Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm not ignoring you...

Finally I have so much to write about and no time to write. I owe emails and have so many blog post ideas in my head but life has gotten so busy. I can't wait for school to start next week - I hate that the week before my kids go back is filled up with a major project deadline that is overwhelming me at the moment.

I also hate that we have lost our cool, east coast weather and inherited the ugly mid-west humidity we have avoided for most of August. All my kids want to do is swim and have friends over and I don't have time/energy to do either. I know that I have enough time to do what needs to be done - it's just that the thoughts linger in the back of my mind that I am forgetting something...

Oh well - all I really wanted to say is that I'm not ignoring you if I owe you an email, I just want to give it more time than I have right now. Sorry for the whinging, I promise it will be over soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Easy Reading

Ha! I doubt it will be easy, but there is the possibility that Keith & I will have massive amounts of reading to do in the near future. We are debating starting the Masters in Ministry as a module program this October. Because we would be deciding late there is tons of reading to catch up with. I know many of you have done/are doing post graduate work and I was wondering if you have any tips or help you can offer this old brain of mine for reading.

I love to read, but mostly for enjoyment. Reading for assignment hasn't happened in over 20 years now (yikes) and I usually read now to slow my mind down and put myself to sleep at night - it's been a great discipline for rest, but not for study - and some of this reading is the kind that could put you to sleep anyway! :P

Any tips, recommendations or advice would be SO APPRECIATED!! Also any prayers as we discern the start date would also be welcome!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Story of our Desolation

As I am working through the 12 steps this time I am attempting to find spiritual disciplines that marry each step. Practices I can build into my life that not only enlarge my recovery, but also my spiritual life, shore up my emotional stability and find their way into my daily routine. As part of working Step 10 I began implementing the daily examen, never really knowing just how deeply this would open up my world. I have become more in touch with my own self because of this. I am finding truths about "me" that I had never given ear to before. The benefits of this bring so much life to not only my recovery but my well being and my relationship with God.

The guide I have been using for this has been Sleeping with Bread by the Linns. It has been incredible for me to find this simple, gentle way, written with such love and ease. It is truly a gift. At the end of the book there is a chapter of questions. I almost skipped this because they have done such a good job at answering my own I thought I wouldn't need it - I'm so glad I didn't. It's as rich as the chapters.

One of the major objections I have heard from people outside of recovery, most of them Christians, is that they struggle with the misconception that it dwells on the negative. "Hi my name is Heidi and I am a compulsive overeater" - I have heard that people think it labels the negatives instead of thinking on the positive healing that comes from recovery. I have also sensed from others through the years that people avoid it because they don't want to feel the negative emotions that come with recovery. That's what gets us into problems in the first place, right?

I have found the opposite to be true. Uncomfortable, difficult, but true.

The question asked in the book is:

You are encouraging me to be with and listen to desolation as well as consolation. I was taught to resist or go against desolation. Why are you saying the opposite?

An axiom that I have learned in recovery is "The good news is that you get your feelings back. The bad news is that you get your feelings back." I have found this to be true. All of the things that I had so stuffed down with food come back to me so frequently - and feeling the pain of the emotions is what got me into this in the first place, right? Actually, no. I have found that exactly the opposite is true. It is feeling the tinglings of the fear of the emotion and driving it away that got me here. If I had been taught how to own my emotions and fears instead of avoiding them I could have learned to do life without the crutches of my addictions.

The Linns answer the question this way:
We agree that our attitude toward desolation is somewhat different than you may have been taught. Our present attitude is somewhat different from what we were taught, too. We were taught that many of our desolations, such as feelings of lust, anger, etc., were sinful. Sometimes such feeling states were called "capital sins." The truth in this teaching is that we need to resist the impulse to act upon feelings in a way that would be harmful to ourselves or others. For example, feelings of lust if acted upon might result in promiscuity, or feelings of anger if acted upon might result in violence.

Yet this teaching often missed the distinction between acting upon feelings and listening to their story. Such teaching assumed that if we resisted certain feelings, they would go away. However, this isn't how our feelings work. When feelings are ignored or resisted, they grow inside us and are likely to eventually lead to an explosion in which we act out in even more destructive ways than we might have at first. We believe that what negative feelings or desolations really want is not destructive behavior but rather to have their story heard. When their story is heard they are satisfied and they quiet down naturally. If we then take steps to meet the needs revealed by the story, this desolation is unlikely to recur.

Our emphasis on hearing the story behind our desolation is consistent with the teaching of great spiritual writers like St. Ignatius. When, for example, we follow his suggestion to look at the beginning, middle and end of any temptation or his suggestion to discover the roots of what he called "sin," we are beginning to listen to the story of our desolation. Any process can help reveal the story of our desolation if it puts us in touch with what started it (the beginning), what keeps it going now (the middle) and what it needs to be resolved (the end). Contemporary psychology, which has helped us understand the nature of the unconscious, the dynamics of emotions and the results of emotional wounding, has given us new tools for hearing our desolations' story.
(Emphasis mine - especially the part about story!) Oh my - I just love it when something I believe to be true is affirmed elsewhere. It is so deeply moving to me. Like deep calling to deep. I think I need to read some Ignatius soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Thinking/feeling? I'm close - 47/53 on this one - strategist or defender... this is really making me think... any input?


