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My Genre

Today I did something I’ve never thought to do before.

I Googled my “Genre”.

I wasn’t really quite sure I “Had” a genre to tell the truth.

My passion is to lead people into seeing the value of what I call “Quietude”.

As an introvert, what this means to me is to be able to have a place to recharge my internal batteries after dealing with, as Susan Cain says; “A world that can’t stop talking”.

If you’ve been here a while, you’ve no doubt seen the little “Quiet” videos made out of the photos I take.

Little vignettes, if you will, designed to calm down the insides, help regain strength, and be ready to do it all again.

I found out so much more today! Here is what I’ll share with you for this post, and then I’ll continue with more later;

  • Where This Idea Began
  • New Information
  • Truth or Lies?
  • Slow Start
  • Onward Toward Healing

It really began way at the beginning of what I call the cave days. I was reading scripture that I had always read. Then, as it happens, some words jumped off the page, followed by a question –

ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

TLB Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.

How can I possibly do this? How could I possibly change the way I’ve thought all of m life?

Now I believe in the word of God pretty literally, so that means that if He is asking me to do something, then there must be a way to do it, right?

So I just “happened” to see an episode of something, 700 Club maybe? TBN? The episode I watched had Dr. Caroline Leaf on as a guest. Her teaching was all about re-wiring your brain, re-training it, Transforming it. This is my own simple way of putting it.

You can follow the link for the language that she uses. It involves things like neurons, synapses, and neurotransmitters. So if you’re into that, here’s your link; https://drleaf.com/about/

I had a strong feeling that by being stiller, or quieter, or silent, that I would be able to put some of this Bible idea into my real life.

I have to remind myself these days, that THOSE DAYS, were not at all easy. It was a real struggle for me to actually DO what she was saying.

But I believed Dr. Caroline’s research, and I most certainly believed that if it were not possible, that God would never require it of me.

Enter that tenacity – read hard headed-ness – that I was born with, and one more very important question; Does God tell the truth, or is He a liar?

Well I don’t believe He can lie, so I held on to that.

I started out small. Really small. Two minutes. Ten minutes. Thirty minutes was an extra successful time slot!

I sat with my journal and my Bible on my lap. Coffee by my side. And the goal of renewing my mind to the way that God had planned it from the beginning.

During that time, I believe God allowed me to work through some pretty tragic, destructive things that had been in my life ever since I could remember. Cycles that kept on returning, began to slow down, and melt away. Healing began to come to my mind, and forgiveness to my heart.

Nowadays, in the back ground, there will either be quiet ambient music or nothing at all, and healing is STILL happening.

So now you know where this journey I am on began.

Next time I’ll delve a little deeper into this process, and even some NEW things that I’m learning.

Please join me if you just want to detect a way out of your cave. This world (thinks it) has us trapped, but our minds can be renewed!

See you next time!

Stoic or Otherwise?

Recently, I’ve heard several comments concerning stoicism.

I don’t know the entire teaching and belief system of stoicism, but I know that my grand pa was called a stoic by my mom. Her meaning was that he did not ever show his emotions about anything.

Now that is a definition of stoicism, but not the only one.

What are the tenets of stoicism?

According to Wikipedia, there are four.

Logic, Physics, Ethics, Emotions.

The Stoics classified these different forms of virtue under four broad headings, the four cardinal virtues: Wisdom or Prudence: Includes excellent deliberation, good judgment, perspective, good sense. Justice or Fairness: Includes good-heartedness, benevolence, public service, fair dealing. Training. Daily reflection. Philosophy for a Stoic is an active process of constant practice and self-reminder.

The only reference I was aware of when concerning grand pa, (that is the one I’ll discuss here) was that he had his emotions under wraps. (Kind of like a Vulcan – always in control of their emotions)

I’m looking at stoicism like this. A person needs to be in control of their emotions when other things are needed; like say, caring for a family or going to work.

This is not to say that there should be no emotions, but that they can be stored away until the time is appropriate to deal with them.  Stoics do not, NOT feel things. Quite the opposite. They feel them very fully.

A trouble that may arise is that storing them away for a better time, may delay them too long, or one may forget to deal with them. Like the elephant in the room, they end up taking up more and more space, leaving no room for the process of healing to take place.

So what does one do?

What if we actually SCHEDULED a certain time to face off with that elephant, then when the time is up, back to our regular life.

When someone dear to me was going through a divorce, she knew that during the day time hours, she was committed to her schooling, and after that, her kids needed her to be present for them.

She was definitely going through some severe trauma. This woman stored her emotions away daily, until everyone was in bed.

Then she laid in her bed and cried, and processed, sometimes alone, sometimes on the phone with a friend, but always after her daily duties were finished.

She did not deny her feelings, or their validity. She simply knew that left unchecked they would overtake her life, and she would not be able to heal.

Stoicism – control of her emotions. It served her well, and over time, she became whole again.

Since beginning to write this post on emotional stoicism, something happened that upset me, and took my feelings back to a time when my emotions controlled me.

Fortunately over time, with many opportunities to practice, I was able to recognize the issue before it was able to take hold. I was able to rant about it in my journal, and move on.

It became a perfect example of being able to release others, to be just how they are. They will do and say what they always do and say. Will I let their actions spoil my whole day even after they’ve walked away?

Now what happened did hurt. It was valid to have feelings about it.

The ability to not hang on to it and let it fester, is so peace giving.

No need hang on to it and let it cause a deeper wound, that is more difficult to heal.

I used a process talked about earlier with my dear one.

You can hurt. You can be mad.

