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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I Need Your Arms

F197C556-6FB8-49EA-A438-9FEA9947885CAll I can gather is that the emotional toil on my life has zapped me more than I thought.  The past two months of losses with animals, loved ones, turmoil with my child of worry and the unknown of what is before me.   Exhaustion with it all plus the heat and humidity where I live has caused a lack of energy.  Giving myself grace instead of feeling all down, depressed and lazy is a big step for me though.  I have been through a lot of ups and downs.  It’s okay to have some up and down days, too.

Still, I find that I have struggled with the need to be loved. Is that wrong though?  Understanding and grasping why those thoughts come and desire to be loved is part of my childhood, called Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). 612D9385-1AE5-45D1-A68A-A8F04AA06A92

While I was loved by being in the family, I was not loved or shown love through hugs or physical touch as a child should be given and a lack occurred in my emotions and how to acknowledge them.  Sad.  Realizing all this finally about four years ago after going through life and questioning what is wrong with me.  My former counselor was wise enough to recognize, help me see the pattern and how to notice what is happening in me when I get to the deep yearning of a motherly hug.  Mentally and emotionally inside, screaming, ‘please hug me.’  It usually points to the fact I am tired and now, exhausted.  I recognize and acknowledge now instead of letting this emotion of sadness of loneliness overtake me.  Apparently, I did learn from her.  She would be so proud.

0212DB89-3576-4696-9D57-D230B1A63FD8Instead of yearning for the motherly hugs from motherly figures around me or even from my counselor, which she gave me often upon leaving our session due to knowing my heart and feeling my basic heartache, I have turned more to the Lord.  Lord, hold me through this or I need your loving arms to wrap around me.  I need you. Hold me tight, don’t let go.  Perhaps learning while knowing, that was what He wanted from me anyway, which was to turn toward Him and allow His Love to fill my heart void of love.  No other can fill that void.

Oh, but years of having a deep desire to be held in an embrace of a motherly hug so tight that my emotions would drain from me was always present in my mind. 06A77E96-8D39-458E-8387-E0C4863D86EC

Throughout this process and understanding, the yearning for the love of motherly figures lessened.  Then to lose my wise, sweet counselor due to closing her counseling office,  I was beside myself and even angry at her with the way it ended.  Although, I am sure and have no doubt that she, too, needed the Love of God through the process and decisions made to close her practice.

Recently, questioning if I am grasping everything we discussed in counseling for years in this area of CEN, as I do not require the hugs nowadays or perhaps I have stuffed my feelings down more-so because I felt hurt yet again by another and especially by her, the one who understood me and knew me best next to God.  The walls we build to protect our heart from hurt, they can go up quickly. Pondering this for many months, probably both at times but when I realized I was calling on the Lord for His Arms to hold me, hug me and to feel His Love, that is exactly where I need to be. A2F942F1-4A41-4D61-88F9-D77DA177C0DFPeople, whether, friends, family, church, even counselors, etc., will let us down and hurt us.  Normal.  Our focus should be on God and know that He truly loves each one of us.  To truly grasp that from one growing up feeling unloved, just existing, and love not shown, it is easy to question.  Also normal.

He Loves Me!  He Loves You!  Isn’t that great!?

Grasp it, hold it and yearn and allow His Arms to hold you in whatever you are going through.

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Childhood Emotional Neglect – Dr. Jonice Webb https://drjonicewebb.com/

 

 

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

I’m Fine!

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If you have never dealt with depression, be thankful. If someone near you is battling with it, do not tell them to ‘snap out of it’ as it only makes it worse. Be patient, be a friend.  If you are, be kind to yourself.

I have dealt with bouts of depression in life. Many of you reading this may be or may have been or may know of someone in your life that is depressed.

I know what it is like to have each thought in the pic.
I have said, “I’m Fine” way too many times.62E5C4A9-D1C7-4AAD-A78B-C704D55FCB4C
I know what it is like to wear a smile when I just wanted to crumble.
I know what it is like to sit in church and nobody realizes the despair I am in.
I know what it is like to want to sleep forever and hope I never wake up.

Thankfully, I knew when it was time to get help.
Having a Counselor, a true Christian Counselor, to talk to has helped me, one that prayed with me at times and I believe for me.

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I know, too, “IT’S OK” to have a Counselor and to not feel I have a lack of faith or feel further condemnation.
I know to journal my thoughts and feelings and to work through them.  I recommend.
Most importantly, I know to read/study my Bible, trust God and to pray.  I totally recommend.

If this all hits home, please KNOW…. God knows your name, He knows where you are, He sees each tear that falls, and He knows the heartache within that you cannot explain. When I understood just that and grabbed hold of it, repeated as necessary, I felt encouraged.

He absolutely loves me (YOU). He cares. ❤️

Take one day at a time and when that is too much, take one hour at a time.

Did I feel like praying or praising the Lord through the depression? No!! Actually, I felt worse as the lies from the enemy were bombarding my mind of unworthiness, etc.

Encourage yourself in the Lord, even if it is just a word (Jesus) or a whisper (I need you Lord Jesus).

Work through this, don’t give up.
Find a Counselor or a trusted friend to confide in.
Trust the Lord. Draw close to Him.

When others let you down, and they will, there is only ONE that you can trust and depend upon.

May YOU be ENCOURAGED!!

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the  of my head.  Psalm 3:3

https://www.openbible.info/topics/depression

Info on the photo: esyla designs/Pinterest
“the idea is that everyone has their own battles they face. they say that the biggest lie people say is when they respond “i’m fine” or “i’m tired”. i guess i just wanted to bring this to light or something, because i know so many people who hide things behind their smile.”

