Reading and Appreciating Leviticus

The title of this blog should not be a snoozer. In fact, I used to wonder how to get through this book because it’s so filled with details for which seem a bit non-sensical. Can I say that about God’s Laws? Trying to digest the ideas of each offering and the significance is like trying to understand the intricacies of my indoor plumbing. Not only may it be a bit boring, but it is so hard to try to remember it all, my brain just wants to skim and move on. However, I came upon a wonderful commentary for which not only explains the whole book of Leviticus, but gives me a sense of appreciation, wonder and LOVE for the book. Moreover, I see this precious book point to Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice.

Much of this will be from http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/index.htm.

What does the word ‘Leviticus’ mean?

The *Jews called the Book of Leviticus ‘wayyiqra’. This is actually two *Hebrew words, ‘way’ and ‘yiqra’. They mean ‘and’ and ‘he called’. It’s a Latin word for about the Levites. One of Jacob’s 12 children was Levi and they were destined to be priests. Leviticus is the way the Jews were to *Worship the *LORD in the Beauty of *Holiness’. ‘ In other words:  ‘love and obey’. *‘*Holiness’ means that people always try to please God. God always thinks that this makes people beautiful!

How can we worship Him being the “sinners” we all are? By our own efforts, we cannot please God. But God has provided a WAY so that we can *worship him properly. For the *Jews, that method was *sacrifice. Leviticus details how they would give to God parts of the animals or the whole animal that they killed. The priests would burn the gifts/animals/offerings on the altar in His house and this was their act of love/obedience/worship. “The animal had suffered death so that the *Jews could live as friends with God.” (there had to be a sacrifice for them to have fellowship)

For us as Christians, that method or way is also *sacrifice, but it is not death of an animal, and it doesn’t need to be repeated each year for various sins committed. God made it simple as he provided His precious son, Jesus, to be the perfect *sacrifice. His sacrificial death deals with every *sin ever committed. This equals freedom from sin’s power so that we can have fellowship with God without the need for a priest. In other words, we get to *worship the *LORD in the beauty of *holiness. So we can all please God because of Jesus’ *sacrifice on the *cross.”

Below is a nice overall look at each book of the Penteteuch: (http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/leviticus-1-7-lbw.htm)

The first 5 books of the Bible tell us about several periods in the life of each person. If that person is a Christian, then the books mean this:

Genesis … *Sin makes a person into a slave of the devil. *Sin is when we do not obey God. Everybody is in this group of people. ‘Everybody has *sinned’, Romans 3:23. We *sin when we do not obey God’s laws. Genesis also tells us about people who tried to obey God, including Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

Exodus … God makes people free. So they are not slaves. They are like the *Jews who came out of Egypt. Christians are free. In other words, *sin does not still control them like slaves. God makes them free when they first believe in Jesus. They believe that Jesus died to save them from the devil. Now they are not the devil’s people. Instead they are God’s people. We call this ‘conversion’.

Leviticus … God wants his people to be friends with him. This is a special type of friendship that we call ‘*fellowship’. God brought the *Jews out of Egypt so that they could have *fellowship with him. And God frees Christians from *sin so that they can have *fellowship with him. This is what God wants very much. Leviticus tells us that we can have *fellowship with God. We can have *fellowship with God because Jesus died for us! That is why Leviticus is important for Christians.

Numbers … God’s people look for the *Promised Land. For the *Jews, it was the country called Israel. For Christians it is Heaven and the New Earth. Heaven is the home of God. We call this the Christian’s ‘walk’ with God. God shows his people the way to go. We often call this ‘guidance’, because God is guiding his people.

Deuteronomy … God’s people have reached the *Promised Land. They are ‘home’! Here are the rules that they must obey while still on this earth. There are no such rules in Heaven.
The whole Bible is one big STORY of the road to Jesus and freedom. It’s our hope. It’s our truth. It’s our foundation.

 

One WEEK down! :-)

What a joy. This really is, you know. I never thought I would be grateful for this injury, but I am finding the positive in this. “In all things, God works for the good for those who love Him.” (Romans 8:28) Perhaps I’m pulling this verse out of context, yet this is my favorite verse because it reminds me that there is a blessing in all that happens to us. God allowed this to happen to teach me some lessons. Although He did not CAUSE it, He definitely blessed me with this obstacle.

I’m reminded of the tremendous pain I felt one week ago. Once the nerve block wore off, I was acutely aware of the tear for which overcame me. Slowly, I learned to alter my life and discover new ways to cope and adapt. This is truthfully analogous to His workings in our lives. There must be treacherous storms before beautiful flowers. There must be a piece of molded clay thrown into the fiery kiln before it can be shaped and painted into a masterpiece. It’s a LAW…His grace is sufficient and He always gives us a way out when the pain becomes unbearable. My perception and CHOICE to look at the blessings in this vs. becoming bitter and angry is part of His grace and mercy.

