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FSM 316       DO/TS        Menopause: Another Step for Jesus!

Testimonies from Family Women, More Tips, and Word to Help Make the Transition a Happy One!

Copyright © 1997 by The Family - June 1997


       My Experience with Menopause       2
       The Facts, Ma'am!       2
       Information on Natural Remedies and Estrogen Replacement Therapy       3
       Overcoming Inherited Menstrual Problems       4
       Promises for Those Who Feel They Have No Strength       6
       "Girl Talk" About Moods!       7
       A Jewel from Dad!       7
       Word to Chase the Blues Away!       8
       Women's Forum! Health Tips -- From You!       9
       Natural Cures for Menopause Symptoms       9
       Tofu or Not Tofu? -- That Is the Question!       10
       "Just Can't Cope? Take God's Dope!"       11
       Irritations Away! -- A Question About Womanly Afflictions       12
       What Can We Do?       13
       Strength in Weakness!       15
       What Happens to My Sex Life as I Grow Older?       16
       More on Women's Health in the Second Half of Life       18
       More Notes on Nutrition and Herbs       19
       Osteoporosis and Calcium       19
       About Estrogen       19
       "Take Care of Yourself, You Belong to Me!"       20
       How Menopause Brought Me Closer to Jesus!       22
       A Testimony to the Power of Prayer!       24

My Experience with Menopause
By Julie Trust (formerly Amana), Europe

       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: God bless you, Julie, and all you wonderful women in our happy over-40s club! We love you! This is a testimony of Julie's from the time when she went through menopause.)
       A while back I finished going through a stage of life called menopause. Probably most of us women remember our mothers going through it, and have some questions about what happens and how it affects us. Since I had a very easy time with it (thank the Lord), I hope this testimony will be an encouragement to you.
       First I should mention that I started going through it when I was 40. This is actually very young, as most people start around 45-55. The doctor explained the starting age was a hereditary factor, and I remember my mother also started at 40. Basically, it's the reverse of puberty -- your periods stop and your childbearing days are over. But of course, Abraham's Sarah bore a child after this, so it goes to show that "all things are possible with God!"
       The first sign was irregular periods. Some months I just wouldn't get a period at all. Then came the characteristic "hot flushes" (or "hot flashes," as they are sometimes called). This is similar to a contraction or orgasm, in that a rush of heat flows through your whole body, making you feel like you have a fever of 105°F for 30 seconds or so! It peaks and then subsides. It's not painful and not so noticeable to others, except you look a little flushed and sweaty!
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Some women do not experience a strong rush of heat or extremely bothersome hot flashes, but they may notice mild changes of body temperature for no apparent reason, feeling quite warm, quite cool, then warm again. Women become more sensitive to temperature changes around the time of menopause; they often feel both cold and heat more acutely.)
       The number of hot flashes increased, while my periods got further apart. I noticed them especially around the time I was missing my period, as I would get from five to eight a day, and was very emotional at these times. The rest of the month I would get two or three daily. Now I haven't had a normal period for a year and the hot flushes are pretty much over. I'm also a lot more stable emotionally.
       The way I discovered that I was going through the menopause was that a doctor examined me after I lost a pregnancy of seven weeks. He said it was due to hormone imbalance, and he took some vaginal discharge samples. Apparently the balance of hormones changes at menopause and the body no longer gets the signal to build up blood supplies for the next pregnancy. Sometimes the opposite happens, and the imbalance causes the body to continually discharge the blood deposits, causing irregular but heavy bleeding. But the symptom which is most common for all times of menopause is the hot flashes.
       For many of us, the greatest trial of menopause is not being able to have more children. But by then many of us have grown children and can enjoy our grandchildren instead! Also there are always lots of babies in the Family whose parents need a helping hand. One Letter that is very encouraging is "Born in Heaven" (ML #1560, Bk.12), as we know that once we get our new bodies, our motherhood can start all over again! Thank You Lord!
       I hope this information will be a blessing and encouragement to you. "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2Cor.1:4).
       Love, Julie

* * *

The Facts, Ma'am!
       These testimonies are quite frank and contain details that may seem gory to some, or look like we are talking about the more negative aspects of a woman's life cycle. However, for the many women who experience uncomfortable and somewhat alarming changes in their menstruation and cycles, hearing how the Lord has helped others can be a big help, just to know others experience these problems, too -- and survive! And even if they have some rough spots during menopause, many women attest to better health than ever in their post-menopausal years. Thank You Jesus!
       Love, Your Editors

* * *

Information on Natural Remedies and Estrogen Replacement Therapy
From Joy of Dan, USA

       I wanted to pass on some information that I have gleaned from several books on the subject of menopause. In our life of faith we have faced and overcome many changes. Unlike women who run to the doctor when experiencing any changes in their bodies, we have learned to run to the Lord. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Although we do usually prefer to trust the Lord for His help and healing, there could be a time when it is helpful to get a diagnosis from a doctor, or even medical help. If you are considering visiting a doctor, or feel the need to do so, it's a good idea to pray and ask the Lord for His confirmation and for anything He might have to say about it. After a doctor visit, you can also ask the Lord for further counsel, explanation, or guidance in relation to what the doctor has advised.)
       I began to have hot flashes and night sweats at age 44. I felt some unusual changes in my body. My periods came closer together, with headaches and general weakness. I prayed and asked the Lord to take these symptoms away and He did. The symptoms were gone in a matter of weeks. The Lord did a miracle! I had become pregnant!
       Three years later after the delivery of a beautiful, strong, spunky baby boy, and having nursed him for two years, I began to recognize the more pronounced but shorter periods, the night sweats which interfered somewhat with my sleep, and frequent headaches. I can expect that in the next few years my periods will continue to taper off altogether. My ovulation will be irregular, but I know I could possibly get pregnant again until 12 full months after my last period. Then, according to the doctors, I will be "post-menopausal."
       The natural ways of combating troublesome symptoms, are, of course, the best. Eating right during menopause is essential. The diet recommended by most of the books I read was almost identical to the diet suggested in CCHB I for pregnancy. Milk is extremely important, and caffeinated drinks should be taken with moderation, especially if you are having problems with sleeplessness.
       Dong Quai, a Chinese herb, is supposed to have an estrogen-like effect. Ginseng helps fatigue, and vitamin E is said to relieve hot flashes. Primrose oil is reported to help normalize hormonal activity. Other herbs which are said to stimulate the body to produce female hormones are sarsaparilla, licorice, red raspberry, cramp bark, black cohash, damiana, squaw vine, and false unicorn root.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: We haven't tried all of the herbs mentioned in this mag, but we are passing this information on so you can give them a try, if you feel led to do so, and if they are available in your area. Be prayerful, of course, and stop using them immediately if there are any adverse effects. Mat.9:29. We also suggest you refer to "A Mommy's Medical Manual," Childcare Handbook 1, page 214, for helpful counsel and cautions on using herbs.)
       It was not recommended in the sources that I read that women try to lose weight during menopause through dieting. Women who are very thin often have a more difficult time than those who are normal or slightly overweight.
       The single most helpful suggestion for avoiding the more negative symptoms of menopause is to get regular, active get-out. Walking is beneficial, but a more active get-out like swimming or aerobics, naturally done with a good warm-up program, has a more lasting, positive effect.
       Estrogen therapy is recommended across the board by many doctors for all women passing through menopause. The most common drug prescribed is called "Premarin," named for the pregnant mare's urine from which it is derived. However, Premarin is also a known carcinogen; that is, it is known to increase the risk of cancer, yet doctors continue to dispense prescriptions freely.
       My older sister at fifty is a devotee of naturopathy. When I asked her about it, she said, "I don't take any other unnatural drugs, but I just can't give up my estrogen. It gives energy and a sense of well-being." In the Family many of us have taken stands of faith before on drug-related issues. And so when the question of estrogen therapy comes up, we need to understand and be specific in our prayer requests about menopause, for the Lord to give us these things -- the energy and sense of well-being, the peace and good sleep at night, freedom from headaches and from any other symptoms that would hinder our service for the Lord. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Yes, it's certainly a good idea to specifically pray for the Lord to strengthen us and give us{\ul \i  }His {\ul \i peace} and {\ul \i joy} in living, when we come to the stage of life when our bodies make less estrogen and we can feel the difference. If you are considering taking estrogen, please refer to the prophecy about it, in ML #3127:88-136, GN 738.)
       Menopause is a very real stage in our lives caused by a change in our body's chemistry. The symptoms are not all in our minds; they are real -- as real and as individual as our periods and pregnancies. So we certainly shouldn't fear to bring our needs before the Lord in united prayer during this time. Let's all pray for each other as we take another step for Jesus!
       Love, Joy

