Cooking is a ministry



Lately with diabetes and heart failure causing Chris to lose his appetite, it has become more important than ever to prepare food for him that he enjoys.

Illness makes one's taste buds change and so the menu I prepare and the ingredients I buy constantly change.

I have to ask him on the day what he fancies to eat and I literally have to coax him to have some food. It can be very challenging.

In order to keep abreast of Chris's changing tastes in food, I keep a whiteboard on my fridge, jotting down things that he enjoyed and I glean Pinterest for ideas on meals. If Chris says he would like to try a recipe I find, it goes on that list too.

When my uncle lived with my mother, and later on my step-father, both of them lived beyond what the doctors expected (cancer and emphysema), and I credit that to Mum's good and plain cooking.

Chris knows this and forces himself to eat sometimes, but he never finishes a meal. Because a large plate of food nauseates him, I serve them in smaller plates. You learn as you go along.

I can well remember my ailing step-father Max sitting eating without obvious enjoyment and I asked him if he liked the meal. His answer has stayed in my mind to be implemented now in Chris's time of illness.

He said nothing was wrong with the meal, but his appetite was gone and he only eats because he knows he has to. And so I tell Chris when he refuses to eat. I remind him of what Max said. So he eats.

Nutritionally, all of Chris's blood tests come back normal. So he's getting enough iron and so on..

With cutting carbs and sugar as well as lack of teeth thrown into the mix, it can get frustrating at times. I make it a priority to include these needs into my prayer time each morning along with a request for necessary spoons (energy) with my fibromyalgia.

Apart from wisdom in meal preparation, God's been teaching me patience, kindness and endurance... and because nutrition is so important to us, I know the Man Who cooked breakfast for His disciples doesn't mind at all... cooking is a ministry!


© Glenys Robyn Hicks 


"When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus told them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many, the net was not torn.

“Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said to them. None of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish." -John  21:9-12

Grateful and blessed


I am blessed to have a nice home. So many today are homeless, so even if your home is small and you truly don't love it, it would behoove us to be grateful for it regardless.

Home is the cradle of civilisation. It is the foundation of training, knowledge, shaping our early years and moulding us into the adult we will become.

Home's an oasis of calm in a world that's not. It is meant to be a peacable place, a sure dwelling and a quiet resting place. Peace. Safety. Nurture. Comfort.

I just love the imagery of this verse above and I love even more the promise that God makes to us who labour in our home. For we are wise if we do labour to show love and mercy and grace to each other and to make our habitation one of a sanctuary and place of worship through example.

May we not lose sight of the importance of home in the nurturing of ourselves and family. It is worth the effort and the results are guaranteed in the Word of God, for God blesses the habitation of the just. 


© Glenys Robyn Hicks



"The curse of the LORD [is] in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. " Proverbs 3:33

Don't relinquish your role!


As you probably know, in my first 25 year marriage, I was an abused wife. But along with physical abuse, I was daily subjected to disrespect and psychological stress.

By the time I was married for about 15 years, I was broken physically and emotionally. I was in hospital frequently for a spinal disease called Sheurmann's Disease, and for surgery to remove kidney stones. Each time I came home, the disrespect was worse.

After a few years of this, I noticed that my daughter, who was a teenager at the time, was changing her attitude towards me. She became cheeky and sassy and answered me back constantly. Whenever I appealed for some backup from her father, he would defend her. I felt isolated and lonely in my own home.

As she grew older, I noticed that they both talked more than he and I did, and there was a definite bond and camaraderie. I felt like the third wheel.

In the morning I would make my beds and maintain my home, and when my daughter came home from school, she would pull them all back and redo them, stating that they weren't made properly.

Often my ex-husband would come home to unmade beds and he would start screaming at me, swearing and calling me horrid names. He didn't believe me when I told him I had made them and that she had pulled them back for me to make again. Honestly, with my ill health, once a day was enough for me to find the strength to make them.

In the end, I didn't make them, letting her do them when she got home from school. It was just wasting my precious spoons (energy) for nothing- they would be remade and I would get a tongue lashing regardless.

I think this was where the rug was pulled from under my feet. I gradually was treated like a naughty child by both my ex-husband and my eldest daughter. In fact when we were moving house and it was time to choose the colours and tiles etc, they conferred and I was just informed what it would be.

