Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 22 Bringing life to order

This thread begins on February 7th

It has been frustrating. For the last two days I have worked to get my blog post up but internet connection has been a challenge. So I am posting both yesterday and today’s blogs at once.

I was flying back home today, which gave me plenty of time for a business meeting with God. We talked facts and figures of how to pull the finances of my life together. And I asked about the point of this exercise. I have been at it for 22 days and I still have not completed all 10 things in one day. It feels impossible! Grrrr! It makes me feel like a failure, like I can’t even pull together 10 things. So God, what about that? (listening) Hmmm the sense that I have is that He agrees that 10 things is too big of a task for me…

Well if that is true then why did I start this in the first place? (listening) hmmm, the sense I have is that it’s been about exposure. Well I have definitely had some heart issues exposed! I have had a lot of legalistic thinking exposed. I still keep trying to figure out what I can do that will be “good enough” to count. Did I do enough to mark it down that I ordered something or cleaned something?

Hmmm but I think He is touching on more than I am seeing. He is reminding me that I was asked to change seats again as I flew home today. Ok, so giving up your seat once that could be random but twice in a row, that could be inspired :) What an interesting thought. God did you set me up to do something kind? Like I don’t always have to be vigilant about being kind I could ask you to set things up for me? (listening) I sense a smirk like, “Hey look! I think she’s getting it” =D Wow, then I could “count” a lot more of the things I do? (oh good grief!). I was asked by a couple who were trying to sit together if I would be willing to change my seat. Shoot, who wouldn’t? How can that be anything that counts for anything? (I have it real bad eh God?) hmmm the sense I have is that I need help.

Ok so what if I am looking at this completely wrong? Am I trying on my own power to DO this list? Is it more about receiving direction than it is about the doing? But I do need to battle this disorder what about that? (listening) Hmmm, the picture I have is of battles being planned and directed by generals. They are not random fits of fighting. They are statically planned and executed. So how does that work?

Oh God, I don’t know what that means. Am I muscling through this list as if it is my power that will accomplish them? Is there a way to attack this list any other way? (listening) Hmmm, the sense I have is that He told me to “do the list”, not to “plan the list.” Ok, so how do I do that? (listening) The sense I have is more like receiving than making it happen. Like being asked to give up my seat. I did nothing to PLAN an act of random kindness. All I had to do was do it. Hmmm, so God, I’m not sure how to do this. It feels like stepping outside of my skin. But I am willing to try.

(listening) The sense I have is that we are going to step back from 10 things and do some things on the list every day (I’ve only been able to do some things anyway!). Those things will be of God’s choosing not mine. Not like a law but as an opportunity to live with purpose. Move as He moves. The only two things He wants me to do consistently is our business meetings, and writing in this blog. Ok, I can do that. Oops, Hmmm Ok God, you have my permission to do that in me :)


1) (business meeting with God) yup

2) (blog) yup

3) (Act of Random Kindness) I had another thing happen to me today. I was waiting until the last minute to load on my plane. Sitting across from me was a man who was sleeping soundly. His boarding pass was face up beside him. I quietly peeked to see if he was supposed to board on my flight which he was. After the last of the passengers were loaded I woke him up and told him the plane was loaded. He was VERY grateful.

4) (Clean something) I came home to a clean house

5) (Order something) I got sales taxes filed today… they were due today and God reminded me of it in the nick of time.

6) (Book) wow, perhaps I am looking at everything wrong. Is blogging a part of reaching my audience?

7) (Family) I was met at the airport. It was a good excuse to share dinner together.

8) (Me) I am beginning to wonder if time with God is me time… duh!

9) (Ministry) Hmmm and maybe kindness is ministry?

10) (rest) And even if order is restful? I think I have been looking at this list all wrong! Perhaps He has been doing more with this exercise than I have been thinking and perhaps I have been doing less. I am amazed.

Day 21 (Bringing Life to Order)

This thread starts on February 7th

I went to church today. I walked into the door took a couple breaths and walked out again. The building was new and full of thick odors both of new materials, paint, carpet and the like but also of perfume or air freshener or something. I feel like I have been run over by a truck (again). Being different can be so isolating. I couldn’t help but wonder what the “greeter” was thinking when I went in and then did a quick 180 and walked back out again. I felt embarrassed, different and well, un-thought-of. It’s not that I expect people to know what prevents me from joining their worship, and for heaven sake don’t change everything for me! (there is a difference between accommodating and “seeing”. One sends a shame message and one is the stuff that true compassion is made of.

