why I have the jitters

I sat down this morning after I got the kids on the bus, to write a blog entry, which I do so love to do, seriously— it is like therapy to me.  Then I thought, well, I better just call the Pediatrician first *just to make sure* I have Sarah’s appointment time right.  I thought it was at 10:30.  Nope, I called and they said it was for 9.  Which meant I had 15 short minutes to get myself looking presentable, find all my stuff, and go to the school and pick her up.  The jitters begin.

(mind you, this week I kept David home two mornings for a dentist appointment.  The first morning ended up not being the right day, consequently I don’t trust myself)

I went to get her from school.  The office ladies looked at me blankly.  “But she just got here.”  “I know, I know, blah blah” I had to explain myself twice, after which the ladies laughed and understood and reassured me that everyone does it now and then.

I took her to the docs and guess what.  The UTI hasn’t healed.

You see, we go to a group of doctors.  The doctor that diagnosed the uti last Monday put her on antibiotics for 5 days.  When today’s doctor (#2) found out, she thought that probably Sarah needed to be on a full course (10 days) of antibiotics in order for it to clear up.  She also told me glumly, that Sarah’s iron was low and to give her iron-rich foods and a suppliment.

So I left with my sick child to go to Target to pick up the prescription.  Sarah was and is acting FINE, happy, cheerful, bossy, she doesn’t act like a sick person.  She is pale, however.  That and the urine test are her only symptoms of ill-health.  But in my mind I want to wrap her up in a blanket and hold her on my lap and not let go until she’s all better……

TARGET DID NOT HAVE THE MEDICINE FOR HER.  The jitters are getting worse.

I left Target and took her to school, while she periodically yelled from the back seat,  “HURRY!  I have to get back to school!!”  If she was even slightly unenthused about going I would have taken her back home with me for snuggles and fussing over.

I picked up her prescription in town at Rite Aid and am now home.

I haven’t told you about last night, though.

(clears throat)  So.  It was about 4:30 pm and the phone rang.  I figured it was Ethan.  Ethan typically calls after soccer practice is over so that we know when to go get him.  Well, it wasn’t Ethan.  It was his coach.  “Ethan had a little accident….” I have a rush of adrenaline, and a mild panic attack, “…he cut his toe in the locker room.  He’s going to need a trip to the ER to get stitches.”

All the way to the school I was wondering to myself how on earth he did such a thing.  He didn’t break a leg during practice, or a knee, or hit his head, or anything….no, my son cuts his toe.  THE PINKY TOE, the most insignificant extremity.

I arrived at the school to see Ethan waiting for me with the athletic trainer and the coach.  His pinky toe is wrapped up in tight white gauze.

We loaded him into the car and drove to the ER.  Once the toe was unwrapped I could see that yes….he for sure needed some sewing.

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The soccer team goes off the field after practice, directly into the locker room through a heavy door.  The door is locked from the outside so if a boy gets stuck he has to stand outside and pound on it for one of the guys to let him in.  Yesterday, the guys were in the locker room after a rough practice, getting dressed to go home.  Ethan didn’t have his shoes on, as is typical for Ethan, and two of his friends were goofing around on each side of The Door, one kid was pulling to get in, one was pushing to keep him out.  Ethan “thoughtfully” offered to help out and the door ended up slamming shut on his toe.  He didn’t yell, he didn’t cry.  “I said, ‘Matt, my toe is stuck in the door, would you please open it?’  And he did, and we all stood there looking at my toe.  It was bleeding everywhere.  I thought for a second it might be gone, or half gone.  Then Mitch said, ‘Oh shoot, E, you’re probably going to need stitches,’ and he picked me up and carried me to the trainer’s office.  Blood was dripping the whole way.  I told Mitch to take pictures but I don’t think he did.”

The trainer stopped the bleeding, called the custodian to clean up the blood, and had someone call me.  I was told later that Ethan said, “My poor Mom.” which totally melted my heart.

