Fog

Here’s one reason not to rush from one place to another; when you are rushing, you may put your foot on the gas when the turning lane arrow becomes green and your light is actually red. You may hit the car in front of you at a very slow speed. This may result in a nice headache and a few aches and pains. Seriously, you may. That was my Tuesday.

Honestly, my body feels fine but wouldn’t you know the stress of this incident has seriously put me in this fog? Not quite sure how to describe it other than a fog but I’m definitely not the happy girl I was earlier that day. The night before I was laughing with friends and hubby, feeling so carefree. Getting all ready for spring gardening plans and thinking about the date we have planned for this weekend. But, although this little bump was not a BIG bump like it could’ve been, it’s really has shaken me up.

I don’t know why I have this emotion. All I know is that if I did not email my boss telling her that I would be at work the next day, I probably could have laid in bed all day. I wouldn’t call what I am feeling a depression by any means but it did get me thinking about when I was.

Depression makes it so hard to get out of bed and feel some sort of worth even with the most amazing husband and two precious little girls. Even despite having a great job, amazing co-workers, friends and family my whole life, you could still have found me in fetal position many nights trying to find some sort of good.

About 2 years ago, something changed for me. I can’t tell you one specific thing that occurred but, I stopped getting depressed. I no longer need my light box in the morning. I am still facing situations that are not exactly ideal. If I am honest, there are situations in my life now that are actually more difficult than they were years prior. But my mindset has shifted.

I attribute it to giving up doing life on my own strength. It obviously wasn’t working anyway. I cannot pinpoint when the day was but I have turned over the wheel to someone WAY stronger than me. I need to rely on Him and use my tool kit for dealing with struggles.

I need medication. Don’t think that I am at all suggesting I am cured. I am a strong advocate for finding good medication and counseling for mental health needs.

But, my perspective is very different.

I may be in a fog but I will not let it overtake me anymore. I will get up, straighten up the house and return my emails. I will walk my dog even if I don’t feel like getting off the couch. I will jump at the chance to grab coffee to talk about what the heck I’m feeling. (Thank you, friend. You made time for me on your busiest of days. I have no idea how God placed you in my life like He did but I am so thankful.) I got to the university, did my thing, taught my class and came home to my precious bunch.

Even as I am writing, I don’t feel happy but I still have my joy. I know that His plans  are perfect. He is teaching me that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness are so much more valuable than anything else I can pursue in this world. (Galatians 5:22, 23) I will pursue those. Not saying that I have them all. Not saying that I have  this figured out at all. But that is what He has given me in Jesus. I rely on His strength now.

It may be foggy out right now but I’m going to push through. I’ve got Jesus, coffee and my crew. I haven’t been let down yet. Things may be foggy and it may be hard to see but there is Someone who has overcome it all.

If you have no idea what I am referring to and my experience with depression, here’s my story.  https://wednesdaysmusings.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/my-name-is-susan-veenema/

A St. Patrick’s Day gift

I have been struggling daily as I transition without the morning sunlight. Pulling myself out of bed has seriously been a job. My disorder reminded me this week that every single day is a gift. Every day. It might not always be easy but I need to embrace it good or bad.

My family was so excited to dress up for St. Patricks Day. It was planned the night before. I wore my green pants with pride and my girls had their green bows and socks with their little school uniforms. Jerm wore his green polo. He has a polo for every holiday. We love any reason to celebrate. It’s something that makes the daily routine a little less mundane.

Today  I pried myself out of bed, down the stairs. I drank my coffee and got through the daily fog. I kept watching my children’s eyes sparkle as I did their hair. As I went through my day, something kept coming back to me: why don’t we treat every day like St. Patrick’s Day? (If this is not your favorite day of the year, just work with me.) Where is the daily excitement? Why don’t I always have that sparkle like my girls did this morning?

I know we all have tough situations that may not be easy. Please don’t feel as though I am trivializing the tough realities of life. I face them myself.  But, each morning is new. Each day is a gift. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I’m not trying to be a downer here but isn’t it true?

Think of your daily gift. Maybe it’s a chance to try again after a tough fall at work. A day to call that friend after a conflict. Another day to love. To give your all. To live out your calling. My friend wrote about purpose. How exciting is that?! We all have one. You aren’t just a placeholder in this thing called life. Check Viv out at https://wednesdaysmusings.wordpress.com

I’m not saying this is an easy. Crap happens and life can be tough. But let’s remind each other that there is tomorrow. We will get through this. We can’t do this alone and we need each other.

