Archives for posts with tag: eroomanederf

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Ah, she’s awake and smiling. I plant a kiss on the top of her head.
 Giggles. More smiles. She coos and “converses” with me.

I watch her play. “Plop!” She looks over the bassinet and on the floor.

“Uh-oh”. I pick up her bottle. She’s still learning to hold it on her own.

More conversation. Squeals. “Singing”. Lovely.

Earlier, we were going through the process of clearing her nasal congestion…

With warm running in the sink, I let her play, watching her fascination as she tries to catch the water flowing through her long fingers.

I take the top off the nasal spray (natural product, of course). I show it to her; then I spray it towards the mirror so she can see it. She smiles. Reaches for it. I hold her as she holds the bottle. Let her “spray” it. Gently, I place the nozzle in each nostril. 1-2-3 squirts each one. She blinks with each one. Water runs continuously during this time, her reward-playing with it after I’m finished. We repeat this again with the bulb syringe. Touch. Feel. Hold. Squeeze. I fill the syringe with water, hold it up, let her watch the water flow out and down the sink. I hold her hand, she holds the syringe, she watches in the mirror as she places it near her nose. She squeezes, her eyes blinking, inhaling, as the air blows out. She smiles and coos. She watches me in the mirror as I clear her passages. Again, she enjoys her reward. We finish with a warm compress to her face, say “Bye-Bye” to her dirty tissues vanishing into the toilet, and clean the nozzle and syringe. She watches. I let her hold, spray, squeeze, before everything is put away.

She plays for awhile, then it’s back to sleep. Her sleep is quiet, and her breathing is easy.

 

For all who work in the healthcare profession:

God bless you. You made the decision to serve humanity in the medical field. The years of school, many hours of study, learning twice as much principles, philosophies, methods, etc. of medicine in such a short period of time, large student loans to repay-you sacrificed.

God protect you. Emergency rooms are full, sometimes overflowing with patients. For the many hours on your feet, sometimes eating a hot meal gone cold, patiently dealing with irritated, at times unreasonable, sick patients and upset family members-you’re there.

You’re human. You’re not perfect. You make mistakes. You’re not God.

I praise God for you, and I pray for you. My life is in your hands when I’m sick and in pain, and sometimes what I do on my own doesn’t work. I make it my business to lift you up before God-the original physician, healer, creator, and restorer of my body, of my health. You are his co-laborer, so I ask him to give you wisdom, strength, compassion, and faith. I love, appreciate you, and the care you give!

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Photo Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=10107&picture=stethoscope

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22,23

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” -Galatians 5:25

Two very familiar passages. Pretty heavy fruit. Serious right living. Something to bear in mind when seeking a church home: Is the church I’m looking to join bearing Spirit fruit planted by God?

This reliable standard goes beyond praise and worship styles, prayer meetings, auxillaries/ministries departments, outreach programs, and all the workings of organized religion in church. It looks past the smiling faces, friendly hugs, and polite etiquette. It looks deep into the heart of a church’s members.

Jesus was never impressed with church folk. He pierced through their works to the inside of their souls. Attitudes and motives caught his attention. Always. I think of the Good Samaritan account, and the lawyer who asked Jesus who was his neighbor. Jesus answered his question with this story-then asked the lawyer who was the neighbor. Then there’s the Prodigal Son story, describing the actions and reactions of the father, the wayward son, and the faithful elder brother. The other story that stands out in my mind is the Widow’s Mite, and Jesus’ silence as he watched the congregants put in their offerings. He openly praised the widow’s act of putting all she had into the plate. Oh yes, I forgot about the rich young ruler. He did right, lived right, from his youth, but chose not to follow Jesus after he was told to sell all his wealth.

The appearance of doing right, and living right, is not enough in God’s eyes. These acts should be fruit born of the seed of pure love for God, and for all his people. He asks why am I doing right? God wants to know, and the book of Acts clearly shows, do I love him from my heart-or is it just for show? Have I brought God down to my level of selfishness, doing good works for me or for him? Or to get things for me and my four, and no more? My thoughts, my motives I hide from man who sees smiles, and works-but God sees hearts.

Yes, God can tell if a church’s fruit is good or bad. Remember the fig tree Jesus cursed because it bore no fruit?

A FRUITFUL CHURCH: Oozes with a God-love that sets safe, loving, prayer-saturated boundaries for members to share their real selves, fearing no closed-mindedness and judgment. The joy continues long after the weekly praise & worship, miracles, and healings stop. Her members consciously seek peaceful ways of getting along with one another. Everyone practices longsuffering (patience), understanding every member is at a different stage of his or her walk with the Lord. Gentleness is shown consistently when restoring those who are fallen and weak in faith. The intent of the hearts of all members is to think, to speak, to do good and only good. Faith causes everyone to believe in and encourage each other to get up, brush off, to keep moving forward and upwards. The spirit of meekness recognizes all make mistakes, then effectively crushes and makes no room for pride. Temperance (self-control) governs every church member, because they are surrendered vessels to God.

Looking for a home church? Look for her Spirit Fruit.

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http://publicphoto.org/architecture/church-in-the-city/

 

 

Here’s a grain dish I made with what was left to cook in the fridge. I eyeballed this one, so forgive me please for the lack of measurements. Next time I’ll remember to measure everything. The fun, of course, is seeing what you can create!

Cooked quinoa

Fresh made toasted bread crumbs from 2 slices of whole grain white bread

1 garlic clove, crushed ( I love lots of garlic, had to control myself)

Dried Seasonings: sage, thyme, Carribbean, smoked paprika, Italian, basil, cayenne

Vegan chicken bouillon broth

Frozen garden vegan patty, heated just until it softens and crumbles easily

 

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

I used a small amount of vegetable oil, just enough, to oil the bottom and sides of a small glass casserole dish. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix lightly (use your clean hands, it’s OK) the quinoa, bread crumbs, and crushed garlic. Add seasonings, to taste.

