Escape Plan

33D9F4A0-764B-49AD-9BCD-7CB884F1E342I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.

No doubt, at certain times or in joking, the lyrics of that song were sung and maybe deep down wishing it to be true.  I know I have, many times.

Remembering a time while talking to my counselor yesterday, there was a time I did take a jet plane and flew out west to visit a friend.  I needed time away and was desperate to get out of my life, an escape. It was probably the worst time of my life, feeling lost and numb and wanting to walk away from everything and everybody. Trusting few as my trust in others was growing smaller and smaller.  How could I open up to a pastor or church leadership when the preaching and so forth was on faith, trust God, your joy is in the Lord, etc. Why be subjected to more pressure of not having enough faith and be disillusioned even further of my church family that seemed as distant and trustworthy as my own family.  Where do I go?

Thankfully, through these years, I knew enough and was strong enough in my Christian walk to know that the Lord was my only hope.  I have always heard through many sermons that we must know the Bible enough to grasp hold to the words as if we did not have a Bible to reference.  Plus, we cannot depend upon others to walk this Christian way for us.  I was learning that well through this dark, lonely wilderness.  I had nobody.  At times I felt invisible and walking through a maze blindly.

Since that time, I have managed and all by the Grace of God.  When I felt so alone, I knew deep down that He knew my name and He knew where I was and I had to say those words aloud so many times in desperation, “Lord, you know my name and you know where I am.”  It has been hard at times and still feeling my way through the maze of chaos and confusion but the end is in sight, I know it is. There is joy and then there is fear and sometimes they seem to slap one another within my mind.13578DBA-BF26-4992-B77D-DC5431BEBD1B

I am at a point again to escape but this time to settle some things and get a new perspective, alone.  Just me and God.  A sweet friend said the other day that she did this at a pivotal point in her life, just her and God hashing it out.  That is exactly where I am.  To escape as there has to be more and I need His direction.

966C8FC2-09BE-4567-AE40-A02F221B38AELife can be overwhelming and we can be consumed with hopelessness in situations.  If you make no changes in your circumstances, nothing will change.  We have to make a decision to want more.  I seriously started with this change back in 2014.  It seems like forever ago but there was a lot to sift through and I do not regret the time spent, financial aspect or the emotions expressed.  I am not the same person I was when I walked in my counselor’s office the first day, back in September, 2014.  I had to and you have to make a decision to start taking care of YOU.  Nobody will do this for you.

Sometimes we have to escape to find ourselves.  It’s okay!

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My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah. I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest” (Psalm 55:6-8).

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Dirty Dishes & Depression

Window, sill, clean.I have noticed this week and now that it is the weekend, I had a sink of dirty dishes and even a pile of clothes on the end of my bed.  I told myself each time that I would hang the clothing item up when I got home from work, which did not happen.

A week of feeling and fighting depression, perhaps a spiritual attack and probably so, but noticing my house taking a hit and dirty dishes in my sink.  I never do that and it is a telltale sign, I am fighting within. Exhausted. Looking at the dishes this morning and tackling them, I wondered if my husband even noticed and wondering what is wrong with me. I knew that was a far-fetched thought.  Although it made me giggle, just considering the thought.

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Today, the dishes are done and I am managing my messes, as I am getting through the mental chaos but it has been a struggle.  Ever been there?

We all deal with bouts of discouragement now and then and disappointment that can make your knees buckle from sadness, leading to depression. It is a lost and a lonely feeling with darkness looming over our heads. It happens.  Life happens. Give yourself grace and take care of you through it all with proper care and rest.

1DB42EB6-4F25-4AF2-B80B-1CC4BDF7A8D2If you have dirty dishes, piles of clothes, laundry, etc., just start somewhere.  Organize your bedroom, a bathroom closet, etc.  If you do not or have not used something in a year, get rid of it (give away, donate or pitch). Something!  Just start. It will help you feel somewhat productive even if overwhelmed.

I often use this phrase and have it on my bulletin board at work, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Know that depression can hit each of us.  Stop and recognize what is or has happened. Do not stuff your feelings down and ignore.  Take time to name the thoughts and feelings, forgive others and even yourself, as needed.  Journal through the mental chaos, if just a A04571B6-2518-41D9-8BC9-E6C7596EB0ECsentence. Make plans to search out a counselor. With that and when you do and go, please give him or her a chance, as one or two visits won’t do it.  They, too, are getting familiar and comfortable with you as you are them.  Of course, after a month or so, if it is not a good fit, there are others, don’t stop. Perhaps go see your family doctor and know there is nothing wrong with taking an anti-depressant.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.  The stigma of mental health needs to stop and be recognized — moreso today, than ever.

