A Knowing.

There is an element of connecting to one’s self that is a tell-tell sign if we have arrived. As a mother it is so easy to loose yourself, in your kids, in your home, in your husband or in your work. Taking care of other people becomes so closely intertwined with your identity that you can barely separate the two, or maybe you can’t. Maybe its what you always wanted and there is so much joy given there that you wouldn’t want to separate them, the idea of having to be more than that is terrifying. Or.. maybe.. like me.. you never saw yourself as a mom. It wasn’t really on your radar, then BAM! I was swept up into motherhood and even hearing that it wasn’t all I was meant to be, I couldn’t see that I had completely given myself over to it. It was easier than admitting there was more in me, or that there could be more. Its a hard line to walk. Motherhood is the highest honor, if you recognize it as so. What could possibly compete. What could possibly be prioritized beside or above motherhood? “I shouldn’t even try to find my passion, motherhood should be my passion” Guilt soon follows, if motherhood hasn’t been 100% fulfilling for you.

Seven years into motherhood I sat with myself, a hollow shell. This was the outcome for me, of trying to make motherhood all I needed. It wasn’t and I needed to see that it was ok to do more, to add to the role. Stephen looked at me and just saw sadness. I tried so hard to make motherhood all I needed and in the midst of it I had completely lost sight, not only of myself but of God. If I did venture, mentally to the space where I admitted there was a hole, I tried to fill it with what made sense to me. Make money, be an Interior Designer. I thought I was thinking outside of the box but that was the box. I never thought about doing something that didn’t make money and I never thought of doing anything that didn’t include I.D. I didn’t think about connecting to my soul and listening to it. But that is exactly what I needed to do.

As a Christian we are made aware of promptings. The Holy Spirit stepping in to our conscience to press on our hearts an action. Something we should do that could greatly impact someone else. There is another kind of prompting we desire. I like to call them urges. Urges are strong impulses or desires. They can be positive or negative. They can be buried in the flesh or embedded within our souls, our most authentic selves. The latter are the ones I want to talk about. The urges, wishes, needs, longings, yearnings, cravings deep within our souls. The largest most prominent would be our need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, our need to believe in God. Then they diminish in size all the way down to the need to use a pencil instead of a pen. Those tiny little urges are so important though. Let me explain.

Those urges, the tiny ones, the ones embedded in our truest most authentic selves are our connection to ourselves. When we loose our identity in other things, when we wake up and don’t know who we are, I bet its because we stopped listening to our urges somewhere along the way. For me I let fear in. Unimaginable fear. Fear of everything; embarrassment, being a fraud, not knowing my place, disappointment, etc. This fear was a lie that I let into my head, thinking it was reality. This fear kept my mind so occupied that I didn’t have any room or energy left for anything else. I forgot about the urges and soon couldn’t hear or recognize them at all. I couldn’t think for myself, this was an extreme loss of urges. You can go a long time not even noticing that you stopped asking yourself what you wanted, what you wished for, dreamed of, longed for, or simply something that would bring a smile to your face or satisfaction to your soul.

When you see sand, you want to walk through it or sift it through your fingers. When you see an old book you want to smell it. When you see silk you want to run your hands over it or bring it to your cheek. We have a tendency to use these urges to clean or fix but I want you to think of them as completely pointless other than the fact that they bring you a small sense of joy. When was the last time you chose to do something for the love of it rather than the fear of something else. Making a decision to avoid something is fueling fear not generating joy. Sharpen a pencil, dig in dirt with a stick, walk on grass barefoot, let the sun shine warm your face with your eyes closed. Missing these moments are the first signs of missing yourself yet on the flip side noticing these moments are the beginning of a deeper relationship with yourself.

After the urges, comes passions and dreams and drive and hustle and determination to stay true to yourself and never loose sight again. These urges are the tiniest first step to the marathon of life and they are at the gateway of the right path for you. They are your signal that you are on YOUR path not someone else’s. You might think I’m crazy and that they are not that important but I believe they are, so tragically important. Denying them is denying you. Staying blind to the fact that we are loosing ourselves to make others happy, there will be a day when nothing is left. That life is good for no one. Not one we would advise to a friend, a spouse or a child… so why would we be okay with it for ourselves.

