Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PMS

Pack
My
Suitcase

I decided when it is around that time; husbands and children shouldn't stay clear.  Rather women everywhere should pack their own suitcase and head to the nicest hotel in town with their bibles, journals, and work out clothes.  As a result there would be more peace on earth.  And is that the desire of many peoples hearts.  No more wives picking that "unintentional fight,"  no more lashing out in a fit of hormonal rage.  Peace! Women everywhere would be far enough away from loved ones to keep their mouths shut and then lower the amount of apologies later.  If we could only pack our bags each month for a few days....as I return back to earth this isn't possible.  I have been reading a book called "jump off the hormone swing" by Lorraine Pintus.  It has proved to be a revolutionary was to love at the uniqueness in God's creation of woman.

Psalm 30:11-12
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed my lips with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks forever.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dr W

In my regular jeans (you know the ones that just fit right and are super comfy), puma shoes, red sweater and T-shirt, I sit down next to a traditional Texas Woman.  These are the ones that stereo types are made from.  Fancy cowboy boots that haven't touched dirt, bling; earrings, necklace and coordinating bracelet, and perfect hair.  Repeatedly I look at my labs, past medical history, etc. for the umpteen time, completely out of place I look around.  The waiting room is adorned with leather chairs, Botox pamphlets, Texas life style magazines and I feel completely out of place.  The hope that I had walking into the waiting room diminished with thoughts of doubt.  Would this Dr W have any medical hope for finding a cure for my vicious depression cycle?  Was there hope for finding greater health or was I in the wrong place?.  I would have jumped up and ran except for the fact that this doctor got two wonderful references from my psychiatrist and counselor.  I soon found out that he would offer years of expertise that would quickly ease my fears.  Dr W has over 30 years of experience that has lead him to an expertise in healthy living and hormones.  Well that is where this new chapter starts...
First get all the yeast out of my body.  Why?  Lots of reasons which persuaded me enough to do it.  
Secondly tons of labs; probably several hundred dollars worth all on day 18-21 of my cycle, which of course falls on Christmas weekend.  No promises were made but I feel a glimmer of hope that there is some additional relief from 3-5 days of each month of me feeling suicidal.  I think the best thing I have done the last few months is to recognize the cyclical moods I have related to my menses and pull out a calendar.  Now to find a lab that is open the day after Christmas...






Friday, December 9, 2011

A process


Quote I found that represent how I feel some days:
Depression isn’t just something you can “snap out of.” I think people find depression as some sort of personal weakness, and that people with depression just have to be more grateful or positive. They might get a lot of “your life isn’t that bad, it could be worse” speeches, but that’s not just what depression is about, and it definitely isn’t that easy to get over.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lonely Journey

Sometimes the journey is one in which you walk alone.  People don't know what to say.  It's almost like people think get over it already.  I know that it is just an assumption but just the same it is hard.  And if people do want to walk with you they get frustrated with fall backs, wanting to just fix it (as if I don't).  I know I am venting and so I am praying for a genuine support system of friends that are real with their own struggles. 

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”—Joshua 1:5 (NIV)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Listen to your body...

Well I am not crazy....well we all are a little bit...
But I have fully confirmed that my depression and anxiety has something to do with my hormones.  My husband said. "I could have told you that."  Well I am now convinced, and convinced that modern medicine should offer some help.  Every 28 to 30 days I spiral down the slippery slide, into the dark pit of depression, loading on more guilt and shame of why can't I just get this right...Well I have learned a few things this time; I was grumpy, but apologized quickly to my loved ones (and grumpy maybe an understatement), I hit the gym and the ground with my running shoes, and quickly disputed those false thought that infiltrate my mind without warning.  So in combo with the findings of the SPECT scan, new teaching from Steps, 1 1/2 years of great counseling, and that I now acknowledging the hormone component; I feel like I am still one step closer to greater health.  I am going to listen to my gut and get all my hormones tested and yesterday I would have scheduled a complete hysterectomy.  Thankfully I have my head on a little straighter and will wait to schedule a hysterectomy until I examine all of this further. 
Photo by Wendy Westcamp
So many times I just wanted a quick fix and really listened to whoever had answers.  Here are the list of have tried:
  • food sensitivity tests
  • gluten free diet
  • Rapid Eye Movement therapy
  • Endocrinologists
  • Psychologists
  • SPECT scans
  • Multiple counseling years
  • Bible Studies
  • Step Study
And I still struggle...Just this week I had to dispute suicidal thoughts for three days.  I know they are irrational but they still come and frighten me.  I fear that just once I will make a stupid rash decision that will ruin my life and my family's.  So here is the good news I have learned a lot even from some of the things on my list, and I wont give up.  This time I am listening to my body and getting it checked by someone good.  Now to find a good doctor to check me out medically, hormonally, and genealogically.  Pray for a good team of Doctors.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Tips- From Women of Faith

