Healing Beads for a Friend

When the husband of a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer several months ago, I started pondering ways I could help.

Other than prayer, which I immediately did. And still do.

Luckily, Suzicate posted a blog about creativity, making a strand of prayer/meditation beads, and it hit me — I can do that!

As a Catholic and “beader”, I regularly make Rosaries. But my friend’s husband isn’t Catholic. And I never try to push my religion onto others.

Nor was I comfortable promoting the Buddhist philosophy.

Still, I firmly believe God put everything here on Earth that we need. Even rocks.

The Bible tells us God instructed His people to use certain stones — including jasper, agate, sapphire, and carnelian — when making the temple high priest’s clothing. And the Book of Revelation indicates the new temple will be constructed in Jerusalem using many of these same stones.

Do I believe gemstones, in and of themselves, heal? No, of course not.

Do I believe God can use gemstones to bring about healing? Definitely. He’s God; He can use whatever instrument He chooses.

So I designed and crafted a strand of healing beads. Not a bracelet, but a string of about eight inches long, consisting of semiprecious beads that supposedly have healing properties.

Stones like Flourite (to fortify bones), Howlite (to balance calcium levels), and Jasper (to ease emotional stresses).

On either end of my strand, I attached a simple Chinese coin, which traditionally is a feng shui money cure. Not that this man is suffering from lack of funds, but cancer treatments are expensive, and every little bit of “luck” helps!

Before I took the beads to him, I thought hard about what message I was sending. I didn’t want to mislead him by offering false hope, nor did I want to confuse him about Who is really in charge here.

So I told him some people call them worry beads. Others refer to them as prayer beads. Whatever we choose to call them, and whether they actually work, probably depends on our frame of mind. And the will of our Creator.

He was thrilled with my gift! He sat for a long while, fingering the beads and trying to memorize from my cheat-sheet which was which stone and their metaphysical properties.

Of course he’s undergoing traditional treatment. But if something as simple as gemstones can ease his mind during this difficult time, that’s a good thing, don’t you agree?

How to pass a rainy day

It rained and stormed much of yesterday.

Yuck — boring.

So, I decided to pass some time doing one of my favorite hobbies — beading jewelry.

There’s something wonderfully relaxing about rolling different shaped beads between your fingers. About matching (or contrasting) different textures and colors. About fashioning glass and stones and metals into earrings, bracelets, or necklaces.

And it’s fabulous having unique pieces to wear! When I get tired of something, I just break it apart and re-create it into something else. Or make something new to go with a new outfit. Or “copy” a cool design I saw in a magazine, giving it my own special touch.

I’m surprised at how many compliments I’ve gotten on my handmade creations, too. People tell me I should open up a little business, maybe on the Interwebs, and sell my stuff.

I don’t know. That sounds like a lot of work.

I’d have to line everything up, take individual pictures (of hundreds of items!), edit those pictures, design a Website (complete with shopping cart for orders), monitor the incoming orders, package the orders, ship the orders, handle any customer complaints — gosh, I get bleary-eyed just thinking about it!

I think I’ll stick with Web design and writing.

But for those interested in what I came up with, here’s a photo:

This is a Y necklace with a silver lobster-claw fastener. It measures 22 inches around the neck, with a four-inch “tail.” I used a combination of green Russian jade, tiger’s eye, pink zebra jasper, and fire-polished crystals, interspersed with mostly silver spacer beads.

Time to Count my Blessings

I came back from Christmas vacation with the same cold I had last November — ugh!

So, instead of belaboring my runny nose, stuffy sinuses, coughing, and general misery, I’ve decided to put on my “Little Mary Sunshine” persona and count some of my blessings. Here goes:

1) My Job. I can do Web Design whether I’m sniffling or not. I can schedule client meetings for when I feel less contagious, take care of the drudgery (filing, etc.) that has piled up, and teach myself new tricks — all from the comfort of my sickbed.

2) The Internet. Who says a sick person can’t shop?? Not me!

3) My Novel. Since I’m up to my ears in revisions, I’m not having to come up with new scenes (for the most part), connect the dots between plot lines, make sure my timeline is reasonable, etc. Plus, being sick gives me an “excuse” for foggy-thinking.

4) Beading. Working with many-colored, many-shaped beads is relaxing and offers another creative outlet. And I get to wear or sell some of the stuff I make!

5) My Sheltie. Dogs love you unconditionally. I’m sure they notice when you’ve always got a Kleenex at your nose, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I think what matters to them is the lackluster look in your eyes when they bring you a ball to toss!

6) NoteTabs. This cool product by Avery lets you write, mark, and highlight, right on the tabs! They’re more substantial than “sticky notes,” and they come in more than two dozen styles and colors.

7) January Thaw. Today, it was above 40 degrees!

8) My Family & Friends. They bolster me up, make me laugh, and turn my world into a warmer, cozier place. Thanks, everybody!

9) My Bed. Pity the poor people in Haiti who are suffering through the aftermath of an earthquake. Everything looks like it’s in ruins; kind of reminds me of what the Gulf Coast looked like after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

10) Faith. God never gives us more than He and we can bear. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”