Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 31st

Meditation for the Day

Each day is a day of progress, steady progress forward, if you make it so. You may not see it, but God does. God does not judge by outward appearance. He judges by the heart. Let Him see in your heart a simple desire always to do His will. Though you may feel that your work has been spoiled or tarnished, God sees it as an offering for Him. When climbing a steep hill, a person is often more conscious of the weakness of his stumbling feet than of the view, the grandeur, or even of the upward progress.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may persevere in all good things. I pray that I may advance each day in spite of my stumbling feet.

From Twenty-Four Hours a Day 


Finances

Taking financial responsibility for ourselves is part of recovery. Some of us may find ourselves in hard financial times for a variety of reasons.

Our recovery concepts, including the Steps, work on money issues and restoring manageability to that area of our life. Make appropriate amends — even if that means tackling a $5,000 debt by sending in $5 a month.

Start where you are, with what you’ve got. As with other issues, acceptance and gratitude turn what we have into more.

Money issues are not a good place to “act as if.” Don’t write checks until the money is in the bank. Don’t spend money until you’ve got it in your hand.

If there is too little money to survive, use the appropriate resources available without shame.

Set goals.

Believe you deserve the best, financially.

Believe God cares about your finances.

Let go of your fear, and trust.

Today, I will focus on taking responsibility for my present financial circumstances, no matter how overwhelming that area of my life may feel and be.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Rambling Thoughts on the All of It….

I normally write in my journal each night before I go to sleep, but I thought that tonight, I’d share my thoughts with those of you who read my blog.

Overall, today has been a good day. I had a video conference with members of my fourth grade homeroom and that worked like a charm. Seventeen of the the twenty-seven students were “present” and it was good to see their faces and get to chat with them. I was concerned that the technology wouldn’t be cooperative, but it worked like a charm. We’ll be meeting again next Monday morning…same bat time, same bat channel.

I have decided I need to put a full-hearted effort into stopping smoking. I contacted the pharmacy and found what they had to offer. I picked up some nicotine gum and will begin that path tomorrow. I’ve tried to quit quite a few times and I think this virus scare is enough to make me put forth more of an effort to do so.

I checked quite a bit of students’ work online today and left comments on each of their online assignments. I also received correspondence from a parent whose child was having some problems and think I might have solved that problem with a creative flair. I sent pictures of the worksheet that she was missing to the parent and hopefully she’ll be able to see them well enough to get the work done. I’ve also found the online site for the publication assigned and am testing out whether the online option will work for those with access. There are quite a few hoops you have to jump through to make it accessible.

I got a call from the school secretary about my situation with “clocking in.” Since I’m an interim teacher, I have to clock in and out each day, which is problematic if you’re working from home. The timekeeper I have won’t allow you to clock in from home, for obvious reasons. The only way we figured to clock in and out was to tell it I had “forgotten to clock in”…it will let me do that from home. So ironically, the only way for me to clock in is to say that I forgot to clock in….I got a good laugh from that one.

So that’s it for tonight…I did make some chicken patties that I’d bought at the store last week….they were fairly tasty considering they had been frozen. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a chef some day..LOL

David Lee

Word (actually phrase) of the Day for Monday, March 30th: “Hunker Down”

Hunker down

Q From W Walker: When Hurricane Floyd was threatening the American east coast, every weatherman seemed to use the phrase hunker down. Do you have any idea where this word and phrase came from?

A It sounds like the most typically American of phrases, but it seems originally to have been Scots, first recorded in the eighteenth century.

Nobody seems to know exactly what its origin is, though it has been suggested it’s linked to the Old Norse huka, to squat; that would make it a close cousin of old Dutch huiken and modern German hocken, meaning to squat or crouch, which makes sense. That’s certainly what’s meant by the word in American English, in phrases like hunker down or on your hunkers.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a fine description of how to hunker: “squat, with the haunches, knees, and ankles acutely bent, so as to bring the hams near the heels, and throw the whole weight upon the fore part of the feet”. The advantage of this position is that you’re not only crouched close to the ground, so presenting a small target for whatever the universe chooses to throw at you, but you’re also ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Hunker down has also taken on the sense of to hide, hide out, or take shelter, whatever position you choose to do it in. This was a south-western US dialect form that was popularised by President Johnson in the mid 1960s. Despite its Scots ancestry, hunker is rare in standard British English.

