Monday, April 30, 2012

Parashat Tazria-Metzora

After having a discussion with someone today who said that a blog I wrote years ago blessed her and she faithfully followed it, I decided that I would try to get back to blogging, perhaps in a different format. Instead of blogging on each priority individually, I will try to cover all of them in one weekly post.

PRIORITY #1 - My Elohim:  I have titled this post after the Torah portion we studied for this past week. It is a combined Torah portion, Tazria "She conceives," and Metzora "Leper" based on the reading from Leviticus 12:1-15:33. Some of the highlights of what we discussed in our Sabbath Midrash were: The fact that the Bible translators mistranslated the word leprosy. The disease spoken of in Scripture is not Hansen's Disease, what we now call leprosy. Yet, how many people with Hansen's disease were isolated and separated from their families based on an erroneous translation. It, once again, drives home the importance of reexamining our traditions to see if they have been based in error. Don't rely on medieval knowledge for your understanding of Scripture. The disease that is spoken of in Leviticus is a natural manifestation of the spiritual. A victim had to be sent outside the camp but mercifully, from one Sabbath to the next, a priest would reexamine the person to see if they were able to be readmitted to the community. There are a few reasons given by the ancient rabbis for a person contracting Tzara'at (the word that has been translated as leprosy). Among them, unbelief (Moses hand when he put it in his bosom), evil speech (Miriam's slander against her sister-in-law, Moses' Ethiopian wife), and insolence (King Uzziah). Unlike Hansen's disease, Tzara'at could be spread from a person, to an article of clothing, and finally to a house. As I read through the scriptures, the Lord began to deal with an issue in my own life, a Tzara'at called unforgiveness. The lesion of unforgiveness can start in a person and spread to everything they touch. Perhaps one of the reason they were sent outside of the camp was not just to keep from infecting others, but also to think about how and why they were infected and repent. I needed this lesson for a situation I was going to come into where I had been offended by someone just a week ago. Applying this lesson greatly helped me to approach this person with peace. 

PRIORITY #2 - My Husband:  So, just to update you on the getting up early and feeding him situation. I don't always make it up in time to make him breakfast, so I decided to get creative with it and make something ahead of time that he can reheat before he heads out the door. I have been trying new recipes and this evening, I am reviving what has become a family favorite. I first tried it a couple of weeks ago during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and it has become a family staple (in spite of the fact that I don't eat egg dishes). Here is the recipe for Crustless Spinach Quiche.

PRIORITY #3 - My Children:  This has been an interesting week in that regard. In the past week I was able to take my children to the symphony for the first time to support one of our minority homeschooling support group family's daughter. It was SUCH a blessing. The next day, another family took my younger two bowling...almost ALL DAY! Yet another blessing, as it is an extremely rare occasion that I have the house to myself for HOURS. :-) The other interesting thing that happened was that a relative asked something that I considered a very personal question about my adult daughter. I told them that I didn't know the answer. I, in fact, DO know the answer, but I certainly wasn't going to tell them. I thought about how far I have come in that department. I used to be so open. I shared information freely with family. After all, they are family, right? How naive I was. "Oh look. Here is a stick on the ground. Let me pick it up and give it to you so you can beat me with it!" I have finally learned the importance of walled cities.

PRIORITY #4 - My Home:  I had GREAT progress last week in trying to get in step with FlyLady. I faithfully spent 15 minutes a day on the master bedroom and another 15 minutes a day decluttering. I'm sad to be leaving the master bedroom behind and moving on to another area of the house, but I'm thankful that I did see some progress. I have also started baking bread twice a week since I read an article called The 5 Grossest Things You are Eating. I used to bake bread all the time about 15 years ago. Picking up the habit again, I have discovered that I REALLY enjoy baking! The other exciting thing that happened to me last week was paying the electric bill. How is that exciting? Well my electric company allows you to see what you are using on a daily basis so you can modify it to keep the bill down. By carefully monitoring, I was able to lower the bill by $35! I was excited. The next day, the temperature soared to 90 and it is supposed to be that way for the rest of the week...time to break out the AC. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

 PRIORITY #5 - Myself:  I always have to think long and hard about whether or not I made myself a priority. I haven't gotten much exercise, haven't really found an interesting book to read, but I guess I can say I was able to spend time with my dearest friend when I went to the symphony. She has certainly been my prayer warrior this week to help me get through unpleasant situations.

 PRIORITY #6 - My Ministry:  A week ago, I returned from camping with the Girl Scouts. Although I was very nervous about it initially, I have found that I really do LIKE camping. My co-leader is an expert at it so she makes it fun. I am actually going to get my certification in it by the end of the summer so that if something comes up that my daughter wants to do that doesn't involve the troop, I will be qualified to take her myself. Today, I had the opportunity to pray with someone who has recently blessed my family more than she will ever know. I am so thankful for our connections in the kingdom.

 Until next week. Blessings!