Goodness of Him: Restoring love between a father and daughter

The only real change comes from the grace of God (video excerpt).

I forgot today was Father’s Day until I went in to church this morning. And, I forgot I made this video too (among others), in honor of God’s amazing work in my life, until I was making lunch and thinking about my dad and God, and the gratitude for the healing work the word of the Lord brought to my life-long hurts, and severed relationship I had with my dad, and how the Lord healed all, miraculously through His grace, one afternoon after a prayer by a prayer partner in Life Church (England church which helped to change my life).

May you love your Father in heaven with your whole heart, and know His great love for you, and may He heal your relationship with your father or child, as he has mine through the word of Malachi 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

In honor of my Father in Heaven and my dad, in heaven. I am so grateful for the marvelous relationships I have with you, and was able to have, even if only, truly, for a short time.

Holly

My testimony recounting the story of God’s grace showering me with compassion to forgive and love my father.

Our last Christmas together. A good reunion, 2009.

Persisting in the Absence of Major Progress

My 12 month journey of healing a condition I have on my legs, and an overhaul of my body, began in January with a focus on health and my skin.

I came to a place last week where I realized the focus on my skin may need to persist, which is has, as the primary focus of this year’s journey.

I moved on the the muscular-skeletal system last month with little progress there besides going for walks, doing yoga, getting a couple of massages and by need only, going to the chiropractor. My focus there was because I have had bad knees for 20+ years, but since I tore my meniscus almost 10 years, it seems there’s been one issue following another, but the good thing with that is exercise always helps – except when it causes more problems. I was told last summer to no longer run after my leg locked up on me and I literally could not move forward, I had severe weakness, and I even randomly collapsed on top of one of my students who was seated – awful. I did not accept that prognosis, but have kept it to a super! minimum, and now am at a point where I am trying to strengthen my knees and the muscles around them to rectify the problem.

So, despite my video on the the Spirit of Self-Control, I have gone to the gym less than I should have, and I almost got a personal trainer just to help me have more of a commitment to the healing process, but b/c seeing a trainer 2x/week costs $480/month, and I did not see much use in going to a trainer once a week, I bagged it. Maybe I should have, but I figured save the extra $200/month and get the Spirit of Self-Control operating a little more effectively this month and beyond! That is my plan.

A few weeks back, if that, I came to the realization that “I can’t keep up.” I was taking a walk to have a talk to God when I was trying to figure out what my issue was, the heaviness and bad feeling I was experiencing, and what came to me was clear, “I can’t keep up!” I’m digressing a bit, but my point is, with work alone, I have so much responsibility and other things I have committed to outside of work for myself are overwhelming.

I can't keep up

Now, I am taking care of everything, but not as intently as I may like, like working out and blogging and researching about muscles and bones, and keeping up with my studying to take my professional certification test for horticulture. It may not seem like much, but when everything has a deadline, it’s overwhelming. It was overwhelming until I recognized it. I was so relieved to have realize it, or actually to have God have brought it to my awareness, that I was relieved! It was a simple truth! So lightening!I love it! To let it go to God and to have it off my shoulders.

I do not remember the heat of the emotion of the precipitating event or what I did besides admit it, but I likely asked for grace to get through all of it. Also, I think admission that I can’t do it all was a humbling I needed to have. I am a a believer that I can do it all, but one thing I’ve realized, is that there is a limit on what I can do at any one time.  Yes, maybe I can and I will do it all. In time. But, I need help for all my goals to be accomplished, and I need time.

Funnily, I began to be more organized and productive at work! Grace. That motivated me to be more productive and organized, of course, too. I have a lightening of my load which ended on Friday, and I have one more big push outside of my regular teaching responsibilities that has to get done for graduation, and then it will be the end of the year by about a week. But this busiest two years of my professional career is about to come to a close.

organized

My point is that I have failed to do more with focusing on my health, but I have to say blogging about it and researching about it, at much as I would have liked to do more of the latter, was not a priority – one other important thing I realized. I impose so much of my stress. I did feel maybe I should drop the $480/month, and maybe I will and consider it a life-long investment, like the trip I made to Mexico at the beginning of February for my niece’s wedding – family memories – a life long-investment.

IMG_8503
Impromptu Trip to Mexico – Family Investment

My point is still that, I may have failed to “do more with focusing on my health,” but I succeeded in persisting in doing something still and not dropping it altogether because I don’t have it all together – giving up because I am not keeping up. It’s part of the process, and I am learning a lot from the business of my life – my favorite thing is to slow down and be in the moment – you can experience so much joy and peace in a moment – a walk to the car – laying down and listening to the fan before you fall to sleep – loving your house and your decorations, listening to the traffic in the distance as you eat and listen to music. Whatever it is, it can be so small, and fleeting, but I am learning to do that, be in the moment, and it’s so great. When I perfect that in every moment, wow! That will be a life.

Maybe I didn’t do a great job at what I thought I needed to achieve, but I definitely achieved what I didn’t know I even needed. I hadn’t planned on improving my mental health last month. What a bonus!

Progress wins! I heard a woman on the radio today say how if she keeps going to the gym, she can’t help but to make progress, or see results, something like that. Yes!

The point, yes, we may not being doing it 100% 100% of the time, but, for me, as long as I persist in all the myriad of goals I have, 100% of them will be accomplished, and, the most important ones will be met 100%.

Progress

January – Integumentary System – Focus on Skin

  • Eating with Purpose: New foods for skin
  • Supplemention: A, D, E, copper, amino acid powder

February – Muscular-Skeletal System

  • Working out: Yoga, walking, stretching, squats
  • Supplementation: Lysine (bones, muscles and collagen production). Continuing same supplements from January
  • Bonus: Mental health – learning to slow down and enjoy myself

To My Health & Yours,

Holly

12 Months of Healing – Recounting progress I have tried to make over the past two months, but I am not finding much success. March’s focus – The Immune System

Lent Begins – Let the Dominoes Fall

One interesting tidbit I did realize in the service tonight is how great it is to have this time as a part of our religion – to specifically make time for God – not just 45 minutes here and there or even every morning, but really make a concerted effort to change your ways, devote more of yourself to your Lord and see where it takes you. Again, it can only be good. 

