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My day started out pretty exciting. I had had a solid, sound sleep, and had told my husband the verse where it says that God awakens us day by day (Isaiah 50:4), so the devil has no right to wake us up! We prayed and slept through the night, praise God!

Then I asked God when to leave for work, and got the impression that I should leave at 8:00, so I tried to leave as close to 8:00 as I could. I also asked, and got the impression that I should wear a skirt, so that is what I did.

I went to work with my new purse, and enjoyed carrying it, and arrived at 8:26, before my co-workers! I then wondered if I should go get some coffee, because I was craving some caffeine to combat premenstrual symptoms, and asked about it. The initial impression I got (whether it be my thoughts or the enemy’s) was a “no”. But then when I decided to test the spirits, I also got a “no”, so I decided to go to the Coffee Bean.

It all worked out great because a homeless veteran was sitting outside the coffee shop, so I hurried in, hoping to get him something before he left. I got a decaf coffee, a big bottle of water, and two muffins, then I went out and gave him the water. He was cheery and grateful, and took the water, but when I was about to give him the muffin, he politely declined, saying that he had eaten too many sweets this morning. This worked out, because then I thought I could give it to the homeless man who always carried the “extremely hungry” sign outside the subway station every morning. Fortunately he was just down the street going toward my job, so I was able to catch up with him (after he put his cardboard sign in a newspaper dispenser) and give him the muffin. To my surprise his voice was full of warmth and gratitude. He sounded like a normal person, not a drug addict (as I had thought) at all. Just a normal person down on his luck? He couldn’t be more than 35. Anyway, I was so happy to serve God by doing a good deed.

After seeing and hearing about how millions of people live in the slums in India, I realize that the homeless situation in LA does not even compare to that, but whatever we can do to help counts.

I went through the day pretty well. The symptoms of earache were mild and came back from time to time, but I would rebuke them each time again. I found and listened to Christian songs. One verse that constantly went through my head was, “the grass whithers, and flowers fall, but the Word of God endures forever.” Yep, and the Word of God is truth, and if the Word of God is truth, and it endures forever, then that means that as long as I abide in the Word, and in the truth, my healing will similarly endure, because God’s Word does not return to Him empty, but accomplishes what he wants. It’s all tied together.

The only thing I will say that discouraged me a little and made me feel a resurgence of symptoms, was reading about Kenneth Copeland possibly being a freemason. I do not say this because I directly subscribe to this man’s teachings, but because some of the most helpful web sites to me that have helped me in my battle against illness have been web sites of people who do subscribe to Copeland’s teachings, in part or in whole. But reading about his false teaching, if it indeed be his, was not encouraging. But I had to remind myself of something else that also went through my mind a lot today: that either God’s Word works, or it doesn’t. Which will it be? Either God is a liar, and his Word does not work, or it is the truth and it does. There is no gray area, for even one error or lie will make the whole thing a lie. So I choose to trust and obey the Word!

I have felt great most of the time sitting hear, recalling the victories of yesterday and today. God is awesome and deserves the praise! He heals all of my diseases! Bless/Praise the Lord!

And by the way, hubby did what he promised and did not turn on the TV today. He even finished reading the Star Trek book! Wow! He said he was not that impressed. He is a hard man to please, lol.

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I had a victory with my healing this afternoon! I had called the doctor and told her about my lingering ear infection symptoms. She said she would call in a prescription for me for levaquin, a stronger antibiotic. I was doubtful as to whether this antibiotic would be as cheap as the amoxicillin I had been taking, but nevertheless, i went to the drug store, and sure enough, it was $30+. So I politely told the clerk I would come back the next day.

In the afternoon, I decided to listen to Dan Downey’s testimony about how he got rid of his infection, and decided to fight mine like he did, no matter how long or hard I have to swing God’s hammer (the Word) at it. I started to feel better, then I started doing a search on the internet for healing testimonies, and found several, plus a very good web site 101 New Covenant Road, which had a great healing testimony, as well as great articles on how to listen to God, etc. I found myself actually reading the scriptures in the articles, something which I unfortunately tend to skip over whenever I am reading Christian articles. I loved all the articles on grace, healing, hearing God’s voice, and somehow all of these built my faith. I also listened to the healing confession audio file again, and found myself semi-silently repeating some of it!

