Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 313

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a sunny bus ride listening to an audio book
  2. the hug given by a long-time friend
  3. eating at Lazy Loaf & Kettle
  4. fresh blueberries
  5. the sense of being carried through a work shift by a supernatural peace - it's not there until I step in the door, and it's gone when I leave, but in the midst I am oh so present, and thankful for that.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 312

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a day at school that was much less painful than expected
  2. sunshine on bare toes
  3. the beginning of a long weekend (even if it is one with 3 work shifts)
  4. a work shift that went smoothly
  5. coming home for a late night snack of a juicy nectarine (the first I've had this season) and a cup of jello (because I just really like jello)

Friday Reflections, June 29, 2012

Today I want to share with you a chapter from Romans, in The Message.  There's so much in this chapter, and it has been challenging me this week, but particularly yesterday and last night as I prepared for and led an examination/meditation on this chapter at house church.  I was and am so caught by the fresh life that God's Spirit has breathed into this chapter for me, through Eugene Peterson's translation, and I knew I wanted to share it with you here today.

I'd love to hear if portions of it stand out to you, or speak to your heart as well.

Romans 12

Place Your Life Before God

1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

3 I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.

7-8 If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11-13 Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.

17-19 Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."

20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 311

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet afternoon of reflection
  2. hearing God speak unexpectedly into a situation
  3. cuddling and cooing at my favorite little baby boy
  4. a cuddle during some quiet moments of house church from my favorite two year old boy
  5. seeing the way insights pop up when there is obedience
  6. first attempts by my two year old buddy at saying my name (he can echo it pretty well "isa", but when he says it by himself it comes out somewhere between "ha-ta" and "ta-ta")
  7. debriefing a little at the end of the night
  8. friends who support and pray
  9. heart convictions
  10. bread - because I just love the stuff

and again and again

I find that I'm still pondering the necessity of beginning again.

and again.

and again.

and again.


This has been a week of reflection on all the areas that need revival, or new beginnings.

The hard work of creating those beginnings?

I'd rather avoid it.

But the reflection and recognition slowly brings with it conviction.

Compulsion, really.

and so I am readying myself for changes yet again.

for self discipline and even denial of self.

because beginning again

and again

and again

is a necessity to life

almost like breathing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 310

Today's Daily 5:

  1. listening to Christianne's Sunday Cup of Quiet on my bus commute, and being ushered into a very prayerful space
  2. reading a novel
  3. a good bus connection
  4. a chance to give some honest feedback
  5. hanging out with a good friend that I've known since high school

Whimsical Wednesday, June 27, 2012

For something completely different, this week for Whimsical Wednesday I have a video.  I came across this video yesterday and was fascinated by the hours and design that went into this creation.  And, honestly, something in me still feels that childlike joy that always came from setting dominoes up and then knocking them down.  So, seeing them fall into the design of one of my favorite pieces of art is just that much more fun.  I hope you enjoy!  (And I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 309

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a little bit of a sleep-in
  2. not needing to rent a car for clinical
  3. loving the Le Leche League breastfeeding support group meeting I attended as part of my clinical rotation
  4. a quiet evening at home, resting and doing homework
  5. a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup and sweatpants

Tuesday Anticipations, June 26, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • the chance to give some feedback on one of the classes in my program
  • dinner with one of my oldest friends
  • hanging out with my house church friends
  • another weekend that is truly composed of downtime (and a long weekend at that!)
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 308

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a rental car I really liked
  2. being paired with a great nurse, and making visits that were really useful for the learning objectives for this semester
  3. meeting the family for supper
  4. a baby cuddle
  5. getting a much needed grocery shopping trip accomplished (hooray for a fridge full of healthier options!)

A Minor Meltdown: Begin Again

I had a minor meltdown on Friday night, just before I needed to leave for my work shift.