To say that I was not mistress of my own home is an understatement. I was an annoying lazy freeloader according to them. I couldn't work outside the home and they begrudged me anything at all.

When finally I could no longer keep any food down due to fear and depression, and sick of punched arms and bruises, I decided to leave. And in my confusion, I grabbed some clothes pegs with my clothes and this was duly reported to her father who demanded them to be returned.

I don't believe even today that there was any sexual connection with my daughter and her father, but there was a bond that cemented them together, but which excluded me. And I was powerless to change it and my cries for marriage counselling fell on deaf ears. It became too much.

Truly, three in a marriage is never what God intended. Nor did He intend for a man to cleave to his daughter and deny his wife due regard and respect. It is not a normal marriage.

So why do I tell you this? you ask. Because you must find the strength to fight being made an outsider in your role as a wife, mother and home maker. You simply must demand respect from your husband, even if it exhausts you. You must insist on respect from your children.

I wish I had been aware of this earlier and been firmer, but I can only say that I was beaten down so badly by him and chronic illness, that I could hardly stand. Start defending your right to be a wife and a respected mother.  Your role is ordained by God. Don't relinquish it.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

“I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.." Isaiah 3:4

But by the grace of God go I



As you probably know, I suffer from a myriad of health issues from life threatening to annoying. Each day is a constant struggle to keep my home and look after Chris and myself and our little white cat, Xena.

Recently, I read an article about chronically ill bloggers who use the internet to feed their latent Munchausen's disease  The writer who obviously is not suffering an invisible chronic illness, concludes- falsely that we are feeding a desire for attention and sympathy.

This writer had no medical expertise and spoke with the confidence and freedom of a healthy person who knows nothing of the pain every day brings to us who aren't so blessed. It made me both angry and sad.

Anyone who manages to carry on a relatively "normal" life, sacrificing their comfort to serve and love those closest to them, know that the only thing we really desire is compassion. We rarely take delight in our symptoms, in fact the majority of us try very hard to appear as a healthy person in spite of being in pain and discomfort.

Goodness knows, we suffer so much with people judging us unkindly and this simply serves to push us further into depression and loneliness. Especially when our illness is invisible, like fibromyalgia.

Many of us chronically ill people are housebound for the most part, and therefore we feel a certain amount of loneliness and disjointment from society. We simply want to be respected and allowed to simply exist without the stigma of mental disease in the form of Munchausen's.

We bloggers of chronic illness do so because we know the feeling of disenfranchisement in a social sense. We are stripped of our right to live in peace and freedom from bullying ignorant people. 

Writing for those who suffer like we do helps us to reach out to people who would understand the psychological insulation and the sting of being misjudged and categorised as a malingering attention seeker. 

Whilst it is true that we have the LORD to love us unconditionally, it nevertheless hurts us that people are so cruel and instrumental in adding ridiculous labels to us that demoralise us even further.

Chronic illness and pain is a horrid  way to live and those who cast stones at us would do well to thank God that they aren't so afflicted. God has not chosen them to walk the lonely path of chronic illness and they also would do well to remember "but by the grace of God, go I" 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks



Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

No spoons required


So yesterday was a really good day. In spite of my fibromyalgia flaring and angina. But it's because of those things that today has been so good.

My diary showed a doctors' appointment to attend, then the chemist for scripts and then the inevitable grocery shop for the week. A full day for a chronically ill person.

I thought it through and decided to ring the clinic and change a face to face consult with a phone one. Then I rang the chemist to advise them that the script I owed them for some blood pressure tablets would be coming in the afternoon. Then I arranged the medicines to be delivered to me.

Then grabbing a cup of tea, I did my online shop and arranged delivery of it for tomorrow. And I played Candy Crush until the doctor rang me.

He arranged for the escripts to be sent directly to our chemist. I made another cup of tea as the doorbell rang- the girl with our medicines delivered them very promptly.

Cooking a simple meal, I found I had energy to work on my crochet project until bedtime. I had plenty of energy as all the errands had been done with no spoons required.





Above reproach




Recently I read about the high incidence of pastors being in involved in pornography. Pornography is sin. It is sex.

As Christians we are called to be apart from the world, not in it. We are called to be holy. We are called to bring our thoughts under the captivity of Christ. 

Pastors have a greater accountability to Christ as handlers of the Word. They should not be involved in  the works of darkness themselves and should be denouncing it from the pulpit. 

