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On Sleeping Less and Sinking a Little Deeper….

21 Jul

…but clinging on to God with every ounce of my strength weakness.

The anxiety is building, the knot in my stomach is tightening, and I feel, I don’t know, WIRED (yes, wired NOT weird. I CAN spell…)
The adrenaline coursing through my body makes me unable to switch off, sit down, go to sleep. I cannot REST.

I am four days into my first pack of tablets. So far, my prayers that the side-effects would be minimal are being answered… I am going from hour-to-hour, meal to meal, sunrise to sundown like a zombie but suspect it’s more to do with sleep deprivation than the drugs.

However in the midst of this inner chaos, I have an anchor. He is holding onto me. Loving me. Soothing me with the balm and the truth of age-old promises: His plan for me is good and it is not to harm me, it is to give me a future and a hope, to prosper me and to bless me and my family.

How do I know He is right here, that He is dependable, and that I can lean on Him, trust His plan?

This is how I know: the love that He is pouring out on me through my amazing husband, kids, through true faithful friends… The way he is speaking to me through every single verse I read in the bible. Trust me that is a miracle!! Not that he is speaking but that I am hearing, loud and clear.

The stunning beauty of his creation around me.

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Wow.
He is here alright.

See, depression and anxiety are real. This is a real illness, which affects the whole of me. It’s not something I can just “get over” by just “getting a grip” or telling it to go away. It’s really not that simple! But I trust His purpose in taking me through this, here and now. I need to go through a process to get well. The process is part of my life’s journey, and He will use it for His glory, just the same as He has used the other painful parts of the journey so far.

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Medicinal Sticky Toffee

17 Jul

Right.
So anyone with half a brain reading through (and in between the lines of) this random blog of mine will have worked out by now that, yes, I am indeed suffering with a mental illness.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that.

It has, however, taken me about 3-4 months to face facts, to accept facts and to realise that I need medication to help me get better.
But the truth has finally landed – and I am both floored yet also relieved by it.

So over the next days, weeks, months – I am going to start exploring the ins and outs of depression in this blog, the issues it raises, and my journey towards deeper, better wholeness – my journey towards fuller life.

And to this means, I shall start with……well, cake – what else?!
Because I have realised one thing: while I struggle to get on with many things at the moment, while just getting through to the end of each day feels like an impossible, superhuman, monumental expedition, baking and drawing are two things that make me soar, give me life, get my blood pumping and my energy buzzing!

So hey, people, guess what: over the next few months I’m gonna be baking a whole lot! Seeing as its basically my therapy, I don’t really think I have much of a choice.

Do I.

We begin with Sticky Toffee Pudding.

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See that, in the box?
Dates.
Millions of them, straight from Saudi Arabia.
I’ll explain in another post.

But what better thing to do, when you have a few spare dates lying around, than to make this most iconic and decadent of cakes, which is really a glorified (and glorious) pudding.

On with the recipe then, which is taken and adapted from a trusted Jamie Oliver book.

(Recipe in next post! Sorry to be a tease….)
(It’s worth it. Honest.)

Not AGAIN?!

13 Apr

I seem to be making a habit of getting rushed into the a&e in the middle of the night these days…

This time, it’s kidney stones.
Apparently.

And by the way. Guys…? Let me just tell you one thing.
I’m reliably informed that this is the only pain you might ever get that will ever get remotely close to the pain us women experience in childbirth.
Just sayin’.
(The triage nurse told me)

So yes. I’m writing this from the comfort of my very own hospital room…. How did I manage that?! Told them upon admission that I had a dicy tummy – seemed to do the trick, as I’m now in my own private room with stupendous views over some of Torbay’s most beautiful landscape
in isolation.
I can faintly hear God giggling in the background, and saying “well, you did ask for a break didn’t you?!”
…I think that’s called a silver lining….

After two nights here on IV fluids and morphine, I’m hoping to get home in time to watch The Voice. Cos it really is the only talent show worth watching these days.

Over and out.

My funky visitors:
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Suffering – Underlined Notes #1

11 Dec

>I’ve found a little gem of a book: “Why Us?” by Warren Wiersbe.

Even in the opening pages I’m blown away by the simple, straightforward wisdom it contains…

So. Underlined notes #1 it is. Be blessed 🙂

• Do I have the kind of faith that works in the battlefield of life?