826666AE-68D9-4FD2-A2BC-93099F813291Sadly, with all that I wrote and recommended, many in my church family would be appalled, stating I did not have enough faith.  Sad!  I do have faith, enough to know when I need help and that the Lord will lead and direct me to the right counselor(s), which He did.  I have come a long way and still a long way to go. It has not always been easy but I am allowing Him to heal the broken places in my heart and life with a counselor’s help. I’m a better person and a Christian with faith renewed because of my decision to get help years ago.

Make a change today and do something productive.  Sometimes that is just getting up and taking a shower.  I’ve been there. You are not alone. Thankfully, your heart knows how to beat on it’s own, as your lungs allow you to breathe when no energy to do just that.  You’ve got this!

I know even through my week of feeling down and depressed with dirty dishes, the Lord still loves me. He loves you. Trust Him.

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I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. How many times have we said those words?  A song most of us grew up with hearing and singing, which you probably just did or will do now. You can thank me later. Actually, it is a happy, uplifting song. Sense of hope.  49B852EC-72F0-4EA2-898E-5B3BFB01A6D3

Yesterday morning as I walked with another walking buddy of mine on a longer route than normal due to it being the weekend and more time, we walked and talked and talked. This man is a mid-seventy year old, uses a cane to stabilize himself but can out walk me. He is always full of stories and interesting tidbits about travels, etc. You know the type, one of those that can tell a story and then another. Time has to be in your favor to enjoy though and that day was one of them for me.

We have walked together over the past few months at times and getting to know one another. His wife joins us at times, which is nice but today she was exhausted from traveling so it was just us.  The weather was perfect with a cloudy overcast and soft breeze. Perfect.

We know a lot of the same people and sometimes shocked how much in common we have with the age difference. I love it when the Lord allows certain people to cross our paths. While it may be for just a season, there is purpose and a friendship built.

In our miles of walking and talking, life seemed to pop up in discussion.  Each of us have a story.  He had made a comment about how counselors make us see things more clearly, which struck a cord in me. So true. With that, we discussed many topics and life issues leading to counseling. Sometimes in life, we get lost while 9EF3D05E-F682-4076-BBF5-B225B8F49ABCtending to the cares of everyone around us, our own feelings and thoughts evaporate and soon zap us leading us to ask that one question… Who am I?

E28F3FB6-EC2F-435F-851C-2EAAD04255D6Even this week, being with a dear friend, she said it, too, as her plate has been filled for months, if not years caring for others and putting herself on the back burner. It happens. Hopefully, some normalcy will come, I pray, as she settles back into her home and daily life.

Maybe you yourself feel lost. Those moments thinking or even being asked what do you like to do or even that one question.  Who are you?   In a sullen look and voice, you may think or even say, or maybe ignoring the question and perhaps reply, I do not know who I am.  I do not know what I like, want, where to go, to do, and so on. You just exist from one day to the next and soon days, months and years pass.

I have been there.  Exist.  Barely breathing.  Lost.  Afraid.  Stuck.  Wearing a mask with a smile.  Frozen in time.  Sad.  No voice.

Reading the lyrics later of this song when I got home, because now the song is stuck in my head, I found myself smiling and happy inside.  In my life, I felt the rain; I saw the dark clouds for years; I felt the pain, as my heart was broken and unloved. Too many obstacles were in my way, feeling overwhelmed.  The bad feelings of hate, anger and unforgiveness were clinging to me, while I was right to have, but I needed to release and let go.

There is more to life.  If you just make minor changes and build to regain your equilibrium back, it is a start.  Do not let the lie of it is of no use to pull you back in despair.  Keep moving forward.  Give yourself grace.  Rest.

The most important, is God.  Allow Him to be in this with you.  He is, but He is a gentleman.  He wants YOU to call upon Him.  He will direct your paths.  He will give you joy.  He does and will love you, as you are His child. Trust Him.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1Today, I can truly say and feel that the heavy rain is gone, dark clouds have disappeared, I see the rainbow and the blue skies are opening up to me like never before.  Obstacles are being removed.  While I still have many areas to tend to and always will because life will never be without storms, but I could sing, I can see clearly now.  There is hope for me (for you).

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Knock, Knock

223454F7-CE60-42DB-AF8F-45F74A35061FI stand at the door and knock. Awaiting for my son to open it as this mother was concerned. I was not leaving until he opened the door and planning to camp out, if need be.  As my patience grew weak and my anger grew in intensity, I found the peace and just prayed. I had to pray that I did not lash out words of anger but of love and encouragement. How can he allow his mother to stand somewhat patiently in the hallway of his apartment building while finishing up a video game? My mind went to the disrespect and anger, which followed easily enough. While I am patient, I understand that ‘in the middle of a game’ with guys it is crucial. I have had too many boys hang out in my home over the years to know different so I patiently and impatiently waited. Still, feeling that bit of frustration. I was determined to not leave and he knew it. A surprise visit, an hour away from home does not happen often but when it does, you best be ready to open the door. Mama is here!  I knew something was not right.

