Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Today I'm getting my teeth cleaned.

I do it about three times a year.

I am not a fan of the dentist.

I apologize to any of you out there who are in the field of dental health. You do a good work. I'd just rather that you did it on someone else besides me.

My fear of the dentist started with my first visit when I was about 6 years old. Evidently, I had a cavity for each one of those years. Yup, I had six, count 'em, six cavities.

Let me do a little dental math for you –

6 cavities = 6 fillings
6 fillings = Multiple shots of novacaine
Multiple shots of novacaine + a needlephobe = Sharon faints

So, my fear is really just a matter of math, you see.

How about the time when I was getting braces at age 14 – and still had 10 baby teeth just hanging in there?

The dentist said they were all "loose" – and "we can pop them out easily." Which he then proceeded to do, sans novacaine this time. OK, new math lesson –

Pulling teeth + no novacaine = Sharon faints

Do you want the horror story of having my impacted wisdom teeth removed? No, I didn't think so. Suffice it to say that I had to stay for an hour after they were done until my blood pressure returned to normal – it was like 90/50*borderline shock* they said.

Well, yeah – you'd go into shock too if people were digging into your skull like miners searching for a vein of gold. I'm not kidding – I'm pretty sure they wiggled around in my brain. (I think perhaps that's when I lost a little bit of my memory – the part that remembers where you lay down your glasses…just sayin')

Here's the irony of it all.

I have pretty good teeth.

Ask the kind elderly gentleman at the assisted living facility I visit every Friday. His name is Jack. And every week when I greet him, he tells me I have beautiful teeth. Then he asks me to smile, to open my mouth so he can peer at my molars, to bite down so he can check how my teeth mesh. I feel like a horse at an auction.

So, my checkups are accomplishing their purpose.

Maintenance is keeping my teeth strong.

Often as I'm sitting in the hygienist's chair, while Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) scrapes and scours my pearly whites, my mind wanders. And the Lord often speaks to me in my wandering…

Isn't my spiritual life much like going to the dentist?

Hang with me on this one.

Sometimes it can be painful. We can get pockets of decay that have to be taken care of. They have to be removed and filled with something else. Sometimes the only solution is to uproot the sin, and completely extract it. And, once in a while, that sin gets impacted, and surgery is required. Painful surgery that can be a little (or a lot) shocking.

Maintenance is crucial.

Regular check-ups are necessary.

Am I in the Word of God each day? Am I attending church faithfully? Am I praying? Am I keeping a clear conscience? Am I yielding my will to the Lord? Am I loving Him with all my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength?

The end result is worth it.

A beautiful faith that reflects the image of Jesus, and bears good fruit.

A faith that is strong.

So, as I'm sitting in the chair today, I'm going to think about these things. I'm going to take a little spiritual inventory. Where am I at, Lord? Am I where you want me to be – inside and out? Speak to me…

I just know that He will.

(And let me tell you, He's much better to listen to than that corny piped-in Muzak! The 80's live on…)

How are you doing on your spiritual maintenance? Is it time for a check-up?

(I am linked today with Joan at the Grace Cafe. Won't you join us??)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hope all went well today at the dentist with your pearly whites. My daughter has a wisdom tooth extraction this afternoon, as it is, and is none too keen on it, either. She has really been through the ringer with her teeth - something about her mouth shape and shorter roots. You'd never know it to look at her - she is a beauty if I might note - but we've been through much with her teeth - short of fainting.

    Great and humorous post today, with a good spiritual lesson. And, we don't need a dentist's chair to follow through on inquiring of the Lord if we are where we ought to be.


  2. Hi, Sharon:

    Reading your post made me smile today because I had my teeth cleaned this morning (every four months, too) and got a great report. Following that, I had my hair cut and was told my hair cuticles are in great shape. So I did ask myself how is my soul doing and I think pretty good, unless the Holy Spirit tell me otherwise!


  3. Oh I think that is what the Lord has been doing a lot lately...maintenance so there isn't a large problem...but it is also meaning I am setting a lot before Him to hear...not a bad place to be

  4. I have the most legendary case of dental anxiety that you have ever seen. I don't really have a good reason OTHER than that the first time I ever had a cavity, my brother warned me not to let them give me a shot first.... because that shot was realllly painful.

