Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quiet days EFA 3.2

Back in the fall as we were moving, and I was flying around the world, and my husband was resigning, and I was being hired, family day was chucked out the door with all the boxes. 

For Strong man going back to only working at the office even though it was still part time meant Fridays were a work day.  Mostly because I would be out of the house two nights and one day a week serving up pizza and pitchin' how amazing Pizza Hut really is (in all honesty we do have some pretty rockin' deals.  And if you opt out of our most popular pizza crust for something a little more homey it's kinda hard not to eat the stuff.)...Anyway, back to the long lost family days, you throw in the fact that we were no longer able to be neck deep in the broke and well it seemed to be okay to take a break.  Everything is a season and life looked different.

As the new year rolled in we finally stopped lamenting our lack of sacred days and did something about it.  Last week we welcomed back our favorite day of the week.  Smack dab in the middle of the week we have the freedom to lock ourselves in or hit the road, no matter the event one thing remains true: we are together. 

So our first day back we stayed home, played on the floor of our newly set up play room, bought a cheap lunch out and then finished it off with a pizza night (healthy I know...).  A quiet uneventful day jam packed with love and honor for each other.

Yes, we stayed in our pj's most of the day...No we do not require military stances.

Welcome back family day, you truly are the best day of the week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Holidays = unexpected EFA 3.1

Ahh, those Monday holidays where the post, banks, and courts all stop.  Those Monday's are the best.  They call for a step out of the ordinary.  This holiday we ate Cinnamon buns for breakfast and then went on a road adventure.  First stopping in Waterville to play at an epic play place only to find every other family in Waterville had the same idea, still fun though.

By Man of the woods

By Laughter

Then we continued on down the road to visit our two favorite stores; LL Beans and then Cabela's.  It was a good day.  We had great conversation, laughed a lot, reestablished some boundaries that had become grey with the chaos of life, and just loved on each other.

After we had the boys snug in there car seats with a blanked Strong man and I held hands and enjoyed conversation of everything and nothing.  A good day.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A pinch here, a dash there, a side dish full of pride

When I cook often times it looks like this:  A pinch of salt, a dash of herbs, a small handful of sugar.

Most of the time it comes out tasting fantastic...But it doesn't always work out that way.  In fact I find usually it's the recipes I've made a million times that get me into trouble.  I find myself adding this and that without stopping to evaluate what it really tastes like.  When I finally do stop for a taste test these are the times I realize I may have to change plans about what's on the menu that night.

I've come to realize recently that my life had become a bit like this.  I found a job and I was making better tips then I thought I would.  So when four beds became occupied in our home I was sure God would increase my tips to help feed them.  I wasn't worried in the least bit.  That first shift that I came home with just a few bucks after working five hours I thought it was a fluke.  Then one shift turned into a whole week of shifts.  As I said thank you each time I picked money off the tables I began wondering why it was that I was getting tipped so little, didn't God know that this was going to help feed those I just welcomed into my home?  Finally I went into work to find my pre-closer who arrive only and hour before me had at least five tables during that hour, more then I would have the entire night.  Two weeks in I stopped to evaluate.  It took less then 24 hours for me to realize I had made myself up a dish of pride, forgetting who really knew best.  After asking forgiveness of my prideful heart I walked into the restaurant not hoping for anything, ready to say thank You no matter what.  God saw that I had learned another bit of letting go of self and holding onto Him, so He gave.  I left that night having had a great night in tips.
For whom He loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
~ Proverbs 3:12
~ Being loved enough to be reproved by the Maker of all things.
~ Other's willing to give to help sleep our new guest.-sheets, bed frames, tables, lamps, pillows, blankets, mattresses.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What goes up must come down

Praise the Lord I only take one pill each day. 
One pill to keep my chaotic manias at bay. 
One pill that recently was increased. 
One pill that is now allowing my body to rest. 

All of life is in layers over lapping each other as they move from one season into the next, and so it is with this sickness. As I leave my manic mind behind it takes longer for certain aspect of it to leave, but all the while depression seeps in. And so while I may not fall into a deep depression as I adjust to new chemical levels I find myself in a mixed state. A state of exhaustion and irritability as I mourn all that I could accomplish and the personality I love most as I am reintroduced into a bit of OCD that when not followed brings a smidgen of despair into my world. A combination of the two that will in time find there balance again.

Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious, and compassionate, and righteous.
~ Psalm 112:4

~ Hypo mania during a season of life that it was actually useful.
~ The tip of the scales being far less then in times past.
~ Learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What does more medication mean?

