Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You gotta give a little?

My boys brought home zip lock bags from church to collect "Coins for Shoes." Twin A dumped all of his money ($2.40) into the bag and told everyone about it. Twin B put one penny out of his $2.30 into the bag and went about his play. I thought it was ironic; the boy who did the right thing announced it and the boy who was more conservative didn't announce it. To Twin B's defense he still doesn't understand money very well, perhaps he thought he was giving a gold mine! In the car this morning we talked about the lady in the Bible who quietly gave all she had which was very little amongst others who gave a sliver of all they had and made a big deal out of it (Luke 21:1-4). I love helping and watching my children process these things.

But, I think we all are faced with this conundrum. Sometimes, it isn't with cash though. It's with our other resources such as our time or skills. Often we give only a little, just enough to get by. To pacify ourselves, others, or even we think, God. If we really thought of our resources as serving Jesus as we serve others than why aren't we all going crazy giving? And, do we give so little that we feel a need to make it known because we don't know when we'll be doing it again? Do we have such little faith that we've got to keep reserves in case our own situation doesn't work out? Remember, I'm not just talking about cash.

I don't struggle with the need to make my giving known. I struggle with follow through. The idea to give of myself sounds so good but when it comes to execution I often back out, and always there is a good excuse. Mostly, I'm a flake and forget. I also struggle with the selfishness of reserving some for myself because I'm scared I'll need it. What do you struggle with? How can we fix it? The only thing I know is practice makes perfect.

Saturday March 10th from 9am-Noon at South Yukon Church of Christ11700 NW 10th Street between Yukon Parkway and Cornwell. Clothing available for toddlers up all the way up to adults! For more information, you can call the office at 405-354-1863.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Still Here

I have been dealing with a lot of sickness in our family. Hopefully I'll be back to posting tomorrow. God Bless You!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Evolution of a Heart

I haven't been able to do much writing in the last 3 weeks due to the diagnosis and watching my cousin's baby. I do have a hard copy and have edited that on and off. On Monday I'll be hitting it with full force.

I've decided this book is turning out to be a legacy. It's something I'm proud to have as a legacy. If I were to die this afternoon my husband and children would have the heart of me in their hands to refer to whenever they pleased. When my children are older and look back on their childhood and think on the unreasonable things that occurred when they were small maybe reading my book will help explain it. It may not negate it, but it could give some clarity. That's something we would all use when recalling our childhood, even if it was a good one. And maybe, the children can look at the mistakes riddled throughout the book and stay clear of making the same ones. Although my husband understands me a great deal it may still explain, not negate, some of my actions during our marriage.

If I had really grasped my mother's past long before now I think it would have given me clarity and in that clarity freedom. But, she didn't write a book or pass off her wisdom, or even speak much about herself so I was delayed a bit until she offered up a little more through the years. So, despite The Evolution of a Heart being raw and at times embarrassingly honest maybe it will be just what one or all of my children need to explain and conquer something someday.

On a different note: I am researching if self-publishing or seeking an agent. It is an exhausting thing to think about. I am thinking of seeking an agent for about 3 months and then if I don't get anywhere self-publish through amazon. There are pros and cons to it all and it is overwhelming. For the synopsis of the book click here.

God Bless You today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I've thinking about adoption lately. My husband and I have recently relocated and have been adopted into the fold of his extended family. I'm watching one of his cousin's little ones they plan to adopt. I'm thinking of the Christian woman and in time, the entire church who adopted me and led me to Christ. I'm thinking how, as a church, we are brothers and sisters by adoption. I'm thinking of being an adopted daughter of God.

The amazing thing about adoption is nobody ever feels adopted. They feel as though they are and have always been a part of it all; at least they should feel like that. If not, maybe we should be investing more into relationships so that feeling is there. My husband has 3 adopted siblings yet I have never heard him refer to them as "my adopted brothers and sisters." They just are, and always have been; and one of the siblings came when she was 9!

My entire life I yearned for a functional, larger family filled with love. At times I feel I've arrived and other times I know there is still work to be done. So, let's adopt each other! I mean, really adopt each other. Invite someone over for dinner you don't know well. Help someone out you aren't very well acquainted with. Take someone to lunch. Take someone's children so they can go out; or better yet, get rid of the kids and do a couple's date. Invest, invest, invest!

"Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" Romans 8:"23

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy adn blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:4-6

Monday, February 20, 2012

MANIC MONDAYS (pun shamefully intended)

Due to icy roads I didn't make it to my second psychiatric appointment so my dosage has stayed the same, but I go tomorrow.

I notice a difference and I think once the dosage is increased a bit it will be even better. I am less on edge, not as quick to react, and less moody. Also, I'm not as overwhelmed about the mundane things. I am sure my children and husband are relieved yet waiting for the ball to drop. I'll be glad when there is no ball to drop but simply general, average things that would irritate anyone. What I am most relieved about is how much less I yell. I didn't spend my days yelling but it seemed to my first reaction to tension. I am able to talk and reason with the children more which feels peaceful.

Someone asked me about my first post talking about the disorder. They specifically wanted to know what I meant by stating "And the peace in God that is already inside can come out and be celebrated." They reasoned if peace in God is inside then the inability to display and celebrate may mean the peace doesn't really exist.

The peace in God I feel on the inside is stifled by the depression, anger, paranoia, and moodiness that has clouded my mind. Some of these things can be controlled by being optimistic and having faith; but a lot of it, because of the disorder, overrides any reasonableness I have in my relationship with God. So, I KNOW and FEEL peace in my heart and mind but the symptoms of the disorder untreated take precedence. So, the peace is somewhat of an underlying peace waiting to break out. I hope I've explained it well.

"the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;" Numbers 6:25

Friday, February 17, 2012

Elastic Pants

I am fat. I know, it's politically incorrect to say that. But even if we use different words like "large, obese, or big boned" it means the same thing, there is too much fat in the body - FAT. Besides constantly second guessing my abilities as a good wife and mother, being fat is a very painful subject for me.

I never wanted to be fat. In fact I have the frame to be skinny but curvy. Up until a few years before I had children I was really thin. I can't say I didn't choose it because each time I decided not to be active, overeat, or eat the wrong thing I was kinda making that choice. I wasn't considering the youthful functions of my body would morph one day. If I had thought this I could have taken precautionary actions. Through the years excuses came, especially the birth of my twins. Granted, they did make it to 38 weeks and were 7 lbs, 7 oz. each, but I can't keep relying on that. What happens when they turn 18 and I'm still blaming their birth? I think Satan wants us to ride our excuses as far as we can take them. And, it's amazing how far we can. We delude ourselves that we are the excuses' prisoner and we can't possibly overpower them.

Now, I understand people aren't made up the same way so few of us are going to look like the woman the advertisements tell us we should look like, and I realize some people have health issues. I also realize we're not all meant to be marathon runners or even gym people. But, we should work to care for the body God gave us with whatever means and ability available to us. It's the only vessel we get to ride throughout our life and I'd like to keep it running as long as possible. Taking care of our bodies pays tribute to the creator's beautiful, complex work of art.

I think I've finally arrived at that point it becomes about health, not vanity; tribute to God, not myself. And, it seems possible now because not only do I recognize the hold but I am taking my power from Satan back and relinquishing it to God. This applies to any vice. I've joined weight watchers and going to become a walking fool. Who's with me?

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Evolution of a Heart

Last Wednesday was the first of my posts about the book I'm currently working on. It's called The Evolution of a Heart. I figure I'll update everyone on my progress each Wednesday. For the synopsis of it click here.

This is my first book. I have always enjoyed writing. When I was younger it was the only tangible thing I had; the ability to write exactly what I was feeling. That was my freedom. I've written poetry and even read it at coffee houses when I first married. After children I let it go and after the pain of my past subsided the words wouldn't come anymore. Now I hone my skill without the weight of pain and what little I have is shedding with the writing of this novel.

As of this writing I am at 46,000 words. I hope to make it to 100,000 and have even settled for 75,000. I have justified this smaller amount because I want to attach discussion questions or a bible study to the back of it. Really though, I guess a story is finished simply when the story is all told. 

