After Job loses his children, his home, his cattle and his health, he lays his situation before God. As he suffers, he poses questions to God. AND God answers him.
In the last chapter of the book Job acknowledges God’s omnipotence and sovereignty. God honors Job in his struggle for answers. God admonishes the friends who were misguided in their assessment, and He gives Job the opportunity to pray for them.
. . . and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. Job 42:9
When we are going through difficulties we can tell God our struggle. When my son was battling cancer I stood in the shower crying out to God, telling him my anguish. I developed a deeper prayer life.
God did not answer my requests in the way that I expected, but he answered and my faith grew.
Whatever struggle you may have, you can bring it to the Lord in prayer. He accepts us where we are. God desires us to grow in faith.
This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Many thanks to Kate Motaung, our gracious leader. Today’s prompt is ACCEPT. Visit this writing community by clicking here.
On Fridays I have been joining the Five Minute Friday community. We write for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. Sometimes my thoughts continue a little beyond the five minutes–marked by //. To visit this inspiring community of writers, click here. Today’s prompt is: SUPPORT
Yesterday I attended a seminar titled, Probiotics, Food & the Immune System. I sat next to a pharmacist. A physical therapist from my church was there also. There were about 100 people in attendance.
The lecturer was a petite, thin woman with dark hair and a face that was lit with passion for her topic. She was describing the microbiome to us. Medical scientists are uncovering the numerous and varied bacteria that live in the human gut and on mucous membranes. While some bacteria and fungi are harmful, others are very beneficial—and support health.
Ms. Pawlak explained the amazing network of communication that takes place via enzymes and proteins in our body. Bacteria in the gut are involved in this system.
I was fascinated as she talked about complex sugars, oligosaccharides, in breast milk. The infant does not digest these sugars. Instead the healthy bacteria in the intestine digest the sugars and are involved in insuring that the cells of the intestinal lining are fitting snugly together.
The microbiome supports health. //
She went on to discuss the cells in the immune system. There are many different types of leukocytes, myeloid cells and lymphoid cells. Each type of cell has a specific role in fighting infection. The lymphocytes target infectious cells and set in motion the development of antibodies. T– cells and B–cells are lymphocytes.
Ms. Pawlak was so happy to share a slide that showed a T– cell releasing proteins that were directed at a B– cell. The slide had been developed from an electron microscope. It looked like the round T- cell was releasing tiny crumbs that were floating towards the B- cell. The proteins contained the information needed to develop antibodies.
Our instructor shared her sense of wonder with us. The human body is amazing. We are constantly learning more.
We can say with the Psalmist:I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
On Fridays I have been joining the Five Minute Friday community. We write for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. Sometimes my thoughts continue a little beyond the five minutes–marked by //. To visit this inspiring community of writers, click here. Today’s prompt is: WORK
Over the years I have held many different jobs. I worked my way through college. As a nurse I have worked in a number of different hospitals and nursing units. I have worked at home as a mom.
As I look back I can see my imperfections—things that I could have done better. I see the times that I needed to say that I was sorry.
But I can also see the ways that God has guided me. I see the prayers that were faithfully answered. I remember the times that I stood outside of my children’s bedrooms, praying for God to be at work, despite my human failings. God answered those prayers.
The words in the Bible are true. //
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
This is great encouragement for believers in Jesus. As we journey through life, we are being refined by the work of God!
As a former labor/delivery nurse and Lamaze instructor, I am an advocate for prepared childbirth. Women need information and guidance as they make choices about childbirth care. They need to know what to expect.
But in the preparation for childbirth, the postpartum time period may be given brief attention. Women benefit from knowing what to expect in the weeks following childbirth. According to research cited in the book, When Postpartum Packs a Punch, the range of women experiencing post partum depression is 12% to 25%.
As I read through the book I found the author’s observations consistent with my own as a nurse. Ms. Cowan tells her experience of postpartum depression, along with the stories of women that she has interviewed. She provides a discussion of treatment options. She explains the way her faith in God guided her.
Like the author I have experienced help and healing by trusting God when experiencing suffering. I believe that God helps us grow when we turn to him.
Inspirational quotes appear throughout the book. The tone of the book is hopeful, pointing to healing. Women experiencing depression and the people that support them can find help in this book. The book can also provide a greater awareness of the needs of women in the weeks following childbirth.
Every Friday the FMF community writes for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. To visit this inspiring community of writers, click here. Today’s prompt is: NEIGHBOR
Like so many I have been watching the photos and videos of Hurricane Harvey. The floodwaters and misery are overwhelming—but so is the kindness of people as they help strangers. The Cajun Navy has volunteered their time and their boats to rescue thousands of people.
My favorite story is about a midwife. As floodwaters rose on her street she was unable to leave her house with her supplies. A neighbor helped her onto an inflatable swan and pushed her to dry ground. She was able to attend the birth of a client.
Natural disasters create situations where the needs of people become obvious. A community spirit develops. It would be wonderful if this spirit became a constant.//
When we were traveling in Finland I was impressed by the kind attention offered to us. So many times a bystander noticed that we were studying a map or looking at street signs, and then offered assistance.
