Friday, April 15, 2016

Paradise

It's crazy how fast something new starts to feel like the way it's always been.  It's hard to imagine my life before David, and thankfully, it's hard for my boys to as well.   

It's been almost two years.  In some ways that sounds like an eternity, but really it went by in the blink of an eye.  

It seems like my whole life I've been living for either something in the future or something in the past.  Until now.  I'm so happy, I can barely comprehend it.  

Philippians 4:11-12 KJV
[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 

This is one of my favorite verses in the bible.  I hated living my life with the thought of "if I could just get to this point everything will be perfect."  Or "if I could just get back to such and such everything will be great."

No.  

No.  

Never again.  

Don't get me wrong, I still have goals and dreams, and boys to move out of this house.  But it doesn't matter.  My happiness is not based on those things.  When I go to bed at night, I dream about the next day.  I can't wait for it to get here.  I'm perfectly content with the imperfections of our imperfect little family.  

I like the phrase: 'Just another day in paradise'. And it is.  This life I live is paradise.  Bring on the troubles, bring on the tribulations.  They're there.  They're always there.  But it doesn't matter.  I have my own little corner of paradise in the middle of a huge city.  

Who'd have thought?  

All that's left is to pray each night to thank God for the life I've been given, and to ask for just one more day in paradise.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Good reads

This is a really good article about mental illness and Christians.  I used to feel these problems could be remedied with prayer and church guidance, but then I lived with someone with ADHD and experienced anxiety for myself.  Now I agree there are mental illnesses as will as bodily illnesses. Our brains are just as depraved as the rest of us.

Check it out if you want.  


http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/stephen-altrogge/is-mental-illness-actually-biblical.html

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Good thoughts

I was visiting with my sister in law over Christmas, and she told me something I completely love and want to share for other women to read.  

She and my brother in law just celebrated their 32nd anniversary, and talking about it she said:  "He and I have disagreed over the years.  We've had fights and knock down drag outs, but in the end, the Lord picked me to take care of him and I take that job very seriously."  

That is a point of view I love so much.  I think every woman should go into marriage with that attitude.  I worry that women feel they should be spoiled rotten in a marriage, and when they find out it's work they are disappointed.  

In fact this would work for husbands too.  Husbands and wives both should understand that the Lord picked them to take care of their mate.  If we live everyday with that thought in mind, our marriages would be better than they've ever been.  I really do believe that.  

LLM



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The prognosis

My therapy is already over.  Six sessions went by fast.  It wasn't quite what I expected.  I guess I thought it would be somewhere I could go and talk about my problems, and in return I would be coddled and stroked and made to feel better.  It wasn't like that at all.  Instead I was told everything I was doing wrong in my life to cause the problems I was having.  That wasn't fun to hear at all!  

I do think that talking to someone about my problems was a good thing.  I learned how I should be dealing with the issues in my life.  I still believe that praying about them is the number one thing to do, but I also believe the Lord sends us people to help us and advise us.  I know this because I've been that person before.  I look back on conversations I've had with people and I know the Lord gave me the words to tell them.  I know I didn't come up with it on my own, I'm not that smart.  My life may have given me the experience to talk to them, but I couldn't have come up with that stuff on my own.  The Lord gives us words, and sends us temporary angels when we need them.  I can't count how many temporary angels have been sent to me in my life.  In fact, I doubt I even know about most of them. 

My therapist was a 53 year old woman, I'll call her C.C., that turned out to be a good match for me.  I believe the Lord sent me to C.C. for the advice I needed.  Someone that would listen to me like a friend, but would also tell me the hard things I needed to hear that no one else would tell me.  

