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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I gave up new years resolutions years ago. I would still name one or two, but usually with another resolution to completely forgive myself should I fail miserably (knowing without a doubt what the likeliness would be). A good friend of mine had a really great idea. It's called goals. You set goals for the year, write them down on a big piece of paper and let them be visible to others. Share them with friends, read theirs. Make them realistic. Some small, some big. See what you accomplish in the end. I like this idea much better than one or two big new year resolutions. It's tangible and much less intimidating, which is funny since my list is much longer than the usual. Perhaps because these are things I plan to do anyway, might as well make them "goals" and feel good if I accomplish them.

Here is my list. In no particular order.

-CNA certification
Already took the class, just need to schedule that dag-gone certification test (and pass). This is way over due.

- Finish pre-req classes 
Basic math, microbiology, anatomy and physiology II.

- Apply for nursing school
Whether I end up going in 2013 or not, I intend to apply this fall. This is a decision I have been struggling with for two years now. No longer "if", but "when". I began the process in 2010, now I intend to pick it back up and finish it. Just 3 more pre-reqs and a couple tests, all of which are the least of my worries. My fear has not been can I, but should I. I am hoping God will give me my answer with a simple acceptance or rejection to make the final decision easier on me. You know, so I don't have to really make the decision... besides the whole studying my ass off and applying for it part, that is.

- Quote journal/letters to the boys 
I've decided I need to write down on paper Aiden's quotes (and Gabriel's once he starts talking). I also want to write them letters. I figure if I can write how I am feeling about them, and life, as it's happening, maybe they will better understand me and the things I do. Or forgive me the times I fail them when they see how much I loved them regardless. I have considered doing this for Aaron as well.

- Make running a part of my life again 
And all that that implies.

- Write at least one fictional story

I love fiction. I have this idea that in order for one to be a true writer, they must be capable of writing fiction. This task is almost as daunting to me as applying to nursing school (despite the fact that nursing could lead to a potential life-long career and fictional writing would simply be a hobby). The idea of writing fiction literally makes my stomach flip and my heart beat harder. A mixture of excitement and fear. I don't like starting things I know I must fail at countless times before even a chance of success.

- Start and keep a prayer journal
I communicate much better in writing than in speaking. I used to love to pray. Something happened. A lot of things happened. Prayer is difficult for me now. Last time I found myself in this place I wrote. It was hard to start, but my prayers somehow felt more genuine, and my mind didn't wander. Prayers in passing seem unfair, especially when they are the only prayers prayed. I want to write to God from my heart again.

- Get Christmas gifts done before Thanksgiving
I really like getting people things I know they'll really like. I also like making people gifts (and hope they like them). Only problems are, I procrastinate (this makes home made gifts difficult). I am not wealthy (so when I procrastinate I don't necessarily have the time to find that "perfect" gift for the price I can afford). I am not Martha Stewart (my hand made gifts take time, and even then don't come close). Bad combinations = not getting/making the gifts I'd really like to give to people. This year I plan to get gifts through out the year as I find them (making easier on the wallet), and should I decide to do hand made gifts, be able to take my sweet time on them. It's ambitious at the very least.

- Try a new trail once a month
I used to love to hike. I have not hiked in a really long time (since... before I was pregnant with Gabriel I think!). I live in a great area for hiking. I want to hike once a week, but I'd like to try a new trail once a month and catch up on all the months I've missed to explore new trails. This may have to start in the spring though...

- Print pictures
So many pictures... so few printed.

- Have a cleaning schedule, and stick to it
I used to have an awesome cleaning schedule that fit in with my daily routine and made keeping house a not so horrible part of life. I want that again. I like a clean and organized house. No, I need it. This will happen. No excuses!

- Date with my sexy husband once a week (even if just a walk!)
Ah my husband, how I miss our weekly dates. We will make it happen again this new year, and I look forward to it more than anything...

- One-on-one mother-son dates each month
I love mother-son dates. I had high expectations of doing this this past year, but it just didn't happen. At least not as often as I would have liked. The implication is, while I'm having one-on-one time with one of the boys, Aaron is having one-on-one time with the other. It's a good plan, and shouldn't be too difficult especially now that Gabriel is taking a bottle again and eating solids for that matter (hooray for little to none boob-reliance!).

- Limit TV to twice a week
I don't think this one needs much explaining.

- Limit desert to once a week
I like sweets sooooo much. It's almost ridiculous. No, it is ridiculous. I would like to conquer and control my cravings. Instead of the other way around.

