Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 2013 Journalling

1. Count down to the retreat. Two more days. Finished my power point and am reviewing messages. I have chosen my outfits and will get my hair done Friday.

2. Manicures with my daughter today.

3. Drove to Ancaster today and got lost on the way, of course, but still made it on time. There were 22 of us from Faith and about 80 in total. The accommodations and food were very good. I was a little nervous right before I spoke, but then during the singing, I felt very peaceful. I had good feedback.

4. Today I presented on self-control in relation to possessions and thought life. I was worried I might have been a little too controversial, speaking about affairs of the mind and fantasizing, but I received a lot of encouragement about the weekend.

5. How did you relax today?
     I went to church, and had our Pastor’s family over for dinner: stuffed mushroom caps, shrimp ring, chicken pot pie, salad and carrot cake. Then I posted pictures from the retreat. I’ll post one here, too.

6. I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s a good day. I am continuing to taper my meds. I am less groggy and a little more productive. Praise God! I want to get back to work! I also re-worked the retreat topic I just presented, into something suitable for another group who wants me to present all three messages on a Saturday morning, in two weeks. It was a lot to do three messages in 24 hours, so to do it all in one morning is going to be a challenge.

7. What’s the most expensive thing you own that you can carry?
    My phone, but that’s not saying much. It’s four years old and one of those yo-mama’s cell phones. The only thing I like about it is the qwerty keyboard which makes texting easier, which is pretty much all I do with it.

8. So excited! I've had two good days in a row, with lots of energy and enough clarity to feel productive. I think I'm finally feeling like my body is adjusting to the meds! I can usually pull together some kind of dinner, but today I made spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce, Caesar salad with homemade croutons (first time), garlic bread, and banana cake with cream cheese frosting. I almost feel like me again!  kind of supper, usually not homemade, but today I made spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce, caesar salad with homemade croutons (first time), garlic bread, and homemade banana cake and cream cheese frosting. I almost feel like me I have good days and bad days, so I'm expecting that, but really, I can't believe that my clarity wasn't just a few hours each day, but all day for two days! I've stepped out of my cloud! I'm happy even for that. First time in four months!

9. Filling out forms again, this time for EI, since today was my last pay. If I didn’t know that I wasn’t faking it, I would think it was very coincidental that my situation improved once my money ran out. J But I believe in the sovereignty of God, so I’ll praise Him for my improved health, instead. I’ll take it. I’ll be happy to get back to work. I’ll book my doctor’s appointment tomorrow, all being well.

10. I am so excited! I was able to write a whole chapter of my Biblical historical fiction book. 1980 words. It flowed so smoothly, especially since I started outlining, instead of flying by the seat of my pants. I know what’s supposed to happen in each chapter to move the story along. I like where it’s heading. I can see how to work the character arc (how he learns and grows throughout the book), what the theme is, what the inciting incident is (what makes him the way he is), what the darkest moment is, and his redemption. I know the premise, I know which Bible stories to highlight to bring this all about. I’m happy there is enough to work with from Scripture, although he is a minor character. I am falling in love with this book already. Another good “side effect” of my illness is that I’m  learning to “write” directly onto the computer. For younger people, that’s nothing new, but I used to only be able to be creative on paper, and then transfer it onto the computer, so this saves me a step. I’m quite pleased about that.

11. My sister-in-law’s brother died this week. He was an alcoholic. But Praise God, she was able to lead him to the Lord a few weeks before he died. My brother-in-law helped with the funeral service.

12. How much money is in your wallet right now?
       Seventy five dollars; it’s a pay week. That’s more than normal, but I’m not really spending since I’m not travelling down to work.

13. Why was today unique?
      Because this time my doctor’s appointment was to plan for my gradual return to work! Finally! I’ve been off work for four months! Four months! I also drove the car today. It’s nice to have the autonomy again.

14. Such sad news today. There was a case of a 32 year old man named Tim Bosma, who was selling his truck. Two men came for a test drive, and he hasn’t been seen since. They just found his body today. So sad for his wife and two year old daughter. Senseless, it was just a truck.

15. I’m returning to work tonight. Just four hours this evening and tomorrow evening, to start. I’m excited to be going back.

16. What was in your email today?
Way too much junk, and a message from a friend I hadn’t seen in years.

17. Our daughter and her husband are coming over today, since they couldn’t be here on mother’s day. I got a gift card for a pedicure.

18. Today I spoke at Ajax Alliance Church, to the Ladies’ group for their finale for the year, until the fall. They wanted to hear all three of my messages on Self-Control. The weird thing was that after breakfast, I presented upstairs in the sanctuary. It feels a little too much like preaching, which I wouldn’t do anyway, but I’m okay with teaching women again.        

