ZELLAZM   101,645
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Saturday, April 03, 2010

This blog is a shameless effort just to get 3 more Spark points before the day is over. I have less than 100 to go before I reach 40,000 and a new trophy. I'd really like that to happen tomorrow, on Resurrection Sunday! I really hope Sandy makes her goal of 50,000, too. She'll probably beat me, though because her day in Oz starts quit a bit earlier. Yay, us!

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last blog about having fun. I'm fine, I know I'm not a failure (see my signature line on my message board posts!) but have been rather down lately. Some people mentioned things - like book-store browsing and RL conversations with a good friend - that reminded me to make time to do those things soon. In fact, I got on the phone and arranged to have breakfast in the city with a friend on Easter Monday morning. We are both busy and don't get to see each other too often.

I agree, too, with the people who were on the other end of the planned vs. spontaneous spectrum. We can really be surprised by fun if we just allow it to happen. Other people might not recognize what were doing as fun (I love to do library research, for example!) but that doesn't mean it's not real fun.

It wasn't just the ideas, it was the thought and time you put into responding. I am blessed with some wonderful Spark friends. Have some fun this holiday weekend!

...and blessings on this day of days - He is risen indeed!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILLINITEACHER52 4/18/2010 5:38PM

  Way to go!

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ASMPP1 4/4/2010 10:09AM

    No problem trying to get more points. There are things that you cannot do that we used to do, because we have read them all or no new ones have been posted. I hope you make your goal!

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DDOORN 4/3/2010 11:16PM

    Yours is the 2nd blog today I've read where you've been admitting to grubbing for SparkPoints...lol!

GL catching up with friends...I let that slide way too long also!

Happy Easter to you and yours!


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NANC304 4/3/2010 7:19PM


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    Great way to get points!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/3/2010 5:04PM

    WooHoo Michelle, we did it! A new cup for all our spark points. Shamelessly happy, just like being 12 again.

You sound much more like yourself and I agree that library researching is fun, strange, aren't we, but I suppose that goes with a love of learning that never leaves us no matter how old we are.

Have a wonder filled day on this joyous morning of resurrection and rebirth, hugs, Sandy

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SLENDERELLA61 4/3/2010 3:37PM

    Very good blog. Seemed real, not a shameless attempt to rack up three points. Congrats on the 40,000, though. Great accomplishment! -Marsha

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What is Fun?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

From Failure to Fun! :)

I didn't FAIL to turn in my term paper -- it's gone!... and now I'm having a postpartum kind of day. I want to do something to celebrate that doesn't involve much money or many calories. I also have little energy today as I battle yet another cold. It sure felt good to sleep in this morning! But is that FUN?

I remember going through the Artist's Way (do you know that book?) The author encourages you to schedule "artist's dates" - ways to spend time that nurture your creativity. These are to be real "dates" in your schedule, even if they are only for an hour or two. I found it hard to do these - just too many "shoulds" on my program and now I'm finding it a little hard to think of a way to have fun.

And like one Spark friend said, if you put it on your "to do" list - is it still fun?

Suggestions? What do you when you want to have fun? What did you do just before you said, "That was FUN!"?

(Oh, and I'm going to post a goals list for April. I FAILED to do that in March and I could tell. It helps me keep my priorities straight and my focus intact.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONJASTWIN 4/4/2010 10:37PM

    When I'm by myself and want to do something I'll enjoy that doesn't cost much, a movie is a good bet. Or a trip to a cool neighborhood or farmers market. When I'm with friends, one thing I that I rarely do and am always surprised how much I enjoy when I do it is go bowling. It's pretty cheap as evenings out go and is always a laugh.


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JENNIFER124 4/1/2010 9:05PM

    i end up having fun when i dont plan it!! interesting how that works.... mostly relates to completely letting go and being free from worries... emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/1/2010 8:16PM

    You are going to think that I am strange (:-) but one of my favorite ways to celebrate the end of a project that has required an intensive amount of my time is to clean up and "put it away." (I'm a messy worker.) Get rid of all the scraps of paper, put the books back on the shelf, organize the study, clear the counters, etc. Then go out and buy flowers, and, depending on my mood, pull out the book I've been wanting to read for fun or the DVD I've been wanting to watch (If I'm feeling in a mood for solitude) or call a friend for lunch or dinner (if I'm feeling in the mood to talk) or go to a concert or play or gallery (if I'm in the mood for culture) or get out and walk (if I'm in the mood for nature). Or maybe all of those things!

