Wednesday, January 27, 2010
You see, it's like this. Last week I had a dental checkup and Dr. Gill discovered I needed a crown on tooth #5 right away. And....since I have this horrible problem with my blood pressure being way too high at the dentist's office, she prescribed some little white tablets for me to take for anxiety before I came. "Take them the night before and again one hour before your appointment" she told me. That was five days before I would come back for the crown that she told me that. Five days that I would worry and fret about having to take those tiny white pills. Did I mention that I am terribly afraid of taking any kind of new medicine?? Well, I am! So for days that consumed my mind. What if this happened? What if that happened? What if? What it? Where was my faith?
I turned to my Bible and began to read from Philippians 4: 6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. and the peace of God , which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Yes...that's what I needed and longed for...the peace of God to keep my heart and my mind.
I shared my weakness with several of my friends. I asked my ladies Sunday school class to pray for me. I admitted my faults and failures to them. And you know what? They started covering me with prayer! Joy...my blogging friend in Canada....wrote and told me I had left out a very important verse in Philippians 4. That I should back up and include verse 5 which says "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." The Lord is at hand! The Lord is here! Right where I am. And I guess I was ignoring that fact. I immediately added verse 5 to my reading.
Then I backed up more and added verse 4 "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice." That was some important advice God was giving me! Rejoice! Don't be so scared and concentrated on the negative. Focus on the positive. Know that God is with me. Don't be so worried about everything but pray and thank God for being near!
I had so many sweet friends call me, send me encouraging emails, and text me. The youngest lady in my Sunday school class came to me after class and hugged my neck, telling me she knew exactly how I felt and would be praying for me. Also the oldest lady in my class told me she had trouble taking medicine but that she would just pray and ask the Lord to bless it and then put them in her mouth and swallow. What a blessing this was as these ladies opened their hearts to me. They risked showing their own vulnerabilities in order to encourage me!
All day Monday I could think of nothing else except the clock ticking down toward 7:00 p.m. when I had to take the first dose of the medicine. I tried to stay busy to keep my mind off it. I read the Bible. I prayed. I even went and picked up the DVD's from our last year's Bible study of Beth Moore's Esther and re-watched Session Four which was all about fear! At 7:00 p.m. on the dot I took that tiny white pill in the palm of my left hand with a glass of water in my right hand. I bowed my head and asked God to bless that medicine, to let it do me good and not harm, and thanked Him for allowing this way for me to get the much needed dental work done. Then I put that sucker in my mouth, got a gulp of water and down it went. Half-way to victory now!
For the rest of the night I stayed busy watching Beth's video or talking on the phone. I had a lot of phone calls. Many more than usual. That was a good thing. It kept my mind occupied.
Tuesday morning I followed directions and took the other two pills an hour before my appointment time. By the time we arrived at Dr. Gill's office I was a little sleepy but other than that feeling fine. First job was for her assistant Jackie to take my blood pressure. Still high. I snuggle under the two blankets she puts on top of me to warm me up and try to relax. In ten minutes or so she comes back and checks b/p again. Still high. I'm beginning to worry a little. And of course you know what worry does to your blood pressure! ha Jackie puts a neck roll under my neck and tells me to just keep "chillin out". I pray. I know so many of you are praying for me! I know God is near!
After several times of checking my b/p and it's still too high, Dr. Gill suggests we try the gas and see if that will help. I've not used the gas before since I had a bad reaction over 25 years ago to it. But I'm ready to try it so she puts the nosepiece on me and turns the gas on really low. It does seem to help but not enough to get the pressure down to her safely levels. What a disappointment! I wanted SO badly to get this dental work done! They take the mask off and we talk for a few minutes, getting ready for me to go home...empty. I turn to Jackie and say...."Could you please just check it one more time?" They agreed. When the reading was done Jackie smiled and picked up the machine so Dr. Gill could see it. Right on the dividing line! Dr. Gill's reply..."Let's DO it!!!" I was so happy. So thankful. I KNEW that I was surrounded by many, many prayers of friends and that God was supplying my needs.
