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The Silver Archer: Boundary Defense


SkyGirl

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THE SILVER ARCHER: BOOK II

Chapter 3: Boundary Defense

 

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Mistral was standing by the window, absorbed in reading a thick stack of documents, when I walked into her office and softly closed the door behind me. "I'm sorry to be a bit late, Mistral. I left my training as soon as I received your message."

 

She glanced up and waved a hand at her desk. "It's all right. Sit down." As I sat down in the chair, she tossed the papers onto the desk in front of me. "Titus has let me know that there is some kind of infiltration campaign going on here in the Temple. It seems the Dark Elf is trying to recruit some of our archers and warriors into his forces, using a variety of seduction and coercion techniques. He is still incorporeal, as far as we know, so we don't know yet whether he is visiting them himself or sending agents, and we don't know whether he has infiltrated Temple Island or is contacting people out in the town. What we do know is that a small number of students and even teachers have already left, and others have reported considering leaving as well. None of them will say how they were contacted. We suspect they have been threatened."

 

I frowned at the stack of papers, which were personnel files. "Are these the students who have left?"

 

"Yes."

 

Some of them were names I recognized, and my stomach sank. Why was the Dark Elf trying to build his army? What was he planning?

 

A moment later, I realized why Mistral had summoned me, and I closed my eyes in a grimace just before she said, "I need your help to track him down and drive him away from the Island."

 

I had not told Mistral or anyone else that the Dark Elf's presence had been very close with me for many weeks hence - usually he hovered just outside my consciousness, a chilly detachment from my tasks and a quiet apathy. But the week that Mistral had left to visit another training temple on the mainland, he had appeared in my room one night as I was sitting at my desk, catching up on some reading - I spun around with a gasp when I felt his icy fingers trail down my cheek, and he was standing behind me, gazing down at me with a face that filled me with revulsion at its mixture of hatred and desire. 

 

"Get away from me," I cried without thinking, bolting up so fast the chair hit the ground, hands raised to block my face. "Get out of my room!"

 

He raised his eyebrows gracefully and took a step backward, the sweep of his frozen garments swishing like softly falling snow across the floor as he unfolded to his long, slender height. He wore a long sky-blue robe and white jewel-studded cape that swirled lightly across his thin shoulders and arms, and a simple, frosty circlet rested on his snowy white brow. He spread his palms in a defenseless gesture. "Now, Sky. Haven't you killed me enough times already? Won't you consent to talk for a change?"

 

I reached behind me for the sword propped in the corner, but when my hand connected with the handle, a shock like ice water shot up my arm and I had to drop it. "Silly girl," he murmured, beginning to move across the floor. True panic burst in my stomach and I leaped onto my pallet, pressing my palms against the wall to be ready to leap off in any direction; but I could barely breathe as he paused on the other side of the room and looked steadily at me with a slightly injured air.

 

"I'm here to protect you, Sky. You're in great danger and I'm here to help you escape."

 

I stared at him as those foreign words jangled like alarms in my head. "You're what?"

 

"I know things you don't, and I can see things that you can't. You are in terrible danger that I alone can see. You must come with me now. Your life is at stake."

 

Why was I even listening to him? Why was I beginning to hesitate under the strangely earnest gaze of his blue eyes? "I - don't believe you," I spat, spinning to one side to snatch up my bow and quiver and fit an arrow to the bowstring in one swift movement. I aimed directly at his forehead and fired - but to my horror, the arrow passed right through his incorporeal frame and ricocheted off the wall behind him, narrowly missing my own head in its return flight. His face split in a wide, beautiful smile that stunned me so my hands went slack. His face almost shone, like the moon just rising on a wintry night. His eyes sparkled like starlight on a snowy path.

