Monday, December 30, 2019

2020 Vision


Physical sight is a precious gift we often take for granted. Are you keeping your peepers healthy?

Mom used to tell us to eat our carrots. Turns out - she was right! Vitamin A is crucial for eye health. Also, goji berries, high in zeaxanthin, have crazy high levels of the type of antioxidants; protecting against age-related eye diseases as well as damage from UV light. Fill your plate with the goodness in salmon and other oily fish; green leafy veggies; eggs, nuts, beans, or other non-meat protein; oysters and pork; citrus fruits. Pack in the omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, vitamins C and E. Keeping a well-balanced diet also protects us from type 2 diabetes; the leading cause of blindness!
Other obvious eye-friendly health tips are: 
  • Quit smoking! 
  • Wear sunglasses that block 99% of UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Use protective eyewear during sports or hazardous work environments.
  • Give your eyes a break! Look away from that computer screen every 20 minutes and never work more than two hours without a 15-minute break.  
Just as we care for our physical eyes through examination, corrective lenses and even surgery; we must intentionally assess our personal vision regularly. 
Do you suffer from any of the following “Personal Vision” Disorders?
This applies to our Spiritual Vision as well!

#1: Myopia; nearsightedness:

Faraway objects look blurry, because our present situation is so chaotic. There is no clear direction, purpose or goals. Life is so full of distraction, drama and disappointment; there seems to be nothing to look forward to. Depression is imminent with this outlook. Find a mentor to give you better perspective. Set a short term goal. You’ll feel amazing when you accomplish it!

#2: Hyperopia; farsightedness:

When the present, close-up objects in our lives look blurry; we get frustrated. We find ourselves wishing, hoping and waiting for better days. But this outlook is “distorted”! This hyperopia causes us to think negatively about “now”. Learn to be grateful and present in each moment of life and focus on the goodness all around. Start a “Grateful” Journal. List five things each morning or evening you are grateful for. It will change your life in 30 days!

#3: Presbyopia:

Sometimes farsightedness is a side effect of growing older. Aging can cause us to lose the elasticity of our vision. We must incorporate intentional planning for transition in our lives and careers as we age. We don’t want to lose vision and momentum! We want to be productive and effective all the days of our lives! This takes intentional planning in advance.

#4: Astigmatism:

The shape of current circumstances can cause blurred vision. When we refuse to let light, hope and joy shine directly into our lives; everything becomes distorted. We cannot allow busy schedules and overloaded calendars to misalign our lives with the beauty all around us; robbing us of the most precious gift; vision for our future. 

Let’s go for 20/20 Vision in the coming year. 

Be intentional.  Be grateful.  Be-YOU-tiful!


Monday, December 9, 2019

They Really Were Wise Men!


Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2: 1,11

We understand the gold… but why frankincense and myrrh?


Frankincense

Ancient historical uses:

This oleo-gum-resin taken from the trunks and limbs of the Boswellia tree was used in Holy Anointing Oil. Frankincense was considered a cure-all. This fragrant oil was used to anoint the newborn sons of kings and priests. As a gift to baby Jesus, it affirmed the prophecy of the birth of the King of Kings. Frankincense was also used to elevate spiritual awareness and meditation; assisting a person as they transitioned between life and death. After death, it was a common embalming agent. 

Current uses:

The monoterpenes in frankincense reprogram cellular memory and promote permanent healing; helps to sustain normal cellular regeneration; used to treat cancer, depression, allergies, headaches, bronchitis, herpes, tonsillitis, typhoid, warts, brain damage, head injuries; stimulates white blood cell production, and an expectorant. The rich fragrance is used in Old Spice’s Shulton as well as Estee Lauder’s Cinnabar and Youth Dew. 

Myrrh

Ancient historical uses:

Pregnant mothers anointed their bodies with this gum-resin from the Myrrh tree. Used for protection against infectious diseases and for overall wellness; believed it protected the unborn child from generational curses; diffused during labor to relieve anxiety. After childbirth the baby’s umbilical cord was treated with myrrh to protect from navel infection and the mother massaged onto her abdomen to remove stretch marks. Myrrh was used for insect repellent, and blended with other oils to prolong the life of the other fragrances.

