Friday, November 18, 2011

Overcoming the Beautiful Mess

It's been an exuisitely beautiful, fearfully awesome, and really tough year since Hunter was born. Trying to get back on track with neccessities!
Love reading Kim Brenneman's stuff:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

notes to self

I write because I am talking to myself. But I also write because I know that somewhere out there is the woman who needs to know; to hear what God has said to me, because it is what He is saying to her.
So I remind myself:

Monday, February 28, 2011

Babies, Sleep Deprivation, and NO MORE DEPRESSION

I am thinking I'll jot this down for myself, but I also know God may use it to comfort another sleep deprived mommy.

Hunter has been waking up at least every two hours at night for the last six months. At the beginning, it was more frequent: every hour, sometimes half an hour or 45 minutes.

(I think he was trying to replicate the womb- to find that environment that met the expectations he developed during the first nine months of his life. He would sleep if he was held, so I held him as much as I could.)

He also had some digestive issues, so I never felt right about just leaving him in his crib to cry. There are many reasons, but all of them seemed to lead to a very tired mommy getting up again and again in the middle of the night!

So, how have I been coping? Because sometimes I felt like I just COULD NOT go on.

1. At the beginning when he was small I kept a very dim lamp lit in the room so that I could read scriptures while I nursed. Sometimes I just read one and then meditated on it over and over. It helped to keep my mind centered on what was right. Any one who has been sleep deprived (or battled depression) knows that this is of extreme importance. Have TRUTH ready and available and fix your mind on it over and over.

2. I kept worship music playing in Baby's bedroom night and day. It changed the spiritual atmosphere of that place that I spent so much time not sleeping. It made a way for the Spirit of God to be a source of great comfort to me.

3. I prayed. I told God EVERYTHING. I admitted all, held nothing back, made no pretense. I wept, I begged, I whispered his Word to Him. I praised Him, and whatever else I needed to do. I stayed in connection with Him through prayer, even when it was terribly painful.

4. I thanked Him. I didn't do this perfectly, but I did make a point of being grateful for even basic things, like baby's life, his health, his beauty, his personality.

5. I prayed for others. This took my mind off of my self and my own suffering.

6. I just did it, without thinking about whether or not it was right that so much sleeplessness be required of me. I focused on showing baby compassion, and this fed me. To make happen for someone else what I so badly needed for myself gave me strength. And I reminded myself that the feelings of terrible fatique would pass, and once this day (or night) was over, I would have accomplished one more day in this period of my life and it would be that much closer to being behind me. But I also reminded myself of the sacredness of these days with precious infant, and that once they were past I could never revisit them, no matter how much I might want to. I thought of those in my life who longed to be holding a baby the way I was, and I chose to appreciate the night time moments, even though they included pain.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Greater even than Me

It is quiet, and dim. Worship music plays softly in the background, and shadows fall softly against baby's face. I trace the line of his cheeks, his hair, his ear with my fingers. Finally there is a solace- a break from the business and noise. Here everything seems to make sense: this sacrifice of my life, my strength, my very self. Here the great demands placed on my life by one human being seem right, even necessary. I lean my head back and murmer scriptures, and silent prayers. Here, there is a peace. A break from the incessant inner and outer noise that has been my life these last few days.

But tomorrow will invade soon, just like it did the day before. A day of demands placed on a woman who has nothing left to offer. Even the boy in the gospel story had fishes and loaves to present to Jesus, but this woman has only inner brokeness. I have offered my time, my effort, my strength, my sleep, even my very food and drink, and still I feel surrounded by my own failures and shortcomings and the expectations of neglected children, neglected housework, neglected lover. I can't do this. It is true. I have nothing else I can give.

So I lock myself in the bathroom, and in a brief moment alone I open up my yawning chasm before the Lord. I tell Him my grim selfishness, all my ugly complaints. I tell Him of my great inner horror, and that I don't feel I can go on. Even the intense, poignant, amazing beauty of my relationship with baby is draining my joy after 4 months of night wakings; never less than two, often at least 6 times I respond to his cries and gently lift him out of his crib; I pull him to my chest and offer comfort- offer the very thing I don't know how to find. The one thing I feel such a desperate and urgent need for. My innermost being is desperate- a beggar.

And in this place of inner deficit and depravity, and full honesty before God I can think of only one thing that is even uglier than a selfish mother and self focused wife.

It is a cross. It is a perfect Savior born for murder; born as a delicate and fragile baby, whose mother woke at night to feed Him, just like I feed my baby. A holy infant, destined for a crucifixion. It is a son of man who never sinned, and yet BECAME sin for me. He didn't just die on a cross to forgive me, but He, the Innocent Beautiful, BECAME the inner horror that I don't know how to face. And not just for me- He became the inner horror and ugliness of all mankind. All of us. And He bore the full weight of the wrath of Holy God for that depravity which He became.

So I ponder the awful wonder of a God who could love me that much. To become my horror, so that I could leave it behind. So that I wouldn't have it! And a certain inner stillness comes. Not completely a peace, not just yet, but a soberness and a stillness that is greater than the turmoil around me.

And I need that.

I need to know that there is something; Someone, so much greater than my sin.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Pain That God Accepts...

I had a few tough days in a row. I'm down to the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy, and the past few days were tough physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually...

This morning I read 2 Corinthians 7:6 which says:

"But God, who comforts the downcast...."

