Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Sometimes our bodies distract us from the higher things in life and force us to acknowledge our own weakness, our frailty and our need for God’s supernatural power simply to get us from one day to the next. When I consider my brother’s Cystic Fibrosis and my children’s good health I am struck by the fact that every breath, for each of us, is a miracle.

But realising that, and even glorifying God for His grace in this area, doesn’t mean that we don’t sometimes feel frustrated by these earthly bonds and look forward to ur heavenly bodies with even more eagerness.

For years I put my body’s requirements aside and began to see myself as invincible. Obviously I realise now just how foolish and prideful that was, though at the time I saw it as self-sacrificing and humble. The result is that, in addition to my genetic predisposition towards faulty wiring, I’ve added a range of complications to my body over and above that. 

The complications that grabs my attention most often at the moment is my skin. I’ve self-diagnosed what I believe is a case of perioral dermatitis. It’s been getting steadily worse over the past year, and I now think it’s most likely the result of an allergy to coconut oil. My skin looks like I have a bad case of teenage acne, and it burns and itches all the time. I wake up in the middle of the night because my face is on fire.

Now, I’m not particularly pretty, and I’ve never thought of myself as vain, simply because I didn’t have the looks to justify it. Now, however, I realise that I am actually vain. I do care what people think. When you have acne, especially as a mature adult, the implication is uncleanness. Well, it is to me. I assure you: I wash. OFTEN. In fact, in this case that has been part of the problem. Of course, make up makes it worse but a big part of my job involves meeting clients, and for that one needs to Look The Part. So now I am hermitting as much as possible, and only going out when I absolutely have to. I really don’t know what to do to solve this, and I’m reluctant to see a doctor as they always spend less than five minutes looking me over, then prescribe antibiotics and send me on my way. Antibiotics are not my friend.

I know it’s ridiculous, but I feel like my body has let me down. Once strong, now I have no strength. Once inexhaustible, now I am tired all the time. Once capable, now a hermit. And the old faithful: allergic to everything. At least I know my new body will rock, and this one hardly matters except to remind me that I certainly can’t do anything in my own strength.

Praise God that 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Phil.4:13


Comments on: "Focus on the physical: skin!" (7)

  1. You’re not vain, cuz. Maybe not my place to say, but it sounds like you need to forgive yourself a little for your natural human feelings.

    That’s my favourite thing about being an Atheist. I don’t have to feel bad for things like “vanity” or caring what other people of me.

    Human beings are both highly visual and highly social creatures, of course looks are going to be important, of course you are going to care about looking nice for other people! And that’s okay!

    I also don’t have to feel guilty for “covetting my neighbour’s property.” Humans are creatures of desire, telling a person not to want things is like telling a dog not to bark.
    I don’t have to feel terrible for having thoughts of hurting another person, something that’s also actually common to everyone – we all have some innate aggression, which is necessary for protection and standing up for ourselves.
    I don’t have to hate myself for the eternal struggle within me between my own self-interest and consideration for others, because I know where these feelings are coming from and the prupose they serve.

    This doesn’t mean that I give myself free licence to ACT ammorally. I have just found that forgiving myself for my human nature helps me to to be kinder to myself and a bit happier too. This frees me from a big chunk of self-loathing and enables me to live life more effectively and show more appreciation and understanding towards others as well, hopefully.

    I’m not trying to change your beliefs… just give yourself a bit of TLC maybe?

    And having suffered terribly with skin problems as well, please go to the doctor’s with this. Doctors are great, just the other day I was talking to a surgeon who reconstructs kids’ hands. Faith never did that!

  2. Comment above was with best of intentions, hope you don’t mind! xx

    • Joy on a Shoestring said:

      Not at all! I appreciate the thoughts very much. You’re kind to take the time to write. Ironically, I was composing a post while washing the dishes today, and it was along these lines, as well (from the other side, of course)… hmmm … watch this space. 🙂

      • Cool. I just wanted to share how much of a relief I feel to be free of so-called original sin!

        Also I love reading the blogs of people I know! 😀

      • Joy on a Shoestring said:


  3. sage_brush said:

    It interests me that very often, the “natural” treatments being suggested to us, are actually bad for so many people. Take your reaction to coconut oil. Just plain awful. For me – because of an intense allergy to ragweed – I get violently ill from anything containing Stevia – the supposed wonder “natural” sweetener.

    I’m sure you’ve had it up to “here” with advise, but have you considered treating your skin reaction with Aloe? It really helps my whole family with ANY kind of skin problem. And, wanting to appear healthy is not a sign of vanity! If you were to put your looks before other things more important, such as being a devoted mother, or time with the Lord, then – you could be considered vain. 🙂

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