The scariest, hardest thing might be to take a couple minutes, breath and ask yourself what YOU want to do, what YOU want to wear, what YOU want to eat, what YOU want to sing, what YOU want to believe about yourself. Once you are able to tap in to this connection, you will feel a knowing, a true understanding of who you are and where you are going. This is a rare and necessary knowing.

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Renew Review

Immediately after the retreat there was a flood of text messages, “How did it go???” I wanted so badly to say, “Perfect!” But there was something holding me back. We did not end on a lighthearted note, did we girls?? It was heavier than I anticipated but I knew I stayed with God the whole time so I have to, over and over, tell myself, it was what He wanted it to be. We strayed from my itinerary slightly but just enough to make me question myself and thats pretty much what I did all Sunday. It was a battle that I had opened myself up to willingly but naively. I thought I would feel differently at the end but instead I was carrying weight. That weight, I now understand was me picking up pieces, or trying to, for other women, to help carry their burden. I pray they felt lighter, as hard as it is, I am honored to be allowed close enough to help.

I didn’t think any of it went wrong. It WAS perfect but not my perfect. I am okay with that now and can think of only slight adjustments to make the next retreat even better. I am drained, sick even. It took everything out of me to get through the weekend. I sit here today, Monday, in my bathrobe at 10:21, exhausted. I have never felt that much resistance, like something was physically holding me back and taking my voice.

I mentioned earlier that I felt naive. I know this was Gods plan, if I had known all the hard that would come with all the good, I might have shied away from portions or maybe even the whole retreat. I might not have ever taken a step. So I am thankful for my inability to foresee the hardness. I am thankful for all the encouragement I received before the retreat, thinking back on all of it helps me realize that I was being completely obedient and there’s not many times in my life that I can say that.

I am proud of this retreat. I am proud of the women who bravely came and stayed and opened up and acknowledge their walls and their stones and the life they crave on the other side and I pray so hard that they feel encouraged enough to get through all the crap to the abundant life God has waiting for them. If you came, and you at any point feel discouraged, know this weekend was a seed planted and the fruit is coming. The triumph is yours through Gods promise and it is coming.

If you are thinking about coming to a retreat, this may not be the marketing tool you were looking for, huh? Our lives are riddled with pain, and hard things, and fear. You can’t go around it, you can’t avoid it, you have to go through it and then, all of the sudden gray becomes color, shadows become sources of light, and we are empowered to do something about it, to never let the WELL + PLENTY life go again.

The non-emotional side of the retreat: The food was amazing, I impressed myself, which is really hard to do. It was healthy but so tasty and you could eat as much as you wanted without feeling guilty, that is the WELL + PLENTY mentality towards food. It served its purpose well there. My house morphed into they most beautiful of retreat centers. It was warm and inviting, cozy and well laid out, not to brag on myself but on the home that GOD KNEW THIS IS WHAT IT WOULD BE USED FOR. He knew!! My mind is blown how perfect this house is for this use. The women loved being loved on and I was on cloud 9 to get to do that. I needed nothing in return. Yoga was relaxing and beautiful. So yes the retreat was perfect, and I believe everyone enjoyed their time. Ministry is hard, changing is hard, being an advocate for change is hard, but loving on people isn’t. I enjoyed all of it, I’m thankful for the hard parts, it makes me feel like something changed for the women, they are different now then when they came, there was a shift for each one and that is what I prayed for. I may never know the full impact but that is ok, it rests securely in God’s hands and that is the best place for it.

To the women who came: Thank you, thank you, thank you. You inspire me, to step out of my comfort zone and do something good, hard but good, I have the motivation I need to get to the second retreat and the third and so on. This path is not lined with rainbows and tulips but thats ok, I don’t want it to be. I would rather it be lined with the action of change.

