Be Attitudes

Recently our church has been going through the Beatitudes one verse at a time every Sunday for the last few weeks. These are instructions from Jesus on how to live our lives and arrange our priorities so that we can live lives that are pleasing to God. If you would like to read them yourself, you can click here.

These beatitudes are completely backwards from the way the world wants you to look at life. The world says “get it all” Jesus tells us to “give it all.” The world says “get your revenge” and Jesus says “be nice to those who are nasty/mean/cruel even if they are never nice to you in return.” The world says “Nobody will ever know,” but Jesus tells us “God knows and sees it all.” But the amazing part is God sees it all and still loves us. I have said and done some horrific things to others in the past and despite God seeing that cruel, vengeful, hatred filled person, He still loves me! That blows my mind.

This series has been really eye opening for me.  I know I need to change some priorities in my life but if I’m honest, #1 it’s really hard, and #2 I like being really comfortable. Like today I know I should have gone to the gym after work to have a healthy body which would give me more energy to do for others, but instead I only got dressed in my workout pants and never made it out the door. I know I should stop wasting money on unnecessary food and snacks so I will have money to give to the church instead of my local convenience store, but I keep screwing up.

When my pastor said this past week that whatever you give the most time, attention, money, and thoughts to, that is your god, that felt like a smack upside the head. I constantly think about money, my body, and food. Like almost every freaking spare minute. It’s really bad, sad, and embarrassing actually. I’m always worried there will not be enough to pay my bills or do things I want to do. So then I stress and I eat. Then I curse my body for being so weak. But the Bible said we should not worry about what we will eat, drink, or wear because God will take care of all our needs.  Verses Here

So each day I am trying to do a little better and to focus on God a little more and a little on myself less. I want to do things that please God because I love God and not because I have to but because I want to and they are things that will help me and others.

More later my friends. Have a great night!!

The Twists and Turns of the Past Month

Early October, my husband calls me at work saying he doesn’t feel well and is going to Urgent Care. The doctor there says he looks okay but wants him to go to the Emergency Room because he can’t get a full breath in. Turns out he had a massive blood clot in his lungs and another in his leg. One day later and I would have lost my love and best friend. He’s now on medication and doing fine but three days in the hospital were very scary for me. I got a taste of what it would be like to live alone, without my best friend, and I definitely did not like it. There was much sobbing and fear.

On the same day my husband went to Urgent Care, I was sent home from work early because I was totally and completely burnt out. I was snapping at my boss, crying, stomping around like a 2 year old, and engaging in much muttering under my breath. Thank God in the long run she sent me home because then I was able to deal with my husband. But at the time it made me angry because I had SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!

My boss has finally realized driving her team into the ground was not working so as a team we came up with expectations that seem more reasonable. This has lifted a load off my shoulders in the best possible way because I felt like I was drowning and would never recover from the stress of it all.

Last weekend I went to an Apple Festival with my mother in law and a bunch of people from her work. It was the most wonderful weekend I had in awhile. There was  crisp fall breeze, the scent of fresh apples in the air, beautiful leaves that were changing color, craft vendors, and of course fresh apple cider which is literally one of my most favorite drinks on the planet. The whole day was a big soul refresher and for the first time in months I fell asleep contented and did not wake up once.

Also in the past month I have joined two Bible studies. One is for people struggling with mental health issues called Hope and Grace. They meet every week and its a great group of people. I am making my husband go with me for support but it’s actually helpful to him so YAY! I also joined a Bible study about Romans which is very difficult because the book they are using is written like a college text book and is very hard to get through. But the people are nice so I’m going to keep trying.

My church has been doing a sermon series on the Beatitudes (Matthew Chapter 5 in the Bible). It has been very helpful in giving me insight into what God is looking for in a person. I also finished reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. That book blew me away! It really made me question how I am doing things when it comes to my relationship with God and also some strongholds I have in place that are getting in the way of my relationship with God which has been tough.

My fellow blogger, Jenny Lawson, also opened up her own book store which I was really excited to hear. You can find her blog here. She is one of the most hilarious writers I’ve ever read and you should definitely read her books. I would love to meet her in person one day.

Well that’s it folks. My mental health is back on track, I am no longer wallowing in despair and I hope to be writing more often.

 

I Am Lost…Can You Find Me?

I am lost…..Completely…Totally….Lost.

I am 36 years old. It is almost Thanksgiving and if you believe all the radio stations and stores around here it’s also almost Christmas. My husband is working on Thanksgiving from 4:15pm to 1:15 am on Friday. So no Thanksgiving together for us. I now have to have Thanksgiving with my sister in law who I am convinced does not like me, along with her husband, my adorable and lovely niece and nephew (who make the whole ordeal worth it), and my in-laws who I adore but can sometimes be a bit much when everyone is together. Then I get to dash off to my aunt’s house with my brothers to have dessert before dashing out the door again to go shopping for everyone. I am tired just thinking about it and would like to spend the next 8 weeks hiding under a cover so I did not have to decorate, bake, wrap, shop, or even think about how the hell I’m getting through all this.

