Thought Collage Thursday // Therapeutic Things

eleanor brownn quote

That’s my mom in the picture, enjoying her back yard! :)

Oh, it’s that time again!

That’s right, friends and familia, far and wide. This Thursday’s child is wild about Thursdays and my brain is inevitably running-over with an assorted array of somewhat disconnected thoughts and observations. Although I must tell you, I love finding the common theme after I have blurted it all out. That is always when the finished title emerges. Today? Therapeutic things, because you can and should attend to yourself, spirit, soul and body. Stay strong and healthy – it will bless everyone you love!

Enjoy spring.

I mean – can anyone really comprehend what it is like to have to live in a state that is so sunny-bright on these 70-some degree days in the spring with almost-zero humidity? Must I bear this cross alone? …Just kidding around with you, and maybe gloating a little.

The rainy days just past were purely lovely (more to come, I hear). They did what only spring rains can do. But the warm sun that follows, releasing the lilac’s deepest perfume – well, ’tis a glimpse of heaven, I am certain.

common lilac

NOTE:: If you do not own a lilac bush, go (immediately) make friends with some one who does and ask them if you might just stuff your face into the fully-florrid blooms in the heat of one of these spring-afternoons for just a few minutes. Therapeutic!

I wish I could dance.

I can’t. I can. not. Really. Everybody tells me it is possible, that even I could learn, but it isn’t. I was raised that dancing was a sin. My parents became Christ-followers through a “holiness” group that put the kibosh on most anything fun as being a “worldly amusement.” They pretty much lived by the mindset I am in the world, but I will not be amused by it.

Now my mom did say, many times as I was growing up, “Well, they tell me dancing is a sin. but if it weren’t, I’d get you ballet and tap lessons.” Haha. The obvious dilemma being that there was no differentiation, in the holiness standard, between dancing for joy, for art, for the beauty of movement and that shady stuff happening at dimly-lit parties with men putting their arms around other men’s wives after a few martinis, lusting and smoking cigarettes. No, just to be careful – rule out ALL dancing.

Never mind that the Psalmist, a man after God’s own heart, danced in the Bible! He also took his clothes off to do it. So that story never got told with flannel graph in Sunday School!

Somewhere along the way my parents figured out that dancing, that joyous release and movement celebrating being alive, and even the slow dance between married lovers, isn’t a chute straight to hell. They dance now! I even have video and photos of it, which makes me happy!

But it’s too late for me.

My feet are nailed by the heavy stakes of holiness-past to the ground. I’ve got rhythm. I just can’t seem to use it. I dream of it, though. I have dreams where I can run and twirl and leap and dance and practically fly. So, I can’t dance for now, but in heaven, I’m thinking I’ll be able to and wow, loving the thought!

HOWEVER – if you CAN dance, you should. You MUST! Therapeutic and free!

This really works.

Want to feel accomplished? Want your mind to be cleared and your life ordered in a way that makes sense? Grab your garden gloves (buy a pair at the dollar store), and a grocery bag. Head out to your garden squares or borders, the places where last week’s rains made the weeds feel all haughty and strong. Set your phone timer for 5 minutes. Grab hold of the obvious weeds at the base, the ones emerging in your borders and along fence lines. Pull. Tap lightly to return the soil to which they were clinging to its’ rightful place and fill your bag. In 5 sweat-free minutes, you’ll have stuffed that bag with unwanted, noxious weeds and given yourself a gift to enjoy later.

You can do this in the morning when you first arise, the cool of the day (God is always hanging around gardens, I have found). You can do it when you’re on the phone, or while the coffee brews. It works when you’re heading out or just getting back home, a 5-minute weed-pull here, another 5 minutes there.

dragonfly

Today it’s a chore, sure. But next week,  when you look at that small area, the ones where the weeds threatened to overtake your yard and garden (or where the grass hopped happily in to your garden beds), you’ll smile and reap the rewards of the time you tended your space. 5 minutes a day or a few 5-minute grocery-bag stuffings throughout the week: you’ll stretch and move and breathe and tend and have accomplished big things in short spurts. Good for the brain and body, satisfying for the soul.

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.” Genesis 2.15

WARNING: Unused winter muscles will feel it and hurt, but in a good way!

Why you should sing.

Singing is amazing. This articles says singing (1) boosts cardiovascular health, (2) stimulates the brain, (3) reduces stress, (4) naturally heals and (5) builds confidence. But it’s also just fun.