I'm pretty excited to see how many of these will be crossed off by the end of the year. Now if you've taken the time to read through my long boring list, you can take the time to write your own (and I promise to read it if you promise to share it). Good luck to you all in this new year. May you be blessed, and bless others.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let's Stick Together... Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

There have been many times in my life that I have literally yelled at God for making me a woman. From the time I was a very young girl, I could see the perks of being a male in this world (pee standing up, go shirtless on a hot day... have the last say) and felt deeply the complications of being female. Why, God?? I would cry (and sometimes still do). And other times made snide comments like, No wonder God chose to be a man when he came to this world...

I have been categorized, belittled, and overlooked based on my gender. Then told it's just the way it is. I have been sexually harassed in more ways and by more men than I can count. Then told it was my fault (in the wrong place, out at the wrong time, wearing the wrong thing... being the wrong gender). These things have hurt me and carved themselves into my identity in many ways. A lot of the time I fight bitterness. Other times I give in. But even as much as all of it enrages me, nothing makes my skin crawl, nothing makes my soul boil, as much as women turning on women.

Nothing aggravates me more than comments like, "I just don't get along with girls... they're so bitchy, and gossipy..." Nobody likes hanging out with rude people, but don't tag a whole gender with those labels. As though men are not capable of turning on each other, or talking behind each other's backs. Don't give into the lies! I want to scream. Don't you realize you are lumping yourself in that category??

The funny thing is, I used that very excuse my first semester in college. And it was true, there was a lot of gossip and I didn't want any part of it, but even while I was saying I didn't want to gossip, I was gossiping about the girls who were gossiping. And when you gossip, you attract others who gossip as well. I have spent a lot of time with guys in my life, and let me tell you, gossip is not just a girl thing. Here is my theory, the best way to keep away from girls (and guys) who are bitchy and gossipy: don't be a bitch, don't gossip. It can be done, and those that know it are out there, eager to be your friend.

I am really grateful to have a group of women to share life with who do not make a habit of gossip or back-biting. Seriously, I have never been around so many women who so effortlessly build each other up. It seems effortless. The truth is, a loving spirit is just as contagious as a spiteful one. It's a special thing to be able to spend hours talking with really interesting, fun, intelligent women. There are a lot of lucky men in this town.

There are so many wonderful things about women. Women are beautiful. I don't mean that in a materialistic or shallow way. We are just beautiful and there is no denying it. It's why people are drawn to us. We each have presence, whether we realize it or not, and it speaks louder than words. Sometimes it is overshadowed by insecurity and self-doubt. Sometimes by a whole lot of hurt. But even those things can be beautiful, when we accept the ugliness and hurt that is ours, and release it to God.

I hate that the unique features that God gave us have been taken by the world and turned against us. A woman's anger can be such a beautiful and powerful tool, used to build lives up and tear evil down. There are many types of anger. They are all shapes and sizes with different colors and shades. But no, if you are angry, upset, or even burdened, it is stuffed into a little intolerable box that is labeled "hormones." Hormones. Created to make wonderful things possible. Also known as, a woman's curse. I know people like to forget this small fact, but men have hormones too. (Yes, boys will be boys, and all that jazz) Either way, let's not take what was for good and use it to insult and bury dignity. Even the best of things come with negative side effects, that's no reason to throw the whole lot into the trash.

Women are "complicated", men are "simple." I don't know who thought that one up, but anyone who is married to a man knows: men are not simple. (And even so, why would "simple" be something someone would want to be?) Also, women are less complicated than one might think. If they took the time to think about it.

I am not a man-hater, as I have been accused of many times in my life (just because you value your own gender, does not mean you must hate the other). There are so many men I appreciate having in my life. I think men are fascinating. I can't wait to see how my boys grow up (or can I?). There is so much more I feel on this subject. So much more I could say. But really, all I am saying is... Ladies, we have enough going against us. Let's not turn on each other.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The deal with Santer...

Here's the thing (here she goes), I've never had a problem with Santa. He's been a little tackified (a little??), but other than that, he's ok by me (pssh). I'm a little sad that the original story is lost on so many (that instead this big red persona is used to deceive and confuse small children? The irony!), and the whole wait in long lines and sit on Santa's lap thing is not really something I plan to make a tradition (seriously does anyone even know who that old dude your kids are sitting on is? Creepy...). 

