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The Silver Archer: Heart of Purpose


SkyGirl

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THE SILVER ARCHER

Chapter 5: Heart of Purpose

 

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"No! Not that way!" Mistral smacked her hand against her shield in frustration and shook her head at me, nostrils flaring and sweat dripping down her face. "You've got to come after it with purpose! You're completely apathetic!"

 

The sun was beating down on the wide grassy cliff-top where we had trained every day for a week, and my loose clothing was stuck to my body with sweat. I had thrown off my vest, armor, and bracers long before, willing to trade the risk of Mistral's skillful sword nicking me for the agony of the metal trapping even more heat against my arms and torso. My arms and legs felt limp and weighted down; my shoulders and core burned every time I moved. Everything in me wanted to throw down my shield and scream I'm tired! I've never done this before! You're making me do things I've never done before and everything hurts!

 

But I took a deep breath and bit back the words. My mission back to the island would begin in less than two months, and I needed to be ready - I would be a spy out on my own, fully responsible for defending myself. There would be no partner to watch my back or fight off attackers when my meager strength wore out. Mistral was a trained warrior who knew what she was doing, and if I wanted to be as strong as she was, I needed to do what she said.

 

So I slowly lifted my heavy sword and shield with burning arms and tried to set myself for another attack. "Am I allowed to take off any more of my clothes? Please say yes."

 

To my surprise, Mistral burst out laughing and lowered her shield. "It is hot," she admitted, glancing up at the sun. She chewed her lip for a moment, then her shoulders relaxed and she jerked her head toward the bit of shade provided by the higher overhanging cliffs. "Come sit over here for a bit. Let's try something else."

 

Gratefully, I gathered my discarded armor into my shield and slowly followed her up the slope, collapsing in the slightly cooler grass. "I know it's almost autumn, but it's hotter today than it was all summer," I complained, flopping backward.

 

"Sit up," she replied, not turning to look as she gracefully lowered herself to the ground. "And put your bracers back on."

 

I sighed and complied, tying the soft laces of the metal bracers Father had given me a few days before. They were Mother's, he said, which is why they fit my small arms - she had worn them into her first battle alongside Father. Afterward, he had engraved beautiful patterns and elf-symbols into them that followed the curve of the wearer's arm and glinted in the sun. They were light and comfortable to wear, except for the heat they trapped next to my sweaty skin.

 

"Now." Mistral had strapped on her own leather bracers, and she scooted closer so I could see her arms. "There's something about these bracers that I don't think your father told you. Do you see these channels that he carved?"

 

I looked down at the river-like patterns. "Yes, I see them."

 

"Those are designed to help you channel your powers and throw them across a distance."

 

I stared at my arms, then stared at her. "What?"

 

"Try it."

 

"Try what?"

 

She sighed and held out her hands, taking my arms and crossing them with my left arm on top. I automatically put my hands in fists, but she uncurled them and directed me to hold my hands out flat, with the palms facing her. "Now," she said, pushing on my arms to make me face out over the cliff, "see if you can hit that rock at the edge of the cliff there."

 

I looked at the rock and sat still, confused. "My powers aren't like a weapon," I protested. "I can't just call them up and shoot them like a physical arrow! I don't know what to do!"

 

Mistral sighed heavily - how many times was she going to sigh at me? - and impatiently motioned for me to take the bracers off. She put them on her own wrists and held her hands out the same way as mine. "Now, my powers are different than yours, but you can still learn how to do this." She has powers? "Other Silver Archers have. I'm thinking about this rock - I'm feeling myself reaching out beyond myself, summoning the energy, directing it toward my target."

 

I watched in quavering fascination as my bracers on her arms began to glow violet, as if they were being slowly warmed by a fire. The brightness gathered at the ends of the bracers near her hands; then, without warning, a flash like lightning leapt from her hands and smashed into the rock at the other side. I yelped and toppled over backward in fright. "How did you do that!"

