Sunday, June 9, 2013

Really? pass me a tissue!


 So, I think i have talked about it here, maybe not. I can't remember anymore. I am too lazy to look back and see right now.  I started a while back, hmmmmm maybe a year ago? I felt like i needed to get off my crazy meds.  My dose was low, lower than the "recommended" dosage. I had been on them for years!!!! and i just felt like it was time.  I have a sweet, kind, amazing friend who is going through similar things and we talk about our depression, our kids and our faith. When I told her i wanted off my meds she said, "I know what you mean about having chemicals in your body, like in some ways it might make you feel better, but you don't feel like yourself and then some of the side effects really suck."

That made me think. a lot. I had not seen life without the numbing grey of my antidepressants in over a decade. Who was I without the meds? What was life really like? could I handle it? would i literally fall apart?? Could i survive the withdrawal? sigh. only one way to find out, right?

I called my Dr. and asked to come off the Rx. I followed his directions. It totally sucked! I felt like my brain was short circuiting. I couldn't concentrate. I felt like a bundle of raw nerves. I just wanted to go to bed and sleep it off. Days turned into weeks. I kept staring at the Rx bottle like a junkie thinking if i just had one more pill my brain would feel normal. Then some small part of my brain would remind me that if i took 1 more pill, all the agony I had been through would be for NOTHING because i would have to start all over! 

I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and surprisingly it was not a train about to plow me over! I realized the other day that my brain appeared to be functioning without all the blips and shorts.  I had several really good days.


Well, guess what? Turns out that though i seem to be through the worst, this is a daily battle for me. This Demon is not giving up that easy. I have cried all weekend long for no apparent reason. Just as I was beating myself up for the 12th time for being such an emotional train wreck....God reminded me of something. He reminded me of a book He'd lead me to read. The book is called Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge.  

Though i have not finished this book, I think I am about to start over at the beginning. When i started it, i just knew this book had been written for me. If i could I would buy a thousand copies and hand it out to every person I know. Every woman should read this book! Every man who loves a woman or who wants to love a woman should read this book! I mean i suppose that not ALL women really need it, but it is so true and so right to the heart of who and what and how I am, that i can't believe I am the only one! 

This is what God reminded me of today from this book. (paraphrased in my own words except where directly quoted.) God created the whole world. start to finish. every. little. thing.  First the basics: light, land and sea. Then more details to those big things: plants, stars, fish, birds, and animals.  "From water and stone, to pomegranate and rose, to leopard and nightingale, creation ascends in beauty."  This is getting bigger and better and more amazing and beautiful with each word of God. "Each creature is more intricate and noble and mysterious than the last.  A cricket is amazing, but it cannot compare to a wild horse." Then after all of that, God sets his own image on the earth. 

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.


"It is nearing the end of the sixth day, the end of the Creator's great labor, as Adam steps forth, the image of God, the triumph of his work. He alone is pronounced the son of God. Nothing in creation even comes close." He is amazing, but God is not finished yet. Something is still missing. Still not quite right.  What's missing you ask? Eve. She is the final thing. Eve is the "crown of creation."  Women were the final thing the Master created. "Not an afterthought. Not a nice addition like an ornament on a tree. She is God's final touch, his piece de resistance. She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill." 

God created women in His image too. In women he shows us His softer side. His relational side. His need to be needed. In some way I, in all my brokenness, am an image of God. "It is ok to be a woman," He whispered to me. There is no shame in your tears.  "Even Jesus wept, " He reminded me.

So, I have over a decade of tears bottled up inside me. Of course I did cry during the time I was on my meds, but so much of the joy, the pain, and the sorrow of just everyday living was numbed through chemistry.  I even cry now when i am happy. I found myself laying bed yesterday with my husband and was so overcome with love for him and joy that he is mine and I am his that I began to weep.  I felt like a nut.  But you know what? I don't care anymore! I will cry when I need to! I have to let these dang emotions out so that I can move on to the next thing God has for me.  I wish i could stop the world, go away and deal with my STUFF, but I can't. I have to deal with it while being a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter and a servant of God. 

