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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Raising My Blood Pressure

I've been trying to avoid things that I know will raise my blood pressure, but it's not always so easy.  One thing I've noticed that raises my blood pressure is the news.  I don't watch news programs at my house, but it inevitably seems to be on at the Wellness Center while I work out.  Not that I don't want to be informed, but I can quickly read on the Internet the headlines and what I need to know.  I don't need to watch people argue and complain about how bad things are for hours at a time.  How does that help me make informed decisions about my life?  Well, that got me thinking about what else out there is stressful or raises my blood pressure.  What raises your blood pressure?  Here's my list:

  • News programs
  • Feeling "stuck" in my house
  • Having to try to remember things 
  • Schedule changes
  • Changes in general
  • Extra-hyper family members
  • Clutter
  • No time for naps/relaxing
What works to help lower blood pressure back to normal?

  • Naps
  • Massage
  • Time to myself
  • Reading
  • Sunny weather
  • Soothing instrumental music
What other relaxation techniques should I be trying out?

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Life Is

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.  Life is beauty, admire it.  Life is bliss, taste it.  Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it.  Life is a duty, complete it.  Life is a game, play it.  Life is a promise, fulfill it.  Life is a sorrow, overcome it.  Life is a song, sing it.  Life is a struggle, accept it.  Life is a tragedy, confront it.  Life is an adventure, dare it.  Life is luck, make it.  Life is too precious, do not destroy it.  Life is life, fight for it."--Mother Teresa

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring, Are You Here to Stay?

This weather has been unusual.  (at least to my memory)  But, I am not complaining.  I could most certainly live with weather in the 60s, 70s, and 80s most of the time.  I know we need moisture, but I certainly love sunny days.  It makes riding around town in my power chair so much more pleasant when it is warm and dry.  I have to admit, even I thought nearing the 90s in early March was a bit strange and tornado weather and hail storms don't  typically start this early

Maybe the seasons are changing?  I've even heard it said maybe the Earth is shifting on its axis?  Maybe.  Who knows?  Maybe instead of living in tornado alley we'll begin experiencing earthquakes?  Or maybe we'll just have gorgeous, sunny weather most of the time.  I know we need rain for the crops.  But, maybe we can just have nice, gentle rainstorms overnight and sunny, beautiful days with no severe thunderstorms.  Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?  :)  Why does it appear that rivers, lakes, ponds and getting fuller even without rain?  Am I imagining it?  Could we be back to the days of Noah when the Earth watered itself from withing not through rain?  What do you think?

It's been feeling like spring for quite awhile.  But, as my children have been reminding me, it was still officially winter.  Well, today is the first day of Spring.  But, is it here to stay?  Or, is the calendar playing tricks on us and now we will get winter weather and snow?  Only time will tell.

What do you think is going on with the weather?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Listen to That Still Small Voice

I have not learned how to always listen to that still, small voice.  I'm better at hearing it when I am trying to hear it or looking for direction.  When I have been praying about a situation and then am quiet and listening for the answer, I am more likely to hear it.  I have been trying to learn to listen at all times.

One of those times happened this week.  We were shopping and I felt the voice tell me to go to Goodwill.  This is an unusual place for me to head without children.  I cannot buy them clothing without them being present.  So, I wondered around the store and tried to figure out why I was there.  I then found an unopened CD titled, "The Touch of One Hand."  It was piano music and I was so hoping it was played with one hand.  It was!!!  So, when I got home I searched online looking to see if there was any sheet music out there to go with this recording.  I did not find any, but I found a book written by the musician, Brian Arnold.  I bought the book, From Victim to Victory for my Kindle and read the entire thing in one day.

If you know my story, you will understand why.  If you have read the blog on music, it will help you understand why.  Music has been such a vital part of my life since the beginning--it is impossible to imagine life without it.  But, I can't tell you how difficult it has been to have to backtrack and begin relearning music I played 20 years ago.  But, I have been working at it and I have to thank God that I do have the use of both hands (my right is just not where it used to be).  Doctors don't seem to understand why I can play piano with my right hand when it does nothing else (except type).  But, I know the answer.  God is a good God and has given me that ability.  He is not bound by medical science.  That's why they are called miracles you know.  :)

The book From Victim to Victory grabbed my attention at the first page and would not let me go.  Given my own story, I was most interested in the loss of the use of one hand for the piano and how God had blessed his life after the accident.  However, there is so much more to his story and how he found victory.  Every chapter was like a mini-sermon and what God had taught him through the difficulties in life.  This book was a great reminder that "I know who my enemy is and it's NOT God!" (Brian Arnold)  I found the book mirroring many of the same thoughts I have been having lately.  God is good all the time.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

God's timing is also perfect.  Had I found this CD earlier in my journey, I don't think I would have listened to it.  I am sure I would not googled Brian Arnold and found his book.  Partly because I wouldn't have wanted to and partly because it was just published.  Had I been given it as a gift, I'm not sure I would have ever opened it and someone else would have found the unopened CD in a Goodwill store somewhere.  :)  But, God knew I was ready and led me to them this week.  I don't know what I'm being prepared for, but I can't wait to see the next chapter of my story.

I asked at the music store today for any piano music with an orchestral accompaniment CD.  If I can't play the way I used to, maybe I can still make myself sound good by having an "orchestra" behind me.  :)  It's worth a shot anyway.  If you know of any great music like that out there, let me know where to find it.  I'm really looking for something I can play in church--that is the best performance hall anyway.

God is so good.  Listen for the still, small voice leading you.  It make take you in a direction you never even knew existed.

Check out the King's Table Ministry website to see Brian Arnold play.