Lately I have been having this niggling feeling that there is something missing from my every day routine. It's been there ever since I went camping with the youth group. For a while afterwards I made an effort to complete a devotion or read something related to bible teaching when I woke up. But, like all good intentions, it dwindled down and sputtered out.
You know how sometimes you want to do something, you just don't know where to start? That's where I was. I knew deep down that if I wanted to be serious about reading my bible I had to make some changes - like getting up before my kids so I could spend time with my bible. This may not seem like much to parents of teenagers, but my kids wake up early. Granted, I believe that any time before 10 am is early. Clearly I have not grown out of my teenaged sleeping habits, and I had no desire to. Until now...
To recap - I have a desire deep within me to spend more time with God. I know that the morning is the best time. Thus --> I need to become a morning person.
I just want to take the time to point this out. Apparently it takes 21 days to make something a habit. There are 21 chapters in John. Coincidence? I think not! I accepted the challenge from Back to the Bible. Lord, help me complete it. Help me get up early every morning to spend time with you. Amen.
SO! I tried to go to bed early last night, but ended up finally getting there at 11pm. Ugh! First step and I'm already behind the eight ball. Second, I set my alarm for 7am. For those of you still with me, that's 3 hours BEFORE my definition of "early". When my alarm went off this morning I hit snooze, twice. Finally I hauled my arse out of bed at 7:18. My daughter greeted me with a sleepy "good morning mommy". Double ugh! But, this one has a silver lining. My daughter is seeing me make an effort to get into God's word. She is witnessing me reading my bible. Not such a bad "ugh" in the end.
I started reading John 1. Instantly I notice the reference to the light and mark down in my bible *Jesus*. I'm a bible markin', highlightin', underlinin' momma. I want my bible to look like I used it. In my first bible I have passages written on the first 2 blank cover pages that made an impact on me during that time of my life. I have now graduated to the Beautiful Word Journaling bible. It's pictures bring the bible to life and I love that I can write along as I read.
Coincidently, I went back to the actual challenge during the evening and noticed how it focused on the names that Jesus was called and challenged me to make a list of the descriptive names of Jesus. So here goes:
Tomorrow I may add some nice soft worship music. I think that may add to the mood. Or, I could even wake up to worship music. I don't have an alarm clock, I have an iPhone, so I can pretty much make my alarm anything I want.
On this first day did I notice any huge changes? Not overly. Does anyone ever? I'm glad I started. I hope I can finish and keep going. I can truthfully say that when I felt a little down today, my thoughts did go to Jesus and I didn't feel so alone in the moment. Maybe you can start noticing changes on the first day.
Why not join me on this journey and share your experience? I'd love to hear from you!
It's quiet as I sit here watching the steam furls coming off my tea. Ah, the first day of school. Back to routine. Back to regular bed times. Back to homework (which I thought I only had to do when I was in school but am quickly learning that's not the case at all). I'd say back to early mornings, but my 5 year old wakes up with the dawn so that never really ended. I'm just sitting here soaking it all in and reflecting on the summer.
Perhaps the highlight of my summer was camping with the youth group (Surge) from my church. On Saturday morning I gave my testimony to the kids and while I was terrified with how they would think of me they took it all in and didn't even bat an eye. It was amazing. Also, I got to watch friendships get tighter, pranks being pulled and a young relationship begin to blossom. I feel so honoured that I was able to be a part of that. God is so good.
I began a tradition with my daughter involving tea and talking. She's only 8 now, but I know that she will enjoy the future moments we are able to have together where we can open up and be real with one another. While I don't like my past and am very ashamed of it, I can use it teach her and other young women the importance of loving yourself.
I feel lead to do something important with this blog. A series of some sort. I have been toying with my second book and titling it Parenting Through Depression. Maybe I'll do something like that.
The great thing about it being the first day of school is that it is also the first day of another Online Bible Study with Proverbs31! I'm so excited to get started! If only my kids hadn't used all my GB's watching Netflix and YouTube maybe I could download the content! *sigh* The life of living in the country.
Until next time!
The other day was what I like to refer to as a "Depression Day". What does that entail? Basically it means that any good emotion I show, a smile, a chuckle was put on to make it seem like "I'm fine". My husband even asked me if I was alright while we met for a lunch date. He could tell something wasn't quite right. I'm quieter than normal and melancholy. Interesting enough, melancholy means a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.
Depression days drain the life out of me. All I want to do is sleep and typically that's what I end up doing. That day I had to venture out for a birthday present and to pay for our gravel (I didn't know rocks cost so much!). I like to stay inside with the curtains closed and only my animals to keep me company. I don't want to socialize and will typically go out of my way, if I see someone I know, to avoid them. It's terrible.
Depression is such a soul sucking illness. I absolutely hate it. It's like putting on a show, a terrible, terrible show. I see myself as inferior and I can't find any good feelings in anything I'm doing. It's hard to shake this feeling that I'm no good.
