I want to begin this month of November by recording what makes me glad. I have so much and for that I am truly thankful! This morning I am so thankful for the extra hour of sleep I got with the time change. And since we all got more sleep we were able to make it to Sunday school class before church. There was a guest speaker today who came from Iraq as a persecuted Christian. Her message was educational and inspiring. I am thankful that we live in a place where I can freely proclaim Christ as the Savior.
This image is from Illustrated Faith #gratitudedocumented
We went camping in a tent over the weekend. The weather was lovely, and we were able to keep the screen top open to see the stars through the leaves of the trees we were under. We spent a wonderful few days with friends and our kids. I reminded myself to take breaks from the crowd of people (there was a large gathering of friends camping or out for the day), to be present and to enjoy every moment. When not playing with kids or visiting with friends, I read, journaled and took some photographs. This verse seems to fit for me in this season of life.
I have been reading a book on my Kindle called The Proverbs 31 Project. In the first few chapters, it challenges readers to make a list of ten self compliments every day for 31 days. I am currently on day 27. It has been a difficult journey, finding 310 things I love about my personality, my body or my achievements. While I am glad I am almost finished, it has been a positive experience. I have learned to love the me God created; embracing my quirks, stretch marks, freckles and curves. I have found that I am not beating myself down everyday with negative self talk, and allowing myself to enjoy eating foods I crave without feeling guilty (which led to over eating). I am discovering things about myself that make me a beautiful creation who is dearly loved by the Creator.
I signed up to participate in a 21 day prayer challenge for my marriage. Click here to join!
Sexual sin is a tricky thing. It seems to haunt and hang, dark and daunting. My past is riddled with many regrets and shame. The other day, after reading a few chapters in the book Pathway to Purpose for Women (by Katie Brazelton), I did some repenting. There have been many many times I have asked for forgiveness from God for my sins, but this time something clicked. Because I truly meant it, and really trust that the Lord loves me, I am finally able to forgive myself. I also asked for His help to keep me from falling back into my past. My counselor told me a few weeks ago that forgiveness has many layers; many steps to work through. I didn’t really understand what he meant, but I think now I am beginning to. I am peeling back layers from the past through today. And I must remember to ask the Lord for help every day.
And you know, this might be a little TMI, but I want to share His blessings. I made love to my husband yesterday and I had zero guilty feelings, thoughts or fantasies. I enjoyed it and thanked God for the gift of my husband, my sexuality and my body. I felt loved and I felt free.
Praise God for His merciful love!
I followed the trend I have seen recently and ordered myself a journaling bible. It came today from Amazon, and I finished my first page tonight while my husband worked an extra shift. I loved how this helped me meditate on the verse I was writing and decorating. It’s definitely something I would like to do everyday.
I have often found I am hugely anxious when it comes to car problems. We live in the country, where it is imperative to own a working car. We also have a large family and must drive a seven seater, at the least. Our mini-van has been having problems ever since the extended warranty expired (of course). We took it to the mechanic yesterday to find out that the needed repairs will cost more than the van is worth. A series of emotions welled up, but the most noticeable was doubting God’s love for me. I was worried about this need, and while trying to figure out a way to solve it, I was muttering little prayers under my breath, like “God, please help us make a good decision.” Or “Please bless us.”
While stress eating last night, I had this angry feeling rage against me that God hates me. We had just gotten our tax return and now we have to spend most of it on transportation. I would much rather spend it on the house, a mission trip or save it for college. My dear husband reminded me that God doesn’t hate me, or our family. He loves us and is teaching us to trust Him.
We decided to look for an inexpensive used car rather than pump more money into the clunker we drive. This morning, while I was sleeping, DH found a private seller online and contacted him about meeting this afternoon. We bought the used van in better condition for less than the repair cost of our old one. The family selling it are almost empty nesters with no need for an extra van. They wanted a quick sale for a cross country trip to move their son starting a new career. I am praying that the deal will be a blessing for both us and them. And that car troubles will no longer a cause for worry and anxiety, at least for a while.
Today, this is my mantra.
It creeps over me like a dark grey cloud and through the slight transparencies I can see hope on some days. On the very dark days, I am hope-less. I feel guilt for these feelings of being useless, sad and dull. I don’t really know why I feel this way, and it is so difficult to answer loved ones when they ask me why I am depressed. The only answer I can give is “I don’t know”.
I’m a visionary; a dreamer. I look often to the future and the positive changes that will come. The weakness of this strength is that sometimes I don’t take the time to live in this moment. I have so many hopes, dreams, goals and ambitions. They are all swimming chaotically inside my head. Many times I feel overwhelmed with all that I would like to do, but I don’t find the time to start something. Daily life and distractions get in the way, but more often the dark cloud called Depression will haunt me and swallow my dreams with discouragement.
The cloud has been darkening over my days for a few years now. It has slowly, over the last ten years, become dense and thick and I can barely see through it. I live my days with regret, worthless feelings and intense anger. It’s effected every aspect of my life; my family, friends, work and hobbies.
There is however, hope to come.
I thank God for the gifts He has given me. The many things I want for my future can be reached. Hope through Him is far stronger than the dark cloud of Depression. While it feels like breaking through the low laying layers of grey is going to take months of work; the glimmer of light on the distant mountain is worth the climb.
2 Chronicles 20:6 “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.”
I have tried and failed many times at controlling my world. The more I tried to gain control the more it spun out of my hands. I need to resign as ruler and admit my powerlessness over everything. I am constantly forgetting who is in control and mistakenly try to be. Oh, I could give you so many of examples of how often I am spinning.
With five children at home, no matter how organized I am, each morning is crazy. There is always someone who has misplaced something, something breaking, arguments, paperwork, messiness and chaos. By the time the last bus pulls away from the front of the house, I am left feeling dizzy!
I need to remember to give it all to God, and trust that only He can renew me. If I leave it up to myself, I end up going in the wrong direction almost every time.