Out my Window: beautiful sunshine, white snowdrops popping up under the shrubs, some green from the spring bulbs starting to poke up through the ground
Enjoying: bright yellow daffodils and tulips on my counters, gorgeous weather, walking, robins singing
Listening to/Watching: I finished listening and watching lessons on Multicultural Therapy and Legal and Ethics in Therapy this past Friday. The last month has been mostly podcasts: Holy Post Podcast Holy Post Podcast, the interviews have been very good as usual, Lecrae and Russell Moore were the most recent ones that gave me much to think about. I listened to a few more from Carolyn Leaf: Cleaning Up the Mental Mess. Podcasts – Dr. Leaf Also listened to some Brene Brown’s podcasts Podcasts | Brené Brown (brenebrown.com), Unlocking Us with the Gottmans was very good, and Emmanuel Acho was very interesting. One of my top listens was The Habit Podcast with guest Tish Harrison spotify:episode:1HRFSbEu2LaiystBAzBrwP and Cultivated with guest Makoto Fujimura, spotify:episode:38gqfZ7NKMFVVA0cVFheHo Both of these are worth the listen. Also these podcasts have quite a few interesting guests that I plan on going back and listening to. I have been listening to Sensing God by Joel Clarkson on Audible. Finishing up Psych series and watching various comedians from Dry Bar Comedy have been my level of viewing. We watched Nate Bargatze’s newer special which was very funny. We used to watch Mad About You back in the day and they came out with a new season which is very funny and a bit too relatable. https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B08PRV8XC9/ref=atv_dp_share_cu_r
Reading: By my bedside is still Reading While Black: African American Interpretation as an Exercise of Hope by Esau Macauley.
I am still reviewing The Other Half of Church: Christian Community, Brain Science, and Overcoming Spiritual Stagnation by Jim Wilder and Michel Hendricks. I love all things brain, learning, and theology so this book is right up my alley. It is very accessible and interesting with practical steps to implement the ideas brought forth about using more of the Right Brain in discipleship. I will be doing a review for it in the future, but much to think about and some great reminders of God’s desire to give us joy and relationships.
I am thoroughly enjoying my Lenten reading, The Word in the Wilderness: A Poem a Day for Lent and Easter by Malcolm Guite. Sarah Clarkson got me hooked on poetry over Advent, so I was looking forward to sitting with poetry for Lent. The poems and Guite’s processing and encouragement have been just what I needed in this season.
Most of my days are filled with reading for my two classes, but thankful for the few moments here and there to read other books. So many books piling up on my to read list, definitely not a complaint. It is a good problem to have.
Rambling Thoughts: So many thoughts, it has been one year since my personal world looked different, along with most of the United States. Sissy Goff on her Instagram page asked some good questions this week to ponder. https://www.instagram.com/p/CMDSkYMBa69/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
What do you remember about this time last year? I subbed on Friday and there were rumbles that school would be shutting down for a bit. I remember chatting with some seniors who were frustrated with their cruise getting cancelled. We were brainstorming other ideas for their trip. I was thankful for the Science class I was supporting, the teacher showed a video about washing your hands and why this was effective. It seemed to be enough science to keep me from panicking through the early days. This weekend a year ago was our last service before we shut down for about 12 weeks. I did kick into hyper-helper mode. Volunteering and helping wherever possible until everything starting closing down. That was my way of coping with that out of control feeling.
What were you most worried about in the beginning? I wasn’t terribly worried personally. I was in denial for awhile. I also talked with my two doctor friends. I just told them to let me know when I should start panicking. My worries were more for my oldest son who we had just dropped off in Seattle, Washington. He lived right in the city and rode his bike to work. I was concerned more for him than anything during much of the year. Lots of prayers.
How did that play out or not? The not panicking was good. Thankfully I lived in an area that was not hit too badly and my son lived a challenging year but was always provided and cared for.
What was the hardest part? Having my son live on the other side of the country in a city that had been hit hard by Covid-19 and then riots and violence that impacted that city. When his grocery stores got trashed and closed that was overwhelming along with him not having a vehicle to get out of the city. Thankfully Amazon Fresh people still delivered. I am so thankful for this and for the people my son worked with being generous with driving him home at times.
Another part that was super hard was deaths of friends that were so unexpected and tragic, and then the unexpected death of my father-in-law after a breathing-takingly fast bout with cancer. (All non-Covid related) Deaths felt deeper and harder this year. They are always hard, but the weight seemed to increase with all the grief of the world.
Church wise it was so hard to watch certain people sink to their default modes and check out. It felt very hard and deep when people were so mad at the government rules and took it out on the Church body and my husband. I was caught off guard by some who jumped ship and checked out of the Body. It was also hard to watch so many buy into conspiracies and fears along with all the anger that went along with it. The blessing was the people who stayed and leaned in and adapted. This year has proved a real refining for our church. There has been much growth in some and so much grief for those who missed it.
What is something good you discovered about yourself? God is faithful and still working in me and through me. I learned a lot and adapted quite a bit with many other people who did the same.
What is something that changed in your life or the life of your family that you’d like to keep?
Learning to stay calm and process things a bit more thoroughly before reacting has been a skill that I am slowly learning and am still practicing. Lots of self-talk, reading a variety of sources, processing with my very thoughtful husband, and learning to wait and see have been hard but good lessons for me. Reminding myself that I am fine, we are fine, or we will be fine and then listing why I know this has been helpful. It definitely kept me off of the ledge along with off the hoarding train, or filling my son’s little studio apartment with things he didn’t need due to my panic. (His first apartment was filled with way more pasta than one human being could eat in one summer… his nickname became Noodles that summer… so sorry). Thankfully I did not default to that this past year. It was tempting.
Fitness and Mental Health: Exercise has been hit and miss. This past week was gorgeous so I was out walking quite a bit. I have also been trying to use our exercise bike. I am hoping to be able to get back to running if I get the muscles around my knees strong. I still need a rhythm and plan, but Spring is coming and nicer weather always helps motivate me. Mental Health: still being intentional with my daily gratitude journal, and continuing to look for beauty. Writing the date and day and a brief list of the events of day has been very helpful for my mental health. Numbering my days…
Home: Keeping people fed, clothed, and things somewhat clean as we are still in the middle of two renovations and two classes. First two classes are done and renovations appear to be never ending, so slowly retaking my house. This week is a break from classes so hoping to catch up a bit.
Giving Thanks For: Spring fever days, walks in the sunshine, melting snow and rushing water, robins hopping around, Shamrock Shakes, hike with my husband and younger son, special foods, waterfalls all over the area I live, shadows, tea, laughter, time, teenagers, people who are wrestling forward, candles, beautiful moon, nature, friends willing to wrestle and encourage through hard stuff with me, technology, God’s mercies, people who challenge and encourage me to think deeper and bigger about ideas and life, well cared for, my home, provisions, rest, so much beauty in this world, good books, challenging thoughts, community, grace, God ordering my days, His provisions and reminder of His heart for me, forgiveness, refining