Monday, August 2, 2010

The Grief Wing

I started to title this the Grief Room, but in this temple it seems to have an entire wing. Sort of a split level actually. There's the traditional section of grieving for friends and family that have left this life, then there's the section that grieves things in this life - like the autism stuff, and broken relationships, and dreams/hopes that didn't materialize. I'm not good with grief. Never have been, not sure I ever will be. The last week has forced me to spend some time in the grief wing and I don't like it.

A week ago my best friend's dad passed away. As I talked to her on the phone I found that I had way too little to offer. Had I been there I would have wrapped her up in my arms, held her and prayed over her, but you can't do all of that on the phone. I did get to go down for the visitation and funeral. I felt so inadequate. I wanted to make things better for her, and I just couldn't.

Trying to be there for her and spending time in prayer over this loss had me wondering around my own grief history. I literally had images of wondering around in a wing of the temple looking at all the faces like they were pictures on the wall. Umpa James, Daddy Bill, Papa & Bebe, Sandy (my father-in-law), and several other family members floated through my thoughts. Then I turned to another wall and saw others - Mark, the brother of my high-school sweetheart - the first time I dealt with a death I really didn't know how to handle. Tess' grandmother, Ruth Dooley, Wayne Wright, Jim Hance, and Bradley. They all (and others) filtered through my thoughts, the specifics of their place in my life rolling over me in little waves. It wasn't fun. I don't like the grief wing, but I think I said that already.

Today another picture got hung on the wall. An old youth group pal was killed in a car accident this morning. Kevin's picture is right next to Brad's in my head. So sad. A wife and two kids left. Parents loosing a child. I don't understand it. I don't want to understand it. I don't know what to do with it.

Sadly, my flesh becomes strong when my spirit is weak and I seem to attempt comfort in ways that are not healthy. Grieving the loss of my grandfathers (or rather, not grieving them as the case really was) is what triggered the major depression I survived in my early 20's. That's where the initial weight gain came from - that depression. So this last week as I wondered around in my grief wing I found myself making bad choices. I ate fatty foods and I drank DP and I really just wanted to be left alone in a quiet room.

HOWEVER, I choose not to stay there. I know that as I get older I will have to visit this part of the temple from time to time. Some of those visits will be harder than others. And I suppose at some point in this life the frequency of those visits will increase. The beautiful part is that now I know that it is just a small part of the temple. It's not the whole thing! It doesn't have to take over. I can go there and mourn and cry and ask God to help me get up and go back to another part of this life that he created for me. And He'll pick me up, dry my tears, and carry back into the joy that exists in my everyday life. He'll show me the miracles that walk around in plain sight. He'll remind me that He is in control and that as long as I love and trust Him I have nothing to worry about. He says to me,"When you don't know what to do with it, just give it to Me. It's really Mine anyway."

I know these things to be true because God is in every room on every level, in every closet, and under every bed. I don't have to run around looking for Him. I simply call out His name and then feel His presence because this temple is His. Thank you Father for being present in every moment.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Progress Report

Feeling pretty good this week. Since my confessional post last week I have lost 3 pounds. Did pretty good on workouts last week - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. Thursday was just a walk on the treadmill - but it was great. The kids were having a horrible morning. We wooke up late, had to get Tripp to ESY, the girls were after we dropped off T I let the girls watch tv and I walked off the morning's frustrations. Had a great day after that. Friday I didn't do a specific workout but Mom and I did take the kids to the pool and let me tell you, walking in the pool with children attached to you is exercise! I slept to well that night!!!

Food went alright. I think I had 3 Dr. Peppers - much better than the 7 per week I had been averaging. No sweets or desserts. I did have french fries on Sunday, but nothing else fried. I've got August's meal calendar complete, just need to do the grocery lists.

House cleaning system is going so-so, keeping up with laundry fine, but still stuggling with the floors. Doesn't help that my vaccuum is making that hot smell when I turn it on and Easy just changed the belts 2 weeks ago.

No progress happening on kids stuff - still need to work on fall visuals/schedules as well as making a lists of who needs what before school starts. It's a bit daunting.

