Friday, January 31, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 40

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a productive morning
  2. the therapeutic value of a long shower when the world is sort of crashing around me
  3. a nap in the armchair, wrapped in a blanket, with a BBC drama playing in the background on netflix
  4. a cup of tea
  5. good friends to text with
  6. spur of the moment drive across the city
  7. the resulting burger, fries and froyo
  8. making headway in studying for my exam
  9. some random links that made me laugh
  10. seeing cute pictures of my niece on her first American vacation

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 39

Today's Daily 5:
  1. sleeping in
  2. deciding to give myself a bit of much needed grace
  3. BBQ Spolumbo's sausages and grilled zucchini and peppers for dinner
  4. a long bubble bath with a brain candy novel to read
  5. friends who I can ask for help and lean on

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 38

Today's Daily 5:

  1. roads that weren't too bad despite snow
  2. pretty scrubs - so nice to not wear my ugly student ones anymore
  3. a challenging conversation with my spiritual director
  4. a bubble bath at the end of three very long and challenging days
  5. some great online reads as I wind down for the night

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 37

Today's Daily 5:

  1. encouragement from a shuffled playlist of worship music on my iphone
  2. a sliver of a crescent moon
  3. an afternoon that was better than my morning
  4. leaning hard on friends who are holding me in prayer
  5. a burger and fries from Harvey's for dinner - comfort at the end of what was admittedly a pretty rough day.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 36

Today's Daily 5:

  1. first day as a nurse! (because even though that feels a bit overwhelming and stressful and anxiety inducing at the moment, it's something to celebrate and remember)
  2. ninja dinosaurs
  3. knowing a few trusted friends were holding me in prayer
  4. an unexpected short visit with a good friend
  5. protein packed brownies - gluten and dairy free, and made with such goodies as avocado and almond meal - so tasty

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 35

Today's Daily 5:

  1. getting some tasks that I'd rather skip done early in the day, thus freeing up my day
  2. cooking a new recipe
  3. prepping to start work (as a nurse! crazy!) tomorrow
  4. a bubble bath
  5. driving and listening to worship music and some good teaching on my iphone

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 34

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a couple of ongoing email dialogues
  2. the kind of experience that led to sending the following text to two good friends, "You know, I continually underestimate how responsive Jesus will be if I'll just stop being pissed off at him for not making my life perfect and easy long enough to actually shut up and listen! :) "
  3. the responses that sending this sort of text invite
  4. hanging out with a good friend, doing stuff related to her wedding that I'm privileged to stand up in next month
  5. cuddles with my niece
  6. a listening ear from my brother (the gentle sympathy for what I was experiencing made me cry)
  7. really good Mexican food for dinner
  8. the lightness that comes from the kind of experience I mentioned in number 2
  9. watching an episode of Bones (I do love those characters and the growth they've experienced through all the seasons)
  10. sipping tea and reflecting on how a day that started out really crappy has ended much more peacefully

Friday, January 24, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 33

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up in a good way, without the crazy dreams I've been having lately
  2. green smoothie day 24
  3. the feel of my honorary nephew's body curled up against mine as I propped him on my hip
  4. the smile on both of my honorary nephew's faces
  5. great dinner and conversation with good friends

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 32

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a long hot shower
  2. I know I say this most days, but text messaging with faraway friends really is a reason to smile
  3. cuddles with my niece (now sporting a super cute pony tail right on top of her little head)
  4. dinner with my brother and sister in law
  5. a teary but helpful conversation in a parking lot tonight after a meeting I attended

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 31

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the freedom to roll over and go back to sleep when I woke up too early after a rough night of sleep and dreams
  2. knocking a particularly annoying item off my to do list
  3. texting throughout the day with various far-away friends
  4. an unexpected email in response to one I sent, that helped clarify some issues and gave me much to think about
  5. a lovely skype date with a good friend, where we actually talked about heart stuff. so good.

In Writing or In Person

After I posted my daily 5 post last night, with a little bit of an explanation of why making those lists moves and changes me, I got to thinking about how there are a number of areas in my life right now, where I'm involved with newer groups or relational settings, and how little of myself I feel like is being expressed in those settings at this point.

And then I opened my twitter account and wrote the following two successive tweets:

"I have to laugh when I publish a blog post and I realize how well you have to know me before my written self and my in person self match up"(from here)


"My in person self is reserved unless I'm comfortable. If I'm comfortable, the intellectual writer, thinker, prayer and Jesus lover emerges." (from here)

I'm still thinking about this topic this morning - about how in new relationships (with some exceptions) it tends to take a very long time for my most true self to appear and find expression.

