try saying shoulder surgery 10 times fast.  you’ll get the title of this post.

Here’s some stuff that I did/learned/experienced while I was on narcotics, on the couch, hooked up to an ice machine, in VA, in Ohio, for the past 5 weeks:

read: Become your own Matchmaker – Patti Stanger.  This woman is a genius.  One of the best dating books I’ve read.

read: The Return of the Prodigal Son – Henri Nouwen.  Nouwen writes with such tenderness and insight.  Do yourself a favor and get any book he’s written.

audiobook-listened-to: Smart Women Finish Rich – David Bach.  A great book on personal finance, written for women.  A lot of review, but I really appreciated the unique approach of starting with your values.

read: A Wind at the Door – Madeline L’Engle.  I read A Wrinkle in Time a few years ago and am slowly making my way through the series.  This one is about mitochondria and cherubim!

read: On Love: Aspects of a Single Theme – Ortega y Gasset.  This is a book of essays on what love is.  It was pretty heady, but enjoyable.  Favorite concept: Who you choose to create a romance with reveals more about your true self than anything else.

visited: Dayton Designer Showhouse.  and I took illegal pictures of animal print chairs, flower arrangements, toss pillows, and drawings.  It was so beautiful and inspiring!

visited: Cincinnati!  Stephanie!  IKEA!  

rested: in Ohio for 10 days

experienced: one cousin’s cheer routine, my other cousin’s little league baseball game

tasted: mussels at Lyon Hall, crepes at Oby Lee, wild rice at Jackson’s

watched: NOVA series on The Elegant Universe.  Hello String Theory, 11 dimensions and space-time.  Really sweet stuff

watched: Bruce Lipton lecturing on the Biology of belief

went on: a silent retreat.  let me tell you: 7 hours of silence is like the widow’s mite.  It may not look like much, but, man, it’s all I’ve got.

cleaned: my closets!

watched: way too much Arrested Development.  Old stuff and new.  Fav episode of new series?  4:11.  Same!

acquired: a sweet baker’s rack, a dining room table that seats 6, some cool peacock prints for my walls and sweet frames to highlight Talitha’s awesome photos of Turkey.

tested: Tinder.  What a crazy experience.

realized: I have amazing friends.  I have the most supportive family in the world.  I am loved and legitimate even if I’m not productive.  The world will go on if I’m not being a good friend, working, volunteering, organizing or doing other things that provide value. Ice is the best thing ever.

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This TED talk has been knocking around in my head since I heard it a few weeks ago. In it, Cameron Russell talks about the power of image and how she is the recipient of a legacy and a lottery that give her power unrelated to who she is and what she’s done. It’s brilliant. Let me know what you think!

Happy March, friends!

My city just had a fake out snowstorm that shut down everything even though it was mostly just rain.  I think it was because we’re all so overworked and wanted a reason to stay home.  I worked from my couch, but managed to have a great time with my roommates, made a dent in a Nashville and drank pina coladas with friends.  It was excellent.

My trip to the caribbean with my twin was a smashing success.  I have about 5 excellent stories and 40 pictures that will give you a little hint of all of the joy we shared.  There was beauty and good food and sketchy adventures every time we turned around.  And my lobster sunburn has turned into a lovely tan.  🙂

Spring is around the corner.  I bought a pink lace peplum shirt to celebrate.  And some mint ballet flats.  

I’m drinking more green smoothies than ever before.  Spinach?  Kale?  It’s awesome with just about any fruit.  I feel like popeye when I drink this stuff.  A little scoop of protein powder and I’m all set for my day.  

The class I’m teaching about joy is going so well!  I led my small group in telling joy stories last night.  It was awesome.  Telling joy stories is the best way to make everyone happy and bring together a group.  

The book The Supper of the Lamb is amazing.  It was written in the 60’s by a foodie episcopal priest.  If you like food and theology, you should own this book and buy a copy for your friend.  Seriously.  I bring it most places and have been known to laugh out loud at his extended discourse on onions or gravy while sitting on the beach or in the doctor’s office waiting room.  