Current uses: 

Antiseptic, thyroid and endocrine balancer, bronchitis, diarrhea, thrush, ringworm, fungal infections, chapped skin and wrinkles. Myrrh is still used to extend the fragrance of other scents… such as Estee Lauder’s Alliage.

If you’re interested in buying Young Living oils wholesale, contact Wanda at phthermo@gmail.com or go to this link and order online: Click here to order

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

One Small Change

Every person has a life assignment; a special purpose no one else can accomplish. Would you like to know what that purpose is? It’s not complicated or mysterious. It’s simple… Your purpose is to be the caretaker of the masterpiece; “You”. This job is yours alone. No one else knows when you are tired, thirsty, or hungry; stressed, worried or vulnerable. You control the level of chaos you tolerate; and you determine the quality of your life and relationships. 
Unfortunately, many of us ignore the signals sent by our body; and tend to push through in high gear; but eventually burnout hits in the form of a health crisis or a mental break. 
Are you showing signs of burnout? Psychology Today says symptoms may include:
Chronic fatigue and insomnia
Lack of motivation
Frustration, cynicism and detachment
Forgetfulness, lack of focus, difficulty concentrating
Relationship problems - conflict and confrontation or withdrawal and shut-down
Unhealthy lifestyle - anxiety
Unsatisfied with life in general - anger and depression
Health issues - (chronic stress can create digestive issues, heart disease and depression)

We are three part beings. Thessalonians 5:23 speaks of us being wholly sanctified - and that our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved. 
    • Spirit (mind-emotions)
    • Soul (spiritual)
    • Body (physical)
Being a good caretaker of each of these parts will bring wholeness and health, as well as a peaceful, harmonious life. In burnout - just thinking about making changes can be overwhelming, especially if you see imbalance in all three areas of your life. 
To prevent overwhelm, think of ONE change you can make towards health and wholeness. How can you step up and take charge; break bad habits and create new ones?
    • It has been said that breaking a bad habit - or making a new habit - takes 21 days. JB Fogg invented habit stacking. If you want to create a new habit more quickly, you can combine it with a current habit and it will be easier to incorporate.  If you’re interested in learning more about Fogg’s Tiny Habits Method go to: https://www.tinyhabits.com/ 
    • An example of habit stacking could be: 
      • “When I come home and take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.”
      • “When I brush my teeth, I will drink 16 ounces of water." 
One Small Spiritual Change
    • Making one small change in your morning or evening routine can be a strategic decision. Consider incorporating a small block of prayer and meditation at the beginning of your day. Before you check your phone or emails - take 15-30 minutes to center your spirit.
One Small Emotional Change
    • Work on how you respond to conflict or chaos. Don’t give emotional control to someone else by allowing them to put you in a bad mood, or let them ruin your day. Although we cannot control what happens to us, we can control our response.
    • A thermostat or a thermometer?
      • A thermostat controls the temperature of a room. Likewise we can be in control of our emotions. Instead of just registering the temperature of life like a thermometer - we can adjust the atmosphere and take charge of our mental space. Be the boss of your emotions!
One Small Physical Change
    • The physical health of our bodies is affected by how we deeply we breathe, what we eat and drink, movement, and quality of sleep. Every goal is met one step at a time, implementing small changes over time. 
    • One small change in our eating habits can stimulate liver health. This organ has between 500 to 1,000 functions in the body; even while we sleep our entire blood supply is filtered every 4 minutes through our liver. Liver cells are completely replaced every 90 days! Amazingly, in three months, you can turn your life around with one small change.
      • Trade one meal each day for a healthy green smoothie.
      • Remove whites from your diet (sugar, pasta, breads)
      • Have a set bed time and set an alarm for 1 hour prior, to cue you to prepare for bed. Turn off electronics 30 - 60 minutes prior to bedtime. Read - Relax - Pray.