I could tell that my faith and belief were working, because by late afternoon, the pain had gone. There was still an uncomfortable feeling of fullness in the right ear, which I asked God to help me with. At one point, when I had to tip my head sideways, some more of the ear drops I had put in during the morning came out. That relieved a great deal of the pressure. By the time I  got home, I felt and believed that I was healed. There was no question or doubt, I thought to myself, “I am healed,” in a matter-of-fact, yet optimistic way. Tonight I told my husband about all this, and he agreed with me that I was healed and that I would not need that levaquin.

At some point I remember a thought of worry going through my head: “but what if it comes back tomorrow? What if it doesn’t hold?” Like lightening, I rebuked myself. “What are you saying, that the Word of God isn’t strong enough to last more than a day?” ‘No, the Word of God endures forever.” If God says I am healed, then I am healed! No ifs, ands or buts about it. And if the symptoms try to come back, then I will drive them out with God’s Word once again.

I also read a healing testimony where the author said God told him that either he was sick or he wasn’t. One was the truth, the other was a lie. Which one did he choose? When he told God he was healed, God told him, “then act like it”, so he got up and vacuumed. I thought of how I could also do the same, so tonight I laundered the sheets, took down three bags of garbage, cleaned my new purse (yes, my new $7 purse God had me find through Ebay), cooked dinner, washed dishes, and did a bunch of stuff without complaint. Why? Because normally I feel a lack of energy and motivation to do all that. But I reasoned that if I were a totally healed, healthy woman, who was not lazy, what would I be doing? I would be up and about, serving God and my family, and others, that’s what.

I must preface all this by saying that I and my family had quite a spiritual battle in the past week before all this happened. In fact, I woke up in the middle of the night last night with my husband hugging and kissing me, and when I asked him what happened, he said he had a horrible dream that I died, and that he was trying to find our son another mom. I myself had had some anxieties along those lines last week, and a mild cloud of depression/oppression seemed to hand over me, where I felt a certain hopelessness about getting over the ear infection, etc. I knew it wasn’t right, and I was surprised by the intensity of it, even though it was not as strong as what I experienced before. Now I think perhaps it was part of premenstrual syndrome. But nevertheless, I knew in my heart that it was a spiritual battle.

It was no surprise, then, that whenever I immersed myself in the Word, I would always feel better, but when I did not focus on the Word as much, the enemy had more opportunity to try to harass me, discourage me, etc. I told this to my husband who agreed, saying, “I also need to immerse myself in the Word, too.” In fact, he has pledged that tomorrow will be a day of no TV or internet, where he will teach our son ABCs, numbers, etc. Good for him!

I have decided that I will not cancel our cable service until he decides that he really, really wants it done. He had talked about it over the weekend, with me reminding him that it was a prudent way to slash our financial expenses, but it was spoken of as a “sacrifice”. Sure it is, but I would rather that he be wholeheartedly willing to give up TV before I shut the service off, otherwise, he might later blame me for taking away our enjoyment. I think it’s a wise plan of action.

Also wanted to mention that I also had a weird dream last night, where I was asking everyone, including my parents, whether I should go to this retreat in Idaho. My mom gives me her tight-lipped smile. Jump forward and I am in Idaho, except it looks like downtown L.A. instead, and almost everyone there is single. I even see single people from my job there! Anyway, I tell my family I am going to turn tail and fly back home, even though I don’t know how, since it’s night by now. But I get a call from a woman who asks me if I remember her. She tells me she is flying home and I excitedly try to tell her that I will be going with her on the same flight, but her cell phone is breaking up and trying to communicate with her is maddening! Somehow afterwards my friend from work and I look outside and see a jet hovering very close to a tall office building. There are droves of partying young people that suddenly appear in the windows. But the jet stops, then transforms itself into a robot and starts climbing the building, demanding to find someone. The crowd of young people start screaming and running pell mell everywhere.

