On Depression

Every time I see the news that a celebrity took his own life, it is a sad reminder to me that depression is a cruel and indiscriminate enemy. It can – and often does – take us by total surprise, destroying the ones we think are least susceptible to it.wedding

Until a few years ago (six, to be exact) I had never had any real experience with depression.

You can read my post about our journey with depression on the Ladies First blog today.

Grieving Iraq

I spent this morning with the kids at a friend’s gym, enjoying the fitness center and large outdoor pool. It was an easy morning, full of relaxation and contentment. I felt lighthearted and carefree.Lifetime

Afterwards I came home, sent the kids to their room for rest time and sat down and scrolled through my Facebook feed. And my happy little world crashed down around me.

It’s been a long time since I’ve sobbed because of something I read in the news. Today it was a report about what is happening in Iraq. It is indescribably atrocious.

At first I read it as I read most things on Facebook, a bit distracted and disconnected. I shared it and continued with what I was doing. Then when my husband got home and I tried to tell him about it, I was suddenly crushed with the weight of what I was saying, and I fell apart.

I cried because of the injustice of it all – my kids enjoying a pool while someone else’s kids are dying of thirst.
I cried because of the mamas just like me whose babies are being beheaded just to make a point.
I cried because of the picture of a small boy who had died in the mountains – a boy the same size as my son.
I cried because I couldn’t stop picturing my own children out there on the mountain, too young to fully understand what is happening, scared and alone. And dying.
I cried because of the overwhelming darkness and weight of such pure evil.
I cried because of the complete and total helplessness I feel about what is happening in this world.
I cried because it was the only thing I could do in that moment.

I have been able to think about little else since then. I write this now because I can’t stop thinking about Iraq.facebook_img

I can’t protect those innocent children from being killed. I can’t hold them and rock them and tell them it’s going to be okay. I can’t sing to them or tickle them and make them laugh. So today I held my own babies. I thanked God that it wasn’t them. I prayed for the mamas and daddies of the dying children. I begged God to intervene … to do something … anything to stop it. Or if not, to hurry up and come back and redeem this mess we’ve created.

The helplessness I feel tonight is similar to what I felt when my dad was dying. I am overwhelmed with grief. I remember another post I wrote just because I felt helpless and didn’t know what else to do. I can’t do anything but somehow writing helps just a little bit. It doesn’t change anything, but it gives me a place to express my rage and frustration and sadness and grief over the state of this world.

I know this genocide isn’t the first and that there are children dying every day all over the world.

But for some reason, this one broke me.

Peace

This morning we were out of coffee and we have house guests so I went on an early morning coffee run.

I drove here with the windows down and the radio off. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I was alone with my thoughts.

The cool early morning breeze was invigorating on my bare arms. The sun was barely up and the city was still sleepy and just starting to come awake. The days have been hot and the cool morning air was a welcome change.

When I arrived at my favorite coffee shop, which is always busy, I was the only one there and it was quiet. The internet had gone out so there was no music – only the occasional sound of the espresso machine.

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In the quiet, sleepy morning with the warm morning sun streaming through the window, I was overwhelmed by this sense of peace. I felt like I was meeting God for a surprise coffee date.

See, we haven’t had a lot of peace in our lives lately.

In addition to having a two year old and three year old, and an overcommitted daily routine, we have two dying dogs, which is taking a big emotional toll, especially on my husband. We just spent ten days over the 4th of July in DC, where we stuffed every day full of activity. We came back and immediately jumped into hosting a 65th birthday bash for my mom and sharing our house with my sister, her husband and four kiddos. It’s fun. It’s loud and crazy and chaotic. It’s busy. We love having them here.

But there’s not a lot of space for peace.

I’m just beginning to realize the value of peace. I’m an extrovert so I’m energized by being with people. I’ve spent my whole life focusing on my relationships with people. But there’s something – some connection with God – that only happens when everything else is quiet. And it’s very, very special. And very rare in my life.

I need to change this.

I do not know how but I need to create more places for this peace in my life. I want more moments like this. I want to intentionally make space for peace – for God – in this crazy life I live.

Because it’s in these moments of peace that I see Him most clearly.

Thrift Store Treasures

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin

I grew up in a home where very little was thrown away.

I mean we reused everything.

We saved foil … just folded it up and stuck it in a drawer. We reused ziploc bags. The same bags for years (at least it seemed like years.)  After the zipper didn’t work we just rubber banded the top. We saved bread bags and twisty ties and those little flat plastic things that hold the bread bags closed. We saved plastic containers – you know the kind …

Continue reading at:

http://prcladiesfirst.com/2014/05/29/thrift-store-treasures/

A Good Friday for Kids

 

AshWednesdayCrossGood Friday always makes me feel a little sick to my stomach.

Growing up, I wasn’t even aware that it was a thing. We didn’t get the day off school. All I knew about it was:

Two days before Easter which meant two days until candy!

It wasn’t until I was an adult, working at a Christian ministry, that I even realized there was something special about the day. When they told me I didn’t have to come to work and they’d pay me anyway, I knew the day was unique.

So now that I’ve realized the significance of today – what we’re actually remembering on Good Friday – I always feel sad on this day. It’s weird to have a holiday where you feel sad. A day of remembering. Maybe like Memorial Day for some people.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make this day meaningful for my kids. How do I help a two and three year old understand what today means? The world’s certainly not helping. I walked through the Easter aisle at the grocery store the other day and was surrounded by pastel bunnies and shelves and shelves of candy. And not one single cross or reference to Christ.

I get that they’re little and expecting that they can understand things like crucifixion and atonement is ridiculous. But I do want them to understand that today is special. That without Good Friday, Easter means nothing. All the meaning of Easter is found in Good Friday. So I want to teach them the significance of today.

And even though it really has little to do with the life-changing events a couple thousand years ago, of course on Sunday we’re doing Easter baskets for them. And while as a general rule we try to avoid sugar, we’re even doing candy.

I want them to understand that Easter is a party. A day to celebrate! And we only celebrate because today happened.

But they’re two and three. So even though I’m feeling a little bit nauseous today, thinking about all that happened not that long ago, I know my kids will get the gravity of today soon enough. Today I’m going to let them be kids.

We’re going to the zoo.

Go Read Me Over There

Guess what?

I’m a contributor on a new blog. (As if I needed something else to fit on my plate, right?)

My first post was featured yesterday and has generated some good conversation. Thankfully none of it has been about the huge picture of my face.

So anyway I just wanted to let you know … I’m still writing. And I’ll be back to posting here soon.