Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
There are still a few areas that I have not been able to fully deal with head on yet. I am diligently working towards that. I say "fully deal with" because I have dealt with these issues to some degree but to another degree I have not. Part of this means facing a certain person. Not necessarily having a confrontation or finger pointing session but just simply facing this person. My concern is that there will be a day when I have to face this person. It will be at my daughters wedding. A day I am looking forward to and a day I want to truly enjoy with her. This will be her day. A day everyone will put aside everything from the past to see the future in Lauren and Stephen's life together.
Part of my "stress" in realizing the reality of seeing this person face to face after many years, is all that I have been through since our last conversation three and half years ago. I am not the same woman I was then. I am also not willing to follow in certain patterns or paths that we once did before for many years. I have worked very hard to get where I am emotionally and mentally. My faith is strong, stronger than its ever been and I trust in Gods timing and purpose. Without my faith I would be lost and hopeless.
Its interesting to me that I can talk a strong talk and mean it with all my heart and have control of my thoughts and emotions during the day, but then night time comes, and my subconscious mind almost taunts me and I have awoken this past weekend one night with a panic attack and last night with a very vivid and frightening dream. In God's perfect timing of this weekend I had a doctor appointment already set for today. After talking things over with my doctor she helped me see that my subconscious (brain) and my body (via the panic attack) where letting me know that yes, you are still dealing with certain issues, and my brain and body are doing what I need them to do in helping me reprocess (not erase but reprocess) memories, situations, and feelings from the past. She told me this is a good thing. You, see the trigger was that this person is here in town visiting and although I wont see this person at all its the fact of knowing this person is here that triggered my subconscious.
Knowing that my brain, body and heart are all working together to keep me on the path of healing and wholeness gives me such relief. Once again it shows me Gods hand is on me and His timing is perfect. I am trying to live out my quote...One day at a time. One moment at a time. There is hope!
I wanted to share this blog because I know there are many others who struggle with similar situations and I was almost feeling discouraged by my recent panic attack and dream. I felt like I must be going backwards but my doctor assured me that I am not. Its part of the healing process. Part of moving forward is sometimes having to look back, acknowledging and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Never give up hope! I also chose this photo of two friends walking forward together...because we are never alone!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OsyiGgSlqY (I am technology challenged but here is a link of one of my favorite songs and a great reminder to me this day)
Friday, October 23, 2009
I unfortunately missed the first night but as I excitedly came the following week, I realized this study was not exactly what I thought it was. It is in deed about being a woman of moderation but it has a main focus on food. The author, from a very young age, has apparently struggled with food and weight. Her mother forced her to go to a "fat camp" as a teenager and she was only ten pounds over weight. While at the camp she was considered an outcast because she didn't fit in with all of the other girls who were well over a ten pound weight gain. She was miserable and felt ashamed that she let her mother down by being "overweight" so when she came home, she claims she promptly put the ten pounds she had lost back on, plus an additional five! That chapter gave me a bigger glimpse into the authors heart and I began to understand a little more of why she (in my opinion) was so over the top with this book.
In spite of my opinion, the author does have a lot of good points and information, like how easy it is to become consumed with food. Some of us eat out of stress or loneliness, some overeat out of fear or depression. Some of us over eat because that is simply how we were raised, "finish your plate", "here have some more", or fond childhood memories with a family member who indulged us with food treats. Some of us overeat because we just like to eat and it tastes good.
I am determined to find a balance in my own life from this study. My hearts desire is to be a woman of moderation in all areas of my life. From food, to attitude, to TV, music, reading material, computer time, exercise (well, I need to start this first to find my balance of moderation), time spent away from my family, time spent with my family, church commitments, friendships, keeping up with the house and yard, the list can go on and on, but the point is really the same whether it is food or anything else if its not done in moderation, it is not helpful or benefical.
The definition according to Dictionary.com for moderation is
1. The quality of being moderate, restraint, avoidance of extremes or excess.
2. Being within reasonable limits, not excessive or extreme.
My prayer is to honestly examine all areas of my life and make sure I am within a limit or boundary of moderation. I know certain areas will be more challenging than others. Please feel free to share any tips or insight into your own life with areas of struggle or success in being a woman or man of moderation.
