Posted by: abbiewatters | January 1, 2019

Intentions for 2019

My Star Word for this year is “Empathy”. The internet defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster says, “Empathy is similar to sympathy, but empathy usually suggests stronger, more instinctive feeling.”

When Facebook sent me my “Year in Review,” the thing that stood out for me was that 90% of the pictures I posted through the year were of landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes. There were VERY few pictures of people, and very few posts about people. I suppose that’s not unusual for an introvert like I am, but I also realized that I tend to flit through life without getting really close to other folks. It’s part of the shell that I’ve built up to keep from suffering the grief that comes from separation. After the nomadic life that I’ve lived (27 houses in eight states and three countries), I realize that I’ve always just found new friends, and forgotten to tend the old ones. But I’ve never had a BFF. The closest thing I’ve had is my family – siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, parents and children. I try to keep up with them, but I do a poor job of it. The ones I’m reasonably close to are now living in Washington, California, Texas, Arkansas, New York, Illinois, and Alabama. We gather for weddings and funerals and are able to take up where we left off. Anyway, I’d like to change a little of that this year, and, with my Star Word, try to become closer to the people who matter to me, and closer to the ones near to me.

Here are my intentions for 2019.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year.
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit.
  • Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
  • Return to weekly Tai Chi classes
  • You can follow my success (or not) on my blog “Nevertheless I Persisted.”

Emotional Health

  • Practice empathy by taking a picture a day of someone who crosses my path.
  • Try to learn the story of each person I take a picture of.
  • Post those on a new blog “Tribes“.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels.
  • Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve.
  • Return to writing. Try writing a story about each person I take a picture of.
  • Keep writing midrash poetry, as I’m inspired by the Sunday sermon or weekly Bible study.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship.
  • Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation.

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
  • Tend the relationships I have on Social Media.


  • Keep up with People Power as an Admin.
  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
  • Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually.
  • Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements.


Posted by: abbiewatters | December 25, 2018


The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 24, 2018


Let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 23, 2018


For this reason I will praise you while I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 22, 2018


Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 21, 2018


For nothing will be impossible with God.
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 20, 2018

2018 in Review

Persevere was my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really didn’t want to take on anything new, but I did need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I persisted in the resistance.
    • People Power – I worked hard (10-30 hours a week all year-long) as one of the leads for People Power. We sent texts to ACLU Members all over the country, and folks on voting rolls in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We texted about threats to freedom and civil liberties. (Remember, the ACLU is non-partisan. When we sent score-cards for Attorneys General and Governors, we were often accused of being pro-Democrat, but the scorecards were based on public statements from the various campaigns.) The volunteers for PeoplePower sent 5,781,175 individual texts during the year (yes, sent individually, and answered if there were any questions/comments. Otherwise, it would be spam – no robo-dialing for us.) We sent 3,257,851 texts in October and November alone.
    • Wall of Us – I kept up with the Wall of Us actions through the mid-term elections.
    • I made donations to the ACLU, the SPLC, and the Poor People’s Campaign.
    • Although Initiative 1631 got enough signatures to get on the ballot, we lost in the election due to the billions in advertising money poured into the state by Big Oil.
  • Religiously – I had a really successful year as Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • We welcomed new ministers into the Presbytery. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to install five ministers (four of whom were new to the Presbytery) in churches all over the Presbytery. Four of them went to churches who had been on the verge of closing because of declining membership, and we were able to provide enough help for them that they could call a pastor. 
    • We chartered Umoja Presbyterian Church as a fully fledged congregation. They had been a New Worshipping Community for at least 5 years, and they finally were able to call a minister. I ordained and installed their first session and diaconate in a wonderful celebration.

  • We called an organizing pastor, Rev. Laine Brubaker, for our New Worshipping Community at the Women’s Correctional Center for Washington.

  • Camp Soundview – after being on the verge of closing our camp three years ago, we hired a new director, and empowered the board to begin making improvements. The camp is located at the southern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, and has had two successful summer seasons. It is also beginning to be self-supporting with grants, fundraising, and year-round Outdoor Education, open to schools and groups in the area.

  • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
  • I was elected by the 223rd General Assembly to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA) class of 2024.
  • Creatively
    • I took three creative writing courses this year, and the instructor has helped me by editing some of my things. I love working with narrative poetry, particularly exploring little-known people in the Bible
    • I kept up with my knitting through the spring, and sporadically through the summer and fall. I was able to donate a couple of dozen pairs of socks to the homeless shelter in December.
  • Personally
    • I usually get 10,000+ steps a day, except on Sundays when I observe Sabbath. I try to keep my calorie intake in the 1200-1300 calorie a day range.
    • I have a personal trainer who I work with on strength training twice a week. I’m beginning to conquer my fear of stairs.
  • Socially
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
  • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and occasionally attend the Book Group.

Book Group Christmas Party

Posted by: abbiewatters | December 20, 2018


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed,
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 19, 2018


So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Posted by: abbiewatters | December 18, 2018


Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!

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