Happy Thanksgiving Holiday to one and all!
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 (NIV)
Happy Thanksgiving Holiday to one and all!
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 (NIV)
I honestly could blame it on Cole – he brought it home.
I’m hyper-vigilant about protecting myself from colds and flu but this year I let my guard down.
Part of running errands for Brother last week included picking up a remedy and taking it to him on the job in town. Standing at the truck door, he popped the pills into his mouth and took a big swig from the water bottle I’d taken from his ‘fridge in the main house.
He swallowed hard, coughed, shook his head and then fussed about the water tasting awful. Saying he was being silly, I took the bottle from his hand like a bottle of tea on a hot afternoon. Then as if God hadn’t given me a lick of sense, I masterfully waterfalled a mouthful (a college-day drinking technique, pouring without a lip touching the bottle).
What a shock to instantly discover the water was effervescent!!
Once I recovered, gifted as I am, I showed him by proceeding to drink the remaining few ounces.
Who just took cold medicine.
Yeah, ’cause his mouth on the bottle didn’t contaminate it. I’m that smart!
So, with the cold now racking it’s way through my body I’ll share the remedies that usually get me right back to, well, right:
1. Salt water gargle immediately, then 2 – 3 times a day.
2. Honey for sore throat and cough.
3. Crystallized ginger snacks (or juice)
4. Elderberry syrup
5. Bee pollen
6. Steam with Eucalyptus and peppermint oils (and topical oil application)
8. Fresh Garlic-Ginger-Chicken soup (Chicken soup is not just a wives tale)
9. Epsom salt bath
And best of all, rest!
Honestly, I thank God not only that I’m strong and healthy, but for time to rest, and maybe catch up on some pleasure reading. Oh, and some extra wisdom in the future, .
Zinc up friends, ’tis the season!
“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” Psalm 41:3 (NIV)
Plush bear image courtesy Needpix.com
Sneeze Face image courtesy Pixabay
Healing Garlic-Ginger-Chicken soup recipe courtesy Genius Kitchen.
Featured image courtesy image courtesy Productivetothemax.com
I like to say my vacation in Texas was pure joy. In some ways the time was heavenly, but…
An infection raging on the tip of my nose, cast an unsightly, frustrating, painful shadow on the long-anticipated departure. I’m not exaggerating, the slightest twitch, sniffle or sneeze sent painful shock waves radiating across what must have been the entire room or vehicle.
When I arrived late on Thursday, SecondBorn was pre-occupied navigating the back roads from Austin. If he noticed my extra makeup, he didn’t let on. Still, my apex nasi throbbed. Even as we rode I prayed for a quick, miraculous healing.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8 9 (NLT)
That first evening seemed to fly by for us all. Pretty sure nobody was any wiser about my misery, I had a good cry in a hot shower. Later as I drifted off to sleep I remember wondering if it was something I said, or maybe something I didn’t say brought on this painful and obvious infirmity. Then sleep took over.
The next day checking in at the grade school office, if anyone noticed my nose the secret remained safe. Surprising my grand children and their friends with lunch together satisfied an old longing. By the time classes resumed I was so elated I forgot to look in the mirror.
AlmostSixYearOld can easily charm sugar from an ant. EightYearOld has nearly changed my mind about Ten-Year-Old-Boys being God’s perfect creation. For the next two days we played, explored, and streamed texts and photos with cousins in Illinois making everything seem even more fun.
Soon the heat flow had subsided, pain turned to discomfort, the vivid colors began fading and unless affronted by mirrors, I forgot about my nose. After full, active days, with everyone tucked snugly into bed, I thanked God for the rare, amazing contentment I had been experiencing. For a while I stopped wondering how the world elsewhere spun without me.
I swear the room immediately began to glow and the most delightful, perfectly conditioned warmth filled the space. One of the first Bible lessons I got my head around came to mind:
“…I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, [becoming uglified] and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)
God only knows why the infection happened when it did. Sisters and I could joke about it for days, but reality check: my family and friends care that I’m healthy and happy – not about how I look.
I also like to believe they understand that whenever I finally show up God made it happen.
*Image courtesy ABSFreepix
**Image courtesy Pinterest
I take nutrition seriously. In grade school I noticed the whole world ran better and life made more sense when I ate breakfast. Now that my body has experienced the force of gravity for longer than I want to admit, nutrition is even more important to me.
