Friday, November 11, 2011
You haven't heard much about my studies lately because I've been stuck. One root of the problem is fear: when I do finish, some big changes are likely to take place in my life, and these could happen quickly. Although this has been my heart's desire, it's also scary! I think there's also a fear that I might be disappointed or that I might disappoint those who have been so supportive.
Another source of the trouble is that I don't presently have the funds to pay tuition for my last two projects - both the exam process and my "practice project" require the same amount of tuition as a regular course. I could borrow the money from the school, but I haven't wanted to add to my debt.
I've also been thinking about the holidays, missing Mom, and wishing I could be in Florida to help Dad with his upcoming art show. At 87, he still goes to work every day, but the day-to-day tasks of life seem to be getting a bit overwhelming for him. (I have to practice the serenity prayer every time I get off the phone with him!)
So I allowed myself to get stuck.
That "stuckness" tends to spread to other areas of life. I got discouraged about my future plans, and have been letting the stress and concern get to me.The scale is stuck, too. Is that any suprise?! It doesn't help that I've been fighting a cold and asthma cough for the past three weeks, and have been doing a prednisone taper the past few days.
But some powerful prayers must have been prayed lately, because progress has been made in the financial side. I received a generous offering toward my tuition and I've been encouraged to take further steps that will help raise the needed support. My health is coming along. I think I had a big backlog of sleep and rest to catch up on.
I'm thankful for the prayers and for the One who answers them!
Just a few hours ago, I went for a nice, long walk (air miles!) with my mp3 player and listened to a good sermon that talked about the Lord being our source of peace in difficult times. Perfect timing! I sense the power in those words and, although that teaching is nothing new, it's fresh to me.
The Bible talks about the "washing with the water of the Word." The water of the Word - not only is it cleansing, it's also got lubricating properties, like when water is added to clay to make it soft and pliable. That sermon is working that way in my spirit. I'm getting unstuck!
Friday, October 21, 2011
It's rather anticlimatic. I was having internet connection trouble last night with only 30 points left to go. I had some exercise to track, and, with only a few message board and huddle posts to make, I would have arrived before midnight. But I finally gave up and went to bed.
So here I am the next morning at Level 18. The view from here is great! And, even though there are 19,999 points to go before I reach Level 19, if it's up to me, I'll be here to celebrate that mini-victory, too. Thanks, Spark People!
The new trophy isn't as "sparkie" as the Level 17 one. I guess at Level 18, we are expected to be more dignified and queenly in our fancy jeweled crowns?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I need fewer than 200 Spark points to get to the next level, so I should get my new trophy tomorrow if I work at it. So if you see me posting everywhere and anywhere, you'll know why!
Bye, Bye, Level 17!
Hope the new one is a purty one!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I got back Friday from a 4-day retreat for missionaries in the Swiss Alps. This has become an annual thing, but the American couple who organize it are getting up there in years. That means that each year's event is made even more special because we never know if there will be another one next year. I had what I would call a breakthrough in my spirit and have come back with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement about what the future will hold for me when I get my studies done.
Some photos! I tried uploading yesterday but my browser crashed twice. So I'll post a few today and maybe more tomorrow.
On Wednesday afternoon, three of us took the cable car up to the top of the mountain. The plan was for two of us to walk back down like we did last year. However, the path we took last year was too dangerous. This is the first year I've been up there when there was snow.
So we took an alternate route down but still had to slog through the mushy stuff for the first half hour of the two-and-a-half hour hike - and this in running shoes. It was pretty treacherous and our feet got soaked, but it was worth it. Perfect hiking weather, sunshine, amazing views, and good conversation with a dear friend who I only get to see once or twice a year.
This is the view from the bottom of the rough part of our trip. Yes, we walked down that slope - VERY slowly and carefully! I won't forget my Nordic walking poles next trip!
These mountainbikers took the same path.
Then we had to decide which trail to take - the skiers route or the "easy" way. We took the easy way! Got to see a lot of rockclimbers in action on the cliffs above us. That was very cool to see, but they were too far for my little camera to get a good shot of the action.
You can see some other hikers and climbers in this pic, but probably only if the photo is enlarged and they'll still look like ants!
I "posed" for this picture by the side of the trail, but it gives you an idea of the terrain.
The trails in Switzerland are always so well marked! This was about halfway down, as we started to get out of the snowy altitudes. Jackets off!
Thankfully, we're having the same kind of weather here back home, so I'll be going out to enjoy the beautiful, but less dramatic, autumn views in this part of southern Germany this afternoon. Enjoy your days!
Saturday, October 08, 2011
I went back for my physical follow-up and got my blood test results. I'm not real happy about my cholesterol levels. Just read a good article that helped me understand the lab report. My doctor did explain it to me, but second opinion, ya know! www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Ch
My "good" cholesterol level (HDL - think H for happy) is quite high and that's good. My "bad" level (LDL - think L for Loser) is also "borderline high." The "bad" number is up a bit from 2009 (I didn't get a complete physical in 2010) and a bit more from 2008 when I was at goal weight. All the more reason to get back there, no? However, the ratio between the two is also important, and that number is good. The EKG was also AOK.
My Suitcase and the Swiss Flag:
I'll start packing for my trip to Switzerland today. I'm going to an annual missionaries' retreat in the Alps. I've been able to go most years for the past 15 and I always look forward to it as a special time with friends and with the Lord. Depending on the weather, I'll be able to go hiking in the afternoons. One of the people who has already arrived in the mountain town posted a pic on Facebook today and there's a light dusting of snow. That makes packing even more interesting.
And back to my suitcase. I've once again learned that expensive luggage can really be worth it. Actually, I got a super deal on my Victorinox bags a couple of years ago. Macy's in Florida had a luggage sale, and a weekend sale, and I had some kind of coupon on top of that, so I ended up paying about 75% of the original price. But the best thing about Victorinox (a Swiss company, by the way) is that you get a lifetime guarantee. So when the handle on the trolley cracked awhile back, I took it in to the local department store here in Germany, they sent it in, and two weeks later, I got to pick up a brand-new replacement bag and paid "rien" for it. Voilà! (The retreat is in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, so excuse me while I practice!)
Tomato Sauce and Apples:
Tomorrow is the annual flea market in our little town. Our church has a stand to sell pizza as well as coffee and cake. The proceeds benefit our partner church in the Ukraine. Today, I need to bake a cake and I've been blessed with apples, so apple cake it is. Then, tomorrow, I'll be working on the stand in the afternoon. Sometimes it's my job to cut the pizza. I like that - hacking into those pizzas with a big knife is a good way to get rid of aggressions. Sometimes I'm the sauce-spreader which is a little bit more meditative. We'll see what my assignment is.
The Spark Goal Met Emoticon:
I lost a pound this past week, my challenge goal for the week, so I'm back to the weight I was at the end of the Summer 5% challenge. The Firecrackers and other teams on the Fall 5% Challenge are on their way to Athens. Think we can do something about the Greek economy while we're there?
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