The combination of some very heavy school deadlines, all the demands of a bachelorette party and wedding for my brother and his now wife, juggling church and social obligations, and adding a new job with new hours and some very heavy demands on my emotional energy to the mix didn't play well. When you combine that with burning a candle at both ends to make sure all of those things stayed relatively managed, the result isn't pretty.

It looks like several weeks of eating poorly, exercising minimally, and forgetting to take vitamins and supplements.  It looks like minimal sleep, and way more people intensive commitments than my introverted nature can comfortable juggle.  And ultimately it looks like collapsing into tears in my parent's living room as I head out the door to an emotionally demanding, physically draining late night shift at work.

And so, this week, with the pressure of several of those demands either temporarily or permanently slaked, I'm thinking about what it looks like to begin again.

To offer myself grace for the thousands of self-care missteps I've made through choice or necessity over the last three weeks, and begin to treat myself kindly again.  To eat more vegetables and less cookies.  To schedule time for winding down back into my nightly routine.  To go back to taking vitamins.  To walk or do yoga or hike.  To say no to some people commitments, and yes to the ones that really feed my soul.  To read, to write, to trust.

I'm going to loosely quote Anne Shirley again, one of my all-time favorite lines from literature.  "I'm so glad that tomorrow is another day with no mistakes in it yet."

After a minor meltdown, I'm beginning again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 307

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking rested
  2. Sunday morning quiet
  3. a hot shower
  4. walking by the river, in the cool damp air that follows days and days of rain
  5. watching a momma duck and her babies
  6. a nice long skype date with L, catching up on all the happenings in each other's lives and commiserating on what it's like to be full-time students again, at close to 30.
  7. crawling into a bed with freshly washed sheets
  8. cleaning and tidying my living space for the first time in a couple weeks (can't quite explain how the feeling that my space isn't cluttered brings a lower stress level for me)
  9. a bouquet of flowers on my side table
  10. crossing quite a few things off my to do list while still managing to feel like the day was one that was restful

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 305 & 306

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a bubble bath
  2. caring friends
  3. leftover pizza
  4. a work shift that went well
  5. sinking into the softness of my own bed at the end of a very long day
Today's Daily 5:
  1. blueberries
  2. flip-flops
  3. the smell of rain
  4. what amounted to nearly a full day of rest
  5. episodes of Monk (he really makes me laugh) on Netflix

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Reflection - June 22, 2012

This week I'm so in need of this reminder and this challenge from The Message:

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 304

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sunshine
  2. naps on the bus
  3. a Wendy's grilled chicken sandwich
  4. hanging out with my two favorite little guys and their parents
  5. getting home quite a bit earlier than planned, and knowing I'll be heading to bed quite early and able to sleep in in the morning

J + R = Wedding!

Last Saturday my middle brother, J, married R, in a ceremony and reception perfectly suited to their personalities as individuals and as a couple.

True to form, they were surrounded by friends (6 attendants a side), loads of family and well-wishers, and one "flower boy".

You see, J quite seriously felt that he should be able to get married while wearing a panda costume.  His sense of humor is like that.  The need to interject a great deal of laughter into every situation is just who he has always been.  When R informed him that a panda suit was not acceptable, he proposed the compromise of a flower boy.  Lest you conjure an image of a small boy throwing rose petals, let me assure you that was what J had in mind was for our 23 year old cousin, M, complete with a mustache, tiara and flower adorned suspenders to fulfill the role.

And fill it he did!  He entered the church to the song from The Lion King that starts the video below, and "delicately" threw rose petals down the aisle as he made his way into the church amidst much laughter.  It was easily my favorite part of the day, simply for the way the laughter and the crazyness of the moment so perfectly reflected the qualities that come to mind when I think of J and R.

They topped their day off with an awesome reception, fun speeches (including a laughter filled one from our baby brother T, who served as best man), and a dance that kicked off with a live band, led by T.  Around 10 pm, as they danced the night away, they arranged for a huge delivery of pizza, to curb the late night hunger caused by hours of dancing.  The party wound down in the wee hours of the morning, when we finally turned the music off to finish the clean-up for the evening.

