Sunday, September 07, 2014

Ramblings and Ponderings

I read a few blogs this morning that I hadn't checked in a while.  It made me want to post again.  Maybe the key to me writing more is to read more blogs...  I've had bits and pieces of blog posts in my head for ages, but getting them out is always the hard part.  So...some ramblings...

I think I forgot that anti-depressants are not a magic happy pill.  When I first started on them and felt so much better at first, somehow I think I was a bit lulled into a sense of this was all it was going to take to finally get through this journey of depression.  Naive, oh, so naive.  And of course, just proof of how there is such a learning curve to all of this.  My hope is that I've just been overwhelmed after having all three kids home full time over the summer, and now that school has started up again, my introverted self might actually get a chance to breathe again.

But there's still this constant battle to balance, constantly weighing how I'm doing, and I take those three little pills every morning with my breakfast and wonder if they're really helping enough and if the side effects (which have faded to a certain extent but still show up every now and then) are worth it and consider if I may need to up my dose or do I need to switch to something else and what a long and challenging road this is.

And sometimes, (but not nearly often enough), I ponder grace.  How God's grace is and needs to be sufficient for me.  And how it is such a part of every day.  The little gifts in daily life that He uses to show me His everlasting love, the grace to forgive my children for just being children even when it drives me crazy, and the strength to ask for their grace when I so very often fail as a mother, His grace - forgiving me always and remembering to be thankful for His grace instead of feeling guilty for always needing it again and again for the same things.

Sometimes I wish life was easier.  And I know He never promised it would be easy, but that He is always with us and He has overcome.  But I always wonder why I find it so hard to get through this business of making it to the end of the day.  Which of course is half the lesson, to figure out how to stop asking why, accept it, find a way to rely on God's grace, and move on.

*sigh*  oh ramblings.  oh brain. 

Friday, June 13, 2014


I was awake too early this morning.  I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't.  Then Nathan woke up at about 5, and while he very easily conked back out in my bed, I lay there tossing and turning and fidgeting.  So I got up.  I figured I'd have my morning coffee in peace for once.  And then I realized that this is the perfect time to blog for a change.  This is how it used to be, quiet mornings, me and my laptop, words flowing through my fingers through the keyboard onto the screen.  Oh the feeling of nostalgia.

You'll have to forgive me for a slightly more melancholy tone this morning.  Yesterday I finally came out of denial about the inevitable that's been coming for quite some time now.  This weekend will be my last visit to my parents' old home in Chatham, and I will be saying goodbye to my childhood home and my adulthood safe haven.

There are so many memories in that place:

forts in the backyard trees
rolling down the hill on wooden wheels
tobagganning into the fence so we didn't go into the creek
skating in the winter
the tiny first kitchen
all the renovations
so many Christmases
the laughter
the tears
the fights
the games
the celebrations: birthdays, graduations, weddings, births
being a family

If you have ever had the opportunity to be at my parents' house, then you may know some of what I'm talking about.  Both the house and the yard are beautiful, truly a place to rest when the storms come and a place to relax when life brings joy.  I look forward to the new memories to be made in their new house, but the old house will certainly be missed.  I only hope that I can do half as good a job as my parents did at making my home with my little family a somewhere that is so loved.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After years of this...

My sister blogged this morning.  Well, technically for her it was last night that she posted`, but I didn't read it until this morning.  Whenever I read her blogs, it reminds me of how much I enjoy writing and how much I miss doing it.  She inspires me.  :)

I realized I haven't posted since Christmas.  That's too long.  I could blame various reasons, most of them you've heard before, the kids take up a lot of time, mornings with Nathan are not generally conducive to sitting at a laptop typing, we've constantly had someone sick in this house, I've been sick a lot too, it was the winter that never ended.

But mostly,. I haven't felt the inspiration to write.  Which should have been a sign to me that things were not quite right as soon as I noticed it.  When I am doing well, or at least am on the road to recovery, the words are a continual flow in my brain, and no matter what I'm doing throughout the day, even if it's the mundane things like changing diapers, I'm writing blog posts in my head.

When I took a shower this morning, and this blog post came to me, I knew I had to actually get it out and posted.  It's time.  (And maybe it will be the jump start to more regular posting...)

About a month and a half ago, I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment to see my family doctor.  She formally diagnosed me with mild to moderate depression and prescribed Zoloft.  I can honestly say this was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

As any of my regular readers will know, I have struggled with depression frequently in the past.  It has often felt like a never-ending battle to keep my sanity and stop myself from sliding into that pit that's overwhelmed me too often of late.  In previously instances, I've seen therapists, exercised, taken vitamins religiously, and gone to a naturopath to try more natural ways of beating back the darkness. 

