Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Bunch of Boxes and Bags of Paper

Two pairs of socks.  Long underwear.  Heavy pants.  Gloves.  I bundled up this morning.  For 40 minutes of work.

Several months ago, I found out about the Michigan Abolitionist Project through a Facebook page.  I went to a local group meeting and was destroyed.

The staggering numbers of girls and boys of all ages sold into slavery through sex trafficking is staggering.  And it is sad to find out  it is here.  Not just far away, but in the wealthy suburbs of Detroit.  And in your neighborhood.  I guarantee it.  No matter where you live.

It’s a dark sinister world.  One Satan loves to play in.  He has his way with peoples minds, bodies and hearts.  He seeks whom he can destroy.  It was honestly hard to breathe as I learned about the pervasiveness of this evil.

It is such a big problem.  What can a homeschooling housewife of three kids do about this?  I can educate my girls on what to look for when they are old enough to date.  I can keep an eye on the choices they make and pray the Lord protect them at every turn.

And I can get involved.  Now.  Here.  Where I live.

That’s where Saturday mornings come in.  There is an organization BRANCH: A New Beginning Ministries that collects cardboard and paper recyclables in our area and then takes to a local recycling center twice a week.  The money is being used to build a home for women who are rescued from the sex trade.

It adds up.  It fills a trailer.  Twice a week.

It needs to be emptied.  Twice a week.

Cardboard and paper gets pushed out of the trailer, four of us squat, stand, and throw.

We find new muscles.

Not for ourselves.

For others.

For those who think they are unloved, unlovable, or unworthy.


Please see the above websites to see how you might be involved in this local effort.  Or, look for an abolitionist project in your own area.  These men, women, children are worth it.  Now and every day.

Has the Lord called you to be an intercessor?  There are many organizations the world over needing support through prayer.  Check out Samaritan’s Purses crisis response.  

Joy Here and Now

As many of you know, I have walked a very empty, lonely road in my spiritual life since encountering postpartum depression and anxiety and ultimately Bipolar Disorder.  It has  been hard.  It has been lonely.  I has been dark.  I will readily admit, there were times I only continued in my Christian walk because it was what I knew from 25+ years of faith and because it was what was expected of me.

I walked where I did not see.  I continued when I could not hear.  I went where I did not know.

Slowly the Lord began tapping on my heart as I learned about modern day slavery–the sex trade.  Along with this, and only knowing to pray, I continued to read my Bible, go to church and seek.

Never expecting any change.

That’s the beauty of it.  I had no plans, no designs–only God did.

He lead me patiently and calmly through the dark and last week He brought me into new fellowship with Him.  There is such joy in reading my Bible, desire to pray, really, dig down and seek the Lord for others, every Bible verse I read seems new.  The biographies and other Christian books I am reading seem to be written just for me, in just this moment.  It is with this feeling I bring you this passage from The Call to Be A Disciple by George Verwer.

Modern Society is not kind to those who seek to serve with practical love and in purity of body and mind.  It is a fallacy to suppose that Christian are immune to emotional and mental breakdown”  mental illness affects one person in ten in Britian at some point during their lives.  But it is also quite wrong to think that if you do suffer a nervous breakdown…you are only fit for the rubbish heap.

There is more, so much more, but let me tell you my very simple takeaway from this…I can be broken in mind, and body at times, and still be of service of the Lord.  In truth, that may be exactly where He wants to use me.  As a sub-culture, Christians tend to set aside mental illness as something we grapple with.  Attempts are often made to try and pretend we do not walk the road of mental health issues–that we, unlike others, can be unscathed.  This is simply not true.

I am here. I have been broken by mental health issues.  I am getting a break from the storm in my mind right now, but I do not write to proclaim I will never go back there.  History shows, I may very well be back there this very evening,  but I may not, and in either place I can be used.

I am a rare breed.  I am a very outspoken woman when it comes to the importance of my Christian faith and the fact that I live daily with mental illness.  I don’t shy away from either of these facets of my life, rather I embrace the, I declare them.  I want you, and all to know, you can parent well with mental illness and you can be a valuable disciple of the Lord with mental illness.

I am here to say both is true, today, tomorrow and always.2015-01-30 08.07.20

Through New Eyes

This week we have done some fun new things in our homeschooling.  In order to continue this theme, science was last night as I finally asked daddy to help me with the little microscope and slides I had gotten on Amazon awhile back.

Turns out he had one like it as a kid and had us seeing things through it right away.

We checked out Pennicilium, skeletal muscle, a bee hubby found, some of his hair, my hair, and our middle daughter’s hair,  our wedding rings, and skin.

It was a ton of fun.  And I could not help but thinking what an amazing designer our God is.  He gave such complexity to everything around us.  He could have made the world textureless and boring, but He didn’t.  He gave it layers and beauty.