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Motive?

241E8FA8-4FBC-459D-8F1E-9BB8547D1F1AThis morning while walking early, as I do often and watch the sun rise over the tree tops feeling the crisp, cool air while I start my day, I often think and pray.  Many days, I meet a friend and we walk together.  As I was rounding the corner, hitting my first-mile marker, the thought and question came to me as to what is my motive in doing this.  Where did that come from, I thought?  Lord, what are you asking me with this question so I pondered it as I continued on walking.6F48B83F-91C5-43FA-8FC4-A33CFE19677A

Of course, I have a goal in walking to be more physically active, which is so not me until last year but now has become an addiction almost.  I have a goal to run, well walk, my first 5K marathon in August and like most of us we walk to lose weight.  I am finally at a place in my life, I want better.  I want to be better and I want to feel better.  That is one heck of a goal, if I say so myself.

Still the motive.  I knew right away what it was, although my goals mentioned are good ones.  The motive I desire was to be told by this one person that I miss but that they are proud of me.  Perhaps one day, I will get the opportunity to see and talk to her once again, which is my former counselor.657C2074-0187-4B8C-BBE4-C61EA53BDF6F

This is typical of me to feel this, the little girl inside me, as I have had all my life with what you would call mentors (or mother figures) in my life.  We all want others to be pleased with our performance.  Plus, I am a poster child for CEN (childhood emotional neglect), I feel and I might as well throw in abandonment.

C73ED28A-4ADD-4423-B712-2AB5E5FD062FAs a child from a home that you just existed in with no real emotional support or touch, you (or I did) tend to reach out to anyone that will give that need, that mothering, direction, understanding, etc.  It was my coping skills all through life of grasping love and attention.  Now recognizing since being in her counseling sessions week after week, year after year, how could I not want her to be proud of me.  I have spent more one-on-one time with her (well over 200 hours) than I have anyone, whether that be my own mother, siblings, or any family/friends to really know me.

I thank God for her and helping me understand myself after years of questioning what was wrong with me.

While now I understand my motive and goal in my walking, desiring her approval and being proud, but I will continue with or without it.  This has been a major change in my life, as well as other areas, and I am moving forward.

Perhaps, just that question while walking, “What is your motive?” was to be reminded that I am worthy and proud of myself.  Forever thankful to be where I am at this time in my life.

The Lord will place the right people in your path to get you to where you need to be.  You are worthy!  Trust Him.

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Dangling

B3FB919E-FF34-41CA-8ACC-E34E35CBA3CEJust sharing my life and present situation, as I try to adjust from one counselor of four years to another. I have to remember and remind myself that they are not the same.

I find it funny now that I often got irritated with my former counselor if the previous week’s session was not touched upon again. Let’s pick up where we left off at please, as I was still dealing with the thoughts and issues from the previous week. Most of the time, we did or she realized and understood the chaos it caused me, if not. Other times, we would cover many areas and panic came as I held up my hand, fingers hanging down and moving; she knew and understood when I felt I was dangling. No doubt she found me irritating but she hung in there with me. Too many issues in front of me to deal with and the chaos would come to the forefront. Stop the dangling!A7F0E4A9-8DE5-4D12-9C04-A0ACA8464D8B

Now, as I am with a new counselor, rarely do we pick up from the previous week’s session. With that, I had to ask her some questions recently. Although, I knew her ways were and will be different, I get it. I have grown through this transition although it has not been easy but I am not going to remain stuck.

So what if we don’t pick up on last week’s topic. Part of me is even shocked with that comment although I/we carry on. Asking questions of the counselor helped me get a better understanding of her, how she manages my records, etc. That’s just me. I have to have order somewhere in my mind but coming to the final conclusion, she is there to help me and I know my records are secure. Let’s move on.

D9046ADA-B82D-4B95-8D6A-33B2E1D883A9As a client, we are allowed to ask questions. Also, prior to meeting with a new counselor, we should do our own due diligence and research of him/her. End result is to trust and go forward. Then the role is reversed, as the counselor asks many questions and gets to know us with our private, personal, deep-dark secrets and a relationship is built between a counselor-client of trust. 51F8BCD1-4F15-44DA-B8A7-C1BD08B7F593It’s pretty awesome, especially when you can open up and share. Healing begins within you.

I feel that it is to your best interest to make the most of counseling, the time between sessions, to do research, read and trust the Lord to bring healing. Isn’t that why you are in counseling anyway? It is not just the counselor’s responsibility, it’s yours, too.

Pray not only for yourself to receive the therapeutic guidance from the counselor but for your heart to be open to receive and your ears and mind to hear. Pray, too, for the counselor to be open for the Lord to speak to them for and to you. There just might be some WOW moments and light to a dark corner of your life, at times.

A3B1CAEF-F72F-485B-8DD8-D1EA9B453A5ECounseling is not easy. Depending upon what you both are dealing with in these sessions, it is downright hard. Many times with my prior counselor, I have wanted to get up and leave in the middle of a session, other times never come back but I did because I was determined to move forward.  It was no surprise to her, as we discussed those facts often. Thankfully, she was mean enough to put up with me and I appreciated and loved her more for that reason.

So now as my new counselor and I get more familiar with one another, trust deepens and healing continues. I am looking forward to what lies ahead and how our counselor-client relationship will develop and if she pushes me (my buttons) to be the best person I can be. I think she will.

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If you are considering a counselor, hopefully this will help give you a glimpse of my experience. It is worth taking care of YOU, you have to. Wish you the best! ML