That has me thinking. There were greeters there that wanted to make sure we were noticed and welcomed, which is kind. But I wonder if anyone put much thought into the cause of my rapid departure. Not that I needed anyone to notice but I was wondering what we miss by greeting the comers and not the goers. I don’t mean saying good bye after the sermon. I mean those that either come late or leave early, or both. I know of people who wait outside in the parking lot for the music to end. Not because they don’t enjoy music but because the music is loud enough to drive them out of the building. I know a man who is no longer able to join in worship because florescent lights cause a dangerous reaction. I know perfume affects way more than just me. Some people go because they don’t have the courage to stay. Some feel too wicked, dirty, unkempt, drunk, high,…

The thing is, it can’t be up to the goers to make a change. Jesus was approachable. He attracted many that are not attracted to us. There is something wrong with that. And it is our responsibility.

Yesterday’s report:

I didn’t have time to myself yesterday, which means I didn’t have any focused time with God. But I did have time enjoying His art. :).

1) (business meeting with God) too short!

2) (blog) yup

3) (Act of Random Kindness)

4) (Clean something) yup

5) (Order something) yup

6) (Book) nope

7) (Family) lots

8) (Me) not much

9) (Ministry) none

10) (rest) hmmmm

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 19/20 (Bringing Life to order)

This thread starts on February 7th

Well as you can tell I didn’t have a chance to blog yesterday. I had no access to the internet. It was a good day but I didn’t have much time to myself to contemplate. I am one who needs time to contemplate. God and I didn’t have much time together, well coherent, conversational, time. I spent a significant amount of time on an ocean beach. I don’t know of a better gallery of God’s art than that. There is so much power displayed and such intricate life to be seen. It was windy, wet and cold (which is what happens at the beach) The sea gulls were all sitting on the ground which means they were expecting the weather to turn nasty… it did. All that made for an adventure.

Still, I missed my business meeting with God (pretty cool huh?) I’m thinking again of that passage in scripture that says, “in Him all things consist (or hold together) I like that word “consist”. Like, in Him, all things have their consistency. I think about the stuff, stuff is made of, atoms and molecules. It really is a bunch of nothing that somehow feels hard when you bang on it. That gives meat to the idea that God spoke a word and it came to be. But for me that quality time to converse with Him and listen is the stuff that gives me any consistency at all.

Yesterday’s report:

1) (business meeting with God) Yesterday not so much

2) (blog) nope

3) (Act of Random Kindness) nope

4) (Clean something) I did clean our camper

5) (Order something) and bring it to order several times

6) (Book) nope

7) (Family) lots of family time

8) (Me) I LOVE the ocean so yes definite me time

9) (Ministry) well yes working with family counts

10) (rest) lots of rest too :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 18 Bringing Life to Order: (different perspective on kindness)

This thread began on February 7th

I received a lot of notes yesterday both on my blog and personally expressing sympathy for my health issues. I am grateful for your kindness but, though I appreciate the compassion behind everyone's sympathy, I'm not sure I did very well in getting my point across.

MCS is a handicap or maybe a blessing? I am the canary in the mine. I am quick to notice things that are a hazard to us all. It saddens me that we are so flippant in our use of hazardous stuff. I'm sure there are many people who will go to this store and buy blankets (see yesterday’s blog) for themselves and not understand that they need to be washed. There is no notice or warning on the blankets saying they are sprayed with pesticides. There was no indication the possible effects of this spray was even considered. This concerns me.

Is it that we don’t think about the consequences at all? Like would we spray a babies crib with wasp spray because there was a wasp on the pillow? Or would we think about the consequences and say, “This would be bad for the baby. I need to come up with a better idea?” On a broader scale do we have cause and effect in our brains at all? I think that goes back to the idea of kindness. Kindness starts with an awareness of how my actions will affect others. Or maybe it starts with realizing that these slow moving obstacles in grocery store isles are really people who deserve to be considered and ministered to. We feel no need to be kind to obstacles but we are kind to people we care about, aren’t we? Well, I am not always kind, especially towards those I care the most about. That perplexes me too.

I bought my blanket in the same place where I saw the man who was playing happily with the necklaces and sticks. (see Day 16’s blog) He was one of a bus load of similar folk all coming to shop for what caught their eye. There were young mothers there with babies. These are people, people worthy of our concern and compassion. Would the same people that spray the blankets they sell in this store, spray their own baby’s blankets with the same stuff? I don’t know the answer to that but it perplexes either way.

I confess I am struggling to understand cause and effect. I get it when I’m the one affected. But, I do many things not realizing the ripple effect it has on those around me. I guess as I am asking God to open my eyes to opportunities to respond kindly. I am beginning to see how much of the time I don’t respond one way or another. Lot’s to bring to order that’s for sure.

Yesterday’s report: I spent most of the day out of commission :-/

1) (business meeting with God) Wondering where God is leading us from here.

