Weekend Words 2.28.15

This week I started a new book, Love Does by Bob Goff, and every chapter just makes me smile incredulously. You did what?! You went where?! I’ve had this book for almost a year but my reading is slow these days. I’m working on remedying that, and paperbacks help. Bob is the perfect mix – funny, self-deprecating, and inspiring towards real love that does stuff.

Here’s some other stuff I’ve read, non-paperback:

7 ways I’m minimizing decision fatigue in my daily life at Modern Mrs. Darcy, because decision fatigue is real.

 

The Guts of Inspiration at Flower Patch Farmgirl. For the love of all things beautiful, let’s dog-ear some pages this weekend and find some inspiration. Bake it, paint it, sew it, treasure the beauty.

 

Say it again, about peace-making at Study in Brown. Tonia always make me re-think what I think, which is good practice.

 

Things will change

All winter I’ve thought about not running anymore. I have been ready to concede to age and weather and fatigue; to larger pants, bigger shirts, and comfy chairs.

It started in September (which is technically fall and not winter, but a season aptly named) when the rush of school and sports swallowed up our days, and when daylight savings stole my investment. Exercise is just one more thing and if it’s not enjoyable in the first place, it makes it really hard to prioritize. Amen?

I have run fairly consistently between births and sickness for about 18 years now. I say fairly consistently because every winter I inevitably slow down with the weather. I forget this though.

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My winter running slump has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, almost as if my winters have gotten longer. I am not a hot weather person, but I’ve aged into even less of a cold weather runner. Especially wet-cold, which is our signature here in Oregon. 

So I don’t like hot and I don’t like cold and I really just wanted to transition this winter, shift down, become a walker. Because if I walk I won’t be cold and wet?

Over our Thanksgiving break my husband had some time off and for several days, he and I hiked the woods around our home. It was a mix of walking and running and jumping, like kids at recess. It was lovely and invigorating, and I really wanted this to be my new hobby – heck with running. These mountain hikes were peaceful and I was in a season of needing more peace.

I practically threw in the towel. I basically ran just enough this winter to make it difficult every time, because once-a-week runs don’t do much more than hurt your legs and burn your lungs and make you sore the next day.

I forget that I go through this almost every year. 

Because I forget, I get discouraged. I feel myself slipping away and I worry that I might not climb out of the hole I’m digging, because it’s too hard and too painful and I am really just ok with things this way. But I’m not.

I see spring coming now, like a savior. It’s still cold; it’s possible it will snow; but it’s beautiful. Daylight savings is promising to return what it stole and the kids will start track soon.

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I ordered my new running shoes this weekend and I’ve upped my mileage just slightly. I have been running off-road this winter and taking my son’s dog along (she’s a joyful beast!) leaving the watch at home, listening to podcasts instead of motivational music. But last week I took the Garmin out for a few miles and yesterday I finished  up a run with some Switchfoot, both of which make me feel more like a runner, less like a quitter.

Spring is coming and everything is changing. I forgot that would happen, when the dead of winter chilled and comfort appealed and all I wanted was another cup of coffee. And cookies.

If I had a dime for every “running is like…” cliche. 

We’ve heard it enough, but cliches become cliches because they’re just so darn true. It’s just so true that keeping our souls healthy is similar to keeping our bodies fit.

And just like I forget that I go through seasons of running like the earth goes through seasons of weather, I also forget that the place my soul is in will change.

Sometimes going backwards scares us enough to lurch forward, to whip ourselves into shape, to discipline our body or our soul into obedience. But unlike my body, my soul thrives on grace and the work of someone else, and I need to remind myself of that. Trying harder can help my body but it doesn’t always help my soul. 

Sometimes my soul just has to wait for its own spring.

I got soft this winter and grew a little in places I didn’t want to grow. I’m not worried about a few pounds as much as I am about giving up. I don’t ever want to give up, even if I need to change things a bit and make adjustments to my expectations.

We have to press-on through our falls and winters, keeping the clock wound and ready for a new season.

That’s what I’ve learned from going backwards a little. Just another running-is-like-our-spiritual-walk analogy for you.

How to count the hours so the hours count

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.

From discord, find harmony.

In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity.”

~ Albert Einstein

Life is not meant to be stagnant and unchanging. Even the good parts – the portions of a life we want to clutch tight and hold onto – they change without our permission and we have to recalibrate and find center yet again.

This means rescheduling. It means the things that worked in my life a year ago no longer apply to this day. It means my hourly schedule has to shift with the ebb and flow of a life that changes constantly.

And that generally means I can’t keep up.

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I’m in the process of complaining and reevaluating right now, which is a step forward for me. For months I’ve had the one without the other, the problem without any solution. I’ve identified the issues and rolled them over at length. I’ve done all the letting go I can see fit to do and I’ve run hard to try to keep up, but I still find myself complaining the same complaints to the same poor people who have to listen to me.

You know what my complaints are. You have them, too, and you have answers you’ve tried and tricks you’ve traded for the complaints that continue to plague your mind. You can’t manage your time. You can’t stop the changes or change the stops, and your time is the same as everyone else’s. This is what makes time management so universal and why it has it’s own category at the bookstore.

Ruts

Everyone has to deal with time and time deals the same with everybody.

