Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Arise and Eat!

Today, I want to share with you my recent experience at our church gathering. After a month of feeling too exhausted due to medication and being hesitant to drive, I finally made it to the service this Sunday. Determined to stay alert and engaged, I decided to postpone taking my medication until after the church service. And guess what? It worked! Sitting there, surrounded by others, and simply listening felt so invigorating. Plus, there's something truly beautiful about singing together, don't you think?

Prayers and Playful Nudges
During the service, we offered prayers for the sick and for those undergoing medical examinations. In the midst of it all, my mischievous son playfully nudged me while we were praying. I couldn't help but smile at him because, well, the prayer was about me.

A touching Sermon 
The sermon really touched my heart as it revolved around the story of Elijah, who, feeling overwhelmed and afraid, fled to the wilderness. God came to him, touched him, and spoke to him. Interestingly, God didn't come to take Elijah home, which is what he desired. Instead, the Lord came to renew his strength. He never gives up on us. He will never abandon us or say, "I can no longer help you."

This resonated deeply with me during the sermon. It felt as though God was reaching out to me, laying His hand upon me and speaking through His Word. "Take and eat the food I have set before you," He seemed to say: Jesus invites you to come to Him again and again. The pastor emphasized that when we feel overwhelmed, we should come to Him. We should taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34) and experience His refreshing and restoring touch.

Memorable Excerpts
Allow me to share a few profound excerpts from the sermon that resounded within me:

  • Awaken! Divert your gaze from the circumstances, from the actions of others. Keep your eyes steadfastly fixed upon Me. Fixate upon Me, partake of what I have bestowed upon you: consume and quench your thirst. I intend to fortify you, empowering you to press on, both on a personal level and as a united congregation. He yearns to invigorate and rejuvenate our very souls.
  • Bread symbolizes the life we possess in Jesus Christ. For the bread of God is He who descends from heaven and bestows life upon the world. Jesus proclaimed, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.'
  • God seeks people who acknowledge their own weaknesses so that He can work in and through us. He knows our weaknesses and provides for us, nourishes us, strengthens us, encourages us. He comes to us, speaks to us, lays His hand upon us, and says, 'Arise and eat.' That is what we need to do in this season. That is the message: arise and eat, for He wants to use you. He has a plan for you. There is still a journey ahead. Rise and partake of the Bread of Life, the Word of God—Jesus Christ—and trust in Him. He provides your strength until you meet Him, until He brings you home in heaven. 

A Hilarious Food Allergy Anecdote 
Now, here's a funny twist: right in the midst of my struggle with food allergies, the sermon tells me to "arise and eat." Will I ever be able to eat everything? Well, maybe that's a question for the new earth. 😊

Saturday, 20 May 2023

Navigating the Histamine Journey with Nalcrom

Last Sunday I embarked on a courageous journey with Nalcrom*, placing my hope in its ability to alleviate my histamine troubles. With a blend of anticipation and uncertainty, I concocted a delightful bowl of soup—carrots, celery, and snow peas dancing in harmony, immersed in a comforting bouillon broth. Each spoonful carried the promise of a future where I could savor meals without fear of debilitating illness.

The Tingle of Uncertainty
Yet, the path ahead held unexpected challenges.Waves of discomfort settled in after one or two hours, accompanied by a slight fever and chilly shivers. My skin was tingling. Doubt crept in, shrouding my mind in uncertainty.

Histamine Intolerance: A Perplexing Puzzle
Now, at this crossroad, I find myself questioning whether to persevere with Nalcrom or seek refuge in familiar antihistamines. Histamine intolerance taunts me, leaving me feeling vulnerable and discouraged. Histamine intolerance has a way of throwing curve balls, leaving me feeling a tad perplexed and slightly discouraged. And let's not forget the chocolate bonbon that tempted me just a day before! Could it be the mischievous culprit behind this rollercoaster ride? Or is it the medication itself, playing a game of hide-and-seek with my well-being? The mysteries of histamine intolerance surely know how to keep me on our toes. 

Finding Strength in Vulnerability
Amidst the uncertainties, I take solace in the strength found within vulnerability. It is in our moments of weakness that we discover the unfailing power of our faith. For it is written, "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10)

He grants me Peace
I try to remember the strength found in vulnerability and the power of our faith. What happens when I surrender my weaknesses to God? When I surrender my weaknesses to God, He grants me peace and provides the strength to navigate this journey step by step.

In the words of the apostle Paul, "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10)
* The allergist prescribed me Nalcron (4 times a day) in the hopes that it could replace my fatigue-inducing antihistamine pills.

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Navigating Prayer with Brain Fog: 5 Helpful Tips

Feeling like my mind is stuck in a constant fog all day long. I'm starting to empathize with those who complained about it before, and I definitely want to have more patience with anyone experiencing this. So, I went on a quest to find some tips to help me pray, even amidst the chaos of brain fog.