I told my husband this part of the dream and he laughed. But all I can say is that I was left with a warm feeling, that I would never be alone, that God would always provide a companion to be with me, no matter what leg of the journey I am on.

Praise be to God, who has give us his Son, his Word, so that we have everything we need at all times!

Okay, so I haven’t done as well these past couple of days, I feel. I have been so focused on my son’s fever that I haven’t focused as well on Bible study or God as much as I should. I am also a little worried because today is the last day of antibiotics for my ear infection, and yet somehow I do not think that it is all gone. The funny thing is, the past two days at home, focusing on my son and all, I did not feel any pain in my head or ears, and was beginning to grow confident that it was gone. However, yesterday, after returning to the office, it acted up again, and today also. The pain and twinges are not as severe, but nevertheless I could feel them.

It occurred to me that I should just call up my doctor and ask for additional antibiotics if I was concerned. Why did the thought not occur to me earlier, and why did I feel reluctant to do it? It was as if I would rather hope that the infection would go away and leave me alone, and stew in anxiety, instead of being proactive about my health. This is something that I have struggle with since I was a child. My mother would fuss over me in such a negative way whenever I got sick (which was often) that after awhile, I just didn’t want to bother her with it anymore. I endured two days of terrible ear pain when I was eight years old, not knowing what it was. The first day it was all in my right ear, and the second day, it went to my left, but I never told my parents. It was dumb, but for once I wanted to feel like I was strong and could take care of myself. However, I was obviously scared, and not being able to share it with even a friend was very stressful. Perhaps this is where my anxiety often comes from.

I liked how Sabina Shalom in her book, “The Marriage Sabbatical”, describes how she used to be such a people-pleaser, but once she finished her trip, it was like something had freed up within her. She no longer felt the need to please anyone unduly, but rather, she became honest and straightforward in her speech and manners, and stopped caring about what others thought of her. I think I am finally going to that stage, too. It’s a strange thing but I think it is rare for women to be that independent and confident at a young age. Usually a lot of us stop caring about what others think when we reach our 30s or at middle age. Once liberated from the shackles of society’s opinion, we rediscover themselves – our interests, hobbies, passions, etc., and we pursue them without waiting for permission. Sabina also details the “growing-up” process she went through, how she learned and grew until she did not feel the need to have her husband share in every one of her thoughts, feelings and interests. She was strong internally and she could survive without it, if need be. Obviously this freed her from all resentment and expectations that she had of her husband. And I suppose that is where I want to be also, for I suspect that for the longest time I have let my fear of people’s opinions and my expectations of them ruin my mood, cause me anxiety, fear, doubt, disillusionment, resentment, anger, etc.

But that is not where Jesus was at. He was always kind to the unbelieving and the wicked, too, and he told his followers to be merciful like that. He did not rely on man’s opinion of him, because he knew what was in the heart of a man, but rather he relied on his father God. For even his disciples failed him in his hour of need. A normal person would have chafed at that and resented it. But Jesus gave his life on the cross selflessly for those who failed him. And I am to follow in his footsteps.

I have felt somewhat at a loss to have an intimate relationship with God that does not depend upon ritual, tradition, or even today’s conventional church doctrine. No, I want to have the kind of relationship that Moses had with God, where he was radiant after speaking with God on the mountain. I guess that I have never truly felt free with hardly anyone, except for my best friends from college and my husband. When I say free, I mean, the freedom to truly be oneself, to let out all of one’s thoughts and feelings and silliness and share them with the other person. No, I always feel a certain formality or politeness to my relationships. It is a barrier, to say the least. I often feel helpless to truly help others with their problems, and they often think I am a pleasant, polite person but they don’t automatically confide in me as a confidant, not unless I ask them about their life. So I feel that my impact for Christ is diminished because of it. This has been something I have been at a loss to deal with for the longest time. But now that I have been growing more confident as a person, I am coming out of my shell more, laughing at jokes and even giving humor. Sometimes I still feel self-conscious, but it’s amazing how much more one can give as a person when one is not worried about that.

Anyway, this is my long-winded post about my current state of relationship wit God and others. I hope to draw closer to God, having a free, spontaneous, intimate relationship with him, one where I am able to trust him with every part of my life, my thoughts, emotions, my soul.