I work as a case manager for children with disabilities to find them and their families resources to help with their needs and authorizing therapy. Most of the kids are sick because it’s that time of the year. The parents are always upset, demanding, and sometimes downright cruel. I am slowly losing my love of the job and want to both cry and scream while simultaneously putting my head through a wall. My other option is to fake my death and run away forever.

I am Diabetic, have high blood pressure (100% from the job I do because when I’m off it’s totally normal), and recently have been told my cholesterol is high. Lately my heart has been hurting and so I have to find a cardiologist to go see. I want to be a mother but I don’t know if it will be physically safe enough for me to do so because I take way too many meds for my health and it may not be safe to be off them and also I have some womanly struggles that get in the way. So I will know more in January when I go back to the OB/GYN doc. I gave up school for this because I felt it was the more important goal at the moment. Now I’m doubting myself.

I have recently gone back to church and feel absolutely nothing when I am there. My pastor is awesome and a good friend of myself and my husband. The people at my church are warm and welcoming and lovely people. It really is a great place to be. But I come in, I listen, I leave and I feel nothing. No happy, no sad, no love, no hate. Just another freaking obligation. I’ve tried reading my Bible, praying, but nothing is working right now. But I’m going to keep trying because I really do love God even if I suck as a Christian most of the time.

I have completely failed at the fitness challenge I joined 8 weeks ago and am too embarrassed to go to the ending party on Wednesday because let’s face it I am the biggest loser ever and didn’t even lose like 2 pounds. So super failure right there. Total waste of time, money, and effort.

Nothing makes me happy right now. I feel like I’m just going through the motions of being alive on a daily basis. I feel empty, numb, tired all the time, constant slew of headaches, and just sick of life. I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I even went back to therapy for a few sessions and it has not been helpful at all.

I really miss my family. As much as my mother wasn’t the greatest person in the world we always had good holidays together. We always had fun as a family. I miss Christmas mornings together with my brothers and my dad and having cookies for breakfast and reheated McDonald’s sandwiches we bought the day before. I miss decorating the tree with them. I miss board games Christmas night because we always got a few new ones every year. I miss Thanksgivings at my aunt’s house when I was a kid and all the cousins were over. Now everyone is too busy, too far away, has their own family, etc.

I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel adrift in a sea of feelings I can’t sort out and with work don’t have time to do so. I feel so alone even when I’m surrounded by good people. Hugs are physically painful because they make me feel like I’m going to shatter into a thousand pieces. I have been retreating from everyone who loves me because I can’t take it right now. Isn’t that awful? The one thing that could make me feel better is probably sitting down and talking to someone and yet I can’t seem to do so.

I’m sorry this is such a bummer of a post. I just needed to vent. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully a better one.

 

depression

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I have been quiet on WordPress for awhile and for those that actually read my blog I apologize. Life has been hectic and I am in the middle of some major changes.  I am afraid to blog about these changes because if I fail and tell no one then I fail alone. But if I share my goals and fail then it feels like seemingly EVERYONE in the whole world will know and that is terrifying.

I have started to try to pray again. It has not been consistent, or beautiful for that matter but it is real. I am working towards reading my Bible again which is also inconsistent at the moment but could get better as I put more effort into it. I remember when I first became a Christian I was so excited to read about Jesus and God and all the things he had done. It was truly like being in love and wanting to know every and anything. There was some major passion and excitement. Now it’s like “Ugh. I have to read THAT again?” I am starting to think maybe I should join a Bible study because I tend to learn better in a group then alone. I feel like a jerk for feeling so blase about wanting to know more about my faith but I’m in a place where I’m not sure what else there is for me to learn.

I have also joined a challenge at my gym which starts in September. Basically whoever loses the biggest percentage of weight in 8 weeks wins $500 and whoever loses the highest percentage from ALL the gyms wins $5,000. I signed up myself and my husband but I think I made a mistake now. I signed up right after my friend Royal passed away out of fear. He was only 38 and died from weight related health problems. That is only 2 years older then me and so I freaked out and signed us up.

The reason I think it is a mistake is I am extremely competitive and I do not like to lose and when I do lose it destroys me. My husband has a healthier approach of we’re going to lose weight (hopefully) and learn some new workout skills as part of the package is 3 personal training sessions. But the trainer I’ll be working with has given me some exercises to start with before the challenge and I have been in excruciating pain after some of them. I did a whole body workout 2 days ago and my knees and legs still do not want to cooperate with me.

