But We Believe…

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My grandmother passed away this week. That seems so impossible — so radically hard to grasp. I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that it did, indeed, happen. Her house is empty…there is a stillness that is absolutely stifling. And we’re left wondering why something so tragic had to happen to such a wonderful woman. She loved God. She loved her family. But these tragedies make us wonder why we’re even here. Why would a loving God inflict such pain on a family who misses their loved one more than they can bear?

My nights are filled with the tears that just refuse to stop shedding for her. All I can focus on is the pain of it all and how I wish that I could have borne that pain for her. Watching someone die it the ultimate test of faith, I think. It was a room full of people, but she was all only with her God. In her deepest agony, she gave up her suffering and flew to the arms of her Savior.

In the world’s eye, it’s a tragedy. In the eyes of her beloved friends a family, it’s a beautiful life that ended so bitterly. But for God, it was a joyful reuniting with Him in Paradise. Now, that’s hard to understand for us finite beings, but I know it’s true. All day today, I felt absolutely surrounded by her love — as if she was in the room with me and watching little Faith play and laugh. I can feel her right now as I’m sitting “hunched” over my computer screen (something she always chided me about!).

When you think of her laughing and playing with all of those sweet babies up above, Death loses its sting. Mammaw is no more pain. All of my life, she struggled in agonizing pain — diabetes, fibromyalgia, two occurrences of cancer, and so much more. Her body was weary from the burden, but she is now light. She can run again — playing again in the great outdoors that she loved so deeply. Our lives will never be the same — our life with her is over, but for her, it is just beginning. She’s praying for us by day and night and urging us to keep on staying strong. She fought bravely to the very end.

And now, as my eyes once again fill with tears, I leave behind the powerful, timeless Sonnet X by my beloved John Donne:

 

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
 And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!

Poem courtesy of http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/proud/.

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What’s Our Purpose?

 

 

 

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It’s been one of those weeks. I don’t think I can get out of bed in the AM, but it’s gotta happen. My grandmother suffered a massive stroke, and my mother apparently had a heart attack at some point and is at the hospital on the same floor. What I’m feeling now is so intense, and all I can think about is how much I deeply love my family and how resolved I am to change for good.

I want more than anything to take care of my family — to truly be there for every precious minute that I possibly can. Life is so short. I’ve heard this all of my life, and it really makes sense now. It made sense before, but seeing two people whom I deeply love suffer and look so frail has completely broken me. It makes all of the stupid things that I fill my time worrying about seem ridiculously pointless.

We’re all going to have to look Jesus in the eye and account for our time. It’s a scary thought if that time wasn’t spend helping others as much as possible. By serving others, we serve our Father. I’m saying this because I’m really seeing the point of it all. That “cup of water” given to the thirsty, that kind word spoken to someone who is hurting. Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by the precious friends who are praying for my family. Their words are like honey — they are worth more than the rarest of gems…

There’s so much more to life. There’s other people who are waiting on the divine hand of Providence to grant them peace and help in a time of trouble. I’m ready to put this into action. My upline coach always stresses the importance of developing SOLID relationships with people — helping them as much as possible. And her goal is really powerful. I’m starting to see life in a completely different sense…in terms of that cosmic question, “What are we here for?” Is it for wealth, fame, self-worth? All posh if you consider that we’re all going to account for our time spent on this earth.

Words. Actions. God says that we’ll recognize Christians by HOW they live, and this has really convicted me. I’m not going to worry about money or image anymore because I know that God is going to meet my needs if I keep the focus on doing His work. The image of Christ is success enough.

 Viewing the temporal, vulnerable state of our existence is a powerful thing. I humbly ask for prayer and that you let me know of any prayer requests. I can be reached here or at cafegirl777@gmail.com.

Here’s to hoping for a better week!

~K.

New Post at Pure Health Finds! Please Welcome Our New Guest Blogger, Lila Monroe!

Omigoodness. Sometimes when you ask for help, you get more support than you’d ever dream possible. Lila Monroe, my good friend, volunteered her amazing writing abilities here at Pure Health Finds, and her first post discusses an extremely practical method for approaching an emergency situation (in her case, it was a brown recluse bite). I proudly bring you her first post and ask for your support for this incredible writer and business woman. She has placed her information at the bottom of the post, so please check out her page at Sahana Wellness. I wish blessings to all of you this holiday season, and stay safe!