Yesterday I received my first package of rental books (yes, you read that right) from Bookswim. They were so nice they even gave me a book free just for being their 300th customer. I am going to help them with their book catalog, which will mean a discount off my membership!

I looked at the books, and for some reason, I wanted to read Sabina Shalom’s “The Marriage Sabbatical” first. Sabina went from a compliant housewife to a world traveler, and gained confidence as she experienced her adventures, until she got the chutzpah to ask for audiences with Indira Gandhi and the king of Tonga! I admire what she did to attain her goal. It goes to show you that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The next book I decided to read today was Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel Without a Crew”. I appreciated how he outlined his thoughts and production process while making El Mariachi. He is truly an individualist and a self-sufficient one, too. And it took some chutzpah on his part also in order to finish his movie. He chronicles his frustration working with Hollywood crews, and how slow the whole process is, which is understandable. The only thing I wonder is, why do people in Hollywood have such foul mouths? They all seem to love swearing.

I have started on William Goldman’s book, “The Princess Bride”. I love how he weaves a fictional modern-day reality in with the fairy tale. It is quite different in tone from the movie, which cuts out a lot of the fictional biographical material. It is obvious that the fairy tale is not just meant for children.

Yes, I am a fast reader, but I will also have to go back and re-read the books I got. I’m still trying to get hubby to read the Star Trek book I got him. He was a little mad because he didn’t want to be part of a book club. Well, too bad. I think this will help us get away from the television more often.

What about the library? Why not go there? Well, after forgetting to return our books for the umpteenth time and racking up all those fines, I finally said enough is enough. I don’t mind paying a little money each month so that I can return a book whenever I want. Some people may object to “renting books”, but I think it’s a fabulous idea, provided that there is a good selection. So if anyone reads this, I recommend that you check out the Bookswim site.

Now I am waiting on my purse, which ironically was mailed first but still has not arrived yet. I think the seller mailed it only first class and not priority. Oh, well. I guess I will have to wait until Monday to get it, hopefully.

I decided to take my son to the doctor, because for the second night in a row his fever had spiked to 103 degrees. Hubby didn’t think we needed to at first, but I’m glad we went, even though hubby made us late by 20 minutes and then he didn’t go into the examining room with me.

Jonathan’s temp was 102 in the office, but he had gained a pound. We had an unusually long wait before the doctor came, but I suspect it was because there was a new patient ahead of us, a woman with her daughter, who looked like a teenager. I don’t know why she brought her daughter to the pediatrician. Her daughter looked very tired or ill.

Anyway, the pediatrician was all smiles, checked out Jonathan, and told me his throat was red so he had an infection, but his ears were fine. He was surprised when I told him about my ear infection last week, and commented that it was unusual for adults. He prescribed amoxicillin and told me not to worry, that Jonathan would be over it very quickly.

The doctor also told me the secret about Gatorade after I told him that Jonathan got very hyper and refused to sleep after drinking Gatorade. The red dye in the Gatorade causes worse hyperactivity in children, thus red Gatorade is to be avoided. All other colors are fine. I wish the nurse had told me this yesterday when she told me to give Jonathan Gatorade, because guess which color did I get? Yep, the red kind.

I couldn’t wait to get the medicine, but there was a long line at Walgreens (it seemed that a lot of people were sick), and I had to walk back to the drug store an hour later, in the hot sun, because I wanted the exercise and didn’t want to drive in the construction zone. Jonathan immediately got better after he took the medicine, which he didn’t seem to mind. His temp went down to between 100-101 degrees, but at least he was more comfortable. He did not like being awakened from his second nap.

So anyway, praise God for doctors and antibiotics! I’m glad I took Jonathan to the doctor, and all my co-workers were very understanding when I told them the situation. I will go into the office tomorrow instead.

Ah… The world is starting to turn right side up again. I am feeling much, much better, I feel healed! No ear or head pain! My toddler caught some bug that upset his stomach and gave him a fever, but I am confident he is going to recover well, just like he did last time!

