Peacemaking

Dear Family-

I’m very sad about the conflict occurring within the family and that we will not be able to enjoy Thanksgiving as a whole family.

Emil, Kat, Mom and Dad, I have no comment, nor a side on your current conflict. I think the less people involved in this, the better.

Actually, right now I am reading a book, The Peacemaker: a Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. I’ll admit that I’m only in the first chapter, but so far it speaks tremendously to our situation. I’ll will probably spend the next 6-9 months reading the book, and I invite the family to join me.

Pre Thanksgiving

Well my dysfunctional family just got more dysfunctional….

So we have planned for over a year now to all meet in Lake Tahoe for this Thanksgiving. Then my diagnosis happened.

My siblings have been less than supportive. They have felt like it is their duty to force me to accept my diagnosis. AND even worse, they have all supported my brother, who called 911. They have all pretty much said they would all call 911 again. This is super hurtful, because that is how I ended up in a psyc hold. Anyway, I’ve fought with both my older sister and my older brother. And my parents got involved as well because they were upset for me.

My brother got upset that my parents took my side of the argument, and he was the first to say he wasn’t coming to Thanksgiving. Then my older sister said the same thing in solidarity with him. Then my little sister said she wasn’t coming. So for a brief moment it was just going to be me, my little brother and my parents. Then my brother tried to reconcile with my parents, and now my parents aren’t coming and only the siblings are.

I’m super sad that my parents aren’t coming. And I’m fearful of being stuck there with my siblings, who haven’t been very nice to me. Honestly I’m kind of pissed off, because none of them wanted to apologize for anything they did, but they sure wanted to hold mom and dad accountable. I don’t even know if I will be able to act “normal”… Right now all the siblings are celebrating and so excited, and I just can’t join in the fun.

Right now my plan is to bring a lot of stuff to keep me busy: books, my coloring books and a puzzle. Honestly though, I am very tempted to just stay at home….

 

Fighting for Hope

This was a rough week. I still don’t think I have made much progress, and I never found a doctor willing to take me off the meds. Thankfully, on Thursday, I saw one of my counselors and he encouraged me to just take one day at a time and recognize that I am at least on the right road. That was really helpful, because it challenged me to stop fighting about my diagnosis. Even though I still disagree with it, it is too much effort to fight, especially when I’m not making any progress.

Then on Friday, my other counselor explained that I have been diagnosised Bipolar with a single incident, meaning for one, this is simply their best guess at a diagnosis. This incident could have happened for many different reasons. Second, they don’t know if I will ever have a second incident. This could be the only time I ever have a problem. It was really encouraging, because it validated what I have been thinking.

All in all though, I still feel like I am fighting off a depression. I think I’m ready to get back to normal life. I think staying home all day everyday is just boring and it makes me feel bad. I want to go back to work after Thanksgiving, but I’m a little worried about that too. What if I’m not ready for the stress of work?

I’m trying to find comfort in my Bible and the promises that God gives us. I’m trying to trust him and his word. Right now it isn’t quite working, which is really sad to me. Normally, the Bible is a major comfort, but I feel overwhelmed by the weight of the world. It is almost like, “God, is this all there is to life?” which is such a terrible attitude, because belief in God should make all the difference in the world! I searched my Bible for promises of God’s protection and deliverance. I’m going to try to mediate on these scriptures this week.

Father God, help me to trust you. Help me to put my hope in you. Help me to take my eyes off myself, and focus on you. Amen.

Psalm 42:5

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Psalm 27:13-14

13 I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong[a] and courageous.
Wait for the Lord.

Psalm 119:114

114 You are my shelter and my shield;
I put my hope in Your word.

Psalm 9:9

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

 

Good to Me
by Audrey Assad
I put all my hope
On the truth of Your promise
And I steady my heart
On the ground of Your goodness
When I’m bowed down with sorrow
I will lift up Your name
And the foxes in the vineyard
Will not steal my joy
Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me
And I lift my eyes
To the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night
Raise my head up and hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me
I will praise You, my God
And the foxes in the vineyard
Will not steal my joy
Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me
Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I’ll trust

Miserable

So apparently I was diagnosed “bipolar” while I was committed to mental health facilities. They put me on lithium, ambilify, trazadone, and something else I can’t remember. I’m having terrible side effects, and so far none of my doctors have been willing to change the meds. I have tremors, restless legs, dry mouth, and I can’t sleep through the night. My brain is always foggy, and I forget a lot of stuff. I’m pretty miserable right now, and I’m losing hope that things will ever get better. I know that might sound rather extreme, but I just didn’t expect to still be struggling after I got home from the hospital.

I was so miserable in the hospital. I was always so scared, and there was one patient in particular that HATED me. I was terrified of her! I thought she would jump me! I didn’t sleep in the hospital either, and they never tried to change anything to help me sleep! Even when I felt sleepy, I couldn’t sleep. I had a hard time focusing on things. But I thought if I made it home, everything would be better.

NOPE! That was not true at all. I still feel miserable with tremors, foggy brain, dry mouth and can’t sleep. In fact, I still had many fears even though I’m in my own house. I couldn’t even pee, because of all my fears! When I did sleep, I would wake up from nightmares. My new doctor adjusted some of my medication, but he didn’t take me off anything! I was so disappointed…

1st of all, I don’t think I’m bipolar, and I’m very, very upset about this diagnosis. I have to take medicine for the rest of my life, and possible have more hospitalizations. I would probably pass it onto my kids. Seriously, I’m not ok with being bipolar. Besides I think I acted crazy because I was scared. I was so scared while in that hospital. And everyone around me just wants me to accept the diagnosis and they keep telling me shit like, it is going to be fine. There is hope. And I want to shake them and say, no there isn’t! It is a terrible disease, where I lose control of myself. I’m not ok with not being in control. I’m not ok with taking medicine that gives me such terrible side effects. I haven’t felt like myself in a solid month. It sucks. And I feel like no one understands what I’m going through. They keep telling me there is hope, and I’m like, do you not realize I’m miserable?!?!?! I’ve already decided that I’m not having kids if I’m actually bipolar. I refuse to pass this onto my kids.

Truthfully I’m pissed the hell off right now. And I think there is also a part of me that is angry at God. I need to pray about this, but I can’t. I can’t pray. I’m trying to listen to Christian music and reading psalms… Hopefully I feel better soon…

Psalm 139 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 139

The All-Knowing, Ever-Present God

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away.
You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You know all about it, Lord.
You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me.
This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.
It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.

Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,a]”>[a]
10 even there Your hand will lead me;
Your right hand will hold on to me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light around me will be night”—
12 even the darkness is not dark to You.
The night shines like the day;
darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For it was You who created my inward parts;b]”>[b]
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.c]”>[c]d]”>[d]
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from You
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.

17 God, how difficulte]”>[e] Your thoughts are
for me to comprehend;
how vast their sum is!
18 If I counted them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand;
when I wake up,f]”>[f] I am still with You.

19 God, if only You would kill the wicked—
you bloodthirsty men, stay away from me—
20 who invoke You deceitfully.
Your enemies swear by You falsely.
21 Lord, don’t I hate those who hate You,
and detest those who rebel against You?
22 I hate them with extreme hatred;
I consider them my enemies.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.
24 See if there is any offensiveg]”>[g] way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way.

Ellie Holcomb Wonderfully Made

It’s two in the morning
And I’m still awake in my bed
And I can’t shake these lies that keep running
Around in my he-head

What if I saw me, the way that You see me?
What if I believed it was true?
What if I traded, this shame and self-hatred?
For a chance at believing You

That You knit me together
In my mother’s womb
And You say that I’ve never been
Hidden from You
And You say that I’m wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made

You search me and know me
You know when I sit, when I rise
So You must know the choices I’ve made
And the pain that I hi-hide

What if I saw me, the way that You see me?
What if I believed it was true?
What if I traded, this shame and self-hatred?
For a chance at believing You

‘Cause You knit me together
In my mother’s womb
And You say that I’ve never been
Hidden from You
And You say that I’m wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made

And Your eyes, they have seen me
Before I was born
And You know all the good things
That You made me for
And I’m wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made

When I consider; the Heavens above
Ohhh what is man, that You’re mindful of us
‘Til You say that we’re wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made

And You promise that You’ll never
Leave me, oh Lord
Oh that You hem me in, both behind and before
And I’m wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made

And You knit me together
In my mother’s womb
And You say that I’ve never been
Hidden from You
And You say that I’m wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made

And Your eyes, they have seen me
Before I was born
And You know all the good things
That You made me for
And I’m wonderfully
Wo-onderfully made
Wonderfully made …

Help me believe it
Help me to see me
Just like You see me
Just like You made me
Wonderfully made

 

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

 

Meet My Cousin: Eric

Dear Uncle Tommy and Aunt Carolyn-

Just wanted to send you a little note to say thank you for always caring about me. I know I don’t call as much as I should, but I love getting to see y’all when you come to Grandma’s. I’m so excited that you want to visit me in the bayou!!!! Uncle Tommy, you need to meet some of the men in my church because so many of them did oil work. There is even a rig museum that I want to take you to. Aunt Carolyn, I want to go to the archives with you, because I wonder if there would be a picture of Grandpa working on bridges or the sea wall.

Before I was hospitalized, I wanted to send you a note about how much I miss Eric. I know Thanksgiving and Christmas is a hard time for y’all and the family, so I thought it might help to hear how much I loved Eric and I still miss him terribly. I’m not sure how much Eric would share with y’all, but our friendship was deeper than just talking about books and movies. I was struggling living by myself in NYC, and I was missing my family too (mom and dad were “talking” to me, but the relationship was still rocky). Anyway, Eric was such a good friend to me. He would just listen as I complained. He never gave me advice, because he knew I didn’t want advice. I just wanted someone to listen to me. We would talk about faith, because I had lost mine when my parents abandoned me. Eric always said he wanted a faith like you, Uncle Tommy. I feel like I abandoned him while he was sick, but I also recognize that Eric might not have needed me, because he had y’all. He probably also did not want me to be hurt by watching him struggle. Anyway, y’all need to know that Eric’s life and witness shaped my life into the woman I am now. He was an angel when I desperately needed one. This summer, Cody and I will be driving to Denver and we want to stop and see y’all on the way. I want Cody to see Eric’s grave and I want y’all to share stories about Eric with him.

I love y’all and your family so much!! I still pray for all of y’all and your grief. I know that grief doesn’t end when the funeral does. Please share my love with Lisa, Wes and their families!

Love,

Amy

Exodus 23:20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Promises and Warnings

20 “I am going to send an angel before you to protect you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Call to Endurance

12 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus,[a] the source and perfecter[b] of our faith. For the joy that lay before him,[c] he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(I believe the witnesses and angels they are talking about are the people we love that die, like my dad, Eric and Grandpa. That may not theologically be correct, but it always comforts me to think about how I will see all three again.)

Life Update: Angry 2.0

Dear siblings-

After you read the devotional, I need to explain something very important…

I know every family has some level of dysfunction, but ours seems more ridiculous because we all claim to be Christians. Instead of doing things the way we always have, how about if we try something new? Let’s talk openly about our hurts and disappointments instead of gossiping about each other. Let’s forgive even when it isn’t deserved. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they didn’t mean to cause us harm. Let’s give each other grace to have a different belief or perspective. When someone disagrees with you, lets value the relationship over the idea. Most importantly, let’s trust God to handle each other with deep care and concern. I know that individually we are all awesome and we each have some amazing gifts to share with the world, but just imagine what we could do if we were reconciled to each other. Imagine the testimony our family could have if we began applying Biblical principals to our relationships. I know many of you feel that Mom and Dad should be the ones to send this email, but we aren’t children anymore. We don’t need Mom and Dad to tell us what to do; we can make decisions for ourselves.

So let me be the first to do this. I need to be honest about where I am at in my recovery process…

If the hospital taught me anything, it was that most people can’t be trusted and most people don’t care about you. Since coming home from the hospital, I’m struggling with several issues. One is that body simply hurts from lack of sleep, and my mouth is constantly severely dry. Second is that I’m still struggling with sleep. The doctor prescribed a sleeping pill which I take, but it only helps me fall asleep not stay asleep. The hospital knew that this sleeping pill was not working for me, but sent me home with it regardless. Additionally, when I do sleep, I often have nightmares, so I wake up angry and agitated. I have tremors in my hand and mouth, so I have very poor fine motor skills. My new doctor prescribed an additional medicine for it, so it is getting better (thankfully). But mostly, I’m struggling with trust and fear. Thus why I pulled away from everyone when I exited the hospital. I spoke to most of you while in the hospital, but I lied and said I was ok, because I was afraid the hospital was taping conversations. Once I became lucid in the hospital, my only goal was to get out. I had figured out that the more complacent you were, the quicker you would get out. Unfortunately no one told me that I did not have to take the medicine prescribed (truthfully they told me that I had to take the medicine to be able to leave). I wish I had never take that first pill, because now, I have lost so much of what I love: I can’t go to school, I can’t work nursery, I can’t get pregnant, I can’t drink caffeinated coffee, I struggle writing or focusing on a book. I’m hurting right now both physically and emotionally. So why I am telling y’all this? It actually isn’t to get sympathy, because God is going to take care of me and my issues. I’m not saying that I’m all better, I know I am not, but I know I will EVENTUALLY be restored. God has been faithful to meet me where I was and where I am. I also believe that God will put me back together and I will be stronger than before, but I need space and time to heal. The key in all of that is EVENTUALLY. Until then, I am struggling with anger towards y’all.

I am angry with Emil and Kathryn for inserting yourselves into my life. There were reasons that Cody and I didn’t want to go to the hospital that you didn’t know and really couldn’t know. My not wanting to go to the hospital was part manic and part reality. I know your heart was in the right place but now every time I hurt, every time I take a pill, every minute that I can’t sleep, every day that I can’t do things that I love doing…. I place my anger on you. Right or wrong, that is the way that I feel right now. I want to forgive you but trust is broken. It takes time to forgive and to trust again. Holly. I know you wanted me recommitted to a hospital. I don’t know what you knew or didn’t know about how I was behaving at home or about the care that Cody, Mom, and Dad were giving me. What I do know is that the day I was released, I shared some things about what the hospital did to me and you still thought I should go back to the hospital. That is just so hurtful to me. Again, I know it was out of love and concern but at the same time to subject me to that treatment again seemed very mean, cold, and as if you didn’t care or hear me. And when you called me Saturday morning, I felt like you were mocking me, and I still don’t understand why. Cody told me that I must have misunderstood you, but the conversation still hurt. I love you and want to forgive you but the wounds of rejection take time to heal. To all of you. I am upset with all of you. It seems that you all wanted to embrace the diagnosis of bi-polar so easily. I thought you knew me better. I thought when people that knew me best, Cody, Mom, Dad, Aunt Linda, Aunt Caroline, thought that there was no way that I could be bi-polar, I thought that would mean something to you. And right now I’m having hard time finding a doctor that will even question my diagnosis, so I feel condemned to a miserable life for a long time to come. The worst part of it is that this situation started because I wanted to mend fences. I wanted a better relationship, and y’all’s response was that I’m crazy. During my hospitalization I was so hopeful about Thanksgiving. It was like a little bright spot in a dark place, so when I got out and their was all this discord, I was devastated. Even since my hospitalization I have tried to apologize to several of you, but I didn’t see any reciprocation and that hurts. Even though the hurt was unintentional, it doesn’t change the result in my life. I was hope this event was going to bring us all together but it did the opposite.

I love you all and I forgive (or am trying to forgive) each of you. Just as I’m praying for my complete healing, I am praying that God will help me to see this situation through his eyes, because he looks at the heart and I’m sure he sees your love for me. Unfortunately I’m a sinful human, and so forgiving and trusting y’all may take some time as well. Just have patience, understanding, and grace as I work through these feelings and learn how to trust each of you again.

MATTHEW 5:23-25 CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE (CSB)

23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 

MATTHEW 18:15-20 CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE (CSB)

Restoring a Brother

15 “If your brother sins against you,[a] go and rebuke him in private.[b] If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony[c] of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.[d] 17 If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the church.[e] If he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. 

Life update: Angry 1.0

Well, unlike what I hoped for, Fall Break sucked. I don’t even have the energy or desire to explain everything other than, my family sucks. I was trying to be nice and make peace between me and my siblings, but they didn’t understand basic Christian principals, so they tricked me to go to the ER, where I was then committed to a mental health facility with a coroner’s hold on me.

I was in two mental health facilities and both of them were traumatizing. The workers were not nice, and nobody told me the rules or how things worked. Truthfully, I received the most help from other patients, but I feel pretty confident that some of them were paid to be actors. Both facilities played fake news to scare patients. In total, I was there for 9 days. 9 harrowing days. In the second facility, I was so scared that they had to give me a shot to knock me out because I was being so difficult… I’ll write more about it later. Until then, this is an email I want to send to my siblings.

Dear siblings, I’m sending you this devotional, because I need to explain something very important. I’m not mad that one of you called 911, because I do believe your heart was in right place. I believe that for most of you, your actions have been directed out of love for me. However, I am mad that once I was released from HELL ON EARTH, y’all had all kinds of opinions on what was best for me including an opinion that I should be recommitted. I am mad that many of you would simply accept a doctor’s opinion about me rather than what you know about me. I’m angry that many of you would treat me like a child simply because I’m “bipolar”. I am mad that y’all would talk about me behind my back rather than to my face. Truthfully I don’t even know which one of you said what, because I have been kept that much in the dark, which makes me even more angry. It is especially hurtful because all of this started with me wanted to mend fences with most of you. I’m not saying that I’m all better, I know I am not, but part of the problem was the care I received at River Place was sub-par at best and evil at worst. They did not give me my synthroid as prescribed, and in fact at one point, they were giving me twice what I was suppose to have. I cannot even tell you how many times I was fearful for my life in those 9 days. And the worst part is, this has taken away most of what I love: I can’t go to school, I can’t work nursery, I can’t get pregnant, I can’t drink caffeinated coffee. I’m hurting right now, and when I need my family the most, y’all are fighting over whether or not I’m bipolar…. Thankfully, God has been faithful to meet me where I was and where I am. I also believe that God will put me back together and I will be stronger than before, but I need space and time to heal. While I take this time, I would like to challenge each of you…

I know every family is dysfunctional, but ours seems more ridiculous because we all claim to be Christians. Instead of doing things the way we always have, how about if we try something new? Let’s talk openly about our hurts and disappointments instead of gossiping about each other. Let’s forgive even when it isn’t deserved. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they didn’t mean to cause us harm. Let’s give each other grace to have a different belief or perspective.

Personally, I know that individually we are all awesome and we each have some amazing gifts to share with the world, but just imagine what we could do if we were reconciled to each other. Imagine the testimony our family could have if we began applying Biblical principals to our relationships. So let me begin, I forgive each one of you for the part you unintentionally played. I forgive y’all for not trusting that Cody could take care of me. Mostly, I forgive y’all for inserting yourselves into my life in a way that crossed boundaries.

I know many of you feel that Mom and Dad should be the ones to send this email, but we aren’t children anymore. We don’t need Mom and Dad to tell us what to do; we can make decisions for ourselves. I’m praying and hoping that Thanksgiving is a wonderful time, but I am worried that if we don’t do things differently, our family will continue to repeat the sins of our fatherS (everyone in the generation before us).

Matthew 5:23-25 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 

Matthew 18:15-20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Restoring a Brother

15 “If your brother sins against you,[a] go and rebuke him in private.[b] If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony[c] of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.[d] 17 If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the church.[e] If he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. 

Fall Break: Almost like Christmas!

Well, I finally made it to Fall Break! There were moments in last 2 weeks, when I wasn’t sure I would…. Now to figure out how to enjoy Fall Break! or at least some of it! For example, today is the first day of Fall Break, and my mind woke me up at 5 am racing with thoughts of school… Damn. I just want to sleep! But that does confirm why I wanted to come back to blogging. Maybe if I just write this down, I can get it out of my brain and move on with life…

Sidenote: my cat is laying on top of my arm while I try to write this in bed. It wouldn’t bother me so much if it wasn’t that now I can’t reach for my coffee in between sentences…

Part of the problem right now is that I have too much work to do and I do have the time, (because it is Fall Break) but I also want to have some downtime and relaxing time…. *sigh*

*Brief pause while I look at my calendar and plan out my Fall Break…* OMG! I feel so much better! It is written down and I have a plan of action! Now to demonstrate the self-control to implement it! That is the hard part…

Cat update: My cat has moved, but now she is staring at me with her RBF. “Uh, mom, could you stop that right now, it is bothering me and interfering with my ability to use you to nap on…”

Now to get serious… God has really been showing me some things this week… This school year I was determined to be better about waking up and reading my Bible. I feel like I’m always trying to read my Bible more, but the first time for like EVER, it is finally working. I think the breakthrough finally came this summer. I don’t know if I can explain it exactly… Part of it is being more reasonable in my expectations. Sometimes I read for 30-45 mins and sometimes it might just be 15-20 mins, BUT regardless I’ve been really  faithful to do SOMETHING! like I tell my students SOMETHING is better than NOTHING! I think one of the reasons that I finally feel like this is a breakthrough is that when I miss a day or two, for the first time EVER, it only takes me about 2-3 days before I start reading again. I think that is why God has given me this breakthrough is because even though I failed for years, I never gave up and I never stopped praying, asking for this. So I guess that it is to say, I give God all the glory. I know this self-discipline isn’t coming from me, it is a gift from him! I was simply faithful to not give up… which brings me to my next breakthrough…

The past couple of years of teaching have been miserable! like dark night of the soul, miserable. I can’t even tell you how many tears I have cried about how I didn’t want to teach anymore! Mr Carroll, my former principal who I love and adore, has had to counsel me so many times, like seriously, I’m almost embarrassed by the amount of tears I’ve cried in front of him. But last time he and I talked, he told me something that changed everything. I get really frustrated with the system. Just too much to do, too many unreasonable expectations, etc. And I point blank asked him (because he is secondary supervisor), how do you do it? I expected him to tell me something super philosophical, like I’m trying to change the system or something like that, but instead he said, I try to be nice to people. damn. So simple and so obvious, but I was just too stubborn and sinful to see it. So then I kind of changed my approach to my job. Rather than trying to win the rat race, and jump through all the hoops, I’m going to focus on people and demonstrating the fruits of the spirit in my actions. I’m not perfect it at it, I think I sometimes still make an idol out of my job, but by focusing on my attitude and actions, I don’t feel as overwhelmed by my to do list. I still work my ass off, but when it doesn’t get done, I don’t worry about. I don’t feel miserable like I use to. For example, I’m in charge of PBIS. Yesterday, we had a PBIS reward for students with perfect attendance and no referrals, I was picking up 15 dozen donuts at 6:30. The giving out of donuts only lasted from like 7:30 til 7:45, but it took like good 5 hours of planning and work. It is part of the reason that I am behind on grading, but when I was staying after school til 6 or 7, I was doing my teacher work, I was doing PBIS work. And after all that hard work, I didn’t even get one of the 15 dozen donuts, but it didn’t bother me.

 

Life update part 3: Hurt

I didn’t expect to be writing again so soon, but I can’t sleep… This topic is probably the main reason that I want to come back to blogging. family drama! (where are the emojis to add visual effects to my writing) GAH!

There is a lot to write about, but I’m going to narrow it down and focus on one issue, my relationship with my baby sister, Sabrina. *deep breath* where do I even start?

*singing* Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

No, that is too much. Let’s start where we left off about 4 years ago. 4 years ago, Sabrina and I were living together and it was a disaster. DISASTER!!!! She has a lot of instability, and often rather than say what she thinks or feels, she just lies to you or just avoids you. Then in response, you are left trying to figure out what the hell is going on by yourself. So 4 years ago, after spending a good miserable year living with her, I figured out that she wasn’t interested in living a Christian life, thus avoiding me. Once I figured that out, things kind of got better, but it still wasn’t great.

Then about 3 years ago, we both met two boys that we would eventually marry. We pretty much had parallel relationships, but Sabrina and her boyfriend did not have a good, healthy relationship. After about 9 months, Sabrina and her boyfriend broke up (woo hoo) for about two weeks (damn it). It sucked. It sucked to watch her again make a bad decision. And it caused all kinds of unnecessary drama at my wedding! Not cool. Then they got engaged, married, and separated (also, more drama with each and every one of those).

So, there. That is two good paragraphs summarizing where we are now…

So currently Sabrina is the process of a divorce. This past May I helped her pack up all her stuff while he was still at work, and move out (Because again, she is incapable of telling you what she thinks or feels). I felt really bad for him to literally come to an empty house, but I also felt like I needed to help my sister (maybe I was wrong) because the separation/divorce was kind of inevitable. ANYWAY, for the first time in YEARS, Sabrina has been doing so much better emotionally and spiritually, so regardless of the terrible situation, I was excited!

Well that excitement ended about 2 weeks ago. She called me about 2 weeks ago to say she wanted a career change, and she was thinking about going back to school… I know many of you are shocked that this news would upset me, but Sabrina is infamous for bailing ship when things get tough and for lack of follow through, so to me, this is a sign of her instability returning. Damn it. I tried to be as helpful as I could without being critical, but I think she could tell how I felt. Then shortly after, she called to tell me that she didn’t want to come to the family get together at Thanksgiving. That time I did not do as good of a job at hiding my disappointment/frustration. Anyway, now I think she is mad at me (think being the key word because I’m trying to read through the shady messages and silence).

I’m crying as write this, because of the fear (and my own emotional trauma with my mom) BUT due to my own personal growth, I have decided that tomorrow I am point blank asking her if she is mad at me. I use to play these games with my mom (oh God, the games my mom would play), but my counselor has helped me to see it is better to be straight forward and direct with the people we care about.

I’m trying to not let my mind wander to what will happen if she tells me that she is mad at me, even though that is exactly what I expect to happen…. and thus I cannot sleep. There is probably more I could write about tonight, but instead I might take some time to watch TV and escape reality…