Thursday, August 21, 2014

Living With Anxiety

 “Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but 

only empties today of its strengths.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

I have a confession. I suffer from anxiety. Many people do and it just so happens that I am one of them. The things I get anxious about are seemingly silly to most people and really don't seem to make sense...but the anxiety is real and is something I struggle through and pray over *often*. 

I will tell you what makes me anxious but warn you now that it probably isn't going to make sense to you. Picnics/Potlucks and functions with a lot of people....those things make my anxiety the point of tears. *But* before you label me with a social anxiety is the truth: I like people. I enjoy my friends and family. I am not shy nor do I get nervous being in crowds (although I am not a fan of crowds...but who is?). 

The time leading up to going to a picnic sees me tense, sometimes irritable, and/or in tears. It really makes no sense...except for the fact that at home I feel safe. Safe from what? I don't know. Just safe. I feel like I can breathe. It honestly makes *no* sense to me at all and truly, I don't think it has to make sense. It is what it is and my family (especially Chris) lovingly helps me through. God is in control and *He* knows what is going on with this crazy little brain of mine. 

This anxiety used to debilitate me terribly. I had trouble leaving the house at all. There were other issues as well...and honestly, I'm not sure when it all started. I haven't always been this way. It could have started when I was 16 (when I was in a car crash that left me in a coma for a week) and just progressively got worse over the years..? Or maybe it isn't from that at all? I have *no* idea. Fortunately, when I was dealing with the brunt of these issues years ago, my mom encouraged me to look into medical help. After a lot of fighting that idea...I finally gave in and now take a pill daily. It helps relieve the brunt of my anxious thoughts and issues (OCD was setting in before taking the med). 

I will be the *first* to tell you that I did not want to be on a medication for this. I wanted to pray and seek God and let Him heal me. However, at that time, I couldn't focus enough to sit and read my Bible or any book really because my thoughts were just so *all over the place*. I am also the first to admit that nowadays there seems to be an abundance of people taking pills for something. I am *not* a fan of that either. However, that being said, I do recognize that sometimes, medications are necessary for things. Remember all the terrible happenings with the Andrea Yates story? Sometimes, meds *are* necessary. It's humbling...and admittedly embarrassing to admit it...but true. 

Although I still have anxieties over some things...I am not nearly what I was years ago, when my children were younger. Now, I *can* read my Bible, spend time studying theology, homeschool my children, pray and strive to live a righteous life to glorify my Savior. The anxieties can still be difficult to deal with... but because I can focus on God's Word and have the uplifting support of Chris, family and lovely Christian friends, I can deal with the anxiety that arises from time to time (summer is the most difficult for there are a lot of picnics/potlucks/reunions etc!). 

I take a medication in order to help me better cope with things. It is not the answer to all my problems...but it is something I need right now. I hope to one day wean off of it...if the Lord wills. And if not, then I will remain humble and take it...and glorify God that He squashes my pride. He shows me that I am *not* in control...and had I been healed without medication, there is a good chance my pride could have swollen rather than properly giving Him the glory He deserves (we can tend to do that, can't we?). 

I share this personal information with you because if you are dealing with over-whelming anxiety/depression and are trying to "do it on your own" or "just waiting to be healed by God" may not happen. I do *not* counsel anyone to just get medication for whatever ails you...but rather, encourage you to pray, talk with your husband and your doctor. If your thoughts and actions could be seriously harming to yourself or others....please, don't let pride stop you from considering a medication to level things in your brain. 

I do want to caution you though...

Often, people have sin issues and *that* is what causes their anxiety/depression issues. If this is the case, it is a heart issue...and not a brain issue. No medication will help you with that...the remedy for that dire situation is throwing yourself at the feet of Jesus. Repent and believe that He is your Savior. He is your all in all. Only He can make a wretch into a saint. 

Although I am a child of God and live to glorify Him, I am still a work in progress. He is daily sanctifying me...I have so far to go and honestly, I struggle (deeply) with the realization that I will never fully be perfect until I live with Him. Again, this humbles me and always leads me to drop to my knees in awe of the One Who made me...because in and of myself, I have *nothing* that would make me worthy to be His and yet, YET, He lived a perfect, sinless life ~ dying in my place (and rising again in three days) in order that I can be made perfect in His sight. Practically unfathomable...but you open His Word...and there it is. From Genesis to Revelation ~ every word of it points to Christ. 

If you want to discuss this...anxiety, depression or the truth of Christ...any of it ~ please feel free to email me. My email is on my profile page or up on the left sidebar somewhere! ;) I would love to hear from you, truly. May the Lord draw those who need this here and now. If I can pray for you...please, please let me know. I will do so! 

And quickly, I will share a couple of places I went this past weekend that had my anxiety through the roof! But look! I survived and after all that internal wasn't bad at all. Oh how the Lord is teaching me! 

Chris's paternal annual family reunion....