Make one small change and your body, soul and spirit will show gratitude by becoming more loving, healthy and whole. Only you can take care of you. One small change at a time. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Forever - My Sissy... Patricia June Nelson




There are moments in time that will forever be etched in my heart and memory. March 10, 2019, encapsulates one of those moments. Preceded by ten days of a thousand other memories that will both comfort and haunt that particular web of time, frozen in my memory. 
"She's gone", the voice said softly. I honestly cannot even remember which family member's voice was on the other line. But I can remember the feeling that enveloped the car I was in, on that dark night... the gut wrenching sob that ripped from my throat... the vacuum that sucked me into a place I had never been. My sissy was gone. I was not by her side when she breathed her last breath, but she took with her a piece of my heart. A part of me that I have difficulty living without. 
Her Love is one of my earliest memories. She was ten when I was born, so she spoiled her baby sister a little. 
We shared so much, in our 59 years together. 
My Kindergarten and her High School shared a cafeteria - and she never failed to find me during that hour and smother me with love and kisses. She always made me feel cherished. Memories of her holding my head in her lap in church, stroking my hair and tickling my ears is a comfort memory of my childhood.
Even though she was ten years my senior, she shared her friends with me. Memories of fun car trips, silly stories and crazy jokes are tucked into my mind from the first half-dozen years of my life.  
She was the best babysitter - basically gave my sister Debbie and I, the run of the house - as long as we had everything straight when mom and dad got home. She was easy going and easy to please.
I married young, and she taught me lots of things - how to decorate, and how to cook. (And man could she ever cook!) 
We both loved weird snacks like fried pickles, hot pickled okra and boiled peanuts - and often shared them after church with our little families. As adults, we loved hanging out, cooking and eating, making a meal out of cornbread and buttermilk. 
We shared special seasons of life together and a quirky sense of humor. We were both expecting babies at the same time and although Trent was to be her third baby; Brocc was my first, so she and Tony went with Jeff and I to birthing classes at the hospital. As the nurse explained the processes she and I were amused by her forced professional tone. When she told us they would bring the babies periodically "to be fed to their mothers"; bring babies to be fed to their mothers? No one else even flinched - but we both instantly had a visual of a naked baby on a silver platter with an apple in its mouth. We had to leave the room because we could no longer hold back the laughter.  
  
We shared kids  - when we lived close - our houses were both homes for all of our children. 
We shared grandbabies. She loved mine and had a special relationship with each one of them. I adore hers, and feel like they are my own. 
We shared her birthday... well after 1975 we did, when I got married on the first Friday after school let out - which just so happened to be June 7th; her birthday. 
We shared our honeymoon. They were kind enough to drive us to the beach and to Carowinds; the motor in Jeff's car blew up the week before our wedding. That weekend is a whole story in itself!
She was my sissy.  
She could fix a washer- dryer - toaster - sewing machine - or anything that could be taken apart! 
She always had an open door and room for an “extra” to spend the night... a month... or as we saw when she rescued Tabitha- an abandoned baby girl ... a lifetime. 
She was my business partner- travel companion- friend and confidante. 
She should have been a professor or an interrogator...a CEO of any company! She could have been anything she wanted to be. 
She was amazing. Talented. Brilliant. Charismatic. 
But she chose to be the best mom, wife, sister, aunt and friend within her power. 
I will always remember her gorgeous eyes- her loving my babies- and the way she loved her husband Tony. 
She was proud to be a Morrison/Wilt/Nelson. She protected and covered for all of us - and would fight anyone who said we were less than perfect. 
We had plans to celebrate this year. We were turning 60 and 70 years old. Happy Birthday in heaven sissy... we'll celebrate as soon as I get there.
I love my family and if Pattie could speak to us today... she would tell us to - DRIVE FAST AND TAKE CHANCES! Love each other and love JESUS the most!


Monday, April 15, 2019

The Garden Awaits

The Garden was quiet.  Daylight was fading. The sun was slowly sliding towards the horizon. Resplendent beauty radiated from every corner of the Garden. However, the Creator was oblivious to the grandeur around Him. He stood alone in this plot of paradise for the first time since He had created Man. No one greeted Him that day as He entered. No outstretched hands welcomed Him. No glittering eyes waited eagerly to share the events of the day. 