It’s so easy for me to be nostalgic, which is really a form of snobbery if you think about it. Whether I’m looking back, dewy-eyed, at my life 10 years ago and the joy and ease of pre-schoolers and new readers and nature walks (can you say, “forgetful”), or looking back to people of a different time who obviously had a much simpler, and therefore easier, life, just the thought of looking back assumes that I am somehow at a more advanced place than I was 10 years ago, or than people were back then

When I look back, I’m tempted to minimize the struggles of before and maximize the difficulties of today. Today is just so urgent and important and relevant, and I think nostalgia clouds most of the realities of a past made up entirely of todays.

The true truth might be this: life is ever-changing but I, for the most part, am the same trouble-laden and burdened person I’ve always been, and therefore, trouble follows me unchangingly.

Times change, and schedules and seasons and duties. But for a person so in love with order and routine, changing me hasn’t happened so swiftly. I change slower than I like and slower than I expect and less than I should. I change temporarily, and then a well-worn rut catches me and I coast along familiar lines for too long, too far.

Nostalgia can be self-indulgent. What I really need is to live today from a place of rest in the past, and a plan for the future.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.”

Proverbs 31:25 ESV

Humility and Reality

So two things I know to do about this are 1.) keep giving the anxiety about the hours over to the One who created them, and 2.) number those hours aright.

I’m in the process of writing down the days in 1/2 hour increments, which might seem silly and exhausting, but it’s the way for me to number my days and gain wisdom. Getting those 30 minute slots onto paper, evaluating the way I am spending them in light of how I should and want to be spending them, is an exercise in humility and reality – two needful things for time management.

I’ve changed the chore chart and my kids have my husband to thank for that. His wise counsel was you spend too much time on things the kids should be doing. I love that guy.

Next up is the Listing of the Half Hours in my bullet journal. This process will take awhile, because each day is different and much to my chagrin, I can’t set too many things in stone. Flexibility, grace, reality, and humility will be the keys.

Ultimately, I hope to stop complaining about the hours and the way the minutes gang up on me. I hope to have a more realistic view of my time and all the good things prepared for me in the days I’m currently living, to make the hours count for something, to remind myself that I can stop for 15 minutes and redeem the crazy.

I’ll probably keep you posted. In the meantime, Amy Lynn Andrews has a great ebook called Tell Your Time and it’s on sale right now on Amazon. It’s short and to the point, as a time management book should be.

(That’s not even an affiliate link. I just happen to see that it was on sale this morning, and I’ve read it and appreciated it and thought I’d share it.)

Weekend Words 2.7.2015

Intention. Discipline. Self-education. All the things I need and love. Filling Our Pitchers Brimful by Sarah Mackenzie.

 

After listening to Kat and Megan here, head over to 16personalities.com and try it out.

Ever do something that scared you? Ever not do something because of fear? Ya. Me, too. I love how Ashley highlights the place where fear is ok, is worth facing, is just a step toward bravery. Read Simple thoughts on fearlessness and feel brave for all the things that scare you.

For Sunday dinner? Chicken Tortilla Soup, in the crockpot. Yes. Please.

You can say anything you want

I read the news a little this morning.

I read the news a little and found that people on one side of the world are killing for “religious reasons” and people on another side are also killing, for opinions and with words.

Maybe it’s strange, but I will read a whole article about the killing of innocents before I’ll read more than the headline of some sensational opinion piece. I’ll choose heartache over irritation.

Everyone dies the most agonizing death in these two ways – with weapons and words. It’s killing us all before we even realize there’s a wound.

2.5

Wednesday morning I had a discussion with a group of young teenagers about respect – the kind we give our peers, our authorities, our enemies and our fears. I wish you could have been there. You’d think it would have been eye-rolling and sarcasm, another form of lecture or lesson-inflicting torture, but it wasn’t.

It was dialog. It was the teaching of 9 sets of godly parents being poured out onto a whiteboard through the mouths of kids who know how to talk to one another, but they fail; who know how to treat those they disagree with, but they fall short; who want to do the right thing, but it’s hard.

They know the wounds of words and also the shield of being the first to attack, of throwing words like rocks. They know what we all know, that words are tools for building up or tearing down.

And we live in a world made by words, where anyone can post anything they please on the internet.

We’ve talked about that in class, too – how we don’t just grab any information from any site and use it in our reports or investigations. There are trusted sites that have been vetted and reviewed, much like a book that took time, money, and expertise to write. But for the most part, the ease with which anyone can say anything online, and everyone can read it, has not done a lot of good for our problem with words and the shaky shelters they build us.

I can say anything I want on the internet. 

Controversy might bring page views, but that’s not a disease I want or a germ I will spread.

Let me die alone, having never been heard or seen or known by any other than Jesus, and I’ll die happy.

But if I have a chance to do something beautiful with words, to make order from chaos like the God whose image I’m created in, then what a great responsibility! What a burden! What a chance we all have to shape a safe place with truth and goodness and beauty.

You can say anything you want on the internet.

Weekend Words 1.31.15

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What My Nine Year Old Taught Me About Being Willing to Follow God Into Uncomfortable Places from Lisa Jo Baker

Kids say the most honest things.

Was it difficult that you didn’t speak the same language?

Well, no. At times yes, but mostly no. Because you can know that you can use your hand motions, you can look at them and you’ll know what they’re trying to do. You can do lots of stuff that doesn’t include talking. And sometimes you can understand what other kids are saying because we’re connecting — even if you don’t speak the same language.”

 Welcome to My Garden from Joy Forney, at (in)courage

How do you deal with great blessings?

The Silent Game of Football at The Rabbit Room

Sometimes we make compromises to enjoy the things we love with the people we love. (Go ‘Hawks!)

 

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