This is what grace looks like:
Grace is 5 years ago this little bundle screaming her head off as we put her up to the slide (not down the slide), while her very sick mama battled postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis in the background.
Grace is a mama still be here, homeschooling, her three beautiful daughters that 5 years ago today she tried to surrender them to her midwife during a psychotic break.
Grace, grace, Gods’ grace is this little girl, who was screaming on that slide 5 years ago while her mama battled for her mind, now wrapping her arms around her mama and telling her she’s the best mama ever.
I remember very clearly when my friend go married. We were in college. I loved making the trips to her hometown for bridal showers, getting together to help, and finally, on the morning of her wedding, helping her color her hair. It was the first and last time I ever applied hair dye.
On the day of her wedding. Yup.
I remember playing games at her bridal shower. I won one of them and got this great cookbook from the dollar store. All these years later, it is still one of my favorite cookbooks.
Here is the recipe I use most from it:
2 Pie Crusts
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 cups white flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
Mix shortening, flour and salt together. Slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball. Split dough and roll out into 2 crusts.
What is your favorite recipe? Is there a story behind it?
The decision to homeschool is an intensely personal one to make. Everyone homeschools for the reasons that fit their family.
Each family brings their own reasons and their own skills to the world of homeschooling.
For many, it is the desire to be the one who is there when their kids make a new discovery. For others, it is the opportunity to instill their faith or beliefs in their kids. For still others, it is because of bullying in the schools. For some it is the desire to tailor curriculum and teaching methods to their child’s way of learning. For most, I think it is a combination of reasons.
For me, I wanted to be home with my kids, I wanted to be there for the learning breakthroughs. I wanted to teach them in the way they best learned and I wanted to teach our faith to them every day.
I love seeing them sprawled out on a chair or with a pom pom over their head while reading a book or doing math. I love knowing we can learn in this relaxed environment while still knowing how to sit quietly in a sit and raising our hand to be called upon in a group setting. I love having them run over to give me a hug or sitting on my lap while we read our math lesson. I love seeing them start their independent work early in the morning, without being told. I love being able to add in special art projects or history lessons based on the day or our curriculum. I love adding in our faith throughout each day, in every subject.
These are many, not all, of my reasons.
Over the last 5 years, I have shared a lot. About fun stuff. About confusing stuff. And about hard stuff. Sometimes, really hard stuff.
Mental illness, first as postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis and then as bipolar disorder II has been something I have talked a great deal about. I often walk away from various blog posts raw, wondering what I am thinking sharing so much of myself. Most of the time, I continue on with the post.
Sometimes, things get held in tight.
So, why do I do this? Why do I share the hard? Why don’t I just stop whining and move on?
Today, I was reminded why.
Someone in my day-to-day life noticed a change in me, noticed that I seem to be moving slower. And she’s right. I feel like I am often in a dream, stuck in slower motion. I told her it was because of medication I was on. She surprised me by asking what medication–so I told her, bipolar disorder. She took it in stride and didn’t totally weird out on me.
But I walked away wondering why I had told her so bluntly. Why did bare a part of me that many people would hold in close. I puzzled over it awhile. And then it hit me.
It’s the only way to get rid of stigma. I have to be able to show that I function and live well with mental illness if I want people to some day accept it as okay, as not quite normal, but not a monster to be feared. If I want that day to come, I have to do my part of usher it in.
I have to live it out loud.