Monthly Archives: October 2011

Touch ME

  Do you remember this picture?

This is a picture from an article called “The Rescue Hug”.
The article details the first week of a set of twins.
Apparently, each were in their respective incubators,
and one was not expected to live.
A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules
and placed the babies in one incubator.

When they were placed together, the healthier of the twins
reached out an arm over the sister in an endearing embrace.
The smaller baby’s heart stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.
(Verified by Snopes as true).

Both of these babies survived, and the story is a touching example of how important human touch is, and how God designed us to need it for survival, for life.

How comfortable are you with touch? American culture is typically very “hands off” and touch starved.  I would like to encourage you to examine your own comfort level with touch and being touched as a means of communication with those around you.  Touch doesn’t have to be sexual, and it is a very important communication tool.

A touch can convey:  I am thinking about you.   I noticed you.  I want to show I care.  You are important.  I empathize with your situation.  I want you to feel better.  I am happy to see you.  I am happy to be with you.  I sense your suffering.  I want to comfort you.  I see you.

Touch can have healing power:  comfort, decreased anxiety,  decreased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, decreased pain, decreased tension, decreased restlessness, decrease in stress hormones, improved circulation, relaxation, increase in chemicals and hormones that promote a good immune system and promote emotional and mental well being.

Challenge: Reach out and connect with the people in your life via touch….a gentle hand on a shoulder, a gentle press of another’s hand in yours, a hug, a massage.  Let your kids lay on you, snuggle with you, give them hugs and affectionate touches.  Give your husband hugs and kisses, massages, and snuggles.    Connect even with strangers as opportunity presents itself with gentle touches that bestow friendliness, caring.

Touch and be touched.

A Touching Prayer for you:  May you become more and more comfortable with the life giving connection of touch….as God meant for it to be shared with others as an important expression of His love and concern.  May you give and receive many touches in your lifetime.

For More Information on the Importance of Touch:
5 Benefits of the Human Touch:  http://www.modernmom.com/article/5-benefits-of-the-human-touch
The Healing Power of Touch:   http://www.odemagazine.com/blogs/readers_blog/13878/the_healing_power_of_touch
The Healing Power of Touch Reduces Anxiety and Tension:   http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0675/is_n6_v9/ai_11489808/
The Healing Power of Touch: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/womens_health/83603
The Power of the Human Touch-How Important is the Touch?:   http://veronicaallen.hubpages.com/hub/The-Power-Of-The-Human-Touch
 The Power of Touch: http://scrubsmag.com/the-power-of-touch/

Information Overload

I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.   Erma Bombeck

I get saturated”, my husband said, as we began to discuss why we had a blow-up argument earlier that morning.  ” I can only take so much information, and my emotions can only take so much and then I just feel overwhelmed”.

Do you ever experience someone displaying an unexpectedly emotional, defensive, or even angry outburst to cause a sudden end to a conversation?

Do you ever feel as if you had a conversation with your spouse, or one of the kids, etc.  and they interacted back enough to fool you into thinking they were processing as well as retaining the information…and then later you realize they have no recollection of the conversation, and you might as well have carried on the conversation with the wall?

Maybe the culprit is information overload.  In our current technological world, we are inundated with enormous pieces of information in a day….from TV, radio, emails, text messages, advertisements, browsing as well as working on our computers. Information overload is a problem with growing exposure and also an area of new and promising research.  It is a proven fact that our brains can only hold so much, and then they have to let some information go to make room for new information.  The brain can become overwhelmed with trying to decide what to hold on to and what to ignore.  Too much info has a negative impact on our ability to think, reason, and cope.

In our daily interactions with our spouses, this can certainly impact how well they can attend to our expressed needs.  As Christian wives, I think it is an important skill to recognize when our husbands are showing signs of saturation.  If we keep pressuring them to continue a discussion, for example, when their inner sponge is full, there is going to be overflow…and not typically of a positive nature.

Some suggestions for the household.
1) When discussing issues with our spouse, learn to control any emotional compulsion to have closure to an issue in that moment….trust God and learn to LET IT GO!.. It can always be revisited at a later, more appropriate time.
2) If there is important information that needs to be conveyed, figure out what each person best attends to for retaining that information (ie repeating it back to you, having it in written form, having a “check-in” time during the day when you touch base with each other)
3) Ask for some time when you can have undivided attention of the person you are needing to inform…make sure you have eye contact.  Keep the conversation as brief as you can to ensure they do not become too overwhelmed with the information and begin to tune out.
4) Work and re-work the scenarios that go wrong to figure out what can be done differently next time to improve the communication.

Prayer for your communication:  May you become more adept at recognizing information overload interfering with the relationships around you.  May God grant you the patience and wisdom to know how to keep it from causing discord in your home.
  Have you noticed signs of information overload in your home or workplace?  What techniques have worked for you? Do you notice how information overload affects you negatively too?

