A Grave Return

I started to hear my pulse in my ear again.
My skin was itchier than normal.
Hair loss seems to have picked up.
My arms & legs were quivery & weak feeling, like I just woke up from a deep slumber.
My resting heart rate seems higher.
Going up the stairs kind of winds me.
So does singing.
Getting my eyes to focus takes a little more effort in the mornings.
And did I lose 10 lbs in a week?!
What’s this, a resting heart rate of 100 bpm?!

It feels like Graves Disease is back. I’m hyperthyroid at least. And a blood test confirms it.

TSH = 0.01 (normal is 0.27-4.2)
T4  =  64.9 (normal is 10.5-20.0)

The endocrinologist said my T4 is off the charts. I’m discouraged. I had other plans! The antibody was gone! Why is this back? I’m trying to remind myself I was healed once so I can be healed again. Meanwhile, back to meds & food restrictions. Again, right before king crab season. Sigh.

Honesty

Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it.  No ulterior motives.  No hidden meanings.  An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality.  As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.

– Charles Swindoll

“…there will be no need to manipulate others.”

Is that why we don’t speak honestly? And as I think about that…yes. It’s because I want to influence or control or sway…or manipulate the situation in some way. Hmm. But I have also experienced the beauty of honesty. It makes us vulnerable. But it also deepens and crumbles walls in relationships. In an age where people have hundreds of online connections but very few close or intimate friends, deep and barrier-less relationships are gold. Especially in marriage. Especially. In. Marriage.

So, let’s work on being more honest.
(Side note: Being honest doesn’t mean being brutal either…tact and timing can go a long way.)

Question : What is the best Bible translation to read?

(Image not mine)

I did some reading from the Christian Research Institute (this organization is respected, credible, and has been around for a long time) regarding Bible translations and found two articles that shed a lot of insight into this topic which you can read here and here.

Basically there are two goals in Bible translation…literal accuracy (word for word) and meaning accuracy (meaning for meaning) . Most mainstream and widely accepted versions of the Bible are within a range between the two. Generally speaking, if the translations committee is comprised of God-fearing, various denominational, Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic experts, then the translation should be “good”. Watch out for translations done by one person or one denomination or committees who don’t even believe in God because the resulting translation will be skewed towards the interpretation they want to convey. These types of translations are “bad” or “ugly” and the articles above will explain further.

Here is a list of translations from most literal to least:
KJV NKJV ASV NASB ESV NRSV HCSB NET NIV NLT CEV

The KJV is one of the most word-for-word literal translations from when it was translated into English in 1611. The problem with very literal translations is that the meaning behind the words could get confusing or lost considering the day and age of the current reader. Plus an English word from 400 years ago probably has a different context & connotation now. The NIV is more meaning-for-meaning focused but still follows the Greek/Hebrew form. The Message version isn’t a true translation but is one person’s paraphrase of the meaning of the original text…so it’s not included in the list. The problem with paraphrase versions is that it becomes one person’s interpretation which contains bias.

At the end of the day anyone claiming one version to be the “best” is not very credible or has an agenda. Many versions are good but have a slightly different focus when translating. The NIV version is probably middle of the road between literal and interpreted translation and more widely used. Most people prefer or are more comfortable or are more familiar using one particular version over another.

It is recommended that in Bible study you use Bible translations across the spectrum, from most literal focused to more meaning focused, in order to have a richer understanding of the scriptures.

Overflow

(Image not mine)

No one makes you swear.
No one makes you lash out.
No one makes you flip the bird.
No one makes you hit/kick/punch/slap.

No one makes you be a jerk or a mean/rude/spiteful/vengeful person. You just have meanness inside you to begin with. We all do. Sometimes a strong outburst is perfectly appropriate because a real, actual injustice has taken place. But most of the time, it’s the overflow of what’s already in our hearts. Think of ourselves like a soaking sponge. Life circumstances apply the squeeze or pressure to the sponge. Whatever oozes out was already there in the first place.

“When someone bumps into me, what overflows out of me reveals what’s in me ”
– John Ortburg, The Me I Want to Be

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
– Luke 6:45

Which is challenging because I want to say “Well, you did ____ first so I reacted.” Turns out I’ve just got rotten bits inside me. I need renewal and transformation from within and this is only possible through a new life in Christ. And then, I need to “guard my heart, for everything I do flows from it” (Pr 4:23). Do I have good and godly influences? Am I filling my thoughts with things that please God? 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
– Philippians 4:8

THEN, the overflow of my heart will be good.
And I’ll be a more pleasant person to be around. =)

Your kids are supposed to leave you…

…your spouse isn’t.

What’s more common though are parents putting all the attention and energy and focus and devotion on the kids to the neglect of their spouse. And usually there are also some unresolved issues buried in there that made taking care of the kids an excuse to not deal with the issues.

As I caught up with various friends and the topic of family comes up, I realized I’ve heard and witnessed this in the parents of my friends and even in family. It wasn’t apparent before. Maybe because we were young, self absorbed, looking forward to our own shiny, promising future. Even if they fought we probably just rolled out eyes, plug in the ear buds, or close the door in our room. But now that we’ve left the nest or see that the nest is nearly empty, we can see that Mom and Dad seem like strangers to each other. The only conversation, actually I can’t even call it that…the only interaction is in verbal reminders of pick up/drop off schedules or instructions for some task. Or passive criticism. Or outright complaints.

Not exactly the model of marriage we kids get excited about when we consider marriage for ourselves. My parents have been through rough valleys but thankfully they’ve worked it out. They can argue like an old married couple while making a pot of soup for me but they hold hands when they walk, or even when they drive together. And thirty-six years of marriage later, they still giggle. That makes me excited about marriage.

Maybe what’s also helped my generation identify common marriage issues is the plethora of resources available to help couples identify and work through destructive habits or reactions in their relationship. As well as how build each other up or how to show love & appreciation in ways your spouse will receive as meaningful.

I read this somewhere, and I paraphrase, that if you focus on being a great parent, you’re likely a bad spouse. Being a bad spouse means your marriage suffers, which means your children suffer. But focusing on being a good spouse first will build a good marriage. A good marriage enables you to be a good parent.

This idea has stuck in my head such that I tell Nessness “Daddy’s my first priority” even if it’s only to remind myself.

Anyone else relate or have another perspective?