The curse of sin had fallen, 
like a guillotine; 
severing the innocent, loving relationship 
between Man and Maker. 

It was a sad day. Communion was shattered. The Garden would never be the same. Gone were the brilliant mornings, filled with wonder. Gone were the timeless evenings of fellowship. Adam and Eve were banished and could never return. In fact the Garden stood empty for years.



The Garden was quiet.  Daylight was fading. The sun was slowly sliding towards the horizon.
The Master was alone again, except for the three sleeping disciples. He had already roused them once, but they slept on. 

He walked deeper 
into the Garden and wept. 
He intensely desired 
to bring them one last time 
to this Garden retreat, 
where they had met so often. 
He had planned to 
pray with them - to prepare them. 


The sleeping men had no idea that moments later, soldiers would take away their Lord. In the days ahead mobs would cry out for Him to be crucified and false witnesses would concoct ruthless lies. They would not be prepared for the sight of their Lord yielding his hands and feet to the nails of a cross. The Garden where they lay dreaming would burst into a living nightmare just any second now.  When He cried, “It is finished”, they would not understand His death. They would never realize what they lost, by sleeping in the Garden.


The Garden was quiet. Daylight was just peeking over the horizon - when suddenly an angel appeared! The guards patrolling the tomb fell to the ground in fear as the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.The ground shook as Jesus stepped into the Garden again. In His hand were the keys to Death, Hell, and the Grave! 

Communion was restored!  
Sin and the serpent were defeated! 
Jesus Christ would reign forever!

When Mary arrived - and saw the angels in the vacated tomb - her grieving heart and tearful eyes blinded her vision. She turned to leave as panic threatened to choke the breath from her. When she saw Him, she mistook Jesus for a gardener, and begged Him to tell her where her master was.  (John 20:14-15)





The Garden is quiet. It awaits each morning, fresh with new mercy. All who enter can enjoy sweet fellowship with the Lily of the Valley - the Rose of Sharon - the Morning Star! 

An hour in the Garden 
is strength to the weary mind, 
bread to the hungry heart,
water to the thirsty soul. 

One hour in the Garden with Jesus can bring healing to the hurting and comfort to the lonely. How long you stay and how often you come is your choice. 

He will always be there, 
craving His time with you 
- uninterrupted time - 
an audience of one. 

He desires to take you deep into the Garden to places you’ve never been. You may not recognize Him - if life has distorted your vision; you may think He couldn't possibly be your master - with calamity and chaos cluttering your mind. Don't run away - it is Him! Close your eyes, take His hand… the Garden awaits!








Monday, April 30, 2018

GPS - God's Positioning System

I'll admit - at 58 years of age - I have become directionally challenged. 
I used to be a great map reader - and trip-route planner. But then - technology came along and made my life simpler. 
I no longer have to remember how to get anywhere - I just push a couple of buttons - and my car navigation system takes over. 

"In 6.8 miles use the left lane to merge onto SC-9 South toward North Myrtle Beach." (ahhh... I love the beach!)
Consistent reminders keep me on track even when my mind wanders off - as I'm chattering to a passenger - or listening to an audiobook or podcast.
I always panic a bit when I hear - "In 700 feet turn right onto Main Street."

700 feet? How far is that? Is this the street? 
No - it says I have 400 more feet to go!
And this is the important turn! If you miss this one - you may have to go miles to turn around! 

(Thank God for my Apple watch that actually vibrates on my arm at the exact moment I'm supposed to turn - saving me from a panic attack in 100 feet!)

Living for God is much like this. 
We KNOW our destination is Heaven. But this journey is quite complicated at times. We don't see the full route map - or we could actually PLAN what we're going to do and where we're going to spend the next 20 years of our life. 
Sometimes we THINK we know - and we put down roots - buy a house and a dog. Then God says... 
"For the next 5 years, live in limbo and try to act like you're happy, content and in control."

Actually, all we need to do is pay attention and listen to His turn-by-turn directions. 

"In 2 minutes, ask the lady at the cash register if she is having a blessed day. No matter what her answer is, tell her you believe that she is valuable and her life and influence matter. Flash a genuine smile and continue walking to your car to load your groceries."

