, with fig compote.
Saturday's Daily 5 (Day 237):
  1. Sleeping in
  2. catching up on some television watching
  3. two really productive hours of cleaning and prepping to be away housesitting for a couple of days
  4. a long hot bath
  5. an ice cream (pineapple) sundae from Dairy Queen
Today's Daily 5 (Day 238):
  1. Sleeping in (do you see a weekend theme?)
  2. A long hot shower (such a lovely thing since they're a bit challenging at my normal place of residence)
  3. my usual Sunday morning quiet time
  4. celebrating my sister-in-law to be at the first of her wedding showers
  5. hanging out with my other sister-in-law to watch The Amazing Race

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Reflections - April 13, 2012

This meditation from Henri Nouwen landed in my inbox earlier this week.  After a semester of wandering through questions about leadership, group work, and conflict, it struck me as carrying deep truth that I need to ponder moving forward.

Authority and Obedience 

Authority and obedience can never be divided, with some people having all the authority while others only have to obey.  This separation causes authoritarian behaviour on the one side and doormat behaviour on the other.  It perverts authority as well as obedience.  A person with great authority who has nobody to be obedient to is in great spiritual danger.  A very obedient person who has no authority over anyone is equally in danger.

Jesus spoke with great authority, but his whole life was complete obedience to his Father, and Jesus, who said to his Father, "Let it be as you, not I, would have it" (Matthew 26:39), has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (see Matthew 28:18).   Let us ask ourselves:  Do we live our authority in obedience and do we live our obedience with authority?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 235

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Last day of group work for the semester!
  2. Lunch and drinks with some friends
  3. A really funny "meet the parent" moment at a friend's house
  4. Deciding on the spur of the moment that I would kill a little bit of time in between commitments by shopping, and ending up finding some really awesome deals on some little things to treat myself and make me feel pretty, and an even better deal on a dress to wear to my brother's wedding in June (and since dress shopping had been a colossal disaster thus far, this is something hugely worth celebrating!)
  5. Having my friends Karla and Gary Adolphe join us at house church tonight.  I was so encouraged by their ministry and the things they shared, and by Karla's worship leading.  Such an awesome way to end out my first semester of nursing school - sitting in room with my church family and being invited to hear God speak to us.  I was so very encouraged by a number of little things today, and the time at church tonight was a sort of crown on top - a reminder of who God is, and that He knows me.  So very, very needed.

A Night Off and a Coming Break

I took last night off.

When I got home from school, I finished up a few final polishes on my last paper of the semester, printed it, put it in my bag for submission today, and declared it an evening off.

Yesterday was my final presentation of the semester, too.

All that stands between me and two and a half weeks off are two half-days of class, one meeting, and one final exam.  By this time next week, I'll be a free woman.

The night off was blissful.

I sat in bed, caught up on The Voice (which, by the way, I'm loving for a second season in a row), ate some treats, and did some knitting.

The quiet was fabulous.  The break from school was even better.

And knowing that I'm only a few days from a much more lengthy break?  That's the best part of all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 234

Today's Daily 5:

  1. The satisfaction of filling out anonymous feedback surveys about the classes, program, and instruction we've received this semester
  2. A quiet lunch hour with friends
  3. finishing out the last presentation for the semester
  4. printing off my last paper for the semester
  5. taking an evening off to do absolutely nothing - it was glorious!

Whimsical Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A few laughs, a little bit of wisdom, and some vistas that remind me to be still and breathe are what make up today's Whimsical Wednesday collection.  As always, I'd love to hear if any of these images spark emotions or reactions for you, and what those are.

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 233

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sunrise colors
  2. sympathetic and funny nursing school friends
  3. finishing the first of two presentations this week
  4. A new bus route (I have this secret desire to ride at least part of every bus route in the city, so a chance to take a new one is fun)
  5. a super short school day, with an afternoon that was productive as I worked on the last paper of the semester
  6. podcasts and audiobooks (finished a new audiobook again today - listed in the reading list tab, and loving Ian Morgan Cron's podcast lately)
  7. a funky, not so urban, downtown (ish) neighborhood (Inglewood)
  8. using a groupon for a fabulous deal on a truly awesome three course dinner
  9. sharing a meal with my good friend E. and enjoying good conversation over food, and then the chance to pray together in her car afterwards (I came away feeling refreshed and encouraged)
  10. chatting with another friend from nursing school, encouraging her as she works on a paper and laughing as she reminded me that a semester or two from now when we hit some heavy biology and pharmacology, she'll be the one reminding ME to breathe and calm down while she explains it.  The give and take of friends is an awesome thing to rest in.

