Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yes, I'm still alive

I figured it's been a while since I last posted so I should at least let you all know that I'm still alive. I'm really, really struggling right now. Life just seems overwhelming to me. I've seen a doctor she did not recommend depression medication, which was suggested to me by a very good friend. She said to try and get more sunshine and exercise, to find people to talk to, and to do some things that I enjoy. So I'm doing those things, but it's not helping a whole lot. 
I'm overwhelmed at work. My boss is on vacation and I'm trying to fill in for what she does. And even though she's been training me for several weeks, and I'm fairly comfortable with the actual process, it's still very stressful. It's also inevitable that problems will arise that are out of the usual when she's gone. 

And then there's this struggle that God and I seem to be in lately. There's a song by Barlow Girl called Never Alone which I've never understood exactly before, but which now makes perfect sense to me. 

Here's the lyrics:

I waited for you today
But you didn't show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You'd be there
And though I haven't seen You
Are You still there?

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life

We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

We cannot separate
You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

There is this verse in the Bible that talks about if a child asks for bread, that it's parent won't give it a stone. And how if we, being evil, do these good things for our children, then how much more will our heavenly Father do good things for us. Problem is, lately, it seems like every time I ask for bread I get a boulder thrown at me. 

In fact, I'm almost afraid to ask Him for ANYTHING right now because I'm kind of afraid of what He'll give me instead. Cuz I can be fairly confident that it will be pretty much the opposite of what I've asked for. But I'm used to having constant conversation with Him, so I catch myself starting to pray, starting to ask for something, and then I stop myself. And then I feel guilty for not praying. It's like being in a fight with your best friend. And I don't want to feel this way, and I'm trying to choose not to feel this way, but it's always there, like a big pink elephant in the room...I just can't ignore it cuz it's not going away. 

Don't get me wrong. I believe in God. I love Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God. I am trying to draw closer to Him because He says that if we draw closer to Him then He'll draw closer to us. I'm trying very hard to serve Him. I'm also trying very hard to be respectful and I apologize to Him and all of you if this blog seems disrespectful to God. That's not my intention. I'm just very frustrated and really don't know what to do with all of this.

I'm still struggling so hard with Gracie's death. I read her mom's latest journal talking about how she's trying to go on with life, with her husband on the road working, with her going about with "normal" routine with their 3-year old, and struggling so hard that her time with Gracie is over, that it almost seems as if it didn't happen. But it did. So many of us prayed so hard for God to heal her. And He chose not to. It's just like we all prayed SO HARD for Him to heal Joel, and He chose not to. And another story I've been following, so many people prayed so hard for Him to heal Isaac, and He chose not to. 

I just don't get it. I don't understand. My heart breaks for these wounded mommies that are all around us, who have lost their children and are going through a pain that most of us could never understand without going through the same thing. But their hearts are broken, and they still have to go on with life because they have husbands, or other children still walking this earth, or jobs, or whatever it is that they need to continue on for. But they are walking around with broken hearts because they've had to bury their children. I just don't understand why these children have to die! 

And my heart is broken too by their passing. He grew this love in my heart for these children and their moms, He led me to pray, in faith, that He would heal them, and then He didn't. I just don't get it. And my heart hurts so badly for them and there's nothing I can do to help them! I'm even afraid to pray for them because if He continues answering my prayers with opposites, then what will happen to them if I do pray. 

Ugh...I need to go and get some sleep. I have to work tomorrow morning and finish putting the paper together and send it to the printer. Cassie and Chris are going to the Halloween dance in Kasota and then having friends overnight. Then my friend is coming over to scrapbook with me on Saturday. Maybe getting some creative juices flowing will help lift some of this sadness that has crept into my soul. 

I'm planning on going tanning on Monday and I've heard the Vitamin D in the light is supposed to help depression too. Thanks to Jenn for that gift! Something has to work because this really sux right now. I never understood what Mom was talking about when she was struggling with depression without medication. I just thought it was a choice to feel better or not. Sorry Mom...I had no idea. 

Good night all. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe the sun will shine. Maybe work will go smoothly. Maybe...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Clean Bill of Health

I've been visiting the doctor recently. Three visits in the past 10 days. I'd have to say that's a record for me who probably hasn't been to the doctor that many times in the past three years!

