Monday, January 31, 2011

My Word

I keep coming across the concept of choosing one word to focus on for the coming year.  For years I've chosen a theme or one particular scripture, but never just one Word.  It was fun roping in all my goals and aspirations and boiling them down to one Word.  After much thought...ta da!  My word is:

I figured that my other pet words/ideas all fell under the umbrella of this one fruit of the Spirit that I desire so badly to embrace (embrace was actually one of my word wanna be's :) and exhibit.  I want to experience Peace with my heavenly Father in all the ways He wants His children to.  I want to experience it in all my relationships.  I want to internalize it and have it materialize in my physical life.  This is an excellent time of life to begin to cultivating peace.
A Beautiful Offering: Returning God's Love with Your LifeTo that end, I came across the following in a great book I read last year on the beatitudes:
A WOMAN OF PEACE

  1. She has surrendered her life to God and she's not mad about it.  She is learning to trust Him with the outcome and, even beyond trust, she anticipates that His plan will be more exciting and better than she could have imagined.
  2. She tends the hearts of those she loves.  Petty details decline in value.  Love matters more.
  3. She is beginning to see what counts for eternity and gives her attention accordingly.
  4. She is interruptible.
  5. She looks into the eyes of neighbors and strangers and the goofy friends of her kids and sees the person who wants to be loved and valued and applauded.
  6. She understands that life doesn't always turn out right and people don't turn out right and just about everything needs to be covered with forgiveness.
  7. She is slow to mumble stupid words of discouragement.
  8. She considers when it is appropriate to become angry.
  9. She is way past appearances and pretense.
  10. She surrounds herself with passionate contentment.
I was so blessed by it (and supremely challenged!) that I've copied it, put it my Bible and try to read it every day.
    ...and, isn't this a great fabric?  I bought it online a few months ago...premonition, hmm?   God tapping me on the shoulder and winking?  Anyway, I made an apron out of it :) as the kitchen is as good as anyplace to be at peace don't you think?





      Monday, January 24, 2011

      Slice of Heaven

      A few days ago I returned home from running errands just as an afternoon snow storm was beginning.  A mug of hot tea in hand, I headed upstairs to my evolving new sewing room in the loft--for the rest of the afternoon.  Ahh...a foretaste of heaven! I have purposely left the windows curtain-less as they make me feel like I'm in a tree house--the views and light delight me no matter the time of day or the season.  Every time I looked up from my sewing, I just smiled out loud. 

      So, I finished a baby gift of receiving blankets and bibs for a dear young friend...



      and dug out some UFOs...
      I started the binding for this table topper...
      and laundered this black & red dresser topper for my bedroom...

      and came across these happy birds that I had started last summer and plan to finish up into a runner...

      Then, how about the traditional Mongolian ger furniture?  I ordered some made back in UB and it came back with some of our other furniture and belongings last fall.  It's a bit rough around the edges (hence the rubber bands holding the doors shut on the red piece), but isn't it fun? ...and, it does exactly what I wanted it to--store fabric, and ribbon, and patterns...   I couldn't decide on a color, so I ordered one of each.













      Last but not least, my real favorite of the sewing room--this dollhouse!  Another generation is enjoying it (Randy made one for both Jana & Nikki :) and it just warms my heart (and keeps little hands busy, too :).
      So, it is with a grateful heart that I enjoy all of the above.

      ...but [trust] in the living God, 
      who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
      1Tim 6:17




      Monday, January 17, 2011

      Mahanaim

      From my front window in Colorado
      Mahanaim--it's a Hebrew word meaning Double Camp.  What a journey I've traveled since this word, Mahanaim, came my way! This is a long blog, I know; and I have no idea if anyone will take the time to read it.  However, I do need to write it.
      From my front window in UB, Mongolia
      A year ago I was agonizing over what I should do with myself and where in the world I should do it.  I was frustrated.  I am a nester at heart.  My home in Colorado was soon to be empty what with my daughter and family moving into their own place and my husband was/is happily consumed with his work in Mongolia.  Barb, a dear Aussie sister in Mongolia, looked at me during a verbal spew and said, "Well, it sounds like you just need to make two homes."  Stunned silence.  Of course!  Bless you, Barb, wherever you are.  Days later, I came across Mahanaim in Gen 32:2 --it seemed to reinforce Barb's counsel.   Now, I am basically an either/or - all/or nothing person, so this idea was appealing yet scary.  How God has stretched me way beyond this kind of thinking!

