Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gitz: I choose the joy.

Recently discovered was led to the blog Gitz or GitzenGirl.

I came across this paragraph in this post:

I choose the joy. When something is going badly and I’m dwelling on it, I think instead of something for which I am grateful. I swear to you, it’s as simple as that. You just have to decide today, and again tomorrow. And before you know it, you’ll have an attitude of joy more than any other attitude you have at your disposal.

Here is a button:







You will be blessed if you spend time reading her blog.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time Spent on the Computer

The amount of time I spend on the computer is something I have to watch constantly. I can do well for a while (meaning not much wasted time at all) and then I start to spend a little more time each day or so until I am back to spending too much time on the computer. Insidious.

As an introvert, I use the computer to go into my own little world where I escape all the input from family. The funny thing is, I would enjoy reading a book so much more! But, to me, reading a book is a clear escape and pleasure and I am not entitled to that until my work is done.

On the other hand, I can easily find something I need to do on the computer. Check email. Send an email. Do a bit of research. Find out if there is a book about "that."

And I can feel like I really need some inspiration, so I will go to one of the blogs I enjoy reading. And which gives me inspiration to do something.

 Irony alert: I'm not doing something (productive in my home or life) if I am on the computer reading a blog to get inspired to do something.

As I said before, I need to recognize the end point and then quit. 

I found this page about apps and programs that help you monitor your time on the computer: 10 Ways to Measure Your Time Spent Online.

And I think I just downloaded RescueTime. (I tried Toggl and didn't like it very much, but I recognize I was impatient with the learning curve, too.)

Praying the Offices Resource List

First, I will give you a list of books and such that helped me figure out what Praying the Offices was all about. (Then, perhaps, you will look all this up and won't need my series.)

When I first became curious about this, I had a hard time finding out information. It is easier now. I'm not sure why, but I suspect because, 1) more Christians are incorporating this type of prayer into their lives and talking, blogging and tweeting about it and 2) lots more things are available on the internet now than were available nine or ten (or more) years ago. (It is hard to remember what it was like on the internet nine or ten years ago!)




Daily Prayer, by Robert Benson. Daily Prayer contains a DVD of a seminar Robert gave to a small group in which he explains the daily office, a CD with morning, midday, evening, night and a few other prayers, and a booklet with bookmark, both of which contain the prayers and information that you need to get started. (The idea of printing some of the office on the book was really good and lets you avoid some of the flipping back and forth in a book that is otherwise required.)

This is at the top of my list for a reason. I think it is a very good explanation of the whole process. I started here, keep the CD in the car, and just recently started carrying the booklet and bookmark in my purse for those times I am away. I have come to really appreciate the booklet/bookmark. (If you will use this with your family or a small group, order the extra booklets and bookmarks.)



The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle. Here at explorefaith.org is information about the books, including excerpts from the introduction in the books and more. The A Brief History of Fixed Hour Prayer from that website is very good. It is taken word-for-word from the books, The Divine Hours.

The books are available at amazon. There are three books for daytime prayer. (I coped the images from amazon.com, but you cannot really look inside from here! Links to amazon.com with reviews are below.)


The Divine Hours: Prayer for Springtime,
 

The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime,  


The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime.

These guide you through praying the Morning, Midday, Vespers (evening) and Compline Hours (before bed) for the whole year.  (Christmastide: Prayers for Advent through Epiphany from The Divine Hours and the similarly titled one for Eastertide are excerpts from the seasonal books.)





During my early exploration of this topic (around my other duties of being a wife, mother to three young kids, their homeschooling teacher and trying to keep house and meals together), I found a discarded Book of Common Prayer at a library sale. I bought it. It did not come with explanations of how to use it. I loved the wording, I loved the idea, but was very frustrated with how to use it.  I still tried! Then I found the Robert Benson's Daily Prayer and Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours and put it away. For a while.




At the website The Book of Common Prayer is some info that I did not have about the Book of Common Prayer. Lots of good stuff on this site.



A few years ago, I found two very helpful books about how to use the BCP (what those in the know call the Book of Common Prayer). 

A User's Guide to Morning and Evening Prayer

Finally! Step-by-step directions! This helped so much. I copied the directions down on a strip of cardstock and used that as a bookmark (borrowing the idea from Robert Benson).