Mental Training

It seems that the weather is turbulent in my world. I have a restless heart, a mind that rarely falls upon still waters, but makes waves in the midst of calm. I can only attribute this bad habit to lies I have learned to live by.

Oh the lies!

Most will not admit to them, the lies that control our thoughts and behaviors. I think we must all have at least one or two that has some grip on us. The most troublesome for me are the ones such as “You aren’t good enough, “You will never achieve your potential”; that last one really stings, actually they all do. They can be truly paralyzing thoughts and lies that I believe the enemy has cunningly found ways to burn into my brain. Just like any burn, it can be healed and I can find my way to new truths, the ones that Jesus would have me believe. Most burns leave scars, which means that if I believe these to be “burnt” into my brain, I may have to wrestle with them for many times over, but ultimately, God is so great and so big that He can completely heal me. He is also so great that He gives us the opportunity to work at healing our wounds, with His help. He doesn’t just hand us a “you’re healed” card and then we are free, at least it seems not most times. He does hand us a “you’re forgiven card” which is truly AWESOME!

Even though I wish the lies would just disappear, it isn’t possible for me to find and truly come to believe my real identity in Christ without having to do the work. Some days I think that really stinks, some days I can appreciate the beauty in it. He is always there, and He lets us fall, allows us to pull ourselves back up again, but without knowing it He might brush the dust off of our knees, or allow us to rest on Him for a while as we collect ourselves again. He is always there.

So I find myself needing to relearn, rewire my brain, retrain my thoughts. Not an easy task. Not a new concept for me. I will try to keep you posted on how it goes!

Found My Fern

It seems that several days have passed since my last post. My journey has been much more internal as of late; I suppose that may be the norm for me. I am not the kind of person that particularly enjoys staying at home too much, but there seems to be an invisible force field (no, I’m not paranoid, I am just using a metaphor) around my home that somehow keeps me in. In fact, I have never been a person that is energized by being at home, but again, the force field. Everything seems more difficult out there, in the great big world, but it is mostly just so difficult to get out the door. There is one obstacle, a wonderful one at that, which is in “my way” most frequently. It is a 3 year old little boy, my little boy. Everything is more challenging with him in tow. You never know what might become a great hurdle, something you never expected. It is this fear of the unknown that hangs over me, blocking me from the outside world at times.
For example, (you knew there would be one of these coming) two days ago I took my little guy to his swimming lessons. That part is delightful. Afterwards, I decided to be brave and stop at a local nursery who displayed a lovely “50% off all Plants” sign. The gravitational pull of the sale was enough to allay my fears. My son had spotted his stroller in the back of our vehicle and said he wanted to ride in it. Okay, I could go for that. But, wait, what was I thinking. How can I push a stroller and a shopping cart at the same time? I tried to reason with him, but reasoning is not something he does. I figured I would push him in the stroller and look around, if there was something that I wanted to purchase, I would then have to deal with my situation. It wasn’t but 30 seconds later that I spotted a healthy group of hanging baskets filled with plump ferns. I have been eying those things since early spring. I had the right amount of cash in my purse. I was out. I had to get them! But how????
I pushed the stroller around for a while hoping my son would tire of it and want out, after all, we hardly use the stroller any more because he never wants to actually sit in it. Except, of coarse, on this occasion.
A gentleman asked me if I needed any help. Being the introvert that I am, I declined. But, I really did need help if I wanted to buy a fern or two! Do you see my conundrum? Asking Jacob to get out of the stroller was like asking him to eat broccoli. . .resulting in a typical Jacob style tantrum that is not pleasant to see nor hear, nor appropriately deal with as the parent. The end result was that I asked the man for help. I even let him pick the plants out for me. This, is actually a big deal for me, 1) asking someone for help and 2) letting someone else select the plants for me; these are both a little bit out of my comfort zone, (as crazy as I know that seems), but at least I did it.
I brought my beautiful ferns home, hung them from our overhang on the back porch and they look very nice. But, you have to realize that stopping at the local nursery just to buy a couple of plants was way more difficult for me, than it needs to be. That is what keeps me from doing the things I want to do. It is fear, in its silliest form!
Thus, the internal journey, the exploration of my mind, heart and soul; and not a very large space on the planet, for now.

Boggy Fog in My Blog

It’s bloggy tonight, I mean foggy, in my head. I am overwhelmed with joy at the opportunity I have had to meet so many other beautiful souls who also suffer with chronic pain/illness and/or depression, and yet I am so saddened by the fact that there are so many suffering. I don’t want to even mutter the words “why?” but it seems so hard to understand. . .I know God has it all figured out, so I won’t go there, but it weighs heavy. I also struggle with feeling guilty because I am not in as much pain right now as I have been in the past and there are so many who are in terrible pain right now. My emotional pain waxes and wains. My physical pain is so unpredictable. I feel guilty that I am not hurting as badly as others. That seems so out of whack. I am so grateful that I have been able to peacefully enjoy the last few days with my little guy. I have been fatigued, and I have had to rest some. We certainly have not been going on any major adventures, but our days have been nice. I feel sad with the knowledge that others I care about are not enjoying their days this week because of pain, fear, or depression.
Tonight I was an onlooker at a beautiful display of God’s creation. Charley, Jacob and I went to a nearby lake and watched the moon rise above the tree line. It was perfectly full and a glorious orange ball appearing like magic before our eyes. This particular moon rise is called the Moon Illusion because the moon appears much larger on this night than most nights, even though, it is of coarse the same size. It was a great show! I am so thankful that we did that tonight, kind of out of character for us, but it was beautiful.
Our father has created everything with such beauty. I suppose there must even be beauty in sadness and pain somewhere. I praise Him, because He knows. He knows what is going on and that is so cool! Thank you God for taking care of us, thank you for taking care of “things”. We are truly BLESSED!