2) (blog)

3) (Act of Random Kindness)

4) (Clean something)

5) (Order something)

6) (Book)

7) (Family)

8) (Me)

9) (Ministry)

10) (rest) I did rest most of the day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 17 Bringing Life to Order (Toxins!)

This thread starts on February 7th

Gak! I am frustrated! I struggle with sensitivities to most chemicals. In years past it was pretty debilitating but I have learned many ways to cope. One way to cope has been to shop for clothes and bedding at thrift stores thus avoiding fresh flame retardants, stiffeners and wrinkle free additives all of which effect me.

Yesterday I went to a goodwill store to purchase sheets and a blanket. I found a beautiful mostly cotton blanket and a sheet that matches but by the time I got to my car I could feel a reaction coming on. By the time I got home I was feeling pretty desperate. I immediately bathed, changed clothes and washed the blanket twice, once including a significant amount of vinegar. (I hope that works) I then spent the rest of the day in bed shivering and scouring the internet for what might have happened. It seems the bed-bug/lice scare has goodwill spraying their bedding with pesticides *sigh*. I am still shivering this morning and not very motivated. I have been googling how to get pesticides from fabric all I see is to wash it well. I have done that. Why do we do these things to ourselves?

Yesterday’s report:

1) (business meeting with God) Gosh, if you don’t let money limit your dreams there is a lot of ideas to consider

2) (blog)

3) (Act of Random Kindness) I know from other things in my life that God has had to totally rebuild that it takes time. I am asking God to build into me the eyes to see and the ability to stay on the side of His perspective so that seeing won’t overwhelm me.

4) (Clean something) that toxic blanket totally counts! I think I will stick it outside today :(

5) (Order something)

6) (Book) I bought supplies for sending some books out. Now what I need is the energy to write a letter on introduction.

7) (Family) not much if any

8) (Me) Hmmm God to tell you the truth, I don’t know what this means. What am I to do for me? Isn’t focusing on me the opposite of “seeing” others? (listening) Hmmm the sense I have is that it’s less embarrassing to practice nurturing on yourself! How funny lol. Ok, that does make sense though. How can you offer kindness if you don’t know what “kind” looks like toward you? What would gift me? That’s a tough question.

9) (Ministry) nope

10) (rest) though fitful I was forced to rest yesterday

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 16 Bringing Life to Order: (Kindness)

This thread begins on February 7th

I had difficulty finding internet access today and thus this is late but not forgotten. On the west coast it is still early afternoon. I don’t have many responsibilities here. There isn’t much I can clean or organize so I have been focusing on things I can do. I’m still struggling with simple acts of kindness. That’s a sad commentary! I am noticing how much I don’t notice. I guess that’s a start. The sun is shining here and the temperature is perfect. I took advantage and strolled slowly up the street looking at the flowers all in bloom around me. There is one house whose porch is covered in beautiful purple and lacy ivory flowers. I was admiring their beauty when a voice from behind them startled me by saying, “Hello!” I didn’t even notice she was there *sigh*. God my eye “sight” is in serious trouble. I apologized for not acknowledging her and chatted for a while. Geeze, can’t see the people for the flowers. God help me.

I get so focused on what I am doing, shopping or walking you name it. People just disappear and are replaced by these slowly, moving obstacles in my path. I don’t’ see their faces. And worse yet, I don’t see their hearts. What is it that keeps me from really looking? (listening) Hmmm, it feels like I am afraid of what I will see.

I went shopping today in several stores all crawling with different people and I can only remember one face and that because he was so out of the ordinary. I went to a goodwill store to shop for a blanket. In the middle of the store sitting on a chair was an older man who had several strings of metallic looking pearls around his neck and one on his arm. He had two sticks in his hands and he was playing with the sticks and the necklaces and perfectly pleased with his find. He was fascinated by the necklace and just as oblivious as I was of the crowds all around him. He had a sweet face and was totally enjoying himself.

People would call him disadvantaged… but he seemed more joyful than anyone else around him. Perhaps our perceptions are twisted. I kick myself for not saying hello. I just didn’t think of it. So God what am I afraid I might see if I look? (Listening) Hmmm, I think sometimes I am afraid of being consumed. Not of one person in particular but by the huge emptiness and hunger of the sea of sadness and loss. How do you plunge into the sea of humanity and not drown in the agony of every suffering soul? (listening)

Hmmm, I wonder how Jesus was able to do what He did. I picture Him often surrounded by a mob of spiritually emaciated souls all pressing in to get what they can from Him be it healing or comfort or hope. And yet scriptures describe Him consistently being moved with compassion. I think I would run in fear of being sucked completely dry. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I do! What about that God? (listening)

I think the most important task for me is to stay on the side of God’s perspective. Perhaps that was Peter’s mistake as he started sinking in the waves. He started out with the same perspective as Jesus’, that being that water can be a perfectly good surface for walking. But then he came to his senses and realized walking on water was a crazy idea. Allowing the pain of the masses to touch me is just as crazy… but walking on the side of God’s perspective keeps me from drowning.

