Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Prayer Request

I come from a military family.  My father and both brothers served our country by way of the US Navy. One of my sons is currently in the Air Force ROTC, and a nephew recently signed up for the Navy as well. Last week, I attended the graduation ceremony from Army bootcamp for a friend's son, and a few days later our neighbors' son left for the same boot camp.  I am proud that our country devotes both today and Veterans Day to remembering our troops.  These soldiers and sailors are our loved ones or oftentimes the loved ones of people we know, and many lives are impacted by each individual's decision to take up arms to defend and protect.

I am sharing this request for another Mom who's heart is tender for the son of a friend, and asking that you might lift him up in prayer.  Thank you, and thanks to our United States Military Forces.

Dear all,
Could you please take a minute to help?

Last October, a home-school mother asked if our Key Club would participate in a Christmas letter-writing effort.  She spoke to our club on behalf of her brother, Ricky who was back from serving overseas in the armed forces.  Even though he was struggling with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), he was concerned for others with whom he served.  He told his family about the men and women who were raised in the foster care system, then joined the military at 18 years old.  These soldiers did not get letters from home and they had no family to whom to return after war.  Some were wounded and recovering in hospitals, receiving no mail and no visitors.  Despite Ricky's own struggles, he asked that his family reach out to the others who stood alongside him as they served and fought.  Our Key Club wrote letters for the "Soldiers Angels" effort.

But this Memorial Day, Ricky needs our prayers --- he is struggling mightily.

A nurse practitioner friend met with me for coffee after she wrapped up her instructor course at Queens College and before she moved to Topsail Island.  She told me that she had attended the Laying On of Hands service at the college, and it was a powerful send-off.  Another friend in Montana sends updates about a compelling program that includes regular Laying On of Hands in her Episcopal church.

I am asking them and all of you ---- would you please invite all your family, extended family, friends and neighbors to create an e-prayer chain for Ricky?  Take this minute, or several minutes and please....join hands or close your eyes and see in your mind, joining hands with all whom you love ---- and pray for Ricky.  Pray for his healing, pray for the restoration of his spirit.

Thank you.

In Christ,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Natural Progesterone Testimonial

(Time reference: 2002) I should have realized right away that things were not right with me.  By nature, I am a pretty easy-going person; but just prior to my 40th birthday, although outwardly I seemed the same as always, I found I was not handling things well inside myself - not at all.  Finally, there came an afternoon when I called and left my husband a phone message, simply asking him if he could come home a little early if possible so we could talk.  He cancelled all appointments and flew home immediately, imagining all kinds of far-out reasons for my call.  This may give you some understanding of how uncharacteristic even such a small request was for me.  Had one of the boys mouthed off with me?  Had I finally had enough of a particularly trying friend?  What could this emergency be? 
... I thought I'd sounded rather nonchalant. ;-)

It really was a fairly small thing that I was fretting over, and M laughed at my worry; but he quickly saw that however much he might think my response was an over-reaction, it was very real.  He helped me to get through my dilemma over the next few days, then gently suggested, "Shy, do you think this might be hormonally related?"  Only seconds before had that thought occurred to me.  It could just be.

I picked up What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About Peri-Menopause by John Lee from my local library and began reading.  Normally, I prudently finish researching before taking action, but this time I went straight to my local health food store and purchased a recommended jar of progesterone cream, wasting no time in beginning to rub it into my skin daily before I'd even finished the book.  I could stop using it later if this turned out to be a crock, but I wanted relief from my anxiety NOW.  Every day I would ask my husband, seeking his reassurance, "are you still that wonderfully supportive man?  because I'm still that crazy lady."  Eventually the symptoms subsided with only very occasional reoccurances, and I have continued the use of this cream, roughly in a three weeks on/one week off routine for the past eight years.

Recently, I have had an increase in taxing situations come up in my life for which I have needed to rely heavily upon His strength and comfort, as well as the vitality of prayer and deep reserves in my spiritual walk.  All has been supplied, but I noticed that I'd begun to have restless nights of sleep coupled with annoyingly interruptive night sweats and then periodic daily hot flashes.  The lightbulb went off the other morning as I realized I have been negligent in administering my routine application of progesterone cream during this same season.

I am two days back into the swing of it, and time will be needed to build up this defense in my system; but I am grateful for the natural avenue of relief that is available here.  I encourage you to look into this yourself if you find you are getting of a certain age and meeting up with unusual challenges, either mentally or physically.  It has been a wonderful resource of help to me.

Blessings to your health!

Update: Three weeks later, not a hot flash or night sweat to trouble me at all.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ex Nihilo

Some months back a Mom in our Legacy Girls Group focused her devotion on the time we spend with the Lord in His word.  She handed out some wonderful sheets designed to help us track our reading - unique in that they had little bubbles for us to fill in as we completed a chapter, book by book.  This served as a fun inspiration for motivating my daughters; and rather than fizzling out after the initial initial sparkle, they have proven to be the foundation of a very willing investment of their attentions.

If we get a bit off-track, these charts serve as a motivator for them to remind me and ask that we make sure to provide time to read our bibles.  How priceless is that?

I do morning devotions with them, teaching and asking questions and showing them some of what lies within His word, but this morning I decided to see if they were ready to take that next step, sharing something with us about what they'd read on their own.  After a while of listening, my hands flew out and clapped the table in appreciation.  The ways in which the wheels were turning in their minds and what they'd noticed and picked up on was purely delightful.  Dear Lord, continue to whisper.

We fumble in this world looking for meaning and answers, in simple words we are on a pursuit and quest for Truth.  He spoke the world into existence, He called from a burning bush, He announced His pleasure in His Son, He whispered after the windstorm, fire, and earthquake.

Over and over again within the past two weeks or so a Latin expression I first heard in a Dr. Grant class keeps showing up, first in my thoughts, then surprising me with its appearance in what I was reading, and then even astonishingly coming from another in conversation.  Not the kind of thing you hear every day: Ex Nihilo - out of nothing.  Why is it that we so often have to come to the end of ourselves with nothing left to self-satisfy?  I hope that is not what it takes, but if it does He is there. I know this.  My prayer for those I love is that they find His word, His voice, His declaration. When there is nothing else, He is there still.  Dear Lord, keep on whispering.

* * Still Small Voice by Elizabeth Polfus

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