But this time, I knew it was different.  This time, most of my symptoms were physical, as in I had absolutely no energy, I couldn't motivate myself to get up and do the things I used to do with no problem, I was having trouble concentrating and focusing, and I just felt like I was dragging through life. I was pretty sure talking about my issues wasn't going to fix the problem, as I can honestly say there's very little in my life right now to cause me discontent.  My relationships with God, my family, and my friends are strong, and I am so blessed in many ways.

So I started the medication.  Aside from a few annoying side effects, the most notable being that my hands tend to shake like I've had too much caffeine, and I can't sit still for the life of me, I feel better than I have felt in years.  Really.  Years. 

Dr. Grant Mullen did a seminar at our church this past week, and he talked about how when his patients recovered from depression, he would ask them if they remembered the last time they felt that well, and the average response was it had been 20 years.  Since I'm only 30, I can't say it's been 20 years, but I have to be completely honest and say it has definitely been a very long time since I've felt this good.

Am I perfectly happy?  Of course not.  Zoloft is not a miracle happy pill.  But I have energy again.  I'm able to self-motivate again.  Clearly, I can write again.  My emotions are more stable, and I feel content more frequently than I have in a long time.  I'm not so short-tempered with my kids, and my husband has noticed that I'm in a better mood.

Is my journey with depression over?  Far from it.  I don't know how long I will need to be on this medication.  I'm sure that there will be more struggles with whatever trials life brings.  I am working to make sure my life is not defined by my diagnosis, but it is still a part of my life and who I am, and it's a reality I face every day.  I know that God is carrying me through this.  He has shown Himself so faithful, and I can feel Him holding me close in the rough times.  I don't know what the future will bring, but I know that right now, I feel like I can face it.

Sorry for the heavy post.  I've never held back before, and I don't intend to start now.  :)  In some small way, I hope that by sharing my story, others in a similar situation will not feel so alone.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Immanuel - God With Us

It's Christmas Eve, and I'm alone in the house while the rest of the family has gone to the evening church service.  Nathan has a bad cold and wasn't going to make it through the 45 minutes that started past his usual bedtime, so I elected to stay behind so I could have a shower and some peace amid the bussle that is the holiday season.

I know it has been quite some time since I've posted.  I figure that could say a couple of things.  I'm probably very busy...maybe even too busy.  Which is definitely true.  Getting Reuben out the door for the bus by 8:00 every morning definitely makes morning blogging impossible, and by the time the kids are in bed at the end of the night, I'm just ready to crash on the couch.  Or maybe my brain is in one of those dim places where I don't even think in blog posts any more; the inspiration to write is dulled out by busyness and life.  My hiatus from blogging is probably for both those reasons.

But today?  Why the post?  I have a few moments of rest.  True rest where I've told myself I'm not doing anything work related until after Christmas (maybe even after New Year's...)  I don't have any deadlines looming over my head.  The house is completely silent, and I don't have anything on TV distracting me.  It's amazing how my brain can suddenly kick in when there is quiet.

Christmas is my favourite time of year.  I love the time spent with family, the fun of decorating the house, the yummy goodies that get baked and shared, and I love that I have a reason to celebrate, a real reason, that this Jesus I love came down to earth, and we get to remember that in this special time of year.  I was reminded a few weeks ago while driving to work how He is called Immanuel - God With Us.  And it was like I had a little light go on and I felt the true meaning of how important and wonderous it is that God came down to earth in the form of a baby, this baby, Jesus, to be God With Us.

It feels me with joy to know He is with me.  He reminds me that He has loved me with an everlasting love, and His love keeps me going, through the busyness and the hard days, and through the quiet and the good days.  May you, dear faithful readers, remember His love and the reason we celebrate Christmas.  He is with us.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Not much to say

In some strange fluke, it's 6:30 and Nathan is still sleeping.  Of course, there's also a thunderstorm so Reuben had me up bright and early, and I'm not taking advantage of any extra sleeping time.  If I'd known he was going to sleep so long, I'd have hopped in the shower, but one of Murphy's Laws of Parenting states that the baby will always wake up once Mommy is in the shower with shampoo in her hair.  I didn't want to risk it.

So I figured I'd throw a quick blog post out there.  I wish I had something a bit more inspirational to say, but it's been a rough week since Nathan spiked a fever last weekend that went for three days and has developed into a nasty cough/runny nose.  He's been miserable and clingy, and it's been difficult to get anything done, which presents a challenge because we're having Reuben's birthday party with his friends today, and by Friday the house was a disaster.  Things are mostly back under control at this point, except for the basement, which I'm hoping to get to later this morning before the boys show up.