Nothing can fix me or heal me or change me but Him. I am a mess and I am tired of pretending I am not.  Are efforts helping ease things? yes, yes they are, but it is because of God's hand and mercy and power and His spirit in the plants he spoke into being. It is not because of anything other than God and his power.  I am on the path to healing. I can see it is not a short road, so in the meantime, if you see me crying, just hand me a tissue and smile because God has a lot of cleaning out to do with me and He is using my tears to wash away years of shame and pain and fear and doubt.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Romans 8:26

Photo a Day May 2



wow. the hits keep coming. It seems like everyday now I hear of one more friend who is having issues in their life. Some are medical, some are relational, some need a job, some are mental, some are financial. Everywhere I look it seems like people have HUGE mountains to climb. 

It makes me want to go to bed and cover my head. It makes me want to go into the woods and pray. That reminds me that God's got this. No matter how bad, how crazy, how out of control this world seems; God is still God. 

Author of Everything,
and every mystery....
Reveal yourself to me!

You calmed the raging Sea
and carved the Canyons deep;
Now come and live in me!

We Stand in Awe! 
Creator God!
Lord of the Universe, 
Sovereign of all the Earth!

Worshiping at your feet.
Power and Majesty.

We stand in awe of who you are Creator God!
We bow our hearts before you now Lord Most High!

When I don't know why to pray, which is often, I just Cry Out to God and trust the Spirit to help me. Romans 8:26 "...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes through wordless groans." That is such a comfort to me when I feel like the world is falling apart around me. The peace of God truly passes all understanding. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

looking for my groove, have you seen it?


Ok, so I have so wanted to do this "photo a day" thing forever! I don't think i have ever even started one in the past, just downloaded the list for some time in the future. Well, NO MORE! Tomorrow is a new month...at least I think it is. (Thirty days hath September, APRIL, June and November...all the rest have 31, except for February which is just messed up....) ok, so Yes, tomorrow is May day!

So, May Day has many different customs and rituals associated with it, but in Cynlandia (yes, I just made that up) it is seen as the first day of Spring and so new beginnings go right along with the theme!
I have many new beginnings happening right now, so why not add one more?

If you would like to join in with the photo a day fun check out Fat Mum Slim for all the fun and games! I have even set this list as my desktop background so that I will be reminded EVERY STINKING DAY that i need to get off my lazy bum and shoot one photograph! I use to be a photographer in an earlier version of myself. I use to blog a lot. I use to be creative and such a fun and lovely person....have you seen her? She must be here someplace! If you see her, let me know, I think she has my groove and I would LOVE to have it back!

Monday, April 29, 2013

the Story of a Boy



This is the story of a boy. (you got that from the title, right?) He is the kindest, loving, most amazing child you could ever meet; except when he's not.

He has always been sweet and kind and loving, but the past few years have showed us another side to him. He gets very easily frustrated. He is down on himself often and will hit himself in the head, bite his own arm or make disparaging comments about himself. He is struggling in school. even though he makes good grades, he has to work VERY hard to get them.

He is absolutely growing up. At least his body is. Mom has been shocked to find underarm hair on her "little" boy even though the sweet blonde curls are still there along with the dimpled, fat baby hands. He is eleven.

This school year has been the turning point, or maybe the breaking point. He has never been a strong reader, but he has always loved learning and loved books. When History class became a problem, we realized we had to do more. That "more" involved signing him up for reading tutoring at Sylvan Learning Centers as well as requesting Learning Disability testing from the school. (we actually tried to have him tested 2 years ago but didn't get anywhere.)

We filled out tons of paperwork, over and over and over. We sent emails and made phone calls and drove him, 30 miles each way, twice a week for tutoring. We had a meeting with the school system, they agreed to test him and we waited. And Waited. And waited some more.