E2938424-E21B-4B9E-8694-356CF263FC05How can I stay frustrated though when the door is unlocked, opened and I see his 6’3″ frame before me and not love and hug him tight with tears? He is mine! No matter how tall, how old, how aggravated my inside was experiencing, he will always be mine. My child.

In life we mess up, we fail, our walk is not perfect, disappointment in ourselves and others, etc.  In those times, we want to hide and keep the door shut to those around us and ignore life or what happens in our world.  The point of depression and isolation can come and knock us for a loop and unsure how to get out of this tailspin.

While I understand his predicament, I also have been there many times.  In all of this, the guilt will hit me and the enemy is quick to accuse me that it is my fault. My fault because he is like me, I was and am a terrible mother and fill in the 60C181D6-80B5-4E82-84D4-4F3F62CB2E8Bblanks. Yes, he is like me, I was and am his mother and while I have made mistakes, I was and am also a great mother. So turning those lies into positive and to get the enemy off my back and out of my mind is what I did and do often.  Lies and fear must go.

My former counselor calls that rewiring your brain, too. We need to flip our thoughts to the positive. In my case with my son and the lies, etc., it is putting Satan in his place and acknowledging that the Lord is in control of this situation. Until next time and I’ll do the same. Back off!  A spiritual warfare on my behalf and definitely for my son.

Just like God, He will not give up on you, me, us. He will patiently stand at the door and knock; awaiting for the door to open and for us to acknowledge Him.  The love of a mother for her child is deep but He loves us so much more.

1BD2ADD3-56C8-40E2-96D3-E3543E5513DEMy present counselor mentioned the other day that he was reminded of me while reading the Bible and various writings that all seemed to relate.  I had told him of my surprise visit to my son’s apartment, standing at the door knocking.  The verse, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  He knew of my love for my son and the concern I had plus my determination of not leaving him until I knew he was okay.  I loved that my counselor told me that and how this reminded him of me doing the same, I stand at the door and knock.

How great it is that He will never leave nor forsake us.  He awaits to hear us call upon Him.  He loves me.  He loves you. ❤️

Don’t Quit

E679E712-8355-41A0-8890-1AB87F22F88DOn my way home today from church, I heard the man on the Christian radio station mention and encourage those listening to not quit.

Whether it be your job, etc.   Life can be demanding and we may not like where we are in a position whether that be working, a marriage that is dying, health issue or whatever it may be. Discouragement and hopelessness takes over to the point you’d rather die.  Sadly, some do to suicide.

As I pondered what he said and knowing right now my son is in a place that is hard, wishing he could hear this brief message of encouragement himself.  I can see it, hear it and pretty well know he is struggling, as I am his mother.  My heart hurts for him. I know, too, that he has to work through this or I will enable him and that will not help at all.  I can pray. I have to trust the Lord through this process.  He has been through some rough periods before and while it was hard to endure, for him and for me, he did it.  I was so proud of him and he was proud of himself.  As we will be together this week, I hope to remind him of just that.  He can and will get through this, too.

In hopes of encouraging him, I remembered back to my own life and how I felt lost and hopeless.  It’s so hard. Actually many times, as I have had to deal with some issues that only the Lord knew about because I did not share with others.

5BA31D32-8549-4B04-8CA8-6AB0ACA545C6It was about twenty years ago, I did not care if I woke up when having gallbladder surgery.  I had a note prepared for my children and a cassette tape (so that was a long time ago) of my voice talking to them, just in case I did not come through surgery.  I remember the drive to the hospital and the hopelessness and sadness of my life felt.  My gallbladder was to be removed but my heart was so broken, I did not think I would make it.  I found myself so disappointed that I was still alive, and I can still remember that moment in recovery.  Talk about hopeless.  Nobody to share with, so alone and I was beginning to really doubt that the Lord knew me, cared, much less loved me.  I wanted to quit life!

Still, I did not quit, I kept moving forward. I was back to work the following week and just going through the motions there, at home and in life.  I was not happy.

Thankfully, I did not quit.  Has it been easy?  No.  Have I wanted to give up since?  Yes.  Many times.  Still, I know to keep going.  Sometimes all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and be thankful that your heart and lungs know how to function without your help.  Keep going.

794281EB-67AA-4107-916D-BCB5EF146274It was when I heard this song, “He Knows My Name” by Tara Jackson and played the song over and over for the longest time and still one of my favorites.  He does knows my name and He knows where I am. Thank God.

Days, months, years passed and I did not quit. Finally confiding in a Counselor, it helped get myself together somewhat but he moved out of state after a year or so of counseling.  Alone again.

