I hate going to the dentist

On Wednesday, I had a dentist appointment for a crown and a build-up. I hate going to the dentist. Really, who enjoys it?

I’m a complete baby, hear me, about pain. If I even get a paper cut, I about can’t stand it. Yep, I’m just a wimp!

Violet crying

So of course, I requested laughing gas (nitrous oxide) and several shots to make sure I was good and numb, and wouldn’t feel any pain. Normally, I don’t like taking any type of medication, even Tylenol for a headache (I prefer essential oils). But the nitrous oxide helps so much with anxiety; I thank God for it!

The staff at my dentist administers the nitrous oxide before giving me the shots, because I hate those, too – but they really help with not feeling the pain.

Woman with wild hair dancing
Woman with wild hair dancing

It’s not just the pain that bothers me; it’s the high-pitched noise of the drill, too. Loud noise, as I’ve tried to explain to my very noisy husband Ray and very noisy kids a hundred thousand times for our entire marriage, really bothers me. I’m extremely sensitive to it and to strong smells (even “good smells” like perfume give me a headache).

I pray a lot before going to the dentist (and have others pray, too). But I was still nervous before the procedure, so Dr. Sherman’s wonderful assistant chatted with me about her empty nest (her daughter moved out and she cried and was glad to find out her daughter really missed her) and other inane things like commenting on my cute black boots, to keep my mind off the fact that I was about to have a practical stranger at very close range in my face with power tools.

power tools
power tools

I’m so thankful that my dentist, Dr. Sherman, is okay with me having my iPhone in the dental chair, so I can listen to worship and praise music while he works on my mouth. If Dr. Sherman needs to give me any instructions like, “Open wider!” (he says I have a small mouth, but my husband Ray would disagree strongly with that), he just talks loud so I can hear him over my earbuds.

woman with ear buds
woman with ear buds

He says I practically have a death grip on the dental chair arm when he gives me the shots. But he’s very gentle, and the nitrous oxide has been kicking in, so it feels like just a pin prick. Before he starts replacing the crown, his assistant makes sure my mouth is numb first by poking my gums with tools.

When Dr. Sherman started the drill, I cranked up the volume of Jeremy Camp videos on YouTube and tried not to scream, “Get me out of here now, God!” Did I mention that I hate going to the dentist?

scream

I just breathed in the nitrous oxide, listened to the music, and prayed that Dr. Sherman would not hurt me. (He’s very gentle; he didn’t! Thank you, Jesus!)

Soon he suddenly stopped everything and said something. I shouted, “What?” and then turned down the blaring worship, He then said he had to pull my tooth. What a shock.

Now, unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve had a tooth pulled. I’ve drank Coke® since I was a child and eaten chocolate bars and other junk for my entire life. Things which have been terrible for my teeth. (I do brush and floss regularly, but it doesn’t do a lot of good when you aren’t taking care of yourself!).

I stopped drinking Coke® and radically changed my lifestyle in January 2015, but the damage had already been done. There was too much decay, he said.

He couldn’t save the tooth, so he recommended pulling it. This would be my 3rd pulled tooth. I promise, this is not a fun thing to do, in case you were wondering…so avoid it if you can!

Fortunately, this tooth was not vital for chewing like a back molar would be. I asked if he wanted to pull it now or later, and he said he recommended now. So I said okay, while I was still down under. 

teeth
It wasn’t good news, but he reassured me that it wasn’t a vital tooth for chewing and even if he tried to replace the crown, he’d have to do a root canal (which I won’t have), and then I’d probably lose the tooth anyway. To avoid more expense and further trauma more dental visits, I decided to have it pulled right then.

He said all I’d feel was some “pressure”. As long as there was no pain, I was okay with that. I did hear a “cracking” sound, which was a little unnerving, but the tooth didn’t crumble (thank God!) and came out all in once piece. No pain! Thank you again, Jesus!

Since then, I’ve been taking it easy at home, relaxing and resting, putting on an ice pack to reduce swelling the first day, taking Ibuprofen. No exercising or working. Ray asked me yesterday what my “plan for the day” was. He often asks me this. It irritated me and I said, “Ray, I just had a tooth pulled! I don’t have a plan. The dentist told me to take it easy!”

to do list

Why am I telling you this dentist story? Just to share part of my life with you. And to ask you these questions to reflect on, pray about, and journal (I’ve included Scriptures for you to look up and meditate on.)

  • What is causing pain in your life? What is the solution to that pain? (Psalm 56:8)
  • As the saying goes, “A pound of prevention is worth a ton of cure.” Be sure to take care of your body, as well as your soul and your spirit. What is one thing you can do today to take care of YOU? There’s only one, beautiful YOU! (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • Do you need to shift your focus from the noise of this world to God’s still, small voice? (1 Kings 19:12. Maybe put your worship and praise on!) 
  • What needs to be removed (extracted) in your life? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Envy? Worry? Stress? Anger? Discouragement? Unbelief? Pride? (Ephesians 4:31)
  • Are you too busy and distracted in your daily life? Maybe it’s time to look at your schedule and your own, little plans. Have some quiet time with God and let HIM plan your day and order your steps. (Psalm 119:133) He might tell you to do nothing – to just “rest and relax”

Please leave your comments below. 

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Want to grow closer to God and develop a daily quiet time in just minutes a day? Check out my eBook, Walking With God, for just 99 cents at Amazon by clicking here

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God’s unmerited favor for you

God’s unmerited favor for you

Image courtesy of [Gualberto107] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [Gualberto107] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Have you ever had a “thorn in the flesh”?

I have one now. It’s not fun. It’s painful. Today as I was praying about a hard situation that I’m going through right now, God spoke to me in His still, small voice: “My grace is sufficient for you.”

Really, God?! Sigh.

This verse comes from 2 Corinthians Chapter 12:1-9. Paul was telling the church at Corinth that while he could easily boast because of all God had done in and through his life and the supernatural visions that he’d seen. it wasn’t profitable for him to brag.

But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Yep, God was sure using Paul in a great way, but He didn’t want him to get the big head.

So God allowed “a thorn in the flesh” to make sure Paul was continuing to eat humble pie. A thorn in the flesh to buffet him…God did this on purpose!

The word buffet in this verse is kolaphizo  in the original language (Strong’s G2852), It means:

  • to strike with the fist; to give one a blow with the fist;
  • to maltreat; to treat with violence and contumely (harsh language, contemptuous or humiliating treatment; insult; arrogant remark; abusive language; scorn).

Are you there? Do you feel beat up by the enemy Satan?

Now that doesn’t sound very nice of God to do! As I was reading my Bible today, I read the “Word Wealth” section. (New King James Version, New Spirit Filled Life Bible, copyright 2002 Thomas Nelson, Inc.). They take you deeper into the meaning of the words, revealing more layers of what God is doing.

When God answered Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” that word grace is charis (Strong’s #5485). It’s from the same root word as chara (joy) and chairo (to rejoice). “It is the word for God’s grace extended to sinful man, It signifies unmerited favor, undeserved blessing, a free gift.”

God’s blessings are enough.

Substituting these words for *grace*, I wrote in my journal this morning:

God’s *salvation* is sufficient for me. God’s *deliverance* is sufficient for me. God’s *blessings* are sufficient for me. God’s *favor* is sufficient for me! It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It doesn’t matter _____ won’t love me. God does. God saved me from hell! He brought me out of great darkness spiritually into His glorious, brilliant life. That is all that matters.

Grace. And thanksgiving for grace, God’s undeserved blessings.

Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle. ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Need a miracle? Be thankful. One is on the way!

Today I intentionally practice eucharisteo for:

  • My journal;
  • The ultra-fine, black Sharpie pen (my fave pen in the whole world) that I write with now;
  • The sound of pen on paper (being able to hear physically and being able to hear by the Spirit what God is saying);
  • I see the words I write (the gift of vision – my physical eyes and spiritual eyes);
  • The warmth of my home and the soft, olive-green blanket I’m wrapped up in on the loveseat on this cold, icey day;
  • Fuzzy socks and comfy pj’s as I spend quiet time with God;
  • A refreshing Coke® to drink;
  • My beautiful children ~ “Mom” is the most beautiful word in the world to me, next to “Jesus”;
  • Our precious grandchildren ~ The name “Nana” is my crown;
  • Precious friends who are praying fervently for me and love me, just as I am.

What are your undeserved blessings from God? Think about them.

Begin to write them down. Practice eucharisteo.

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5 Tips To Save Time in Your Work Day

5 Tips To Save Time in Your Work Day

time
time
Since we moved, I’ve discovered time-saving techniques to make the most productive use of my work day.

Here are 5 tips to help you save time and energy:

 

1. Paper plates. I can’t tell you what this simple, new tip has done for me and our family! Dirty dishes were a big problem every day in our home. How could 3 people dirty so many dishes (and so much laundry)?

When I was packing to move to our new home, I bought paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils since our plates were in boxes. Lo and behold, the counters and the sink stayed clear most of the time!

I now use paper plates most of the time other than supper when we make a determined effort to eat together as a family when Ray is off work. This has saved me hours of loading the dishwasher or washing dishes. I have more time now to devote to prayer, family and friends, and business.

waffle

Using paper plates and plastic utensils for snacks and most meals has greatly decreased stress for me (and my family wanting a clean fork or plate!). If you are green-conscious, you can use eco friendly, biodegradable, compostable plates.