While we were waiting, we signed him up on a waiting list to test specifically for Dyslexia. We were told it would be "at least" three months. We are still waiting on that.  We also took him to see a Psychiatrist for an ADHD evaluation. This involved more waiting. Apparently those guys are busy and it takes several weeks to schedule an initial appointment, more paperwork, and then waiting on the actual evaluation/test, and then waiting on the results and a follow up appointment with your Psychiatrist. Tom Petty nailed it when he sang, "The waiting is the hardest part."

So, here we are. Some of the waiting is over and some has just begun. The school results were the first to come back. They showed an IQ in the "normal" range, which i have to say, honestly shocked me. He really seems a bit above average to me, but hey, I am his mom. His Achievement tests did not show a "Significant Learning Discrepancy," which means he does not qualify for Special Ed. in our school system. sigh.

I don't know if that should relieve me, that he is "normal" or not, but I came home and cried for about 2 days. I have to say it is a real blow to a mother when you realize your "above average" child, is just "average." Not only that, but you realize that the 'system' is not going to help you and you are on your own.

Next came the information from the Psychiatrist. He has ADD, not ADHD. That means he struggles with inattention only and not also hyperactivity. oh.boy. As the Doctor was flipping though his file, he also mumbled something about "Autism Spectrum behaviors" and I think I was in too much shock to ask a coherent question about that. We agreed to try and treat the symptoms naturally before jumping to medication, especially since the school says they don't see any symptoms of inattention.  We have also agreed to counselling for the kid who doesn't know how to talk about what he's feeling or simply has no opinion about what's going on.

At this point, this little story becomes less about a boy and more about a mom. A mom who has been reading and researching for months. Everyone and everything she reads offers a different opinion and of course thinks theirs is correct. I can see how deciding to give him a pill would be easier. The pressure is off me. The Doctors can figure out what's working and what's not. Instead, I am bombarded with: whole foods, traditional foods, Feingold diet, Gluten free diet, Dairy Free diet, Salicylates, fish oil, vitamins, no vitamins, and the list goes on and on and on.  I don't know where to start, what will work for us and what won't. I already feel like some choice(s) I made somewhere maybe the cause of all of this anyway.

I have started him on some essential oils applied topically that some people I actually know have had very good luck with. I have ordered some YUMMY fish oil for him as well. I have a meeting with a nutritional coach this week. I pray constantly that God will show me the path that is right for us, for him. Now it is back to waiting. It could take several weeks to several months before any of this has a noticeable affect. I guess I will try to blog about it to keep up with it as much for myself as to share our story.

Life was so much easier when I didn't have pieces of my heart walking around in other people's bodies!




Friday, February 15, 2013

What did we learn???

I am late with this post. No shock there.

Looking back at our "no spend Month"...what did we learn? did we make it? will we do it again? blah blah blah.

Looking back, I have to say one of the biggest benefits for me was not once worrying about how much money we had in out checking account! For January, right after the holidays, that was a blessing.  We took $300 out in cash right at the beginning of the month, and that was the money we had to spend. Easy. If I am not constantly shopping from the checking account, there is plenty of money to pay bills with.

We did  not starve or do without much. We had gotten into the habit of eating out, a lot, because I am basically a slacker and don't like to cook 7 days a week...and we are crazy busy some nights. This forced me to PLAN AHEAD and be prepared for those times. My son acted like he was being tortured for most of the month...but he, like me, can be overly dramatic. There were even a couple of occasions where one of the kids would ask to go get a slushy or ice cream and i would just say, "no spend month" and that would end it.

I did get lazy in the last few days about keeping up with our expenses. I can't tell you how much we ended up with, but i will say that we did manage to live out of our $300 budget for the month as we planned.

I think we should do it again. I think it is good for us, and the kids, to step back, take stock of what we have and what we really need.

15 days into the new month....we've spent a lot! we have fallen almost back into the excess, but maybe another "no spend" month is just around the corner!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

near the end of NO excess Spend Month!

Kids at the Circus! 

well, several people have asked me in the past week or two how my No Spend Month is going...so here are the latest numbers:

Publix:

  • milk
  • hormel ham lunch meat
total $6.92 (OUCH!)

