A Penny-wise thought…What’s in a Name?

Image result for picture I have called you by name

Isn’t that the statement! God has called us by our name and we are His.

I was curious: what does the name Penelope mean? I started by searching “What does Penelope mean?” and reading the descriptions. I suggest you do it for your own names too (don’t forget your middle name!). You might find some pleasant surprises.

Penelope means faithful, weaver, intelligent, wise. In Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. She was faithful to him for the twenty years he was away. She kept suitors at bay by pretending she had to finish weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus’ father before she would choose a suitor. I like to weave stories.

People with this name have a deep inner desire to create and express themselves, often in public speaking, acting, writing or music. They also yearn to have beauty around them in their home and work environment.

People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will see the larger picture. Their solitary thoughtfulness and analysis of people and world events may make them seem aloof, and sometimes even melancholy.

I can see myself in this description. Perhaps others who don’t have the name Penelope can see themselves as well!

Now, to turn this around, what names does God call us? We’re the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8), a friend of God (John 15:15),  God’s handiwork – or work of art, or masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), God’s treasure (Deuteronomy 7:6), His sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18), heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and His beloved (Song of Solomon 2:16). Can you find more?

What’s in a name? A whole character description – from the names we were given at birth, to the names God has lovingly called us.

Enjoy your research!

Affectionately,

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

 

°°