My threshold…

I am overwhelmed. A friend’s brother in law was killed and she is grieving. Another friends husband was hospitalized due to Covid. The situation in Afghanistan is gut wrenching. Another college friend is battling for his life against cancer. My hauling truck (van) broke down. We have a chunk of flooring removed in our great room where the kitchen table should be deafeningly loud fans, heater and dehumidifier running in our main room to dry the subfloor out. Plus a huge chunk of the wall open to the siding due to a ductless heat pump split head that, apparently has been leaking since being installed a year ago. Our spending is out of control. Food prices are horrendous! I can’t get out of the supermarket for under a hundred bucks anymore, and get fewer bags. There has been so much to do trying to get all the outside projects done before winter that I haven’t been napping in the afternoons, which is critical since I am waking up at 4am every morning no matter what time I go to sleep. My honey is stressed because of his job, which stresses me. Retirement is five years away, and we don’t feel prepared. I can’t travel to see our daughter and grandsons oversees because her country is closed to tourists. She can’t come here because of the unpredictability of international travel.

It was finding the floor water damage that really pushed me over the top of my threshold. I call it my “I need a good cry and a piece of chocolate cream pie” threshold. I told my chiropractor that when he asked how I was doing, and he proceeded to explain to me why a good cry helps. Apparently tears of joy or sadness are chemically different from overwhelm tears. Overwhelm tears actually clear out excess stress hormones from the body, thus, making you feel better.

Which leads to a less stressed ending to this post. It is amazing to me that our creator, created our bodies to self cleanse out excess chemicals/hormones that can be toxic if left inside. That is a miraculous thing! At least in my book it is. Now, if I can just get past the feelings of embarrassment and let the tears fly when they want to come out, instead of stuffing them for a more convenient moment… Here’s to a good cry, chocolate pie and better health because of it. And huge praises to the Creator who made our bodies such amazing machines!!

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Shavuot…

My hubby and I celebrate the Feasts of the LORD, as did Jesus, as did the disciples and the early church. They are found listed in the book of Leviticus, chapter 23.

This year, we had a rainy, cold spring and early summer. The day of Shavuot, or Pentecost, as many may know it, occurred on the last Sunday of May. I awoke to a rainy day. We hadn’t planned on hosting the feast this year, as we had only just moved onto our property two weeks earlier. The shop wasn’t ready, and the house not big enough. But, friends kept asking, so we decided to do it. We hired a few out of work due to COVID friends to come clear out the unfinished shop and move all the excess building materials, gardening stuff, tools, and so much more from the large room in the shop to the small room. We blocked off the staircases with plywood so no one could possibly go upstairs and get injured due to a lack of permanent, stable, stair and balcony railings. I asked a few teenaged girls from our gatherings to come and help me decorate for the occasion. Special individual sized cakes were picked up from the bakery, a huge shopping trip was made. By the Friday before, everything was ready.

As I said, we awoke to rain. Not just a drizzle either. Full blown, hair wet in a minute rain. I found myself in tears. All that work, and now the weather isn’t cooperating. We weren’t sure how many people we could hold in the shop yet, there was no working heat, no outside for the kids to play in, only ports potties to pee in. I began to doubt anyone would come. After a simple prayer, I began to realize that this was a test. Would we be willing to celebrate, and meet with God on this, HIS appointed day to meet with his children, even if it was just the two of us who were there? I resolved to say a resounding YES.

I wiped my tears, put a pair of tennis shoes under my beautiful dress and began the process of toting food from the house to the shop. The first guests arrived as I brought the third batch over. And they continued to arrive for the next hour. One guest took over guiding the parking, the ladies pitched in organizing all the food on the tables. We improvised on our reenactment of the giving of the covenant at Mt Sinai by setting up a ladder in the shop for my honey (Moshe) to read the Ten Commandments from, several ladies held up gray pillows I had gathered to be clouds to shroud the mountain, and several men with shofars sounded the trumpet blast to announce the activity. The Ten Commandments we’re ready, the recount of the giving of the Holy Spirit many years later on the same day was shared also. One man waved our two loaves of bread and led us in prayer. One gentleman shared a short message, a sweet couple led some praise. A few ladies asked if they could sing for the group. They had voices like angels. At one point a couple young women started some Hebrew dance. Teens sat on the blue plastic Adirondack chairs under the covered porch outside, wearing jackets, and visited, kids played in the puddles outside.

It was a beautiful day of remembering the sacred covenant between God and his children. A day of joy, celebration, and sweet fellowship with the brethren. The room seemed plenty warm, you didn’t notice the unfinished walls, only the beauty of the decor and of people fellowshipping. The day began before noon, the last guests usually leave around 9:30 pm. We end the day physically exhausted, but spiritually renewed. Completely satisfied, but wanting more. But, more will have to wait until the Day of Trumpets in September.

Big yawn…

The sky has been gray all day long, with a fine mist falling at various times. The hum of a space heater and the growl of my father’s outdated computer tower have been the white noise for my day of rest.

