A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

I saw the funniest sign the other day – it said:

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, AND IN THERAPY BY NEW YEARS!

Were you home for Christmas, with your friends and family?  Did you survive?  What does today look like for you?  Once the festivities and traditions are over, where do you go to de-stress and de-compress???  In all honesty, we love our family, but there comes a moment when you need to run away and be alone – or with others you like more.  It’s not an insult to family – it’s just the way it is.

A SIP, A PRAYER, A PEACE

I need to avoid going to therapy by New Years because for starters I can’t afford it.  When I want to relax and breathe deeply, I visit the Chinese Massage place in our local mall.  It’s amazing what a massage can do to get rid of all the built up stress and frustrations that may have latched on to you during the Christmas holiday.

Another good idea is to get some exercise.  When you exercise, it’s a way to rid yourself of all the tension and increase your energy, which is a positive thing.  It’s not good to carry negative energy around with you, so move some and get rid of it.

How about Bible study, meditation and prayer?  Yeah, you knew I’d get around to that, huh?  Well, give prayer a chance – you may be pleasantly surprised by the results and the peace you gain in the process.  You don’t have to pray like the most educated theologian – just tell God your heart in the name of Jesus.  It’s really very simple.

“A Second Cup with Jesus” is a great devotional book!  We thank you so much for reading our poetry and following this blog.  ❤

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KEEP CALM & READ A POEM

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.  To know the dark, go dark.  – Wendell Berry

You know, when we first decorate for Christmas – I’m like a little kid – OH LOOK AT THE PRETTY LIGHTS!  But it seems as time goes by and we approach Christmas Day, the lights lose their appeal to me – and by the time Christmas is over, I’m ready to embrace the quietness and the darkness that follows.  Does that sound weird and depressing?  I don’t mean it that way – I just think there is so much commercialism and hoopla associated with Christmas.  It’s like the bling mania turns back into quiet wintertime.  We don’t see the lights anymore – we lose that distraction and enjoy wintertime and see what a silent night is really all about.

Nobody sang Silent Night at the actual nativity, you know.  It really was a silent night!  Sometimes it’s not until after Christmas we get a better idea of how the actual night must have been.  Of course there was that star – that very bright, shining star!  A choir of angels singing glory to the King – the original carol.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GOOD MORNING!

Mornings…  sigh.  Are you at peace with your pace?  As a kid I woke up listening to my favorite music on my stereo.  Daddy used to come in my room and turn on KLEO – and my day would begin.  Once I was a married woman, I had an annoying alarm clock that made a very annoying buzzing sound to wake me up.  It didn’t even have a snooze button!

As I get older, I have a desire to wake up more slowly and with a greater sense of purpose.  I have the most wonderful and aromatic way of being allured to consciousness – I recently purchased a coffee maker with a timer!  I set the timer, the coffee is made and I smell it!  Ah… time to wake up – and I can handle that!

I asked the group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith, how they deal with this common problem called – morning.  Here are some of their responses:

  • Coffee
  • Tea (hot and iced)
  • Facebook
  • Coke
  • Pepsi Zero
  • Exercise (most said a walk outside)
  • Meditation / Devotions / Prayer Time – to seek purpose and direction
  • Sunlight streaming through open curtains into bedroom
  • A glass of cool water to invigorate and prevent dehydration

So even if we are caffeine junkies (and most of us are), we should still begin with that glass of H2O because we need to be rehydrated.  We care for our physical, psychological and spiritual needs every morning.  It’s important to keep a balanced attitude toward morning – every morning.

Get a full 8 hours of sleep because it’s during that time physical repairs take place.   Choose a way of waking up that will make you happy to begin with.  No matter how you begin your day, make it a great one to whatever extent you can!  Your routine each morning should reinforce the joy you want inside that will spill out to others.

If you are still part of the workforce (not to rub it in, but I’m retired)…  here are some good tips for streamlining your work week:

Wow – that brings back some memories…  I used to plan my wardrobe a week at a time.  It really does save time in the morning.

Having my gallbladder removed has left me feeling SO much better with tons of energy!  It’s so weird – I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I felt really great!  Since the surgery on June 3rd, I’ve lost 12 pounds and a few inches off my waist.  This is my head start on significant weight loss!  I am so very excited about the future, and the future begins…  tomorrow morning!  🙂

 

WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-14 WORLD DIABETES AWARENESS DAY

11-14 I'M SO THANKFUL TODAY

I have to chuckle at the word AWARENESS sometimes, especially when it comes to diabetes.  If you have diabetes or you live with someone who has diabetes, trust me, you are painfully aware – on so many levels!

