Thursday, 29 June 2017

OUR VIA DOLOROSA



A physician spoke about fibromyalgia groups and for the most part, I have to agree with him...

"The doctor said I should NOT to go to any fibromyalgia support groups, he said they are extremely depressing and so negative,he said that is one reason folks don't get well, instead of being positive,all they do is promote negativity. He said they must have been invented by a person who wanted sympathy and it caught on."

I have seen some groups like that but unless Christ is central the group will be just like that... instead of negativity, we have hope in our Saviour. We comfort each other and bear each other's burdens so as to fulfil the law of Christ. Our focus is on helping each other as well as ourselves.. and we look to Jesus daily for our strength and point each other to Him. God knows, this path we walk is so hard for each of us... but we do not give up even though our steps may falter....
Isn't it normal to want some comfort and company, which I suppose could be seen by many to be a plea for sympathy... and is it so wrong to have sympathy for someone who is suffering? isn't that the Way of Christ? We are all faltering under the cross that we are bearing on the long journey Home and we have all had our moment in our private Garden of Gethsemane... we are walking the Via Dolorosa every day...

We wipe each others' brow and offer some water.... and we do so in love and empathy... that was taught to us by no other than Jesus Himself... so unless Jesus is focal point of a group, it will be just as this doctor described...

If you are a sick Christian WOMAN you may like my group on FaceBook for encouragement and prayer...

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

LETTING IT GO



I have suffered from panic attacks and anxiety since a young child. Occasionally, they still come to strike me on the heel, and usually they come out of the blue and take me by surprise..

Over the years, I have learned to respond to them by total relaxation which allows the adrenaline to leave my body. To help my Sisters who may be similarly afflicted, I will share how I relax my body and get rid of the adrenaline..
Firstly, try to turn off the phone, TV and other distractions. 

Lie down, preferably on your bed. 
Grind your backside into your mattress until you feel that your lower spine is relaxed. 
Raise your legs and drop them and move your legs until they feel relaxed. 
Lift your arms and let them drop like a dead weight. 
Relax your fingers and shrug your shoulders. 
Roll your head from side to side until it rests comfortably. 
Jut your jaw out and make chewing motions. 
Close your mouth and try not to clench your jaw or grind your teeth.
Take a deep breath, drawing it into the bottom of your lungs.
Slowly let it out like a long sighhhh.
If you notice you are clenching or tightening your muscles or jaw, relax them.
Try to keep the breathing slow and rhythmic and concentrate on that alone.

If you are successful the adrenaline rush should dissipate and mine comes out through my feet. Do not panic if it feels cold. Do not panic if your nose, face or lips feel tingly like pins and needles... it will dissipate with the oxygen levels coming normal again.
If there is no bad pain in your heart but it is palpitating, do not worry... it will normalise as well as soon as you get control of the adrenaline levels..

Many symptoms of panic are brought on purely by an adrenaline rush and most times it will normalise as you relax and breathe regularly and slowly. As I said, I sing to help that. Worship songs are the best because they usually calm the spirit.
It is comforting to know, if you simply can't regulate your breathing that you will not die. You may faint. But panic attacks don't kill you. You just feel like you are dying at the time... until you get control again...

  © Glenys Robyn Hicks

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? Psalm 56:8

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

WHY IT IS SO


I  am probably like most women in that I love looking at paintings of bygone eras.  Anything vintage delights me and I fantasise about living in those eras.   Indeed, some of my favourite books are olde worlde.  

Why is it so? you ask.  I believe it is because we who adore being a woman love the clothes and demeanour that accompanied women of the past. Women were for the most part, demure and feminine. And men treated us with respect.

We had an expectation from childhood that encompassed the ideals of the Titus 2 woman: we were expected to be pure, marry, keep house and become mothers. And for most of us- it was enough. 

Betrothal and marriage was held in high esteem, housework was seen as a worthy occupation, and working outside the home was for the widow or single woman who usually worked her fingers to the bone in a knitting mill or workhouse.  But for the married woman, there was acceptance that her work was not only worthy but could be meted out as circumstances dictated.

Our values were contrary to today's values: We wanted few things in life: a man who loved us, who provided for us a home that didn't allow the rain to enter or the wind to blow through. A reasonably equipped kitchen with a big wood oven that had a kettle which constantly simmered on the back burner and that provided not only nourishment but warmth and enough food to keep one fed and satisfied. And at end of day,  a reasonably comfortable bed.  It was enough to keep us happy.