Now I've never tried to tell Aiden that Santa is real (he's a fraud! He's fake!). Honestly I didn't even think to bring him up till Aiden came to me a couple weeks ago already completely convinced that Santa was going to come down our chimney and give him presents (as if he could fit, so unrealistic). I told Aiden the story of St. Nicholas, although he lost interest half-way through and most of it went way over his head (kids today, ain't got no respect). I told him we now share stories about Santa in memory of St. Nicholas. 
"No!" he cried with his most serious tone. "Santa IS coming to bring me presents!" 
I told him that mommy and daddy bring him presents (why should the old geezer who sneaks in our homes and eats all our cookies get the credit?). He tuned me out despite my efforts. Apparently Santa is no fun unless he is real (he's fake! He's a fraud!). And apparently presents aren't good enough unless they are from Santa (geezer). 

So here we sit on Christmas eve. Aiden offering me wet pieces of candy cane from his sticky hands. Santa is coming (fraud). He is bringing presents down the chimney (sneaky bastard).  And by gosh there will be snow (I'd be ok with that)! 

Merry Christmas

I've had a love/hate relationship with Christmas since becoming an "adult" (I'm not sure why I still insist on using quotations with that word). I get really fed up with the materialism. Stressed out by the hype. And worn down by expectations. It's really, really, difficult for me to celebrate "the reason for the season" (and boy do I hate that line). Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas trees. And the lights! I love gift-giving. I LOVE eggnog, and almost all seasonal foods (except fruit cake- eghk!). I even like Christmas music. And mostly I love family. It's just all the rest of that crap is so much louder, so much more in your face, screaming at you like a freckled-faced, attention-starved child with anger issues, "LOOK AT ME! ME! ME! ME!"

One fateful year in college, I decided to take a road trip with some friends for Christmas instead of going home. I got a lot of flack and empty threats out of desperate anger from my parents, and shrugs with "you rebellious teen you" looks from siblings. But I didn't care. It had been a really rough semester for me and my friends. We needed to break free of our out-grown christmas sweaters and childish gifts, cut-loose from all things complicated (*cough* family *cough*). I was convinced that this would be the year I would finally understand the true meaning of Christmas. We were going to see places. Meet people. And best of all, we were going to serve at a soup kitchen on Christmas day. Details not important. This was going to happen. No gifts for us (we were selfless like that). Just service and the true Christmas spirit.

Well, we saw places. We met people. It was really exciting and fun and we have some really great memories. We didn't, however, serve at a soup kitchen. Turns out "that place" we heard of? Moved. Or something. It wasn't there, and we didn't have a plan B. Christmas came, we watched TV, sat around. It was actually pretty depressing. There were no parents around to force us to sing carols, or cook us food (we did eat some delicious bagels though, those things were good). In the end, I think we all just wanted to go home. Money was running out (well, technically mine ran out like the second day of the trip... but my friends were nice) so we packed the car and headed south again. I think we were all pretty happy when our families celebrated mini-christmases once we got home. I know I was.

I guess the main problem was that even though we stripped ourselves of the materialism of Christmas, we failed to make up for it. I didn't magically focus on "the true blahblahblah..." just because there were no presents or fancy food or annoying carolers.

I have completely lost wherever I was even going with this... I have been up since 3:30 this morning and I think it's hitting me now. I have just been so stressed. About a lot of things. Things that threaten to steal my Christmas from me. But then I can't stop thinking about my brothers and sisters in China, many of whom are celebrating Christmas in prison. Because they chose to celebrate Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas. That sounds so much more cliche than I would ever want it to. There are no words to describe what I feel for them. Reverence. Respect. Awe. Love. Those don't come close. I don't even feel I am worthy to call them my brothers and sisters. I want to learn from them.

Each year I try my best to balance it out. I haven't even gotten close to mastering it yet. We are a young family, we're still figuring out our own traditions. But I am convinced one day I will master it. One day Christmas will be everything it was meant to be, and I won't stress about what to get who, and where and when to spend what with who, and cookies will be baked, and ornaments and gifts will be made in good time (because in that world I am Martha Stewart). This will happen. And it will be good.

Or maybe it won't. And that will be ok. Because Christ was born. He came and made himself lowly, like me. His family didn't have it together. They didn't even have a sanitary place for their new born (who just so happened to be GOD incarnate). And that was just the beginning.

