Saturday, May 28, 2011

Same Blog, New Location

Moving Boxesphoto © 2008 Susan | more info (via: Wylio)
My blog is moving!

As of May 30/11, I will be posting from This Time Around's new home at Word Press.   All the posts made to date here will remain, well, here.  I tried importing everything to Word Press, but some stuff looked a little whackadoodle and with having to set up Google Analytics afresh with the new location, I thought it made more sense to leave here what was set up and formatted for this location.

Please bear with me as I sort out working from a new blogging platform and I hope to see you over at Word Press on Monday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back in a Bit

closedphoto © 2005 Laura Crowhurst | more info (via: Wylio)

There are certain things I've been neglecting in my 3D life for a bit and it's driving me crazy.  Plus I've honestly hit a real dry spot for topics here and, in looking back over previous entries, have found I repeat myself.  A lot.  I'm finding me boring, which is sad.

So I'm off to get caught up on some things, and pray about and think on some other stuff.  I'm not sure when I'll be back, but I'm shooting for next Monday.  I hope to see you then.  ت

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


No, I'm not doing another bona-fide post over here two days in a row. But I did do a guest post over at Finding Beautiful -- a blog I think you will really enjoy.  My guest post is a part of her series (new posts go up each Tuesday through July 5th) on living deliberately.  Please check it out!  I hope you'll enjoy it!

Another "Thank you!" to Julie (Finding Beautiful's blogger) for this opportunity.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Musings on Finishing

"Winning isn't always finishing first.
Sometimes winning is just finishing."
~ Manuel Diotte

To-do list © 2009 Justin See (coming back) | more info (via: Wylio)
I'm a pretty great list maker.

My 'to lists' are generally neat and tidy.  They are not overly long and if I can, I'll use brightly coloured ink on a crisp piece of paper or a fun font on the computer to make things look pretty.  And while there is not always a sequential order to the tasks listed, there is something very satisfying about seeing a list of goals or tasks waiting for me to put a tick beside them marking them as completed.

I wish I saw more ticks.  (Not the nasty, literally-get-under-your-skin kind; I mean the pen or pencil check-mark kind.)

No, I'm not a very good list finisher.

I recycle more goals and 'to do' lists than most bottle depots do bottles during a long, hot summer.  It's crazy.  But I've really been trying as of late to a) not look at former lists as 'things I have failed to do' and b)look more at where I need to go from here to get to where I want to be while hoping I'm staying in God's will for my life.  In other words, I'm trying to change my mindset so I can become a better list finisher.  If I'm constantly berating myself for what I haven't finished then I'm not moving forward.  I need to accept that, yes, I messed up but it's not the end of the world.  While I still have breath and life, there is an opportunity to pick myself back up and to keep going.

It's good to have goals, and it's necessary to write them down.  It adds concreteness to things; it makes them more than just dreams from a cloudy day.  But there also needs to be accountability, something to help keep you on track, to keep you going when the road ahead looks like a long, tiring climb up a steep and rocky trail.  And the same thing won't work for every goal in every situation.  Sometimes I can push through a sticky spot in the next blog entry by promising myself some time to read a new book.  But that tactic wouldn't have worked in regards to picking up my strength-training program after petering out on it last week.  For that I had to remind myself I have people to report my success (or failure) to at the end of the month.  There is definitely trial-and-error involved in pushing through to the finish line.

What about you?  How to you push through the dips or tough spots when working towards a goal?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Moving Forward © 2010 Lauren Hammond | more info (via: Wylio)
It's interesting how since I've started thinking about how to live deliberately, about doing things on purpose with a purpose rather than watching life amble on by how disorganized I've become.  Okay, it's not a 'oh look -- a shooting star' type of discovery.  I've been this way for a long while.  But my awareness of it is on hyper-drive, and, as is my tendency, I'm overwhelmed by it all.  It's in the back of my mind that I have to be able to sort through my house, sort through the files on my computer, etc. right this very minute and it all has to be done today.  If everything cannot be accomplished in one fell swoop, in one day, then what's the point of starting?


I never said it was logical.

So for the past couple of weeks I've been rushing to get out the door more often than not.  Various piles are squatting in various parts of my home and the cat is doing daily battle with the dust bunnies.  (Cat - 5, dust bunnies - 1.)  And I seem to finally find my groove ten minutes before I need to be somewhere else.

I was whining to God about it on my way to work earlier this week.  "I feel," I recall saying, "like I"m in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by a shipwreck, and I'm somehow expected to rebuild the whole ship in the ocean, but all my tools have sunk to the bottom.  (God may have chuckled at my dramatics.)  Yes, I was feeling particularly adrift at that point and I was tired of bottling it all up.  On the plus side, I made myself laugh with said dramatics and was feeling considerably less tense by the time I pulled into the parking lot at my workplace.  I was also reminded I don't have to 'fix' everything in the time it takes to snap my fingers.  Nor can I.