We expected to bear a child each year, and often a wedding present would consist of a hand carved cradle.   Women rarely aborted their children and accepted each child as meant to be...There were no raised eyebrows and admonitions to limit our family if possible, just a happy contentment and trust in God that He would provide for each need. And for the most part He did!  

Motherhood was held in high regard and not only was there deference towards a heavily pregnant woman, but care that she not only be looked after during her pregnancy, but that she was afforded a lying in time after her confinement. A time where she usually could briefly leave the running of her house to her mother or some other relative, and recover from the rigours of childbirth and bond with her baby...

We had to launder clothes over big coppers, back breaking work, yes, but it was honest toil for our family and we did not see ourselves too high in life to do it.. It was part of what being a housewife was about. It was our lot and mostly we accepted it.

Women were treated with deference to their sensibilities: most gentlemen would ensure that no one used unseemly language or unruly  behaviour in front of them. Men would tip their hat as they passed a lady in the street and offer her a chair at functions where seating was inadequate. We were treated as royalty. And rightly so for a woman of virtue...

Alas, feminism destroyed the romance, esteem, purity and dream of femininity. It changed our world and made the truly feminine woman drown in a sea of masculine attributes which not only overwhelmed her but saw her domestic endeavours looked down upon as  non productive and her a subservient doormat.  A non person. 

Today it is a sad fact that a lot of women who live life according to the ideals of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, are in the minority and suffer great loneliness and even isolation.  Especially when they choose to stay at home and give God control of their womb..especially when they submit to their husbands... especially when they home school their children... especially when they truly follow scriptural principles in godly womanhood.

We live in a world that has rejected biblical living and femininity. Long gone are the ideals of living as a Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 woman. We who strive to go against the tide of popular feministic life-styles and worldly opinion are often bereft of friends in real life who will support us.

We turn to books and blogs and forums for like-minded women and we look at  the pictures and dress of women of yesteryear who had the privilege of living their lives with  the approval of a society that was more genteel and modest than ours today. . Yet, as we spit the ashes of smouldering dreams out of our mouths, we dare to dream that it still could be like that ....

That is, I believe, why it is so...

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 1 Timothy 5:14

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

NOT AN IOTA!


We were celebrating Chris's birthday and had a couple of friends over. The men were watching a truck program which is good for Chris- he needs to have some manly talk occasionally... it must be horrible to just have me to talk to about cars... if it goes, it's a good car, know what I mean?

She edged into it so gently.. "I understand with all your medications and your heart and back problems that you find it hard to lose weight... but don't you know that all that weight's dangerous?... you say that you can't lose weight but what if you keep getting bigger?" Yes indeed.

That's the worry. But in those questions I could see that she hadn't an inkling- not even an iota of an inkling that chronic illness causes weight problems in a lot of cases, and it's simply not possible for most of us to exercise. Short of starving ourselves, we won't lose an ounce. And we can't even starve ourselves, for every medication cautions us to take with or immediately after....FOOD!

I am not the kind of girl to live on a caraway seed. Or celery. And with my metabolism, even that would make me gain weight! Oh that she would understand, but she has no wisdom- not even an iota! 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks 


 Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom! Job 13:5

Thursday, 15 June 2017

DON'T PLAY SHOOT THE SPOUSE!



There is a very old, unpleasant and dangerous game around. In it married couples fling insults and put downs, and indulge in innuendo and other tactics that are designed to bring their spouse down.

This game, apart from being utterly unpleasant for others to watch, is guaranteed to cause resentment between spouses and create general ill feeling toward each other, which will permeate all who come in their circles. The game is called Shoot The Spouse!

Really good contestants in the game will acquire years of practice before finally extinguishing any semblance of respect and love in their affronted spouse. They ideally will have started with snide remarks and sarcasm, gradually building up to full blown insults, punctuated by demands and threats.

The really seasoned contestants will have the ability to silence their spouse with a look or gesture, practiced over many years of tense stand-offs and silent treatment. A truly professional and seasoned player of The Game will be able to successfully reduce a spouse to tears or blows, usually dependant on the spouses’ gender.

Shoot The Spouse is especially deceptive is the fact that neither player initially appears to be playing as the leading player of the game will be such a consummate player as to ensure that the game will be fully established in its unpleasantness and demoralising affect before the targeted spouse is aware that they have been engaged in play.

