29 May 2005

The Power of advertising

I recently had a moment which brought home the point how effective advertising can be.

One of my favorite little gals had foot trouble. I was spending the evening with her and her sisters. She had been with mom and dad at the "Y" for swim lessons earlier in the day. She told me she had cut her foot and showed me the bandage she was wearing. It didn't seem to trouble her much until it was time to go to sleep. You know how the tiniest little thing is magnified when all you are doing is resting in the quiet waiting for sleep to come. This was her plight. I offered to get some lotion and give her a foot massage. As I was rubbing her foot I felt what seemed to be a hard lump in the bottom of her foot. Thankfully her mom and dad were just coming in. I asked her dad to take a look. He is a doctor.

This soon progressed to me holding her still while Daddy probed the wound to remove the foreign object. This called forth several entreaties from Sara for her dad to leave her foot alone. Her mom was explaining that she needed this done. Sara then said "I want a doctor, I want a doctor" repeatedly. When she was reminded that Daddy was a doctor, the mantra changed to "I want a doctor who's not Daddy, I want a doctor who's not Daddy." Now mom is telling her this needs to be taken care of so she can go to sleep. This was the moment that brought about the revelation of the importance of advertising. Sara began to ask for sleep medicine. She said "I want some sleep medicine, I've seen on TV, I want sleep medicine."

The episode was resolved when Daddy declared he would rather be a dad than a doctor. They both bundled up to visit the minor emergency clinic where there are other doctors and wonderful pain killing medicines. All ended well and Sara was able to take part in her dance recital a few days later.

I was impressed she did so fabulously with her dance routines. I was also impressed that in a moment of pain she pulled a memory of a commercial to use as a way to avoid all the unpleasantness. Advertising works.

26 May 2005

Don't disagree with a SUV

Tuesday I was running a little late to work. There was an accident along the way and I pulled into a parking lot to stop and help. As I was on my way across the street to offer aid I got hit by what seemed to me to be a really big Suburban. Turns out it was just a regular sized Suburban, but when you are lying on the ground looking up at the grill it seems enormous.

I'm basically o.k. Fairly well banged up with a sprained wrist. It could have been a lot worse. Not every disagreement between human flesh and large SUVs ends with so little damage.

The story has been a good for lots of laughs this week. Even I have chuckled mightily about it. I have become best friends with Advil and hot baths with Epsom salts.

Before you ask, I will continue to stop and render aid whenever the need arises. It's just something you have got to do. I'll try to hide from SUVs though.

22 May 2005

Too hard

The past couple of weeks are some I'd like not to repeat. It's such a mish mash of things I am uncertain where to begin. I got a call from a friend asking for prayer for one of her students. He had attempted suicide. She is a great teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. She stays after school at least four days a week to lead some sort of extracurricular activity for these kids. She cares deeply for each of them.

Another friend called to say her Dad had been placed in home hospice care. She needed a friend for venting and advice. It is hard to face the loss of a parent. Even though you know it is likely at some point in your life, there really is no adequate preparation. I mostly listened and offered some advice I have used in the years I have done hospice care. I was blessed to be with both of my grandfathers in the hours preceding their death. While it may not seem so, there is comfort to be found at such a time. Especially if you know you will be seeing someone again in Heaven someday. She called today to let me know her father had gone. She had been there for him, her mother, her sister and herself. Instead of being inconsolable she expressed joy at having been there when it happened.

I feel deeply the hurt of those around me. I am better able to help them by leaving myself open to their pain. This is how I function and I am uncertain I would change even if I could. Shutting yourself off from feelings will get rid of the bad stuff we all have to face, but it would also deny all the good things. I wouldn't want to risk that. The only downside to being this way is how it affects me.

Yet another person called last week to let me know he/she is having some major health problems. As he/she wishes it to remain unknown I couldn't pass along this concern to any of my prayer partners save to say someone I love needed prayer. This is even now hard to write about because I care so deeply for this person. When I feel challenged I reach out to a few close friends and lean hard on their support. The one huge drawback to being single is the lack of an available helper. Someone to be a sounding board when you just need to talk it out. This is perhaps why I depend so heavily on friends. Having that avenue closed on this issue has been the most difficult part of the last days.

