Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Own Padded Cell

For years I've joked about "having some time off" by going bananas and ending up in a padded cell with fuzzy slippers, lots of sleep, and 3 meals a day I don't have to cook.

Until one day last week when I realized I'd created my own padded cell.

I do have fuzzy slippers but don't get all the sleep I want and still cook meals. After an intense bout of depression I'm still trying to conquer and some major life challenges this year I found myself medicating with food and alcohol.

I was eating what I wanted when I felt like the black hole was swallowing me and when I felt good I was eating healthy. Except the dark vortex of pain was present in some way every single day. I didn't feel like eating so when I did, I just ate what I thought would taste good at the time. I didn't drink to get drunk, or even buzzed, just a bit to take away the anxiety of what I couldn't control in my life.

I was on some medicine that was helping my brain but not my body. So I changed medicines. But I kept gaining weight. When I weighed in at my all time bigger than nine months pregnant weight last week I thought again that my family would be better off without me.

 Angry. Sad. Hopeless.

I spent some time with a wise friend and talked and cried. She encouraged me to do what I needed to do to be free. I knew she was getting free herself and I could see it on her face. Her eyes understood my pain more than her words could speak.

Unlike the wind that you can feel but not see, HOPE can be seen even if you don't feel it. When I stop and become intentional about looking around at my beloved ones and the blessings in my life, hope appears.

Having hope doesn't mean my padded cell evaporates. It's still there, tempting me to stay enveloped in the safety it provides. Safe from being truly seen in the heart places, experiencing the comfort of self when I'm tempted to venture out, and narrowing my focus to the minimal life that I might be able to control.

Why leave the padded cell?

I know it will only shrink until I'm confined so much I can't move at all.

I long for the expansive outside world of athletics, not shopping in plus size stores, eating yummy food in moderate amounts, having a glass of wine for the pure enjoyment of it, and not being stared at because of my size. I crave the freedom of water skiing, snow skiing, cycling and looking like I live a fit lifestyle. I want my sons to wrap their arms all the way around me for the first time, to be excited to introduce me to their friends and not be embarrassed about how I look (yes, they are starting to notice).

I desire to be the bride my Love married. Slightly altered maybe since I had babies, but not confined to negative self talk & food addiction run wild. Vibrant, funny, and able to go out on his arm without beating myself up or obsessing about my flaws.

I will get out of this cell. I won't stop until I do. I will open myself up for love and life; letting go of the need to protect myself from the unknown. One day at a time.

Love. Life. Hope.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Unaware of the Blessing Around the Corner

I was walking through the bakery, trying to remember what I might be forgetting when I saw her.

She had shoulder length graying hair and looked to be past 60. Her jawline and facial structure looked like she didn't have many teeth and hadn't for some time. Her joyful smile captured my attention. It was so beautiful. She was surrounded by smaller people, likely her grandkids between the ages of 15 and 7. They were obviously planning something special. I heard her laugh, it was like music to my weary aching heart.

I smiled as I walked on, shooting up a brief prayer asking God to bless them all. I thanked Him for the blessing it brought to my heart to see them all together.

As often happens in the grocery store, they caught my eye a few times more as I wandered the aisles. Each time I smiled, being blessed by watching them, praying blessing over them.

I finally concluded my shopping trip, hoping I landed within my cash budget and saw to my delight they were in line in front of me.

But there appeared to be a problem. The checker was telling her the card she was using wouldn't go through. She was quite polite expressing she had checked the balance earlier in the day and knew it should. She walked away with the kids, grocery cart with celebration supplies left behind.

I was devastated for them. I had watched them pick out items carefully. Finding the best they could with what they had to spend. I rocketed a prayer to Heaven, "Oh Lord, how awful!"

He said it so clearly and so quickly in my heart - YOU bless them.

I looked at the amount, handed my grocery cash to the checker and asked the young girl that bagged their groceries to deliver them.

When that beautiful Grandma turned around with her bunch in genuine surprise to receive the cart, all I could do was blow her a kiss and smile at the gratitude they all expressed with a heartfelt "thank you".

So emotional I could barely speak I pulled my debit card from my purse to pay for my groceries. I knew my Love would understand why I did that, outside of our financial plan. The checker and young girl said thank you to me and I just nodded choking back the tears I would soon let loose in the solitude of the car.

I walked into the store absorbed in my personal struggle and frustrations only to walk out in awe of God's provision for His beloved ones, including me.

Once home, I began crying again and told our sons and my Love the story God's provision for this sweet family and to show their Mommy how much He loves us all. Explaining happy tears is so much easier than talking about the sad ones.

I don't share this to brag, but to encourage. I needed to see beyond my circumstances that night to live what I'm always speaking to our sons, "BE the Blessing!"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stopping to Smell the Moonlight

It was 6:17 when I heard the fussing. Our puppy Sophie needed to go outside to do her well, you know...

