Monday, November 25, 2013

Dream or Vision?

I was asleep.

The world was covered in clouds, and as I listened to the news on the radio, people were beginning to panic for the lack of sunlight. If this kept up, how could we grow food? Famine was eminent.

There I was in my bedroom, contemplating ways to punch a hole in the clouds. Helicopters with large swatches of fabric? Huge fans? I was laying in bed wondering when I felt something in the room and sat up, looking towards the ceiling.

A pair of huge corporeal hands reached down for me, taking my hand in both of His, lifting me towards the ceiling. I felt my spirit lift from my body as He brought me towards Him, like a daughter to her Daddy.

I'd always wondered what I would really do if the Second Coming happened in my lifetime. Would He even take me? Would I be begging Him to forgive me? Would I be frightened of his wrath? I could definitely picture myself reacting like Hercules when Zeus first appeared to him in the Disney movie! As a Christian, I should have been sure that I would go to heaven, but you never really knew until the day came...right? After all, we're all sinners- and though I'm not the worst of the lot (at least I hope not), I'm certainly not the cream of the crop either!

As He lifted me to the ceiling, all I could see was a ghostly pair of arms and hands, not His face. Yet I knew it was Him. God came for me.

A floodgate of relief and gratefulness made me cry out only one thing. "Thank You Jesus...Thank You." Tears came unbidden; I choked back a sob as I headed for the ceiling, and to Glory. I was going home.

Or so I thought.

Just as I'd reached the corner of the ceiling (and wondering what it would be like to actually go through a wall), I felt my spirit pull back gently back into my body as I began to wake up, my heart racing from the experience, tears wetting my pillow. I woke up elated, yet a little disappointed that it wasn't real. Or was it a hint of what was to come? I got up to write this post, my heart still thumping as if I had just been running.

My heart is still racing as I write this at nearly three o'clock in the morning. I have to keep wiping away tears so I can type!

I've had visions in the past, so I know the difference between visions and dreams. This was no dream.

There is excitement, joy, immense gratefulness and a peace in me that didn't exist before. I hope that it stays in my heart until He calls me again. I know He will call me. He just assured me of that.

And I will answer. With open arms.

Thank You, Jesus. Thank You.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Perimenopausal Perks and Perils

As I sit here in a puddle of my own perspiration, I decided to look into the possibility that I might be perimenopausal. Maybe. Let's take a look at the list and address these issues shall we? Maybe this will explain your own symptoms (if you have any):

1. Hot flashes, hot flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling. Ah yes, the 'I'm hot- I'm cold' thing that usually happens in the middle of the night. Hot flashes in the winter are great! Everyone cuddles up to you, and you now possess the ability to roast marshmallows and hot dogs over your head. You are your own self-sustaining heat source, and can keep tropical fish without needing a heater for the tank.
As for the cold flashes, they only happen in winter- never in summer like it should. 
2. Irregular heart beat. This only happens when there's a really good sale and you have a coupon or the kids do something particularly stupid. Not sure this one is even a symptom!

3. Irritability. No! Really? If this is true, I've been perimenopausal for decades

4. Mood swings, sudden tears. I thought this was PMS- or motherhood. Or because the kids ate the last Hershey bar.
5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats). Wow, this one's a shocker. Hot and cold flashes and sweating like a racehorse in addition to heart palpitations- and we might have trouble sleeping? Who wrote this stuff anyway?

6. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles. Way to cover your own butt, Mr. Medical Advice Guy. Why not just say you have no idea what will happen and leave it at that?
7. Loss of libido and vaginal dryness. Seems to me these are linked, and not separate symptoms at all.

8. Crashing fatigue. Otherwise known as 'The Kids Are Grown And Now You Can Sleep'. This isn't a symptom, it's a blessing!

9. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease, dread, apprehension, doom. Of course you have this! The kids are grown and making their own mistakes decisions! Duh.
10. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion. You've just gone from being the hub of the team and now that team is becoming self-sustaining- therefore you are no longer a multi-tasker. So when you're doing only one thing at a time, you keep thinking you should be doing five other things as well, and it feels weird.
11. Disturbing memory lapses. How can they be disturbing if I don't remember them? This also might be a blessing to some who are tired of remembering stuff- and the main reason people invent schedule apps.

12. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence. And this is different since And urge incontinence- what the heck is that? Oh I know- it's when you just get to the bathroom and right before you get your skivvies down your bladder yells "Oh boy! A toilet!" and you yank everything down quickly before you soak the stall.
13. Itchy, crawly skin. This isn't a symptom- this is from all that sweating you did back in #1. Get a shower, you'll feel better.

14. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons, increased tension in muscles. Especially when you kick off your shoes at your husband from symptom #3 and mess up your ACL. Don't ask me how I know this.
15. Breast tenderness. Again, we've had this since puberty, Mr. Medical Guy. Sheesh.
16. Headache change: increase or decrease. Yes, but is the decrease from lack of kids and an increase when your husband retires, or is Mr. Medical Guy covering his medicinal butt again?

17. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea. In other words, SBD's that can kill a rhino in full charge. Gastrointestinal distress my Aunt Fanny. This stuff should be used by the army- there would be no wars.
18. Sudden bouts of bloat. Sudden? I've been waiting for my bloat to stop for twenty years! There is no 'bout'- it comes and it stays!

