Category Archives: Friendship

Storm-9

What Do Your Feet Tell You?

Happy June! Hope you are finding time to curl up with a book and relax. (Check out a suggestion and book giveaway at the end of this newsletter.) We continue to have more rain than normal here, which does always make me think about reading.

I discovered a book recently: Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People  by Joe Navarro with Marvin Karlins, Ph.D. https://www.amazon.com/What-Every-Body-Saying-Speed-Reading/dp/0061438294 Mr. Navarro worked as a special agent for the counterintelligence division of the FBI and much of what he writes about involves investigating suspects and trying to determine if they are telling the truth.

He seems to pay particular attention to feet: “If you want to decode the world around you and interpret behavior accurately, watch the feet and the legs; they are truly remarkable and honest in the information they convey.”

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He explains that a person who stands in an L-position, with one foot pointed toward you and one pointed away from you might stay and chat for a few minutes but clearly also wants to move on.IMG_1588

A person who spreads her feet, planting them firmly, likely wants to establish authority, claim territory. (And, yes, this was a posed picture, with thanks to my husband and one of my nieces.)

I’m guessing you need no explanation of feet pointed directly at you. (And yes, Ringo’s turned head indicates he was not giving his full attention to my niece!)

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Interesting, right? And useful as we relate to people.

The other day at work I went out to the lobby to talk with a patient and happened to take notice of my feet. One pointed directly at the patient; the other pointed back at my desk. My feet revealed what I felt. I wanted to chat with this patient, and yet I also knew that I had to get back to my desk and the work there.

I want to continue to watch my feet this summer. What do they tell me about how I connect with people? Am I taking the time to truly see and hear the people around me? I want this to be a summer of pointing both my feet toward people—a summer of saying, “I see you. I want to learn more about you.”

Building relationships takes much effort and thought, doesn’t it? And, of course, it doesn’t all come down to feet.

Lately I’ve noticed how prayer helps me connect with people. As I slow down to pray for other people, I think more about them. What struggles do they face? What joys have they recently experienced? How can I act as Jesus’ hands and feet to encourage them? So often my prayers for others lead to a quick text. Or an email. Or a phone call. Or a date for a cup of tea.

How like our wise God to call us to something–prayer–that gives us courage and comfort but also pulls us to connect with others.

Feet and prayer–two remarkable friendship-building tools.

I would count it a privilege to pray for you this summer. You can leave me a comment here on the blog and then we can chat more via email. And I would be grateful if you would pray with me about a second book (on building friendships). I have a finished proposal and three sample chapters and need wisdom to sort out next steps.

Cheering you on this summer as you seek to connect with others. May God give us strength and courage to keep our feet and our prayers pointed toward others even when that connection poses challenges. :)

A Giveaway and a Request

Looking for a summer read? I have a copy of a book I’d love to pass on to one of you: The Wonder Years:51U6rcmcTYL (1) 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength.http://ow.ly/bIOt30kFSLT Leslie Leyland Fields edited this essay collection by women, including Kay Warren, Elisa Morgan, Shannon Etheridge, Madeleine L’Engle, and Luci Shaw.

In exchange for a freebie book, I’d love to get one of your favorite recipes and permission to feature it on this blog and on my Pinterest account next month. https://www.pinterest.com/aftonrorvik/

If I hear from more than one of you, I will find another book to send you. My office shelves overflow!

May 2018

Navigating the Storms

We have had stormy days and nights here in the month of May. Maybe you have too.

We always know when a storm is coming. The Chief Furry Officer (Ringo) grabs his stuffed duck and paces around the house with it in his mouth. And then about 45 minutes later, the rain, thunder, or hail begins. We have thought maybe we should set up a Ringo-cam and share his IMG_1266 (1)insights on Facebook.

He must feel the storm deep in his little body somehow, even before we can see or hear it. He feels it so deeply that he shakes all over.

I don’t share Ringo’s fear of storms, at least when I’m inside my comfy house. I don’t so much love them when I’m driving on I-80 with semi-trucks passing and splashing.

At one point on a recent trip home from Ohio, the rain got really intense and I muttered to John, “Maybe we should pull off.” My level-headed husband said, “Check the radar.” I did and realized that in ten minutes, we would be out of the path of the storm. We decided to keep driving.

Hard to know how to react in a storm, right? Especially when the storm has to do with your heart. Maybe illness or doubt or frustration or uncertainty or other people’s choices have created a hail storm of sorts within your heart lately.

Maybe you feel like saying (as I did on I-80), “Let’s stop. I just can’t do this anymore. I just want to curl up and sleep and sleep and sleep.”

Maybe you feel like just blasting your way through this storm, foot to the gas, hands gripping the steering wheel, jaw tight.

Maybe you have discovered the joy of the buddy system in the storm: “I’m nervous about this storm. Can you help me navigate it? Can you stay with me and talk to me?”

Later on that same drive back from Ohio, we hit another patch of rain. I was at the wheel while John snoozed. But this time I didn’t feel that instant urge to get off the road. Hmm . . . .

What happened? Was the storm less severe? Maybe.

But I had also spent the previous ten minutes listening to worship music and turning those words into prayers of gratitude to God. So when I hit this current rainstorm, I entered it with a heart full of gratitude and a heart fully aware of God’s presence.  What a relief! It didn’t make the rain stop, but it did give me perspective by reminding that God sees and knows all and can do far more than I can ever ask or imagine in any storm.

 

Life this side of heaven will have storms, even if we all move to sunny southern California. Let’s use the buddy system and help each other through them.

Cheering you on as you navigate the inevitable storms of life.

P.S. I discovered a new recipe for potato salad with crab and olives. Delicious! Check it out here: https://pin.it/kqu4x3u6n4kfbb

Thank you, Falecia Sanchez, who recently made this for us one stormy night in May.  :)