Prayer is not about finding the right words, but about opening your heart to God's presence, even in moments when your mind feels empty. πŸ™✨

Reviving the Pen and Paper
I used to write down all my prayers in my diary (because I would get easily distracted). Starting today, I'm making a fresh start with that, following tip #3

5 Tips to Pray Through Brain Fog
  1. Keep it simple: When you're dealing with brain fog from medication, it can help to simplify your prayers. Use simple and concise words to convey your thoughts and desires to God. Keep your prayers short and focus on the core message. This can help keep your mind clear during prayer.
  2. Visualize it: Try visualizing images that help structure your thoughts while praying. Imagine, for example, writing down your prayers on a piece of paper, where each word or sentence forms a clear and vivid image. This visual technique can help bypass the brain fog and make your prayers more effectively.
  3. Use supportive tools: Utilize tools to help you focus and structure your prayers. These can be prayer books, devotionals, or prayer apps. These resources can provide guidelines and prayer examples to assist you in organizing your thoughts, even when struggling with foggy thinking.
  4. Pray with others: Seek the support of fellow believers by praying together with them. Praying together can help you stay focused and keep your thoughts clear. You can also ask someone else to lead the prayer, so you can participate without worrying about formulating your own prayers.
  5. Be patient and kind to yourself: Remember that it's normal to struggle with prayer when experiencing brain fog. Be patient and kind to yourself. God understands your situation and appreciates your effort, even if your prayers aren't as clear as you'd like them to be. Trust that He hears your prayers, even when you struggle to put them into words.

Trusting God in Brain Fog

So, don't stress about brain fog getting in the way of your prayers. With supportive tools you can maintain a strong connection with God. Embrace the journey, fog and all!  Even in the darkest moments, remember that God is near, ready to listen and comfort. Like Susie Spurgeon wrote: "God understands the meaning of our tears, the language of our pain." 

Monday, 15 May 2023

7 tips to beat the drowsiness (plus one bonus tip for laughs)

As I started to feel a bit more clear-headed around 10 PM, I knew it was time to take my next antihistamine pill. The drowsiness would start all over again, and I would crawl into bed and sleep the day away. But before that, I thought, let me search for tips on how to cope better with the fatigue. I found 7 tips and I'm sharing them on my blog.

7 tips to beat the drowsiness
  1. Caffeine kick: Try drinking more coffee or tea to help fight the drowsiness. This will give you an extra boost of energy to help keep you going throughout the day.
  2. Water works wonders: Drinking plenty of water can also help you stay alert and focused. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and tired, so make sure you're drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
  3. Take a walk: Getting up and moving around can help you feel more alert and less drowsy. Try taking a quick walk or doing some light stretching to get your blood flowing.
  4. Listen to upbeat music: Listening to your favorite upbeat music can help you stay awake and energized. It's a great way to keep your mind engaged and your body moving. My choice: Happy Classical Music | Inspiring & Upbeat Background Music.
  5. Snack smart: Avoid eating heavy, high-carb meals that can make you feel even more drowsy. Instead, opt for healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, and veggies to help keep your energy levels up.
  6. Accept the drowsiness: Sometimes, no matter what you do, the drowsiness may still be present. Instead of fighting it, try accepting it and giving yourself permission to rest or take a nap if needed.
  7. Try to find an activity that excites you and creates a sense of hyperfocus, which can help you momentarily forget about the fatigue caused by antihistamines πŸ’ͺ😊 (that's what I do).
Bonus tip: If all else fails, try making funny faces in the mirror. It might not help with the drowsiness, but it's a surefire way to make yourself laugh and boost your mood!

So, whether you're dealing with allergy season or just feeling the effects of a higher dose of antihistamines, these tips can help you power through the fatigue and stay alert. Remember, it's important to take care of yourself and listen to your body. And if all else fails, don't forget the bonus tip of making funny faces in the mirror - laughter is always the best medicine!

Linked to Picturale dinsdag Link Up 5

Friday, 12 May 2023

My Journey to Making DELIBERATE Decisions

Hello everyone! Today's post is inspired by the fiveminutefriday prompt DELIBERATE. If you're not familiar with it, fiveminutefriday is a weekly writing challenge where participants write for five minutes straight on a given prompt.

As I sat on the vacation rental's patio, basking in the sun, I couldn't help but notice the red squirrel next to me. The little guy was diligently cracking open a peanut with his tiny teeth, which made me reflect on my own dental health. I realized that I had been neglecting my teeth for too long and it was time to take control.

I gave myself a pep talk, telling myself that I needed to start taking care of myself, including my teeth. Despite some doubts and anxiety, I made a  DELIBERATE decision to book an appointment with my new dentist when I returned home.

However, things took a turn when my mouth suddenly became inflamed and irritated after having a reaction to something I ate. I knew it was a clear sign that I had to take action.

Despite my dental anxiety, I pushed through and went to see my new dentist. To my surprise, he told me, in that honest and straightforward Dutch way that my teeth were in bad shape and that it was time to consider dentures given my history of jaw operations and unstable crowns.

So, my husband and I are going to have a DELIBERATE serious talk about what the best course of action is for me. It might not be the most fun thing in the world, but I know it's the right thing to do. And, hey, who knows? Maybe I'll end up with a dazzling set of pearly whites that will light up the room. Only time will tell.

😬 What's your biggest fear when it comes to going to the dentist? 
πŸ’ͺ What's the most DELIBERATE thing you've done to overcome your dental anxiety?