Other Resources:
 Watching the Human Brain Process Information:  http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=102399 
Death By Information Overload:  http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?qid=3899
Information Overload and the Art of Communication:  http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/information-overload-the-art-of-communication/
10 Ways to Overcome Information Overload :  http://www.teamhealth.com/wellness/mentalhealthmatters/overcomeoverload.pdf
Are You Disconnected From Your Spouse?:  http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/are-you-disconnected-from-your-spouse-11603424.html
10 Ways to Recover and Reconnect With Your Spouse:  http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/10-ways-to-recover-and-reconnect-with-your-spouse-1315531.html
Marathon Arguing:   http://www.marriagemissions.com/marathon-arguing/

 

This Little Light of Mine

I’ve been so excited about the Making Your Home a Haven challenge that is being offered on WomenLivingWell.org.  The first step in the challenge was to light a candle everyday in a central focal area of the home, and then to pray for peace whenever your eye caught the light of the candle.  Monday was the first day, and sadly, my candle never got lit….too much chaos with everyone in my household off in different directions.  There never really was a time for us as a family that first night and I felt like I had failed… I decided to not despair, however, and make the most of Day 2 when all would be home with no pressing obligations.
I finished my day of work and got off at a decent time.  I drove to daycare with excitement about a good night at home.  I walked to the playground and looked around for my 7 year old.  Neither I nor the daycare person could find her at first.  We kept calling, and slowly a dirt covered object rose as if from the dead out of the sand at the back of the playground.  My daughter had let other children bury her up to the neck in sand.  She also had a note from school about misbehavior (after many warnings the note said).  ugh! I thought…this can’t be a good night, and where has this behavior come from when she has been doing so good. My car was filled with sand.  My bathroom floor was filled with sand…but I kept it together.  I thought, a quick shower and all will be ok, but NO…in the shower my child proceeded to misbehave.  When I asked her what’s wrong, and why are you acting this way, she said “Because I want to do what I want to do!”   She is at least brutally honest..no sugar coating or rationalizing for her. Her father came in and was informed about the days misconduct and when he began to talk to her she argued with him (very brave I might add!) and her sassy mouth went in to overdrive.  Uh oh! I thought….there goes my haven.  Of course my child was given consequences for her behaviors, and as soon as her father left, she said “I hate having parents who are not nice.  You are not nice parents.”  I have never heard such words from my child before.  All of these behaviors were so bizarre, even for her.
But I kept my focus.  I went and lit my candle, and I prayed.  As the flame flickered, I saw life glowing and my hope was renewed.  You know my heart, Lord, I said.  I give what’s left of this night to you.
I called my 7 year old to the kitchen to sit and start her homework while I prepared supper.  I helped her with her homework and tried to make it fun.  Immediately she calmed down and a peace settled over the remainder of the night.  She focused and minded.  Her father returned about an hour before her bedtime and commended her for changing her behaviors.  My teenager volunteered to make some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.. “and by the way mom, I like the candle”, she said.  As I sat with my 7 year old and we finished our cookies, I asked her what she had learned today…and very sweetly, she said..”to mind, and to think about what I’m doing, and to do the right thing.”  And she gave me a hug.  I thanked God for answered prayer, and the peaceful end to what started out so chaotic.
And I leaned over and blew out my candle with peace in my heart.
( Image above:  Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)



The Christian Zombie Killer’s Handbook

THE CHRISTIAN ZOMBIE KILLER’S HANDBOOK  Slaying the Living Dead Within
BY: Jeff Kinley

I finished this interesting book today, and coincidentally today is the launch date for its release to the public at large.  What a great read!  This book is presented in both a fictional and nonfictional format.  First, you read an Episode of the fictional (complete with blood and terror) zombie survival story.  Next, you read a Chapter of nonfictional biblical commentary from the author about how the zombie parallels our spiritual state apart from God…how our fallen nature makes us spiritually ” the living dead.”  It further explores the spiritual battle we face daily to deal with the zombie that wants to reanimate inside of us.  How hard it is for some of us to see our sinful state as a really detestable, horrible, and revolting condition.  It is in this context, that the biblical concepts about our struggle with sin are explained uniquely and logically through the zombie analogy.

In all honesty, I am NOT a fan of zombie stories, movies, etc. I was very skeptical when I decided to review this book because I thought it might be a shallow presentation geared toward teenagers as just a fictional entertainment novel.  Well, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the content had an intriguing fictional story line as well as an in-depth explanation of important biblical concepts and practical application to understanding and living the Christian life successfully.  I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would, and I would highly recommend it to those who need to understand the spiritual battle we face daily as a Christian.  The Zombie theme is a perfect analogy of our spiritual condition, and sadly, the Christian who would not even consider reading this book because it is about zombies, is probably the Christian who would most benefit from the concepts explored in this unconventional  analogy.

 I was provided this book for free by BookSneeze.com in exchange for providing an unbiased and honest review of the content.

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