What I can do is this:  I can stop, take a deep breath, and sort out where I go from here.  God knew before I was even born I would be at this exact point at this exact time.  He's not sitting on His throne, mouth agape in surprise at any of this while wondering if there is any hope of His will actually being done in my life.  Nor does He expect me to change or fix things all on my own (as much as I stubbornly keep trying to do just that).

So I will stop.  I will breathe deeply in and slowly out.  And I will, with God, sort out where I go from here and keep on forging ahead.

Stalwart walks in step with GOD;
his path blazed by GOD, he's happy.
If he stumbles, he's not down for long;
GOD has a grip on his hand.
- Psalm 37: 23-34 (Message)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Repost: I Know You Are But What Am I?

Today, or rather this morning, is one of those times where the procrastination skills I have not yet quite conquered come back to bite me in the butt.  So I thought today would be a great day to revisit (and tweak -- it's almost as if I can't *not* edit it) one of my favourite posts.  Originally posted April 29/09.

= = = = = = = = = = = =

"In some sense, we are all hypocrites in transition." ~Erwin McManus

I had started this entry a little while ago, but tucked it away as too many other things were bouncing through my head and life at the time, but some things have settled down and others I have settled into so it seems a good time to pick it up again.  Also, how can one resist the following plea from the comments section of my last post?

*pokepoke*  Update please?  *begs prettily*

I would bug this dear woman (and good friend!) about updating her own blog -- Random Thoughts -- but she has recently done just that, soooo . . . I'm left with the option of updating my own or just shutting up.

But yes -- us, hypocrites and transition. 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hypocrite is "a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion" or "a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings."


But wait a second here . . .  look again at the second part of the definition.  A hypocrite is someone acting "in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings." (emphasis added)

Isn't that, to a degree, what Christians must do on a regular basis?

Take my perception of myself, for example.  I have spent a good chunk of my life battling feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.  Pretty near anyone who knows me could tell you I don't have the best self-image.  It is better than what it has been, though.  And this is why:  I'm finally starting to act in a way which contradicts what I have believed and felt about myself.  Regardless of how I feel, the fact of the matter is before the world was made, God loved me and chose me in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes (Ephesians 1:4, NLT).

Do I always believe this?  No.  Do I always feel this?  No.  I still have days where I have to fight to find something positive to say about what I did or about what happened during the day.  But part of changing my mind involves changing how I act.

So if that makes me some sort of a hypocrite, then that's okay.

Monday, May 16, 2011

No Clever Title

Blogger was down for a bit last week.  Oh, I could still look at my blog, but any thoughts of being able to post an update were merely wishes when I had the time to sit down in front of my computer Thursday night and early Friday morning.

Suffice it to say I'm seriously considering moving to WordPress.

All was not lost in my non-blogging time, however, as last week I joined The Blog Rocket Community. It is proving to be quite the gathering of bloggers.  There are some mad-talented people out there.  Honestly I'm feeling a bit intimidated, but I think it's in a good, 'spur me on to do better' way.  The proof will be in the pudding, as they say, and I think it's a good thing to invest $10/month in.  Certainly friendlier to my waistline than the two schmancy drinks at Starbucks that money probably would have gone towards.  ;-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There's a Map?!

Outlines and I didn’t get along very well in high school.  I’m pretty sure my English teacher was on to my ‘clever’ method of getting around doing them too, as I’m sure it wasn’t exactly a new trick to write the essay and then do up the outline.  So I almost did a little dance when I found out author Meg Cabot writes her books minus an outline:

“If I really like the idea, I don’t outline, because I’ve found that when I do, it feels like I’ve already told the story, and then I don’t have the excitement about actually writing it . . . People call that “seat-of-the-pants-writing.”  I think you can end up getting in trouble doing that, because I often will get midway through, and I’m like . . . I completely screwed this story up, and this could never happen.  And then I get really frustrated and eat 10 pounds of candy, and I’ll end up watching the Lifetime channel for 10 days until I figure out what I did wrong.  Then I have to go back.  But that’s the only way I can work.”  ~Meg Cabot in The Writer, April 2010, pp. 21-22

But while the above method is doable for writing a novel (Meg Cabot has penned over 50 books which include the successful Princess Diaries series), it doesn’t apply so well to pursuing one’s goals.  It becomes far too easy to become distracted or to lose one’s way completely when travelling by the seat of one’s pants.  I’m finally starting realize this as I am in the early stages of actively pursuing a couple of goals.  In the process, I’m becoming aware of a seeming myriad of things that distract me or trip me up.  As playwright Sidney Howard said, “One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” 

So I have to find some things I can get rid of, and this time a ‘backwards outline’ won’t work.  Hmmm . . . what to do, what to do?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can't Make Me (But You Can Help Me)

I didn’t want to get up this morning.  Between staying up a bit on the late side last night and a cat who was up a lot on the early side this morning, it would have been very easy (and was incredibly tempting) to sleep in later than I already had.  But then I remembered my running buddy.

