Praising You!

woman with upraised arms in a sunset
Praise Be to God

 

“Heavenly Father, I come to You today and humbly ask Your forgiveness for all of the times that I’ve taken my burdens to others instead of bringing them to You. Help me to turn to You first when problems come my way. Please blanket my heart with your peace and give me strength for today.”                    ~Girlfriends in God

 

Oh, how I have been there! The deep, dark despair when you can barely lift your head from your pillow. I have cried out to God. My heart ached with remembered pain as I read this devotion and prayer today.

But, praise God, there is no despair today. This prayer reminded me that I not only need to pray to God during times of fear and anxiety but also during times of praise!

I have a new job!
Thank you Jesus!

I have been searching for months. It has been heart breaking to apply, interview, hope, hope, hope, and be told no. I knew there was a door waiting somewhere. I have been praying. Friends and family have been praying.

And the door opened. Just like I knew it would. Just like I prayed for it to.

All the praise to my Jesus. I don’t ever want to forget who has been with me every step of the way and who was quietly whispering, “Be patient my sweet girl. I have something in store for you.”

After reading about struggles this morning, I also realized I had so much to be thankful for. I raised my hands and repeated over and over “Thank you, thank you, thank you” until tears were streaming down my cheeks and I felt my Savior speak to my heart again, “See my child? You are so very loved. I had this planned for you all along.”

For the Love of Quotes: A Day in the Life Project

We were given a task to create a project inspired by something we did every day. The project was titled “A Day in the Life”

I struggled for a long while because I didn’t want to create the same ole’, same ole’ thing and I wanted it to reflect who I was. I thought long and hard about something I did every single day. As I was thinking I was browsing Pinterest for inspiration when it hit me: quotes. I love quotes. I really love quotes. Especially those beautiful quote pictures. They lift me up when I am feeling down, they make me tear up when someone else “gets it”, they make me laugh, make me think, they introduce me to new thoughts and ideas.

There it was. My project would be to take those quotes that lifted me up and turn them into my own quote pictures and make a big collage with them.

I was determined to use only photos I had taken and that is what I did. Every photo was lovingly retouched and I thought carefully about what the image was saying to me before I decided on one of my favorite quotes or phrases. I didn’t have a photo for every quote I wanted to use so I went about setting up several of them. It was a joy to use old keys and glitter and rhinestones!

[foogallery id=”161″]

 

Once I had all my quote pictures finished I painstakingly began to arrange them into a collage. It took quite some time to place them just right: to get them to flow together from color to subject to the “feel” of the image.

To finish the project off I wanted to make a bold statement. I found a gorgeous, bold frame with an antique finish to display it in.

I was quite happy with the result and have had, and still have, may compliments on it. It is displayed in my house today and I often pause to be inspired my favorite quotes and places.

a collage of pictures with quotes on them in an antique style frame
A Day in the Life Project

 

If you want me to create something like this for you Contact Me!

What You Don’t Know. The Beginning of My Depression Story.

I was diagnosed with depression nearly 12 years ago. That’s how long I tell people I have dealt with depression.

Realistically, however, it has been much, much longer. I suspect I have suffered with some form of anxiety or depression since I was 12, maybe even as young as 10. In fifth grade I remember the crushing feeling as the older girls bounced basketballs off of my head during basketball camp. They thought it was hilarious. My heart still hurts and pounds when I think of it.

It wasn’t the embarrassment that was so paralyzing. It was the thoughts. “What is wrong with me that they think it’s so funny to bounce balls off of my head?”

What is wrong with me? There was something wrong, but it wasn’t with me.

Certainly those girls have long forgotten what they did to that funny, looking (wrong with me again??) red-headed girl. But for me, those thoughts of worthlessness, of hopelessness, of deep despair grew and persisted.

I could list countless times as a tween or teen that added to my “low self-esteem.” That’s what it was called then. Even I could diagnose myself with that. Somehow I always thought I would grow out of it. Then, I decided it was just because I was “shy.” So, I did everything I could to fit in. A long list of horrible life choices followed.

I felt so alone.

Lone yellow leaf on bare branch
Lonely Leaf

 

I decided to get help just before I got married in 2002. I had no idea at the time I was pregnant. The doctor and I chalked it up to wedding planning jitters and he sent me on my way with my first prescription. By the time the medication had a chance to get to work in my system, I found out I was pregnant and knew I needed to stop taking the medicine. Along came the wedding and I then I immediately went right into the crazy hormones of pregnancy.

My pregnancy was a breeze. I was never sick. I barely gained any weight. My belly stayed relatively tiny. I felt beautiful, perhaps more beautiful than I ever had in my entire life. Labor began right on cue – I labored mostly at home. We went to the hospital and my beautiful son was born at 11:15 pm on August 7, 2003 in a huge whirlpool birthing tub. I had given birth naturally. I was proud and I felt strong.

Then we went home. I remember thinking, “Seriously?! These people are going to let me take this tiny baby home? How do I keep it alive??”

We lived on a small acreage at the end of a long gravel road. Never one to like lots of people around, I was looking forward to having lots of uninterrupted time with my new son. My husband at the time had taken a few days off of work to help us settle in. The first couple of days I was sore and recovering from a minor infection so I didn’t feel well. But in the back of my mind I felt fear. A fear like I had never known before. It made no sense. Everything was perfect. Wasn’t it?

When my husband went back to work I noticed the panic attacks for the first time. I was gripped by terror. Of what, I didn’t know. I just knew my heart pounded and I couldn’t breathe. And the worst time was always sun down. That 5 – 7 pm time was horrendous. I needed to get supper ready. I needed to get the baby a quick meal. I needed to prepare for the next day.

But I couldn’t stop crying. And I couldn’t stop shaking. I thought my heart was going to give out. My husband never understood it.

Now I know that I had Post-Partum depression. It is different for all women. For me it was a very fearful time, full of dark thoughts and intense panic.

As my hormones settled I realized that that “sundown” time never did get better – even now, I still hate this time of day. I began to think about and research depression. It was not unheard of in my family. But it was…not talked about either. I was always the dramatic one, the sensitive one. I didn’t want to cause trouble so I learned and stayed quiet.

Then, divorce. It was tragic. It shoved me down a hole so deep I was sure I was never going to climb out. I wanted to die. I thought about how I might be able to die. I quite literally have blocked out weeks of time around that part of my life. I am not sure how I took care of my son. I’m not even sure how I survived the shredding pain in my heart and head and body.

That is when the depression became very real.

Please watch for the second part of my depression story, coming soon.

It Was So Nice to Interview You, But…

Sad person

Ouch.

I can’t count the times I have heard that. Never, ever does it get easier. Never, ever do I feel any less worthless, undesirable, unwanted. Rejected.

My heart hurts. A LOT. I feel like throwing up. A LOT.

I want to cry. I want to yell.  I want to hide until the hurt goes away.

But I can’t.

So, how do I pick up and keep going when everything in me is begging me to stop and give up?

When God closes a door, he opens another.

We have all heard this phrase before but until we live through it I don’t think we appreciate it’s power. I have been through many life experiences where I cried out “Why God, why?!” The answer never appears right away. In fact, it usually takes months, and most likely, years for me to see where the other door opened.

But with age comes experience. I am noticing the doors now. YES, they are already opening!

I don’t know why God said no to this job for me. I am disappointed and very nervous since I don’t know what comes next. But what I am certain of is that there is something bigger in store for me.