Category Archives: Family

Panic at the _______!

isaiah-26-3

A difference exists between panicking and having a panic attack.

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Have you ever lost your car keys, and you were worried that would get in trouble for arriving late to work?  Were you frustrated, irritated, and upset that they were misplaced again?  Did you turn your entire purse or your entire house upside down looking for them?

You probably panicked until you found them and immediately went about your day.

keys-clip-art

Have you ever lost your car keys, and you were worried that you would be fired for arriving late to work?  And then worried that you would not get a paycheck, that you would get your utilities shut off, that CPS would take your children for not having electricity, that your house would burn down because you had to use a space heater for warmth in the winter when it got down to -25°F (because you know if you misplace your keys that each and every one of these things really will happen)?  Did you get dizzy, did your heart and pulse race, did you feel extremely nauseous, did your knees go weak, did you start shaking and shivering violently, were you unable to get your words into a sentence, were you looking for the escape route from the worst possible scenario?

Then you probably had a panic attack.

            …and I literally just now had to go make sure that my keys were where they belonged.  I almost sent myself into an attack by simply writing that scenario…

keys-clip-art

I cope with my anxiety on a daily basis.  It is a part of me, it is a part of my OCD (no, I am not so OCD – I have OCD), it is a part of my life.  Unless you have had a panic attack, a for-real panic attack, it will be difficult for you to completely understand what is happening.

My family and friends know that I get these episodes occasionally.  They do not know what is going on inside of me, however.  I am pretty sure that most of them just think I am weird.

panic-attack-letter

I am extremely thankful for a husband that loves me no matter what (pretty sure he got the worse of “for better or worse”…), and a doctor that understands and cares.  I am thankful for a diagnosis that I am not crazy, and for medications and information to help me function like a ‘normal’ person.

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I have been asked, “But I thought you were supposed to be a Christian?  Should a real Christian have these issues?”

I cannot decide whether to cry or overturn tables when I hear this type of statement.

Even when that statement comes from inside my own head…

Isaiah 26:3 tells me that God will keep those that trust Him in perfect peace.  Why then, am I not in perfect peace?

not-perfect

The Hebrew words for ‘perfect peace’ mean to be completely safe.  I understand this to mean that as I focus on Him, He will keep me safe within His plan.  I don’t know His plan, (As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9) but I know I can trust Him to stick to it and carry me through.  I am a human though, and my will to trust and have faith will falter sometimes.

That is why we have the Bible.  Think about it – if God knows everything, and He does, then He knows that we need reminding of His promises, and we do.

I will fail.  So will you.  The good news is that I am not a failure.  And neither are you.

So when I have that panic attack, and you just don’t get it because you see no reason for my distress, I hope you will remember what you have read here.  I hope that even if you cannot commiserate, you can be compassionate.  I hope that you will remind me of Isaiah 26:3 and help me focus and function.

I hope you will remind me that this too shall pass…

faith-is-not-a-feeling

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Tomato Talk

 

What did one tomato say to the other tomato?

tomatoes

Let’s catchup!

 

It has been 37 days since I last posted.  This was an unplanned hiatus that simply happened.  Each day as I woke up, I did not say to myself, “I am not going to write today.”  I just didn’t.  Oh, I had plenty of brainstorms and moments of inspiration (my notebook and my bathroom wall can attest).  Why the words were not written for the web, I do not know.  But…

Here I am!

the writing on the wall

the writing on the wall

Sometimes, a time of self-discovery is necessary.  Sometimes, debacles with family or with friends occur.  Sometimes, health or home issues must take the forefront to find a resolution.

Sometimes, the words must be written and anguished over and edited and rearranged, and after all the emotions and insights are put down on the paper or on the screen – the entire saga is deleted, stress is drained, and the world may be looked upon with fresh eyes.

Anne Lamott quote

Sometimes you need a break before you break.

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Here are some hints, goodies, and sneak peaks that I look forward to sharing with you in upcoming posts!

Advisory Warning – Waxing philosophic usually creates philosophic ear wax.

Beauty in a Bottle? – Gratitude and graceful aging

Commitments and Commitment – The business of busyness

Importance Issues – Sometimes you find that you are not as important in someone’s life as you thought you were.  Is that their fault for not recognizing your importance, or yours for ascribing/believing/considering yourself important?

Planning and Priorities – If you don’t determine what matters most, then what matters most tends to fall by the wayside.

Someone So Special – Are we sometimes too “smart” to be satisfied?

What Were My Words? – Your words are the only thing in life over which you have absolute control.

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[Well, of course they are in alphabetical order!  You know I have legitimately have OCD (meds and all), right?]

 

a touch of madness

17 Easter Basket Fillers That Are Not Food!

Let’s face it.  Children today have waaaaay more sugar in their daily diets than is healthy. Here are some non-food fun items to replace the candy:

  1. Books.  Can you ever have too many books?  (Rhetorical question: of course, the answer is no.) Story of Jesus
  2. Sticker books.
  3. Bubbles.  I found these carrot-shaped bubble necklaces at Dollar Tree®.  Carrot bubbles
  4. Frisbees.
  5. Play-Doh®.  I found these at Target®.  Play Doh
  6. Jewelry
  7. Bouncy balls are always fun, whatever the size, shape, color, special characteristics.  These light up and bounce in crazy directions, from Dollar Tree®.  bouncy balls
  8. Kites.
  9. Silly putty or silly slime.  I found these at Target®.  silly slime
  10. Jump ropes.
  11. Small action figures from favorite cartoons or movies.  Paw Patrol is a favorite with my littles, from Dollar Tree®.  Paw patrol
  12. Socks.  I give socks whenever I can since they seem to frequently run away.  Put them in a fun Easter egg!  These socks and egg are from Dollar Tree®.  Easter egg socks
  13. Stuffed animals.  Stuffed bunny
  14. Fancy pencils, pens, or markers.
  15. Crayons can be found in different shapes, and are great when paired with a coloring book.
  16. Chalk.  In egg shapes, obviously.  Chalk
  17. Sunglasses, for the bright sunny spring days ahead.

