Power Surges...

I ran across a column I wrote for the Picayune Item several years ago. It ignited a chuckle again because it was so true back then... and is still somewhat true for me today. I thought this menopause thing would be over with in a few years until I met a seventy-five year old woman who said she still had hot flashes! ACK!

A Cold Day
by Gina Burgess
This Crazy World
(c) 2008
The PRC school board meeting had not started yet, there was a question about the air conditioning. The women sitting in front of the a/c were cold so it was turned off. It didn’t take long before the men were waving papers and commenting on the heat.

The superintendent said it was strange but men had different thermostats than women did and they were usually cold and men were usually hot.

Only my family can understand the white- knuckled grasp I have on restraint at any public meeting. Maybe you can tell I’ve got a huge collection of opinions on just about everything. At meetings I attend for the purpose of reporting on them, I have teeth indentions in my tongue. Since the meeting had not started, you know I just had to interject, “Only to a certain age.”

I do remember the days a long time ago and not quite in a galaxy far away, when I my thermostat was normal and I was generally cold when my husband was sweating buckets. It was a good thing there wasn’t such a thing as dual controls on the air conditioning in houses back then or we would have been like Rita Rudner and her husband in their new, dual-control equipped car. She said when they discovered that feature, she would turn the temperature up on her side, and he would turn his down to glacier level. They had hardly gotten to the corner of their street before clouds began to form in their car. Only in our house, the children would have begged for a lighthouse and a fog horn so they could find their way to the kitchen.

What men and women do have different thermostats. Men generally run hot and women run cold up to a certain age. Then it reverses. Have you notice this phenomenon?

A fifty-year-old woman can be standing in front of a glacial gale with her face beet red, sweat droplets freezing on the ends of her hair plastered to her head, and her clothes all sticky. It is called hot flashes. I read some where that old women don’t have hot flashes, they have power surges. Regardless, it is most uncomfortable.

I also read somewhere that some doctor did a study, and these hot flashes only last about three minutes. Why weren't mine only three minutes long? I should be so lucky. Then I got to paying attention, and that does seem to be true, they last for three minutes. Unfortunately, they sometimes come in waves, and the three minutes may stretch into half an hour. If the air conditioning is turned down to a comfortable 65 degrees, then the hot flashes are not a problem, just a minor irritation.

It took moving back to my mom’s and dad’s after my divorce for me to fully appreciate the reversal of gender thermostats. At temperatures that fry eggs on concrete, dad would be drinking hot coffee and admiring what ever project he was working on. At temperatures that melt chocolate, he was most comfortable watching TV.

I would go in my room and raise both windows so the arctic temperatures that freeze water could combat the temperatures that melt wax that raged in my body. I had to let mom fend for herself on this, while I shut the door. I prayed that God would skip summer just that year so I could go outside when these power surges flooded my face and I so desperately needed to cool down.

One night we were watching TV. I was comfortable for once. Dad commented he was cold. Mom said she was fine. I was praying the conversation wouldn’t end with the temperature rising. Ever innovative--Dad could solve any problem--Dad got up and left the room during a commercial. Soon he came out from the back all wrapped up in his down-filled parka, his hood pulled up and the ties dangling at his cheeks.

“Dad, where are you going?”

“To the couch,” he replied.

Learn from my mistakes

You can probably discern without too much trouble the mistakes I have made. This is a revision of one of my LiveAsIf.org columns, but bears repeating here.

Burl Cain, warden for Angola Prison in Louisiana, once said that no earthly thing can change a man, only Jesus can. He became warden over a prison that was once called the bloodiest place on earth. Back in the fifties and sixties, no one came out of there alive, and no one served their full term. This gutsy man proved that only Jesus can change a man. I learned that the hard way.

Here’s what I have learned in the past 50 years:

Foremost lesson is what I learned from the study of Nehemiah:  Bring everything to God before any action takes place. Paul backs that up, too. The second is like it: Bring anger promptly before God and lay it at His feet before the first word passes the lips. Doing this saves lots of heartache and keeps relationships whole, viable, and tender. I cannot say that I do this all the time. I am impetuous and stubborn. Imagine that! However, when I do follow the above, I have found that I can give God glory rather than embarrass Him.