Publix:

  • tomatoes
  • vanilla yogurt, organic
  • french bread
  • cottage cheese
total $11.31

CVS:

  • 12 pk Coke Zero x4

total $10.80

Target:

  • hair gel 
total $5.44

ALDI:

  • apples
  • deli pizza
  • organic honey nut toasted oats
  • penguin crackers
  • mustard
  • crescent rolls x2
  • hot dog buns
  • broccoli
  • deli sliced cheese
  • mozzarella
  • bread crumbs
  • milk
  • cheese curls
  • baking soda
total: $29.97

Krystals Lunch Out for 4: $23.47
Doughnuts: $5.00
Circus and a soda $12.50
haircuts x2 $25.00

For a total of $130.41 for the "third" week. that is a grand total of $244.96 spent so far this month! whoo HOO! In the next day or two I will be buying a few more groceries, and I will wrack my brain for expenses that I may have missed. I will have a post in a few days about what we may or may not have learned through this experience!
How did your month turn out?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I know you are wonder WHAT we are eating while we are on this NO SPENDING SPREE, right?

In case you are, let me say that I am a mid-range couponer, so i tend to have a decent stockpile of staples in our house. I did not pile up things in December just to prepare for NOT spending in January, but I do have an extra freezer with some meats and other frozen things. I was trying to eat more WHOLE FOODS, healthy, and then fell off the wagon during the holidays, so I am still eating the food-like items that i purchased in my weakness during that time.

Breakfasts are simple. I am not even awake when they happen. {Have i mentioned lately how AWESOME my husband is?} The kids, ages 11 and 8, eat either boxed cereal, homemade and frozen sourdough waffles, cheese toast or peanut butter toast. Hubby eats one of those or he eats the homemade granola that I made back in December that we are still munching on. I have been drinking a Visalus shake. I just read that they contain GMOs, so once my stock of shake mix is gone, Visalus will be gone from my life too.

Lunches are also pretty straight forward. the kids eat (the over processed crap) at school. My kids are HARD to fix lunch for. They seem to like school lunch. I am not at the place to have this fight with them yet. It is EASY for them to eat at school and right now that is the best I can do. I consider paying for school lunches a "bill" so that money is NOT coming out of my $300 budget this month.  Hubby packs his own lunch {more awesomeness!} and takes an apple, and a sandwich (usually ham or peanut butter) and maybe some chips or crackers or whatever else he finds in the house. Honestly I don't know because I don't pack it, but he doesn't ask for anything special for his lunches....even when i ask him if he wants or needs anything. I eat leftovers or a sandwich or a salad or cheese and crackers or whatever I dig up.

Dinner. well, let me say that I am not normally THIS organized. The 1st week of the month,(or maybe the first 12 days) I just walked to the fridge/freezer and pulled something out and called it dinner. Then it got harder. At this point I have a "plan" for dinner through the 24th of the month. I will share that with you, along with what I had to purchase to make the plan happen, m'kay?

1/12  fish stick sandwiches and homemade oven fries. (I had to by potatoes)
1/13 Cheesy Potato Fries (bought: potatoes, ranch dressing, bacon, green onions)
1/14 Hoppin Johns and cornbread (bought: NOTHING!!)
1/15 Balsamic Roast Beef French Dip Sandwiches and Zucchini Fries (bought: beef broth, sub rolls, zucchini)
1/16 Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with chicken and spinach (bought: half & half , baby spinach)
1/17 Homemade Pizza (bought: mushrooms)
1/18 eating with family....so no cooking or buying for me !!!!!
1/19 Ham Sammies (bought; ham, swiss cheese)

All these recipes I got from Pinterest. HERE is my board that i have them pinned to, and i have linked them above, or not if it is MY recipe and there's no link. I have more, but I'll wait and post them later. Some things I bought this week will carry over into meals next week, 'cause that's how i roll. I have made some changes to the above recipes, to fit the eating tastes of my family, or what i have in the cabinet. I am sure you can alter them to suit your tastes as well. Happy eating!

c