*Always remember its about striving for each day and when we fail, we can by Gods grace and mercy get back up and try again!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Over the past several years I have been able to face certain fears and look back into my past and deal with them head on. It has not been easy and at times I did not want to push forward but I am glad, as I look back now, that I did.
As I began to open my eyes to the fears I had I saw patterns in my life. Which led me to question myself and wonder why I made certain choices and decisions in my life. Why did I marry a man who I knew had abusive tendency's and why did I choose to stay. Why did I allow my fear of what others would think or feel dictate things I did or did not do. Why did I feel so helpless to change my circumstances through out my life. Why did I assume so much of other peoples responsibilities. Why did I let fear have so much power over me.
As I began to unravel the tangled ball of fear in my life I started to see some of the answers to my questions. It took a lot of years for my fears to develop and they have not gone away quickly. Slow and steady, one by one, I am facing them. I am still facing some of them to this day. It's a work in progress. I have more hope today than I have ever had in my entire lifetime. I live my life trying to find the balance of wise fear and unhealthy fear. Sometimes that is a challenge but I know that I am not alone.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit Romans 15:13
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
As I have shared openly on this blog, I have post traumatic stress disorder and panic/anxiety. Because I have these issues I have to be very careful of news, stories, or such that will cause a trigger. I know stories that have to do with abuse especially to women and children trigger me. I will confess though, they are sometimes a magnet. I am drawn to them because I need to hope there is going to be a good outcome. Usually there is not and then I find myself thinking of their situation and my mind fills with thoughts, fears, and anxiety about my own children or me. I try to use those thoughts as prayer pointers. Once they pop in my head instead of dwelling on the situation I pray for that person or their family and force myself to move on from there.
I can clearly remember hearing the news reports about Jaycee's kidnapping eighteen years ago. My heart raced with fear for her. I prayed for months on end for her and her family. My daughter was was two and a half years old at the time of the news, she is now almost twenty one. My heart cries out for Jaycee's mom who has missed her daughter for all these long hard years. My heart cries out for Jaycee for all she has endured. She IS a survivor. She and her daughters will have a long road of recovery.
I know over the past eighteen years her story has "popped in my head" from time to time and each time I would find myself filling with fear and then I would remind myself pray, pray for her and her family and then let it go, otherwise I would truly find myself wanting to live in a bubble with my children. The world at times can be so evil and I will never comprehend what gives another person the idea that it is ok to bring harm, torture or violence to another person. I know we live in a fallen world and there is truly nothing new under the sun- the things going on today are the same things as went on in Bibical times, the only difference is the world now is filled with a lot more people.
There are numerous other families and situations that have come in and out of my mind over the years and with each time I pray and try my best to have hope for their families. Because of my PTSD and panic/anxiety it would be so easy for me to get swallowed up in fear but I know God is bigger. I have to remind myself to let my mind dwell on whatever is pure, lovely, of good repute. I must cling to my faith in those times and pray without ceasing.
If you are anything like me, I encourage you to use your fears and anxiety for "good" and not allow them to control you. As soon as you feel your mind start to wander in the "fear department", pray for whoever or whatever that situation is, journal your thoughts, talk to your spouse or a friend, read your Bible or write out scriptures that will encourage you. While we can not let fear control us, we still must be wise in our choices, and we must pray for those who cross our path whether it is physically, through the media, through an email, or through a prayer request.
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
As I sat on the front room couch with a blanket over me, I was watching the 10:00 news. I realized I was more tired than I thought I was. I normally watch the local news and flip through various channels until I feel tired enough for sleep. I suddenly felt more than ready for bed. I turned off the TV and went to my bedroom. I got into my bed, next to my sleeping husband, I laid my head on my pillow; I could feel myself ready for sleep. I woke up a few hours later, at 12:30 a.m., I was feeling very nauseous and disoriented. I felt I was suddenly coming down with the flu. I got up and went to the bathroom. As I stood up, my heart started racing wildly. I felt even more nauseous. I felt very afraid. My body was sweaty and clammy. My head was spinning. My chest was hurting. I slowly made it back to the bed after I realized I was not going to get sick. I thought maybe that I just needed to lie down. I felt relief for only a brief moment. Then all of the sudden waves of nausea hit me, as I have never felt before. I felt a strong heat wave go through my body from my head to my toes. I felt my heart beating so fast that I thought it might beat out of my chest! I felt as if I could barely breathe. I was frantically trying to fill my lungs with air. I was very afraid. I felt like I was dying.
