Monday, March 14, 2016

HAND ME THE KLEENEX


Achoo!

Gesundheit.

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.

Phew!!

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.

Sneezing.

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 fashionsnap 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)

Sigh.

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.

Achoo.

God bless us.



How are you reacting to frustrating situations and/or pesky people in your life?





Nature's beauty surrounds me.
Achoo.

Let His beauty surround you.
God bless.




"'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)



Linked with:

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 GOODRA 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 HOPGRACE 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!"

41 comments:

  1. great post my friend, love you.

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  2. Sorry about the allergies, Sharon, but I did learn some new info about sneezes here :)

    Great correlation between life's irritants through allergens and our irritants sometimes dealing with our attitudes and other people. Glad we can turn to Jesus for help and that he is always faithful to provide us opportunities to grow and to perhaps not be so touchy around others.

    betty

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  3. I love this, Sharon. Lots of truths to ponder. And I love that view! Oh have mercy ... that is a bit of heaven right there.

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  4. So sorry you are suffering with allergies right now, Sharon, but from that irritant sprang a most inspiring post. (God has that amazing way of working everything for the good of those who love Him.) How do I react to those exasperating people or situations? I have my not-so-proud-of-myself moments, ones Jesus is shaking His head over, but I do know if I immediately turn the frustration over to Him, I experience a calm and a peace only He can give.
    Get well soon!!!
    Blessings!

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  5. This is a great teaching Sharon! I think I'll share it with my teens who love science. Who knew so much about a sneeze! As for the irritants, I'm always working on those. Happy to sit beside you today.

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  6. Love this post, Sharon! I am an allergy sufferer also with the extra bonus of my hearing gets negatively affected. Immunotherapy has been helping (thankfully). Warmer weather has our trees in OH nudging toward buds so my eyes have felt irritated all day today. Happy to be your neighbor at the linkup at What Joy is Mine!

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  7. A rather educating post! :) Thanks, friend. I couldn't help but to grin when I got here... "I think it's because we get ourselves all tangled up in our own selves." Unfortunately so true.

    I hope you are doing well. Miss you but always good to return to your words.

    Ya know I had an On This Day memory recently of us meeting for coffee a year ago. Made me smile. What a lovely time that was.

    Much love.
    xoxo

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  8. I always enjoy your blog posts! You truly have a gift where writing, realness, encouragement and a sense of humor are all wrapped up in a perfectly edifying post!

    I found myself rereading the verse you shared, ""For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13, NLT)" What encouragement that brought me today. Too often I try to do things in my own strength, even obedience to the Father, but alas I fail. But God! It is He that gives the desire and the power to please Him.

    Blessings to you Sharon. :-)

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  9. I did not know that Gesundheit meant "health" or that a sneeze affected our heart in that way! I do get some itchy eyes at this time of year. Sorry about your allergy issues. I'm actually on a pill for my asthma that helps with that issue. Of course your lesson here is, like always, very good and inspirational!

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  10. If only we could take some antibiotics and make the pesky people go away! Ha!

    Well, I have been praying for God to help me see others with His eyes of grace and to respond in love. Some days, I do better than others. :)

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  11. Ouch! I'm ashamed to say sometimes not very godly. Another great application, as always. Did you miss me? I missed you! I guess I need to go back and read last week's post since I missed it while I was away. And I also want to thank you for the interesting information about sneezing :) Hugs!

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  12. Hi Sharon! I had no idea what gesundheit meant. But I sure said it a lot! I'm glad it means something good, like 'health'.
    I sit here after cutting back my Russian Sage plant, which I am definitely allergic to. I cough!
    Hopefully I'll be more tolerant of people who make me itch. Or I don't agree with. Jesus calls me to love everyone. A tall order! But I'll keep working on it, even though I might not want to sometimes.
    Hope those sneezes are a part of your past soon Sharon. No fun...
    Ceil

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  13. I,always learn so much at your blog Sharon. I think I am dealing better with pesky people lately because, well I don't know why for sure. Ever since I started biking, then hiking, and jogging, my disposition has been sunnier. And sunny Michelle is so much better than stormy michelle.

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  14. With us it's the trees blooming, especially cottonwoods. I love the Sermon on the Mount that you refer to. It is one place I like to camp out; seems those words never lose their power to speak to me and remind me how to act, not react so much. Wow, that mountain view you have! Love it.

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  15. Cool! I always wondered why I never sneezed while sleeping. Love this post!

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  16. Very convicting post and loved the analogies! Glad to visit from #coffeeforyourheart.

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  17. Sharon, you can weave just about anything into a great message of Truth. Thank you for being you!

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  18. As a teen I was allergic to fall pollens. They didn't cause sneezing, but swelling to parts of my body. The bottom of my feet so I could not walk, and blotches on my face and arms. Shots helped and eventually I out grew it. sorry about your irritants in your neighborhood. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at Tell me a Story. http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

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  19. I feel your pain, sister! I'm dying out west here! The rains this winter have reeked havoc in this part of the country! It's so bad I'm using lip balm for my poor nose!

