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I really need to learn how to make lemonade.  Little Stevie has been turning tiny fruit into enormous entities.

Today showed me that.

Let me start with the lemon that finished me off.  It was a itty bitty Lemonhead, to be honest, one that I think I could have avoided.  Can I admit that there are times when skipping church can be OK?  I should have skipped this morning’s service.  I should have just avoided.  I knew what was on the service agenda.  My church is ambitious, intent on growing and reaching as many people for God as possible.  That really excites me, especially since I know from watching the church grow over close to 30 years that it is blessed.  In order to grow, that means expanding.  Expanding requires money.  This morning was going to be a commitment service, with members being asked to commit to giving more over the next two years.  That requires faith beyond what I have.  Either that or God is telling me that I am not being asked to commit to giving more.

I hate that.  Damn it, God, I really do hate that!  After searching, working out the financial details, praying about it, I had to decide that going beyond what I have in order to give to a church building project is not wise.  God wants me to be a good steward.  God is not asking me to step out in faith and make money appear out of nowhere.  So I signed the commitment card any way, said that I am committing to give $25 a month more, walked up front and dropped it in the basket.

Remember the story in the Bible about Ananias and Sapphira, the couple who sold a piece of land to give the money to their church, lied about the price when they gave the money, and dropped dead as a result?  It’s in Acts 5 if you want to check it out.

I returned to my seat, stood with everyone while we sang.  All of a sudden, I felt very ill, nauseated and so dizzy that I felt like I was going to collapse.  I sat down.  That didn’t help.  Trying to be brave, I sat up straight, all the while feeling like any moment I was going to pass out.  The anxiety was building.  I didn’t know what was happening, but I was pretty sure that a good deal of how I felt at the moment had to do with that anxiety.

There are a lot of lemons in my life.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that.  I let those lemons be a lot larger than they need to be.  This morning, they about crushed me.

It didn’t help that yesterday I rode close to three hours, only drank about a quarter of the one water bottle that I brought with me.  More than likely, I was still a little dehydrated this morning.  Also, when I had that accident at the beginning of January, my blood pressure was around 170 over 102.  That scared the people who looked me over at the hospital after the accident.  They discharged me with a warning to go have my blood pressure checked by my doctor.  I chalked that up to the shock I was experiencing due to the accident, so I didn’t do anything about it.

So I forced myself to get up out of my chair in the church auditorium at the end of the service.  I was afraid.  I was dizzy, my gut churning, but walking helped a little.  I got in my car and it all came back.. worse.

Long story short, I managed to drive myself to a convenient care.  They took one look at me as I walked in and immediately they grabbed a wheelchair, took me back to exam.  After determining that it wasn’t my heart, they told me that there was definitely something doing on, but they needed me to go to the ER.  A few minutes later, I was in an ambulance and on my way to the hospital.

My heart rate was 165 over 102.  I was discharged a few hours later with a prescription for high blood pressure medicine.  Likely culprit is stress and dehydration, with a diet high in caffeine and sodium.

You know what sucks?  Our current health insurance situation.  At one point during my examination in the ER, an intake person came in with a portable computer system, told me that I needed to pay the $600 deductible then.  A big lemon smacked me in the gut.

I about passed out then.  At that point, it was a real good thing that Miriam had arrived.  She took over.  Turns out she has a credit card that I didn’t know about.

Good things — really all this means is that I am going to have to be on blood pressure meds for a while.  There will be a diet change required, something I was already contemplating.  Coffee will likely no longer be a morning staple.  Salt, something I usually overdo, is going to go away.

And today’s events meant Miriam and I talked about our money situation a lot more, without resistance.  That has been improving as of late, something I have been increasingly pushing and both of us becoming more aware of.. and I have really been stressing over our money.  I don’t feel as alone at the moment when it comes to that.  And my wife cooked for me when I got home, put together a menu and grocery list together, and she is doing the grocery shopping for this week.

Time for those lemons to shrink to lemonade size.