Category Archives: Stress

World Prematurity Day is November 17

Monday, 17th November 2014 is World Prematurity Day, designated to raise awareness about babies born too early.

Premature births can be traumatic, as I discovered when interviewing Lynn. Happily, she and her husband are very grateful today because their son, born at 3 pounds and 4 ounces, is now a 22 pound healthy baby.

Experts don’t understand the mechanism of preterm birth enough to come up with safe, effective ways to prevent it, however people are working together to try to turn the tide of an increase in premature births in the world.

Past my child bearing days, I still can appreciate listening to Lynn tell me her story. I even know that we birth new ideas all the time. And, I see the importance of keeping these new ideas safe in the womb of Love and Truth.

I shouldn’t force the conception of a new idea and whether in the process of conceiving a child, a book, a movie, a piece of art, a dance, a new job, I can do so with patience and quietness.

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.” —Isaiah 46:3-4, ESV

“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”— Luke 8:15, ESV

From 21st Century Science and Health, “As a physical, theoretical life-basis is found to be a misinterpretation of existence, the scientific and divine Principle of our spirituality dawns upon human thought. Consciousness is guided to “where the child was”[1]—even to the birth of a new-old idea, to the spiritual sense of being and of what Life includes. Thus the whole earth will be transformed by Truth as enlightened thought displaces the darkness of error.

“Mortal birth and death comes across as irresistible or untimely, however God’s people aren’t mortals. Mortals are unreal and obsolete. The truth of being is perennial. We are God’s image and likeness.

“To attend properly the birth of the new child, or divine idea, be sure to detach mortal thoughts from the human conceptions so that the birth will be natural and safe. As the child gathers new energy, the divine idea cannot injure its useful surroundings in its spiritual birth. There is not a single element of error in a spiritual idea and this truth properly removes anything that is offensive. The new idea, conceived and born of Truth and Love, is clothed in white garments and includes a humble beginning, a sturdy growth, and a renewing maturity. When this new birth takes place, the infant is born of the Spirit, born of God, and can cause the mother no more suffering. By this we know that Truth is here and has fulfilled its perfect work.”

[1] Matt. 2:9


Fostering love in the desert

“Are you sure you want to walk with me?”


“It’s about 90 degrees out there and you know how far I walk,” I added.

“I know, I’m coming with you,” said Dak, the foster child who came to live with our family that year.

Was I surprised when Dak started petering out about half way through the walk? Yes and no. He was a sturdy 9-year old and had come on the walk with me before. But, Dak had a penchant to want to prove himself stronger, smarter, and faster than he really was, more often than not, getting himself into trouble.

We, previous foster parents, and social workers all strove to bring balance to Dak’s life. But one mile from home, he stopped in his tracks. Dak had sweat one drop too many. Something triggered and he sulked.

I remember sulking in the same way when I was a teenager after realizing I wasn’t getting my way.

But that day, we were on a desert trail. Not a high traffic area. So, I picked Dak up and started carrying him. His grouched weight strained my 115 pound slim (read non-muscular) physique. I started suffering.

Was my love for Dak’s safety carrying the load even though I was suffering? Probably not, I was pretty pissed. But the faith in me knows that God loves Dak. And the realist in me knows this human experience reeks with suffering; so much suffering in fact, that I’ve searched the Bible for meaning.

At the Pool of Bethesda, Christ Jesus healed a disabled man who had suffered for 38 years. Interestingly after the healing, “Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” (John 5:14, ESV)

In this case, Jesus attributed suffering to sin. On one hand, it appears as though suffering serves to draw us away from sin and closer to God, life and love. But on the other hand, suffering isn’t posed as an agent to God because Jesus stopped the suffering of the man before fully knowing if the sin was stopped.

What about the times when innocent people suffer?

Prior to his crucifixion, the innocent Christ Jesus told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38, ESV)

I take his “watch” instruction to mean stay awake to God, to life and love, mainly because Jesus went on to show the result of staying awake to God, rather than being mesmerized by, or trying to manipulate the drama and suffering. Although he experienced horrible human suffering, Jesus passed through the suffering alive and useful.

Suffering may get our attention but it doesn’t have to keep it.

Instead of letting suffering use me, I use suffering to repent or think differently.

As I carried Dak in the desert, my attitude cooled off. I gave God the pissy feeling to deal with and felt thankful for the fact that God loves Dak. Mercifully, Dak relaxed and offered to walk on his own and the whole incident never became a thing.

Hurry, hurry, hurry, or not

With winter finally behind us, it’s a beautiful day here in upstate New York. We all had a good laugh when our neighbor said, “We better hurry and enjoy the day because winter will return soon.”