    Of course you're right... again. The irritants are non stop in this life. Seems to me the rain is a bit like pride when it comes to spiritual matters; the more we get the more we react. They may not be sneezes, but that pride can get us moving at least a hundred miles an hour.

    Excellent thoughts, Sharon. I'll never have too many reminders...

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  20. It is impossible to love as Christ loved and commanded. He was Divinity, we are not. He could love and forgive His enemies. This might be difficult for us; but it should not stop us from trying.

    Praying is the answer. It is impossible to hate someone you are praying for.

    God bless.

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  21. Ah Sharon ... God bless you!!! I have been thinking about "irritants " all week and your thoughts, spectacular facts and "ouch" spiritual application (love the Sermon on the Mount to reflect on) since I read this back on Mon. but it took me until today to finally get a word in (I think this is the latest I've ever been) ... a fellow allergy/hay fever sufferer ... praying for all of us! (lol) I so appreciate reading your "growth" in "grateful thought" and always want to comment there and forget when I come back here. Sorry for the "leaks" but thank God for the "Hub" --- please stay warm and well; silence is under rated; and of course DOG (God) and Charity were my top favorites!!! And what can I say about "hair" except you're blessed to do that. Wags to Marty and much love to you with prayers ~ Peggy

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    Replies
    1. Oh and I forgot laughter (hahaha Hallelulia-hohoho Hosanna-HeHeHe He saves me!) "Hand me a Kleenex"!

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    2. what a fantastic treat with MB!!! WOW!!! you hang out with the "stars" (and from a mountain too!)

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  22. Sharon,
    What interesting facts about sneezing...Thanks :) Feeling your pain as I also have allergies. Thank God for His grace with allergies and all other irritants.

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  23. I'm one of those who sneeze at the sun. Enjoying reading this today. Hope it gets better.

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  24. Wonderful post!! I used to have horrible allergies but have improved my nutrition through some supplements. Hardly take any allergy meds now :) Love the irritation anology! Thank you such an extensive list of scripture too!!

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  25. Each day does have its irritants. Thanks for reminding us to respond as Christ.

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  26. There is a bit of sniffling going on here as well. Normally my allergies end when cedar season is over, but this year they've lingered on. Since I hurt my back, sneezing has been most unpleasant. I'm working to find the lesson there, as you so wonderfully did in your post. Prayer is my first (and usually last!) line of defense for irritants of the people variety. I hope your body acclimates soon, friend!

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  27. Allergies, yuck, have to deal with those too. Pesky people, you know, have to deal with those too! I generally ignore them whenever I can. I think I like your ideas better. Thanks for linking today at Party at My Place.

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  28. Irritants are everywhere :) I meditate to calm my nerves.
    Thanks for sharing with us on Thursday Favorite Things!
    Cheers,
    Jennifer
    http://awellstyledlife.com

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  29. Oh, my! I came across some severe irritants yesterday, and though I may not have shown much visible sign on the outside of how much they tested me, I sure was struggling on the inside. I felt so perturbed, and I just really had to turn to the Lord for help. I have been thinking about the difference between reacting and responding. Not sure there is much difference, but there seems be a bit of one. I need to study it and find out. God help me. This post hit a nerve. Thank you for sharing what God placed upon your heart, and God bless!

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  30. Those are great trivia. But personally, even when knowing these, I still don't say God bless you to the person who sneezes. Is that weird or impolite? Hope not.:P

    I agree about the irritants in our lives. Thank God for being the best relief to any irritants there is. :)

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  31. If this isn't the truth! Thank you for sharing your excellent encouragement with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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  32. i learned a lot about a simple sneeze which is not so simple afterall. I love how you tied it all into Spiritual Truths to apply to your life.

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  33. So much to learn from this post. And yes, we are dealing with pesky allergies over hear as well. Thank you for sharing great facts about the sneeze. Have a blessed week.

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  34. Did you know that when you're standing/sitting up, you only use 2/3 of your lung capacity? When you lie down, you use the remaining 1/3? I found that out from my dr. when I was in the hospital with pneumonia:) I did quite a bit of sneezing - and there were lots of things to be irritated with. You are so right - it's a choice to how we react to irritants - choosing love, kindness and joy - and all the fruits are just that - choices. Some days, I do a better job making good choices! Blessings to you Sharon. Hope your allergies aren't irritating this season!

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  35. Sharon, I hope you feel better soon! The irritants in our lives are not as easy to deal with as sneezing. Although I wish sneezing would rid us of being irritate do. Thanks for the good news that Jesus will give us the desire to let go of the irritants and die to ourselves!

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  36. Allergies are so tough - I hope you feel better soon.

    I loved your allergy facts! So very interesting.

    The scriptures you shared really convicted me. Especially Matthew 5:21-22. I have been irritable lately. I need to stop, repent, and move forward.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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  37. I sneeze all the time... seasonal allergies are no fun... and the irritants of life... what a great analogy. Thank you for sharing with #theCozyReadingSpot

    Hope to see you again tomorrow!

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  38. Awesome post, Sharon! Loved the correlation to how we act towards others like the irritants of allergies. My oldest is having a hard time as well with everything blooming. Hope your allergies get better soon. It is no fun. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

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"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.)