10 Relationship Tips for the Holidays

C – Center your heart on the deeper meaning of the holidays. This will help everyone become easier to get along with because the heart of the holiday will remain intact.

H – Hear what your friends and family are voicing as their stress, and listen carefully to them—a gift that will lower their stress.

R – Reach out as a family to help others in order to keep the proper perspective on what is really important in life.

I – Invest in memories, not material goods. Make time for family baking, tree decorating, or board games.

S – Speak your love in words. The best gift you can give is for a person to hear their value and worth from your lips.
T – Take time for romance. The greatest gift you can give your children is a happy marriage.

M – Make time to reach out to extended family. Visit or call grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
A – Assume nothing; ask those who are celebrating with you what their expectations are, and communicate the plan clearly so people feel informed.

S – Stay flexible. Don’t be a Christmas boss, ordering family around. Instead slow the pace, gather consensus, and give options so that you create an environment of connecting and sharing.

Excerpted from Simplify Your Holidays © 2008 Marcia Ramsland. Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful for depression


Crazy to be thankful for depression ha?  Especially if you read the posts back in September.  I have come a long way and have found joy even in the hardship, bad days, and set backs.  Through headaches, major weight gain, hair loss this last month; my heart has changed. Why am I thankful; or what specifically am I thankful for about my depression:
  • That I developed a strong desire and pursuit in my relationship with God, especially in my dependence on Him through my darkest days.
  • I can look and see God's hand of provision through the worst.
  • I am thankful for the Medicine that helps (doesn't fix), but gets me to a place to be intentional about changes of thought.
  • The platform to help and share my story with others in hope that they too can be encouraged.
  • Good Doctor that have wisdom to not give up (Dr Todd Clements).
  • A counselor (Cheryl LaMastra) that has walked with me through the thick of my past and helping me find tools to enjoy the future.
  • That my depression brought me to Steps at the Village church; that enlightened me to the lies I believed about the power of God in my life. 
  • The friends that God has provided.
  • Truly I am thankful for the journey that I am on, and the belief that it is making me into a better person, able to reflect God's grace, be a better wife and mother. 
Romans 8:18-19 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vision Board- Growing affection for Christ


 I lost a lot of who I am in being "depressed." I have for so long just survived and not thrived...  Stayed alive but not really lived.  So I took some time to make a vision board of who I am and want to be. It was my counselors idea.  So many mornings in the past, I have written things down to do for the day; i.e. park with kids, groceries, call a friend, paint with kids... Now this is different. It is a visual reminder to who I am and want to be that I will hang on my bathroom door.  I want to be purposeful in living a blessed life that I have been gifted with.

 In the previous season I spent a lot of time pulling weeds; now it is time to spend cultivating me.  More importantly cultivating my affection for God and who he has created me to be.  At my steps study at the Village Church, they stress that you can't just rid yourself of sin, but you have to fill it with things that cultivate your affection for Christ and furthering his kingdom. Matthew 12: 43-45 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.  That is how it will be with this wicked generation."  So here I go...filling my house intentionally with good so evil won't reside in my heart. 


Some the things pictured are nursing into my old age (especially in other countries), growing fresh fruit and veggies, enjoying cooking, loving on my kids, become a NP, take more pictures, have more fun (i.e. let that silly child come out), plant more flowers (hydrangeas are my next goal),


...stay global minded, have a family that thrives, exercises, dance with my husband, grow in faith through God's word, cultivate a home to be used for ministry, sail, stay healthy, running, and enjoy the journey I am on.  All of these I want to do with the mindset of growing in my affection for Christ and ministry. 