* * *

Overcoming Inherited Menstrual Problems
From Alison, WS

       Thank the Lord, through the years Dad has taught us through the Letters and his sample to trust in the Lord's healing power, which we have all greatly benefited from over the years. The following is background to a wonderful healing I experienced in my life.
       Several of the women in my mother's family have had quite serious problems with their periods. My grandmother hemorrhaged and nearly died from a continual loss of blood. Then my mother bled so heavily during her periods that the doctors recommended she have a hysterectomy. And one of my cousins also bled so heavily during two consecutive periods that they weren't sure she would live, which resulted in her also having a hysterectomy.
       Knowing this problem could happen to me has never frightened or worried me, as I knew that I had something that these relatives of mine didn't have -- faith in the Lord's ability to heal. My grandmother, mother and cousin are all saved, thank the Lord, but sad to say, they are amongst the many Christians who believe that healing was only for Bible times, and that today the Lord has instead provided doctors for our healing needs.
       Over the past 10 years my periods have become heavier, though never to the extent that had happened to my relatives. They were still far heavier than the periods of most girls I've known in the Family, often accompanied by blood clots.
       At the onset of my last period, I decided to write my shepherdess about this hereditary weakness in the women of my family, and ask for preventative prayer against it ever happening to me. It seems the Lord was preparing my heart, because toward the end of the second day of this period the bleeding came on much heavier than usual. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: As has been mentioned in the previous mags on menopause [EDITED: "FSM 314 and 315"], heavy or extreme bleeding can be a symptom of menopause, as it can sometimes result from the hormonal imbalance occurring at that time.)
       Now, as I stated above, my periods are normally much heavier than those of most girls. With this particular period, the flow was at least double or more of the heaviest flow I had ever experienced on any previous period, accompanied by very large blood clots.
       As this continued for several hours, I realized that this wasn't something to take lightly, and I shouldn't just wait for it to pass as women do with their periods. Thank the Lord, there was no fear in my heart as He gave me a real peace about things, but I knew I also needed to take action.
       I had earlier asked my mate to pray for me. He did, and at the time he asked me to tell my shepherdess about it. Thinking that this heavier stage would soon pass, I didn't want to humble myself and go to her. But as the heavy bleeding continued, I felt the Lord was only going to heal as I obeyed.
       Thank the Lord, my humbling myself to ask for prayer was the key to His healing! Soon after I told my shepherdess about this excessive bleeding, and she and two other adults had desperate prayer for me with the laying on of hands, the bleeding slowed down! -- I was healed! It was a wonderful miracle.
       The following day at our Sunday Fellowship I explained this hereditary weakness to the rest of my Home, and testified of the miracle the Lord had performed the night before. The verses I claimed were: "And [EDITED: "they"] besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment, and as many as touched Him were made perfectly whole" (Mat.14:36). "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (Jam.5:15). Also, there is the story in Matthew 9:20-22 about the woman who was healed of an issue of blood, praise the Lord!
       Some one shared the MOP quote, "You can overcome your environment and your heredity if you've got the guts and the faith and the push and the drive and the determination to do something about it!" (MOP 3:3). They then laid hands on me, asking for a total healing!
       Thank the Lord for His marvelous love! The week following I experienced extra tiredness and headaches off and on due to loss of blood, which in a way were a blessing as they reminded me of how great a miracle the Lord had performed for me, and helped me to not take His healing for granted! But He also mercifully delivered me from those headaches and renewed my strength, praise the Lord!

       P.S. Update: The Lord has continued to heal me. Now, four or five years after the above healing occurred, the flow during my periods is more like that of other women my age. I'm very thankful for His healing touch!
       I have had the very heavy flow two or three more times, and each time as soon as I have asked for prayer, the flow has slowed down, thank the Lord!
       I have also learned a few tips to help keep the flow more regular:
       1. When I have experienced this extreme flow, I lie down on my back in bed and take it easy, in order to cooperate with the Lord as He heals me.
       2. I've found that during the heavier parts of my period it's best to avoid fast walking or running, carrying heavy loads or any type of extra physical exertion. Each time I've experienced the extreme bleeding it was preceded by my doing something like racing around trying to get something done, carrying a heavy box, etc.
       3. Often before my period I would get bad headaches. I used to take one or two aspirin for these headaches, even though I didn't use aspirin often. That wasn't a lot, but I suspect it had something to do with the heavy bleeding, as aspirin "thins" the blood. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: If you experience heavy menstruation, by all means avoid taking aspirin before or during your period, as it will usually increase the flow.) Now I avoid aspirin altogether when my period is due in the next day or two. And to help lessen the strength of these headaches I've gone on the attack with my diet, eating more raw vegetables and getting more calcium (through milk, cheese, tofu and broccoli), with the result being milder and less frequent pre-period headaches. Thank the Lord! I do occasionally take a Tylenol for those headaches, as they do not contain aspirin and don't seem to affect the bleeding. But that often isn't necessary, thank the Lord! ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Tylenol is made of acetaminophen, and is sometimes available under that name instead of the brand name "Tylenol.")
       One other testimony: I often find that for the past several years during the week prior to my period, and during the first four or five days of my period, I experience a sort of low in my outlook on life. My tendency during that time is to view experiences, things around me and myself in a more negative light.
       This used to discourage me, having to face this monthly spiritual battle. However, the Lord has turned things around and uses it instead as a blessing. It's caused me to look to the Lord more for His inspiration, rather than running on my own. It's also caused me to be more prayerful about my thoughts, feelings and decisions, making sure my decisions and actions are based on the Lord and not on my feelings, so again it has drawn me closer to Him. And when I lean on my own flesh, it's more obvious to those around me, so it's a time I get humbled through making mistakes and thus also more apologies, which is another plus.
       So though naturally I'd prefer not to experience this "low" time, I've learned to look at it positively and be thankful for it, which keeps it from hindering my walk with the Lord.

* * *

Promises for Those Who Feel They Have No Strength
(From "Pray for Maria," ML #2988, FUN 29.)

       (Mama:) When praying with Peter about [EDITED: "my"] feeling of constant exhaustion, the Lord spoke some comforting words which were a help to me and I believe will be a help to those of you who are also battling physical or spiritual afflictions:
       (Prophecy:) This affliction is not a chastisement. It is a lesson, an illustration of carrying on in spite of weakness, an illustration that My voice can still be heard in the midst of weakness; an illustration of being faithful to do that which you must do in spite of your weakness; an illustration of how weak so many of your children feel when it looks like there is so much to do and so many changes ahead, and they feel they have no strength for the task. But I say they do have strength -- strength that they know not of.
       "And as in your weakness you can tap into My strength and hear My voice and receive My directions, so can these. And as your weakness is only for a time, so is their weakness. Even as you wonder if you will have the strength, so do they wonder and worry. But even as I will heal you and strengthen you, so will I heal and strengthen them. Even as you must carry on in faith though feeling weak, so must these. Even as you have faith to know that I will heal you and I will make it better and I will strengthen you, so must these have faith that even though it all seems so insurmountable and even though they worry and feel as if they are nothing and have no strength of their own, I will heal and strengthen them and I will make all things right.
       "You wish to be strengthened now, but you must understand that I work this work. They wish to be strengthened now and to have all of their problems sorted out and all of their answers now, but I test and I purge and I wait to see if they will hold on and trust. -- And as they do, the sunrise of My strength shall rise upon them and they shall be filled with warmth, with comfort, with strength and with great satisfaction. For they will feel the healing power of My Spirit as it moves upon the weak and the weary bones and raises them up, newly strengthened for the battles ahead.
       "For even as a sickness passes, My children also pass through a short time of weakness and confusion before I bring them into My Promised Land of the spirit." (End of prophecy.)

* * *

A Jewel from Dad!
Dad's Revelation on "Thanks Be to God Which Giveth Us the Victory!"

       Dad had a little revelation the other night on one of the verses that he has on his wall, "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Cor.15:57). He said, "Have you ever wondered why the word `which' is used in that verse?"
       I said, "Yes, it should have been `Who,' shouldn't it?"
       He said, "No, it shouldn't. The reason the word `which' is used instead of `Who' is because the `which' refers to the thanks! If this particular verse was saying that God gives us the victory, it would say, `Thanks be to God Who giveth us the victory.' The `Who' refers to God. But in this case, it is saying that it is the thanks that gives us the victory! And therefore `which' is used. `Which' is used to refer to things or objects, whereas `who' always refers to people. This verse is saying it is the giving of thanks which gives us the victory. Isn't that beautiful? PTL! TYJ!" (ML #2841:15, GN 544).

