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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

standards ~ banners

when i am reading the Word - i have my filter set on how this would apply to an individual, to a small group, and then does this information cause that individual and/or group to bond more tightly with its church body.

the word body seemed the place to start, but then i came to verses telling me to cut my eye out should it not do right & i thought ~ as true as this may be ~ i am looking for inclusion not exclusion for this project.

i then took off after the word boundary & found some interesting reading on Eruv ~ the literal boundary that Jewish people will allow themselves to walk within during special times.  i think - why so necessary... what is this telling me..

without time for research i then bounce to the idea of standards - resting in the standard - right?  so i come across the idea of Banners mentioned in the Old Testament.  i think - i will do more with this concept.

what is my banner - how does my banner compare/contrast with those in the group, and finally how well does this match the banner of my church.

if the church is my leader, my guide ~ then how can i or the group adjust to its purpose.  keeping in mind of our filter.  it could be that i think a talent of creating forms doesn't fit - but it is most certainly part of my banner.  then i realize - with a form i can come to organize the group i am in, and by discerning the group that i am in - i can then organize energy towards purpose within my church..

just seeking - searching.

thank You Abba Father - that it is a willing heart, not always the knowing heart that can be of service.  i am willing to follow You Lord - i am seeking skills as a compass reader ~ let me discern in clarity the direction it points...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a cool thing happened..

can't tell you the last Sunday i was in church, but today was the day i couldn't get it off my mind to go.  it was pouring rain & i had the task of doing the final clean for my friend who has just moved out of her apartment (a job i completely underestimated)..

anyway - it is raining & i have the bright idea of going early to catch the study portion - i do an engine search and locate the name & thought i clicked on the correct link.  it was 842a & i was out the door by 850a (very proud of myself - but really proud of the lady who cut my hair this past week making this whole thing doable).

anyway - the time i saw was 9a & i get there by 905a and i note very few cars - which - for me, is good.  i walk in & everyone is sitting around a table talking ~ and as i sit down i realize this is not bible study, but a "session" meeting aka. a meeting for the governing body of the church.. i thought for a second - why am i here?? so i sit through it & i was asked for an unbiased opinion on a matter - i responded & it was received well.. following i followed a few into the sanctuary where we discussed ~ Colossians 3:12-17.  later i realize i clicked the wrong link (not surprising).

i thought it one of those moments when God has spoken directly .. from the discussion we would come to understand that - without boundaries (guidelines) we would never know grace.  the pastor talked about working at the seminary & the most liberal professors were the most rigid when it came to dealing with others fallibility ; however, the most conservative professors would stand with open arms even in the face of another's failure.  the open arms give a glimpse of grace.

the pastor said he was still unsure of the phenomenon, but i would lean towards the idea that there is rest in the standard - and - aggravation in the chaos.

i've personally experienced bosses, and i have witnessed others in a position of authority act aggressively & i find for myself - my authority speaks for itself (referring to my residential role).  when i know what the line is - when i know what the consequences of crossing the line are - all i need to do is implement.  i don't have to be aggressive, but assertive.  to further - i can also offer compassion to those receiving consequences, the immediate results may not change, but perhaps resilience is strengthened.

that to say.. i lose nothing in offering my compassion because i know where the line is.. thinking of the liberal professor ~ perhaps he is swimming in the idea he determines the standard & really - how scary would that be.. the responsibility of discerning each awkward situation based on a loose set of comparisons.  it is makeshift at best & i might very well walk around irritated most of the day..  there would be no rest - well, for anyone of good conscious ..  if i was the deciding factor - i would never sleep for all the mistakes i could have made.

in contrast - the conservative professor ~ at rest within the standard ~ can use his mind and energy towards the preservation and encouragement of those struggling.

good to hear that conservative isn't always about intolerance as some would believe.  in this example ~ these are the great teachers and believers of our good.

