The decision to be tooth-less?

It’s not like I am planning another wedding or something.  I’ve done that twice and twice is enough!  If a couple of teeth are missing I just can’t smile or laugh really BIG so the void in my mouth is noticeable.  Not that anyone would be looking at my molars anyways!  I suppose there are the exceptions for some of you out there . . .

Then my beloved teased me that I might have trouble eating bacon and potato chips.  Not!  I grew up with a GIANT bag of Better Made potato chips on the refrigerator and a dad who had to have a generous helping every day plus ice cream.  When we visited his parents where they lived in the Irish Hills, between the view of the lake and the country kitchen was another HUGE bag of Better Made potato chips on the frig.  So if I have two opposing teeth anywhere in the yard then there will be Unsalted Kettle Chips too!  And bacon, just because we can.

Don’t you love Facebook?  Or maybe you hate Facebook?  Perhaps you would love to hate Facebook a little more since it can be such a “time eraser” extraordinaire.  Well anyways, I have joined many groups who have the answers to this or that ailment I have faced over the past few years.  Recently I joined the “Bottoms Up” group to learn more about digestive health, only to realize that I did not want pictures of worms in feces gracing the screen of my smart phone if I were to check it when dining out somewhere.  Yuck!  TMI for sure.  Delete!  The mercury, root canal, mold avoidance, Lyme disease, methylation, candida, etc. peeps have all greatly contributed to my vast brain swell of mixed anecdotal/psuedo research information.  There’s a cause and cure for everything right there in my newsfeed.  Even business opportunities, rudeness and meanness fit in where pretox/detox really should dwell.  But I digress.

These forums have been part of my lifeline too.  I have made some sweet friendships with gals who run in the same groups.  Members have helped shorten my learning curve and evaluate relevant research, news articles, and success stories.  Many folks really do get well!  Then they drop out of the group and the rest of us left behind try to figure it all out before we also leave the comfort of the group nest as well.  Hey, I won’t mind moving on if I can take a few happy FB Friends with me, eh?  Currently they are helping me navigate the potentially painful decision of whether or not to have two teeth with root canals extracted.  These puppies may be a source of years of discomfort from hidden infection, possibly contributing to some of my chronic health issues.  I am already in the preparation stage of mercury chelation which certainly wreaks havoc in one’s brain and body.  Gratefully my brilliant functional medicine Doc is leading the way along with acute spiritual discernment from the Lord and my beloved hubby.

This treatment crossroad is more confusing than some others.  Extensive testing has not revealed hard data on the need to extract two teeth (yet it just doesn’t seem like complications of a sinus infection or trigeminal nerve inflammation either).  Travel would be needed to a skilled biologic dentist who can meet my needs for extra TLC should we decide to proceed.  The requirement for all of this extensive screening became extremely clear this afternoon after a very bad appointment with a recommended, local oral surgeon in a musty office!  Bad, bad.  Steve and I prayed about all of this as we navigated a particularly rough evening for me tonight, placing our trust again in the Lord to guide us.  I’ll make a few more phone calls tomorrow.  At least a dear friend gave me the tip of a concoction with cloves to manage the moderate pain in my gums.  Cool beans.  It worked quite well!

So for now I’ll be eating bacon and potato chips on the right side of my mouth and cutting up other delicacies into small bits so as not to trigger seizure attacks or pain.  Thank the Lord for our VitaMix which chops, whips, cooks, and practically washes the dishes for you afterwards!  Like teeth, little things can mean a lot to a gal like me.  See how good my Jesus is:  providing for my every need and heart’s desire too.  Avocado-coconut smoothies anyone?

As I close I must profess that through it all God is good.  All the time.  God is good!  JJ

Toothless smile girl

 

I get it Jonah!

