Thursday, March 31, 2011

Voices in My Head-Part I

I'm sitting here thinking about getting older. I have been thinking about that a lot, because today I am officially one year older. I am 36 years old which I know isn't old at all; but, for me even getting to this point has been a journey. I spent my teenage years wishing to be older, and when I hit my 20's, I spent those years wishing to be younger. Not younger necessarily in age, but in looks. I dreaded looking older. I had my last child by the age of 27 and to be honest, I took pride in the fact that I didn't really look like I had given birth to 3 kids in 3 years. And it wasn't so I could look better than "so and so". It was to quiet the awful voices in my head. If I could look thin, have a certain type of body, then maybe those voices wouldn't taunt me so much-but they still did. They were my constant companions. I carried them with me for a long time.


As a teenager, I was anorexic. Anorexia is a monster of a disease. It robs so much of you and your life. Yet, even though it was a monster, a lot of me found comfort in it. Sometimes I would look at others and feel sorry for them, that they weren't as disciplined as myself. And the voices were there ALL THE TIME-voices that would pick apart my body and looks until there was nothing left. Voices that caused me to stand in front of the mirror, naked, pulling at parts of my skin in pure disgust.


I overcame anorexia-sort of. The reason I say sort of is, because I still carried around the voices that come with this disease. I was eating and was a good weight, but if you could hear the voices, you would know. When I got into counseling about 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder. It all began to make sense. I still hated my body, the way it looked, everything about it. I just didn't deal with it through not eating at all. I dealt with it through self-hatred, exercise, pride that I was thin and still weighed the same as high school, and pride that I didn't have what I call the mom pooch. I dealt with it through becoming obsessed with eating healthy. I was thin, but not anorexic thin. I was still within the normal weight range for someone my height, although definitely on the lowest end. Some people even told me that I was too thin. Part of me hated that and part of me clung to it. I felt disciplined and like I was taking care of myself. It became a mental game with me. How disciplined could I be? How thin could I be without being too thin? How healthy could I eat? This is what it had become if I were to be honest with myself.


And yet, when I would look in the mirror I would be disgusted with what I saw. There was always something that could be better. When I would walk over to the stove to get seconds of our dinner, the voices would fight with me. They would tell me that my husband was probably watching me walk over there and wishing that I wouldn't eat anymore, because I was already fat enough. I would feel undisciplined with wanting seconds. What made it worse was that I would get seconds which fed the voices even more fuel. When I would go to the grocery store and had to get something on the list that I deemed unhealthy-like chocolate candy-I would wrestle with even putting it in the basket, even if I wasn't going to eat it. The voices would taunt me and tell me how fat and undisciplined I was. The voices would tell me that people were going to look at me and judge me for being a slob and unhealthy. I would leave the aisle, circle the store to try to get up the courage to put whatever it was in my basket, and head back to the aisle. I hated the grocery store, and I hated food. It had caused nothing but pain in my life.


Even when I tried to loosen the reins a bit and allow the occasional piece of chocolate to pass through my lips, the voices were still there. Once I went to San Antonio by myself for a few days to just relax and refuel-my favorite "by myself" vacation-and I went into a store on the River Walk to get some dark chocolate peanut M & M's. The only bag I found was a really big bag, but the voices wouldn't let me buy it without taunting me first. "Everyone will see you buying that big bag, and you're all alone. They will know it is just for you. You are so fat and a pig. Are you really that undisciplined?"


I wandered around the store for about 10 minutes fighting with the voices. I didn't want them to beat me-they had beat me for so long. I went to look at magazines-anything to buy some time. After a good fight, I finally grabbed the bag to head to the counter. As I got closer, I realized they actually had a small little bag up by the cashier. Saved! Saved from people pointing and laughing. Saved from me being exposed as undisciplined and fat. Saved! Or was I?


I ran back to the aisle to put back the big bag and went to purchase my small bag. I left with a small bag of dark chocolate peanut M & M's, one diet coke, and a huge helping of guilt.


And so was my life for many years. The voices in my head that screamed at me without mercy. The self-hatred and disgust with myself. The desire to look different, because somehow I was not OK.


When I found out the Other Nut was looking at pornography, that was the final nail that drove those voices further into my head. It was proven for the last time-I wasn't OK.


But Jesus was bigger and stronger than those voices, no matter how long they had been there. He had a plan, and He was working.


And in only a way that Jesus can, He began to slowly crack open this Nutcase in this area. This was a hard one though for it had been with me probably the longest. But Jesus can reach the places that no one or nothing can.