~Katie Mayo

Crime Scene by Lila Monroe

 

Time – 3 a.m., in the wee hours a cool, December morning

Setting – Sleepy little subdivision in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana

Victim – Middle-aged male – Sharp laceration to the nape of the neck while sleeping

Perpetrator – Arachnid, the BROWN RECLUSE aka the FIDDLEBACK Spider

 

It was already a fitful sleep, then…whoosh, and an “Aagh!!!”

“What, baby?” I mumble trying to comprehend why my husband sat straight up like a B-movie zombie then proceeded to let out a bellowing wail while thrashing his pillow around.

‘I just got bit!” he stammered, then ripped the sheets off in a flurry.  Sure enough, I shined the bright light from my cell phone on the back of his neck which revealed the tell-tale mark of a spider bite.  After searching for several minutes we could not find the culprit, or the Calamine lotion.

Despite my plea to get it checked out, he decides it just itches and therefore isn’t serious, so he went back to bed.

Sound funny, even a bit familiar?

This could actually have been a disaster, a potentially lethal disaster.  But before I share what happens next, let me tell you about the brown recluse.

This critter is 15 times more poisonous than the black widow and is recognized for its marking just below his head, which resembles a violin.

It is nocturnal, seeks out warmer abodes in winter, and while generally not aggressive unless provoked, this predator is nevertheless responsible for several attacks on humans while they are sleeping.  More than likely, he does not like to share pillow space!

The brown recluse is found all over the Southeast and in some areas along the Southwest U.S.  If you live in or visit this part of the country, it is very important to learn how to treat a brown recluse bite, and even more important on preventing one in the first place.  Here are steps to protect yourself and your family:

Protect Your Home

  1. Inspect your property for holes or cracks along your foundation, walls, windows and floorboards.  Repair brick, cement or caulk where needed.
  2. Do not spray insecticides.  The brown recluse is resistant to insecticides and exposure to those toxins may cause aggressive behavior.  Simple spider traps are inexpensive and effective.
  3. Clean out under cabinets and along corners of window sills frequently.  Spiders love to hang out along the inside overhang of kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  Wear protective gloves and run along the underside of the cabinet to collect webbing, live spiders, and eggs.  Squish them and flush them down the drain immediately.

Protect Your Family

  1. Spiders love to hide—do not leave clothing on floor.  Shake out all garments and shoes before dressing, especially in the cooler months.
  2. Never reach into a dark, seldom used space without gloves, and ensure bed-sheets do not touch the floor.
  3. Keep an insect bite first aid kit on hand (see below for recommended contents).

Treatment

  1. Try to locate and trap the spider.
  2. Take one Benadryl according to directions on container/box.
  3. Help strengthen the immune system with 1000 mg Vitamin C, along with a generous portion of aloe vera filet from the leaf or in drinkable form from the pharmacy.  Consuming aloe vera orally provides a number of health benefits and is also helpful in fighting the bacteria, as it is a natural bactericide.
  4. Clean the bite area with soap and water.  I use Dawn dish soap or a non-toxic deep-cleaning insecticide spray like Mitactin.
  5. Generously apply powdered, activated carbon (pure charcoal with no additives) to the entire site.  Place in ziplock bag and roll with rolling pin to achieve consistency of powder.  We used a magic bullet which is fast, but a bit messier.
  6. Cover with wet paper towel and dress with terry towel or torn t-shirt.
  7. Keep this dressing on for one hour, then refresh, being careful not to be too abrasive in removing the old charcoal.
  8. When finished with charcoal treatment, wash the area gently again, then pat dry and apply an antibiotic topical pain reliever like Benadryl anti-itch gel for kids.  DO NOT APPLY HYDROCORTISONE.  You may also prefer to put fresh aloe vera gel from the plant on the wound and take an oral pain reliever such as Aleve gel caps.

Finally, as soon as possible, go to your nearest 24 hour medical clinic for a tetanus shot and doctor review.  The tetanus shot is important because the brown recluse carries the tetanus bacteria making its victims susceptible to tetanus disease which includes painful lockjaw and other calamities.  You may be given an antibiotic shot to fight infection, or steroid shot if swelling does not subside.  However, there is no anti-venom for the brown recluse in the US or Canada.

Therefore, drawing out the venom naturally with the charcoal, helping strengthen the immune system naturally to fight off the venom and bacteria carried by the spider, and treating the skin to mitigate as much damage to the tissue as possible, are the best practices in treating this type of wound.

Spider Bite First Aid Kit

I have seen kits sold complete for $29.99 and up, however, all the materials needed to treat a brown recluse bite are readily available at Walmart or can be purchased individually online.  You may find other uses for these supplies, or that you have some of these materials at home already.  A little research can save a chunk of change!