So that's all the external stuff.....internally it has been a great week. I love being in a place where I feel like I'm learning new things. I think if I could stop loosing focus I could stay put with my spirit open to hear His whenever He speaks - wouldn't that be fabulous?!?!?! I feel like I was closer to God this past week than I have been in quite some time. Perhaps it's because I confessed my laziness and my sin of filling up with food and not the Father. Kinda feels like He gave me this great reward for owning up to what I've done the last 8 months. Of course, it hasn't all been roses. I've been quite convicted in a few areas, but that's what it takes to move forward so I'm not complaining.

I need to run - busy evening ahead, just wanted to post the progress so I'm being accountable. Prayers for continued focus are appreciated!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I was reading today and received a word of affirmation so I thought I'd share it with you. A little back somepoint during the last year I was processing some stuff with my sweet mom and I used the term disobedient to describe a choice a made. At the time she questioned if that was the right word to use. My response was pretty simple - "Well, God told me not do it and I did it anyway." Then she agreed that it was the right word. Here's a quote from Battlefield of the Mind:
Disobedience is disregarding the voice of the Lord,
or whatever God is speaking to us personally,
not just transgressing the Ten Commandments.

We tend to think of disobedience as breaking a clearly established rule. For my kids, the "House Rules" are clearly defined and they know they will have consequences if they choose to break them. Life as a faithful Christian isn't so easily defined though. In fact, clear cut rules and regulations are quite contrary to some of the teachings in the new testament. ...a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:16)

So where does that leave us with obedience? Well, one basic premise, or rule if you like that word, is clear - believe. Believe in Jesus. Believe in God. Believe God. Very timely for me I think that we are doing Beth Moore's Believing God study this fall during LBC. It focuses on moving from believing in God to believing God. What does that mean? Here's an example:

When God told me not to do that thing I did I didn't believe Him. I didn't believe anyone else would do it if I didn't - which really means I didn't believe God would take care of it. Yikes. I believed in God, but I didn't believe Him when he said He could take care of it and it wasn't my job to do it.

So why is it so hard to believe when we feel God speaking in our spirit? That would be doubt. I think we are often guilty of not spending the time it takes to attune ourselves to the Spirit. Satan likes that. It makes it easy for him to attack us with doubt. Even when we know that we know that we know that we have heard from God, it is easy for Satan to cause us to doubt the source. Because we are not practiced in communication with Him we wonder which voice we really heard. We wonder if it's just our own voice, we wonder if it's Satan's voice, the voices of others seem so much louder than the voice we heard......and the list goes on. Please know that I didn't hear an audible voice. When I say voice I'm really describing the inner prompting you feel when the Spirit moves. I do think we need to pray expecting to hear from God.....we also need to practice listening with our spirit........and when He speaks we need to obey. Because disobedience has consequences.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Struggling Confession/Accountability Call

Hmmmm......after an absence like this I don't know where to I'll start with the truth. I've undone some remodeling. I've gained 15 pounds. There, I said I hope you will help me deal with it.

OK, so here's the deal - it's been a rough last 12 months. I could list lots of reasons that the last 12 months of my life we stressful and difficult and emotionally exhausting and blah blah blah. Here's the bottom line truth I've come to accept though - there are consequences to disobedience. Duh, right? I teach my kids that on a daily basis. So why is that a lesson I'm still learning?

About a year ago I spent some serious prayer time beseeching God for an answer to a pretty specific question. I felt very clearly that he gave me one. "No, don't do it." Guess what, I did it anyway. Doesn't really matter what "it" was, the point here is that I felt an answer in my spirit and allowed my flesh to act in opposition to that answer. So what were the consequences? The details don't matter, but there definitely was more stress in my life than there needed to be. And when I'm stressed............well, I eat. I feel like I deserve it. Like somehow it is a valid reward. I also realized part way through the year why I was so stressed out but there wasn't anything I could do about it. Then I felt I ate some more. Then I realized I was eating more than I should and that I wasn't making good choices...........which made me "feel bad about myself" I ate some more. Gee, do you think perhaps I was listening to Satan's voice and not the Father's? I even said things to myself like "but look how big you were after Vivi, you're no where near that so it's OK." Um, no, not OK.