 

Mistral unstrapped the bracers and handed them to me. "I told you. I controlled my powers rather than waiting for them to appear when I need them. You can do that too. Give it a try."

 

Still shaking, I tied the bracers back on and pointed my hands at the broken rock the way she showed me. How did I "reach out beyond myself"? I stared at the rock and tried to imagine the feeling of the King's sweet healing warmth rising up in my heart. I thought about how I could use this - in battle, to bring clarity or healing; or when fighting an enemy armed with lies. Gradually I did begin to feel the warmth taking shape in my stomach, and I trembled harder. I continued to will it to travel to the rock - to try to use my mind to draw it out of its deep wells and push it down my arms. And suddenly it did - with a blast that knocked me onto my back, a rush exploded down my arms and shot out of my hands with white heat, smashing into the rock with the same dust-cloud blasting force that Mistral had accomplished. Gasping and starting to cry, I looked at my hands to see if they had burned up; but there was no mark.

 

"I can't believe it," I whispered raggedly.

 

Mistral nodded briskly. "It lacked a little control, but that's the idea. Good job. Want to try it again?"

 

I got to one elbow and looked at the rock, still glowing slightly with heat. I wasn't sure if I really meant it, but I swallowed hard and looked up at Mistral's slightly smiling face.

 

"Oh yes."

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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I look forward to seeing your narrative posted.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Maybe if I hit refresh every 10 seconds your story will appear.:)

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Wisdom 21   Dexterity 11   Charisma 14   Strength 18  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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On 9/15/2017 at 7:17 PM, Elastigirl said:

Maybe if I hit refresh every 10 seconds your story will appear.:)

 

7 hours ago, Shadri said:

Hello hello :)

 

2 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Im-waiting.gif

 

On 9/15/2017 at 6:30 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I look forward to seeing your narrative posted.

 

There you go!!  ;)  I'll get the challenge up shortly - Week Zero was obscenely busy and I've spent the weekend catching up!!

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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I like the energy beams!

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Week One begins and finds me almost completely unprepared for this month's mission ... but for tonight, before I go to bed, here's a little background.

 

I read almost all of "Level Up Your Life" before it had to go back to the library, and the biggest thing I took away from it was a renewed focus on my Really Big Goals - the Level 50 version of myself that I want to become someday. I have spent so much time focusing on short-term goals (and really short-term goals) that I hadn't thought about that in a long time. So I have spent a little time here and there over my last hectic week thinking about Level 50 Sky Elvenword and what she is like:

 

Spoiler

 

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Single Ideal Me gets up every morning at 6:30AM to drink her coffee and read her Bible for an hour before hopping in her slightly vintage sportscar and driving to work. She is the communications director for an up-and-coming science education and multimedia company, using her research experience and love of communication to help manage a children's television program, a YouTube channel of fun and complex science facts for kids and teens, a weekly column in the local newspaper, both of the company's social media profiles (one for academics, one for laypeople), and her latest pet project, a line of science fact books designed for homeschooled students.

 

Single Ideal Me works a lot - often 9 or 10 hours a day, plus monitoring social media in the evenings - but her schedule is flexible, giving her time to attend yoga class once a week and work on lifting twice a week with her trainer. She still doesn't enjoy running, but she can deadlift 150 pounds, as she always dreamed she could, and she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, dancing, horseback riding, and obstacle course races. On her free weekends, she enjoys biking or walking out into the country around her big renovated farmhouse, taking photos of flowers and plants to post on her personal Instagram account. She visits her nieces and nephews regularly, and loves that her job pays enough that she can always spoil them with small toys and gifts. She donates regularly to charities that help the homeless, hungry children, and refugees, volunteers twice a month at the homeless shelter or soup kitchen in the nearest town, and travels on mission trips to Native reservations and Habitat for Humanity sites every summer. She has a few close friends and loves spending time with them and their families, watching their children so they can have time with their spouses, or driving single friends to concerts, museums, and movies.

