Saturday, January 30, 2010
Another piece of writing I have been working on is a devotional piece to go in a book that members of our church are writing. It is personal and based in the gifts nad miracles of God, yet it is also a very true and real part of who I am as an adult Christian mother, wife, and teacher. I'm going to paste it in here for you to read and consider. I am still in the editing process, so if you have a question, comment or suggestion, please share with me.
John 14:12-14 The context is Jesus speaking to the apostle Philip:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
When it is close to the time for a baby to be born, excitement and stress both build together. We had been anticipating the birth of our 5th child, so some of this was not at all new to us. My bag was packed and the baby’s things were all ready, tiny and precious—some new and some gently used by brothers and sisters. January 22, 1991 was the day that my water broke and we knew that it was the day our newest family member would join us. We went to the hospital and as I was in labor, nurses and student nurses and other hospital staff members came in the room and watched bombs dropping on Iraq, the first televised war and the beginning of Desert Storm. I was pretty much ignored until my doctor stopped to check on me and pointed out to everyone that things weren’t quite progressing at a typical rate. She brought in an ultrasound machine and found that our child was going to need a lot of help to be born—and I was wheeled in quickly for an emergency c-section.
Our son was born in just a few minutes later. He was beautiful, without any of the marks of the hard work of being born. He weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces and seemed to be a good match for one of the names we had selected—Miles Patrick Elliott. We went through the typical days in the hospital required for me to recuperate. When we finally went home, we had a warm welcome from his sister, three brothers, and our family babysitter. It was sweet that our babysitter came each of the next several days, even though she didn’t really have to come.
On the third day of us being home, something caught my attention. I noticed a terribly foul smell and it seemed to be coming from our gorgeous new baby. My husband couldn’t smell it and neither could our babysitter and friend. It really bothered me and after a good deal of prayer, I made a decision that if it continued the next day, I would call our pediatrician. It was even more intense the next day, and even though the other adults around me couldn’t smell it, I called our doctor. He was very understanding when I talked to him and his answer to me was that if it bothered me “enough to call that he wanted to see Miles.” I took him to the office and they drew blood and did a lumbar puncture. They had me take him to the hospital to be admitted right away. It turned out that Miles had a nasty bug called group B strep, a condition generally fatal for newborns.
Miles was admitted to the hospital and spent the next 15 days of his life receiving IV antibiotics. I stayed by his side this entire time as I convalesced from my own surgery and met other parents and sick children. The second day we were in the hospital, our pediatrician told me something that shows the miracle in all of this. He told me if I “had called him the day before, they wouldn’t have caught this infection yet ad if I had waited until the following day, it would have been too late to treat it and Miles would have died.” To this day, I get goosebumps when I share this story of God’s love and intervention, this miracle of modern day.
John 13:7 “What I do, you don’t know now but you shall know hereafter.”
Love to all, Sylvia
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Hi friends and fellow sparkers,
Wow, another blog in less than a half a day... I got an email today with information I thought needed to be shared. It is another piece from ediets and can be found at:
I will also copy and share it here, but I wanted to give care in giving credit to the source. We just got home from church and today the children's choir sang. That can't help but to put a smile in your heart. It's interesting, but the topic at hand was similar to what I've been reflecting on after reading The Spark--making goals, planning and carrying through in doing big things to benefit the world. I think that I am getting heavenly messages about choices I need to make for my own happiness and satisfaction and in using the many gifts I have been blessed with.
10 Mistakes Dieters Make
"Eat healthy foods and exercise."
You've already heard the many variations on this advice. As a dieter, you know what you're supposed to do to succeed. But what about the things you're not supposed to do?
Did you know, for example, that drinking diet soda can make you fat? And so can eating low-carb protein bars and eliminating fruit! Here, for a refreshing change of pace, are the top 10 things you shouldn't do if you want to lose weight and keep it off long term:
1. Eat too little or infrequently. Keep moods and energy up, hunger satisfied, and metabolism in high gear by eating three meals and two to three snacks a day. Don't skip breakfast!
2. Eliminate all fruits. Extremely low-carb diets that forbid fruit are punishing and invite cheating. Stay on track with moderate portions of fiber- and nutrient-rich strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapefruit, or peaches.
3. Eliminate fats. Several studies at Harvard and elsewhere prove that low-fat diets result in weight gain. To lose weight, you need to increase your consumption of good fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats).