On top of the exercise, I am having food difficulties again. I was following this ketogenic diet where I was eating a lot less carbs and was doing well. Unfortunately I fell off the wagon and have not been able to get back on. Chocolate is literally like heroin to my body. I can’t stop once I start and then the cravings hit every day around the same time of day. I know I should make something else but it’s so darn good. It’s delicious, it’s soothing, and most importantly, it’s quick.

I can do this. But it’s going to take time. So please be patient if I do not blog daily. I am trying to add a lot to my life but this is still important. Any advice on making changes would be appreciated!

Time-for-Change

 

 

Josh Groban Made Me Cry Today

This whole week at work has been (excuse my language) a shit show. Crisis after crisis with a side of crisis and crisis for dessert. My patience is at its limit right now and I literally had to take an extended lunch today just so I did not tell a certain parent what I really thought of her. I talked to my supervisor who reassured me that I was fine and I would make it through, which was enormously helpful. She agreed to call psycho mom with me tomorrow so we can (hopefully) set her straight.

I was on my way home today and was listening to a random CD of music I had made several years ago. Some songs were fast and made me dance, others were just funny, and some I wondered what I was thinking when I downloaded the song to a CD.

Then Josh Groban happened.

Silent Night filled my car sung by the angel voice of Mr. Joshua Groban. The song is one of my favorites and always has been, but this version is probably my favorite of the song. The way it just builds and crescendos is glorious. I highly advise checking it out. But for some reason it struck a chord today. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the stress, the awful things said about me and to me this week. But all of it washed away as I drove home and let the true love of God seep into my soul and remind me of how loved I am in His sight. I remembered that I am a beloved daughter of the Creator of the Universe and that what everyone else thought, at least in that moment, did not matter. It was such a beautiful moment that I find it hard to describe in mere words.

I know this may sound corny to some but I really needed that and I feel like God knew it so he spoke to me through music (as is the case sometimes). I hope this is an encouragement to whoever reads this. No matter where you are, what you have done, how horrible the world around you gets, God is there for you and loves you so much. He knows you inside out and upside down and the number of hairs on your head. Your name is carved in the palm of His hand. So take heart and don’t give up.

Sorry if this came across as a little preachy. This was just too perfect not to share today.

Overcome

Introductions and Such

Hello! My name is Jenny and it’s currently 2:48AM. I am supposed to be sleeping but instead I am here typing in Cyber Land because my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. I attended a friend’s daughter’s communion party today. I think the combination of BBQ, Coca-Cola, and cake is partly to blame for my insomnia. But there’s also the constant anxiety I live with that makes by brain operate like an out of control merry-go-round that only the most psychotic of people would want to ride.

The reason I started this blog is because everywhere I turn I am told to “not complain” and to “reset” myself. I am not allowed to be angry, upset, or sad. I am supposed to be a bastion of rainbows, sunshine, and smiles because as a social worker you can’t feed into the negativity of parents or kids. You are supposed to be as calming as the ocean when a parent tells you that their kid just beat the crap out of them because they are Autistic and can’t communicate what they want verbally. You are supposed to just trust that God has your back even when things constantly go wrong.

Do I believe in God? Absolutely. Am I sure He loves me and always has my back? Honestly not always. But that’s why I have Pastor Thomas. He is literally one of the best people I know. He’s kind of perfectly imperfect. You can guarantee most Sundays that he will make some cornball jokes. But he never does it at the expense of the truth. And he will always tell you the truth even if you don’t necessarily want to hear it. But he is gentle and compassionate and will agree to disagree. His wife Lauren is amazing and brilliant and her faith is so strong. I hope I can be a little like her one day.

So back to “reset.” This is a term used in the Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser. This is a therapeutic approach that I and my other fellow Care Managers (as we are called) are required to use with families along with all the therapists we work with. In short you are supposed to “energize” positive behaviors (in other words give lots of attention, praise, and rewards) and refuse to energize negative behaviors (not really ignoring just refusing to engage in an argument, waiting for a moment to praise the child for literally anything they do right). You also have to have clear rules and consequences in place and you have to follow through no matter what. Resetting is when you or the child take a minute to calm down and then resume working towards whatever goals you were working towards (sort of like when you play a video game and you lose a life and you just start over and work until you beat the game).

Our whole agency has to follow this including our supervisors. In theory it sounds nice but when you have had a truly craptastic day and you are one step away from a nervous breakdown, you want someone to acknowledge you have a right to feel the way you do and not tell you to “reset.” It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even talk about it anymore because it only makes me feel angrier and more depressed. But stuffing feelings is why it is 3:18am and I am wide awake (okay and the cake and Coke).

I need a place to vent, explore ideas, discuss my craziness, and as my blog title suggests, stumble my way to a deeper faith in God. I am open to ideas, suggestions, quotes, and DEFINITELY any books that are recommended (as long as they aren’t anything too crazy like how to cook alligator or something). Thanks for tuning in this morning. Hoping to add more content on at least a weekly basis if not more often. Just hopefully not at this crazy hour!