• In every area of life there must always be an element of faith; what you believe determines how you behave.

• “We cannot put off living until we are ready… Life is fired at us point blank.”

• Suffering can make us selfish or sacrificing

• “When you find yourself overpowered as it were by melancholy, the best way is to go out and do something kind to somebody or other”

• Human history sparkles with the testimonies of people who could have been victims but who decided to be victors.

• Suffering will either be your master or your servant.

• A crisis doesn’t make a person; it reveals what a person is made of.

• It is not enough for your mind to be enlightened, or your heart to be enriched; your will must be enabled in the service of others

• Suffering is not a topic for speculation; it is an opportunity for compassion and involvement.

• The mind grows by taking in, but the heart grows by giving out.

More to come…!

Now What???

31 Jul

>I really no longer know what to think anymore. Except that God is asking us to trust in Him.
We are also pretty sure of His ‘calling’ to Devon.
And having lost 2 buyers for our house then recently secured a third one, we thought we were finally on the home stretch.

Only to find out today that the lovely house we had set our hopes on…, this one:…is now to be someone else’s home after all.
I wanna cry.
Sigh.
😦

I am not surprised at all, because it had recently been put back on the market as per our own instructions to the estate agents. We did this in faith that, if we released it, it would be a sign to God that we were really commited to doing His and only His will. That we were surrendered to whatever His plan was for us. Therefore it should really not phase me or upset me that this has happened. I’m supposed to be ‘surrendered’ after all; aren’t I??

Still the reality of it has come as a bitter blow. And now my commitment to being surrendered is really being put to the test.

So, God.
‘…What now??’

Out of the boat

6 Nov

That’s it!
We’ve stepped out of the boat. (see Matthew 14:22-29)

This house, our lovely home, is ‘on the market’… (the link won’t be available for very long, so feel free to take a peek while you can; I think it’s a pretty ‘saleable’ house, don’t you??)

I should be feeling excited – right?
Hmmmmm…
Well I’m really not:
……
I’m SCARED!!

…and grieving a little bit.
*ok, more than a little bit*

I simply can’t believe it’s happening; it feels very strange and surreal.
I also don’t think I have the strength I know I’m going to need to get through this next bit.
To pack everything up.
To uproot everyone.
To say goodbye.
To look for houses, schools, doctors
A church, a gym,
New places to go with the kids when they get restless,
New friends,
… A new life…

I am so churned up right now!

Does this make sense to anyone out there????

>Trying to Avoid Burn-Out…

30 Sep

>…but not doing all that well!

Here’s possibly why:

Last week Sam was in hospital for 4 nights with suspected pneumonia , and I got very little sleep, as he was very distressed, and worried. He’s home, and back at school since yesterday – but for me, I feel like I’m going to need a little longer to recover. Isn’t that strange?!

Last week, we also had a very important assessment of Ben’s development. He has been seeing a speech therapist for some months now, and she was becoming quite concerned about some of his behaviour; so Ben was referred to a specialist team for assessment. The appointment was last Tuesday, the day after Sam’s first (sleepless) night in hospital. I really had no option but to go for the appointment, as we had been waiting for at least 6 months! After an hour 1/2 of playing with him, observing him, testing his cognitive skills, and chatting with me in length, a diagnosis was finally made: Ben has ASD (autistic spectrum disorder). While they think this is fairly mild, it is still necessary to have a formal diagnosis so that we can get the help and support needed – especially at nursery/ school, where the last thing we want is for him to be labelled as “naughty”…

Incidentally, in the course of the conversation with Dr Karlman, I spoke a fair bit about our difficulties with Sam, who has a diagnosis of (and is medicated for) ADHD. I have always been convinced that Sam has ASD or Asperger’s Syndrome, and yet the doctor who has been following him is adamant that ADHD is his main ‘problem’. However, Dr Karlman seemed to agree with me that Sam’s symptoms are much more indicative of Asperger’s than ADHD (which wouldn’t rule out ADHD!), and suggested that his diagnosis be reassessed, which I am now in the process of doing…

So.
It would seem that God in His wisdom, has chosen us to parent three children with special – or ‘additional’ needs…
And while I wholeheartedly trust His plans for us, right now I feel emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically burned out.

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