Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I Learned in March

~ I still love being home, pulling wide the curtains to see what morning has in store for me.

~ Setting intentions down on paper makes things happen. I am writing nearly every day. 

~ Weeding out "stuff" in my home makes room for new things in both my inner and outer world.

~ Grandmother love for this girl never diminishes. Delighted in having her here a couple days.

~ I'm never to old to dream. Starting a "Restless" study by Jennie Allen next week with six other women. Yay!

~ Keeping things before my face helps me immensely. On my fridge is a paper stating "Trust in Him and He will act." Below those words - fill in the blank with what I am placing in God's hands today. This visual keeps me practicing the art of letting go.

~ To follow after joy is a daily choice, sometimes moment by moment.

~ March is wild and windy. Actually I already knew this but why does it come as a surprise every winter?  I am glad its over.
Goodbye March 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crowns, Crisis and Critters

I used to be inflexible, unable to go with the flow when my plans were disrupted or crisis occurred. For instance when I planned to head for town but the garage door was frozen shut, I went into a tailspin. I don't know if it's maturity or lots of practice, but I am able to transition well these days. But this week was all kinds of crazy!

Last Sunday we celebrated my beautiful daughter-in-law as she was crowned Mrs. Maine. Two hours of glimmer and glamor created an emotional climax when they called her name. Congratulations Lori, on accomplishing your dream!

Monday was a busy travel day. We arrived home to freezing temps both outside and in. Our house was 41 degrees. Thankfully the pipes were not frozen!

While Hubby was getting the furnace going, we got a call that his mom had collapsed.

The next few days were filled with men trying to fix the furnace and visits to hubby's mom. She's doing fine now. The furnace remains a mystery.

Friday everything appeared quiet on the home front. I settled in for a day of writing. I closed my laptop around 4:00 filled with a sense of accomplishment. Sinking into the kitchen rocker with a new book I planned to catch a little reading time before supper. I'd barely turned a page, when my phone began to ring and a friend dropped by sharing heavy burdens. Mom called to tell me that my brother was back in the hospital. I must admit I fell into bed exhausted that night.

Saturday was uneventful. Hooray!

Then a little after midnight, I sat straight up in bed! The skunk we'd thought we got rid of early winter? He simply hibernated under our bedroom (no foundation under that part of our old farmhouse) and he made his presence known. Hubby muttered, "unbelievable" as I gathered my pillow to head to the upstair bedroom.

I have this super sensitivity to smells and the whole house reeked of skunk! Eventually it seeped into the upstairs; I slept with the covers over my head.

The sun is shining and I am smiling this morning, after purposefully naming all the things I have to be grateful for. I'm going to turn up the heat and open the windows for an airing out.

 Happy Palm Sunday!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Take a Trip

This is a weekend of travel and family. I was going to tell you all about it but this blogging business has a mind of its own. I spent so much time on my Fearless Lines weekly post today, all I can do is send you there. I have to pack up for the second leg of our journey so I'll share more later. Hop over to Fearless Lines this morning and read my post on Women Walking Brave. Happy Sunday.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Few Bumps Along the Creative Path

Since returning to writing morning pages, I've been jotting down weekly intention lists as well. I tried to keep the list doable, yet not boring. Getting goals and ideas out of my head and on to the page makes magic happen! Each week I return to my list a time or two, checking off what I accomplished. I don't get stressed if it looks like not everything will get a checkmark beside it. I simply move on and let it go, knowing life took a different turn.

This week I continued to work on my new writing course, actually both the Compel course and The Conscious Booksmith. I devoted a couple hours each day to writing, although today I began to watch a video for CB and ended up taking a catnap instead. 

I pulled out my coconut oil and sugar yesterday and made a few jars of  body sugar scrub. I added an essential oil to three of the jars- tangerine, peppermint and lavender. This time I used 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of coconut oil, softened and a few drops of oil. I'm not certain what I used at Christmas, so here's hoping! 

Not everything went smoothly on the creative front. I cast on for my second knitted sock - about twenty-five times before I got it right. And yesterday my oatmeal bread bombed! That never happened in all the years I've been making it. I got distracted in the middle of the process and had a moment of questioning how much flour I'd actually added. I pulled the yummy looking, although slightly dipping in the middle, loaves from the oven. I sliced hubby a big warm piece, only to discover it wasn't cooked! Back into the oven for an extra fifteen minutes. Even then, the bread looked doughy and smooshed. Hubby said it had a great flavor. Bless his heart.

Tomorrow we head south to see our kids and grandkids and then pick up mom on Monday from my brother's home and head north. Lily came down with the flu last night so we may have to bypass their home. So disappointed! 

As much as I hate leaving home these days, I am looking forward to the break from writing. I could feel myself slipping into a rut.

Update on the Bible Study: Six women said yes! The seven of us begin Restless on April 6. Yay!

Happy weekend!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Together We Are Beautiful

A few years ago, a friend gave me a shiny glass ball made up of tiny squares side by side reflecting light and hope. She shared a story with a pink promise. 
"None of us are responsible for the whole thing. We each play our part, then side by side we reflect the light. Together it's beautiful. We are beautiful.

My longing for community has been growing over the weeks since IF:GATHERING. But I wasn't sure. I didn't know what that looked like for me anymore. I didn't want to return to old ground. Then Saturday night happened.

I stepped forward, faltering paces following the Spirit. I inbox messaged a few ladies on Facebook who had gathered in my home last fall for Beth Moore's simulcast. I put it out there. They are praying. One woman jumped at the opportunity. Her response: I'm in!

I woke up this morning with the thought, "What have I done?  Am I crazy?" 