Once engaged in Shoot The Spouse, it is often difficult to regain the affronted spouses’ affections as mentioned previously. Therefore, this game is especially conducive to lining divorce lawyers’ and marriage counselors’ pockets and the end result is that neither player wins! The makers of Shoot The Spouse advise that only those prepared to lose out on a harmonious home life and happy marriage, should compete in this game.

Shoot The Spouse is not a game for those who desire to keep their marriage vows, or for the kind-hearted, but it is highly recommended for those who love to live life on the edge and gamble with each other’s happiness. Those unwilling to risk or gamble with such high odds of blowing their spouse out of the water and shooting themselves in the foot, are advised not to play Shoot The Spouse!


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband." Ephesians 5:33

Saturday, 10 June 2017

THE LOOK THAT KILLS



In chronic illness, of all we suffer, not being believed by our nearest and dearest is the most painful! It cuts deep like a knife! 

One of my children gives me "the look" and we all know that look- for all types of "misdemeanours" from not making my bed to not being able to walk without my walker to not wearing makeup every day to .... just breathing! It's a look that just devastates me because it says so much! All negative! and that look wipes out all the good I have done for her over the years and still do... it's heart breaking and confidence sapping. 

I feel for you who are receivers of that look because I empathise. It is a look that kills...

LORD, I pray for  all Sisters who battle this "look" and the devastating emotional effects of it. Let us console each other in prayer, in love and in confidence that here we all understand, and we choose to lift up not bring down. Thank You that we can come to You when we feel so devastated emotionally, knowing that what we do or don't do is not as important as who we are. And we are priceless in Your sight. In the mighty Name of Jesus I pray that You console us.... Amen

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Do not despise your mother when she is old.  Proverbs 23:22

Friday, 9 June 2017

WITH ALL THAT SHE IS!



An acquaintance of mine professes to be a Christian. A few years ago over a cuppa at my home, seeking to find some common ground to start a conversation with her, I asked how her relationship with Christ was going. I was taken aback by her vehement reply in which she told me that she hates it when people ask her that...
I just continued sipping my tea and she continued spewing out hateful words about her life being so much better now than when she first became a Christian... she then went on to tell me that she didn't need Christ anymore... I gulped my tea and nearly choked...
I was going to say that one is on dangerous ground when one uses Christ like a celestial Santa Claus. He is not a genie to be called when needed to grant a wish either. But her expression was stern and she was obviously annoyed that I had asked her such an outrageous question!
It was not fear of man that held me back, however, but I felt the Holy Spirit restrain me and instead, He urged me to pray for her. She is only young and no doubt there will be many times when she will find that she indeed does need Christ...
Each time that I meet this young woman, I am checked in the Spirit to keep quiet about God and to pray for her to have a real conversion experience. It will be a joy to hear her say one day that she doesn't know how she could live without Him and that she loves Him with all that she is! 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind..  Matthew 22:37

Thursday, 8 June 2017

WAY BEYOND BLUE



The first time I came across post-natal depression was when my daughter had just given birth to her first child. She was elated with her baby but about a week later she had crying fits that came for no apparent reason. At first we put them down to baby blues. But then came irrational thoughts and feelings. She believed her husband didn’t love her anymore. Feeling ugly, she was sure her husband was having an affair. She believed her mother-in-law didn’t like her and was trying to overtake her baby. None of which was true.

One night when the baby was about 5 weeks old, we were called to her home by her frantic husband- she had packed all hers and the baby’s clothes in the car and was demanding the car keys. We raced to her home and were met by a daughter we had never seen before. Red-faced, unkempt and crying loudly. Fortunately her husband had the foresight to hide the car keys as she was in no fit state to drive anywhere. 
She tried to take the baby out of her crib to take her away, but we stood in front of her so she could not get her. I tried to reason with her but she just kept screaming that she had had enough- her husband didn’t love her or the baby- she was fat and he was certainly seeing someone else. It was heart-breaking to see him in tears too pleading with her to calm down and declaring his love for her. 

Eventually she ran out of voice and strength and collapsed in my arms quite spent. I stroked her hair and her husband came and took her in his arms and comforted her. He was able at last to reason with her and she agreed to see a doctor the next day. We took the car keys with us at his request. Satisfied that the immediate danger was over, we returned home. The next day, my daughter and her husband went to see a doctor who diagnosed post-natal depression. For about 2 months my daughter took anti-depressants and became the loving calm girl we had always known. It was frightening to see what hormones can sometimes do to a woman. 