Ironically, Jesus chose to use the very one whos actions had helped solifidy the voices-the Other Nut. The Other Nut said something one day that helped shine a little light into this dark area, and I think I even heard a small crack that day.


To be continued. . . .




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Tell A Story

I love a good story. I love to tell a good story, to listen to one, or read a good story. I remember being at my grandparent's lake house in Karnack, Texas and sitting around listening to all of the wonderful family stories. It was usually my dad and 3 uncles narrating with everyone else listening and laughing. It was a wonderful time, because something happens when a story is told; people become known, a bonding takes place, and people and life events are remembered from generation to generation. I am so thankful that my family instilled in me the love of stories. I have since passed down stories of my family to my kids. They absolutely love to hear stories about themselves, especially from when they were younger.

When I was studying a passage in Deuteronomy, my story telling was challenged. I realized that I was often forgetting the most important types of stories; stories that spoke of God and His faithfulness. Sure, my kids have heard about Noah, Moses, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath, the stories that most kids in Sunday school learn. But, I wasn't telling them enough stories about God's faithfulness in my own life, in their life. 

When Moses was talking with the Israelites, giving them instructions on the commandments of the Lord, he reminded them to do the commandments "so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your life may be prolonged." (6:2 NASB)

He went on to say that "you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." (6:5 NASB) He wanted them to teach the words to their sons diligently and talk of them at all times. (6:7 paraphrased). You see, their culture was an oral culture. The stories of God's faithfulness to the people of Israel were to be told over and over again so that each generation would remember. They definitely knew how to tell a story.

After I read this passage, I decided I needed to expand my story telling. I decided I needed to tell stories about the day that God helped us find my youngest daughter's little pink knife that she lost; stories about the day that God healed my son while he was in the hospital with a bad thumb infection. One day, when they are old enough, they will get to hear the story of how God restored mommy and daddy's marriage; stories that speak of God's faithfulness that I will tell over and over again  so that generations to come "might fear the LORD your God, . . " (6:2). My prayer is that my children will then continue this story telling within their own families one day-stories that tell the generations to come about God's faithfulness.

As believers when we tell our stories to our friends, family, co-workers, and the world, God is remembered. When we tell our stories, together they become God's Story.

So, I want to tell God's Story in blogland. I did this at my ladies' Bible study, and seeing it together as one story was encouraging. Here's my thoughts. If you want to participate, leave a comment or send me an email telling me something that reminds you of God's faithfulness, something that you can pass down to the generations to come. I will then make it into one Story through a slide show. Each one sent will end up looking something like this:


So if you want to participate, email me at mylifeisanutcase (at) hotmail (dot) com or leave a comment. 



Raising Homemakers













Monday, March 28, 2011

Music Monday


Music Monday
 "How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son,
To make a wretch His treasure."


This song had me at the first verse. I heard it first sung by a girl at church. I was captivated by the words and went immediately home to purchase it from iTunes. The words and music are by Stuart Townend, who writes songs rooted in deep Biblical truths. This song has been sung by various artists with myself owning one version by Kendall Payne and another version by Selah. The version by Selah is the one on my blog. They are equally good and very much worth having.

I look at my own son, or even my own husband and daughters, and can't fathom having a love for someone else that would drive me to give any of them up. Especially for someone that was wretched and would often times forget I was even there. And yet, that is what the Father did for me, for us. He gave up His only Son so that we might become His treasure-even though we often forget Him in our day to day activities. Well, at least I know I do. The driving factor was simply His deep love for us. My finite mind and sinful nature can't begin to process this to the fullest, but I know I have felt His love and am so thankful that He considers me His treasure.

I can't imagine the pain the Son must have felt as the Father looked away as the sin of the world laid upon Him, Jesus; sin that He didn't even commit. It is out of this pain that I now can live in glory with Him forever. I wonder what His scars look like? How visible are they? What will I think when I see them for the first time? I wonder if He is proud of them, because of what they represent; for they represent freedom from bondage of sin,  and new, eternal life for those who believe in the One who bears those scars?

I think about Jesus on the cross. I have seen pictures that depict Him hanging there suffering. Sometimes I find myself looking at them without even thinking or pondering much, because I have seen them so many times. Could it be that they have become too familiar? Could it be that I look at them like they are just a regular picture much like the ones I have hanging in my house of flowers and such? Could it be that often I find myself forgetting that He was there, because of me? If I look and listen really quietly, I should be able to hear my voice mocking Him with the rest of the crowd. I should look and remember that it was  MY sin that was sitting on His shoulder's. I should remember that even at that moment, He loved.

