June 27, 2013

Emotional Roller Coaster

The first time I ever went on a roller coaster was the Summer of 1998. I had just finished my Junior year of High School & I was planning a trip to Cedar Point with some friends. Before we went, I wanted to go on a local roller coaster so I wouldn't freak out once we got there. Michigan's Adventure had just opened Shivering Timbers & that was my first roller coaster. I was scared out of my mind because I didn't know what to expect!! Even though I was scared, I got on & just went with the ups, downs, twists & turns that came along with the ride.

That is how I am feeling a lot these days. I am scared out of my mind since I don't know what each day is going to bring. But, I know that God is in control of each day. So I just get on, buckle up & go with the ride. Most days I wake up in a great mood - happy to face another day that God has granted me. Sometimes that feeling lasts for half of the day. Sometimes that feeling only lasts a few hours. Then I get bummed out, angry, frustrated, exhausted with whatever is going on & I just want to climb back in bed.

Other days I wake up dreading the day & I spend most of the day in the house with all of the curtains closed. On those days, I want to ignore my phone, email, facebook, the door, etc. I don't want to talk to anyone because I don't want to hear any bad news or anything. Those days don't come very often, which I am thankful for! I don't like when those days come along, though. I have started fighting my way through those days & forcing myself to leave the house. I do that in order to teach Taylor how to handle himself when he has days like that.

My emotional roller coaster is different from those of others - thank goodness. God created each of us differently & so we each face different emotional roller coaster. Taylor laughs at this, but I tell him that I can't always be a happy-go-lucky type of person with rainbows coming out of my backside. That's not me. That's never been me. Yes I can fake it & pretend to be happy all the time, but then I am lying to myself & those around me & lying is a sin. I don't like putting on a mask just to leave the house, hang out with friends, go to church, go grocery shopping or anything else that puts me around people. Again, that makes me feel like I am lying to myself & others by doing that.

Granted, I don't want people to think that I am miserable & that I complain all the time. I'd loose all of my friends if I did that. I do, however, want to feel like I can be open, honest & transparent with people. Maybe not everyone I come into contact with, but with the people I see on a regular basis at least.

When I am going through all of the twists & turns of my emotional roller coaster, I am so thankful that God is right there with me. He is protecting me from things that could be worse then what I am having to deal with. He is keeping me in place & on the right track for my life. I know for a fact that I would not be able to deal with any of this if He was not there with me. I am sure that I would be in the deepest, darkest depths of depression with no way out.

God has always used music to help me face certain emotions, or express those emotions. Tenth Avenue North has a new song out that brings me to tears every time I hear it. It completely describes where I am & how I feel lately. It is entitled "Worn" - the video & lyrics are below.

If you are worn out from life & you don't know Christ as Savior, I urge you to find someone to talk to. You can send me a comment (no on but me sees them). You can go to a local church & talk to the Pastor. You do not have to go through this alone!! God created you & He loves you more then any person on this earth will ever be able to. He doesn't want you to go through this life & all of it's heartaches alone. He is reaching out to you right now. All you need to do is reach out, take His hand & ask Him to be your personal Savior & Lord. Please don't wait any longer. The weight from this sinful world can & will crush you without Christ there to help you. Christ came to this sinful world, took on our sinful flesh & died on a cross so that you don't have to struggle anymore. He died so that you can live a free life.

If you are a Christian & you are feeling worn out from everything, I pray that God will take that burden from you. He can handle all of the weight & you don't need to carry any of it around anymore. Let go of the burdens. While writing this post, that is what I did. I prayed & handed the entire burden to God. I know that He will carry it for me until it is gone. I just need to remember to pray every day & keep giving him that burden back. We all struggle with fully letting go. We just need to remember that it is a daily struggle for awhile & this it gets easier. Once we see that He can truly handle everything we give Him, we will not want to carry any of it every again. I pray that you will find that hope, peace & reassurance as well.