But truth? You have more to do than wallow in it.

Set a timer. Write a post. Rant. Scream. Yell. Cry. Be done.

You have so much more to do than to mope. Take care of your emotions. Have them. Feel them. Do them. Walk away from them.

I’ve shared more than once on my blogs about David in the Bible. (1 Samuel 30) In his story, he got way more than is feelings hurt. His city was destroyed and his family taken.

In short form; here is the process he followed;

David wept. (He showed emotion)

David found strength in the Lord his God. (He took time to regain his energy)

David inquired of the Lord. (He asked God what to do next)

David pursued his enemy. (He faced the problem – made a choice to not be hampered by it any more)

God restored everything. (David’s life became whole again)

  • Set aside time to care for yourself
  • Find out what step to take next to get on with your life
  • Take care that the same thing won’t happen again
  • Be excited to see your new future

How do you handle your situations and setbacks?

Do you use stoic principals, or do you have a different way?

If you can add to my limited knowledge of the topic of stoicism, feel free to do so in the comments, or via message.

See you next time!

Common Ground

All these photos have something in common.

Two things actually.

Sweet Saturday repose.
Just beachy.
Conscripted.
Abundance.
Liberty.
Uniformity.

Aside from the fact that I really enjoy comparing lines, each one of thee photos elicited a different feeling for me.

Emotional response? Flat line? Or somewhere in between?

Won’t you tell me in the comments what came to your mind when you saw them?

I’m Really Sorry!

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.

We all know that little ditty from our childhood.

Today. Here. In the Midwest – not the most popular song.

The rains just never seem to quit.

Families that we love are having many issues due to water, in their homes, outside of their homes.

Some are simply irritated, while others, sadly, have lost everything.

I in no way want to down play the tragedy and drama that they are forced to deal with.

I AM really sorry for that, but I am a sky watcher of the heartiest sort.

So I tend to look toward the skies.

The drama there is undeniable.

Just this morning, my husband and I put our air conditioner in the window.

It’s huge. Thankfully we only have to move it twice a year!

But I digress.

We had not had it installed for five minutes, when the clouds began to roll in.

Our home is surrounded on three sides by trees.

Sometimes they speak.

And just as severe weather begins to approach, we can hear a rustling sound. It’s the sound of movement.

Leaves and grasses blowing.

It’s the sound of the timber creaking as the winds try and sway them off their trunks.

And then it happens.

The clouds. The lightning. And the thunder rolls.

Enjoy the photos I grabbed just before the downpour!

And the thunder rolls.
Light vs. dark.
Sometimes the storms stomp right across the valley.
Nearing the end.
My friend Ray Oehme took this photo in town! (Used by his permission)

So yes. There is heartache with all this weather – no doubt about it, put there is also raw power and beauty to behold if we look for it!

Stormy Weather

It’s been raining for days.

Rain in April is great. Not so much all through April AND May.

The joke here in the mid-west is some variation of “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change.”

Or “9:00 AM – Winter, 11:00 AM, – Spring, 1:00 PM – Summer, 3:00 PM – Fall.”

We have often used the furnace and the air conditioning in the same day.

An annoyance to be sure, but relatively harmless.

This constant rain has some long lasting repercussions.

On the the small side – mowing grass is really difficult.

On the larger, more impactful side, the farmers cannot get to their fields. The impact will be far reaching, and most likely the costs of everything will rise.

How does any of this connect with “Quiet” or “Quietude” or “Quiescence”?

The answer is simple. Not easy. But simple.

Weather is among a long list of things that we have absolutely no control over.

If I cannot control it, then what must I do to get through it without bringing myself and those around me down?

I have found that when I take the time for quiet. Five minutes. Fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes. Whatever I can, then my mind can calm down.

When my mind is no longer running amok, then I can think rationally about what steps need to be taken next.

If we leave our minds to their own devices, they can get crazy in a hurry, and it can take a really long time to come back from all that trauma and drama.

So take a moment, or four, with me, and gather your thoughts. Calm your mind.

Be able to be constructively helpful, even when times are tough.

You may even be able to enjoy some flowers in the midst of the storm.

Interrupting Your Own Quiet Time

The very idea of “Quiet time” freaks some people out.

For some, perhaps they are frightened by what they may confront in their minds.

For some, their mind is such a busy place, that finding a quiet corner there is nigh on impossible.

Personally, even as a proponent of “Quietude”, I am more than capable of interrupting my own quiet time.

Sometimes, it’s for really important things, other times, simply put, it’s for drivel.

I found this post from 2010 that I wrote about quiet.

It really made me stop again and re-consider my need for some solace.

https://prayzhimtoday.blogspot.com/2010/07/sound-of-silence.html

The Sound of Silence

Listen.  Do you hear it?  The sound of silence.  It does have a sound you know.  The absence of noise.  It kind of rings in your ears after a days worth of loud.  Do you long to hear God?  Do you need to hear His voice?  How do you hear Him?  When your day begins with noise and ends with the news.  Everything in between moving, clicking, whirring, honking and yelling and clamoring for your attention.

Today I had opportunity to rest, in quiet, and wait for His voice.  It had to be a choice.  Like Jesus, God’s own Son, choosing to remove Himself to a solitary place to hear the father.  While the storm (literally) raged outside, I sat in the calmness, until the ringing stopped, and the clear voice of the Spirit soothed my soul.

Thank you Father for the sound of silence.

The busier I get, the more I need it; and the more it tends to get relegated to the bottom of the list.

Next week I’ll have a new video; but here is an older one to get you started.

Until then, I’m off to make the ringing stop!