Have you ever found that when you change one thing in your life, it has a ripple effect – that it tends to make an impact on other areas of your life? It can happen in a good or bad way. Luckily, I’m focusing on the good, and the dominoes are about to fall.

Lent has begun – the time in the Catholic religion where we repent (change our ways), fast (quit doing something, or maybe add something else), pray, and give of our time, treasure and talent. It’s a time of relinquishing what keeps us from God – his competition.

What competes for His time with me – watching television. I know, it’s a terribly boring subject, but it’s a time suck, and lends to a boring life, one that is less productive than it can be, is deceptive of actually relaxing you, and is both an energy and a time waster. What’s good about it? Well, there are some things – but those things we could also do  through the internet or our phones. I like t.v., but I also know it competes for God’s time and makes my life less productive than it can be because of the energy and time I give to it. I’m quitting sugar too.

So, t.v. is out, for 40 days, and, there’s so much that can be done in 40 days!

I am not sure what I will do in addition to getting closer to God and praying more – another cause for another ripple domino effect, but only good will come from this, for sure. How many things can you say about that?

I think I have only ever been to two church services on Lent, maybe this is my first? I am not sure. I have still practiced Lent, however, in terms of fasting. 13 years ago, today, I gave up all of my remaining vices, and thanks to the Grace of God, I am off of everything to this day! Amen to that! Lent is a good starter for a life change!

One interesting tidbit I did realize in the service tonight is how great it is to have this time as a part of our religion – to specifically make time for God – not just 45 minutes here and there or even every morning, but really make a concerted effort to change your ways, devote more of yourself to your Lord and see where it takes you. Again, it can only be good.

I am interested in finding out!

I am reading these books, now, too called Draw the Circle, and The Circle Maker, and they’re all about these bold prayers and how they come true.

Now, I have my own wonderful stories about God and answered prayers you can listen to on http://www.hollycobrien.com as podcasts, if you want to hear of some amazing ways God works, and some are on this website, but I haven’t prayed any “crazy” prayers like I was reading about in this book last night, in a long time.

My life has been good and steady and need of “bold” prayers hasn’t presented itself, but I still pray about the time about everything. Although I will say, there is one thing I have prayed about, and when it comes through, there will be every belief it is God’s hand which has allowed it, for sure! I’ll hold that one tight for awhile, but will let you know. Still waiting, still praying. The bible says, “knock, and keep on knocking.” Okay:)

Anyway, I am excited for this Lenten period where I will talk to the Lord more, pray more, listen for the Lord more, and hear more internally. Like when I went to find a picture for this particular blog. I selected one and then heard one simple word, “more.” So, I looked more and found a perfectly matched picture for my title opposed to what I did have!

And, during the external, more secular aspect of Lent I will exercise more regularly, eat less, produce more personally and professionally, consider my future more and play more. I am going to have a good life! I will eagerly wait and wonder what will come as I pursue my life more fully each day considering all of my ways 🙂

One thing about me, I do well with discipline, and I am embracing this.

I will say when I left church tonight, I so craved a Boston creme donut, but as I began to wish, I found myself thinking, “Don’t give the devil a foothold.” So, I left it go, and drove on.

Sword

Weapons of warfare was discussed briefly, too, in the sermon, tonight. I was wondering tonight what my sword might look like. The sword, in the bible, in describing the armor of God, is the word of God. That, I love. That I will learn more of, too. I’ve already begun to put more verses on index cards to remember. “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” Jesus tells us, and our “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” So, we must “gird up our loins,” and fight with the whole armor of God. See Ephesians 6:11 – 18 about the weapons of warfare. We need them, for sure to stand against the “wiles of the devil” Just like my little donut episode. Know how to fight – seems simple, but it’s important not to give the devil a foothold.

I wish you fellow “Lenters” fasting and praying worthy of all good things.

When the woman began to put the ashes on my head, she said, “Repent, and believe the gospel,” I found myself welling up. I don’t know why, but I believe that was the presence of God on me or maybe just my real desire flowing forth.

I find that interesting that everyone is able to participate in Lent, and receive the ashes, but not everyone is able to receive holy communion. 

All’s I know is that when she said those words, “Repent and believe the gospel,” I believed it.

This Lent season is really an answer to an unspoken prayer of desiring more of God, my main goal this year, and to draw closer to Him, so I am grateful for this time where it is part of a practice to make God more of an intentional part of my repentance regime. I will need His grace, too. That is something else mentioned tonight, also biblical, not to take his grace in vain. There is nothing possible without it.

This will be new for me too, to practice Lent, observing it more religiously, instead of using it as a crutch to help me “repent” because I needed a boost. In the past I may have repented, but I don’t know that I made prayer and focus more on God more of a practiced habit in my life, as well.

I will use my sword, say more prayers of both petitions and gratitude, positively engage in each day, and be grateful for the Grace that is Jesus Christ on my life, and exhibited in me.

Peace.

 

Exercising the Spirit of Self Control

I prayed to be forgiven for putting food before God, and the gluttonous individual I’d become still, at times. I’ve knowingly done it, too, because I wanted to and figured, “tomorrow” I will be better. I have come to know, however, that the “tomorrow” mentality permits a low life, poorly allowing one to live for a time that often never comes, and a well-lived life becomes elusive because the lie we tell ourselves to give us what we want for the moment persists, and then tomorrow remains elusive forever.

