Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 7:

What is it about Saturday? I can wake up on Saturdays.  Maybe it's because it's my "special day" -- the only day that I don't have anywhere I have to be before 10am. But here I am: Day 7, one week, half a fortnight.

So far so good? I'm thinking so. It's quarter til 7 and I'm bright-eyed.  If I had a tail, I'm sure it would be bushy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 3:

Found myself snugly tucked into bed by 10pm last night. Success!  After just a couple days of my new routine, I found myself sleepy enough by "new bedtime" to convince myself that I would not just lay in bed for hours and hours.  I don't think I finally fell asleep until close to 11:00, but it's a start!

This morning I woke up to the sound of my... cell phone? I set it for 7:00 as a "just in case" precaution. I must have turned off my alarm clock when it went off at 6 this morning.  I blame Night Man. He's still not thrilled about this new arrangement.  I'll consider this morning to be a minor victory. I have time to blog, putter around a bit, eat breakfast, and get to work.

Baby steps.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Becoming a Morning Person...

I've been a long-time admirer of people who manage to wake up and see the sunrise every morning.  These people seem like they've got a good thing going.  They get up, eat a good breakfast, work out, and plan their day long before the bleary-eyed most of us finally stop hitting the snooze button. I want to be one of those people, but... I hate mornings. Check that. I love mornings-- I hate getting up!

Yesterday I finally decided to undertake the bold adventure into the morning mist. I read some articles, made a trip to Vitamin Cottage for some herbal sleep aids (I could write an entire post about why I probably won't go back there), and hit the sack at about 9:30 on a Friday night. I slept horribly.  My body fought the sleep aid with a fiery vengeance and I kept waking up throughout the night. It was as if the little "Night Man" inside of me kept poking me in the ribs and saying "Hey, what are you doing? It's time to play!"

Day 1:

6:00 am. My alarm went off. I sat up in bed, rubbed my eyes, hit the "off" button instead of that horrible invention we know as "snooze," and dragged myself out of bed.  I wasn't necessarily tired anymore, but I was groggy.  Night Man launched his final assault,

"It's Saturday, you fool. Why are you up? Go back to bed! If you get up now, you won't be able to stay up and play! Tonight is poker night, remember..."

I almost gave in. Almost-- except I remembered... I dreamed of pancakes.

Here's to Days Just Packed with early mornings to come. And pancakes!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lent: A Journey in Spiritual Discipline

I admit it.  I've never given up anything for Lent.  Part of the reason is due to the fact that I never actually "had to"  (it was more of a suggestion rather than a requirement).  No, I didn't switch churches, and I still don't "have to" give anything up for Lent, but I was missing part of the point of this whole Lenten sacrifice thing.

This year my church as taken a different spin on the tradition of Lenten sacrifice.  We printed off bookmarks and handed them out to those in attendance at Wednesday night worship during this Lenten season.  We were encouraged to keep these bookmarks someplace where we would see them regularly in order to remind us of the depth and true nature of the spiritual journey upon which we were about to embark.

Instead of following the tradition of giving one thing up for Lent, we were given a list of 6 different aspects of our lives that we would focus on during each week.  The idea was to be able to build a stronger relationship with Christ through more areas in our lives than that gained through the sacrifice of one indulgence for a full 40 days.  I thought it was an interesting twist and one worth blogging about.  The following is from the bookmark:
 ------------------------------
Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lenchten, which menas "spring." The season is a preparation for celebrating Christ's victory over death on Easter Sunday.

To assist our faith community in this journey, we will focus on a unique spiritual dscipline each of the 6 weeks of Lent. You will be challenged to give up something new each week, replacing it with  spiritual discipline such as prayer, fasting, givng to the poor, etc. Our prayer is that by engaging in these disciplines, you will draw closer in relationship to your Savior Christ Jesus.

March 9: Hallowed be Thy Name
Focus:  Giving up a form of media (TV, Radio, Newspaper, etc.) and replacing with prayer.

March 16: Thy Kingdom Come
Focus: Giving up a social activity and replacing with service to an organization or individual.

March 23: Thy Will be Done
Focus: Giving up social media (Facebook, email, etc.) and replacing with scripture reading and devotions.

March 30: Give us this Day our Daily Bread
Focus: Fasting for a day or giving up a comfort food or drink (dessert, alcohol, coffee) and replacing with financial support and prayer for the poor.

April 6: Forgive us our Trespasses, as we Forgive those who Trespass against us
Focus: Giving up a grudge and replacing with prayer for our enemies and seeking reconciliation.