You also need no special equipment to do it. And if you want to sing and be courageous, too, join a karaoke site. There are thousands of songs you can sing with just your smart phone and ear buds and it’ll be simply for your fun and enjoyment. And while I suspect it may have been considered “worldly amusement” by some for all of the “secular” songs there, I think it’s fun for the heart and soul. And they even have worship songs and church music if that’ll make it better for you. ;)

life is a song

{source}

You have to be brave and silly to sing on a karaoke site, but I’m doing it and it’s making me breathe deeper, which I need. I just posted “Harper Valley PTA” on a karaoke site this week and it made me laugh so much at myself. I loved that song as a kid, even though, as you might imagine, people who don’t dance also don’t like these types of drinking-adultry-miniskirt-type songs. :) But I did it. I just sang it anyway.

Len Sweet’s Bible Credo.

reading your bible

This poetic post about the Word of God, the scriptures, our Bibles – just made me want to go grab mine right away and get started on digging out the treasures, trying to comprehend the mysteries and just knowing the author of Love better, all over again.  Too much of my life has been spent shooting {or dodging} “scriptural truth bullets,” reading to try to figure out the “rules” or staying on the doggone one-year reading schedule** to earn divine points (true confessions). Sometimes this magnificent treasure has felt burdensome or life-killing. I do not want to pass that on to my grandbebes. I want them to experience the Logos and the Word made Flesh the way Len Sweet has so poetically  shared here.

“I believe you can’t go through the Scriptures without the Scriptures going through you… changing the drumbeat of your life as you dance to a new rhythm….I believe reading the Bible is not a disciple’s homework but a disciple’s holy play.”  ~Leonard Sweet

Did he say something about dancing??? :)

Read it. You’ll find yourself looking for the first available free moment to crack it open, to devour its pages and receive the words of life again! And again!

**PS I am not against reading plans…I have just botched them so badly I end up hurrying through and miss the whole {beautiful, “holy play” } point!

Call your mom.

Seriously. If your mom lives nearby, VISIT her. If she is far away, plan your next trip and call regularly. NO ONE has loved you longer! Except the Creator. But He chose her for you!

My mamala:

mamala collage

Let’s throw a parade!

As kids, parades were so easy, nothing but excitement, sound, color, horses (and shovels), Shriners in costume jewelry and little cars doing circles and patterns, with princesses on floats and marching bands. When you’re a kid, you don’t have to worry about where you’ll park and how you’ll fight the crowds or worry about who will clean up the paper mess afterwards.

But I liked this (from Pinterest, via Etsy):

kindness confetti

Let’s throw a parade! Let the kindness fly and the fun begin. First in our homes, with the people we love the most and then every where we go each day (school, work, stores, church) and give everybody the best parking spot and the curb-front seats to just being nice, in word and deed. We can make everyday a celebration-worthy holiday for some one, I am convinced!

I promise you, you’ll have the chance TODAY to be kind, or not. The confetti is in your hands! {No clean-up…now that IS therapeutic!}

Happy and Blessed Thursday, friends and family.

Take care of yourself and “Hey!” as they used to say on Hill Street Blues (which coincidentally aired on NBC’s Must-see-TV Thursday night line-up, “Let’s be careful out there!”

5 thoughts on “Thought Collage Thursday // Therapeutic Things

  1. Oh Jeanie,

    I miss you. I MISS YOU!!!

    Your words, your writings, your thoughts & insights. BEAUTIFUL!!!

    I have seen you “dance”. Maybe not in cutting a rug to the beat of the music, per se, but in pouring out your heart and soul before God and man. You have danced your encouragement over my life, and the lives of many ever-so-grateful men & women. I have experienced you dance with Father in prayer over me when my heart was utterly broken to bits. It may not be a dance in the way the world recognizes it, but it was amazing and fantastic!! I have seen it. You’ve taught me so much about worship, my very dear friend. Be blessed, & know that I love you.

  2. Love this! Must get outside for some gratifying (and GREATLY needed) weed-pulling. AND get into the Word today. I, too, often confuse it with a duty that earns me a better grade with God, instead of Words of life straight from the Creator’s mouth and heart to his most prized creation…His kids.

    Keep the posts coming, mama!

  3. Yeahhhhh!!! I’m going to make a point to stick my face into a bunch of lilacs (their scent really is therapeutic for my soul), dance more (even if it is sitting in the seat of my car running boys here and there) and sing, sing, sing (my best singing is straight from my heart to God’s ears)!!! Oh yeah, and savor your words Jeanie! I love your blog and take your words into my soul, they too are therapeutic. xo

  4. Have I told you that you are my favorite writer? No? Well you are.
    And as for dancing, your words dance across the page and across our hearts. Whimsy and deep truth swing and sway and capture us with their beautiful steps.
    Your blog is therapy. Thank you for the beautiful thoughts. Keep writing sweet friend.

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