​​The Lord is My Portion
Last night found myself eating more than I needed to as I considered I would not be eating much of anything I wanted to next month because I will be doing a cleanse.
One of the things I like about my body is that it is resilient. Also, as much as I scrutinize my body every day, I don’t need to. I look great. I found that this morning. I have a pretty body. Sure, I have many flaws – my bottom is not as high and tight as I’d like it to be, I have some spider veins on my legs and a bit of loose skin on there too, and polka dots, and a bit of cellulite there too, but for the most part, I look really good! LOL. Seriously, it doesn’t sound that good, but it is, I can assure you. Well, maybe it’s just not bad:)
I regularly eat what I want for the most part, and with the exception of over a year ago, I keep things pretty much in moderation. But when I do buy goodies, I pretty much go all at them until they are gone. I recall one time, however, within this past year when I had ice cream in my freezer for a long time, and I didn’t consume it just because I had it, I ate it when I wanted it, which I found was not daily. This is in severe contrast to last week where I ate my two pints of BOGO free Ben & Gerry’s from Friday to Sunday, and have done the same with a whole half gallon in the matter of a weekend before. I’m a big fan of ice cream. It would be my dessert island food!
What I am getting at, is that recently I am finding I am sick of the power I am giving to my food. It’s almost like I pride, which I do, myself of being able to eat anything I want without gaining weight – with the exception of over a year ago when I gained a good six pounds because I ate everything that came my way, and more, from October to sometime in January or February. I just went all at it and didn’t care. Maybe because I realized this about my body.
When I was in my early teens, 13, I began my long and sad career as a binge eater and bulimic. It is not that I was overweight or anything of the sort. I saw something on the television where girls were bulimic, and for some reason I got the perverted notion that I could do that. It’s almost like I had some need to have something I could do, and that was it. I was lost in those days – living with my best friend and her parents. Though they were very good to me, and I loved them, I was a misdirected youth with no one helping to guide my future.
I do not remember much from 13 until I was in 11th grade in terms of “being” bulimic, but in 11th grade I know it was bad, and remember it clearly. I won’t go into the gross details of it now, but it was bad enough to where I was hospitalized at 16, and not because I was so skinny they thought I would die, but more so because they were worried I may have a heart attack or suffocate trying to puke up my food. Or, maybe they just knew I was lost and treatment was necessary to help me from that way of poor living. Those days, I do remember, and I remember clearly eating my feelings all the time, how miserable I was, and puking them all up at the same time, but I was always, “fine.” My mom and grandmother clearly knew better.
That was really my life. I would eat and puke for hours after school, or work, later after I had relapsed, and moved away from my support group into a toxic environment and relationship with people in my family. It was a mess. I found it my only real friend too, because I didn’t have friends, really. It was my way to fill my time and curb the loneliness and sadness I felt.
Years later, it ended. My dad, “uncle” and boyfriend, David, did an intervention on me. That was the beginning of the end. I really guess I needed people to love me and support me and because I was getting it, and having more of a life with friends and college and a support network, I was free from it for the most part.
Years later, I would find myself binging and purging in times of very high stress and it was clearly a time reflection – a compass to alarm me as to what was going on with me emotionally. I would figure it out, get back on track and often be fine for years at a time.
It was only when I was in my 30’s that I met a woman who told me she committed to herself that she would never purge again despite how much she ate. I admired that because bulimia is such an irresponsible, cheaters disease. It completely disregards accountability and skirts the rules preventing a life of integrity. I committed then, myself. I have never puked again since then, despite feeling like I would literally explode on a couple of occasions – that my stomach might in fact rupture, but it didn’t.
So, I’ve been free from puking for over 10 years, but one of the things I’ve been coming to recently is the relationship I have with food, and I am not keen on what I find.
Because I can eat what I want and it rarely effect my weight, it always effects my being, my soul.
This is what I have found.
When I moved back to the States in December 2010, I was fortunate enough to get what I considered a dream job working teaching nutrition education to little people I call them – young students in pre-K – 2nd grade. It was awesome, but only for a year until I got bored.
At any rate, what I learned then, was we have a relationship with food and we can always tell where we are emotionally, based on how we eat. At least this is what I found for myself. I find that true, still, to this day.
One of the character traits I have found with myself of which I am not a fan is this pride issue which I’ve already mentioned – this fact that I can eat what I want without it really effecting my weight. The problem with that is that I tend to pork out a lot. Food affects us. It affects our energy, mainly, and for me, also my emotional well-being. I am affected by how I eat. What I eat. If I eat too much or too little. Trying to feel like I don’t always have to be full to stop eating – this one just came to me last year as I realized how much I’d been eating at dinner time on a regular basis.
One of the feelings I have recognized within myself when I do this is a flagrant disregard for honoring my body. It’s the attitude of, “I’m going to do it because I can.” I don’t like that attitude finding is disrespectful and ugly. It’s like, though I don’t purge anymore, there is still somewhat of that not having to be accountable for what I eat because it doesn’t “seem” to affect me, but, it does, still. It represents a powerlessness, still, too, of not having or exhibiting any self-control.
I have thought this past week that maybe I should begin attending some support groups because though I am not overweight or bulimic, I am exhibiting a powerlessness over my food. I am making it all-powerful and I don’t like that. I make the comment regularly how food is my favorite thing in life. That is sad. But, there is some truth to it too. I love to eat. I love good food. I love to enjoy it. I am grateful for it. But, I have given it a place of respect without properly honoring it or my body to the level it should be.
Let me explain – years ago, not sure how long ago but 15 or more years when I started getting interested in nutrition, I’d done a 9 day fast – I had to quit because it wasn’t good for me and my head aches were tremendous, but I remember when I came off of that fast, I was praying over my food before I ate it, and felt awe and reverence – like I had put food in its place by fasting. I was no longer cramming it in my mouth and devouring it. I was respecting it and grateful for it. I almost cried and have done that still a couple of times this past year, and prior to this year, when I am just very grateful and pray before eating, considerately. There’s a reverence and humility which accompanies it that puts me to tears or at least wells me up😊.
At any rate, my realization this morning as I sat in prayer and considered where I am and where did this awesome feeling I had last week go, I figured it might have to do with my food because that is the only thing I can think of that has put me off – that creates this sense of separation I feel from the Lord created by putting something else “more powerful” in the place of Him.
When I prayed, I confessed my feelings toward my food and how much emphasis I’ve put on it, still. I prayed to be forgiven for putting food before God, and the gluttonous individual I’d become still, at times. I’ve knowingly done it, too, because I wanted to and figured, “tomorrow” I will be better. I have come to know, however, that the “tomorrow” mentality permits a low-living life, poorly allowing one to live for a time that often never comes, and a well-lived life becomes elusive because the lie we tell ourselves to give us what we want for the moment persists, and then tomorrow remains elusive forever.
The thing about gluttony, is even know I am not killing anybody or having an affair with a married man, it’s all the same to God. It is a deadly sin. ”A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” It not only creates a wedge between me and the Lord, but it hampers my soul. Therefore, I lose the power-cord connection I have from God when walking uprightly before the Lord because I put something else in His place, and I also lose personal power because of the physical impairment bad- and overeating has on a body. Many “food-hangovers” have I had! I know it’s wrong yet keep doing it, secretly acting like it’s okay, maybe not consistently, but I allow for it whenever I want. Forgiveness is ours from the Lord when we repent. I am on a new path with this now, hoping to really honor my body and my Lord with my food more, especially when I don’t want to – those are the most important times when we need to push in and use what tools we have, and, as a fruit of the spirit, self-control is mine to experience!!
The Spirit of self-control is what I will exhibit more of in my life. Discipline! Yes! I do it when I want it, but because there is not any seeming outward effect of this behavior on my life, I’ve let it slide, but it affects me any day I let myself get away with it, and had continued to affect me because it has remained unconfessed until this morning.  I thank you, Father, for bringing this to the forefront and removing it from me. It is time to walk in self-control.
As I prayed this morning over my delicious garlic, honey-butter and cinnamon toast, ½ banana, and coffee, from my mouth came thanks to the Lord for my meal, but also as I considered more what I was giving thanks for, out of my mouth came that, “For You, God, are my portion.” That prayer gave me new insight and purpose! Yes, God is my portion for every day and everything on this Earth. His is my sufficiency and only need. Yes! Yes! Thank you, God.
I believe that was prompted by the Holy Spirit because I have never used that prayer. Looking it up later, I found it to be in Lamentations 3, and am including many of the verses before and after. One of my favorite verses to contemplate is that the Lord’s mercies and compassions are new every morning. I love that thought!
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Exercising the Spirit of Self Control

