Giving Thanks

As we in the United States celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s remember people who can’t celebrate at home with their friends and family-

Flash mobs usually involve singing but this one dances.  It is a “flashwaltz” which happened in a hospital (after all, this is a health blog) .

Music students played The Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky at the Hadassah Hospital.

As we in the United States celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s remember people who can’t celebrate at home with their friends and family-

  • people in hospitals and nursing homes
  • those serving in the military
  • those who work today to keep the rest of us safe- police, firefighters, medical professionals, transportation workers

 

The Waltz of the Flowers  is available at Amazon

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sharing the HEART of thankfulness today and always

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

What is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is one of several “holidays”, or more correctly holy days that Christians “celebrate”, meaning observe, in the weeks before Easter which we call Lent.

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Jesus Enters Jerusalem
(Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-38; John 12.12-19)

The prophet Zechariah had said 

“Announce to the people
of Jerusalem:
‘Your king is coming to you!
He is humble
and rides on a donkey.
He comes on the colt
of a donkey.’ ”

The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on.

Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees. Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting,

Hooray for the Son of David!
God bless the one who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Hooray for God
in heaven above!”

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, “Who can this be?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew21 CEV

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

© 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.


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The “holidays” of Lent

Palm Sunday is one of several “holidays”, or more correctly holy days that Christians “celebrate”, meaning observe, in the weeks before Easter which we call Lent.

Lent starts with the well known Fat Tuesday-Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday.

Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, related in the story above. At my church on Palm Sunday, the preschool age children march into the auditorium waving palm branches and sing a song for us. The parents and grandparents sit up front, proudly taking pictures and video. It’s a day to celebrate before we observe solemn sad days before the week is over.

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sharing the HEART of health

FAITH LOVE HOPE- words created with letter tiles
These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

New Year’s Resolutions Approved by Grandmas

I’m a stickler for definitions so I checked to see what “resolution” means. It is a “firm determination to do something” or the “act of solving a problem.”

With people living such long lives now, most of us will spend a large portion of it as grandparents, even great-grandparents. But today’s grandmothers aren’t just sitting in rocking chairs knitting.

checkerboard between 2 rocking chairs

Modern grandmothers do everything. They run businesses and run for office.

There are grandmothers in Congress and on the Supreme Court.

Grandmothers run marathons, teach yoga, and compete in ballroom dancing (like me). 

Some retire from long successful careers and some start new careers.

And some grandmothers write blogs.

New Year's resolutions approved by grandmas

 

 

 

 

  These grandmothers’ blogs cover a variety of subjects

home,marriage, family, travel, cooking, fitness, retirement, faith, genealogy, crafts, gardening, books, health, DIY, and of course grandchildren.

find hidden opportunities hidden in each new day
Michael Josephson-ethics law professor– affiliate link 

 

 

 

2019 New Year’s Resolutions

Several of the other grandmother bloggers I know shared their new year’s resolutions online. Here is what I wrote-

I’m a stickler for definitions so I checked to see what “resolution” means. It is a “firm determination to do something” or the “act of solving a problem.”

So I don’t do New Year’s resolutions because I think we should be doing resolutions all the time; if we think of it as just a once a year process, we miss multiple opportunities to accomplish new things or solve problems.

So, I do resolve to continue learning new things and improving my skills. In 2019 I will be required to recertify as a family physician, so I have a “firm determination” to pass the exam.

I also want to improve my ballroom dancing skills, learn new steps and routines.

I want to update old blog posts with newer information and address important medical topics that I haven’t tackled before.

I want to spend quality time with my friends and family, nurture my faith and find new ways to give back to my community.

This bright new year is given to me to live each day with zest-William Arthur Ward
William Arthur Ward- author and pastor– affiliate link 

 

 

 

More grandmothers’ resolutions 

Here are summaries of what other grandmothers  shared with a link to their blogs.

Kimberly – Passing Down the Love:

  • finalize my retirement plans,
  • move my feet a little more and
  • look for happiness in the little things.

Donna – Retirement Reflections:

        healthy diet and increased exercise.

Sylvia – Grace for a Gypsy:

      to organize and publish my family research

Angie – Flippin Fanchers:

      fully transition my DIY blog to a grandma blog.

Louise – Going Ba-Nanas for Baby:

  • To pray with consistency, and not just when I need help.
  • To thank God for my blessings instead of complaining about my challenges
  • To request, each and every day, that my loved ones and I will be watched over from above, and always kept in the light of divine grace.

Marilyn – Marilyn’s Treats:

  • To simplify my life.
  • To spend more time taking care of “me” so I can be there to enjoy family and friends.

Cathy – Life of 2 Snowbirds:

      Start my healthy diet and exercise more.

Nikki – Gwin Gal Inside and Out:

     to host more family get-togethers much more frequently in the coming            months.

Renee – Grandmommin:

      to be more verbally appreciative

Pat – Mille Fiori Favoriti:

  • to live even more healthfully, with more exercise, and to
  • be proactive about going to exams and tests to monitor our health.