* * *

"Girl Talk" About Moods!
Excerpts of a Note from Chloe (WS) to a WS Shepherdess

Hi! GBY!
       Last night Maureen stopped by and wanted to ask me about the reading I've been doing on menopause. She's the same age I am, and since I've been going through menopause and reading about it, she wondered if what she's been going through could be related to that. She said she's hit these very "down" periods, for no reason that she can think of. They make her passive and un-cheerful, and her sweet mate has commented, "Why aren't you like you used to be? Why aren't you cheerful?" She just gets real blah, she said. She's normally a very inspirational, upbeat person -- a live wire -- so this is a lot different from how she normally is.
       Many of the sources I've read say that mood swings are associated with menopause, I told her, and I shared how I have had that too, and in fact just had a problem with it last week. I told her how I've been able to go to you to ask you to pray for it, or rather against it, when it was coming on, and how prayer is what I've found helps the most. Maybe a little thing will kick it off, or maybe nothing, but it's very real.
       I told her how I'll feel or rather know that I'm a loser, and that everyone knows it, but they just aren't telling me, ha! (Because she said she gets very negative about herself, she doesn't like herself, etc.) So I told her how prayer has really helped head it off, and that's been a huge help.
       Also, I told her that I'm more susceptible to it when I don't get enough sleep. -- I have trouble sleeping sometimes and get so tired that I'm practically despairing. I feel literally hopeless, that things are just not going to work out, no matter what I do. She really identified with that, as apparently she doesn't get nearly enough sleep either. I told her how some books say that the irritability and mood swings associated with menopause are often caused by lack of sleep -- so we discussed ways to sleep more. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: See helps for sleep, in FSMs 314 and 315.)
       My YA roommate (who was listening with great attention to all this, ha!) piped up to say that she should ask people not to disturb her after a certain time. My roomie has been so understanding about how I need to have enough rest, God bless her.
       Oh, I told her how the books say that this is a time to really take care of yourself, which I personally hate to admit. They all say that you need to get enough rest, eat properly, get good exercise daily (just like Dad says!) -- and you really need to tune into and respond to your body's needs.
       My roomie said she felt that made perfect sense, but for me it's been very difficult to admit that I can't work late like I often used to, that I have to do relaxing things before bed so that I'll sleep well, etc., instead of being at my desk till 11, which I used to always do on free nights. I want to be a pillar of strength, ha! -- But I'm just not, and I need to realize that. The books even say you should pamper yourself, but we don't want to go overboard, as good as that may sound, ha! However, we discussed how we could do much better in taking care of ourselves like we should and giving our bodies what they need.
       So at the end, we prayed together -- the three of us -- and asked the Lord to meet our needs for sleep, exercise, and plenty of sex (Maureen really amened that, ha!) so that we can sleep soundly at night. Also, we rebuked the Enemy from bringing in these depressed or "down" feelings, and asked the Lord to do things to encourage us and help His Own cheerfulness and inspiration to come through. So it was really a blessing to talk together. She was so encouraged to find someone else that it had happened to, and so was I, praise the Lord!
       Love, Chloe

       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Please see GN 738 and GN 739 for helpful and encouraging Words from the Lord about these mood swings and bouts with depression.)

* * *

Word to Chase the Blues Away!
       Have you been having more gloomy days than usual? Here are some beautiful Letters that can help!

       "Be Encouraged!" ML #3047 (GN 677)
       "Forget Yourself and Think About Jesus!" ML #2938 (GN 605)
       "Praise and Sing Your Way to Victory!" ML #2833 (GN 542)
       "Feeling Close to Jesus!" ML #2746 (GN 500)
       "What Is Weak?" DB3, page 356
       Strength and Weakness GN, ML#s 2553-2559 (GN 402)
       "Overcoming Negative Thinking!" ML #2700 (GN 473)
       "Misinterpretations and Misunderstandings!" ML #2839 (GN 544)
       "Just Let the Light In!" ML #2657 (GN 454)
       Negative Thoughts About Ourselves Are Weights that Drag Us Down! "Mama's Love Story, Part 4," ML #2995:13-21, (GN 638) Par.13-21
       "Crisis of Faith! -- More on Doubts! -- Part 2. -- How to Recognize, Fight, and Be Delivered from the Enemy's Doubts!" ML #3089 (GN 714)
       "Negative Thinking: Dangers and Deliverance," by Peter (DB 10, pg.801)
       "We're `More Than Conquerors!'" ML #1703 (DB2)
       "Jewels on Going Slow and Resting in the Lord!" ML #2939 (GN 605)
       "More on Faith!" ML #T (Vol.7)
       "Faith and Healing!" ML #M (Vol.1)
       "Fight for Your Healing," ML #2072 (Vol.16)
       "Sleep" in Good Thots 2
       To Jesus with Love and From Jesus with Love booklets
       "Menopause -- A Time of Strengthening and Renewal," ML #3127 (GN 738)
       "Midlife Victories! -- Meeting the Challenge Together!" ML #3128 (GN 739)

* * *

Women's Forum!
Health Tips -- From You!

Natural Cures for Menopause Symptoms
From Serena, USA
       I came across a book entitled Menopause -- A Positive Approach, by Rosetta Reitz (published by Chilton Book Company of Radnor, Penn., 1977). It has a very natural approach with a lot of natural remedies and health and medical information that backs up what is written. The author is very much against estrogen replacement therapy.
       This book helped me tremendously, as I recently even had to go to the doctor for a menopause-related irritation and resulting infections. I was glad to know that it was only that, but the doctor's only treatment was the estrogen replacement therapy, applying estrogen in cream form. But I decided to try what this book suggested and was helped within two days! Thank You Jesus! ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Please see "Irritations Away," page 12 in this mag, which gives some of the remedies suggested in this book.)
       In all I have read about menopause, the importance of good diet and exercise beginning years before your menopause is emphasized, as it will greatly affect how strong or light your symptoms of menopause will be. Knowing this is a help to us older mommies, because we do sometimes get tired of fighting to eat a good diet or to be faithful to exercise. I've seen that we don't just need it for our pregnancies, but for ourselves to be happier and healthier during this time of change -- including in our sex lives!
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Another book which emphasizes natural means to combat difficult menopause symptoms is "Menopause, Naturally -- Preparing for the Second Half of Life," by Sadja Greenwood, M.D. [EDITED: "Volcano Press, Inc, P.O. Box 270, Volcano, California, 95689; 1989"]. She gives positive explanations of our body's strange activities at this age, and most helpful of all, natural means for alleviating some of the more troublesome symptoms. Both Dr. Greenwood's and Ms. Reitz's books contain sections that don't jibe with our Family beliefs, and most women will find enough information in these FSMs and GNs to answer their questions. But if you are interested in more in-depth study of natural approaches to menopause, you may find {\ul \i some} of the information in these books to be useful, if they are available where you are.)