The idea is to make those who do not live with diabetes aware of not only the challenges of living a life with diabetes, but also the way we can overcome those challenges with positive thinking, a good support system and of course – insulin!

What am I thankful for today as I live another day with type 2 diabetes?  It’s a long list, so fasten your seatbelt and hang on …

1.  I can see clearly!  Since my diagnosis in 1994, I’ve faithfully seen my eye care specialist once a year.  People without diabetes see their eye doctor every other year.  I say this with all humility, a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes – every year when my eyes are dilated and I am checked for retinopathy (a common condition with diabetes), my doctor gives me a glowing report!   He says, “If I didn’t know you were diabetic, I would not be able to tell from these pictures.” 

2.  I hear ya!  It’s recently been proven that diabetes can cause hearing loss.  They think that the small vessels of the ear get plugged up because of excess glucose in the blood.  If I could not hear it would not be the end of my life, but I am a musician and have been blessed with perfect pitch.  I’m not bragging, just telling the truth.  Hearing loss would be a huge loss to be sure.

3.  I’m walking on sunshine!  I admit there are days when I need a cane to walk better because of neuropathy (another complication of diabetes), but I am on my feet and moving.  What a wonderful blessing to still be mobile and able to take a walk anytime I want to.  It’s so important that I stay as independent as possible.  I do not take my freedom for granted.  I thank God for the ability to exercise without much pain.  Through the years I have relied on a good Chiropractor and an occasional massage to keep me going.  Exercise is a key component in diabetes management.

4.  I smile every day!  Keeping blood sugar within a healthy range is so important because everything is affected – even my smile!  If my gums are not healthy it could lead to tooth loss.  Along with brushing and flossing I use Sesame Oil to “pull” bacteria from my teeth and gums every day.  Just one Tablespoon of oil once a day really helps my gums stay healthy.  Swish for about 5 minutes and spit – (never swallow the oil), then rinse with water and smile!

5.  I keep stress at bay!  I’m the first to admit that this was not easy a few years ago.  Now that I’m retired it is so much easier to manage the stress in my life.  God has helped me to re-evaluate priorities and re-examine the things that cause stress to begin with.  Sometimes stress just happens, like when there is a health crisis in my family – but these days I really don’t sweat the small stuff.  The older I get, the less most things really matter.

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul.  Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.  Thank You, Lord, for giving to me Thy great Salvation so rich (full) and free!  I do count my blessings and these are just a few of them.  Yes, I have diabetes, but diabetes does NOT have me!  D stands for dedication to living a healthy lifestyle because God has blessed me so much!  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GIVE IT TO GOD AND GO PLANT PANSIES

Today is GARDEN MEDITATION DAY!!! I want to discuss pain management.  I’ve tried several different methods to manage pain, one of them being meditation.

I tend to be ultra conservative when it comes to pain management.  I avoid pain killers prescribed by healthcare professionals. I don’t like feeling brain fog. I need to be sharp to write effectively. Meditation, prayer and time alone with God seem to take me away from the pain and get my mind focused elsewhere.  

Stress and pain are closely intertwined.  When your body is tense and stressed, the key to getting relaxed and releasing the tension is meditation.  I was advised against two types of meditation by my doctor since I was the victim of domestic abuse.  Hypnosis and transcendental meditation.  Both of these involve the complete clearing of your mind, basically giving another person (or whatever) control.  In hypnosis you are trusting another person and in TM you are just clearing your mind completely.  I’m not comfortable with that.  

The Buddhist’s “mindfulness meditation” requires that you focus as opposed to empty your mind. I am a Christian, so I choose to focus on God’s Word and in particular, the Psalms.  There I find strength, joy and peace.  I also find that quiet time and prayer are beneficial for me.  When I’m in a proper frame of mind, it helps me have a better attitude even when my pain level is quite high.  I also find that a cup of hot tea and some Green Hill music playing softly helps.

Remember, we are talking about chronic pain which means the pain never subsides, but is continuous.  If there is something that can break up or interrupt the pain with even a bit of relief, that is welcome!  If you can find something to make you feel even a little better, it is worth doing.  Nothing will ever take the pain away completely, but meditation can help.  Choose your meditation wisely.  Make sure you trust the one you give control of your mind to.