Yesterday's report:

1) (business meeting with God) it’s been fun to have more time to ponder and listen

2) (blog) better late than never. I think I need to write these at night here cause the day is half over when the sun comes up.

3) (Act of Random Kindness) asking God for new perspective

4) (Clean something)

5) (Order something)

6) (Book) I found some places to send my book to in hopes of opening doors

7) (Family) a little on the phone time

8) (Me) lots of me time here

9) (Ministry) nope

10) (rest) I did take a nap but it was countered by staying up late. Still working on this rest idea.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 15, Bringing Life to Order: (God's art)

This thread begins on February 7th

Well, there were a lot of things I didn’t do yesterday like taking the time to celebrate the consistency of blogging for two weeks straight. That’s big for me.

I am feeling very blessed to have gotten here and with very little stress. By the time I arrived at my destination my kids were sending me pictures of the snow storm back home. It was a doozy and I totally missed it. Hehehe

I got on the plane with a sense of expectancy. I often use the time on a plane to write or read but I was really wanting to get on that plane with my eyes open for something I can do to notice someone else’s plight and offer kindness. (I was asked to switch my seat so that a wheelchair bound person had a more accessible one but that wasn’t something that came I “saw” the need for.) On the long leg of my flight I sat between two ladies that were playing solitaire with their ipods or sometimes using their computers for facebooking and movies (did you know there is internet access on planes now?). I really tried to strike up a conversation but I felt like an annoyance to them both so I took to observing.

We loaded into a big plane mid-morning on a Sunday. It’s always beautiful outside above the clouds but most people drew the shades down so they could see their various types of electronic screens. In the mean time, I’m quite sure we passed majestic mountain ranges, vast plains, intricate river beds, lakes and canyons sight unseen. There were very few windows open on the entire plane. I felt like I was in a coffin. I felt like standing up and screaming, “Wake up! A big, beautiful creation is floating by all around you and you are missing it!!!!

There was no in-flight movie (which is new) or other reason for shutting out the light that I could see. The sad part is, I don’t remember when this started happening. I have taken many a flight in recent years. Have I been asleep and not noticing the loss? Romans 1:20 says, For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, (underlines mine)” That says to me that we can clearly understand God by His art. He has surrounded us with a message that is a revelation of His very identity. Isn’t that the way with art? Don’t all artists do this? Are all these bells and whistles pulling our eyes away from God’s greatest revelation of Himself? Well, no, unless you count Jesus as a part of the creation as well as a part of the creator (I see Jesus as a kind of self-portrait of God). The point is, God has stuck Himself out there as vulnerably as I do (and way more!) when I publicly sing songs that clearly reveal my own ugly past. That makes me weep.

Perhaps chaos pulls our eyes away from Him and all these bells and whistles are the way we cope with both the chaos and the emptiness inside because we are missing Him in the process.

Yesterdays Report:

1) (business meeting with God) I had lots of time with God yesterday. I have a bigger sense of future today

2) (blog) It was short and I was the last person on the plane because I was getting it posted but I made it… two weeks of uninterrupted blogging w00t!

3) (Act of Random Kindness) I tried and yes changing you seat “counts” but I felt impotent yesterday. I could “see” but it was like looking through a bullet proof window… sad.

4) (Clean something) Here’s the acid test, I did clean up after my husband chaos God help us both not bring chaos into each other’s lives.

5) (Order something) I did some ordering of our room here. It’s hard to know what is chaos and what are little piles of “brains” that are in order but just not MY order. This is a good place to test things out cause we only have one room to occupy, clean and order.

6) (Book) I sat next to a lady who was high up in the ASCAP world. That’s an organization that helps song writers make a living. I would loved to have talked to her about music and the workings of it but I could tell she would best be served if I didn’t try to use her for my own interests. She could tell I was informed since I knew what ASCAP was and what it did. I told her I was a song writer, that I was registered with ASCAP but left it at that. I wonder if that was a gift to her.

7) (Family) I don’t think it counts that because of car issues my dear family got up at 5 or earlier to get me to the airport on time. Or even that I sent them a picture of the huge lines at the Costco gas pumps here. But it was nice to finally be in the same state as my husband.

8) (Me) I read a book on the plane. It is filling my mind with ideas. I like that.