I catch myself hurrying more often than I’d like to admit.

But, when I do catch myself, I ask, “Is this an appropriate time to hurry?”

Hurrying isn’t terrible. We read in Luke 19:5, “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’” (ESV)

But, hurrying sometimes isn’t the best. Things get spilled or forgotten. We cut someone off. Or, we forget to take a nap.

Blogger, Cierra Cotton wrote about the importance of resting and being still in this hurried world, saying, “Resting is Biblical. I mean look at God, even He rested on the 7th day. If God who is Sovereign and all powerful took a day to rest than that means I definitely need to sit my tail down and rest. I’m learning to take time as I go throughout my day for “rest breaks.” Even if it’s just 5 minutes to take a deep breath, be still, and acknowledge God’s presence. Just to thank for all that He’s done so far and ask Him to give me strength to continue on with my day.”

I’ve also realized that the sheer act of slowing down to a normal pace, can be restful.


Snapped Glamor

The glamor of freelancing gives sparkle to reporting. I interview amazing people and learn that I can never stop learning.

But some days, circumstances snap any semblance of glamor.

Let’s take the other day for example.

During the warm summer afternoon, I get in the car to drive to the County Fair. Simple enough. However, after arriving and parking, I get out of the car and my bra hook breaks. The front bra hook doesn’t come undone, it breaks.

My dilemma. I do not want to go bra-less. My shirt is too thin. Moreover, the weather is humid enough that my clothes pretty much stayed in place. But soon enough, I am walking around looking like my breasts are under my armpits.

I interview people and then attend a Vesper Service. For decades, the Delaware County Fair has been holding a Vesper Service for those who are at the fair but too busy to go into town to attend church.

An award was handed to a Pastor who serves the community extensively. So, I stand up, along with everyone else, to applaud, and my camera falls through the stadium seats/steps down to the dirty ground. I conspicuously leave the seating area and crawl under the stadium to retrieve my camera.

Out from under the stadium, I go interview a gal who shows Jersey cows. I almost ask her if she has some baling twine, so I can wire my bra back together. But, instead of pay attention so as not to walk on a cow paddie.

I don’t like it when a gnat flies into my nose.

Alas, I watch a couple of children trying to milk an invented, high tech cow and I smile. The glamor of our jobs is the perception of  wisdom, innocence and joy.

An invented cow that can be milked

An invented cow that can be milked

Safely Passing Through Danger

Supposedly, North Korea has threatened nuclear attack against its aggressor. We will never know the whole story unless we personally talked with leader, Kim Jong Un, which probably isn’t going to happen.

But because the threat is splashed throughout the media, it’s pretty difficult to ignore. The warning generates worry and strain.

It’s a matter of keeping our head on straight. No over action and yet no inaction. Going by my own puny experience, I do remember when our first grade daughter attended a school known for its bad reputation. The day she entered I made a vow to be involved, actively but not with a smoldering passion that could burst out and over react.

Every day, I surround the school with a prayer. One day, it became urgent that I pray more for the school, the community, and the children. I did.

Our daughter came home and confirmed what was eventually spread over the media. A bomb threat had been received at the school office. All of the children were quickly and calmly evacuated. Neighboring homes were opened up to allow the children to come inside out of the freezing cold winter weather. Hours passed. A bomb squad searched and found no bomb. School was resumed.

The test of my prayer was not to prove prayer works but to love more. And, love was definitely felt for our child, the teachers, the school staff, the neighbors, and the community, including the caller who hopefully found something better to do.

The Egg Breaks

For a number of years, Elementary school children would walk to our orchard and take a guided tour through the fruit trees and the animal farm. Their tiny arms and hands would grasp for juicy apples and cherries to snack on while we walked around and showed them the wind machines, tractors, and ladders. Then they all got to peer into the chicken coop and see hens lay eggs. One little boy was absolutely beyond himself when he saw a green egg. With trained composure, he asked his school teacher, “May I keep this egg?”

The teacher explained the fact that eggs break easily. But, the child insisted he would be careful. He was truly intrigued and wanted to show his parents the egg when he got home. “Well, okay,” said the teacher after catching a positive nod from me, “however remember to keep the egg safe.” The child then started putting the egg into his pocket but the teacher quickly informed him the better method would be to carry it in his hand.

Why do I remember this particular scene? Because sure enough, at the end of the field day, the egg broke and while washing the gooey useless egg yolk and white off the child’s hand, I was impressed that the child was taking the mess pretty well.

Apparently, the destruction of the egg was by no means the destruction of life, truth and love. The kid was still fine. No one bantered, “I told you to be careful.” In fact, a feeling of sincere compassion zoomed around the lot of kids for about four seconds before they went on with life. Although the episode was quickly and easily swallowed, I wanted to digest the experience.