Why is pornography wrong? you ask. 
  1. Pornography invalidates the one flesh relationship of the covenant of marriage. 
  2. It denigrates married love to animal baseness and allows women to be used as sex objects instead of loved tenderly. 
  3. Women who engage in pornography also tend to treat men with little respect. 
  4. It encourages selfish love making and greater expectation of the act
  5. It can make a woman feel dirty and effects her relationship with her husband if he watches it
  6. It creates a lustful mindset that overflows into the heart and becomes sinful actions.
  7. It encourages a roving eye and Jesus says that is adultery in the heart therefore sin.

Satan has hoodwinked society into believing that pornography is fine, but the results are catastrophic. Everything that God has said is good, Satan has substituted with evil. 

Darkness is deepening. Christ is soon to return. Keep oil in your lamps. Keep your garments clean. Present yourself as a spotless Bride. Jesus Christ deserves a pure Bride-and She deserves pure minded pastors that should  be leading them in holiness, having holy and clean hands as they touch the Word of God and they must be above reproach!


© Glenys Robyn Hicks


And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God -Romans 12:2

More than a place to sleep



Recently someone asked why do we make our bed? I gave it some thought as I have recently been making my own bed daily, in spite of regularly going back into it for a nana nap. Here's a few thoughts on why I use my precious spoons to make my bed.

Physically its more comfortable to sleep in. 

Psychologically its more inviting.

It makes the room visually more esthetically pleasing.

The bed's the centrepiece of the room like in a painting. 

It gives the illusion of order and calm.

It uplifts my spirits when I come into my bedroom.

With fibromyalgia, angina and back problems, I make mine but often get back in it. So I remake it.

When I make it, I don't get on my knees as they are broken and I do not do hospital bed mitred corners. I pull up my top sheet, then turn back the minky blankets. With arthritic hands, the only tucks I do are at the bottom of the bed to secure the bedding...

But, being honest, I sometimes let it go when I have a fibro flare- being satified that the sheets and bedding is clean. But the majority of times, my beds are made. 

Beds are more comfortable made up or at least straightened and are more than a place to sleep.



Like a cloak round the shoulders




When my youngest child, Dianne had Acute promyelocytic leukaemia, she was dangerously ill and in ICU three times. At one stage her kidneys were failing. Her body was shutting down. 

They put her on dialysis three times and it was touch and go that she would make it through. You can imagine how I felt when they said they thought she was far too deteriorated to make it.

Naturally, I was asked to leave the ICU whilst they hooked her up, and to be honest, I just wanted to be alone. So I went down to the tea room for the patients and their family. 

It suddenly hit me that I may never see Dianne alive again, and the horror of the last few weeks during which she was on chemo and reacted violently to it, overtook me and I cried.

Slumping down in the corner of the tiny tea room, I gave my daughter to God. He had every right to take her Home, but being a mother, I asked Him to spare her.

Goodness knows, Dianne was only 35 years old, a wife, and mother to three young children. She was needed here. Although she was a Christian and I knew she would be with the LORD, I wanted her here with me.

I prayed fervently, agreeing that whatever be His Will for her, that He was God. It was worse than the despair I felt when I gave birth to still born twin girls at 32 weeks. Up until then, I thought that was the worst thing that I had experienced. But I was wrong. Losing Dianne was something I couldn't endure. 

Still slumped in the corner, I was overwhelmed with a peace that didn't make sense. Here we were in an emotional hell on earth, with Dianne's life hanging in the balance, and I was calm.

It was like a cloak of peace had been placed around my shoulders. It warmed me by routing the fear and it exuded a calm that permeated to my marrow.  I knew it was the peace that passes all human understanding that God promises to us.

Because I was calm, I found my legs could still carry me- they were giving way to me in the tea room. I returned to the ICU where Dianne was on the dialysis. 

I sat willing her to breathe and watching her breathing as if the very act  was too tiring for her. I kissed her hand and silently prayed whilst she slept.

Three days later, she was being taught to walk again on the floor of the ICU and her kidney function was restored.  Today, she is in remission for six years. They say it is extremely unlikely she will get APML back again...

This ordeal has shown me that we do have a Saviour Who is very involved in His childrens' lives. He is a good Father Who comforts His children when all else fails.

If Dianne had been called Home, I would not have lost faith in Him. But mercifully, He allowed her to live. 