9) (Ministry) There was not a single crack in the door yesterday. Oh well.

10) (rest) I hope to work on that this week.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 14 Bringing Life to Order

Hi, Interesting morning. I’m sitting in an airport and waiting for a plane. I am one of the few lucky ones. Actually I feel blessed. I felt the nudge yesterday afternoon to check my flight status. It was canceled which means I was able to rearrange my flight last night. I picked a flight that went south out of the weather. The airport looks like a ghost town this morning. There are so few flights that are flying today. I am going to spend a week in the sun w00t!

I don’t have much time to write this morning but there is one thing on my mind. It is the way that order begets order. I got up this morning (at 5) purposely giving me only 30 minutes to shower and dress and get down the road. I could do that because my bags were packed my house was in order and everything was ready for me to leave. It was amazingly peaceful as flying days go. I did some cleaning and ordering yesterday of my bedroom and my closet which was all that was needed for my house to be together when I get home. It feels like trying to surf. The key is to get on top of the wave, well actually perfectly under the curl. Then all you have to do is ride it in. The work of order is getting it there… if I can get in order, keeping it there isn’t as hard…

Quick report this morning we are bording!

1) (business meeting with God)

2) (blog)

3) (Act of Random Kindness) God give me eyes on this plane!

4) (Clean something) yup

5) (Order something) yup

6) (Book) nope

7) (Family) nope (car troubles prevented me :(

8) (Me) nope

9) (Ministry) nope

10) (rest) hmmmm

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 13: Bringing Life to Order (desire, choice and soap nuts)

This thread starts on February 7th

I did it, I did it, I did it! I filled out all those terrible forms and delivered them on time with 5 hours to spare! W00t, w00t!. Some things just need to be celebrated. :)

Oh btw, I have a verdict on the soup nuts. They seem to do a good job over all. I washed a table cloth with carbon dust on it (you had to be there) and all the black came out but there was a small oily spot on the same tablecloth that didn’t. I can see the need for treating spots but overall I was impressed.

I am grateful today is Saturday. I really want to rest today. It has been a busy week of personal battles and ministry. Sometimes it’s important for me to process the “stuff” that God did while offering ministry to people. Sometimes God taps me on the shoulder and says, “listen up! What you are about to hear is for you too”… hmmm. Sometimes while witnessing both the damage in others and God’s huge grace and healing I am also changed. (did I say sometimes?) I like that.

Someone asked me that question again this week… I am asked this question over and over again and I have pondered it myself in years past. It’s in reference to women trapped in domestically violent relationships. People constantly ask me, sometimes with obvious contempt, “Why doesn’t she leave?” It hits me like a punch in the stomach sometimes…

My answer, “because she is a woman of integrity.” Women stay because they made a promise and with all their hearts they want to keep that promise. They stay because they love their kids more than their own safety. They stay because if they leave, there is no guarantee that their children will be protected, fed, clothed and warm. They stay because they know it is safer for them and for their loved ones if they stay than if they leave (that’s true! Google it and see for yourself). The bottom line, that’s the wrong question. The question is why do we put it on the women to solve the problem? Why is it her responsibility to fix the situation? If she leaves someone else will take her place and the damage will continue. In all the time I have been working with hurting women, I have never been asked, “Why doesn’t he stop beating her?” I really want to know the answer to that question cause if we could get at the root of the violence… the real problem would be addressed.

I talked with many people about desire and choice this week and God said, “listen up” Hmmm, there is a passage in scripture that says, Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4). I believe that means he will give you the hunger in your heart… not the stuff that you want. If we delight in the LORD our passion and desires are from Him, which says to me that what we want can be a holy thing. I have always heard about my desires in the context of my “sinful desires”. There certainly are sinful desires but there is a law of physics described here, an if, then statement. If you delight in the LORD, then your desires are made holy. Perhaps the catch word is delight. You can’t fake delight, I like to use that word instead of “love” which has lost it’s meaning in a world that “loves” just about everything from fried chicken to a person you have only had sexual relations with. I don’t hear many people say they are delighted in chicken. But it still means something to say this is my child in whom I am delighted! So, that smacks me with the realization that I have been too busy this week to really delight in God. And that sucks because it was beautiful outside this week. Bright and sunny and warm, all of which doesn’t happen here in February. I missed it. I’m sorry God, thanks for the wake up call. It is still beautiful outside today. :) It is stretching me to imagine that what I ‘want” might be exactly what God wants me to want.