Being “smarter than the average bear,” you’d think I would have had nutrition down by my mid-thirties. Instead, prolonged periods without sufficient rest, too little quiet time and an inadequate diet led me to heart failure. I’d been boosting my performance with hours of overtime, rigorous strength training, and
substances additional supplements, but my soul was starving. I thank God daily for giving me the chances to change and for leading me in the right directions.
Three decades later, with a declining metabolism and well-abused joints, finding the right balance between fuel and burning calories remain a top priority. To ensure I’m running at peak performance – okay – and to avoid ever experiencing a black-out again I’m careful to 1) hydrate 2) eat 3) exercise daily and 4) take supplements.
Even with careful attention to my diet, I discovered that my thyroid still functions quite well, but a vitamin D deficiency left me sluggish and tired. A supplement righted that within days. It seems odd that with all our scientific advancements our food alone doesn’t always provide us all our necessary nutrients, so I appreciate medicine that quickly identifies most deficiencies.
The same principle applies in our spiritual lives. As a dear friend recently told me, “All the notes I take while studying and all I hear in church don’t amount to much until I put it all into practice.”
Determination, the strictest routine, worship services, motivational speakers and affirming audios help us achieve overall good health, but they simply aren’t enough. We all need exercise and a good diet (that includes attention to what to avoid). Supplementing our natural bodies by caring for others and maintaining a strong spiritual connection with our maker is also important.
I usually provide a good example of what not to do. Doing as I do will mostly get you into trouble. God’s grace is seriously my only hope. This world is so full of shiny and sparkly stuff, I often forget He is always with me. But almost as often I quickly remember He is always near – usually soon enough to avoid hurt or harm.
The best supplement ever, a relationship with the Holy Spirit, being besties with God is essential to a peaceful, satisfying and harmonious life.
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ 2 pet 1:5-9 NLT
Many thanks to Persia at Blog of a Mad Black Woman for sharing this post.
Also in my early 40’s a lay-counselor recruited a brilliant professional counselor to help identify years of misdiagnoses. I pray this post helps lead others to the right assistance, healing, restoration and full lives:
The second time I heard one of my sons patient, adorable sighs, I remembered previous conversations, especially one with Zoe:
Notably Sound – Repost from 9/15/2014
Fast forward 150 minutes; epic – even for us. We touched all bases; our families, work, health, mutual friends, political and social concerns. Then, for fun, we skimmed back over my notes from our past year’s conversations.
The happiest benefit of this old habit is seeing conversation details are accurately recorded.
So… you may be thinking.
So, my assessment today addresses how my amazing, adult sons imply (but wouldn’t dare say), “Mom, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I recognize the tone more frequently than ever before. Even when they were teens – and learned to never say that to me again. “That’s odd, Son. I thought you said you like liver. Silly me. I don’t know what I’m talking about.”
Now they suggest I’m either confused about statements from previous talks or I really wasn’t listening – like that ever happens : } I confess I once found an old shopping list there – just once.
From my trusty notebooks, our typical conversations appear compressed into time restraints and are multi-directional. Though the subjects get jumbled among various subjects; jobs, rapidly growing kids, classes, fitness, etc., reviewing my notes serve me well. Though days or weeks may have lapsed, I am indelibly assured in my grasp of the conversations.
On this down slope of mid-life, this too is kind of a big deal. Modern medicine has forced us to minor in self-diagnosis so that especially the savvy peri-senior is watchful for symptoms of dementia, senility and a host of distresses and diseases.
I am happy to report that according to my notes, Zoe and I are in good shape; at least between our ears!
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)
While I adore the idea of meeting up with you all, I’m too much of a realist. We’d have to meet somewhere public and I don’t know my new area well enough to know some wonderful, quirky place with superior food and drink to meet yet. I will have to arrange to have one of the cars, which doesn’t always happen on anyone else’s schedule easily. Face it, we’d settle on texting photos, on our coffee breaks. Still, anyone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is welcome to come by. Call first, of course!
So, since we’re planning this date to share coffee together in the not-too-distant future, I can get to the local Starbuck’s which is now also Teavana – yeay! You are most likely aware I cut myself off of any form of caffeine and processed sugar after ten-ish. So tea, especially herbal blends are kind of a big deal in my world. That way you don’t wonder if I’m not a gremlin after midnight, manning the captain’s chair inside the head of a robotic costume.