It turns out my trust issues were the least of my problems.  I learned that I'm what is referred to as a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP.  Sounds fake, right?  But it's true.  There's a website and everything.  The characteristics of HSP are varied, and I qualified for all but maybe one.  It explains why I'm always hyper-aware of everything around me.  I notice when something is in the wrong place, or when things need put away, or if someone does something out of the ordinary or out of character.  Crumbs on the floor drive me crazy, as well as dirty socks or dishes or yucky smells.  At any given moment on the road I can tell you where every car is around me, and can anticipate their next move most of the time.  I just thought that was all part of being a mom!  Another characteristic is feeding off of the emotions of others.  I can be having the best day, but if David comes home in a bad mood it will rub off on me and make me mad or sad or anxious.   Other characteristics are like an intolerance for loud noises, which explains my hatred of vacuuming, hair drying and so on. The website is very interesting and helpful, and is worth looking at, HSP.com.  It's not a disease or disorder, it's just an inherited personality trait.  That's all.  

It turns out I also battle anxiety. That's not good for someone who has trust issues.  But it's even worse for someone living in a house with five other people who all have  their own set of issues. Combining HSP with anxiety basically means I emotionally take on all the problems and moods of everyone in my house, and then proceed to worry and fret about all of them at the exact same time till my head is about to explode.  

Good times, right?  

*Sigh*

I feel so emotionally drained.  The last time I was this mentally worn out was during the divorce.  

As for my trust issues, those were all addressed in the first session.  C.C. Helped me to see that worrying about my marriage is pointless.  I know the real signs of a cheating husband, I know what to look for, and if all David is doing is answering a text on his phone I need to get over it.  I can either make my marriage miserable by anticipating the worst, or I can relax and enjoy my marriage with the faith that it will be wonderful.  I don't need to worry until I have a legitimate reason to worry. That answer almost seemed too simple for me, but the more I think about it the more I see her point.  

So here I am, the sixth member of this house, and I'm now bringing in my own set of issues to add to everyone else's.  I'm trying not to focus on that because it makes me freak out.  C.C has helped me see ways I can minimize my anxiety, and also how to deal with problems when they arise.  It's still going to take me a while, but I feel better than I did two months ago.  

The prognosis is good.  I learned what I needed to learn, and was told the things I needed to hear.  Some of it wasn't easy to hear, but that's her job.  I see her as my friend that will tell me the truth no matter what.  It's a job I could never do.    Things have gotten better for me, but I'm still going to keep her number around just in case.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Taking the next step

From reading this blog, I'm sure you can tell I'm a fairly open person.   

I'm a firm believer that the problems we go through in this life can help others going through the same things if we just share our experiences.  I'm the first to admit when I find a breakthrough that helps but I'll also be the first to admit when I need help.  

This past March was the five-year mark of when my life changed. I've had a lot of support during that time, but I don't think I'm where I should be yet as far as healing goes. The changes that my family, as well as David's family, went through have impacted all of us in so many different ways. Some have come through with flying colors, while others have come through with battle scars and lasting issues.  

This is commonly referred to as PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Next week one of our kids is going to start therapy and I have decided to join them and seek some help myself. It's not good to know it's been five years and I'm still having the same trust issues I had after the divorce.  I'm finally in a wonderful, loving and committed marriage and there should be no reason for me to worry. Yet something will happen and the ghosts come back. 

I can't stop them…but I want to.  I want to be able to live a normal life without all the fears that still possess me.  

If you had told me five years ago that I'd be seeing a therapist, I would have thought you were crazy.  I've always been fairly grounded and tuned to my feelings...and I still believe that most mental problems can be solved with prayer and counseling from a minister or the brothers and sisters in the church. Yet, I am starting to think PTSD is real and something I suffer from.  So where I used to be very anti-therapy, I'm learning I'm not always right, and that talking to a counselor that has Christian values can be helpful. 

I also used to be very anti-divorce...

...Hello, Irony, it's good to see you again old friend.  Come sit down and talk.  

So here I am, swallowing my pride once more, but I'm looking forward to going to my first session.  I plan to share my progress here.  I might as well as you've been with me through my healing process thus far, I guess I'd better see this through. 