In February 2007, I was diagnosed with Anxiety, Panic, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At first, I fought this diagnosis. I thought PTSD was only for people who served during wartime or who had some sort of major disaster happen in their life. I also did not believe that I had a panic attack. After my first attack, as I lay in the emergency room, I knew this was MUCH more serious than simply being anxious or worried. On that hospital bed, I knew there was something seriously wrong. I knew I was dying.
From all I have learned over the past few years this diagnosis is much more intricate and PTSD, panic and anxiety can go hand in hand. I realize now my diagnosis was correct. With God’s strength, a supportive loving husband and children, as well as two amazing doctors, I am now on a path learning how to control and deal with my panic and anxiety. I am learning trigger points and how to use “the tools in my basket” to help me when situations come up that trigger my anxious response. I am on a journey! For me I know this will be a life-long journey. I know there are many others who are also on a similar journey. Recognizing this fact has also helped me. It is important that we know we are not alone. Our symptoms, triggers, and story may differ, but the underlining issue is the same.
I have felt like my life experiences have been a series of puzzle pieces. I did not know what the final puzzle would look like, but I knew that I needed to put the pieces together to bring order to my life. The goal of this book is to honestly examine each piece as an individual and with God’s help, put them together.
This is not a book complaining about my childhood, or being a victim. This book is not meant to tell every aspect of my life. The events, situations and experiences I tell about are what I feel propelled me into PTSD, panic and anxiety. It was not one event for me; it was a lifetime of events, circumstances and people. As I look back I can see each of these situations and experiences as threads in my life, threads that are not necessarily strong on their own but woven together they created a cord that hung firmly from my neck. The threads, scarlet in color, signify the guilt and shame I felt over different situation and events in my life.
Some things that I mention are to show the patterns I was in that propelled me towards PTSD. I take full responsibility for the things I chose to do and for the relationships, I chose to pursue and stay in. While I do not blame anyone or anything, you will see I was primed for relationships and situations that would plunge me into PTSD, panic and anxiety. You will see certain patterns emerge very early on for me. Perhaps you will be able to recognize patterns and situations in your life and make corrections earlier than I was able to. My heart’s desire is to help someone who needs to hear my story.
As I began this journey of writing I was not sure why or exactly what would come of it. I just knew that I needed to do it. It was very evident to me, as I got closer to the end that God was showing me clearly He was there from the very beginning to the present time. The picture of this is all of the scriptures woven through each chapter. It was as if God was walking through this with me and very lovingly and gently proving Himself to me repeatedly.
I have also added a section called What I Know Now at the end of each chapter. The concept behind this is give you some perspective into what I have learned since then, or a spiritual truth that helped me along the way as I was searching for hope. There is always hope...
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”.
3. Peppermint! My symptoms always start in my stomach with nausea. Peppermint is amazing!
4. Ginger tea… I keep ginger tea bags on hand at all times. I breathe in the smell of the tea and slowly sip it, feeling the sensation of the warm tea going down my throat-trying to focus on this sensation rather than my anxiety.
Monday, August 3, 2009
From the very first moment that my son showed signs of illness we began to pray. We have covered him in prayer and have reached out to many family, friends and even strangers to also join us in prayer. At first we just wanted to understand what he had and for him to get well. Then as the weeks progressed my anxiety starting getting the best of me and I was worrying that he wouldn't be able to make a trip that was planned for him and and my husband to go to California for a family wedding. They were also going to catch a Giants game while they were there. That is their favorite team and Doug scored GREAT seats. I was looking forward to the quite time at home to focus on my final edits of the book, as I added a new section to each chapter called, What I Know Now. I was also looking forward to spending some quality time with Lauren. As the day for the trip creeped closer and closer, I knew in my heart he would not be ready. The other factor besides the trip is that he starts school August 10th. It is far more important that he is ready for school. As we continued to seek doctors and pray, others prayed with us and a friend even fasted and prayed for Garic. We asked God to please make it clear...should he go on the trip and also PLEASE LORD HEAL HIS BODY. Obviously we wanted him well enough for the trip and school. Garic kept saying I KNOW I will be well enough for the trip. I have faith.