Other highlights for me included the chance to participate in their ceremony by reading scripture, watching J's face as he caught sight of R entering the church, the looks on my mom's face as she watched her son get married, and the moment during the ceremony, which my dad was officiating, in which dad choked up and spoke through tears as he described both the blessings and challenges of marriage.  Knowing the many things my parents have walked through together in the last 33 years, that moment is especially poignant.

All in all it was a fun way to celebrate a marriage, and I wanted to take the time to tell you about it here.  You can find an awesome preview from the professional photographers, Scott and Jaime Gage )who are both extremely talented photographers as well as dear friends of J & R) here.

I also wanted to share a few of the photos I took, but blogger seems to be temperamental today, so I'll have to share those with you some time next week!  Make sure to check, since I definitely have some fun shots of most of my favorite moments, including the flower "man" as he preferred to be called!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 303

Today's Daily 5:

  1. surviving not one, but two midterms, back to back, on basically the same material
  2. staying far away from some of the crazy that surrounded those exams by hiding out and having lunch with a friend
  3. a sneak peak of a few of the professional photos of my brother's wedding
  4. pizza and wine for supper
  5. an evening with basically NO school requirements

Whimsical Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This week I find myself in need of the beauty of nature.  And, since it's been cold and rainy ALL week long, and I'm cooped up inside in classes anyway, I'm turning to pinterest.  As always, I'd love to hear if one of these images stands out to you, and why.

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 302

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a fascinating post-conference this morning that included experiences of NICU, and a presentation from La Leche League
  2. laughing with school friends
  3. getting to know a classmate just a little bit better
  4. cookies (seriously, always a highlight, right along with jello)
  5. a long phone chat, catching up with a good friend

Tuesday Anticipations, June 19, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • my trip to Florida (something like 56 days!)
  • the weekend and some down time
  • house church
  • the zoo with a few friends and their babies & toddlers
  • catching up by phone and/or skype with a few other friends
  • getting a couple of high pressure midterms and projects off of my plate
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 301

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Clinic visits at a new site, that included lots of new experiences
  2. leftovers from the wedding rehearsal dinner (my dad made two huge roasts and a ham on the smoker)
  3. a long shower
  4. feeling semi-peaceful
  5. cookies

Recovery and Catch-Up

My middle brother is married!  That was pretty much the theme of the last two weekends in my life.  One with a bachelorette party, and one with a wedding.  I got home from the reception somewhere between 1 and 2 am Sunday morning, fell into bed, and slept until noon.

I'll write more about the wedding later this week, and maybe even share a photo or two.

Today, and this week, really, are about recovery and catch-up.

I have all the normal school commitments (plus two midterms, and a paper to write), and the normal church and life commitments, and a few work shifts, but the rest of the week is devoted to catching up and recovery.

I've been around people a LOT the last few weeks, and my introverted self needs some time away.  My evenings for the week are planned around quiet and alone time, mostly, and I can't wait.

I need to catch up on sleep.

I need to catch up on email and blog reading.

I need to catch up on a stack of homework and assigned readings.

All very doable within a series of quiet evenings.

The most adventurous I'm planning to get at this point is venturing out to get groceries tonight.

It should be awesome.

I can't wait to have the chance to sleep, rest, and be restored.

A week devoted to catching up and recovery?  Sounds just about perfect to me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 298, 299 & 300

Day 298 (Friday's Daily 5):