I don’t give a care about what cups they’re serving around their beverages, I don’t frequent non-fair trade coffee shops enough that I feel any guilt or remorse (again, walking distance), and the atmosphere is almost always pleasant. Not only that, if we embarrass or offend anyone there, no one there will ever recognize us again. Besides, being new in the community and far from other friends and family, my speaking skills need remarkable warming up before conversing. You get to start!
While we share tea together I’ll be delighted to hear what’s new since the last time we talked (Skyped, whatever). I’ve learned (finally) that listening is actually more important than talking, or entertaining as I tend to do. While I have become adept at systematically changing names to protect the innocent in my stories, many of my dialogues and short stories come from simply listening to the people around me – with a little splash of creative drama now and then, just to make it interesting. Besides, I am literally so weary of my story where it is right now, I’ve been writing it in the first person the way I thought it would go starting two years back. It still sucks at times, but I feel better a lot more often in my fiction.
While we share tea together we’ll go over the last week’s global events and the news from each other’s localities. Getting trapped behind my side of my nose makes me forget the many different perspectives on the other side – your side of my nose. What’s more, the world isn’t quite as frightening on your side of my nose as it is in here! Over drinks together we get a better grasp of reality, examine truth for what it is and find better balance in the world today. As Ellen (you remember meeting her) used to say, “we must get together and talk through the world’s problems, fixing it all over a pot of tea (or a bottle of wine) soon. Balance. It’s all about balance in all things and one simply can’t do it alone.
While we share tea together I’ll torture you with the details of building my blog, the amazing things I’m learning about the mechanics of WordPress, the people I meet and the fun I’m having taking the Blogging U. classes. I’ll pester you for ideas to write about and how to promote myself where I haven’t already. We won’t talk about that episode last spring when I put into action a clever promotional idea, but the officer thought I was soliciting. I played the Grandmother card and he let me go. Whatever…
While we share tea together we’ll discuss the latest fitness challenges I’ve tried out and diet discoveries have come to light since our last visit. Surely something there will help me shed another five pounds so I’ll be back to normal body weight six months after I start lifting and boxing again. If I’m still breathing, of course.
While we share tea together I’ll tell you the actual discoveries I tried and work well for me in my overall health care (like coconut oil), especially during the last bout with cancer – ugh. It’s all gone and all good now, “… I said, knowing I gained five pounds the last six weeks. (The physical therapist ordered me to not walk every day). I couldn’t believe she was serious about that until I popped one of the sutures in my calf going down the stair too fast. Note, it was only one stitch.”
While we share tea together I can tell you the secrets to spotting poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. I never heard of the latter either until I Googled homeopathic treatments, not wanting steroids. I can also advise you (after my second contact – they actually are bigger in Texas) how to treat the rash before it spreads – take the steroids. The End.
While we share tea together I’ll only be dull a few minutes boasting about my thirteen adorable, amazing grand kids, my marvelous sons and my heroic daughters-in-love. I promise only to show photos from my phone if you ask. And you know better than to ask just to be polite.
While we share tea together I’ll tell you the wonderful, interesting new ways I’ve learned to meet new people in Texas (not counting that soliciting thing). We’ll probably even touch on how I found the best church home (third time was the charm). You will be amazed that I’m not on the Worship Team and remember that’s where I served primarily for the last thirty years. We’ll talk about the good old days and we’ll look forward to what’s coming up ahead.
I’ll bet you can hardly wait. Hey! Where are you running so fast?
Today, for about a minute, I worried I may have discovered a new depth of depravity.
I discovered a streak of blood on the white sheer curtain panel in my room. At the time, I quickly deduced it must have somehow come from my leg immediately after a fresh excision of skin – 5 weeks ago. Gross. Right?
I noticed the same streak again this morning. Initially I marveled at the changes in color and shape – and that it’s still there. A dab or two with a couple of sponges and some diluted hydrogen peroxide would have removed it altogether when I first noticed it.
But no… Not this time. Three more excisions later and physical therapy twice each week, that streak has become my visual touchstone.
I’m in a storm. It’s not a hurricane, a tornado or even a squall. And yet, since the cancers are easily excised and forgotten – granted, every few months – I’m blessed.
Reality check: The streak reminds me every time I see it, that while so many of my dear friends have and continue to undergo the many miseries that come with chemo and radiation therapy, I am indeed blessed.
Today I sincerely hope that anyone unable to appreciate the new cool, never actually experience it.
"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal
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