Monthly Archives: April 2010

Club Awesome April 30, 2010

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April 30, 2010 Club Awesome List
(My gratitude highlights for the week)
1. It is almost full-blown berry season! Yummy yum, my favorite food is berries, any kind at all.
2. TGIF. Phew. Harsh week for some folks… I am lucky and grateful to be getting by with only exhaustion as my complaint. (Although the black spots in front of my eyes are beginning to become part of the landscape… Is it hailing in my office?)
3. The full moon is over now, so we can all quit with the wonky behavior.
4. I am (mostly) keeping my brain out of analysis-benthic-bottom-feeder mode and sticking with levity and lightness in the littoral zone with the dolphins.
5. Spring in the Rockies: shorts weather Wednesday and woke up to snow Thursday! The snow stopped and melted by 10 am to show green grass, tulips, and clear blue sky. Beautiful dusting on the foothills expected all weekend (aka no shorts weather until weekend is over, but that is ok, July will be blistering!).

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Hanging Out in the Desert without my Outlook Calendar

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Issues:
1) the “friend” turns out not to be such a great friend, 2) the doctor has bad news, 3) the sarcastic teenager needs some well-thought out discipline/natural consequences/pipe bomb that will help her wake up and smell the coffee, 4) the boss is acting a little freaky lately and cannot tell why, 5) the finances are not behaving as they should be, or 6) whatever other perplexing problem arises for you and leaves you frustrated, confused, lonely, beaten up…

My Thoughts:
This quote is on 2 sticky notes posted for me that I move around my house depending on my comfort level with my “desert of clarity”. 

“The way of trust (in God’s plan for me) is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, and into ambiguity; not into some pre-determined, clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment”.

From Brennan Manning’s book “Ruthless Faith”
(p. 12)

I like the idea of not HAVING to figure it all out. A friend in Alanon often sternly tells me, “Anne, figuring it out is not a slogan!”. When the present moment feels completely deserted, and I am in the outback of a sand-swept existence with barely a cactus to distract me from my problem, I can let myself jump/fall/let go into the ambiguity of having no clue what to do next, ask God to help me, and trust that I am wrapped in a divine quilt of love and care RIGHT NOW. The next move will reveal itself with perfect timing and perfect wording, so I only have to relax and let it arrive. Nothing else. The correct action will surface after I remove my gunk-infected brain from the matter and just stay light, loose, and trusting.

May God shower his blessings upon you today and every day.

P.S. I need to add a post script to this blog entry. On the very day I wrote this, my single mom friend and dear blog reader Susan had a (non?)coincidental mishap. After a day of hurrying around everywhere, trying to get herself and her kids to where they were supposed to be, and wondering if she was going to be able to do what she needed to do that evening, she drove off quickly in her car. As she drove, she noticed a huge amount of white papers flying everywhere in the air, and pulled over just in time to realize it was her daytimer! Her daytimer had flown off the car and into the windy Colorado air, spreading her life’s organization on the road, under car tires, in the ditch… everything everywhere.

She had no idea what to do but to grab everything in a sheer adrenaline-spike lasting several minutes, frantically grabbing (and cussing I am sure) at her pages in the midst of a windstorm of pages swirling around and away from her. When she got back to her warm seat with wads of pages of her daytimer in her hand looking like old kleenexes, all she could say was “Slow your ass down, Susan! Slow down!”.

Guest Post Colonoscopy in Bangkok Thailand, “Nothing Worry About!”

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This blog entry is from a family member of mine. I promised her she would be anonymous though. (hint: she has curly hair)

Colonoscopy in Bangkok Thailand
Who said a colonoscopy would be easy?
Well, where do I begin?

I TOLD the doc I was having congestion and a touch of asthma, but he said “Nothing worry about”.

In the recovery room the guy next to me was sleeping peacefully and upon awakening in the recovery room he was offered some water, where upon he asked if it was gin. Haha, my kind of guy! Me, on the other hand, upon awakening in the PROCEDURE room, threw up, had matted hair, coughed for 2 hours, in the middle of which they rushed in the chest x-ray machine to take of shot of my chest.

I guessed it was all “nothing worry about” when a nurse came to check on me all I could do was mouth “ASTHMA” and she patted my arm as if I was saying “JAZZBAR”. I was to leave the hospital at 3:00 pm, but stayed until 7:00 when they wheeled me out in a wheelchair and uncermoniously poured me into a taxi… I was so weak, I nearly fainted two times! My forehead was full of the rash that comes from lack of oxygen (nothing to worry about!?), but when the nurse called the doc he said it must be from the hair cap… I was so starving as you can imagine, and not a cracker in sight, where when you have the check up there is fruit, complete breakfast, and water at every station!

