Jumping to Conclusions

Are you sometimes guilty of the faulty thinking habit called ‘Jumping to Conclusions’?

This type of thinking, which causes us lots of stress, occurs when we make hasty, often illogical conclusions based on insufficient evidence.

I indulged in some conclusion jumping last week.

I had had an ultrasound examination on a Friday, and at 9:00 a.m., the following Monday, the nurse telephoned me telling me to come and see my physician for the results.

Because I did not have all the facts, I wrongly concluded that there was something seriously wrong with me ! I accepted my fate, thinking that at my age , I have reached my Biblical life span of three score and ten, and thus I spent part of the day cuddling with Lottie, my little lamb, underneath the weighted blanket we got for Christmas.

The human mind will naturally gravitate to negative thinking first. It must be trained to think positively.

I should have been thankful that the hospital services and the kind nurse were so efficient.

My physician soon told me that my test results were normal.

I would certainly encourage anyone who has had medical tests done, to follow up to get their test results in a timely manner.

My friend Nancy says, ( concerning medical tests), that ‘no news is good news’. But that also is ‘jumping to conclusions’ type of thinking. No news is simply ‘no news.’

As we age, it takes some courage to submit ourselves to medical tests to monitor our health, and then to wait patiently and logically for the results.

May the Lord grant us wisdom and perseverance, and may he keep us from ‘Jumping to Conclusions’

Are You Comfortable?

Are you comfortable when alone ? Some of us enjoy our own company, while others will put up with the company of anyone, even boring, obnoxious people, just to avoid being alone. The reasons for these differences are complex.

A follower of Jesus is never alone. The Lord tells us this in Matthew 28:20. ‘ I am with you always ‘.

Whether or not we are aware of him, the Lord is with us. When we attempt to escape from him, he pursues us. We are his beloved.

We had a snowstorm a few nights ago. My husband was at the clinic. It was dark, and snow and ice had covered the windows.

I was alone, and yet I was strongly aware that I was not alone, for I keenly sensed God’s presence with me in the midst of this cold dark evening.

Let us pray that the Lord will give us all an increasing awareness that He is always with us.

His eye is on the sparrow, and all of the lives of his beloved concern him deeply.

Avoiding Avoidance

Do you sometimes use avoidant behaviours to try to handle stress ?

I stopped my daily weigh-in habit last December 21. It was the ‘season to be jolly,’ when social gluttony and overindulgance is encouraged. I tried to avoid thinking about the scale while feasting.

On January 1, I faced the scale. I had only gained two pounds (.907 kg) !

I quickly went to tell my husband that my weight gain was ‘small’, but he was unimpressed.

He explained that by gaining those two pounds of fat, my heart now had produced 14 miles (22.5 km) of microscopic blood vessels, called capillaries, to support the extra fat.

I was shocked at this, and told him that surely he had exaggerated ! He invited me to seek a second opinion from that dubious Dr. Google.

My husband then invited me to carry a two pound weight for half a kilometer down to the town harbour. By the time I got there, the weight I was carrying felt heavy.

I am now back in the habit of weighing myself every day. My father did this, and maintained the same weight all his life. My father also never ate refined sugar, and always resisted my mother’s fabulous baked treats.

Let us again remind ourselves of the beauty of life and that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I am now working to lose the extra weight I gained during the jolly season.

Pictured is our town harbour, established in 1497.

Worry Much ?

Are you a chronic worrier ? Worrying is learned behaviour, and can be unlearned. Usually someone ‘learns’ this unhealthy thinking pattern from someone in one’s family of origin.

I was not much of a worrier, until several years ago. Some people accuse me of being ‘lazy’, but I resist that label ! Instead, I explain that I have a ‘ Type B,’ easygoing personality.

However, this changed the day our son arrived at our house riding the new racing motorcycle he had purchased for himself. I was aghast ! I examined the extremely powerful bike with its thin smooth tires, and my peace disappeared. Soon my mind was filled with images of accidents, injuries, pain, and a mother’s tears. I understood the feeling of extreme worry then.

The Bible is filled with dozens of verses telling us not to worry. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, does not want his followers to feel anxious.

There are aspects of pride involved in worrying too, since we somehow think that by ‘worrying’ about a situation, we can somehow control it.

What self-inflicted emotional pain we cause ourselves, when we project ourselves into the future, pondering : “what if ?”. Instead, we should stay in the present moment and focus on “what is”.