The warmth of the Peace He gave me in my most extreme anguished pain, is proof to me that He is a God of His Word. He truly gives us peace that is beyond understanding.

Call on the LORD in your own anguish and see that He is a caring and compassionate Father.  There's nothing like His Cloak of Peace around your shoulders.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks


And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

Searching for some spoons

                                          

So Chris wasn't feeling well, so we didn't get out yesterday. I ordered $30 worth of groceries through Woolworths online. We have to pick them up at 1pm. It's so handy to shop like that. After that I need to get some prescriptions made up and go to the Post Office.

I managed to do all those dishes yesterday, with just last night's pots and pans to wash today. Tonight I will shower. If I do it this morning, I will run out of spoons and won't make it for the errands later.

It's hard searching for spoons and finding none, knowing that you have to do certain errands like shopping and getting medicines. And the tricky thing is when you find some, they disappear before you can put them to good use, and you find you need to take a nana nap just to accomplish it.

I know with talking to other Fibromites that I am not alone, as having no spoons seems to be a typical symptom of fibromyalgia. So for the next few hours before I pick up the groceries, you know where I'll be: searching for some spoons.




A marriage that's too hard to handle



I have found that emotional abuse in a marriage leads to physical illnesses that in turn destroy a woman's life. That therefore equates to the same thing as physical abuse. 
In searching for help in my marriage I approached a godly older woman- a pastor's wife after I was violently raped by my ex-husband just five weeks after undergoing major women's surgery... she sided with my husband.... there was no compassion for the abuse in my marriage.. 
I am so glad that I realised she was biased towards preservation of my marriage as opposed to preservation of myself. I was thrown into the lions den with no thought as to my safety. I now have PTSD... 
I would therefore advise an abused wife-either physical or emotional abuse- to leave for a time until or if the husband submits to church discipline or agrees to marriage counselling and then to approach a reconciliation only after proof of repentance.
It is simply too detrimental to a woman's health to stay in an abusive marriage without any hope of improvement. It is simply too hard to handle...


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. Malachi 2:14

I'm my own worst enemy!




When I have no spoons or motivation to do housework, I often watch Youtube videos of people cleaning their home. Sometimes it works and I feel that I can get something done.

This can sometimes go against me because often the videos are of women half my age, with no disabilities and therefore no need to worry about spoons or flares or having to take a nana nap.

They seem to be cleaning houses that are already immaculate and they make it look so easy. Their homes outshine mine in every way, and so does their appearance. It can make me more depressed if I am in a flare of fibromyalgia, trying to get motivated to clean and teetering at the edge of the Pit of Despair. 

So I have to take Chris's advice and remember that I am an older woman with chronic health issues and try not to compare myself with them. But the desire to kindle a spark of motivation is strong and I find myself gravitating to those videos like a moth to a flame. And often it only makes me feel worse!

Sometimes, I think I'm my own worst enemy! 

The depth of His integrity



integrity
/ɪnˈtɛɡrɪti/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
    "a gentleman of complete integrity"
    Similar:
    honesty
    uprightness
    probity
    rectitude
    honour
    honourableness
    upstandingness
    good character
    principle(s)
    ethics
    morals
    righteousness
    morality
    nobility
    high-mindedness
    right-mindedness
    noble-mindedness
    virtue
    decency
    fairness
    scrupulousness
    sincerity
    truthfulness
    trustworthiness
    Opposite:
    dishonesty
  2. 2.
    the state of being whole and undivided.
    "upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty"
    Similar:
    unity
    unification
    wholeness
    coherence
    cohesion
    undividedness
    togetherness
    solidarity
    coalition
    Opposite:
    division


It is uncharacteristic of the love God has for His people, that believers will be terrorised and punished alongside those who don't love Him in the Great Tribulation... Let scripture speak to us of God's great love for us... and His integrity and holiness

"Far be it from You to do such a thing— to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous & the wicked R-treated alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” - Genesis 18:25

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. Malachi 3:16-18

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10

Does this sound like a God Who would allow the righteous to be tormented in the Great Tribulation? I don't think so... Instead this God will gather His people safely to Himself and eat with us at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

To believe that Jesus would allow His Bride, the Church to be traumatised and beaten along with those who are the object of God's wrath, is to not understand the Love God has for His Children, His holiness or the depth of His integrity.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

 

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. -Psalm 91:14-16