19. Depression. You have all this stuff above happening, and then they say you might get depressed? Are they kidding? 

20. Exacerbation of existing conditions. Really? This is a symptom? All this means is everything listed can get worse. Whoop-dee-stinkin'-doo. Stop using the fancy words to sugar-coat the wonderfulness of female anatomy please. We all know things are probably going to get worse, because out bodies are giving in to gravity, thank you very much.

21. Increase in allergies. Which makes #12 even more special.

22. Weight gain. Oh please, don't get me started. I can blink and gain weight- I don't need to be perimenopausal! 

23. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair. Already losing a little hair on the top of my head- lucky for me my hair is curly and I don't have to do comb-overs. However, I'll worry about facial hair when my nieces and nephews start calling me 'Uncle' Beth. As for the 'carpeting', that can go bald as a cueball for all I care- less stuff to get caught in the elastic of my Depends.

24. Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance. I think this is only from the shock that after caring for your kids for the past few decades, you realize you have no money left in the bank and you have to go back to work.
25. Changes in body odor. Why does this never sound like a good thing? 

26. Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head. That's just the tracking microchip your kids installed in the back of your neck after you got lost the first time. You weren't lost- we were just taking a vacation without the kids!

27. Tingling in the extremities. That's just your husband getting frisky. Feel free to smack him with a pillow so you can go back to sleep.

28. Gum problems, increased bleeding. What does this have to do with the ending of egg production? You stop bleeding in one area and have to bleed somewhere else? Crazy!

29. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor. You just ate a jalapeno burrito with extra onions and Limburger cheese because your taste-buds are dying. Duh.

30. Osteoporosis (after several years)- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier. I can bend mine now, and this is supposed to get worse? Maybe if I let them grow long enough I can turn them into origami art and sell them on Ebay. The fingernails, not my bones. Apparently my bones will be so riddled with holes, future cultures will use them as flutes. I shall live in infamy.

31. Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc. You forgot you left food in the microwave. go get it and shut the door. Problem solved.

That's the list, and frankly, that's enough for me to crawl under the covers (unless I'm having a hot flash) and scarf down all the chocolate in the house until it's over. Unfortunately that could be years from now, so I have to plod on and act like I'm not on a hormonal roller coaster heading for the looney-bin.

Lord help us all.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

God's Imponderables

There are some concepts about God we humans just can't fathom.

I think He does it on purpose!

Why make the flea? Does it really have a purpose? It invades your pets and homes, sucks blood and makes itchy red bumps, then falls off to make eggs and more little parasitic babies. But why? Or did He make them after the Fall of Man to show us the error of our ways?

What about the avocado? Did He really have to make the pit so big? Why not just make a smaller...whatever-it-is so the seed wasn't so huge? And just what the heck is an avocado anyway? It is a spreadable fruit, a slimy vegetable , or just some form of plant butter? No matter how you slice it, it's just weird.

Let's not leave out the animal kingdom! The platypus has to be the strangest animal ever. Mammal that lays eggs, has a duck bill and a beaver's tail. Methinks God did this just to mess with Darwin's mind, just when the scientist thought he had God down to a formula. Okay, I can't really blame Him for this one- and it just goes to show you that God does have a sense of humor!

The anglerfish (that really scary/ugly/weird fish in Finding Nemo)- why did God make that thing? Was it to help catch prey? The little fishies see the pretty light, then when they finally see the anglerfish's face, they're shocked into immobility for easier consumption. Maybe the prey gets to think 'Man, is that thing uuuugly!' before it meets it's demise, but  the ending is the same- though I have to admit, God did the right thing in putting that critter in the deepest, darkest part of the ocean.

And what about us? Science says we're only using 10% of our brains. Why? Maybe Adam and Eve had the full capacity of their brains. Of course if they did, we might not be in the mess we are now. But then again, maybe they did, and because they chose not to utilize their grey matter, God said 'Let there be stupidity' and took most of their brains away from them until the Second Coming.

Unfortunately, we'd have to wait for the Second Coming to get these answers. Everything in God's time you know.

Do you have any imponderables about why God made what He made? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Milking Chickens

There are just some things I'm not suited to do, no matter how hard I try.

I write. I write about everything under the sun. I write family fun, chaotic adventures, children's stories, craft how-to's and epic fantasies. But that doesn't mean I should be writing about all of them.

I'm like a chicken that wants to give milk. She can try again and again, but all she'll get for her efforts is an egg. That's because she wasn't meant to give milk, even though she wants to.

So it is in writing. I've been told I have a gift for quick and witty satire, funny poetry, and poignant blog posts (at least on occasion!) I'm good at the short stuff- not the long convoluted plots of epic fantasy novels, or memoirs. 

Let's use the recent awards ceremony as an example. What did I win first place in? The short stuff. I won third place for children's story- the only project that took several rewrites before I considered it 'polished', yet it still isn't ready for publication! Even when I do write the short stuff, people find it funnier in the telling than the reading- One agent said 'Your writing is better suited for stand-up' and after the initial shock, I think she might be right- at least in part.

So I had to go back to basics. What was I was made for anyway? I was made to make people laugh. When I see someone looking sad (or just plain stubborn), my goal is to make them guffaw, chuckle, or at least crack a smile. Belly laughs make my day, and God has gifted me with enough bluntness and ironic truth in my humor to make people think afterwards.

I'm the chicken who wants to give milk, but knows better.

Oh I'll still work on some of that writing to hone my skills as a hobby, but my focus will be on what I do well. Even a series of short 'bloggish' type stories can make an excellent book, so that's what I'll work on. Other projects can wait and be used to sharpen my beak.

And be proud that I can lay some pretty decent eggs when I have to!