By the way, I do not believe in yoga either. The Om is another invitation to empty your mind, which is attractive to many Christians, but I believe while your mind is empty anything can get in there. I know I may stand alone in that opinion, but it is what I believe. There are wondrous ways to relax with the Lord. Invite Him to help you de-stress. He hears every prayer and no prayer is insignificant. Not even the one that says, “Lord, please help me to RELAX!” Yes, I have prayed that one. He hears it.  Wink!  😉

MEMORIAL DAY

TL MEMORIAL DAY
https://youtu.be/An8ccWB7JgQ

Memorial Day is a day of reflection. It’s a day to remember those who were once here with us but now are not. We loved them and they loved us. We know we will be reunited one day, but until then, there is a void. What would my family urge me to do? God is love and love covers a multitude of mistakes. I think they would tell me to love. Just love.

As we begin our stroll through my peaceful, serene labyrinth of love, let me ask you a question. What is the source of love? Where does it come from originally? Most of you know what my answer is. I believe that God is the true source of love, and apart from Him, you are not really able to love at all. Know God – know love. No God – no love. If you know God, then I hope you enjoy this little stroll through the labyrinth. If you do not know God, perhaps you can sit down on one of the simple wooden benches when you finish the walk to rest and get to know God. Can you hear the birds singing? The gardens surrounding this labyrinth are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and there is not a more quiet place of solace to do a little soul-searching.

It’s such a perfect day to take a leisurely stroll. There are people on the outside who are running, but we are not. We are not going to hurry, but be deliberate with each step. There is nothing scheduled in your day that is of any importance. You won’t need a watch. Take your time and seek. Seek God and find the love He wants you to have.

Read just one section at a time. When you have read the scripture, close your eyes and think about what you just read. Let the thought of it sink in and talk to God about it. You can talk to Him out loud or just think a prayer – He hears your prayer either way. Imagine you are walking, reading, pondering and praying. Let’s begin.

Love comes from God:

1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God proved His love for us:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Some couples seem to be real soul mates and some are polar opposites trying to find some common ground. No matter which class your marriage falls in, we are taught what love should look like in our Christian marriages. I laughingly refer to these as the “bite your tongue” verses! There are times when love in marriage is a real bear! But for the sake of unity, peace and joy with your mate, you really do have to bite your tongue!

Love in Marriage:

Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Philippians 2:2 “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

There is sure victory because of love:

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are definitely instructed to love other people:

1 John 4:9-11 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

“Love each other deeply with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22b

And finally, we are told that we are to walk the walk of love and not just talk the talk.

Make sure the love you show is genuine:

1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Have a blessed day! ❤

GARDEN MEDITATION DAY

TL 5-3 GARDEN MEDITATION DAY

Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.   – Samuel M. Shoemaker

Stress is a very real part of this life.  This comes as no surprise to anyone, does it?  People have all sorts of ways to combat stress and some of those ways are not the most healthy.  My coping mechanism used to be food.  Junk food.  Evil, wicked, gross, disgusting junk food.  Let me tell you – there is a better way to cope with stress and keep up the wellness and peace of mind you deserve!

There are few things in this world that I appreciate more than a beautiful garden.  I do not (by any stretch of the imagination) claim to be a gardener, but I do admire those who have a green thumb.

Today is GARDEN MEDITATION DAY!!!  We do not have a garden at our house, but we do have a small area in front of our house with shrubs and assorted landscaping accents.  There is a bench to the side where I sit and read devotionals in the morning.  A garden can set a mood for meditation faster than any atmosphere.  So calm and serene, it makes my blood pressure lower and suddenly all of my cares and worries disappear.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  – Psalm 19:14

While I’m reading devotions, hymns come to mind and I sing them.  It’s as though I’m joining nature in a chorus to God.  Of course, my voice pales next to that of a bird.

May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.  – Psalm 104:34

How many times have you began singing “Count Your Blessings” and ended up literally adding up all the benefits from the Lord’s hand?  It makes a soul more grateful than ever to do that.  The old hymns of the church are not merely words to be muttered with half-witted understanding.  They are timeless truths that we need to embrace and live our lives with.

Enjoy a garden meditation today.  It’s good for your soul🙂