Where’s Jesus

Below the clothes

Below the trends

Below the pressure

Below the seemingly perfect

Below the blame

Below the shame

Below the guilt

Below the skin

Below the mind

Below faking it

Below the heart

Below the knowledge

Below the avoidance

Below the striving

Below the running

Below the comparison

Behind the walls

In the hurting

In the waiting

In the asking

In the being

In the connecting

In the ability to be vulnerable

In the ability to be discovered

In the ability to be known

In the ability to be loved

In the ability to be saved

In the ability to feel joy regardless

To the place of knowing with and without feeling, “My God is good.”

The calling EVERYONE has on their life.

Yes, you should love everyone and yes, you should be Jesus to people who have no one else stepping into that role but something needs to come first. You loving you. Someone told me to love God with my past, present and future. “How?” was my response. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. I could see why it was a good idea but couldn’t wrap my head around it, even if I could say the words, how could I ever truly believe them.

December 18th, I was on my way to the store to get stuff for my kids Christmas parties. I was talking out loud, like I usually do, to keep my thoughts straight and focused. I began a mental, emotional, spiritual exercise that I knew was given to me by God. An exercise that I will relay for the rest of my life. Mind truly blown.

I’m going to walk you through it. But it may not mean to you what it meant to me, it my not be the process that clicks with you but it changed me. It changed the way I saw myself and God and others. It was a total game changer in my relationship with God.

You see, my relationship with God has been surface level my whole life. I had made the decision to live as a believer when I was young, to bet all my chips that He was real and that my life lived for Him was better than not. However, there was a wall. I sometimes would question His existence in my head, sometimes I would feel Him with my heart but the wall was right below that, about where my diaphragm is. Right before I reached my soul. I am a visual person so for me the visual helps. I would periodically bump into the wall and it either scared me and I’d run away or it would be so painful I wouldn’t have the strength to address it. But 2017 showed me I needed to, I had to get passed the wall. It felt like life or death. Life on this side of the wall was grey, gloomy and purposeless. I imagined life passed the wall to be vibrant, joyful, and fulfilling.

Each stone in the wall was made up of a past experience, little bits of self-loathing and self-doubt, God-doubt, relationships gone south, every time I felt inadequate or incapable. I began naming the stones that made up this wall, the wall between me and God but also between me and my soul, my true self, the self God was preparing me to become, the self He had always intended me to be. As I named them I could feel them weakening, shifting. Through counseling, through prayer, through struggle, through Instagram, through Facebook, through podcasts, through books, through the bible, through moments, through feelings, through promptings, through talks, through sharing, through this blog I slowly began pulling and tugging. Until I began to see a small light shining through.

So this is your first step, name your stones. Name your wall. Heres some of mine.

Failure, college, loosing virginity, demolished friendships, drinking, anger, Mother, not feeling good enough to be a wife or a mother, feeling like a fraud, not making my degree work, saying too much, not saying enough, saying the wrong things, comparing, laziness, hopelessness, daily pain and chronic migraines, believing all the lies, manipulation, playing games, questioning God, self-loathing, assuming negatively, hating my looks, hating my weight, being out of control.

I began to see God teaching me, guiding me, threading me. Because a lot of what happened in my life that I wasn’t happy about, I did to myself, I carried so much blame and guilt. There are a lot of these I didn’t name until this year, I couldn’t, I didn’t know how but God was good enough to show me, to guide me to the places where I could see, to put people in my path that wouldn’t judge including my husband.

 

 

 

 

Second step: I apologized to myself, forgave myself, and accepted all of me. This doesn’t mean it was my fault or I am accepting blame, I am doing this for healing and healing alone. Take if further by dividing yourself up into Mind, Body, Heart, Soul. Take on each part as you apologize to another part, ask for forgiveness, extend love to each part. The more detailed you are ie “My mind apologized to my heart for not protecting it, for rushing past and dominating.” the better. Dig. Break wide open. Bare your mind, body, heart and soul and see them for what they truly are… Beautiful parts of you that have endured so much and are trying to do their best.

Steph 3: Live from here. From the place of forgiveness and love not the place of blame and shame. Choose, remind yourself of this place and come back as often as you need to. Done openly and honestly it is powerful.