Jesus, because of His love, stayed there until EVERY SINGLE SIN was atoned for. With His death, I have received life. With His death, the battle was won, and the enemy knew that he could never win. The end of the story is known, and Jesus wins. May my life honor His death.

And may I never boast in anything but Jesus, His death and resurrection. NOTHING! For anything good in me comes from Him. Left to myself, I am a wicked soul without hope.

And yet, this wicked soul gains from His reward. I gain from His pain and death. I gain from Him having to endure suffering. Can we ever really fully explain that? It seems wrong to gain from someones pain and suffering, but this is what the Father and Son intended all along. Jesus' main goal in being born was to eventually die.

Those scars that I wonder about? They paid my ransom. That should have been me on that cross. That should have been you on that cross. Romans 6:23 tells us that-"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

But a deep love that came from the Father stepped in in the form of His Son Jesus, and paid our ransom. I hope that when I see Him, I don't forget to touch the wounds that set me free.

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed to hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that kept Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom [x2]


Words and music by Stuart Townend

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Yesterday, my oldest daughter went to play with a new friend she met in middle school. She had a lot of fun, and I am excited she met a new friend. I got to visit with my parent's for a short while while she was playing with her friend which was nice. And I drank a Diet Coke which is also nice-and tasty too.

On Friday, I felt like I finally was making progress on my filthy house-and then the weekend came. 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Right now it currently smells like a greasy truck stop thanks to my oldest daughter's science fair project. It has something to do with saturated and unsaturated fats so she cooked a whole bunch of sausage at different temperatures. Needless to say, we will probably all smell like burnt sausage for a while.

I leave for my church's women's retreat soon at Camp Tejas in Giddings, Texas. I am excited about going, but not so much about the packing. Once we get there, it is a working weekend for me and the rest of the team, but it is worth it. We have a lot of fun, and I love to drive the golf cart. This year, we are discussing personalities and how each personality can be used to serve God. We will also see how knowing and understanding personalities can help us in our relationships with others.

Speaking of personalities, I found out that I am called a Popular Sanguine/Powerful Choleric. That is my main mixture. It has been fun learning about these 2 personalities, especially the weaknesses involved. It has just brought them more to my attention so that hopefully I will be more willing to allow God to work on them. I have been laughing so hard as I have been reading "Personality Plus" by Florence Littauer, because I see myself so much in these personalities. When I talk way too much, because "short story" is not part of my vocabulary, that is the sanguine in me. When I get easily annoyed, impatient, and seem intolerant, that tends to be the choleric in me, not to mention the sin in my wicked heart. 

The Other Nut is a Perfect Melancholy/Powerful Choleric. What about you? Do you know your personality type?

On this postI mentioned that the Pioneer Woman has helped me gain a slight love of cooking which I tease has helped lead to my 10 pound weight gain. I am sad to admit that the love is gone. Oh, not of the Pioneer Woman and her blog; those I still respect and greatly enjoy. I just have once again decided that I don't enjoy cooking. I find it quite a bore and wish I could just take a pill everyday to get my vitamins. I am equally sad to admit that while my love of cooking is gone, my 10 pounds aren't. Those are hanging around like super glue. Not that I am working very hard at making them go away, but I was kind of hoping they would naturally leave with my love of cooking. Now, with all that said, I will be posting 2 recipes soon that my whole family loves. They are kind of part of our staple diet. I can't promise really great pictures though-or even pictures at all.

I thought I would give an update since I wrote this post. Well, we found a wonder financial guy by the name of Mark Pickle (yes that really is his last name). He has helped us so much. Now, we seem to communicate better in regards to money and no longer have little (or big) arguments over money. Plus, he gets to be the bad guy which is nice. He helped decide the budget and how much we can spend on "toys" we may want to buy so that has reduced some stress. Now instead of blaming each other, we can blame Mr. Pickle-just kidding! It really has been nice though having a better organized plan. Mr. Pickle, or The Pickle as we like to call him, also looks at each of your strengths and helps decide where you would be good in helping with the budget. Before, I figured I didn't have any strengths in this area, so the Other Nut did everything. This of course was pretty stressful for him. Now, I have responsibilities and feel like I can contribute and have some strengths. It is amazing what happens when you finally admit you both don't have an answer.

I just remembered that I need to order vacuum bags, because my vacuum cleaner is sitting in the middle of my living room. I don't really know why, but it is. I so wish I could just go to the store to buy them instead of have to order them online.