Tofu or Not Tofu? -- That Is the Question!
       From Rosa of Sam, South America
       The idea explained in the following article from Time Magazine sounds good and simple. Since menopause is not something that happens overnight and the effects sometimes only begin to become noticeable years afterwards, like osteoporosis, it might behoove us to begin eating the proper foods now that will make our future years happier, healthier and so be able to serve the Lord and others more fully.
       Time says: "Many of the `alternative' practitioners around the country are suggesting that women seek estrogen from dietary sources. In Los Angeles and Boston, Mexican yams have become all the rage among women of a certain age. Yams contain a weak form of estrogen. San Francisco nutritionist Linda Ojeda, author of Menopause Without Medicine, advocates soybeans, which contain a natural progesterone as well as estrogen. The low rate of menopausal complaints among Japanese women may be due in part to their consumption of tofu, she suggests. To relieve hot flashes, Ojeda recommends 170 grams of tofu four times a week, 800 units of vitamin E daily, plus a few other herbs and vitamins. `Why not start with the least invasive products first? If you have a cold, you start with chicken soup and garlic'" (Time Magazine, June 26, 1995).
       When I began having periods every two weeks instead of the normal (for me) four, I began eating tofu three to four times a week. After the first month, my period came only six days early instead of 14. After the second month, it was actually late. I began to wonder if the tofu was having "too much" effect, but then I realized that if I averaged the two months, it averaged out to normal, so perhaps it's not only regulating the number of days between periods, but actually getting my body back on its normal cycle. Time will tell.
       I don't know if my irregular periods were signs of peri-menopause (the name given to the span of time before the last period, ranging from several months to several years, which is often accompanied by irregular periods and other discomforts associated with menopause) or not. I'm only 43, but I began menstruating early and that is a characteristic of women who have early menopause. Anyway, whatever the cause, the tofu seems to be helping. In her book Linda Ojeda explains why tofu helps: Soybean products, especially tofu, have the highest concentration of natural compounds called phytohormones [EDITED: "meaning hormones found naturally in plants"]. These substances, also called phytosterols, do not actually contain human hormones, but they do encourage their production within the body. "Because plant hormones act systemically," Ojeda writes, "they treat a broad range of conditions, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, menstrual irregularities and fibroid tumors. They appear to improve blood flow to female organs, keep arteries clear, and offer protection from cancer.
       "Plant hormones have a safety record centuries long. [DELETED] Their potency is very low and they stimulate a woman's body to produce the hormones she needs without toxic side effects." They work within the body to balance hormonal levels, raising them if they are too low and lowering them if they are too high. More good news -- four oz. (approximately 113 grams) of tofu has 10 grams of protein (more than in a glass of milk), about half the calcium of a glass of milk, and, at the most, one gram of fat! GBY! Love, Rosa
       ({\ul \i Note from Chloe}: I've found some fun ways to eat tofu. The firm type can be chopped into little pieces to go in salads. It can also be added to sauces, or cut into little squares and floated in soup. It seems to acquire the taste of whatever it's cooked with, so that's nice. But my all-time favorite is to put a banana and about 150 grams (or 5 ounces) of soft tofu in a blender, add a little honey and cinnamon, blend well, and presto! I have a yummy pudding or drink that's quick -- and absolutely delicious for snack! You may have some fun, easy recipes for tofu. If so, would you send them in? Thanks!)

* * *

"Just Can't Cope? Take God's Dope!" (ML #312:31, Vol.3)
       Here are a few oldie-goldie verses and quotes that are very encouraging to grab onto during the midlife changes we and our bodies go through!

       "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1Cor.6:19-20).

       "Though the outward [EDITED: "wo"]man perish, yet the inward [EDITED: "wo"]man is renewed day by day" (2Cor.4:16).

       "That's why you can have peace in the midst of the storm, calm in the eye of the hurricane. The hardest kind of peace to have is the picture that won the award! That was the picture of this horrible roaring, raging cataract -- a river in all its foaming and fury. But on a little branch right above, overhanging the raging current, there was a beautiful little nest with a tiny bird sitting there and peacefully singing away in spite of the storm! That's when your faith gets tested: In the midst of the storm!" ("Stop! ... Look! ... Listen!" ML #74:23, Vol.1).

       "Trusting is a picture of complete rest, peace and quiet of mind, heart and spirit. The body may have to continue working, but your attitude and spirit is calm" ("Stop! ... Look! ... Listen!" ML #74:21, Vol.1).

       "Help us not to worry, Lord, because we trust You, and we keep our minds stayed on You, and You keep us in perfect peace (Is.26:3). We know You're going to handle everything, Lord, and You know what's best to do, and we know that You're in control. `Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast. Here no fears alarm me; here can my soul find rest" (GP DM, pg.87).
       "The Lord expects us to do what we can in the physical! If we need rest, we should get it if we can. If good food will help, He expects us to eat it. Most important is rebuking the Devil and fighting in the Spirit, but you must also do all you can to obey God's physical, natural health laws as well. `This ye ought to have done but not to have left the other undone' (Mat.23:23). Like Jesus said to the people at Lazarus' grave, `Roll ye away the stone!' (Jn.11:39). In other words, do what you can and He will do the rest!" ("Fight for Your Healing!" ML #2072:62, Vol.16).

       "You need to maintain healthy habits: a good diet eating the right kinds of food, be sure you get plenty of rest, and then of course get lots of good exercise, which most of you probably get because you've got lots of work to do. Always try to get out some every day in the fresh air and sunshine. And then, live right. In other words, keep at peace with the Lord and obey His natural and spiritual laws" ("MO's Pointers for Health!" ML #353:2, DB6).

       "Faith and trust in God gives you a feeling of rest of body, peace of mind, contentment of heart and spiritual well-being. When you know that God loves you, you know everything is going to be okay, including His taking care of everything! Then you have peace of mind and you can just rest in the Lord! But worry can kill you! You can worry yourself sick, worry yourself to death! This is why faith in Christ and His Word is the greatest cure that you could possibly have. If you cling to the Lord and His Word, and replace fear with faith, then you've got solutions! So rest your case with Him. -- He never fails, and if you truly trust Him, He'll see you through" (GP DM, pg.87).

* * *

Irritations Away!
-- A Question About Womanly Afflictions

       I went to get checked for a vaginal irritation, and found that the itchiness I experience which sometimes turns into an infection could be due to menopause. Could you explain this a little more? How could menopause cause itchiness and possibly infections? Thanks!

       Here are some points of interest and tips about the problem of vaginal irritations brought on by menopause. Thank the Lord that in addition to prayer, there are natural remedies and practices which can help prevent or cure this problem.

       1.) The lack of estrogen in our bodies when menopause starts can cause dryness and itchiness in the vagina, because the secretions stimulated by estrogen taper off. A good remedy for this is to eat estrogen-producing foods -- which are mainly the dark green veggies, but any veggies will help. Whole wheat breads and fruit are also very good, as well as tofu, as mentioned previously. ({\ul \i Note from Chloe}: I experienced a big difference right away, feeling more healthy and not so tired, when I began eating lots of veggies and fruit at lunch and dinner -- almost half of what I eat. Another woman in our Home who is about the same age as I am has experienced the same thing. I try to eat two pieces of fruit a day, or more if they are small. This is easy to do without asking for specially prepared foods, thank You Jesus!)
       Garlic and parsley are also good for general health and work against infections.
       Vitamins also help: Vitamin E for menopause is praised by many sources; Vitamin B specifically helps healthy tissue in the vagina; Vitamin C helps the Vitamin E work better, and it also fights infections in the vagina.
       2.) Foods we eat can cause the vaginal secretion to be off-balance. The "climate" in your vagina is supposed to be acidic. Sugar specifically can cause the acid balance in the vagina to be upset, and itchiness can result. Of course, the upset acid balance and itchiness make a situation where an infection can easily occur. There are always bacteria present in the vagina, but when the climate is balanced and healthy there, an infection doesn't usually result. So the goal is to have a healthy acid balance, so that an infection doesn't have fertile ground to grow in.

       3.) Vaginal thinness and lack of secretions, which come with menopause, can cause infections: (Please pardon our frankness here, but this info could help someone!) As we age, the walls of the vagina thin out. The secretions also lessen, and what fluid is secreted is less acidic, therefore more prone to infection. When a woman is sexually stimulated regularly either from masturbation or with a partner, like once or twice a week, then her vagina walls don't thin out as much, and her body provides more secretions.
       Because of the thinness of the tissue and the lack of lubrication, discomfort may result when making love, so some women don't want to make love any more when they reach this age. Lots of KY jelly is a big help, of course.
       Rosetta Reitz (author of Menopause -- A Positive Approach, see page 9) cautioned that if you haven't been having sex regularly, even lots of KY may not help your body to adjust easily to making love again, and you may experience discomfort or pain from chafing. This author very frankly suggests that the best thing to do is -- get your body used to sex! Build up to it by masturbation. She devotes a whole chapter of her book to explaining how masturbation can help you by causing your body to provide more lubrication. She says that if applying a creme helps, then coaxing your body to provide its own lubrication would naturally help also.
       So to sum it up, she says that regular sex and orgasms can put off the thinness and dryness of the vagina, by exercising the muscles in that area and causing the body to secrete its own lubrication, or at least help the situation so that the thinness and dryness is not noticeable.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: What a nice remedy! Could be fun! Other researchers comment that regular sex, such as once or twice a week, helps hormone levels stabilize. And now that lovemaking and masturbation can have the added spiritual dimension of being special times of loving Jesus, our dear Husband can help us women to stay supple and used to sex, and even have an easier time with menopause as we love Him and receive His love sexually.)

       4.) Yogurt therapy: This may sound funny, but Ms. Reitz explained that a good home remedy for an itchy vagina is yogurt! She said you can take the inside out of a tampon, put in a tablespoon of yogurt (or one of yogurt and one of vegetable oil), and insert the yogurt lying on your back at night before going to bed, maybe with a towel under you. She says this helps restore the correct acid balance in your vagina, if done once a week. Although this sounds a little strange, it could be worth a try and would be preferable to antibiotics.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: A health clinic advised one of the girls in our Home that the yogurt therapy should be used for 3-5 days straight, but only once a month, as it could throw the bacterial balance off. However, in this girl's case, the therapy didn't work, so again, it's best to pray and ask the Lord how to proceed in your situation. For some the yogurt is helpful, and for others apparently not. If you do use the yogurt treatment, it's best to use a natural form without additives, flavoring, etc.)