A Strange Land

Today I find myself in a strange land between laziness and loneliness, between aching heart and body and a joyful soul. A strange land indeed. My heart is full in so many ways and yet, maybe because it is such a part of me, such a habit, that there is still a void and sadness that sits on top of my belly, just slightly weighing on me, sending a signal that something isn’t quite right. I will focus on the joy for a change. Isn’t that the choice we are all faced with? Maybe for some it isn’t a choice. Maybe for some they just naturally gravitate to the joyful thoughts and feelings. For me, I have lived so much in a state of anxiety that it takes a bit of effort.
My son, a vivacious 3 year old, has been hopping all over the house today. He woke up with a bright red blotchy rash all over his sweet cheeks and arms. This, the day we were to begin swimming lessons, instead became the day we were to visit the doctor! He was so co-operative, quite unexpectedly, and he was ADORABLE while we were there. He has a virus, of coarse, that just has to run it’s coarse and we can begin swimming lessons tomorrow (since now that he has the rash he is actually no longer contagious). We spent the rest of the day mulling around the house, playing on the computer, bouncing a bit on the trampoline, eating macaroni and cheese for lunch. These were such simple pleasures. I should have reveled in them more. I took my unavoidable nap in the afternoon while he ran around the living room in between moments of contentment watching a movie. The sounds I heard as I dozed were those of the likeness of airplanes, trains and automobiles. I even contributed my versions of the sound effects every now and then, so that he would know I wasn’t completely lost, just resting!
It was a good day. I didn’t push myself. I did little housework and I just enjoyed our time. Oh, I read a bit of a novel, too! I don’t squeeze that in very often.
The downside was also the upside, my daughter was gone on a trip. There was a quietness to the house (doesn’t happen too often) that was just strange. Not quite as many demands made on me as usual, but still it was just oddly quiet. It is funny how we miss our children so much when they are absent, yet they drive us crazy when they are present! At any rate, I was allowed to take things slow today and that was a gift for sure. I had some pain in my legs and joints, but it was definitely offset by the simplicity of life that I think I was spoiled with today.
Now tomorrow. . .there is a lot to do, but I will make a conscious effort to fit in some slow-paced joyful moments.

Prayers, Puppies and Post-Op Woes

Day 1 of my new journey. . . a trip to the dermatologist! I have an infected cyst on my leg. This may be linked to the tick bite I received a couple of weeks ago that produced a somewhat unsightly “bullseye” shaped rash. Although I am on a 3 week round of antibiotics, it seems that bacteria such as Staph are great opportunists. They will prey upon you and find your weakest spots, which include a pre-existing cyst that was extremely minor and minding it’s own business, UNTIL now! So, I get to add yet another antibiotic to my regimen; yes, another, that is also to be taken twice a day, and for 10 days. Ugh! I think that the amount of meds I take is absolutely ridiculous, and actually produces a chuckle when I think about it. We will have to wait and see how I react to the antibiotics and keep a close eye on my cyst. It turns out that it is not in a good place for surgical removal, due to a lot of nerves being nearby, so we will hope the 2 antibiotics work well together!

This is an exciting journey, isn’t it? And this is actually uncharted territory for me today. I have never been to this particular doctor’s office before and I have never had a cyst of this kind, infected at that, before.

Aside from health issues, other uncharted lands that I explored today. . .
Ah, the land of puppy training, it is truly a land of mixed terrain! Our sweet and precious puppy peed on my bed tonight! Ack! I had to scream into the bed, just to get it out, because now I not only have to clean the duvet cover, but also the comforter inside, which will need to be washed somewhere with really big washers and dryers.
(P.S. Also, I find this particularly annoying because I have a strange thing about the weight of the covers on me at night, I like to feel like I have a good amount surrounding me while I sleep, and I will not be able to achieve this feeling without my comforter)

Okay, now all jokes and sarcasm aside, I am in a state of mourning. My beautiful daughter Isabel had surgery last week and had her tonsils and adenoids removed. I did read the night before the surgery, on some web-site or blog, that a child recovering from this sugery may have a change in voice for quite some time post-op. Well, it is true, and I miss my baby girl’s voice! She has a bit of a more nasal sound to her voice, probably from the inflammation and she seems to even be enunciating her words differently. It really tugs at my heart when I hear her talk because it is not the voice that I am so used to hearing and have LOVED so much for the last 8+ years. I pray that God will restore her voice soon, as it was before the surgery, because it was so precious to me.

My day is done, at midnight, and I am going to turn in and try to wrap my mind around all of the precious people in need of prayer and help. It seems the need is so great and my mind is so small. I think I need to keep a notepad next to bed with a list of names and their need to refer to.

Don’t forget to say your prayers!