This Week in “Paradise” (July 16)

This week in the “Paradise” otherwise known as the pastor’s home was my first with a new medication that seemed to keep my heart rate down, leading to my return to preach at First Baptist Moss Bluff on Sunday night.

So My Stock is UP …

A week ago I woke up on Monday morning, grateful for a couple of good night’s sleep in a row,  and feeling well,  I decided to go into the office again to work on a message I hoped to share the following Sunday night. I didn’t know how long I would be able to last at the office, so I thought I would just wear jeans, something I have rarely worn at church. I only have two pair of jeans, one is a “designer” pair that I often wear, and the other is a pair of Levi’s. I had not worn the second pair very often because Cheryl told me once that she didn’t like the look of them on me. But since I have worn the first pair so often, I thought I might wear the Levi’s to the office Monday. I got all ready and put them on, and came out and said to Cheryl:

“I was going to wear these today, but I remember you said you didn’t like them for some reason …”

She looked at me, walked around me, and then said tentatively, “Yes, um … I used to not like them on you because, uh … they … used to be too baggy …”.

With the “assurance” of my new-found girth I went ahead and wore them to the office that day!

The Gesture

I wrote a blog post this week about how other people can see the “blind spots” in your life that you might miss, because, well, they are your “blind spots.” One of mine was pointed out to me this week which I found very humorous.

I have endeavored to describe what is going on with me physically to many people: family, doctors, church members, etc. I have tried to convey as best as possible what I have been feeling. But evidently I have developed some humorous habits as I have done so!

One of the most common afflictions of dysautonomia/POTS for me is the almost constant headache, accompanied varying degrees of nausea. I have sometimes described it as a “carsick” feeling more than nausea. My most-often used description is: “A sick headache.” I don’t know how many times I have told people that: “I have this sick headache.”

Now, that may not sound like a particularly bad habit in itself, but Michael came in after church the other day and told me that Cheryl had pointed out to him on the drive home that EVERY time I say “I have this sick headache”, I bow my head slightly, with a grimace on my face, while at the same time I bring my right hand up to my head. She told him I go through these exact same motions, every time!  The moment Michael told me, I knew it was true. First I laughed at myself – and then I laughed that Michael & Cheryl were laughing at me! That night, as we went for my evening walk, Cheryl asked how I was, and I told her: “I still have this sick headache …”. I did NOT grimace and raise my hand to my head. But I tell you, I had to almost physically restrain myself from doing so! Old habits die hard!

Let’s Go!

As you may know, Cheryl & I had to cancel our 30th anniversary trip to New York & Gettysburg in May since I was ill. I had hardly been out of the house for two months until I started feeling a bit better recently, but I have still have not gone very many places at all. Some people have asked me if I have gotten cabin fever, and the answer is “Sure.” And it is not only me – it has limited Cheryl quite a bit too, as you might imagine. She is grateful that several friends have taken her out to dinner the past several weeks, but she too is suffering from a bit of “cabin fever.”

This came to the fore last Wednesday morning. After several “better” days Friday through Tuesday, I was again home sick, and I was listening to a sermon by Mark Dever, my favorite preacher, who is the pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church inWashington,D.C. I mentioned to Cheryl that it would be fun to go on a trip there, and then we could visit Capitol Hill Baptist, and listen to Dever preach.

Cheryl’s answer? “Are you kidding? It would be fun to go ANYWHERE!” 🙂

So We’re Cheap

Our family acquired a baby kitten this week. Yeah, her picture on Facebook caught me at a weak moment! An assortment of little “critters” have been increasingly taking over the back yard since our dog Percy died – especially moles. And Cheryl had read in a Louisiana Gardening magazine that THE single best solution for moles is to have a cat in your yard. So I figured in a way, it was not a question of whether we were going to have an animal in the yard, it was which kind of animal we were going to have! So I began to think we just MIGHT get a cat. Then I saw where one of our friends from church had a stray black baby kitten left by their apartment which they needed to give away, so I told Cheryl we could get it. Nicole brought the kitten over, and told Cheryl that she had just fed her. Cheryl asked if she had given her canned food (which is more expensive) or dry cat food. She said they had given her canned food. Holding the kitten, Cheryl turned and whispered in her ear: “Don’t get used to it!” 😉

Best Buds

Michael and Eponine (the name we gave our cat, from a female character in “Les Miserables”) have become good buddies already. She sleeps in his bed at night – I say “sleeps;” Michael says she is continually lunging at pieces of lint or his foot under the blanket! – and during the day he follows her around, entranced by watching her attack a ball or swing from the bars underneath the coffee table as if it were a jungle gym. Cheryl said something to Michael about how well they were getting along together. He said, yes, he thought they were. Cheryl responded: “Well, it helps that teenagers and cats are both on the same schedule: you both play all night and sleep all day!” 🙂


Rose-Colored Glasses

There was all kinds of excitement at our house Sunday afternoon. After not feeling well all week, I suddenly woke up Sunday morning feeling much better. I was on the schedule to preach that evening service if I felt up to it – and lo and behold I did! So I began making the needed preparations: printing out the message I had been working on, getting dressed, getting one of the high kitchen barstool chairs ready to take to church in case I needed to sit on it. Adrenaline was definitely flowing. Michael got a bit carried away too, I thought. I said something to him about how there might not be that many people present for a Sunday night service in the summer. Michael said: “No, Dad, I think there will be a lot of people there. They would come out at 2:00 in the morning to hear YOU preach!”

Such is the sweet sentiment that makes our home at least somewhat akin to “Paradise”!


About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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2 Responses to This Week in “Paradise” (July 16)

  1. Amy says:

    I wanted to be there Sunday! As youth sponsors at church, I just couldn’t play hookie knowing I will possibly miss a lot in the upcoming months. About to go listen to the podcast now! And btw, glad to know the jeans aren’t baggy. One of my specific prayers has been that you do not lose wait as you sit in limbo land all this time. Keep eating Cheryl’s cooking and baking so you don’t lose strength!

  2. Sharon says:

    so glad you are feeling better and “getting back in the swing of things” – oh, and isn’t that kitten supposed to be out in the yard to catch the moles ….. just saying! lol!

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