I spent an hour answering questions in my grandparent’s reflections book that I am filling out for the four grands we currently have, the one in the oven (idiom for our son and his wife’s pregnancy), and hopefully more grands and greats to come. Once my honey woke, we talked politics as he read through the newspaper, then talked about our plans for celebrating the Feasts of the LORD out on our property once we are done building. The smell of Marie Calender’s mushroom chicken pot pies filled the house with warmth as the conversation meandered through upcoming birthday celebrations, the visit we had with friends last night and the ugly clock sitting in our living room that belongs to my father.

My father and I spent a bit of time finishing out one of our Scrabble games. I won, 353 to 322. And then I settled in to do some Bible reading and praying for our children, our grands and the body of believers we call family. My eyes began to feel like sandpaper and I dropped off for a five minute snooze. My honey went upstairs to take a nap, and here I am now, blogging about my uneventful, yet satisfyingly restful day. My mind is at peace. My body is resting up to begin another week.

There is something special about the Sabbath. I have taken other days off to rest, but it is never the same. God meets with his children on the Sabbath in a special way. Try it. It can change your life once you give yourself permission to jump out of the rat race for 24 hours and spend time with the Creator who made you and loves you. Shalom.

Random thoughts…

I am so thankful to the creator of the universe this morning. For sustaining my life through the night once again, so that I may live another day, and somehow be a light to others, showing forth his love for them.

I am so grateful for insect repellent!! I have an awesome essential oil recipe I use. Smells good, is natural, and works! I brought a pack of baby wipes soaked in it to a friends house last night. We went for dinner, they live in the woods, last time I was there I came home bumpy and itchy. I felt the first “landing” on my arm around 8pm. I quietly slipped to the foyer where my purse was, wiped down all exposed skin, and enjoyed the rest of the night “landing, bump and itch” free.

Our permits to build were approved this week! So exciting. It took a month to get something that should have taken a week. Our area is definitely experiencing a building boom. Monday, my honey and I, go into the community development department, sign our names in front of their notary, pay our fees, and “poof” we are official! Let the framing begin! Ok, let the cement pouring on the footings begin first.

On a related note, last night my husband was sharing about feeling very unprepared for teaching at church this morning. He hates that feeling. We both do. Both of us like to feel in control and prepared. I have also been feeling very out of control with the whole building process. Everything seems to be happening so fast. We need to order wood so the guys can prep window headers while waiting for the permits, but the companies I asked for bids from are still working on them, so we buy from the company we think will have the best pricing. Our DIY in floor heating has taken an interesting turn too. We have hired a guy/consulting company to prepare the schematics of the system for us, and the control panel. We will lay everything, and connect it to the main panel, etc. however to get the permit for the mechanical, I have to provide “calculations” about capacities, oem something, and lots of other techie words I know nothing about. When I asked if they do that, or could help me with that, they said that the HVAC contractor usually does that, and asked if I had one. Ummm. No. Doesn’t DIY mean do it yourself, or, in other words, you won’t need to hire and pay an HVAC contractor for this project? At first I was angry, really angry. However, after a drive to the big city thirty minutes away, with my calm me down music by Brian Crain playing softly in my ears, I came off that ledge and began to think about how we could solve the issue. Was that a moment of personal growth? Oh my! This old dog is not too old to learn a new trick!!! Another thing I am thankful for.

I think my homeopathy regimen is beginning to show results. Last night I had some key limeade with dinner, a few bites of sugar laden rhubarb pie and a very cheesy chicken enchilada casserole. All delicious, but dairy gives me a gassy tummy and sugar can exacerbate the hot flashes. Yet, I slept well. Really well. In the past I have battled dealing with adrenal fatigue. My hormones have been out of whack, I get exhausted, but too wired to sleep soundly, often waking four or five times a night. Pretty much the only remedy was stopping everything and spending a month at home, in jammies, doing only things which are emotionally non stressful. But, in spite of the house stuff, I seem to be doing better, handling the stress better, handling life better. Again, I am thankful to God for his mercies and provision of all that we need in life, including homeopathy. I started this part of my journey after reading a blog I can across on joettecalabrese.com. She is a great educator, and all of her stuff is downloadable and a lot is free. She also has classes you can take, which I will when life slows down a bit (meaning when the building process is done). I would add the link, but I haven’t yet figured out how that feature works yet, sorry!

Oh! I am thankful there are no bees buzzing around my food!

Last thought. I am thankful for summer Sabbath mornings. Cold sweet potato pie, breakfast on the shaded back patio, colorful blooming flowers, cats eating long grasses so they can go into the house later to puke it up in a location I won’t see until my bare foot lands in it. Crickets are chirping, doves are cooing, and the neighborhoods resident pheasant chimes in periodically with his distinct voice. My soul is at peace.

May you also find the confidence and humility you need to stay teachable during your journey on this earth, and may you find your “Sabbath morning” peace for your soul.