Lord - thank You for endless options of how we can go about knowing You more ~

oh & how did we get boundaries from that passages?  again - its the beauty of God's Word that lead's us ~ but logistically - one of the participants made a comment on how difficult some of this is - loving our community (see ya next blog post)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

finding freedom

there are many million things i like about the Word - one certainly - is its ability to uniquely relate to each individual who studies it.

i love that one verse - one small verse can prompt so many different reflections ~ facets of understanding.

i like the idea - in fact - feel true freedom in working with those like-minded in faith; all who are seeking to know God more .. how lucky for we that seek that our quest is always and forever.  there is always more.

i am mindful of those who suffer from loss - if not for our suffering we would surely lack the gems granted in grief... if not for our struggle, we would fail to know our true capacity, our true depth.

amazing & nice about those so blessed to work in the ministry is the originality, the non-copyrighted text we can draw and create from everyday.  there is no true authority ~ only God himself.  its nice to not split hairs from one expert to another.  it is nice to offer the Word and allow the Spirit to work .. i love that my Mentor before each of his sermons conveys:
"Please pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you what you need most to receive no matter what is said here."  or..
"Please pray that the Holy Spirit brings you the message that you need most to hear no matter what I might construct." or..
"Please pray that the Holy Spirit brings you the message that is the most useful to you no matter what is said." or..

it can go on & on ~ but the point is.. He is there backing up the program because no matter the level of my desire to share and love another person His desire is more ~ always.

its exciting to know that God ~ His Spirit ~ is available and helping to author any workshop or retreat i put together.  i am not alone, i am flanked by His companionship.

i think when dreaming up an ambition - it can be lonely, scary and simply overwhelming.  for those who are with me ~ my heart is humbled and encouraged.  thank you.

Lord - I am grounded in Your love - i am weak without You.   for every heart that has and will be prompted by Your whisper ~ my admiration ~

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reality .. Part II

what does this have to do with my marriage & family degree ???  great question. i don't know.

when i am thinking about forming groups i should be thinking homogeneous.  and - randomly sending out invites will land me with lots of different people, but probably not the connection i am really hoping for.

so idea two.  how about asking different churches to host me to run a 3-part group where i help participants to connect with themselves - to others - to the church and God.  now that sounds up my alley.

but what am i thinking.  i am in school and i am training to become a therapist.  like - me & person, couple, or family.  if i don't focus i won't finish - i won't find where i'll be doing my practicum & internship ~ then ~ where will i be working??

this is part of it.  this is the reason for my blog isn't it Lord - please God ~ help me be more than i am.  help me to be accepting of myself & resilient in the face of discouragement :)  i love You more than life.

(this is a down day - i was a little manic last night with the thinking & i am certainly lacking some zzz's, but this is authenticity ~ right?)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ramblings from an extroverted mind.

hello.  its me again.  i am actually offering a distraction disguised as me taking another step.. j/j (just joking)..

somewhat true - i have been doing some reading & in those readings i am finding more about creativity.

i think each of these mini-workshops (2 hr) will be a true project.  its exciting to create (hee!) something for others to experience their own personal creation of.. or becoming more fully aware of creating something unique out of their - tummy's (heart)..

sometimes i wonder the depths some groups will reach with one another. i read something that provided the following affirmation (thought): i fully enjoy the wisdom of each generation that passes through.

typically we see generations as baby boomers, gen-x'er's, millenniums, etc. but i am talking of the communities i am in contact with each month.  each month i am working with a brand new community - and every commuity has its own unique personality.

i am thinking - i will be meeting new communities.  new communities that decide how long to stay together ~ i could have a group of ladies that work together weekly or bi-weekly for 6-9 months at a time.

if i could run 2 hour groups M-R & i could get a minimum of 10 participants I think I can support myself enough to be home for Mya at 230 & off to work at 530 back by 9pm to get her down.  Wow@! you could not imagine how awesome that would be.

i am seriously under a big blanket of responsibility.. school - work - mother - wife?? can you hear me on this!!

