Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Breaking down

I broke down tonight.  I didn't want to - we were already in bed, I was/am super tired, and it's been a long enough day, even after reminiscing about yesterday.  This isn't the first time I've broken down in the last couple years...I'm an emotional basket case pretty regularly, so this isn't an odd occurrence.  This won't be the last time, either.  But tonight...tonight was different somehow.  I'm still weary.  I'm still crying out to God about the same stuff.  I'm still broken.  But I got on my knees, and actually felt a little bit of surrender take place in my heart and in my spirit.  I can physically feel a little bit of peace.  I didn't even really pray that long or use any eloquent words.  I mainly said Jesus' name over and over, somehow knowing that although I know He hears me whenever I pray, He was expectant tonight...waiting and ready to hear me and do something about it.  God has felt so distant lately...that's how the break down started out.  Paul and I were talking about the place we're in - emotionally, physically, spiritually.  I just got to the point where I kept asking..."How did we get here?"

I didn't have the answer.  Neither did he.  So for once, I actually went to the One who does have the answers.  Not in an uber-spiritual way, either.  I'm usually too angry - I deal with anger a lot - but the brokenness outweighed the angry tonight.  The raw shards of my emotions were laid bare next to crumpled up wads of tissue and tear stains, twitching mercilessly to be taken up and put away again.  But I didn't take them up.  I didn't put them away, at least for a minute.  And I came to the computer to write about it before the experience melted away amidst the seemingly short amount of sleep I'll get tonight.

I've not processed it all yet, but I don't think I need to.  In response to all of this, I grabbed a poem I wrote in 2010 (not sure when...I didn't date it).  It doesn't have a name, but doesn't need to...

I who speak to you am He.
And I am speaking
and will speak
and have spoken.
I am
the future
the past
the present
and the Gift.
I see the depths
and the shallows.
I see the spirit
and the marrow. 
The physical,
the unseen.
All of the things that make you,
were created by Me.
I am the vine
and you are My fruit.
You need the faith
and you need to choose.
Do you trust?
Can you see?
You may know it all,
but then you don't know Me.
The tears, the peace
the anger, the relief -
I see it all.
But be warned and believe -
the humble will win and the proud will fall.
Be hungry for Me,
not the counterfeits.
Because I am, My love...
I am it.

Valentine's Day

I know I'm a day late, but I have to say - yesterday was one of the best Valentine's Days I've had in a long time.  Don't get me wrong - my husband is very sweet and knows that our relationship is not going to do well based on one stupid Hallmark holiday, but does a great job at making me feel special on this specific day.  We had a fun time at work (my job goes all out for holidays - we had a decoration competition, and that always makes for a let's-work-a-little-less-than-normal (read: a-lot-less) type of day).  So although I was in a good mood on my way home, I was still feeling a little down - I didn't expect to give or get anything from Paul because we're a bit tight financially, but I was letting that make me feel unloved.  Have you felt that way?  It seems especially hard when I know my husband loves me, and he does what he can to show me that love.  Part of me just wanted a gift of some sort...some tangible thing to show me that I'm loved, appreciated, blah blah blah...I hate sounding like a grumbler.

I decided to stop and get Paul a card on my way home from work.  We usually exchange cards in the morning before work on holidays/birthdays, but since we now get up at 4:15 every morning, I'm sure there were more pertinent things on our minds (i.e. dragging ourselves out of bed, sleepily swaying in the shower, getting Isaac ready without dropping him or allowing him to dive head-first off the changing know, the basics.)  So I bought a card and some peanut M&Ms (one of Paul's favorites), picked up Isaac from his caregiver's house, and went home.  He was pretty fussy (he hasn't felt well lately), so I put him down for a nap almost right when we got home, so I didn't even get play or cuddle time with him to make me feel better. 