 

"Ah, Eldarwen," he sighed, shaking his head, "how little you still know me. What could we be if you would only learn to trust me?" But with only one swift step, he had lunged across the room and his hand closed cruelly around my throat, slamming me so hard against the wall that I saw stars. Ice shot through my veins and he leaned close to my face, all the merriment replaced by deep, total hatred. I could feel his cool breath against my cheek as he leaned close and pressed his glassy forehead against mine - and a terror unlike any I had ever known spread from that contact point throughout my body, paralyzing me, convulsing me into a blind panic that screamed for escape and safety.

 

"You will come with me," he breathed against my face. I gagged and clawed at his merciless iron hand on my throat. "You are mine, Eldarwen. The time is here at last. Together we will rise."

 

Darkness was closing around the edges of my vision and I could see nothing but his blue eyes piercing mine, controlling me, forcing my consciousness of the room and any other thought out of my mind. He was here for me. He would carry me away where he would - away from whatever danger he saw. If I did what he said, he would release me from the terror exploding down my spine with every half-choked breath.

 

I never heard the sound that made him spin to look over his shoulder and release his hold on my throat, but he heard something in the hall and turned quickly to look, letting me go. I collapsed onto the pallet bed, violently sucking in air and scrabbling off the other side to crash onto the floor. "Get out," I gagged, for the first time remembering that the injuries on my hands were probably healed enough that I could throw my powers again. Still gasping and retching, I got up on one knee and crossed my wrists in front of me, opening my scarred palms toward him and praying to summon up the white-hot light from deep within. I felt it begin to glow deep in my belly and I lifted my gaze to his, all his hatred replaced with dread - but when I tried to throw the heat across at him, it only exploded from one hand; and the blow glanced off his shoulder.

 

He grabbed his wound with a cry and ran toward the window, where he threw one baleful, curled-lip gaze at me before melting away into the night, leaving a trail of silvery blood-drops behind. He was gone. But as I sagged against the bed, all the ice and panic still coursed through my veins, leaving me shivering and sobbing in pain on the floor. Yes, he was gone, but I did not feel victorious. I looked down at my palms - the left one still glowed with the residual heat of my healing powers; the right one, the more severely injured one, was cold, and blue frost filled the white scar across it. 

 

For a long moment, abject despair and helplessness swirled up in me. How could I ever become a Protector if I still couldn't defend myself against the Dark Elf's attacks? How could I be trusted to lead others and heal them when my own injuries still left me vulnerable? Was he right after all - was I doomed to be chained to him for the rest of my life, unable to predict when he would appear, unable to do anything but impotently try to ward off his increasingly aggressive attacks?

 

But as I looked down at my two hands - the one glowing and warm, the other still bearing fresh scars, and now marred even more by the frost filling its lines - a vague inspiration struck me. Taking a deep breath, I pressed my two palms together. And sure enough, the healing warmth from my left hand flowed across into my right, and the frost began to melt.

 

The Dark Elf is not part of me and he does not define me, I whispered to myself, breathing deeply as the power of the King circled slowly through my shivering body, relaxing my clenched muscles and slowly warming me to life again. I do not belong to him, and I did not give in to him. I am the Silver Archer, the Arrow-Healer. Those titles were given to me and I have claimed them. I was chosen to be a Protector, and I know that my King and my teachers will teach me how to be ready for that day when it comes. The Dark Elf cannot stop me from achieving my destiny, and I will not live in fear of him, because I learn each time he attacks how better to stop him. My scars make me stronger - someday when I am a leader, I will be ready to defend my followers from his attacks because I've seen them all. And I refuse to believe his lies that I am less worthy because I am doomed to fight him. Worthiness is irrelevant - excellence, faith, determination, hope, and love are essential. I will fight his lies with truth, I will defend myself from his anger and hatred with love and light, and I will protect others from his pride and greed with humility and hope. 

 

In Mistral's office, I slowly opened my eyes and looked up into her face, quietly nodding and taking up the task I knew was mine to complete.

 

"I will do whatever it takes to defend this place and these walls. This is our home. He has no place here."

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Following, of course! 