I listened to Andrew Wommack’s first tape on prayer yesterday, and it was very freeing. A good example he gave was when someone asked him how long he spent praying, he realized that the person either wanted to compare or condemn him. Then he thought, how much time do I spend with my wife? All day, in his case. An intimate relationship does not require a structured, regimented time to be “together”. Rather, two people who are in love just naturally want to be together. So why would it not be the same with God? Makes sense to me. So Wommack told his friend that he spent all day with God, which astounded the man. He also pointed out that Dwight Moody only spent 45 minutes in structured quiet time with God every day. Ah… freedom. “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!”

And Wommack is right about how most people, including myself, have misunderstood prayer, and instead of a time to praise God and commune with Him, it becomes a time to do nothing but pour out woes to him, beg or coerce him to do something, or fulfill some legalistic requirement–a miserable time, indeed! Plus he mentioned the times he started to fall asleep while praying, something I have done many times. He asked God what to do about it and God told him to go to bed! Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? A lot of things we do with God we would not do with another human being.

I am definitely going to praise God a lot more than I have. Praise makes the devil flee and focuses the mind on the glory of God instead of all the ills and circumstances that depress us. A good antidote to depression!

My baby smiled and laugh at four o’clock in the morning when he woke up with a 103, when I sang “Father Abraham” to him. Even at four in the morning it’s good to praise God!

On a side note, Fave Singer saw all the negative comments fans wrote on his web site and in the Charlotte newspaper, and he issued a heartfelt apology, as I thought he would. He had laryngitis, hence the concert cancellation. This is why one never knows when he might read something one wrote on his web site.

Also, I decided to give the Bookswim site a try, and I signed up! Building the book queue was a bit difficult, as their web site is still in beta mode, and the search function isn’t very efficient yet. They removed one of my books and did not ship me everything on my top 5. Oh well, we’ll see how it works.

What are you afraid of?

This is a great topic, and I’m glad that Livejournal suggested it, because I was going to write an entry anyway!

Right now my biggest source of fear and anxiety stems from waiting for the results of my lab tests. I had my blood drawn for a general physical exam (I hadn’t had one done in three years), and my thyroid test a couple of days ago. I am hoping the thyroid test comes out in such a way that the doctor will let me reduce my medication. And I also am praying that the general physical is all right.

But why would I be afraid of all this? When I was younger, I did not fear these kinds of things much at all. One reason is because I got to be around my dad, whose faith enabled to tell me every time he had a health challenge, “I am not afraid”. Plus, I had such an optimism when I was younger (i.e., in my teens), that my life would get better and better. Also, there is something about reading the Bible daily and just soaking myself in it that gave me an unshakable peace and calm. I was generally a very calm person and not anxious much at all.

But certain things happened in my 20s that shook me to the core. First, I found out how cold and limited people can be in compassion towards those in need, even if they are self-proclaimed Christians. My experience helping two disabled friends unfortunately was not a pleasant one because not many people offered to help them at all. Also, I would often hear one thing being preached but another being carried out in church. In my naivete this puzzled me greatly, especially because the church I attended was very strict and insisted that it followed the teachings of the Bible. I should have known better. I ended up becoming very disillusioned and even had panic attacks and great anxiety over my emotional conflicts about the church and what they were doing. I even started to fear airplane flights because I started to doubt that I was saved. I wondered if I was crazy for trying to help those in need, when it seemed so clear to me that the Bible said to do so. And yet, I found out the hard way that few put Jesus’ words into action.

Another thing I fear is that nobody would attend an event if it concerned me–e.g., my birthday party. In the same church that I used to attend, there was an emphasis on people looked “sharp” and beautiful, etc. Those that were not sharp were often passed over for church or Bible study leadership. Popular people in the church got nice birthday and going away parties, and great attendance at their life events, such as bridal showers, baby showers, etc. After awhile, I became afraid that no one would attend my events. For example, I was afraid that no one would come to my wedding. Thank God we had a sizable attendance, but very few people made it to my bridal shower, which was disappointing. I later found out that the bride before me had a friend that personally called everyone on their list to make sure that they were coming. My maid of honor and I did not know that we were supposed to do that–we had just relied on the church bulletin announcement. In case you are wondering why this is such a big deal, let me just say that the church strongly emphasize that we were all one family, and people were often expected to attend each others’ events, such as birthday parties, weddings, etc. I went to many weddings, bridal showers, going away parties, etc., but the favor was not always returned. In fact, no one gave us a going away party when we were moving away. Anyway, I still have the fear, even though it has lessened.