I happened upon a tremendous support blog, http://achillesblog.com/ which carries countless stories and information to encourage others. It encourages me!

Bright side of ATR

This is more of a “The Glass is Half Full” list, but it’s true. Let’s look on the bright side:

One things for which is shared is THE BRIGHT SIDE of ATR!

  • Your upper body will get stronger from using the crutch (SO TRUE)
  • Your healthy leg will get stronger from the hopping around (I FEEL LOPSIDED, though)
  • You’ll gain even more appreciation for your family and friends, if you are blessed with having good people around you. (MY SUPPORT SYSTEM BLESSES ME…PEOPLE HAVE HELPED ME BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS; ESPECIALLY MY MOTHER)
  • If this is your first major injury, then this will be a major learning experience all around.
  • Depending on where you live, you can qualify for a temporary diability parking permit. In NY state, you can get it for up to 6 months with a medical certification (You just ask your doctor to fill out part of a form MV-664.1 from the DMV). (HAVEN’T DONE THIS AND PROBABLY WILL NOT)
  • If you use your recovery time wisely, you’ll get things done that you’ve been meaning to do. (WOW…AIN’T THIS THE TRUTH. I AM READING, RESTING, WATCHING VIDEOS, AND JUST BEING BEING BEING WITH THE ONE’S I LOVE: TRULY QUALITY TIME)
  • Hopefully, you’ve gained even more appreciation for the importance of good health, and you will take care of your body: diligent rehab, regular exercise, stretching and warming up properly before exercises, being in shape, eating healthy. (NOW, THIS IS A TRUISM. I CANNOT REALLY WORKOUT LIKE I USED TO, SO I MUST REST MY BODY. EATING HEALTHILY HAS BECOME SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT)

Next week looks good for more rest and visits from friends. One week from Wednesday, I receive my cast! I’m counting down the days until I can swim again.

 

 

Taking a break

OK, I admit…one of the hardest parts of this injury is not being able to work out. I used to love to swim or take a walk, and now, that is out of the question. I can still lift weights if it’s upper body, but not anything else. On the other hand, perhaps this is what I need.

I got this from MYFITNESSHUT:
So, how much is enough exercise? Here are some general guidelines:

1. Do not work out every day. Take at least one day off each week. Three days of strength training (45 minutes to 1 hour each session) and 3 days of interval cardio exercise (20 minutes each session) is enough.

2. If your joints begin to hurt when you exercise, something is wrong! You are either injured or you just need to take a few days off. You will come back stronger after a little rest.

3. The more intense the exercise, the more rest your body needs to recover. For example, speed exercises and plyometrics (jump training) should be done 2 days a week at the most.

4. Change up your exercise routine (weekly) to avoid repetitive stress injuries.

5. “No pain, no gain” is NOT a good exercise philosophy! If you have sharp pain in your muscles, tendons, ligaments or joints, something is wrong! Get medical help.

So having a tear in my Achilles still confuses me since I don’t “stress” this muscle in what I do. But I still feel this was a sign that I was overdoing. Therefore, now, I am trying to not worry and enjoy the break. It would not hurt if I even put on a few pounds.

 

 

Day FOUR: Itches and Piggies!

Did you know one form of torture is having an itch that cannot be scratched?? Just don’t think about it. Truly, this is a discipline of focus. Shall I focus on the massive annoyance under my cast for which is impossible to reach? OR, should I not focus on the massive annoyance under my cast for which I cannot reach? It’s not clear. OK, I WON’T think about it. This is not working. Apparently, when your leg experiences itching, it means it’s in the process of healing. Well, this is a cruel joke.

Another challenge of the casted ankle are my little piggies. Seriously, what needs to be invented are toe cuffs! Instead, my mom cut off the toes of one of her socks and placed them over the large bulk around my foot. Cute.

Day THREE: Downton Abbey Delight

I SLEPT! The pain was not as intense in the evening, and I actually awoke quite rested. Sadly, I would not get to go to church today, but I did spend some time in the Word.

What’s the plan today!? Hmmmm….. Well, it has been recommended to me to watch Downton Abbey.  Saturday was Season One. What a guilty pleasure!! We used to countdown the minutes to Friday night for Dallas, and this reminds me of that a bit. I love seeing Elizabeth McGovern in a series! I remember her in a Kevin Bacon movie about babies (She’s Having a Baby), and since then, I’ve missed her. She plays such a perfect part with a mix of compassion, austerity, and wit. Maggie Smith is also perfect in the role of the matriarch. The beauty of her character is that you want to hate her because she is so above-it-all, and then you see she has a big heart. Season Two is now beginning with the war against Germany. I’m sure hoping Anna will be with Bates and Mary will wed Matthew. Again, a fun guilty pleasure, and I never do this!! 🙂