we need time to get together with each other & restore our sanity!! 

looking forward to it!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

stumbling over my words

today was funny.  i was talking with a friend that will certainly be part of my board of directors should 'guided retreats' go non-profit & i stumbled all over my words talking about my idea.

good thing i am being intentional and sharing my ideas (smile).

i probably should be bold and open and actually be putting a workshop together.  i thought i might do one on creativity.  anyone can relate to creativity.. in fact - seeking creativity can be like seeking breath.  it is there ~ keeping us alive ~ but so much a part of ourselves we rarely notice.

thoughts are nice ~ think away & let me know what is on your mind..

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mission Statment


Guided Retreats is committed to helping individuals develop a more authentic connection with self and others. Retreat activities created by staff and group wisdom will be intentionally focused towards personal identity development and receiving acceptance from others during that process. By living authentically we can find compassion for not only ourselves, but the people we encounter in our journey.


any thoughts?

i did some research on Wikipedia regarding retreats (spiritual), and read a .pdf on how to write a mission statement and this is what i came up with.. i think this is what i want to say.  in the beginning it will just be two-hour gatherings here and there locally, but eventually someone or some group will get excited and actually provide an aesthetically beautiful place to experience a little r & r (retreat & restore) for themselves.

Thank you Lord for the capacity and desire you have given me.  My heart is open and ready to experience what it takes to encourage authentic community!! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010


as excited as i am .. i spoke with a close friend who has the gift of being very direct (smile).  how am i going to make money, how am i going to market, why would anyone come, what is my population.. 

ok.. i called her with some glee in my step and then i thought.. this is serious, and first thing is first - what is my mission statement.

i can't make a mission statement for my vision while trying to please everyone else.  i want to be non-offensive and inclusive; however, intentional.  that's a delicate balance isn't it.  it is making an assumption that i am going to stand before a group of women and in so many words communicate ~ follow me ~

i think most would see me as a leader and surely this stems from me being the oldest of four - me & my 3 brothers. the interesting thing about God's gifts is that what would seem difficult to some is not for others.  i mean - sure it is nerve wrecking to get up and speak in front of people i don't know very well - or at all, but it feels better to be the one talking - than the one cringing.  i think what i have said before is that my passion to get a group together and moving forward is greater than my fear of leading. 

i love to see what is on each person's mind - not just the individual's talking.  being aware of the anxiety surrounding the worry of saying the wrong thing prompts me to be the one listening.

i am also passionate about authentic conversation.  looking at my life and history i think it would be fair to say i have known lots of people, and i think for the most part have experienced good intimacy (me knowing them - them knowing me).  being curious about the factor that contributes to this - it would have to be genuine interest.  i tell people - i don't smile as i'm walking down the hall because i am suppose to, i smile because it is my nature.  i don't laugh and talk with people because i am suppose to, i laugh and share because i enjoy people. 

as my experiences with teaching and understanding risk and protective factors grow, i have become more and more comfortable with the spectrum of emotions.  i don't lose my head in an argument, I am not swayed with flattery.  i am always after the heart discovery.

so i need to be thinking of a mission statement.  i need to be seriously taking ownership of this project.

Thank you Lord ~ I am at rest in this tight spot where the wing meets the body ~ i will seek your encouragement as i make my way towards the feather wind spot (smile).

Friday, May 7, 2010


today there was a wind advisory.  if i was an advisory ~ what would i be.  perhaps falling objects?  i have so many ideas that swim around in my head, and ever so often they fall out of my mouth and into a conversation.