  1. a day off school since my one class of the day conflicted with the rehearsal dinner for my brother's wedding
  2. buying an awesome (and super cute) pair of shoes to wear with my dress for the wedding
  3. taking the day just a bit slow
  4. mango diablo tea from David's Tea
  5. an awesome meal and lots of laughs at the rehearsal dinner
Day 299 (Saturday's Daily 5):
  1. getting my hair and makeup done for a very affordable rate at a local beauty college
  2. the "flower man"
  3. my brother's face as he caught sight of his bride entering the sanctuary
  4. all of the emotions - watching my mom cry next to me, and dad choke up and preach through tears as he performed the wedding ceremony
  5. lots of laughter, and watching as my brother, his new wife, and their friends celebrated in a way that was perfectly suited to who they are
Day 300 (Today's Daily 5):
  1. an unplanned sleep-in until noon (of course, I didn't get to bed until around 3am so...)
  2. a mini father's day celebration (the big one will be after J&R get home from their Italian honeymoon)
  3. coming home to my own space
  4. an afternoon of awesome quiet, moving slowly through a to do list
  5. a bouquet of flowers, and other bits (little pots of moss, mostly) from some wedding centerpieces that are now part of the decor of my room and are adding a bit of green and life to my rather dark basement abode.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Reflections - June 15, 2012

Today's reflection is written by Richard Rohr and struck me as deeply true and profound when it arrived in my inbox yesterday.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic he writes about.


Christ is the bread, awaiting hunger. 
~ St. Augustine

Eucharist is presence encountering presence—mutuality, vulnerability. There is nothing to prove, to protect, or to sell. It feels so empty, naked, and harmless, that all you can do is be present.

The Eucharist is telling us that God is the food and all we have to do is provide the hunger. Somehow we have to make sure that each day we are hungry, that there’s room inside of us for another presence. If you are filled with your own opinions, ideas, righteousness, superiority, or sufficiency, you are a world unto yourself and there is no room for “another.” Despite all our attempts to define who is worthy and who is not worthy to receive communion, our only ticket or prerequisite for coming to Eucharist is hunger. And most often sinners are much more hungry than the “saints.”

Adapted from Eucharist as Touchstone

Eucharisteo. I give thanks.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 297

Today's Daily 5:

  1. peppermint gum
  2. half-day of classes
  3. a productive afternoon
  4. baby cuddles from J. and toddler games and cuddles with M.
  5. hanging out with house church friends

Thursday To Do's

I only have a half day of classes on Thursday's this semester, so those classes are the beginning of my to do list for today.  The rest of the list looks something like this:

  • group of four meeting for next week's praxis teaching
  • group of two meeting for evidence based paper
  • finish preparing for house church leading
  • assemble ceremony programs for my brother's wedding
  • take the garbage out
  • wrap a wedding gift
  • wrap a father's day gift
  • prep some blog posts
  • reply to a few emails
  • tackle some cleaning tasks
  • a few various and sundry other tasks
It's a lot, but I do love having a list and moving through it, so hopefully I'll get quite a bit of this one accomplished.  I do have a good chunk of Friday also available to me, but there continues to be a need to carve out some time for quiet rest, and a need to tackle copious amounts of homework, so those things need to be taken into consideration as well.

What are your plans for the day?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 296

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the smell of the air after rain
  2. being a regular at certain places, and being addressed by name when I arrive
  3. The Message translation
  4. days where I can wear flip flops because they fit both weather and dress code requirements
  5. a fun coffee with an acquaintance

Whimsical Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the interests of getting some sleep, and devoting time to the stacks of homework that backed up on my out of whack week last week, I only have one image for you today, but it's an image that made me laugh.

This week I'd love to hear if there are any places, blogs, websites or images that have been inspiring you.  Leave them in the comments so we can all share in the inspiration!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 295

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sunshine and warmth!
  2. A litany of thanksgiving as I drove to clinical
  3. coffee with the friend who is a chaplain at the university - I always walk away so encouraged
  4. laughter
  5. plowing successfully through three important assignments for one class, all due within 24 hours tonight and tomorrow morning

Tuesday Anticipations, June 12, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • A little bit of down time
  • house church
  • celebrating with my brother and his fiancee at their wedding
  • several days off from work
  • plowing through a number of looming school deadlines
  • taking a bit of time to read for fun
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 294

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a smooth rental car process and driving commute
  2. another good day of clinical (this one included quite a bit of baby cuddling!)
  3. corn dogs (I know, so not healthy, but I really do like them)
  4. plowing through some homework and laundry between clinical and work
  5. a work shift that left me feeling quite encouraged

A week out of whack

Things started out so well with blogging last week, and then went downhill.  You may or may not have noticed that my daily 5 posts were bunched together, and that Thursday and Friday's posts were missing entirely.