And I thought, "Hey, if God comforts the downcast, and the bible says He cannot lie... Then I can EXPECT Him to comfort me today!!!" But still, somehow I really didn't feel any better after that. In fact, I felt much worse. But as the day went by, I spent some time in prayer on my walk/jog (it was a noisy, noseblowing kind of prayer); I took my children to the park and read from a Joyce Meyer book ("Reduce Me to Love"); I listened to the book of Proverbs on cd in my car as we drove... and over the course of the day, I did feel comforted. I went from feeling hopeless, to believing that THERE REALLY IS HOPE !! Hallelujah!

I also read 2 Corinthians 7:10 which says:

"For the pain God accepts produces repentance not to be regretted, leading to salvation; but the pain of the world produces death."

And I thought about how if I lay in my bed feeling overwhelmed, or if I lock myself in the bathroom and cry, or if I give way to any number of the negative thoughts that were coming against my mind, then I am giving way to a "worldly sorrow"- a sorrow that is selfish, because it is based only on me, and what I feel. It's a sorrow based only on whether or not I have been treated justly, or whether or not others have considered me, or whether or not I feel pain or discomfort, or happiness...

But the "pain that God accepts" would be the kind of pain experienced when I choose to forgive, and I choose to love anyway, and I choose to think about how the other person feels, even when I have my own unmet needs. It is the pain of putting sin aside when its temporary benefits look like they would offer me a brief relief from this "pain that God accepts". I think this "acceptable pain" must be the pain of PUTTING SELF ASIDE rather than focusing on how "terrible it is for self".

And sometimes that isn't fun, but whenever we lay ourselves down, it is a seed! It produces that beautiful fruit of JOY! Which is unattainable by focusing on how bad things are for "ME".

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Learning How to Believe for Healing

I think some of the key issues I faced while depressed were:

what I believed,

what I thought,

what I said.

All these things were negative, and they all worked together to surround me with a prison of depression. The only answer to this was to go a different direction- to start thinking and believing and saying what was in my bible, rather than what I felt, or what my circumstances seemed to say was true. I had to say what I didn't feel, but what I chose to believe- God's Word.

This morning I was reading from Kenneth E. Hagin's book: Exceedingly Growing Faith, and I wanted to type out a short segment here. Even though he is talking about something other than depression, this principle of faith can be applied to every area of our lives. It is how we believe for a life free of depression.

"Now if I had gone by my feelings I would never have gotten out of bed! I was never so weak in my life. I felt as if I couldn't do it. But I stayed with it. I acted upon the Word because I knew what faith was. I would say to the Father, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit, to the devil, to myself, and to the other boys if they asked me, "The Lord is my strength." But I never actually got any help until I started to work.

Many people want to get something and then believe they've got it. But you have to believe you have something and then you receive it.

When we began to work each morning I wouldn't have any strength, but when we started on the first tree (or sometimes the second) I would feel something hit me in the top of my head. It would go through my body, out the end of my fingers, and out the ends of my toes. Then I would work all day like a Trojan...

You may say that you know God's word is good, but you will never really know until you have acted upon it and have reaped the results.

And this is what I am trying to tell you that faith is. Faith is giving substance to the things hoped for. I acted on God's Word; I went to work. I hoped for the physical strength to do the work, but it was my faith that gave substance to what I had hoped for. Faith says, "God is the strength of my life." As I acted on God's Word, faith gave substance to that for which I had hoped...

Remember this: Hope says, "I will have it sometime." Faith says, "I have it now."

Since faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, then I want to focus today on building my faith for healing and every other area of life, by keeping God's word before my eyes. It is the one needful thing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some Kenneth Hagin Quotes to Encourage You

Yesterday ended rough... I felt tired, I felt hypoclycemic, I was feeling pain, etc. So I decided to cope with this by overeating, which really didn't make me feel as good as I thought it would. : )

This morning I made a better choice of coping mechanism, which was to pray some scriptures, and to read a few chapters in Kenneth Hagin's "What to do When Faith Seems Weak and Victory Lost."

Here are some quotes that were especially meaningful for me:

1. "Of course, the devil will suggest things to your head- but you are not to walk by your head. You walk by your heart. Thoughts may come, and they may persist in staying. But thoughts that are not put into word or action die unborn. You need to know that. Because the devil, endeavoring to defeat you, will put thoughts into your mind. Then he will tell you, 'If you were saved, you would never have thought such a thing as that.' So, let me say it again: Thoughts may come. Thoughts may persist in staying. But thoughts that are not put into words or actions die unborn."

2. "Suppose, for instance, a man climbs up on the house, then falls off and breaks his leg. God put into motion the law of gravity. But the man could not say, 'God broke my leg,' or, 'God pushed me off the roof,' or even, 'God did it.' No. God put into motion the law of gravity; the man violated it, and reaped the results. It is true that God is the author of gravit. But He did not intend for the man to fall and break his leg. He did not intend for him to fall. The man fell off accidentally, or because he was careless."

These ideas led me to thinking that: God cannot be blamed for all that is going on in my life right now. Realistically, it is rediculous for me to blame Him for any of it, since God is Light- PURE light. There is not a trace of darkness in Him! So what I can see now, is that there are areas that I have missed it- I have violated His laws, either wittingly or unwittingly. Secondly, that there are places that satan's thoughts have come against me, and I didn't resist them (didn't recognize them as not my own and as being total lies against God's precious promises), and then I reaped a bad result.

So today, as I endeavor to clean up my diet, I also want to work to clean up my mind. I need to clean up my heart of sin (the ones I knew about, and the ones I pretended not to) and I need to clean up my mental diet!

Praise the Lord!