Sunday, February 27, 2011

more that i love....

since the last post really helped me to keep things in perspective, i'm riding the love train again. just three things that i love and am thankful for. no matter how shallow or deep they may be :)

fried, yum. you don't even understand how good these are unless you've come to the dominican
and tried them yourself. and believe me, you'll never go back to just plain 'ol french fries again.

crazy nap hair...she woke up like this. cute, little, heart pacifier in her mouth and this crazy mess of hair. it's
the first time in my life that i have literally run to get my camera so i wouldn't miss the initial essence of something.

girls night...i wouldn't consider myself a girl's girl. i've always had more guy friends than girlfriends. but there is something
about girlfriends that is so necessary in a girl's life. this night we literally did nothing but sit at audrey's kitchen table
and talk for five hours. the three of us have been through A WHOLE LOT in the last 4-5 years, but we keep on truckin' thanks
to the encouragement of friendship.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

sinking but praising

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you
will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33

my days have been dark. in recent weeks there have been a lot people i know and have come in contact with that have lost loved ones. specifically children. whereas most people hear about children passing away and feel sad, i hear about children passing away and sink into a deep, dark hole.

everyone's got their thing. the thing that weighs them down sometimes. a chip on their shoulder. luggage being lugged around. mine is fear. unrealized fear. fear of things that have not happened and the fear that they will. my children passing away is just that fear.

almost two years ago i began drowning in depression. no one knew, of course. its not the kind of thing i talk about. not the kind of thing anyone talks about, really. but whereas most people who suffer with depression become depressed because of a trigger, an event, a happening that strikes them down...mine was/is a little harder to pinpoint.

i asked myself time and time again, "how can i feel this way? my children are not dead. my husband is here by my side. we are all safe and sound." but day in and day out i sat in my home, paralyzed with fear that if my family left my side, surely something would happen to them. i dreaded mike having to go anywhere without me. i didn't want my kids (well, landon, emi was still in my tummy) to go anywhere out of my sight. i confined myself to the house as much as i could and put on a happy smile when i went anywhere or saw anyone. i didn't sleep. waking up every hour to check and see if landon was still breathing or if he had passed away since the last time i checked on him. it was brutal. the whole time, satan taunting me in every way, shape and form he could. finding anything that could put me in a tailspin.

i give you this background only to help you better understand my last few weeks. although i have pulled out of the day-in-day-out depression, its ugliness lurks behind every shadow. waiting for when i'm weak to snake its way back into my spirit and paralyze me once again. with the deaths of two children just in the last two weeks, i am weak. i feel myself sinking. i feel myself obsessed with cleaning and making sure no sickness can enter our house. i feel myself waking up hourly to check and make sure the kids are breathing. i feel myself pulling away from my Source and trying to control my environment, instead of just living in His security. but something i'm armed with this time that i wasn't two years ago are His promises in His Word and His followers that continue to encourage me in ways they don't even realize they are. God is being very intentional about not letting me get to that place i was two years ago. i'm tasting it. i'm seeing it. i'm feeling it. but i'm not sinking into it.

my friend, raleigh, is an incredible source of inspiration. although we are so different, as our spiritual lives have grown, so has our friendship. i am constantly looking to her words as a source of encouragement and sometimes, even though we're in very different places in our lives, God teaches her exactly what i need to be taught. if there is one thing that i am learning over and over again from God it is even in our deepest valleys, turn back to him with praise and thanksgiving. not only does it bring Him glory, but it diminishes our focus on the valley.

you can't see a hole in the ground if you're staring at the sky.

so today, in photos (just like raleigh's photo diary!), i'm turning my valley back into praise. there are a ridiculous amount of things in my life that i am thankful for. and to be able to capture them, as a reminder to myself and a thank-you to God for His unfailing provisions, is a blessing beyond measure. here are some things that i love just from today.

my world...these three, i can't even tell you, how much i love these three.

our is perfect for us. i never want to move. but i do want to paint it a different color :)
and yes, that is box of toys sitting on the overhang with 4 inches of rain in it. i don't even know
how long its been there. i don't want to know how long it's been there.

laundry on the line...there is something about the sun shining on freshly washed laundry that brings
out something special deep in my soul. i love hanging laundry on days like today.

our vegetable/fruit garden...squash, radishes and cantaloupe comin' right up! it more than reminds
me of my childhood and the vegetable garden my mom always had. taking bowls of sugar out and
picking tomatoes right off the vine and eating it right there in the dirt.

our, seriously. i love this purple flower and it is blooming like crazy. and those
bananas are soon going to make some fine banana bread.

creative last minute projects...i love creativity. i love making things with my hands. i love making
something out of nothing. can't beat an earring holder made with scrap wood and mosquito screen.

laundry baskets on freshly made beds and babies that mess up freshly made beds....ok, i don't love
when babies mess up freshly made beds but i do love the baby.

good books and sweetarts...i love this book 'soul cravings' by erwin raphael mcmanus. it is rocking my
world in a very unconventional way. and who doesn't love sweetarts? thanks audrey!

my firstborn...what is it about the firstborn child? i love that he is asleep on my office floor as i'm
typing this post.