This sleeping in has taken me away from my early morning time with Jesus. I can feel it. But I have people in my life that are pulling me through this darkness. Showing me  and reminding me of life’s joy.

You never know what what a day brings. Maybe you are what gives someone joy in their mundane. Maybe your smile was what made that day special. Or that simple text just to say hi. Let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all year. I like wearing green and who can turn down a reason to have a good IPA?

 

 

The grind

Every weekend I am either weaving my way through a sea of a scheduling or relaxing around the house with my husband, kiddos and the Chemex (If you don’t have one…you are missing out on what coffee should taste like. (http://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com). I’m asking myself, does it have to be this extreme?

Don’t get me wrong, I love planning, activity and being with all those people that I am making plans with, but sometimes I just need to chill out.

This weekend has started out perfectly though. I’ve had all those things. They were in a different order, but nonetheless, it has been great. It is noon on Saturday and so far since I left work yesterday this is what I’ve done:

  1. Hung out with my neighbors
  2. Dinner and froyo with my family
  3. One hour of piano lessons
  4. Bonfire with my sister-in-law
  5. Kiddo letting us sleep in an hour
  6. Coffee with a friend (via Chemex)
  7. Gardening (we can pretend to call it that)
  8. Blogging next to my dog

So, I have decided that I am and will continue to practice being intentional with my time. I will say no to things that make life too hectic but not so much that I don’t have time for the people that I love. Although I am an extrovert, I do need time alone with my book or outside exploring this beautiful creation.  The key word in that sentence that I need re-read is alone. We are all so busy that relationships and replenishing ourselves gets left in the dust.

I remember when my kids were both toddlers and alone meant the bathroom. Actually, I’ll rephrase that, sometimes when I went to the bathroom I got alone time. It really does get better mamas. I thought that day would never come. I promise it does and I really do miss trying to figure out how to get a shower into the day.

Spring is coming and I want to take on this season into the summer with my calendar full of precious memories. Not obligations. I love my job, my neighborhood, my family and friends too much not too look at it any other way.

The process

Sometimes when I get an idea or a thought, it crosses my mind and I question it. Does that really make sense? Did I get enough sleep? There are other moments that are clear directions and steps must be made to follow through because it’s the right thing to do.

I attended a woman’s conference last month and I still can’t think about it without coming to tears. The information that went through this set brain waves are still making my mind hurt and I’ve spent the last while wondering what camp I stand in: ideas or actions. One idea was “God makes all things new….but are we going to let Him take us through the process?” What?!? Are you talking to me because millions around the world were getting the same message and how could this be directed at me?

I should look up the statistic on how many pieces of information we process each day. Let’s just say one thousand. Of course that is ridiculously low but I’m going with it. Out of those one thousand thoughts, how many of them are we taking the time to stop, reflect and respond to? Even if just a few of them were life deep, thought-provoking and life-changing, isn’t it worth it to just process them? The worst that could happen is moving on to the next one.

So, at this conference, Jo Saxton, an amazing speaker that loves Jesus, says that God makes all things new. That means He can change and restore anything in my life. That includes the impatience, need to control and have things perfect, spending habits. (That list could really eat up this entire page so I’m just stopping there.)

I want to be a wife that doesn’t get upset when the little recycling bin doesn’t make it to the big can on trash day and the mom that realizes that my kiddos are learning about life, just like I am. They are not supposed to be perfect either.

I think that we all have those areas that we dislike. What I love most is that when Jesus looks at me, the stuff I dislike is not what He sees. I may carry that. Guilt myself. Feel shameful about how I handled a situation. But, he sees a woman that loves Him and tries to serve Him and those around her the best that she can. All I need to bring to Him is who I am and He will do the rest. Abiding in His perfect love and acceptance. I have already been made new by accepting Him into my life.

So,  I am going to start processing these little treasures a little deeper. I usually find them in books, songs or conversations with friends. I do so with gladness because each one teaches me something. This idea that I’m not defined by my mess is really amazing. It’s only taken me three weeks to realize it. I’m glad I didn’t let that one pass by.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17