May the meaning of the birth of God's son resonate in your singing, feasting, and gifting. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trust: The Never-Ending Lesson

As some of you may know, Haiti has become very dear to my heart. This did not begin with the earthquake (although I did not take much notice to Haiti before then), after the initial shock and a donation or two to "do my part", I returned Haiti's existence safely to the back of my mind. It wasn't until a few months after discovering the world of blogging last year (yes I am freakishly behind, I even came up with this idea a couple years ago and thought it was original! A little embarrassing...) when I found a few blogs written by families who lived in Haiti (before, during, and after the earthquake) that I began to see Haiti for what it is. Not just a far off land filled with disaster that we shake our heads and sigh about, not a country that "had it coming" because of it's lack of faith and idol worship (if that's how God works, we better watch our backs), but a country full of people in need of Christ's love, just like the rest of us.

A couple months ago a friend at church stood up and announced that he would be returning to Haiti and hoped others would join him on a trip to Mole St. Nicholas to build a fishing boat for the village and share the good news of Christ (the fisher of men!). Now Aaron and I have always been a tad bit skeptical of short term mission trips-- they usually either go really awesome or really awful. But even before Ryan finished his announcement, Aaron was whispering to me, "I want to do this..."

Fast forward two months: Aaron's busiest time of year, a lot of miscommunication, me offering to raise support (and then getting really depressed and not doing much of anything). And that brings us to last week. Thanks to some loving people, we made the November deadline with barely enough to buy Aaron's tickets. As weeks passed and no more money (or even much of a response at all) came, we were starting to get a little discouraged, with ourselves, and the lack of funding. Maybe it just isn't meant to be... I started to tell myself. We started talking about what would happen if we didn't have the rest of the money since Aaron's tickets have already been paid for. That same night we sat and prayed some simple, yet earnest prayers. God, provide... We decided not to worry ourselves and trust that He was capable.

Except, I don't know how not to worry. And I hate asking for money. Even for a "good cause", it feels so weird. I remember traveling the country as a kid, my dad preaching and then the churches taking up offerings for my parent's ministry and our family's livelihood. I felt so weird. So embarrassed. I also don't always know how I feel about spending thousands of dollars on short-term mission trips. Why not just raise that money and send it to the people in need? I've often argued. (In some cases, I would say that would definitely be a better idea). The other part of me trusts that God places short-term missions on people's hearts for very particular reasons. That He has placed this on Aaron's heart for a reason. I am beyond thrilled that he wants to go, and I believe whole-heartedly that God has plans both for the people who are going and the people they are going to serve.

I have heard it argued that when American groups go to poverty-stricken countries to serve, they are doing it for themselves, to make themselves thankful for what they have. That it just makes the locals feel bad that they don't have as much as the "missionaries", that they feel like charities, and there is bitterness. I am sure this happens. I am pretty sure I have witnessed this. But I think it greatly depends on the hearts of those going. If I learned anything while living overseas, people are not fooled by big whitened smiles and plump giving hands. No matter who you may convince in your own home town, the second you step outside, you become a clear plastic box. Your intentions are as bright and obvious as a sunlit sky. God's love in you will be over-flowingly evident, or lacking completely. There's not much room for in-between. He is there, or He is not. And they will see it. I have heard it said about people (even those who go bearing no good-willed gifts but the abiding love of God within them), "You came all this way... for me?" Because nothing speaks God's love like a heart over flowing with God's love.

The day after we prayed together, I got an email. Then a txt. Two people saying they wanted to give! God provides! I don't know yet how much closer we are to reaching the amount needed, but I do know: God provides. Each day I doubt myself. Others. Crumble inward. Reach up, only to realize I am still fallen. And God speaks. Even when I won't listen. Trust in Me, is never in vain.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Late night thoughts

Things have been a lot better the last two weeks. I still don't feel completely myself. I have moments of panic. Moments of despair. But mostly I feel like life is returning to normal ("normal" being, there really is no normal). Mostly I feel, I just need a break. Something substantial. A time to recover and regain all I've lost. Because it still feels like some of me is lost.

I miss feeling like God is close. We are on speaking terms. I'd say I love Him. I can't really look Him in the eyes though because I don't feel worthy. I can't get out of the rut where I believe He's disgusted with me, and that I have to re-win his favor. I sigh a lot.

We make daily outings, but the world feels heavy. I smile a lot more and my laughter is mostly genuine. Getting out of bed is a whole lot easier. But I am hesitant to leave my house. It takes a lot to get me to actually step over that threshold and enter the world out there. Even when "out there" is just my yard.

I get into heated conversations about things that don't really involve me because I can't help but be anxious and agitated with the way things are. I'm starting to want things again, but fear that holds me back is still there. The world feels large and scary, and I feel small and helpless. God feels distant. What I feel, although consuming, feels irrelevant.