 

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Married Ideal Me has a very different life - she works part time as a freelance science writer to help her husband support their five children, whom she teaches at home. They still live in a large farmhouse on a few acres, which she and the kids garden and raise a few animals on, but no more vintage sportscar - they are "that" homeschool family with a conversion van, which she has made as customized and comfortable as possible for her many trips to 4-H meetings, music and swimming lessons, book clubs, wildlife walks, and church programs. In addition to giving her children the most rigorous academic education she can, she also makes time to give them educational experiences, including museum trips, hikes, selling their produce at the farmers market, and volunteering at local hospitals and homeless shelters.

 

Married Ideal Me has less time to spend at the gym than single Ideal Me does, but she has plenty of chances around the house and farm-ette to build her upper body and cardiovascular strength, and she and her husband take the children on bike rides as often as they can. She has long ago overcome her insecurities about being a "good wife" through prayer and honest counseling with her pastor and mentors, and she and her husband have a strong, playful, and committed friendship and marriage. In turn, all five of her children are healthy, confident, and curious boys and girls who love exploring the world around them without fear. All five of them have personal relationships with Christ, and family devotions every evening are a precious and holy time. Their house is not always neat or orderly, but it is a welcoming and joyful place where friends and family love to come and be nourished, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

 

Married Ideal Me cooks healthy, whole foods for herself and her family, although she has learned as many tricks as she can to make meal prep quick and painless so she can get back to her writing or one of the many projects around the house and farm. She incorporates as many ingredients from their own farm as she can, both to save money and to help her children feel a strong connection to the land. In addition, she writes about what she learns and accomplishes (and fails at!) in a regular column in their state's magazine for homeschoolers, and enjoys posting humorous anecdotes and spiritual musings on her blog.

 

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Both versions of Ideal Me are energetic and curious, and while they don't spend much time worrying about their weight, they do pay attention to what kinds of foods they put in their bodies and they are active, not sedentary. They use their time to worship God and connect with His natural world, use their gifts and interests to share that world with others, and give up time and resources to help others who need it. Their homes are welcoming places of blessing, and they take time to nurture and love the next generation of children. They take their work seriously and continue to develop and look for opportunities in their careers. They also share what they learn with others, so they can be successful as well, in their careers, their spiritual life, and their daily endeavors.

 

 

All of this has given me a lot to think about and has really helped to reframe what goals I want to set for myself. If I know that having energy and being active, well-nourished, and well-rested are at the foundation of all my other goals, then these really need to be my main focus. However, there are other things I can start working on now, too - finding ways to incorporate my future career interests (educational writing and multimedia) into my current research projects, reading about emerging science and agriculture technology rather than depressing news and current events, and also starting to pray seriously that the Lord would help me find a husband (that's something I gave up on many years ago). 

 

So I am going to need a few days to think about what goals I want to set for this challenge, but it's really all about purpose. I don't want to get bogged down in daily details, because then I find myself escaping at the end of the day into movies, mindless Internet browsing, snacking, and other self-destructive habits. If I have clear, exciting goals that I want to work for, that will help me set smaller challenge goals that move me toward those things and help me stay engaged in life, not escape.

 

[And I am SO sorry for such a long post; you of course do not have to read the whole thing. This is especially for my own reference, to keep coming back to as I work on my challenges for the next few months. :) ]

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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It's often helpful to remind ourselves of our big why, it can help us set those short term goals in a way that actually helps.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Hey lady!   Love the story, love the Ideal You finding.    One of these days, I should consider thinking about that for myself!  LOL!  >.>   I also get the husband side of that... it's so weird for me.  I definitely want to find someone to life with that closely - and at the same time, I have gotten SO GOOD at being THIS independent and just sticking with the family and friends angle.   I really don't know what I am /supposed/ to be going for.