4. Get snacks out of your kitchen. Snacking helps with weight loss. Make sure you replace commercial baked goods, candy, chips, crackers, cookies, and pretzels with healthy snacks such as hard-boiled eggs, cheese, celery, nuts, sugar-free gum, homemade "slow-carb" bars and muffins, protein shakes, cucumbers, yogurt, and sugar-free JELL-O.
5. Splurge away from home. Your healthy eating program is a way of life. Try to stick to your new behaviors and habits everywhere you eat--at restaurants, friends' homes, and while traveling.
6. Consume lots of artificially sweetened foods and beverages. Artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for additional sweets in some people. Others gain "false fat" or bloating caused by the body's inability to digest sugar substitutes.
7. Count calories. Hormone (insulin) levels, not calories, are what determine your metabolism -- the rate at which you burn fat. Eat balanced meals to keep your insulin levels steady and your metabolism working efficiently.
8. Eat lots of commercial low-carb products. Many companies have jumped on the "low-carb" bandwagon with high-calorie, low-nutrition snack foods that will not help you change your eating habits or lose weight.
9. Adopt a rigorous exercise routine. Exercise is important, but daily activity that you enjoy and can sustain over a lifetime is more important than killer workouts that are hard to stick with. The name of the weight-loss game is adopting habits that become second nature.
10. Load up on protein, eliminate carbs. Protein-loading has serious health risks, and few people can stay on radical high protein, low-carb diets long term. Switch to a balanced diet that features healthy amounts of protein balanced with lots of high-quality "slow carbs" -- carbohydrates that convert slowly into blood sugar.
The husband and wife physician-chef team of Harv and Patricia Haakonson recently released Slow Carb for Life: The Ultimate Practical Guide to Low-Carb Living (ECW Press) and All New Easy Low-Carb Cooking: Over 300 Delicious Recipes Including Breads, Muffins, Cookies, and Desserts (ECW Press). Find out more about them at www.slowcarbforlife.com.
I hope that you found something in this list that gave you an "aha" too!!
Have a glorious week.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This has been quite a week. I have noticed that short weeks, which are such a gift, seem to cause people to stress nad try to accomplish 5 days of activity in 4 days. This only results in a lot of grumpiness in the long run. I had the most tame week at work that I've had in a long time--because I was left alone to do the work that I am supposed to do. There was no sniping in my presence and no ugly meetings or any rudeness. I was quite isolated, but that is okay with me, knowing what the alternatives are.
NRN is something I thought of today that I would love to see grow amongst some of us. I had internet trouble this week, leaving me with a couple of days of my typical SP stuff to try and focus on. I love all of my friends and the way that somebody new will stop by and become a new friend--and I don't want any of that to ever change. Yet, I have found myself part of a lovely, polite culture that makes us need to respond to every comment, email, goodie, post on a thread etc... I considered making a schedule of posting on blogs and pages and so on--but that defeats the purpose of exploring and finding those new, wonderful ideas. (I have decided that the Spirit leads me to some wonderful people and posts, and I love to find them!!) Anyway, I am also aware of a couple of leaders who get more emails and the like than I can imagine and I worry about them. I also know that anything special that may happen will sometimes give someone some notoriety and they get swamped. I never want anyone to "burn out" over their fun on SP because all of the thank you's and responses need a return message. As a matter of fact, I think it would be nice to let people off the hook on needing to respond. That is where "NRN"came to mind. NoResponseNeeded--it's that simple. We can put it in the title or subject or by the signature and that lets our very good friends know that we aren't expecting them to send a response to whatever action we did, we simply wanted to let them know we were thinking of them and what was on our mind. (They can still choose to answer, if they want...) I wouldn't ever use this with a new SP or team member and I wouldn't use it with a new acquaintance either. I would only use it with people who are starting to know me as well as I know myself, lol. What do you think? Is there a need for something like this? I'd hate to see people give up on their exercise or something in order to respond to a goodie I sent. I'd hate to have somebody get away from SP or the boards or teams or whatever because of that sense of responsibility. I'm curious if this could help, if it grew in public awareness and popularity.