Tuesday Anticipations - April 10, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • dinner with a good friend at a slightly fancy restaurant
  • finishing up the final class requirements for the semester - two presentations and one paper to go (then one final next week)
  • my friends K & G visiting our house church to share their ministry with us
  • a quiet weekend at home
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 232

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sleeping in
  2. a few flowers daring to bloom
  3. the first day I left the house without boots and a parka (hello ballet flats and light weight jackets!)
  4. listening to an audiobook on the bus
  5. a hot stone massage
  6. getting a good start on my last paper of the semester
  7. cuddles with two boys - two years old and two weeks old
  8. sharing good food with friends
  9. cake in a mug
  10. curling up to head to bed nice and early

Monday Luxuries

It's 10:20 am on Monday, and I've only been awake, really awake anyway, for 20 minutes.  This is not one of those days when I managed to figure out what I would say in this space ahead of time, and wrote it, scheduled it, and then fell asleep.

Today is Monday, a day with a few little luxuries, and I've only just woken up.

A day off, and sleeping in.  Those are luxuries.

A scheduled massage appointment - finally, and much needed.  That's a luxury too.

A free afternoon, with plans to tackle homework in a leisurely sort of way.  Another luxury.

A plan to share an evening with some friends.  To bring them a meal.  To play with their two year old, and cuddle their two-week old.  To laugh and share a meal - there is something that is wonderful and holy in sharing a meal.  These are all luxuries.

Today is Monday, and it is a day full fo little luxuries, and I am thankful.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 231

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Easter!
  2. hearing the choir my brother and sister-in-law conduct sing
  3. a relatively quiet afternoon puttering, doing errands, and watching The Masters on television
  4. the food that always accompanies one of our extended family dinners
  5. inheriting a second-hand microwave
  6. really good whipped cream
  7. laughing hysterically over some plans my brother has for his upcoming wedding
  8. sinking into my own bed at the end of a weekend away
  9. knowing that I don't have to get up in the morning
  10. my neck pillow

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 230

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a restful night
  2. hot crossed buns
  3. sitting in quiet
  4. catching up on email and blogs
  5. baking
  6. a long phone call with a good friend

They Buried Him in a Hurry

I've been using 24-7 Prayer's Lenten podcasts as a way to reflect in the lead-up to Easter.  Today's reflection from Carla Harding struck me deeply.  "They buried Him in a hurry..."

Friday, April 06, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 229

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Good Friday quiet
  2. a dream that had palm trees
  3. skype with a friend
  4. the satisfaction of finishing Anne Lamott's latest book (so earthy and lovely and jesusy all at once)
  5. laundry hung on a drying rack, and the feeling of knowing that this one choice is a good one
  6. time spent alone in the house
  7. making lasagna 
  8. audio book pleasures
  9. magic bags
  10. clean water

Friday Reflections, April 6, 2012 (Good Friday)

Normally on Good Friday I focus exclusively on the cross.  This year, however, more than ever I feel the longing for resurrection, and quite simply couldn't resist sharing this video with you today.  I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch and listen, and to allow your heart to feel the impact of this day, and the anticipation of Sunday.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 228

Today's Daily 5:

  1. an extra hour of sleep
  2. a bus driver who cranked the heat in the face of the snow this morning
  3. a laugh emailed to me by a friend that perfectly summed up the challenges of nursing thus far
  4. one more day down in the countdown to the end of the semester
  5. packed my own lunch every day this week
  6. listening to Anne Lamott's latest book on the bus
  7. meeting my favorite date's new brother for the first time
  8. cuddling a one week old baby
  9. loving on my favorite little guy as he adjusts to being a big brother
  10. an evening out for dinner with house church friends

Free Bird

I'm feeling a lot less stressed as I write this post.

The last school thing that had really been weighing on my mind was finished yesterday afternoon.  It was something I'd been dreading, and now it's over.

Don't get me wrong.  There are still two presentations, one paper, and one final exam standing between me and the end of the semester, and all of those hold tiny amounts of stress, but none of them hold the stress that yesterday held for me over the last week or so.

And now it's done, and I'm a free bird!

And at this point, I'm planning to celebrate my freedom tonight by having dinner with all my house church people (hello pizza!!!), and cuddling a week-old baby boy (a new honorary nephew to spoil!) for the first time.

It's a lovely thing to be a free bird!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 227

Today's Daily 5:

  1. laughing over some online stuff during class with a friend
  2. a meeting that was different than expected
  3. finishing up my novel
  4. getting home before the snow started falling in earnest
  5. an evening that is mostly time off for self-care

Whimsical Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another eclectic collection today.  As always, I'm curious if any of these images stand out to you, and why.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 226

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sunrise colors
  2. clothes I love and feel attractive in
  3. wearing my very favorite scarf
  4. the availability of encouraging teaching/preaching via podcast
  5. marking three major school deadlines off my list
  6. a good conversation with the one instructor I've really appreciated this semester
  7. school being done early
  8. a package of books from amazon
  9. a bubble bath with one of those books (best self-care decision I've made in weeks)
  10. plans for a very early night

Tuesday Anticipations, April 3, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • A short week of school
  • The chance to spend some time in quiet, reflecting and recognizing the power of Holy Week
  • a phone call with a good friend
  • the likelihood of cuddling a week old baby
  • dinner with a long-time friend
  • finishing up several school projects (hooray for the end of the semester being very, very near!)
  • the recognition of crucifixion, and the celebration of resurrection
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 225

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a sweat pants day
  2. quiet laziness this morning
  3. a friend's welcome advice about an assigned reading (that saved me significant time)
  4. siting in the sun at a bus stop
  5. the raw silk woven purse that I often use on weekends when I don't need to carry a backpack
  6. dinner with a friend I've known since high school
  7. giving gifts to both of her little girls
  8. A's excitement over the flowery headband "Auntie Lisa" gave her
  9. a raspberry kiwi margarita
  10. curling up at home to finish up the last few things for the day

Self Care, Holy Week, and Difficult People

How's that for a post title?