Congratulations on accomplishing your goal. Give yourself permission to unwind.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/1/2010 8:16:29 PM

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CTEMPLE 4/1/2010 6:52PM

    Dear Michelle, fun is different for everyone. For me fun is reading interesting books not POPFiction, a conversation with an intelligent intimate friend or a good movie. Art exhibitions count too. I'm too intellectual. As for physical fun, roller blading or bush walking in the right conditions : not too hot or cold or raining, with time to stop and look at the plants.
PS eliminate the world "Failed" from your vocabulary ASAP.
A to do list of fun things is OK, they have to be organized as well.

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ILLINITEACHER52 4/1/2010 5:59PM

  I did "The artists Way" a few years ago. For my artists dates I would go to a book store or a fabric/craft store or even to a home improvement store. I wouldn't necessarily spend money but I would dream of what I would like to do when I did have the money and if I really wanted something I would save and get it. I ended up with some inexpensive wall paper border for my laundry room one time. I put it up and it still makes me smile. What would make you smile?

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/1/2010 5:22PM

    Ah Michelle, I feel for you. I can remember a long time ago when I had just finished first year at Uni and I sat down in the morning and when I got up it was afternoon. I don't know how the day went but I was so zonked I just sat there and did nothing. I do hope you find your zing again.

Just a thought but I do think that you should perhaps think about all the commitments you have on that "To Do" list and just put yourself first. If you look after yourself, you are not being selfish, you are making yourself a much healthier and therefor a much more capable person to handle the things that are important. I do hope you get over this cold quickly.

One of the funniest moments of my life was when a friend and I had gone out for dinner before taking in a show. We were running late because we had been catching up on all our news and the curtain was just going up as we got into our seats. My friend turned to me and said, "I do hope its a comedy." The lady behind said sotto voice, "Boy, are they in for a disappointment!" The play was, "Death and The Maiden." My friend and I still laugh about that, not knowing what we were going to see and just enjoying the moment.

I do hope you find your laughter and joy in the small everyday happenings of life, much love and hugs, Sandy

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ASMPP1 4/1/2010 4:24PM

    We had fun today washing the cars in our driveway. Then, we took them to the car wash to power wash, rinse, and wax. The tar was stuck to the lower parts of the vehicles. A pre-wash at home saved plenty at the car wash! The kids had trouble at first working together, but we managed. It was still "fun' even though we had some struggles with the kids. It was something done that was not "a must do rush job"!

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    The thing that give me the most 'fun' are spontaneous things!! So they can be anything really!! You know where you just drop everything (even more important things) and just DO IT!!!
For example...it's a sunny day I go off walking for a long time and come back when it suits not because of anything.

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    The most fun thing that I do is to go shopping with some friends in quaint villages near and far. We don't all buy things but I have one friend who loves coats and I have known her to leave a sstore with 2 if the sale was good!! Not me, I just continually loook for stocking stuffers for Christmas. I make 16 stockings at Christmas and it takes all year to collect all the stuff.


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ZELLAZM 4/1/2010 11:03AM

    Well, yeah, but....specifics, please!

Comment edited on: 4/1/2010 11:03:47 AM

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CHICADEE26 4/1/2010 10:53AM

    Fun makes you feel good inside and out! Do something that does that for you and it's fun - no matter what it is!

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FRANNIEDID 4/1/2010 10:27AM

    Fun should be everyday, life is fun! Fun should be spontaneous and experienced in little giggles and jokes. Fun is a way of life! Fun is something you carry around with you, it probably cannot be planned but you can include things that are fun for you in your day. Fun for me is laughing with friends, or with the kids at school. Fun is lunch with my co-workers of whom I am very fond. Go have fun, don't plan it just do it!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm writing a term paper that includes a section on John Wesley's mission trip to Georgia in the early 1700's. Many historians consider that trip to have been a failure. In his journals, you can read that Wesley himself was humbled by the experience. Yet, it put him in a position of spiritual poverty, an awareness of a need for God, that allowed him to have his famous "warmed heart" experience at Aldersgate in 1737. What exactly happened there we can't say, but he came to new depth of understanding, a new assurance in his relationship to God his Father. Now we remember him as the founder of Methodism. His sermons and writings continue to touch lives today. He was never really personally involved in foreign missions again but what an impact his "failed" mission has had on the greater church!

Thanks for letting me share that today. I need to get back to writing because I don't want to "fail" to meet my Wednesday deadline! No time for tracking, but I will get in at least a short walk to the post office.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Failure is better than procrastination. Failing forward is Jesus' strength made perfect in our weaknesses.