This journey was prompted by letters believe it or not. My husband and I received very toxic, misinformed letters from someone attacking my actions as a wife and mother. I decided if someone in this world had that intense of negative feelings towards me it deserved being looked into. So I started to analyze my life, then and now, and the concept of this novel was born. It has been painful and cathartic. I've hated myself, been embarrassed of myself, and have felt pity and love for myself. It has gave me clarity. It has made me realize the person who attacked me doesn't know me at all and even if there were bits of truth in the letters there wasn't much. But, if I had not received those letters I don't think this story or this blog would have been written. 

God loves me. And He loves you too. He decided to love you and I before we befuddled anything. He loves us through the mess and when we come out of it. He loves us when we do it again. He doesn't attack, but loves. He doesn't judge because He sees you and I differently than we see ourselves and each other. He sees us as he created us. He sees us perfect.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Gift of a Changed Perspective

I am watching a tiny baby for the next few weeks and I am grateful God gave me this opportunity. I am very good with babies and pretty decent with 8 years old and up; not so much 4-7 years old. BTW, I have 7 year old twin boys so I assume when they turn 8 it will dramatically change. Ha, ha.

My time with the baby reminds me of the time with my first born. No interruptions. I could hold her the entirety of a nap if I wanted. Feeding took 30 minutes but I didn't care. When she needed something the need felt so sweet and delicate. And, we can't forget the fat thighs, gooshy (is that a word?) skin, and adorable mouth! 

After school I tried to view my children as I had viewed the baby all day. I cuddled, tried to be delicate towards their needs, tried to really look at them, and I told them about when they were babies. One of my boys was embarrassed but I saw him secretly smile. I told the boys I hadn't soaked up as much of them as I had wanted and it made me very sad if I thought about it so I tried not to. One of them said "it's okay, you can still do it." Out of the mouths of babes.

I am not very good at treasuring things. I have to sit down and logically think about and list my blessings. I wish it came more naturally. I guess the trick is sitting down more often to think about them so I can approach life with those blessings in mind. And they are a blessing, even if I'm not great at parenting. Even when I am assured the boys have a conspiracy to fray my nerves and destroy each other. Even if some of it was taken away because of the need to simply survive it. Anyhow, that's what grand children are for right?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, February 13, 2012

MANIC MONDAYS (pun shamefully intended)

Lately I've been thinking of my husband and how he's had to live with an undiagnosed and untreated spouse. I wonder if I had been diagnosed and on medication from the start if our journey would have been that different, and just how much the disorder has played a role. I can't blame everything on it but I can't discount it's effects either. Would I still have been angry, said those stupid or scathing words, thrown the tantrums, or made sure he was confused and as hurt as I was? How much has been me and how much has been the illness?

I am certain of one thing though: he loves me. He absolutely, unconditionally loves me. He loves me in sickness and in health because he has decided to. I am grateful. He is one of the few people who truly can love unconditionally and not be swayed. I shamefully cannot say the same thing about myself. I have my limits. I shouldn't, but I do. If the tables had been turned would I have reached that limit?

Though I did jokingly inform him the other day that the diagnosis does not absolve him from his responsibility during the tumultuous parts of our marriage. I guess it would be easy for both of us to try that.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Friday, February 10, 2012

Social Media is One-dimensional

Social media can be counterproductive sometimes. We can connect several times a day with those living far away, share pictures of our life with those we barely ever see, and network for our business or a project. On the other hand, we can give too much information, get too much information, and sometimes some real damage can occur. I think the main reason for this is social media is one-dimensional.

I use the term "one-dimensional" because social media only offers what the poster wants it to and it only gives the reader a simple bit into a complex life. Every single reader will perceive the post differently because we don't all view the world the same. Another problem is, our posts will be told to those who are not connected to us on social media sites and the person passing on our information will be passing it on with their filter. 

We might say something that is offbeat but hilarious, the problem is out of our 100 friends we only have 10 that know us well enough to think it's funny. We've just alienated or freaked out the other 90. And some of those freaked out persons are going to go tell others, then those people are going to freak out too! This happens with all sorts of emotions and information we put out there.