Through divine Science, I’ve learned to associate life, truth, and love with God. But all too often I can make the mistake of believing that what my physical senses come into contact with is affecting life, truth, and love. It isn’t. This mistake is an error and divine Science stresses the unreality of errors (hate, fear, sickness, danger, decline, stupidity, etc.)

If hate is feeling real, I can stop taking care of the hate and find out how fragile it is while it breaks apart. Cleaning it off my hands I move on in life. If the error of fear is feeling real, it’s a little tougher, and requires an everyday practice of not preparing for the worst but preparing to actively participate in society and becoming involved in improving my community. If the error of sickness is bombarding me, instead of babying the error, I immerse my consciousness in wisdom and strength; the wisdom to reduce stress in my life and the strength to expect and be healed by Christ-spirit, Love.

The unreality of error is one of the most fascinating yet powerful aspects of divine Science that makes it stand out from other methods of advancement.

Invest in the Spirituality of Sufferers

Inspired by the words of spiritual leaders, I become sensitive to the plight of sufferers who are prevented from developing their spiritual power to heal or be healed less intrusively. Their undeveloped talent is a regrettable loss to society. The task to liberate sufferers requires better organization and knowledge of a more scientific healing.

Spiritual Science, like physical sciences, is nothing more or less than a tool for breaking down complex problems into simpler parts that can be analyzed a step at a time. For instance, the general belief that we suffer for our sins is being broken down and a spiritual education is providing people with the power to stop serving pain.

During the scientific research, some sufferers have been found not to be sinners at all. And, once the sinner stops sinning, then the suffering should stop. These realizations can bring relief.

Another complicated, yet backward ideology connected to suffering is that suffering is pious, or good for the soul. However, sufferers are so busy suffering that they are not much benefit to society. Discovering their spiritual strength, sufferers can catapult out of that unscientific ideology.

We can invest in the spirituality of others, even sufferers. We can get mental and moral capital to grow each day and find there is no limit to the advancement made in painless progress. Human beings can’t get out of suffering, but when it does come, we can see it for what it is, an ever-changing unit, that we can exercise control over, instead of letting it control us.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Religious and medical systems treat physical pains and pleasures as if they are normal, but Jesus rebuked the suffering from any such cause or effect. The epoch approaches when true religion will be built on the truth of being understood. However, people are slow to understand truth because they are obsessed with fashion, pride, and opinion. The fixation of materiality makes us tired because it goes against our higher nature. At some point, we will pierce through the fleeting and false and learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created men and women in Science.”



Leaving Anxiety Behind

When difficulties or danger are near, an automatic alarm sets off and the body naturally responds with symptoms of anxiety. An alertness and focus is conjoined with a motivation to solve the problem, hopefully without crossing over into the territory of anxiety disorders. Fortunately, there are many healing modalities designed to restore peace and provide the tools and skills necessary to handle life’s difficulties and dangers.

Effective healing begins by first realizing that the irritableness, churning stomach, fretting, and tension are only accompaniments to anxiety. They are only ripples to a demand to improve a situation according to the law of progress. In regard to anxious symptoms, Herbalist and author of The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Brigitte Mars, A.H.G. answers, “Before reaching for a quick fix, make sure your home and work environments are calming…even the best herbs won’t work if you’re taking them in a stressful space.”

But sometimes, our home and workspace are stressful due to forces not in our control, therefore, Dr. Brooks, co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life,” points out, “What you can control is your attitude and response to these difficult situations.” So, we make an effort to guide our thoughts toward peace. However, society’s hard and soft sciences teach us that our attitudes and responses are controlled by hormones and genes, proving it rather difficult to deal with life’s difficulties and gain that peace.

This is when the next step of accepting spiritual Science is taken. Science and Health, a textbook on spiritual Science reads, “Thought increases or diminishes blood pressure, mutates the genes, or affects the action of the lungs, bowels, and heart…To remove the error producing disorder, you must calm and instruct human mind with spiritual Truth.” Remarkably, instead of a human mind trying to correct itself and get a better grip on life or anxiety, the human mind is better off acknowledging spiritual truths which not only motivate us to progress and keep us safe from danger but also gives us the strength to manifest peacefulness. The error to remove from thought is that we have to rely on the human mind. Effective healing can result when our spirituality controls human thoughts.

Human being’s perception of anxiety is flawed therefore it reacts to or ignores life’s difficulties inappropriately. The anxious feelings are the human mind resisting change or improvement; whereas anxiety can be viewed as a promotion to manifest greater life, grace, health, activity, and other spiritual truths. These spiritual truths calm the human mind and a spiritual mindedness comes forth to take the reins and flow with progress.