Hmmm Then there is the deal about choice. I believe that God is a God of choice. He is always a gentleman, he stands at the door and knocks and waits for us to choose whether we will open the door or not. He created Adam with the ability to choose life or sin. So, that trapped feeling, yeah, it’s not from God even if it feels like I HAVE to do something in order to obey Him. Hmmm I know there is more here that I am not getting. (So God what am I supposed to see in there?). All I hear is “listen up” like be alert and listening expectantly. Ok so I’m listening.

Yesterday's report:

1) (business meeting with God) My day started early yesterday and my time with God was short…

2) (blog) yep

3) (Act of Random Kindness) I checked in on a friend who is immobile right now. She blessed me….

4) (Clean something) I did my house is still in order

5) (Order something) Finishing all those forms and getting them in definitely counts!

6) (Book) nope

7) (Family) I did

8) (Me) hmmm

9) (Ministry) day off yesterday

10) (rest) nope

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 12: Bringing Life to Order (Reality Check)

This thread starts on February 7th

The last two weeks I have been doing this my husband has been out of town. That is hard for me. I feel like I am learning what it is like to be a widow… That thought panics me. My brain doesn’t even want to go there! But, on the flip side it is giving me opportunity to practice order without someone else’s stuff bumping against mine.

Yesterday I had the gang over to celebrate my son’s birthday. I found myself at a loss. It doesn’t take long to forget how to cook! I did end up with a delicious soup (I finally landed on making “dump soup” which is taking soup stock and dumping everything vege you have left in the fridge into it), gingerbread and a huge mess in the kitchen…. Well; maybe not that huge and I had lots of help cleaning it up but it let me know that my new found sense of order is pretty fragile and I am only taking on half of my assignment which is overwhelming enough. One puff of wind and it will blow over. God what about that? (I have a sense, kind of a reminder that we are working on brain development here which takes time…. lots of time.) I’m not sure I’m satisfied with that answer. At what point will it feel like I am actually making progress and not just managing better? (The sense I have is that being around order is progress. Just to be able to rest my eyes on something that isn’t chaotic is progress. One day in a week of order is still a day of brain development) Hmmm, I’m feeling impatient this morning!

Yesterday's report:

1) (business meeting with God) I woke up feeling chaotic and overwhelmed yesterday. I took time to ask God what to do and how and He helped me pick my menu for the “party” which was a MUCH simpler menu than I would have picked. :)

2) (blog) 11 days of consistency is a miracle!

3) (Act of Random Kindness) still working on this

4) (Clean something) I cleaned my house which didn’t need much

5) (Order something) I filled out all the tax forms and other forms I faced the dragon last night w00t! Last minute like, today is the deadline.

6) (Book) nothing

7) (Family)party

8) (Me) hmmm

9) (Ministry) yup

10) (rest) got forms done instead does that count? Probably not ) *sigh*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 11: Bringing Life to Order

This thread starts on February 7th

It’s morning at least according to the clock. I didn’t sleep much last night… grrr! Yesterday was busy but I did something that made a big difference. This might seem like a small thing to an organized person but I feel pretty empowered by it. I had a delivery to make yesterday to a ministry across town. I called ahead and was given several options for times. I would usually turn myself into a pretzel to get there at their convenience. But yesterday I took the rest of my day into consideration and scheduled my delivery when it best worked for both her and I. That gave me the time to not be rushed and disorganized at the beginning of my day. I think my whole day went better because of it.

Boundaries are hard sometimes. I guess I’m learning that they are not something you take on and off like clothing at the end of your day. Boundaries are maybe a layer beyond your skin that defines where you leave off and another begins. Funny, like skin it stings me just as much when boundaries are scraped, battered, or pushed against. Even when it’s me that scrapes against my own. Somehow for me having boundaries and keeping my day ordered was “ordering something”.

God does organizing my day count? (listening) Hmmm what I keep hearing is that my list is not a bunch of rules to follow but guidelines, like God is saying, “This is how to get there from here” in response to my request for help and direction. Hmmm. I have been at this for 11 days now and I have yet to do all ten things on my list in any given day. My days have been too full. But I don’t hear God saying. “I gave you 10 simple things to do in a day and you can’t even do that! What is the matter with you??? I don’t even get a sense that He is disappointed.

I remember what it was like to have my first baby. Oh my gosh! I was barely able to keep up with my life before I had kids. To add diaper changing, feedings, car seats, piles of laundry and baths into the picture was overwhelming to say the least. But, bit by bit, day by day, it became routine. This feels the same. I hear from God that it takes time and that He has all the time in the world. No pressure, just hope :)

Yesterday’s report:

1) (bsmtg w God) It was hard for me to focus yesterday, lots on my plate

2) (blog) yup

3) (ARK) I talked, well mostly listened to someone who has a lump and is waiting for evaluation of a scan. Fear is so cruel.

