A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.  – Psalm 31:9

God has shown mercy to us more times than we can count or probably recall.  I wonder if there are times He is merciful to us and we don’t acknowledge it.  Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we need to remember that God is good.  Life is not always going to go smoothly.  We will be distressed and feel weak with sorrow from time to time.  Grief over the passing of loved ones is a very real part of life, but we must not place blame on God for what we feel.  ❤

I don’t know a person who has “arrived” to the point where they separate their trials and temptations with how they’re feeling; however, I do know some pretty wonderful Christians who know how to feel what they feel without losing their grasp on their faith in God through His Son, Christ Jesus.  They see their circumstances – and they see their God.  Instead of telling God how big their circumstances are, they tell their circumstances how BIG their GOD is!  Ah-ha!!!  Now see…  that’s the kind of Christian I wanna be.  ❤thankful-still

Yes there will be some rough waters – but God’s grace and mercy in your life are there to help you through them.  Ask God to adjust your sails and set you on the right course.  I’ve never sailed, yet I’m using this analogy…  interesting.  I’ve heard some folks say you have to adjust your own sails – no – ask the Father to do it.  He’s more than happy to help you with that.  Lean and depend on His wisdom and His power because – hey – He knows the future.  Do you know the future?  I don’t.  ❤

We are blessed with God’s precious grace and mercy as we travel through life.  It’s not always smooth sailing (again with the sailing) – but I’ll tell you – the ANCHOR HOLDS.  I love that song and that truth.  ❤

I have journeyed

Through the long dark night

Out on the open sea

By faith alone

Sight unknown and yet his eyes were watching me

CHORUS

The anchor holds

Though the ship is battered the anchor holds

Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees

As I faced the raging seas

The anchor holds

In spite of the storm

I’ve had visions

I’ve had dreams

I’ve even held them in my hand but I never knew

They would slip right through

Like they were only grains of sand

CHORUS

I have been young but I am older now

And there has been beauty these eyes have seen but it was in the night

Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved his love to me

Christ will never lie – He will never play tricks on us – He is dependable and He wants only the best for us…  that much I know for sure.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  Praise His name!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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uniquely-gifted

I went to the doctor yesterday to have my HA1c checked.  Three months ago it was 6.2.  This time it was 6.3 – and I was disappointed because I thought it would be lower.  While 6.3 is not bad, it means that it crept up in the past 3 months and I guess it scares me a bit.  Then my doctor reminded me that she cut out my insulin completely and cut my dose of Metformin in half.  I started to perk up some when she said that.  I’m starting to maintain a normal HA1c with no insulin and less oral meds.  Well alrighty then!  My hope returned at that point!

The doctor asked if I wanted a flu shot and I told her I did.  Those things sting like a son of a gun, but the flu is tons worse!  One of the MA’s took me to the procedure room.  She told me to hang my arm loose at my side because that would make the shot hurt less.  I did and got the shot.  It was fine.

The doctor said I needed my ears washed.  Well…  I balk at that procedure!  I had so many inner ear infections when I was a kid – always after going swimming it seemed.  I hate water in my ears!  I am such a baby while they’re trying to work – I literally shake.  I know that makes their job more difficult and I apologize – but it just feels so horrible to have water in my ears…  I think it always will.

So she put this long blue stick looking thing in my ear to scrape some wax off the sides.  She told me I have the smallest ear canals she’d ever seen.  I didn’t know whether to apologize or say thanks.  Then I felt a poke in my ear and flinched.  She seemed to be blaming me for it – she said, “When you flinched, your ear started bleeding.”  I’m like…  “OH great – please don’t burst my ear drum – I’m a musician – I need to be able to hear!”  I didn’t say it but boy I was sure thinkin’ it.  If she had not poked something and made it hurt, I probably would not have flinched – actually.

I ask you…  what on earth is the difference between her poking a little blue stick in my ear – and me poking a Q-tip in it???  They tell people not to do that, but HEY – at least there’s cotton cushy stuff on the ends of those!  I just don’t understand so many things.  I was angry and my ear hurt.  I was so done with this appointment – just finished.  This turkey was close to being cooked!

