Category Archives: Thought provoking Thursday

Defining Myself

Who am I?

A woman of God who is mama to three girls, who nursed all of them, and now helps other mamas with breastfeeding, postpartum depression and the giggles and grimaces of motherhood.

Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday.

What To Do With Emotion

As I mentioned before, the therapist correctly identified that I get overwhelmed by my emotions and attempt to turn them off.  The Good, the bad, the ugly.

A large part of that comes from rejecting emotions that aren’t founded in reason or have a good explanation.

This week, twice, I have experienced irrational anger.  Over the top and without true cause.  I don’t know what to do with it, so I tell myself it is wrong, illogical or doesn’t make sense and force myself to push it away.

Personally, it has always seemed logical to me.  The doctor thinks it is where a lot of my depression comes from.  He says, the anger is real and it has to go somewhere, and the way I am dealing with it is to pull it internal.  And for my effort, I get depression and anxiety.

Okay, y’all…do you agree with the doctor’s assessment in general?  What do you do with anger that is not based in an actual situation or in a situation that can be changed or improved?  I really could use some input here.  I *think* he’s right, but I don’t know what to do from here.

Help!

I need to figure this out for me, my girls and my hubby.

Linking up for Thought Provoking Thursday.

 

Cleaning to the Glory of God?

I have talked about cleaning on my blog before when I talked about how cleaning can be therapeutic or a sign of deeper trouble.  And I can’t stop thinking about cleaning.

Trust me, my house is not spotless.  There is always more I can do to it.  Always.  But I am doing better.  And it has me thinking, can we clean our homes to the Glory of God.

Again, trust me, I don’t think my only role is to keep my house clean.  I love it when hubby and I work together.  It is all of our’s home, so we can all help with cleaning it.  But can we do that to the Glory of God?

I graduated from a small Christian Liberal Arts College.  I remember having the conversation in Photography about whether or not there was such a thing as a Christian photograph.  The general concensus was if a Christian is taking the picture and it does not violate scripture, it may not be a Christian picture unto itself but it can bring Glory to God.

I think the same applies to our homes.  The Bible says to do everything to the Glory of God, “Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11, New Living Translation.

This brings me a great deal of joy,  because it does not matter if I am cleaning my house, playing with my kids, or writing in my blog, all of it can bring Glory to God if done with an attitude of humility and service to others.  Thinking of cleaning this way, amplifies my joy.  I have the reduction in stress, the excitement of clean house and my work is honoring to God.  That is a beautiful trifecta.

That is what I am thinking about.  Come over and link with Michelle for Thought Provoking Thursday.

Damn Dog

Hubby did bedtime routine last night while I moderated #ppdchat on twitter and then did a conference call for work with collegues in China.  They all headed to bed.  It was late and dark.  Almost quiet in the house.  And the doorbell rang. 

My heart skipped a couple beats.  I hoped hubby would come downstairs to answer it, but then was pretty sure he couldn’t hear the doorbell.  What to do.

I prayed it wasn’t a polite robber or mass murderer wanting in my house as I walked to the door.  I opened the door…and saw a shadow of a guy holding my dog. 

“Damn dog!”  Yup, those were the first words out of my mouth.  That was the second time yesterday a neighbor had returned the little escaping houdini dog.  Grrr….

Ha ha ha. “Yeah, I was taking out my garbage and I heard this rustling noise.  Kind of scared me.”

Would have scared me to bits, but thankfully this guy was a little less timid than I, found the source of the noise to be my dog and returned him.  I thanked him and went back to the safety of my kitchen.  Hubby came down toward the end of this and got my version of the story.

I even admitted the “damn dog” greeting.  Hubby was nice enough to add, “Oh yeah, Jesus saves.”  Yes, He truly does and I believe that with all my heart. 

Now here’s the question.  Did I ruin my witness to this guy with my dog comment?  Or, more to the point, when I am at work and that word escapes, do I ruin my witness there?  Does that negate all else I may say about God, Jesus and the Church?  Does it damage what I may say or does it make me more real, more approachable?

