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Showing posts from February, 2016

Day 296: Infidels of the late 1700's

I found an old book that I love. It is called A Morning Cup of Yoga by Jane Goad Trechsel. It has simple illustrations and instructions on a pleasant morning ritual of stretching.

I went through the whole sequence while listening to Placido Domingo sing "Il mio tesoro" (Mozart "Don Giovanni"). I am feeling so much more limber and flexbile!
Still sore and aching joints though. :(  
I believe that after this upcoming concert, when I start back to morning walking, I shall feel better. For now, I am stretching and walking to and from houses of students.  Unfortunately, I am carrying a heavy backpack, which probably accounts for some of my pain.
My hymn of the day is "I Love thy Kindom Lord". Words by Timothy Dwight. Music by Aaron Williams. 
1 I love thy kingdom, Lord,
the house of thine abode,
the church our blest Redeemer saved
with his own precious blood.
2 I love thy church, O God.
Her walls before thee stand,
dear a…

Day 295: The Least of These. How Can We Help the Homeless?

I landed on 1 Corinthians 13 for my daily bible reading today.  I cannot believe how far I have come, in more ways than  one!  But this is not a race or a climb to the top. I have learned much, but have so much more to learn. So much more growing to do. When I finish reading the Bible cover to cover, I shall start all over again. At the beginning: 

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" from Genesis 1.

However, I just read an interesting article. Apparently, according to a Dutch professor of "Old Testament exegesis begs to differ. ("Exegesis (/ˌɛksəˈdʒiːsəs/; from the Greek ἐξήγησις from ἐξηγεῖσθαι 'to lead out') is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly a religious text." (

"Ellen van Wolde, who holds her inaugural speech at the Raboud university in Nijmegen on Friday, says the Hebrew word bara should not be translated as 'created' but as 'separate…

Day 294: This. Is. Profound.

The rain has returned. A soft, warm, gentle spring rain. Walking about in it yesterday was actually pleasant. Like a warm shower.  The air smells fresh and sweet. Everywhere I look, I see green. My favorite color!

It is 5:50 a.m. Saturday morning. I am considering getting vertical. I am lying in bed doing some gentle stretching. I am feeling slightly less stiff this morning. I am thinking this being kind and gentle to myself might be the ticket to less pain.

Bingo! A lightbulb just came on in my brain. The 9 fruits of the Spirit are:

LoveJoyPeaceKindnessGoodnessPatienceFaithfulnessGentlenessSelf-Control ~Galatians 5:22-23
What if I apply these to myself?
I am going to just pause and let this soak in.
This is profound.

Happy Saturday!

Day 293: My Place in This World

Yesterday instead of taking the bus from my first student to the library, as I usually do, I walked. It took 30 minutes. But it was well worth it. Especially since I didn't get a trail walk or gym workout yesterday. I did however get a short yoga session in. I am really excited about the results from daily yoga. I am more flexible and my sleep is deeper. I still have difficulty waking up early and do still ache in the morning. But it wears off.

My hymn of the day actually came to me last night when I was reviewing my day. I suppose this is not so much a hymn, as a praise song. By Michael W. Smith. He never fails to move my heart. And the lyrics really speak to my present state of my mind and soul.

I am still immersed in my daily study of Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I read a chapter a day. I copy some of the referenced scripture passages onto 3x5 cards and carry them with me. I often read them on the bus.  It helps me stay grounded and immersed in the Word of God.

As a mother of a…

Day 292: How Great Thou Art!

The weather continues to be glorious here in Portland, Oregon. The rains will return soon. That is fine with me. I actually enjoy the rain. The sound of it on the roof, the aromatic smell in the air, the greenery of all the plants, and the clarity it brings to my brain.

But My Lord, these blue skies and sunlight do lift one up!

Yesterday, I had another lesson from above. I had planned on practicing, cleaning, exercising and food prepping all day.  But my son got home from work just when my piano practice had begun.  He asked if I had gone for my walk. I had not.  I told him I'd like to get a bit more practice done. Could we go in half an hour? He said, that would be fine. He needed to shower after a hard day's work. But he did not want to go to the "same old trail".