By Tenth Avenue North

Verse one:  
I'm tired I'm worn 
My heart is heavy  
From the work it takes 
to keep on breathing 
I've made mistakes I've let my hope fail  
My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world  

And I know that you can give me rest  
So I cry out with all that I have left 

Let me see redemption win  
Let me know the struggle ends  
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn 
I want to know a song can rise 
from ashes of a broken life  
And all that's dead inside can be reborn 
Cause i'm worn  

Verse two:  
I know I need to lift my eyes up  
But I'm to weak  
Life just won't let up  

And I know that you can give me rest  
So I cry out with all that I have left  

Oh Let me see redemption win 
Let me know the struggle ends  
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn 
I want to know a song can rise 
from the ashes of a broken life  
And all that's dead inside can be reborn 
Cause I'm worn  

My prayers are wearing thin 
Ya I'm worn  
Even before the day begins 
Ya I'm worn  
I've lost my will to fight 
I'm worn 
So heaven come and flood my eyes  

Final Chorus:  
Let me see redemption wins  
Let me know the struggle ends  
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn 
I want to know a song can rise 
from the ashes of a broken life  
And all that's dead inside can be reborn  
Yes, all that's dead inside will be reborn  
Though I'm worn 
Ya I'm worn

June 19, 2013

Dealing With The Tough Stuff

Lately, there have been more roadblocks in this journey I am on. I know that some of the roadblocks I am encountering are put there by God to help me grow in my faith. I also know that some of the roadblocks are put there by Satan to help me stumble & loose my faith - he just forgets that trying to make me stumble can actually strengthen my faith (he's not very smart for a former archangel). The tough part is trying to figure out which roadblock is which. Most of the time I don't realize it until after I have tried to either plow through it, jump over it, go around it, roll under it or know it to the ground & smash it to pieces. It is tough to look at the roadblock head on & pray that God will help me deal with it. I am stubborn!! I want to control this ride that I am on & I want to do it my way. It's only after hitting my head, stubbing my toe, breaking my neck/leg/arm/etc (so to speak) that I realize that I need to let God drive & everything will work itself out.

I know what you are thinking .... "Duh Cathy. How long has it taken you to figure that one out?" My answer to that is ...... Obviously I haven't completely figured it out. If I had you would not be reading this post. Again, let me reiterate that I am a stubborn, strong-willed, thick headed, selfish, sinner saved by God's grace! I am so far from perfect it isn't even funny. When I think of perfect, I think of God Himself & there is no way on this God created Earth that I am going to even be able to reach that level of perfection.....ever. God created me the way that I am for a reason, I just can't figure out what that reason is.

So, I mentioned some roadblocks that I have to deal with. I am sure that you are wondering what they are. They are going to sound selfish to you, I'm sure. But you know what, this is what I am dealing with in my life. If you don't want to meet the real, honest me ..... then stop reading this post right now.

If you are still reading, then please cover this roadblocks in prayer as you read them. I don't like calling them roadblocks, but that is how I am facing them right now. I need to get through them in order to fully follow God's journey.

--Daron's MS is relapsing (s-l-o-w-l-y). With this relapse, he has more days that are just plain frustrating for me. This is gonna sound selfish & mean, but I have his number blocked on my phone. I get notifications when he leaves a voicemail & I do call him back when I am able to sit & talk to him. There is a reason to my crazy madness -- 20 minutes of being asked the same exact question can drive a person to the brink of insanity & I am not ready for the rubber room with the special jacket just yet. It is also difficult watching him go through this from a distance. I know that he calls for a reason - he misses Taylor & I. I also know that Daron would love it if Taylor & I visited him all day every single day. That's just not possible & it's not a reasonable request. Taylor needs to have a "normal" childhood & I am trying my best to give that to him. I also know that Daron wants to be involved in the day to day of our lives. Again, that is just not possible (in my mind). With his mind failing him, it is difficult to tell him things because I know he won't remember (hence the 20 minute phone conversation that revolves around the same question).

Now, before you go straight to the comment section & tell me how you feel regarding what I just wrote; please keep reading.

--My lack of self-esteem, self worth & my huge fear of confrontation. (I know that the last one doesn't really go with the first two, but trust me, in my life they all run together.) My lack of self-esteem goes back way to far for me to get into right now (maybe that will be a future post). Due to the lack of self-esteem, I lack the ability to see my own self worth. Also, due to low self-esteem, I lack the strength to fully defend myself when I am being confronted. I figure that if someone is frustrated with me to the point they feel the need to say something, then I must have done something to deserve it & I won't say anything to defend myself - unless I know that the person is way out of line or something. This is part of the reason I call Daron back on my terms. I know that the phone conversation will get uncomfortable & I don't want to face it. I also know that there will be some sort of confrontation or guilt trip & again that makes me uncomfortable.