The next day the doc did say there was “a little incident” with my blood pressure and my head had to be put below my body. Why is my throat so sore!? “Nothing worry about”, I am sure…

Anyway, clean colon, and I recoverd in my hotel room in Bangkok- at least I could get crackers from room service!

Lesson Learned: Get your colonoscopy done on time!! Just maybe skip Bangkok. No wonder they cannot get peace going there…

Joy vs. Wisdom

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I was going to talk about gratitude again in my note of encouragement, because I found a great quote-

“The root of joy is gratefullness… It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
-Father David Steindl-Rast

Pretty good, huh? I was going to talk about the thank you list we can make to God each morning for our blessings in today.

But wisdom kind of fell onto me this morning in my closet as I was looking for my shoes. I found and re-read John Smith’s sermon notes from August 25, 2009 (http://www.crossroadscolorado.com/podcast) and realized that I lack wisdom about men and dating, and this is a very important thing for me to get a hold of for me, for my family of 3, and for my daughter’s future love life, for guiding my son… It is crucial I get some wisdom on this!

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; they are double-minded and unstable in all they do.

John 1:5-8

Whoa. Kinda grabs ya, huh? I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a little tossed around, a little lacking in spirit and direction, unstable at times, and maybe even doubtful about my romantic life’s direction… l just don’t know what is best for me and my kids: give up dating and men until my kids graduate frorm high school, or go out and snag a dude at the bar this weekend for a fun time, or wrangle the next guy I meet for coffee into marrying me so I can stop working so hard and give my kids a model of a healthy relationship, or make male friends who can just be some masculine influence on me and my family’s life, or what! There are a lot of possibilities… I need some guidance, but more than that, I need a gut-level confidence in my choices in men and how to spend time with them. I want to feel like the beautiful, self-assured, smart mother who knows what is best for her kids and for her and makes that choice and actually loves that choice and does not feel backed into it by decisions made on the fly (i.e., if he thinks I am attractive, I will hang out with him, because I am so needful of reassurance).

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Here is a synopsis of the sermon and my take on it:
1) John Smith said the first thing we need to do is admit we lack wisdom. So I got on my knees and told God all about my lack of wisdom in dating and men and character judgement with humility. Basically, I said “God, I have no clue what is best for me and my kids in terms of my relationships with men”.
2) Next I ask God for wisdom. We are supposed to continue asking God (probably daily, or as often as that frantic urge comes up that I have no idea what to do with, which is about 10 times a day!). So every time I feel anxious about me and men and me and men and my kids, and the hamster wheel starts churning, I am going to throw that prayer up again. Let God hear my prayer so often that he gets sick of hearing from me (He won’t ever get sick of hearing me though!).

3) We are to expect an answer. Give up on doubts about God and whether He is taking care of us or not. Abandon our frantic anxiety about whether God is loving us in the desert. Banish the need for a clear plan today (that is hard for me!). Let God speak to us in his time. Do you know the song, “I Will Wait upon the Lord”? I need to sing it more often… God is not going to beam down an answer on the billboard before I make my Saturday night plans for this weekend. He is going to let me know in 3 different ways what to think and what to do: 1- I will read something in the Bible, 2- I will get advice from Godly people (which means I need to make myself available to Godly people, and not necessarily depend on my friend’s advice if she is not living a God-trusting life), and 3- I will receive some kind of inner prompting of the Holy Spirit (IF and only IF I am quiet long enough for God to speak to me). So I could (and probably should, but I hate that word) also pray this one: “Thanks God for giving me the answers I need, and thank for you for this space to be with you”.

4) Have gratitude in this space in our lives (see first quote above). This is the place where I get to learn about me and get closer to God. So the thank you list to God for all my blessings each morning still applies!

Club Awesome List for Friday April 23, 2010

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Club Awesome List for Friday April 23, 2010
Blessings I am thankful for this week (culled from my daily lists) Feel free to comment with yours!!
“The root of joy is gratefullness… It is NOT joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful”. (Father David Steindl-Rast http://www.gratefulness.org/brotherdavid/index.htm)

1. After 54 1/2 years, my parents have each other to have and to hold and to listen to. Heaven knows I could not last 54 days under the same roof with either of them! Thank God that they still have each other….

2. My sisters Molly, Donna, and Mina. They love and inspire me with their courageous lives.

3. My incredible pre-teen kids. They are so completely lovable in their imperfections and phases. I get irritated with how much he texts and how messy her room is, but they are joys in my life and I am so lucky to have them, their sense of humor, their smiles, their wisdom, and the responsibility to raise them.

