Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘illness’

Vulnerability Exposes the Heart

Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 8, 2012

This past week, I’ve been sick with something nasty. Can’t quite say what it is; apparently, what we know as the ‘common cold’ is a variety of innumerable illnesses which our bodies just happen to react the same way to. But I’ll say it’s a cold. A really, really bad cold. Coughing, sneezing, emptying tissues boxes by the hour, the works.

Being sick with this sort of thing really shows me my innermost self. And no, not just because I’m coughing my entrails out. I mean, sickness makes me irritable and cranky, probably because I’m so weak, so vulnerable. My head is throbbing and I don’t feel like thinking. My throat hurts and I don’t feel like talking. I can’t smell stuff. The rest of my body aches and it’s a chore to get out of bed. Can’t breathe and it makes sleeping difficult. Wah wah waaah!

All these factors contribute to my being less patient with my computer loading things on the Internet, the bus being ‘late’ by my watch, my soup tasting funny, all sorts of little things that I’m suddenly so bothered by. The question is, has my life really gone downhill since I’ve gotten sick, or is everything pretty much exactly the same as it always is, and do I have any right to grouch about things? Answer: Life is no different around me, just inside me, and I don’t really have the right to grouch.

My being sick could be caused by a number of things. I won’t say God has willed it, because I know He loves me and doesn’t want to make me sick. He wants to make me strong in Him. However, because I’m sick, it is easier for me to realize what my heart is really like at the moment, and how much I’m missing out on God’s love. If my heart were more like His, I wouldn’t be so quick to whine and groan at the simple annoyances that I, literally, deal with every day and am normally used to. It bothers me that I am so easily bothered by things when I’m sick and weak, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this issue. The blessing in it is that truly, I recognize my need for more Jesus when my temper flares up against silly things, and it certainly does that more often when I’m sick.

For example, I got slightly unhappy when I woke up from a ‘nap’ a few minutes ago, after having written half of this blog and after I planned to only sleep for an hour and a half before I would finish this and post it. Set two alarms. I don’t know how I slept past two alarms, and my being sick is no excuse. I woke up and started coughing angrily before sitting down to finish this.

So, am I saying God makes people sick when He knows we needs to straighten up? No, but I am saying that the timing with my sickness in particular fascinates me, because I know that He knows that I need to straighten up, and I know that He uses all kinds of things for His work to get done. Is anyone else out there catching something nasty and suddenly noticing the condition of your heart? This isn’t a guilt-trip; don’t feel bad about it. I mean, do, but in a healthy fashion. Recognize it and fix it! Maybe your sickness won’t be such a pain when you know that you’re right with The Lord, yeah? Food for thought. Er… cough drops for thought.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vulnerability Exposes the Heart

Five secrets to a balanced life.

Posted by janeteckles on January 28, 2012

By Janet Perez Eckles

No, it can’t be! I cannot be getting sick, not again. I gritted my teeth. But my burning throat mocked me.

After I called someone to take my place and teach ladies’ Sunday school, I dragged myself out of bed, head throbbing, chills and aches all over. I tightened the belt to my robe and shuffled slowly to the bathroom, looking for a glass to gargle with salt water.

I had already met my once-a-year cold for the year a couple of months ago. And now when my plate of tasks overflowing, back in bed again. UGH!

Then God’s outpour of love began. My friend Cindi took over, “No worries,” she wrote, “I’ll take care of that.”

And she did. All the technicalities on this end were in her hands. Then my friend Kimberly called and prayed for me, gave me practical advice. May called from Panama and poured her sweetness over the phone, my precious Mama made chicken soup. My daughter-in-law found some amazing herbal tea. Her mom dropped off some natural cold capsules. Hubby hugged and spoiled me.

How can a chica stay sick with all that lovin’?

By the third day, health smiled at me, I was ready to salsa my way through my tasks. But before I tackled the first one, I had to do an unpleasant thing—swallow a great big pill of reality.

This reality: When I’m well, I plop on the driver’s seat of life and press the accelerator. With my Latina head out the window, shouting, “Out of my way, got things to do.”