Now, I am certain that there are people reading this who know & love Daron (family, friends, etc). In my mind (whether you feel this way or not), the people are frustrated with me over how frustrated I am with Daron & the possible lack of respect. They are probably also thinking that I am being a horribly selfish, un-godly wife for talking that way about my husband. Now, I don't know if that is true or not, but let me say this in case you are thinking that ...... This family blog is a way for me to open up my life to those who are looking for a way to see what I am going through. It is also a way for me to share with those going through a similar situation. Plus, I am able to keep family & friends who live far away up dated on our lives. I don't like feeling like I have offended someone, but at the same time I am not going to hide who I really am. Take me or leave me, this is who God made me.

--Another roadblock I am facing right now is Taylor's concussion. This is just adding a whole different set of issues all it's own. Being a single mom was hard enough. Being a single mom to a child with a concussion that effects his mood, attitude, outlook on life, emotions, etc is just plain exhausting. Each day comes with it's own set of challenges & they are never the same. Taylor can go from 0-60 in the blink of an eye with his emotions & moods (if you think leading with a hormonal female is tough, it's a piece of cake compared to this). I know Taylor can't fully control what he is going through & I feel horrible that I can't do anything to make him feel better. I know that I can pray for him - which I do on a minute to minute basis daily. I am thankful that he is starting physical therapy & speech therapy at Mary Free Bed. I am slowly beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel, but it is still a ways off in the distance.

Due to those roadblocks, I am discovering just how tough (or weak at times) I really am. There are days I don't want to get out of bed & I experience depression type symptoms (please do not recommend I see a therapist or any medications I should take to help with this). Then there are days when I can't wait to get out of bed & see what they day has in store (those are fewer & far between, but they are there). Every morning I ask God for the strength I need to get through the next 30 minutes. Then I ask for the strength to get through the following 30 minutes. So on & so forth throughout the course of the entire day. I am so thankful to have a Heavenly Father who is willing & able to give me the strength I need. I am also thankful that He doesn't cut me off from that strength. I know that through constant prayer, fully relying on God, letting Him do the driving & not getting in the way, I will get through all of these roadblocks. I am slowly chipping away at them & I know that God has a lesson He wants me to learn. It is just tough to wait to see what that lesson might be. Besides, over the past few years I have come to learn that sometimes there is another roadblock on the other side of the one I am dealing with. Then I have to start dealing with that one before I can learn the lesson.

Thank you for letting me rant for a little bit. Sometimes it is good to just get things off your chest, throw them into the atmosphere & rest in knowing that someone is praying for you.

June 13, 2013

Getting Crafty In the Kitchen!

I have spent the last year making my house feel like my home & putting my own personal touches on it. We have lived in this house since February 2003 & it has looked the same ever since. Daron & I never talked about painting or personalizing it because we thought we would move at some point. Now that it is just Taylor & I in the house (& my best friend lives a few houses away), I wanted to make this my house. The personal touches started in August 2012 when I painted the house - you can view all of the before & after photos here.

My latest project has been completing my kitchen (slowly) & helping it look the way I have it pictured in my head. It is crazy to remember what my walls looked like when we moved in...

I never like the floral print on the plasterboard walls. It was through the entire kitchen from floor to ceiling. You can see the color of the trim, cupboards & doors in the right side of the photo. I was so happy when I got everything painted. The change was amazing....

I love how cheery my kitchen is now!! But it still didn't seem complete for some reason. So I started looking on Pinterest for some inspiration. I knew I wanted something on my one large wall. This is what I came up with & I absolutely LOVE it!!
The project on the left is just canvas covered with fabric. I used stickers & painted over them. When the stickers were removed it left this amazing artwork! The project on the right is made of individual wooden letters. Some are covered with music note fabric & the rest are painted. They really make that wall look better!

Another project I did was on the kitchen window. It is above my sink & faces the sunrise each morning. I have always loved how much sunlight came through that window all day long. Now I love the light coming through the different colors.

My abstract sunflower was made using glass pebbles, epoxy & grout. I adhered the pebbles directly to the window with the epoxy. Once it was all dry, I covered it with grout to fill in the lines. Every morning I smile when I see my kitchen filled with different colors of light from the sun.

I have 2 more projects to complete in my kitchen - a new sink & a new globe for the light above the sink. Once those are done, I will move on to some projects in the dining room/living room. I am so thankful that the Lord gave me a creative mind. It is so much fun seeing how my mood & environment change with just some crafty creativity & elbow grease.

Two Years...How Is That Possible?

How is it possible that two years ago today Daron left this earth and entered Heaven? It still feels like it was yesterday at times. This y...