Sunday, February 26, 2017

End of February 2017 Update

We  have snow on the ground - I'm looking forward to Spring
Thank you for taking time to stop by the Creative Living Well.  It is a collection of blogs covering various subjects to encourage a life of health and abundant living. I've added a number of new posts this week and I have given you links to them in the text below. There are many other posts in each of the tabs here at the Creative Living Well. Just in the Devotional Tab there are over 300 inspirational posts. Feel free to spend some time in the archives of each tab if you like what you find here. Thank you also for telling your friends. This site is a work in progress and I try to add to some of the areas about every week.

Devotional: This week in the Devotional tab I got caught up on posting the book reports that I have done as part of my first year student work at the International Healing Rooms School of Transformation. We are required to read one book per month and to write a book report for that book. We have had some great books so far and I plan to keep posting them as I go through the four year ministry program. I hope you will enjoy them and perhaps be inspired to read some of these books for your own journey of transformation. They are all linked below or you can find them and many other inspiring posts under the devotional tab above.

Translating God - by Shawn Bolz
SOZO - by Dawna DeSilva and Teresa Liebscher 
Healing In the Kingdom -  by Cal Pierce
Receive Your Healing and Reclaim Your Health by Cal Pierce
Destined To Win by Kris Vallotton

Prayer Loft: The prayer loft tab has photos and from the many hands on prayer themes that are a big part of worship at the Gathering House in Spokane Washington. I have been creating them every 2-3 months for about the last five years. I am attempting to find photos and videos of each of them as well as some of the hands on ideas we have come up with along the way. This week I am adding a post about the Holy Holy Holy prayer loft. You can experience it in person 10am on any Sunday at the Gathering House. It will be changing it to a new Spring theme around Easter.
• Holy Holy Holy Prayer Loft 

Self Care: Tips for Staying Well is a list of proactive things you can do to keep from getting or recycling the crud that goes around.




Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Prayer Loft Tab

This week I have added a Prayer Loft tab to the Creative Living Well site. I have been creating prayer lofts for my church for about 6 years. They are intended to inspire one to worship and reflect on various truths about God. I wanted them to have hands on ways for people to connect with God in prayer. It is a form of visual praise and worship rather than the familiar sung worship.

When I first presented the idea to my pastor and other leaders. I was pretty sure they would think I was a bit crazy.

The idea after all came from a vision that I had. I had tried to capture what I saw and had drawn my proposal on to 3x5 cards.

I told them I wanted to create a river flowing down from heaven onto a sandy beach filled with jewels and stones. You could pray by writing in the sand or lighting a candle.

They said yes go for it! So I got my friend Donnie Covert to design and build a big sand box type counter in the area that had once been a choir loft at the church and I started working on the banners. There were a number of people who pitched in and helped sew things to the banners. It was my friend Lisa Johnson who helped create the wonderful fish.  Not sure where these banners have gone - they are probably lost in a bin in my basement. I'm sure they will surface again one day.

At that time I was able to create and install the prayer lofts and they would stay up for several months. In our new building they have to be designed in a way that they can go up and down each week.

                                                  Anyway I will be adding these and other prayer loft projects to the Prayer Loft tab. I've done at least 4 per year. I hope I will be able to find photos of the older ones.

Prayer Rocks







Also:
In the Devotional Tab I have added the five Advent readings that I wrote to go along with The For To Us Prayer Loft based on Isaiah 9. I needed to link them to the post in the Prayer Loft Tab so it seemed a good time to add them.

Hope you enjoy the site and will tell others about it.
Please check back I have tons of stuff I need to add and will be posting as often as I can.

Blessings, Margot



The River Prayer Loft - the very first prayer loft!





Monday, January 30, 2017

Creative Living Well Overview

Celtic Aires Photo of Margot  
This is a work in progress kind of site. Here you will find posts of things that I hope will inspire wellness in every are of your life. Wellness is more than just eating right and exercise. It is a place for creative life, health and encouragement for the whole person body, spirit and soul. I've just added new posts to the Worship and to the Devotional tabs plus I want to let you know about some of the other tabs and things I hope to add in the future. I will add updates like this to keep you informed about things that are new and other posts like the previous one called Old Fashioned Letter Writing that celebrate things that I discover or see people doing that promote greater wellness.

At the top of the page in each of the tab areas listed below you will always find a tab that will return you to Creative Living Well. I hope you are able to easily navigate between each of these blog areas.

Worship:
Use the Worship tab or this link and I have just added a post called Every Tribe and Tongue and People and Nation. It is a beautiful worship service with songs from all over the world. Here is one that you will find with a number of others. I hope you will take some time to worship and pray for refugees and the underground church.