Marisa – All Our Way:

  •          I’m signing on with an agent which leaves me free to work on my blog
  •          I  want to double my page view by next year.

Christie – So What? Now What?:

 to accomplish or experience things during 2019, focusing on  health, joy, learning, and relationships.

Beverly – Across the Boulevard:

for blogging, to re-evaluate what I want to accomplish and to take steps that puts it on the path I want for it.

Your turn to resolve-

How about you? What do you resolve, plan, hope, or want to achieve in 2019? And why not ask your grandmother what her resolutions are?

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but a new you.

the HEART of health

Thanks for joining me to explore New Year’s resolutions and the HEART of health. Will you resolve to share this blog post and follow Watercress Words? I appreciate your support.

The graphics and photos in this post are from Lightstock.com, an affiliate that helps me fund this blog. Thank you for considering. 

Happy New Year. 

cheesy-free faith-focused stock photos

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                              Dr. Aletha 

Wednesday AIM Link Party

“Tis the season, again

Having a  birthday close to Christmas makes both occasions rather messy for you and your family. As my friend ,whose birthday is on New Year’s Day, wrote, “You feel like you get cheated on your Christmas/birthday gifts.”  But  there are perks.

This is one of my favorite posts, probably because I had fun writing it. There’s no serious medical information in it, but I hope you will find inspiration to stop and think about the “reason for the season”.

Don’t  we celebrate more special events and holidays the last six weeks of the year than the rest of the year combined? It feels that way to me.  We have these three major holidays-

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve have become mini holidays too.

And when Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on the weekend, Friday or Monday will be a holiday for many people.

First we had Black Friday. Then they added Cyber Monday. Now we also have Giving Tuesday, which I think is the only one that really counts.

beautiful large Christmas tree
Christmas at the Chicago Museum of  Science and Industry

Some people observe the special celebrations of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

In the United States, we observe December 7 as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the day in 1941 the United States entered World War II.  That event changed our country forever, and created my generation, the post-war  Baby Boomers.

The USS Arizona Memorial
Pearl Harbor Memorial to the USS Arizona

On December 17 , 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their  famous flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, ushering in the age of air travel, another historical turning point.

aircraft airplane antique classic
Photo by Inge Wallumrød on Pexels.com

The shortest day of the year occurs on December 21, the winter solstice and first day of winter in the northern hemisphere.

light snow on trees and ground

And  there are other special holidays and events observed too.

Besides holidays, other matters demand our time and attention during this season also.

College students face the end of a semester by studying for finals and finishing term papers and projects.

Renewal notices for subscriptions, licenses, and memberships show up in our mailboxes or inboxes.

Charities offer us one final opportunity to make  tax-deductible donations.

Patients call their doctor’s, dentist’s or optometrist’s office for that last chance to use medical insurance before the new (and probably higher) deductible kicks in or use medical spending accounts.

red gift boxes
Christmas birthdays can be messy too.

And in the middle of all this, I celebrate my birthday.

Having a  birthday close to Christmas makes both occasions rather messy for you and your family. As my friend ,whose birthday is on New Year’s Day, wrote, “You feel like you get cheated on your Christmas/birthday gifts.”  But  there are perks.

Your neighbors remind you your birthday is coming by hanging lights on their houses and turning them on every evening. (My husband claims that’s not the real reason. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus either.)

You can go to a holiday party and pretend it’s for you.

You can listen to Christmas music on your birthday without seeming weird.

Your husband may hire a limousine to drive you around town looking at holiday lights displays. (No joke.)

boy and woman with birthday cakes
Celebrating a long ago birthday with my son. I don’t know why I had two birthday cakes.

Thank goodness, so far, no one else in my immediate family has chosen to be born or married this month. (Although I was delighted to learn  recently that two  distant cousins also have December birthdays.)

But the best part of any birthday, no matter when you observe it, is reflecting on your life, both the successes and failures, the joys and sorrows, and remembering and reflecting on the people and events that brought you to where you are now.

Birth and death comprise this journey  we call Life. Long ago I recognized that we physicians do not ultimately “save lives” or “prevent death”, but we can sometimes impact the time and circumstances.

A Bible book,  Ecclesiastes chapter 3 addresses the extremes of life in this passage which is often read at funerals or memorials-

For everything there is a season, and a time for

every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

This year I have  celebrated with friends who welcomed new babies into their families. I watched a friend face a disabling illness and death with the same faith, courage, enthusiasm, dignity and humor that he had lived life. I have mourned with his family and others who have lost loved ones this year.

Some people dread birthdays, but I believe  they are  a blessing; I am grateful for another year of life and hope to use whatever time I have left productively.  I agree with Oliver Wendell Holmes

“To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.”

Buzz Aldrin, one of the Apollo 11 astronauts and second human to step on the moon’s surface , trekked to the South Pole-at 86 years old.