    I loved that little brat regardless.

    As to your words for today, you are spot on. As you know from a recent email, I'm flunking the self examination test right now.

  5. I tried to hang in there with your post, but I'm not a fan of the dentist either. Seriously, another great read before bed, Thanks!

  6. Sharon--your humor is the greatest! Loved this post--and the analogy. But, oh, such fun at the dentist. Isn't that the way most people feel. They'd rather do anything--pick up all the garbage in the neighborhood rather than go to the dentist.
    But that regular check up with the Lord will keep our spiritual lives as shining as regularly maintenance on our teeth :) I'm smiling with my pearly whites!
    Thanks for all the visits. I've been bogged down.


  7. Love your post- funny thing is that I,too, had a visit because of my nasty broken crown! If you didn't know, you should never bite a Blow-Pop, just sayin'!
    Love you, friend and it was great to see you yesterday- I feel like I had my teeth cleaned!

  8. I just had dental work done 2 days mouth still hurts.

    Interesting that you segued dental work into God's work. You made it work! I am impressed. Especially with God...

  9. Oh if you go see Methuselah would you please take a picture for this Texas girl that might not get to see it...reading and hearing about it really made an impression on me...thanks for stopping by...and no, no mood ring for me...leaning heavily on the Holy Spirit

  10. This was written so funny Sharon...I loved it and I love how you tied in a spiritual truth from your dental experiences. About the pup we got...he's a bichon-shipoo or a sheebee. Looks like a chubby slipper.

  11. Sharon - I love how you weave humor into your posts, yet you get the point across. We all need our Spiritual checkups.

    Thanks for linking up today!


  12. (typos sorry, trying again)

    Blessings Sharon... How you can make even the dreaded dentist cleaning or repair work into a tale of humor and spiritual, I will never grasp or be able to do... yet you do it so well, so enjoyable and ever so spiritual tooth (I mean truth)... This is another masterpiece!

    I love your sense of humor but I am far from laughing when it comes to dentist or even teeth cleaning. I have to have the most excruciating, and costly cleaning that removes plaque and goes to the roots. It's so bad that they do it in parts. Costs over a thousand. I need a crown too and another one repaired for over a year. I don't want it done here, but someone insists that I get it done here... so I wait, but I have been looking because many come here just for that... as far as I've seen, I'm quite a bit leery. It does not look very modern or pain free... but back to the wonderful tale at hand.

    First, I hope all went well and was painless. And you are now shining some bright pearlies.

    What a hoot! The Jack guy at the assisted living facility.

    Then, I just love the spiritual tie over or tie in from beginning on "hang in there"... to the Maintenance. Every connection was very impressive... I "brush regularly" but somehow my maintenance allows too much "plaque" build up. So spiritually, I'm in the Word, but is the Word in me... am I living it or have I allowed the "plaque"/hardness in life to hinder me from living the Word? I need a crown and looking for that Spiritual crown... but both take work and much faith. My back tooth is so broken, I'm amazed that the "root" is not exposed... much like the root sin of many of my habitual stumbling in the pit of sin. Neither is desirable, sometimes unavoidable when you don't take care or unsure of the work involved, the safety, the "fixing" repair. So we continue "broken" and holding on to HOPE! My, oh my...

    Looks like I have to sit still and think on this.Waiting to hear what the Lord shared with you, or like the great words of wisdom you wrote over at my place that stirred some Deliverance!

    You are quite the gifted one! I'm so honored to read your words as you are getting polished and ready to shine in a great book... are you ready? Do you have one in mind? Because if each chapter was written like this, you will bless many and make a big difference in the maintenance and change in many lives. Whether you do this through writing or speaking, I know God will use mightily the work that is in you to OPEN WIDE and SHARE! SMILE =0) God is loving this!

    Love, JOY and prayers,

  13. Hope everything turned out well at the dentist! sandie

  14. My pearly whites are clean, clean, clean! And I'm using them to smile every chance I get!

    May we never cease to be growing in our faith - and to spread the wonderfully GOOD News of Jesus and His salvation!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)