Thursday, April 29, 2010

in reference to the mouth

i wouldn't say i am scared of the dentist but i certainly am not excited and don't lose sleep like i would if it were, say christmas eve. i really don't have any horror stories about the dentist. i remember having to have 7 teeth pulled one time when i was in jr. high. this was to prepare for braces. i remember friends who would always talk about how the dentist/orthodontist screwed them up and how their teeth are messed up forever now. i hear the stories of the dentist like a car mechanic who seems to make things up in order for you to buy something that seems reasonable for you mouth. i have never had those problems. i go to a place in las colinas, his name is dr. henegar. i rarely see him personally, actually. i think there are some small things that might change the feel of going to the dentist, as i am sure many fear the dentist, if there were ethics that could be broached.

1. the breath situation
i am always self-conscious about the odor projecting from the orifice that is being examined (in reference to the mouth). i can't help but feel that the protective mask so many hygienists use is not for any other reason but to protect their noses upon the first whiff. this is because i see some hygienists wear one and some don't. i too feel some what protected from them in the event of their morning latte and bagel desiring to make another appearance. i don't know if anyone worries as much as i do about this. are there any solutions to comfort the fear? i think one great solution is to have a good laugh about it. maybe talk about what the other person might be smelling if in fact odor seems to make the eye twitch a little, which is all to noticeable. i tend to reassure my hygienists that i did in fact brush profusely in order to eradicate any odor. this makes me feel better. it helps that my hygienist seems to have been doing this line of work for years so i am sure out of all those people she has seen in her history my breath is most likely not in the top 10 of the smelliest.

2. the waiting situation
seriously, magazines and t.v.'s are ok but lets make sure that just because the office is full of women that an option might be given to a man to not have to sit thru 1 hour of regis and kelly. i don't really care about your cd with your wife, nor do i imagine that it is good anyway. i don't care about which celebrity that has recently been voted off dancing with the stars can be on your show and dance with hot guys or girls, so please, please can we change the channel.

3. the chairs
i haven't done a whole lot of research but i would think that with all this advancement in technology there would be in some catalogue somewhere an enhanced chair for the comfort of the patient. i am not very comfortable in the chair which combined with the overhead light makes me feel like i am in some alien ship on a table being probed for understanding of my body. i could not be anymore uncomfortable even if i was completely naked. the arm rests are a step in the right direction but still yet the support for the back and arse is lacking.

4. mirrors
maybe the majority of individuals would rather not see the monstrosity that is happening within the framework of their mouth but i for one want to know what is going on. i think of the dentist as a cop. the cop as we all know is the instrument of the law that is actively showing people what they are doing wrong. the dentist is in my mouth scraping, drilling, flossing, cleaning, washing, poking, and i have no clue as to what is taking place. so if he is consistent with my perception, and policing my mouth, i think i have somewhat of a need to know what i am doing wrong. notice i said "need" and not "right." we won't get into why if feel right should not take precedent over need. bottom line...i wanna know whats goin on buddy!

5. informed consent
i think it should be part of the duty of any hygienist to inform said patient of particles that might be societal disgusts. in other words, if i got a booger hanging from my left nostril swinging from hair to hair like tarzan on his way to rescue jane, i want to know so i don't go further humiliating myself in society. at the moment the chair begins to fall back, so that ALL is in view, the hygienist should thereby be deputized as a "good friend," who looks with compassion upon her/his patients flaws that are very capable of being remedied. so just break the ice and let them know, as in observation 1 with the breath, that they are actually encouraged to not just pull out unwanted particles on the teeth but anything else that might be within the reach of that little poker thinga-ma-jig.