 
April 13: Lead us not into Temptation, but Deliver us from Evil
Focus: Giving up individualism and replacing with accountability and mentorship.

------------

The good news: Because the ultimate sacrifice as already been made through the blood shed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross, no further sacrifice is necessary among believers to gain admittance into Heaven.  Lent is a season for prayer, humility, honor and glory to God in remembrance of what He has done for us.  Personal sacrifice, although not required as a merit to receive the grace and mercy that God has shown us, does have benefit in the penitent heart and prayerful stance called forth in building a stronger relationship with our Father in Heaven.  

As God's children we are called to spread the good news of this Gospel to all the earth.  Not with a pious "My Lenten sacrifice is greater than thine" attitude, but with good cheer and pure hearts.  In building a stronger relationship with our Lord in our own lives, we are better able to serve Him and spread this good news!

Here's to Days Just Packed with spiritual discipline this Lenten season and spreading the Gospel to others!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peripheral Vision

My last post talked about anticipation, and looking forward to certain things in your life that you have deemed to be significant.  Goals are good!  In building on that philosophy I've decided that it would be appropriate to write a little something about plans.  What is a plan?  I looked it up on Wiki: "A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective."  Nice definition.  Plans are separate from goals--check.
 
Over the past year or so my ideas about making plans have experienced a drastic shift.  There's something about living by myself in a new setting that has brought out the more spontaneous side of my nature.  Once I got over the shock of "Wow, I really just moved to Denver and hardly know anyone-- now what?" I came to the realization that I'm at a wonderful stage in my life where, save for specific things like work and church, my schedule rests almost entirely on me.  I have several hours each day that I can fill with...  This scared me.  I'm the type of person who feels a need to be productive, a need to work towards accomplishing something.  How could I possibly plan out that much free time toward productive things?!  I felt a bit overwhelmed, so something had to change.

Back in the day, blinders were used on carriage horses so that they could only see straight ahead to the task at hand.  If they were allowed to use their peripheral vision, they would become distracted or spooked.  I think this example fits fairly well.  I no longer wear my blinders; I'm not a carriage horse.  Even though I may be distracted, or even spooked, if I'm "allowed" to see anything other than a direct path, I gain a new world of possibilities in how I can accomplish my goals.  Is this the safest way? No.  Does life need to always be safe?

I quit planning.  I started doing.  Problem solved.  There is a time and a place for making plans...but I'm actually at a loss as to when and where that may be-- maybe if you're working for NASA blasting people into outer-space or something of that magnitude, but that's a little bigger deal than "how am I going to spend my weekend."  This doesn't mean that I just wander around aimlessly without purpose or reason; if that were the case, I wouldn't get anything done.  I still have purpose, and I still have goals.  What I mean is that in looking at a theoretical map of "Point A" to "Point B," I no longer feel a need to have a set list of scheduled steps (an itinerary) to go along with it.  My goal is to get to Point B...go!  There are so many more adventures to be had, things to learn, and potential mistakes to learn from if you allow yourself the freedom to do so.  And I actually get more done-- who knew?!

Here's to Days Just Packed with peripheral vision!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Anticipation

I've been looking forward to a lot of things lately.  I wouldn't necessarily say that any of them could be placed in the "momentous" or "earth-shattering" category, but I still await their arrival with anticipation, and regardless of how important they may end up being in the long run, I'm still excited.  It's good to have something to look forward to; it means you're looking up from you're day-to-day life in order to see what is waiting for you just over the horizon.  Even if what you see in the distance remains unclear, that's what makes it so exciting-- it's an adventure!

What am I looking forward to?  My list may sound simple, and a little silly, but I still find adventure and mystery in it.  Trying out the cheap pair of skis I bought on Craig's List, spending a random Saturday at Blackhawk with some friends, playing volleyball on Sunday nights, finally being able to have a conversation in German, the first pitch of the year, beer and peanuts at Coors Field, the first time I walk outside this Spring and smell rain-- my list could go on and on.  Simple, yet satisfying.

What is life like without looking forward to something?  What would the future look like without goals?  That's one thing I intend to not find out! 

Here's to Days Just Packed with anticipation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sabbatical

Sabbatical: (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew Shabbat i.e., Sabbath, literally a "ceasing").

That's my explanation anyway for not writing any form of blog post for the past 4 or 5 months. I didn't actually take a sabbatical from work or life or anything interesting like that-- just from blogging. It seems like the motivation to do some things goes in waves, and I guess my blog has just been setting at low tide for awhile!

Regardless of reasoning behind motivation levels, I've decided to give the blog a little jump-start. CLEAR!

Hold on to your hats!