Yes, it is allergy season.
And when you live up in the mountains, in the middle of a forest, surrounded by dirt, you're gonna do some sneezing!
Some trivia tidbits:
Did you know that "gesundheit" in German means "health"?
And why do we sometimes say, "God bless you," after a person sneezes?
The practice of blessing someone who sneezes dates as far back as AD 77, although it is far older than most specific explanations can account for. Some have offered an explanation suggesting that people once held the belief that a person's soul could be thrown from their body when they sneezed, and sneezing would open the body to invasion by the devil or evil spirits.
Other folklore suggests that sneezing was the body's effort to force out an invading evil presence. In these cases, "God bless you" or "bless you" is used as a sort of shield against evil. In the past, some people may have thought that the heart stops beating during a sneeze, and that the phrase "God bless you" encourages the heart to continue beating. (From Wikipedia)
So hey, does your heart actually stop beating?
No, but it changes.
When you sneeze, because your chest contracts, the pressure inside your body momentarily increases. This will decrease the blood flow back to the heart. The heart compensates for this by changing its regular heartbeat momentarily to adjust. However, the electrical activity of the heart does not stop during the sneeze.
Some more fun information?!
Sneezes travel about 100 mph! And a single sneeze can send around 100,000 germs into the air! (Let's cover our mouths, people…)
Plucking your eyebrows may make you sneeze because it stimulates a nerve that supplies your nasal passages.
You don't sneeze in your sleep, as sneezing nerves also go to sleep. (Evidently, coughing nerves are not quite so polite…)
Bright sunlight makes 1 out of 3 people sneeze, and it's actually an inherited trait.
Iguanas sneeze more often and more productively than any other animal. (So, though you might give a mouse a cookie, please hand an iguana a Kleenex).
And speaking of Kleenex, that word is actually called a genericized trademark (or proprietary eponym) – which is a trademark or brand name that has become the generic name for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service (usually against the intentions of the trademark's holder!)
Some other examples: Xerox, Thermos, Legos, Dry Ice, Flip Phone, Linoleum. (Can you think of any others?)
But I digress.
Yes, I've been doing that a lot lately.
And the ill effects of allergies don't stop there.
I've got itchy, irritated eyes. My nose is stuffy and my throat is scratchy. I have sinus pressure and headache pain. I'm coughing, and exertion makes me breathe harder than normal.
Yup, I'm a hot mess.
But why on earth am I in this physical state?
Sure, I might blame the dirt, or the trees, or the pollen – but in truth, most allergens are harmless.
What really causes allergic reactions is one's own immune system, a result of what the body does when it feels threatened or invaded. Mistaking innocuous allergens for a serious threat, the body attacks them in a misguided assault.
Yes, allergy season is a difficult time.
And my body does indeed react!
But how about other *irritants* in life?
Pesky people, frustrating situations, aggravating problems, broken-down appliances and cars, snarled traffic jams, incessant bills…this list could go on and on, and I'm sure you could easily add your own *irritants*.
I don't know about you, but I'm chagrined to say that my feelings, my thoughts, my words, my spirit also react to these.
How quick I am to have an immediate response to innocuous irritants.
And all too often I react in overblown fashion to the smallest things.
Are you like me?
Why are we so touchy sometimes?
I think it's because we get ourselves all tangled up in our own selves.
We view the world through our own glasses, and we take things too personally.
We all have that human tendency to be vulnerable in areas that touch on how we define ourselves. And if we perceive an "invasion" on our own personal turf, we quickly react.
More often than not, in poor fashion – snap judgments, ill-conceived words, flashes of anger, acts of revenge.
This is not how we are called to act as followers of Christ.
In fact, Jesus was rather scandalous in what He had to say:
"'You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.'" (Matthew 5:21-22, NIV)
"'You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.'" (Matthew 5:38-39, NIV)
"'You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.'" (Matthew 5:43-45, NIV)
Jesus said all of these things in the Sermon on the Mount.
Can you picture yourself there, sitting among the throngs of people?
Can you imagine hearing these words?
What would you have thought?
Truth be told, my reaction then would probably be much the same as it is now.
"Lord, of course I would never murder anyone. But how can You possibly say that being angry is the same thing?"
"Lord, of course I would never take someone's eye or tooth. But how can You possibly ask me to roll over and take it when someone has done me wrong?"
"Lord, of course I make every effort to love those around me. But how can You possibly ask me to love those who put me down, or attack me, or actively persecute me?"
"Lord, how can I possibly do these things, especially when I don't want to?"
And what might Jesus say to me about that?
"'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'" (Matthew 19:26, NLT)
I thought He might say something like that.
But truly, if you really ponder it, at the base of everything that Jesus calls us to do, is His entreaty to lay down our desires, our wills, our lives, at His feet.
He asks us to untangle ourselves from our own selves.
To yield, surrender, to give up our own rights – to die to self – and to take up His cross instead.
Oh, discipleship is hard…and costly.
But even in this, we don't do it alone.
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13, NLT)
We can't WANT to without Him.
We can't ACCOMPLISH it without Him.
Irritants will always be there.
Bothering us, aggravating us, exasperating us, distressing us, annoying us – constantly poking at our selves.
How we react is up to us…
And as followers of Jesus, we are called to do as He would do.
God bless us.
How are you reacting to frustrating situations and/or pesky people in your life?
Nature's beauty surrounds me.
Let His beauty surround you.
"'If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.'" (Matthew 6:14-15, NLT)
"'Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.'" (Matthew 7:1-2, NIV)
"'Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.'" (Luke 6:37, NLT)
"'Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.'" (Matthew 11:25, NASB)
"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
(Ephesians 4:31-32, NASB)
"Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others."
(Colossians 3:13, NLT)
"'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.'" (Matthew 5:7, ESV)
"A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense." (Proverbs 19:11, NIV)
"Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly." (Proverbs 14:29, NIV)
"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools." (Ecclesiastes 7:9, NIV)
"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires." (James 1:19-20, NLT)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh…" (Galatians 5:22-23, KJV)
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (Galatians 5:25, KJV)
SHARING HIS BEAUTY, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, MONDAY OF MANY BLESSINGS, THANK GOODNESS IT'S MONDAY, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, MAKING YOUR HOME SING MONDAY, MUSING MONDAYS, MODEST MONDAY, INSPIRE ME MONDAY, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE LINKUP, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, RA RA LINKUP, INTENTIONAL TUESDAY, TUESDAY'S RUBIES, TELL HIS STORY, THE HOMEMAKING PARTY, WORSHIPFUL WEDNESDAY, WISE WOMAN, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, WEDDED WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, PARTY AT MY PLACE, SHINE BLOG HOP, GRACE AT HOME, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, GRACE & TRUTH, TGI SATURDAYS, DANCE WITH JESUS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, & FAITH, WEEKEND WIND DOWN PARTY, WEEKEND WHISPERS, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"