 

 

 

 

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Level 71 ~*~ Ranger

Deviant Art Gallery   ||  YouTube Channel

Current Challenge

"It is difficult.  All things worth keeping are."  Thane Krios - Mass Effect 2

"Maybe it's not as simple as you imagined, Seeker."  Varric Tethras Dragon Age 2

"Staying within your limits is no fun, Ryder."  Vetra Nyx - ME: Andromeda

Spoiler

 

::PAST CHALLENGES::

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 20 | 21 | 22

23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42

43 | 44 | NEIN | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48| 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61

62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Starpuck said:

Hey lady!   Love the story, love the Ideal You finding.    One of these days, I should consider thinking about that for myself!  LOL!  >.>   I also get the husband side of that... it's so weird for me.  I definitely want to find someone to life with that closely - and at the same time, I have gotten SO GOOD at being THIS independent and just sticking with the family and friends angle.   I really don't know what I am /supposed/ to be going for.

 

I know!! That's what does confuse me - I definitely want to get married and have a family, but I'm also so used to being single and independent that trying to meld my life with someone else's sounds ... weird? Is it okay to say that?  :-/

SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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11 minutes ago, SkyGirl said:

 

I know!! That's what does confuse me - I definitely want to get married and have a family, but I'm also so used to being single and independent that trying to meld my life with someone else's sounds ... weird? Is it okay to say that?  :-/

It is absolutely okay to say that!       I KNOW that feeling.    One of the things that I worry about, if I meld with someone... is... what about all my friends, that will no doubt suffer some unmelding due to it?   I don't want to give up the many, for the one.    It's so dang hard to sort out.

 

 

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Level 71 ~*~ Ranger

Deviant Art Gallery   ||  YouTube Channel

Current Challenge

"It is difficult.  All things worth keeping are."  Thane Krios - Mass Effect 2

"Maybe it's not as simple as you imagined, Seeker."  Varric Tethras Dragon Age 2

"Staying within your limits is no fun, Ryder."  Vetra Nyx - ME: Andromeda

Spoiler

 

::PAST CHALLENGES::

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 20 | 21 | 22

23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42

43 | 44 | NEIN | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48| 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61

62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81

 

 

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I love how you have both visions for Single you and married you, and being joyful and thriving in both. Hope you don't mind though, that since I you have said before you would like to be married, when I pray for you, I do pray that you find a husband, (maybe in your new church home;))

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Wisdom 21   Dexterity 11   Charisma 14   Strength 18  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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On 9/18/2017 at 0:43 PM, Starpuck said:

It is absolutely okay to say that!       I KNOW that feeling.    One of the things that I worry about, if I meld with someone... is... what about all my friends, that will no doubt suffer some unmelding due to it?   I don't want to give up the many, for the one.    It's so dang hard to sort out.

 

One of my dear friends who got married confessed to me that she was afraid, initially, to post pictures or posts about how happy she was to be married when she was a newlywed, because she remembered keenly how painful it was to be utterly single and see others finding their soulmates and having wonderful experiences ... she didn't want to hurt any of us singletons' feelings. We reassured her that she should be able to post whatever she wanted, and she quickly got over that fear; but the truth is that it does still hurt on this single side, and if/when I do find a husband, I know I'll be afraid of hurting my single friends too. I'm almost more afraid that I'll hide in my new married bubble for fear of somehow offending my friends back in the single bubble!!  :P 

 

On 9/18/2017 at 1:44 PM, Elastigirl said:

I love how you have both visions for Single you and married you, and being joyful and thriving in both. Hope you don't mind though, that since I you have said before you would like to be married, when I pray for you, I do pray that you find a husband, (maybe in your new church home;))

 

Thank you, EG, that would be fantastic!! You're so sweet!

 

tenor.gif

SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Today has been a Day of Conquering ... last night I fought off all the "Just One More Thing" goblins and went to bed instead of staying up until 3AM, which was initially amazing; but then between a loud thunderstorm and some of the worst nightmares I've had in a long time (brain, did you have to remind me of my wonderful childhood dog who died a horribly painful death of liver failure?? did you have to??), I slept very badly and woke up just before 9AM, the time I had initially planned to be in my office. I felt sick most of the morning and kept getting interrupted, so I had to go to class unprepared and without finishing the work my professor had assigned.