Wait - shouldn't I palm her head - and speak in tongues - and invite her to church? 

No!

Follow God's voice. Listen and obey. If He says speak, speak. If He says pray, pray. Don't speak if He's only told you to pray. 

Now, remember, just as an accurate GPS requires a constant and strong connection to the Global Positioning Satellite system to keep you from ending up in "unidentified areas" - God's Positioning System requires constant and strong connection.

I have actually waited until I arrived in an unfamiliar area to turn on my car's navigation system!

"Uh-oh. Where am I? Which way do I go at this intersection?" 
Not a great idea when you've got traffic bottle-necking behind you!

Every day - when you get ready to start your journey... before you step out of your bedroom - turn on that spiritual navigation system. Make sure the signal is strong!

Pray... 
"Lord Jesus, order my steps today. Guide my feet. Order my tongue! Lead me in the direction You want me to go and put me in contact with the people You want me to connect with. If at any time today You decide to change my direction, You have my permission to do so! Re-route me. Send me on a detour. Just lead me all day long in the direction that brings You Glory and fulfills Your Purpose in my life!" 
In Jesus Name!

Happy travels!





Friday, April 27, 2018

The Seagull

I found my place on the sand; away from everyone at the retreat. Just needing some space - a chance to breathe. The October sun was warm but the wind held a chill, so I burrowed into my beach blanket. I had arrived at our annual prayer retreat in a mental fog. Exhausted on every level. I secretly felt sorry for the 30 women there with me - pretty sure I was not going to be very good company. I loved each of them dearly, but felt like only a fragment of who I was had arrived this year. I slipped away for some alone time… hoping no one had followed or noticed.  This was my place. The ocean is my therapy. The momentum and rhythm of the waves is like medicine to my soul. I can imagine with every wave - the stress and tension leaving my body. 
The seagull edged closer to me, keeping a close eye. I could tell he was waiting for a crumb or morsel of food. I had nothing with me. I felt irritation in the pit of my stomach… Seriously? Is there no place I can go without feeling like someone or something needs my attention - or wants something from me?
I realized, “I feel drained by the people in my life! Why is everyone so needy?” 
These thoughts brought guilt mixed with conviction. I disappointed myself with such selfish musings. 
I prayed… God help me. Fix me. Change me. Forgive me. And then…
Jesus, do you feel like me? If my emotions reflect yours; do you see me like this seagull? Do You feel like I’m always waiting for You to toss me a crumb; yet not willing to come close enough to just BE with you. Do you see me as high maintenance, needy and draining? Are these your feelings towards me right now? 
I stared at the seagull. My stare turned into one of those non-blinking, trance-like moments. I was awash in shame for feeling so resentful towards this innocent bird!
Suddenly our eyes locked. The seagull was now about six feet from my blanketed shroud. We stared for a good long moment, and then I blinked. He blinked back. Suddenly  a soft wave of understanding swept from my eyes to my brain - through my mind and into my soul. 
The seagull was an expression of Jesus!
I began to weep…
Jesus! The seagull is You! You lovingly approach me but dare not disturb me. You patiently pursue me without interrupting my life. You willingly wait and anticipate the moment when I will recognize Who You are - and finally get up and fly with You! Fly… far above all of the carnal chaos. High into the peace of Your holiness, where the glory of Your presence can calm my thoughts; revive my spirit and restore my soul. 
My breath caught in my throat as I wept before the love of my life. And then I breathed in a deep lung-full of Him. 

Jesus… I am breathing You in. I am being reborn! On this day, October 26, you are creating a new me! Show me who she is. Show me what you see in this new creation. When I get up off this sand; show me how to walk. Show me how to talk. Teach me all over again how to live. Teach me how to give of myself without depleting myself. I want to be a good and true friend, wife, mother and mentor. Teach me how to be the best version of me possible. I will arise a new creature in You, Jesus. Full of love and compassion. Full of You!

Note: I found these notes in my prayer journal from our Prayer Retreat in 2016... just thought I'd share.