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strava - myfitnesspal - Instagram

2019 Roadmap

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" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

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I desperately wanted to continue with the Star Trek theme for this challenge, and I tried for days and days to come up with a storyline, but I just couldn't bring anything to mind ... while Sky the archer, on the other hand, has been begging me to come back for weeks and has lots of stories to tell and battles to win. So I finally gave up and let her take over, and I will continue with my quest to impress Captain Janeway another month.

 

I called this month's challenge "Boundary Defense" because it's going to be another one devoted to a combination of internal and external goals. My heart and mind are still in a state of "spring cleaning," with boxes of stuff stacked in places they don't belong, a big pile of things to take out to the trash and the thrift shop, and the stuff I'm going to keep strewn around on the floor with dust flying everywhere and making me sneeze. I want to get rid of some of the old junk I've hung onto for too long, like believing I'm not worth caring for or about, ditching my important work to help other people with theirs, bottling up and swatting down my emotions, and listening to everyone else's convictions but my own on how I should be serving God and living my life.

 

At the same time, spending too much time in this mess without going out for air leaves me feeling stuffed-up and confused; so I also want to get to the gym and get outside, and start working off some of the winter fluff I've accumulated around my middle. I am not about to go up a jeans size after I worked so hard to get down to this one. And I also want to continue working on upper body strength - it was exciting last month to see pushpus getting easier.

 

So without further ado, here are my challenge goals for this month:

 

Physical:
+1 for 15 pushups
+1 for 5 weighted pushups

+1 for 40 front or side lunges
+1 for 10 squats

+1 for 2 miles walked

+2 for 3 miles walked
+2 for each fitness class attended
+2 for each yoga video completed (30+ minutes)

+3 for 5 miles walked

 

Emotional:
+2 for each counseling appointment completed
+2 for each time I feel an emotion and don't put the "extra layer" over the top

 

Spiritual:
+3 for each faith conversation held in person rather than by text
+3 for each brand-new truth uncovered and posted
+1 for each day I complete my entire prayer list

 

Mental:
[placeholder - something about boundaries, healthy thinking, or managing anxiety and stress]

 

Personal:

+1 for every 40 XP in Duolingo

+10 for getting my passport
+50 for getting my learner's permit

 

I also need to figure out what my rewards are going to be for this month, because that was actually quite motivating last time.  :) 

 

I'm giving myself lots of different ways to earn points this time, because I want to have options and things to work on if I don't always have the energy for one thing or another. Like, if I can't muster the energy to do pushups, I can do lunges, but since those are easier, I have to do more of them in order to get a point. Pushups and squats are much harder, so fewer of them add up to one point. That principle kind of carries over into the other categories too.

 

** I will come back and add to this post after my counseling appointment and STATS EXAM tomorrow.

 

-------

 

Also, there are going to be two large disruptions in this challenge: In 2 weeks, I will be traveling to Denver, Colorado for the first time, doing lots of walking and sightseeing and probably eating strange food.  :)  I'll post lots of pics to Instagram.

 

Secondly, in just less than 2 weeks, I will hear back from NASA on whether they think I am likely to be selected for their summer science journalism internship.  *CUE NERVOUS NAIL-BITING*  I will most likely have some kind of a splurgy ice cream party if I am accepted, because that would be FREAKING AMAZING.

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Love the narrative segment, Sky! Good luck with your Stats exam and counselling.

 

2 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

Secondly, in just less than 2 weeks, I will hear back from NASA on whether they think I am likely to be selected for their summer science journalism internship.  *CUE NERVOUS NAIL-BITING*  I will most likely have some kind of a splurgy ice cream party if I am accepted, because that would be FREAKING AMAZING.

I think, in the event of such awesomeness taking place, a splurgy ice cream party would be pretty much mandatory :D 

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"What does your heart tell you?" - Aragorn

 

Epic Quest: In the Footsteps of the Dúnedain: Aragorn's Journey

Current Challenge: The Chronicles of Rhovaniel, Volume I: Courage

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7 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

 

Secondly, in just less than 2 weeks, I will hear back from NASA on whether they think I am likely to be selected for their summer science journalism internship.  *CUE NERVOUS NAIL-BITING*  I will most likely have some kind of a splurgy ice cream party if I am accepted, because that would be FREAKING AMAZING.