Source: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-hun1.htm

Daily Readings for Monday, March 30th

Meditation for the Day

Be calm, be true, be quiet. Do not get emotionally upset by anything that happens around you. Feel a deep, inner security in the goodness and purpose in the universe. Be true to your highest ideals. Do not let yourself slip back into the old ways of reacting. Stick to your spiritual guns. Be calm always. Do not talk back or defend yourself too much against accusation, whether false or true. Accept criticism as well as you accept praise. Only God can judge the real you.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not be upset by the judgment of others. I pray that I may let God be the judge of the real me.

From Twenty-Four Hours a Day 


Experiment

Experiment. Try something new. Try stepping out.

We have been held back too long. We have held ourselves back too long.

As children, many of us were deprived of the right to experiment. Many of us are depriving ourselves of the right to experiment and learn as adults.

Now is the time to experiment. It is an important part of recovery. Let yourself try things. Let yourself try something new. Yes, you will make mistakes. But from those mistakes, you can learn what your values are.

Some things we just won’t like. That’s good. Then we’ll know a little more about who we are and what we don’t like.

Some things we will like, they will work with our values. They will work with who we are, and we will discover something important and life enriching.


There is a quiet time in recovery, a time to stand still and heal, a time to give ourselves a cooling off time. This is a time of introspection and healing. It is an important time. We deal with our issues.

There also comes a time when it is equally important to experiment, to begin to test the water.

Recovery does not equal abstention from life. Recovery means learning to live and learning to live fully. Recovery means exploration, investigation, and experimentation.

Recovery means being done with the rigid, shame-based rules from the past, and formulating healthy values based on self-love, love for others, and living in harmony with this world.


Experiment. Try something new. Maybe you won’t like it. Maybe you’ll make a mistake. But maybe you will like it, and maybe you’ll discover something you love.

Today, I will give myself permission to experiment in life. I will stop rigidly holding myself back, and I will jump in when jumping in feels right. God, help me let go of my need to deprive myself of being alive.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

A shared reading: 7 Surprising Ways COVID-19 Is Changing the Way You Think

If you are like most people, the COVID-19 virus has you stressed out, even if you are not sick. You may feel tired, worried, apathetic, anxious, frustrated, depressed, or afraid. You may even be angry or disgusted because you think some people aren’t taking the pandemic seriously enough, while others are being overzealous and unnecessarily panicked. You might believe that the call for social distancing is unjustified or that the government has lost control. Whatever feelings the virus has prompted, we know one thing for sure, the world in which we live has changed. Along with a greater focus on personal hygiene, consideration for others, and an evolution in work practices, there is a major paradigm shift occurring in the background—a change in the way we think about the world and ourselves.

We have a choice: we can succumb to the psychological pressure of the pandemic or leverage the opportunity to induce personal growth. You probably know from experience when things feel hopeless and times are tough, we wind up thinking, feeling, and doing things that we hadn’t considered or even thought possible during more prosperous times. I remember the day I returned from my honeymoon to find out I was laid off from my first professional job. Another time I was fired a week after buying a new house that I couldn’t really afford in the first place. However, both times, in what I thought were my darkest hours, I wound up experiencing more personal growth than ever before. I reinvented myself and that is likely what is happening to you right now.

Don’t be surprised if you haven’t noticed any change because when distracted by an external enemy like the chaos of Corona it is common to lack awareness as to how our beliefs and behaviors evolve. Unlike the pronounced physical attributes that distinguish human beings, psychological markers, such as beliefs, preferences, and personal expectancies, defy direct observation and are even more difficult to interpret precisely (Hoffman, 2015). Humans are notoriously bad at self-assessment, leading belief researcher David Feldon to declare in one study that “participants’ self-explanations are largely inaccurate” (2010, p. 395).