And who knows, maybe my experiences will help someone else going through the same thing.  That's what I keep telling myself at least.  How I see it, if I help just one person, then it's worth putting my story out there.  

So, please join me in this new journey, and if you find a blessing in any of it then give the glory to God.  

LLM 








Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pressing on

can't count how many times in the past few months I've wanted to give up.  Just wave my white flag and surrender.  

It seems the older I get the harder life gets.  Maybe I never took notice to all the bad stuff around me before, I don't know.  I tend to live in my own little bubble most of the time, shutting out the real world.  But things are getting too bad to ignore.  In the world.  In our homes.  In our churches.  Even our own children are having problems that they shouldn't be having at these ages.  

I want to help people, but what if they don't want help.  You can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves.  

So what are we to do?  

The only thing I can think of is to keep praying, and no matter what, keep pressing on. 

Keep being the light in the world.

Keep praying.

Keep encouraging.  

Keep supporting.  

Keep rebuking when needed - that's the hardest one.  

It would be so easy to bury my head in the sand and ignore the mistakes that my loved ones make.  I get tired of rebuking and disciplining and trying to teach the same lessons day in and day out to these kids. That is where I am ready to throw in the towel, and say "Fine, ruin your life if you want."

Press on.  

Must. Press. On.  

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9

Nope, no fainting allowed.  Not in this house.  The white flags don't exist. There are no towels to be throw in.  We don't give up, because the Lord hasn't given up on us.  

We have to continue to take this life one day at a time, and give each day the best we can.  

We will fail.  

I fail. 

But that's life.  We fail and we move forward.  

We keep pressing on.  

LLM




Monday, August 31, 2015

What I'm learning the second time around.... Pray together

When I was engaged to my first husband, I received a cute little notebook full of marital advice written by my female friends and family.  They had all put their two cents into it and it was a wonderful keep sake at the time.  The younger women wrote about always loving each other or keeping communication lines open, and things like that.  And all the older, and much wiser, women wrote about making sure God was the center of our marriage.  

Yes, I should've listen to the older, wiser women, but I brushed my doubts under the proverbial rug.  

But it's more than just both of you believing in God and attending church...

...Not only does God needs to be the glue that holds you both together, but you need to take it one step further and tell Him that He is the center of your marriage... Together.  

Praying together is a whole new level of intimacy between you and your husband.  It was something I had never done before, and really, it scared me to death.  I don't know why, I guess I'd just never shared that part of my life with anyone before, except my boys.  And even still, when we pray together, David is the one that says it.  I have a couple of times, but it's taking me a while to get comfortable with it. He wants me to more, but I like that he does.  He is the head of our marriage, and I like him to lead me spiritually.  

The first time David and I prayed together was actually over the phone.  We lived in different states before we were married, and had many obstacles to overcome before the wedding.  Blending families will do that.  Each time we came upon a problem we'd pray, and the Lord would guide us through the issue with ease.  

Once we were married, prayer became our nightly ritual, and If I remember right, we've only missed a couple of nights since then due to extenuating circumstances. I firmly believe that the success of our marriage is directly related to our nightly prayers, and putting the Lord first in our marriage.  

I hope we will always continue to pray together every night.  We both understand the importance of it, and neither of us ever try to opt out for any reason.  If David is sick, then I say the prayer, either way, it gets said.  Sometimes they might be short and sweet, especially after extremely long road trips, but even then, we still take a few moments to thank God for our life together.  

I hope this doesn't come across as some kind of pat on our back, I don't mean it that way at all.  David and I have both messed up in our past, and neither of us ever want to be back one of those situations.  We are just so thankful to have each other, and we know that it would never have been possible if it were up to us.  As David likes to say "humans are not creative, God is.  The only thing we can create is a mess."  We needed the Lord, and the Lord helped us and guided us.  We owe everything we have to God, and my prayer is that we will spend the rest of our lives serving Him daily for everything He's done for us. 

LLM