To Stress or Not To Stress

I make a promise to myself, pretty much daily, not to stress so much.  Sadly, that promise goes the way of the other New Year-esque resolutions and doesn’t last until noon.  So then I am left to wonder where I went wrong?!

I know that the limitations of my MS-fog-ridden brain make simple decisions elicit much more concentration and time than I expect.

I know that time is the enemy.  There is never enough of it and it once gone it takes on a snowball effect for the entire day!

I know that my fatigue requires that I am better off tackling tasks in small doses with frequent breaks between.  Have you ever tried to clean a house that way?  Heaven help you if you stop for a break and then try to remember where you were in the process when you return to the task.  If home isn’t enough of a challenge, try explaining “frequent breaks” at work.

I know that it goes against all reason to try to work full time and keep up a home.  Even BMSD (Before Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis), it felt like an insurmountable expectation.  But AMSD (you guessed it – After Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis), it seems like I give 100% before the end of my work day.

I know that exercise is suppose to alleviate stress.  In an effort not to be redundant, please refer to section above.

So, how can I realistically expect to cut my stress down?  It is such a retorical question because there is no clear cut answer but rather is accomplished more by permitting myself to be content at the status quo.  I found this devotional by C.H.Spurgeon about Philippians 4:11:

“I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.”-Philippians 4:11

These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. “Ill weeds grow apace.” Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us. Paul says, “I have learned . . . to be content;” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave-a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

Hush that Murmur?  As in…

  

Knowing that God is good all the time He has given me a really warped sense of humor that really comes in handy when I am feeling stressed.

or as I like to say…

I have now declared that my new manta, “Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys!”

Here’s to a less stressful week!

-Love Luck and Lollipops!

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Gratitude with Latitude

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted that one thing for Christmas but didn’t get it? You probably were really bummed and missed out on the joy from the great gifts that you actually received.

How sad for us that we probably can’t remember all the things we wanted in the first place.  Funnier yet is the fact that the people who loved us, knew us better than to give us things that would be to our detriment in the first place!  “You might shoot your eye out!”

In reflection, I was wondering if we appreciated all the time and effort that went into the selection of those gifts.  Did I even say “Thank you?”

This Christmas, don’t miss out on God’s blessings all around you because you are too fixated on what you don’t have. Remember it started with a family far from their home, in a stable without many comforts, but we were given the ultimate gift of Life. Jesus.

And don’t forget to say Thank you to Jesus.

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I carry your heart with me

I don’t want to seem be ungrateful for those who are nearby and make my life rich in so many ways that I don’t know how I would get through my days. But sometimes it is so hard to be separated from those who I love so dearly.

While watch the movie “In Her Shoes”, the character Maggie (played by Cameron Diaz) quotes part of the following poem by E E Cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

—Edward Estlin Cummings

So, I think this too shall be my mantra. When I am down and feeling lonely, I will remember “i carry your heart in my heart.”

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The Choice is up to You

This is looks like a good kit and reasonably priced!

The great news is that you can do this yourself with a Vanilla Bean and a bottle of Brandy (yes you can use vodka but I like the caramel coloring and added flavor of Brandy).  Fortunately I have a local store that sells wonderful vanilla beans and any Home Goods or craft store will have a decorative bottle, but any long neck glass bottle will work!

I score the vanilla bean and put it in the bottle then fill with brandy.  I use 2 or 3 vanilla beans for a larger bottle.   I then let it sit for at least 6 weeks to 2 months.

I use it for cooking and baking but I have a friend who even uses it when they make home made ice cream!  The longer it sits…the stronger the vanilla flavor.  After using some of the vanilla be sure to fill the bottle up with more Brandy.  You don’t have to wait another 6 weeks just continue to use and let the vanilla bean do it’s job.

The best part…it’s a fraction of the cost of natural vanilla in the grocery store and is sooooo much more flavorable!

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