That is so FREAKING AMAZING! I really hope you get it! 

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strava - myfitnesspal - Instagram

2019 Roadmap

Spoiler

 

" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

Previous Challenges: 12 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24

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8 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Love the narrative segment, Sky! Good luck with your Stats exam and counselling.

 

I think, in the event of such awesomeness taking place, a splurgy ice cream party would be pretty much mandatory :D 

 

3 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

That is so FREAKING AMAZING! I really hope you get it! 

 

Thank you!! I had my interview last Friday and it went amazingly despite my being so nervous that my mouth and throat went completely dry and I could barely swallow for a whole hour ... the guy said that as of Friday, I was on the short list of people he wanted to choose; but it would depend on what funding he was given and what other candidates interviewed. He will let me know sometime next week or the week after.  :o 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Counseling was interesting this morning ... I went in thinking I didn't have much to talk about, and ended up running out of time in the middle of a thought.  :)  Random Counseling Thoughts:
 

Spoiler

 

So much about these appointments still feels like I'm going too far "out there," saying stuff I shouldn't be saying and stuff that isn't even relevant, and it leaves me feeling a little unsettled ... I keep coming back to that church I spent so much time in, and I'm not really sure why. I seem to still have some anger or bitterness or something for reasons I can't quite focus on - like I'm blaming them for something, but I'm not sure what.

 

For a few years, I had a recurring dream where my old pastor would see me somewhere in town or on campus, and I would look down and realize I was wearing skinny jeans when we were only supposed to wear dresses in that church; and while sometimes he berated me or shunned me and sometimes he didn't, I was always flooded with guilt and shame and terror whenever that happened. I'm guessing that those dreams and the reason I keep coming back and harping on that culture are related. For some reason, I'm still trying to prove myself to them - I still measure my current self against who I was 10 years ago when I was there. I just don't know why. I'm not really in contact with anyone from there anymore; I finally threw out all my long denim skirts; I understand the Bible and my relationship with God so much more deeply and lovingly than I did then, and I've traveled so far ... but something is still not resolved in my mind. I'm hopeful that talking through it, both in the sessions and then in my own mind afterward, will help me figure out what I'm still angry about and get it resolved or forgiven or whatever I need to do.

 

In an unrelated vein, I was telling my therapist how I want to switch to a non-thesis degree and not do a thesis project because it feels too overwhelming and not worthwhile, and I surprised myself with a conclusion I came to as I was talking. I was listing the reasons why I could quit the thesis if I wanted to, and one of them was that my parents are no longer pressuring me academically, so I don't have to worry about disappointing them. But as I said that, I suddenly realized, very clearly, that I will be disappointed in myself if I don't complete my thesis. I will feel like a lazy quitter and think poorly of myself if I don't do this project. "Because you're capable," my therapist said. "It's daunting, but you can do it." And that's right. I can do it. I have the resources, I have the knowledge, and somehow I can find the time, if I don't go work for NASA. I just don't want to. But maybe not disappointing myself is a worthwhile reason to do this. Maybe that's the kick in the pants I've been needing - maybe this is something I want to do for me. I'm going to think about that very hard.

 

 

In other news, I have a stats exam tonight and I'm nervous and exhausted; but after that is done, I will polish up my challenge goals and get going on my ambassadoring duties. Lots of exciting things going on in our guild this month.  :) 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Spoiler

 

I suspect you're still healing from all the abusive legalism you endured in that church. In so many ways you're still trying to be good enough. At least part of your healing is going to come from integrating the realization that you will never be good enough, and more importantly you don't have to. That was programmed into you for so long it's no surprise it's taking work to get it out. 

 

Just know that Christ was enough for you long before you were ever born. When ever you feel not good enough, Thank Christ for being good enough on your behalf and ask for help dealing with the feelings of inadequacy. 