There are other things that I have learned which seem almost obvious, yet the lessons came hard won.
  1. I do not believe the world's assertion that there is ONLY one true love. Love is a choice. I know this for many reasons. (More on that in a bit.)
  2. More money only magnifies the character of a person. If the person has a bad character (lies, cheats, greedy, etc.) more money will just make those flaws worse. If he/she is generous, generosity abounds. If thrifty, then thrift abounds.
  3. The bad habits a boy has will get worse when he grows older. Once a person “gets away” with something, they will get more daring stretching the envelope until caught or deeply mired in the quicksand of their own making. I watched this happen to someone who wound up in prison for his illegal escapades.
  4. Repentance sometimes brings the blessing of not having to pay the consequence of a sin, but more often than not, we do pay the consequences. Praise God we do not have to pay the ultimate price for Jesus did this already on the cross.
  5. A woman will never change a man.
  6. A baby will never change a man.
  7. The only thing that changes a man is Jesus. If a man has no discipline before he’s married, he will have less discipline when he’s married. If a man loves Jesus and lives Christ-like, then marriage will magnify that, and children will magnify that. It is more desirable to have a man like this than to have one with no discipline. In other words Bad Boys remain Bad Boys and do not make good husbands, unless Jesus changes the man.
  8. There is no bottom to the depths of a woman’s heart who is in love.
  9. Just because a person says he loves Jesus does not mean that he actually does love Jesus.
  10. Minor Character flaws really do matter. If he lies to others, he’ll lie to you. If he steals from work, he’ll steal from you. If he is unfaithful to his work and to his boss, he won’t be faithful to you. If he is not a good money manager before marriage, he’ll be even worse after marriage because he’ll have your money, too. If he has bad credit before he marries, he’ll ruin yours after he marries you.
  11. When a man prays, keeps his word, reads his Bible, he may seem unexciting and dull. But, those are the kinds of men that are anchors in the storms of life. These kinds of men make great best friends, and will remain loyal throughout life. If his jokes are kind, if he is uncritical, if his friends are kind, honest and loyal then he will be the same kind of man 30 years from now.
After marriage...
Love is a choice, therefore Christians should not consider divorce an option. Getting up and looking at the person you've been married to for the past 5, 7, 10 years and thinking “I don't like him much” is not a reason for divorce. It truly is a passing phase. When two people love the Lord first and the other second, there is no such thing as “growing apart.” It cannot happen. This growing apart is the result of selfishness. Maybe I should say that again. True believers in Christ cannot grow apart because they possess the Holy Spirit that binds them as a third chord. (Ecc. 4:12)
It takes hard work and total commitment to keep a marriage healthy. When a couple decides to marry, there is the conscious and deliberate decision to commit to one another. The love between them comes from God and with His nurturing, that love will continue until death. When the couple lives as two individuals with selfish attitudes that leaves God out of the equation, this is when the marriage begins to fail. When the individual comes first before the mate...when the selfish desire takes precedence over the mate’s pleasure, then the death throes of the marriage begin. The only way a marriage will last is when both have a greater desire to please the other in everything rather than selfishly pleasing himself or herself. The same as how we are supposed to be with Jesus--being more concerned about pleasing Him than ourselves.
However, there are covenant breakers such as, lascivious behavior, adultery, verbal/physical abuse, child abuse. First pray, pray, pray for the one caught in Satan’s web exhibiting this kind of behavior. Yes, a true believer can act that way, and can destroy the marriage. But remember Satan is out to kill, steal, and destroy anything that God has created and loves. Christian marriage is top on his list of things to devour. When counseling doesn't help and the behavior doesn’t stop, then pack the clothes and lock the door because those things are not “as into the Lord” and God has no intention for us to continue in a life filled with that. After all, He divorced Israel over the same kinds of behavior. God intended marriage to be like Song of Solomon, a courtship full of respect and excitement. I believe marriage to be like Psalms. Joy in one person to the exclusion of all others in that way. Being dependent upon the Lord for all things and relying upon one’s mate to keep their covenant involves a great deal of trust.
While it seems like it, betrayed trust is not the end-all of marriage. God requires forgiveness. He forgave; we must forgive. That is a very hard thing to do. When two Believers marry, then divorce is not an option. You can depend upon heartache and pain when two people come together. That is part of our human nature. However, you can be angry, and not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath, (Eph 4:26). Absolutely joy comes in the morning.
Self-control is part of the Fruit of the Spirit. It requires a great deal of self-control to live harmoniously with another person. God will guard our tongues as well as our thoughts if we ask Him to have control over them. It brings Him glory and isn’t that what all this is about?
Ecc. 4:12  Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not easily broken. Ecc. 12:6  Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well.