 

However, I remembered how @Tanktimus the Encourager always says to start where you are and recapture as much of the day as you can; so I listened carefully in class and took lots of good notes to catch up on the readings I had missed, and in my work meeting afterward, I asked a lot of questions and explained the problems I was having with the work. My professor sat back and let me do most of the talking in the meeting, mostly only talking to agree with me.

 

Tonight I'm still feeling a bit sick, but it's my gym day; so I'm going! I'm going to walk for a while, maybe jog a bit if I feel like it, and then focus on upper body work, which I can do sitting down. :)  Over the weekend, I ran a bounce-house "obstacle course" and got stuck on the rappelling wall my second time through, which was simultaneously one of the most panic-inducing and embarrassing experiences I've had in a while; so I'm eager to work on my shoulders, forearms, triceps, and grip strength so that doesn't happen again any time soon. 

 

So it started out as a lousy day, but I have recaptured it and will continue to do so. I am squeezing every bit of goodness out of this day that I can!!

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Good for You! How you finish is way more important than how you start. 

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Wow ... I think Ideal Me also looks something like this:

 

 

Curious, open-minded and open-hearted, unafraid, unbound by the need to be comfortable or in control. Able to let go, to fully experience life without fearing or worrying about what might happen next. Moving, dancing, touching people, smiling, spreading and accepting music and culture. It would be wonderful to be able to say I had all those qualities.

 

(I'm not necessarily saying that Lindsey Stirling is all those things, but she certainly seems to convey them in this video. :) )

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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I started to recount my day and just ran out of gas, so ... I got a lot of stuff done, Bible study was wonderful, I didn't feel good for most of the day, and I made some weird food choices to try to placate my unhappy stomach. But overall it was a good day and I feel better tonight.

 

More importantly, I finally have some goals for this challenge!!

 

tenor.gif

 

The first is a continuation of last month's goal to hit the gym 3x/week. This is not an established habit yet, so it still needs work. It will also be different this month because my sister and I are going to buy all-access passes to the daytime classes at the co-rec, so rather than three independent workouts, at least one visit each week will be our yoga class! I have not exercised in a group for more than a year, so it will be a very different experience and I'm excited/nervous/excited.   :)   I'm also interested in a "Body Sculpt" class that is supposed to be "high-powered weightlifting". It sounds intense in a good way. But either way, my third visit will pretty much always be an individual workout day - I still need my time to be alone with the resistance machines.   :) 

 

My second goal is to track every day in MFP. This is not for calorie counting, and this month I am not going to make any changes - I realized earlier today that I keep feeling like I need to change up my diet, but when I asked myself what I needed to change, I couldn't give myself a concrete answer. So this month is strictly data collection: I will track every day, or almost every day, so that at the end of the month, I can look and see if I need more vegetables, or fewer carbs, or more protein, or what. 

 

I'd love to add something more exciting, but I'm kind of afraid to right now - I'm still going to bed every night panicked about how big my "didn't-get-done" list is compared to my "got-done" list, and I won't want to add in even more stuff to risk not finishing and feeling guilty about.

 

am working along with the other members of my Bible study to pray for more people each day - I tend to sprinkle brief prayers for others throughout my day as I think of them, rather than taking time to really think about a person and pray for them for a few minutes, but I'm going to start spending some intentional time in prayer at some point each day. I prayed and listened to music this morning and it was very nice. I also have an actual real-life issue that I am going to search the Scriptures about; it is a sub-question to the Big Question, "How do I actually hear God's voice? What does it look or sound or feel like? How do I ask for God to speak to me and then know without doubt that He has, rather than sorting through vague impressions and advice from other Christians and pretending I know what He wants me to do?". My preliminary Internet search for theologically sound resources on that question was fruitful (this was good, and the sample pages of this were good), so I am going to search and study the Bible for both my specific decision and the larger question, how to hear God's voice. That's not really a challenge goal, but I will certainly post about what I learn.