Someone asked if I am doing this blog for greater attention...Well it has received attention but my heart is to share my struggles and learning's in hopes to minister to someone else; even if it is only one person outside of the benefit it has been to me.  Blogging has helped me focus on the truth and provided accountability to continue growing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Suffer Well

I have been suffering with headaches every day since I started the higher dose of Lamictal.  I had one good week in three... And I kept hearing this little voice in my head that continued to say, "Suffer Well."  Maybe once in my past I have heard that, but I wondered what it meant.  Suffer well?  Who wants that?  Suffering?  Well I began examining what the Lord says to me and what he says about suffering. 

  • James 1: 2 " Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds..." 
  • Jeremiah 17:8 "He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes..."
  • Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."
  • John 6:33 " I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Again and again through scripture God says that trials will come, not that they might come; rather they will come!! 
Where is that message that I grew up believing; that in Christ' life will be easier?  Here is where my prayer and heart is changing; from grumbling and discontentment to humbly accepting each day as it is.  Knowing that God knows that I struggle with depression and now daily with headaches;  my prayer is to learn to be content in all circumstances!!  Lord change my heart to be content even in my struggle (that you are enough.)  Though I have pleaded again and again for you to take my struggle away, you haven't.  Maybe not on this side of heaven will I find healing.  Till then Lord help me Suffer Well for your grace is sufficient; may I learn to me content whatever the circumstance. 

  • 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, For when I am weak, then I am strong."

This quote from Charles Spurgeon is how I see this weeds in my life.  (worth reading- even through the "old English").

“Ill weeds grow apace. Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us."
  • Philippians 4:11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do everything in him who gives me strength."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Your Hands

JJ Heller- Your Hands-song played below

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands       

Change

In all the change around us; Jesus never changes.  What confidence is this for me, when change is imenent.  Medicine changes, mood changes, days change, seasons change, children change, I could go on forever; But God doesn't change.  It that promise I will rest in today.

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Malachi 3:6a "I the Lord do not change..."

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What do you all think

Well I know that there are readers out there...  What is your thoughts on change?  (whether good or bad).  Post below under comments.

How to leave a comments...

















Some of you have had trouble leaving comments so here is how; straight from blogger:





 

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The owner of a blog also has the option to have comments open in popup windows. In this case, all the primary features will still be present, just arranged a little differently:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Seasons


There is an air of change here in Texas.  From cooler mornings, pansies and mums everywhere, trees leaves changing colors, change is upon us; a new season.  Birds are flying south in anticipation to colder days and move toward warmer (not that a good trip to the Caribbean isn't healthy for all of us).  Stores are full of all the fixings for Thanksgiving, decorations for Christmas (yes already).  I used to dread new, it meant change...  However I am learning to embrace it.

This new season is an opportunity to move forward for good change;
  • I am running a lot (not quite enough for my relay marathon on December4th, but don't tell my team)
  • I am cooking (thanks to thepioneerwoman.com)
  • I donated my hair for making wigs for women who have lost their hair (might as well donate it before mine falls out : )
Most importantly I am beginning to look forward and Just Live, rather than just Survive to Live!



Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."


 

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Weeds and the Master Gardener


I don't know about the weeds in your garden, but mine tend to congregate along the fences.  They tend to seep in from the neighbors (so I thought), until I looked over the fence and saw that their yard was remarkably weed free.  Ahhh...my theory was incorrect, humbly I began to look for other explanations...  I once was accused by someone who lives with me (I won't tell you who),  that instead of pre-emergent weed killer I threw out weed seed.  Now that is preposterous!!  I wouldn't even think of it!  Rather, it seems to be just like the areas at the corners of our heart where no one sees; unconfessed sin, resentment, anger, abuse, etc.   

There seems to be a pattern in my backyard that the weeds are the worst around the edges.  I probably didn't get close enough with the pre-emergent and the weed whacker.  I am doing a bible study (steps) at the Village Church.  It is messy and yet wonderful at the same time.  You dig around deep in your heart to see where you have put other things above God.  Most of my things tend to be in the corners of my heart where I haven't examined or let God examine.  My God is no longer the God that wants us to wear our "Sunday best" and look "neat and tidy" on the outside.  He wants my deep weeds that can so deeply invade my heart and choke out what God wants to do in my life.  My weeds rob my life of purpose and freedom in Christ.  God the Master Gardener isn't just cutting them down he is pulling them out and setting me free, painfully at times . 