  1. Gentle Skin Cleanser
  2. Activated Carbon
  3. Topical Pain Reliever
  4. Oral Pain Reliever
  5. Antihistamine
  6. Aloe Vera Gel – Taken topically and orally
  7. Dressing/Bandages

Remember, do NOT apply hydrocortisone or attempt to draw out venom in any other fashion; doing so may result in permanent damage to skin.   Skin graft, hospitalization and even death may occur from advanced stage bites that were not treated immediately and properly.

So, how did our story end?  Well, since we didn’t have anything on hand, the area did swell up something terrible.  Later in the evening he felt a tingling sensation in his hand.  That was it – I put my foot down and called the pharmacist!  After a conversation with Walgreens, the tech referred us to the 24-hour clinic.  With a still adamant husband, we did a late night Walmart run and performed the above treatment twice, leaving the last one on overnight.  We applied the Benadryl gel after the morning shower and covered the area with a bandage.  The venom is drawn out, swelling is reduced, there appears to be no infection, but we are keeping an eye on it!

Take a bite out of crime, naturally – follow me on Facebook at Sahana Wellness to learn how be prepared for spider bites and other timely health topics!

Guest Blogger Profile

Lila Monroe is an entrepreneur and runs a strategic investment and management consulting practice.  She credits her vitality, strength and stamina to healthy living and excellent nutrition.  An avid wellness advocate in her blog, Sahana Wellness, Lila reviews natural remedies, world class spa & wellness products, and provides tips & inspiration for healthy living.

Disclaimer:  This article is not considered medical advice, is solely for entertainment and educational purposes only, and does not replace the advice of a qualified, licensed, medical practitioner.  Nor is the author or blog owner responsible for any damages resulting from actions you may or may not take concerning your body or health before, during, or after reading this material.  That being said, I hope the information you read here will be of help to you and you and your family will benefit from our kitchen counter wisdom.

WE HAVE A GUEST BLOGGER! Lila Monroe, Welcome to Pure Health Finds!

Omigoodness. Sometimes, when you ask for help, you get more support than you’d ever dream possible. Lila Monroe, my good friend, volunteered her amazing writing abilities here at Pure Health Finds, and her first post discusses an extremely practical method for approaching an emergency situation (in her case, it was a brown recluse bite). I proudly bring you her first post and ask for your support for this incredible writer and business woman. She has placed her information at the bottom of the post, so please check out her incredible page at Sahana Wellness. I’m very grateful to have such professional help to get this blog going again. Blessings to all of you this holiday season, and stay safe!

~Katie Mayo

Crime Scene by Lila Monroe

 

Time – 3 a.m., in the wee hours a cool, December morning

Setting – Sleepy little subdivision in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana

Victim – Middle-aged male – Sharp laceration to the nape of the neck while sleeping

Perpetrator – Arachnid, the BROWN RECLUSE aka the FIDDLEBACK Spider

 

It was already a fitful sleep, then…whoosh, and an “Aagh!!!”

“What, baby?” I mumble trying to comprehend why my husband sat straight up like a B-movie zombie then proceeded to let out a bellowing wail while thrashing his pillow around.

‘I just got bit!” he stammered, then ripped the sheets off in a flurry.  Sure enough, I shined the bright light from my cell phone on the back of his neck which revealed the tell-tale mark of a spider bite.  After searching for several minutes we could not find the culprit, or the Calamine lotion.

Despite my plea to get it checked out, he decides it just itches and therefore isn’t serious, so he went back to bed.

Sound funny, even a bit familiar?

This could actually have been a disaster, a potentially lethal disaster.  But before I share what happens next, let me tell you about the brown recluse.

This critter is 15 times more poisonous than the black widow and is recognized for its marking just below his head, which resembles a violin.

It is nocturnal, seeks out warmer abodes in winter, and while generally not aggressive unless provoked, this predator is nevertheless responsible for several attacks on humans while they are sleeping.  More than likely, he does not like to share pillow space!

The brown recluse is found all over the Southeast and in some areas along the Southwest U.S.  If you live in or visit this part of the country, it is very important to learn how to treat a brown recluse bite, and even more important on preventing one in the first place.  Here are steps to protect yourself and your family:

Protect Your Home

  1. Inspect your property for holes or cracks along your foundation, walls, windows and floorboards.  Repair brick, cement or caulk where needed.
  2. Do not spray insecticides.  The brown recluse is resistant to insecticides and exposure to those toxins may cause aggressive behavior.  Simple spider traps are inexpensive and effective.
  3. Clean out under cabinets and along corners of window sills frequently.  Spiders love to hang out along the inside overhang of kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  Wear protective gloves and run along the underside of the cabinet to collect webbing, live spiders, and eggs.  Squish them and flush them down the drain immediately.