Psalm 19:1  How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
    How plainly it shows what he has done!


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Pages of the Dark Ages

I fell ill early this morning, so hubby stayed home to teach the girls.

He introduced them to a real, live, printed, dictionary.  Mine from college.

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Skeletons in our Closet

Let me just come out and admit it.  I am a cheater of a homeschool mom.  I totally buy the kids gifts for the holiday that are expressly for schooling.  There you have it.

This was one such purchase

2015-02-22 15.43.00Caitlyn got this for Christmas.  Little did I know, it came like this:

2015-02-22 15.03.14And I would have to lay it out like this:

2015-02-22 15.27.56Putting pieces in as I went…

2015-02-22 15.28.11


It actually went together quite well.  There is a loose femur, but his body is holding it in, so we are good for now.

Tomorrow we dig in…to the skeletal system.

Did you know, your teeth are considered part of the skeletal system but are not counted as bones?  Stay tuned for more tidbits as we go through the body section by section:  eyes, blood, skeleton, brain…join in the fun!


With My Cup of Tea

I sit reading, cozy in my bed.  I am transfixed by the stories I am reading, the tragedies being described for me.  I am reading about the Dalits of India.  They are the lowest of the lowest on the caste system.

The caste system in India has been around for about 3,000 years.  It is based on the Hindu belief that people are ranked according to their sins in a past life; the Dalits are those considered to have lived the worst of the lives in their previous life so have come from underneath the Hindu god.  Those in higher castes are said to have come from his arms or head, obviously better because they come from a higher part of their gods’ body.

Dalits are considered lower than the animals.  They are given the most demeaning jobs, ie cleaning out the latrine with their bare hands.  The caste system has been outlawed, deemed unconstitutional, but much like segregation was here in America, the law is ignored and the Dalits are still oppressed,

Oft times, the families are so poor they end up abandoning or selling children, just to try and survive.  Many are sold into the sex trade, or modern day slavery.  Girls, and boys, in this situation have a life expectancy of 15 years.

That data would make my beloved oldest daughter, Caitlyn, middle aged.  I cannot imagine her experiencing such torture, such hell.  I cannot imagine having, as a parent, to choose food over one son or daughter so at least some of your family might live.

What an impossible choice and excruciating situation.  All because you were born a Dalit.  The government has implemented a version of affirmative action to hold so many jobs in the upper levels for the Dalits, but many Dalits cannot afford an education, to learn what they need, to move up in their society.

It is a difficult situation, all the way around.

Many of the Dalits are finding freedom by leaving Hinduism and going to other religions, such as Christianity and Islam.  There they are told all are equal and they can have mental and spiritual freedom.

Some have found this new freedom, but there are so many more.  Won’t you join me in praying for the Dalits and their quest for freedom and equality?


*Information taken from Dalit Freedom Now and Forever by Joseph D’Souza and No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan

Here I Sit

I keep opening my blog to share a bit of my life with you.  Day after day I open it.

No words appear, either in my head or on the paper.

The girls and I are almost done with our study on Pandas.  I am hoping to have that finished up today.

Then it is on to the human body.  I gave Caitlyn a skeleton for Christmas that has squishy organs inside of it, so I think it is high time we use it for school.  Okay, so I really bought it for school but put her name on the tag when I wrapped it for Christmas.  I have studies on the skeleton, the eyes, the brain, ear, blood, heart, hair and voice.  We will be studying the human body for a number of weeks.

I’m sorry, I’ve lost my train of thought again.

Currently, I am editing a piece I previously wrote on my blog for my Listen To Your Mother audition on Saturday.  Listen To Your Mother, or LTYM, is a nationwide project with shows in several cities featuring readings by bloggers on some aspect of motherhood; being a mother, having a mother, knowing a mother.  Motherhood.  I auditioned last year and didn’t make it.  I went to the show in our area because a dear friend of mine did make it.  As I sat there, I understood why I hadn’t made it.  Most of the pieces that were read had a bit of an edge to them and the language was often times a little harsh, whereas I had auditioned with one of those cutsie motherhood pieces.  It really did not fit into the show.  This year I am delving into the Bipolar.  It is a bit of a dark piece.  Maybe that will fit better, or maybe this year they will go for the cutsie stuff.  Time will tell.

My mind is blank again.

This kept happening yesterday when I was writing my friend in Bangladesh.  I have no idea how many times I walked away from that letter to try and gather my thoughts.  I feel bad for my friend because I am afraid it makes little sense.  At least there is a care package with it.

