Advanced Preparation

As I write this blog post, Hurricane Harvey is barreling into our country (Texas). The news footage is filled with scary scenes of people either fleeing for their lives or else digging in and trying to weather the storm. Either way, having prepared in advance could make the difference between life and death. This thought had me contemplating some ways we can all be better prepared for the future.

Create a disaster plan. – Think through what would be most important if you had to leave your house suddenly, possibly never to return. What would be reasonable to take with you? It is prudent to have a backpack stocked with some food and water. It is also wise to have important documents copied and kept in this pack. I’m sure we’d like to take it all, but you may only have time to grab what is handy and reasonable to carry. What if you were confined to your house for a lengthy time? Be sure to have water, canned goods, medications, and batteries in enough supply that you could survive for at least a few weeks without leaving your home.

Take a CPR class. – Generally this suggestion won’t save your life, but it could be the difference between life and death for someone you love or even a stranger that is in medical distress. Check out various places in your community that may be offering training – the library, fire station, or churches sometimes offer classes. There are even online classes, although I would strongly recommend taking a physical class at least the first time so that you can practice chest compressions on a CPR dummy. Even after taking a class, you may feel fearful to put your knowledge into action. You may not move through the steps in perfect form, but at least you’ll have a better idea of what you should do. How horrible to have to stand around helplessly because you’ve never taken a class and have no idea what to do.

Carry a medical card in your wallet or purse. – I work in the healthcare field. Part of my job is to update people’s medical histories. When I ask patients what medications they are taking, more often than not I get incomplete lists. Some people know what condition they need to take medication for, but cannot remember the name of the drugs they are treating it with. I’ve actually had patients pull a pill out of their pocket and show me, like I’d have any clue what it is. I’ve encountered a number of men who answer my question with a shrug and say, “I don’t know what I’m on. I just take the pills that my wife sets out for me!” I’ve also had people tell me one or two medications and then end with the statement, “I think that’s all you need to know!” All medications have potential for cross reactions, including supplements. Non-prescription medications do count, as even an 81 mg aspirin can change bleeding time. My best advice is to make up a medical card that you can carry with you and update it frequently. You can alternatively keep a list on your smartphone or even take a picture of the prescription bottles. If you ever are in a serious health crisis, you may be too flustered to think through what you are taking or you may not even be able to talk. You can write out your medical info on an index card or you can create one online. I just made one up for free through CVS Pharmacy – https://www.cvs.com/drug/wallet-card-report.

Have an eternal plan. – Finally, as a Christian, I would be remiss to not advise that you think beyond this life. Although most people’s bodies don’t live more than 100 years on this earth, the Bible tells us our souls live forever (John 5:28,29; Luke 12:20; Matthew 16:25,26). What good does preparing for temporary disasters do, if you aren’t prepared to meet your God (Amos 4:12)? We may suffer setbacks for not preparing for natural disasters or health emergencies. Our lack of preparation could ultimately result in our or someone else’s death, but failing to face the consequences of our sin will assuredly send us to a place of torment that we’ll never be able to escape (Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31). When a hurricane threatens to destroy us, authorities tell us to flee to safety. When our sin threatens to destroy us, God (our ultimate authority) tells us to flee to the safety of His own Son (John 3:16-18; Romans 8:1). We don’t have the resources God requires to escape judgment. It is only through the gift of life that God’s Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, provides for us that we can ever be safe from the fury of the wrath of God (Romans 1:18; Proverbs 11:4; Psalm 2:12; Ephesians 5:6; John 3:36). Take heed! Don’t wait for another day!

Breaking News on the Blog: On September 5, Maturing With Grace will celebrate a year since my first blog post was published. It has definitely been a year of learning. It has opened this old mind to an area of the internet that I had no idea existed just a short time ago. I’ve had some fun adventures through gathering material for articles and it has pressed me into trying some activities that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It has made me search God’s Word for truths to convey, not only to my readers, but to the edification of my own soul. It has been fraught with difficulties, as I’ve had to try to keep up with the demands of weekly postings. Each blog post that I’ve written has behind it hours and days of research. My sweet husband has had to put up with me pouring over the computer for hours each week, all the while neglecting time that I could be spending with him. He has been with me on many of the adventures that I’ve later written about. It would be minimizing the sacrifices he has made to say that this last year has affected him too. I have had frustrating times trying to correct images that have resisted being upright and finding html codes that would create a seemingly simple box around a paragraph. I appreciate you readers who have stuck it out with me through the thick and the thin. Thank you for weeding through the grammatical errors to get to an article that may have helped your insomnia. Although my solid readership was only about a dozen or so people, I found it interesting that along the way people from all over the world have stopped by briefly (Canada, UK, China, Philippines, India, Australia, and Brazil – in descending order). I am starting into a demanding work schedule that will occupy much of my time over the next couple months. I have decided to take a leave of absence from blogging at this time. During my hiatus, I will examine whether it would be better to take it up again or lay it to rest permanently. I have gone ahead and renewed my domain name (maturingwithgrace.com) so that I have an option to use it in the future. Again, thank you all for taking this journey by my side and supporting me along the way. You are welcome to contact me either publicly by commenting on my blog or privately at heidi@maturingwithgrace.com.

God’s blessings!