To close, here’s a song I really like about Jesus being the King.  It’s a lot more about Easter than Lent, but then again, so am I.  

Image

I just ended a relationship with a guy who got me.  It was time for it to end, for a number of reasons, a clear end to the chapter, but i am still grieving.

It was different this time.  

I tend to date guys who I feel desperate to impress and so I end up shrouding parts of myself, trying to be who they might want me to be.  A little more of this, a lot less of that.

But this time, I was totally myself.  I was honest up front, mentioning healing prayer on a first date, brushing past some health issues on the third, bringing up some of my deeper dreams and goals not long after that.  He thought it was cute that I only listen to Radiohead during the day because I can get so easily bummed out.  He thought it was endearing that I spend so much time trying to pick out my outfits.  He loved that I love good food and made it a priority that we went to awesome restaurants that fit my foodie/GF specs. He respected how I’m pursuing healing on all levels.  He liked my sense of humor and took every opportunity to make me laugh–which was how we spent most of our time together.

I was more reserved than usual, but instead of being irritated, it made him keep gently pursuing.  We hung out for about 4 months and went really slow, but i can honestly say he loved me better than any of the other guys I’ve dated (and considered marrying).

So, today I am sad, but grateful.  Now I know what it feels like to be fully myself and to be fully accepted and delighted in for what I have to offer.  I hope I feel that way again.

I have several girl crushes.  Women I haven’t met but think are awesome.  These three are this week’s winners.

Grace Potter
Gorgeous supermodel rockstar who has an amazing voice!  I feel like I’m late to the party on this one.  Katy, I’m indebted to you for telling me about her.  Her music rocks.

Sarah Wilson

An Aussie food blogger, autoimmune warrior, cookbook-writer, occasional news anchor.  She’s beautiful and doesn’t eat sugar and is into alternative health stuff.  What’s not to love?

Ann Louise Gittleman

Ann Louise is the first lady of nutrition.  She’s written a ton of books about health, pioneering some cool fields.  This week I’m most grateful for her Fat Flush Body Protein which is the essential ingredient in all of my smoothies and her Hot Metabolism Cocktail recipe for cleansing the liver and detoxing.

Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 4.01.34 PMTrips:

  •  a week at a beach house in Wilmington, NC with friends (I did most of the planning)
  • NYC for a long weekend with friends
  • weekend in Charlottesville
  • weekend at Smith Mountain Lake
  • home to Ohio twice

Parties I hosted/co-hosted:

  • Mad Men themed costume party
  • Margarita birthday party
  • Easter dinner feast
  • a house concert for High Street Hymns
  • a Fellows Reunion dinner party
  • 2 Vision Nights
  • hosted a dinner party for an out-of-town friend, planned a promotion happy hour for a friend, planned a birthday hike for another friend, planned a housewarming/art party for another friend, planned a restaurant week outing,

Social Organizations:

  • switched churches
  • began serving on a nonprofit board of directors
  • hosted a newcomer’s dinner for my old church, attended one for my new church
  • I went on a women’s retreat for my old church
  • Spoke at a women’s prayer breakfast about my health journey
  • Went on a board retreat for nonprofit

Spiritually:

  • did healing prayer with several friends
  • received healing prayer ministry from mentors
  • took Restarting, Forming, Belonging, Theophostic Prayer Counseling
  • learned to hear God’s voice, started a journal for cool stuff God has said to me
  • met with my pastor 3x to share my vision for healing prayer

Events:

  • went to 9 christmas parties
  • saw Ray LaMontagne
  • saw Josh Garrels
  • attended a murder mystery dinner party
  • ran the Dash for Dad 4 miler, cherry blossom 5k, 5k at LaPlata HS, and DC Color Run 5k
  • went sailing

Design:

  • took on a significant freelance project for money!
  • designed pro bono sermon graphics for old church
  • designed pro bono advertising collateral for an art exhibit in the czech republic
  • designed pro bono course catalog for local nonprofit

Health:

  • 15 IV’s
  • 9 doctor’s appointments
  • 27 PT appointments
  • 360 smoothies
  • lots of vegetables and also, french fries.