What does more medication mean?
...Becoming "normal".
...Becoming more of a zombie.
Who decides what normal is? 
What does more medication mean?
...Being able to make choices based on facts and good judgement.
...Being less able to hear the Holy Spirit speak into my heart.
Funny I spent months begging God to show Himself to me unable to feel anything but suffering.  Now, I realize that while I couldn't feel God He was closer then I have ever known Him to be before.  He was my only Hope.  While I still say and believe that He is my Hope, I forget so quickly.
What does more medication mean?
...Being able to function better.
...Losing the creativity of my mind in all things.
When one knows tormenting extremes of the mind they are forced to find ways of expressing even just a piece of it in order to keep what little sanity they have left.  Losing that way of expression is as if a limb has been ripped off.
What does more medication mean?
...Being able to sleep normal amounts.
...Letting go of the ability to surpass expectation.
Some of the most famous artist and even some of our presidents are thought to have suffered from the same illness I suffer.  They have become great.  While I can claim no such thing, I have surpassed limitations that are assumed of one so young--At the age of 20 creating, and organizing a sub department.  Not only creating it in a way that worked for myself, but still works years later, inspiring other departments to use the same system.
What does more medication mean? 

All of the above.

Sometimes being shaped means letting go.
The gift of a mind that thinks like no other is cursed with instability; to some insanity.  I have been stable for 10 months, able once again to cook, play, feel pleasure, clean, handle the unknowns of the world, sit with friends and not feel as though I am sucking the life out of them.  I am able to do what normal people do.  I am no longer looking over the edge into insanity.

All things--a gift.

Still as I take those pills, now increased by half, I wonder if I'm throwing a gift away.  I wonder each morning as one small tablet slides down my throat if Jesus hurts because a gift He made just for me isn't being used to it's fullest...When I stand with Him one day and ask why this gift, why me, I wonder what His response will be.

This battle, the battle with my pills is not a question of sin, it is a question of what is good and what is great.  I look forward to understanding.
The king answered Daniel and said, "Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery."
~ Daniel 2:47

~ Rest, something I hardly known in months as my mind has begun racing.
~ A doctor who doesn't try to suck my soul from me with pills, but slowly only when there seems to be no other way increases my intake.
~ A husband who understands.
~ An all knowing God who has and knows the purpose of my manic-depression.
~ Work that keeps the Darkness at bay.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writing with a hijacked mind

I've hardly posted since Thanks giving, only of the big things, birthdays, holidays stuff like that.  It's not because good exciting things worth remembering hasn't happened.  It's quiet the opposite.  We have had Epic family adventures...

Started out neat, but it didn't take long...
...to look like this.
Messages from my love.
Time with Aunties from out of state...



A new job with many great stories and lessons learned....

Seeing the sun rise with friends from our wedding as we use our imagination like children playing our own pretend games...

No, it's not that I haven't had cause to write.

I should have seen the signs as I packed for Hungary, instead I convinced myself it was anticipation.  "Anticipation" became hours of sheep counting never finding the third sheep as thoughts flooded in like Spring's raging rivers.  My mind had begun the journey to mania.  Being hijacked it would start a project long enough to think of another to begin just long enough to find a third.  At some point my mind would run back to the first picking up where it left off for what seemed like a few short minutes.  So it was with writing.  My fingers would fly across the keyboard putting down some of the most insightful words I have ever written, words that were meant to be remembered.  But as I went back, reading through the final product I realized those divinely written words where no more then gibberish, a thought never followed through, all of it meaningless.

Here I am writing once again, knowing even though the increased pills have caged the darkness it will be back to taunt me.

Or let him rely on My protection, let him make peace with Me, let him make peace with Me.
~ Isaiah 27:5

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 1, 2013

On the day we decided to accept our gift house I began praying.  Praying for a full house.  Praying for a place where we can share life with others who know they themselves can do no more; there only hope is to hold tight to the only truth they know:  Jesus.

A hope.  A prayer.  A dream.  All three spanning a time of nine years.  A passion only God could put in my heart.

As we've moved into this gift house, we have adjusted to what stewardship of such a big responsibility really means.  In many ways more work on our part but I have also rested in knowing that I had time to test the waters of Haven.  We have held large feast.  We have hosted friends talking of spiritual things into the late hours.  We have laughed with many.  We have feed some.  We have found rhythm.  We have found joy.  We have tested the waters.  It has been good.

God has also said it is good.  He has seen our faithfulness.  He has seen our trust in Him.  One day when He knew we were ready to dive in we received a knock on the door.  A women and her three children asking for a place only for a night or two.  A women I instantly feel in love with this past summer when our paths first crossed.  A women I have not only wanted to pray for but have needed to sit with my Father petitioning on her behalf.  A women who mixes both my desire for Haven and my desire to touch unknown soil and those who grew up on it.  Two passions I never thought would mix.  A women who sees the need to widen her circle.

Only God knows what our journey together will look like or how long it will last.  It will be good, because God promises to those who know Him that all is good. 

We have officially taken our first jump into Haven.

Trust in the LORD and do good;  Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.
~ Psalm 37:3-5

My gifts:
~ A God who trusts me.
~ Again, this gift house.
~ My family unified in our love for these four.
~ A God who has said it is good.
~ Nine years of praying, dreaming, finally being granted.