***If you do this exercise, let me know in the comments what if did for you.

Emotions

Is it a bad word to you? What baggage it comes with, right? When our emotions get the best of us, or we are overwhelmed with emotion, we rarely think, “Well, that was great!” We are embarrassed, we regret it. We think we are loosing our minds or going crazy. We try to shut them down. Why?

Our emotions show us what we love, hate, what we are passionate about. Our emotions can be a tool. Maybe the most important tool next to the bible. Let me explain.

I am learning that in order to truly feel, I have to be in touch with my emotions. However the switch is heavy and not easily moved from on to off and back again. They are either going or not. If I can give them space though, to do what they do best, connect me with my authentic self, then maybe they wouldn’t be spewing out of me in the least convenient times. But really, who cares if they do?!

Also I read the most intimate quote the other day, it changed my perspective on emotions. It made me want to feel, want to cry tears of joy and sadness equally. It made me want to share and share some more, to really connect. To let my emotions out, to be seen in all their glory.

What? Emotions have glory? Well, yes, once you read the quote you will understand.

“But what if emotion, or something similar that is even deeper, wilder, and more real, is an essential element of who God is? What if emotion, as we understand it, is a reflection of what God experiences in his heart.” Curt Thompson, Anatomy of the Soul

He goes on to add that ours is a less intense version… Sometimes my emotions are so intense I think I might burst, but what we are feeling is barely scratching the surface of Gods experiences. So, do you see? Our emotions are a connection, it connects us to our souls, our true selves and that is the dwelling place of Christ, His home. But also, they are a glimpse into what God feels as He experiences us.

If we are made in His image then why would we ever think God doesn’t have emotions?

Now, there is a fine line between feelings and emotions. It is said they are the two sides of the same coin. Connected but very different. They even happen in two different parts of the brain. Emotions effect your physical state, they create behavior that keeps you out of danger and helps you survive. Feelings are reactions to emotions which because they are effected by our past experiences and situations can be false or irrational guesses on reality. Just like our actions, our feelings can come from a sinful place, so our decisions and choices should be based on God, our knowledge of him and his character. Our emotions however, can be a part of that relationship with God, it should be an emotional relationship. It is for Him.

So connect, don’t be afraid of the journey inward. I haven’t arrived yet and I’m not sure I have will fully but its already blown my mind a couple times.

Something to unlearn…

There is a common thread in a lot of type images and quotes on mugs, social media, teeshirts, etc. The concept of “do what you love”. Don’t stay stuck in a job you hate, quit, and follow your dreams.

I hate this concept. Yup “HATE”

I think it leaves people feeling raw and hopeless. I think it kills joy and happiness and contentment. Because how on earth could you love being a trash collector in January? Or a grave digger? Or how can you find your purpose in being a bank teller or working retail? Heres the deal. We need these people. We need people to work those jobs. In the grand scheme of things there aren’t very many jobs that are joy perpetuating. Most jobs are that, jobs. Work. Repetitive, redundant, boring jobs. The quotes should say, “Love what you do.” “Find purpose in the mundane” The truth is we need each and every person and not everyone is going to be a Rockstar, movie star, or cutsie small business owner that walks to work, passing the flower shop and cafe on their way.

I’ve been brainwashed to believe that if I’m not being energized and finding joy in what I do then I’m not doing the “right” things.

When what I’ve been doing is what I was suppose to be doing all along. I’ve been learning and growing everyday. And god-forbid if we feel less than for being a stay-at-home mom. Like theres something more important than that. Like I’m going to regret my years spent at home. Unfortunately, I felt like that, feel some days.

I felt like I needed to do more, contribute more. Use my gifts, help people, get paid. But the truth is I need to use my gifts at home, help my girls and get paid in kisses and hugs and the contentment that this is where I’m meant to be.

Don’t hear that I think working moms aren’t suppose to be working. I am for both. But I’ve been called to stay home and I didn’t like that calling for 7 years. 7. Because I thought I should be or do more, because I believed the lie that I wasn’t enough.