4. “We are becoming who we pretend to be” (Wayne Dyer). Thank God that I can start my life becoming someone whom I want to be each and every day all over again.

5. Running in the rain is a joyful experience! Especially for a girl in Colorado who grew up in the midwest and misses humidity… (I know, that is blasphemous, but true!)

Club Awesome April 9, 2010

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My Weekly Gratitude Highlights- (please feel free to add your own as well…)

1. Utah field work – was beautiful, lots of wildlife, and excellent chance to get out of the office and away from suburbia

2. I figured out how to add pictures to my blog, all by myself!

3. Friends, friends, friends : ) You are all awesome!

4. Finding contentment in my role on alternate hours…

5. Getting better at farmer blows on trail runs

On Contentment… Grrrr

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As some of you know, I am struggling with “Contentment in My Role” right now, so I thought I would share that struggle with you. I don’t know if you have the same struggle occasionally or not, but I found some helpful verses and a prayer:
…Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things: I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! ” (Matthew 25:21) . Wow, that sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it? Being praised by God for doing a good job with my faith, and then getting invited to a party to celebrate it? Just one little problem there for me, I lack faith in my parental/serving role right now…

As you women who came to the single moms meeting on Sunday may remember, I admitted to you all that although I love you and love spending time with you laughing, learning, socializing, praying, etc., there are many days when I don’t really want to be a part of this twice monthly gig we have going. I would rather be happily partnered up, serve meals to you, and give you a fat check than be a single parent. I never aspired to be a single mom, never dreamed as a little girl of raising my children without a partner by my side. You didn’t either. We all get tired of the responsibility of single parenting – there are just too many chores involved in the dirty dishes, the messy garage, the car’s brake system, the depleted checkbook, the job they expect me to go to in order to get paid, the piano practice she is not doing, the dog hair on everyone’s clothes, the homework he needs to do, the neighbors complaining about the dog barking, the decisions about spring break, the savings account that is depleted yet AGAIN, the child care choices for the summer, the philosophy about the sarcastic teenager’s new habits, the decision to keep the sick child at home and miss more work, or to send her off…

<You know the list; it goes on and on. It feels like too much sometimes, and there is no time to curl up in a ball and hide away from it all. I can so easily go into anger that the other parent is not here, that I am doing it alone, that I am sleep-deprived, and I have the wrinkles to prove it. Then whoops! it is a quick and so easy slide downhill to resentment. Before I know it, there I am in victim mode- really unlovely, and not a powerful, attractive, trusting, giving, loving, kind place to be for me or anyone around me!! I cannot make good choices from victim mode, I am too busy blaming others. Even the crossing guard gets my wrath for me running late. However, this is where I go sometimes…

But God wants us to be content in our circumstances. I do NOT want to be a victim, or resentful or bitter. I want joy and peace in my life, whatever my life looks like. I am not imprisoned like Paul was when he wrote that chapter, barely eating, no warm bed, no sunshine, no exercise. If he can do it I can do it too then! I want to be, and can be very content in my circumstances. But I have to choose it…

I have been asked to be faithful to God’s plan for me, faithful to what God has given me (1 Cornithians 4:2). He doesn't ask me to be perfect, (and get all the laundry folded, socks matched, cook meals every night, have a clean house, a balanced checkbook, with money for vacations and promotions at my job) he just wants me to be faithful and trust in his plan for me. That is it.

This is so much easier said than done- this faithfulness bit. I have to line up all kinds of action items to get there- pray specifically, meditate, love others, be gentle on me, ask for help from God, and then repeat.

"Holy Father, you know the joys, the heartaches of my role. I confess that I have fought against what You have given me. Grant me the courage to be a servant in this role you have chosen for me today. Oh God, I long to be faithful to You. I accept my assigned role as a gift. Teach me to "cease striving and know that You are God".*

"If we are trusting God that His portion for us is best, we can make the secret choices that will bring us a heart of contentment. If we do not accept God's portion for us, we will become women with spririts of discontent."**

*p. 67 Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

**p. 63 Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

If you are working on your faithfullness in God’s plan for you and know some specific things (Ok, I admit, I am looking for a recipe for faithfullness…), please write back and let me know what you do/how you pray for it, and I will pass it on. Like I said on Sunday, if someone told me I would have faithfullness in God’s plan for me if I ate Cheerios (or Raisin Bran, or even All-bran) every day, I would do it. It is very important to nourish faith in God’s plan for us! Right now, the only way I know of is to pray and ask for it specifically from God. Try it, see if it works for you.
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