Crumble the veggie patty into the mixture last. Stir all carefully, adding a little broth at a time, just to moisten everything. Adjust seasoning.

Spoon mixture into casserole dish. Bake in the oven, for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and smelling good. *Note: I covered the dish with foil, since the pan didn’t have a cover.

Remove from oven when done, and let cool. Cut into squares and serve.

The surprise: it tasted like cornbread stuffing! I baked acorn squash halves, stuffed with cranberries (sprinkled w/ brown sugar), alongside the quinoa casserole.

I chose to experiment with the seasonings above, so feel free to come up with a combination you like. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

For breakfast, I had left in the refrigerator:

1/2 bag fresh cranberries, rinsed

1 large apple, cored & sliced thin

1 pear, cored & sliced thin

1 cup Water

1/2 cup raw brown sugar

 

Bring the water and sugar to a gentle boil in a medium pot. I prefer no sugar at all, but I’m not the only one eating it. You can add more or less sugar to your liking, or use another natural sweetener of your choice.

Add the rinsed cranberries, once the sugar is dissolved.

Add the apple and pear slices.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer down to a thick consistency. Keep an eye on this, stirring every now and then, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn off stove. Let cool, or use hot if you’d like for topping waffles, pancakes, etc.

Transfer to a container when cool (I use glass), and store in the refrigerator. Mine keeps for a few days. I try to use everything I make within three days.

I completed my breakfast with cooked quinoa cereal, ground flaxseed topping, raw almonds, and the other half of the fruits. Later, I used this as a topping, as a side dish, and as a supper with whole-grain crackers & herbal tea.

 

Looking through old boxes while moving, I found a paper I did for my psychology class. I chose research the faith community’s response to family violence. My professor encouraged me to approach this topic from a different angle, and I included interviews with two ministers, and an imam. The imam interaction was a brief contact, one time only; I completed my interview with a young woman, one of their teachers. Because we had a short time to complete our papers, I could not include rabbis, as the appointments were outside the deadline.

I saved my interviews with women survivors, who were actively involved in their churches, for last.

This assignment garnered me an A+, but the knowledge and understanding of the faith communities’ sense of duty to the call of ministering to hurting congregants meant more to me than a grade.

The interviews were eye-openers. The young woman I talked with at the mosque was very knowledgeable, breaking down the similarities/differences in southern/northern cultures’ view of women and their status in their respective regions. She was from the northern middle east region, where women are allowed to receive an education, drive a car, pursue careers, own property, own and operate businesses-pretty much different from the media portrayal I’d experienced ( I didn’t ask her where she was from, since my paper’s focus on this issue was general). Women living in the southern region were not so fortunate. It surprised me to learn that the wives walked two steps behind their husbands. I appreciated all she had to say, but I left with the impression that not too much is done, other than the women are given assistance. I received this interview after attending their worship service; I saw the imam after this interview. He just wanted to know if I was satisfied with what I learned.

The interview that impressed me, to this day, was with the minister who personally involved himself in assisting one of his congregants to safety-to another state; and helping another woman to move forward after counseling with the husband proved futile. He was Mexican, and I learned his perspective on the cultural views of women in his country, north and south regions. The surprise here was the similarity to the young woman’s interview. The story was the same.

My interview with the last minister, an African-American, was similar to the other minister. He was involved on a community level, working with social agencies, and preferred to maintain a distance from the families he serviced. His experiences led him to not become personally involved. So my question to the minister who involved himself on a personal level: Why?

He understood his ministry goes beyond praying with and for his congregants. He understood the practical religion of Jesus Christ. Both families are still active in their respective congregations. He maintains contact with them, even though he no longer pastors them.

Pastor….key word.

My interviews with the women who left their abusive relationships was interesting. I say interesting because these women were very active, holding leadership positions, on the surface looking like “I’m a survivor”-but still attached to their abusive ex-spouses- emotionally and mentally. One woman, married twice, was battered in both marriages. The pain, the emotions were still very raw. One couldn’t talk anymore after opening up. I respect that, I feel for them, having been there myself.

They didn’t say too much about their churches’ responses to their situations, and whether their pastors kept in touch with them.

My mentor, a social worker, offered much support to me and my family, along with the pastor and his wife whose leadership my family was under at that time. I know these individuals were the reason I was able to move on, forgive my ex, and live freely.

That was five years ago when I did that assignment. I was researching this morning, and want to explore it again, this time along with spiritual abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

There. I did it. Just picked it up, and tossed it in the garbage without hesitation. Feeling warm, full, and so satisfied.

What’s next?

I have no idea-and that’s the best part ( well, I’m not doing this makeover totally blind).

I’m just traveling on this road to fantastic health, and enjoying: the calmness of spirit, the settling down of my body, the sweet peace taking over my mind. That squirrel-y feeling I’d grown accustomed to, has vacated the premises. I admit, I doubted eliminating gluten would have that much of an impact on me; it’s been a lifetime….

Making up my new grocery list is exciting. I look forward to culinary adventures in quinoa, amaranth, teff, Job’s Tears, and other “free” grains. I delight in soursop, pomegranate, and avocados; parsnips, and cassava, all kinds of legumes, nuts and seeds.

Basil, bay leaf, dill, parsley, sage, and thyme-endless seasoning combinations to master.

My choices are many, my benefits, motivating, and I’m thankful for them all.

Now off I go to collect recipes!