The verse that helped me when I was in my racing bike worrying state was I Peter 5:7.

The Lord invites us to cast our cares on him, and he will carry them for us. We live in a fishing village, where fishermen cast nets. I could identify with this image, and it helped me. In time, God calmed my worries, but I prayed continually for the safety of my son, and all others who ride motorbikes.

There were no accidents, or mother’s tears .

Three years later, my son sold that fast, flashy bike which had taught me a lesson about the futility of worrying.

May God grant us peace, and an increasing sense of calm, as we begin 2020.

He Had Grandparents Too

Do you find yourself pondering a lot, at this time of year, about Jesus and his family ?

Many of my thoughts are about Mary, how she gave birth to Jesus, and also raised him. I think of her as she fed him, watched him learn to walk, washed his clothes, and did all the things that moms do for their children.

As a grandmother, I also remember that Jesus had grandparents. Mary’s parents were Ann and Joachim. Most protestant Christians are not familiar with them, but they are part of Catholic tradition. We remember that tradition transmitted the faith long before the Bible was written.

I was reading a very interesting post the other day about the book of Hebrews, and I remembered that this book of the Bible narrowly escaped being removed from the Bible by Martin Luther, who discarded other parts of the traditional Catholic Bible.

It has been 12 months since I started blogging.

It has been very satisfying, especially reading your inspirational posts.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about Newfoundland, surely one of the friendliest places on the planet !

It is also my prayer that perhaps I have helped to create a bit more unity amongst everyone.

This is my last blog post of the year.

I wish you all a blessed and holy Christmas Season.

He Knows You Best

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music ? Yes, I know it’s hard to choose just one, since so many of us enjoy lots of music.

I asked my husband what his favourite song was while we were enjoying pancakes and blueberries for breakfast.

He said it was ‘Hotel California’, by the Eagles. I said that this was a confusing song. He agreed, but said he liked it anyway !

I asked him if he knew what my favourite piece of music was. He confessed that he did not.

I told him that it was ‘Ave Verum Corpus’, written by Mozart in 1791. He said that he didn’t know that piece of music.

Later, I showed my husband a YouTube video of ‘Ave Verum Corpus’, sung by the King’s College, Cambridge choir.

He liked it, and said it reminded him of when he was in a boys’ choir !

Even after 45 years of marriage, my husband and I do not know everything about each other. However, God knows all about us, and loves us all intimately. Even before we speak, God already knows what we are going to say. (Psalm 139:4)

Let us rejoice at the coming of the Lord, and let us remember why he came. He came to offer us the free gift of salvation and eternal life.

Temptation

Do you ever wonder why the Lord’s Prayer says : ‘lead us not into temptation’? God does not tempt anyone, as James 1:13 states.

However, God does allow us to get ourselves into certain tempting situations, to let us see how we will respond.

Our little town, like most small places, has a problem with people gossiping. Gossip, here, at the edge of the sea, is known as ‘Scuttlebutt’. There are two main Scuttlebutt centres, and they are divided along gender lines.

Men, wishing to hear the latest ‘scoop’, go to the garage/ auto body shop.

For women, Scuttlebutt is exchanged at the Beauty Salon.

It takes two to indulge in the sin of gossip: the gossiper and the listener.

Although the hair stylist is only a short walk from my house, I quickly learned that by going there, I would need to listen to gossip, while I sat captive in a chair with wet hair and a plastic cape draped around me.

So I made a decision to avoid this centre and drive an hour and a half to a salon in a larger centre.

God rewarded my decision to not be involved in other people’s business.

The salon he led me to is a fantastic place ! It is beautifully decorated, and has flattering lighting and soft music playing. The stylists are talented and highly trained. Clients are offered a warm towel for around the neck, refreshments are offered, and, importantly, conversation is pleasant, and neutral.

The scalp massage offered by my kind stylist is, in itself, worth the drive to this place of soothing pampering. I emerge from the salon happy, relaxed, and thankful that I have not been a victim of listening to business that does not concern me.

We are all unique, and our areas of weakness are known to God. Every time we willingly choose to be strong in a tempting situation, God smiles, and our relationship with the Lord grows closer.

In the Christmas season, many of us will visit a hair salon to prepare for the holidays. Let us pray for hair stylists in their work of helping to care for us.

And may God give us the grace to resist indulging in harmful ‘Scuttlebutt’.