I think these blanks are coming from the depression.  I started to slide back into the pit on Saturday.  Things have been rough.  Last night the girls had swim lessons and I am so glad hubby could take them.  I don’t think I could have forced myself out of the house.  I was so desperate to avoid people.  I even needed to avoid my family.  I went to bed very shortly after they got home.  I tried to work on my loom knitting.  I wish the judge who will decide my disability could have seen me–sitting in my bed at 8 pm, flinching when my daughter put her head on my shoulder, then curling up in a ball rocking back and forth because I could not remember, for the life of me, how to do my knitting that I have been doing for quite awhile now.

I’m scared of the pit.  I haven’t had time to recover from the last depression.  Thankfully I have a group of women in my life that get it and will be there when I am screaming and crying that I can’t do this.  Going round after round with the Bipolar is beyond wearing.

But here I go, into the pit, to fight another round.

More Than a Little Peeved

I’m sure I’ve mentioned I travel this life with Bipolar as an unwelcome companion.  If you missed that announcement, here it is “I have Bipolar Disorder.”

Now that we have that out of the way, I have something else I would like to get off my chest.

I go in for talk therapy on a regular basis.  I like the lady and we are working on some tough stuff, but one thing really has me irritated.  Every time I go, she gives me an assessment to fill out to gauge my depression.  When I first saw her I was in a very dark place.  Now, I am in a much lighter place, slightly manic even.  Medications are controlling it, so that’s all well and good, but my frustration comes from that evaluation.

She still gives me the depression assessment.  My scores have improved quite dramatically.  Because of the mania.  But she does not use any tool to measure the mania.  To my way of thinking, the depression assessment is a completely useless tool if used during times of mania and even useless if used during times of depression if there is no corresponding tool to measure the opposite pole.

If she wants a snapshot of how I am doing, that is all well and good, but is it in any way accurate?

*I really am doing well with the mania.  We had to re-add a medication and double the level, but the extreme irritability and restlessness are gone.  I am able to channel my energy appropriately and I just look like I get a lot done.  I woke up at 5:30 this morning; by 8 am I had been on a prayer conference call, done a short yoga video, eaten breakfast, and run a (for me) quick mile on the treadmill.

This mornings' sweatie.

This mornings’ sweatie.

What To Do This Month

Every month comes with a million tasks, doesn’t it?  Some fun.  Some blah.  Some short-term.  Some long-term.

Here’s what I think  this month holds:

  1. Begin training for the 5k I signed up to run in March.  I recently ran 5k on the treadmill so I know I can do it, I just need to keep up with it.
  2. Simultaneously begin training for the half marathon I agreed to do in October. Tonight is run number 1, one mile.   In phase one of training (8 weeks) includes running 94 miles.  That right there y’all, is crazy talk.  If all this running around doesn’t get some pounds off me, then there really is no hope. 2015-02-09 17.01.21Don’t mind the lump in my shirt from my fitbit.  Where I go, it goes.  Gotta count every last step.
  3. Choose my piece for Listen to Your Mother.
  4. Edit said piece.
  5. Audition with said piece.
  6. Try to actually comprehend and implement meal planning to trim the grocery bill.

Of all those things, number 6 has me the most confused.  I have asked people questions until we are all going crazy, but I just don’t get it.  But then, here I am today with no idea for dinner at all.  None.  Last night we had spectacular twice baked potatoes casserole (if I oh, so humbly, say so myself).  Tonight?   I got nothing.  Hmmm.

I have one pkg of hamburger, one package of ground turkey, one package of pork cutlets, and one package of bone-in chicken breasts.  I’ll take any and all suggestions.  I am out of shake-in-bake, otherwise this would be a simple situation…


Linking up with

It’s All in There

Right now I have all the emotions inside of me bursting to get out.  Well, most of them are unpleasant, but they still want out.

It is a type of Mania, because you see, mania is not the fun easy time they show on tv.  Mania is often dark and angry.  Lashing out at people.  Being torn up inside.  It feels very close to anxiety, but there are a few minute differences.  The anger.  Too many emotions at once.  All jumbled inside.

I also have a lot of energy.  I feel like I must move all the time.  Go, go, do, do, but I have NO DIRECTION WHATSOEVER.  I want to hide in my bed.  But feel like I’ll burst in there.  My thoughts swirl too fast to even lead to anything like coherence.  But lots of sadness lives inside too.  I have burst into tears a few times lately because of thoughts or feelings going too quickly or because I didn’t know which way to turn.

All the emotions.

Mania and depression mixed gets you a shaken and stirred, mixed episode.

Thankfully, I have the girls here to balance me.  Because of them, I can’t give into all of the destructive emotions.  I can’t hide in my bed, my day has direction.  That direction is called hugs, math, language arts, Bible, Handwriting, Phonics, reading and history.

The rhythm keeps me moving.  It keeps me productive.  It gets me to the next moment of health and hope.