Good Medicine

A joyful heart is good medicine,But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

 

Sometimes I go through life so distracted that I hardly notice the world around me. Sometimes my mind is so far from my body, it’s a wonder I stay in one piece. I am not consistently that way though. Sometimes I notice such small details that they serve to bog me down and overwhelm me. I find myself perseverating about those details and become so distracted and weary I feel like I am moving through molasses in December.

This recently happened on a trip to the doctor. It was pouring down rain outside, I had been running late, the parking was terrible, the waiting room filled. I appeared to be the youngest patient that afternoon. I was weary to my bones and found myself sluggish and overwhelmed.

maxresdefaultA bright pink scrub clad young lady was steadily opening the door that led to the back, calling names and waiting patiently for her elderly patients to rise and make their way toward her. I noticed that many of them had names popular for infants. Names like Eleanor, Everett, Henry, Sylvia. It tickled me as I recalled the King’s Word that says there is nothing new under the sun.

As the waiting room emptied I found myself alone. Seated amongst tattered magazines, a clearly outdated one boasted a new Baby Princess, per my recollection that Princess is now somewhere around 3 years old. There was a tool magazine “where good tools come first.” “Versus what?” I wondered, “where Bad tools come first? Or maybe last?”

As I reached for the outdated Princess magazine my hand felt something wobble beneath it. I hadn’t even noticed. I took a second glance to see what I had touched, and noticed an ant farm. I shook my head. Was this my overactive imagination again? Had I just imagined next to the tattered magazines, pages softened by mindless flipping in an effort to pass the time… had I just imagined an Ant farm? Surely not. What would an Ant farm be doing in a doctor’s office?

I looked again, ant farm presence confirmed. I had a mental image and thought predictively, “This is not going to end well.”

ant.farm.14Taped to the top of the Ant farm was a small piece of paper, it read , “Press the lid down firmly all the way to avoid ants escaping.”

Suspicion confirmed. That sign was there for a reason, it hadn’t ended well. Ants had indeed escaped previously, someone or someones needed a written reminder to keep said ants contained.

I started to laugh. The kind of laugh that used to occur whilst I was in church, the kind of laugh that one absolutely can not control and will result in a pinch on the right shoulder from one’s disapproving Mama. The kind of laughter that occurs when one’s 14-year-old cousin has just stuffed the nostrils of Mrs. So-and-So’s “for real fox stole” with paper balls. Every week that foxes nostrils would be cleared of the white occlusions, just so said 14 year old cousin could send one into hysterics yet again. It was a vicious cycle that yielded unrelenting laughter. The kind of laughter where a whole body shakes and tears come to one’s eyes, the kind of laughter that can not be stopped no matter how much one desires to do so. That kind of laughter simply has to run its course and will often give way to side pains and a stomach ache.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I can say honestly as I went to the doctor that day I went in search of feeling better, good medicine as it were, but in His goodness the King allowed me to see the very thing that would lead me to the medicine to my soul. Laughter. After that hearty giggle I felt better already and I hadn’t even actually seen the doctor yet, but the Great Physician had seen me and brought joy to my heart and laughter to my weary soul.

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My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the dog bites, When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don’t feel so bad.

The Christmas season rings with the chords of this uplifting song. Although it’s not really a Christmas themed song, we regularly hear it each December. Perhaps it’s because of an old habit TV stations had back in the day of airing The Sound of Music each Christmas Eve. Or maybe it’s because at this season we make out our Christmas wish lists like little children and we think of all the things we wish we had. Or it could be just a carry over from the Thanksgiving holiday of thinking about our blessings. Whatever the reason I love it! It reminds me to focus on the beautiful things, the small things, the ordinary overlooked blessings in our lives.

As I sat at breakfast today in a beautiful hotel restaurant while accompanying my husband on a business trip, my mind flooded with thoughts. The Eggs Benedict, that I got to enjoy in a leisurely manner, is something that I only eat once a year when I’m on this business trip with him and have a chef to prepare it for me. It propelled me into thoughts of my favorite things:

  • Eggs Benedict for breakfast (of course)
  • Christmas – celebrating the Christ child’s birth with family.
  • My oldest grandchild’s first snowy, peaceful Christmas with us.
  • High school football games.
  • Twinkling lights.
  • Coffee conversations with friends.
  • The Pinesol and candle scent of my clean house.
  • A walk in the autumn leaves.
  • Snow.
  • Any book that grabs me so that I can’t put it down.

Those are a few of my favorite things.

What about you? Why don’t you make a list and check it twice of all your favorite things.

There’s something about that exercise that makes a heart light and joyful rather than gloomy. This time of year with its lack of sunlight many folks find themselves depressed or discouraged. So a thorough examination of the blessings and beauty and love that God has put in our lives is like a dose of good medicine. In fact Proverbs reminds us that “a joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” (17:22)

So think of the song above. Examine the pictures or the suggestion list. Or just let your emotions roll with the beauty, wonder, joy, delight, excitement, love, relationships, blessings, and every positive thing you can dwell on today! Remember, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

Things of Beauty and Wonder…

pexels-photo-83761…music that stirs the soul

…artwork that speaks to you

…kisses on the cheek

…holding the fragile hand of a frail mother or father who has lived a long life

hand-2906458_640…the lisping wisdom of a 4-year-old

…the smell of a baby

…floating on gentle waves

hot-chocolate-winter-chocolate-hot…gazing into the innocent eyes of a child

…snuggling with your grown children reminiscing times past

…hot cocoa with marshmallows on a frigid day

…a crackling fire in the fireplace

blaze-2178749_640…jumping in piles of leaves

…swimming in the lake on a hot summer’s day

…hearing the words “I Love You”

…climbing to the top of a lighthouse or mountain and soaking in the view as your reward

pexels-photo-266011…dancing in the rain

…kissing tender baby feet

…making cookies with a friend

…decorating the Christmas tree

…a sweet breeze scattering the white blossoms of a cherry tree in the spring

cherry-blossom-white-sky-bloom-48133…strolling down a tree-lined lane

…candlelit evenings

…dipping your toes in a cool, babbling brook

…the crash of waves

…that sudden insight from the Word of God.

At this season of celebrating the Savior’s birth, take time to follow the example of Mary the mother of Jesus. Ponder your treasured things and be blessed!

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

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The Sound of Music – “My Favorite Things”