I get up, grab my sweatshirt and shoes to take her out. I unlock her kennel and she rushes out. On our way to the back door she stops suddenly.

She spies something on the kitchen floor. Sniffs it, then keeps moving.

It was a patch of moonlight shining in the kitchen window.

Smart girl.

I think she has her priorities right.

Not that I think laying around for large portions of the day is the way I think I should live my life. But when Sophie rests, she really rests.

When she explores, she's super focused and much to my annoyance at times, a little too clever at spotting that one battleship that didn't get picked up because it was too close to the color of the carpet. Or the water bottle one of my fellas left under a bench at the park.

She lives in the moment. All the time. She won't hesitate to let you know when she needs something, she assumes you think she's amazing and she is attentive to the world around her in a way I am not.

I am going to spend the next several days trying to be more like her. Noticing the moonlight on the kitchen floor, learning to really rest when my body says it's time, and being alert to the details of life.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Neck Deep in the Battle

The last couple of days were ridiculously awful. In my head. Oh, they were awful for the people around me too, but in my head they were much worse.

I know the truth about who God says I am. I have walked confidently in my identity in Christ. I have successfully battled the "you're a terrible mother" assaults in my mind with every volume change, attitude change and toxic choice before too.

But the last two days have been much more intense. This time there is a raw fear attached to those thoughts. I'm taking my beautiful fellas so intensely personal when they call me mean, disregard or disrespect me. I didn't do that before.

I have had moments the past 48 hours of laughter, peace, and hope for something else but then the assault continues and I have to hold my breath and swim back to the surface convincing myself I won't drown in my self-destructive thoughts.

I'm changing medications and that may be a factor. I'm pursuing my heart hurts and growing my faith. I'm medicating with food and sometimes alcohol (very minimally with alcohol because if you don't know, it makes you MORE depressed and I sure don't need that!).

And tonight, His still small voice whispered this to me:

YOU have tremendous value. I'm not giving up on you. Please don't give up on Me. Stir up your faith, I've got you. I see you struggling with believing Me and trusting Me. It may not look like what you imagined, but I promise it will be better. I love you. Holding you forever, God

I'm heading to bed. The depths of me needing the depth of His love to purge the partially true-mostly lies thoughts from my head and soothe my heart with His healing touch as I sleep. At least, that's what I'm asking Him for.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I've changed so much this past year, I hardly recognize myself.


A few weeks ago I had to figure out what I preferred --- FAT or CRAZY!

Well, maybe not quite, but that's what it felt like.

The medicine I started taking to keep me from jumping off the ledge was causing me to gain weight.

It sucks to join Weight Watchers with friends and be the only one that GAINS every single week regardless of the changes I made to my diet.

I took the plunge. I don't need to be fatter. I've worked long and hard for years to fight my bulges and even though mentally I was feeling better most days, all it took was stepping on the scale once a week to send me plummeting into the abyss of overweight despair.

I changed medicine and went through a deep low (though not as deep as before) and now, hopefully I am on my way back up.

I also bought the biggest size jeans I've ever worn. Every time I put them on I am grateful I don't have to wear my capris that were the only thing I fit in besides my stretch pants. My ankles are warm too! I keep in mind that some day, SOON I hope, I can donate some really great condition nice jeans to someone who needs them.


I will also be making changes to this blog. I had to make my first post yesterday, but I promise to tweak this blog to make it more user friendly and have useful links to things and blogs I find helpful.

Any tips or clues on how to do that would be quite helpful since I am pretty new to doing anything besides posting pictures and writing.

That's it for now... Blessings!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Peace in the Process

This has been the hardest year of my life that I can remember.

I am finally embracing the process of this journey of life. Today. I can't promise how I will feel about tomorrow, but for now, an hour before I have to pick my fellas up from school, I choose to embrace the process.

I have gone through hard times before, but this year, has been fully loaded with curveballs, heart hurts, people hurts, health issues and transitions I could never have imagined.

The details of the above may or may not come out in this blog. But essentially they aren't key to what this blog is about.

Finding Peace in the Process of LIFE.

I am doing some great Bible study, reading some other wonderful books, blogging, and connecting with others who want to do the same.

I have struggled with Depression for years (mostly S.A.D.) with occasional panic attacks but this year hit severe clinical depression including constant suicidal thoughts and as many as 6-8 panic attacks a day.

Peace is a big deal.

I've known Jesus my whole life.

I know He's called the Prince of Peace.

This year I've been tested in my faith and what I know about Him, what I know about me, and what I ultimately practice when it comes to Peace.

So, I'm learning...

Peace in the Process...

One day at a time.