(He felt bad because his Dad hasn’t been home since Sunday.  Dad is on a business trip–coming home tonight.  Meanwhile, the little boys had practice.  And Grace needed to be picked up after school.  Thank goodness for Jacob and his car!!!!!!!)

And praise the Lord for the athletic trainer.  He stayed with us in the ER the whole time and it would have been a lot worse without him there.  Because of him we avoided an x-ray and got out probably an hour or more earlier than we would have.

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The pain from the numbing shots almost sent Ethan through the roof.  He admitted it was worse than the actual cut.  He started feeling weird and broke out in a sweat, but he kept his composure like a man…which he is….a good strong man through and through.  Although one wonders if a real man would have ended up in this situation?

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I call it “frankentoe”

While we waited, I got Ethan a soda and a candy bar from the vending machine and we had conversations about all the strange things happening that day…Ethan wasn’t the only one with a freak problem…..some crazy kid microwaved raisins in the school to make smoke and cause a small raisin-fire, also the school lost power for 45 minutes because of a car accident, another kid showed up at the ER after getting his foot ran over by his dad, someone fell off a ladder, someone else fell and to make matters worse was on blood thinners, the board at the nurses station was FULL of patients at our small hospital in which hardly anything happens.  What was going on?  We decided it was quite possibly caused by it being the first day of Fall????????

Regardless, they kept us waiting forever because the doc decided at the last minute that Ethan should have an x-ray because if his toe was broken he wanted him on antibiotics.  The other patients in the ER were the priority so finally Daniel the athletic trainer used a tuning fork test on Ethan’s toe which indicated that it was not broken.  The doctor agreed but put him on antibiotics anyway as a precaution….(why do the x-ray then I internally cried???)…..and three hours later we left the hospital, it was now almost 7:30, and dark outside.  We picked up the medication, picked up the boys who did NOT get hurt at football practice (thank goodness), and got food at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

Ethan went to school today wearing flip flops and he can’t even put a cleat on his foot until Monday, IF and only if his toe has healed sufficiently.

These are such small and typical problems, in the grand scheme of things, I know.  I am jittering, but I am also laughing a little, too, and thanking God for everything, always.

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(Sarah, this morning, while waiting for the bus.)

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(Seth and Gentleman Gray, this morning).

shame

 

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A little confession for you:  I’m a try-hard Christian at times (more times I care to admit).  And then, every once in a while (about once a week) I get knocked to my knees in desperation because I simply cannot be a good girl (no surprise there, why not just learn this lesson??).  I open my mouth and the attitude and words that pour forth are shameful.  I want to be a good example to my children but daily I fail.  On Saturday my heart was rotten, I was thinking wretched thoughts, feeling the most grumbly of feelings…..Rich and I had to run errands and as I scribbled in my journal in the car, I began to cry and the words gushed out to my dear husband….he sensed the despair and recognized it for what it was, condemnation.  I was reacting to my failings all the wrong way, by condemning myself and my religion.  “What’s the point of being a believer if I have to continually struggle against myself and LOSE?” I cried, “When I discover a fault in myself, or my own faults and sin are exposed to everyone around me I feel so much shame and blame my religion.”  Then I get upset because of the time I am putting into self-evalutation and my thoughts run like this:  “You have so much pride.  You are not a good Christian at all.  What is wrong with you?  Despair, cry, give up!”

Rich, in seeing the way I was beating myself up,  encouraged me to think positively, to remember the gifts God has given to me and the very special ways he has created me.  But I couldn’t.  It was too much self-focus once again.  I took up my daily Bible reading and said, “The answers will be here, I know it.  I just need to read this.”

My testimony is this:  In whatever situation I am facing, the Lord is right there with comfort, teachings, and rebuke, if only I take up my Bible and read it.  If only I see and hear what He has to communicate to me.  He is so faithful!  This weekend I read aloud in the car about the time that God made Balaam’s donkey speak.  An angel was blocking the way and the donkey could see it but Balaam could not.  Three times he lost his patience with the animal and beat him in anger and frustration.