Oh but we were not finished…  no – wanted to be, but no, not done.

They needed some blood – oh joy oh rapture!  How bad could that be?  A poke – they get their blood and I get to go home, right?  Yeah…  no.

Apparently their problem with getting blood was also my fault – because I was apparently supposed to drink a gallon or two of water before the blood draw.  Well, it’s duly noted in my brain with indelible ink now…  because they poked my arm at my elbow and got nothing.  They poked the back of both my hands and got…  nothing.  They poked…  oh I don’t even remember where they poked – the point is…  if you try a few times and come up empty – you schedule the draw for another day – when I can get myself all nice and hydrated – you don’t keep poking the pin cushion!

I finally spoke up – I had been as kind and apologetic as I could be.  I apologized for my hair getting in the way of their squirt gun when she was cleaning out my ears.  I apologized for being dehydrated.  I apologized for wearing the wrong color of blush with my lipstick…  for Pete’s Sake – I’m sorry already!

I said, “Why don’t you guys get the doc to sign an order for me to go over to Lab Corp to get blood drawn…  that way you don’t have to keep trying.  And on the way over there I’ll stop at the store and get a few bottles of water and drink them.”

It was as if I’d just let the COMMON SENSE GENIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE…  she looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea!  You may just be going over to Lab Corp!”  You don’t really wanna know what thoughts were going through my mind then…  they weren’t nice.

My frame of mind was not in a good place.  The worst Monday of my work life was never this bad.  I worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity for 20 years and never have I experienced such horrific treatment.  Once when she couldn’t hit a vein, I got an earful (yes, I could hear) of obscenities.  I don’t call people on that stuff, but I consider it to be quite unprofessional.  If anyone should be cussing – hello, I’m the one feeling it.

I waited and waited.  She had to wait for the doctor to finish with another patient…  I had all day, but they didn’t know that.  But – I figure it’s better to wait for the doc to sign the order than to have Laurel & Hardy poking me with a butterfly needle all day long!

My appointment was at 9:15.  I left there at 11:25.  I was angry, hungry, shaking because I was probably having a low – or it could have been anger…  and I was trying not to cry in front of any of the folks at the doctor’s office.  When I finally got to my car…

I bawled and cried and yelled and screamed and hit my steering wheel.  I asked God WHY OF ALL THINGS HE MADE MY VEINS SO TINY, MY EAR CANALS SO TINY AND WHY I HAD TO BE A STUPID DIABETIC AND HAVE MORE PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF IT – AND WHY DO I HAVE TO GET MY BLOOD DRAWN EVERY 3 MONTHS???

Miracle #1 – I looked at the appointment card in my hand.  My next appointment isn’t until April of ’17.  It’s not scheduled for 3 months out – but for 6 months out!

I was taken aback…  and a sudden glimmer of hope came over me.  My doctor thinks I’m on a good track and trusts me to stay on it for the next 6 months!!!  This is a good thing, right???

As I drove to Lab Corp, it dawned on me that God was helping me with diet, exercise and that was in turn going to make my HA1c better.  I’m going to be okay.

My make-up was a bit messed up, but I was composed mentally as I went in to Lab Corp.  I signed all their paperwork and had no idea that God had another miracle waiting for me.

Miracle #2 – I don’t know her name and I doubt that she remembered mine, but for about five minutes in a little lab cubicle, we had CHURCH together!  She asked how many sticks they tried at the doctor’s office.  I showed her the different places and she said, “Well honey, I don’t know if I’ll get blood either but we’re just going to praise Jesus anyhow…  just praise Jesus anyhow!”

I felt a calm come over me…  a calm that I so desperately needed to feel.  It was the presence of the Lord – His Holy Spirit had been invited into our presence – and He was so welcome in that place.  She prayed for me and asked God to guide her as she worked.  There was no hesitation about it – she prayed and God heard and God answered.