 

My 12 Months of Healing

The medical professionals say it is not treatable, and that is what research supports, but I am hopeful that with certain changes, I may have beautiful, spot-free skin, and I will love it! I will try! It will take time, I’m sure, but I’m gonna give it a shot.

This coming year I am planning to focus on healing my body. My main impetus was due to something I have been embarrassed to admit I thought I had. I first noticed an issue on my calves one morning while talking on the phone 9 years ago.

I was outside sitting in the sun with my legs up on my back porch bench. I noticed a few white spots on my calves. I made note of them to my friend, Tara, figuring they must have been my body’s response to living in the Florida sun, again, after some 20 + years. My friend told me it might be a fungus, but I had no desire to accept her possible diagnosis, and dismissed it, attending to, and preferring, instead, my own.

Years later, my 3 little spots had spreading majorly. I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with Tinea versicolor, a fungus. Creep! A freakin’ fungus!

She was right! I was told to stay out of the sun too, that this was common in people in sub-tropical and tropical environments.

I’m a fan of polka-dots, a big fan, but just not on my legs!! The doctor I consulted did not give me much help or hope. I can’t remember what he said other than stay out of the sun, and it will likely clear itself up in a few months or it will never go away. Something like that. I felt defeated already. A fungus! He may have offered me some remedy, but I took nothing other than maybe a topical which I bought on my own which did nada.

I internalized on some level I would not win against a fungus so did not seriously pursue remedies after my initial fail. But, if I were to try and was to win it, I would require a whole lot of discipline and commitment to what ever remedy(s) might be necessary. I was not up for it. Fungi are rough!

The same year I noticed the white spots, I’d also gotten ringworm for the first time, also a fungus, and a respiratory infection from…another fungus, black mold, spewing from my A/C unit. That lasted for almost a month until I cleaned out my A/C. My respiratory infection subsequently cleared up tout suite.

I have since wondered if that is what caused this infection, though they are not even the same genus.

Well, nine years later, I’m legs fulla polka dots. My brother even commented to me this year at the beach, “What are those white spots on your legs?” Greaaat! They’re visibly noticeable from a distance! Poop!

Skin
When I took this picture, I literally cried when I saw the up close shot of it. It made me so sad to see what bad shape my skin was in.

The Fight Is On

So, many years later, my initial fail and interest in terms of persisting on getting rid of this fungus had gone by the wayside. I have been fighting back! This MUST go!

I have been fighting back with: Selson Blue (fungal fighter) to wash my body. I bought Epsom salts to bath in, I take garlic pills to help kill the fungus from the inside-out, drink Pau d’ Arco tea for the same reason, and use cinnamon bark extract all over my lower extremities too. I smell spicy! Finally, I’ve been ingesting coconut oil, but I think I bought that initially because I’d been having brain fog – an potential result of yet another fungus, candida, but I don’t have that one! Oh yeah, and I’ve also taken billions of probiotics recently too!

What I’ve read is this Tinea is actually a commensal fungus – it is found naturally on our skin, but when the immune system is compromised and the populations of bacteria on our skin are reduced, they can take over – just like when women get a yeast infection from taking an antibiotic. That is what actually happens in the vagina – bacteria and fungus are present most everywhere – the bacteria get killed off due to the antibiotic, and the yeast, the candida, take over as a result, until the good bacterial population is restored. Balance is important! Population Ecology 101.

Misdiagnosed

So, the other night I go to Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt Judy’s house where I get to see one of my cousins I haven’t seen in years. He’s a top Mohs surgeon and dermatologist. I planned on hitting him up for some serious treatments for the fungus. I figured he could, and would, be able to help me. I felt hopeful. I was glad, too, because I felt that was the perfect time. I’d already begun my fight, and figured he’d back me up with some extra ammo to accompany my many treatments. I’d hoped some serious prescribed meds and topicals would kick this thing out! BTW, I’d also quit sugar sometime back, as well, but not because I wanted to ban my fungus from the yumminess of it as well. That would just prove to be another way to benefit the health of my skin.

I held off my fungal informative and med request until well after dinner, not wanting to gross anyone out. I just came out with it to my cousin: “I need your help.” I was serious. He inquired as to what. “I need the strongest anti-fungal medication you can prescribe for me, and I’d like three different kinds of it to cover all my bases, and a topical lotion, to boot. I’d also like a year’s supply of it all.” LOL. Like he’d just take my orders 🙂 How funny is that? I really was serious though. I needed serious treatment for this funky fungi.

