12/10/11 “Celebration of Discipline”, “The Alchemist” and Other Musings

What a quiet, lovely morning I’m having. A good cup of coffee, candles scenting the air, Mavis the cat sitting on the windowsill doing her hourly patrol of the world in front of our house, sounds of the washing machine whirling away downstairs providing me with clean clothes for the day. Other than that, blessed silence. I so love the silence in the mornings, when you can think and talk to God about what’s going on in your world and ask Him what’s on His mind. In the last few weeks, when I’ve quieted down enough to listen for His voice, He’s given me the solution to some vexing problems, such simple solutions. All I had to do was listen. THAT’S the hard part, for me!

The book I am currently reading is “Celebration of Discipline“. That almost sounds like an oxymoron to my dysfunctional way of thinking. In my not always mature mind, freedom was celebration and freedom was all about rebellion and doing exactly what I wanted to do, without listening to any rules from anyone. In particular, this related to my eating. That celebration and rebellion has blown my body up to over 250 not very freeing pounds. It’s hard to jump for joy when you can’t lift your trunk off of the ground. I ran across an editorial cartoon a few years ago that mirrored the results of my dysfunctional view of freedom with my food and drink choices.

Choices can eventually catch up with you. 😦


That’s the reality I’m pondering now. I’m still dodging the diabetes bullet, the heart disease bullet, and to a lesser extent the blood pressure bullet. I think it’s just a matter of time before Fate’s aim hits my mark. The bullet that did find me is the labored breathing bullet. I used to take immense pride in my wonderful cardiovascular endurance, which was earned by regular exercise that I loved to do. Lately, I’ve been treating exercise like one of the seven deadly sins and have avoided it whenever possible. The result is running out of breath pretty much all the time. Even sitting at my desk can wind me. Now, THAT’S pathetic. Man, how the young, fit me would have laughed at the older, decrepit me; sure that THAT would never happen to her. It’s happened. 😦

Which brings me back to the book I’ve started to read. “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster.

2011 has been a time of discovery and joyful realizations for me. Deciding to listen to the voice of God more. More importantly: FOLLOW what I believe God is telling me to do. I don’t always follow. Sometimes my pig-headed part woman part stubborn jackass side rears its head and says, “No”. Ever notice how when you do that, it rarely turns out well? Humans will be humans.

I’ve started tuning in and acting upon those leadings from God. Sometimes they come during my time of meditation and prayer, sometimes they come from a comment someone has said to me, sometimes they come from things I am reading. I believe God uses all sorts of messengers to get His message across to me.

Writing this blog, writing poetry, volunteering with the elderly, acting upon my mission of being the hands and feet of Jesus to the people I meet. These things have led to more promptings, quiet guidance, serenity, and a wish to keep going, to see what’s next.

I’ve read books this year which have all had an effect on me and my mission. “Emily Alone”, “Breakfast at Sally’s”, (I believe “Breakfast…”  Sally’s is a nickname for the Salvation Army, will alter your view of the homeless and your place in life.) “The Hunger Games“, “The Help”, and most recently, “The Alchemist“. I highly recommend all these books. If tapping into your spiritual journey is high on your list, then I would start with “The Alchemist”. If it resonates with you, you’re probably already tuning into your spiritual path. I found, upon finishing it, that it made me eager to find the next step on my path. I believe that’s “Celebration of Discipline”.

I think God knows how terrified I am by the thought of discipline. I’m 52, worn out, and the picture of a life not ruled by dietary discipline. My fear is that people will only see my failure and not even consider what I might have to say.

A few weeks ago, I was doing a search on the internet and, whatever I was looking for, the book “Celebration of Discipline” came up as one of the hits. I read the hit and it seemed interesting, but only attainable for “really mature spiritual people”, which I clearly do not consider myself. I’m growing, but still a wee lass. However, two days later, my minister Ryan mentioned this same book during the weekly message. Oh crap, I think God’s giving me one of those messages again. READ THIS BOOK. Really God? I’m not smart enough to understand this book. READ THIS BOOK. Seriously God, I’m a knucklehead, wouldn’t you rather someone more worthy read it? READ THIS BOOK. Alright already.

I started reading the book yesterday. It looks tough and deep and like I might actually learn something. That just gives me wobbly knees.

Can’t I just go on another diet and pretend life is fine?


God can be SO persistent with the people He loves. 🙂


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