I guess you could say this is a bit of a soap box. I was going to tell you that before you quit you should talk to God but I think you already know you just aren’t ok with it. If you quite and nothing happens, nothing works out thats an answer. Or you apply yourself and wrack your brain for a job or way to get out of the home and none of them work… thats an answer too, that was my answer.

Okay, God, I except. I’ll only be a stay-at-home mom for a little bit longer and I can make the most of it by excepting it first and learning to love it more every day. But if I’m only thinking about how much I don’t like it, or how I’m not very good at it, or how it steels my sanity then, yeah, I’m not going to progress.

Then, theres also the thought that I’ve had that if I’m not content with this I won’t be content in anything. Its like thinking you need just a little more money and everything will be ok, but if you have terrible spending habits then more money only means more problems. Start taking care of whats on your plate, and either your plate will grow or you will learn to love the plate you have, just the way it is.

You can turn joy on and off. Not with the switch of a job but with the switch of your heart.

What I think God might say,

My dear,

You think because you can’t see me, I don’t see you.

You think because you can’t hear me, I’m not listening.

You think because someone has hurt you, so will I.

You think because you feel lost, that I didn’t plan this moment and all the ones to come.

You think because you feel like a failure that I’m not there to make up the difference.

You think because you lack consistency and self-discipline that I won’t still bless you.

You think because someone wasn’t there, that I would leave you.

You think because you can’t forgive yourself that I haven’t already.

You think because you ask for things and I don’t give them to you, how you feel I should, that I’m mad at you, or not paying attention to you, or that you aren’t deserving of good gifts.

You are wrong. But thats ok.

I love you with the fullness of time and space, your comprehension can’t understand one molecule of my love.

I think of you relentlessly.

I have heard every word, whisper, thought, sigh, cry, and laugh that has or will come from the body that I chose for you.

I created you to fail so you would need me.

I gift you beyond your fleeting desires and moods, into your being and soul, into my purpose and plan.

There is a beauty I placed in you that is unparalleled. You don’t have to see it for me to use it but it would help.

You think you are lacking and less than needed and small, you are, you can never be enough for you or for anyone else, its how I made you and thats why I gave you my Son.

However, when you focus on your shortcomings and not on my grace you are distracted and sad. If you could see you through my eyes you would be content, fulfilled, renewed and set on a path with purpose.

You are my dream come true, I have no regrets in you, you will never convince me otherwise.

I see you. I hear you. I’m for you. I forgive you. I love you.

God

My Hope

This retreat has consumed my mind, and it is a good thing. For so long the majority of my thoughts were consumed with me. What I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. How I could be better but how I always failed. How I missed things because I blatantly forgot, or how I avoided things that would have probably been good for me. How I acted like a brat to my kids or husband, how I had been selfish or lacking in someway. How I lost my temper and if I had just prayed more or read the bible more or just been a better christian I wouldn’t struggle this way.

There was one day, I had clarity. I could see my bucket of energy and I knew exactly what filled it and what emptied it. I had just spent three of the most glorious days in Tennessee and they were without my husband or my kids. Just to be clear my favorite time is with my husband, and I love my time with my kids but this was different. In the total of the three days, not one thing drained me, NOT ONE! My activities were either neutral or fulfilling. I had never felt that way before. This was the first time I had gone on a trip by myself since I had become a mom, 7 years earlier. SEVEN.

During those three days I was cooked for, I slept without interruption or fear of a kid getting into something. I spent time with people who made me laugh, hard, and who loved me to literal tears. I bought myself things, with money I had budgeted, guilt-free. I was creative, I painted with a rare and crucial friend. We drank wine and worked on our canvases, using colors that spoke to us, experimenting with different tools and brushes. Then when we couldn’t think of anything else to make them better, we switched. They became a weird, swirl of the two of us. We didn’t care if we didn’t want to hang them in our homes it was the process. It was the time we spent doing it. I will forever remember that night and those three days.

Do you feel it? That sigh of relief. The longing for what I felt? That is what I want the retreat to be. I want to give that feeling. I want to give a hyper sensitivity to our energy, and I want to only fill, and fill, and fill.