Unfortunately all this played havoc with my arthritis and migraines. Autoimmune diseases are very susceptible to the host's state of mind. They like to attack when you are down.

I have spent much of the last week in long periods of prayer. My problems in getting through this time have nothing to do with the power of God to heal my wounds. They have everything to do with my not letting him do so. I hope I can learn from this very uncomfortable object lesson. I need to "let go and let God". Although I am extremely hard headed, I think I finally let the message get through. Learn from my stupidity and don't follow my example.

16 May 2005

I just had to do it

Moi? Naive? Who knew? It is reassuring to be twice as logical than I am naughty.

J is for Juicy
E is for Excellent
N is for Naughty
E is for Extreme
M is for Mushy
C is for Cheerful
C is for Cute
L is for Logical
E is for Expressive
L is for Logical
L is for Liberal
A is for Amorous
N is for Naive

15 May 2005


Today I saw an answer to prayer. At our congregational meeting we voted to accept our next pastor. After months of prayer by the church and in particular the search committee, an answer was given. With only three negative votes T. Douglas Ferguson was voted in to his new place as Co-Pastor.

Thank you Jesus!

14 May 2005

Tangents of thought

The past few weeks seem to have flown by. Everyone tells me that it's a sign I'm getting older. I don't know if that is the case but I'll accept it for now.

I spent a couple of weeks in a Wednesday night class on prayer. Mike Fry taught it and as usual he did a fantastic job. I think it was a real eye opener to some. He went past the typical ACTS template. (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication) It delved more into practicing the presence of God and listening for His voice.

Many years ago I read a book which dealt with "centering prayer". It made me aware of just how one-sided my praying was. I was always talking to God and not giving Him much of a chance to get a word in edgewise. I then began to treat my prayer time more as a meditative period. After all, I am engaging in conversation with the best lover I will ever have, the lover of my soul. I absolutely want to hear everything He has to say to me!

A little while back Dave asked the congregation how many senses human beings have. As expected, everyone said five. He then gently reminded us (also known as chastising) that we had a sixth sense. Common sense or intuition. We serve a supernatural God. He is actively working in our lives. We need to respond when He calls to us. If you are not open to the sound of His voice you will miss it.

Both the class and Dave's sermon reminded me of a phrase we use at work. "Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind." My ability to discern God's voice in my life is directly related to how prepared my mind and heart are to hear it. Time spent in prayer is the best preparation.

This thought sent me off on another mental tangent. I am a very creative person. I love spending time each day working in some art form. Be it a pencil, camera, paintbrush or keyboard; my contentment is directly related to my ability to create. I believe everything I am is a gift from God. I cannot separate my social life, my working life or my creative life from my spiritual life. I am a whole being and anything that touches one part of me touches all of me.

That being said, the extra time spent in prayer this past year has really been a blessing. I have accomplished more on a creative front than ever before. I still don't have full time employment. I don't make all my bills each month. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is the crux of my financial planning. However, this has been the best year of my life! I have spent more time with my lover than ever before. What He has shared with me has been loving and encouraging. He has brought me peace, happiness and contentment. This colors all the aspects of my life and frees me from the worry and care in which I could be drowning.

Something to think about.

02 May 2005

Lessons from little girls

I had another learning experience last Friday as I spent more time with my favorite gals.

This is the wisdom I gained:

You only get one face, you should be careful with it.

Cookies are for making your mouth happy, and your tummy likes them as well.

Vegetables don't make you happy, but they won't make you sick.

If you hide in the closet once, no one will think to look there for you the next time. (still working on grasping the rules to hide and seek.)

Music is what you make when you try to push the same piano keys your sister is; provided you can get her to sing your song.

You don't actually need 10 feet of toilet paper each time.

Too much toothpaste causes you to foam at the mouth like a mad dog.

A massage is a good thing, unless your sister decides to coat your back in lotion and then draw pictures in it.

If you don't laugh when you are tickled, you could hurt yourself and need to go to the doctor.

If you push the same key repeatedly on the keyboard, eventually the computer will do something. We're just not sure what.

God likes it when you say the same nighttime prayer because that is what He's expecting.

He also likes it when you say something new. He gets bored sometimes.

It's good to tell people you love them. You don't need a reason.

Time spent with children is always well spent.