Self Care:
This is an older post but still a good one about Coloring for Stress Relief. There are also some older post that in the future probably will fit in the Healing Herbs and Oils. Like I said this is a work in progress as I try to round up some previous blog projects in to one place. In this one I hope to add idea of ways to encourage self care. To often we take care of everyone else and we need to remember to take care of our selves as well. So click the Self Care tab or use this link 

Devotional:
In this area there are over 300 posts that I wrote daily in a two year period several years ago. When I went to Massage school I decided I needed to take a break from that writing schedule. I am unlikely to add to it daily at this point but I plan to add things more regularly. So today I added a post called Do Not Be Afraid Of Their Faces you can use the tab above or this link.  Inside that are you will find my music room where there are a number of non professional recordings I have done over the years of songs that I've written or songs that I love.

Healing Herb and Oils 
I will be adding to this area things to do with essential oils and herbs. The current post there is called One Day at a Thyme and it looks a the healing benefits and uses of White Thyme Essential Oil. Use the tab above or follow this link  

Facebook
There is also a tab that will take you to the Creative Living Well face book page. It is a better place to leave comments and take part in what I hope will become a community of people who interact with this site.

Gallery
Currently there is a post about one of my larger mosaic projects. Im always working on something creative. I do mosaics, I draw, paint, do some jewelry and assorted other things that I will share both some new and old projects as time allows.

Celtic Aires
This is a women's singing group that I am a part of. This tab will take you to our Facebook page where there are video recordings of songs that we have performed. Our director Karen Stahl and I got together to do some celtic music and quickly decided that we need more than two altos, a harp and guitar. The group has had many wonderful people sing and play with us and we all look forward to rehearsals and opportunities to share our music.  There is wellness in being a part of something and working together with others to create beauty and joy.

Things I hope to add in the future

Good Eats 
a tab with delicious healthy recipes.

Classes
I've got a number of wellness class ideas that I would love to share either on line videos or as local events.  Just need to figure out the best way to make it work.





Friday, January 20, 2017

Old Fashioned Letter Writting

I want to try, in my posts here, to celebrate when I see people being creative and living well. Not only to encourage them but also to inspire you to maybe give some of these ideas a try as ways to enrich your life. I want to look at how various life choices may benefit us physically, mentally and spiritually. We are three part beings and to be truly well we have to take care of each of the afore mentioned areas of our lives.

Today I received a "real" hand written letter from a good friend who I have not seen in a while. She had asked for my address about a week ago and I wondered what she might send. Perhaps a graduation or a wedding announcement.... or perhaps a letter requesting charitable giving for some noble cause. While all those are wonderful reasons to request someones address they don't hold a candle to someone writing what she calls a "fascinating letter" six page, hand written letter.

I gotta say I loved reading about what she and her now grown up children are each up to woven in with memories of things we had shared in the past.  She did write a fascinating letter and I enjoyed every handwritten word. She says towards the end "what is incredible, or will be incredible, is if you can read it. The writing is a cross between cursive and printing!" Yet that is part of the beauty of her letter. She could have sent the same letter by e-mail and saved 2 postage stamps and the time it took to neatly hand write the letter as well as the trip to the post office. Not to mention taking time to contact me by facebook to get my address. I feel loved, and find myself thankful for a friendship that started years ago with two very broke single moms standing in line at the food bank. I have tears in my eyes as I look back to that moment and think about how far we have each come.

It dawned on me from a wellness stand point that there are probably some benefits to both the writer and recipient in the process writing and receiving of an old fashioned hand written letter.

I fill note books with hand written journalling - I have boxes of old journals and I probably have 20 note books floating around that I am hand writing various kinds of things in. Handwriting is something that I personally enjoy doing. I can't say I've written a handwritten letter to any one in a very long time. I think one of the things I like about hand writing is that it slows me down and it focuses my brain. It is more relaxing and calming to me than when I write using my computer. I think it also helps me better hear what God is saying. Journalling is how I learned to hear God's voice as a baby Christian. I would write for a while and then stop and listen and then write what I felt the Holy Spirit was saying. Journalling is however a subject for another day.  You might wonder why I don't just do that journal writing on my computer. I think it's the intimacy factor, in that my hand written journals feel more private. The things I write at my desk, on my computer are things that may have started in a journal but that I am now ready to share with a larger audience.

I was reading a couple of articles about the benefits of old fashioned letter writing. Sure enough slowing you down and helping you focus were some of the benefits listed. There were also references to studies that show that children who hand write their notes rather than using a computer use a whole different part of the brain and actually process and retain the information better. When you type you are more likely to capture word for word what is being said. When you take hand written notes you have to sum up the thoughts in your own words because you can't write fast enough. I was taking notes in a lecture last night and my notes are full of bubbles and pictures. Sometimes it is just random doodles on the page with a bubble quote here and there. It works for me.

There are small motor nerves and thought process and memory function that is stimulated differently when you write or doodle. So heres the good news for my friend who wrote the letter to me.