What’s really happening and how is COVID-19 silently changing you? There are at least seven possible ways:

You realize what you have taken for granted. The “corona crisis” has forced us to realize that many of our customary ways of life are not guaranteed. Regardless of wealth, ethnicity, age, political beliefs, or any other individual differences, we are collectively feeling the consequences of the virus. Socializing is restricted and many of us are unable to perform the basic functions of our jobs (if we are lucky enough to still have one). Necessities are scarce. When we acknowledge our good fortune, we also become more aware of the plight of others. In turn, we boost our empathy and the willingness to help those who are in need. Assisting others ultimately serves as an ego boost because when we help we often feel better, too (Batson, Ahmad, & Stocks, 2011).

You harbor feelings of diminished control. Many people, especially in North American cultures, feel independent and believe that they can determine what they will accomplish and how they will navigate their lives. Described as external control beliefs by psychologists, we are now in a period where even our greatest efforts and extraordinary faith may be challenged and derailed by the infectious global climate. The perception of control is gone. Despite the external challenges, we can still promote personal change and remain in control by considering different approaches. For some, this may be a time of deep introspection and a period of resurrection when we re-evaluate the course of our lives to orchestrate positive changes once the crisis is over.article continues after advertisement

You are gaining clarity through simplicity. Considering the massive regulatory and mandated restrictions on our mobility and discretionary time, we are now forced to focus on those things that are unaffected by the global climate. We can still take pleasure in phoning an old friend, writing in a journal, taking long solitary walks, or relaxing in the sunshine while ignoring the minor inconveniences of life. Things that typically were frustrating like sitting in traffic or having to work through lunch don’t seem quite as significant now because we recognize that the most basic pleasures in life are still intact and there for the taking.

Your long-term goals may seem less important. Many people have the tendency to look forward to what comes next at the expense of enjoying the moment or as advice columnist Ann Landers advocated and popularized in the 1950s, we should take time to “stop and smell the roses.” Landers wanted people to enjoy the moment. While it may be illogical to think our future goals are at risk, research does show that individuals who “presentize” and enjoy what they are doing when they are doing it report higher subjective well-being than those who dwell on the past or who focus on the future. Considering the uncertainties that are ahead, the virus for many has shifted thoughts from what may happen months from now to what we are doing today.

Your gratitude is growing exponentially. We are in an extraordinary period of uncertainty. If you can get to a grocery store you probably cannot find toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or even something as basic as hamburger meat. You are beginning to feel fortunate that you have some of the necessities in life. People with higher levels of gratitude routinely report greater life satisfaction (Fagley, 2012). Collective well-being is replacing the more common individualistic and selfish ideologies that are often the norm in countries like the U.S. and Canada. You may find yourself more frequently “opting in” to support common causes such as volunteerism and organ donation when previously the default choice was “opting out.”

You may finally understand what exceptionalism and privilege mean. Let’s face it, if you are reading this post you probably have a smartphone or computer and internet service. Whether you realize it or not, regardless of the personal challenges you may need to overcome, you are far better off than the vast majority of people who are less fortunate and may not know when or if they will have a place to sleep or food to eat. You may now realize that exceptionalism and privilege are not about how hard you have worked or what you have sacrificed or accomplished, but instead is about living your day-to-day life without needing to think about your physical or psychological safety, which in many cases, at least temporarily, may be in serious jeopardy.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/motivate/202003/7-surprising-ways-covid-19-is-changing-the-way-you-think

My Photography – “Lonestar”

It had been over two weeks since I’d taken my last pictures. Those pictures were for the local newspaper right before the beginnings of social distancing. This morning I noticed a lone flower that had bloomed in the back yard, so I thought it would be a subject for a picture. And here it is.

I do look for symbols in the world around and this flower is speaking to me today. There it stands, on its own, much like myself inside this house. And just like it, I am sometimes blown by the winds of change. Just like it, there are times that I close to the world outside me. And just like it, and this is most important, I continue to shine forth despite what transpires around me.

And the flower and I are doing just fine!

David Lee