Rich told me I was doing to myself what Balaam was doing to the poor donkey.  Beating myself unnecessarily.  It was so funny I had to laugh.  Listen:

“What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?”  says the donkey to Balaam, and says myself to myself.

“You have made me look like a fool!  If I had a sword with me I would kill you!”  Says Balaam to the donkey, and says myself to myself.

But then Balaam comes to understand what is happening and is full of remorse, and Rich applied the passage and told me I have to stop beating my ass.  (!)

Balaam goes on to say to King Balak, who wanted him to curse the Israelites for him, “God has blessed and I cannot reverse it.”

THIS IS THE ANSWER.  Praise God in Jesus that He has saved my soul and there is NO condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1.  My heart sings.  He has blessed and in no way is that blessing ever going to be reversed!

Rich reminded me that what I was feeling, that wretched feeling, was my own personal fight against the flesh, which is something that ALL believers face.  It hurts sometimes, until we remember that we have the victory in Christ Jesus.

It was pretty amazing, because my testimony continues, in the mailbox that very day….we received this month’s issue of Tabletalk magazine with the main topic this month being SHAME.  Article after article, all written seemingly for ME and my heart’s struggles.  Food for the soul, truth for the doubting one.

“Jesus lived and died not only for the guilt of our sin but for the shame of our sin.”

“If we live each day bearing the shame of yesterday, and we’re worried about the shame of tomorrow, we will never experience the joys of abundant life in Christ today.  Let us lift our weary eyes from gazing upon our shame and fix our eyes on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.”

“Shame is not the final conclusion we make about ourselves.”

“The end of Christian identity is righteousness, not shame.”

“Shame is made manifest by isolation, self protection, self-hatred, self-destruction, self-preservation, and the illusion of control.”

“Satan’s voice will lead to shame, but God’s voice will lead to glory.”

“Our shame begins to unravel as we see His dear person and know His matchless work to be our own.  United to Him by faith through the Holy Spirit, our whole position changes.  Redeemed and reconciled to our heavenly Father by the Son of His love, the basis of our true shame is dealt with and our alienation removed.”

So, my own struggle with trying hard is dealt with like everything else is dealt with, through the cross and the gospel.  Praise Jesus!  I will feel the fight at times, I will feel shame, but I am not left there….He leads me along into the glorious truths of what Christianity is all about, Jesus and His righteousness which He so generously bestows on all who believe in Him.  This world is not my home, I’m just passing through……and by grace I will say, like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

sweetest name I know

Let me tell you about the sweetest name I know.

Recently, a little booklet of printouts came home from school with my Kindergartener.   It was titled, “Happy Holidays Throughout the World” and on page one I read this:

“Christmas is a holiday celebrated by members of the Christian faith around the world.  This is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God.”

His powerful NAME IS in the schools, my friends.  He is there in the printed word and in the hearts of those who love him and are serving our children as teachers and helpers.  He is in the hearts of the children who trust in Him.

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Yesterday I took Sarah Joy to the library and we went straight to the Christmas books.  I pulled the books out halfway and dear little Sarah judged them by their covers.  We came home with an armful of new books to read.  One of them had a picture of Santa reading a book to a lap-full of children and elves.  It was titled The Christmas Book of Hope and I read it to Sarah this morning.

“His parents were sick, there was hardly any food, and no joy was found in Timothy’s house as Christmas drew near.  Every night he would pray to Jesus for help, but things seemed so hopeless to Timothy……….”

“…….Later that evening, Santa came down the chimney into Timothy’s house, and sitting by the fire were Timothy and his parents.  ‘Oh Santa, cried Timothy, ‘My parents are getting better!  I think Jesus heard my prayers!’

In the story, one of Santa’s elves wrote Timothy a book of hope, which included this point:  “Most importantly, if you believe in Jesus, God will take care of you, especially when times are bad.”