My family seemed puzzled as I spoke. “What’s going on?” he asked. “I have Tinea.”  “Let me see.” I walked over to him, pulled up my pant leg, exposed my leg, and balanced myself with my hand on his head while he looked at my creepy little spots. He responded quite quickly, “You don’t have Tinea,” was his prompt diagnosis. You have Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis. Stop doing what you’re doing. You don’t need to be doing all that stuff.” He was adamantly soft.

The Skeptical Observer

He asked me if I wanted him to write it down. “No, I’m aware of it.” I’d previously found this online as well, but believed it was still Tinea or some other fungus because of how it behaved and looked. I wasn’t buying the sunspot bit from the internet anymore than I was internalizing it from my cousin.

Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis is a condition whereby the skin stops producing melanin, creating little white spots, but docs don’t know why, the Iiyopathic bit, and it is exacerbated by the sun, supposedly, too, which I got a heck of a lot this summer perhaps increasing these babes to the point of where they are now. Ike!

The problem I have with ths IGH diagnosis is many fold. First, I’m supposed to stay out of the sun because it contributes to it, yet the sun actually creates more melanin when we are exposed to it, so that’s anomalous but dermatologists insist the sun is what causes this hyopmelanosis. So, I’m a little confused at this contradiction. Although, maybe my DNA has mutated somehow and created this condition or there is some weird autoimmune thing going on associated with this. At any rate…I appreciated the diagnosis because it made me feel less the leper and more just a result of my sub-tropical environment.

Even know Will, is a dermatologist, and the first doc I went to was a doc in a walk-in clinic with no specialization, especially in the area of the skin, I was reluctant to believe what I have isn’t a fungus because of the fungal nature of what I’ve observed over the years, and what it looks like. But I also want to believe it is in fact IGH because it gives me hope I can beat it! My thought, since it is NOT a fungus, I can heal myself more easily. There is hope for me to restore my body, somehow, according to me:).

My Belief in Healing through Nutrition

My belief is that if the body has what it needs to heal, it will. My belief is that what causes diseases are often related to nutrient deficiencies, but that association is not honored publicly. It seems highly logical to me. Give the body what it needs, it will heal, unless the genes are mutated that control what mechanisms or pathways regulate a system. The body should be able to be in perfect health, as we are designed, given adequate nutrition. I love this marvelous machine that is our bodies! We are miraculous.

Beliefs in tact, here I am. I am ready to fight for my skin. I believe that what ever this condition is, I can treat it with a better diet. Maybe I need to stay out of the sun so much, and use sunscreen even when I’m not at the beach, which I will, but there is still more to this, maybe. It’s only gotten worse over the years, not better. There is still something missing, I think. I am going to try and find out what that is!

I know Will and the medical profession say it is not treatable, and that is what research supports, but I am hopeful that with certain changes, I may have beautiful, spot-free skin, and I will love it! I will try! It will take time, I’m sure, but I’m gonna give it a shot.

I’ve had this progressive, chronic condition for 9 years. I had a vision recently, this past month, where the spots were flying off my thighs. I’m going to faithfully believe what I saw!

Focus Forward

So, my plan, I am merging it with something I thought to do last year, but last year wasn’t specifically focused. My more focused plan, this year: to focus on the health of my 12 body systems, 1 each month, and with a specific focus on my skin’s health.

I’ve already started cleansing this month, and the following 12 months will lead me in a much more interesting field of learning and exploration, as I delve deeper into my health in new ways.

I will chart what I am doing to get rid of this “untreatable” condition.

I will focus on how to promote the health of each of the 12 body systems, what exercise I might do to benefit them, healthy supplements that promote their health, scientific evidence that supports their best functioning, mental and spiritual relationships to food, and…my favorite, food itself, that will enrich my body’s systems. I will throw in some healthy tidbits, and mindsets that will help facilitate healthy ways of living. I will aim to hit every one of the 12 systems in one capacity or another over the next 12 months while I heal!!

Healing to Come

So, come, join me in my journey as I aim to cleanse, this month, and heal the rest.

My goal is to heal my body from this this funky condition. My goal will cause me to heal. I will achieve healing when I seek it passionately. More will come from it though. New heights will allow new visions. The domino effect will take effect while one good thing will lead to another. Throughout this year, I will be excited to see what happens as I learn more about the relationships which exist among my body systems, partake of new foods, exercises, and experiments. As I explore the many facets of my new health regime, I will be led to what health means to me and looks like for me. I will look forward to all this coming year has to offer me.

May you be inspired as you team up with me to learn, engage, and put your body to healing and wholeness. I know I will.

Here’s to my health! Here’s to our health.

Holly 

P.S. My other health needs include:

Knee, tendon, cartilage restoration from arthritis and torn meniscus (connective tissue focus:)), and a spinal curvature issue from who knows what – running too much on a bum, post-surgical knee??

🙂

Being Objective. Becoming Strong.

I went to the gym today. It’s the first time I’ve worked out there in a while. I’ve been to yoga a couple of times, but now, I am set on going for more – to get out of my chair – a habit I’ve begun to fall into after work because I’ve worked a lot of 12 – 14 hour days in the past 3 weeks. I’m going to make a better choice. I know that working out makes me better – more diligent, more energetic, more into life.

So, I dragged myself there. Wasn’t into it at all, but there was an inkling of excitement that I was doing it.  I was there about an hour and worked out about 50 mins. I started in a spinning class. Not into it. Thought I might get hurt for some reason. Thought to go and watch The Five instead while I rode the bike upstairs. Bored. Went to the elliptical. Saw a woman who I’ve never seen with such energy before – she had a pep in her step and every part of her body! She was so energetic I thought she might be on something, but think she must’ve just been really into her Zumba class. I may take her class another day though Zumba is not my thing. It made me smile just watching her so peppily prancing around fully in every single move, and they were not all easy moves, and they were so fast. Not sure I’ll be able to do everything, but it will jazz me up. End up treadmilling: walking and running and walking, and finally stretching and hitting a couple of machines before I left, mildly sweating, but not soaked, as I would have been if I spun!