I learned my lesson this summer. I had posted something about "literally screaming at the kids all day." Did I literally scream at them all day? No, but it was a very tense afternoon and I think every mother can attest to those kinds of days. Well, someone saw that and notified my mother-in-law. That's all the information she needed to conclude her grandchildren were in a miserable home with a cursing, shrieking mother. Still, I didn't quite learn and a few months later attempted to hint to certain people that they needed to stop assuming my husband (who is a quiet, peaceable man) wasn't the head of our household. Well, the words I used told those people I was attacking my husband on Facebook. So, they tried to come to his rescue unintentionally validating what I had been trying to say in my post. 

So, I learned - BIG TIME. My mother-in-law isn't there for mine and my children's tender, fun, and creative moments. The only image she has is the negative one, and that's my fault. And, the people I was hinting to didn't learn a thing from it and still carry the same assumption. It didn't help me, it didn't help my family, and it didn't glorify God. I have decided, if it can't help or glorify God it doesn't belong. Please learn from my mistakes!

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 
1 Corinthians 10:31

(Is the above easy? No, but you can take a baby step and try it with social media)

God Bless You,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Faux Conversations

Why do I use the word "faux?" Because it's fancy! And, for quite some time I've been observing the conversations that surround me, whether I'm with a group of friends or amongst different people as we go about our daily activities. Most of the time I hear a lot of "filler" or "fluff." Everyone is talking but they're really not talking about anything. My favorite is sitting in a restaurant and listening to people who, for 30 minutes, talk about the other restaurants they've eaten at! I think faux conversations keep us in a fog and I think it's exactly what Satan wants.

Don't worry; I don't think every waking minute of our lives should be deep and philosophical. We don't want our heads to explode! But I do think the precious moments we have outside of our everyday demands should be purposeful because there are so few. If I've been alone, with kids, or at work in a cubicle all day I want to talk about my life and hear about yours. I guess if all you do is go to restaurants I'll have to adjust myself to that talk, but I'd wager there is more to you than that.

Why would Satan want us to focus more on fluff than each others' personal lives? Because it gives him power. If he can stop people from investing in God, each other, or ourselves then he is a quiet, creeping menace that keeps us from fulfillment in Jesus and our brothers and sisters in Christ. C.S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters is a VERY powerful book to me. Consider: "Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile - Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end."

So the next time you’re with somebody, who is not your best friend whom you share everything with, consider really wanting to know how and who that person is and asking them, and even directing the conversation towards things that matter when the other, unconsciously out of habit, keeps things superficial. Don’t let noise and fakeness rule your relationships. It's easy to do. I struggle with it myself.

God Bless You,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

MANIC MONDAYS (pun shamefully intended)

One of the issues I want to explore on this blog is mental illness. One week ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. So, as I partake in a trial and error journey with medicines, dosages, and changes in behavior I want to share it. I want to share it because 1) the stigma associated with mental illness, specifically within the Christian community, 2) if this is my struggle I'd certainly like to help someone else either going through it or avoiding going through it because they're afraid, and 3) give information and thoughts to aid friends of people with a mental illness.

When I was diagnosed three feelings were prevalent - I was disappointed because the diagnosis wasn't simpler, I was embarrassed because I felt crazy, but I was relieved because it explained EVERYTHING, and there has always been a part of me that thought something more than depression was involved. The psychiatrist carefully explained to me I was bipolar, probably manifesting itself in my early teen years. He also explained through the years it was accompanied at various times with post traumatic stress syndrome and after the birth of my twins, postpartum depression.

The psychiatrist said it was chronic and I would need medicine my entire life. He warned me if I stop taking the medicine relapses are worse each time. Since last Tuesday I've been taking a mood stabilizer and an anti-depressant. I have felt very tired most of the time, though I have not been reacting frantically and on the edge as much. Perhaps my tiredness is more from the depression I've had because of the diagnosis than the medicine itself, only time will tell. My ultimate goal is to function because my family doesn't function if I don't. And the peace in God that is already inside can come out and be celebrated.

So, each Monday I'll explore something different about mental illness. I hope you can use the information. For the meantime here is a link to inform you: Mayo Clinic Description

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

God Bless You,

Friday, February 3, 2012

Honesty Helps People

After my post about helping others I started thinking another way to help people is simply by being honest. I am not necessarily referring to say, stopping someone whose money has fallen down and giving it back to them. I am specifically talking about being honest with people during conversation. 