Why, you might ask, would a doctor-resistant individual such as myself go see one three times in ten days? Well, peer pressure was the most influential factor over my decision. Also feeling so crummy/shaky/hot that I felt like I was about to pass out pushed me over the edge and right into the clinic. I've been being "nagged" for a while now that I should get checked for diabetes. 
1.)My grandpa had it & my mom has it. 
2.)If I eat my favorite Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch or Cocoa Krispies for breakfast I will, without fail, get shaky/hot/pass-out-feeling within two hours. 
3.)That scenario started playing out with more and more frequency until it was almost constant. 
4.)I'm overweight

So, hi-ho-hi-ho, it's off to the good doctor I go to be poked and prodded. Ok, she's a nurse practitioner, not an m.d., and she didn't really poke and prod. She did ask a lot of questions and made me go to the mean lab lady who did poke my finger and take about 2 drops of blood from me.  Then two days later I was back with another not-so-mean lab lady who stuck a needle in my arm and stole two vials of blood from me (but nicely). And then finally this morning back to the clinic for my results. And they are....

(drumroll please)

I'm healthy as a...uh...ummm...well, I'm healthy, ok? No diabetes. Thyroid is a-ok. Cholesterol is wonderful. Woo hoo! At my first appt she said that whether or not I end up diabetic, I really should start counting carbs (instead of the calories I'd been counting). She explained it this way: When I eat a lot of carbs, my blood sugar jumps up. Then my body has to send out a ton of insulin to take that sugar away, then when my sugars level out, I feel shaky/hot/pass-out-feeling, so then I'd eat something again to bring the sugars back up, and it's a crazy, spinning cycle. Besides which, after a "crash" (which is what I call the shaky/hot/pass-out-feeling thing), I'd be exhausted as my body recovered from the trauma. So generally, I felt like crap all the time. 

So she advised me to start counting carbs and try to stick to 30-45 grams of carbohydrates every two-three hours. Doing this would give me little bumps of sugar, so only a little insulin would be kicked out, so I wouldn't experience the crash. Sounded logical to me, and I was already used to counting calories, so I figured it was worth a shot. (Thank you to for making that easy to track!!!)

OK, so now I know that counting carbs is a LOT different! I mean, 1+1 still =2 and all, but it's a whole new way of eating. Things I used to eat cuz they were fairly low in calories are actually high in carbs and vice versa. So I can't just go into the kitchen and grab something. I have to look at the nutritional info first, do some calculating, decide if that little bit of food will satisfy me for 2-3 hours, and then prepare and eat the food. And it usually doesn't satisfy me, but I have to tell myself that I can eat again in just a couple of hours, and that helps my brain/stomach be ok with the tiny portions that I get.

For instance...last night I was able to measure out 1/2 cup of chili and a half a piece of cornbread and eat that with 5 crackers and 3/4 tablespoon of syrup. Let me tell you that a 1/2 cup of anything is not very much food!  But that was about 45 grams of carbs, so that was what I got. The amazing thing is, that while I wasn't satisfied by any means, I wasn't starving like I thought I would be, and I made it to the next meal just fine. (Whew!)

The good thing about all of this? I've lost 4 pounds in 10 days and I haven't had one "crash" in that same amount of time. In fact, I actually feel like I have a little more energy than I did before. So I'm going to keep this up and see where it goes. After all, it is "doctor's orders" lol.

Now if I can just get this depression thing kicked, I might be ok after all. I did have her give me an assessment for that too, by the way and I came back mid-range. Since I'm not a big fan of medication, we opted for me to try and get more exercise to shoot out some endorphins and maybe light some candles whenever it's gloomy out and to get into the sunshine whenever it's out too. She also gave me a recommendation that my husband is sure to like, but we'll see about that. (wink wink lol).

Cassie is off to homecoming tonight (we let her off her current grounding cycle for this special night). She's never gone or wanted to go to homecoming before at her old school, so I'm excited to see her get involved in the new school. She even dressed up for every single dress-up day at school for it! Amazing! She's got a new boy that she likes and he's been to the house a couple of times. He seems ok....for a boy. In general Dar and I aren't big fans of 15-16 year old boys because they all seem to think our daughter is pretty and fun and cool to be with. Ugh! I mean, we know she is, but we're her parents so we're supposed to. We just don't like members of the boy-club noticing these things about her! lol

Dar's working tonight at Domino's, so it'll be Chris and I this Friday night. Unless, of course, he finds a friend to hang with, then I might actually get a whole night to myself! That would be amazing! I might even have time to clean my house, or scrapbook, or watch a movie, or even just go to bed early. We'll see what happens.

Now I'm off to to design and phones to answer.

Love ya'll!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I've been struggling for a while. As most of you know, the darling little girl I've been praying for for 6 months, Gracie Jean Lockyer, passed away last week.