Follow this link to an excellent article, titled, Worry is Like a Rocking Chair, by Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Keep on singing praise!

Hard and Soft Sciences Affected Positively by Divine Science

Discoveries made in the physical “hard” sciences have no doubt changed the way we think about our universe and bodies. We no longer are stuck on a flat earth, but can fly. Discoveries made in the social and behavioral sciences have also changed the way we think, especially about cultures, religions, and even ourselves as a person with relationships. A thoughtful purpose can guide an event instead of events being caused by genes or habits.

In a third realm of sciences, divine Science, has also been found to change the way we think. Divine Science is synonymous with spiritual science or Christian Science or Mind-science. The factor that distinguishes divine Science from the hard or soft sciences is that the human mind surrenders to divine Mind, an infinite universal spiritual Mind. The hard and soft sciences never get out of the fluxing materialist virtual reality whereas divine Science reveals an unchanging reliable spiritual reality.

We read in a textbook of divine Science, Science and Health, “The effect of this Science is to adapt the human mind to an improved attitude from which it may yield to the peace of divine Mind.” For the interrelated human mind and body to yield to divine Mind does not mean we lose our identity or our sense of reality and discovery, but does mean the way we think will change according to a universal reality. As the human mind adjusts to spiritual thoughts, it opens up to clearer discoveries of health, holiness, and harmony.

Divine Science can be studied just as the hard and soft sciences are studied. We can apply principles that were discovered during a long history of empirical research, such as experiencing a less stressful mind and body after forgiving people who piss us off. We can feel divine Mind, Love, at work in our lives, instead of rankle at conniving and conflicting human minds. We can express divine Mind, Soul, on our life journey and find an ability to circumvent obstacles much easier. We can become more and more familiar with divine Spirit and spirituality in others and in ourselves and change the way we think about life and love. We can discover ongoing life and love controlled by intelligence.

Knowledge vs. Experience: The Tough Decision


When it comes time to “do” something in life, the human mind often finds itself in a heated debate between knowledge and experience as being the determining factor. Education, research and professional opinions can easily conjure up a list of pros and cons that are oftentimes completely contradictory, and proceed to compare it to a similar list made using your own personal experience and advice from your family and friends, based on their own experiences, but which simply leads you back to square one: lying awake at night fretting about what to do.

As a young adult I have recently found myself making bigger decisions than I am used to. It started with what college to go to and has been followed by choosing a career path, selecting a husband, purchasing a home, and if those decisions weren’t monumental enough, now everyone starts asking about (or blatantly hinting) at the question of having babies!

The pressure can make a troubled decision-maker snap. Or in my case, the pressure turned me into a tormented decision-maker who can’t choose between an enchilada or a burrito even though deep down I know the ingredients are just about the same thing. Clearly, I needed to adjust my decision making process because neither the knowledge I had gleaned from my college education, nor the years of being a diligent reader, nor the experiences of other people were helping me continue  moving through life gracefully.

The first thing I had to accept was, that it wasn’t the actual decision itself that was driving me crazy, it was what could happen afterwards. No one likes to be judged or criticized or even minutely questioned when they make a decision. The truth is, people will scrutinize you no matter which decision you make, simply because if they are the type of person who thinks that their own knowledge or experience is worth sharing then they will do it.

The take away?

Make sure I don’t judge people for their decisions and make sure I just support them.

Next, I had to accept that although I do appreciate the wise advice of someone who has lived through a situation I am currently going through, I don’t necessarily have to do what he/she did, because quite frankly I am not him/her. And also they probably would’ve turned out just as happy and loving if they had chosen to go to college B over college A anyway.

Third, I determined that my worldly knowledge and education, although expensive and required to get a job at any corporate office in America, was really nothing more than just facts about inanimate objects and theories. Science and Health dubs human knowledge as “evidence acquired from the physical senses, mortal beliefs and opinions…” This is a view that shows human knowledge is temporal, just like a mortal. So, is human knowledge really what I want to use to make a decision? Of course not, I want my decisions to be as immortal as my own spiritual self is!

Which led me straight to a decision on how to make decisions: I really just have to do what is the right thing, using spiritual knowledge of God, Love. It is a mindful path which leads me to be the most loving, caring, adventurous and good-humored spiritual being that I am. Decisions can be less about which human mortal path to take and more about choosing to have the best attitude and the most loving soul while continuing forward. By using this method to make decisions the pressure lessens and I can simply order the enchilada because it has a corn tortilla which my gluten intolerant husband can eat as well.


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