I’m not perfect, but I do work on my language.  I work on not saying everything that pops into my head.  And I succeed in not saying a lot!  Trust me.  But other things…

What say you?  How has your language changed since having kids?  Better or worse?  How is the internal monologue?  Better or worse?  What does mild swearing do to someone’s witness?  Do I need to eradicate it all or is it okay to Just Be Enough here?

Also, did you see my guest post yesterday?  Please head over to Sometimes It’s Hard to check it out, browse and enjoy other great pieces of writing there!

Also linking this with Thought Provoking Thursday

My Identity, My Depression

I was recently chatting with someone and they mentioned sometimes they don’t feel like thinking about their postpartum depression.

I know that feeling.  Over the last year, there have been many times that I felt like it was all I could think about.  How to survive it, how to hide it, how to treat it, how to wait it out.  How it hurt, how it was changing me, how I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Depression, by it’s very nature, is draining.  It puts such a weight on the person.  It makes thinking, feeling and doing hard.  Add to that the constant thoughts of the above, and it can literally engulf you.

But as much as it seems like it is swallowing you whole and changing your personality, you are not your depression.  It is part of you, just like a cold is part of you…for a time.  But it is not all of you, even at the depths. It is not all of you.

You are still a person who loves reading, or drinking nice wine, or eating pizza.  You are still the person who loves to sew or bake or go running.  One of the cruelest things about depression is how it often comes in and makes those things so hard, the things that bring joy become burdens.  The darkness tries to take it all.

But even in a dark room, the things you can’t see are still there.  Your bed is in your room even when the room is dark and you can’t see it.  The couch is still in the living room even in the middle of the night when there is no light to illuminate it.

No matter how dark it seems in the rooms of your life, you are still there.  And the beauty of it is, if you can grab those things you can’t see, and bring them close to yourself, the outline begins to reappear.  And even if it is only for a moment, there is a glimpse of those things you loved. 

And just maybe, for that moment, you can push away a bit of the darkness, and reclaim a bit of yourself.  Take that walk around the block.  Work on that art project. 

Doing those things will not “cure” the depression, but they give you a reminder, a moment to be able to see something worth fighting for, to remember, the depression is not all there is to you.  The person you are is still there.  Even just a brief glimpse can give hope.  A moment of being able to breathe allows one to dig deep to find another ounce with which to fight.

Sometimes, all we need is that moment, that tiny breather to remember, the depression is not who we are, we do not have to believe all the lies the darkness tells.  We will reemerge, changed yes, but as ourselves, whole and well worth the fight.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about.

What I Wish for My Children

When each of my girls was born, as soon as they put the baby on my chest or, in Patrice’s case, after being cleared by the doctor, I said to them, “We love you and we pray you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior very young.  That’s all that matters.” 

And it is as true now, 5 years and 1 month since the first was born, as it was during those first moments.

I pray every morning “I pray you come to know Jesus very young and never let go, hang on to that forever.”

But I also have other wishes and hopes for them.

I hope they will grow up to meet a man who loves and cherishes them, and that they have lovely families (my husband and children are the greatest joys of my life).  I hope they find their calling in this world, be that full-time ministry, stay-at-home mom or out in the career arena.

In the area of friendship, I hope they find friends like I have, those you don’t have to see or talk to every day to have an amazing support team, those friends who will share the minutae of life, face-to-face friends and social media friends. 

I hope they grow up comfortable in their own skin.  I hope hubby and I do not project our hang-ups or fears on them.  I hope we encourage and help them to spread their wings and find their own way.

And oh what an adventure it will be watching them get there.  The adventure it already is…

Seeing Caitlyn head off to school, Sue adjust to being the big girl in the family when sissy is gone and watching Patrice smile and laugh her way toward toddlerhood…so much to see and do, and this is only the beginning for all of us!

