Monday, March 15, 2010

Humor and Faith: "Lord, am I really to thank you for these hot flashes?!"

Deborah Tainsh is someone my regular readers have met often in this space. Patrick Tainsh - beloved son of Deb and Dave, gave his life in service to his country in Baghdad on February 11, 2004.

I first 'met' Deb through a column I read on Soldiers' Angels Germany. I contacted her, and long story short, we have been in touch ever since. Since February 2004, Deborah has become an established author and inspirational speaker. Her first book, Heart of Hawk, traces her family's journey through the grief which every Gold Star Family knows too well. To say it is inspirational from cover to cover would be to understate the impact her book has had. I have personally heard from more than a few GS families how much this poignantly personal book has helped them as they take their own steps through the grief process.

I could give you a synopsis of all that Deb shares in this book, but instead will direct you here, so you can read for yourself. Truly, it is a book for our times. Proceeds from this book go to Good Grief Camps for Children of the Fallen via TAPS:

"A national non-profit organization made up of, and providing services to, all those who have lost a loved one on active duty with the Armed Forces."

Part of what Deb does these days, is engagements as an inspirational speaker. She really does inspire!

She usually passes along a text version of her presentations, and even from the text version, Deb shines through. Deb and I discovered we both share a love of laughter, and an enormous faith in God, so her latest really was no surprise to me. On March 11th, she was at the Emerald Coast Women's Club, in Panama City, Florida.

After a preamble (which you really should read, ) Deb writes:

To add a bit of humor I called my speaking topic: "Lord, am I really to thank you for these hot flashes?!" I brought what I called "Hot Flash Survivor Kits" for each lady that contained:

A piece of chocolate for that craving
A "Hot Stuff" fan for fanning away that hot flash
A handy wipe to dab the sweat
Some play dough, a color crayon, and coloring sheet for moments of stress and anxiety
A card with some inspirational words to refer to under any circumstance
And a party whistle to make noise at the end of the presentation in celebration of International Women's Day, Monday March 8

So now, I share my talk here...

Does anyone here have a problem in learning to give thanks to God in all things, especially the bad, and mean it?

Reminds me of the story of the young boy who said grace as the holiday meal. "Thank you God for my family, for the turkey, the beans, the potatoes, the pie and cool whip. Then he hesitated a moment, looked at this mom and said, 'if I thank God for the broccoli, won't he know I'm lying?'"

Well ladies, No matter how I strive to be the woman God wants me to be down to First Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Give thanks with a grateful heart..."

There is absolutely no doubt that God knows I'm lying every time I say "Thank You Jesus" when heat rushes from my head to toes and sweat gushes through my pores while I'm trying to remove all clothing acceptable for decency in a public place, then in a matter of minutes redress to stop the chills!

And what is it with tossing covers off and on during the night, having my feel feel like they're against hot coals one moment and freezing the next! I have to keep a small fan running on the bedside table so I can lean into it in the middle of the night to cool down! Forget 8 hours of good sleep!

One thing for sure, at least I can honestly say I've matured into one hot woman! And I can drive my husband crazier than when I was 29!

Now, when I'm NOT having a moment of temporary insanity as occurs often during these hot flash moments, I do believe that "All things work together for a purpose" because "God's ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts" and after all, this is Planet Earth where being human can get pretty rough.

Well, woman that I am, I decided to research the purpose of hot flashes and I found some very interesting information.

One: I've decided that instead of trying to get my regular doctor to help me understand this hot flash and sweat stuff, I'm switching to a veterinarian referred to as who wrote a wonderful piece called: Hot Flashes -- A Sign of the Times:

He says he wrote this in response to repeated questions about the role of hot flashes in menopause and stated that like everything our body does, hot flashes do serve an important purpose! I really don't understand all he was saying in this paper, but it made more sense than anyone else has provided!

Two: from another .com article, according to some medical anthropologists who did work called Menopause Relief Project in Fiji, I learned that hot flashes and profuse sweating of menopause is not universal among women of all cultures...and that we Western women have more problems because unlike Fijian women, we wear bras so tight we can't breathe correctly, and because we're perspiration phobics, unlike Fijian women who perspire freely, we're preventing poisonous toxins from leaving our bodies by use of antiperspirants!

Hence! Hot flashes and sweats![...]

What follows sets the stage for more laughter. Amid the laughter, Deb does have a serious point to this analogy:

I believe that just as menopausal hot flashes and sweats serve the purpose of a greater good for the female human body, so do other hot flashes and sweats of life serve a greater purpose for each individual's journey, although such events are not seen by the human eye as would wish to see and understand.

One of my favorite quotes is by speaker Wayne Dyer who is frequently seen on PBS. "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual being having a human experience."

Lord, I was so happy the moment I heard him say that. I was at a fitness center walking uphill on a treadmill watching Wayne on the tv in front of me. This occurred a few months after the death of my stepson in Iraq, my husband's only biological child and namesake. Wayne's words made me feel like an anvil had been removed from my shoulders! The HOT FLASHes of LIFE on planet earth suddenly made sense!...[...]

It would be an injustice to this terrific presentation, if I was to just give you more excerpts, so I urge you to go read the rest. You can find all of it here on Rize Above and Shyne Through.

Give yourself a gift, and spend some time over there on Deb's site exploring more of her writing.

Thanks, Deb. Shine ON!

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