July when I met and prayed for Gracie

Gracie on October 3rd

I've had a hard time with that. I really believed God would heal Gracie. I couldn't understand why He gave me a dream about her that "What Gracie wants, Gracie gets", introduced me to her journey, allowed me to go and meet her parents and her and connect in such a powerful way, only to take her away and let her die.

I've been kind of angry with Him, but mostly disappointed. Wondering if I can still trust Him to be faithful when I feel like He's let me (and the Lockyer family and so many others) down. And so I withdrew a bit. I didn't turn my back on my faith or stop believing in Him, not at all, I just had to take some time and process and reflect and decide what I believed. The thing is, the whole time, I thought it was Him that had withdrawn. But it wasn't, it was me. I found that out last night.

See, we went on a weekend trip to Duluth (which I'll tell you about and share some pics next posting) and we, as a family, had a blast! I had fun, enjoyed His creation, connected as a family. And then I came home and immediately was depressed again. So I walked yesterday and cried out to Him to please show Himself again. I asked, over and over again, "what is wrong with me?!?" Why am I sad all the time? Why does nothing bring me lasting joy? What am I doing wrong? I love Jesus. I serve Him. I listen for and hear His voice in my spirit. I strive for intimacy with Him. I desire Him. So again...what is wrong with me???

Ended up in Ecclesiastes in the Message Bible last night and you know, it pretty much described my feelings to a T! What's the point of any of it?
  • I go on a vacation, have a blast, create memories & bond as a family, and come home to go back to work, school, messy house, crazy schedule, just like before.
  • I clean my house, organize it and make it shiny and neat only to have it get messy and dirty again.
  • I work hard, put in lots of hours, make money and pay off a bill, only to have another one come due.
  • I complete a project at work, am told that it looked terrific and that I did a great job, only to move on to another one.
  • I prepare, cook, and sit down and enjoy a meal of comfort food only to gain weight and be hungry again in a few hours.
  • Mom and/or Kate & Nicky & Tony come home and we enjoy our time together only for them to leave me again surrounded by my tears because I miss them so.

What's the point to any of it? As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, "It's all smoke". A mist. Here, then gone & forgotten. Memories fade. Clean homes get dirty. $ flutters away. Kudos on a job well done fall into the distant memory. The body ends up in the grave. Tears are forgotten. Good food results in hunger a few hours later. It's all smoke...a mist. Again, quoting Ecclesiastes I hate life. Far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It's all smoke and mist.

Pretty depressing, eh? Now that it's all on paper, I can see why I was so depressed with these thoughts rumbling around in my subconscious (or consciousness). But over the past 12 hours God did show up and make Himself visible to me again and spoke to me through His Word.

Ecc 5...After all the smoke clears, here's the best way to live. Take care of yourself, have a good time & make the most out of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. That's about it. The human lot. Make the most of what God gives, bounty, the capacity to enjoy it, delight in the work. It's God's gift. God deals out joy in the present, the NOW. It's useless to brood...on a good day, enjoy yourself. On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted.

Just before dawn this morning, I had a dream. He speaks to me so often in dreams. This one was about two babies. One baby is healthy, pink, beautiful and is born to a couple who "has it all". They are rich, powerful, have all the right connections, the big house, the perfect family, the whole shebang.

As I turn away from their perfect life and perfect baby, I find the second baby. This one is sick. She was born with no legs and has been abandoned because she needs a lot of TLC to live, to survive. I pick her up and wrap her in a beautiful soft pink blanket and care for her. I love on her like no other has. I eventually come to find out that this darling baby I'm caring for was actually born to the "perfect family" with the other baby, but they threw her away because of her imperfections.

(Side note: Also in this dream, and I know it's connected, is a couple who most of us know who lost their little boy this past year. In the dream, they are having a wedding (even though they are already married) and are celebrating with those they love. He hasn't revealed the whole interpretation for me yet, but I know this symbolizes NEW BEGINNINGS.)

I believe God was telling me in this dream that the meaning in it is the gift He's given me. I've always rooted for the "underdog", the weak. I accept the unacceptable. I love the unloveable. I have a heart for the babies who are sick and dying and their wounded mommies who are left behind. This is what He's called me to do.

At one point after Gracie died, I asked Him not to send me any more sick babies because it's too hard if He's just going to take them away anyway. But as a very wise friend told me, maybe it's not about praying them healed. If these families didn't have all these people praying for them, encouraging them, believing right along with them that their child would be saved, then what do they have? They'd be all alone with no hope or support. So maybe it's more about the wounded mommies (and daddies, and families) that are left behind than it is about the babies who get to go be with Jesus.

