Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And of a Sound Mind

One Bible verse that I cling to for dear life is 2 Timothy 1:7,  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  That would be KJV, of course, because what good is a promise like, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline," when you feel like you are losing your sanity?  I don't know who did the latter translation (yes, I do -- it's NIV), but "sound mind" and "self-discipline" aren't the same words in any language.  How did "sound mind" get translated into "self-discipline"??? Or, how about this (per)version, from The Message, "God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible." The NIV and The Message are both dynamic equivalency translations, meaning that the translators kept loosely to the main idea of the text, but put in the words they felt should be there in English, based on the current culture, ideologies, political correctness, carnality, and personal bent of the particular guy in the committee who worked on that particular passage.  Dangerous, that, if you ask me.  Didn't God say not to add or take away from his words?  Yes, he did.  Am I ever glad I have a Bible I can trust.  But I digress.  This post is not about Bible translations, but the promise of a sound mind.

I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic.  That means my pancreas is non-functioning, that my brain has to be my pancreas by telling my hands when to give me insulin, and how much, by injection or by infusion pump.  I have had diabetes for over 30 years, with NO complications, praise God, but I am becoming less and less sensitive to the symptoms of LOW blood sugar.  Low blood sugar can occur if I exercise, or if I don't eat enough, or if I take too much insulin to cover the carbs I am eating.  That is a bad thing, because the human brain needs sugar, or glucose, to function properly, and really, truly, my brain needs all the help it can get.

Back in the early days of my diabetes, I noticed hypoglycemia symptoms right away (low blood sugar < 70mg/dl -- normal is 100).  As is typical in the early stages, I felt shaky on the inside, saw spots, and broke into a sweat if not treated immediately with something sweet. It was not -- and still is not -- uncommon for me to behave as though I were a bit drunk, talking loudly and with exaggerated gestures. (That is embarrassing, considering I don't drink at all.)  

Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

Lately, though, I am often not aware of "dipping" until I am on a fast slide into the later stages of hypoglycemia, in which confusion and personality changes are not uncommon.  Yesterday as I sat and listened to my husband's preaching, I was wondering what was wrong with him.  His message wasn't making any sense. I thought, Oh dear Lord.  How are we ever going to build a church with that?? THANK YOU for not bringing anyone to hear this! This was the first time since we started our church, that we have not had any visitors. I was overcome with a dread feeling of hopelessness, that God has brought us to Minnesota to starve us to death, and that this little church is NEVER going to get off the ground.  I felt like I was of absolutely NO USE to God or anyone else.  All of a sudden I began crying profusely and made a vain attempt to do it secretly.  Sitting next to me, my Emily stared at me as if I were growing feathers and horns and turning into a fantastical creature (little kids do that sometimes when they see their mommy cry), and, since it was now time to give hymn requests, I began frantically looking through the hymnal index for one about hopelessness and despair.  I chose "Little Is Much When God Is in It" then continued to cry and sing at the same time.

We cleaned up, locked up, and drove home.  I stared out my window with tears streaming down my face, trying to control those grotesque contortions your face makes when you are trying to keep from crying, all the while wondering, What is wrong with me, and why am I crying like this? Am I losing my mind?  I am!  I must be!  I went straight to my room to drop my stuff, then into the bathroom.  While in there I forgot what I was doing. Where has my mind gone?  My poor husband and children, having to have their wife and mother committed to a mental hospital!  How dreadful!  Oh dear Lord save me from this!  Let me keep my mind!  Sobbing again, trying to keep quiet so no one will hear me. I know my family thinks I'm insane. What am I doing?  Oh yes, better test my blood sugar.  


Oh.  It's not my mind after all (oh God, thank you), it's my blood sugar.  Still crying, I return to my room for some glucose tablets, a quick fix for crashing glucose levels.  Dear husband looks at me like he is a bit afraid of me, probably wondering if he should call a doctor in a white coat to bring a straight-jacket.  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" I kept repeating. I collapse on the bed. "It's my blood sugar, and I can't control myself!"  Loony, I know.  But it's terrible to feel like your body or your mind is doing its own thing without you. 

This has happened at least twice before, and both other times I was pretty convinced I was going to have to be tranquilized and shipped off to the insane asylum.  But there was a little echoing in my head... that verse, the one about the sound mind... oh, thank you, Lord, for writing it on my heart.  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mindJust yesterday I made the connection that this is all diabetes-related!  What a relief!  God is so good to me.  The promise of a sound mind is true.  Of course it is!

If you see me acting strangely, please ask me to test my blood. Of course, being "low" I will probably be belligerent and refuse to do it, but at least you will have tried to keep me out of the mental ward.  When I have recovered you can say, "Welcome back.  And I told you so."  :)

Still.  I don't like it when my mind goes off by itself...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Devotional ABC's

Recently my dear husband decided to base our family devotions on the ABC's.

We have had short nightly lessons on Attendance, Baptism, Complaining, Doers, Exaltation, Forgiveness, God, and tonight, Hair.  Matthew 10:30 tells us, But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  It really is quite remarkable that God cares to know the number of hairs on my head!  That means he is paying close attention to each one of us.  He has therefore given the promise of 1 Peter 5:7, encouraging us to cast(ing) every care upon him, for he careth for you.  (Us! You and me!) 

