As an EDS Mama who struggles with anxiety, I like to find natural ways to help me unwind. I already have a lemon balm plant in my garden and love to cut the stalks throughout the summer, hang them upside down in my basement, and once they are dry, pull the leaves off and store them in a big mason jar. Lemon balm is known for its calming effects. To make it into a great afternoon or evening tea, simply grab about a tablespoon of the leaves, stuff them into a tea ball and place in a mug. Pour some boiling water over the tea ball and let it rest for about 5 minutes. If I’m really tired, I leave the tea ball in my mug and just go and sit down with it. After a few minutes, I just sip away and don’t bother removing the tea ball. In other words, it does not matter how long you let the tea leaves steep. It’s not rocket science.
Today I picked up a peppermint plant at my local home improvement store all with the purpose of drying the leaves in the same manner for making my beloved peppermint tea. I find it really soothes my stomach after a meal and when I have a headache, I like to relax with a cup of this tea. I’ve been purchasing organic peppermint tea at the store but I figured, why pay a premium price when I can grow it myself?
Both of these teas I mention could be chilled and made into a refreshing summertime treat. I’m going to try that soon this summer. On a funny note, between my EDS daughter and my allergic son, we keep our air conditioning on from about March to late fall, so a hot cup of tea along with slippers sounds good to me!
Lately I’ve weaned myself off coffee for different reasons. I had a horrible headache for days as my body craved this stimulant to which it had become accustomed. You ask what my go-to morning beverage is now? I pour a single packet of stevia in a mug which is a natural sweet herb. Then I squeeze a quarter of a lemon in a separate bowl. I boil some water and pour it over the stevia to dissolve then I add the squeezed lemon in. Some would argue it’s not great on my teeth because of the acid, but I figure it can’t be much worse than the acid in the coffee. Besides, I don’t drink pop which is acidic. In addition, lemon is very alkalizing to the body even though it is an acidic fruit. I also purchased a rosemary plant at the store today. I’m anxious to try cutting a small sprig of it and adding it to my morning lemon water.
I hope this inspires you to nurture yourself, dear one. Nobody really takes care of moms and I know you do a lot to care for your family. Make sure to care of you because a lot of people depend on you! Plus, it just feels really good to take some time out for yourself.
Mother’s Day was so special to me this year. All of my children pampered me in unique ways which made me rejoice in their individuality. God made them each so differently and I love, love, love seeing that lived out in real life! I felt truly loved and although I have failed in many ways, God has healed in many ways. I wanted to share a beautiful wooden sign with you, EDS Mama, which my youngest son made from simple boards he assembled and painted himself. His sister will vouch that he worked all day on it. When she investigated to see where he was that day, he peaked around a corner in the garage to answer her calls, drill in hand. I was not expecting such a large, creative gift from him nor the verse which he incorporated. I have pondered that verse since he gave it to me. As an EDS Mama, it has great meaning and I had to share it with you.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace. For you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 Let me repeat that first part. “I will lie down and sleep in peace.” Wow. I did not rest peacefully for years. I had to keep a listening ear for my daughter practically every night. I had trouble shutting off the miserable pictures of each day’s events. To watch one of your children living in chronic pain leaves vivid memories you wish you could forget. When I awoke each morning my first awareness was this heavy burden of living with EDS. Sleep was not peaceful, but the first part of this verse tells me that at some point, I WILL lie down and I WILL sleep in peace.
“For you alone, Lord.” This whole journey points to Him alone. He gets all the credit and all the glory. It would be easier to go on with my life and focus on me, making up for all the years I lost myself because I was busy being a caregiver. But He changed me. The rest of my days will be spent telling of His goodness and faithfulness. He uses dire circumstances to point the eyes of the world to Himself. As EDS Mamas we get to meet with God alone and witness His works.
“Make me dwell in safety.” No matter what life brings, I am safe. Nothing can happen to me or my loved ones that can truly bring harm. Even in death we can be safe through Jesus Christ. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21. Once I would place my feet on the ground in the morning, it was my routine to make my way to where my daughter was sleeping. I would wait there and watch for the up and down movement of her chest, my assurance that the breath of life was still present. God alone made her dwell in safety. He watched over all my children when I was unable to attend to them all. His goodness never fails.
I sleep much more soundly these days. He has built my faith. God alone. Do you sleep in peace, dear one? You can dwell in safety. I love that word, dwell. It’s where we live each day. Through God Alone.
It is very strange, EDS Mama. When I was in the midst of all the times in and out of hospitals and doctor appointment after doctor appointment, I was tired of it all. I did not want to continue on that path. I really actually hated everything about my life. Eventually, God gave me peace and a boldness (after many years) to share Him with those He sent me to on my daily journey and I grew to enjoy the excitement of seeing God work even in difficult places. Now we are in the place of managing a chronic illness and with a diagnosis now, we are not finding ourselves in the constant hospital setting.
The thing I am struggling with now though is that I actually miss those times. I find myself in a different (somewhat boring) place. I’ve come through the fire and God has taught me so much and I feel like I am still waiting for Him to show me what He wants me to do with it all. But I am realizing it is His plan and His work and I have to wait on Him! I am trying to be faithful with where I feel He leads me, but I do not think I have seen the entire picture of everything He has planned.
If you find yourself in the midst of all the doctor appointments, physical therapy, financial woes, and hospital visits and procedures, I challenge you to soak up those times and look for God at work. Do not leave that time of your life without seeing God work in this very unique place He has you. You have been given a special mission. Before you know it, you, too, may find yourself coming out of the fire and wondering what to do with your life. Strangely enough, you might miss those times like I do. For me, I’m spending some time sitting at the feet of Jesus, waiting for Him to show me what He has planned, what He wants me to do next. I’m praying for peace and contentment in the day to day, but I want to see Jesus work in BIG ways still! He won’t disappoint, that I am sure. But He is still doing a work in my heart, teaching me things I do not know yet. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not.”