The Other Nut mowed yesterday, and it looks so much better. I'm sure the neighbors are greatly appreciative. My son helped him and kind of learned a little bit about mowing. I bet the Other Nut is counting down the days until one of the kids can mow.

I keep forgetting to go get my thyroid medicine so in about another day, I will be really tired. Why do I forget these things?

I am working on a "Music Monday" so I will actually have one on Monday-novel concept, I know.

Well, since I typically "talk" way too much, I guess I will stop now.

From the Sanguine who talks/types too much,

Ima

p.s. Don't let the posting time fool you. I wrote it late last night and scheduled it. I don't think I could think enough to post at 6:30 AM.

The Problem With Prom

The way prom dresses should look.
I know I should be in bed asleep, but I checked the news one last time and came across this slideshow that pricked my interest. I decided to look at it and have already decided that my kids won't go to prom. Well, OK, I don't totally know that, but this type of information doesn't help. I went to prom, but that was before I knew how stupid it was, grew up, and had 3 kids myself. Mom, did you really like me going to prom? I bet you worried the whole time I was there.

Anyways, read this and tell me what you think. Prom or no prom? Crazy, expensive things or nice, but reasonably priced things?

Me? I'm hoping Jesus comes back before my oldest gets near prom age.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hollywood

When I had my son, I already had 2 girls. I soon found myself home with a 3 year old, 14 month old, and an infant. Needless to say, I didn't get much done and didn't go too many places. When I did, I had to time it just right between my oldest being new at going in the big potty, having 1 child that still used a bottle, an infant that was nursing, and 2 that were in diapers. Just as soon as I would get 1 changed and ready to go after I finally finished nursing, the other would poop or pee. I don't think I even had time to wipe the spit up and breast milk off of myself before I left the house. I only had a certain window of time before I would have to start everything all over.

Well, we all have heard the saying "necessity is the mother of all inventions", and I am sure that is true; but I say that having 3 kids in 3 years can also be the mother of all invention. I had to find a way to get out of the house faster and just have help around the house when I was home. Enter my 3 year old. She was able to dress herself from head to toe so I jumped on that. I quickly decided that I didn't care if anything matched, just as long as it was clean. Boy, would she come out in some doozies! But she was so proud that she could help mommy. Well, we continued that tradition with our other 2 kids, because watching their excitement over learning to do something on their own was worth the non matching outfits. Besides, I figured they had enough years ahead of them to worry about there clothes. Over time, I have been slowly teaching them about matching, but when I say slow, I mean slow. My oldest daughter still wears non matching socks. She says they look cool, and she loves color.

I don't think they have been made fun of too bad yet. I am sure a child psychologist would tell me that I might damage my children for letting them wear outfits that are a little off, but I like to look at it like I am allowing them to develop their own sense of style and become their own person. Besides, have you seen what they wear in Hollywood? I wouldn't exactly call too many of them "matching", and they get labeled as fashion icons! Speaking of Hollywood and how they dress, my sister has always called my girls "Hollywood", because of their, how should I put it, interesting outfits.

So, I thought I would introduce you to one of my "Hollywoods" and her outfit from Thursday.


She wore this to school all day. She wanted to show the music teacher her socks and audition for a play with her outfit-she loves these socks!

OK, here is the kicker. Later that night, we were going out to dinner as a family. She wanted us to wait, because she had to go take off her socks. I asked her why. Her response-"Mom, you don't expect me to go out in public like this do you?"

Oh yeah, because no one sees you at school.

p.s. We still let them pick out their own clothes, even if they don't match. And now instead of clean, I find myself sometimes just asking that they be somewhat clean. With having a boy, that is the best I can hope for.

Friday, March 25, 2011

This is So Funny

Being someone who teaches at our women's Bible study, I can so relate. This made me laugh so hard, and I only hope that I would handle this as well as him.


The Signs of the Times

Things have been busy over here at the Nut House. I won't bore you with my excuses, but I have fallen horribly behind on all of my chores. I have been having a hard time catching up, because everything is such a mess that I am a bit overwhelmed. In the past, I would have sucked it up, picked one thing to do, done it, and before long, I would be on my way to a clean house (which I understand is relative). But that was before blogging when I knew any better. Now, instead of actually doing something about the filth, I will just blog about it. Blogging is much more fun anyways.

The Signs of the "It's Time To Clean Your House"

1. The bowl of milk left over from cereal on your countertop looks like sour cream-and you are considering covering it with saran wrap, putting it in the refrigerator to use it as such just so you don't have to clean the bowl just yet.