 My love with our girl, Madelyn

Our church held a baptism service at one of our member's home. They had this beautiful, homemade pond! It was a gorgeous setting for a glorious time of worshiping the Lord through song and following His example of baptism...

Afterwards, people enjoyed food and fellowship and the children had fun on this zipline! That's my Jaxson flying down there...

Look at this God-made carpet! Outside of the pond, this moss was growing and made such a neat natural carpet look! It was such a beautiful place, truly!!!

 Thank you for visiting here and it is my prayer that if the Lord has brought you here and you are struggling with things as I had, that you will seek help in some form.


“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. 

I don't agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. 

Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, 

our share in the Passion of Christ” 

~ C.S. Lewis

a-wise-woman-builds-her-homeStrangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Simple Beauty

My aunt and uncle were taking a road trip to their daughter's house for two weeks. They asked if the children and I would take care of their goats and chickens, get the mail and such while they were gone. I just love their home. It is incredibly sweet and if I had gotten their permission, I would have shared photos of the inside. It has character and is just so lovely! It's not extravagant or's simple and truly beautiful!

Her flowers outside were blooming and pretty!

While the children started to feed the animals, I went to collect the mail (as their mailbox is beside a blind curve and a busy road)...

The goat house (below)....isn't it just perfect? I seriously could have taken many, many beautiful photos around their property.

My Jaxson...helping feed the animals!

We were very excited that while my aunt and uncle were away, their chickens started laying for the first time! While they were gone, we collected over a dozen eggs for them! We washed them up and brought one of our egg cartons from home (since we have a lot to keep up with our chicken's egg production). I was so excited for them to come home to fresh eggs from their own chickens!

They even have a pool and gave us permission to while the children swam for a couple of hours, I mowed the front lawn. I wanted my aunt and uncle to be able to come home and just relax and be happy to see that things were neat and taken care of while they were away! :) When they got home, my aunt called me and asked if I had wanted a workout!? :) I had to admit that push mowing their front lawn was *quite* the doesn't seem too large at first...but after awhile, I realized I got in over my head! But I finished...I was quite determined. I couldn't leave it half mowed! How silly would that look!? :) The bottoms of my feet were terribly sore afterwards and I skipped spin class the next morning to rest them!

At home, the sun has been shining and temperatures have been comfy. I took a few photos around my home to share...just simple things.

Can you believe we are halfway through August already? 

For us, that means school, school, school and books, books, books! Schooling is going well so far this year...and I am grateful! 

Things have been busy around here lately...birthdays, tearing down and re-building our rock wall (my mom is the master builder...I am just a helper...I'll get photos to share soon!), a reunion, baptism service, mowing, schooling, cleaning, and spin classes! It's a good sort of busy though so I am not complaining! :)

Amid it all, the Lord is working on me with *so* many things. Sanctification is quite the process, isn't it? His Word and the wisdom of theologians of the past as well as good, godly friends are such blessings to me. He is ever teaching me and although it's not easy to struggle through things sometimes, in the end, it is so worth it. To know He is ever with me ~ growing me and changing me for His glory and my good ~ what could be better?

My husband is a constant source of strength, wisdom and encouragement for me. He also admonishes me in love when I need it. I am so thankful for his leadership and companionship. When we were first married, almost 14 years ago, I was unsure, nervous and jittery. What was I doing? Was this the right thing? Was Chris the man I needed and who needed me? How the Lord has shown me over the years that He has had this all planned out and knew *exactly* (from before we were born) what we needed. To watch my husband grow in the he constantly leads our family in a righteous way (and as he is daily in God's Word) is an amazing blessing to me! Seeing the Lord work in our lives encourages us to live more holy, Christ-like lives. We are so terribly far from where we want to be in our sanctification...but each day, God moves us one step closer in the right direction. May He be glorified!

Today's post has been a bit lengthy...lots of photos and words to chew on. If you have followed along until now, thank you! I appreciate the time you take to come and visit for a bit. It is my prayer you find my blog to be a peaceful, God-honoring place to just sit and rest for a moment.

Oh, I wanted to let you know (in case you are interested) I added a few more books that I have read onto my BOOKS page (found in the right column towards the top). To me, it is fun and interesting to know what others are reading and it also gives me ideas of what I may want to look into reading. Maybe you feel the same? If so, check out the page! I will tell you though that I read mostly non-fiction books. Most are theology. So, if you are looking for non-fiction recommendations, I don't have many! Also, the list I have made of what I have read is not finished. There are so many books I have read over the past years and I often forget to list them. When I remember one that I would recommend, I add it to the list! I hope you will check it out!

May your week be God-glorifying and may you find your ultimate satisfaction in *that*!

In love and kindness,

Monday, August 18, 2014

X ~ Birthday Memories

Although Xavier's birthday was earlier in the week, we celebrated this weekend with a super-small party with family...

I made his cake and decorated with some cookies and a front-loader (or so X tells me it is...I didn't know its official name!)...