She got blood with one stick…  coincidence???  I think not.

If you belong to God and you draw blood for a living…  please don’t be ashamed of your faith in the workplace.  You never know when someone like me is feeling like they’re on the brink of crazy town and may just need a phlebotomist to pray for and with her – and pray that God will guide that needle into the vein it needs to go in.  Jus’ sayin’.

When I got to the car – I cried again.  I didn’t hit the steering wheel…  I lifted my hands and let God know that I understood why I needed to go to the lab.  I needed to have church – real church.  No fancy pews, no stained glass windows.  It was a Friday at work for her and a stubborn vein day for me – but it turned out to be so much more.  Praise You, Jesus, and thank You!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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It’s Suicide Prevention Month.  We’ve all felt down at times, but some folks just can’t seem to crawl out of the pit they find themselves in.  Suicide is a very real problem not only in the United States, but around the world.  When people are contemplating suicide, they are really just wanting to stop the pain, whether it be emotional or physical.  Keep in mind that suicide is a very permanent solution to what is probably a temporary problem.

I know that when you’re at the lowest point, the last thing you want to do is pray.  The feeling of utter hopelessness has you in its grasp and praying just doesn’t seem to do much good.  The truth is, that’s when it does the most good.  The enemy of your soul wants you to stay in that pit, but the God of the universe wants to help you climb out – take His hand and trust in His ability to pull you out.

I’m old enough to remember old hymns, and one of my favorites is UNDER HIS WINGS.  The truth in that hymn shoots straight to my heart.  Whether I’m playing it on the piano or singing it in the congregation, it makes me cry.  I want to abide under God’s wings forever.

We all have what I call gray days…  days when we feel alone or unloved.  I wonder how many times we feel that way instead of feeling like God has blessed us with an opportunity to be alone with Him so that we can feel Him loving us?

choose-to-pray

One of my favorite pastors once said, “There’s a big difference between feeling lonely and being alone.”  I’ve not forgotten those words.  I don’t remember Scripture references to back it up, and I don’t remember much of anything else regarding the sermon – but that one statement has stayed with me.  God gives us what we need to get through gray days…  even if it is one sentence from a sermon almost ten decades ago.

The point is, we can choose the attitude we will have about the circumstances we find ourselves in.Before we choose a permanent solution to a temporary situation, we really need to involve God.  If we will just call on Him with honest words – even if they are angry words…  there’s no use in trying to hide your true feelings because God made you.  He knows your thoughts and your true feelings.  Be truthful with Him and let Him answer your cry for help.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.   – Psalm 91:4

I read an article on facebook that just melted my heart!  I think you’ll like it too.

When Lucinda read this story, it inspired her to write a beautiful poem!

be-that-changeHow much could we do to help others???  We may be surprised at what we could be doing to prevent tragedy in another person’s life.  Today, ask God to reveal to you a way in which you can make a difference in someone’s life.  You may be surprised at the answer you get!

I want to leave you with one more poem of encouragement.  Remember that God is faithful. 🙂he-is-faithfulGod is a light in the darkness.

a-light-in-the-darknessIf you are feeling depressed about life, find a friend and enjoy some tea together.  If you are preparing tea, ask God to put someone on your heart and mind who may need to share tea with you.  We’re here to take care of one another.  We obviously take care of our own families, but it’s amazing what we could do for someone we don’t even know…  yet.  🙂

TYPE 2 DIABETES TIPS FOR SUCCESS

TL TYPE 2 DIABETES

GOD DOES RESEARCH WITH ME

Have you ever had a NERVE CONDUCTION TEST (NCT)???  There’s a reason they keep a box of tissues in that office…  those things HURT!!!  Basically, the test didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know – oh, and I’ll never have another one – ever.

I did my research.  My neuropathy from type 2 diabetes was so severe that I was barely able to walk – and then with a cane to lean on.  I already have sciatica, but add the neuropathy to that, and it’s a recipe for major pain and difficulty walking.

