January 30, 2017 – Little Gestures
Do you want to know why I love living in a small rural town? It’s the people. When I lived in Cleveland, Ohio for so many years, it seemed like it was just full of rude people. If I had to stand in line to talk to someone about a bill, the clerk was usually very short with me, with everyone that came to her counter. If I was going into or coming out of a store, people would walk right into me, or right in front of me without even saying “excuse me” or “I’m sorry”.
It was like they were all in such a big hurry that they didn’t care what they did to people around them, just as long as they got where they were going and did what they set out to do. I can’t tell how often I would see elderly or disabled persons shoved aside, knocked down or pushed and verbally abused because a rude person was in a hurry.
I know that the clerks at counters were probably so overwhelmed, that they usually had their fill of talking to rude people, so much so that they had become rude themselves. I know that parents, working mothers, and those who have a lot to do need to get it done in a timely manner, trying to accomplish everything they can in between work, shopping, and taking care of kids. I also know that there are just plain rude, uncaring and criminal people out there. I actually was assaulted and robbed at a counter at a drug store several years back.
Where I live now is like a whole different world. Everyone knows you, even if they don’t know your name they know you. They’ve seen you at the hospital, at the gas station, at the store, walking your laps on the Radio Station hill or taking a drive down one of the country roads. They are polite, they are helpful.
I can walk into Walmart and there will be at least 10 people who stop to say hi and ask how we are doing, and that isn’t counting our conversations with the clerks. When we go to the clinic, or the hospital, we are greeted as if we are family, and all of these people genuinely care.
When we drive down the street, depending on how many cars pass, almost everyone will wave at you. If you take a walk around the block, people out in their yards will wave or shout “hello, how are you”. People hold the door for you if you are walking in and they are walking out. If there is a disabled or elderly person shopping, it is not unusual to see several people ask if they need any help.
It is all these little gestures, all these mannerly attitudes that make you feel like you belong, like you have this big, enormous family all around you. Today I am thankful for all of these little gestures.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
January 31, 2017 – The Lifter of my Soul
16 million adults in the US. alone suffer from some form of depression. 5.2 million suffer from PTSD. Some of these people may only suffer these diseases for a short time while others live their whole lives contending with them.
There are several different kinds of depression including major, chronic, atypical, bi-polar, postpartum, seasonal and Psychotic. The symptoms of depression can include feelings of sadness, low self worth, hopelessness, and emptiness accompanied by changes in appetite, sleep habits, concentration, lack of energy, fatigue, and pain with no explanation.
PTSD has many similar symptoms including the appetite changes, bursts of anger, problems with concentration, negativity and mood changes. Most episodes of PTSD, if treated will soon abate, but again, there are many who may suffer with years after the event or episode that caused it has happened.
These illnesses are not something to laugh at. I can remember, in younger years people dismissing them as just people being sad about something for awhile. It is hard for many to understand if they haven’t experienced them themselves. The sad part is that there are many other diseases that can be misdiagnosed as either one of these, so it is very important for doctors to run tests for these.
There are many medications to treat these diseases along with therapy and counseling, and this works well for many people, however those of us who have hypersensitivity often find it hard to find a medicine we can take.
I was diagnosed with depression and PTSD several years ago, and it wasn’t the type associated with just one event. It developed as the result of a 20 year abusive relationship and it is something I have to deal with for the rest of my life. This I will tell you, though, no doctor has been able to find the right kind of meds for me and all the counseling didn’t seem to help, so I turned to the doctor who can treat everything, Jesus.
I have days when I don’t want to do anything, where I feel like I haven’t had any sleep. I’m not hungry, I have no energy, and I just have a very large case of the blahs. I still have nightmares and dreams that remind of those 20 years, and I also have memories flooding back about everyone I have lost in my life. It is then that I turn to the lifter of my soul, who gently reminds me he is in control. Today I am thankful that I can turn to Jesus when I am having an especially hard day with the depression orPTSD.
Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged
Psalm 31:11 Why, my soul are you downcast, Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my saviour and my god.