Over the years as I have grown as a Christan (I am certainly not done yet), I have learned to pray for my needs, wants, etc but I also say, "Lord, your will be done". That means here is the answers I am looking for,but if that is not your will, then I put my will aside, and embrace whatever it is you, Lord, have for me at this time. This is so easy to say but when you actually have to put it into practice that is another story. It is also a hard lesson for a 10 (almost 11) year old boy to learn.
I think its so easy to forget who God really is. He is not a magician, nor a jolly old (fat) man, nor is He our own personal genie, that we can make requests and poof we have it. On the other side we are not puppets or robots. How do you reconcile a prayer request knowing God loves you, wants the best for you, has plans to prosper you and not harm you, but you think you know the right way or right answer, so that is what you are praying for (as well as saying, "your will be done") but then it turns out as you pray and ask God to make it clear (God is not a God of confusion), that when you receive the answer it is different than what you wanted. Does this mean God is mean. Does this mean God didn't quite hear you. Does it mean that you were not good enough. Does this mean God is busy with bigger and more meaningful requests. The answer to all of these (and possibly other questions in your mind) is...are you ready?...NO Just as I told my son, yes God heard you, yes God loves you, you (no one) can ever be good enough (we are saved by grace NOT works), God is not mean, but He is just. God is so incredible and more than any human being can fathom. He can multi task thousands upon thousands of things at one time, so the thought that He could ever be to busy is unrealistic. That is why God IS God and we are not.
I know God heard our prayers. I also know He IS healing Garic. I confess, its a slower process than I like or wanted BUT ultimately I am praying for Gods will to be done. My faith is still growing but it is strong enough to say, ok Lord, I surrender now that its clear as crystal that my son is not to go on this trip, but please Lord, let him be well enough for school. My faith has to be just as unwavering if August 10th rolls around and Garic is still dealing with nausea and intestinal issues. I will cry. I will be sad. I may even be mad. And that is ok. We are not expected to be robots and suppress our emotions. The Bible clearly says don't sin in your anger. Anger in itself is not a sin, its what you choose to do with it. I wont sin in my anger but I will still question WHY? and I may never know why, but that is where my faith MUST come in.
We are still praying that God will heal Garic and he will be more than ready for school on August 10th. If he is not then we will be continue to pray, seek medical help and trust that Gods will is being done for His purposes. He loves Garic more than we do. He knows what Garic needs.
I encourage you if you have been disappointed, mad or sad at a prayer request that was not answered the way you wanted, remember we are not God, we may never understand why, but God is sovereign and good. Our faith should not be simply because we get what we want.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The title of my blog is taken from a song by Taylor Swift. I have recently started bike riding (after looking at my bike in the garage for eight years!) and I knew if I was going to ride for more than five minutes I would need to listen to something. I found my husbands CD player, ear buds and I picked up the Taylor Swift CD. For a few moments as I was pedaling my bike through the neighborhood, I allowed myself the freedom to feel young again. I felt good. I was smiling and even found myself enjoying the challenge of the (slight) uphill inclines as I pushed my legs harder and harder and my breathing became more labored, Taylor continued to sing and this seemed to give me the boost I needed. A few times I found myself wanting to sing out loud as I pedaled on and on. For anyone who knows me that is very unusual. I don't sing. I especially don't enjoy singing out loud for other people to hear me.
Its never to late. Today is a new day. One day at a time. One moment at a time. There is hope.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Some of the things I have realized about her are that the three men in her life who she was married to-they all loved her deeply. They all three fell hard for her. They thought she was beautiful. I also think they all wanted to make her world better. She came from a very hard background and her family life was very sad. All three relationships had lots of drama but they each have kept parts of her i.e photos and memories of the good times. They all have said at different times that she was a hard worker, not afraid to do what needed to be done. She was a good cook. She was clean and neat and orderly. She loved to laugh. She was beautiful. She loved to be around people. She loved to have a good time. She could be kind and generous. There are other things as well, she was very jealous and always suspicious. She accused each of them of infidelity. According to two she cheated on them while she accused them of cheating on her. Drinking and arguments seemed to be very prevalent in each relationship. The end of all three relationships were filled with anger, accusations, deceit, and a lot of sadness.