Listening to David Jeremiah in the background, and he is talking about self-discipline and the Holy Spirit and how we need Him to have it.  For sure. In listening to him, it is exactly where I am – practicing self-discipline right now to develop new habits and restore my body to it’s strength😊

It’s been interesting to look into my life objectively. I’ve been doing that over the past three days – seeing me in my life, where I am now, and what I am not doing with it with my free time. I’m glad I am not beating myself up or bogging myself down with my reality. My reality is good, but it’s got me alone and not engaged in anything out side of work. There’s been a lot of t.v. time and food involved. It’s okay. I realize I’m transitioning. It’s time to make some decisions.

It’s interesting how when we are objective we can make better decisions. I feel that way. I’m clearer because there is less static due to me not objecting to my behavior, but merely looking at it for what it is and where I am in my process right now.

In being more objective with where I am and deciding on what to do, instead of responding to my behavior objectionably, I’m able to choose a path reasonably.

I’ve just looked out on my life, as if I am out of my body looking into to my behaviors, actions, patterns, thoughts. Whatever I am feeling and experiencing, I am doing so as a spectator only, allowing myself to go through the motions, but aware of them and their consequences. There’s simply an assessment. Do you want this life? This is what you are doing. Is it getting you anything? Do you want this? Things are good, but if I do more, I will have more, and what do I want? It will not some on it’s own. I have needed a bit of downtime for certain due to the schedule I’ve had to keep these past weeks, but there is a new awareness in my life. What will I do with my time remains to be seen in a moment by moment basis, but I am aware and that IS GOOD.

My failure to perform on a large scare has had to do with the amount of what I feel I have or need to do. Do you ever feel you have so much to do in your life you are paralyzed by it and do nothing?

I’ve felt that way for the past 10 years almost. It’s debilitating. I’m making progress little by little, but also felt I’ve made no true progress, really. Maybe it’s just following through and finishing.

So, the sitting in my chair is partly due to strenuous work schedule and partly to do with debilitating, overwhelming nature of all my ideas and goals. Ike! So, objectivity is suiting me well and getting me motivated. I have found in the past that judgment is like a nerve-agent – paralyzing me into doing nothing. It’s just me. No one holding me back but me, if I so choose. No dog, no man, no kids, rarely see friends and family, so I have a lot of time! Well, not really, but I must do more than just watch television all the time with what little time I do have because that is so wasteful most of the time!

There is more to my lack of motivation, and I’ve realized, in part, it is because if I feel there is no reason to do my goals, like they will have not benefit, then why do them? It’s an odd place, but it’s partly where I am and another topic maybe for another time.

Anyway, coming home tonight, I felt good. Not that I’d had a great workout, but because I made the decision and I followed through on it, and I knew I was interested in going back, and not to get a better body, though I am looking forward to that, but to be stronger.

I ran a little bit tonight, but was worried about my knee locking up and the fact that I haven’t in awhile so I was worried about how strong my knees are. I took it easy and ran only 10 minutes. That was what sparked my desire to work out more – to become stronger. At 48, I don’t like the fact that I feel a wee-bit feeble in my knees when I run, and had some issues this summer that led the doc to tell me no more running. So, my goal is to be strong.

There’s nothing like being strong. Knowing it is good too. Having your strength zapped or not being able to walk hardly – anything so simple that many of us do regularly and take advantage of, to be able to run freely and walk down the stairs without wobbling, is awesome. Strength feels so good. How do you feel? Do you feel strong? It’s a super feeling!

So, that is my new goal: Being Strong. I’m looking forward to this.

Here’s to good choices, following through, and being strong!

Holly

What I like about Me. What I am Celebrating about Me:)

Celebrating me. My birthday was earlier this month which had me reading my birthday card from a friend of almost 30 years – crike!. One of the things he suggested was to celebrate all month. I thought I would take this to heart, but I did not know what that meant to me or would look like. So, I thought what I might celebrate. Came up with ways to celebrate me, like taking myself to the salon to get a mani-pedi or to go get a massage – neither of which I ever did.

I got a bit derailed early on because of a tiff I had with my housemate that left me distracted. 10 days later, last night found me laying in bed thinking about making the best of me, my life, what I want for this year, how I will achieve what I want, and back to celebrating who I am and what that would look like. What I came up with was simply what is worth celebrating me for – what would I celebrate about myself if I could, because I am 🙂

My natural inclination for some time has been to be highly critical. I have heard by people that I am a perfectionist. One of my bosses first told me this some years back. I had no idea, but when I told it to my aunt, she totally agreed. Maybe I was. I finally did come to terms with it, but have since let go of it’s strong hold on me. It’s pretty freeing.

I have found my inclination for scrutiny, and perhaps also criticism, has likely come from my inner teacher, but mainly from living in a world for a period of time where I grew up where there were lots of lies and justifications for things that I felt were either unjustifiable or were excuses for people to behave badly, but I of which I never bought. Now, as an adult I have little tolerance for b.s. I can be real with what I know and believe now, and will call myself, or others, on the b.s.

I know for a long time I only looked at what was wrong with me – putting myself down. Never building myself up. I am not big on putting down myself – I realize what my issues are and ask for the Lord’s help in overcoming them, however, but I have learned that putting me down only keeps me down. I can still celebrate who I am while also working on changing what needs changing.

When thinking about celebrating me, I found things to celebrate. I thought, “What do I like about me?” I lay in bed last night stunned that the ideas were brimming. In a celebratory factor, I went for it, not worrying about boasting, because I was simply honoring where I am in this journey in which I presently am, and I like it.

I also took this idea to work with me this morning – asking every one of my students to say 1 thing they like about who they are – mentally, physically, spiritually – what ever they like. I realize many of us are scrutinizing, and we often overlook the good while under the scope, so my prayer this morning was to honor my students. What “I” came up with was to ask them, “What do you like about you?” What I found was no surprise – it was difficult for many to find anything they like. Sad too. I stayed with them until they came up with something. I put it in their minds and encouraged them to continue looking for things in themselves to honor, and to build themselves up, but also to work on what may see in themselves that needs improving, and to do that also.

So, here’s what I found for me. These are some items I like about me, what I feel celebratory about for me! Maybe I I will come up with more later, but for now, here’s what I’ve got: I’ve got dozens of reasons to celebrate me.