Ironically, I read in a Santa Claus book for children, pulled from our public library, the hope of the world….is Jesus.

(By the way, I don’t believe Santa is any competition for Jesus at Christmas.  Jesus wins by far, which is the reason why I don’t make it my mission in life to eliminate Santa from my family at Christmas time.)

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I’ve recently had a few days of stress, and what the Lord impressed upon my mind most of all was that Jesus was near, He was around me, comforting me, caring for me, loving me sweetly and gently.  He opened my eyes to the abundant life He has given me and I thanked Him.

When I’m stressed out I start to accuse God of not caring enough to make my problems magically vanish away.  This is the worst way to deal with problems because the Bible says that everything that happens to a Christian, good or bad, is a planned and purposeful journey for the GOOD of that particular person.   If I accuse God, it is treachery to the Very One Who cares for me most of all.

The belief that my faith will give me a perfectly smooth life free from trouble will only cause anxiety in my soul when the stresses of life started pulling me down, down, down.

Truly, life is hard, and there are terribly sad times in life, but the thing about faith in Christ is that He makes the hard parts supernaturally more bearable, because His grace is sufficient and His power is incredible.  Jesus is made great and His name is glorified in my weaknesses.  For a believer, the peace and comfort that comes from this faith is amazing and comforting.  I can let go of the things I cannot control and trust God.

It’s not easy because I am not perfect and there are times of tempting when Satan wants me to doubt my Savior and give up on this beautiful life that seems so pointless at the time.  But I have to correct my negative thinking to truth.  A good question to ask yourself when you’re thinking a negative thought is:  “What is the truth?”  And answer that question honestly with the Word of God.

Never blame God for things.  Thank Him for his care in your life because without Jesus we would be much much worse off.  We would be on the path to certain destruction.

One of the downfalls of an affluent society is that we become spoiled and proud without even realizing it.  We lose our feeling of need.  My greatest need was for my sin to be washed away, and that was dealt with by the grace of God many years ago.  But, personally, I am thankful as I continue to wrestle with my greatest struggles of stress and anxiety, and depression ONLY because it gives me a reason to fall on my face before Christ, ready and waiting for his arms around me to become reality in my soul again.  He always tenderly cares for his precious children but how can we realize and thank Him unless we have an idea of our utter dependence?

The Bible says that Jesus said these words to His disciples:  “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29

I love this Scripture because so often we think we need a complex Bible Study, or theological studies that go beyond the simplicity of simply studying Christ Himself.  (the study of Christ is the most profound of all.)  I believe we should always start everything with a deep and appreciative look at Jesus, our Savior, our Everything.

Over the last few days, I’ve been reading an old favorite book that does an amazing job at explaining the expressions of love that Christ extends to His followers.

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by Phillip Keller  (highly recommended)

“We live a most uncertain life.  Any hour can bring disaster, danger and distress from unknown quarters.  Life is full of hazards.  No one can tell what a day will produce in new trouble.  We live either in a sense of anxiety, fear and foreboding, or in a sense of quiet rest.  Which is it?

“Generally it is the ‘unknown,’ the ‘unexpected,’ that produces the greatest panic.  It is in the grip of fear that most of us are unable to cope with the cruel circumstances and harsh complexities of life.  We feel they are foes which endanger our tranquility.  Often our first impulse is simply to get up and run from them.

“Then in the midst of our misfortunes there suddenly comes the awareness that He, the Christ, the Good Shepherd is there.  It makes all the difference.  His presence in the picture throws a different light on the whole scene.  Suddenly things are not half so black or nearly so terrifying.  The outlook changes and there is hope.  I find myself delivered from fear.  Rest returns and I can relax.

“This has come to me again and again as I grow older.  It is the knowledge that my Master, my Friend, my Owner has things under control even when they may appear calamitous.  This gives me great consolation, repose, and rest.  ‘Now I lay me down to sleep, for Thou God keepest me.’