Attentiveness is part of being a good neighbor.
The Gospel of Luke records a question that was posed to Jesus. Who is my neighbor? Jesus responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The man who saw the wounded Samaritan and acted with mercy was a neighbor.
We are called to pay attention to the needs of others. Perhaps it involves asking good questions or being available. And then stepping up to help. I can improve in this area.
Every Friday the FMF community writes for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. To visit this inspiring community of writers, click here. Today’s prompt is: SPEAK
Through my experiences as a nurse, mother and grandmother I have come to believe that minimizing medications is a good thing. Beginning with fertility and childbirth. It is good to be educated about hormonal birth control—benefits and risks. It is good to go into labor naturally unless there is a medical problem. It is good to ask questions about proposed treatments.
I participate with a group called Women Speak for Themselves. This group encourages education about fertility and natural family planning. I am still learning how to raise discussions with women. I need grace and a good listening ear.
In the midst of the loud voices of our culture we can become timid or brash. But there is another way. We need grace and kindness as we speak up and share our point of view.
This verse in 1 Peter gives guidance for sharing our faith, and can apply to discussion of controversial topics.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
Every Friday the FMF community writes for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. To visit this inspiring community of writers, click here. Today’s prompt is: PLACE
While we were in Finland we visited Turku, a beautiful old city. It was the “capitol” of Finland when Finland was under Swedish rule.
Rising above the town is the tower and cross of the Lutheran Church. We walked from our hotel to this landmark.
The church is kept open for visitors. People were ascending the stairs as we approached.
The doors were ornate.
I took a deep breath as we entered this place. The architecture is magnificent.
I was most drawn to the painting behind the altar, with the focus on Jesus, resurrected and ascending to heaven.
// Since we have returned home I have thought a lot about the church in Finland. Every city has a cathedral-like church. The Lutheran Church is the state church. Weddings and funerals are conducted there. But I did not get a sense of the people of the church. When I talked with my Finnish relatives, the concept of a community of believers was outside of their experience. The magnificent churches demonstrate the heritage of faith. And so I am led to pray for revival and a fresh experience of faith in Finland.
When I visited my grandmother as a child she had viili, homemade sour milk, in her kitchen. My mother had been raised with the clabbered milk as a part of her diet. The slippery consistency of this sour milk did not appeal to me. Now I recognize the health benefit of naturally fermented foods.
So, I have a goal to include lacto-fermented foods in our diet. I grew pickling cucumbers in my garden and they have flourished! The pickling cucumbers are a little lighter in color than the salad cucumbers.
The farmers market nearby has plenty of cucumbers also—but it is important to make sure you are getting pickling cucumbers. ( Salad cucumbers will get mushy when fermented.)
The recipe calls for whey. I strained an organic plain yogurt by putting cheesecloth in a strainer and adding the 6 ounces of yogurt. I let it stand until the whey had drained. (At first I had it on a counter in the kitchen and then placed it in the refrigerator. It took about 4 hours to get ¼ cup whey. Different brands of yogurt may have less whey. I purchased two containers just in case I needed to drain more.) The remaining yogurt can be used in other recipes. I added mine to a quiche I was making.
I let the pickles sit on my kitchen counter for three days and now they are in the refrigerator. Notice that lacto-fermented cucumbers will have a cloudy appearance.
We will try them in a couple weeks. I expect them to have a nice, crunchy flavor. According to the recipe I followed, I will know if they are good or not!
Every Friday the FMF community writes for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. Sometimes the first five minutes of writing stimulates more thought, and I continue on . . . Today’s prompt is: TRY
During the past two weeks I had the wonderful experience of attending a family reunion in Finland. My maternal grandmother had come to the United States when she was nineteen years old. Two of her brothers were already here, but the remaining ten siblings stayed in Finland. She was never able to go back.
During the two weeks in Finland I had time with a number of our second cousins, third cousins, cousins once or twice removed. Some were fluent in English, some were not. But we found ways to communicate. I tried out the words that I knew in Finnish and then resorted to the app on my i-pad. My relatives tried out words in English and used the Finnish/English dictionary.
We were persistent in our efforts to communicate. I learned about my grandmother’s life in Finland and felt the kinship with my Finnish relatives. . . .
My thoughts have moved on to think about God’s persistent efforts to communicate with us. He has given us the Bible and his Son. In the gospel of John, Jesus is called the Word. Through Jesus we have been given the ability to be in communication with God. Jesus instructed the disciples (and us) to pray, addressing God as our Father. Our prayers, uttered in faith, are heard.
This past Sunday a portion of scripture from Hebrews was read during our worship time. We sang of God’s goodness, and I was filled with joy. During times of fatigue and discouragement we can hold onto the message in these verses from the fourth chapter of Hebrews.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in every time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus hears our prayers and intercedes for us. This is a wonderful truth!
Thank-you for visiting. I am taking a summer break from blogging and plan to be back in August.