That was kind of the way my week went, too.

I started a new job, one that I already love, as a care aide for a disabled woman.  Most of my job involves getting her ready for and into bed at night.  I did a mid-week shift last week, my first on my own, and it didn't go smoothly.  It took double the amount of planned time, and I arrived home at 3:00 am, slept for 2.5 hours and then got up to head to school for a half-day of classes.

That event threw my whole week out of whack, and instead of using the weekend to catch up the way I normally would, I spent most of the weekend at a bachelorette party for my sister-in-law to be.  We stayed up late, experienced a blizzard (yes, with snow, in June!), and then came back to the city for a lingerie shower with even more friends.

I worked last night, and again tonight (with the person who trained me back there to help smooth out all the wrinkles we bumped into last week), which means late nights. Not a great thing when I'm already so tired that I feel like I could cry.  But I'll get through them.

So, when Tuesday arrives, my only plan is to tackle some homework, and then plant myself in front of a television (or netflix!) and veg.  I'm very much looking forward to stealing a few hours for that on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, since next weekend will be fully occupied with my brother's wedding.  It's going to be lovely

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 293

Today's Daily 5:

  1. wind that cools but isn't cold
  2. the scent of lilacs
  3. people who have grace as a default
  4. a much better work shift
  5. lots of laughter at R's lingerie shower

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 291 & 292

It's been a bit quieter in this space this week, and even the Daily 5 posts have been condensed.  I'll tell you about some of what's been going on in the coming week, but suffice to say that the week got unpredictably out of control, and it happened quickly.  So, for now, here are yesterday and today's Daily 5 lists, with the hope of returning to my regular daily posting schedule for the Daily 5's tomorrow, and my regular weekly posting schedule on Monday.

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in
  2. coffee with my first ever roommate and her 4 month old son
  3. a baby cuddle (with a baby whose red hair and little cowlick curl makes him resemble Tintin!)
  4. finding some great deals shopping
  5. hanging out in Banff with the girls and soaking in the hottub for part of the bachelorette celebrations for my sister-in-law to be
Today's Daily 5:
  1. seeing some favorite spots around Banff
  2. a cup of really good tea
  3. the many moments of laughter that come with things like Bachelorette parties
  4. a safe drive home (since we drove through both snow and rain)
  5. hanging out and having some alone time in my own bed

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 289 & 290

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. raindrop circles
  2. bus commute naps
  3. knowing that I'm held by the prayers of others
  4. a hot shower
  5. a dad who was willing to pick me up in the middle of the night and get me home after a tough work shift
Today's Daily 5:
  1. being thankful that after a super long work shift, I only had a half day of classes
  2. an afternoon nap
  3. baby cuddles
  4. house church gathering
  5. tasty food

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today's Whimsical Wednesday is the usual eclectic mish-mash.  I couldn't pick a theme this week, so I just chose several images that made me smile.  As always, I'd love to hear which ones stand out to you.

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

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 287 & 288

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. clinical day in postpartum!
  2. loved the butt warmers my latest rental car had
  3. Mexican with a good friend from school (and sangria... so good)
  4. hanging out after dinner with the same friend
  5. being able to drive home from my very late night work shift thanks to my rental car
Today's Daily 5:
  1. Getting a few minutes of extra sleep thanks to the rental car
  2. another good clinical visit
  3. cookies
  4. an interesting lecture
  5. laughing on the phone with a girlfriend

Tuesday Anticipations, June 5, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • more postpartum care home and clinic visits
  • heading to a small town south of the city for house church and time with some good friends
  • spending a portion of the weekend celebrating the impending wedding of my brother and soon to be sister-in-law at her bachelorette party in the mountains
  • hanging out for a morning coffee date with my first ever roommate and her 4 month old son
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 04, 2012

Wind Down

It's Sunday night as I write this post, and I'm feeling some pressure.