We were a little apprehensive when she gave birth to her second child. In fact the post-natal depression manifested itself in panic-attacks the first few hours after she gave birth. I notified the midwives about my daughter’s agitation and previous depressions and they sent a doctor to see her. She was put onto medication immediately and was much more relaxed and happy with motherhood. The medications were only needed for about 2 months. I was so glad that I had noticed the signs sooner this time.

I would say to all new mothers or grandmothers that if a depression goes beyond the blue that most of us experience in the first few days after childbirth, a doctor should be consulted. Hormones play a major part in promoting and maintaining pregnancy and lactation, but can sometimes also cause major depression. This can lead to disastrous results if left unattended. If my daughter ever has another child, I will be alert to any mood swings signaling post-natal depression. It should never be underestimated and should be treated promptly when discovered. 

I thank God for medication and a sensible son-in-law. Sometimes we mothers need a little help in getting well when our hormones make our depression soar way beyond a little blue.

Also, to show just how fickle hormones can be my daughter gave birth to her third child with no post-natal depression at all. 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? Psalm 56:8

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

DO YOU ENJOY LIFE?



In a world where there is this ‘dog eat dog’ mentality and everyone from the time they learn to walk is pushed to produce, enjoyment in life has dwindled. It is replaced by an undercurrent of anxiety that diminishes the potential any experience or act has for plain old enjoyment.

How many times have you asked someone if they play a musical instrument? Most times, if the person does play, they will tell you- and then follow it with an apology for their lack of true talent.

The hostess of a tea party may fret over the food she has served you- even though it is the most scrumptious of fare! And the young football player berates himself for the lost goal even though his wonderful efforts helped his team win the game.


We modern-age people have generally lost the art of enjoying life and having fun. Our competitiveness and the constant urging of our peers for perfection makes a lot of people not only anxious but irritable and lacking in confidence. No longer are we satisfied with doing our best- we constantly want to excel and outshine others.

Watching the animal kingdom can teach us to relax and enjoy life. A cat for example, is quite content with being simply, a cat. She lives as a cat, seems to enjoy her lot and seems to be generally content. She does not exhibit traits of anxiety as she tries to outdo the cat next door- she lives her life well according to her ability and does not compare herself to other cats. We see this in all the animal kingdom.

I believe we would do well to take a leaf out of the animal kingdom’s book and learn to be content with our best. It is not necessary to outdo everyone in life. The older a person gets, the more obvious it becomes that there will always be someone smarter or dumber than yourself. We have to learn to do our best and then relax a little.

Jesus Christ died that we might have an abundant and full life. We are to do our best and leave the rest to God. Seeking to outdo and excel others in matters brings us into the sphere of conceit and this causes discontent, envy, jealousies, arguments and strife- the complete opposite of holy living.

I believe that not enjoying one’s life is a sad state to be in and is not God-honouring. Doing one’s best and being content is the path to peace and enjoyment of the life God redeemed for you. Accepting your strengths and weaknesses will help you live a free life. Do you enjoy life?

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ’ Galatians 5:22-23 

Monday, 5 June 2017

RENDERED USELESS THROUGH GOSSIP



You have a problem and you share it with your trusted friend. It's been weighing heavily on you and you just want a sounding board..you know you can trust your friend, for she is a praying Christian.... 

Mulling over your friend's view on your problem, and praying with her, you feel somewhat relieved... as the old proverb goes, "a problem shared is a problem halved" A new perspective has changed the way you think, and a chink of light is coming through a door that has been closed....It seems that your friend has actually confirmed your course of action as being from the LORD. You praise Him for her friendship and wisdom.

Over a short time, you find that your judgement about her has been wrong, because people start passing comments and giving advice about your problem-obviously, they are "in the know". Your friend is a gossip... Over many years as a Christian and counselling both friends and sisters in the LORD, I have been privy to some very delicious gossip. Sometimes I have wanted to share it with someone, but I hold back. Even if it means biting my tongue to keep it quiet...