Some of you may have been laughing your way through my story. I know...it's a hoot. You may never have any problems going to the dentist. You may not fear flying. You may not fear being alone. You may not fear speaking in public. You may not fear taking tests. But there is SOMETHING you fear I'm pretty sure! And I just want to tell you today that whatever it may be, God is great than your fears. He is greater than MY fears! He's a great God! And I'm so thankful I'm His child!
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 19
Many, many thanks to all my prayer warrior friends! I love you so much!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Many of you already know that my sister Leola passed away early this morning. She had been in the hospital the past couple of weeks where they found she had cancer in several places . She underwent two major surgeries in eight days. It was just too much for her body to recover from.
Life....such a precious thing, as many of us were reminded today on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I spoke for a few minutes to our church family on that subject. Just a couple of weeks ago in the pregnancy center where I volunteer I was able to talk with a women who wanted to abort the baby she was carrying. She did have very desperate circumstances....no doubt of that. But I asked her if she thought that ending the pregnancy would really solve her problems or make them worse. In the end she decided to keep the baby. Please pray that she would also eventually come to know the Lord in a personal way as she attends her parenting classes.
Please keep my family in your prayers this week.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
As I was looking through a book of poems by Amy Carmichael I noticed one she titled, "His Surprises". It sort of caught me off guard. She talks of how each ordinary day is filled with wonderful little surprises from the Lord. It made me stop and wonder how many of these little surprises I overlook each and every day!
I thought of the extremely cold weather we have had and of the beautiful lacy frost left on my windows. A surprising piece of art straight from God.
I thought of how I enjoy watching the flames of the fire in our wood heater flicker and leap when I open the door to put more wood in. A different show of embers, fire and flame each time.
I thought of the tinkling, silvery sound of my wind chimes on the back porch as the wind keeps them continually moving.
So many lovely things God gives me each day. Too many to write down. "His Surprises". We must remember to recognize them as such.....His little love notes to His children.
Here is the poem:
(by Amy Carmichael)
In little, exquisite surprises
Bubbling deliciousness of Thee arises
From sudden places,
Under the common traces
Of my most lethargied and 'customed paces.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Yesterday we got a light snow. Unusual for Mississippi I know. But then 7 degrees at night is also unusual for Mississippi! So I've been keeping busy INSIDE the house! I had this material I had bought that you make a fabric book out of and had been putting off making it for our little grandson so decided today would be the perfect day to sew.
First step was to cut the panels apart and then iron on some lightweight interfacing on the wrong side. Then I had to sew the panels together two at a time.
After that I turned them right-side-out and top-stitched all around the edge. The last step was to lay the three panels one on top of the other and stitch down the very middle to make the spine of the book.
And Voila! A soft, washable, cute, almost indestructable book for a boy on the go! I sure hope he likes it!
You know, these "Snow Days" are nice sometimes! When the snow falls and covers the ground, all the dirt, the junk, the things that detract from beauty are all covered up with a fresh, clean, white blanket of beauty! Reminds me of how God can take a life filled with dirt and junk and through His grace cover all our imperfections and make it a life of beauty!
"For He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth;" Job 37: 6
Sunday, January 3, 2010
As I sat down to drink my hot tea in hopes that perhaps it would magically make me feel better I was encouraged by the cup I was drinking from. It simply says, "It's not the outlook but the uplook that counts!" And how true that little statement is! It's not really what is going on right here in front of my (somewhat red) nose that is so very important....but it's the whole picture of what God is orchestrating with eternity in mind that counts!
I can look OUT and see sickness, bad weather, poverty, crime, etc. Oh, I know there's a lot of good out there in the world, too, but sometimes that's not what we focus on. That can be pretty depressing.
Or, I can look UP and see how God daily offers His gift of salvation to the world. And He uses people....like you and me....to spread the Word about how much He loves people. His love and grace can make such a difference in a life! In fact, it makes ALL the difference. The difference between an eternity in heaven or in hell.
"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4: 18
Once again as I raise my cup to my lips and let the hot liquid sooth my throat I agree with the caption on the cup...."Its NOT the OUTLOOK but the UPLOOK that counts!"
May we always look UP first in order that we may then look OUT with love and compassion in our hearts!
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" Titus 2: 13
God bless you!