Although it was simple, he loved it! Because it is so windy at the pavilion, my mom had the idea to put the cake in this tub so that the candles would stay lit and X could blow them out...

It's becoming a tradition between this boy and his older sister...for the past 2 years, these two have smashed cake in each other's face on their birthday! Oh dear! ;)

Opening up some fun gifts from loved ones...

Just for fun, I found this pin the tail on the donkey game for 75 cents! All the kids had fun taking a turn (X isn't really that good...we found out afterwards that he was peeking! Such a stinker!)....

X, Jaxson and one of their cousins all spent the night in a camper at the pavilion. Chris slept out in a hammock (like he did when Madelyn had a camp out for her birthday). I think they had a lot of fun...

I'm so thankful for these memories and for my boy...11 years with him. Couldn't imagine my life without him....such a sweet boy he is (with a humongous heart)! :) I praise God for his life! As I walk (and trip) along this path of motherhood, I often try to fathom how the Lord, in His goodness, could entrust me with such beautiful souls. To know He trusts me to raise them is such an honor! What a worthy calling!

Thank you for celebrating Xavier's 11 years with me! This is my 8th year of if you have been following along for any length of time, you have watched my boy grow too! It's amazing how so much changes over the years, isn't it? And yet...because it happens day by day...the changes are so subtle that when you stop, take a breath and look back, it shocks you! Then you realize that you blink and time flashes by in an instant. It's terribly hard to grasp!

I hope your day is lovely. Ours should be filled with some hard work....
Until next time, Lord willing,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Simple Times at Home

A little piano playing...

A busy kitchen (don't worry...all those pots in the one side of the sink are *clean* and just waiting to be put away. Despite having a dishwasher, I still find myself washing many dishes!)...

R2D2 drawing by Jaxson...

Ruthie, doing what she does best ;) ...

A little scooter-riding...

...and reading...

...and warrior training...

One reason we choose not to have our children involved in too many outside-the-home activities is so we can enjoy moments like these. Our days and evenings are filled with simple learning, play, work (such as stacking wood for winter) and the like. I do not sit in judgment of your family if you choose to live differently than we do. I just know that so many children (and parents) are so busy running from activity to activity that they aren't enjoying home, family, family suppers, and the simple pleasures of being children. **Of course, there are positives to go along with some activities...such as teamwork with sports, responsibility, comradery and more.** So, that is a decision that each family needs to make. My hope is for families to at least have a balance. :)

Thanks, so much, for stopping by! I hope your Thursday is enjoyable and filled with God-glorifying activities, thoughts and words! :)


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Xavier is *Eleven*!

This boy is eleven! How the time flies by so very quickly! Above is a photo of him with my niece, Eloise. My sister and the girls came to town to visit yesterday and we all met at our parents' house! Eloise is three and it feels that not that long ago, Xavier was too!

Below are photos of X as a baby and then as a toddler! I just love my boy's cheeks!!

Jaxson and Madelyn played the "Happy Birthday" song for him on their instruments (while I sang in my not-so-lovely voice)...

He has really been wanting a snorkel...

We took schooling off while my sister is in school still happened on X's special day. But that's was raining anyway!

Grammie took X to his banjo music lessons and then out for supper. :) Despite the rain, he has had a nice birthday! We'll have a small get-together with family this weekend as well to celebrate his life! :)

Thank you for celebrating with us! :)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Giving & Receiving

For Madelyn's birthday, instead of gifts she asked for her friends and family to consider giving to a local organization who helps abused children. You can read about that HERE. She made her mama and daddy proud, I must admit, as we did *not* suggest this to her! She came to *us* with this idea!

 Above, you can see her with Mrs. Pat as she hands her the money that was donated as well as all the items for the organization! A lady from our local paper came to photograph it and write up an article!

Below is a picture of Mrs. Pat giving a Madelyn a t-shirt in *thanks* for her donations...

My boys were given a treat as well. The sweet lady from the paper has a brother-in-law who makes these handmade cars and gives them to all kinds of charities. They gave a couple to my boys to paint up and enjoy! My boys were so excited!

After doing some all-over painting at their pop-pop's garage, the boys finished up their cars by lettering and adding details here at home...

Last evening, Chris took the children and me to a local cruise-in we like for supper! We don't eat out often...but since the children and I helped with the meat chickens, this was Chris's way of thanking us! We all enjoyed our food! We know the owner of this restaurant (she and I spin together at the Y). She was there and treated us just wonderfully! Smiles were abounding...

I love my husband! He makes me giggle!

I got a healthy strawberry smoothie as my dessert. It was delicious!

I wanted to be sure to blog these things so they are here and will be remembered! I need to have more of my blog books published but it can be so costly! It's so nice, though, to have them in book form! It's like a scrapbook that I document throughout the year! I truly treasure these memories! Thank you for sharing in them with me!

With a thankful heart,