Tag: grief

630 WP drafts

Lessons learned from the past.

So….

I decided to clean-up some WP pages.

Guess how many “drafts” I have lying in wait.

630

That’s a lot of posts. The way I figure it, I shouldn’t have to “think” for almost two years!!!!

So I thought, why not share a couple with you from my very first days of blogging? You’ll get a good laugh out of this first one and although at the time

Here’s one from 2013

I had to quickly add this post.

I’ve really been feeling “down”, anxious. I was getting scared. Please, Lord, not after twelve years of living depression-free. Not a depressive episode.

There are some changes on the horizon that I’m not welcoming but they are not “bad” by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. I’m anxious because I’m worried how I’ll deal with it. But that doesn’t seem like enough of a trigger. BUT, I think the biggest instigator has been my frustration with getting this blog developed the way I want it to be.

The “Follow me button on Pinterest” is directing my traffic to someone else’s boards. Couldn’t get the “Pin It” button to work and then there’s the drop-down menu I’ve been trying to create for weeks. (I know, the rest of you probably breezed right through all of this.)

I’ve felt totally stupid and like the biggest loser e-e-e-e-ver.  I’ve been quite convinced that no on has had as much trouble developing a blog as I have. I don’t understand any of the technical language so even with precise instructions from the Word Press tutorials, I’ve been lost. I’ve read and read and read the same things over and over and over. I’ve experimented every which way I can.

Today the breakthrough!!!!!

I’ve come so far, huh? I can just about do anything with my blog now and seldom have to ask for help from the “Help” desk over at WP.

Here’s another from May of that same year. Why I didn’t post this, I haven’t a clue. I like it a lot and it brought back good memories.

What environment are you comfortable with? Do you like a lot of activity around you? Some people thrive on a caffeinated environment.They like the adrenaline rush they get from the go, go, go of life.

Others prefer a much slower place. They hate to be rushed. They like calm. In fact, they feel less energized if there is too much going on around them. It wears them out.

And it really doesn’t matter if they’re an extrovert or an introvert, although generally extroverts would fall into the first category and introverts into the second.

However, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, if you experience from bouts of depression, it might be a good idea to change it up a little.

Sometimes, we need a little something that is just the opposite of what we’re used to. We need to force ourselves out of our comfort zone, to challenge ourselves a little.

How many of you have found that once you’ve exposed yourself to a different climate, you’ve actually liked it? And in the liking, you’ve discovered something about yourself.

Last year, although we didn’t plan it, my husband and I found ourselves attending some events we never would’ve dreamed we would enjoy.  A Tough Mudders contest, a hot-air balloon festival, a Thanksgiving day parade in frigid weather, and a ethnic-based (not our ethnicity) music festival. Of the two of us, I’m the one who doesn’t like crowds. I don’t like being outside in really hot weather or really cold weather. I feel very self-conscious in large groups. However, put me in front of hundreds of people to deliver a speech and I’m fine.

But I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of each of those events.

I surprised myself.

It’s good to “shake things up”. We discover new dimensions of ourselves. We surprise ourselves. Not always, of course.  Sometimes we come away simply more aware why we don’t like something. That’s good, too.

So with the summer looming, why not shake things up in your own life? It’s hard to do when your depressed. There is great comfort in the status quo. But sometimes, the jolt we need is in the unexpected. If nothing else, the more we put ourselves in unusual situations other than what we’re accustomed to, we have conversations with people who give us little snippets of encouragement.

It’s hard to do when you’re depressed. There is great comfort in the status quo. But sometimes, the jolt we need is in the unexpected. If nothing else, the more we put ourselves in unusual situations, other than the ones we’re accustomed to, the more we get a chance to learn ourselves.

We have conversations with people who give us little snippets encouragement when they had no idea they were doing so. Conversely, we encourage others by what we say. 

It really is a small world.

God bless and have a good day.

As I reread this last post, I thought about all the traveling I did when my husband was working internationally. I think back to the first time I road a train from a hotel in Bangkok to a huge shopping mall. My husband and ridden with me the day before so I could memorize the stops and know which number stop I was to get off.

To say I was scared when I did it myself is an understatement. But I did it.

Or even last year when I braved Lake Michigan in my kayak. (Of course, I was in knee-deep water, but still.)

And then blogging. Oh, my. What a disaster I was in the beginning. How I cried and almost threw the computer on the wall. How I almost gave up when my “followers” were scant. And now, over 1,000 of you.

Whoa!

If I post any of these drafts, I will let you know the original date.

Until then, God bless and have a good day.

 

 

roadmarks, and guideposts

Why having guideposts is a really good idea

I love Jeremiah 31:21

Set up for yourself road marks, Place for yourself guideposts,

Direct your mind to the highway……..

So often we expect God and everyone else to do this for us. But most verses of instruction in Scripture, if not all, always put the responsibility clearly on our shoulders.

Let me just ask, have any of you even thought about setting up road marks and guideposts for yourself? Much else directing your own mind?

Most of don’t even believe it’s something we should do, much less that over and over in scripture we are commanded to take control of ourselves and our lives.

