Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gotta Love New Beginnings!!

I love January!  It's the time of year where I feel like I get "Do-overs!"  I start the week after Christmas and start thinking about what changes I'm going to make in the new year.  Of course these changes could be made at any time, but somehow they seem better when they coincide with the New Year.  So this year I sat down and took a hard look at what needed to change.

Here's my list:
1.  Spend more time in the word and on my relationship with God.
2.  Spend more QUALITY time with my kids and husband.
3.  No more excuses: it's time to get healthy!  (step one: no sodas, no sweets)
4.  Get the financially stable.  (code words: hasta la vista debt!)
5.  yadda, yadda, yadda,

Up First:

I don't know about you, but for me change is scary and bit overwhelming.  During the first week of January I had to come to terms with some issues and acknowledge that I needed some help.  The kind that comes from the doctor.  I have always been a very anxious person that worries about everything.  With every little ache or pain I put myself in the grave.  My family sweetly calls this being a "hypochondriac."  I also tend take on the pains and burdens of others around me.  I don't think this is a bad thing except for me it becomes something I dwell on.  Things that are out of my control plague my mind.  Add on top of that the grief of losing a child and I was pretty much a mess.  I was trying to keep it all together and under control.  I could handle this.  During these last few months I was praying and seeking a deeper relationship with God.  I was able to cast these burdens to Him and pour out my heart to Him.  I did find peace in those moments, but unfortunately my brain has a mind of it's own (okay that's funny, get it, my brain- mind of it's own).  My heart knew what I needed to do but my brain didn't cooperate.  It started to affect my health.  Waking up in the middle of the night feeling like I was going to have a panic attack, tightness in my chest, back ache, and on and on  (insert hypochondriac here).  I was even anxious about going to the doctor.  In the beginning of January I went in for my monthly b12 injection.  I quietly asked the receptionist if I could make an appointment because I was experiencing anxiety.  She looks at the nurse who had just called my name and asked if they could see me now.  "What, right now, uh okay!"  Thanks God!  I get the message.  I could feel my blood pressure rising.  I was waiting in the room for what seemed like forever planning what I would tell him and do it without breaking down.  When the doctor came in he asked, "What's going on?"  I crashed, the floodgates opened and I poured out my heart and what had been torturing my brain.  He asked me if I was depressed.  I replied that I didn't think I was, but yeah I probably was.  Next, the direction I dreaded going... "Do you think you're ready to take medicine?"  I didn't want to have to take pills to get this figured out.  I looked at him and nodded my head, yes.   I needed to take something to get this anxiety and depression under control.  I struggled with the idea that I should need medicine because God tells us to not be anxious or worried.  I also know that the last eleven months have been extremely difficult and I still needed to be aware of postpartum issues.  So here starts a new journey.  I have to face this head on.

So, I am now taking some medicine to help get things back in control in my brain.  But you know what, I feel better.  I still have some anxiety that I'm working on, but I'm hopeful.   I see the doctor next week for an update and will make sure everything is good physically.  I would certainly value and appreciate your prayers. I felt it was important to share this with you because people don't talk about things like this.  It's treated like a secret.  I know that there are many people who are struggling with anxiety and depression and I have a new appreciation for what that does to you.  I pray for those who are dealing with this as well and am thankful for those that have shared with me.  It's nice to not feel alone.

Oh,  yeah and back to that list.

With this new year I just closed my eyes and I'm going for it.  

It's now January 29th and the month has been good.  I'm eating better, spending time with my quality time with my family, being a good steward of what God has provided me, and reading and spending time God.  I have already finished an awesome book: Made to Crave (  It is about replacing those cravings for food with a craving for God as that is how he designed us: to crave Him.  I highly recommend you check it out.  Things are looking good on the homefront!! 
 I give Him all the glory for the healing and changes that are going on.

Well, speaking of quality family time, It's time for me to join them. 
 Last I heard we were renting a game for Family game night.  Sounds tiring ;)

One last thing:
We would treasure your prayers as we move into February.  
  We will be remembering our sweet Madelynn as she was born a year ago on February 18th.  
We are working on how we want to honor her each year.  We are all missing her greatly!