Guided Retreats is also a site of mine - not quite ready to be utilized ~ or is it.  i've been listening to Louise Hay and she is a very inspiring woman.  note to self: do some research on how Louise got her start.  how did she know this was what she was to do?  it all seems a little surreal to me sometimes.  i believe she says she was in her forties or fifties before she first began teaching and now in her seventies she is "the" Louise Hay.  I encourage anyone to check her out.

i am honored to have worked with all the many birds that have passed through residential care ~ but certainly ~ in my heart of hearts i want to be free to work my own schedule - to travel to new locations and be available for the next experience without submitting a request.  i'm not free when my absence is upsetting the balance of the community ...

so.. i've got to get started fulfilling my dreams of helping others to find compassion for their selves and others. why ~ if my energy soars ~ do i wait to provide mini-workshops?  oh.. hum.. a place - yes, this is the obvious.  i could probably use a community room but then there is the payment. 

that's scary ~ actually making the suggestion that individuals would seek this service i feel so driven to provide.  that there is agreement that this is well worth the money being charged.  i think to myself - how do i get started, how can i start to develop my business.  i feel like $10 is reasonable.  its easy to make change for, and praying that at least 10 people show, it should cover supplies/space.  Supplies are going to be the tuff part ~ i am really interested in creating some hands-on, take-home projects for my participants.

i worry - of course, with not having adequate supplies for the project of the evening.  that being the case i will likely over print and over prepare.  perhaps then i could package any extras for participants later?  packaged retreats?

its very exciting.  my husband had the idea that i would make up mini-programs as advertisements.  nice idea.  i love making forms and so i could likely reduce the size and allow some retreat sheets to serve as the flyer?  also - it would be a fun way to archive the workshops if i did package retreats, it would help with the description??  i don't know.  brainstorming..

i'm so excited.  i listened to Louise today & i heard her say that any deep down passion can be translated as a calling (providing it is not self-harming i'm sure).  i remember thinking in my youth i couldn't trust God with my future.  i mean - certain areas - sure, but giddy happiness?

when i am putting together this plan, and praying for the opportunities to meet all the people i will meet - i am giddy happy.  it is faith in action - believing that i am in the mist of God paving a way for this to happen.  that it will be me that will have this life ~ and what a good life it will be.

thank you God for your steadfastness ~ that you never left me alone, even when all i could see were the trees.

Monday, May 3, 2010

do i have to title these things?

do i have to title these things?  i'm going to try and skip it & time will tell as it always does.

i was reminded of the quote "better to remember where you left off than where you began."

this could be looked at from different angles, but tonight i would like to focus on how far i have come than when i first began.

Lots of people go back to old habits, old destructive ways not because they are destructive, but because of what was initially attractive and inviting.  If we could remember the destruction we would likely steer clear.

This can apply to what we were once afraid of and hadn't the capacity to complete.  It used to be I hated lunch rooms filled with high school students because I was sure that everyone was watching me as I took my tray up.. I then realized (after doing some experiments of looking at everyone else as I took the long walk) the world did not revolve around me & I was able to take my lunch to the dishwashers in peace.

How often can I be tempted to go back to a harmful thoughts and beliefs about myself, forgetting time and development ~ maturity.

Today I will apply what I learn to more than one area of my life so I can make the most of experiences..

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ok.. Here we go..

Hello :)

I'm starting on this project.. really starting on this project.  I just looked over some previous blogs from a couple of years back and wow!! i have grown.

I see now ~ how necessary the journey really is ~ when I read some of my previous narratives I can feel how lost I felt, my true well of empathy.

Well.. I know it doesn't appear in this post but I actually just spent 3 hours putzn around this site to make it look at little more readable.

I am a great lover of all things written and created.  I have a really hard time parting with my books and magazines.  I keep my books, but mostly I save my magazines to use when I collage with my groups, but before they make it to that stack, they are in the stack by my bed, or my couch.  Randomly - today - I picked one up to dream a little on ideas for home and heart.  I got spurred by a short article out of Better Homes & Gardens (September 2009) featuring Women of Strength by Kathleen Parrish.  Alexandra Stoddard, designer says that she woke up at 5am to have time to write for 2 hours before waking the kids for school.  I probably won't write for 2 hours because I have to get ready for work myself, but I can certainly write for an hour.

I can make a place ~ a space for ideas and thoughts ~