For example, “Be still, oh, my soul”. Again, we are the ones to do the “stilling”. The Psalms are full of like instruction. King David address his soul in many of the Psalms.

Instead, we prefer to be pushed in every direction by the standards of other people and they don’t even have to be people we know. We naively believe that if it’s in print, it must be so.

How foolish.

Like the post I recently wrote about the Target ad. Really? Everybody should wear this blouse? Why? Because someone somewhere has decided this is the latest and greatest fashion trend?

Or we hear something on the news and all our good sense goes out the window. Why? Because this person is on TV? That makes them an expert?

I am not suggesting that we can’t listen to others and shouldn’t listen to others. But it depends on who the “others” are, doesn’t it?

I won’t mention the author or the book by name but years ago this author wrote a book about marriages and what makes good marriages work. I read the book jacket to learn that this author had been married and divorced three times! Now, why in the world would anyone take his advice his beyond me. And yet the book sold millions. I can see the value in reading about his mistakes and what he should have done differently but if I want marriage advice, I’m going to listen to someone who’s been happily married for many years.

It’s like taking advice about money management from a compulsive gambler. Makes about as much sense.

Yes, we can learn from other’s mistakes but I think it makes a lot more sense to learn from people who’ve gotten “it” right, whatever “it” is. Because even those who do have “it” right have made mistakes but they’ve stuck with it and come out on the other side.

It’s the same with our road marks and our guideposts.  We need them in all aspects of our life, our marriages, our faith, our time, our relationships, etc. Without them, we have no way of knowing if we’re on track or not.

Road marks and guideposts are NOT plans. They are not goals. They are not a schedule. They are more general than that and they work no matter what your plans, your goals, and your schedules.

For example, one of mine is “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” I steer clear of drama that isn’t mine. I leave that up to the players involved. Too many times we allow ourselves to get caught up in someone else’s’ drama when we clearly have no stake nor responsibility for the outcome.

Another one is my daily time with God.  I more clearly see the deviations along my personal roadway when that is intact.

“Road marks”, however, are kind of like traffic signs. I’m going too fast. I need to stop. Watch out for the curve in the road!

When I have my road marks and my guideposts in place, it’s so much easier for me to direct my mind to the highway. Otherwise, I’m just driving along, paying no attention and then find myself on a path I didn’t mean to take.

Even this morning, the road marks and guideposts I’ve set for myself got a little askew which is why I’m late with this post. I don’t get upset about it as I know “life just happens” sometimes.

But an occasional detour is never a problem.

It’s when we get lost along the way because we haven’t been following after the path that we know is good for us that gets us in trouble.

Have you ever thought about setting up some road marks and guideposts for yourself? It takes some thought and they will evolve during the different stages of your life.

Mine were very different when my children were living at home. They were very different as recently as last year when almost all my attention needed to be directed towards my mom. Now that she is gone, I have found that I’ve felt quite “directionless” for a few months as my life is very different now. But I am slowly adjusting and thinking it through. I will be establishing different guideposts for myself. There will be different road marks. The point is to examine your life and make sure you have some personal guides in your life. The parameters with which you surround yourself and keep you headed where you want to go.

God bless and have a “detour-free” day.

 

 

scared about the future

Do you ever get scared about the future?

Do you ever get scared about the future?

All the “what ifs”?

What if “this” happens?

What if “that” happens?

I have to be honest. Even though I’ve been a Christian most of my adult life, if I allow my mind to project into the future far enough, I get scared, really scared.

I fear losing the people I love. Not necessarily through death but in any way that takes people away from me. I wonder how I would survive.

Would I survive?

And yet I have. While my mom’s death continues to make me sad, while it has brought to light some areas I need to focus on, I have survived.

And when I feel that way, I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m looking into the future and not accounting for the fact that God is already there. When the time comes,

He will provide.

He will equip.

He will sustain.

It’s what I wrote about last week when I said that sometimes we live so much in the present we forget that the future we worried about yesterday, is here today. And God has been there right along, in the past, the present, and will be in the future.

Said another way, “Today is the future I worried about yesterday.”

I have such great admiration for people who step out and move in faith without having a clue what the future holds.

Anyway, if you are fearful about tomorrow, I’m not going to tell you not to be. We probably all have reasons to be afraid of something. Don’t berate yourself for your fears. Talk them over with God in total honesty and let God direct you.

Much more about talking to God honestly tomorrow.

For now, God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

 

depression

The worst fear for a recovering depressive.

You know what it is.

Think about it for a minute.

If you are recovering from depression, your worst fear is that you will fail. If you have been depression-free for a while, your worst fear is that you will fall into that pit again.

Let’s be clear.

If you’ve never been seriously depressed, you have no idea of the overwhelming fear that can strike.

Death is easier to contemplate.  If ever there were an illness that felt as near-death as depression, I don’t know what it is.

If you’ve never been there, I hope you never are.

