Losing control

Last week I was a mess.

Truth be told, I’m always a mess. But last week was worse than normal.

I lost it – completely and throughly lost it.

This summer has been a very emotional as I have been unpacking baggage from both the near and distant past. Combined with a change of routine and lack of sleep, I exploded. Multiple times.

I found myself so low that all my words were gone. I did not think that this post would happen. Last week, I figured this post would be a brief notice saying that I was taking a break for a few months.

The feeling of losing control is not fun. In my case, I feel like I am losing control of my life, which is what caused me to lose control of my actions.

The bad part is that I don’t know how to process my out bursts. I also destroyed some of the relationship building I had been attempting to under take.

In addition to losing it, I now feel as if I have given up. What is the point of continuing to attempt to control if I’m still going to lose everything?

I really feel like I should have some deep theological thing to say to answer my own question. But I don’t. I have nothing but pain and anger.

All I can hope is that God will continue to help me sift through my feelings and come to a better understanding of myself, Himself and those around me.

A day at the beach

Children are amazing and silly.

A few weeks ago, we took our children to the beach. It was my daughter’s first visit. Her first word while in the ocean was “Woah!” Later she changed to a fuss.

My son had been to the beach before, but was only a few months older than his sister when he went.

When I told him we were going, he told me, “I don’t like the beach.”

“Have you ever been there?” I asked.

“No.”

I was able to then show him the pictures of his first visit. He seemed excited after that and kept asking about the beach.

At one point during the visit, he was privileged to swim in the ocean with his dad. Hopefully it will be an experience he will remember for a few years.

There is something calming and mesmerizing about the ocean. I like to think that I would love living on the beach. But when I think about the storms and rain that must come with it, I’m not so sure.

My children enjoyed the beach. They played in the sand, picked up real (and, in the case of my daughter, imaginary) sea shells and wandered around the beach.

But how would they take the storms?

Isn’t that how we like life to be? We like the good parts and the fun, but don’t want the storms. Yet it is in the storms that God grows us, teaches us about Himself and ourselves, and let’s us know His power and comfort.

 

Freedom and messy emotions

Today is a very special day for the United States. We celebrate the day we declared our independence from England and birth of our nation. It is a day we celebrate national freedom.

But what about personal freedom? Are we as individuals free?

The past few weeks, I have been unpacking a lot of emotional baggage. It’s the ordinary day-to-day stuff that I haven’t had time to deal with. So it has built up a small pile of suitcases in the corner and a noticeable pile of junk under the rug.

As I have been unpacking my feelings and emotions, I have begun to feel free. Now don’t assume that unpacking my baggage has been easy. It has been really hard. One day, I spend three hours journaling in an attempt to sort through and deal with my messy emotions. But as I pick up the emotions, name them and face them head on, the baggage pile has shrunk and a sensation of freedom has filled its place.

In this process, I have discovered emotions and feelings I thought I had taken out to the backyard and buried. It was unsettling at first to find them alive and sitting in the corner with the rest of the baggage. I’m still not totally sure how to process some of them. But I don’t want to repeat my past and bury them again. This time, I want to face them and work through them. I want to be free from them.

As I get older, I am realizing that if I don’t face my emotions, problems and addictions, head on, I will never be free. If I sweep my junk under the rug or bury it in the back yard, I haven’t dealt with it. All I have done is postponed dealing with it while giving it license to continue to harass me.

I don’t think that this is the life God wants for His children.

Will dealing with past emotions and problems be difficult? Yes! It may be extremely painful. It may bring flashbacks and relapses into old thought patterns and emotions. But if we ask Him, God will be there holding our hand and helping us through the pain. (It is also good to have a friend or counselor go on the journey with us. When the emotions get too deep and we about drown, they can help to pull us out.)

So today, as you think about and celebrate national freedom, see if there are any areas of your life that aren’t free. If there are, take a moment to pray and to ask God to help you face those areas head on. Ask Him to guide you, heal you and to walk beside you.