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NEWLIBRARIAN 3/30/2010 9:13PM

    Nice reminder. Thanks for sharing!

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SJG1953 3/30/2010 2:34AM

    God often uses unlikely circumstances to help us grow in Him. This is an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Shirley

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OPAL50 3/29/2010 5:47PM

    New perspective on "Failure"!! We all can learn a lot from this. emoticonfor sharing!

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/29/2010 5:21PM

    Thank you Michelle, it's great to know a little more about how God works through the lives of men and women.

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RURAL3 3/29/2010 12:51PM

    To the post office and beyond. The paper will be done.

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LADY_DONKEY 3/29/2010 9:50AM

    Wow, that's really cool to know! I think it goes to show how complex life can be, that there are several layers or definitions of "success". I'm reminded of the part in Little Women where Beth was the one who was always left behind at home, while the other girls sought lives outside in the world. But then she died, and SHE was the one who moved onward and the others were left behind.

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NANC304 3/29/2010 8:48AM

    Good luck on your paper.

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QUADCMOM 3/29/2010 7:14AM

    Thanks for sharing and best wishes on your paper.

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ASMPP1 3/29/2010 4:44AM

    emoticonThanks for sharing!

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ANGELLACOLE 3/29/2010 4:43AM

    A couple of years ago I had the wonderfully opportunity of watching a one-man play entitled "The Man from Aldersgate". It was so moving to hear the story of John Wesley in a first person account. The actor had taken his script from Wesley's journals and other accounts of the day. It was very moving.

Good luck on your paper!

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Castles in the Air

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I was teaching an English lesson in a town nearby on Saturday. Had some time in the afternoon before I was to meet a friend for dinner, so I decided to take advantage of the spring-like weather. Thought I'd stroll up to the top of this hill and take a look at this castle: www.preussen.de/en/today/burg_hohenz

It took me about an hour to get up there and about twenty minutes to get back down. Super view! I'd love to go back when it's green and leafy. That may be possible if I continue the lessons with this young couple who are preparing to move to the States for a couple of years. Another teacher has been working with them, and it's a long drive for me, but I can use the hours and they want me to take over. We'll see.

Notice I said "spring-like"! Two weeks ago, we had a major snow storm and about 6 inches of fresh white stuff on the ground. So I'm not quite ready to trust the warmer temperatures just yet. But I'm hopeful.

As I posted on my status today, I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the work I need to do to finish my course by the end of the month - reading assignments, a term paper, article critiques! I need a plan. I notice that NOT making a goal list this month was probably the wrong way to save time. I won't make that mistake next month and am putting together a plan for the next two weeks. I don't want my degree plans to be a "castle in the air." I much prefer the real ones like Burg Hohenzollern!

P.S. This isn't the "Disneyland Castle" (Neuschwannstein) that you may have visited in Bavaria!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONJASTWIN 3/27/2010 1:35PM

    That looks amazing! How cool to have something so fun to visit close by. I can totally sympathize with being overwhelmed! Story of my life right now. Hope next month is better for you.

Take care, Josie emoticon

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HOMEBUNNY 3/24/2010 1:10PM

    Wow! It looks like living in a fairy tale. Glad you were able to visit it and thanks for posting the picture for me to visit as well.

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FRANNIEDID 3/23/2010 10:21AM

    That is beautiful! It is trying to be spring here too so I am walking a lot!

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JANETELIZABETH1 3/22/2010 6:11PM

    Michelle, that scenery reminds me of Switzerland, just so beautiful !!
I know you'll get all your work and plans together because you just seem that sort of person!

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    Wonderful blog, lots and lots of pressure.

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SJG1953 3/22/2010 12:53AM

    The castle is awesome. I can't imagine what it would look like inside.

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you this month. You are making goals to get things done though and that is good. I pray for your success.

Blessings and hugs, Shirley

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CTEMPLE 3/21/2010 8:31PM

    Baby steps, one at at time. work best and Spring for you is really coming!
Claudia emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/21/2010 7:42PM

    They certainly knew how to build a castle in the old days. Often they were drafty old places though. No castles in Australia but I miss the history that is so much a part of Europe.
All the best for getting through your degree and catching up on everything. A bit a day will get you there. Take care.

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JCOLUMBINE 3/21/2010 6:55PM

    I am sooo jealous. What a wonderful walk. Good for you. Keep to your plans and goal setting. We all tend to get more done that way. Maybe I should go make my list. emoticon
Blessings and prayers!

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ASMPP1 3/21/2010 6:22PM

    emoticonWhat a beautiful place! I hope next month goes better for you.