Then I remembered. I wrote my heart's purpose in my journal yesterday in the midst of snowstorm-stayed Sabbath. 

To see women come alive with fresh hope and faith and joy and laughter.
To give God opportunity to pour His Spirit out upon us.
Heaven to earth.

I am one of those women. I am but one of those squares lit up by His light. Together we are beautiful.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spirit Stirring in the Wee Hours

 I am bleary-eyed and needing a cup of tea at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. I'm normally in bed by 9:30 p.m. with lights out by 10:00 but I couldn't sleep - again. This is getting to be a Saturday night habit. The past three weekends I've been lying wide awake, sensing an urge to get out of bed,  listen to my spirit or write.

Tonight I was thinking about joy and laughter and their effect on our bodies. This led me to thoughts of starting a ladies Bible study. Go figure? Other than a small gathering with a couple friends, it's been a few years since I led a Bible study.

I slipped out of bed and opened the small tote where I'd tucked materials for future studies. Most of them were Beth Moore, whom I love. At the very bottom of the tote was a box with study materials of Jennie Allen's "Restless." I gathered all of them and quietly settled in my chair before the television. I watched Jennie first, then moved on to Beth. After two sessions with Beth and a few You Tube videos, I kept returning to Jennie Allen. I wasn't crazy over the study guide so I searched on my shelf for the book. My bookmark was still stuck in a halfway point. As I read over the pages, I could sense the Spirit of God pulling me in.

I could use the book, the cards from the kit and a few videos. It would be a lot of work to keep it to seven weeks. This is not in my plan. My intention for the next few months was to focus on my writing. No, this does not fit the script. Yet, here I am at 1:42 a.m. praying
 "Lord, I need confirmation for this one."

He knows how easily I am sidetracked by certain things. Is this just me wanting to return to familiar? Yet, this isn't familiar. Beth Moore would be familiar and she would do the teaching. Lord, you know all things. Lead me.

My word for this year is "unscripted." My IF:Gathering word is "rest. "

I will wait and watch to see what the Lord will say. For now I am simply going to bed.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stop and Celebrate

All sorts of thoughts are going through my head for a blogpost today, which is not a normal occurrence. Instead I am choosing to STOP and CELEBRATE. Several little birds returned to my feeder on this lovely Sunday morning. I have the urge to get out and take pictures. The problem lies in my surroundings- snow, snow and more snow! Spring fever is stirring. 

I am celebrating sunshine and above zero temperatures!

My granddaughter is driving north after work to spend two days with us. My insides feel like they are full of sparkles! I can't stop smiling.

I am celebrating McKenna!

I finished my COMPEL 201 yesterday and begin a brand new course tomorrow, besides continuing with COMPEL. I mention it on Fearless Lines.

I am celebrating accomplishments and new things!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

What is Negotiable?

"Write it down, make it happen" is the title of a book and a principle that has worked for me. Getting back to writing morning pages reconnected me with this practice. On Monday morning I wrote two lists in my journal. The first was a list of things I'd like to accomplish this month, the other list narrowed it down to the week ahead. Today I checked off every single item I'd written down for the week. 

Here's the good part - I didn't strive to make it happen. I wrote it down, prayed over my week, checked the list twice throughout and kept moving. I completed my final goal last night as I tied the last blanket I was making. I snapped a few selfies for Water Your Mama Soul and spent time working my way through COMPEL 201. I even managed to squeeze in times of rest.

Admittedly, the week wasn't without its challenges. I am still fighting this cold thing, mainly in my ears and head. Last week I had planned to take my mom to Portland to stay with my brother who recently had open heart surgery. I cancelled due to the week's adventures so the expectation was that I would take her down this week. We are talking about a five hour drive one way. I knew I wasn't up to it but I struggled with the decision to tell mom no. I wavered back and forth. Was this a negotiable? 

Right in the middle of my quandary, a friend of mine called and graciously offered to take mom next Friday. I was beyond grateful but the experience got me to thinking about what is negotiable and what is nonnegotiable. Next week I begin a month of a serious writing course along with COMPEL.  

Discerning what I can say no to and having the courage to say it are key for me this month. 

I made a financial commitment to this course so that it would force me to live more purposefully where it concerns writing. For years I've placed my writing dreams on the back burner. Now is the time to move them forward. 

How do you decide between negotiable and non-negotiables in your daily life? I will be pondering and journaling more on this topic. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

No Parties This Week

The  overflowing hamper glared at me as it received another day's dirty clothes.  The kitchen table was cluttered with everything from bandages to cough meds to unopened mail. It didn't matter; I could barely muster the energy to pull on my pajamas. 

Another cold and cough virus invaded our house this past week. In the beginning, I tried to guard my intention to celebrate winter. By midweek, after spending the day in the ER with hubby after he fell from a trailer and they'd placed twelve stitches in his head, my celebration simply morphed into survival mode.

Today is Sunday and I've been staring at this laptop screen for longer than I care to share. I have a post due over on Fearless Lines that demands creative juices to flow. Nothing is happening.

On Monday I wrote about trust. Sometimes trust is believing in the hope that things are going to change, that this too shall pass.

As I mentioned, I didn't break out the balloons and party hats this week, but I did remember to be grateful. I'm grateful for a warm home, plenty to eat, the progress I've made in moving away from chocolate, and the fact that I slept through most nights.

Most of all, I'm thankful for that Psalm 91 prayer in action as Hubby fell on cement floor. It could have been much worse than a few hours at the hospital.

A brand new week of life lies before me, Lord willing, full of possibilities for celebration. Some days trust is simply moving forward.