       5.) Ms. Reitz also explained that relaxation helps a lot -- both in being able to have lubrication when making love, and in making the acid balance what it should be in the vagina.
       ({\ul \i Note from Chloe}: I've had to be careful in recent years when making love, to be sure that I don't get chafed, as I don't have as much lubrication as I had before. I've just explained this to the other party involved and asked him to start off slowly, to be sure I'm ready. As Dad said, "If you go slow, you'll get there quicker! At least you get there!" [EDITED: "ML #11:5"]).
       So it's encouraging to see that it's quite possible to keep the situation under control, so that with prayer and a few precautions, we don't have to have the itchiness and resultant infections that can occur during menopause. Thank the Lord!

* * *

What Can We Do?
Mama Answers Questions from a Home Teamwork About a Woman in Their Home

       From a Home teamwork: One of our female members who is 45 years old has had excessive bleeding and was in bed a while. Her period times had been difficult and she felt very tired and emotional. When she went for a check-up, the doctor sweetly told her, "You are 45 years old."
       Although she was happy it wasn't a sickness, the thought of coming very close to the age of menopause was discouraging and she had difficulty admitting the fact. Thank the Lord, her bleeding stopped after a while, but she gets hit with the thought that others don't understand that she needs more rest and help from others, as she is not able to do much physical work at the moment, and the Family needs to learn to be more understanding of what people her age go through.
       We, the teamwork, are depending on her quite a lot and this makes it rather difficult for the teamwork to handle, since we don't know how much it affects people when they get to that age. We do want to be understanding and make it easy for her, but on the other hand want to encourage her to keep fighting. We know no two situations are the same, but we thought you might have some thoughts on this. Maybe some other people face similar difficulties, that is some people who are up to 40 or 45 years in age might need more attention and understanding.

       Thank you so much for voicing your questions about what this woman is experiencing, and what your reaction should be. She probably needs lots of encouragement to fight her feelings of inadequacy and help her meet this change and adjustment her body is going through. I agree that while it's good to encourage positiveness, faith, and trust, still we can't expect someone who is experiencing extreme bleeding to keep going at a pace which she is unable to sustain due to her weakness.
       I'd like to share two important points here. First of all, when women go through menopause, they usually don't stop having periods immediately and have no further bleeding. In fact, for some women it means they have longer periods during which they bleed quite profusely. (See the section entitled "Irregular Bleeding" in FSM 315, pg.5.)
       Secondly, it's important to recognize that when women have excessive bleeding, they are quite weakened. Losing blood always weakens one. It doesn't matter what way you lose it, it depletes your energy and you can become very tired, even exhausted. The life of the body is in the blood, and when you lose blood, you lose your strength.
       As the Lord emphasized in the prophecies that we published in GN 739, it's very important that those in the Home with a woman who is experiencing debilitating menopause problems take it seriously. Especially with extreme bleeding, they should pray with the woman to see specifically what the Lord wants them to do. They also need to be very aware that she doesn't have much strength and she most likely needs a lot of bedrest, which they will probably find out anyway when she may even be too weak to get out of bed. Apparently, some people don't really understand how serious and weakening this problem can be, and they expect a woman suffering this to continue her usual activities, such as going out on the street witnessing. The result can be that a woman can almost pass out, if she's weakened from much loss of blood. The Home will just have to change the ministry of someone who is having problems that are so weakening, such as excessive bleeding or sleeplessness, and let her do something in the Home where she can stop whenever she has to for rest.
       Also, it would be good if she can have a fortified diet to help her over this period of time, foods that provide plenty of iron and B vitamins. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Foods which supply iron are liver, brewers' yeast, blackstrap molasses, sprouts, squash, and dark green vegetables. Foods rich in B vitamins are brewers' yeast, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, brown rice, soy beans [EDITED: "tofu"], white beans, liver, white meat of chicken, mackerel, salmon, tuna, bananas, walnuts and peanuts. )
       Excessive bleeding can be pretty dangerous, so they need to really pray and ask the Lord if a woman who is experiencing this should go to the doctor, and then of course she herself would be the one to decide whether to go or not. (See The Charter, 2.C, page 12). Thank you so much for writing about this, and also for praying to ask the Lord about how to care for this dear woman in your Home. As you can see from the prophecies the Lord gave in the GNs on menopause, He certainly does want us to give our women the support and understanding they need at this time in their lives.

* * *

Strength in Weakness!
       Here is a beautiful prophecy which can be a great encouragement for times of weakness!

Let God's Motor of the Spirit Empower You!
(From ML #3024:48-59, GN 659.)

       One morning Peter and I were praying desperately for the Lord's help and strength. We were both feeling very weak in body and spirit, and so incapable of the big job the Lord has given us in shepherding you, our precious Family. After a period of desperate prayer, beseeching the Lord to help us, and to do the job through us in spite of our weaknesses, He spoke wonderfully, encouraging us that as we sought Him He would give us the answers that we need.

       (Prophecy:) Do you see the strength of weakness? Do you see what this means? -- That through your weakness My strength is made perfect? For when you have no strength of your own, and you are weak, and you are weary, and you are desperate and feel that you know not what to do, and have no wisdom of your own, or strength of your own, or ideas of your own, and you get desperate with Me and seek Me, I then pour forth My Spirit upon you. I give the answers that you seek, and the strength that you need, and the power that you desire, so you know that I do these things, and you take no credit to yourselves. You say not that your own arm has saved you, but that the arm of the Lord has been raised, and in the power of His might, all has been taken care of.
       This is the power and the strength of weakness, that you have no mind of your own, no thoughts of your own, no ideas of your own, no plans of your own, but that you seek Me and that you operate according to that which I show you. Oh, that My children everywhere would learn to stop, to look, to listen, to hear My voice, to seek My will, that they may know that which they should do day by day, hour by hour. For I will lead them and I will guide them if they will diligently seek Me, even as I lead and guide you as you cry out to Me for My answers and My direction.
       And they shall hear a voice behind them saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it!" It may be the voice of My Word. It may be the voice of My Spirit. It may be the whispers of the helpers. It may be the burdens [EDITED: "which I put in their hearts"]. It may be the voice of leadership. But they must listen and they must cry out and they must seek Me, that I may give them that which they need, and the power that they must have to accomplish My will and My purpose.
       But when they move according to their own power and their own strength and their own plans, I can only use them at a minimum. They do accomplish good things, but they don't accomplish the best thing. But those that hear My voice, that follow Me closest, that let Me lead and guide, and who operate according to the plans that I give unto them, and they that seek Me, diligently crying out to Me, these are used to the maximum. For I can pour forth unto them all of My will, and they can accomplish all that I intend to bring forth. They can do it with effortless ease because it will be according to My plans.
       So seek Me in weakness and in humility, knowing that you are nothing, that I may pour forth unto you My strength, My plan and My will; that you in your weakness can operate in My strength and thus accomplish that which is much greater than you could do in your own strength or in your own flesh. For your power is very, very small, but My power is very, very great!
       Your little motor is very weak, but My grand motor has power that you know not of! And if you will let Me empower you with My motor, the power of My Spirit, you will have strength that you never dreamed possible, for you will operate in the strength and power of God, empowered by the motor of My Spirit, to take you to places you never imagined!
       So let your weakness lead to My strength. Let your weakness lead to My power. Let your weakness lead to My anointing.
       (Vision:) Accompanying this, there was a little picture of our motor, which was like one of those tiny battery-operated motors they have in toys. And next to it was God's motor, which was like a huge turbine engine about two stories tall. There is absolutely no comparison between the two! (End of prophecy.)