Becoming a parent certainly has increased the opportunity for more fears. Fears and worries about my child, about taking care of a family, even health worries seem so much more now. My mother used to incessantly worry about everything when I was a child, and I would often marvel at her seeming lack of faith, but I understand it better now. However, I do not want to be like her in that I want to fight my fears with faith and the Word of God, and not be anxious or share those anxieties with my children.

So those are my main fears. They might be a bit unusual, and I hate to say that I developed a majority of them when I attended my old church. Church should be a place where fears are assuaged, instead of magnified. I’ve been working on eradicating fear lately, and the most effective remedy I have found for my anxiety is to repeat scripture. It works!

I can’t believe it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted an entry here. Hopefully I will be able to post something daily. But a lot of things did happen between the last entry and this one.

First, I went to my endocrinologist on Thursday, and was able to have a positive, honest discussion with her about the dosage of my medication, yay! I had been wondering how to broach the subject and ask her to lower my dose, when it occurred to me that I could gently suggest it to her, which I did. She took it well, and then told me, much to my relief, that while the medication did not come in a lower dose, I could either halve the tablet, or she did have patients that took it every other day. I’m so glad she mentioned that because that is essentially what I have been doing. Then when I went to the lab to get my blood drawn, a lady was sitting there, crocheting! I talked to her as I took out my knitting and she told me she was making something that would eventually be the size of a twin-sized bedspread. Wow! I could tell she was a pro.

On Friday, I went to see the new general doctor I was checking out, and after much confusion and walking around, up and down hills, I found her medical building. She was not what I expected, which was good. What I mean is that I knew she was a relatively recent medical grad, and that she would most likely be a typical young and thin Asian woman, but I dreaded meeting someone who was going to look picture perfect, as a lot of California Asian women tend to be. However, she was very nice and not pretentious or made up like a doll at all. She checked my ears and said they looked really good, yay! And she quipped that her mother and grandmother knitted, but she didn’t think she would have the patience. Because I hadn’t eaten, she had me do the bloodwork for a general physical exam. Then we commented on how difficult it was to get a man to see a doctor. She said that yes, a lot of her male patients were dragged in by their wives or girlfriends.

Josh is obviously feeling much better, because his manager posted on his fan club board that he was “fine”. And he did seem fine at the Norfolk, VA concert Friday night, according to the reports. Good for him!

Also, I finally found my purse! I had been scouring ebay for a deal, and finally found a name brand drawstring satchel that someone was selling for less than $10! Naturally, I snapped it up. I can’t wait for it to come in the mail. Thank you, Lord!

Today, my toddler son did something that astounded my dear hubby and I. DH was playing him his favorite Veggie Tales video, and at the end of the one, he sang the last two words! I heard him from the kitchen, loud and clear, and he enunciated the words perfectly! I couldn’t believe my ears! I asked DH if that was our son who did that, and he said yes. Wow!

We were going to look at apartments, but none of the ones we wanted to look at seemed to be open today, so we decided to go south anyway and just have fun. My brother called and said he was going to the Orange County Fair, so we decided to go together. It was such a pleasant visit, all the way down south, and we saw all the animals, the arts and crafts (excellent works which inspired my DH), and even saw a NASCAR race car at the AAA station. Naturally, I took a picture of DH next to the car.

The biggest mistake we made was overestimating the amount of food we bought. We were used to going to public places where often they gave you only a little amount of food for a lot of money. Well, the fair was different. We went to a place called Juicy’s Texas BBQ, and they had giant corn dogs, turkey legs, and huge mounds of french fries. DH got a turkey leg, but could not finish it. I got a corn dog which I shared with the baby, but we couldn’t finish that either. I had also ordered fried zucchini and that was yum! My brother and I barely finished the mound of nacho cheese fries he had ordered. Wow, that was our lunch and dinner all in one!