It was six years later, I had enough and that I knew I needed help so I begin to ask the Lord to lead and direct me to the right Counselor.  He did just that with four years of counseling with one of the best that changed my life and helped me put my faith and trust back in Him.  He was always there for me but being so hurt, my attitude, anger and rebelliousness was there also.  Was counseling easy?  No.  Many times I wanted to quit.

No matter what I am going through, whatever my son is going through right now or you as you are reading this, don’t quit.  We are just going through. While life can bring some hurdles and sadness, there are blessings and joy, too.  Look for the good in what is around you.

Tomorrow is another day if today sucks.  Get some rest.

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Play Dead

2F8555C6-80C8-4770-8A15-43CA9D4A83CBLife has a way of throwing one for a loop sometimes.  For the most part, it is good and a happy, fun time but other times, it can make you shake your head and stop you in your tracks.  Just overwhelmed.
For whatever reason, I gave thought the other day of the load I have carried for many, many years and while now it is easier due understanding many areas, but I was weighted down.  The stress was too much. Probably typical of each person as responsibility and burdens comes and increases due to all types of situations.    Apparently, that day I was feeling the load of stress and of life in all areas.8312B0AB-877A-43E4-8E96-918D3FA704E5
Back when I was in a counseling session with my former counselor, we went through this several times of looking at various little hard-rubber animals sitting on the table near to where I was sitting (frog, raccoon, beaver, opossum and a couple of others) and I had to figure out which one represented me.  As crazy as it was, each time we did this, it was the possum.  The reason being, it was the load I always had to carry and still.  Many of their characteristics, I can relate to. Today, I’d still pick the same.
Although we never discussed in counseling what these silly animals represented and why we played that so-called Therapy game, I will always wonder why, her thoughts and the reasoning behind this task in counseling.
Just a month or so ago when writing this, dealing with a final decision of a serious matter, as I normally have to make because I knew my husband would not make, it was on my mind.  Plus, recently dealing with my son being overwhelmed and crazy enough, I felt it today myself.  Frozen in the anxiety of it all.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
63D69FAD-7D0E-456F-A846-3CCD4F8D774CSo at those times, when over my load limit, overwhelmed and all, I guess I just want to play dead as the  possum will do. I’m tired, I cannot go much more, etc.
Just as an ole possum, it gets back up and continues on with life just as we all do.  Just life!
3AB4BF1E-E8BC-4E59-B753-31CABD66A70FSo no matter what is before me, my son or if you are overwhelmed take a break and then get back up and continue on.  It’s just temporary.
You’ve Got This!  😊

 

Bogged Down

Stress! Stressed! Who me? Who you? We all go through it.

Stress Man

Life just has a way of throwing more on us than we want or need at times. I have someone very dear to me that is in the midst of this stressful period.

Sometimes as it comes, the process of working through it is tedious but manageable. Other times, it is so overwhelming that the mental chaos is too much and shut down occurs. Time to find a balance and regroup. Life.

Knowing I have been in this place so many times and seeing and feeling the weight of it on my son as he builds his business is so hard. As a mother, I want to help, take it 3A8A5AF4-C1FA-4B45-81E4-D3DB85BE7D18off of him and help him maneuver through the chaos but I cannot. All I can do is encourage and support him as he stretches his independence and capabilities. He will get it and be all the better but the heartache grips my soul. He knows I am his biggest cheerleader and he can always lay his head on my shoulder and will have my hugs and prayers.

Overextending oneself is prone to happen and when it does, you think I will never allow that to happen ever again. Well, you do. Each time through that, you do learn a lesson and at some point you look back and realize you did make it through and sometimes laugh at this mountain before you and others in the past were molehills. The pushing through of these times happens and part of growth but feels like hell.

So many times I have been there. I am sure you have, too. I cannot go anymore. I STOP everything. I do not want to see anyone. I do not want to do anything. I do not want to go anywhere. Shut down and hide from the world. I understand where my son is and what he is going through. PUSH!

Usually through these periods, we have forgotten self-care, to enjoy life and play along the way. It happens. We give and take and do for others and we forget ourselves. Then there are times, we play too much and really get in trouble at our own fault and now we must work through and chop away at what is before us. Balance. Get your plan of action together and sometimes a quick swift kick on your backside is what you need. Again, life!

A5F89032-A917-4AE7-9DA4-E286C5C08370Just do not stay down and give up. Never! My favorite saying is, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That is so true. If you have to visualize sections of that huge elephant before you, an ear is smaller than that leg. Gone. Then attack the next and so on. Whatever works, do it. Chop away and soon it will be such a sign of relief and the heavy weight of this so-called elephant is off your shoulders. Until next time.

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Don’t forget yourself. Remember to balance between work and play. Don’t give up. Ever!

When stressed, just turn it around. Desserts. Yes, I think I will.ED03C310-7FDA-438A-B5A0-F9BB9E159610