Jonah was an Old Testament prophet called by God to warn the people of Nineveh to repent.  God’s judgment was eminent unless they changed their evil ways.  Jonah burned with anger because he did not like the people of Nineveh and thought they should not be the concern of the almighty God.  So instead of going to Nineveh, he headed off on a ship to Tarshish instead.  A mighty storm rose up, threatening the ship and crew.  In time they found out that it was because of Jonah that their lives were at stake.  At Jonah’s suggestion, they tossed him into the sea and the storm ended.  Jonah was taken up by a mighty fish and spent about 3 days inside before repentance  of his own disobedience towards God.  Eventually Jonah went to Nineveh, he warned the people, they repented, and their lives were spared.  Jonah still wasn’t happy . . .

******************

I was making some new necklace designs the other day, very late at night.  Things were not coming together well as I had to re-do a simple slider knot at least five times before I got it right.  Then I made the same mistake again on another piece!  Do you have a “little tiny voice” that sometimes nudges you in the direction you should go?  Yeah, it was yapping at me to save a particular scrap of hemp cord in case I would need it for another part of the new collection.  Fooey, I thought.  I have other colors and I really wanted to make some gift ties with the white cord not save it for something else that was not in front of me.  So I didn’t save the cord.  It was the last piece of that color and it got used as part of a gift box packaging that was sent out the next day.  I did not think about it anymore.  Or rather I did not think about it any more until I had to repair a mistake in one of the new necklaces six days later.

I lost an hour of my life trying to correct my mistake with anything but the white cord remaining in another gift tie.  I could not believe how many goofy mistakes I was making trying to avoid getting out the bag of gift ties, untying a braided strand, and using a proper length of cord to make the repair.  Finally I laid down my will.  It wasn’t working.  Repairing the wrap knot and saving the jewelry piece required me to dig out the supply that had been within arm’s reach all along.  Sigh.  Alright then.  Hunker down and take care of it already!  Moments later I was done.  But what had happened to me?  It’s just a piece of jewelry for crying out loud!  Yes, and I might as well have been a stubborn 2 year old for how I was acting.  I’ll never get that hour of my life back again.  The only person to blame is me, not some illness brain fog thang.

Has this ever happened to you, Gentle Reader?  Hopefully the stakes were not as high as a nation threatening to be destroyed because of the selfishness of a wayward prophet.  There probably were consequences of some kind though:  consequences that were unpleasant or harmful, wasteful.  Sure, we need to be gentle with ourselves when we make mistakes, live for a time in denial, procrastinate, and the like.  And yet when we are outright defiant to that which we know we should do we are hurting ourselves and maybe others too.  It’s a sign of immaturity, a lack of self discipline.  While we sometimes may need to delay making the right choice in a situation for a variety of reasons, let’s hope we get to task when there is a leading is from the Holy Spirit:  my tiny voice inside of me.  He has my best interests at heart even for the small events of life.  He cares for all of the details of my life just as He cares for the nations of the world.  That’s just how mighty our God is:  the great I AM.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am weak this night.  I am still capable of heeding the counsel of the Holy Spirit that ministers to my every need.  Thank you for the incredible gift of your indwelling Spirit.  I lay down my will this night in awe of Your love for me and majesty.  Strengthen me for both the mundane and more important tasks in the days ahead.  Grow my trust in you.  And if it is Your will, heal me of my infirmity so that I may be used for greater things.  Thank you for Your Word to teach us, guide us each day.  I love you Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Adjustable Friendship  Necklaces from Threads of Hope and Trinity Jewelry by Design
Adjustable Friendship Necklaces from Threads of Hope and Trinity Jewelry by Design

He knows me so well

There comes a time when you know that you just don’t know what the plan is.  There you go, Mrs. Wesolowski, my late English teacher and queen of everything in life but the dangling participle.  Forgive me but in 11th grade I would have no idea where I would land just past mid life.  The dangling participle is apropos.  I am lost as to my exact location.  All I know is how I got here.  I have no idea what the game plan is.  Thankfully, to Him I am right where I am supposed to be.