Time pressure, really.  You see, I have no idea what I want to write about for this Monday post, never mind the rest of the week, and I promised my therapist last week that in an effort to better manage self-care and my ongoing struggles with anxiety in the midst of a schedule that is currently very full and in-flux, I'd re-institute a night time wind-down period.

So, I guess, given that that period is supposed to begin in a little under an hour, and is definitely NOT supposed to include televisions or computers (or anything else with a screen), I guess the wind down period is destined to be the subject of this post.

Can I tell you the truth about something? Of all of the tools I've used to manage sleep and anxiety, the wind down period is the one I like the least.

It doesn't matter that it works.  That I sleep better, with less dreams, and that because I'm more rested, I'm more able to handle the challenges of anxiety and a very full schedule.  I still kind of hate it.

I hate the limitation on screen time.  I hate having a fixed bedtime.  It grates against me to need to exercise those aspects of self-control and discipline in my life.  It feels like one more limiting factor, a problem when sometimes my anxiety flares up because of time-limiting factors.

9:30 p.m.

It's supposed to start at 9:30 p.m.

I'm not sure I can express just how hard it is for my night owl self to voluntarily turn off my laptop and/or television at 9:30 and spend the next 30 to 90 minutes reading, praying, and then self-imposing a "bed-time".  I kind of hate it.

But it works.  And I'm more committed to health than to fighting against this aspect of self-discipline.  And I remain oh so aware that my word for 2012 is "still", and that this imposes 30 to 90 minutes of stillness and quiet in my life each evening.

(But right now, I still kind of hate it.  Not to mention the fact that I continue to have an anxiety condition that makes it a necessary reality.)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 286

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a super good work shift again last night (first time hand's on)
  2. sleeping in super late this morning (unplanned, but lovely)
  3. cuddling another honorary nephew at a baby shower in his honor this afternoon
  4. Growers Peach Cider
  5. a quiet evening at home

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 285

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a sleep in morning
  2. getting my weekend errands accomplished
  3. lazy afternoon
  4. chinese take out
  5. a job that makes me smile

A Weekend Smile

When I saw this video last week for the first time, it totally made me smile, and even cry a little, watching the surprise and overwhelming excitement on the girl's face.  I couldn't resist sharing it here:

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 284

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping late
  2. a day for rest
  3. sweatpants
  4. oatmeal
  5. candles
  6. chocolate
  7. fun earrings
  8. a night hanging out with a friend from house church
  9. watching Jacob and Lily play a show at a little pub in the town they're living in now
  10. hugs from friends

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday Reflections, June 1, 2012

Today's reflection comes from Richard Rohr, and arrived in my inbox this past Sunday, Pentecost.  I so appreciated the reminder that Pentecost is for every day, not just a semi-ignored festival of once a year, and wanted to share this reflection with you today.

Sunday, May 27, 2012 
Pentecost Sunday

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. And He said to them again, “Peace be with you!”
~ John 20:19-21

We still wait behind closed doors; fifty days (“Pente-cost”), fifty years, five hundred years, we are always waiting and hoping, but not really expecting. It is the day we are always waiting for but never prepared for, the day of the great outpouring of fire-laden love, the day that ties all other days together. Pentecost is actually every day, if we expect it; but, not surprisingly, this is the greatest forgotten major festival of the entire church year.  Most come to church expecting no new outpouring, or maybe not even remembering an old one.

Yet it is Pentecost, the day of the great gathering in and the great sending out. The Holy Spirit must get tired of waiting for us, always hiding behind our closed doors.

Break through my closed door, O God.

Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, day 205, p. 192