Part of that comes from the introversion.  Often new relationships begin in group settings, and group settings have never been my forte. They intimidate me.  I don't like being the center of attention, so unless I am very, very comfortable that it is safe to expose myself in even a minor way to everyone in that group, I'll likely remain quiet, sit near the back, and tend towards preferring invisibility wherever possible.  I'm not shy, really.  If you ask directly I'll likely answer.  But I'm also comfortable with not needing to be the one who answers (the exception to this being the times in my life that I've been in a teaching or leadership role), and in fact I rather prefer it that way.

Part of it comes from that thing about safety. In the past I felt that to not immediately put everything on the table was a sort of lie of omission, and I couldn't stomach that idea.  I've exposed parts of myself in the past in settings that I knew might be less than safe, and I've paid a price for that.  As I've gotten older, and had some good therapy, I've learned about things like boundaries, and valuing myself enough to be careful with what and how I share myself, recognizing that the whole world doesn't need to know the deepest parts of my heart - that I can choose to reveal those things to a select few, and that in making that choice it is not living a falsehood, but rather seeing myself as a person who was created as a valuable child of God.

I'm remembering numerous times in the past where someone who has known me in person for quite some time discovers my writing (something that is admittedly harder to do these days, since I do far less of it in any sort of public forum) and then comes to me and asks some variation of the question "Where did this come from? Who are you????"

And so it makes me smile, and sometimes just a bit frustrated to ponder how my written self expresses the deeper parts of me that often take a very long time to emerge in person.  And it makes me smile in a bigger way to consider that several of my closest friends are those who met me in writing long before they met me in person.  Because they already knew the deep parts of me, we skipped that awkward stage, and it was and is a lovely way to begin a friendship, at least for my introverted self.

And I'm smiling because I know about myself that in person it takes me a while, and because those tweets last night sprang from a place of frustration over a number of arenas in my life right now where I feel hidden and unknown and the process of relationship building just doesn't quite seem to be clicking.  It sprang from a genuine wrestle with trusting safety, and from a place of impatience with the process of relationship building.  It sprang from a place of recognizing that there are a number of deep things going on in my heart and life right now, and feeling frustrated with knowing how and where to express those in ways that are safe, and will nurture them, rather than yanking them up by the roots.  And it sprang from a loneliness for local friends who know me in the deeper ways.

I'm the same person in person as the person who writes, but it takes a while for the two personas to catch up with each other.  And that makes me smile, and makes me impatient, and gives me hope (when I stop to consider the lovely relationships that do match).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 30

This morning started out rough - I had plans that I was quite looking forward to that fell through.  My emotions have been wonky this week, and that little thing initially hit hard.  In that moment, as I texted back and forth with several friends about various things, I began to realize again why I value the exercise of writing these daily 5 lists.  They make a difference.  In noticing the small things and finding reasons to smile and to choose to be grateful, I see a shift in the place where I've been existing for the last while.  It's becoming habit again to take note, and to give thanks, and the results are a greater ability to adapt to changes and disruptions, and a greater ability to live in the present moment with joy and peace instead of anxiety and fear.  I'm reminded of Ann Voskamp's line, "Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle."  Amen and amen.

Today's Daily 5:

  1. 30 days of consistently counting smiles and giving thanks
  2. a long shower to start my day
  3. a curly hair day
  4. wearing my favorite sweatpants and a cute, comfy tank top from Old Navy to bum around the house
  5. a quiet, simple day mostly at home, sometimes cooking (so therapeutic), sometimes reading, sometimes listening, plus, you know, the latest episode of Castle

Monday, January 20, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 29

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in after a late night spent writing and processing
  2. the joy of waking up and being able to leave my bedroom and enjoy natural light immediately - such a nice change to house sit and be outside of my basement cave dweller life
  3. using a vitamix to make my green smoothies
  4. having a day where the morning offered quiet space where I could ponder the bit of surreal feeling I had after the experiences I shared with the Lord in the last few days, and think about what comes next
  5. the blessing of dear friends to journey with - sometimes I lose how much of a blessing this is because I get too focused on how much I hate how far away they all are
  6. a surprise deal on a purchase that I really did need to make, even though money is tight - got to the cash desk and the item I was buying was half off - a little reminder that I am being cared for in this season
  7. accomplishing all of the errands on my list
  8. sipping a cup of Midsummer Night's Dream Tea from David's Tea while studying for my licensing exam
  9. talking, sharing and praying by phone with a good friend
  10. phones, texting, skype, facetime - so thankful for technology since my friends insist on living so darn far away.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 28

