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. So i was feeling cocky and i posted this on my FB wall:

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 my 'magic' oils helping me? 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.

Monday, May 6, 2013

How Essential Oils work

Hi guys! Let me start by inviting you to this event. It is going to be AWESOME! If you are in the Birmingham Area and want to come and see first hand what all this oil stuff is about, email me or leave me a comment and I can get you registered for this awesome event! 

 photo a day may 3

Having got that out of the way, Let me share some more facts about essential oils with you! (you're excited, right?)

"Essential Oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues. The unique, lipid-soluble structure of essential oils is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. The molecules of essential oils are also relatively small, which enhances their ability to penetrate into the cells. When topically applied to the feet or elsewhere, essential oils can travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes. "

 photo a day may 4

"...essential oils stimulate the secretion of antibodies, neurotransmitters, endorphins, hormones, and enzymes. Oils containing limonene have been shown to prevent and slow the progression of cancer. Other oils, like lavender, have been shown to promote the growth of hair and increase the rate of wound healing. They increase the uptake of oxygen and ATP, the fuel for individual cells."

photo a day May 5

And this may be my FAVE fact:
" ...because of their complexity, essential oils do not disturb the body's natural balance or homeostasis: if one constituent exerts too strong an effect, another constituent may block or counteract it. Synthetic chemical, in contrast, usually have only one action and often disrupt the body's homeostasis."

There is a lot of Science here people and some of it I understand, and some I don't. What i do know is that these oils work! They are made of the very essence of what God created. The work of His hands are in these oils. He gave us these plants to heal with. These are totally amazing! Don't believe me, ask my 8 year old, she'll tell you! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What's with those crazy oils?

ok, ok, ok. a few days ago I posted about my new obsession, Young Living essential oils. I am trying to be more natural with our eating, so it has carried over into our health care as well. 

I can honestly say that i have not felt good about taking my Rx for clinical depression in a long, long time. I have wanted to call it quits, and i have even tried, but not gotten very far. 

This time, I have a battle plan. I have essential oils in my arsenal to help me! Along with a lot of prayer and...
Here's how God works. He's been preparing me for this moment for a year! A year people! I got sucked into the whole foods, traditional foods, hippie, granola, whatever you want to call it, game last year. I have tried a gazillion things. Some have worked for us, some have not. (my children still hug a box of breakfast cereal if i allow one in my house)

I am on the essential oil train and i don't want to get off! the image at the top of this post will give you some of the uses for the oils that come in the "everyday oils" kit. This kit is $150 and includes an additional bottle of Lavender and Peppermint as well as a coupon for $40 off any Young Living diffuser. 

I read and researched and in fact bought a book about these oils before I even owned any! I decided that THIS was what God was showing me to help me with my  depression and my son with his ADD. The more i read the more i realized that this could help us with. Add my daughter's asthma to the list of things that I am using these oils for too! whoo hoo!

I guess I may be putting the cart before the horse here, but i am just so excited! 

Since I have had a few people say, "I just don't get it, what do you do with these oils???" I started reading and underlining interesting facts in my handy dandy Essential Oils Pocket Reference (Notebook!) Here are some excerpts:

Essential Oils "have been used medicinally to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses and to combat insect, bug and snake bites in addition to treating all kinds of mysterious maladies. Oils and extracts stimulate tissue and nerve regeneration."

"Essential Oils also provide exquisite fragrances to balance mood, lift spirits, dispel negative emotions, and create a romantic atmosphere."

"Vegetable oils are greasy and many clog the pores. They also oxidize and become rancid over time and have no antibacterial properties. Most essential oils, on the other hand, do not go rancid and are powerful antimicrobials."

"Essential Oils are not simple substances. Each oil is a complex structure of hundreds of different chemicals."

Why Young Living Oils? Why not go to your local health food store and pick some up??? well read on....

"Unfortunately, a large percentage of essential oils market in the United States fall in this adulterated (extended or engineered) category. When you understand the world of synthetic oils as well as low-grade oils cut with synthetic chemicals, you realize why the vast majority of consumers never know the difference."

"Adulterated and mislabeled essential oils present dangers for consumers. One woman who had heard of the ability of lavender oil to heal burns used "lavender oil" purchased from a local health food store when she spilled boiling water on her arm. But the pain intensified and the burn worsened, so she later complained that Lavender oil was worthless for healing burns. When her "lavender" oil was analyzed, it was found to be lavandin, the hybrid lavender that is chemically very different from pure lavandula augustifolia. Lavandin contains high levels of camphor and can itself burn the skin. In contrast, true lavender contains virtually no camphor and has burn-healing agents not found in lavandin."

"Adulterated oils that are cut with synthetic extenders can be very detrimental, causing rashes, burning and skin irritations. Petrochemical solvents such as dipropylene glycol and diethylphthalate can cause allergic reactions, besides being devoid of any therapeutic effects."

"Our modern world has only begun the discovery of the power of God's healing oils...the way to live with strength and vitality without pain and disease lie in what God has created, not in what man has altered."

Coming soon to a blog near essential oils work! In the mean time think of them as a natural replacement for all the man-made chemicals we put in our bodies every time we are "sick" or in pain! for more, and better information, click that link on the right sidebar for the Granola Convert blog and read her posts, they will rock your socks off! feel free to ask me any questions as well!

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. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Life Changing

As i mentioned yesterday, there are a lot of changes going on around here. My first Photo a day is one of the biggest ones. Yes, I have added one other thing to my list of new obsessions: Young Living essential oils! 

My BFF the Duchess and I joke about this all the time. It is true though. (sorry I don't have a source for this illustration. I found it on pinterest and it is a dead link) No matter what she says to me these days my response is, "i bet there's an oil for that!" I am half kidding and serious at the same time! I have noticed a big difference just in the week that I have been using the oils myself. My hubby is still skeptical, but open to them. Daughter thinks they work, and son...he says he feels like the blind man being anointed by Jesus every time I come at him with the oils! He was impressed that the VALOR has Frankincense in it though.

And speaking of Valor...OMGOODNESS! i love that oil. I wish it came in a 5 gallon size! everyday i find another use for it. Valor is a blend of Spruce, Frankincense, rosewood and blue tansy.

There are literally dozens of uses for Valor but we use it for ADD, Depression, Asthma, and headaches. There are also MANY people who have used it to help sleep apnea. I have to be honest here and say that we did try it on hubs big toe one night and let him go with out the CPAP. I can honestly say he did not snore, but at one point when i was awake, I heard him stop breathing, so I had him put on the CPAP since we do have one! I think if he used it continually, it might help over time. MANY people swear that it has stopped snoring in their house more nights than not, so if we didn't have a CPAP I would definitely be giving it an extended try! Here are some links to other blogs who talk about valor and its other uses: here and here.  Because you, like me, want to know how much this amazing oil is....both the 10 ml roll on and the 15 ml bottle are $28.62 retail. If you are interested in finding out more, or in ordering some, contact me and I can help you out! 

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 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!