      So, last summer I set to updating the house in Colorado.  It was very consuming, very challenging; and very, very good for me in so many ways.  After some furniture and belongings returned from Mongolia, I was on a plane back to Mongolia. Hmm.  It seemed to be a law of nature that wherever my stuff was, I was somewhere else.

      Fast forward to January, 2011.  I am HOME.  I'll still be doing lots of travel to meet up with Randy in Mongolia and other places, but my base will be here in Colorado.  ...and I am enjoying a foretaste of what heaven surely must be in the form of home.

      Is it the Stuff?  Yes, but only in that there are so many memories and so much good family history in the things that have survived my many purges of the last 7 years.  Before I went to Mongolia, I had accumulated waaay too much Stuff.  Now what is left is Meaningful and/or Useful --or simply Beautiful--and I am enjoying it all with a grateful heart.  Stuff is only important because of the people dear to us, past and present, who have used and enjoyed it--and continue to do so.  I love it when my grandchildren make themselves at home here and that they are making memories here, too.
      4 generations of Myers have been rocked in this chair :)  The little table was brought from Japan by my Aunt in the 1950's

      My Home and Heart now seem to reflect many places but especially the US and Mongolia. But you know what?  Ultimately, my dwelling place is in the Lord--and I believe that He puts the longing for home in our hearts, wanting us to realize that our hearts are only at home in Him.

      LORD, You have been our dwelling place
      for all generations.
      Ps 90:1


      So, I am living in  Mahanaim.  In December we took a 2-week trip to Israel; and lo and behold, Mahanaim was mentioned in the guidebook--it's actually a place on the map!  It was a reminder and confirmation to me.  My home is certainly in 2 places; UB and Colorado.  With lots of travel to places in between. I hope you will stay tuned for updates along the Scenic Route that God is guiding me along. 


      Sunday, January 2, 2011

      Goals & Growth

       but the land you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys,
      a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.
      Deut. 11:11,12


      I don't really consider myself a List Person; though I do rely on them--as tools and not as task masters (big difference, there).  For most of my adult life I have made New Year goals.  Somewhere along the way I switched from making resolutions to setting goals.  Much more flexible and forgiving.  Goals are something I stretch and strive to accomplish--resolutions smack of should's, failure and guilt.  Yuk.  Who wants or needs more of that stuff?

      This year's goals are very practical and totally submitted to my Father's good, acceptable and perfect will.  The primary goal is Getting a Life.  Sort of a big one.  The last decade I have been very Reactive rather than Proactive. My life during this time has been very full and interesting; and, for the most part, satisfying. However, the last year or so has found me searching for purpose and meaning of my own ("let her own works praise her in the gates" Pr 31:31).  Something to put my hands and heart into, something for which I was born to do.  Finally I am excited about this and not frustrated.  That in itself has been a journey.

      Another major challenge involved Randy & I sitting down and deciding ahead of time (!!!!) our travel plans for the year.  This, too, is huge for us as we tend to be Reactive as a couple.  Yep, Reactive x 2.  This is not serving us well at this place in our lives.  We are patting ourselves on the backs for making major progress this holiday weekend.  Hurray!


      Other minor goals include things I'd like to learn about and/or improve on:  my Mongolian language, classical music, free motion quilting, etc.  Oh, and some new things to stretch and challenge me.

      For kicks here' are my goals from last year:


      1. Discover God's will and obey it  Definite progress.  Received several directives from God re:  a habit, Randy  & hair color
        1. What's next for me?  I desire to enter this good land  Still working on this one
      1. Read thru the Bible using Study Bible  Accomplished
        1. Watch for verses about strength.  "Strength & honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in the time to  come" Prov 31:25
      1. See Stars  Accomplished thanks to Randy
      2. Archive our Asian Timeouts Nope
      3. Set up and maintain 2 homes.  "This is God's camp." And he called the name of that place Mahanaim (Double Camp or Two Camps)  Gen 32:2 & verse 10!  Good start
      4. Learn & Create
        1. Yoga and/or Tai Chi  Accomplished
        2. Bread Baking  Nope--no opportunity
        3. Essential Oils and Herbs Progress
        4. Genealogy  Nope
        5. Blogging  Progress
        6. Controlling my hypoglycemia  Accomplished
        7. More Mongolian language  Marginal progress
      1. Set aside Monday's for staying home & Friday's for beauty day  Accomplished more than not
      2. DC with Carol  Nope--no cooperation
      3. Trip somewhere by myself  Accomplished!  Cambodia/Angkor Watt

      ...and finally, isn't this calendar a kick?  My dear Rita gifted me with it and I just love it!  Not only is it fun, it is profound, too!