Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Stars and the Stripes

Freedom. It means something different to different people.


Opps, this post was supposed to be in the 'drafts' pile but it ended up getting published the other night. I started a blog post about freedom.


"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

This post started off talking about freedom but for those of you faithful readers, I have the urge to note an exercise I completed a couple of years ago. Stay with me. It is a continuous exercise actually, one that I try and look at regularly. I can give credit to a mentor of mine for its origin. It is called "What Kind of Woman do I Want to be" and in it I listed several key aspects of life that I thought were important. Perhaps it will encourage you to think about what gives your life meaning, what you hope for, what you want out of life. Of course, you will change. I did it in 2014. I am sure I have changed as a person since then but it is helpful to see that I still want to focus on these today.

Even as it's God who reveals more and more with each day how I can live out particular callings or desires, my hope is to live with intention. I guess if I have the list in front of me instead of buried in my 3200 emails, I am more likely to give it some thought and intention (now it's buried in a blog post, but it's progress). Where would you need to put some reminders in order to visibly see your hopes and goals?

Okay, here goes:

I want to be

  1. A woman who knows God and walks closely with him in my life
  2. A woman who understands her worth and value in Christ and lives accordingly
  3. A woman who loves others well
  4. woman who pursues and lives with freedom
  5. A woman who lives with balance in all areas of my life
  6. A woman who lives with self-awareness 
  7. A woman who is healthy
  8. A woman who lives with purpose 
  9. woman who helps others experience freedom
  10. A woman who is honest and authentic
  11. A woman who invests in the younger generation 
  12.  woman who uses gifts of counseling, writing and speaking
  13.  woman who is free to integrate my faith into my professional setting
  14. A woman who is financially stable and responsible
  15. woman who invests in her family, neighbors, community

You'll see freedom listed a couple times throughout. This is a very dear and very real topic for me. Waaay back when, I began a journey of walking back toward freedom from major health and eating issues. It was God who did it - all that I am is grace. My hope is to continue to pursue and live with freedom and to leave room in my life to help others, especially the younger generation. My prayer is for many who feel bound in some kind of chains to also experience freedom and to know that change is possible. God's goodness abounds and He is our living hope.

I love the imagery in Job 36:16:
"He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction."

May freedom be our anthem. May we remember God is the one who brings it and He has the power to do it.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

On stuff and things

In my IMPROV WRITING BOOTCAMP I have decided to instill some practices that I'm learning in actual improv. One of them is to not just talk about 'stuff' and 'things.' But to talk about why it matters, what it means to you. Get vulnerable.

Vulnerable is a buzz word everywhere today. Even in improv??

I guess so. It's true though. Last night, I did a scene with someone and we were 'sisters' who were cleaning out the litter box, reluctantly, as a chore we didn't really want to be doing while our mom was gone from home. At the end of the scene, one of the comments from the teacher was to tell more about why it mattered. The scene didn't seem to go anywhere. It was just the two of us sitting there cleaning the litter box. Why is it important?

Do you hate cleaning litter boxes because you hate cats? Do you not know how to clean the litter box because this is actually your family's first ever cat? Do you not want to be in the same room with your sister because you hate her guts? Do you love your sister and this is bringing you together and you want to do everything she is doing?


Why does it matter?

What do you feel?

These are so important. Every single second of our lives and interactions don't have to answer this, as well as my writing, but I feel like it's so good to think about.

No one really cares about stuff and things. A way my teachers describe not giving a reason for being there, justifying the 'why,' not considering the relationship of the characters. Not putting together the exposition: who, what, where, why. All of that matters. It is tough to get together in a short little scene. Or a short piece of writing. But it matters.

No one wants just stuff and things. I get it. Please tell me if I'm giving you too much of that.

Timbler on vacay

Timbler the traveling man is on vacay. He has been with my friend for several weeks now.

I'm glad he gets a vacation! Don't we all need one sometimes?
 It is hard to believe it is June. June! June is half the year has already happened and I can't believe it. June is summer is here and I am still working hard, but praying for time to be still and also to play hard, too. I've had some of those moments already and they have been sweet. There's something beautiful about the beauty that happens in summer, even if I am in the dessert and the intense heat seems to fight against the season.  
You can't stop the change that happens when school lets out and it is just a little bit quieter. Things move a little bit slower. Maybe the dial goes down just a bit on the chaos in and around. Maybe we can once again learn and relearn rhythms and habits of peace even as everyday life still happens.
Timbler and his summer activities are a great reminder to have a little fun and go on some trips and adventures! Away from home and at home. Maybe even in the comfort of a friend's home, someone who will love on you for awhile!

On haircuts

Writing boot camp is real and it is happening.

The first item of business is haircuts.

I am in need of a haircut.

I used to see Tamera, who went to Seattle several months ago to be with her long-distance Nate. I can't fault her for that. We turned out to be living parallel lives, except I moved to Phoenix. And I don't cut hair. But other than that..

Tamera was a hair stylist/friend/character in 87 Coffees. Needless to say, I forgot to ask Tamera who she would recommend for another good haircut because we were too busy saying good-bye and having an (almost) tearful moment when she said she was moving.

Sigh. This is not life or death but good bangs are hard to find.

On writing bootcamp

Just like my improv bootcamp, I have decided I won't get anywhere with my writing if I don't sit down and just WRITE. I will do my own version of IMPROV WRITING BOOTCAMP. Let's make it a thing for the blog. I know this is typically where I write some form of 87 Coffees, but, let's be honest, I have been a procrastinator with that.

Here's to actually recording spontaneous thoughts, adventures, and impromptu comedy in little snip-its before they leave my mind...

On improv bootcamp

Last night I went to improv and we had an improv bootcamp of sorts. We called it that because we did something we normally don't do in improv practice. We had scene blast. Everyone on stage and then two people start for a super quick 15 second scene based on a prompt given by one of the three teachers. Then, the two go off stage with one of the teachers who gives quick notes and critiques of the scene. Meanwhile, the next two are on stage for a scene and it continues. Once the two are done with the notes, they are back on stage for another scene right away. It continues without stopping until everyone needs a break. Then, you jump to 30 second scenes. Then 1 minute scenes, which feels like forever.

It was a great workout. Fun. But it was also rough, too. I am used to taking a while to ease my way into things, seeing if I want to jump into a scene, maybe not being the initiator all the time. With these scenes, there was no 'getting into it,' you just had to go! Can't worry if you fail or look like a goof ball, just jump! What a good practice!

In life, too, it's often easier to play our cards thoughtfully, and this can be helpful at times. But, there are moments to just go for it and be open to what the scene brings!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Timbler is back

It's been over a year since Timbler the Traveling Man has been home to Phoenix.

A lot has happened in a year. Timbler is very excited to be back.

Timber left his home in Raleigh after saying goodbye to his other owner, Amy, and his many friends. He was ready to come back.
Timbler has never been on a bike before. He wants to take a ride soon. The bike is new since the last time he was in Phoenix.
For those who need a refresher on him, Timbler *hypothetically spends half his time in North Carolina and half his time in Arizona. When he is in either place, he goes on many adventures. He is a lucky fellow.
Timbler is energized but also tired from the past year in NC. The long plane ride was also pretty boring for him because most of the trip he was cooped up in a backpack. Timbler has missed his living space here, so he wants to spend a little quiet time just laying around and soaking it all in before he does anything too spectacular. He is pretty content just letting his human friends have adventures for now. When he does go on an adventure, he will be sure to let you know.