“Come to me, those who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

We are not meant to conquer life. We are not even meant to be good at it, not even a little. It is suppose to be hard and challenging. Its not a question of if, its WHEN we are weary and burdened, God will give us rest. When we are weak, HE will be strong for us. Time and time again it is made known that we need to be fully dependent on God. So why are we surprised when we struggle? Why are we disappointed in ourselves for once again falling short. We will always be short. We will always be needy. If we weren’t, unfortunately we would never turn to God, we would never look to Him, we would never acknowledge Him. Maybe I shouldn’t say never, but it would be a rare occurrence. Because of our strength and capability we would spend our time praising ourselves, and not give a glance to the One who created us. So, stop. Stop beating yourself to a pulp. You will never be any better at this life then you have been in the past. All you can do is fall into the arms of God. Give up the effort of trying to take His place and find a joy in knowing that it is not your responsibility.

When we let our minds race with insults about falling short we are wasting energy and when this is happening all day, everyday we are expending exponential amounts of valuable energy. And as a mother, that is energy I am unable to live without. Instead, let God take the worry, the fear and the doubt away. If you need it, spend the weekend with me in January to help understand how to let go of each area of our lives so we can focus on what really matters. So we are spending more time filling up then emptying out. That is my hope for the retreat and for you.

WELL + PLENTY

About a month ago I got this phrase stuck in my head. WELL + PLENTY. I wanted to be well, cured of my annoying ailments and I wanted to have plenty, not just in my relationship with God but in all of my relationships. My relationship with myself, my body, my mind, and my relationship with my home. We are plagued by “fine”. If we are fine then we don’t try for more. All of the sudden I was becoming acutely aware of my desire for more. Abundance even.

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.”  -John 10:10

How would it start? My mind would have to be completely transformed and renewed. I had a vision of women coming to my home, peacefully and quietly we welcomed the Spirit to come and gently renew our perspectives and views of ourselves and each other. Of our surroundings and situations, of every area of our lives until we look a little more like Him. I wanted to incorporate Holy Yoga but I didn’t want it to be about the yoga. I wanted it to be about lifting the veil of this world out of our eyes so we could see more clearly. God surrounds us and lives in us but so many days I can’t feel Him or see Him move on my behalf. If I were able for just a moment to lift the veil of life enough to lock eyes with Him I might understand. In my worst moment I realized I had based my relationship with God on my feelings, and when I was numb with depression, I couldn’t “feel” Him. I feared I had no relationship with Him at all. I want to share this with other people and help them see God for who he is and who they are through His eyes, despite feelings. That is just one of the topics I want to cover. Lets renew our minds on our body image and how we nourish our bodies, on how we take care of our homes and the place they hold in our hearts. Lets touch on every area of our lives and tilt it a little more towards Jesus.

This vision birthed WELL + PLENTY mini retreats, the first of which is happening January 12 +13th of 2018. I am so excited and scared and overwhelmed. I want the women that feel tired and overwhelmed with life with a husband, kids, work, the house and health to come and get encouraged. The WELL + PLENTY mission statement is:

WE SHOULD LIVE A LIFE THAT IS WELL + PLENTY. IT SHOULD BE WELL WITH YOUR SOUL, YOUR BODY, YOUR MIND, YOUR HOME BECAUSE HE HAS COME TO GIVE US LIFE AND LIFE ABUNDANTLY. OUR LIFE SHOULD BE PLENTY, STOP TAKING AWAY AND START GIVING. GIVING TO GOD FIRST, GIVING TO YOURSELF NEXT AND TO OTHERS AND LOVE YOUR ABUNDANT LIFE. 

There is a purpose and a future here. No matter how many times I question, I know that is truth. Ultimately, I have nothing to give but Jesus. I’m thankful that is all we need.

More information under the ‘Well + Plenty Mini Retreat’ tab!

Wake Up

March 1st was a while ago.  I know I don’t have regular readers but if I did, I wouldn’t now. I’ve never been very consistent but this was a long break. I have a hard time writing about something I’m still in the middle of. I’m coming our of it now, so I am able to explain a little of it.

