A Penny-wise thought…Divorce

I don’t mean divorce in the usual sense of the word. Not divorce between two people. I would that two people, when they say their vows to each other, would remain life-long friends, lovers, and soul-mates.

Are we married to a habit that is costing us too much, both financially and emotionally? Are we closely bound to something that is having a negative impact on our life? It could be a toxic relationship, or a way of life that is interfering with our overall quality of life.

It’s time to get a divorce! It’s time to distance ourselves from whatever is impeding us. We can say, thus far and no more! We can set firm boundaries! Psalm 104 expresses this in poetic language:

You placed the world on its foundation
    so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water,
    water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
    at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank
    to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
    so they would never again cover the earth.

Perhaps we feel we are trapped forever in whatever situation we find ourselves. Pray for separation, for escape, so that we can live whole lives, lives of peace and comfort. It’s not easy to disentangle ourselves from a destructive pattern. We need support.

Let me cheer you on, as you take steps towards freeing yourself.

As always, comments are welcome.

Affectionately,

Penny

 

A Penny-wise thought…Journalling

I journal endlessly.  Whatever thought strikes my mind, I write it down. It could be the most inane and boring thought going, but I write it down. It clears my head. Sometimes what I write has tremendous satisfaction, and I am sure I will use it in my writing someway or other.

What is the benefit of journalling? To get down on paper (or equivalent) whatever it is I am feeling. Can I express the happiness, the joy I am feeling? Or can I likewise expresses the angst, the upset, the anger or despair I am feeling? If I write it – or express it -am I less likely to have the thought explode in an undesirable way?

I believe that by expressing all of our feelings – happy, negative, or whatever – we can settle into our lives a little bit better. Writing is but one means. Drawing a picture of how one feels can evoke emotion. A person who is a composer may express her feelings through music. I have been impressed by those who complete pictures through adult colouring books.

Creativity takes so many different forms…what appeals to you? Do you have a means of creatively expressing how you feel?

I mentioned that journalling clears my head. What clears yours?

Leave me a comment,

Affectionately yours,

Penny

 

A Penny-wise thought…book proposal

I have a book in the works, A Ledger of Tears. This title is taken from Psalm 56:8: “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in Your book. (MSG)

I am shopping for publishers and agents. The brief synopsis of the book is this:

Catharine Roberts, a strong, independent, yet sensitive woman, is tormented by memories of her past. She comes to Jonathan Webster, a compassionate and insightful Christian therapist, for help to untangle the knots that bind her.

Jonathan helps Catharine to resolve the conflicts and to understand the dissonance she experiences in her relationships with her birth family. We discover that on top of everything Catharine has had to bear, she has Bipolar Disorder. Her trauma – and her disorder- spill over into her adult life, and we follow her experiences through good times and bad.  Catharine is steeped in scripture, and readily shares the passages that have meant the most to her during harrowing times.

Much as Jonathan likes and respects Catharine, the sanctity of the client/therapist relationship must not be broken. Is there a budding relationship?

So, dear friend, this is a tidbit of what A Ledger of Tears is all about. What follows? Tears of Joy!

I have processed a great deal through journalling. Perhaps you have found that journalling your path has been helpful. I strongly recommend it, for it brings clarity, and often helps resolve issues that are rattling around inside our brains 🙂

Affectionately,

Penny

A Penny-wise thought…Reconnoiter

reconnoiter
verb (used with object)
1.
to inspect, observe, or survey the enemy, the enemy’s strength, opposition, a region, etc. in order to gain information for military purposes.

2.
to examine or survey (a region, area, etc.) for engineering, geological, or other purposes.

verb (used without object)

3.
to make reconnaissance.

Armies on the march need time to rest. Rest is essential. If it’s not part of our routine, our minds and bodies will protest in unmistakeable ways. If we don’t heed the warnings, we will shut down in unexpected ways. Our march forward will be anything but efficient.
This holds true for everyone, whether Bipolar or not, but perhaps especially if one has Bipolar Disorder.

Sometimes the best strategy is to retreat and then attack from a different position. Going backwards to go forwards? Retreating to advance? We may have to go back to square one in order to regain our bearings, collect ourselves, and set out with a renewed purpose and sense of mission. During the course of this exercise, we may come to the realization that this particular battle doesn’t need to be fought at all. We have reconnoitred – surveyed the territory – and come to a decision. Then it’s a matter of informing the troops. If they protest and disagree, well, we are the ones in charge. It is our health and resources that are at stake.

What tactics work in one set of manoeuvres may not work in another. Again, taking time out to reconnoiter may save a great deal of frustration.