At certain times negative and foreboding thoughts about life would enter my mind, but I quickly rebuked those. Also, at the entrance of the fair, when we were waiting to get our tickets, a man out of the blue handed me an extra ticket (one of those special admission ones) as he was going in. “Need an extra ticket?” he said as he handed it to me. My joy at receiving something free quickly turned to anger when DH took the ticket and gave it to my brother, because he had paid for the parking. “It’s only fair,” he said. Later, DH begged me to forgive him when I told him that he took away my joy, and didn’t even ask me before he took the ticket away. In the past, I would have fumed at him the whole day, but not today. I know the price of strife and I will not allow it.

Anyway, the strange thing is, my ear and head did not bother me a bit during the whole afternoon, and whenever I would feel something, I would rebuke it, and it would go away. Also, towards the end of our visit, my brother was complaining of sore and tired feet, but strangely, my feet were not sore! Normally they would have been sore. Praise God!

I was reviewing my life (I guess illness sometimes makes one do that), and started to feel grateful to God for all the things that I have. So while I was giving my son a bath, I just started to say out loud the things I am thankful for:

  • My family, my husband and my son
  • God, his Word, and his son Jesus
  • That I can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch normally
  • I am grateful for doctors and those in the healthcare profession
  • My job, my pleasant co-workers and boss
  • Public transportation
  • I am grateful for technology, for computers, software, the Internet, and all the electronic things we can’t live without today, such as cell phones, mp3 players, etc.
  • I am grateful for good music
  • Weekends
  • A car
  • People who care enough to send me something through the mail
  • Birthdays
  • Each day I am alive
  • Soap and water
  • Basic necessities, such as toilet paper
  • The money that I do have
  • Knitting and hobbies
  • Books, movies, and cultural events
  • Modern medicine
  • Free speech
  • Our country, the USA

Just found out that one of my favorite singers is also sick with a sore throat and had to struggle through his concert last night, and then cancel the tonight’s show. I hope he gets better soon! I heard he had to go to a hospital to see a doctor and was told not to sing for two days. Apparently, some concert goers were not too happy because Ticketmaster did not tell them until after the show was supposed to start that it had been cancelled. Poor guy, I’m sure he feels terrible about letting down his fans. I hope he takes care of himself. But I sympathize since I had to go to the doctor today myself. These antibiotics are helping, by the way.

Anyway, I often wonder about my changed attitude towards doctors, hospitals and health care in general. When I was a child, I used to get sick a lot, especially after moving overseas. My mom would take me to a hospital to see a doctor, and I would often need antibiotics, etc., for bronchitis, allergies, you name it. I even had those nasty allergy shots when I was in high school. It did not phase me one bit to be in a crowded waiting room. Maybe it’s because I was a lot more hopeful and optimistic back then about everything.

When I came back to the States for college, I often marveled when people would tell me that they did not like hospitals, and often, doctors. I wondered why. Usually I was told that it was because hospitals seemed like a cold, unfeeling place to be, and most people just weren’t comfortable there. It took me many years to finally understand that doctors and hospitals here in the U.S., besides often being cold, hard places, could also be incompetent, cost a lot of money, and produced a lot of anxiety for patients in general. I don’t know how to explain why I was more comfortable going to a hospital overseas. Maybe it’s because sick patients were everywhere, out in the open. Whereas over here, it seems that they are kind of kept out of sight for the most part. So to go to a hospital or see a doctor and be sick is kind of weird–it means that you are somehow defective, perhaps? Or just out of the normal stream of life, and it makes one very uncomfortable, especially the typical American that likes to take pride in their own independence and individual strength. This is just my hypothesis, so it may or may not be correct.

One hospital I did like, though, was the maternity section at the hospital where I gave birth. They made it look very warm, homey and comfortable, in a feminine mauve color throughout. I wonder why they can’t make the rest of the hospital rooms comfortable like that? It would make the patients feel better, I think. Perhaps it would even help them recover faster?