 

Many, if not all, of these items can be found at dollar stores and in dollar bins, including the baskets.  Considering I have nine+ baskets to create, I need all of the help and ideas I can get!

Easter baskets

What do you put in your Easter baskets?

Lessons Learned in Little League

Texas in October is absolutely perfect!  Slightly cloudy skies, a gentle breeze, and temperatures in the upper 70s… how could you ask for better weather?  Our vacation certainly could have been a few days longer.

One reason (the main reason!) we went to San Antonio was to see my beloved sister-in-love Julie and her family.  It happened that her son/my nephew Evan had a baseball game on Saturday while we were there.  So, all of us (me, hubby, father-in-love, mother-in-love, another sister-in-love, her beau and his son, and of course, Julie’s group) loaded into the vehicles and went to the ball park to cheer on Evan and his team.

Evan baseball for blog

As we sat on the oh-so-comfortable bleachers (insert sarcastic face here) and the game started, some thoughts began flowing about what was happening on the field and what was happening around me.  So guess what?!  These thoughts turned into lessons that apply to life as much as baseball.  Guess what else?!  I am going to share them with you.

Surprise!!!

  • The first concern I had as soon as the game started, was suddenly this chorus of coaches sounding, not out of the dugout, but from the bleachers. I immediately wondered how in the world those boys and girls on the diamond would ever know what to do with the flood of words.  Too many coaches, too many voices to listen to from the sidelines.  The players have to learn to distinguish the voice of the coach from all of the other voices, and to follow what he says to do.
  • The umpire for this game was very intentional about teaching how to play baseball correctly, and was very intentional about his kindness in teaching. He explained different aspects to the players.  One bit of wisdom I heard him share – “Don’t kick dirt onto home plate.  It blocks the view of the pitcher using it for guidance.”  Whatever the goal is, whether it is throwing a strike over home plate or choosing to go to college, don’t block the vision of the seeker.
  • The next concept is also from this umpire. It may be just a game, but to the little guys and girls it can feel like life and death.  Be encouraging!
  • Respect the umpire/person in charge. Even if you don’t always agree with the call or the decision, it is still his or her call or decision to make.  You should always be respectful of authority, and when you disagree, disagree without disrespect.
  • Those on the sidelines don’t always know the game plan. This particular coach moved the players around to different positions during the game, letting them have a try at catcher, at pitcher, at shortstop.  In this way, he was able to give each player the chance to experience the different positions since this was the first year for many of them, and he could also see how each one performed in the different areas.  Unless those of us on the bleachers knew that, it looked like a jumbled mess.  Within his plan, it is working well to bring out the best in each player.
  • Every position on the field has its own peculiarities. The pitcher has a certain style and follow-through to execute, the catcher has to tag the batter with the ball after the third strike, the runner has to tag up to the current base when the hit is a fly ball.  If the pitcher went to tag the batter after the third strike, chaos could ensue.

The last one is probably my favorite part I witnessed.

  • Always be willing to give someone who is down a hand-up and a second chance. The time limit for the game was up. Our team had no runs and the opposing team had fifteen runs.  The game was a runaway skunk.  We had four players that never even got to bat, including Evan.  After a conference between the coaches of both teams and the umpire, a phone call to the organization over the ball park and league, and the pleading of the seven family members from Indiana who wanted to see our boy bat, it was decided that our team could have last at-bats.  Such a cheer rose from the crowd!  (At least on our side and probably mostly from the Hoosiers)  Did it hurt anyone to make that concession so these kids could bat?  No.  We scored two runs, which we didn’t do before the time was up.  Did it make a difference?  Yes!  Those batters got to play and the family has a great memory of the day.

the expert in anything

Bundle of Blessings

You probably need to read that title again.  “Bundle of Blessings”.

Did you notice?

As beautiful as a newborn baby is, there is something more beautiful.  A newborn mother is a beautiful bundle of blessings.

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Some parts of motherhood seem to flow easily into the being of every woman who is presented with a child to care for and raise.  The need to hold and comfort a child can be life-saving, as seen in this video.

Many parts are more difficult, such as healing hurts, calming chaos, and the perpetual picking-up of pocket-sized pieces.  There can be beauty in the bedlam, if one chooses to look.  Pop on over to Why Your Home Is Already Perfect for pointers.

I believe that a mother is the most beautiful creation in all the world.  I must admit, I have not always felt this way, especially when I was a young mother, struggling just to get by day after day.

Proverbs 31 describes the excellent woman, who includes motherhood as one of her many attributes.

Hymn to a Good Wife

A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.  Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.  Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.  She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.  She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.  She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.  She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.  First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.  She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.  She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.  She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.  She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.  She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.  Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.  She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.  Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.  When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.  She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.  (The Message)

The mistake many mothers, myself included, is that of thinking that this woman does all of these things every day.  That would be impossible for me, especially considering that I don’t even know how to knit!  This is a lifetime of work, thoughtfulness, and care that encompasses this mother’s resume.

Remember verses 28-29:

Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”