       (Mama:) Again the Lord is bringing out the importance of our taking time with Him, crying out for His answers, listening to Him and applying what He shows us to do. He's making it quite clear that He's not only speaking to Peter and me about this, but that it's His message for each one of you. He says He will show each of us what to do if we'll take the time to ask. If we will operate according to His plan He will use us to the maximum, getting the job done with effortless ease. What a promise!
       He says if we stop, look and listen, we will get His answers, but that His answers can come from different sources -- from the Word, prophecy, checks of the Spirit, burdens, and the voice of leadership. We can't just assume that He's always going to speak to us in only one way. He's not limited, He can give answers in so many ways, so be sure you're listening! He may speak to your heart, He may have someone give you a suggestion, He may show you to read a certain Letter which contains just what you need, or He may lead you to ask Him to speak to you directly through prophecy. So be listening, be sensitive to the Spirit. And as He said, don't be so full of your own plans, ideas or thoughts that you miss what He's trying to show you.
       Isn't it wonderful how the Lord says that if we will listen to Him, we will operate according to His mighty power, instead of our own, that we'll be empowered by His motor of the Spirit? -- And that as we do, we will clearly recognize that it is He that is doing the work, so we will give Him the credit. Praise the Lord!

* * *

What Happens to My Sex Life as I Grow Older?

       Many women in the world report a decline in sexual desire at menopause. This doesn't sound very nice at all! Do you have any counsel about this?

       For sure the Lord doesn't want anyone to fear losing sexual desire or enjoyment of sex, as Mama wrote in FSM 315, pg.15. Although it's easy to be concerned when you hear that some women do report a decline in libido (sexual desire), it's encouraging to note that Newsweek magazine reported that 65 percent of women said that menopause did nothing to cramp their sexual desire, 17 percent reported improved sex, and only another 17 percent said that it left them with decreased sexual desire (see FSM 315, pg. 18). We asked the Lord if He could comment on the lowered sexual interest that some women experience, and here is the encouraging answer He gave.

       (Message from Jesus:) Sex, sexual interest, sexual bondage, sexual problems, sexual liberation -- this is very important. These are all questions that can worry and cause anxiety, or even cause some people to retreat and to lose interest -- not because they no longer feel sexy or they no longer have sexual drive, but simply because they don't want to face any complications emotionally, or they don't want to make mistakes with their husbands or their lovers. With some women, there may be a need for more lubrication or there may be a need for more rest, both of which can affect sexual interest.
       But many of these problems can simply be overcome by -- you know what I will say -- by love. By My great, overwhelming, overpowering love. And also by faith. If you have faith in Me, and in My leading, and you know that I wish for you to have sex and enjoy sex, and you look to Me, I will give you the peace and rest and faith that will cause the anxieties and the worries to melt away. For though people may be held back from sex by physical difficulties or by worries or fears of complications, or by their own personal desire to spend time on other things, I would that you would enter into a loving and deep and intimate relationship with Me, which is sometimes made easier by sharing with another person, and loving Me together.
       Therefore, I can take away these hindrances and these blockages and these problems. It's not that I would have you indulge in sex immoderately or above what is needful. But I would that you would enjoy sex, and that you would have happy times of intimacy with Me and with your loved ones. So if you have these blockages or these problems, simply bring them to Me, and I, Who am greater than any of these problems, can solve them and can give you happiness and sweet times.
       If you are too tired, simply ask to have your date at another time. If you need more lubrication, do not be ashamed to say so. But know that it is My will for you to enjoy these sexual pleasures. And the problems that the women in the world have do not have to be your problems as well.
       Know this also, that as you come into more intimacy with Me and you enjoy My lovemaking more, and the sweet times of fellowship and loving with Me, I will cause your juices to flow. I will cause your body to be rejuvenated, so that you can enjoy sex, even more than you ever did before. And you will be among the 17% of women who report improved sex lives after menopause. You will certainly be among the 65% of women who say they did not experience any diminishing of their sex drive after menopause.
       But what I desire with you is sweet times of intimate loving, and one of the results of this time is that your body will be relaxed and more supple, and that your juices will flow, and your sexual desire will increase. Because as you fall in love with Me more and more, you will fall more and more in love with others, and you will want to show them, as well as Me, how much you love Me, and how much you love them -- sexually.
       This is My desire and this is My plan for you, for you to enjoy sexual pleasures many years of your life, even as those of the Old Testament, who made love way into old age and beyond. I would wish for you to continue to enjoy these sexual pleasures. This is My will for you and I will do this for you, as you continue to love Me and love others and take the step of pouring out to both Me and to them. (End of prophecy.)

       Following is a note to Mama from an older woman who read the prophecy above:
       "Mama, this prophecy is very interesting. In my personal life, what I have experienced is that when I reached a certain age I had a lot less lubrication, and I wasn't used to telling my sharing partners that I had to use a lubricant. As a result I got rubbed very bad a few times, because I didn't have the natural lubrication I had before. One time it took about two months to heal all the way! Of course, after this my sharing partner was very sure to not cause an abrasion again, ha ha!
       "But when the `Loving Jesus' revelation came out and I began to spend time loving the Lord with the sweet brother who is now my mate, my body seemed to revert back to the pre-menopause state, to where I had so much lubrication and I was so turned on sexually that there was not even any need to use any lubricant, which I had been using for about 10 years before that! It just got me so turned on and so excited to love Jesus together with him that my body seemed to rejuvenate.
       "In addition, I haven't experienced the soreness I did before. I almost always had pain with intercourse for quite a while there, and it was just something that I accepted. It wasn't real strong pain, but it would be uncomfortable, and I would do it anyway, out of love for the people I was sharing with, and because I felt the Lord wanted me to. But since the `Loving Jesus' revelation, I never have pain with intercourse now! I just never do. It's like my whole vaginal area got supple again, and I attribute this to the Lord's love and His promises where He said that if we flow with the new changes, it would be like drinking in the fountain of youth. (See ML #2987:165-174, GN 629.)
       "Another thing that has happened, of course, is that I get so much love from the Lord now that I also have more love for other people, and so sharing is often more exciting than it was, particularly when there is a more spiritual side to it and we love the Lord together. It's not that I didn't like sex before; I've always really liked sex. But now, especially when loving the Lord together, there's just a real warmth and love flowing through us from the Lord, so I experience more love for the person that I am sharing with, than I did before. And this seems to cause my body to respond more than it did before.
       "So it's beautiful how in connection with `Loving Jesus,' I experienced the Lord completely overriding all of the symptoms of vaginal atrophy and dryness. (Vaginal atrophy occurs when your muscles get out of shape down there to where you don't experience orgasms as well and it makes you a little sore to fuck.) It's been a big change and I'm really enjoying sex now, and I'm very thankful for that -- as you can imagine!"

* * *

More on Women's Health in the Second Half of Life

From {\b \i Enjoying Life through the Menopause}
       You can feel your best while going through the menopause. Be aware of your needs and of what is good for you in order to take responsibility for any problems you may face.
       More and more research is showing how important good eating habits are to your physical and mental health. If you listen to your body's signals, you'll realize that your daily food needs are declining and that you should cut back on your total food intake. Perhaps some food and drink you were once able to tolerate like coffee, tea, sugar, too much wine, etc., now don't agree with you. If you avoid them, you'll feel much better.
       You may also have a more difficult time controlling your weight. But remember, a slight weight gain is normal at this age. And since fat cells promote the production of hormones, they contribute to the retardation or reduction of menopausal symptoms. If you maintain a healthy weight you will contribute greatly to the protection of your cardiovascular system.
       You should, however, make an effort to control what and how much you put into your system. It's particularly important to consume more calcium at this time of your life. Most daily diets contain only about 500 mg of calcium. A menopausal woman needs at least 1000 mg daily, if she's taking estrogen. If she's not taking hormones, she should strive to increase her calcium intake to 1500 mg of elemental calcium per day ("elemental" meaning from the diet, which may be supplemented by calcium tablets). This equals -- of a liter of milk or an equivalent milk product each day.
       If you're watching your weight, you can find calcium in skim or 1% milk, in light yogurt, in partly skimmed or low-fat cheese, and in much lesser quantities in certain green vegetables, and fish canned with their bones (e.g., sardines, mackerel).
       Women whose daily diets don't provide the necessary calcium or who suffer from milk or daily product intolerance can take calcium carbonate supplements in tablet form.
       Since the sun plays an important role in the production of vitamin D, reasonable exposure to sunshine is recommended.

More Notes on Nutrition and Herbs

From {\b \i Healthy Living}
       Maintain a high level of nutrition to reduce unpleasant menopausal symptoms. Compose the diet of 50% fresh foods, with plenty of vegetable proteins and complex carbohydrates.
       Avoid refined food, caffeine, and hard liquor (a little wine is fine).
       Add to the daily diet 2 tsp. each of brewer's yeast, wheat germ oil, and lecithin.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Please see the article "What Diet Is Best" in FSM 314, pg.9.)