Side note - I haven't bought anything for Isaac's "first" year.  I didn't do anything for his first Halloween (except stuff him into a costume that we had donated to us for 10 minutes), or his first T-giving, or Christmas...except pictures, which I think are more important anyway.  I haven't filled out his baby book - I tried when I was pregnant to write some stuff in it, and I recorded stuff from him actual date of birth, but nothing beyond that.  I haven't had professional photos taken of him at any point in his life thus far.  I don't have an adorable collage frame full of pictures I had printed off, photo-shopped and mounted.  These are all wonderful things, but we haven't had the time, money or energy to do any of it.  Does that make me a bad parent?  I don't think so.  I just keep reminding myself that he won't remember this year unless he's some sort of evil genius with a super-human memory, and if that's the case, we have bigger problems on our hands.  All this to say that I didn't do anything for Isaac yesterday either, except put him in a cute "Heart Breaker" outfit that was given to us.  Okay...end side note.

So I'm sitting on the couch, watching an old Robert Downey Jr. movie (Hearts and good) and crying like a fool (not blubbering, but definite tears), when in walks my amazing husband with a dozen of my favorite roses and a beautifully cheesy card.  I cannot tell you how that absolutely made my day, even if my first, mostly internal reaction was about the money he spent on these roses (which he didn't actually spend any money - he was able to use a gift card's remaining balance...dude!).  This girl was a very happy camper.
We proceeded with him taking a nap, me taking care of Isaac for a little while, and then me cooking a pretty awesome dinner, if I do say so myself.  We treated my mother-in-law and her beau to dinner to say thank you for watching Isaac on Tuesday nights so Paul and I can have some time away.  We ate, drank, watched and laughed at Isaac like a sitcom, and enjoyed each other on this fake holiday.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing day...better than I've had in a while.  God is good.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


After I posted yesterday, I got some more great feedback (thanks to know who you are), and even got a page view from Germany!  Holla!  But then I started doing more research on eating gluten-free, grain-free, etc.  I found some great recipe blogs to which I am now subscribed.  I read some insightful articles and blog posts.  I've listened to some telling testimonies and sage advice.  I've become a 'fan' of organic, localized food places on FB.  (Yes, all in like, a week.)  And I'm just going to be real, y'all - I am officially overwhelmed.  It came to the point yesterday where I had a stress attack (that's what I'm calling them, now that I've processed what exactly happens and why).  These attacks have been happening over the last couple years, and I think I misdiagnosed them as panic attacks - it's similar to panic, but not exactly.  Who knows...maybe I'm wrong all the way around.  However, I actually took the time last night as I was laying in bed to go through the whole attack (the attack itself lasted for almost 2 hours).  I figured out that my being overwhelmed mentally (which was caused by doing all the research), plus being physically tired (thanks to a certain 10-month old who woke us up at 3:45 yesterday morning) equaled me being "on edge", as my husband described it.  Then when things didn't go as planned yesterday evening, it pushed me over the edge - I couldn't make any decisions, I was pacing one moment then laid out on the couch, completed defeated the next.  Then, everything got on my nerves - my son's constant talking/screaming (more screaming than anything else...I swear, if he's not involved in a loud activity of some sort when he gets older, this whole stage is for naught), my husband's coughing/drainage issues (to put it kindly), traffic, the line at Publix, being around a ton of loud children, feeling guilty for eating bread, and so on.

I react to this junk in a couple ways - I mentally numb myself so I'm not fully engaged with where I am or who I'm with.  I get mad at the people closest to me.  I think I even started twitching a little in the car.  My head pounded, my heart rate was (slightly) elevated, and I want to run away (I guess I'm more prone to flight rather than fight in these cases).  I blame other things for the way I'm feeling ("I HATE ALABAMA.")  I start making decisions based on the way I'm feeling rather than truth ("This is why we're only having one kid...gah.")

(Do you think I'm crazy yet?)

A lot of these responses are learned, and are more for self-preservation than anything else.  And I struggle with them because not only do they make the original stuff worse, I know they cause me to run from the One who can and should be handling all of it.  At the same time, though, the whole situation gave me pause because I actually saw through the fog for a moment.  I saw into the Matrix of my own brain.  It was not fun, but pushing just that much forced me to crack open that door, to allow the Holy Spirit to shine just a little bit of light into that dark, dank room.  It wasn't pretty, and I shut the door more quickly than I should have, but it's a step.  I keep pointing out these moments, these steps because now more than ever, I need to see that I'm moving in the seemingly right direction.  And I'm doing it, y'all.  I'm doing it.  And as far as the g-free lifestyle goes, we're taking it one day, one phase at a time.  I broke things down into a few action steps, and that helped my brain to chill out.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ch ch ch ch changes...