Here goes: What I like about Me:

  1. I like that I am curious
  2. I like that my body responds well to health food and fitness quickly
  3. I like that I can eat a lot and burn it quickly – I like my enzymes!
  4. I like my mind
  5. I like that I am cheerful and able to cheer up myself
  6. I like that I know the word of God and believe it
  7. I like that I am a faithful woman
  8. I like that I practice the word of God
  9. I like that prayers of mine are heard by God and answered
  10. I like that I know the Lord and He knows me
  11. I like that I am my own best friend
  12. I like that I have done a couple of triathlons
  13. I like who I am as a little sister to my brother
  14. I like that I prize truth and beauty most of all
  15. I like that I love love
  16. I like that I love nature and find beauty within it
  17. I like that I love
  18. I like that I am hopeful
  19. I like that I am positive
  20. I like that I am encouraging to myself and to others
  21. I like that I am silly
  22. I like that I am fun
  23. I like that I am spontaneous
  24. I like that I am kind and friendly
  25. I like that I am full of peace
  26. I like that I am interested in plants and medicine
  27. I like that I like science
  28. I like that I am privileged feeling – that I know my every day  conveniences are privileged. I like that I enjoy simple pleasures, plane rides, coffee, breakfast on Sunday mornings in an outdoor café with the sun shining and cool breeze and bustle around me
  29. I love my sight – I like that I am grateful for it and my taste buds.
  30. I like that I know what I like and don’t like in relationships
  31. I like that I like people
  32. I like that I know that I get to be me and what that means
  33. I like that I have come around and let hate go and find love in my eyes where I see my mom
  34. I like that I can state my mind and I know the importance of speaking my truth
  35. I like that I know my hardships have brought me here and that I see
  36. I like that I make myself matter now
  37. I like that I know what responsibility feels like and like that I like how it feels
  38. I like that I like myself at 48
  39. I like that I am susceptible to suggestions – like the written statement in my birthday card to “celebrate all month” led me here – to figure out what that would look like for me? I have come up with things about myself to celebrate and here is what I have come up with so far – celebrating what I like about me.
  40. I like that I have stopped stopping at critical and constructing something from it instead.
  41. I like that I have taken my mom’s suggestion to enjoy getting to know every aspect of who I am, and to take the time to get to know me and then to be her, and to love all of the parts of being me.
  42. I like that I like a challenge
  43. I like that I have an adventurous spirit
  44. I like that I am a child at heart – fun and playful and kind
  45. I like that I am serious
  46. I like that I am discerning
  47. I like that I am better at decision making
  48. I like that seek peace within myself, with others
  49. I like that I am cute and I like that I like cute
  50. I like that I am honest
  51. I like that my body is aging well
  52. I like that I focus on for what I have to be grateful
  53. I like that I reset my mind
  54. I like that I have taken risks in important relationships
  55. I like that I do not cave when I am threatened with losing what matters to me over losing what is true to me, even when what matters is a dear member of my family
  56. I like that I love smart
  57. I like that I like to serve, to give, and to contribute to making others happy
  58. I like that I am an over-comer
  59. I like that I seek to be better
  60. I like that I like to play games
  61. I like that I dress well – most days (highly subjective)
  62. I like that I have good taste (also highly subjective)
  63. I like that I am creative
  64. I like that I am a good dancer
  65. I like that I am open-minded
  66. I like that I am fair
  67. I like that I am happy
  68. I like that I have a good work ethic – I am a dedicated worker
  69. I like that I am productive
  70. I like that I like who I am:)

What are you likely to celebrate about you?  There are many. Embrace the lovely.

Holly

 

Finding Thanks and Promises in Psalm 34

I read this psalm today and it jumped out at me as a gratitude prayer. It made me so full of thanks. I have heard about the promises in the bible, but the way I read this today, thanks is all I saw, and I rewrote it, then, to match my gratitude from the scripture, and from which also found a promise in each line of the scripture.

Psalm 34 Thanks

I read this psalm today and it jumped out at me as a gratitude prayer. It made me so full of thanks. I have heard about the promises in the bible, but the way I read this today, thanks is all I saw, and I rewrote it, then, to match my gratitude from the scripture, and from which I also found a promise in each line of the scripture.

Having checked to see for what purpose this Psalm was written, David wrote it pretending to be mad in order to escape a King. Odd, but for me, I was filled with heart-felt gratitude and promise.

May you find thanks in our every day and be filled with promise as you praise. He inhabits the words of our praises. Psalm 22:3.

Holly

Thank you for hearing me when I seek You.

Thank you for delivering me from all my fears.

Thank you that I can look to you and be radiant, and my face is not ashamed.

Thank you for hearing me in my poverty.

Thank you for saving me out of my troubles.

Thank you that Your angel encamps around me because I fear You, and am delivered.

Thank you that I have tasted and seen that You are good.

Thank you that I am blessed because I trust You. (Thank you for all the times I have needed you and you have shown yourself strong in my life. Thank you that my soul boasts in You.)

Thank you that I want for nothing because I fear you.

Thank you that I seek you and lack no good thing.

Thank you that Your eyes are on me, your righteous, and your ears are open to my cry.

Thank you that You hear me, and You deliver me out of all my troubles.

Thank you for being near to me when I have had a broken heart and saving me because of my contrite spirit.

Thank you that though I have had many afflictions, You have delivered me out of them all.

Thank you for guarding my bones and breaking none of them.

Thank you for redeeming my soul.

Thank you that because I trust in You, I will not be condemned.

 

I love this. Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes to these passages in a new way, and thank you that I see You through these passages in a new way, and I am better knowing You are through this Psalm.

Holly

The Captor of My Raptor

I will need God’s continual! help and grace certainly here.

Today I saw a saying by Anais Nin I used to have when I was in my 20’s, and I’m reminded of now.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom! Anais Nin

Sometimes I have visions randomly – like today. My vision was of an eagle emerging head first out of the cushions of the bottom of the couch, eager to get out. His head was unruffled, and he was moving up from it quickly, talons out, pushing upwards and outwards. That was it. I saw it emerge about half way out and the vision ended.

