Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fostering gratitude

A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to be more intentional about focusing on the blessings and good things in my life.  I did a couple of entries and then got side tracked from blogging, yet again.  So, here I am, back at it.  

31) A happy baby
32) a loving husband who teaches me to laugh, keep trying, and be a little less serious
33) the ability to stretch dollars to cover the bills
34) the blessings of family that has given me/us so much
35) vacation
36) true sabbath
37) time at my favorite, most sacred place
38) our month of sabbath rest at the church
39) modern medicine
40) a doctor who is attentive and helpful
41) fresh fruit from the orchard
42) fresh veggies from the garden
43) yummy recipes
44) a husband who cooks
45) dessert
46) time with friends
47) second chances
48) the power of grace and forgiveness
49) capable parents who parented well
50) my siblings and their families

Monday, August 13, 2012

A little like sin

I have been battling a rash on my hand for 8 months now.  It's not contagious, it's just red, inflammed, itchy, and sometimes painful.  My general practitioner gave me one diagnosis and said that since I was breastfeeding there wasn't really anything he could do.  So I have endured it, and endured it, and endured it. And it has steadily gotten worse.  I've had different people take guesses about what it is.  Excema. Psoriosis. Rosacea. Allergy related. Glutten related.  I've tried all kinds of lotions, and some creams and nothing really helps. 

 It seems to be triggered the most by certain foods: breads, peanuts, pineapple, tomatoes, citrus fruits.  And as someone who has been free to eat what she wants for 30+ years, cutting ALL of those things out has been less than appealing.  I have cut back, and noticed some improvement at times, but then I'll eat something else, that I didn't expect to have an affect, and have a reaction, which just makes abstinence from other foods even less appealing. I mean, if I eat pineapple and have a reaction, then why not eat a biscuit too.  After all, suffering is suffering, right?!  

All the while that I debated abstaining from certain foods or not, I couldn't help but think there is a correlation to how we think about sin. Think of it this way: There is something in your life that is causing a problematic reaction in your life.  You think you know what it might be but you're not 100% positive. So, you mostly cut out the alleged culprit, but then you still have negative stuff happening, so you dabble with assumed enemy number 1 again.  After all, it might not be enemy number 1 and then you'd be missing out on the "good stuff" without cause.  But then you have more trouble. So, you're tempted (but only tempted) to think enemy number 1 might actually have a role to play.  So you do your best to avoid it.  Most of the time anyway.  But you're still tempted.  I mean it really is SO good.  Who could resist?  All the while, your troubles spread and are only getting worse.  You've considered getting help, but you've also been told help is futile. So you keep suffering, and keep dabbling, occasionally.  

And then you have to ask yourself,  
how much longer can I let this go on? 
 How much worse will it have to be before I become convinced there is a problem?
If I knew that enemy #1 was the source, would I finally deal with the negative effects in my life?  

 And after asking those questions, I decided I really did need the help of a professional. Today I was finally able to see a dermatologist, which was semi helpful. He gave me 3 different diagnoses and 3 different treatments, and he isn't sure about what I might be allergic to, only suggested an allergist might be helpful.  So, I have medicines to try and I'll go back in 6 weeks.