 

L'shanah tovah / Happy New Year in the Jewish calendar and to all Jewish and Messianic Rangers!!

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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20 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

am working along with the other members of my Bible study to pray for more people each day - I tend to sprinkle brief prayers for others throughout my day as I think of them, rather than taking time to really think about a person and pray for them for a few minutes, but I'm going to start spending some intentional time in prayer at some point each day. I prayed and listened to music this morning and it was very nice. I also have an actual real-life issue that I am going to search the Scriptures about; it is a sub-question to the Big Question, "How do I actually hear God's voice? What does it look or sound or feel like? How do I ask for God to speak to me and then know without doubt that He has, rather than sorting through vague impressions and advice from other Christians and pretending I know what He wants me to do?". My preliminary Internet search for theologically sound resources on that question was fruitful (this was good, and the sample pages of this were good), so I am going to search and study the Bible for both my specific decision and the larger question, how to hear God's voice. That's not really a challenge goal, but I will certainly post about what I learn.

Everyone prays differently. There are prayer warriors who can spend hours praying heaven down. Then there's me, who basically asks God "Help person X with Situation Y" and moves on. Neither way is better, neither way is different. If sprinkling brief prayers throughout the day is what comes naturally to you, then that's what you need to do. There's nothing wrong with spending a season improving your prayer life. There is something wrong with thinking you have to pray a certain way. Pray the way God built you. It's no different from someone trying to be a runner because they think they should when what they really want to do is parkour. Doing parkour really well would be better for that person than training for a marathon. Now that I write that, a better metaphor may be that you are a sprinter when you come to prayer, and feel like you should be doing marathons. If God made you a sprinter, be the best sprinter you can be and don't worry about training for marathons.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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I sat up so fast in bed that I fell forward and grasped at the blankets, gasping for air, sucking it in in huge ragged breaths, beads of cold sweat clinging to my skin as I desperately fled the nightmare that had gripped me. It was so dark - I needed light. I had to get light. Stumbling, I fell out of bed and crawled to the window, shoving open the shutters and hanging out into the damp, stagnant air. The moon was out, and the stars. I reached up to their light as if it were liquid silver flowing across my skin.

 

All outside was quiet - a few lights burned in buildings far below the Temple hill, beautiful twinkling beacons of life and quiet hope; but the gentle hush of sleep covered the rest of the city under watch of the moon. I clung to the rough windowsill and felt its firmness underneath my trembling body, and rested my forehead on my wrist. The screams of my nightmare began to fade away and recede into the darkness behind me. As my heartbeat returned to normal, I breathed the heavy sweetness of the night air and felt the slight breeze lift the hairs stuck to my forehead. The King reigned. All would be well.

 

Raicheal stirred on the top bunk and rolled over to face me, and when she saw me on the floor through half-open eyes, she frowned and lifted her head. "Sky?" She got up on one elbow. "It's after curfew - what's wrong?"

 

I glanced away, back out down the hillside. "I had a nightmare ... about someone very important to me. I'll come back to bed in a minute."

 

Raicheal murmured sleepily and sank back into sleep. I half-wished she had asked me what my dream was, but the thought of trying to describe it was too heavy - she would say "but it was only a dream; go back to bed". But the reason I was shaking so hard was that I wasn't sure it was only a dream - I had heard it, seen it, smelled the moisture in the leaves and felt it soaking into my clothing as I fell screaming with grief onto the ground. Only the dryness of my nightgown and the stillness of the night made me doubt how real the dream had been.

 

"Sky, why are you out of bed?"

 

I jumped and sat down hard as I spun around to see Mistral passing by our slightly open door, holding a candle that illuminated the concerned wrinkles in her forehead. I gasped and pressed my hand over my chest. "I had a nightmare," I choked, and tried to scramble to my feet.