4) (Cln smthg) I did a lot of cleaning up after some construction happening at our house. It had to happen yesterday so more progress could happen.

5) (Odr smthg) Though those forms are still unfinished and glaring at me from the dining room table I did order my day well yesterday and plan of taming these horrible monsters (forms ugh!) today!

6) (Bk) hmmm this one seems to be my big hurdle

7) (Fam) yup

8) (Me) God what does this mean exactly? (listening) hmmm what I hear is walk with Me today. I guess this will take some pondering. In the mean time it is actually warm enough for a walk today. :)

9) (Mnstry) busy day with people yesterday

10) (rest) none what-so-ever grrr!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 10: Bringing Life to Order

This thread begins on February 7th

Good morning! It is a good morning. I have already started a load of wash! A friend gave me some soap nuts to try. (Has anyone ever tried soap nuts?) Anything green is better for my health in particular so I’m game.) It is above freezing here and just past 8 o’clock. Here in the north, in February, W00t!

I spent the day yesterday filling out forms. That may seem like nothing, but for someone who has formaphobia it’s a big deal. I am not finished filling them out but I am close and in the process I have organized many receipts and papers.

I went from there to pulling out one box (actually four boxes two were empty but took up lots of room) to sort. I am planning on sorting many boxes in the next few months so I am starting by setting up a system. I learned a good system from the book “sidetracked home executive”. It suggests that you have a box for give away, a box for “goes somewhere else” (so you don’t get sidetracked by leaving the room) and one for trash. I have modified it to include different things like misc. parts to things I will find in other boxes. :/ and tools that don’t have a home yet.

I have much on my ministry plate today but I hope to finish my forms this afternoon gak!

So what have my business meetings been about? Well a lot of things but two are on top right now. I am pondering doing something bigger than a workshop, maybe this fall if it’s possible, sort of a restorative, conference of some kind. It would be a huge undertaking and I am afraid to start to tell you the truth. I have been asking the LORD for a vision because that comes first… well more like third. First comes a nudge, or call for something and then for me a sense of unrest where I can’t just ignore that nudge no matter how crazy it sounds. But for me the nudge is a call to listen for the vision. But there is no moving until that vision is clear. I have made many mistakes moving before the vision is clear. So I am in the process of listening right now and waiting for the vision to come clear. To tell you the truth it is hard for me just to sit at His feet when the whole idea makes me want to high tail and RUN!!!

The other thing I am asking God about is book business. I have a new book that has been picked up by Tate Publishing and will be released somewhere around Christmas time this year. This book feels much more public. I went with Tate because they have the best reputation for helping a new author with marketing. Since that is my biggest flaw they seemed like a good fit. I am asking God for vision there too in how to approach this new adventure. It is a children’s picture book about grief and it walks a child through the loss of their Granny. I don’t want to “sell” anything for me it is all about reaching the people I have a message for. This book is just another attempt


1) (bsmtg w God) yup

2) (blog) done

3) (ARK) well I did make eye contact with the store greeter. Again he seemed to notice,

4) (Cln smthg) I did, it feels good in here

5) (Odr smthg) facing formaphobia definitely counts!

6) (Bk) nope

7) (Fam) yup

8) (Me) hmmm

9) (Mnstry) Mostly just setting up appts

10) (rest) went to bed early yehaw!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 9: Bringing Life to Order

This thread begins on February 7th

W00t! I’m looking around my house today and it looks together! Well, mostly, The bathroom is clean and tidy, the floors are not over run with dust bunnies (my house is their favorite breeding ground!) There aren’t little disorganized piles of everything, everywhere. There are things to do to tidy up this morning but very few. That feels like a miracle! I have been feeling all week like I am failing at this bringing life to order thing. I haven’t accomplished the 10 things on the list to my satisfaction once… and at the same time it does look more ordered in here than maybe ever. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe the Menehunes came to visit me when I wasn’t looking (they’re real you know, google them and see lol!) I still have a ton of things to bring to order. But all things considered… my house feels amazing. Perhaps this is hard to understand for all you administrative types (whom I greatly respect) but this continues to be a huge fight for me.

I believe it’s hard for physical reasons as well as emotional and spiritual. When your brain has developed with chaos as a norm it develops differently than if you grew up in a peaceful, ordered environment. There is more development in the fight or flight region of the brain and less in the methodical, logical part of the brain. Bringing life to order is like having your brain climb some huge mountain when it hasn’t walked for years. Sometimes my head literally hurts when I am trying to stretch it into being linear. I guess that is hard to explain.

