I would not wish a sick baby on anyone. (And all the moms said, Amen.) Though John and I have joked more than once that it’s still not as bad a all 3 of us getting the stomach flu like last Christmas or the horrible diaper rash a few months ago, it is difficult on the heart to see your baby suffer. The worst part is her inability to sleep well. Once she gets there, she sleeps like a rock, but it sometimes takes hours to get there. I joke with the Lord that I am like the persistent Syrophoenician woman in Matthew 15. Mostly, her tenacity to continue asking for a miracle. I shamelessly ask Him to soothe Anna’s pain and bless her with sleep.
A dry brush is one of the tools Beautycounter released with their holiday product launch this year, and I have to confess, I’ve been wondering what the big deal is. So I looked into it. Every second of the day our skin is working to protect our body, making new skin cells and shedding old ones. The point of dry brushing? Its ability to physically exfoliate skin into a smoother state. Deanne Mraz Robinson, a Connecticut-based, board-certified dermatologist, says it stimulates blood flow. The Cleveland Clinic says it helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. It also stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward. Mindbodygreen.com says dry brushing manually removes dead skin cells from the top layer of skin, improving the appearance. Dr. Cynthia Thaik, MD, a Harvard-trained cardiologist and author of Your Vibrant Heart tells us that over time, our pores can get clogged with dead skin cells, pollutants and cosmetics. This causes the liver and kidneys to work really hard to get rid of impurities. Dry skin brushing unclogs your skin’s pores and helps your skin absorb more nutrients, which promotes healthy skin and allows those toxins to release a bit easier. How to use it? Use on dry skin before bathing, starting at feet and gently brushing in steady, upward strokes. I might add it to my routine a few days a week and see. Would you like to try it for yourself?
I told my husband recently that these months off of social media and with limited podcasts feels like a coffee pot, sifting, heating and brewing something special. It has made so much space in my head it was truly unsettling at first. I was uncomfortable with the silence. Still am sometimes. Until God extended a new invitation, with a new perspective on silence. Thanks to the Holy Spirit and the insight of Ruth Haley Barton, I long for the quiet, and while I’m almost constantly tempted to fill each moment with sound or content, I only last 5 minutes because it feels too overwhelming. More to come on the deep treasures I am gleaning with the practice of solitude and silence, but I wanted to share a few quotes with you:
“What deadens us most to God’s presence within is the inner dialogue that we are engaged in within ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought.” Frederick Buechner
The purpose of time spent in silence: to be with God in whatever state you are in and to let Him be in control.
A willingness to surrender created an opportunity for God to come in and minister in practical and personal ways.
The presence of God is poured out most generously when there is space in our souls to receive him.
His loving presence is our ultimate reality. This reality never changes, it is only that our awareness of it is sometimes dulled by the noise and clutter of life.