What I need is rehabilitation of the soul.

When God gives you love, give it abundantly, but don't let it go.

Six years ago last Friday, I finally said yes to a very patient and determined young man who had been faithfully asking me out for 3 weeks. It seemed like the biggest deal in the world at the time. In retrospect, I guess it kind of was. After all, here we are 6 years later, married with two kids.

Now, I'm not the kind of girl who incessantly praises her husband. I don't post how wonderful my hubby is on facebook every time he surprises me with something special, or takes me on a date. I don't brag to my friends about how lucky I got. I probably don't even tell him often enough how much he means to me. It's not because I don't think it. I think about how awesome he is all the time. Honestly I think I just take life a little too seriously. I stress too much. I let "life" get in the way. This is one thing I absolutely love about Aaron. He reminds me how to enjoy life, even when stresses are high and spirits are low.

I love that he can turn a trip to the store into a family outing, or on the occasion that it's just us, a date. I love that he loves to take me out, whether it be for something special, or for no reason at all. I love that he still opens doors for me. That he never forgets my favorite things. I love that despite my insecurities, I always feel beautiful with him. To this day, nothing in me doubts that even when I was 9 months pregnant (and had gained 60 lbs!), he still thought me the most beautiful girl in the world. I love that he can work 15 hour days in the mid-summer heat to provide for our family and not even sigh a complaint (I complain plenty for the both of us). I love that he still explains processes to me (like rebuilding engines) like an equal, even though it goes way over my head. I love that he's a "guy's guy" but will still hold me in comfort when all I need to do is cry (even if it's just because I watched a sappy chick-flick or finished a beautiful book).

I'm not out to convince any one that my husband is perfect, or that our relationship resembles anything close to perfect. Frankly, I think that facade is a waste of everyone's time and leads to many disappointed young couples who actually buy it. (I don't think airing your dirty laundry is healthy either, but balance is always a good idea.) We have issues just like the rest of you (married, single, in between, issues are issues). The thing is, I love being with Aaron. Even in the moments that he drives me absolutely crazy, my love for him is still real, and I know I want to grow with him. The things I struggled with when I was single: loneliness, insecurity, spirituality, the unknown of the future... Marriage doesn't make any of that go away. But I am thankful for my best friend. Someone to learn with and from. Someone to meet anew over and over again. To fight with. To continue to fall in love with on deeper levels. Talk to. Dream with. Make fun of. Laugh with.

Thank God He knew what He was doing when he sat Aaron next to me in chapel. When he caused our paths to continue to cross. When he gave Aaron the courage to pursue me. And gave me the sense to say yes.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Dog Days

I experienced an unintentional experiment these last two weeks. Last week I slacked off completely on chores. I spent any free time ("free time" = five minutes here, five minutes there...) reading, facebook stalking, or just sitting on my butt staring into space. This week I literally had no "free" time. I was feeling good so I decided to take advantage of that fact and try to actually keep my house in order. Between my kids not sleeping, out of town guests, and my sudden obsessive compulsive cleaning spree, my bum barely hit a seat before I was jumping up to get something for someone, pick something up, let the dog out, put baby to bed, change a load of laundry, sweep, change a diaper, vacuum, let the dog in, feed the dog, feed the kids (not an after thought, I promise), clean something else up, change a diaper, put baby to bed, play a game, change a diaper, put something away, sweep again, change another friggin' diaper... I could go on but I'll spare you. I was on a mission to get and keep my house clean each and every day because I function much better in a clean and orderly house and I thought it might keep me happy. So what was the difference between the week I did next to nothing, and the week I tried my hardest to do everything? NOTHING. Except I was a lot more tired by the end of the day, and a lot more annoyed with my kids (in particular the one who never stops talking). Each night I would still look around my house, every flat surface covered in items that didn't belong, kitchen a mess, floor in need of another sweeping. Seriously, despite my efforts I noticed no difference in the appearance of my house from the days I did nothing! I started feeling like a crazy person.

Conclusion: clean only when necessary. Necessary may not be as often as one might think.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

God is good. All the time.

The last few days are the first in awhile that I could see a substantial light at the end of the tunnel. I have felt like myself (whoever that is, I lose track sometimes). I have felt happiness, some passion, some motivation returning, without the impending heaviness of what tomorrow may bring. There is no guarantee that the worst is over, but I like feeling like it is.