When my children were little I often employed what my friends called, “The Hefty Bag System”. I was exhausted most of the time because of health issues and I was overwhelmed with the chaos of three rambunctious children. So when I couldn’t get all the laundry done or the living room brought to order, sometimes I just threw it all in hefty bags (or boxes) to deal with later. There are times when I still recommend the hefty bag system. It gives a visual sense of order which can be renewing in itself. But I confess, my kids are grown now and I still have remnants of the hefty bag system in my closets. Since some were packed away at times in my life when I was struggling they are hard to sort through and conquer. That is what I want to order… one closet at a time but I haven’t had time or the power somehow. God how do I gain the gumption to face it? Hmmm the sense that I have is to take it one box at a time not one closet at a time. Just like the house. I didn’t clean it all up like a whirlwind in a day. I did a floor here and a table there. Ok so perhaps today I will take on one box…

Yesterday’s report:

1) (bsmtg w God) Perhaps tomorrow I will write about what God and I are thinking of beginning

2) (blog) Yesterday I was so exhausted but it feels successful to have written something. It didn’t feel like I “had” to but I really want to push through and get this done.

3) (ARK) I’m still praying for eyes to see. I’m grieved at how much people turn into obstacles for me. If I am shopping I am focused on the stuff I need to find. I want to see the people around me… I used to, what happened God? (listening) Hmmm the picture I have is of riding in a car. Often we are in such a hurry that when you see a deer, or raccoon on the side of the road we can’t stop and just marvel for a while at God’s art. That always grieves me. I picture me in a car with flowers and animals blurring by and me missing it all. Hmmm that is how I am with people right now. They are passing by in a blur and I am not stopping to see them. But God why don’t I feel the grief of that like I do with the loss of a view of nature? (listening) Hmmm the sense I have is that I don’t compete with nature… hmmm do I compete with people? Hmmm I guess if I am trying to find the best apple in bunch or the best parking spot. I get Your point God. Help me!

4) (Cln smthg) I did get bathrooms done and floors cleaned

5) (Odr smthg) hmmm not sure

6) (Bk) nope

7) (Fam) lots of family time today

8) (Me) ???

9) (Mnstry) Good ministry sessions yesterday. I learned a lot :)

10) (rest) I didn’t do very well in the resting department yesterday but who could when you went to bed at 6 am?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 8: Bringing life to order

The beginning of this thread is on February 7th

Long night. As my kids are now mostly independent somehow I relish a night like last night. I got a call at 2 am saying they were stranded because of car issues and could I come find them. It was 6:30 am before I crawled back into my bed. But it was a good night. I enjoyed that, over all, they were taking it in stride and laughing about the adventure. I enjoyed hearing a car full of laughter and fun in spite of the circumstance. I felt proud of their choices and of their friends. If you knew where I have come from you would know what a miracle that is.

I had a good day over all yesterday but I have to admit I am exhausted so this will be short today.

Yesterday’s report:

1) (bsmtg w God) I have been asking Him about

2) (blog) yup

3) (ARK) I think being out until 6:30 counts

4) (Cln smthg) I cleaned a little yesterday and added a springy tablecloth it was wonderful to wake up to order this morning after a such a chaotic night. It is true thatorder brings with it rest.

5) (Odr smthg)

6) (Bk) I edited a letter to go with some books I intend to send out this week. I found addresses for those mailings too J

7) (Fam) lots of crazy family time in the middle of the night

8) (Me) not really

9) (Mnstry) nope

10) (rest) I had a peaceful evening

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 7: Bringing Life to Order

This thread starts on February 7th

I had such a busy day yesterday, I didn’t get home until later in the day and by then I was toast. I went to bed at 7:30 not feeling like I accomplished too much.

ARK report… I talked with a friend yesterday whose very dear friend is on her way home. My friend was deeply touched by the peace on her face. Why are we so often afraid of dying?

I had a cool God-thing happen yesterday. It starts with taking a bit of a risk to get my financials in order. I scrapped the bottom of the barrel to get the taxes paid thinking that I would just eek by until the next time I saw a paycheck which could be next week or next month. They aren’t real predictable. Yesterday I received an unexpected check in the mail. Don’t you love it when that happens? You take a risk in an attempt to trust God’s supply and He bends over backwards to say, “I’m here”

Yesterday's report

1) (bsmtg w God) God and I are planning a couple of seminars this year.

2) (blog) got 'er done

3) (ARK) Sometimes kindness is just listening I think.

4) (Cln smthg) I made mostly messes today :(

5) (Odr smthg) Is ordering something and bringing something to order the same thing? (no I don’t mean ordering dinner delivered!)

6) (Bk) More adwords exploring

7) (Fam) yup

8) (Me) had the evening to myself but was too tired to do much with it

9) (Mnstry) not really

10) (rest) Went to bed way early w00t!