So, in the last 8 months I’ve bought the home on Turtlcreek, in Edmond (everyone thinks we are in Guthrie, nope!), I have painted almost the whole interior of the home; trim, cabinets and ceilings included, had the carpet replaced along with the patio doors, HVAC, hot water tank and garage door. I’ve taken care of my kids and my husband… decently, but somewhere in the middle of it all I lost myself. This last year has been the hardest that I can remember. My body changed significantly, as well as my mind, my heart, my soul, my friends, my surroundings. And not just once, but over and over and over. I think of that analogy of sitting at the edge of the ocean and the waves just keep hitting you, too fast for you to get up and too slow to sweep you away. I shut down and didn’t even know it. All of the sudden I woke up and thought, why am I so sad.

My  husband is my coping mechanism. He is my distraction, along with my kids. They keep me busy and make me laugh and I almost didn’t notice how depressed I was. If I were healthy they would be a source of joy but in the state I was in they were reduced to medicine, and there were definite moments when I didn’t want to take my meds. I didn’t want to do anything. I wasn’t wallowing, I wasn’t mad, I simply had no drive. The question, what would you do if money were no object… I couldn’t answer it. I couldn’t answer any questions. Not simple ones, not complex ones. I’d ask my kids, or my husband, or someone else to make the decision for me. I understand that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest…. I was fast asleep and I couldn’t gather enough energy to start moving again. I was doing just enough to get by. I had never felt this way before.

The scariest part was I realized my relationships with my family and my friends… and God were all based on my feelings. Whether or not I felt loved, or felt appreciated, or felt taken care of, irregardless if I actually was. When you have no feelings, when you are numb, you think there are no real relationships. Like they don’t exist. My brain knew that wasn’t true but my heart didn’t. I was lonely, even around people.

Only one thought passed through my brain…

“If you want something different, do something different.”

I had to do something I didn’t normally do, so I started seeing a therapist. She was kind, and empathetic. She listened and felt what I was feeling. She was exactly what I needed at the time. Every week she gives me homework. I had to get a hobby, read a certain book (Search for Significance.. highly recommend), find a friend, exercise, meditate, and stop worrying. The things that helped me the most were the hobby and not worrying. See, when I was worrying, I thought I was planning. Planning for disasters, for kidnappings or car crashes, for burglars, or illness. Those six months where we were living with other families I was “planning” for when my kids were too loud and rambunctious, for when we were in the way and for disappointment in never finding a home. I was wasting loads of energy on things that weren’t probable, except the kids thing. I spent hours planning for this horrible life. I have this weird quirk, maybe you do too, when something good happens, I think its going to last forever. But, on the flip side, when something bad happens, I think IT will last forever. So when we moved and it didn’t go right, when we got pregnant and that didn’t go right, and then we tried to buy a house and that didn’t go right and I made a friend and that didn’t go right, I thought the pattern was just going to continue. Forever.

I was full of fear. I made every move based on my fear of conflict, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of embarrassment, fear of being passed my prime, fear of what other people thought about me. I became absorbed with Stephen, if he was successful then I was too, if he was happy, I was too, and so on. He became like a shield for me, I felt protected from all my fears with him between me and all of them.

But, planning isn’t worrying. Planning is unemotional and organized and it has an end goal. Worrying is overemotional, crazy disorganized and leads you no where.

(Here is a great read I found on fear: How to be Free from all Emotional Blocks and Fear)

So every time I began to worry, I just told myself no! Then distracted myself with a book or a recipe. I could have done that before, its not rocket science but I was completely unaware that was what was leaving me so exhausted.

The hobby, is still something I’m keeping to myself but simply put, I made a decision based on my love for something, not based on my fear of something. I hadn’t done that in a very long time.

So all of this to say I am feeling better. I am doing better. And just because I am a pastors wife, a christian, someone with lots of friends and my daily needs are met doesn’t me I am not susceptible to depression. Everyone is. It is the devils way of keeping you down and by the time you realized whats happened you have fallen asleep to life and have no idea how to wake up.  WAKE UP!!!