Walking Smart with Walking Poles

Good Morning!

Tomorrow, April 5, is National Walking Day.  We all have heard that walking is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to put exercise into our daily lives.  Today I’m going to tell you one way you can raise your calorie burning potential by as much as 48% plus maintain good posture and balance while walking in your neighborhood.  Make sure you read to the end of this post to see an offer created just for my readers!  Disclaimer:  I was provided a free product in return for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Last fall my husband and I were taking a walk in a local park.  As we were enjoying the beauty, we noticed a man going in the opposite direction who was walking with some walking poles.  We looked curiously at him and at the poles, wondering exactly what he was doing.  Seeing our interest, he stopped and explained that he was walking regularly with these poles in preparation to walk the Appalachian Trail. Continue reading

man with diabetes sign

The Silent Dangers of Diabetes

Today, March 28th, is American Diabetes Alert Day.  I am dedicating this blog post to alerting people to the facts of this disease, especially to Type 2 Diabetes.

I confess that when I was younger I knew little to nothing about the disease called diabetes.  My awareness really began because a friend of mine discovered she had it.  Besides being a friend, this lady was also a dental patient who I took care of.  In observing this woman, I would have never suspected that she’d be diagnosed with diabetes.  The biggest misconception I had was that all diabetics are overweight.  My friend was a slim, older lady.  If anything, she needed to put on a few pounds!  However, from a dental perspective, I knew that something was wrong.  As I continued to see her for dental cleanings, her periodontal (gum) condition steadily deteriorated.  That, plus the fact that she had a really high rate of decay, made me suspect she was in a different category from my other patients.  At first I thought the problem was poor nutrition.  She admitted to eating a limited variety of foods and not taking vitamins.  I figured that possibly she was really suffering from a lack of vitamin C and recommended she both add citrus fruits to her diet and start taking a good multivitamin.  I also stressed that she really needed to step up her oral hygiene and I scheduled more frequent cleanings at our office for her. Continue reading

It can’t be morning already!

You hear that dreadful noise coming through your dream.  That constant and annoying sound that just keeps going on and on.  You struggle to make sense of the repetition and slowly your mind sharpens to the point that you can make out that the irritation is your alarm clock going off.  You reach an arm out from under your warm cocoon and are startled by the frigid air.  Fumbling around, you finally locate the snooze button and quickly draw your hand back under the protection of the warm covers.  You snuggle back down into your comfortably warm cloud and float back into the world of tranquility.  You are just getting back to your pleasant dream when the peace is broken by that blaring noise again.  You repeat this process for the next thirty minutes in nine minute intervals before you finally  yield to the electronic pest.

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New Year – Body Control




Hello again – glad you’re still with me for week three of my New Year blog posts.  This week I felt like I should talk about taking care of our bodies and keeping them under control.  The trouble is, I have no expertise in this area.  If I wasn’t so new at blogging and had more connections, this would definitely be a time I would have a ‘guest blogger’ take over.  I could learn a lot myself!  Instead of telling you what I’m doing to help my body, let me tell you what I should be doing.

I should be exercising.  During the warmer months, I definitely am better at this.  The trouble is, it is incidental exercise.  My husband and I enjoy bicycling and hiking in parks.  We like to walk around the nearby neighborhoods.  We are having fun doing the activity and exercise is just a by-product.  The trouble comes in when it is too hot, too cold, rainy, or icy.  Then we don’t get outside.  If I were more dedicated to movement for its own sake, I would find a way.  We have a treadmill in the basement, but I have come up with countless excuses why I don’t want to use it – the basement isn’t finished, I have no secure way to keep my iPad in place to distract me, I have almost fallen off multiple times….You get the picture and while you’re getting it, imagine an out-of-shape middle aged woman sitting on her comfy couch motionless (unless you count the hand to mouth movement)!  I must say that it did help when I listened to downloaded podcasts/Ted Talks while I was walking.  If the subject didn’t keep me distracted, balancing my iPad did.  If the topic was too interesting, I’d find myself slowing down until I was in danger of catapulting off the end.  Last year I tried walking outside even when it was icy by using crampons on my shoes.  This is a test of faith when your mind is telling you, “Don’t go there.  You’ll slip!” and you know your metal spikes should hold you upright.

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New Year – Menu Planning




Hey everyone, it’s week two of my five week series on New Year’s Resolutions. Last week I wrote about the importance of implementing Bible reading into your daily routine. I’ve decided to mix up the last four weekly posts and not bring them up in any particular order.

This week my subject is menu planning.  Now, I suspect that some of you have the opinion that menu planning is too time consuming, too complex, or maybe too boring.  Your visualization of planning meals is something along this line:

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Do you floss?

Floss question




Lay back, close your eyes, and imagine the following scenario with me…

You are in the dentist office. Yes, it’s that time again – your six month’s appointment to get your teeth cleaned. You try to get as comfortable as you can in a chair that is tipped back just far enough that everything in your pockets threatens to slide out. The hygienist starts scraping away at build-up that is attached like cement. Each taste of blood reminds you that you should have been better about your oral care.

Then it comes…the question that seems stuck in time, unable to evolve with advancing technology. “Do you floss?”, she asks, peering down at you with her specialty glasses that magnify everything, including your squirm. Continue reading