Trying to process what I'm going through is equally as tough. What is it that started this? Did I miss my medication? Am I upset because of work? Did the kids do something or did I do or say something to the kids? Am I stressed out about finances? There are so many things it could be.
I feel stuck. I can't better my situation no matter how hard I try. There are no funds to go to school so I can get my social services diploma. I have been having a problem with a bad attitude at work and can't seem to right myself. I live next to the house I grew up on, on the road I grew up on but I mostly feel like it's just a reminder of how I believe my life was supposed to be. It's just showing me all the things that I've lost and all the things that I thought were going to happen but didn't.
Then I had this thought... If I focus on the past what am I missing out on now?
To those out there who go through this and battle depression, I may not know your exact situation, but I know how much it sucks. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to reach out a hand. Jesus is already reaching out to you.
This evening I had the pleasure of going to the Ladies Fellowship at my church. I honestly hadn't expected to be able to go because my work schedule is so all over the place so it was nice to have this evening. This is a chance for me to get out and connect with women and just be myself and truthful with a group of people who are there for each other and love to lift each other up. It's an amazing experience to hear only women talk together, laugh together and worship together.
Now here is some truth for you - I had "girl" friends in public school. I was a bit of a Tom Boy, but I had girly girl in me too. I loved to paint my nails and get my hair done, but I was happier in jeans and a t-shirt climbing trees. Then in high school I got so tired of the cattiness that I gave up on having female friends (I had maybe 2). My best friend was always a guy and even when I had boyfriends, I got along better with the guys. This continued through university right up until, basically, I got married. All of a sudden going out with a guy friend was suspicious. So there I was, pretty lonely with by best girl friend... 3 provinces away. Humph!
Tonight was a reminder of how women can be such a inspiration to each other. Instead of judging it was an atmosphere of "Oh, I've been there!" or "I know what you mean, here's my story". It was a chance to talk and be honest about where we are in our lives. So many times we ask people "How are you?" and we respond with "fine". But really we're not, we have a lot going on. Do we say "fine" because we don't want to bore them or because we know they don't really care? I love nights like tonight because when someone asked me how I've been, I responded honestly - I told them about my day yesterday and the uncertainty that I feel right now regarding our house.
As we worshipped and sang the song Cornerstone (My Hope is Built on Nothing Less) a verse jumped out at me -
Right now, it's dark. This year has definitely been overcast for us. In January we had planned to go on a vacation to Cuba only to have the brakes go on the van and then the furnace cut out on the coldest day in winter. There was darkness. It sucked. I constantly kept saying: I know this is hard, but God is with me, He is seeing me through this. I rested in His grace and we pulled through. Granted we're still paying off the furnace and that sucks, but we're getting there.
Now, with everything that has happened I find myself resting in His grace again. I know that He is here seeing me through this storm and that it will pass and brighter days will come again. It's just that in the storm you get wet, and knocked around and even beat up a bit. But at the end of the day, the bruises will heal and the sun will refresh. I look forward to the sunshine while I rest in the grace of God during this storm.
What have you done through the storms in your life?
How has judgement and cattiness effected your relationships? Has that changed?
A little over a year ago I was a stay at home mom. Not because I wanted to be. I had left my previous job after being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was shocked by that last one. PTSD? Me? Didn't that happen to people who actually experienced things? It didn't occur to me that watching my mother fail until she finally passed was a bad experience. After all, people fail and pass on everyday. Needless to say, I was at home with our youngest and I was bitter.
I didn't think I had a purpose or that I was useful because I wasn't working. I wasn't being a contributing member to society. Being a mom, that's not contributing anything.. right? WRONG! Being a mom is an all day, everyday, nights, weekends and holidays kind of job. But that's where my thought pattern was. Forgive me.
"If only I could get a job at the pharmacy. It would be a good place to work." (There's that thinking stuff again)
Well I did get a job there after our son started school. At first I loved it. I loved the people, my coworkers, just the idea of having a job. I was a contributing member of society again!!! (I actually remember saying this to my counsellor when I saw her in there one day.) I planned... and I achieved.
About a month ago I got myself into trouble. I asked an irate customer to leave. Apparently you can't do that. I didn't realize. This lead to a downward spiral of what I like to refer to as "Stinkin' Thinkin'". I damaged my rep... bad. I'm part of the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study right now and it's because of this study that I came to a place where I realized I'd done wrong. That this stinkin' thinkin' had gotten me into a place of just plain bitterness. Again?!?!?
I also realize that I now need to humble myself and apologize for my previous actions. Geez, there's nothing like God showing you where you're wrong... but then to have to humbly apologize UGH! It's not my favourite but I will because I know it's the right thing to do.
Has stinkin' thinkin' ever gotten you down? How did you overcome it?
You know the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side? This is my attempt to find greener grass right where I am in my life.
BTW - I'm the one on the right, just in case you didn't already know that.