i have made my dentist aware of all these, or at least the hygienist. things are a lot smoother upon each visit. and i know she is not freaked out because i see the same one over and over and have never been suspicious of her trying to dump me onto the recently graduated intern who is looking for anyone to prove she has what it takes to last years in this business.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

motivational fear

i am freaking out, on the inside. the nce (national counselor examination) is a huge exam i must take that is given by the state of texas in order to become eligible for a license to counsel. i received my confirmation number on friday night and lay in bed thinking about how this was going to be possible. i mean passing. i hear from the most supportive people in my life that i will "do great," and "don't worry." i think about how divine many of my advances have truly been. i won't go into detail here but lets just say some strings have been pulled in order to get me at this position. or that is the way i see it anyway. i think about my study habits and how i have been removed from the education system for 6 months now. i think about at what level is my dependence on god to provide supernatural intellect realistically not practical. i believe he provides and that he sustains and that he orders one's steps but i don't think about how the intensity of my laziness influences to whatever degree my outcome. i wonder at what level i am being lazy. am i being lazy at all? does this make sense to anyone else? you feel that perhaps you have studied and think to yourself, "i know this!" but then there is that small voice that says "it's gonna to take supernatural interference to pull ya outta this one" i fear, bottom line, i fear. i fear that i will not pass and will have to take it again. i fear what perception others might have if i can't gain a passing grade. i fear what people might think if they know i want to be an effective counselor and yet according to the state, i am anything but an effective counselor. i struggle to make an allowance for the possibility of failure. my mind races to think of what i could do if i fail the test. i do not enjoy retail. i repeat...i do NOT enjoy retail. in the long run i am moving to belgium, so consequently, does it really matter? for my personality, it matters to the fullest extent.

i remember buying my miniature moleskin for the purpose of writing down great quotes, philosophical ideas, scriptures with life-changing implication, and small thoughts that would alter the course of humanity. i can remember one of the entries which came after a session with an individual who admitted to being surrounded with fearful thoughts. i was wondering if there was any usage of fear and if in fact it had any qualities of being good. i remember finding out that fear is used to motivate and yet when you try and partner with it you will find yourself alone most of the time. fear of failure has the ability to drive me to study to be prepared in this particular situation and yet if i were to partner with fear too long i might find that negative prophecy will dictate my thoughts. one of the quotes related, i can remember, hearing from FDR, "the only thing to fear is fear itself." i believe fear has its purpose in a proper context. fear as a secondary emotion can really do some great things to motivate people to accomplish goals and increase vision (the good from the bad mentality). however, let me issue the encouragement to anyone thinking fear is great to motivate others. it is not. fear is able to motivate only the individual who finds themselves seeking change. in other words, fear tactics are not really benefitting anyone. i will say this as an example: heaven is not a place for those who fear hell. so preachers who use it are not benefitting anyone but only revealing the depths of their own soul...fear as their ally.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

determined for death

liz and i set out on a weekend of camping at robbers cave in oklahoma this past weekend. i am sure liz will blog about this sometime in the near future. i can't tell you how manly i felt. i can't tell you how excited i was to go into an unknown place without any previous knowledge of how to do the "camping thing." i can't tell you how excited i was to know the only familiar entity was my wife with me. well, i guess i knew how to start a fire. that is one of those things boys learn how to do when they are young. we sent out a message on facebook to anyone who had some camping gear we may be able to borrow, seeing as i we don't have any. some great people of our church cory and rhonda woods responded and supplied us with enough to start our own town if we wanted.

i packed that little subaru to its brim. i mean sleeping bags, pots, pans, firewood, tent, lanterns, propane tanks, and most importantly phone and ipod chargers. this weekend was going to be AMAZING! that seemed to be the phrase echoing through my mind the whole time as i loaded. friday afternoon 330 was launch time.