I don’t believe I have ever had so many noxious symptoms at the same time for such a long period of time.  Just when I believe that the Lord is bringing me some relief or leading me to some new insight into what to do, I find that I am still clueless.  I am working hard to no avail (i.e. extremely restrictive diets, daily treatment logs, internet research, networking, and so on).  And then a new problemmo emerges.  Perhaps if I could scope my own gut or brain I would feel a little better about things, more in control I suppose.  That won’t happen of course so I am left at the hands of overstressed and overworked medical professionals who need to make sure their butts are covered and tracks are documented in a government database.  Type, type, type during my appointment, noting the results of some test.  “Look me in the eye!”  is all I am asking.  Just once look me in the eye and ask me, “how are you feeling today?”  After all, that is why I am there!  I know that I “have a lot going on,” and am “sensitive” to virtually all of the treatments prescribed.  Then again who really knows if just one more test or consultation will really make a difference at this point.  While I do believe that I will be well someday  even if it is in heaven, I have no idea how to live until then anymore.

The bottom line for me is this:  I am not well and it is not changing.

Now with that out of my head and onto the page I find that there is nothing left to write.  There is nothing left to say.  I am at my wits end with a beat up body and depleted spirit.  There is only one place to go since crashing in the bed did not bode me well earlier this evening.  That place is the foot of the cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ.  You know my aching heart.  You knew me before I was born and all of the days of my life.  You saw this breaking point long before it came.  All the breakdowns that have gone before were just a warm up.  I give up.  Take me as I am.   crucifix

Sorry, Gentle Reader.  This blog has no insight or answer by its weary end tonight.

The Writing is Divine

Magazines have always held my interest more than novels, textbooks, or even the subtitles of an award-winning foreign film.  I just don’t have the attention span for more than a couple of thousand words in a row!  I guess that perfectly places me in the realm of the lone blogger, hacking out short articles of inspiration (or perspiration?) well into the dead of night.

And not everyone’s rants hold my fancy for the five to twenty minute allotment I’m willing to spend.  Take the Editor’s column in a popular automobile magazine that graces my husband’s setting at the kitchen table every month.  This car guy’s language is so thick with adjectives, metaphors, and strained attempts to make an inanimate, mechanical object organic that I grit my teeth to get from the beginning to the end.  Just say it plainly Sir Editor!  He probably has a journalism degree.  I suppose that gives him license to use more words, write longer sentences.  Not me.

I am moved by the languid composition of words that flows like butter running off a freshly boiled ear of corn.  Gotcha, didn’t I?  Just couldn’t resist!  Perhaps the best example of the terse and poetic, the impactful and inspired comes from God’s Holy Bible.  The Word of God is an amazing work that tells of the physical and supernatural, good and evil, things infinite and small, and everything in between.  Where else can reading a single verse change a person’s destiny forever?

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  (John 1)

In the wonderful mystery that is God, we find power in His Word and receive His indwelling Spirit when we come to know Him as Lord and Savior.  I do not claim to understand how this works by reading and meditating on a few chapters in the Bible.  Mentioning it here simply illustrates the finding that the power of a written word comes from the author’s mastery of the subject matter and his ability to communicate it to the reader.  For the Bible, the God of the universe brings us Himself and everything we need for life in His handbook for living as communicated to faithful men of God who wrote it down for us to read.  His Holy Spirit stirs within us as we dwell in the presence of the King’s scrolls.  Moreover, we come to understand who He is, His plan for our lives, and are drawn into fellowship with Him.  This fellowship can last forever if we but believe what He has written for us, summed up nicely in John 3:16:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Now these are words that draw my heart and mind in a meaningful embrace:  the promise of living forever with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Such a simple message really and yet one that changes everything.  Let’s see it in action in a little longer passage from the Old Testament, often called the bedtime Psalm:

Psalm 121:  A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber; (italics added)

indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

Now I can sure wrap my mind around these timeless and comforting images written long ago.  I started a Bible-reading plan through “The Bible App” on my Android phone at the end of last year.  I love it!  (There’s even a narration option for listening to the verses spoken aloud.)  Reading 3 to 4 chapters per day beginning in the book of Genesis goes quickly in this plan for reading the entire Bible in a year.  While I do not understand all of the ancient culture, I am amazed at the Lord’s attention to every detail in the lives of His people.  His love and care translates to you and I as well in the present day, when we spend a little time reading His Divine Word.  I am so glad to have found the best writer of all time and hope that my own words will honor Him too.