Galatians 5:1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Aly's Husband

Aly asked me to be a guest blogger occasionally.  She asked that I write about my experience with depression.  I was waiting for the right thing to write about and today seems to be the day.  Earlier today my son stubbed his toe.  The skin on the end of the toe was sticking out, it wasn't that bloody and he didn't even complain about it that much...until we tried to put socks on.  The skin was sticking out and it caught on things and hurt him.   I'm sure its happened to you.  The skin gets caught on something like a sock, or under the sheets and hurts all the time.  It even hurts when the wind blows on it.  Tonight at bath time I figured I would cut off that dead skin so it wouldn't hurt tonight under the covers.  I wanted to help my son...but he wasn't interested.  After crying, yelling, fighting, and pleading I got some of that dead skin off.  Mom even had to help by holding him down.  It wasn't fun for him or for me.  A few minutes later he said that I wasn't nice.  He made it clear that he didn't want me to do that anymore because it hurt. 

How do you explain to a 4 year old, that I was trying to cause a little pain now so that he could have a lot less pain later?  Then it hit me.  Or should I say God hit me with his word: "For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen."  2 Corinthians 4:17. 

Living with a wife who has depression can be troubling.  I often feel helpless, frustrated, weak, and most of all, wondering what God is doing in all of this.  At times it does seem like an affliction.  However, these things are temporary.  Even if Aly struggles with depression for her whole life, it is temporary. 

Do I hurt when she hurts?  Yes.  Do I want to do anything I can to take the pain away?  Yes.  But that's not up to me. Today, tomorrow, or in the future we are going to encounter affliction.  Can I explain the reason for it?  Not necessarily.  Can I find absolute purpose in it?  Not always.  I can however see that God has made it clear that whatever we face in this world, it's temporary.  Therefore, I want to go into today knowing that these afflictions, troubles, and trials are just a drop of water in the ocean of eternity.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My journey didn't just begin

I should have seen it coming.  Dark thoughts about how awful I am as a person haunted my mind since before I can remember.  I thought it was just normal to think that I am not worth anything, faulty, and not important.  All of which predisposed my big D (depression).  Some call this low self esteem I would argue that I felt shame. 

Shame is that awful feeling of an ice cold wool blanket draped around your shoulders; a chill you just can't shake that goes all the way to the bones.  It is more than a emotion rather it is a state of who I thought I was.  I made a lot of assumptions about my self based on others struggles around me.  I don't know where I heard it but the word "assume" make "asses out of u and me."  At a very early age I took upon myself a burden I wasn't suppose to carry and if my attempts of perfection failed my shame increased all the more.  To off set the deep feeling of shame and  failed perfectionism I began to numb my feelings by hair pulling and picking at my skin for hours.  All of which would plummet me deeper into my own shameful feelings of ugliness and defectiveness. 

A skit my youth group (at Grace Christan Church in Long Beach CA in the 1990's) did for evangelism involved a man caring a heavy burden in the form of a back pack.  He  carried around in deep distress, while looking for anyone to take it away.  Ultimately Jesus after his Crucifixion carried this mans burden and he ran around free.  And then he went back to praise Jesus.  I hope I explained the skill well enough for you to get a vision. 

Anyhow the skit illustrates part of my shame.  My shame was and still is my heavy backpack that is still on my back.  I have been saved (John 3:16), however I give him some of the things in my back back, but I have developed such a habit of putting shame back on usually from assumptions and failed attempts of perfectionism.  Some times I set the backpack down for a few hours or just take a few things out.  My prayer is to take it all out and rather lay my shame down in exchange for God's truth daily, hourly, and maybe even every moment during the day.  My windows, mirrors are starting to be adorned by scriptures of God's faithfulness and promises.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Writing

"Writing is the act of reaching across the abyss or isolation to share and reflect."- Natalie Goldberg

Why write or in this case blog about something that I don't want to discuss with everyone?  I think it allows me to share honestly about depression without someone openly judging or immediately giving me advise.  I am the only expert about myself, from my perspective that is...  It has been good to openly express some of the deep dark struggles that a "good Christan woman" shouldn't.  I have been told to "pray more," "confess my deepest sins," "seek God harder"  and it will all go away.  Well I am on my knees pleading, petitioning, confessing, and seek God more than I ever have.  Maybe that is where God wants me...No I don't think that is my final story...