From Zoltan Rona, {\b \i Alive} Magazine
       Diet: Keep high-fat dairy products, especially cheeses, to a minimum. Cultured dairy products such as yogurt or buttermilk are fine.
       Herbs containing estrogenic substances: dong quai, licorice, black cohosh and fennel.
       Herbs that lead to higher estrogen levels: damiana, raspberry, sage, ginseng and gotu kola.
       Natural vitamin E and brewer's yeast contain traces of estrogens. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: See FSM 315, pgs.4-13, for suggested quantities. Vitamin E is not water soluble, thus it is retained by the body, and too much can be harmful.)
       Bioflavonoids are plant substances that exist together with vitamin C, and prevent estrogens from being broken down too rapidly in the body, thereby avoiding some of the unpleasant hot flash symptoms. They are abundantly available in citrus fruits, garlic, onions, peppers, cherries, currants, and many other foods.

* * *

About Estrogen
       Menopause is intended by nature to be a gradual reduction of estrogen by the ovaries with few side effects. In the well-nourished, active woman, the adrenals and other glands pick up the job of estrogen secretion. Most menopausal problems today stem from exhausted adrenals. -- Healthy Living
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Please see Dad's advice in "Breakdown" [EDITED: "ML #66:3-5"] about avoiding overloading your adrenal glands. FSM 315, pg.12 gives more counsel on how to keep the adrenals healthy, which can in turn help menopause go more smoothly.)

* * *

Osteoporosis and Calcium
From {\b \i Managing Menopause} by Plunkett and Gold
       Good sources of calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese and dark green vegetables such as broccoli. Here are some gourmet ways to include calcium in your diet:
       * Stir a few tablespoons of dry skim milk powder into cake mixes, muffins, or even your coffee. Every tablespoon equals 50 mg of calcium and no fat.
       * Eat low-fat yogurt in salad dressings, on a baked potato or with fresh fruit for dessert. It contains the same amount of calcium as milk.
       * Chicken soup may be good for more than the common cold. By adding a small amount of vinegar to the bones when preparing stock, a pint of your soup will equal a quart of milk in calcium. (You can't taste the vinegar after cooking.)
       * Put low-fat cheese on your toast instead of jam.
       * A dash of freshly grated Parmesan on salads or casseroles will zip up flavor and one ounce will give you the equivalent of a glass of milk.
       * Learn to love tofu [EDITED: "soy bean curd"]. It is a valuable source of calcium -- 128 mg in a three and one half ounce serving. Try mixing tofu with eggs or soups or use it to make a low-calorie cheesecake. It can be blended with fruit, or added raw to fruit salad.
       * When you make salad, use deep green leaves rather than pale ones. The greener the leaf, the more calcium it contains.
       * Sardines on Melba toast with a dab of Dijon mustard make a high calcium snack.
       * Eat some of your children's desserts: childhood favorites such as rice pudding, tapioca, and bread pudding are good sources of calcium.

* * *

       Aside from general healthful eating and living, exercise is the only way for you to significantly increase bone mass. Just as with muscles, stress on bones strengthens them. Studies have shown that women who exercise for one hour three times a week gained body calcium, while women who were inactive lost calcium. -- Managing Menopause

* * *

"Take Care of Yourself, You Belong to Me!"
Quotes from Dad on Health, Compiled by Mary Mom and Team!

       The Lord expects us to do what we can in the physical as well! If we need rest, we should get it if we can. If good food will help, He expects us to eat it. Most important is rebuking the Devil and fighting in the Spirit, but you must also do all you can to obey God's physical natural health laws as well. "This ye ought to have done but not to have left the other undone" (Mat.23:23). Like Jesus said to the people at Lazarus' grave, "Roll ye away the stone!" (Jn.11:39). In other words, do what you can and He will do the rest! ("Fight for Your Healing!" ML #2072:62, Vol.16).

       So please take care of yourself! Like the old song says, "Take good care of yourself, you belong to me!" Well, you not only belong to me, you belong to the Lord, and He says, "Abuse not your body, the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1Cor.3:16;6:19,20; 2Cor.6:16; Eph.2:22). Your body is His house, His instrument, and if you abuse it and don't take good care of it, then you're going to suffer for it, and worst of all, not only you suffer, but we suffer, everybody suffers and His work will suffer, which means souls will suffer ("Take Good Care of Yourself!" ML #2028, DB3, pgs.67-68).

       Beloved, if you want to stay healthy and strong and be able to be useful to the Lord, it's very important to take care of your health! We've told you time and time again that you'll have good health if you follow those rules that we gave you, to eat right, sleep right, exercise right, love right and live right! That has to do with your regular habits and a fairly regular schedule.
       We're in a war and every soldier is needed, so you need to keep yourself in good shape for the battle! So let's take care of ourselves and keep on a regular schedule as much as possible with regular eating habits and sleeping and elimination habits, and exercise habits, and eat properly and drink lots of water. [DELETED] How many of you are going to do your best to take good care of your bodies and do all those things so you can be a good healthy worker for the Lord and help the rest of the Family to win lots of souls? -- TYJ! PTL! ("Take Good Care of Yourself!" ML #2028:23,46, Vol.16).

       What you need is some good bodily exercise that exercises your arms and legs and your whole body and makes your heart pound! That's good for your heart. It strengthens it and circulates your blood rapidly so you don't get blood clots and whatnot, one of the great enemies of old age. It keeps your blood system open and free and circulating, your heart strong and your lungs flushed out of all that old stale air that you have in there. Most people don't breathe to their full capacity at all unless they exercise vigorously ("Take Good Care of Yourself," ML #2028:17, Vol.16).

       Eat plenty of good, wholesome food in a well-balanced diet. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive in order to be nutritious. Consider the sheep in the pasture and the cows in the corn. -- All they've got is grass and vegetation, a completely vegetarian diet, but fresh, living, raw, and uncooked so the vitamins are unkilled and unprocessed with poisons! But you yourself can approximate good healthy creatures' God-given diet of ample healthful ingredients by making sure each of your meals contain a protein, a starch or carbohydrate and minerals and vitamins. Protein can be either a simple inexpensive meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, peanuts or even peanut butter or natural whole grain cereals or whole wheat bread. The latter, whole wheat bread and grains, contain all the necessary nutrients, and a glass of milk (powdered or skimmed milk) or some fruits, such as bananas, are a whole meal in themselves. The most wholesome starch is potatoes, but you could also use spaghetti, macaroni, rice, noodles, white bread, etc. Then you must have some kind of fruit or green or yellow vegetable, cooked as little as possible to make them tender enough to be edible, but no more, or raw, if possible, such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, pickles, etc. -- Or a combination of these can be made into a healthful salad for your vegetable, containing all your needed minerals and vitamins ("Newsletter and Advisory -- II!" ML #190:12, DB5).

       Because in our Family most of you have several children within a short period of time, you need to be especially preparing for the next one even as soon as this one is born. Your body has been depleted of valuable nutrients by this pregnancy and needs every good meal you can give it. Your own requirements will be increased with every pregnancy and with every child you already have, each one making greater demands in physical activity in caring for them ("A Child! -- For His Glory!" CCHB 1, pg.11).

       Nutrition is how much you absorb, not how much you stuff your belly with. You can stuff your stomach with all kinds of garbage and you still won't necessarily actually assimilate enough of it to do you any good. [DELETED] God has built into the body a desire for the things you need ("MO's Pointers for Health!" ML #353:19-20, DB6).

       I knew the herbal tablets had worked before, made of all natural herbs and plants. So in a way it's sort of a natural healing, even though I didn't seem to get divine healing today. It was almost like the way it happened several times in the Bible. When they asked the Lord to heal them He told them to get a certain fruit or herb or something, and He used that -- and that was by faith today ("Herbal Remedies!" ML #1236:12, Vol.12).

       Let us remind you, however, that we who know the Lord and His healing power, if we fail to pray and be dependent on Him in every respect, then we shouldn't be surprised if all our other "remedies" fail. He undoubtedly wants us to remember that without Him we can do nothing. Our only hope as His children lies in our faith in Him and our dependence upon Him (Techi Story, Chapter 10, ML #863:65, Vol.7).