2. The other dishes on your countertop are just slightly cemented down and need a little prying to get lose.

3. You are considering putting a for sale sign outside that says "For Sale-As Is" and just moving.

4. The ground outside is cleaner than your floors inside.

5. You have way more dirty clothes than you do clean clothes.

6. Because of #5, you are thinking about just buying new clothes and throwing away the dirty ones.

7. Also, because of #5, you are beginning to believe that clothes multiply while in the dirty hamper.

8. You are thinking about serving frozen pizza on paper plates for quite a while in the near future for every meal. See #1 & #2.

9. Actually, because of #1 & #2 you are beginning to think that eating is highly overrated.

10. Even when your kids pick up their stuff and do all their chores, your house still looks a wreck, because if you were to be honest most of the junk is yours.

11. Your yard is more weeds than it is grass.

I have to ask though, who decides what are weeds anyways? Our weeds happen to have quite some pretty flowers growing out of them. Why do people think that some flowers aren't good enough to be considered flowers? I think that is mighty rude. Besides, my kids pick me "flowers" all the time that I proudly display in my kitchen. Plus, God made these flowers so I think we should just go with the more natural look anyways. That means I don't have to mow. Oh, what is that you say? I don't mow? Oh yeah, you're right. Well, the Other Nut wouldn't have to then. I am totally sure that our neighbors would go for the natural look. I bet right now they are discussing the beauty of our yard as I type.

12. You have to sweep at least 2 times to get your floors somewhat clean before you can even mop them.

13. After typing #12, you realize that you don't even have a normal big mop.

14. Your house has developed what you could call a slight odor, and you are learning to like it. Either that or your nose hairs are singed from the odor.

15. You are still blogging, because you are in denial of the fact that you really need to get up and be productive. And your house scares you right now. You never know what you might find.

If you know my phone number, please call me and tell me to get off my bum and get to work!
Just don't be mad if I hang up. :)

The Bad Which Turned To Ugly

Warning: This is a long post. If you make it to the end, you should be commended.