“It is the special office work of God’s gracious Spirit to convey this sense of Christ to our fearful hearts.  He comes quietly to reassure us that Christ Himself is aware of our dilemma and deeply involved in it with us.  And it is in fact in this assurance that we rest and relax.”

*****

I titled this post “sweetest name I know” because even saying the very name “Jesus” is a sweet prayer of need to a believer.  Jesus tenderly cares for His much-loved children.  He has blessing and comfort for us, hands that reach out, no harshness, no judging, only pure and perfect love is in His eyes.  His disciples leaned against his breast, and that is what we may do as well.

“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.”

What a picture of closeness, and security!

Sometimes, to get a sense of the love Jesus has for me, I imagine the person I feel safest with next to me in the room.  Who do I feel the most love and comfort from?  My husband comes to my mind, my parents, trusted friends and family members who have always accepted me no matter what, who would hold and carry me through difficulties, laugh, cry, talk, care about me, ….I think of these people and then realize that Jesus loves me just as they do, but EVEN MORE, FAR MORE than we could even imagine.

There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low:
Fear not, I am with thee, peace be still,
in all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

Luther Bridgers (1884-1948)

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thoughts upon the last day of school

My school children had their last day of it, yesterday.  I had a light hearted feeling in the morning, looking forward to their return, knowing how happy they were to finish up a good year.  Four of them came home on the buses, but I had drive to get Grace, who had to stay after for music.  On the way up to the school I saw the sign that wished the elementary principal good luck on his retirement and I got to thinking…….

I liked that principal.  He was thoughtful and didn’t rush through programs, he was efficient but took the time to care.   I didn’t want him to leave.

Sometimes all of a sudden, the constant moving and shifting of life HURTS.

Caleb sat me down and showed me everything in his backpack from the school year and I was sad because I liked his teacher and now third grade is over.

David’s teacher gave him an old lego set from the classroom and I was sad because he figured David out and saw his gifts, he was another great teacher and now for Dave, elementary school is behind him and middle school is coming in a few short months.

By the time Rich got home from work, I was sitting cross legged on the porch with Jacob and we were listening to melancholy songs and playing war.  He came over to talk to us and noticed I was trying not to let the tears spill over…….(Jacob immediately changed the music to the NFL theme song to make me laugh) and I did— through the tears, as I listed off all the things making me gloomy.  “Women crying make men feel awkward.”  Jacob remarked 10 minutes later when I told him that I noticed his Dad got inside as soon as he could and probably wouldn’t come back out.

I feel like the roller coaster of living is taking me to the tippy top and is about to speed-race me back down to the bottom.

This summer vacation will get me slowly to the crest and then — THE DROP.

At this point I’m crying because, like a child who has second thoughts at Six Flags, I don’t want to go down so fast and scary.

Graduation for the seniors was last night.  Rich had to take Grace up and drop her off to sing and usher.  “That place is packed, Shan, cars all over the place.”

I was thinking, “Next year we will be there, because Jacob will be graduating.”

Yes, Jacob will be a Senior, then the next year Ethan will be a Senior, then the very next year Grace will be a Senior.

And my two last babies:: Seth will be entering Kindergarten in the fall, and the very next year Sarah Joy will go, too.

So you can see, with all these changes at the door how this mama heart hurts a little.

It’s a possibility and I hope this is what happens:

When I do get to the top, maybe I’ll throw my hands up in the air and enjoy the excitement of the ride.

Calm my Anxious Heart (notes from chapters 2 and 3)

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Two women looked
through prison bars
One saw mud,
the other saw stars.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.  Philippians 4:6 TLB

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Learning to be content is a heart choice-a choice to pray rather than be anxious.

When confronted with negative circumstances we have a choice:  will we pray about the problem or will we worry about it?

Ultimately, contentment is more a shift in attitude than a change in circumstances.

“Lord, don’t let my pain be wasted.  Use it to conform me to your image.  Use it to teach me about how to be content.”