Protect Your Family

  1. Spiders love to hide—do not leave clothing on floor.  Shake out all garments and shoes before dressing, especially in the cooler months.
  2. Never reach into a dark, seldom used space without gloves, and ensure bed-sheets do not touch the floor.
  3. Keep an insect bite first aid kit on hand (see below for recommended contents).

Treatment

  1. Try to locate and trap the spider.
  2. Take one Benadryl according to directions on container/box.
  3. Help strengthen the immune system with 1000 mg Vitamin C, along with a generous portion of aloe vera filet from the leaf or in drinkable form from the pharmacy.  Consuming aloe vera orally provides a number of health benefits and is also helpful in fighting the bacteria, as it is a natural bactericide.
  4. Clean the bite area with soap and water.  I use Dawn dish soap or a non-toxic deep-cleaning insecticide spray like Mitactin.
  5. Generously apply powdered, activated carbon (pure charcoal with no additives) to the entire site.  Place in ziplock bag and roll with rolling pin to achieve consistency of powder.  We used a magic bullet which is fast, but a bit messier.
  6. Cover with wet paper towel and dress with terry towel or torn t-shirt.
  7. Keep this dressing on for one hour, then refresh, being careful not to be too abrasive in removing the old charcoal.
  8. When finished with charcoal treatment, wash the area gently again, then pat dry and apply an antibiotic topical pain reliever like Benadryl anti-itch gel for kids.  DO NOT APPLY HYDROCORTISONE.  You may also prefer to put fresh aloe vera gel from the plant on the wound and take an oral pain reliever such as Aleve gel caps.

Finally, as soon as possible, go to your nearest 24 hour medical clinic for a tetanus shot and doctor review.  The tetanus shot is important because the brown recluse carries the tetanus bacteria making its victims susceptible to tetanus disease which includes painful lockjaw and other calamities.  You may be given an antibiotic shot to fight infection, or steroid shot if swelling does not subside.  However, there is no anti-venom for the brown recluse in the US or Canada.

Therefore, drawing out the venom naturally with the charcoal, helping strengthen the immune system naturally to fight off the venom and bacteria carried by the spider, and treating the skin to mitigate as much damage to the tissue as possible, are the best practices in treating this type of wound.

Spider Bite First Aid Kit

I have seen kits sold complete for $29.99 and up, however, all the materials needed to treat a brown recluse bite are readily available at Walmart or can be purchased individually online.  You may find other uses for these supplies, or that you have some of these materials at home already.  A little research can save a chunk of change!

  1. Gentle Skin Cleanser
  2. Activated Carbon
  3. Topical Pain Reliever
  4. Oral Pain Reliever
  5. Antihistamine
  6. Aloe Vera Gel – Taken topically and orally
  7. Dressing/Bandages

Remember, do NOT apply hydrocortisone or attempt to draw out venom in any other fashion; doing so may result in permanent damage to skin.   Skin graft, hospitalization and even death may occur from advanced stage bites that were not treated immediately and properly.

So, how did our story end?  Well, since we didn’t have anything on hand, the area did swell up something terrible.  Later in the evening he felt a tingling sensation in his hand.  That was it – I put my foot down and called the pharmacist!  After a conversation with Walgreens, the tech referred us to the 24-hour clinic.  With a still adamant husband, we did a late night Walmart run and performed the above treatment twice, leaving the last one on overnight.  We applied the Benadryl gel after the morning shower and covered the area with a bandage.  The venom is drawn out, swelling is reduced, there appears to be no infection, but we are keeping an eye on it!

Take a bite out of crime, naturally – follow me on Facebook at Sahana Wellness to learn how be prepared for spider bites and other timely health topics!

Guest Blogger Profile

Lila Monroe is an entrepreneur and runs a strategic investment and management consulting practice.  She credits her vitality, strength and stamina to healthy living and excellent nutrition.  An avid wellness advocate in her blog, Sahana Wellness, Lila reviews natural remedies, world class spa & wellness products, and provides tips & inspiration for healthy living.

Disclaimer:  This article is not considered medical advice, is solely for entertainment and educational purposes only, and does not replace the advice of a qualified, licensed, medical practitioner.  Nor is the author or blog owner responsible for any damages resulting from actions you may or may not take concerning your body or health before, during, or after reading this material.  That being said, I hope the information you read here will be of help to you and you and your family will benefit from our kitchen counter wisdom.