 

You may not be good enough, but I know very well you are GOOD. You are created in God's image, and that image is a good one. You were created for good works, from the good God, and that goodness flows in your veins and in your very soul. 

 

 

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Current Challenge

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

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Spoiler

It can take a long time to let go of your upbringing. I grew up in a Catholic community that took pride in having a service with Gregorian chant and most dialogue in Latin. While this is a lovely service to attend, there is a lot wrong with looking down on anyone who goes to a contemporary mass--but that's what happened anyway. It's been a decade since I left that church but a lot of that toxicity still lingers. Keep fighting through it! 

 

Doing the thesis (for yourself) is going to be an amazing achievement! I send all the luck to you while you unpack your true motivation. 

23 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

my quest to impress Captain Janeway

RELATABLE.  :D

 

 

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14 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

I suspect you're still healing from all the abusive legalism you endured in that church. In so many ways you're still trying to be good enough. At least part of your healing is going to come from integrating the realization that you will never be good enough, and more importantly you don't have to. That was programmed into you for so long it's no surprise it's taking work to get it out. 

 

Just know that Christ was enough for you long before you were ever born. When ever you feel not good enough, Thank Christ for being good enough on your behalf and ask for help dealing with the feelings of inadequacy. 

 

You may not be good enough, but I know very well you are GOOD. You are created in God's image, and that image is a good one. You were created for good works, from the good God, and that goodness flows in your veins and in your very soul. 

 

 

 

The fact that this brought me to instant, slightly painful tears indicates you are probably right.  :P  I can count on one hand the times that I really and truly felt that God was pleased with me ... and they never lasted more than a few minutes. I hope and pray that that will change someday.

 

13 hours ago, Koaladle said:
  Reveal hidden contents

It can take a long time to let go of your upbringing. I grew up in a Catholic community that took pride in having a service with Gregorian chant and most dialogue in Latin. While this is a lovely service to attend, there is a lot wrong with looking down on anyone who goes to a contemporary mass--but that's what happened anyway. It's been a decade since I left that church but a lot of that toxicity still lingers. Keep fighting through it! 

 

Doing the thesis (for yourself) is going to be an amazing achievement! I send all the luck to you while you unpack your true motivation. 

 

 

Thanks Koala!  <3  That situation actually sounds like it bears a lot of similarity to the culture I grew up in (which, ironically, was led by several former Catholics) ... it's interesting and awful that those thoughts and feelings can linger so long. I hope that letting-go comes for you, too.  :) 

 

13 hours ago, Koaladle said:

RELATABLE.  :D

 

Right??? As I was playing with some ST:VOY ideas for this challenge and observing Captain Janeway's behavior in episodes so I could write her correctly, I noticed that she touches people on the shoulder when she's pleased with them, likes their idea, or feels proud of them - and I (through my character) resolved to Do Something that would earn me one of those coveted shoulder touches. I'm guessing that probably involves some sort of exobiology or astrophysics, but darned if I won't find something.

 

Also, it appears that Kate Mulgrew does go to comic cons occasionally; and if I ever meet her at one, I'm going to be One Of Those Fans who waits in line for 4 hours just to tell her that she has changed my life even though she has no idea who I am ... I hope she doesn't mind.  ;) 

 

anigif_enhanced-10462-1403271877-4.gif 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Kinda going through this week so far like:

 

r6Dk8.gif

 

I wrote a letter to my grandma last night for her birthday, and I surprised even myself with the number of things I have to work on: Prepping to travel to Romania, prepping to travel to Colorado, reading for my prof, writing for my prof, reading for my thesis, writing for my thesis, getting a booklet to the printer to print 500 copies, finding a third committee member, filing travel reports with the business office, donating to buy flowers for someone's funeral, getting my passport, getting my learner's permit, helping a friend call the Peruvian embassy in Spanish, getting my hair done, going to yoga class, going to Ash Wednesday services ...............

 

giphy.gif 

 

Of course not all of that has to be done today. But if I could somehow wave a magic wand and it all were to get done today, a lot of people would be very happy with me. I would be very happy with me too.