Hand writing keeps your brain sharp as you get older! Which is good news cause we are doing that getting older stuff at this point.

According to Chris Gayomali of http://theweek.com/articles/468718/4-benefits-writing-by-hand
"Writing longhand is a workout. No, not necessarily for your wrist, but for your brain. According to The Wall Street Journal, some physicians claim that the act of writing — which engages your motor-skills, memory, and more — is good cognitive exercise for baby boomers who want to keep their minds sharp as they age."

I also liked this quote from Will Gyurgyik "Letters might be inefficient, but they have their advantages and values.  It’s like cooking a great meal for a friend instead of picking up carryout.”
I am all for Facebook and how it helps people stay in touch but I think we often do a lot of lurking and don't even bother to write or comment. It is easier to just click the like button.

The act of writing help you de-stress. Heres an article that gives 10 benefits to writing. http://theskooloflife.com/wordpress/10-ways-that-writing-can-help-you-de-stress/  I really like reason  #8. Writing strengthens your immune function
"When you write, your breathing slows and you allow more oxygen to go to your brain. Being actively engaged in your work heals the body and encourages it to fight more purposefully against viruses."


I just listened to this wonderful TedX talk by Elspeth Penny about the Lost art of Letter Writing.  I captured this quote from it. "Deeper heart felt words live in hand written letters, they show our venerability and they enrich our relationships. So lets not let the best of what we have disappear. Let celebrate that we can make marks on a page with our own hands. "

Today's challenge: Take some time today to write a "Fascinating" Hand Written Letter. You might include a photo or a news clipping, a recipe card, a pressed flower. Little things like that are ways to go the extra mile and add a personal touch. In my friends letter she inclosed a local news article about a historic building that I had been interested in seeing preserved.

I will be writing a hand written response to my friend and also a letter to some other person as a way to pay this gift of kindness forward I hope you will join me and write a letter today.

Thank you my dear friend, I am blessed and inspired by your handwritten gift.





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Divine Encounters

Im enjoying a snow day today. I was thinking about how Jesus met a woman at a well. The things he told her astounded her. The idea that true worshipers would not need to go to the Temple in Jerusalem to worship. True worshipers would worship in Spirit and in truth. This would have been shocking information for this Samaritan woman who was at the well during off hours to avoid meeting the mocking towns women who's lives were far better than her own messed up life.  Then Jesus tells her about her self and about himself and in an instant she is changed and becomes an evangelist to the city.  What would seem a chance encounter was in actuality a divine encounter. 

Sometimes we have these kind of divine encounters like that of the woman at the well.  I met a woman named Dianna about a week ago at the Spokane Healing Rooms. I'm not sure which of us was more powerfully impacted by the "chance" meeting. She singled me out and asked me to pray for her about her art.  After I prayed with her, she said she was supposed to give me personally a $33 dollar donation.  I shared with her that the Lord had been speaking to me about creating some kind of creative wellness center. I mentioned taking little steps of faith towards doing it. She said to me "I think you are a lot farther along than you realize. You just have a few more steps to go." Maybe there is an actual physical location in the future but I realized in that moment I do have a lot of what I was envisioning already happening. I realized in that moment that could create an on-line version and much of that is already things I have done or am already doing. You just never know what God will do through a divine encounter. I've learning to live expectantly.

I have felt like I needed to include others in this journey and at this point I don't fully know what it may become. After speaking with Dianna I took another step of faith to begin creating this site. The name that came to me as I prayed was Creative Living Well. So I checked to see if it was available as a blog name and as a facebook page name. It was, and  it was also available as domain name http://www.creativelivingwell.com for $12.95 a year. I have built a lot of sites through the years and I have never had everything line up or the first name I looked for be available across the board. I have to believe that God is granting favor for this to become a reality. So I have begun the process of building this resource. It is a work in progress but I invite you to be part of it as it grows and develops.

So...Creative Living Well is born - I like the double imagery of the name. I like the idea that actual wells had to be dug or re-dug to support life in ancient times. Water determined where cities were built and where life happened. People had to physically go to those places to get their daily water needs.  We also can be living wells that flow with living water that comes from our restored relationship with Almighty God through Jesus Christ. In yet another sense we need things that water our body, soul and spirit and it is my hope that you will find resources for physical, spiritual and creative things to inspire and heal your soul.

So I invite you to come and drink.

Thank you Dianna for your words of encouragement and the first donation towards making this site a reality.

Thank you also to Pastor Carol at the Healing Rooms School of Transformation. She is a source of ongoing encouragement. I was telling her about my devotional blog where I already have hundreds of in depth Bible studies written and posted. She visited it and informed me that I already have quite a legacy already built there. Some times it takes others to see what we have become so accustomed to that we don't even realize the treasure we have accumulated. Click the Devotional tab above or spin to it on your phone where it says home above. It's  just one of the resources available to you here at Creative Living Well.