 

"No no, it's all right. Sit down." Mistral looked very different in her open vest and simple white nightgown, with her short hair disheveled and her eyes heavy with sleep - she looked younger, a little more like my mother. She sat down next to me and looked out the open window, down into the city, and something a little like a smile crossed her face. "I can feel them," she said softly, her voice lyrical. "I'm like Raicheal - I'm intuitive. I can feel the people down there, resting, calm, at peace. It helps me feel safe when I look out over the city at night." Then she turned and looked back at me. "And I don't need intuition to see that you're distressed. What did you dream?"

 

I swallowed hard to try to keep my voice from choking up, and I looked out, past the town and out to the sea, shimmering under the moon. "I was back in Middle Earth," I whispered. "I was walking through the woods near my home. Ayre and Aki were with me, and it was evening - almost night. It was so good to see them - we walked together, arm in arm, talking about happy things, and it was such a beautiful evening. But then -"  Unexpectedly a little sob caught in my throat, and I coughed and tried to swallow it down. "But then the black elves came out of the woods and started to chase us ... we ran as fast as we could, but it was like we weren't even moving. I got hit in the arm but I kept running. Aki and I got away; but Ayre ..." I closed my eyes and saw him fall, heard my scream shatter the night as Aki and I ran back and threw ourselves to the ground beside him, lifting him up in our arms, supporting his head as he gasped and coughed and reached up into the air to hold onto life, to cling to it. I had been looking into his gray face and screaming for him to hold on, hold on when I bolted awake and tumbled out of bed.

 

Mistral reached out and gently patted my shoulder. "It was very real, wasn't it?" She watched my face carefully as I nodded with tears in my eyes.

 

"Do you - you don't think it was real, was it?" I whispered. "I mean - I don't know if I'm intuitive like you, but - do you think Ayre and Aki are in danger?"

 

Mistral pursed her lips and looked at the floor. Her silence made my heart beat faster. You need to say no. You need to say "of course not". Please. Please say that. "I don't know," she finally admitted, looking up. "I don't know as much about your abilities as I wish I did - I keep meaning to spend more time with you, but with all my other obligations it seems to fall by the wayside. What I do know is that you have a special bond with the Kallanas that many students don't have with their teachers. We don't know what's going on back in Middle Earth or what the Dark Elf is doing right now. The Kallanas could be in danger."

 

I closed my eyes as fear began to rise in my stomach again. "What do I do?" I choked. "Can we go back and check on them? Can we send a message through the portal?"

 

Mistral took a deep breath. "There is one way we could send a message," she said slowly, "but I haven't tried it in a long time. And it's dangerous to you."

 

I seized Mistral's hand. "I will do anything for them, no matter how dangerous," I said urgently. "If they're in trouble I need to know about it. I'll go back and help them if they need me."

 

"You need to focus on your training," Mistral replied, pressing her other hand against the side of my face with a deep frown. "You have a purpose you must chase and fulfill."

 

"I am a healer - that is my purpose," I said, and felt strength rising in my heart. "I wasn't born to be the best-trained or the strongest archer. I was born to help who I can, when I can. I train so I can help more people tomorrow than I did today, and many people next year instead of just a few this year. That's why I train. But being in training doesn't absolve me from my responsibility to use what I do know to help friends and strangers alike when I see them in trouble. I won't abandon my training, Mistral - it's very important to me. But if there's even a chance that I can do something to help my friends, then that is my purpose in this moment and I will fulfill it, no matter the cost."

 

Mistral sat quietly for a moment, then she lowered her eyes. "Very well, Silver Archer," she said softly. "Meet me before dawn with your vest and your bracers. We're going to do something I haven't done since before your parents were born."

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SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Sounds like Luke is about to go to Cloud City ;) 

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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7 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Sounds like Luke is about to go to Cloud City ;) 

 

*peers suspiciously at narrative*

 

*peers suspiciously at The Empire Strikes Back*

 

Well, I'll be darned ... I didn't even do that on purpose ...

 

gc.gif

  • Like 1

SKY ELVENWORD

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 45

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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