Archive | December 2011

A New Year/ A New You

Even in grade school, my favorite section of the library was the “how-to” shelf. While my friends were reading their way through all 175 volumes of Nancy Drew, I was checking out book after book on crafting and building and drawing and sewing.

About the time I was running out of projects in McCALL’S GIANT GOLDEN MAKE IT BOOK, I came across a curious manuel entitled A NEW YOU, all about the benefits of regular face-washing and how to do a proper push-up.

I devoured it cover to cover.

It wasn’t that I was dissatisfied with the “old me,” but the book fell into my hands just as puberty was setting in. I’d like to think that reading it helped me navigate the attendant changes with a little more confidence and grace, despite the fact that my “awkward stage” was, by all other accounts, rather protracted.

So I rechecked the book about thirteen weeks in a row and would have kept it indefinitely had our school librarian not insisted I find something new to read and suggested I try ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, (which I likewise loved).

All this to say, the idea of self-improvement has intrigued me for almost forty years now. I normally start every January with a ridiculously long list of resolutions, but this year, I’m taking a different tack. I still have lots of areas that need attention, but I’m not going to tackle them all at once. Instead, I’ll take the entire year to focus on one improvement at a time. Since it takes roughly two weeks to establish a new habit, by the end of 2012, I’ll have made 26 lasting changes. Doesn’t that sound doable?

And since it is only by the grace of God that any endeavor meets with success, I plan to focus first on cultivating a more vibrant prayer life. Anybody care to join me? I plan to post plenty of how-to’s, progress reports, and other inspiring thoughts along the way, so check back in and let me know how it is going, okay?

Our Family’s Newest Christmas Tradition

After our six-year-old was diagnosed with diabetes just before Thanksgiving, our family was invited to take part in a study aimed at discovering the cause of Type 1 diabetes and finding ways to prevent it. We were great candidates — twelve biologically-related children in a single family, three of whom have Type 1.

When we first agreed to be screened, we assumed we were signing up for a one-time finger prick, but it was actually more involved than that. A full vial of blood was required from each child, as well as from their father and our grandsons. (Luckily Unfortunately, I missed the age cut-off by a few months myself and was therefore ineligible to participate).

The staff who were taking the samples were very kind and extremely good at what they do. They made it easy for our children to bravely submit to the blood draws, although we’re all grateful we don’t have to endure four blood tests and four shots a day like their brothers. If any of the screens come back positive, we’ll get to do this all over again. If they are negative, guess what? The kids can still come back every year for another blood draw until they turn eighteen.

So we’re adding this event to our “Christmas Countdown Calendar.” It’s our newest Christmas tradition, and one we’d highly recommend to any other family affected by Type 1 diabetes.