Today's Daily 5:

  1. chatting with a friend before mass started
  2. unpacking and settling in at my folks for another housesitting gig
  3. a bubble bath and a novel
  4. another really profound evening at the prayer conference I attended this weekend
  5. texting with my friend Sarah as I began to process what the weekend held

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 27

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up with complete peace over something I went to to bed last night feeling deep anxiety about
  2. a pretty fantastic teaching on listening prayer at a conference I attended all day today
  3. worship lead by Amanda Cook
  4. hearing God speak and reveal some things to my heart in ways He hasn't in a while
  5. a day of time in the presence of God that my heart just really needed

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 26

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up slowly this morning
  2. good chocolate
  3. flickering candles across the room
  4. baking a new recipe
  5. a lovely skype date with my bestie, Lydia

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 24 & 25

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a nice quiet day at my parent's house, home alone
  2. still loving the green smoothie challenge
  3. spending time with a long time friend, eating and shopping
  4. really good mexican food
  5. a new tea from David's Tea - White Chocolate Frost - yum!
Today's Daily 5:
  1. styling my hair curly this morning
  2. spending the day (lunch, all afternoon, dinner) with a good friend from school
  3. studying with said friend for our upcoming licensing exam
  4. reading a novel on the bus
  5. chatting with a newer friend on the ride home from a church class tonight

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 23

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up feeling rested
  2. a trip to the library
  3. a productive time studying for my upcoming exam
  4. grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
  5. ferrero rocher

Monday, January 13, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 22

Today's Daily 5:

  1. being able to sleep in this morning
  2. a long hot shower
  3. 13 straight days of green smoothies - now almost halfway through the 30 day challenge
  4. a really good meeting with a new spiritual director - so encouraged on my journey just now
  5. simple supper of chicken and quinoa with kale, red pepper and chickpeas. plus parmesan. always parmesan.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 21

Today's Daily 5:

  1. another very helpful day of review course for my nursing exam
  2. a simple turkey sub from subway
  3. rooibos tea
  4. a couple fascinating articles I was linked to
  5. relaxing in the living room with my mama, rewatching the season premiere of Downton Abbey

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 19 & 20

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet day at home
  2. making a favorite quinoa recipe with a turkey burger for dinner
  3. enjoying the luxury of a bubble bath in mom and dad's soaker tub
  4. some positive news
  5. knowing that the morning commute would be a bit easier since I crashed at mom and dad's
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a work shift that started three hours earlier than usual, but was relatively painless when it had the potential to be really bad
  2. catching up with a school friend I hadn't seen in a while
  3. a helpful (if super intense and long) first day of a review course for my nursing licensing exam
  4. eating leftover quinoa and baked chicken with mom
  5. hershey's kisses
  6. another bubble bath
  7. reading a slightly trashy novel to decompress and turn my brain off at the end of an intense day
  8. knowing that I don't have to be up at 5am tomorrow
  9. tylenol cold medicine
  10. magic bags on achy muscles

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 18

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet day at home since I'm fighting yet another sinus cold
  2. kiwi fruit tango green smoothie for day 9 of the 30 day challenge
  3. amooza string cheese
  4. reading a good book on transit
  5. a decent conversation in an unexpected moment

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 17

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a good phone conversation this morning pertaining to nursing
  2. still loving the green smoothie challenge (day 8 today)
  3. a bubble bath at mom and dad's
  4. dropping birthday cards in the mail for a couple good friends
  5. peanut butter and raspberry jam on warm naan bread

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 16

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a mostly restful night of sleep
  2. a really tasty green smoothie on the 7th day of my green smoothie challenge
  3. tackling the making of vegetable stock from scratch
  4. enjoying a bit of a lazy day
  5. a long skype date with a dear friend who really gets me

Monday, January 06, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 15

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a new (natural) coconut lipbalm that was a Christmas gift from a friend
  2. commiserating with a friend via text
  3. working a list to create success on a day when it felt like life was defeating me
  4. some positive news
  5. the way exercise can help with mood (even if this reality annoys me, as someone who thinks exercise is quite awful)
  6. doing a few errands with mom - getting out of grandma's basement is helpful for my sanity these days
  7. a bacon portobello mushroom melt burger from Wendy's
  8. settling in for a cup of rooibos de provence from David's Tea and watching an episode of Downton Abbey
  9. twinkling of a tea light across the room
  10. a bit of chocolate to end the night (love me some ferrero rocher)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 14

