Watt's Well

Room to Be, Space to Create

Tag: learning

Halftime Reads

Dear Bookworms,

This post is for you.

With you,

Watt

 

Sincerely, I did not ever consider myself a bookworm.  Perhaps it was because I thought that bookworms were those who read 100 books a year.  Ok, I am exaggerating.  But really, I take my time devouring a book.  I am excluding the summer of ’07 when the seventh book in the Harry Potter series came out.  I am really not sure what I did for those couple weeks other than read.  Did I shower?? Maybe I am just one of those  chunky slow bookworms.  You know the kind that pauses to roll her eyes at the great taste of page 264.  Or perhaps it is the variety I like…all at one time.  To each his own reading adventures, right?

Whatever you like to peruse (or gobble) through, I am making some summer halftime suggestions from books I am reading or will soon begin to munch on. So if you are looking to add something to your shelf or pack in the pool bag, check out this quick video I made for you. (Its my first one going on the interweb, so thanks for the grace!)

 

Day 21-22:: The unruly discipline

Black Balsam’s Knob- Pisgah Forest

Did you know that solitude has been considered a spiritual discipline for quite some time now? 

And to think most of us consider solitude to be a priced possession. One minute without the kids at your heels. A whole hour when the phone is not ringing with business. An uninterrupted lunch break. You name it and claim those in between moments. 

I’ve been hiding away for the past few days.  I was uneasy about making this trip alone.  I was torn because I was desiring some companionship.  Not only desiring it but feeling like it may be something I was needing. 

However I was craving adventure, the kind that I semi plan and semi just fall into. Needless to say, much of my time has been spent in solitude.  

I’ve been watching Holy Spirit fill gaps that need filling and leaving space for some breathing room.  

What I’ve found is solitude feeds the discipline of prayer.  Prayer being both listening and speaking. 

Solitude enhances my hearing. And hearing makes me hungry for more. 

It’s hard to fit solitude into our busy fast paced culture. 

I believe there is a gate to solitude that many people never make it in through, even though they set out to. 

At the gate of solitude there are travelers’ packs, weapons, walking sticks, and even some shoes.  At the gate of solitude we are invited to take off our armor and for the brave, our self-sufficiency.  Many turn and walk away clinging to their possessions broken-hearted they could not enter without them. It’s a shedding of pride and defensiveness at the gate. But for those who leave their belongings, accepting the invitation to enter, they themselves are sending out their own invitation.  “Come do what you want to do. Here I am.  Listening. Waiting.”

Day 4-7:: Aftermath

Mother Nature is unmistakably gorgeous, mysterious, and powerful.  I am hoping she has a bit more calm in store for my city for the duration of the season.

In the midst of uncertainty of evacuation and blaring “urgent” news alerts, I pushed through this week.  I found a hide-away room in my parents house where I drowned out other noise to the sound of Ben Howard and Kelanie Glockler while trying to meet school work deadlines.

It was a battle to push back worry every morning and every evening.  And at moments, I felt I was defeated only to be revived by a glimmer of perspective.

So with no explanation needed…Day 4, 5, 6, and 7 meet me here.  Its a rich feeling really. Why?

Hurricane Matthew blew through the night here in Charleston.  I hunkered down in the center living room with the pup and my youngest brother; falling asleep once anticipation had worn me out.  IMG_2162.JPG

We had no visibility until the morning hours.  With the light we saw Matthew shaking the trees violently, but all the good parts of his show came in the hours of yawns and snores.

The damage reflected his temper.  And the camaraderie to clean up the mess reflected everyone’s relief.

 

Upon my return home today, I saw the reflection of my soul as if it were visibly before me.  What appeared to me in the mirror was anxiety and stress feeding negativity.

My focus was misplaced, some storm had come in my soul when I was not looking.  Why was I jumping into negativity? I was tired and there was much still left undone.

