Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The incredible world of nasal baths

It's amazing what opportunities there are for those who happen upon them.

My most recent amazing opportunity has been the discovery of Saline Nasal Irrigation (SNI), or simply 'nasal baths'.

According to Wikipedia, SNI has become widely accepted as a home remedy to relieve conditions such as allergies (such as hay fever), colds and mild sinus infections. Preliminary research indicates that SNI could also be an effective treatment for allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis.

So far so good. As a chronic allergy sufferer (hay fever, dust mites, mold spores, children) I seem to constantly be sneezing and blowing my nose. Inevitably, all the gunk gets tired of simply clogging up my sinuses and decides to invade my lungs as well, so I end up with a nasty cough that lasts for weeks.

A friend of mine suggested I try a nasal bath to help with the allergies.

"A what?" I asked.

"A nasal bath," she repeated. "It's all the rage. Oprah Winfrey even had it demonstrated live on her show."

Well that sold me on it! With Oprah's stamp of approval, it surely must be a good thing.

So I Googled 'nasal bath' and sure enough, there it was. A popular home remedy for allergies and chronic sinusitis.

Great! So how do I get started?

Apparently a nasal bath requires the use of a neti pot which is a miniature teapot-looking thing. You mix up a saline solution, put it into the neti pot and then pour it through the nasal passages.

How do you do that, I wondered. Turns out you stick the spout of the neti pot into a nostril, turn your head to the side and let the water sluice it's way through the sinuses and come out the other nostril!

Gross!!! Are you serious?

Oh yes, they were very serious, and there are lots of videos available to see for yourself, if you don't believe me.

Now, I understand that this whole neti pot thing is probably very old news to most of you. But you have to remember I live in the middle of Africa, and news gets here very slowly...even with internet access.

So this information was front-page headlines for me. And I knew I had to try it.

But I had no neti pot. And the nearest Bed, Bath and Beyond is several thousand miles away. But improvisation is the key to survival out here, and sure enough, after digging around in my kids' bedroom for a while, I found what I was looking for....

...the doll house teapot. YES!!!
Thank you, Keziah!

Unfortunately, the doll house teapot is round and chunky and not at all slim and pointy like the real neti pot. And do have to get that spout right up there in the nostril for it to work.

So after a bit of tugging and shoving, I managed to get it up there...started pouring, and like magic that saline solution started dribbling out the other side! How cool is that!

You do have to remember to breathe out of your mouth, though, or you end up coughing and choking on salt water....not that I had that problem, I'm sure.

So for any of you allergy sufferers, or just plain neat freaks who like everything as immaculate as possible, give the neti pot nasal bath a try! You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

His mercies are new every morning

A week ago today I was in quite a state....sick, depressed, unmotivated. I was scheduled to teach starting Monday for a week on the Discipleship Training School. Topic: the Holy Spirit.

I'd started loading up on vitamins and lemsips, and slathered my chest and throat with Vick's. I had a scarf wrapped around my neck and was huddled up in bed with my teaching notes, propped up with 3 pillows, sucking on Strepsils and trying not to cough. Let's just say it: pathetic.

I looked pathetic,
I felt pathetic,
and I was within seconds of calling Bosco and asking him to get another teacher.

And then Sunday afternoon, I started losing my voice.

Great. Just what I needed.

But then I realized...if God really wants me to teach, it's totally up to Him now, 'cuz I can hardly even speak.

Monday morning rolled around and I tested my voice...cracky and scruffy but audible. So I got myself organized and went to class. That first session was a tough one, but as the morning went on I felt lighter, happier. Physically, though, it shattered me...I went home, took 2 ibuprofen and slept for 2 hours.

The rest of the week was more of the same, with every day God giving me just enough strength to get through the teachings, and although it was physically draining, I felt a breakthrough spiritually and emotionally.

Hope had returned.

And then Thursday evening, on my way to the dining hall for supper, I was blessed with the most beautiful double rainbow arching it's way across the side seemed to disappear right into the classroom where I'd spent the week teaching. My heart just filled with joy and awe at the majesty of God.

The rainbow reminded me that God's promises never fail, and He doesn't delay in keeping them.

But I also had my part to play...

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what He has promised.
For in just a very little while,
'He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.'
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,
but of those who believe and are saved.
Heb 10: 35-39

It's another Sunday, today...this one is bright and shiny. I'm making cookies, listening to music and thinking, 'Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.'

I don't want to be one of those who shrink back and are destroyed...I want to be one who perseveres and does the will of God, especially when I'm sick and depressed. I don't want to be a fair weather Christian, but one who believes and is saved, no matter what the circumstances are around me.

But only with God's thing I've relearned this week...I can't do it on my own. I don't want to do it on my own. I want to live my life led by the Spirit and empowered to do God's will as I live beyond my own abilities. It's a scary place to be, but He is worthy.