Psalm 147: 3 ESV – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Saving the memories

Memories. They tend to fade quickly. Those precious moments, accomplishments and times of extreme cuteness our children have can be all to quickly forgotten and pushed away due to the ongoing cares of life. When my daughter was born, I sat and scratched my head wondering, “What did we do with her brother? I can’t remember.” As she progresses through the different stages, I try to remember what it was like with my son. But as they are such different children (ie. my son walked at 19 1/2 months; my daughter walked at 13 1/2 months), it is really hard to compare them.

One of my reasons for starting this blog was to make it a place to store my memories of my children. I was looking through some of my past posts this weekend. There were things there that I had already forgotten. So this post is unashamedly about the things my daughter has been doing the past week. I don’t want to forget these precious little moments.

It is amazing to watch these little people grow. They gain height, weight and, most importantly, skills and abilities so quickly. In the past week, I have observe my daughter learn several new words. Each has a silly story that makes this mama laugh.

My son loves trains and it is becoming obvious that he has taught his sister to do the same.

Over the weekend, my daughter brought me a book to read. To encourage her growth and to keep myself from being board, I was pointing out different things in the pictures. One page had a train and she spent a fair amount of time on that page. She also said “ain” over and over again for the next hour or two.

Now this “ain” isn’t pronounced any ordinary way; it has a bit of a twist added to the front of it. My daughter has the ability to combine the letters l, m, and n into one sound. I could never specifically tell what sound she was trying to make because it sounded like it switched every time. I heard “lain,” “main” and “nain.” “Nain” was what I seemed to hear the most.

I was surprised and pleased by her fascination with the train. So I decided to see how she would respond if I played a train video for her. I really expected her to lose interest and want to go do something else. Boy, was I wrong. She was fascinated, staring intently at the trains and saying “ain” over and over (except when I had the phone out trying to capture it, of course). I’d say her brother done a good job teaching her to like trains.

A day or two later, my daughter discovered her brothers hats. I already knew she liked hats. She has a hat at Grandma’s house that she likes to play with. Her brothers hats have proved to be just as interesting.

My daughter also loves hair bows. (A bow was the first thing she asked for a day or two last week.) When she first found the hats, she called them bows. Now, with a little correction from Mommy, they are an “at.” If you listen extremely hard, there is a slight hint of an h sound at the beginning.

For church on Sunday, I had dressed her up in a cute little yellow dress and accompanying hair bow. After church, I changed her clothes, but let her keep wearing the hair bow. But a hair bow, wasn’t quite enough head covering for my daughter. Nope. She needed a hat. So I handed her an orange bucket hat her size. That was nice, but it still wasn’t enough. She needed one of brother’s hats too. She looked silly, yet adorable in her two hats and hair bow. I wonder if she is going to be a hat wearer as she gets older.

There have been so many other new things my daughter has been doing, such as finding the lid on the toy bucket trying to put it on. I believe that our babies are smarter than we give them credit for. At fifteen months, my daughter clearly knows when I tell her to do something and she knows how to indicate that she doesn’t want to obey. I can also see the mischief in her eyes as she heads toward the edges of my bed, knowing I will grab her and pull her away. These little ones may not be able to talk in a language we can understand, but they can understand us. They are smart – super smart. Don’t let their size or age fool you. They are capable of doing more than we think they can.

When I am afraid

The last few weeks, my mom had been singing When I Am Afraid by Steve Green to my son. My son, who loves music and to sing, has picked up the song. It has become a permanent part of the songs he likes to sing.

The past several weeks, I have been dealing with fear. I have come to the realization that it has been part of my battle with depression. With God’s help, I have been trying to address that fear head on and not let it continue to have control over me.

This week, I was once again tempted to let hear take to control. The song my mom had been singing to my son came to mind. I looked up the scripture that the song came from. It is found in Psalms 56. The description before the psalm says that David wrote it when the Philistines had seized him at Gath.

While David is talking about physical enemies that he can see, I think this psalm can also apply to those enemies that we can’t see. They are attacking our minds and souls. I am so thankful that when the enemy comes to attack, we don’t have to fear. We can trust God.

Psalms 56

Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life.
For their crime will they escape? In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Psalms 56:1‭-‬13 ESV