19. I’m back to going to both services on Sunday, again.

20. It’s the Victoria Day long weekend.

21. So we rented a truck to get some used couches and as my husband was parking it on return, the top of it hit the fascia and soffit of a building, even though he was far enough away from it, because he didn’t realize how tall it was. He reported it, as he should, but now it may end up costing us quite a lot of money, which we don’t have. Arrrgh!

22. Describe your day in a six word sentence.
       Writing, pajama day, work six hours.

23. What was the last thing that hurt you?
       Walking into furniture. Oh, you mean emotionally? I don’t know. I tend to suppress those things.

24. Did you use your time wisely today?
            Yes, I made my To Do list and actually accomplished most of it. I worked on my message for a Bible study on Eve that I’m doing for a ladies’ meeting in Grimsby next month. I also started a Critique group. That was one of my writing goals this year. I found there were four other writers in our church and one former member. Who knew? So there are six of us, which is a good number. Anyway, our first assignment was to write an ideal book review for our current work-in-progress, even though it’s not finished. This lets the others in the group know what we’re working on and where we’re headed with it. It’s been interesting and encouraging.

25. My plans for today include writing my elevator speech, the back cover story and the outline of each chapter of my book in preparation for some meetings at the Writer’s Conference when I will pitch the idea of the book, and get some professional feedback. This is really a big deal for me to throw even the idea of my work out there and risk criticism, but this is my year for personal and professional growth, beginning with all the public speaking engagements, and then starting the Crit Group and attending and getting involved at the Writer’s Conference. Because if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. And guess what? I didn’t disintegrate. All the worst case scenarios I’d imagined haven’t happened. Funny, eh? What is an elevator speech, you may ask? Well, it’s a quick summary of what you’d say in the time of an elevator ride, to an editor, agent or publisher, answering the question, “So what’s your book about?” It’s supposed to be about 25 words. Mine is 43.

26. Today after church we had a Providential dinner. We call it that instead of a Potluck dinner. Then, while there we had a wedding shower for one of our deacons and his fiancée.

27. What music did you hear today?
       The radio on the way to the train. I usually like silence when I’m at home. My husband puts the t.v. on as soon as he wakes up and keeps it on all day. That’s one thing that I think will make me crazy once we’re retired, but I’ll deal with that when it happens.

28. Our eldest daughter and her husband were on a four day missions trip to a First Nations reserve in northern Ontario near Kenora, called Fort Hope. Such a nice name for such a sad place. They have a huge problem with prescription drug abuse and crimes like arson there. They went to help the local church in any way they need help and encouragement.
29. Annual business meeting at church this evening. You know how those can go. We’ve done quite a few. I’ve been there almost thirty years, my husband, thirty five. But it was smooth, productive, almost pleasant, even though we had to approach a touchy subject or two. It was even done in two hours. Always a blessing when that happens.

30. What hobbies do you have? Writing, reading, crocheting, walking the dog.

31. What do you love most about what you get to do every day?
       Teaching patients what to expect with their cancer treatment, so they are less frightened; interacting with patients and hearing their “stories”, which is what most cancer patients want to tell you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Movie Review of Oblivion with Tom Cruise

Not a fan of sci-fi personally, but it was free, and I thought it looked like it would be tolerable. Tom Cruise is not bad looking, either, although he’s off his rocker spiritually speaking. But I digress.

So you see a futuristic world, where a couple are living in a home on a stick, from which he leaves in his flying machine each day to do patrols and service some drones, while she mans the comm and reports back to the mother ship.

While out, he is attacked and taken to a hideout, where some people tell him his reality is not what he thinks it is, but they let him go to find it out for himself.

Without giving away the whole plot of the movie, the underlying theme is what’s interesting. It’s the old, old story. Man discovers that the world he lives in has some forbidden places. He sees the prohibition rather than the provision.

His character, Jack (like all American leading men are named Jack, but that’s my rant for another day), is not allowed to cross a line in his flying machine. But of course he does, and discovers a cabin by a stream, which he returns to many times. His creator has been keeping him from something good.

Then eventually, he returns to the people who told him the “truth” and he helps them to find their god, in the mother ship, in order to kill it.

You see what I mean about it being the old, old story? Of course, it’s not exact, because the world he was living in wasn’t a paradise at all, like the Garden of Eden was, and their Creator wasn’t good, like ours is. But the idea of wanting to be autonomous, to make their own decisions, to cross borders and boundaries, to decide right and wrong on their own terms, is the nature of our rebellious hearts.

Man rebelled against the goodness of his Creator, spurning His goodness and provision, and wanting to establish his own moral compass. What did that original trespass lead to? Man killed his God. Jesus Christ, the Creator, was put to death by His creatures.

“There is nothing new under the sun.”  Ecc.1:9b