So Long, 40s!

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See ya later, 40s! I only have a few more days left to hang out with you! It’s been great, really - we’ve had some tough times, but overall you’ve been good to me!

I’ve grown and persevered. There’s been mostly good times… Our boy got married and made me a Grammy - TWICE! Two children have graduated from college and our last one is on her way. My community has grown with new friends…. God has broadened my heart to give more space for some very special people I love so very much. Yet, old friends continue to walk alongside me… we have not lost each other. Work has become more of a place of ministry than a place of business and striving. And I’ve started on my way down the path to get a Masters in Biblical Studies and Theology. I’m not sure of the end game plan for that, but I’m trusting and moving forward.

Matt, my constant, is always beside me…. making me laugh, cheering me on…. patient and loving… He is my heart.

In sadness, I’ve lost my spiritual mother to cancer, seen my father slip into dementia, and watched one child struggle valiantly with mental illness.

And all along - GOD!…. He is here! His wagon tracks overflow with abundance! (Psalm 65:11) And I pray for the strength to live purposefully for His glory in this new decade by:

  • being part of His story through mission and community;

  • being obedient and content while following the path He has set for me;

  • using the resources He has given - prayer and His Word;

  • knowing His power, presence, and promise through faith and trust.

Verses I’m grasping tightly for this next season:

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:11

I awake, and I am still with you. Psalm 139:18(b)

And finally…

Now therefore arise, go over THIS Jordan… Joshua 1:2

So, this is 50!

Hiya!

2017 Books Read

2017 Books Read

  1. Hillbilly Elegy (audio) 5/5
  2. Before the Fall (kindle) 4/5
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (audio) 5/5*
  4. Before We Visit the Goddess(audio) 4/5
  5. Outlander (kindle) 3/5*
  6. Grapes of Wrath (audio) 5/5*
  7. Homegoing (kindle) 4/5*
  8. The Painted Veil (kindle) 3/5
  9. None Like Him (Scribd) 5/5
  10. A Gentleman in Moscow(Paper) 5/5
  11. A Piece of the World (audio) 4/5
  12. Sula (audio) 4/5
  13. Signals (Paper) 5/5
  14. Harry Potter Book 1 (Audio) 4/5*
  15. Mrs. Kimble (Paper) 4/5*
  16. Still Life (audio) 4/5
  17. A Fatal Grace (audio) 4/5
  18. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Paper) 5/5
  19. Sun Shine Down (Kindle) 5/5 
  20. The Geography of Memory(Paper) 5/5*
  21. Flee, Be Silent, Pray (Kindle) 5/5
  22. Plight of Man and the Power of God (Kindle) 5/5
  23. Emily Alone (Paper) 5/5
  24. Splitting an Order (Paper) 5/5
  25. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Paper) 4/5
  26. The Cruelest Month (audio) 4/5
  27. Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (audio) 5.5
  28. The Examined Life (audio) 4/4
  29. Brooklyn (audio) 4/5
  30. The Gift of Being Yourself(Paper) 5/5

*2017 Challenge books

In the Shallows - Brief Weekly Examen

Below are the seven categories from my daily journal (Sacred Orginary Days). These are also the categories that I am working on writing goals for 2018. I thought a weekly check-in of some type on each category would be a good exercise for me here. I do this on Sundays in my journal on the "Weekly Examen" pages but I thought I'd take a little different slant here.... a shallow dive with a brief highlight in each area that I'd like to remember from week to week. 

SOUL - what's feeding me? 

Poetry - This book given to me by Buddy S with a door opening to so many lovely poets! For example - Louise Gluck!! Her line from "Twilight" in A Village Life

Living - living takes you away from sitting
— Louise Gluck - A Village LIfe

Poetry is candy for my soul and I will try to be more deliberate in feasting on it daily in 2018. 

Also feeding me is this book. I've been thinking on Bruegel the Elder's Census at Bethlehem..... all the busyness of daily life obscures the presence of Christ. Do you see Him here?

 Census at Bethlehem by Bruegel the Elder

Census at Bethlehem by Bruegel the Elder

If we are not present to the now, we can never be present to the God who was revealed to Moses as “I AM” - the eternal One who is with us in the present moment. We cannot remember how God has met us in the past and we can wait with hope for how we trust God will meet us in the future, but we can only actually meet God in the present moment.
— Juliet Benner in Contemplative Vision

BODY - what's moving me? Not a whole lot!! This week's focus: Limit sugar, hydrate, cook from new cookbook, find smoothie recipes for new Ninja, pick this back up (The Telomere Effect) be outdoors, and WALK. 

MIND - what's growing me? Making a temperature blanket, writing 2018 goals, pre-reading (The Unseen World) for next Knox class, reading (News of the World) and listening (The Barrowfields) for fun! 

HOME - what's comforting me? A clean garage and a lovely new master bedroom. Next project? Laundry room, maybe. Today is the day after Epiphany so all the Christmas decorations must come down and be boxed up and put away. New mantel decorations will be put up with "simplicity" as the theme. Lots of cleaning and organizing needed this week!

OTHERS - what's stretching me? How to turn these eyes of mine outward to others? Date night with Hubs this week? Make B-Box for grand girls in SC. Intentional time with A & T. Package to Mary. E's birthday is Thursday! Texting with mom. Time with Buddy S to talk about goals. Prepping for new Life Group season!  

WORK - what's motivating me? Trying to keep emotional boundaries and not get caught up in what could potentially be a dramatic season with changes going on. Remembering to keep a servant attitude. Signed up with Hubs for Work as Worship Retreat. Organized and focused while at work. Caring about the people there. Reading this again (Deep Work). 

STEWARD - what's stressing me? New year, new tracking spreadsheet. Just do it! 

Christmas Wreath

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Just piddling this morning.... a quiet, sleeping house. May print this and frame as gifts for a few friends. A little more work with hand lettering and could use for Christmas cards, maybe? Drawing based on Ryan Frank wreath. Love her work! Scanned in and painted in illustrator using color pallet "Old Botanical Prints" from COLOURlovers. Shorelines font from dafont. Anyway! Good to be drawing!