Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Good Report

Today we received good news when I took my husband, Tom, to the podiatrist.  The doctor seemed surprised his toe is healing so fast after such a mean infection.  He still needs a few follow up appointments for minor issues, but we felt relieved to get high marks!

Tom thanks you for your prayers and I thank you, too, friends for your kind words and encouragement.  It meant the world to me!

 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
They shall run and not be weary;
They shall walk and not faint.  Isa 40:31

And the winner is…

Tonight we drew a winner for Cheryl Smith’s new book, Biblical Minimalism featured on my last blog post.  Tom drew Cindy’s name from Cindy’s Creations.  Congratulations, Cindy!  It will be on its way to you soon!

Thank all of you who read my blog posts.  I enjoy reading your every comment.  Your insights and opinions are welcomed and appreciated!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Review of Biblical Minimalism and Give Away

What does minimizing look like?  To the empty nester it may mean downsizing real estate.  To the co-dependent, it may mean pitching some toxic friendships they tend to collect.  I thought I had a handle on Biblical minimalism, but I wasn’t even close.  Biblical minimalism is much more than cleaning out a drawer and discarding unwanted things into a box to take to the thrift store.

In her book, Biblical Minimalism, Cheryl E. Smith defines Biblical minimalism as “a complete, whole person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life.”

The author gives us a visual of a whole pie that is divided into eight slices.  Each slice describes our lives with areas to analyze to see if pruning or adjustment is needed.  I won’t name them all, but one example is the “emotional slice.”   We’re asked:  “Is there negative thinking that drags you down?  Is there a need to purge some emotional baggage and release some things?”

Another slice of the Biblical minimalism pie, “management of time,” speaks into the preciousness of each day—how to be good stewards of the hours given to us and make better use of allotted time.

Every slice of pie, or topic, references Bible Scripture which gently nudges the heart.  I would finish a chapter and ponder the message letting Jesus speak to me personally for ways I can draw closer to Him with intentional focus.  I remember considering my physical possessions while reading the “physical” pie slice.  I felt convicted to let go of several things I accumulated.  I determined to discard only my personal stuff thinking my husband would never go for cutting back.  One day, he asked me about this very book in my hand, but I shared only a few thoughts.  Imagine my shocked face when he admitted he hoards too many things.  Then he began to organize and toss while I continued reading it in my corner.  There is an anointing on this book, for sure.  I think I will leave it on my coffee table forever!

Author Cheryl Smith shares her journey with Biblical minimalism in deep personal ways.  I appreciated her heartfelt words which described the tug on her emotions once she made the decision to part ways with treasured homeschooling lessons.  Her kind husband had to haul all the binders from the trash bin and lug them back into their home until she truly felt ready to dispose of them in obedience to the Scriptures the Lord placed on her heart.  She says, “It’s a process.”

I highly recommend this book.  It is one woman’s story of her family’s decision to exit chaotic living and enter a faith-filled lifestyle of simplicity.   The message is life changing.

I have one free copy to give away.  If you are interested in this drawing, please leave a comment below and mention your interest in reading Biblical Minimalism, by Cheryl E. Smith. I will draw the winning name in seven days, Wednesday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m.

If you want to purchase the book, click HERE

"Cheryl Smith is the author of the book “Biblical Minimalism,” the story of her family’s journey from a life of abundance to a more abundant life. She is the author of the blogs Biblical Minimalism, where she writes about minimalism from a Biblical perspective, and Homespun Devotions, where she writes devotionals and conducts “Inner Views.” She loves to spend time with her husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write."   

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Second Toe Shall Be First

How can one small toe cause so much havoc and turn one’s life upside down?  The hospital Emergency Room scrambled to alert the surgeon and his staff about my husband’s infected toe, the one next to the big toe.  How far had the ugly infection spread?  The surgeon said he would amputate and keep going to get all the infected bone.  Thankfully, he only removed one-half inch of the toe.  These last two weeks have come with a whirlwind!

Thankful for so much!

I am thankful Tom finally listened and stopped fighting me to go to his primary care doctor.  Men!  I’m glad his primary care chewed him out for waiting when he saw his toe looked infected.

I am thankful for the wonderful healthcare he received during six days in the hospital and for loving daughters who came along side us to help and encourage.

The first hospital night felt like Tom won a week’s vacation stay at a one-star hotel to hear him describe it.  Even with two blankets, he froze.  Awful food.  I learned the place picked up quite a few COVID patients challenging the busy staff.  Hospital COVID rules denied me entrance.  I stayed home and pounded on heaven’s doors for my man who felt forgotten.  God heard and answered my prayers for Tom quickly the next morning.  I’m still laughing.

God Can Use a Zombie

A new nurse introduced herself and happened to be a huge fan of the popular Zombie series Tom watches.  They bonded.  Tom pulled out his phone and showed her a photo of his close friend with a famous cast member from the series, her son.  As Tom tells it, “They treated me like I was a king after that.”

God can use a Zombie.

Tom’s bacterial infection has a long name with lots of I’s and t’s.  It is rare; twenty five people in a million catch it in their lifetime.  Though antibiotics do nothing for it, there is one that kills it and that one is available at our hospital.  The surgeon believes he got all the infection in surgery, but now for prevention, the doctor prescribed the killer antibiotic.  Thankfully, he does not have to stay in the hospital to be on this medicine via a drip method with a picc line to his heart.  When he came home, a nurse came to teach me how to administer this antibiotic and care for him. 

Our days are filled with lab blood work, hospital wound care visits, podiatrist, and environmentalist/disease doctors.  Next week is D-Day When the drip will end and be replaced with pill form.  Thankfully, my energy sustains me and I am able to do all the watering outside and keep up with cooking nutritious home-cooked meals, grocery shop and drive him to appointments.  Tom and I are thankful, so very thankful!  We avoided a disaster and know it.

What Have I Learned?

Where would I be without girlfriends?  I appreciate every call, every prayer, every text and email.  My on-line friends came alongside us in a powerful way praying with support.  I am filled with peace and courage.  Tom knows he is in the Lord’s capable hands.

We marvel at the fact that a toe, insignificant as it seems compared to much larger parts of our body, can raise so much disruption.  It reminds us how every part of the body is valuable.  So when the days of normal every-day living return, be it keeping up with home/family/friends or watching a good movie together, may we never forget this toe journey realizing how valuable we all are to God.  And may we never forget how valuable others are to us.