I am s currently supporting a few people  who are either in the recovery stage or the “I’m scared to death stage.” Both are wonderful people. Their ages are far apart. Their lives are totally different. Which, of course, proves that depression is no respecter of persons; it can and does strike anyone.

They are believers in Christ, all of them, although they are in different phases of their “growth in Christ”.

Then there’s me. I, too, have had some “rumblings” of depression. This would be quite natural as I’m also grieving the miss of my mother. My birthday is coming soon. This will be the first one absent my mom’s presence. Somehow, the first birthday without your mom seems one of the most painful experiences. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

I, too, have had some “rumblings” of depression. This would be quite natural as I’m also grieving the loss of my mother. My birthday is coming soon. This will be the first one absent my mom’s presence. Somehow, the first birthday without your mom seems one of the most painful experiences. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

The first birthday after her death was hard but I’m self-centered enough to think my first birthday without her will be worse. It’s always harder when you’re the one left behind.

  • My mom’s death.
  • Then there’s the horrible situation in Texas. I feel so helpless.
  • The hours of sunlight are shrinking fast.
  • Our present unrest in America.
  • Possibility of a third world war.

No wonder I’m struggling.

Put all this together and sinking into depression is a real fear for me. But as I write, I reminded of something I heard the pastor of the little church we attend when we’re at the cabin. We were purposefully walking in late. (I’ll you about that tomorrow. You’ll laugh.) He was at the end of his prayer. I heard him say, “Thank you, Father, for equipping us for whatever comes our way.”

My ears perked up. That’s right.  So often I forget that while God was present in my past,  while He ispresent for the present”, He is also the God of the future, “The Great Equipper” of whatever comes my way.

I live so much in the present that at times I forget my present was once my future that I worried about yesterday. And God has remained ever-present throughout it all.

Depression is terrible. It consumes every part of us. Parts we would never expect. Aches and pains. stomach and colon issues. Headaches. Insomnia. Hypersomnia. Nausea. Sounds like a commercial for the side effects of a prescription drug.

But for the Christian, God is ever-present. Not condemning us. Just holding on to us till our feet on a solid place again.

God bless and have a good day.

 

wisdom

When we doubt past decisions

I’ve often written about making good decisions.

But what about those times we find ourselves doubting past decisions? And don’t we all at some time or another?

If you’re one of those rare people who doesn’t, then I envy you. I’m not one of those. I do doubt past decisions. That means I must doubt whether or not I’ve always heard God clearly. And to that I say, yes, I think there have been times I’ve not heard God clearly. Probably, only because I haven’t asked.

I’ve never doubted that God has had my best interest at heart always, but I do wonder at times if I’ve confused his voice with mine. Please someone out there, tell me you’ve been there, too.

Haven’t you all looked back and asked yourself whether you really heard God or not? I hope so because I firmly believe it’s only through some self-examination that we grow in our life and in our faith. I believe Romans 12:2:

 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I would contend that we renew our mind only by examining our mind first and for me, that means examining past decisions because our decisions say a lot about us. In fact, one could say it’s our decisions, our choices, that say the most about us.

Sometimes we jump ahead of God and make our decisions never giving God a thought.  Then there are those that can’t make the simplest decision because they worry they will be stepping outside of God’s will. That’s as dangerous.

It’s a conundrum.

That’s why I love Proverbs. It’s chocked full of helpful and practical advice. For example, over and over again there is the imperative that if you want to reap a harvest, whether it’s veggies and fruits, or ideas and decisions, you have to put in the work first. It’s why every day I ask for wisdom for the things that come my way. For the most part, I would say I’ve always felt I’ve received the wisdom I needed.

Every day I ask for wisdom for the things that come my way. For the most part, I would say I’ve always felt I’ve received the wisdom I needed. Even when I’ve had to make on-the-spot decisions. I’ve learned to accept that no matter what decision is looming ahead of me, I will receive the wisdom I need when I need it. Guaranteed.

With my mom’s illness, I was surprised (I shouldn’t have been) how I always had the resources I needed, whether a magazine article, something someone said, a news report, that would be the answer to what I was questioning. In fact, when I look back over these past few years, I feel truly blessed that God made my road clear every step of the way.

Even the day of her death.

Somehow “wisdom” stepped in and made it clear that I should not leave her house, that death was imminent. Nothing had changed in her condition. But God instilled in my heart the knowledge ahead of time. I just “knew”.  And I think that’s because I’ve learned that the wisdom I seek can always be trusted to be there.

The day she died, I had gone out on her deck for just a few minutes. I was only there a very short while when once again there was that “prompt” to go back inside. The minute I walked into her room, again, I knew, as only God can make a person know anything, that she was within minutes of leaving this world. I called my brother in immediately. I called my husband who had just left to run some errands. Within ten minutes she was gone with the people that knew her the longest holding her as she slipped from this world to the next, me, my brother, my husband, and my brother’s ex-wife.

That’s what wisdom does if we trust God to reveal it to us. 

If this is an area that has been lacking in your prayer life, asking for daily wisdom for whatever decisions you may have to make that day,  you might want to consider adding that request.

God bless and have a good day.

%d bloggers like this: