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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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Poppy Smith
Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

4 Essentials For Spiritual Health

Today on LinkedIn, I found a wonderful, Christian speaker, writer, and spiritual mentor, Poppy Smith (I just love her unique name – it reminds me of the beautiful red poppies Ray and I saw all over Israel, which is a nationally protected flower. She also resembles Meryl Streep to me, who is my favorite movie actress!). Here’s an article Poppy wrote at her website.

Inspiring You to Thrive ~ 4 Essentials for Spiritual Health

Young Woman Blowing Her Nose in Bed

After my diagnosis of pneumonia, I received lots of advice. I was told to rest. To relax. To sleep. To eat nourishing food. And above all, to be patient!  I’m still being patient—full recovery seems a bit far away, but I’m definitely better than I was.

If there are basic essentials for recovering our physical health, there are also basic essentials for spiritual health.  If you want a vibrant, alive, walk with God, here are 4 essentials you need in your life.

1. Be willing to forgive whoever hurt you. Going around with a backpack of resentment and grudges weighing you down doesn’t affect the offender. It only harms you.  Your perspective is poisoned and your freedom to fully enjoy life and relationships is lost. Hebrews 12:14-15 challenges us to “make every effort to live in peace, to be holy, to not miss the grace (power) of God so no bitter root grows and defiles us.” Release the offender from what they owe you.

  • Spiritual health comes as we choose to forgive.

2.   Intentionally trust God. When tests and trials come into your life, are they met by bitterness, a “why me?” cry, or a turning to God for comfort, courage, and understanding?  Sometimes trusting God is hard, but we can make the decision to trust and affirm: God is good regardless of my feelings right now. He is going to work in and through my trial so that I mature and develop a deeper faith through this situation. (James 1: 2-4).

  • Spiritual health comes as we choose to trust in life’s tough places.

3.   Be a blessing and encourage others. Jesus looked on people with compassion and we’re to do the same. Ask God for eyes to notice others. For a sharper sensitivity to what they say or look like. For boldness to say hello, to linger and listen, and then to share kind and loving words that give hope.

  • Spiritual health comes as we choose to let Christ touch lives through us.

 4.   Cultivate a praise-filled heart.  Praise has the power to change your focus, your mood, and your perspective. It can lift you up and breathe new life into the soul of anyone who has been flattened by the steamroller of discouragement  Praise the Lord for all He is, all He has done for you, for all He promises to be to you every day of your life. Praise through the psalms, praise through music, praise by writing down all the ways He has changed your life, and thank Him.

  • Spiritual health comes as you praise God rather than pity yourself.

Which of these essential ingredients for spiritual health have blessed you?  I’d love to know.

 

Blessings,

Poppy Smith

International speaker, multi-published author, Bible teacher, and spiritual coach

Inspiring Women to Thrive! 

Poppy Smith is funny, warm, and passionate about helping women grow spiritually and personally so they experience the love and power of Christ in life’s ups and downs. A former teaching leader with Bible Study Fellowship, Poppy has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and ministers extensively as a retreat and conference speaker both in the US and around the world. For more information about Poppy’s heart, her books and ministry, please visit her website at www.poppysmith.com.

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