I took it as a good sign. Looking up eagle symbolism left me with a positive note: The  “Eagle conveys the powers and messages of the spirit; it is man’s connection to the divine because it flies higher than any other bird. … If eagle has appeared, it bestows freedom and courage to look ahead. The eagle is symbolic of the importance of honesty and truthful principles.”

My take-away from that was the looking ahead bit.

In my morning prayer today, I was positively making declarations, binding and loosing things from my past that have hindered me, and things to develop that will produce good fruit it me, respectively.  My memory brought to mind a woman who’d given me a reading one year in my 20’s who told me I have a wheel of fortune around me, but I will never “cash” in on it. I bound that up, cast it out today, and loosed upon me diligence and God’s will in my life – for Him to complete what He has begun in me – there are so many things. I have also remembered some of my mom’s writings to me: “Stay away from the psychic – that will lead you down someone else’s path. Stay with the Holy Spirit – that is the only spirit you are equipped to handle.” Also, I was using a lot during those times, – so, maybe that is what he was reading, too. That if I stayed in that state, I never would have accomplished anything. I have had so many ideas and inspirations, and have finished so few.

That has been part of my problem. My interests, plans, ideas, etc. are so many that I have found it difficult to pursue any of them with completion. I have a lot of started projects.

Over the summer, and the reason I started this blog and called it Transparency247 was because of my intention to come out with it all. However, my first intended blog, I have kept because, ironically, too ashamed was I to put it out there because part of it had to do with admitting to God that I would never complete my will in this life, feeling like I just don’t have it in me. The good thing is that God is in charge! I do still have a part to play, and part of that is asking God for his help in and with accomplishing my goals. Laziness is what I need to get rid of, and it is found on the couch which it seems, once I sit on, is hard to get off. It’s like Velcro. And, my excuses kept me down, also. I work so hard I want to relax, etc! I’d justified my way into complacency!!

God is able to do more than we can ever imagine, according to Ephesians.  3:19 – 21 Image result for eph 3 19 - 21

Turning my will over to God is the Key. Set your sights on Him, and He will direct your  paths. Proverbs 3:6. Key. Easy. Keep turning over and keep trusting Him. He is in charge.

“How can a man know his steps, the Lord directs His way,” Proverb 20:24.  Also, getting with the program and making my plans, God will take care of it, according to Proverbs 16:9:

Path In A Man's Heart

How can I worry if I keep trusting God and turning over my will, seeking His will, and trusting him? He will make it all right, and I will be in perfect peace. I have to trust and pray. That’s all. Well, do good, love God and others, and everything else will take care of itself. Oh yea, I have to actually take steps to accomplish my goals, too. That’s the kicker. I will need God’s continual! help and grace certainly here. This is what’s hindered me in the past, but I have to move on beyond it.

Today I saw a saying by Anais Nin I used to have when I was in my 20’s, and I’m reminded of now.

Image result for and the day came when the risk of remaining tight in a bud

I am reminded also of the verse in the bible that talks about discipline in Hebrews 12:10:

Our fathers disciplined us for a short time as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness.

11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful.Later on, however, it yields a peaceful harvest of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

So, today, my steps were toward success; My wheel of fortune; My raptor flying free, and  Accomplishing My God-inspired Goals with His Help.

Discipline is calling. Diligence is necessary. Deliverance is assured!

I am ready to be free. I am ready to fly high.

Image result for he will mount up wings eagles

Podcast: Malachi Daughter and Dad

Malachai 4:6 And the Lord will turn the hearts of the father’s to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Had this prayed over me for me and my pop for a harmed relationship we had, and within a week I had grace pour over me randomly, washing out my hurt and pouring in the love and compassion of the Father for my dad. We would have a new relationship from that point forward.

Here are some excerpts from the audio file, below.

I told him in an email. I wrote it with the intention of hopefully coming clean with everything with respect to how I felt about him and that type of treatment, everything hoping he’d acknowledge me, that my feelings matter – I even used my siblings hurt too about some of his behavior toward them with respect to this, which maybe I shouldn’t have – it crossed a line. I just told him all of the hurts. I was done pretending, and my build-up, boiled over.

I was honest. I was a little mean too, I guess. It included my fears and hurts about some ways he’d treated me over the years and how I was not interested in that relationship anymore. I wanted and deserved more and better from him. For us.

We had this relationship much of my life where he would do what he would do and I would just accept it whether I liked it or not because mostly I wanted him to love me, and I did not want to rock the boat so I wouldn’t tell him how certain behaviors affected me. I would just blow it off – accepting it as him.

My hope, that he would treat what I was saying with some kind of respect and honor what little I was asking. I was hoping for a somewhat favorable response. Not. He answered, “I think it best that we no longer communicate with one each other. You’ve crossed a line.”

Anyway, though I felt resolved and good for me for taking myself and my feelings into consideration finally, more than his for once, I still wanted my dad. I’d always wanted my dad. That never goes away. I believe even if we are right or justified with our actions, the case remains that we wish for our parents to love us and to be the mature, guiding family they are intended to be, and to do what is right, always – for everyone, but they don’t always.

I believe that if we are without a good relationship with our parents, it hurts us. We are made to love and to be loved, you’d think especially by those who brought us into this world.

Accepting what he wrote, and taking full responsibility for what I wrote, my reply to him was, in effect, “I am sorry for what I wrote in that it came across meanly, but, I am in no way sorry for the content of what I wrote. What I wrote was all true, and if you cannot handle that, then that is on you, but I will in no way apologize for what I said.”

I felt strong and right for having stuck up for myself. It was the first time in my life with my dad like that. I left it at that. I was glad I didn’t feel diminished. Though I was sadly devastated, I was glad not to have caved, and wrote something back weak and self-denying, like, “Oh forgive me, I am so sorry, I don’t mean it. Please forgive me. Come back.” Essentially begging him not to leave me all the while not acknowledging the truth of who I was and how I have felt hurt by how he had treated me in certain situations. I was tired of the denial and deceit of what not standing up for me represented – a façade, as saying to myself that I don’t matter. I wasn’t willing to tolerate behavior that was deceitful nor was I willing to let myself down anymore essentially accepting that I did not matter. If I don’t matter, then let’s be true with it. I was done with all of that though. I could at least stand tall even know I was a sad on some level too.