 

2. Organize everything in your house. Our move kicked my administrative, organizational gift into high gear. Lately has been a major purging time, and it’s been wonderful!

I’ve gotten rid of so many things ~ taking 6 carloads of my stuff to a church in town who accepts donations, shredding papers, organizing homeschool records and putting over 1000 family pics in new photo albums, a goal I’ve had for literally years but never had time to do because I was homeschooling.

I still have to get a bookshelf (or bookshelves) for my office and go through a few boxes downstairs, but I’ve organized everything I own and it feels incredible. I can breathe a little now. I’ll have to discipline myself to stay on top of this.

You don’t have to wait to move to get organized. You can start now, today. Begin with a baby step, like Dave Ramsey’s financial Baby Step One. Choose one room, one closet, one drawer.

Relentlessly PURGE. Have no mercy on your stuff.  This is the key.

Create 3 piles:

a) Keep and organize;

b) Give away to Good Will or other donation place (or consign, sell on Ebay, Craigslist, or have a garage sale. I made $150 at the garage sale I had just before we moved here).

c) Throw away.

The give away and throw away piles should be the biggest. Getting rid of stuff will set you free! It is truly liberating and time-saving!clutter-woman surrounded with papers Clutter makes you feel stagnant and stuck. You’ll be unproductive because you are always looking for things or are feeling stressed out from the mess.

When you clean and organize your home, you’ll feel lighter, more energetic, and happier.

As I’ve shared with my husband Ray, an empty space doesn’t always need to be filled. You need wide, open spaces in your life to have breathing room.

It’s also said that when you get rid of things, it opens up your life to new and better things. I believe this!

Invest in plastic tubs, storage bins, folders, and other organizational items.

When you get rid of things and organize your home and work space, it will save you time looking for something (and save money, so you don’t go out and buy unnecessary, duplicate items and  you’ll be working making money, instead of shopping).

It will also save you stress trying to find whatever you need in a  hurry.

 

 3. Online banking/Financial Organization. When we moved into our new home, we had extra costs such as the deposit, the rent, the U-Haul rental, etc. I needed to know how much we had in the bank every day prior to our move.

“Be fully aware of the condition of your flock, and pay close attention to your herds.” ~ Proverbs 27: 23, God’s Word Translation

To stay on top of finances and to save time running to the bank to make a deposit or transferring funds from another account, check your bank balance online daily. Know how much you have in there at all times.

There are many online programs you can use to help you with finances and/or budgeting. One is YNAB.

I also use Tax Bot for tax time purposes.

My favorite finance guru is Dave Ramsey. He’s filled with God’s wisdom, practical, and very funny. (I just need to apply what he says! :O)

In my business, I use Paypal as a finance tool and receive an email notification every time I make a sale with my coaching services or a customer buys one of my books or info products. I also use Paypal for paying whoever I’ve hired to outsource work such as websiste tweaks or VA work.

To begin using Paypal in your business, just click on the graphic below. (This is an affiliate* link.)

PayPal Logo

4. Small, frequent meals. I’ve been dipping my little toe in the water with Take Shape For Life health program. I will let you know how it goes. One powerful tip I’ve learned from this program is eating, small frequent meals. As a busy entrepreneur, sometimes I’m working hard, long hours and I forget to eat! Then by the time I remember, I’m ravenous and eat too much! Which leads to weight gain – or not losing any. Eating small, frequent meals keeps blood sugar levels from plunging and speeds up your metabolism, which helps you to burn calories more efficiently and lose weight.

Small meals means less time cooking over a hot stove in the kitchen, which for me translates into doing more of what I love -spending time with God, family and friends and on my business.

5. Prayer. At our new home, we have a sunroom ~ something I’ve been praying for since I saw them in sunny Florida when I was a flight attendant.

Sunroom
Sunroom
I LOVE my sunroom! It is my coffee with God room/prayer sanctuary. I often go in there after I wake up to pray, watch the birds and 2 white rabbits which hop around the neighborhood, and journal.

This week I’ve been including a Proverbs a day in my quiet time. The Proverbs are filled with practical wisdom.

By praying and hearing God’s wisdom and direction for the day, you save time from wasted activities. Your steps are ordered. Your path is sure. Your purpose is being fulfilled.

These 5 tips are helping me in practical ways in my daily life to save time, money, energy, and stress, and I hope they are helpful to you. Which one can you implement today to make your life easier, happier and more intentional? Leave your comments below.

*This is an affiliate link. I only recommend products I’ve used or believe in.

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