What a goof. No wonder, going at that rate, I’ll smash into illness, pride, or disaster. And often all three.

Here are five questions to ask and answer so we can not only avoid such calamity, but relish in a balanced life:

  1. When we’re well, free from pain or discomfort, what is our approach? Is it gratitude and appreciation? I vote for taking a break: stop and pause to smell—not the roses—but the richness of God’s blessings. (Psalm 71:14-15)
  2. Whatever task our nimble hands are crafting or activity we’re plunging into, is it something that will bring glory to God? Is the purpose one that will cause Him to smile and be pleased? Are the motives honorable? (Proverbs 16:1)
  3. Is God’s wisdom driving our thoughts, actions and decisions we make in those sweet moments of health? (Proverbs 16:16)
  4. What is the reference point to choose whether a task is a priority or not? Is it God’s Word and His precepts that decide what should take precedence? And, what order will bring the guarantee of a rich life? (Psalm 119:1-2)
  5. And most importantly, do we carry His promises engraved in our heart so with our healthy voice, vibrant, heart, energized spirit, we can shout to the world that God is alive. He’s well. He’s in control. He’s observant. He’s ready to receive us as His own through His son Jesus. (Psalm 19:7)

“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand [Lord], your arm, and the light of your face, for you have loved them” (Psalm 44:3).

Father, thank you for humbling me in my flawed ways. When healthy, it’s not my tasks, accomplishments or success that brings balance to my life. But it’s your love that extends through the gift of life, the treasure of health, and the blessing of you living in me that ushers victory, true happiness, joy and balance. Use my healthy moments to bring glory to yourself. In Jesus’ name I ask.

  • How are you feeling today—emotionally, spiritually?
  • Are God’s promises carrying you through the difficult moments?
  • How will you use your healthy days when they come back?

Janet

Posted in Inspiration, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Five secrets to a balanced life.

It’s a New Year and I’m already sick…

Posted by Ben Erlichman on January 6, 2011

I don’t know how this always seems to happen to me. I end up getting sick pretty much every January, usually around my birthday near the end of the month. For the past three years I’ve either been sick on my birthday or in close proximity to it. I guess this kind of counts as year number four.

Is there something biologically wrong with me that this happens every year at the same time? Maybe it’s some sort of Old Testament curse or something. Whatever it is, it really bugs me.

So far this is only a cold, a nasty cold, but a cold nonetheless. I’ve been in bed almost all day and I have a headache, congestion, and a mild sore throat. My best friends are Sudafed and chicken noodle soup.

I’m not writing to complain though.  Complaining rarely accomplishes anything. Instead, I’m looking for a purpose, a lesson behind this. I think I’ve found it.

When you’re sick, you feel useless (or at least I do). I want nothing more than to just sleep away the day or waste time watching old Godzilla movies on the internet. Not exactly a productive use of my time, is it?

Sometimes we feel useless when trying to do what God wants us to do. Sometimes we feel useless at our jobs, useless at home, useless when we’re all alone. In a way, we’re sick. We wallow around in self-pity, looking for attention from others (sometimes the wrong kind of attention). But we don’t do anything to help ourselves get well again.

I mentioned my comrades Sudafed and  chicken noodle soup. I like chicken noodle soup just fine, but I wish I was healthy enough to eat some tacos instead. As for Sudafed, well, I’d rather not have to take it, but I’m better off taking it because it helps me feel better.

In our lives, we need Sudafed, and we need chicken noodle soup. We need nourishment when we’re ill, particularly in our spiritual lives. We need to pray and read our Bibles so we can draw nearer to God. That’s the chicken noodle soup. We also occasionally need the support and prayers of friends and loved ones. One could argue that we need that all the time, but it’s especially true when we’re down in the dumps, feeling “off” and frustrated with life. When I have a cold, I especially need Sudafed.

So if you’re feeling under the weather, what are you going to do about it? Get some chicken noodle soup and some Sudafed. Get well soon.

-Ben

Posted in Life Experiences | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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