So, now what do I do? I can be a good wife, a good mom, and I can work in the gifts/ministry God has called me to. What does that look like? Well it starts with plate balancing - I'm in the process of removing all the activities that don't help me be a better wife, mom, writer, or teacher. I already have more peace having taken some of those steps. They have been well received by those they affect and I am thankful for their understanding and support.

I was recently convicted about this physical body yet again though. It is the vessel God gave me with which to accomplish all those things He calls me to do on this earth. I should be taking better care of it. So here I am, yet again needing to overhaul the temple - head to toe, mind to heart. I am no longer comparing myself to where I was 4 years ago. That battle is over. This is a different one. It may look the same on the outside, but I know that the terrain is different. This battle is one that I must rely on God to win because I so clearly can not do it in my own strength. Yes, I have new skills, weapons, perspectives, but so does Satan. So, I'm throwing down the gauntlet because my God deserves the best of what I have. I know when I'm giving Him my all He will fill me with strength and power I can't even comprehend. And I'm counting on that because it sure feels like Satan has outsmarted me for the past year.

I covet your prayers, your words of encouragement, your shared journey, even your admonishment. Please help keep me accountable. I intend to post at least weekly and update the sidebars under Progress Report. I am hungry for communication in this struggle - here, on FB, in person........I have felt very alone for the last year, but when I look around I see I am surrounded by people that I know will help me if I ask. So I'm asking.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So, it's been quite a while since the last post. I admit that Facebook is getting most of my posts these days. Perhaps that because I only think in 1-2 sentence segments. Today, however, I find myself needing to pour out a little and to ask for the prayers of anyone reading this.

Just in case any of you don't play on FB and missed the posts last fall, Paris was in fact diagnosed with Aspeerger's Syndrome. Since my last post we got the diagnosis, went through the process with the school district and now have appropriate labels and supports in place. We've started her on the same supplement Tripp takes to boost her body's production of glutathione and we are taking her to the therapeutic riding place where Tripp goes as well. She's actually doing really well right now.

I think that's part of why I find myself struggling at the moment. She and Tripp and Vivie are all doing really well. We've moved out of the barely surviving stage we were in for months and are doing well. As my mom pointed out though, when things are going well I actually have time to feel - and it doesn't neccessarily feel good. When I'm in survivial mode I can just work my guts out to get through the day and then pass out so I can do it all over again. There's no time to think or feel. No time to see the things I'm not getting done. No time to see where I'm not being obedient to God's call on my life. But now that things are going better with the kids.................yeah, not doing so great personally.

I think part of it is finally acknowledging that I have to kids with autism. Still hard to say that. Still makes me want to cry sometimes. It's not just that though. Another person that I love dearly was diagnosed with cancer last week. Prognosis is great and I have very little doubt that the treatment plan is going to obliterate the cancer. But, seriously, I'm tired of this! I had a friend tell me recently that I can't afford to sweat the small stuff because my life is full of the big stuff. Well I'm kinda sick of big stuff.

I recently spoke at a women's event at church. It was a message that I enjoyed sharing - that I enjoyed learning - that God put on my heart just for that event. I realize now that since that day I have been under attack. Now, I realize not all of you reading this may truly beleive in spirtual warfare. But I do. And I'm telling you that Satan didn't like the message I shared. He didn't like that in the midst of my life of "big stuff" I still let God give me that message and was obedient in sharing it. He's ramped up his battle against me and I confess that I have faltered. I am struggling. I'd rather hide in bed and eat chocolate than do anything. Actually, I have hidden in bed and eaten chocolate. I'm tired, I'm grumpy, I'm tearful. I was reminded this week at ladies' class how important it is to recognize when we're under attack. Now I see it. Now I can fight it because now I remember that I can call upon the strength of the Lord to get through these days.

Friends - pray for me. Pray that Satan will back off. Pray that I will stand strong in Christ and KNOW that God is God and I am not. Pray that I will rely on the strength of the Lord and heed the stirrings of the Holy Spirit. Pray that I will be obedient and allow God's work in and through me to be done. Pray continually - because I am under attack.