i had hoped to be able to leave and still arrive at the camp site with day light. i can always picture doing things in the dark and thinking i never really was able to do anything in the dark. well, we were not able to arrive at robbers cave until close to 10pm. as you can light. i tried to keep the head lights from the car on the actual campsite til we could set the tent up but the way the road was situated only a little light actually hit the site. the roads to drive were higher than the grounds. i started a fire as soon as possible so this might bring in some light for our viewing pleasure. my mind was set: get the fire going, get the tent up, get the chairs out and set them by the fire, enjoy ourselves by the fire, stay out late and then finally go back to the tent and truly return to natural activity. this was MY plan. the tent we had graciously received had never been assembled by our hands. i honestly, was banking on liz's expertise more so than mine. she grew up in alaska with that outdoor-sy mentality. with no light to actually to see anything the first assembly of the lowrie's tent congregation was not happening that night. suffice to say there was no tent revival. out of no where liz shoots out, "well, lets lay the tarp down and put the sleeping bags on them and sleep outside." i had not even thought of this being a possibility. i didn't want to sleep outside, i wanted to sleep inside a tent. liz was very tired, and i was rapidly approaching that point of give up. you know when you have been working on something and then your fatigue sets in and you reach a point in the mind that this has been far enough and even if you were to attempt any more, you would not achieve what ever it is you are shooting for. that was it for me as well. the excitement let down and then it hit me...i am laying on a tarp in the middle of oklahoma underneath what could be clouds to let down rain at any given moment. i thought this will be ok i guess...

all thru the night i heard noises. raccoons, birds, frogs, and semi's from the not to far off distant road were all periodically entering into the ole drum of the ear. i knew the morning light would wake us and i was praying to god it wasn't the oklahoma rain. my biggest fear upon waking was really to see campers lined up behind liz and i taking photos because we were sleeping outside and not in a tent. i quickly felt the urgency to dispose of the evidence that two individuals slept outside. i regret doing so because liz wanted a picture of our adventure to share with the world. never the less we set up the tent and surprisingly enough it took not even 20 minutes. after the completion of the tent we made breakfast on a propane stove. we mixed turkey sausage, eggs, and cheese. it was very, very, very good. it coupled nicely with our cowboy/camping coffee. as we sat there eyes glazed towards the river less than 20 feet away i realized how awesome it really is to be able to sit down and not have immediate responsibilities. we took a walk in one direction from the site for about 20 min. came back, took a nap, and then started on a hike in the other direction. little did we know our trip's life was determined for death.

as liz and i started our stroll in the opposite direction of the earlier morning hike it began to drizzle. it was nothing to cry about and was barely noticeable. however, it was consistent and lasted for nearly two hours. liz and i talked politics, callings, counseling, and i shared with her some revelation the lord gave me earlier in the week about eagerness and examination. i won't go into detail on the specifics. before we realized it we were headed back in a somewhat harder rainfall. we thought we might want to check the tent to see if there had been water damage. there was just some spots were water was leaking in but not enough for us to begin construction on a log cabin. well the rain was NOT letting up. it wasn't a hard, torrential downpour but it was not being a good host to the native land of oklahoma either. we set a time limit on the rain. it was leaking in more and more. 5 o'clock was the deadline, if had not let up by 5 then we were going to pack it up and head home. at this time it was around 345 and not even as soon as we had set that time limit a drop lands squarely on top of the sleeping bag. that was it, we both had had it. we devised a plan on clean up and effectively succeeded in clean up in a mere 20 minutes.

with everything packed and the little subaru on its way back towards the exit/entrance of the park i though we might just check and see if they have a cabin to rent. they only had a hotel lodge = yuck!!! despite their efforts of getting us to stay by knocking off $30 dollars, we really didn't want to stay in a room with a microwave and mini fridge. we left and decided to head home leisurely. it was a great trip back. i can recall many moments where i made liz laugh and things she said made me laugh hysterically. we stopped at a goodwill because i felt it was a gold mine but the only benefactor of that stop was our son dutch who got 4 shirts. we then stopped at pizza joint in some random town which had music blaring on the speakers inside. it would seem we had stumbled onto christian night at mazzios. they played all christian music, most of which i had never heard. the music was showering cheese and i thought we had enough cheese on our pizza so we got out of there and started back home only to arrive around 930ish. i was promised by my wife that we will indeed go again sans the children. but it also prompted a desire in me to invite friends to attend the next one too.

i will go camping again, oh yes, i will go again and i will stay longer than 24 hours at this next campsite. this i vow...nature has not had its last laugh.