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ANGELLACOLE 3/21/2010 6:07PM

    What a beautiful place for a walk!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 3/21/2010 5:47PM

    Quite beautiful! and an impressive walk. I have been to Neuschwannstein, and that's pretty interesting too, especially all the stuff related to Wagner.

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LADY_DONKEY 3/21/2010 5:12PM

    I'm praying with you. I love that, "Prayer Break". Kind of like a coffee break for the soul?
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SLENDERELLA61 3/21/2010 4:50PM

    What a beautiful castle. I almost didn't click on the link, but glad I did. Yes, hope you can go back when it is green and leafy. Good plans. Plans do help us stay on track and achieve. Good luck with all the work you are facing. I know my food choices and exercise tend to suffer when I'm pressed to produce. Hope you can get it all in. It's important to take care of yourself, too. -Marsha

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Where'd the weekend go?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I've been back from Florida for a couple of weeks, but dove into an 8-day intensive course in missions history only two days after I got back. Can you say jet lag? It was actually very good for me to be almost forced to adapt to the time zone right away. And as I posted on my status, I did not fall asleep in class. It was a very good course, but an awful lot of material to cram into 8 days. I gave a short presentation (in German) about Amy Carmichael and that kept me busy when I wasn't actually in class.

Now that the lecture part of the course is finished, I'm feeling the need for a rest. I have four weeks to complete the rest of the reading, and do the written assignments and turn them in, but have been taking it easy the past couple of days. Monday always comes soon enough, doesn't it!? It will be a full day at the language school. Tuesday I'll be back to hitting the books.

This Monday will also be my first weigh-in for the month - I don't think I'm going to be too happy with what the scale has to say. I've been back on track for a couple of days, and always keep up with exercise so it shouldn't be toooo bad. During my trip to the States and in the evenings after the lectures, I did some extreme snacking and I feel it. Daily exercise was non-strenuous for long stretches because of another cold bug. I can't wait to get back to running, especially outdoors if it ever warms up! We had a blizzard here Saturday and still have several inches of snow on the ground. I was really glad I didn't have to drive anywhere yesterday:

There's more to say about my trip, my goals, what the Lord has been doing in my life, and about some decisions I've made. Will share more as the week progresses!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 3/12/2010 1:17AM

    Wow, you are like one huge ball ov energy, take care and enjoy.

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SONJASTWIN 3/11/2010 12:28AM

    Welcome back! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

I grew up in the midwestern US, so I remember snow like that. Must say, I don't miss it! LOL It is pretty though. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

Take care emoticon

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    I always love reading your blogs.

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NANC304 3/8/2010 12:54PM

    The weekends always go too fast. Good luck with your weigh in this month.

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HOMEBUNNY 3/8/2010 10:08AM

    It is good to hear from you. I enjoyed the picture of the snow you all got. I am hoping we are finished with snow & moving on to nice spring weather.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 3/7/2010 9:33PM

    You have been very busy and still managing to exercise. Hope your cold is over now!! It sounds like you are ready to kick it again. Start fresh in the morning and move forward!!!
I love your picture...I think it's because that snow isn't here. lol Ours is in the melting stage now and I hope it continues. Love the sunshine we have over the weekend, although it is now only 26*.
Blessings and hugs,

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SJG1953 3/7/2010 9:03PM

    It's so good to hear you are doing okay. I hope you get caught up on your rest. Sounds like you have been super busy since you have been back so I can understand why you haven't been on here. I hope your mom and dad are doing okay.

Stay safe in the snow! Blessings, Shirley

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ASMPP1 3/7/2010 7:58PM

    emoticonGood to see you are back posting! Yes, that is a lot of snow! Ours is in a slow melt stage with rain overnight last night. It was about .2 of an inch. Our dd's snow fort is still standing! The kids re-enforced it with ice slabs from the roof that dh took off of the house last week.

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CTEMPLE 3/7/2010 7:10PM

    OMG so much snow!
Hope yo get the rest you need dear M.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 3/7/2010 7:09PM

    Welcome back! That's some picture.
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MOM2KNL 3/7/2010 12:57PM

    Sounds like a great class. Glad you are feeling better - these head colds are awful! Even if the scale shows a gain, you are definately living a healthy and active lifestyle. Don't beat yourself up, just keep moving forward!

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CAHUNO2 3/7/2010 12:17PM

    Good luck with the weigh in. I hate the scale but am working on it!

We keep getting snow too. Been a very wet winter - looking forward to spring emoticon

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