Thanks so much for spending some time with me!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our Holidays in a Nutshell

Well my oh my, it's been a bit of time since I wrote on here.  I think about it all the time but life has been so busy these last few months so I haven't sat down to write. I am not happy with how busy life is.  There are things I want to do but feel like I can't fit them into the day. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. 

Just a short update about how we are:

We made it through the holidays. I really didn't want to be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. 
For Thanksgiving we went with Jason's mom and dad to Disneyland.  It was really nice to all be together (I did miss my family as they were all together at home).  We spent three days in the Magic Kingdom.  We ate a traditional turkey dinner with Goofy and his pals and then enjoyed the snow and fireworks at Disneyland afterwards.  I enjoyed watching Janell and Nathaniel spending time with their Nana and Papa.  Such great memories created.

I have to admit that right after Thanksgiving I started feeling very sad again.  It was going to be our first holidays since Madelynn passed away.  There was supposed to be an addition to our holiday festivities.  Everywhere I looked I couldn't help but think about her and what should have been.  I didn't say anything to anyone and not to Jason.  He was so busy getting ready for the church Christmas program and I didn't want to burden him with how I was feeling.  The Monday after the program we had a chance to talk about how we were feeling.  We were both struggling and grieving the holidays.  I felt so much better after talking with him.  I have to remind myself to share with him about how I'm feeling instead of keeping it to myself.  I guess I'm afraid to make anyone feel sad and I have never liked to draw attention to myself.  So, I just deal with it in my own way.  That is until that doesn't work anymore and gushes like a geyser.  Ugh, hate when that happens.  I put my happy face on and went to work each day praying the day would go by fast.  I was so so glad when school let out for vacation. 

The first week of vacation was spent getting ready for Christmas.  I was so not into it.  I dreaded going out to get gifts.  I did however manage to make a Christmas card this year.  It's the first one I've ever done.  I know there are people I forgot to send one too.  If you'd like to be on the list please send me your address so I can share with you next year.  
We also made Christmas cookies with friends.  That was highlight of the week.  
Sugar cookies and a great friend to catch up with.  Loved that time!

A key verse during this time for us was shared in the sermon series by Steve Stahl:

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." 
 Romans 15:13

Although I do have to admit that I would have been content with running away until the 26th.  
However, I needed to make this time special for Janell and Nathaniel. 

We spent Christmas Eve with Jason's parents.  We exchanged gifts.  His family gave me a beautiful necklace with a heart, cross, and a rose.  Perfect symbols to represent our lives (see previous post about roses).  We ate a yummy dinner and then headed home to get ready for church. 
I took the kids to the 11:00 Christmas Eve Service.  Jason was leading and I really wanted to be there, to be with him.  It was nice to worship with Jason and to hold Nathaniel as he snored away.  
Poor little guy fell asleep in the car on the way.  
I felt so blessed by that service and thinking about why we celebrate Christmas.  
I'm also blessed to have kids who are sleepers.  
They didn't get up until 9:00 on Christmas morning (I know you're jealous)!
    For Christmas we spent the day with my parents, brother, and sister and her family.  
It was nice to just relax.  We exchanged gifts and lounged around the house.  We enjoyed another turkey dinner and then lounged around some more. 
I did make sure to include Madelynn on Christmas.  There is a red tablecloth we sign every Thanksgiving and Christmas that we have at my parents house.  This tablecloth is covered with names and dates from those present at our holidays.  I believe it goes back more than 25 years.  It's fun to look at every time it comes out on the table.  So this year when I sat down to sign my name I knew I needed to include Madelynn.  So I wrote ^^MLC^^.   I didn't tell anyone I did it, but felt like she needed to be on there (and I knew I would burst out in tears if I did, I don't like crying in front of others).  I almost broke down once, but got it together.  So next year I will pull out my red tablecloth and add Madelynn to that one.

I have to admit I was thankful when December 26th came along.  

So, that's our holidays in a nutshell.  Yes, it there were times of great sadness, but there were also times of great blessings and enjoying time together with our family.

What I'm already working on for my next post:  
New Year brings New Hopes, New Goals, and New Challenges