After some great feedback from my peeps, I'm going to keep this thing going.  Thanks to everyone who reads this and loves me anyway.

In response to my last post, I have since been back to the cardiologist, and all tests have come back normal.  This is a huge relief considering my family history, and considering your heart is, say, one of the most important organs in your body.  I have also been back to a new chiropractor (save your rants for someone else...), and I am challenged and encouraged by her point of view and the treatment plan she has set out for me (read: I'm kinda scared crap-less).  Her main goal for me (and essentially for my family) is to go completely grain-free (not just gluten, but all grains).  This concept is hard for me to wrap my head around, considering I'm known around these parts as the casserole queen (or maybe just to my husband and a few select people who often eat my cooking).  Of course, that's probably one of the main reasons for my, ahem, weight issues - casseroles are the easiest and most filling options.  Since I was NOT a cook when I got married, this became the way for me to impress my husband with my growing culinary skills (or expose his lack of a palate...):

"See, babe?  Isn't that delicious?!  Who cares if it only has 4 ingredients, and 3 of them are cream-based?!  It tastes GREAT!  I can COOK!" 

Needless to say, we're taking baby steps (i.e. going to Olive Garden for date night last night.  Fail.)  I plan to do a lot more research and to obtain a few new cook books.  The chiropractor specifically recommends the Paleo Diet, so we'll find out more about that in the coming weeks and months.  It made me feel better to know that it took her and her family of 6 almost 2 years to go completely grain free.  I have a gut feeling that this is the way to go - it's time for change.  This is going to be a bit harder in good ole' Alabama (where the portion sizes are ridiculous, the good stuff is more expensive, and if it's not cooked in some sort of fat, you're missing out), but we're going to try.

I've also made some strides in getting out of the hole.  God has been extremely gracious, and I'm so thankful that I can be totally honest with Him about the way I feel.  As friends of ours prayed over us the other day, we're coming out of winter and into spring, and I am hopeful, for the first time in a long time.  My mother-in-law even made a comment last night about how good it was to see me smile & laugh...and I didn't want to punch her in the face for it.  I feel like that's a step in the right direction.

"Turn and face the strain..."

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I know it's been a long time, but I'm not going to feel guilty about it.  I feel guilty about enough right now, thank you very much.  Anyway, my last post was in December, and things haven't really changed.  I'm still tired.  I'm still stuck in the divide.  And I lied when I said I hadn't felt that divide more than I did then...I feel it more now.  Simultaneously, God and my true self seem far away.  I'm still going...I haven't given in fully...but it's hard.  I've never been more physically tired in my life.  I just feel...gross, for lack of a better term.  God knows the details, and I believe that He has a plan for me, for us...I just can't see it right now.  Probably because I'm covering my eyes.

My baby is 10 months old.  Good Lord.  I don't know how, but I'm still amazed at how quickly life can move.  It has never been more apparent than when watching a baby grow.  Isaac completed his second set of plane rides last weekend when we flew to Chicago, and kids, Benadryl is our new BFF for plane trips.  Paul and I are...okay.  It must be hard to be married to me, so I'm trying to cut him some slack.  I'm also looking for a counselor, a new doctor, and possibly some other specialists to help treat whatever the heck I have going on in my body.  I've been sick for a while, but we don't really know what's going on.  I've already been to the ER once (in January) for what I thought were heart palpitations, but it wasn't.  Then another doctor diagnosed me with being stressed out (wait, what?! I had no clue!), and just threw meds at me.  Now, after going through my symptoms, I'm wondering about a gluten issue of some sort, plus stress, plus being overweight, plus being spiritually inept, etc.  Heck...who knows.  Hopefully we'll get it figured out soon.

I'm keeping up with a few new (and amazing) blogs that have kept me somewhat motivated.  Check out Momastery and It's Almost Naptime - they have been filling places in my heart that I didn't know were there. 

One goal I have is to write try to write every day.  Good luck to me...maybe someone, someday will get something out of this.