 

Anywho. Yesterday's score:

 

15 pushups = +1

5.1 miles walked = +3

Counseling completed: +2

TOTAL: +6

 

One side benefit of my new phone is that it syncs much more reliably with my Fitbit and incorporates my Fitbit information into MFP much more quickly, so getting that system back in place will be helpful for monitoring my eating. Not setting any goals or expectations for that, but I did it yesterday and was pleased.

 

Oh, and one other pertinent topic to address:

 

giphy.gif 

 

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!  :D  :D  :D 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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4 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

The fact that this brought me to instant, slightly painful tears indicates you are probably right.  :P  I can count on one hand the times that I really and truly felt that God was pleased with me ... and they never lasted more than a few minutes. I hope and pray that that will change someday.

Our own emotions are poor barometers of God's approval. God loves you no matter what, because that Love is based on who God is, rather than who you are. In the same way, God's approval of you is based on what Christ has done, rather than what you have done. On the Cross Christ was in the center of God's will and in that one moment even he felt abandoned. So remember, when you feel God is far away, you're in good company.

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Current Challenge

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

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Tank, as usual  has said many wise things. Thankfully, God's love for us isn't based on our performance. When my son was born, he was just a helpless, nosy, bright pink, infant. But, the moment I held him, I loved him. God says he is our father, and how much more is His love for us.

b83905c9712ef957e6df71ca57772015.jpg

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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21 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Our own emotions are poor barometers of God's approval. God loves you no matter what, because that Love is based on who God is, rather than who you are. In the same way, God's approval of you is based on what Christ has done, rather than what you have done. On the Cross Christ was in the center of God's will and in that one moment even he felt abandoned. So remember, when you feel God is far away, you're in good company.

 

“The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?"  Jer 17:9

 

I'm going to spend more time with this thread than I thought. :)  I relate to a lot of what you're saying, Sky.

 

Especially the denim skirts. ;)

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He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of

you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

 

Spreadsheets

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19 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Our own emotions are poor barometers of God's approval. God loves you no matter what, because that Love is based on who God is, rather than who you are. In the same way, God's approval of you is based on what Christ has done, rather than what you have done. On the Cross Christ was in the center of God's will and in that one moment even he felt abandoned. So remember, when you feel God is far away, you're in good company.

 

This does help a bit ... interestingly (not coincidentally, of course), the Ash Wednesday sermon last night was about how we could never possibly be good or righteous enough to earn our salvation, but how deeply God loves us and delights in us anyway.  :)  I know it and I believe it and I'm so thankful for it - I just wish my feelings would back me up on it once in a while.

 

19 hours ago, MiaulinTheCat said:

*sneaks in and hugs you like whoa*

 

Best wishes for that ice cream party, Sky!

 

attack-hug-gif-3.gif

 

19 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Tank, as usual  has said many wise things. Thankfully, God's love for us isn't based on our performance. When my son was born, he was just a helpless, noisy, bright pink, infant. But, the moment I held him, I loved him. God says he is our father, and how much more is His love for us.

 

Tank is a wise healer.  :)  I know that these things are true and I know that God loves me lavishly, deeply, massively, sacrificially ... in some ways, that's why it makes me so sad to see how often I make mistakes and sin and do disappointing things. It's like - I know He deserves so much better from me, and I have no excuse to be so [insert bad character quality here] or do such stupid things because I have the Holy Spirit with me. Even though I understand that I am complete in Him, and that His perfect life satisfied all the standards of perfection I could never attain ... I guess I still struggle to accept that part. To embrace it and live it.

 

As Tank said, I know I'm in good company.  :) 

 

2 hours ago, DrFeelgood said:

 

“The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?"  Jer 17:9

 

I'm going to spend more time with this thread than I thought. :)  I relate to a lot of what you're saying, Sky.