A woman celebrating  her 103rd birthday made the news.  As always, she spent the day at a senior citizen center- as a volunteer!

In January, our country observes the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I doubt my birthday will ever be named a holiday, but I hope something I do in life will leave this world a little better.

A birthday creates a new beginning  and so does a new year.  Perhaps we can all use the New Year’s Day holiday  to remember, reflect, renew and recharge our hearts and minds for another season  of life.

Yes, ’tis the season-Merry Christmas, Happy New Year-

and happy birthday, whenever yours may be.

Dr. Aletha

dessert with a lit candle in the middle
I hope your favorite restaurant gives you a complimentary dessert on your birthday.

Bringing good news

We usually associate Messiah with Christmas, but Handel intended it to be performed at Easter.

Luke chapter 2, New Living Translation 

 

The Shepherds and Angels

 
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
 
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.
 
shepherds raising arms to the sky
Shepherds drawing by Bill Hart
 
 
“Don’t be afraid!” he said.                                         
“I bring you good news that will bring    
great joy to all people.”
 
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The artist- Bill Hart 

The late Bill Hart was a professional artist. He served in the United States Army during World War II and was part of the force which invaded  and liberated  France in 1944. You can read Bill’s story at this link. 

 
 
 
 
 

The composer- George Handel 

These verses from the Bible book Luke  are sung in Handel’s musical  Messiah musical. We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel intended it to be performed at Easter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 “Handel got the lyrics from a preacher named Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.”
 
quoted from wheatwilliams.com
 
According to the Bible, Luke was a physician. George Handel’s father, Georg, was a barber-surgeon.

 Handel’s Messiah -Listen on Apple Music 

 
 
 
 
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A Simple Christmas book cover
 A Simple Christmas: A Faith-filled Guide to a Meaningful And Stress-free Christmas (Spirit of Simple Living) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"faith, hope, love"

 

 

Sharing the inseparable love of God

Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love

Romans chapter 8, NLT 

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to tose who love God Romans 8:28
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And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Saint Patrick and Saint Paul- called to share God’s love

Saint Patrick was not born in Ireland , although he is considered the Irish patron saint. He was born in Britain, controlled by the Roman Empire. Kidnapped and taken as a slave to Ireland, he later escaped, but  returned as a missionary, bringing the Christian Gospel to Ireland.

Saint Paul was also a missionary to the part of the Roman world surrounding the eastern Mediterranean sea. Paul identified himself as a “slave of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1) .

Much of the new Testament contains Paul’s writings, including the letter written to the early Christians in Rome. Today Christians read, share, and memorize these verses which so aptly express the foundation of our faith- God’s unchanging love.

Sharing the inseparable love of God-watercresswords.com

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Weekend Words of  faith, hope, and love

(1 Corinthians 13:1)

Have a blessed week. Dr. Aletha 

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Finding Holiday Joy Amid the Grief

Coping with grief during the holidays

 

 

Although this season brings  fun and festivities, many of our friendsgroup of lanterns

find it hard to feel joyful when their hearts are heavy with grief.

 

 

 

 

Whether from a  recent loss, or  one many years ago, grieving for the loved ones who won’t be here to celebrate with us can dampen our holiday spirit and  lead to depression. 

  • I think of my friend  who has lost both a sister and a son this year.
  • I remember my friends who tragically lost their teen aged daughter in a car wreck just a few days before Christmas many years ago.
  • I consider my medical colleague who is battling cancer.
  • My heart aches for my friends who lost a young aunt to an undiagnosed medical condition which suddenly proved fatal .
  • And my husband and I  still grieve the loss of our parents and siblings at Christmas even after many years.

 

As one friend wrote-

“This is my second Christmas without my husband.  It has been tough, but also a reminder that God is the god of all comfort. That works for me. And… it is a reminder to pray comfort to anyone who has faced a loss of a loved one including precious pets. Loss from any source needs a comforting friend.”

If you know someone who needs a “comforting friend”,  please take the time to reach out to them so they know someone cares and they are not alone.

Here is advice from Nancy Guthrie on

What to say to grieving people. 

“Honestly, the most painful thing is when you’ve had a loss and someone around you—because of the awkwardness — never acknowledges it. That’s what hurts the most.”

xmas house

On the Harvard Health Blog, Dr. Anthony Komaroff  advises on 

Coping with grief and loss during the holidays

 “Grief is not a tidy, orderly process, and there is no right way to grieve. Every person—and every family—does it differently. This can cause emotions to collide and overlap, especially during the holiday season when the emphasis is on rebirth and renewal.”

My family and I wish all of you health and wholeness in

body, mind and spirit.

man and woman in front of the Alamo at Christmas
My husband and I at the Alamo in San Antonio Texas at Christmas

 

More holiday tips from Watercress Words at these links-

How to anticipate and relieve holiday stress

Healthy holiday eating made easy

 

And please consider my affiliates and advertisers for your holiday gifts, your support helps  fund this blog and increase its value to you. Thank you!