Tuesday, April 22, 2014

There is Such Joy in Our Lives

On Monday nights I attend a "small group" with members of my church. We review the sermon and dig a little deeper into the Scripture that was presented on Sunday. I find it so stimulating because the Biblical principles are applied to our lives, not in a lofty way, but in a very real, life-application way.

This Monday the women met apart from the men. The group is a couples group. I'm the only odd-ball in the group. My spiritual mentor started the group as a couple's group. Since, at the time, I did not know anyone from my church, she wanted me to join her group. "Where's your husband?" people asked the first time I attended three winters ago. Sigh... Over time I was able to open up and be honest about where I was at, not only in my marriage but in my spiritual journey as well. The people have been a great comfort to me, and I'll always think well of them. Never once was I made to feel ashamed, silly, ignorant, etc. These people walk the talk, one of the first times in my life that I have seen a group who really did just that.

Last night I left the group somewhat drained. We were able to share more intimately without the men around. There are some big things going on in these women's lives, things I did not know about. These women are beautiful; most are a decade or two older than me. Their lives are established, their children grown, married. They are financially solvent. But the pain behind the scenes was difficult. Each woman has a road ahead of her, laden with work to do. Marriages to repair. Children who are rebellious. Fighting that is not fair.

I am struggling too right now. Money is so very tight, and that is something I am not used to. The party is over. I'm hunkering down and carefully managing funds in order to meet this month's obligations. But, friends, there is JOY in my life. Yes, my last post was on depression. It comes and goes, and yet, I never let its slithering hands encase my neck. I wont let hormones (as it turns out) or life's hurdles pull me down. Miraculously, as if the world had been praying for me, the depression lifted the very next day. A window opened. Fresh air and light entered the room.

I spent a beautiful weekend with my son. Oliver is a joy. A true angel. He's easy to parent. He's fun. Sweet. Loving. Kind. And he listens. I know he wants to please me. He had off of school on Friday and the fun never stopped all weekend long. Monday was a bit hard taking him to school. It's hard for both of us. The fun stops and the structure begins. Then he gets to see his father, whom he loves dearly. I know it's hard for Oliver tho. He'd much prefer that we all live together. He handles it tho, most days with grace, dignity and a maturity that is beyond his 6 years.

I have such joy in my life. I may not know if I get to keep this house (still...ugg!!!). I may not be able to hire a landscaper to fix my yard. I may not be able to buy my fancy coffee this month, dine in the corner cafe or replace my Este Lauder blush No. 5. And that's OK. Money problems are nothing compared to the fun and laughter we have. Bella keeps us on our toes. We were at the lake. We stepped in dog poop. We made a make shift fence. We watched movies. Baked cookies. Ate dinner together. Laughed. Giggled. Played. Had hot chocolate. The fun never stops around here. Our home is comfortable (not the biggest or fanciest in this town by any means), but we have it filled with such a sweet life.

I'm so grateful for all I have. Our hurdles have not affected the fun and good times we have. I'm so lucky! I'm so blessed!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Depression is Not a Friend to Me

Oh Friends, if you only knew about the struggles that are going on in my life right now. I just can't write about it (I don't feel like sharing with the world), and my nature, as always — or should I say in all ways — is to be optimistic, look forward, have hope and be grateful. I put my best foot forward (I like both of my feet equally, so it really doesn't matter which one I start with) and just deal. Deal. I put on my big girl panties and deal.


Sick of dealing some times. Some days I do give in to self-pity and depression. I tried to stay in bed this morning. Really I did. I had a good excuse too. Major headache. Ugh! But then I had arranged to meet a few of my favorite moms for coffee after drop off, and that gave me a reason to get out of bed. That and Bella. She sleeps thru the night but she does need to go potty every morning.

Coffee. Even coffee is what gets me out of bed most days. I love my Nespresso machine and the coffee it produces. I look forward to a cup each morning.

But this morning I couldn't drink coffee. No. My anxiety is up again. Has been for a few days. Depression kicked in last week despite several workouts at the gym (which is really what this post was supposed to be about. Workouts and workout fashion. Tune in tomorrow for that update.)

And wouldn't you know it, God has a way of helping me when I'm in this kind of state. As I moved thru my home to let Bella out of her crate, a friend of mine who I adore was just getting back into his truck. He came with his dog to say hi to Bella. I told him to stop by this week anytime so he could meet my pup. I caught him just in time and we sat outside and watched my dog frolic around. His sweet dog growled (she's harmless, but old). It was this visit, this moment that got me out of my self and in to the world of the living.

I brushed my teeth, rinsed my face, applied make up and headed to the coffee shop. Once again I was reminded of God's love for me, what a gift my life is, and how beautiful I must be to Him, even in the midst of a depression which I don't understand.

Now I'm back in the land of the living. My depressed states are lurking around corners, but when I stay active and present in my life, I keep them at bay. I don't know why the depression is hounding me. I have a lot to be grateful for, but then again, there are a ton of worries at this time too, none of which I care to share publicly. (I'm healthy, Oliver's healthy, my family is healthy. No one is dying.)

I can give you a little glimpse: It is coming up on a 4 -year anniversary of my X dropping the bomb on me — when he told me he was no longer in love with me. I still deal with insecurity regarding my insides and outsides and if a man will ever really love me the way I'd like to be loved. I am a little happy and yet sad that Oliver has a little family being built at his father's home (the X's girlfriend moved in. I think. According to Oliver. The X still hasn't told me.) And I have had zero income for the last two months. Zero. And no potential income. So I'm peddling the streets looking for a job. Lastly, I received unwelcome news about my home.

I just wish I could be in a place in my life where I would not have to worry about being loved and about having enough to pay bills. Security. I wish I had a bit of security. I wish I had a soft place to land with my boyfriend. He's been good, but I'm not sure he's the marrying type. I do envy, somewhat, those who are married. Life seems easier when you are married. It was for me at least. You had someone to count on. Someone to help. Someone to journey thru together. Someone to share the ups and downs with. Someone to love your child together with. And money... I wish I had the income I had just a few months before. It's scary living on the edge. Luckily I have a good nest egg.

All that, of course, makes it seem a little easier to stay in bed for the day, something I have not done in the last decade or two. Hide under the covers. The problem is, things don't change when you're under the covers. And that silly Bella needs to go out. And Oliver needs to get picked up from school. And the Wednesday class that I'm taking will be a waste of money if I don't attend. I have Oliver for the next 5 days. I cannot allow myself to succumb to depression.

Easter is just around the corner too. It should be a joyful time. We have nice plans. I hope the day will be fun. I hope I will feel loved. I will be spending it with my boyfriend and his family, and Oliver.

Working out has been really good too. I'm still with Otto, altho I grossly miscalculated the continent of his accent. Turns out he's from Argentina. Who knew they cannot pronounce W's?? Nonetheless, he's tough some days, but he's my little demon of encouragement. I'm growing stronger.

And those lunges? You all would be so proud of me. I can do 10-15 per leg, without breaking a sweat! :) It's true. Otto was right. After a full month of working out, there have been a lot of improvements! Sundresses and sleeveless shirts might be in my future after all!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And They Call It Puppy Love

Oh oh... Can you tell what this slight entanglement is?

Oliver knows.

Meet Bella.

I wanted to name her Marlo, after Marlo Thomas. She may always be Marlo to me. But Oliver wanted to call her Alicia. So we compromised.

Bella. The newest addition to our little household. She's sweet. She's calm. She's fun. She's 14 weeks old. We've had her for two weeks. She's mostly Black Lab. We adopted her from the pound. And she even sleeps thru the night! :) Yay for me!

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