Friday, October 28, 2011

My weeds...

 Some things are just weeds in my life that I just can't keep up with.  Two tangable ones are dishes and laundry.   Dishes are one of the never ending work of a mother of two boys.  My oldest just needs a few more inches to help with them.  It's amazing how it can start feeling so overwhelming that they pile up so fast.  I feel like when I have a good day it is easy to keep up with the daily tasks of life.  It's been a hard day. 
 I think any mom of preschoolers call relate with the sippy cup invasion and plastic bowls that have been used in many unmentionable ways. 

 At least these dishes are clean and maybe tomorrow they will find their way to the cabinets.  Is there a magic fairy that comes at night?  If so I would clone it and sell it to all the mom's in the world for a mere $10!
Finally my biggest nemesis is laundry.  For years I would only hire babysitters that would fold all the laundry after the children went to sleep.  It was worth 2-3 more dollars an hour to have someone attack the pile on the counter of clean clothes. You know that it is a good day when all the laundry is at least folded.  Put away... well that is another day of blogging. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunday...

Words and smiles can be so deceptive.  I posted this wonderful "saved for a bad day" message on Sunday about the challenges of Children.  In essence it is true, but not truly where I was on that day.  That was the second time in a year where I thought and planned on ending my life (yes suicide).  No longer would I burden my husband, our finances, our children, and miss represent the Loving God and Father that I represent.  He also has said no to healing me from my depression at this time.  Gratefully I have a support system that reminded me of the truth and that an all inclusive trip to the Caribbean would be cheaper than getting admitted to a psych hospital.  I am waiting for those "plane tickets" still : )  Anyhow I have acknowledge that changing medications that work on your brain aren't for the faint of heart.  I go up and down for a few weeks prior to seeing if they are "helping."  Some times those weeks feel like eternity, many moments of watching life go by.  None the less I am on this journey and to God be the glory.  May my messy emotional life point all the clearer to a perfect savior that wants to redeem even the most sinful or broken people.

FREE redefined....
F- Faithful
R-Redeemer  I am..
E-Eagerly
E-Expecting his full redemption

Till his full redemption in my life I am going to pray Ephesians 6 for the full armor of God's protection and keep looking for flowers in the murk of life...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grace

Grace- a new gracious definition...

G- God
R- Redeems
A- All
C- Crazy
E- Emotions

Daily Bread

Proverbs 30:7-9

"Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread. 

Otherwise, I may have too much and may have to much and disown you and say,
"Who is the Lord?"

Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God"


This is the first time I have read this verse in it full context in the Proverbs.  I have only heard "give us our daily bread" in the Lord's prayer.  After reading this at the gym I so resonated with Davids desperate plea "do not refuse me before I die." This is exactly how I felt yesterday, desperate for his intervention to my dark thoughts of hopelessness.  Then I pray that the "falsehood and lies" that run through my head go "far from me."  Rather Lord I need you I am in desperation.  Rather than running to the World for false fullfillment and dishonor the name of the Lord or disown him.  I am going to pray for his daily bread in regards to my depression.  In his transforming power for enough so I continue to need him. 