After my Tuesday started off good, thanks to my son who makes us laugh, it turned to bad around 4:45 that afternoon. Everything up until that point had been great. I had been working on my teaching focusing on John 4, the story of the woman at the well. I fell in love with that story and what I saw about Jesus-He met this lady where she was, pursuing her to the depths of her heart, exposing her hurts that so needed to be healed, showing her that He knew her better than anyone, and He loved. I was really excited as I was working on my manuscript, sitting at Pepperoni's drinking Diet Coke by the gallons. It is funny-when I work on my teachings, I work so much better at a small restaurant with Diet Coke. Anyways, I left to pick up the younger kids from school, then went back to pick up my oldest. The Other Nut was home so I left the younger ones there with him. Glorious alone time in the car, even if I didn't have to go far. I had my windows down and the radio on. This may sound like I was driving fast, letting the wind blow through my hair, but I was only driving 25 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Eventually, my phone rang so I picked it up. I didn't answer it yet, because a motorcycle pulled out in front of me so I slowed down a bit, and then from behind his motorcycle from the other side of the street, ran a squirrel. Well, I thought I had hit it, because I couldn't get out of the way. I kind of jumped and was sad that I might have killed it. I still had my phone in my hand, but hadn't answered it yet. I passed the apartments, heard someone yell, and then I answered my phone. I talked for about 5 seconds, because it was my oldest just seeing if I was on my way. I hung up and continued on. About that time, I heard this loud motorcycle behind me, then a small really short siren with some guy on the motorcycle screaming at me to pull over. I freaked out and started to pull over, not even bothering to notice that he had normal clothes on without any markings of a police officer on his motorcycle. I even hit the curb as I pulled over, wondering what in the world I had done wrong. It is not illegal to talk on the phone where I live, unless you are in a school zone which I was no where near. I also wasn't speeding. He then pulled up beside me still on his bike and proceeded to yell at me for killing that squirrel. He said it was all because I was talking on my phone, and I killed a squirrel. Well, let's just say that I didn't immediately love how Jesus loved when He was at the well. A fire immediately got lit under my behind, because I couldn't believe that he was sitting on his bike yelling at me and he never even claimed to be a police officer. I, of course, was too mad to think about asking him for proof and if he wasn't one, driving off. I actually sat there trying to defend myself to some guy that I didn't even know. How ridiculous is that? The local police department doesn't think he was an officer, because he didn't really follow protocol-he should have identified himself as an officer, and stopped his bike behind me and come to my window on foot. The Other Nut of course was upset that I even stopped without any proof and that my window was down. He was worried about my safety. I was too mad to be worried about my safety. Oh, how I wish I could go back and say the right things. The thing is I don't want to go back just to be more loving in my tone and speech. I want to go back to ask him if he is an officer and if not, don't ever do that again. And this is where the bad turns to the ugly.
You see, I have a really hard time having compassion and loving people when they do stuff like this. I get easily annoyed and mad. I can stew for quite a while and sometimes my feelings get hurt. Sometimes I stay mad for a while and sometimes I cry all day. Pitiful, I know. I even told my kids that I named him the motorcycle moron. How about that for a good example for your children?
The reality of my sin didn't take me long to see. This is something that has happened before. There have been numerous times that someone has done something that is honestly wrong and anyone would have a hard time with it. Yesterday, when I went to the doctor's office, the people at the front desk wouldn't look at my insurance card even though I told them it was different than what they had on file. I am not kidding! They kept insisting it was the same so I eventually had to actually read out the numbers and show them like they were little kids. My tone wasn't very nice, because I saw them as incompetent. I didn't understand why they couldn't just do their job. By the grace of God, I didn't say what was in my head. I wanted to ask them how they keep a job and why they were so lazy. Isn't that awful?
I know I will keep having encounters like, because I think Jesus is up to something. You see, Jesus wants me to love like Him and have His compassion; and because He knows the depths of my heart, He knows I need a lot of help in this area. I have a lot of cracking that He has to do in this area. I'm not saying that you aren't supposed to be assertive at times. I really needed those ladies to look at my card so my insurance information would be right when they filed my claim. It is OK to ask for identification from someone acting like a police officer. It is only natural to be hurt and upset when your neighbors yell at you over silly things. The problem is my HEART. I don't love these people. I want to say mean things to them. I want to tell them that "Jesus loves you, but I don't." And yet, Jesus wants my heart to love them and to look at them through His eyes. I am supposed to be wise enough to know when I don't need to be assertive and try to make my point known-some things can just be let go. I don't have to like what they have done or said, but I am supposed to love them. That is very clear in the Gospels. I AM SUPPOSED TO LOVE, and when I don't, it doesn't just hurt me or the other people involved; it hurts the reputation of Christ. I want to learn to love like Jesus did when He met the woman at the well. I want to look at people and realize that they have deep hurts just like I do.
I have a long way to go in this area. Jesus has a lot of cracking to do on my pride. I ended up speaking with my kids about my lack of love for the motorcycle man, how I shouldn't have named him the motorcycle moron, and about how Jesus really wants me to love, even in difficult situations that make me mad. I told them Jesus really wants me to learn this. My oldest told me "well, mom you know that just means that you will come into contact with a lot more people that make you mad don't you?" How true, my sweet daughter, how true.
This day may have turned bad which turned to ugly, but how wonderful the truth is that Jesus can turn even our ugly into beautiful!

p.s. I didn't even hit the squirrel, because we all know I went back to that spot to check. You know, just to check on the squirrel.

p.s.s. I clicked on this blog after I finished writing this and saw that she wrote something similar in her post called Breathing Deep. I encourage you to read it-she writes so beautifully, honestly, and so Christ-centered.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Update

I know I am supposed to post about the bad which turned to ugly, and I will really soon. However, I had to update you on my funny little nut. He got up really early again on Wednesday and did the same things as Tuesday, but today was even funnier. I remember slowly being awakened by a constant sound-kind of like a basketball. I woke up enough to realize that it was a basketball. My little nut son was "practicing" his basketball skills in the gameroom by dribbling and pretending to shoot into a laundry basket. This is all fine and good, but when you realize that it is 4:45 AM, you kind of want it to stop. We kindly asked him to stop and wait until it was at least 6:00 AM and had him go lay down on the couch (he of course was all ready for school with his lunch once again made). He did, but I don't think he totally went back to sleep. He laid there with his buddy, Tucker, our dog. He is cracking me up with his new schedule. Well, OK, I wasn't exactly laughing at 4:45 AM when I heard the basketball, but by the grace of God, I maintained my composure. I tell you what, this little guy has brought a lot of laughter to our family.