Random accomplishments:

  • learned to roast a chicken
  • got a new car
  • went on 32 dates with 15 guys
  • got a financial planner, started saving intentionally for retirement
  • finished reading through the Bible in a year
  • read Getting Things Done and mostly implemented it
  • got through the aftermath of a tough breakup
  • painted & redecorated my bedroom
  • helped a friend get a job in a totally different sector
  • met 2 of my mentors: Arthur Burk and David Takle
  • my sister visited me for a week
  • became friends with praying alt-health moms
  • I went to the shooting range

I also worked a full-time job and hung out with a lot of friends one-on-one.  2012 was a great year.  Full, filled to the brim with good friends and blessings and opportunities.  For the first time in my life, I feel really content and happy with what’s unfolding in front of me, even though it’s not what I would have chosen.  I’m confident 2013 will be even better, even if there are hard things.

I leave you with this benediction from one of my rad mentors, Arthur Burk:

“From my pilgrimage, from where I’ve walked, I bless you with no wasted pain. There will be pain. There’ll be all sorts of different colors and flavors of pain. But I bless you with being able to leverage every pain point into authority, into growth, failing forward, moving on, being dangerous. I bless you and your entire ministry. No wasted pain anywhere in the journey. Amen.”

cheesy

I can’t tell you how excited I am for autumn.It’s been a million degrees here since like June.  July was almost unbearable.  We’re finally catching some 80 degree days in August.  I even had my window open for a little while.  pretty impressive.  Even before summer came, we had a hot spring and a tepid winter.  So I’m really looking forward to some changes.

Cooler temperatures
crisp evenings
roasting marshmallows in the back yard
sweaters
tights
boots
textured fabrics
scarves
pumpkin spice lattes
savory apples
changing leaves
corduroy
darker hair
apple cider
crunching leaves
cooling, decomposing smells
settling feeling
early evening runs
misty mornings
bustling expectation
school supplies
new commitments
no pressure to be tan!
goals
new friends
a wedding or two

Anyway, I’m just excited.  I’m ready to tuck this summer in for a long winter’s nap.  I’m ready for change.  Bring it on.

I have some great friends at this chapter in my life and I want to tell how one of them loved me well today.

I had a really really tough breakup about 9 months ago that dragged on to 7 months ago.  It was tough for both of us.  But while I was committed to grieving and getting over him and dealing with my issues, he quickly started dating someone else.  6 months after his relationship started, he proposed.  My friend found out about it this weekend when she was a few yards away from me.  She wisely decided not to tell me in a public place and waited til today to tell me.

She told me she needed to come over and have me pray with her, despite the fact that we were both exhausted and that I had 4 other things happening.  She insisted that she bring dinner and that she pay for it.  We ate delicious salads, me asking about her heart and concerns.  Then, right before we settled in to pray, she said, “Amy, I think we should pray for both of us tonight because…he’s engaged.”

I looked at her, incredulous, said a few expletives, then nodded and said, “okay!  I think we need to burn some stuff!”

So I got out that awkward stack of letters and cards from him that I had been keeping, thinking that someday they’d mean something, or, even if not that, that I wasn’t ready to throw away yet or, just, you know, wanted to hold onto.  I hadn’t read them for months, but they were burning a hole in my closet, underneath my fake purses. We grabbed some matches and headed downstairs to the fire pit in the back yard.  It was raining, so it took several matches, but I wasn’t concerned.  We watched as the orange flames licked the edges of love letters, christmas cards, pleas to get back together.  The rain kept falling, the A/C unit clicked on.  I prayed that any soul ties would be broken, that I could be free, truly free, once and for all, that I could really move on and be done with this chapter.

We stared at the pile of gray ashes, slowly getting pinned down by raindrops.  I picked up the basin to dump it in the corner of the yard, but she said, pour it out there, on top of the A/C unit.  The fan was on and blowing, so the ashes slipped out and then shot into the air and gently drifted away.

It was an offering, the cremation of a dead dream.  It was time to say goodbye.

“Let’s go get gelato,” she said.