I am also going to daily praise God for the science of the three pills he has given me to help regulate the chemistry in my brain.  I returned to my higher doses.  Deciding I'd rather be bald and happy than depressed and have tons of hair.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oh boy

Oh boys. Ever been a mother of two you can totally understand. Never thought I would spank till I had them. You get pushed beyond what you though your limit was and the just a little further. The only way I can parent and stay some what sane to plead to the Lord for strength and endurance to do his work as a mom each day. Romans 8:31b for if god is for us who can be against us. This includes our toddlers and preschoolers. God be for me let not those things, people, schedules try to be against me today.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

From My utmost for His Highest

Individual Discouragement and Personal Growth

. . . when Moses was grown . . . he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens —Exodus 2:11
Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After he launched his first strike for God and for what was right, God allowed Moses to be driven into empty discouragement, sending him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared to Moses and said to him, ” ’. . . bring My people . . . out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ’Who am I that I should go . . . ?’ ” (Exodus 3:10-11). In the beginning Moses had realized that he was the one to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in his individual perspective, but he was not the person for the work until he had learned true fellowship and oneness with God.
We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and yet when we start to do it, there comes to us something equivalent to Moses’ forty years in the wilderness. It’s as if God had ignored the entire thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged, God comes back and revives His call to us. And then we begin to tremble and say, “Who am I that I should go . . . ?” We must learn that God’s great stride is summed up in these words— “I AM WHO I AM . . . has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). We must also learn that our individual effort for God shows nothing but disrespect for Him— our individuality is to be rendered radiant through a personal relationship with God, so that He may be “well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). We are focused on the right individual perspective of things; we have the vision and can say, “I know this is what God wants me to do.” But we have not yet learned to get into God’s stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.

A wonderful blessing of a friend sent this to me.  Wonderful and encouraging friends are a gift from the Lord!!

 Hoping for some water and life in the desert. 
One picture photographed my me and the following my husband. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trust

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord

He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought adn never fails to bear fruit.


Is trust in God enough?  Most times in my life I have acted like it is not, rather I have trusted in others and myself.  To which I have found myself broken and empty.  Not intentionally I have turned from the Lord.  My spirit and psycological self has felt like I am in a wasteland, parched and thirsty.  Though I knew God since a child I didn't have roots in him.  I was slave to my own desires while trying to allow God to master my heart.  Both in Mathew 6 and Luke 16 there is reference to the impossiblity to serve two masters (money and God).  I would suggest that I can't allow "man" to master me and the Lord.  They conflict with God's design laid out in the beginning (Genesis).  Are you trying to serve two masters?  Is it working?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Patient Trust



Patient Trust

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ:

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. 

We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new. 
And yet, it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability -
and that it may take a very long time. 
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually - let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste. 
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time,
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow. 


Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blank

So I have been on the Lamictal 3 weeks now and I feel "blank."  Like; where did all my thoughts go...  That strong fighting drive of survival for each day, while combating each awful thought is gone.  "Isn't that a good thing?"  My answer is yes and no.  I have more positive thinking but at the same time lost some of who I am.  Characteristics such as passionate, creative, and driven.  My husband would disagree.  I have asked him to blog some about his experience living with a woman with depression.  He states that he has already seen such positive changes in my mood and ability to get things done and that I am more engaged with the children. 

I am still extremely tired and could easily sleep 10 hours at night and 2 during the day if only my stage of life would allow it (ie two busy wonderful children).  Back to the title of my post "blank;"  I have been trying to write for three weeks now and feel like now I have no words.  I can only write facts about life, no feelings.  It's like part of me is lost... I even feel that God is silent.  No conviction or encouraging thought from the Lord.  It is lonely in my head...maybe this is just new and good benefits will continue to manifest themselves. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Scan

 Well here are my scans....  I have three areas of increase activity.  Left temporal lobe, basal ganglia, and anterior cingulate gyrus.  It's a funny feeling going into this appointment.  You want something wrong, but not to wrong.  Kind of counter conflicting feelings.  If I had nothing wrong then I would just think I was crazy, and then if something is really wrong then I guess they should lock me up in a padded room. 

Well I got my wish some things were off but not terribly.  Much of which we assumed was correct.  The circled areas increase anxiety and I was on a medicine that people more anxious.  So off I wen from the Wellbutrin. While increasing my Lexapro.  And the next medicine I am taking calms the Basal Ganglia and Left Temporal Lobe is a anticonvulsant, Lamictal.  If anyone looks up Lamictal; I will already answer the question no I don't have Bi-Polar,just major Depressive Disorder, Moderate, Recurrent, and Generalized Anxiety with Panic.  Good Times!! (note the sarcasm)  So here I go with changes for increased health. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Brain- SPECT Images