 

It is indeed ... and I look forward to having you.  :) 

 

2 hours ago, DrFeelgood said:

Especially the denim skirts. ;)

 

I also would like to hear more about this ...  :P  

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Today has been a good day so far - I'm tired, but not as tired as yesterday; and overall it's been a very productive week on the work front. Pretty much the only fitness activity I've been doing is lots and lots of walking, but I'm trying not to sweat it too much. It is what it is. I might go to Zumba with a friend tomorrow night, and I'd like to do a yoga video at home tonight.

 

Ignore how tired I look, but I also got my hair colored dark brown yesterday:

 

 

So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive from everyone except my family ... I guess they're used to me blonde.  :)  I like it, though. It's something different. And *coughnoIwasnotintentionallytryingtolooklikeJanewaywhywouldyouthinkthatcough*

 

Today will be the third day that I have consistently tracked my food and steps, which is good. If I can get back into tracking regularly, it will be easier to lose the Christmas fluff. Now if only I could get back on track with my physical activity ...  :P

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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I think it's time to give you my spiel about perfection. In the New Testament, the greek word Paul used for perfection did not mean flawless, it meant mature, or complete. So when we are told to "Perfect our Faith" we are NOT being told to become flawless (Why do I still do [insert bad character trait here] but rather to become more mature in our faith. We are expected to grow and learn, not mess up less. Forgiving ourselves is often far harder than forgiving others. You are still being legalistic with yourself, something you learned in childhood. In the same way you got rid of the ankle length denim skirts, you will get red of your tendencies to be judgemental of yourself. Biblical commands not to be judgemental mean we are not to judge ourselves any more than we are to judge our neighbors.

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

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Today ended up being a good day - I did a 25-minute yoga video (+1 point), walked 3.5 miles (+2 points), and had a really good conversation with my editor about the true nature of Christianity and how the prosperity-gospel teachers are totally wrong about the nature of the true faith, but I'm not giving myself any points for that because he's a friendly audience and he already agrees with me.  :)  I did not do woodchoppers because I forgot until almost midnight, and I'm so sleepy now that I think I'd be better off to get to bed and crank out a bunch during the weekend.

 

I also want to get to the gym or take a walk or do something interesting to write about tomorrow ... this week has been so dreary and full of heavy self-reflection; I need to get out of my own head and move for a while!

 

ronburgundy_emotion.gif  

 

7 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I think it's time to give you my spiel about perfection. In the New Testament, the greek word Paul used for perfection did not mean flawless, it meant mature, or complete. So when we are told to "Perfect our Faith" we are NOT being told to become flawless (Why do I still do [insert bad character trait here] but rather to become more mature in our faith. We are expected to grow and learn, not mess up less. Forgiving ourselves is often far harder than forgiving others. You are still being legalistic with yourself, something you learned in childhood. In the same way you got rid of the ankle length denim skirts, you will get red of your tendencies to be judgemental of yourself. Biblical commands not to be judgemental mean we are not to judge ourselves any more than we are to judge our neighbors.

 

Thank you, Tank, this is helpful to ponder ... there's that super helpful passage in 1 John 3 that talks about how we know that we belong to Christ if we love others, and this is our proof of belonging to Him even if our heart condemns us. And even though I've still got a long way to go in that area, I do genuinely love others; and as the pastor said at the Ash Wednesday service last night, the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And of course, one of my favorite passages, Romans 8:1-2, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk after the Spirit and not the flesh. 

 

My head gets it, and thinking on verses like these does relieve some of the worry and frustration. Maybe spending more time in those passages would help my heart to get it as well as my mind does.

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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12 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

And *coughnoIwasnotintentionallytryingtolooklikeJanewaywhywouldyouthinkthatcough*

Annnd now I cannot unsee the resemblance! 

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10 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Annnd now I cannot unsee the resemblance! 

 

4 hours ago, Koaladle said:

 

That hair color absolutely suits you! Definitely getting Janeway, especially with the red blouse. 

 

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to go brunette this time, but then the day before my appointment it hit me that my hair was going to be short and dark like Janeway's, and I was so pleased.  :)  

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

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

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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