stress much?

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Yeah….me too.

When most women talk about stress they are usually referring to an emotional stress or tension.  And what constitutes as tormenting stress to one may be a cake walk for someone else!   (who are those women?)  Either way, any ‘stressor’ can trigger the body’s automatic stress-response system.  Now you’re going to welcome in illness, such as a common cold, a heart attack or even cancer.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

TIPS FOR EATING DURING STRESS

  • Don’t forget breakfast!! If you are running on empty, stress will be much harder to manage
  • Slow down!  Eating quickly can cause digestive problems, which will only make things more stressful
  • Don’t diet!  (It’s about time someone said that!) Changing your eating habits can be stressful even during the good days!
  • Pass on the cocktail and caffeine!  They will affect your mood and sleep patterns.
  • Listen to your body!  Avoid foods that cause discomfort and get plenty of sleep at night.

Good nutrition is extremely important during those bouts of stress.  Your food will provide energy, vitamins and minerals for dealing with stress and help to attack any negative nellies that are zeroing in on your immune system.

Take a hike!  No seriously….get outside.  Go for a walk and take some deep breaths.  Look up at the clouds and remind yourself of the important things in life….and count your blessings!  Be grateful for waking up!  Can’t park up close to the store?  Thank God you have two good legs and can probably use the extra steps to burn some calories.

When you see what you DO have, you’ll have a stronger sense of peace and that stress will begin to disappear….

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the WHOLE serenity prayer…

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Did you know that there’s more to the Serenity Prayer?

Goodness knows who wrote it, since originally thought to be Protestant theologian, Rienhold Niebuhr.   However, the origin isn’t what this particular post is about.  I’m more interested in the second verse.

Yes!  There is a second verse!  I think the second verse is even more important than the first verse!!  It’s beautiful!!!

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen.

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do you know Irena Sendler? you should……

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Irena Sendler

Died: May 12, 2008 (age 98)

Warsaw, Poland

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During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a social worker, and occasionally posed as a nurse.  She had an ulterior motive.

Irena smuggled orphans off the streets in Warsaw.   She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck  (not her truck) for larger children to hide inside. The most famous of the child survivors, Elzbieta Ficowska, was rescued in the bottom of a tool box she carried, at 5 months old. Irena’s network of rescuers was almost all social workers, consisting of 24 women and one man.

Irena kept a dog in the back of the truck that she trained to bark when the Nazi’s let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the sounds of the children’s cries. 

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During her time of doing this, she smuggled and saved 2,500 children.  Sadly, she was caught by the Gestapo and put in Pawiak Prison where she was tortured and her arms and legs were fractured.

Irena kept a record of all the children she had smuggled out, in a glass jar and buried under an apple tree in a friend’s backyard.  After the war she tried to locate any parent that had survived and tried to reunite the family.  Most of them had been gassed.  Those children she helped place in adoptive or foster families.

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 In 2007, Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She was not selected.

Al Gore won for a Global Warming slide show.

Later Barak Obama won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.

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I want to remember Irena Sendler.  She is my hero.  She is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

Please read more of her story HERE.

remembering Mattie….

 Do you remember Mattie?  Born as Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek, this sweet child was an American poet (who began writing at age 3) with six books of poetry and a collection of “Just Peace” essays, all which became New York Times  bestsellers.  How cool is that?

Mattie was born with a rare disorder now known as Dysautonomic Mitcochondrial Myopathy, that took him heavenward just one month before his 14th birthday.

I thought I would write about Mattie, because I, too, had a medically fragile son that gave me 15 1/2 years of pure joy and gave me such delight, as I know Mattie brought to his mother also.  Jeni Stepanek, his mother, has also been diagnosed with the same disorder and has lost three other children to the neuromuscular disease.  Despite their loss and tragedy, this is a family that knows about love and grace.

Jeni is a woman filled with courage and inspiration to not only mothers, but to everyone all over the world.  She and Mattie are beautiful examples of God’s love and how we are to respond with love.  Mattie once told his mom that his job was to  ” give words, and to give a voice to God’s message.”  I imagine that when little Mattie spoke these words it made his mother smile.

What message are you giving?  What message is heard in your tone, or your attitude…..or even your silence?  As God’s messengers, we are to give hope to the hopeless and help to those in need.  We are the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Christ and our message is clear – love one another.  Mattie did this even as a little boy and now his mother continues to carry his message and offer hope and peace to those in need.

Since this is the Love Month, I thought I would share a poem he wrote from his book, “Heartsongs“…

PINCH OF PEACE

Dear God,

Tonight my prayers are for the world.

We have to stop this fighting.

We have to stop the wars.

People need to lay down their weapons,

And find peace in their hearts.

People need to stop arguing and hating.

People need to notice the good things.

People need to remember You, God.

Maybe You could come and

Shoot a little bow-and-arrow pinch

Into all the angry peoples’ hearts, God.

Then they would feel You again.

And then they would realize what

They are doing and how horrible the

Killing and hating and fighting is,

And they might even begin to pray.

Then, they could reach in, and

Pull the little bow-and-arrow pinch

Out of their hearts and feel good

And be loving and living people again.

And then,

The world would be at peace, and

The children would be safe, and

The people would be happy, and

We could all say “thank You” together.

Amen.

by: Mattie J.T. Stepanek (used with permission from Journey Through Heartsongs, Hyperion 2002)

You can find out more about Mattie and his legacy at http://www.mattieonline.com.  You can also read more in the book, Messenger, by Jeni Stepanek.

the four candles…

The Four Candles burned slowly. Their ambiance was so soft you could hear them speak…

The first candle said, “I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit.” Then Peace’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

The second candle says, “I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable.” Then Faith’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

Sadly the third candle spoke, “I Am Love and I haven’t the strength to stay lit any longer.” “People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.” And waiting no longer, Love goes out completely.

Suddenly a child enters the room and sees the three candles no longer burning. The child begins to cry, “Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end.”

Then the Fourth Candle spoke gently to the little boy, “Don’t be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”

With shining eyes the child took the candle of Hope and lit the other three candles.

With the candle of Hope we can bring Peace, Faith, and Love back in our lives.

-Author Unknown

Isaiah 53:3-5

WHERE WILL YOU BE ON EASTER SUNDAY???

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him. ~ (The Message)