Amazing Facts of your Brain: From the Clement's Clinic

1) The Brain is the most complicated organ with over 100 billion cells

2) The Brain controls how you think (brain not right thinking not right)

3) The Brain controls how you feel

4) The Brain controls how you act

5) The Brain can Change (love that one)

6) It important to know how it works

7) Certain areas of the brain are associated with emotional, behavioral, and learning problems

8) Brain injuries can impact brain function

So why SPECT scan?  I have been battling with Major Depression, Panic and general anxiety for 10 plus years.  With multiple different medications, dosage, therapy, counseling; I still have major episodes that are so debilitating that I am unable to function as a Child of God, wife, and mother.  So as a family we decided to take a look at the functioning of my brain.  I had to be off caffeine, chocolate, and anti anxiety pills for several days proceeding my test. 

Straight off the www.clementsclinic.com "SPECT is stands for “Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography.” It is a sophisticated nuclear medicine study that measures the cerebral blood flow and activity patterns of your brain. It utilizes a radiopharmaceutical to create images of actual brain function by identifying blood flow patterns throughout the brain."

The images from my study have assisted my doctor in making a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for me.  The idea to “see” the areas of their brain that are contributing to my symptoms has already given me a much better understanding of my condition and validation I am not "crazy."

Below is a picture of a healthy Female brain between the ages of 28 and 37.  So not my actual brain images.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Running

The time that I find myself the most truthful is while I am running.  There is something about pushing yourself beyond what is comfortable or even enjoyable that make me positive and encouraging.  You can't run while repeatedly saying you can't do it, your a failure, etc.  It clears your mind and gives you insight.  For me I am convicted and think clearly without any distractions.  But I have to get past the pain of getting started.  Any runner or any caliber knows to what I am talking about.  So may I run on, giving my negative thoughts a break, while pushing on to clarity. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

My flowers






Welcome to my front porch garden.  Here are a few of my flowers I photographed today.  With some TLC there is some growth.  My two little helpers (2 and 4 old boys) tend to pick the flowers before I can take any good pictures.  But I got a few.  You may recognize the pink flowers I planted those about a month ago in the heat of August and they are doing really well.   

Also below is a picture of my attempts to curve any spending.  I froze my two credit cards, and it will take about 24hours to thaw, giving me plenty of time to think about any purchases prior to buying.  I'll let you know how it works...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Cover

What do you do to try to cover or appease discomfort inside your self ?  That discomfort can come from guilt, hurt, pain, sin, abuse or in my case it is shame.  Shame as defined by a packet that my counselor gave me early in my counseling is  "a painful belief in one's defectiveness as a human being.  It is more than a feeling.  It is a set of physical responses combined with predictable actions, uncomfortable thoughts and spiritual despair."  Shame is false and extremely uncomfortable; to put it lightly.  I try to appease that feeling by perfecting myself, sadly many times costing others or by picking my skin or pulling my hair.  But for this post I will address my physical attempts for perfection as a cover for my intense feelings of shame.  Some of my covers, for instance are...spending too much money on facial care to become more beautiful, expensive hair cuts and products, perfect garden, and new outfit...the list can go on and on. My attempts to deal with those painful feelings may work for a hour or two, but then they lead to lies, debt, and guilt.  I try to promise myself I won't do it again, but I do.  Maybe not as frequently as the past but it still occurs and the shame is still waiting for me when the purchase is revealed and the confession is made. 

Tonight I realize that I can't take away my shame, but I can confess it.  First to the Lord and then to those in which my attempts to cover it hurt (in this case my husband).  I don't want to lie and spend above our means.  Rather I want to take my shame and call it lies.  Truth is "For you (Lord) created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13  I confess get again that I believe lies that "I am defective, not good enough, worthless, broken."  Because yes in fact I was but (I mean BUT) Christ!!  He took my sin and shame and it got nailed to a cross so that I might be forgiven and set free. 

My developed survival skills to combat shame are buying things.  It has become my defense minimizing my immediate pain without looking at what is true.  I know that I am not strong enough to make a change but I will continue to preach the gospel to myself knowing that in Christ alone with the power that can raise the dead.  I can face the shame and not cover it with more problems.  I chose to replace shame with truth, honor, self-worth, and God's word.