He said he would like to walk over the Tilicum Bridge into downtown Portland. I quickly said,  "No, I have too much to do". 

He scowled at me. My daughter, who was leaving with her husband and d…

Day 291: Mt. Pisgah

Today is one of my "rest" days.  I have a crockpot full of aromatic dal cooking. The house smells divine! The sun is shining brightly. My daughter, her husband and Honey Dog are on their way out the door for a hike. I have chose to stay home and practice piano, do some yoga and clean.  I will be going to the gym this afternoon for a good workout. Then I plan on grocery shopping. I am going to get back on the food prep train. I keep to my healthy eating plan and save money if I make meals in advance.

This week I will make baked chicken and roasted vegetables.

With this beautiful spring weather, I am once again inspired towards my goal of buying a van and taking off to see more of this beautiful country. My son also has my travel bug and will be a nice companion for some trips.

But I cannot save for the future if I continue to spend so much money on eating outs. As much as I enjoy my regular dive hangouts, they will not take me cross country! Although I must admit, hitting the…

Day 290: Stand by Me

Another good day.  The rain has taken a vacation and the sun is brilliant in a pale blue sky. I still ache in the morning, but my attitude is bright and my mind is clear. 

Good day for a walk!

I have been thinking about ritual lately. I have been focused on improving my life through discipline these past 290 days. But yesterday I realized that I need to find a balance. I was doing my morning bible study. Was almost done. My next item on my agenda was to make breakfast.

My daughter was doing her nails and getting ready for work. The minute I stood to prepare a healthy breakfast, she asked if I would  make her a pot of brown rice. She is on a strict diet for the next month.  She works out daily with her sister and eats only whole foods, few grains aside from a cup of brown rice, unlimited veggies and only fruit in her morning smoothie.  Instead of kindly putting her rice on (with her specific instructions), I told her in a rather snappy tone that I was about to make breakfast, practic…

Day 289: The Name of the Rose

I started a new book yesterday. After I discovered that Umberto Eco had died. Now I admit, I was not familiar with Umberto Eco. But I read about his death on and he sounded intriguing. 

I am loving this book.  It is historical fiction.  Featuring monks.  And murder in an Italian monastery in the middle ages.  My perfect escape!

I am writing late Monday evening. I had a really good day.  Not much pain this morning.  My son returned home safely from his trip to Reno last night. Relief does help me sleep.

But I have been doing an evening "Examen" prayer at night as well as stretching to help me sleep restfully. I stretch again in the morning. I am taking a multi vitamin and glucosamine. 

Yesterday I made it to the gym and even did some light weight training.  I hope that I am breaking the cycle of pain.

Since it is late, I will not write much more. I am looking forward to spending some time with my new book.

Happy Monday.

Sweet dreams!

Day 288: A Flag to Follow. And a Fishtail.

My daughter braided my hair last night. In a "fishtail".
Me like! Speaking of like, below is my hymn of the day. We sang it in church this morning. Love, not just like! Where has this hymn been all my life? But good timing, as our country is currently in a political quagmire. A Flag to Follow
Words and Music by John W. Peterson
© 1959 by John W. Peterson Music Company
All rights reservedJohn 14:6
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:"

I sought a flag to follow
A cause for which to stand,
I sought a valiant leader
Who could my love command;
I sought a stirring challenge,
Some noble work to try,
To give my life fulfillment,
My dreams to satisfy.
I found them all in Jesus,
The Life, the Truth, the Way;
Beneath His flag I'll take my stand
And follow Him today. I sought a ringing answer
For all my doubts inside
A torch of truth uplifted
My searching steps to guide;
I sought a word of wisdom,
A true authority.
I sought to know life's purpose,
To solve its m…

Day 287: Love for Enemies

"Love for Enemies43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." ~Matthew 5:43-45

Day 286: Contemplation

Songs without Words Opus 30, no 1. Contemplation by Felix Mendelssohn performed by David Barenboim
I am starting the day stretching to Symphony Number 4 by Felix Mendelssohn.  Very lively. It brings back to mind my early discovery of Mendelssohn. I loved flowing, arpeggios.  And in Mendelssohn I found a plethora, especially in his Songs Without Words.  One of my favorite pieces to play is Opus 30, no. 1. Interesting that the publisher titled this one Contemplation. I was a very shy child. Now I embrace my introversion. But I find it interesting that the piece I most identified as a young musician (I was about 12 when I discovered this piece), defined my personality.