As I reflected on all of this this morning, again He spoke to me through Ecclesiastes 8. Do what your king commands; you gave a sacred oath of obedience. Don't worryingly second-guess your orders or try to back out when the task is unpleasant. You're serving His pleasure, not yours. The king has the last word. Who dares say to him, "What are you doing?"

We attended a church called Prince of Peace in Duluth over the weekend. The pastor spoke on us as Christians being a holy priesthood, something I've heard taught several times. But something he said just came to mind when I typed the work obedience. He said that the priests would have blood sprinkled on their right ear, their right thumb, and their right toe. The ear symbolizes hearing what God is telling you to do and obeying. The thumb represents doing what He has told you to do, and the toe represents going where He tells you to go.

Ecclesiastes 8 one more time. I realized that if you keep your eyes open day & night without even blinking, you'll still never figure out the meaning of what God is doing on this earth. Search as hard as you like, you're not going to make sense of it.

So that's where I'm at this morning. It's been pretty intense, but I'm thankful for that. I love learning and being taught by God Himself. It's much better than the depression I've had for the past several weeks.When He gives me things, I write them down on index cards that I have all over my house. This pulling all the thoughts together from the past 12 hours has really helped me to sort through all of this. I knew it all tied together, and writing it all out like this gave it the coherent thread that it needed. So thanks for listening.

Love you posting...DULUTH! :-)

Friday, October 3, 2008


We're going camping near Duluth this weekend. I work for a couple of hours and then the kids and I will head to Plymouth to pick up Dar from work and drive the rest of the way together. He didn't want his car sitting all weekend, so I drove him to meet his carpool this morning. That meant getting up at O'Dark:30. I don't know how he does it every day! If I had my way I'd be up most of the night and then sleep most of the morning...until at least noon! Oh well...c'est la vie, right?

So we've got the tent, the lawn chairs, the firewood, the sweatshirts and jackets all packed. The low tonight at Duluth is supposed to be 31! Highs all weekend in the 50's. So it'll be a chilly weekend, but fun still. We plan on relaxing, hiking, exploring. We used to go camping every fall up there while we were dating, but I don't think we've been since we had kids. We used to stay at Jay Cooke State Park, but state parks are so expensive these days, it's a private campground called Indian Point right on the St. Louis River for us.

So how's Cassie doing? She's doing good! She had a slight relapse last weekend, but we've worked through that one. One thing I've discovered is when she's freaking out if I can get her to be still long enough to start rubbing her back, she calms down. She's very high-touch and that seems to sooth her even when she is screaming that she hates me! lol

They are at mid-quarter at her new school and she's doing quite well there too. She's got an A, a B+, a B, a B-, a C and one class that's missing a couple of scores so the grade isn't up yet. We are very proud of her! She's been getting all her homework done and assignments turned in, attending every day, and generally behaving herself. We talked last night about what the difference is. She said she thinks better and isn't so distracted. She also said because the two bad-influence girls aren't around her, she's not tempted to skip. She also said she used to worry about whether or not she was going to skip. I thought that was interesting. But she's hanging out with kids who go to school, do their homework, and generally behave themselves. All of that helps, I believe. I'm just very thankful to the Lord that we seem to be on the other side of all of this. Keep praying...God is hearing our prayers and answering them with Yes and Amen!

Another fairly "big" thing in my life is that I'm getting tested for diabetes. I've been getting nagged for a long time to get tested, and I've been gradually feeling crappier and crappier. Like the "shakies" that I used to get a lot, then was able to control by eating smarter, have been slowly increasing in frequency again, no matter how healthy I'm eating. I also finally met a dr that I like (well, she's an RN, but she's thorough, pleasant, helpful, and gentle), so I made an appt with her last week. I go in this morning for a bunch of labwork, then full physical next Friday. In the meantime she's had me start counting carbs. I'm supposed to eat between 30-45 carb grams per meal/snack and eat every 2-3 hours. So after calorie counting for the past year, I'm re-learning how to count...carbs this time. I'm surprised by things that have larger numbers of carbs and lower calories, or lower numbers of carbs and higher calories. It's a whole new ballgame for me! Zsaaaaaaaaaaaaa (that would be from Allie Cat walking across the laptop keys while I was texting with my hubby and not looking for a minute. Cats! lol)

Anyway, I'm off to shower, go get my labs done, change the fish water, finish packing the van, work for a couple of hours, change clothes, and head to Duluth! See you on Monday!