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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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sometimes. Somehows.

Sometimes life takes turns you should probably expect, but in no way want. Sometimes it throws you up high, landing on your feet when you're lucky, while other times falling smack on your face. Both are kind of painful, but we know which is worse. I have fallen on my face a lot this year. I'm pretty banged up. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder when all those scrapes, cuts, and bruises with finally heal. And wonder what scars will be left behind. Somedays I don't care how ugly I'll be, I just want to stop hurting. Other days I can somehow still see beauty and am thankful for the gain despite the loss.

Last week my husband lost his job. Although he was promised work through the winter when he was hired, his boss let him know he could not afford to keep him on through the winter after all. Happy Thanksgiving! Needless to say, we haven't had a very good week. Although financial difficulties by no means cause my depression, they certainly do not help. It's not that I don't know these things happen, it's not that I don't expect these things to happen to us, it's that I'm just so tired. I wonder if we'll ever not be scraping by, stressed out, and worried. I wonder if we'll ever stop hitting rock bottom. Because we've been there plenty. To top it all off, when I went to register for spring classes, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, none of which was my fault, and I couldn't register. Not a big deal in comparison (unless I don't get into the classes because of it--then it's kind of a big deal), but discouraging nonetheless.

Thankfully today took a turn for the better. Our landlord needed tree work which almost equals out to our rent AND Aaron got a call back from a job interview and things look good. We're not sure what the pay will be and I'm looking into work options as well, but at least its something. Something good. It always seems to be when we want to give up, something works out to keep us moving forward. Story of our lives. Also, turns out the guys who got to keep their jobs only got 9 hours of work this week. So, I guess we'd be looking for jobs anyway.

In the Desert

I really hate getting on facebook or reading people's blogs and seeing all the fun things they are doing when I am struggling to get out of bed in the morning, much less plan a fun (and equally free) activity with my kids. Even when I get ideas, making them happen just... doesn't happen.

This week I've been wanting to ask God, Have you brought me out of Egypt only to let me die in the desert? But I don't ask, because I can't talk to him. I think, how is it fair that something can come between me and the Almighty God? Supposedly that's not possible, but depression sure makes it feel that way. All those little quotes and pictures that talk about how when we feel abandoned by God he is actually carrying us? Those just annoy me, because if God is all omnipotent and loving and carrying me through the desert, why can't He break through the walls of darkness and let me know he is there? How are you supposed to trust someone who disappears when you need him most and then comes for the credit when you're all happy again and don't need that much convincing anyway?

I probably sound much more angry than I am. Some days I am angry. Today is actually a better day. I know some day it's all supposed to make sense and I'm supposed to trust now despite all doubt... but what about when I can't? Depression literally takes trust completely out of the picture. I can honestly say I am not me when depression takes over.

Sometimes I think I would rather be dying from a terminal illness than living with depression.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Little Thanks

Sometimes I feel like we just can't catch a break. Life keeps handing us things I just don't feel ready to handle. Today handed us one more of those things. *sigh* GOD, you created me. You gave me life. Be my strength to live it.

Instead of giving into the overwhelming fear and doubt that consumes me during these challenging times, I'm going to jump on board with the Thanksgiving spirit (even if I don't feel it) and share a few things that I am thankful for...

Life. I am thankful that I want to live. Even though it's hard. That even when things seem to take so long, I am moving forward and learning so much on the way. That my life does not end here, in this broken, painful world. That my home is securely planted in an eternal kingdom.

My husband. Sharing this life with me. Holding my hand and filling my heart with hope when I want to give in to heartache. Loving me more than I could possibly deserve. I'm thankful we met so young--I wouldn't want to miss a moment we've spent together.

My kids. Oh children, my crazy, crazy children. I am thankful I can take no credit for their unique and inspiring personalities. I am thankful for all they teach me about life, love, and adventure. How to appreciate chaos and peace. The importance of lazy days, time outs, eating, and walks. I am thankful I get to teach them how to roll down hills, share with friends, climb trees, and cook a pretend meal with empty pots and paint brushes.

Hot yoga. I am thankful for hot, sweaty rooms in which I can think only about breathing, balancing, stretching, and relaxing. Those 45 minutes of reprieve from cold weather and thoughts of things I can't control.

And sushi. I am thankful for sushi. Enough said.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Holidays?

I know this is the time of year when everything is supposed to be cheery and cozy and just all-round festive, but I'm just not there. It's hard to get into the holiday spirit when I feel like I didn't even really get to experience summer this year--the only time I really feel alive! What a shame to waste the most precious months of the year on hopeless moments full of fear and shame. Not that there is anything I can do about it now, but it does does feel awful to know it's winter again when I hardly got to experience summer. And so here I am again, feeling cold and slightly numb, all energy exerted just to get through the bare minimum.

I do thank God everyday that I am not where I was, and try my best to convince myself this won't last forever. I think I wanted to think that I've been through the worst of it and that from here on out it will all seem much easier. It's just not so.