Today's Daily 5:

  1. accomplishing a number of needed housecleaning tasks
  2. working with my day planner and journals (such a list and organization geek!)
  3. texting with a couple good friends
  4. being able to laugh when a miscalculation in the order of household tasks this morning resulted in a cold shower for me (note to self - start laundry and dishwasher after shower is accomplished in future!)
  5. simple meals (including day 5 of the green smoothie challenge - kiwi berry punch today)
  6. a quiet moment of recognizing a truth in my life
  7. Malcom Guite's sonnet for the Feast of Epiphany
  8. tackling a task that I really didn't want to do, and knowing that now I don't have it hanging over my head
  9. freshly washed sheets on my bed
  10. sinking back against soft pillows at the end of the day

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 13

Today's Daily 5:

  1. twinkle lights against snow
  2. the perfect stillness of an early morning after a snowfall
  3. the shared camaraderie of waiting for a bus that is late
  4. the realization that however dreary, the days are finally getting longer
  5. passing my CPR for another year

Friday, January 03, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 12

Today's Daily 5:

  1. making choices that I know are good for my health
  2. sleeping relatively restfully without too many weird dreams (this combo has been a rarity lately)
  3. mango - basically anything with mango
  4. simple, healthy meals
  5. the connection of the internet that lets me share bits of the lives of the people I love

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 11

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a clean bill of health from the eye doctor
  2. a chance to go for a walk while I waited for an appointment
  3. starbucks very berry hibiscus refresher
  4. wendy's grilled chicken sandwich for lunch
  5. a brief chance to skype with one of my favorite people
  6. the accomplishment of cleaning and reorganizing
  7. hanging twinkle lights in my room
  8. a cup of tea
  9. hanging new calendars to start a new year
  10. curling up to sort, putter, and write a little

Persevere - One Word for 2014

My word for this year came later than normal.  I toyed with a few options all afternoon on December 31st, but nothing quite fit.  I headed (begrudgingly, I admit) off to mass to fulfill my New Year's Obligation, sat through mass, and still didn't have a word.  I came back to my parent's place where I've been staying for a week or so break from my own crazy living situation, had some dinner, watched the tail end of a movie with them, and still didn't have a word.

And then I sat down with my laptop and began looking up definitions.  I sat with the emerald green moleskine journal I've set aside for 2014 - the one that tucks into the pocket of the front cover of my day planner for the year - and I listed goals.  I thought about the things in my life that seem overwhelming.  I went upstairs and had a bit of a tearful conversation with my mom.  And then I looked up more definitions.

And somewhere in there, a word emerged.  It came quickly, and as it did, I copied the definitions into the moleskine.  And then three passages of scripture came, too.

My word for 2014 is Persevere.

It's a fitting word, as I wait for the culmination of a number of things in my life over the coming year. It's fitting as I look at some of the things that I'm dreaming and praying about, and it's fitting as I consider some of the things that are currently major stressors in my life, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and maybe a bit adrift.

The definitions from are as follows:

  1. to persist in anything undertaken, maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly
  2. to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc; insist
  3. to bolster, sustain, or uphold
That's about right as I consider the list of goals I jotted down for the year, and as I consider the things left incomplete from 2013.

And then there are these three passages of scripture, which speak to the attitude and persona I'm sensing will be necessary for 2014:

Matthew 15:27-28 (The Message)
She was quick, "You're right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master's table."  Jesus gave in. "Oh woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!" Right then her daughter became well.

Luke 18:7-8 (NIV)
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.

John 2:3-5 (NIV)
When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." "Woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

That's my prayer for this year - the strength to persevere - to live joyfully and press forward steadfastly. To persist in the face of what seems overwhelming and impossible - and to do it with the faith that the perseverance will be rewarded.  It's a big challenge - a huge prayer - I'm not actually all that good at the trusting and having faith thing - but it's what my heart feels called to for this year, so I'm going to try for it.  There is grace for when I fall short, and grace for when I push through, and that grace makes this journey worthwhile.

So, here's to 2014, my year of "persevere"!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 10

Today's Daily 5:

  1. an unexpected gift that eased a bit of a burden
  2. enjoying a final day of rest and quiet at my parents place today, before I head home to the fray that is my own living arrangements tomorrow
  3. a bubble bath while reading a novel
  4. sitting in the aftermath of an unexpected prayer revelation from yesterday
  5. first day of a green smoothie challenge - cilantro mango detox today