When we see lilies 
Spinning in distress,
Taking thought
To manufacture loveliness, 
When we see the birds 
All building barns for store,
T'will be time for us to worry, 
Not before.

Photo by Maureen "Mo" Reilly http://www.flickr.com/photos/reillymo/257163662/

Isn't God good?  (Nod your little head up and down.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The summer is going fast!  I have been spending the past several days trying to get together my order for the coming school year, but the normal interruptions of a mother's life have kept me from completing it.  That, and the state of general confusion that this tasks leaves me in after about ten minutes of concentrating on it.  If I didn't think my children would curse me some years down the road for neglecting my parental and educational responsibilities, I would un-school.  In this house un-schooling looks more like non-schooling, and we would be a fine story for the prime time news, now, wouldn't we?

Now that we are home at last from all of our running around the Midwest this summer, the Diamonds family is set to put our minds and bodies to the work of establishing a new church.  Although it is in its infancy, we have not had one Sunday yet in which my dear husband had to preach to just his own family.  That is a blessing!  

We spent last week at family camp and had a blast.  The campground and pavilion are in the middle of Nowhere, North Dakota, and used to be a hang-out for Glen Miller and Guy Lombardo and the likes.  I keep wondering where the people came from to hear them play, because there is just nothing out there but lovely canola fields!  After that it was a county park and a hang-out for wild teenagers.  But for the past 41 years it has been a place for God's people to be strengthened and refreshed spiritually. The Lord blessed our family so much, cementing a recent friendship with this great missionary family to the foreign peoples of Chicago.  I see another trip coming...

*   *   *   *   *

I finished my school order!  Hip! Hip! Hooray!

We have not been scholars at all this summer, not since maybe around March.  It has been a very long break, and the girls are getting tired of being lazy.  I have seen some signs of their minds stirring in the past few days.  Alison is going to take the GED and be officially done with school this year, but she will continue to feed her hunger for knowledge.  She has been working hard teaching herself conversational Hebrew, which is practically useless in the USA in 2011, but we trust God has put this passion into her heart for a good reason.  Who knows what opportunity might present itself?  She is also reading up on all things Israeli, following the Jerusalem Post, watching Israeli talk shows (in Hebrew!), and looking for someone to converse with.  Piano and violin are still in the works, and she will be attempting to rebuild her student base. Maybe I can get her to be a homeschool tutor, too!  Now that would be helpful here!

I stopped at the library last night and found this book on the sale table, almost brand new, for 50 cents:
Amy has had her nose in it ever since I brought it home, save for a few hours of sleeping.  Sadly, her good camera, which was, in fact, on its way out, but still very useable, was accidentally Kevorkianed and suffered a quick, rather than a lingering, death.  (Does that sentence hold a record for the most commas?)  Anyone have a really good late-model digital camera you have no use for?  Maybe you have decided it is too bulky and you have replaced it with a smaller one, and you know that eBay won't bring anything for it, but you can't bear to throw it out?  Amy is a good cause.  She would even pay the shipping on it. :)  Also in her talent repertoire, sewing and crafting.  She has once again broken open the sewing supplies and is in the process of making a sock-monkey-turned-sock-elephant. 

Elisabeth is a budding writer.  This is the girl who needs a stage to complete her.  Her creativity tickles me. A quote from her latest work:
Ben removed a book from his backpack. It was titled, Thoughts of an Alligator.
“What’s that book about?” asked Tom.
“A man who trains an alligator, that later escapes and causes an uproar in the White House.”
Uninterested, Tom put back his head and closed his eyes. Thankful that they had finally found the plane, and now assured that the rest of the trip would be peaceful, he fell asleep.


Emily... is dying to start school!  She will be doing mostly ACE this year, with a bit of Christian Light math thrown in.  I unpacked a box of books the other day, deep in the bottom of which was our Draw-Write-Now series.  I love it when something old becomes new and exciting again. :)  Emily has now created a paper menagerie of giraffes, elephants, and zebras for me find a home for.  I'd take a photo of her excellent zebra to share with you, but the camera is out of reach and I am at the wrong computer, and any other excuse that will do.

Also in the news here, I have been doing some sleuthing for extra-curricular homeschooling activities in our new local area.  Stuff such as speech or drama or orchestra.... nothing we can participate in unless I want to do a lot of driving, and I don't.  So it will either be a quiet year, or we will come up with something else!  In the process I have come in contact with old acquaintances who are still in the general area... maybe more socializing is in the works.

Well, that's our life in bits and pieces, with more to come.  Thank you, all you faithful friends who have been leaving comments in spite of my not reciprocating.  My computer is dead, so my time here is limited!  :(  And, my apologies for the small print.  For some reason, my blog is now ignoring all font and size requests.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

County Fair Time

A funny conversation in our van this evening, about why farmers need to have their corn de-tassled, prompted this repost.  It's not just LA people who need a county fair -- it's transplants from Arizona, too! (But we do know where wool and cashmere come from.)

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