Sorry it's not more exciting, but anyway, it is what it is.  Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Counting Gifts: Week.....???

So clearly, I have not been very disciplined in my posting about counting 1000 gifts.  I confess I have been equally undisciplined in actually counting the gifts and doing the daily readings in the journal to go along with.  I've let fatigue be my excuse to let myself get ho-hum about going through life.

I need to stop making excuses.

So I'm renewing my commitment to the goal to count 1000 ways God shows His grace to me, 1000 little ways and big ways throughout my day that He sends me His love, gifts that are brand-new and gifts that have been here the whole time but are new every morning.  I'm praying He opens my eyes to see them and that I can keep up the momentum to do this each and every day.

...and I think I had more to say, but I got interrupted by waking up children, and now it's time to get the morning before-school routine going.  Here we go, counting gifts along the way...

Saturday, September 14, 2013


The sky is clear, and it looks like it should be a beautiful day today.  But I know the truth - it's cold.  I had to add an extra blanket to my bed last night, and no, I didn't have the window open.  I am not like all the people out there who love Fall.  I hate to be cold.

Motivation is hard to come by lately, as evidenced by my lack of posting.  I'm still working on finding a good routine with the kids in school, and while I'm enjoying the quieter days, I've never handled change well.  It's funny how as much as sometimes we long for change and get excited by it, the reality of adjustment is often harder than we want it to be.

Counting 1000 gifts is going slower than I expected.  I'm really just not good at remembering to think about looking for graces God gives me throughout the day.  I thought it would help to leave the journal out where I can see it, but I've become too good at ignoring where it sits by the microwave.  This is something I need to work on, and I have a sneaky suspicion if I can figure out how to get this habit going better, it might help out with that whole lack of motivation thing.

Nathan keeps me on my toes.  He's a climber in a way that the other kids never were.  He's gone from climbing on kitchen chairs, to climbing from there to the table, to getting stuck on the chairs when he climbs on them when they're pushed under the table, to figuring out how to pull the chairs out so now he can climb up whenever he wants, and he climbs up on the office desk, and he climbs on the table in the living room that we've been using to block his access to the entertainment unit, so now he has access to the DVDs and everything else on the upper shelves of that piece of furniture -- I throw my hands up in frustration!  And I am really not looking forward to when he figures out how to climb up on the couches...although he might not get into quite as much trouble up there...

Anyway, that's all of that.  I'm still here, still plugging along, and one of these days I'll get more motivated to post more frequently...

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Changes and trusting

My little girl got on the bus yesterday for her first day of school.  I thought sending the first one off was supposed to be the emotional experience, but I feel like this year's been harder than last.  Don't get me wrong - I have to be completely honest and say that part of me has been really looking forward to the kids going to school.  I'm getting really tired of them always complaining that they're bored.

But then it hits me how much of a change this is.  How I'm going from three kids home all the time down to just one.  How I'm not going to be as much of an influence in my kids' lives anymore - especially Reuben going every day to grade 1 now.  How I have to learn to trust God more than ever as I let these pieces of my heart walk out that door into the wide unknown - a wide unknown that has such potential to cause great hurt.

It's hard not to worry about what might happen to them when I'm not there to make sure they'll be safe.  I have to put them in His hands and rest knowing that He'll carry them through the joys and the hurts.  All part of this thing called "parenting"...

(Side note: I had more thoughts, but my brains has suddenly shut off and the children are getting restless ie. Nathan wants breakfast, so that's it for now...)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Five more sleeps till school starts

I've been meaning to sit down and get a post out for a couple of days now -- I missed my Monday "Counting Gifts" post again, but Tim let me sleep in that day, so I have a good excuse.  I'll probably just keep this short because I'm not feeling particularly inspired to say anything specific and my brain hasn't quite kicked in from the coffee.

I'm tired.  I know I say it a lot.  I hate that it seems to have taken over my life, this tiredness.  And in this learning to say "all is grace", I have yet to determine how being so constantly fatigued is a grace.  If there's a lesson here, I'm too tired to see it.

I have to get back to a better morning routine yet again.  No, I haven't gone back to my Candy Crush addiction.  I've actually done quite well with that.  But I haven't been as consistent with my blog reading and writing and starting the day trying to focus on Him.  More often than not, I end up on Facebook or some other website and fiddling around until I realize the kids are hungry for breakfast, and I've wasted my morning time.

So, time once again to fix my habits.  The never-ending battle...

(And for the record, the title of this post really has nothing to do with the post.  I just couldn't think of any other title that worked.)