Well, there it is.  Simply stated and inspired by the One who wrote this special message on my heart for me to share with you today.  No words are more important than His.  Will you join me in spending a little time reading the Bible each day?  I promise you that it will be worth any amount of time you devote to dwell in His presence.

The Laundry Still Gets Done

Take me to the top

I don’t wanna cry no longer

Take me to the top

Can’t you see I’m getting stronger?

Take me to the top

Yes there’s room for me and others

Take me to the top

Hey that’s where we will recover!

A simple song, yes it is, written long before I knew the diagnosis of Lyme Disease and sometime after the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  How could I have known how long this journey would last nor how rich the experience would be if I just “bothered to recover.”

Yes, doing the work of recovery from any illness, addiction, loss, or heartache is a bother!  It takes time, energy, resources, finances, and emotional strength.  When I did it all on my own with my own determination I did get somewhere for a while.  After all I was told at a very young age that I am a “very determined person.”  I’ve tapped into books, self-help resources, 12-step programs, support groups, special diets, supplements, retreats, doctors, specialists, the internet, advice from others, my own creative intuition, and so on.  Yup, I should have figured it all out by now if it were up to me.  Just gotta keep staying positive, helping others, practicing gratitude, and memorizing a ton of slogans and following helpful inspirational wisdom from others on the journey ahead of me.  Hey that’s were we will recover . . .

Well guess what?  It ain’t enough!  No amount of wishful thinking, earthly wisdom, and STUFF is enough to cure or figure out the consequences of living in a fallen world.  This world is not perfect and everything will not be revealed or resolved by the right karma, nirvana, carpe diem, keeping my chin up, and the like.  Sometimes the world simply does not make sense.  I’ve heard the trouble of this world described as the influences of three forces acting against us:  the world, the flesh, and Satan himself.  Maybe so.  Or maybe it’s a combination of them?  Perhaps you would debate me on many of these points.  That’s o.k.  I welcome it.

You will never convince me however that this world is my home and that what I see is all there is.  You will never convince me that there is no purpose to our suffering and that it will end if we just do this or that.  You will never convince me that I deserve better, am entitled to more and should just set more goals to have them.  Sometimes my best is to lay low, to settle where I am.  You will never convince me that if I don’t act now, I will  miss “the boat.”  His timing is perfect now and forever.  You will never convince me there is no God because he allowed this suffering to happen.  Sorry.  I have seen too many blessings that I would have missed or screwed up if I acted to change things in my own strength and timing.  I know better than all this and you can too when you consider inviting Jesus into your heart.

So today, despite the pain and the wretched symptoms last night, the laundry will still get done.  How is that?  It is not by my strength that I live but by He who lives within me and this includes the gumption to fold towels!  When I tanked this afternoon I chose to read The Word first and not surf the net.  Why?  Since He is my ultimate source of wisdom and peace I simply cannot waste my time or energy elsewhere.  They are too precious these days.  Then it didn’t take very many of these precious moments before my relatively small list of things to do became overwhelming.   That’s when I came before the Lord’s throne of grace and He met me there.  Looks like writing about Him was my most important task on the list.  And if I wondered why I couldn’t do something else instead (like go to work or work on my home business), I had to let it all go to the God who holds my life in the shadow of His loving arms, His loving wings.  He knows the right time for everything.  He knows why all this is allowed in my life and He will be glorified in the end.  My best is in the best of hands.

So me and my unfolded laundry are pretty stubborn this afternoon.  Have I convinced you?  I’ll get to those clean washcloths soon enough and I’ll be glad the One Who loves me and knew me before I was born got to me first today.  Forget the laundry.  Hey Elle, where’s your leash?  Remember that walk I promised you yesterday?  Bow wow.