Oh yes, the little girl! She was part of the fun today! Her cooing and aahing and her adorableness and ….the fact that I can’t do the mundane is killing me. My mom has to carry her to change her diaper, to put her down for a nap, to put her to bed, to bring her to me to feed her. Meanwhile, I hop around to TRY to help out as much as I can. Honestly, the frustration of being so helpless gets to me. I tend to focus on the things I CANNOT do: For example: Going to the store, getting my mail, grabbing a cup of coffee, carrying my child as I walk…

Now, what CAN I DO? Let’s focus on that:

Spend more time in my Bible and with God, building a stronger bond with my mom, watching Downton Abbey with a friend/mom/family, reading a great book (like Every Great Endeavor by Tim Keller), taking silly pics with Coti

AND OF COURSE, holding Tater.

 

 

 

Day Two and OOOOOH!

What the heck did you do, mommy? How can I help? Coti sensed something was amiss when he saw me hopping around. Now, he comforts me as only he knows how.

Took a Vicodin at 11pm last night because the throbbing began. Not only was the incision felt throughout my body, but the nerves in my leg pulsated. Without truly falling asleep, I decided to get up and attempt to crutch my way to the kitchen and eat something. I also popped another Vicodin at 4am. Now, the pain is really starting. Thankfully, I slept until 8am, and as much as I wanted to sleep, I needed to be with Tatum. This morning, I am really experiencing the full brunt of this injury, physically. WOWZA!

Humbled. Thankful. Confused. Many different emotions flood my mind, but the most important one is my love for Tatum, my mom and Coti. Family and togetherness…These things are what matter, and I don’t think I ever have known this concept until now.

Day ONE of being a one-legged gal!

As my eyes opened this  morning at 5:50am, I was reminded of all the advice I had read the evening before on various blogs. You should absolutely believe everything you read on the internet. (*wince*) Yes. I received the full gamut of advice scattered from the blogosphere, so you can imagine when my eyes opened this morning, I was ready for EVERY……..NOTHING! It’s like getting ready for a baby to arrive!  For every piece of advice, there’s two-hundred points which refute or alter what has been given. I figured, let’s be prepared for the worst; that way, I’ll be ready, eh?

As I showered and dressed for the day ahead, fashionning my lovely BOOT and crutches, I imagined what was to come…no more hobbling around on two feet for a while, and….the woes continued. Poor me. (get over it already!). Denise rang at 6:15am, so I kissed my dear mom goodbye (Tater and Coti were still sleeping) and headed out the door in my sock. (I forgot to put my right shoe on.) We arrived 2 hours early, and they prepped me. That basically means I wait until I get my anesthesia. They did dress me in this cute purple outfit with matching Bair Paw socks.  Not bad for $2200 (*wince wince*) Dear Denise waited until I was under, and then went back home. They gave me the various warnings of what I may experience (i.e. nausea, constipation, sickness, general fussiness (ok, they didn’t say that). Dr. McDreamy came in to answer all of my questions. Although I wanted to ask him if he was doing anything after the surgery, like massage my foot (:-) ) I decided that was not an option. He assured me to make sure I move around and not lay in bed too much. If I am to lay down, my foot must be elevated. 8:45 surgery begins (supposedly).

10:30am, I see the clock and wonder….”am I alive?” Kelly, my “are you awake and do you feel your toes” nurse, was lovely and fetched me 2 cups of ice chips. Delicious! Denise came, and off we went to the pharmacy for my PAIN MEDS (if I should need them), antibiotics, and Tylenol. BUT FIRST, “Starbucks drive-thru????” Coffee was not the recommended drink for after the surgery, but supposedly my IV gave me 1 1/2 Big Gulps of water so I figured I was hydrated. I was feeling GOOD!

Home at 12:30. Coti ran to kiss me, and Tater was swinging and ready to give me a SMILE!

GETTING AROUND: Return to the SCOOTER discussion here: This is my saving grace. I decided, upon McDreamy’s recommendation, to rent a Roll-A-Bout so I could get around the house faster and hold Tatum in my Bjorn. Now, this is the secret weapon. Today, I have basically been hands free to do what I need to do like fix food, clean up, use the facilities (:-), etc….. The crutches are super for when I am out of the house or need to walk up the stairs, but this thing is BRILLIANT!!!

 

So, now, I am resting in my mother’s delicious cozy bed, elevated leg and pillow-propped head. Heaven. I have enjoyed feeding and playing with Tatum, snuggling with Coti, solving the crossword puzzle with mom, looking for a way to rent San Francisco for tonight’s entertainment, and of course, blogging/writing/emailing/texting/communicating!

The LEG! Plus…see my Bair Paw sock; (a parting gift from the hospital)

Overly humbled, I will make the best of this situation, as I have seen God’s hand in this. This journey will not be wasted, for I know I have much to learn, and hopefully, I can pass on some wisdom in the process.

God is good.