I hold back because not only do I love my sister in Christ, but I love the LORD. As a confidante, I have a responsibility to keep a confidence just that- something told me in confidence! If I give way to my flesh, I will not only betray my sister, but cause my LORD to be saddened. Counselling or helping is a serious business. I dare not repeat what I have heard, no matter how tantalising!

The LORD hates backbiting, meddling in another's affairs and using prayer as a means to gossip. I would imagine that we have all experienced sharing our hearts, only to find that others come to know of it. It is sad.

What is sad, is that instead of being a trusted servant of the LORD, ministering to other's needs, the gossip is the starter of fires that can't very easily be put out. And in the gossiping, comes hurt and betrayal and worse than that, the inability of the LORD to use you in bringing His Word and help to someone.

Although it hurts to be the recipient of tantalising gossip and not being able to share it, the hurt one experiences as a gossiping Christian would be far worse. You will not be trusted again. Not by people who know you, or the LORD. 

Because I have been a gossip and have seen first hand what gossip can do, I want to be seen as faithful and dependable now by the LORD...and with His help, I will never be rendered useless through gossip.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. Proverbs 20:19

Friday, 2 June 2017

IDEALISTIC OR FAITHFUL?



I was rejoicing in my friend’s engagement. She was sharing her dreams of the future with me and showing me her hope chest. She was very much in love with her fiancĂ© and had everything planned to perfection. We discussed her wedding plans, and our views and ideals on marriage itself. One of the questions that came up was if she would continue to work once the children came, and the appropriation of funds coming into the marriage.

I was delighted to hear that my friend intended to be a stay at home mother once the children were born. Prior to that, they were going to have his money and her money in separate accounts with her keeping a secret account for provision for herself in case of marital problems necessitating her setting up a home for herself and the children. 


I expressed my concern that she should see this as a necessary step when entering into marriage. She responded with saying that one never knew what the future would hold and it was unrealistic to believe that just because she was married, there would be a guarantee of happiness. She intended to be prepared for any event that should arise.I told her that it was foolhardy to enter marriage- (a Christian marriage at that) with one eye on the altar and the other on the divorce court. 

I commented that it seemed to me to be a failing of trust on her part and also that it was in fact laying a foundation of mistrust and deceit in her marriage right from the beginning. Her retort was that I was just being idealistic and that being left without financial security in the event of a marriage failure was not on her agenda. She could not see my point of view so I let it drop- God would have to deal with her heart. I felt saddened by her cynical attitude.


To enter marriage with the view that it may very well end in divorce is a tragic view and a distortion of the covenant view that Christ has for marriage. Marriage is to be built on trust. If there are problems, then they should be worked through. The marriage is already failed in the context of trust if one of the parties has a parachute to use to bail out with when or if the going gets tough. The area of trust has been compromised already by my friend keeping her account secret- she has allowed doubt and deceit to cloud her mind. One cannot enter a covenant with lies and doubts and plans for self preservation instead of trust in God. Not in a Christian marriage.


The whole concept of marriage is built on trust and accountability to each other. I do not think it is idealistic or unrealistic. I think it is a basic principle of marriage that cannot be compromised. Issues of doubt and fear should be ironed out long before the nuptials. For to be double-minded about your commitment in your marriage is to invite trouble and failure. The heart of the faithful is strong- but where there is any weakness in either spouse’s commitment there will be not only lack of trust but lack of blessing.


My prayer is that the LORD will speak to my friend’s heart and give her the commitment and confidence that are hers as she trusts Him and her husband to build and bless their marriage. But first she must let go of the parachute and show herself faithful. Happiness can come only through true commitment and faith.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8

Thursday, 1 June 2017

KEEPING CHRIST IN OUR MARRIAGE

There is a strong correlation to intimacy in marriage going sour and intimacy with God. They say that loss of spiritual intimacy in marriage doesn't usually explode.. it slowly but surely leaks like the air from a tyre. Suddenly it is very flat.

Interestingly, the same thing can happen with our relationship with God. Lack of desire to spend time with Him, or just lack of planning a time to be close to Him and study the Word can cause a spiritual leak and one day you ask in a panic, "Where is God?" You can't feel His presence and in fact you feel far away.

I believe we have to nurture both relationships- our relationship with Christ and our husbands or wives- or sooner or later we are going to feel estranged and panicky because we do not want to feel far from the ones we love the most: God and our spouse. Let's make it our personal goal to keep the intimacy in our most important relationships alive. We will be eternally glad we did.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 3:19
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