Ever feel like that?  Maybe I’m the only one, but it is a story I know well enough.  Now I pay attention when I see the reel start to play.  So I paused, rewound, and did some editing.

First stop: gratitude.  Lets just put that in bold shall we: Gratitude.

Second stop: grace giving.  I began asking for grace to be applied to the areas in my life and soul were I was seeing the cracks.  No need for me to try to shove the pieces back together in an anxious fit.

Just smother the cracks in grace.

Peaceful work, soul care, and rest followed.  Its not a formula though.  Its just what my reflection showed me in the moment and my desire to emanate something different.

Where is it that your heart or mind needs to be smothered in grace today?  May you invite Him in to do just that.

Peace.

IMG_2167.JPG

Sail boats existing the creek, headed back to the harbor.

 

Colorful Expression 

  
Stirring in my heart not yet broken free.

Do you see here in me?

It’s going to violently come forth,

Splatter vibrantly upon this blank.

Believe me for I have hope for us both. 

What swirls as so, cannot be withheld…

10 Things I Learned in August

Reflecting and regrouping the past few rainy days. Therefore I find it only fitting to link up to Emily Freeman’s blog and share my 10 things I learned in August.

Here’s to September! You came rather quickly. But Ill ride your wave of pumpkin everything and cooler mornings.

1. I enjoy my morning coffee more when I am coherent.
It helps me to take a shower as the coffee brews. Or do the lingering dishes in my sink from the night before as those succulent drops of brown-golden goodness make it to the pot. Doing something before sitting to have my coffee ensures i enjoy those sitting moments rather than hoping I don’t fall back asleep while sipping the miracle wake up drug. And subsequently I’ve had really nice morning moments of late.

2. I have a destiny and purpose.
I knew this, but I needed reminding. In the midst of finding my niche here, finding heartache, surviving, and working, I had forgotten that this isn’t my home. There is an eternal reality and this is the beginning. And I am an overcomer.


3. Shrimping is super easy and cleaning/cooking shrimp isn’t as hard as I thought.
I have learned the technique of throwing out a cast net without “pancaking”. And I have been pleasantly surprised as I have actually caught things in my net. I finally caught on that if I go out on my dock at low tide I can get a small but reasonable size catch of shrimp. So of course I had to learn that all it takes to clean and store my catch is to simply pop the heads off, wash, and freeze in a container with water in it. This girl is becoming more lowcountry by the minute.


4. Heartbreak is hard, and confession brings relief.
If heartbreak wasn’t hard maybe we would be trying on relationships like clothes in a store. But the reality is that loving someone is risky and vulnerable. And oh yes Tennyson was right “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” But sometimes in those relationships we find ourselves grieving, we made mistakes. Confessing to another person the good, the rough, and the things I’d do differently brought me some relief. But this lesson is continuing into September as I work through confessing to myself and possibly close friends the reasons things got messy.

5. Community is good, but being with like-minded individuals is even better.
I think these two things may just be the same. A friend moved down here about 20 minutes from me. The couple times we have spent together, I have walked away refreshed remembering who I truly am, the values that I hold to that somehow get drowned out in the midst of a 40hr work week. I need time with people who are on the same page or at least a couple pages over from me because it inspires me to keep moving forward in the convictions I have and to not let go of those things.

6. I thrive by focusing on people not data.
If I find myself ridiculously frustrated at work, I probably haven’t made time to have a conversation with my partners or my customers. One of my managers called me out on my lack of enthusiasm and kindly pointed out this observation. Hit the nail on the head. “Keep it personal”, she said. Her words reminded me to see the one in front of me.

7. I love singing!
I like finding music I can sing along to. I love badass women with deep soulful voices. Feel free to give recommendations! But even if I don’t have lyrics to sing to…I just make something up.

8. I’m much more of a dreamer than a detail person.
This tests me very much. I can get the vision but when it comes to executing Im having to come against many faulty or unnatural ways in me. However its only stretching me in the best of ways. On the flip side I give myself space to dream. I have a dream box on the shelf I slip little pieces of paper in for this purpose.