Did you know that a side effect of Metformin, the most popular medication for type 2 diabetes, when taken for the long-term, is vitamin B12 deficiency???  Yep – and here’s the interesting part.  Vitamin B12 is what keeps your nerves healthy and happy!  So, maybe it’s not diabetes that is really causing neuropathy, but the medication we take for it.  Seriously?

I gotta tell ya…  I’m very excited because reversing the pain and numbness in my leg was as simple as taking a vitamin B12 pill every day!  I’ve been on Metformin since I was diagnosed in 1994, but did not realize that those 4 pills a day were depleting my B12.  Since I added a B12 pill, the pain and numbness has gotten so much better and I can walk without a cane.

Because of the sciatica I still have shooting pain down my leg, but with exercises I’m able to manage it.

I hope the information I share helps you.  Hey – give vitamin B12 a try.  It’s sure better than nerve damage and inability to walk without a cane.

My next appointment is April 13th to have my A1c checked.  I’ve really been watching my diet closely, drinking water and exercising.  I’m also taking my medicine, of course.  The goal is to ultimately get my weight where it needs to be so I can inch my way off of all diabetes medication.  I’m workin’ on it.  Doin’ the best I can!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Marry someone who will suffer well with you, because there will be much suffering during the life journey.  – Unknown

DATE NIGHT

When we are planning a wedding, we often get wrapped up in the aesthetics and tend to ignore the substance.  We want the perfect flowers, dresses and décor.  It’s almost like we get to the point we’re so tired after all that planning, we say, “Vows?  What vows???”  But…  there are vows – and they are meant to be kept for LIFE.  Think about it – it’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  Yeah – it’s meant to be.

What were those vows?  Ah…  now it’s coming back to me.

Groom: I, Larry, take thee, Linda, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Linda, take thee, Larry, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as Larry placed the ring on my finger, he said the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH
LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH

Love means, for better or worse, you are committed to caring for the heart of someone else. You are willing to die to yourself, to compromise, to share, to believe, to keep the promise even when it hurts.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Prepare for painful moments – painful hours – painful days.  When the times are good or worth celebrating – do it with all your might, but when you are in pain, keep those good days – those good memories – at the forefront.  Think about the good as you go through the bad.  God has every situation in His very capable hands.  Trust Him for all the answers. 

 

 

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

TL IRON SHARPENS IRON

I appreciate my online friends so much!  I let them know that I was having some technical difficulties in the kitchen due to my inability to stand for more than a few minutes lately.  It’s weird…  some days I’m just fine and others, well…  not so much.

Do you look forward to autumn?  I do (except for the pain, of course), but I especially like that our meals begin to get a little more substantial and hearty.  I’ve been looking for meals that are healthy but simple to fix.

My friends came through with a quick and easy meal.  I’d like to share the recipe with you.

FRIED CABBAGE WITH SAUSAGE (Makes 8 servings)

1 stick butter or margarine
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into round pieces
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes  (if you use Rotel it will be a little spicy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Melt butter in large skillet. Add cabbage, onion, and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes stirring to keep from sticking to pan. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.

My favorite question when I get a recipe that feeds an Army is…  do the leftovers freeze?  Thankfully the answer was YES, they do!  So, I imagine we could eat two or maybe even three meals, which is great!  That means I don’t have to do anything except defrost and serve!  Excellent!

Is it wrong to want to laugh when you are in pain?  I don’t think so.

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I love Christian friendships, don’t you?  Even when we’re having troubles, we just try to sharpen each other’s iron as much as possible with Christ in the center.  God sure knew what He was doing when He established friendship.  He must to this day be smiling down and saying, “It is GOOD!”  🙂

 

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

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Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

There seem to be two extremes…  folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”.  Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean?  Two words come to mind:  sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through.  Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.

Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them.  It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way.  Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.

This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.  In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ.  He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows.  It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet.  When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.

Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up!  I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too.  🙂