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Too often in our lives, accomplishment and doing overshadow growth and becoming.

Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.  1 Peter 3:3-4

On her tongue is the law of kindness.  Proverbs 31

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*Taken from the book:  Calm My Anxious Heart, A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow.

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About the pictures:  Before Christmas, I was walking outside and decided to cut a bouquet of winterberry branches for the kitchen windowsill.  The branches were covered in bright red berries, and a favorite way of mine to bring nature into the winter house to decorate.   There they sat, and sat, and sat upon the window, for over a month.  After a time, the water turned moldy, every time I bumped into it a shriveled berry fell, and there were little wisps of cobwebs growing, too.  I distinctly remember thinking, “It’s about time I take that jar out to the porch and dump it over the railing.”  But, of course it didn’t happen.  Last week, on a particular bluesy-blue day,  I was standing at the sink drying tears off my face and getting a glass of water.   With a startle, I noticed that the dead and shriveled branches had a surprise in store for me.  They were growing, with tiny, gloriously green leaves popping out, almost like magic.  I almost didn’t believe my eyes.  It wasn’t magic though, it was God showing me truth through his creation:  He makes things new.  He makes things grow.

He makes beautiful things, out of dust.

contentment and bean bags

Hello, lovelies.  I am sitting cross legged on the couch looking into a brand new laptop screen with fingers tip tapping across fresh, clean keys.  The children are at school, Seth and Sarah are napping, the dryer is humming, the roof is dripping.  It’s up 20 degrees from yesterday and feels positively warm at 39, the snow was slushy and wet under my feet when I went to the coop earlier.  Seth and Sarah went outside for about 20 minutes and managed to build and destroy three little snow men.  The dog ran off with the carrots.  Laughter, cold hands, hungry tummies, sandwiches, naps.

What am I thinking about?  In a word, contentment.  My dear friend Kara shared with me a book to read and I am only a few pages in but already refreshed by good, wholesome truths.

“…..I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:11

Wow, wait a minute, contentment can be learned.  This fills me with hope, and a strong desire to learn, learn, learn!  As Christians, God can and will infuse us with the strength we need to face each moment of every day and will teach us everything we need to know.  Isn’t it encouraging that we got this far?  I’m done with “chasing happy”,  from now on I am going to “chase contentment”.

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”  2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT

I am excited about my new book and if you want to read along, too, it is by Linda Dillow and titled Calm My Anxious Heart:  A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment  (I am sure men would enjoy it, too).  🙂  I am reading it on my kindle with a pencil and notebook.

***

A poem I came across recently:

What God Hath Promised

God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives through;
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.

But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.

Annie Johnson Flint

****

A craft to do with the children

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Like homemade play dough, homemade bean bags are a quick and easy thing to do with the children and are all the better for being made by our own six (more or less) hands.  Seth and Sarah had a fun time choosing their own fabric from my bin of scraps, and I even let Seth press the sewing machine “foot” (scary) to sew his own.

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We kept making them until the beans ran out.

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Sethers was still in his cozy pajamas.  I love those darling bare feet.

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We ended up with six colorful little bean bags to throw around.

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This one was my favorite, as you can see I got fancy with the stitching on this one, too.  Mushrooms!

Sarah’s favorites were the baby blue/pink rose ones.  She told me she didn’t like the mushroom one.

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Watch out!  They are about to let them fly.

grace and praise

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I wonder, this morning, if anxiety is in the air I breathe.  Does it enter into my lungs from the air and spread to my heart, mind, and soul like an unwanted illness?  Last night in bed, as the tears silently rolled down my face in the dark, I started to pray, “Lord, WHY did you make me this way?!?”

and His words:

“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God:  ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LIKE THIS?'”  Romans 9:20

And I breathe again.

I think of the song we sang in church on Sunday about breathing in His grace.

Breathing in His grace and breathing OUT His praise.