Later in life, I was given an older Mercedes Benz 280 SE four door sedan.  I was a single mother, shuttling two young children around on the bus.  I loved that car! It was marroon. It even had a sunroof. I lovingly named it Mendelssohn after one of my favorite composers! Sadly Men…

Day 285: The Fruit of the Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law".
~Galatians 5:22-23

Working on my soul these days.

I copied the above scripture on a little lavender 3x5 card and I keep it in my purse. I pull it out and read it numerous times during the day.  Beth Moore uses this scripture in her book Breaking Free, which I am inhaling.

JoyPeacePatienceKindnessGoodnessFaithfulnessGentlenessSelf-control No matter what challenges I face during my day, I can meditate on these qualities and choose a better reaction than my old ways.

This is difficult work, but oh so rewarding.

I am also intent on solving the joint pain puzzle.  I am still trying to limit my use of NSAIDS.  Trying to stay away from all foods in the evening, especially overly salty foods and sugar.  Stretching first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. Today, I did not get a good walk in. It was pouring d…

Day 284: What Wondrous Love is This

My son drove to Reno with his uncle and cousin last night.  I must have been holding my breath. Because when I talked to him this morning on the phone and he told me they made it safely and were off to a breakfast of steak and eggs, I exhaled. Loudly.

He told me he would send pictures. I told him to have fun and be safe.  And I said a prayer.

We never stop worrying about our kids do we?  He is 23.  So I have been worrying about him for 23 years. My daughter is 25.  She is married now.  I feel that she has someone to look out for her. But then when my son is safe, I worry that I am not worrying about her! And then I worry about my son-in-law, and the rest of my family.

But I have decided to give my anxiety to God. He is bigger than all my trouble.

I am still glowing from the music of yesterday.  After our performance at the music club, I taught students and then had choir practice.  The choir I accompany is working on the Mozart Requiem.

So my day was bookended with sublime music.  An…

Day 283: Wade in the Water

I performed at a music club meeting this morning with the soprano and clarinetist of our chamber group. I had gotten myself in a tizzy about it yesterday. That is why I took the day off and practiced until my fingers nearly bled.
I finally calmed down this morning. Said a prayer. Looked over my notes from yesterday's bible study and blog.  Took a deep breath. Went to Starbucks for a London Fog. Talked to my favorite positive barista. He was very interested in our upcoming performance:  "A Remarkable Journey: African American Women Composers." I gave him a flyer. Then I sat down and wrote some notes on what I was going to say prior to our performance. All three of us are shy. Public speaking is not our forte, so to speak. But lately, I have been overcoming!  I just put myself into a zone. I think about the music, find something unique and interesting to say, and then imagine spreading this love and joy to the audience. With a bit of humor. It must be working, because my …

Day 282: Trust and Obey

I wrote today's blog last night, focusing on my physical self.

Then I had a profound God moment and I am changing course. I will leave my original post below.

I woke up this morning achy, tired, grumpy and queasy. It is President's Day. I know my students are home from school. I made the decision to take today off. I feel like I need time with God, my piano, my kids and me. I feel the need to work on my inner peace.

So I made some tea and set up my study at the kitchen table. Bible, journal, pen, notebook and Beth Moore's book Breaking Free.

I am so glad I took this time.  I inhaled her words.  I wrote the following in my notebook:

"I finally had to turn some of the hurts of my childhood over to God's sovereign authority because I realized they would consume me like a cancer. When at last I allowed Him to govern everything concerning my past, not only did the Prince give me His peace, He actually brought good from something horrible and unfair.  If you have n…