*all pictures from Caitlyn’s first day of school.

What do you wish for your kids?  Link up at Life with Levi.

Also linking at Some Girls Website

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Differing Opinions

Sue continues to be very small.  She eats and gains weight very sporadically.  She loves junk food, but otherwise, can often take it or leave it.

Hubby and I struggle a little bit about how to handle her eating habits.

I prefer to offer her good choices and whether or not she eats it is up to her.  Obviously, she does not get special treats if she does not eat a good amount of healthy food.

Hubby worries more about her lack of eating.  He prefers to see her clean her plate.  He often will have her sit there until she is done.

I worry about making eating a battleground.  I worry we are setting her up for an eating disorder.

There is no clear cut way to handle this.

How do you and your spouse handle parenting differences?  How do you work to show an united front?

Linking up at Thought Provoking Thursday.

Practicality and Faith

“I hope eagerly for what I do not see and I wait for it with perseverance.”  Romans 8:25

I have mentioned before that I am believing God for some big big things.  I know we are not supposed to put a timeline on God, this particular thing has a natural deadline.  If God doesn’t step in, we have to make other plans.  We are closing in on that time very rapidly.

I am continuing to ask God and believe Him for those things I have been praying for.  But if He says, wait…  I need to begin making other arrangements.  And I am bit lost.  How do I keep believing while making other plans?  Does making those other plans mean I don’t really believe?

I’m a little, okay, a lot, confused.  What do you think?  How do you balance believing God and “living in the real world?”

Words…

Patrice is starting to talk a little bit.  She says dada.  She likes to say that one and she definitely knows who she means.  She does not say mama.  But when I ask “where’s the mama?”  She buries her head in my chest.  As my grandpa said when I told him, “can you blame her?  She knows where her groceries are!”  True, so true.  She started saying hi today.  She waves and says “haaa.”  It is super cute.  It makes the heart just melt.

We love to hear her words.  In the same vein, we are taught the Lord loves to hear our words. 

“and said, “Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.”  Acts 10:31

But have you wondered if the Lord listens to YOUR prayers?  I have.  There are times I pray and things change.  At those moments I feel confident the Lord has heard me.  Other times, things do not change.  And I wonder.  Maybe not so much if He hears my prayers, but definitely if I am praying the right thing; have I prayed enough; did I use the right words; is the answer no or pray longer; did I hear the Lord right when I felt led to pray in a specific way? 

So many questions.  I wish I knew the answers.  I was raised that we always had to pray, “if it is your will Lord.”  And I agree there are times we are to pray that, but it kind of feels like a cop out, like, if I add that, I won’t be disappointed if the Lord doesn’t answer or that it absolves me from having to hear the Lord about  how to pray, because I added the caveat about His will. Or it gives me permission to give up praying because it must not be His will. 

Do you ever wonder about things like that?  What things in your Christian walk cause you to ask questions?

Taste and See

I love this time of year.  I love the longer days.  I love the warmer weather.  I love the ability to be outside more.  And what really tops this time of year off?  Apricots!  I love them.  This is officially Apricot Season.  They are so perfect.  The taste is sweet.  The skin is soft.  There isn’t juice to run down your face and make a mess.  It is a couple bites of pure joy.

I love this season.

I am loving this season in my spiritual life as well.  Things got a little dark in my soul over the last few months.  It is hard to commune with the Lord when everything is terribly confusing and troubling.  One of the many blessings of the postpartum depression lifting is being able to walk in a new season with the Lord. 

In this season, I am being blessed in my Bible reading and in my prayer time.  I am really enjoying a daily devotional I receive from A New Thing Ministries.  As well as the oppotunity to once again pray for others in my life.

In some ways, I feel like I am getting a whole new taste.

Taste and See that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.  Psalm 34:8

What has the Lord been teaching you?  Where are you in your walk right now?  Is it a desert or a oasis or somewhere in the middle?