I thank Him.  I thank Him for making me the way He did.

I have the fatness of a beautiful life all around me, a spacious home, perfectly wonderful children, a devoted husband, Jesus in my heart, so what’s a little anxiety thrown into the mix?

Truly, It keeps me humble, weak, and leaning on the Lord’s strength.

“Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And he has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

At small moments, I even find myself accepting the fact that in my life I will most certainly struggle, at times, with the burden of anxiety, and it is okay and I can rest in Christ.  I do what I can do for myself and leave the rest to my loving Father.

What I do:   Helps for the Anxious One

I go about my days the way they are supposed to be run, even though on the inside I want to curl up in bed.  This means the laundry gets done and the meals get made.  Cookies, even!

I read books to the children.  Reading out loud shuts up the negative voice in my head.

I take a very low-dose anti depressant (doctor’s orders), vitamins, and drink plenty of water.

Listen to music.  Dance.  Sing.  Whistle.

Read Scriptures, read my favorite books.

Enjoy my husband and children.

(breathing in His grace, and out His praise.)

I share my inner struggles at appropriate times ONLY.  This means I will “act okay” to the majority of people around me and I give myself permission to do this; yes, and be “less than genuine”.  (I hate insincerity but have come to understand that it would do more harm than good to overshare in very personal issues.)

Remind myself that it will pass, as it surely will, I know from experience.

 

A confession:  I use this blog as an outlet for my inner being.  I’ve been blogging for years now and have found that after a good soul-cleansing post like this I actually feel lighter and freer.  The burden is lifted for a time, as I allow myself to share here.  Also, walking around with my camera is therapeutic, as it focuses my eyes on the good things around me.  I love photography for this reason.  And I love to share my pictures here.

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All spring and summer long, we have had workers here, building a room onto our house.  The new addition is a dining room/office/fireplace and pantry.  Now that it is almost completed, I have been hunting for a few pieces of furniture, rugs, and curtains.  This weekend Rich and I found this perfect cupboard at a shop downtown.  I LOVE IT, because it’s country primitive.

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But little Sarah loves it because…….she can get away from her crazy family!

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She takes her pillow, blankie, and a kitty and gets right in.  Unfortunately she can’t shut the door herself so we are constantly answering her request to shut the cupboard.

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snapshots from around the house….Seth and his toys….

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…Caleb and his current favorite book.  He has read both Powerless and Super over the last week.  Both books were written by Matthew Cody.  Caleb is now currently reading Powerless out loud to me, which touches my heart because it was all his idea.

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This is an iphone picture of the pan of brownies I made on Friday.  On a whim, I used the leftover decorator frosting from Dave’s birthday and wrote Ethan’s name on top.  He was honored with the privilege of taking the first piece.  Rich and I thought it was too cute that he took the “E”.

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(iphone picture)  Seth was sick all day on Saturday with a high fever and stomach upset.  Rich took the time to take a nap with the sickie…the toes are what made me grab the camera.  Just too precious.

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Grace spent Sunday afternoon at Erinn’s house.  I took this picture at about 9pm, when she was brought back home.  Such pretty girls.

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I wrote on my hand and then Seth asked me to write on his.

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Books we have been reading every day.

 

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It was a gloomy weekend and a lot of the leaves have fallen down.  The weather definitely contributed to my own gloomy feelings.

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(iphone pic)  Rich and I had the joy of taking all the kids out to dinner last night.  When I’m feeling blue I never want to be away from the children, so when Rich offered to take me out I begged him to take us all.  It was a great time.   I even sat on the other side of the table next to big kids and let Rich care for the littles (picking up dropped crayons, etc).

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It has taken me hours to write this, as I keep going off to take care of things, answer phone calls, give baths, etc…..it has been a pleasure to sneak away now and then to work on blogging.  Have a wonderful day, my friends!

 

“The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it”  1 Thessalonians 5:24

“Your own completeness is only realized in Him.”  Colossians 2:10