* * *

How Menopause Brought Me Closer to Jesus!
By Steffi, Mama's Home

Dear Family,
       God bless you! I wanted to share with you some of the great and wonderful blessings that have been brought about in my life during this period of "change" called menopause.
       A couple of years back, when my periods began to be a bit sporadic, I chalked it up to adjustment in my life due to traveling and some emotional strain that I had been experiencing. As the months went on, however, and it kept up, I wondered if I was indeed entering the era of menopause, even though I was still a little young -- in my early 40s.
       I began to read about it a little, and I had the blessing of being able to talk with other sisters who were menopausal. It was a help to be able to share experiences and talk and counsel about what to expect, and/or what to do to prepare for this new venture in life.
       The more I read about some of the things that menopause could "possibly" bring on, the more I felt burdened to run to Jesus and ask Him to please, please, help me through this! I was a bit awestruck at what "could happen" -- hot flashes, sleepless nights, mood swings, heavy bleeding, to name a few of the symptoms! It all sounded too scary for me. Surely the Lord must have some solutions, I thought.
       At that time I ran across some good solid positive material which stated there are some women that in fact never experience any of these symptoms at all! Needless to say, this inspired me to do one important fundamental thing: to really PRAY desperately for the Lord to do a miracle!
       And that is what I did! I simply prayed and asked the Lord that if menopause had to come eventually, to please bring it on quickly and easily and without any major discomforts and serious side-line complications.
       One reason I felt compelled to pray and ask the Lord this is that in the months prior to this prayer, I had been experiencing some long drawn-out periods. Although they were not always with heavy bleeding throughout, they would go on and on. Along with this, I often had cramps many days afterwards, extreme tiredness, and sometimes headaches. These problems never stopped me completely from working, but they did slow me down and were distracting, so that I did not feel that I was performing up to par by any means.
       Since I was normally used to having a lot of energy, this was a major change! Knowing that the Lord was able to help, I simply prayed, figuring that the Lord had to do it. I have since learned that for me this is the key -- to go on the attack first in spirit and prayer, knowing that the Lord is able to lighten the load, and in fact even turn what would seem like a setback or defeat into a victory and blessing. So after I prayed this prayer, asking the Lord to make menopause quick, simple, and easy, and to lighten my load, I didn't have a period for one year! Praise the Lord! ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Please don't feel like a failure or that something is wrong with you if you pray, but the Lord sees fit to let your menopause symptoms continue for a while. Each person is different and the Lord teaches us all in different ways. He may prefer to let you have a few symptoms so that you'll draw closer to Him and be more of a fighter than you ever were before.)
       During this time of no periods, I did, on a monthly basis (during the time I would normally be having a period), have very slight symptoms -- either being a bit more tired, or having very slight discomforts that would normally accompany a period. All this reminded me that the Lord was indeed in control and making my "affliction" very light -- so much so, that I hardly even noticed!
       Being aware that it was important to eat well, try to get good rest, and get good exercise during this time also was a help. The Lord very clearly showed me that if I was faithful to do my part, He would do His. So I did make an effort to "be good" and obey all the health guidelines that Dad has so faithfully taught us through the years: to live right, eat right, sleep right, and exercise right.
       I would often find myself craving a certain type of food, such as whole grains, or more fruit and veggies than I normally would eat. It was encouraging to find out that is the type of healthful food that you need to eat during these changes in your body. Like Dad says, if you do not already have a perverted appetite, but basically have good eating habits like we have been taught in the Family, then you can often follow your cravings, as the Lord made you to want the things that are good for you when your body needs them.
       Recently, after a year of having no periods, I did start spotting and then had a regular period. I am not really sure what this means or if I will begin to have periods again, as is possible with menopause. You can expect strange things without any rhyme or reason! But when I was praying about all this, the Lord clearly showed me that it's all in His hands either way. So I have found that just like any other change the Lord may allow in our lives, the best preparation for this "change" is to pray and trust the Lord each and every step of the way.
       As I have done this, He leads step by step, and is always faithful to show me if I should or should not be doing a certain thing, even in the physical -- whether it is to add a certain food to my diet, or forgo eating certain things I used to eat, or get better exercise, etc. I believe that the physical things that He allows to occur -- such as a night with little sleep, or extra tiredness, or being more emotional than usual -- are all things the Lord uses to keep me exactly where He wants me -- close by His side, desperate and seeking Him.
       In my case, I have not undergone big major setbacks such as debilitating hot flashes. I have had other symptoms, though, that I realize now are most likely all a part of the menopause process, such as sleeping very little at night, bouts of tiredness, or feeling emotional, etc. But this has all been minor for the most part, and when I ask for prayer, the Lord is faithful to lighten the load each time. He also has turned some of these things around, making them into great blessings.
       Having to slow down, for example, has been wonderful, as I learn to rest in Him, listen to His voice, and go at His pace and not in my own strength.
       This time has also been a wonderful time of enhancement for my prayer life, as when I can't sleep, I simply pray for various people and situations around the world. I do have to make an effort to get the proper rest, as you cannot go for nights and nights on end with little sleep. But each time the Lord takes care of it, as I keep giving it to Him.
       When I feel a little tired, or like I can't do much in the physical, this too has been a blessing in disguise as I am then able to use this time to draw close to the Lord and listen to His whispers, lean completely on Him (because that is all I can do) and trust Him to do the work that He wants to do through me. I see now that this really is a blessing in disguise, as the Lord is expecting this of all of us in these last days -- that sweet time of communion with Him and Him alone. These quiet times of leaning totally on Him and loving Him have helped me all around, and it's so sweet of the Lord to make it "mandatory" (if I can put it that way) through this process of menopause! Isn't He wonderful?
       If I had to make a list of all the blessings this phase of life has brought about, they would far outweigh any seeming discomforts and setbacks. Like Mama has often reminded us, if anything causes you to pray more and get more desperate with the Lord and seek the Lord, we ought to really thank the Lord for it!
       When these physical tests come, I have to pray and expect the Lord to do the miracle. Seeing Him do it each time strengthens my faith muscles. It's also been great for my pride, as it is humbling to have to ask for prayer often, or to depend on others to help with things that I would otherwise take on all by myself.
       Actually, I am very thankful for this time, as the Lord seems to use all this as a little thermometer to keep me in line! Ha! Even during the times when I feel a bit on the emotional side, these times have driven me to really pour out my heart in desperation to the Lord, praying for our dear Family and different ones and situations. I am thankful for this softening of my heart -- something that I have prayed for through the years.
       I know that the Lord has various ways of teaching each of us all these important and valuable lessons. In my life, though, it helps me to see this time of menopause not as "the plague" or some curse or affliction that there is no hope for, but rather as just another stepping stone up the path on my journey of life, as I learn to walk closer to Him each day. I love you.
Love, Steffi

* * *

A Testimony to the Power of Prayer!
Excerpts of a letter from Lucerito, Bogota, Colombia

Dear Mama,
       I love you, sincerely and with all my heart! I value very much every word, expression of support, and prayer you have prayed for me. God bless you! I started crying from emotion and thankfulness when you said that the Lord had given Words of encouragement for me. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Lucerito wrote Mama about her difficult menopause symptoms, and the Lord gave the beautiful prophecies for her as well as for all our faithful older women, in GNs 738 and 739.)
       I've been through situations that have filled me with fear and condemnation, to the point where in order to keep going I've had to conceal my feelings and just will myself to overpower the fatigue which my insomnia produced. How thankful I am for the shepherds who were able to more or less understand what I was going through, and who cared for me with deeds of love and kindness that I will always carry in my heart. Thank You Jesus!
       I'd like to share something with you: I'm a twin. My sister is identical to me physically and she also loves the Lord a lot, although she doesn't serve Him as a Family member. We both started menopause prematurely due to a similar thyroid problem. She went to doctors and began hormone replacement, drugs, etc. She's had to have several gynecological operations, has been hospitalized with serious problems with insomnia, is undergoing treatment for osteoporosis, arthritis, etc., and is in pretty bad shape. She's amazed at how well I'm doing, even though I'm not receiving any kind of medical treatment.
       As I told you, I've been through insomnia, high blood pressure, fatigue, extreme nervousness, etc., but with the great difference, privilege and blessing of being able to count on the wonderful power of prayer! The Lord never failed, and I can testify that He always answered the petitions of each of my loving brethren when my prayer requests came out in the International and SACRO prayer lists. God bless them.
       Now I am healthy, strong, cuddled up in the arms of my loving Lover and Husband, Jesus, Who will continue caring for me in spite of my age, aches, pains and problems because He loves me and because I will continue giving Him my life each day. Praise the Lord!
       I love you very much! I'd like to hug you and tell you how thankful I am. God bless you!
With love always,
Your daughter, Lucerito

              ({\ul \i Editor's note}: As this mag was being prepared to send to you, we received another beautiful and helpful testimony from Lucerito, with specifics on how the Lord has helped her during this time, which we'll include in one of our upcoming publications, DV, so don't miss it! Thank the Lord for all He does for His women whom He loves -- and how He truly brings to pass His promises to make this transition another step closer to Him. We love you! God bless you!)


Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family