Yes, I and a long-distance friend (she lives States-side in Tennessee, I am north of the 49th parallel in Alberta) are each doing a ‘Couch to 5K’ program, and on somewhat of a whim last week I decided to see if she’d like to be my running buddy.  Happily, she agreed.  Now I’m no stranger to the ‘Couch to 5K’ program, having downloaded the app on my iPhone last year but petering out when it turned into a rather rainy spring after about three weeks.  And I think one of the key reasons that happened is I wasn’t accountable to anyone.  Not my husband, not any fellow exercisers, nada – just me and my will power, both of which will pick ‘warm and dry’ in a pinch when faced with lacing up the running shoes on a drizzly day.

Hence my ‘somewhat of a whim’ suggestion to my friend that we team up to conquer our respective programs – I realized I needed to be accountable to someone.  So now we follow up with one another via Facebook posts and in the process, I’ve made myself accountable to more people as other Facebook friends now ask how things are going.  It’s a great big ball of accountability.  I hope I’ll use it to help keep me going right over the finish line.

And it reminds me of Paul’s admonishment to the church in Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJ):

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner
of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more
as you see the Day approaching.

What are some ways being accountable to other people is helping you with an endeavor or goal or project?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Authentically Unoriginal

I recently heard some things (very good things, by the way) about authenticity, about how nothing we do is truly original.  We’ve all stolen something from somewhere, added maybe a dash or two of ‘us’ to the mix and then ran with it, whether it be a story or our personas, our faith or our songs.  The idea is not to be ‘original’, but rather to be authentic as people and as Christians.

“There is nothing new under the sun,” wrote the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 1:9, and he was – and is – right.  In my own life, I only have to look at many of the stories I have written.  As much as I may like to think they 100% fresh, new, never-before-penned ideas, I know such is not the case.  I’ve taken bits from television shows, movies, other stories, songs, and even real life, added hopefully a bit of me to the mix, and then put pen to page (and more often, fingers to keyboard), dashing away to a place I hope others will follow me to.

My faith has (and is) being built in a similar way.  I didn’t come into it all on my own. There are the pastors and teachers, family members and friends, strangers and even fictional characters who have helped shape and mold my view of God, His kingdom and His ways.  Much of it, I believe, has been good and right and true.  Some of it is distorted*.  And all of it comes together to make my faith, well, my faith.  It’s sort of like a patchwork quilt.  Bits and pieces are collected, stitched together, cut out if necessary and scrapped while something new is added in.

So it may not be original, the things that we do.  But may they be real, may they be something worth imitating.  And may they even be something worth stealing.

*My aim is not to point fingers.  As I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes I simply don’t hear what is really being said.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Faults & Fears

Between saying and doing
many a pair of shoes is worn out.
~ Italian proverb

I accepted an excuse for being late to today’s writing session I know any employer would never accept from an employee:  I couldn’t find my brown eyeliner.  And things basically snowballed from there.  I had to finish doing my hair, then make a cup of tea, then mop up the tea that sloshed over the rim of my cup onto my desk and then I had to settle my nerves because my house is a mess and so on and so forth.  Gone was the satisfaction of being up in time to do some preliminary writing work before making a lunch for my husband (a little ‘derp’ moment), and then getting in half an hour of exercising. 

This morning is, when I think about it, actually a variation on how the last couple of weeks in particular have been going.  The initial adrenaline rush of making some tweaks and changes has worn off.  The need for what seems to be tedious work has set in.  Reminders of all that needs to be done are plenteous.  Impatience looms, questions and doubts build, and the temptation to write recent pursuits off as a trip down a rabbit trail, to switch back to merely plodding through life snatches at my heels.

Hard work is worthwhile . . .
~ Proverbs 14:23 (CEV)
But I can’t.  Just as I can’t call the coffee from a popular Canadian franchise good after having some truly good coffee at another coffee house, I can’t go back to plodding through my days, simply letting life happen to me.  It’s not a good life.  It’s not a sort of life that testifies of the bigness and awesomeness of the God I serve. 

I don’t mean to say I have aspirations of becoming some sort of a celebrity, of seeing my name in lights (though seeing it on a book jacket in Chapters would be pretty sweet).  No, I’m talking about me (and you) living life on purpose.  Of not sitting on the sidelines watching other people be great at whatever it is they’re great at – whether they’re full-time moms, janitors, teachers, pastors, secretaries, salespeople.  Whatever it is they do.  Whatever it is we do.  We can all do it well, and we can do it all as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). 

So onwards and upwards it is, then.  In spite of faults and in spite of fears because the One who calls you and me will complete the good work He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).  We just need to remember it’s not a passive experience on our end, either, and give it all we’ve got too.  I have a hunch it’s something we won’t regret.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh Bother

My weekend was a good one, but constantly spinning away in the back of my brain like an over-caffeinated hamster on a squeaky wheel was some stuff that happened at work on Friday.  It’s nothing earth shattering, but it is irksome to say the least.  I’ve spent most of my morning trying to properly sort through it so I can take the steps I need to this afternoon to begin to resolve it.  Or at least do what I can so I can honestly say I’m trying and doing my best.

So yeah, there you have it.  (Or not, as the case may be.)

Catch y’all on Wednesday!

"Give us the tools & we will finish the job." ~Winston Churchill