9. Beets are good to eat before working out.
Have yet to try out this theory, but yesterday I bought a bundle of beets to give it a go. Apparently they open up the cardiovascular systems to make oxygen travel in your body easier. And I’ll take all the help I can get!

10. Blueberry bushes like companionship.
Wish I would have known this a few years back when I was given one that I excitedly planted and it anticlimactically shriveled up. One bush needs another to pollinate each other so they can bare fruit. Huh…sounds like people needing one another so we can bare good fruit. I proudly bought a self-pollinating blueberry bush a week ago. Hopefully this babe will live.


Thanks for reading. Would love to hear what you are learning too. Leave a comment with a thing or two or ten :). Or even better, link up to Emily Freeman’s blog to share your 10 with an online network.

February’s 10

It’s been a while since I have written. And I feel like much has taken place. Snow days, sick days, joys of life and aches of life.  There is much I could write out here and feel like I could breath easier but for now I’m going to hit some highlights from the month of February.  Emily Freeman invites her readers to join her each month in writing the ten things I learned in [insert month].  Check out her blog if you get a chance. It is what inspired me to start blogging again.

So here is what I learned…no matter how simply silly some of these may be.

1. I thrive in the South, and would possibly die living in the North. We have been having the craziest winter in the Carolinas that I have ever experience. right before Valentines day we got around 6 inches of snow and the city completely shut down. Though it was a welcome break from the busyness, I was antsy by day three. Snow is pretty, but I’m okay only catching glimpses of it not living in it.

2. I’m an Ambivert. After years of trying to understand if I’m introverated or extroverted…I think I’m starting to understand. I’m a confusing mix. I desperately need time with people to be rejuvinated. However after a few days without time to myself to do my thing with no one else around, I become rather irritable and exhausted.

3. The internet can be helpful and entertaining, but also can be one of my crutches and life sucking distractions. Need I say more?? I realized I should be paying more attention to my surroundings rather than cyber reality.

4. Livestrong’s My Plate app is absolutely amazing. It’s really helped me to set healthy goals as far as my eating and exercising goes.  Calories are important when you exercise, but so are the quality of those calories.

5. Shame and guilt are two different things. According to Dr. Brene Brown (who is so amazing in her own ways), guilt is saying ‘I did something bad’, while shame is saying “I am bad’. There is a big difference, yet so often we shame ourselves thinking that it is healthy guilt.

6. It is hard to not shame myself and others. Negative self talk is something I really struggle with. It is in times of struggle and hurting that it becomes easy to excuse shame’s words. When shame is telling me to hide in my mess and be overcome by it, courage is saying share that shame might not have the last word.

7. Goofy is good. I’ve really enjoyed just cutting up with the people I work with. Mind you we get the job done as we laugh. I also enjoyed laughing and playing with my significant other this month as well. Its worth the risk to open up this side of myself. Laughter truly is healing and refreshing to the soul.

8. I enjoy lifting weights. My lovely told me I’d enjoy it, but I guess I had to be convinced. In my trek to gain some weight, I found that lifting weights (supplemented with a good diet) can be helpful.

9. Schooled by Love. A good friend of mine wrote an article on love in relationships and ministry a few years back. I pulled it out and dusted it off. I needed the reminder of real love. One of my friends’ points in the article is that love does not disappear when rejected. If I love someone and that love is rejected by them and I get furious at them for rejecting my love, well then my love was just desire. It wasn’t love because my love always has to do with you, it is not selfish.

10. Vietnamese food is not spicy like I thought. I experienced the simple complexity of authentic Vietnamese for the first time this month. I was shocked to find that it has very subtle spices and that something can be sweet and spiced all in one bite.

Well there is my ten, rather late into March. Hope you enjoyed. Id love to hear what you learned this past month or even what you are learning currently. Drop me a comment!

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