Today I saw my life in perspective. Not as me, the terrible mother, wife, and person in general. But as a separate person altogether. I cut myself some slack (as I am constantly having to remind myself to do). I allowed myself to see my life as it is: complicated and messy. And me as I am: an imperfect, struggling human being who doesn't have it together, but also doesn't need to (even if I feel like I do).

On days that I am able I make an extra effort to feel good and "normal". I not only get dressed, but also shower, do my hair, make up, and even paint my nails (bright red, which I have found I love, even if it chips and looks like crap within a day). Some days I even brave my six month old's grab-and-yank habit and wear earrings. I let myself believe I'm beautiful and try to live it. I don't care what anyone says, looking good does help (even if just temporarily). I make play dates and do some desperately needed cleaning. I even get on facebook and like the hell out of things or comment on random statuses that have nothing to do with me (for the sake of being normal, of course). On occasion I even find it in me to write or have good conversation in which I extract meaning from the hard times (which on bad days I look back on and think, "How petty and small minded! It is obvious life has no meaning and there is no hope...")

Moments I can give my sons genuine smiles, I smother them with them. I tell them they are loved, hold them tight, praise them, shower them with kisses. I do all that I can to make up for the days full of tears, screaming, or distant numbness. I use what energy I can muster to express my love so loudly that it's not forgotten on the dark days. They are young still and don't hold grudges yet. I am thankful for that.

The thing I hate most about depression is seeing the way it effects the ones I love. The hurt look in my husbands eyes when I say something I don't mean. Or say nothing because I don't know what anything means. The shocked and confused look on my son's face when I lose all self control and hurl myself on my bed in tears. The adoring eyes of my baby, who doesn't know any better than to think I am the world.

God is good. Even when I can't feel it. So when I can I must proclaim it. GOD IS GOOD! Not because life always feels good. But because even when it is not, He is there. Even when I can't acknowledge His presence, much less praise Him, He is there. I always feel like God is just sitting there waiting to bring me down, put me in my place, show me how little and insignificant I am. But really, I don't think God's love is conditional. I also believe it has no limits. And if that is the case, no amount (or lack of) greatness or significance should have any effect on his love for me. This is good news for me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Here's to hoping the dark days away...

It's been a dark few months. Particularly this last one. Every year it starts around August, peaks in November, and slowly works its way through winter and then out of my system come spring. I get a lot of flack for my intense hatred for winter--I live in the South after all! I have to admit something: it's not just the cold that gets to me. I started noticing it around age 19. Each year I ran out of excuses for why I felt the way I felt and blamed it all on one little word: crazy. I was crazy. It's just easier to say that.

I haven't done much research on seasonal depression. Its more denial than laziness. Most years the colors of fall distract me enough to get by, until those last leaves fall and I slump into my coat of darkness for the winter. This year I didn't even catch but a glimpse of them. Did you know you can still smile when you're depressed? It doesn't mean as much. It takes more will power. But you can do it and no one knows the difference. You can still talk and walk around like a normal person. Because you don't go out when you can't.

It's hard to write about, because it's hard to explain. It's hard to understand. You get to thinking, Everyone goes through this... why can't I handle it? I have no good reason to feel this way. Why am I so weak? And at times you can grasp to the fact that you are weak, but God is strong. But there are times when God seems obsolete. You no longer turn to him because he doesn't even seem like an option.

It has felt worse this year. Maybe it's because there was a three year old watching my every move, sensing my every mood. Maybe it's because I now have two children that require so much, leaving little time available to turn inward, be alone, to try to recoup. I hid myself in books and movies, every moment of quiet filled in hopes on not hearing the darkness creeping in. TURN TO GOD! I demanded. But I didn't know how. I don't know how. I say prayers, but they feel empty. I think to myself and hope my thoughts reach his ears. Don't let me get lost... I can't turn to you... be patient... don't forget me while I'm here.

Those days feel forever. Days when your little boy asks if you're going to cry again today. When his eyes examine you when you enter the room, wondering if you'll be his mommy today, or that other lady who can't laugh or play because all her energy is working to simply hold it together.

It's not that you want to die. I could not even think of heaven or hell. But to not exist? That was appealing. Just make it go away. You think almost always.

Eventually the darkness starts to break. It's not that it's over, but more that you being to realize it will be over.

On good days I thank God that he is strong enough to handle this. Loving enough to love when I can't. Patient enough not to give up on me when I give up on him. Those days that were so few and far between are coming closer and more often again. Hopefully soon I'll be writing light hearted posts and wondering why it all felt so overwhelming.