It's all I could think of as I sit here to start writing.

Those are the three topics on my mind today - self care, the arrival of Holy Week, and dealing with challenging people.

I spent most of my usual Sunday morning sabbath yesterday sleeping, and then emerged to enjoy an hour or so of quiet, curled up in an armchair in my parent's living room, enjoying the sun.  Because the last few weeks of school have been so incredibly challenging, I am in some ways quite aware of the need to increase my efforts at self-care.  I am reminding myself of ways to be gentle with myself.  I'm working to be aware of my own self-talk.  I'm increasing my effort to focus on finding things that need to be on my daily five lists at the end of the day.  I'm reading articles that remind me of these truths, and am conscious of the need to build time into my week for silence, and time with the friends who fill me instead of drain me.  I'm thinking about things like scheduling - the need for me to be aware of my schedule, and to bring some semblance of order and control to it, rather than to let it be something that just happens to me.  School gets to rule my life from 8:00-4:00 Tuesday-Friday, but I choose whether it controls the time outside of that, and I'm unwilling to let it have all of me.  That means I need to be diligent about scheduling and about time usage, so that I can have the time that I need for silence and rest.

And this is Holy Week - the most important week of the year if you believe in Jesus.  I'm more aware than ever this week of the need for school to not consume all of who I am.  This week of all weeks, there needs to be time and space for me to be in quiet, with Jesus.  To rest into that.  To meditate and contemplate the enormity of what it is that this week commemorates.  A number of years back, the most profound understanding of Christ's sacrifice that I've ever had came as I sat in a Catholic Palm Sunday mass.  It was profound, and I find myself revisiting and resting in that experience each year.  I need the space to do that this week - to set aside the myriad of stressors that school has held lately - to set aside the stressors I know it will hold in the coming week - and to rest into this chance to sit with Christ.  To walk the journey towards the cross, and then towards resurrection.  I'm thankful that the university doesn't schedule classes on Good Friday - that that day at least, I will be able to rest and pray and meditate quietly.

I suppose it is the challenge of interacting with people who could at times be termed "difficult" that has me so aware of the need for self-care, and the need, this week especially, to be conscious of carving out space for the things that are so much more important to the length and breadth of my life than school.  The challenges of hours and hours of group work remain immense, and the existence of varying personalities plays into that.  Even as I read and remind myself of coping techniques for "dealing with difficult people", I remind myself that I can only be accountable for my own actions and attitudes.  That how I respond is more important for me to be aware of than the challenges presented by the attitudes of others.  I don't get to control the universe (which I laughingly add is a pity - I think I'd be good at it!).  I do get to control ME.  Which means I need to choose joy and peace and kindness, even when I don't feel like it.  It means that yes, I'm aware of all the underlying currents in the room.  Yes, I feel those currents in a physical way.  And yes, that means it's that much harder for me to set them aside, that much harder for me to not be overwhelmed by them.  But I have choices.  I can choose where I focus.  I can choose what I believe I'm responsible for - I need to choose to remember that I'm only responsible for myself.  It's really easy to write those statements on a day when I don't have to go to school and spend 8 hours in a challenging atmosphere that is at times physically painful to me - almost oppressively so.  And I suppose that's why I'm thinking so much about self-care today.  I am better at choosing how those atmospheres affect me when I am making the time to meet my own needs.  I am more resilient when I have paid attention to being gentle with myself. And in Holy Week, particularly, I need that.

So I'm thinking today about self-care, Holy Week, and difficult people, and how, for me, those three things are inextricably linked this year.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 224

Today's Daily 5:

  1. A long sleep
  2. Fabulous cinnamon bun from a local bakery
  3. sunshine
  4. letting worship from Bethel church play in the background as I sat
  5. Flipping the calendar page to a fresh new month
  6. a ride home from mom and dad's
  7. sewing tiny baby booties as a gift
  8. old episodes of The West Wing on DVD
  9. fresh fruit
  10. an afternoon full of cleaning and quiet, tackling lots of little tasks that had gone undone for a while

Left on Today's List

Since arriving home mid-afternoon, I've accomplished things like washing dishes, a couple loads of laundry, some emails and other random tasks.

The list of things still left for today includes:

  • various and sundry school tasks
  • prepping some food for the week ahead
  • stitching a tiny pair of baby booties
  • sending a couple emails
  • doing a wee bit of filing
  • taking some time to rest