The Good

Don't let that face fool you. :)
Tuesday morning started off good thanks to my son. He is so funny and really makes us laugh. He can be quite a ham sometimes and is 150% ALL BOY. I will say though that there are times I have to remind myself that he really did come from my uterus. His absolute love of early mornings and not wanting to be late at all make me look down at my saggy belly and stretch marks for the proof of yes, in fact, he did come from me. If you read this post, you already know that I am not a morning person at all. Somehow though, my son got the very early riser gene. Tuesday morning, he woke up at 4:00 AM. Yes, you read that right. It is not a typo. 4:00 AM! The thing is, the Other Nut and I had no idea. We were too busy sleeping. He got up, got himself ready for school and ate breakfast. He eventually went back to sleep on the couch for a little while. When the Other Nut woke up, the noise woke my son back up. He then proceeded to get his back pack completely ready and make his own lunch. Now this scared me a bit when the Other Nut informed me of this when I finally woke up. You see, my son LOVES sugar so I imagined a lunch full of candy. You can read this post to learn a little more about his love of sugar. I have to say though, he surprised me. He made a ham and cheese sandwich, put in some blueberries, an orange, one small chocolate cookie, and a small bag of chips. He also filled up his water bottle. By 6:30, he was completely ready.

Who is this kid? 

Oh yeah, he's mine. Anyways, he began to beg the Other Nut to take him to school on his way to work. This would have put him at school around 7:10 AM. They don't let the kids in until 7:30. He was OK with that though, because he said then he can read. The Other Nut explained to him that, no, he can't go to school that early. It wasn't safe. My son wasn't too thrilled with this information and proceeded to tell his daddy that "he didn't want to have to go to school with all the lazy people (AKA mommy and my two sisters)". I guess getting up at 7:00 AM, getting 3 lunches made, 3 kids fed, out the door, and to school by 8:00 AM is lazy. I have never really looked at it like that, but OK. Now, I know I take them to school looking like death warmed over every time, but at least they get there. The other reason my son gave was that "he hates to be late." Can I just say that he hasn't been late all year. He gets there at 8:00 and school doesn't start until 8:10, but somehow he still sees that as late. He doesn't like to get to school with "all the lazy people." As far as this Nutcase goes, if you want me there at 5:00, you need to tell at least 4:45, maybe even 4:30. I tend to not be what we would call early. I know that just shows a complete lack of respect and discipline on my part, blah, blah, blah; but, it's a work in progress. I will get there eventually. I just might be late. As my family and friends say, "She'll be late for her funeral."

So basically, thanks to my son, I started Tuesday morning off with a good laugh, and I love laughing. After Jesus and Diet Coke, it's the next best drug.

Check back later to find out when my high wore off. Let's just say that my good quickly went to bad which quickly went to ugly.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I don't have time to blog about the different things in my head so I will give you a preview. Basically, today I had the good, the bad, and the ugly. This morning, I was laughing at my funny son-this would be the good. This afternoon, I got really mad at some stranger on a motor cycle that yelled at me-this would be the bad. This is also where the ugly part comes in. Let's just say that I was reminded that I have a long way to go to love like Christ and a lot more cracking is needed. Check back later to read about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

For now, I must go to bed. Please pray for tomorrow. I teach at Bible study. Nothing like teaching about the love of Jesus when you realize you stink at it.

From a Nutcase that is glad  I didn't get a ticket or get thrown in jail,

Ima

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Reality of Life and My Procrastination


Music Monday
 Well, I am ashamed to say that I am a procrastinator, especially this past week. I teach at our women's Bible study on Wednesday and am still working on my lesson. I have quite a ways to go which brings me to the reason for this post. Once again, I will have to forgo Music Monday. The reality of my procrastination has hit me hard so I must focus on what is more important-teaching the Bible on Wednesday (and maybe washing my dishes). Please know that I will try to do better with my Music Mondays in the future for the multitude of readers I have-just kidding about the multitude thing. But I will try to do better, because I really love music and the impact it has on us. I have so many songs to write about, but alas my timing stinks.

Thanks for understanding-I hope.

Ima

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We Make A Good Team

The Other Nut and me-we make a good team.

You see, I hate roaches. I mean really, really hate them. Like, hate them so much that my kids pick up any dead ones that wonder into our home, because I don't like to pick them up. It grosses me out. When I was pregnant with Kayli, I found a dead one in the kitchen. I only ate stuff out of the refrigerator for 3 days, because I was afraid I would see another roach in the pantry. I know that is ridiculous, but that is what roaches do to me. I have yet to discover any amount of good they bring to this world. The ones that really gross me out are the big outside roaches. My skin is crawling just from typing this. Even the dead ones gross me out. And you can't ever step on one unless you make a noise, because you can hear the crunch. Excuse me while I go vomit real quick.

OK, I am back. Anyways, did I tell you that I hate roaches? Well, I do.