Honesty in conversation interests me particularly regarding mothers speaking to other mothers. First, I must say I have had many great conversations with others mothers and have witnessed others experiencing the same. That being said, I am referring to the other situations I have experienced or witnessed that left me discouraged.

I have been the mother and seen mothers who at their wits end explain to another their frustrations, perceived failures, and fears only to have their feelings of ineptness exasperated. The listening mother gives nothing at all to the lady who desperately needs it; some kind of encouragement, especially using her own life as an example. 

When a mother is in front of you hinting or full blown divulging her struggles as a mother it isn’t the time to act stoic and uncomprehending. It’s the time to say “Oh man, I’ve felt that too! I was so ashamed I didn’t know anybody else did!” When a mother you already know suffers from  ineptness don’t tell her you only feed your kids organic, gluten free snacks while she’s shoving a bowl of goldfish crackers into her babies hands to quiet him down. The examples are endless so I’ll make myself stop, and some of those examples are so much DARKER than goldfish crackers.

Nobody gets blessed from a mother who has all the answers and pronounces them at every opportunity, not even the mother making the pronouncements. Mothers DO get blessed though when there is revelation and honesty during these times. The frustrated mother is blessed because she’s not alone and the other more confident (in that certain area) mother is able to help and keep humble. It’s a win-win! 

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Thursday, February 2, 2012

To Serve Man

I recently spoke with some women about helping others. One woman in particular was frustrated with herself about what she saw as  her lack of ability to help an overwhelming amount of  broken people in very discouraging circumstances; in this case, the poor. She was also frustrated that opportunities to help the poor didn't present themselves...Or so she thought.

I think Satan thrives on this sort of conundrum. He's coming at us from all directions on this one - hopelessness for the size and degree of the problem, frustration with ourselves for not making it right, keeping us in a consumer or survival driven fog so often we aren't even aware of others beyond our circle, and encouraging our judgmental and scared nature.

Opportunities aren’t presenting themselves if we’re not paying attention. If helping others is a strong desire the first thing you need to do is be aware. Get off the smart phone or out of your head when you’re waiting in a public place and watch the world instead. Opportunities are everywhere: a person who’s come up short at the grocery store or who’s card didn’t get accepted, a lady pushing a stroller on the road because she doesn’t have a car, someone on the corner asking for work, food, or money; someone who is hinting while telling you how they are hoping you’ll pick up on their desperate situation and help them seek a solution. Don’t make your weekly contribution to your congregation be the only means you use to help. Get your hands dirty.

You will not be able to completely change their physical situation but you can definitely give some relief, light, and friendship. Remember, you can’t understand God’s vision. It’s in the works and beyond our wisdom. It is not hopeless if you’re helping. I recommend finding out what your community offers, printing the contact information, and keeping it with you to pass out when you find someone who has needs beyond your ability.

Most importantly, understand that you are not immune to their situation. It is not unreasonable that you yourself could be in the same predicament one day. Don’t judge. And, I understand there are people who will take advantage of you and in time your discernment will be sharper. I personally feel I’m accountable to help and they’re accountable to do what is right with it whether it be my time, money, or emotions.
And pray. If this is your desire beg God to give you opportunities, discernment, and ability. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Welcome to my blog. Blogging is a new experience for me. There are many things I wish to explore, mainly the human condition. The human condition within the Christian community is important to me because I know we sometimes are afraid of revealing ourselves or having someone reveal themselves to us. But I believe through understanding the less afraid we are the more of the solution we're likely to be.

I have been recently diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and will chronicle my journey from the initial diagnosis through the trial and error of finding the right treatment. I want to explore the stigma attached to mental illness, especially in the Christian community.

I am also writing an autobiography/bible study titled "The Evolution of a Heart" I hope to complete it May. Every Tuesday I'll update my status and thoughts on the  novel.

I love reading, especially Dystopian Genre and hope to give book reviews as well.

I think it'll be a busy place with many ideas and exploring. I hope you'll join me. Please be patient as I figure out this blogging stuff and all the aesthetics that go along with it. Perhaps soon it will be sophisticated like some of the other impressive blogs on the web.

God Bless You,