ISFJs are traditional, loyal, quiet and kind. They are very sensitive to other people's needs because they are very observant. They have rich inner thoughts and emotions. They value stability and cultural norms. They are very adept at giving attention to detail. They do not seek positions of authority.


INTJs are introspective, analytical, determined persons with natural leadership ability. Being reserved, they prefer to stay in the background while leading. Strategic, knowledgeable and adaptable, INTJs are talented in bringing ideas from conception to reality. They expect perfection from themselves as well as others and are comfortable with the leadership of another so long as they are competent. INTJs can also be described as decisive, open-minded, self-confident, attentive, theoretical and pragmatic.

I'm also very close on the judging/perceiving too...

It's too noisy to do anything else...

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Caring for Your Introvert

My good friend and fellow introvert Dan Wilt just published a link to this - and I want/need to read it:

Caring for Your Introvert

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stand by the poor

Seeking Poverty - Anonymous

You seek poverty not for its own sake,
nor from contempt or fear
for the good things God gives you,
but because you want to contribute something
to alleviate the world's poverty,
to make even your own possessions available.
Live like a poor person
without parading your poverty.
Stand by the poor wherever they live and work.
Your first love must go out
to the least of these.
Don't tie yourself down to the rich or powerful
of the world.

Source: Rule for a New Brother

via inward/outward

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Justice in the Burbs

How can you love two people so much when you've never met face to face before? I don't know, but two of my most favorite people in the blogosphere, who also happen to love each other so much and HAVE met face to face are Will and Lisa Samson. I am pleased as punch to hear of their new endeavor together and want to highlight it here on my blog.

Most of you if you've been reading my blog for some time already know of Will and Lisa, but just in case you don't their blogs alone are reason enough to get to know them, let alone their writing. They are living out the kingdom in Lexington, Kentucky and have put so much of what they have learned and who they are into the pages of this work. I have yet to lay my little fingers on it - but can't wait to begin to plumb it's depths.

It is a practical guide to kingdom living for those of us who can't drop everything and join that commune we've always dreamed of. Mother Theresa said it best: “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

Here's what Lisa and Will have to say about in their own words:

Here's what others have to say:

"Will and Lisa have joined talents to offer a compelling argument for living justly in an unjust world, and for loving our neighbors in a hands-on, life-changing way." LIZ CURTIS HIGGS, author, Bad Girls of the Bible.

"Whatever happened to the vital social and moral energies of the Christian faith? They are alive and throbbin in this book that shows how the gospel can walk the missing sidewalks and unfriendly cul-de-sacs of the suburbs." LEONARD SWEET, Drew Theological School, George Fox University.

"Will and Lisa are provocateurs of imagination, writing for a desert where folks are thristy for more than the American dream. This is a much-needed invitation for justice to flow throught the suburbs liek mighty waters and bring to life all the parched souls trapped in the ghettos of poverty and wealth." SHANE CLAIBORNE, activist, author, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical.

"Will and Lisa Samson's new book, Justice in the Burbs, is a moving book. I wept with joy, knowing how many people will be moved to join the work for justice God has already begun in the world." CHRISTIAN SCHAREN, author, One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God.

follow the Justice in the Burbs blog for yourself here.

buy your own copy of Justice in the Burbs here on Amazon

Congratulations Will & Lisa - I am just so excited and proud of this amazing product. I can't wait to see what it releases into the kingdom!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Eventually we will walk into the light

Needed this reminder this morning:

Hope and faith seem related, but faith is the one who stays when hope has left with a whimper. When hope gives up, faith rolls up her sleeves and asks; " What needs to be done?". Faith is the strong one. Faith does not have the luxury of self pity and despondent despair. Faith is what makes us put pen to paper when we feel like we have nothing left to say and there is no ink in our proverbial pen. Faith pushes on when hope flees. Doubt is hope's other face and who knows what face will show up because hope and doubt are flip sides of an emotion.

Faith is knowledge and action and faith remembers that we've seen hard times before and that in those hard times our needs were met and the water flowed and we had what we needed when we needed it. Faith knows what hope forgets. Faith is what enables us to become more than we are because faith is belief in action. Faith and courage are the true cousins. While we may doubt that we can cross the desert, faith knows that we can take the step we need to take today and that with enough steps, eventually we will walk into the light.

Create and live in faith.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Protected by silence

Waiting is endless.... I wait because I am powerless to do anything else. I wait because what I most treasure is what is deepest within and protected by silence. Out of waiting comes patience. Out of accepting my powerlessness comes strength and love and the courage to dare.

Christian Lore Weber
from The Cup of Our Life, Joyce Rupp