As for the rest of my week--rehab has been my big thing. Exercises are getting harder--my reps have been increased by 50% and I am spending at least 50% more time on my workouts. I still hurt considerably, but I am feeling like I am getting better. I saw my ortho on Tuesday and got my injection, but the results aren't as good as I had hoped for. I need to give it another week before we decide to do something else and I am trying to be patient and kind. I think I waited too long to get it any attention. I finally had the follow up to my mammo on Friday and that was not a good experience. I don't know if I am so uncomfortable with these because of my fibromyalgia, but it hurts when they do these and then, I am also fortunate enough to have to have two pictures in each position because I am so large. On the right side, it snags the scar from my gall bladder surgery and really hurts. I wasn't able to stand up long enough to do the pictures on Friday, so they lowered the machine and did it while I was in the wheelchair. It hurt enough that I am considering never having another or just cutting them off and eliminating the issue. It just doesn't seem right when I am told that most people experience no pain with these. How is that possible?
I have done a lot of work on my timeline document for the lawyer and I also have started writing a Lenten devotional to go in a book at our church. When I get it finished, I'll share it here as a blog as well. The focus is to tell about a time when we experienced God in a mysterious way, and I have a really awesome story to share. I have about gotten caught up here, but I still have a couple of teams that I haven't checked in with in days. I have noticed many people who have 30 or so teams, and I cannot imagine how people can keep up with so many. I have seen several groups that look both interesting and helpful, but I don't want to join them and not be active. I have also started crocheting again and am working on an afghan. Several of my kids have approached me and asked for replacements or extras, so this is something long overdue. I spend enough time in the car that I should be able to whip one out in a couple of weeks. It was my friends here who planted the idea in my mind to get going again.
This coming week should be pretty busy as well. Not only do I have a 5 day workweek with three days of rehab, but I have 2 doctor appointments, an attorney appointment, a visit to the clinic for an informational program, a trip out of town, and work on my National Boards renewal and my afghan. I want to start getting extra time in at the fitness center pool as well, but I have to have a bit of help to make that happen.
I loved reading "The Spark" and have finally remembered the name and author of another book I own (but can't locate) that is excellent reading. It is called "Thin for Life" by Anne Fletcher. She researched a large number of people who lost a good deal of weight and maintained their loss successfully. She tells about the strategies they used to successfully maintain and that is something I have not done before. I will do it this time, though and I want to reread that book for some pointers and to refresh what I do remember. I also need to find out how to change my little icon about having bought "The Spark" to saying that I READ "The Spark." (If anyone can tell me how to do that, please drop me a line!!)
Thanks for sticking with me this far, my friends. I have asked a few things of you in this blog--please weigh in on the "NRN" idea. I really care about everyone and enjoy your success and your friendship intensely. Have a wonderful week and shoot for your goals with all of your choices!!
Friday, January 15, 2010
I've had an unbelieveably tough week and I want to send a ton of prayers and good wishes to all of you who have sent me prayers, messages, goodies, emails and support in lots of other ways. It will be good for me to have rehab this afternoon and a three-day weekend. Rehab is going well--I can tell by the reduced difficulty I am having in getting from the house to the car. I am not sure that I will be quite up to stuff by the end of this month, but I am sure that I will get where I need to be.
I got an email with really important information in it. The title is "Importance of Exercise for Arthritis" and quite honestly, it has similar information to that I have read here on SP--but I know that it helps me to read the same thing many times and in many different ways. That's why I decided to share this article from "Everyday Health" with you. It can be found at:
This is the introductory page of the article and then there are several pages you can click on for detailed information:
8 Arthritis-Friendly Exercises
Importance of Exercise for Arthritis
By Michele Bloomquist
When you’re suffering from arthritis pain, perhaps the last thing you want to do is exercise. And yet, as counterintuitive as it may seem, gentle movement can make a world of difference when it comes to decreasing the pain and fatigue associated with arthritis, says Dr. Patience White, chief public health officer for the Arthritis Foundation.
The key to making the exercise habit stick is choosing a routine that fits both your physical condition and interests. Of course, always check with your physician before starting an exercise program, especially if it has been some time since you’ve been physically active. Once you get the green light, go slow — just ten or 15 minutes a day — then increase to 30 minutes a day as you build stamina, Dr. White suggests. Include at least one activity from each of these three areas: flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular. Ready? Check out these 8 arthritis-friendly workouts. They’re sure to get you going.
I am working on things to improve the quality of my life and although I am muddling because so much is overwhelming, I do know that I will make changes in all that hurts-my body and my professional life. I wish that I was doing it more efficiently, but some things seem like they have to be messy before they get better. Anyway, that is what the weather has done for us this week, lol.
Thanks again to each and everyoe of you, my friends and support, my help and my reality!! I am so blessed.
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