I no longer feel like God does not exist, I just don't feel there. I pick up my Bible to read, and quickly set it back down. Ugh, I think to myself. I can't handle these stories again. I don't know how to read this and not be frustrated. And then I wonder what's wrong with me. How do some people pick it up and feel uplifted and hopeful, and I pick it up and feel discouraged? Whereas before I felt like God could handle me, now I am worried He might lose patience. I'm worried a lot of people will lose patience.

The switch has flipped. Yet again. I am struggling to keep my head above water, and though it's not as bad, how do I know it won't get there again? Is this destined to be my life forever? Will the cycle ever end? These are the questions that probe my brain beneath all other thoughts that swarm there. I wish there was an off button for my brain.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Do you ever find yourself waking up each morning dreading the day before you? Good or bad, it all requires energy. Something that seems to come to me only in small increments. Maybe it's depression, maybe it's being a parent of young children, maybe it's being human. Diagnosing the cause doesn't make it any easier.

I used to be so judgmental of parents of young kids. I thought they complained too much. Some of the things they said about their kids and their life sounded so negative, I thought, Why did you even have kids! Besides I worked hard, and I was tired, but I was ok. YEAH, Faith! You were 20, too! Three measly part-time jobs and full time school (and 3 meals a day cooked and cleaned up for you!) don't have jack on raising kids! I could slap her skinny 20 year old face. Stupid, stupid, naive little girl.

The thing about being a parent--is a lot of things. Life outside your own doesn't stop just because your focus has changed. You may be consumed with the lives of your children, but now even more bills need to be paid, your relationship with your spouse requires even more diligence, and you'll find that if you do not keep up with friends they will leave you, and if you do not take care of yourself, you will hate you.

I used to view quiet times as moments of duty--to prove my devotion to God. Now I can see they are there for me. Although, my moments of quiet are usually the minutes between when the kids go to bed and I fall asleep on the couch. When I have rare moments of quiet in the day I busy them with chores long left undone or relief of stressful thoughts through social media. I find I seek God in moments of chaos. When things are so crazy I think I might crash. Or scream. Or run.

Forget being a parent, I think as an adult it's easy to forget that the end all is not in us. Because others rely on us, we think we should be able to provide it all. But we do not hold the answers and solutions we think we should. Moments of quiet may be longed for, but they also frighten me. As moments of quiet often welcome thoughts of fear, worry, and stress. But if I don't allow myself to admit they are there, how am I to release them to God?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Broken: America As We Know It

There's been a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth with the election this year. Mostly I hear claims that America is over as we know it, that this great country is doomed to damnation, and that all that made this country good and worthy to be called America will now cease to exist.

I just have a question. This "America" they are speaking of, this country that is spoken of with such reverence and such mourning, when did it exist?

Was it when it stole the land from the natives and sent them to their death?

Or when it claimed slaves for itself based on skin color and heritage?

Or was it when you had to be a white man to have rights?

Or was it during times of war?

Or in any other period in there where this perfect America that we are now losing must have existed?

When and where is this America?

All I'm saying is, we are broken. This nation is broken. This world is broken. To think it ever has been or ever will be anything but broken is simply an illusion.

Put your hope not in man and his promises, but in Christ Jesus and His kingdom.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Loving the Sin, Hating the Sinner

One thing I am really good at is looking at other people's lives and seeing what they are doing wrong and how they could be doing better. I can do the same in my life, in fact I do, but the problem is: life. It's so complicated and there are so many factors, limitations, and excuses. It's so easy when you are not actually wearing the shoes to think you'd know just how to walk in them. Somewhere along the way I think the Church misunderstood its calling. Somewhere along the way we decided it was our place to pass judgment. Not just looking at the world and saying this is right or wrong, but looking at lives and deciding whether they are deserving of God's love or not. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with people who don't feel comfortable going to Church because they are afraid they will be judged for their life choices. Why? Because they are judged! Somehow the Church has changed from a place welcoming of sinners to a place only for those who sin acceptably. Suddenly God's love isn't a gift given to the undeserving, but a prize attained only by those who can fake being good enough. We aren't hating the sin and loving the sinner, we are hiding the sin and judging those who don't. And THAT, is not right.

In a way, I was raised to be a judge. Look at the world and then compartmentalize everything into two boxes labeled "right" and "wrong" which are also known as "good" and "bad." This is how I have navigated myself through the world, deciding what I should or shouldn't do, who I should associate with, and how I should view them. In doing this I have heaped a whole lot of pain on others and reaped a whole lot for myself as well. Because the one I judge harshest is, of course, me. As I get older the world seems to get so much more complex. Suddenly things don't fit into my black and white boxes and all these gray ones appear and start filling up. Suddenly the judgements I've been using as glasses, robes, and shoes, don't fit right anymore. Suddenly I realize I've just been playing dress up. My gavel nothing more than a plank in my own eye. When I thought I was waving my fist in righteousness, I was actually just slapping the faces of those around me. Because I am not the judge, and I was never called to be one.