There are at least three options. You may think of more.
1. Decide not to proceed.
2. Decide to proceed as planned, fully cognizant of the contingencies involved.
3. Decide to head in a different direction, if that suits the objectives.
What is the objective? To achieve our goals, to enhance our quality of life, to??? you fill in the blank.

What is amazing is that we don’t have to fight our battles alone. We have an awesome Commander-in-Chief who promises to march by our side. At times we don’t have to fight at all, for the victory is the Lord’s.

One of my favourite stories is found in 2 Kings 7. The people of Israel are besieged by the Syrians, who are camped outside the walls of the city. The price of food has gone through the roof. Four lepers decided to surrender themselves to the enemy, in the hopes that their lives may be spared and that they will be fed. If not,well, they were doomed to die anyhow. What happened when they entered the enemy camp? They found a treasure trove of loot and animals, but no enemy! God had caused the enemy to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses – the noise of a great army. The enemy ran for their lives. No one struck a single blow! The famine was over. A fine example of God fighting on behalf of His people.

Take time to take stock. Reconnoiter what’s ahead of you. Make an informed choice about next steps. May your march forward be rewarding!

Affectionately,

Penny

Source: reconnoiter. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 31, 2018 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/reconnoiter

A Penny-wise thought… Reprieve

As I write this, we are enjoying above-average temperatures in Wellington County, and indeed over most of eastern Canada and northeastern United States. Above-average means above 0°. This is a reprieve from the bitterly cold temperatures we have had over Christmas and the New Year, where we had wind-chill factors in the minus 20’s.

Reprieves are good. Reprieves are necessary. A reprieve comes in many forms. For the prisoner on death-row, a reprieve means a stay of execution. For the patient who suffers the debilitating effects of a disease, it could mean the remission of the disease. It could mean a coffee with a friend, and a chance to chat and pour your out heart about what life has handed you and how you feel about it. It could mean buying a single rose for yourself, to put in a vase where you can often admire its beauty. Many forms.

I have Bipolar Disorder, and am sometimes caught in a depression that seems so deep, I will never crawl out of it. I have understanding friends, as well as an awesome daughter, who cheer me on and keep in touch with me even though I feel I am a pariah. I have faith in a living, loving God. When I am in the deepest despair, I know He cares for me. If I lose hope, my daughter, friends and Pastor lift me up in prayer and, miraculously, I feel better again. This sometimes happens because, no doubt as a result of prayer, daily devotionals seem to directly address my situation, and the scriptures they contain give me courage to keep on going. I have had a reprieve.

Are you needing a reprieve? Do you need a safe place to spill out what you’re going through? Leave me a comment.

Affectionately,

Penny

 

°°

A Penny-wise thought… One for the money, two for the road…

Three to get ready and four to go! How could I have a name like Penny and not think about money? I have cash flow – it flows, and flows, and flows right out of my hands into the big sea of expenses – some quite necessary, some not so quite. And then the waves of necessity start pounding on my shore. Can I withstand this force? If I’m well-prepared, the waves are a beautiful and expected sight. But if I’m not, they threaten to overwhelm me and I’m left scrambling to reach higher ground.

Number-crunching is my hobby. It hasn’t made me any richer, but I have been able to put each expense into categories: Fixed, Flexible, Food, Fun, Funding (giving), Future (savings), and Vision. I have a very good idea of how much I spend for each category each month. I am fine-tuning these numbers into something that works, given my income.

Vision is a recent category. Writing is my true calling. I have authored one book and I’m working on two more. This puts me amongst the ranks of the self-employed. Any expenses connected to these books or my blogs fall under Vision.  You may wish to apply this category to your own vocation, calling, or work. These expenses are tax-deductible to some degree and are worth recording.

What is the purpose of this? It’s so I spend within the parameters of a carefully reasoned-out spending plan. It’s so I don’t have too much month left over at the end of my money. With a little bit of self-discipine, when those waves come rolling in, I’ll be prepared to meet each one. Peace of mind frees me, so my creative work is not inhibited. May you enjoy peace of mind on your journey.

Affectionately,

Penny

A Penny-wise thought…Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to Penny’s thoughts! There will be all kinds of thoughts – fun thoughts, witty thoughts, serious thoughts, wise thoughts.

My immediate claim to fame is a book I have recently written, A Ledger of Tears. It is the story of a woman who grew up in traumatic circumstances. She sees a therapist, and it is during their sessions that her story unfolds. While pain and suffering followed her into adulthood, she arrives at a safe place where she can now thrive. We see how God protected her and sheltered her and was there for her from her earliest memory throughout her entire life.

The title of the book, A Ledger of Tears, comes from Psalm 56:8 – “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” (The Message)

What has your journey been like? Leave me a comment.

Affectionately,

Penny