Tools for the Task: Your Personal Almanac
"Be sure to wash those tools before you put them away," instructs Dad. "Don't put those tools in the shed with dirt on them. That makes them rust."
"Okay," I mumble, gathering the shovel, hoe and rake. "But this part isn't as much fun as planting." Obediently I place the tools on the grass. Then I hold the hose and watch as the cold clear water slowly dissolves the dirt clumps into the ground.
Designed for Purpose
Dad taught me to take care of our farm tools and equipment. He said each tool was designed to achieve a specific purpose. That lesson has proved beneficial in many areas of my life-even into my adult years.
Every diligent gardener realizes the valuable role tools provide in preparing, planting and harvesting the crop. Common tools in our garden included a shovel, hoe, rake, trowel, pruning shears, watering container, a hat and gloves. I learned that we needed to keep each implement in consistently good condition in order to achieve our best gardening results.
You may own some tools for maintaining and repairing your home, yard, automobile, wardrobe and computer, but lack the necessary tools to support your well-being or repair degenerating health. Perhaps you have the tools for wellness, but haven't kept them in good condition. It's never too late to get your tools in order and redefine your vision of wellness so you can live with purpose.
We must never be too busy to take time to sharpen the saw.
(Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Creating Your Personal Almanac
From the beginning of time the functions of the human body-or perhaps more accurately the dis-functions-have intrigued and perplexed mankind. Ancient physicians, healers and medicine men and women from every nation, tribe and culture carefully observed the body from birth to death. Those early observations laid the foundation for the modern knowledge and technology we appreciate today. Contemporary research scientists remain both fascinated and puzzled with the functions and malfunctions of the human body. However, continuing discoveries help us understand more fully the simplicity and complexity of our design.
As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.
Your Journey to Wellness
Our original ancestors inherited dominion over that first garden called Eden. They accepted responsibility for the care-taking duties as well as their own selection of food and nourishment. Most of us in our current culture have wandered far from the simplicity and protection of that first garden experience. Instead, we gain much of our current knowledge about caring for our bodies and selecting healthy foods from sources that don't always place wellness as a priority.
It seems we've evolved into a convenience-first society. We often determine food choices by the ease or appearance of the packaging rather than nutritional value. This reality motivates me to share the wealth of information available on wholesome, holistic health and healing-the way God intended.
Throughout this decade, it will be packaging innovation, more than the food or beverage itself that truly defines convenience to customers.
(Bob Messenger, publisher of Food Trends Newsletter)
Previous civilizations recorded information about birth, death and sickness as well as external effects on the body such as climate, seasonal changes, food and water supply and animal migration. These early almanacs chronicled annual data that often helped preserve entire communities. The information gathered from those early observations also helped people better understand who they were and how closely they were connected with their natural environment. By learning to live safely and strongly in each season, the ancient cultures left wellness wisdom to guide us in our modern age to achieve optimum health. I hope this personal almanac becomes a valuable tool in preserving and improving your health and well-being.
The methods I recommend and provide to guide you on your journey toward renewed health and well-being include:
With each season Nature provides us the opportunity to participate in planting, growing, harvesting and storing, whether we are working with seeds for garden plants or ideas for the next great project. So, sharpen your shovel and let's dig in!
Tickle it with a hoe and it will laugh into a harvest.
(Old English saying)
A Bucket of Refreshment
I remember with fondness and humor, a childhood song, I'm A Little Teapot, and the animation that accompanied it. Singing and laughing with my young friends as we "tipped over and poured out" brought hours of fun. Only recently, as a fifty-something woman, have I recognized a life lesson in that childhood delight.
In many of my wellness presentations, I use examples of gardens, planting, pruning and harvest. Frequently I ask women to choose a garden tool they believe best describes them. After completing this exercise on my own, I pictured myself as a large, galvanized watering can. Then I wondered: Why a watering can? My ego immediately begged, "Please, may it at least be a pretty one!" Only when I relaxed and began to play with that picture, did the answer become clear to me.
If I could liken myself to a garden tool, it would be the watering can. I realize that by itself and when it is empty, a watering can really has little value. But when this practical utensil is filled with water it can be "tipped over and poured out." That's when the utilitarian watering can becomes a source of refreshment. It nourishes the plant it waters.
I love this image, for I believe this is how God wants to use us. And I value the privilege of being used to nurture, feed, and empower others. He fills up you and me so that we can pour out His nourishing spirit to those around us, who may be in need of spiritual rejuvenation and growth. God's beautiful seasons continually bless and inspire me. The process of planting, nurturing, growing, waiting and harvesting is an ongoing marvel to me. I feel passionate about sharing this inspirational information with other women and watching them enjoy an improved quality of life.
Your Turn: I invite and encourage you to personalize your journey to becoming a wise and well woman by entering your thoughts here:
What garden tool best describes me?
What caused me to choose this particular gardening tool?
Woman's Beauty: Inside and Out
I'm intrigued with the number of women I meet who are not familiar with their inner garden. Often they seem not to understand the purpose, function or location of their internal organs. And because they don't know the way their bodies work, they sometimes dismiss self-care as unimportant and then fail to experience optimum wellness.
Please take a few moments to study the illustration of the body's organs on the next page. I hope this visual aid will help you to understand your body more fully as you read through the information in this almanac. I really believe that with a broader awareness of your anatomical design you can become more diligent and discerning in your personal health care and maintenance.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it.
(Psalms 139:13-14 TLB)