The Heart: The Center of Ourselves

 

 

Pictured from left to right: Uncle Venoy (photo courtesy of Sarah Foust); Grandpa Cecil and Grandma Rena (my mom’s parents); Staci, Grandma Velma (my dad’s mom), and Stoney; and Grandpa Fred (my dad’s dad)

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Mt. 22:37)

Heart problems run in my family. Of my four biological grandparents, all had heart problems. Of my mom’s five brothers, two have now passed away from heart attacks. Two years ago this March, my uncle Venoy suffered a massive heart attack, passing away just hours later. Were there signs? Yes. He had terrible back pain for three days prior to the heart attack, and even though he rarely suffered from that particular malady, none of us recognized it as a sign of an impending heart attack. Continue reading “The Heart: The Center of Ourselves”

Celebrating Christmas All Year

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…” (Eph 4:22-24)

The holidays are over, and I’ve taken down all the Christmas decorations and put them away for safekeeping until next year. Each year, this ritual leaves me feeling a little sad, but also a little energized. There’s just something about the joy of the Christmas season that makes me want to leave things out as long as possible, but as much as I enjoy the decorations, I want my house back in order even more. Continue reading “Celebrating Christmas All Year”

The House Shoes

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 4:15)

My feet stay cold. So cold that during the winter, they ache and cramp and generally cause problems for me. I have something called Renaud’s disease. It means that the circulation in my hands and feet has slowed down, causing these extremities to feel extremely cold and sometimes even to go numb. I’ve had this condition for three or four years, and it was probably caused by one of the medications that I took for migraines. Most of the time, I don’t even remember I have it – until my feet get cold and start to bother me. Continue reading “The House Shoes”

Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

“What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?” (Ecc 2:22)

Are you stressed and overwhelmed by the thought of all you have to do this holiday season? Are you putting pressure on yourself or allowing yourself to be pressured by others? It’s not uncommon to take on too much at the holidays. From family gatherings, work parties, school plays, and church events (not to mention work and taking care of your family), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Continue reading “Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress”