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Saturday, September 21, 2013

When Depression Creeps In...

There are times depression comes roaring into my heart and mind like a lion on the hunt and other times it comes in small waves that build into one big title wave. Both are destructive, both can at times interfere with my ability to function on a day to day basis. There are days I wake up and it seems the lion has run me over and mauled me, sadness and self doubt drip into the wounds and puss and gangrene try to take hold. 

Whether the waves have over taken me or the lion is feasting on me, both separate me from the love of God, both separate me from the love of fellow believers. Depression tells me that I am not wanted, I am rejected, I'm a failure. Along with these thoughts Satan throws in loosing a library book, a frustrated husband, a defiant kid. Because if he can "prove" it, then it must be so. This makes the depression even worse and I slip slowly but surely deeper into the hell of my mind. It literally feels like hell and it may be a taste of hell, because I cut myself off from the safety and security of the Abba Father, in my mind I turn the light switch off and throw all the night lights in the closet. Depression festers better in the dark.

This deep dark depression does not take hold as often as it did in the past. There use to be times I would not, could not, emerge from the dark for a couple of weeks. I would journal, I would write poetry trying to come out of my misery. It was one of the darkest,  most horrible times in my life. The weight of the world, the weight of the lies in my head, and the deep, deep sadness that went along with it felt like death it's self.

The amazing thing with in this misery, was that often times I didn't feel alone, in these times while emotional death was at my doorstep, the Holy Spirit was there battling for me. I did not go through these mental battles alone. God came looking for me, he would find me, care for me, and walk me through the darkness into the light holding my hand. Once I emerged from the darkness, he would leave me in the ever presence of the Holy Spirit. My God watched as his precious daughter struggled, the Abba, the one who cares more for me than the sparrow, would come and care for me. In these times my Abba, taught me that he cares me. 

Now, when I can feel myself falling into the darkness, when I can sense waves of depression rolling in, I no longer let the waves consume me. I run for the light, I run for my trusted friends in Jesus, I run and ask for prayer. Because, when I voice my depression to the Savior, when I allow my friends to surround me in prayer, light comes into the darkness and the darkness flees. When I stay isolated I set myself up for attack, I stand alone, I am vulnerable for deeper attack.  So, I stand in the light, I stand in the sunshine of God's love, I stand in the love of my Saviour. 

My prayer for you, my reader, is that God would bless you with friends that will shine the light in the dark places of your life. Friends, who will love you, share truth with you, and love you through life's struggles. There is nothing sweeter than knowing that at any time you are surrounded with love and encouragement. I pray you will cry out to the Lord and then with confidence watch him come to the rescue.

Monday, September 9, 2013


I have always felt a little bit of a weirdo through my whole life. I tend to do things, say things, and live my life in the way I believe God wants me to. If you are a believer you know that often times this means doing things that seem weird to the people on the outside. What God wants me to say and do may not be compared with Noah building an ark on the top of a mountain in the middle of a dessert proclaiming that God will flood the earth, I do often do march to the drum of a different beat. For the most part I don't mind and I actually enjoy being different, but I haven't always enjoyed it.

In fact I would say most of my growing up, all through school, I did not like being different. I wanted to do what all the other kids were doing. For one, it was just plan ole cool, for another, if I went along with the other kids I wasn't going to be rejected, made fun of, or something far worst than my young brain could come up with. I was shy in school or so I appeared, but I wasn't shy I was insecure. Insecurity can be completely different than shy, shyness can come from insecurity and insecurity can appear shy. I know it sounds confusing but you may just have to take my word for it. Middle school, junior high, and high school I wanted nothing more than to be invisible and blend in with my surroundings. If I was quiet, if I stayed hidden in my books and in my world I would be safe. I struggled a lot in high school with depression, I would hide in my room for a week or two. How my mom let this happen while I was in school I have no idea, but she seemed to understand it, and soon I would emerge and be ready to attempt life outside my room again.

Who I was as a child and all through school is not even close to who I am now as an adult. Graduating high school could not come fast enough for me. To me it was a torture chamber, a place I was smothered and not allowed to flourish. I was put in a box and told I had only this much time to learn this amount of stuff. I walked across the graduation platform and never looked back.

I entered college and I flourished, I had more friends than ever, I was a leader, I wasn't afraid to lead. All of a sudden I had been given a pass to emerge into the person I knew I was, but was too insecure, already labeled and stamped with how others viewed me. After a couple years of college, I decided college was not for me and sought out camping ministry. I found a camp named Camp Redcloud and feel in love with the ministry, the work, the directors, and the mountains. Finding Camp Redcloud would mold me and shape me into the wife and mommy God knew I would become. Redcloud would also give me the leadership training, bible training, and love poured into me so that I could then go and pour into another persons life. Camp would last almost seven wonderful, amazing, life changing years!

I got Married to my best friend Mark, we moved to Minnesota, had three kids, and LOTS and LOTS of struggles. Being married to a best friend is both amazing and painful at the same time. Because when they hurt you, weather they meant to or not it hurts twice as much because you love them so very much. Mark and I both as sinners brought suitcase upon suitcase of hurt and life experiences. I give God all the glory, honor, and praise, because it is nothing but the grace of God that Mark and I are still together. Nothing but the grace of God that he pulled us out of the miry clay and is using us to his glory. We still
have roots to pull up, we both have things to work on, but to God be the glory we are being set free to love God deeper and love each other deeper. It takes work, it takes setting down my pride for the good of Mark, even if I don't see any, it's praying and asking to see it. It takes forgiveness, asking God for large portions of it because I am usually unable to do it myself. It takes willingness and the will to want to, even if you don't want to, it takes asking the Lord to give you the want to.

The point to this novel of a post is that my whole life I have been looking for a home. I have been looking for a place to belong. There have been times I haven't even felt that I belonged to my family. I have been looking for acceptance and love and I have been disappointed time and time again. But, what I have been looking for is not rooted in what others can give me. It is rooted in what God alone can give me. I am still chewing on this and God is still working in my life over and over again in this area, but it's true. There is nothing anyone can give you, that will replace what you need to go get from the Abba Father!

Ever since I left Redcloud I have been hungry to find the same life giving abiding relationships that I found at Redcloud. After seven years of farming my marriage, continuing to plow, plant, and weed our marriage. God, I believe has brought about to Mark and I amazing friendships. He has brought amazing pastors into our lives, he has healed my relationship with my family, he is continuing even now to bring great friends into our lives. God is even now returning what the locust had taken away and eaten.

For the first time in my 33, almost 34 years of life, I can honestly say, I have come home!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The things I say to my kids matter...

I have three favorite books; The Bible, written by God who chose specific men to pen it, The little Britches series, written by Ralph Moody, and The hiding place by Corrie Ten Boom. All three of these books have a theme within them that has struck me and stuck with me.

These are books that I can read over and over because I take something new away every time. One of the themes I get from all three books is that of a Father giving life saving, life giving answers to their children that will be of the utmost importance in their lives. The Bible, written by God through mere mortal men, is a story of God working through these men's lives. It's about a Father, being willing to give up his son, to save not only the son he's sacrificing but to offer freedom to the rest of His children. He offers because to force would not really be love. The heavenly father is not a shallow kind of God, he wants us to be willing to give Him our all. But, part of the love of God is to give us the Bible, giving him a way to talk with His children. The love of a Father mentoring and shepherding his children.

The Little Britches books is about a small boy named Ralph who moves from the big city to Podunk Colorado, with literally no modern conveniences. Yet, to Ralph, the adventure has just begun. Ralph works along his father to make their new rundown home, a home. His father teaches him carpentry skill, instill confidence in Ralph, he instills character and reputation. Everything Mr. Moody was teaching Ralph would be vital, as a young boy of 9 or 10 Ralph looses his father, and becomes the man of the family.

The Hiding Place written by Corrie Ten Boom is about a woman who lived in Poland during the time of the Nazi's rule during WWII. Corrie gives us a picture of what her life w,as like as a girl being brought up by a Father who is a watchmaker and a mother who is a homemaker. She talks of love lost, facing death at home and in the concentration camp. The reason she tells us of her childhood is because it allows her to tell us of the wisdom her father was able to instill in her. His words of wisdom calmed a frighten child and gave her the ability to see God's hand at work, even in the concentration camps.

The impression all three books have left on me was to get on my knees before my Heavenly Father asking him to give me the right words at the right times. This means that my reaction to any given situation could mean the difference between instilling a nugget in my children's heart and minds that will stay with them until they die. Nuggets that will get them through the toughest situations, nuggets that allow them to watch and experience God's goodness, faithfulness, peace, and joy. When my kids see God live in action, they will begin to trust him and know his voice. This trust in their Heavenly Father will get them through the darkest days they face on this earth. Dark days that God almighty can turn into joy and peace. With God in their lives, there is no dark place. God will always shine a flashlight or light a candle to remind them that they are in His capable hands. There is no safer or greater place than in our Abba's hands!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Learning to work hard...

This afternoon I went to sweep the acorns building up on our back steps. I grabbed a rake, a shop broom, and a shovel. Naomi, then went to get her rake and shovel and started to help me. This began a domino affect, Titus and Madeline went and got their rakes and shovels. What began as an attempt to make our back steps safer, became something else entirely.

Taking care of our back steps lead to raking in front of our grill so I wouldn't roll around while grilling supper. Which lead to raking around our fire pit so we could safely walk around it with out falling in it. The whole time I was working all three kids were right beside me raking, shoveling, and dumping acorns into five gallon buckets, and then dumping the bucket of acorns in a garbage bag. The whole time the kids stuck beside me, watching me, and copying me. They were proud of themselves for helping me to accomplish the task set before us. Without knowing it each of them were doing a great job of filling my bucket, both literally and physically.

When the bags of acorns were put away and all tools put away, each kiddo got to pick two pieces of candy as a reward. They did not have to help me, but they chose to, that I would love to reward!

They learned so much more than raking, they learned to stick with a job with a joyful attitude. They learned that you can have fun while working and that at times you will be rewarded for hard work. They learned that team work gets jobs done faster. Now, to get the rest of the backyard raked and bagged this week! I'm going to need more candy. ;)