The Other Nut doesn't really like them either, but he will at least kill them and pick them up for me. His love for me out weighs his dislike of roaches. What doesn't out weigh his love for me is a dead animal, namely a dead squirrel. That grosses him out the way roaches gross me out. Yesterday, we found a dead squirrel. It had apparently went into our bird house and couldn't get back out. We found it hanging from the hole, his back legs stuck inside. Poor little thing. If we had known, we could have helped him out-not that he would have let us, but we could have tried. It was quite awful looking, and made the Other Nut nauseous just thinking about it. He made it pretty clear that he couldn't take it down or he would vomit.

I will make my little nuts pick up the roaches, but I couldn't bring myself to making them deal with a dead squirrel so that left me for the job. But I could do this. Hey, it was much better than a dead roach. The funny thing is, we found a dead roach in the game room the morning I was going to deal with the dead squirrel so the Other Nut and I made a deal; he would get the roach, and I would get the squirrel.

I jumped on that deal in a second. Anything to not have to pick up a roach. I grabbed the ladder, gloves, a rake, a trash bag, and a face mask (I didn't really care to smell the thing) and went to work. 5 minutes later, the evidence was gone, and I was happy I didn't have to see the roach. The Other Nut was happy he didn't have to deal with the squirrel.

We both agreed that we make a pretty good team.

So what about you? Roach or squirrel?

For My Dad and Mom

Hey dad and mom, this is for you. (If you are not my dad or mom, feel free to still read this very short post.)

I have successfully completed my 20 hours of CE required for my RN license to stay current. I am up to date for another 2 years. Just thought you would want to know since you kind of remind me:)

p.s. Thank you, dad and mom, for helping me get through college (all 6 years) without student loans so I didn't graduate with debt.

p.s.s. I studied wound care so I can take care of your elderly wounds. Ha! Just kidding.

I love you both very much.

Love, Ima Nutcase

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yee-Haw

We went to a rodeo Tuesday in Gonzales, Texas. We had a lot of fun watching all of the events. I know we live right outside of Houston and could have gone to the Houston Rodeo, but we decided to go to a smaller one for different reasons. We figured it wouldn't be so crowded so the kids could see the events up close, and I liked the thought of not possibly losing them in the crowd. We also thought they would like that the riders were younger (it was a youth rodeo). Another perk was that we thought it was free which is a lot cheaper than the Houston Rodeo. Turns out it wasn't free, but it was still cheaper. The kids loved it and thought it was a great day. We ate a lot of bad for you food and got really dirty. The only problem though is that Gonzales doesn't sell diet coke in a fountain drink, only in a can. They only sell Pepsi in a fountain drink which I personally can't stand. I would have a very hard time staying in Gonzales for an extended period of time-they don't support my addiction.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of our fun day!

My son trying to get into the arena. "I just want to ride a horse and touch the dirt Mom!"



My daughter also trying to get into the arena. She also wanted to ride a horse.



My son being a "real cowboy" he said.
I really wanted to take this little guy home. Just look at that face. If he only knew what his future holds, he would be crying and not so scared of me.


My middle daughter being silly in the dirt-outside of the main arena.

My son playing in the dirt. There is something about rodeo dirt that makes my kids want to get dirty. The dirtier, the better!

Again, more dirt playing.
 
"Go, cowgirl, go!"

They rode so fast! The kids were amazed at how fast they rode and wanted to ride too.



Even though I didn't get any diet coke, I did get see the Other Nut in his wranglers. That made it all worth it. He didn't let me take his picture though-I had to snap it when he walked off. He said, "It wouldn't be a good example for the kids, blah, blah, blah." Because, you know, it is not good for a wife to think her husband is really sexy and has a cute behind, especially in wranglers.





 It was a great day. The only bad thing is that the next morning, the kids decided to act like Tucker, one of our dogs, was a calf. They roped him and tied him down. He, of course, loves to play with the kids so he just let them. For a while that is. Eventually, he had enough. I did have a video of it, but I won't post it. By that time, he was done, and I don't want PETA coming after me. 

One of the Many Reasons why I love Dogs

This is so funny. I hope it brightens your day!

Check out this great MSN video: Dog Feels Guilty

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ouch!

Today, we went for another bike ride. Once again, it was super fun. However, I will say that I am very sore in the bum. I finally had to put my jacket on my seat for extra cushion. The Other Nut said I looked funny, but I didn't care-that is until I rode pass someone and figured he was laughing inside. The Other Nut said that the pain will eventually get better. Please tell me that he is right! I am considering a new seat though. Maybe something like this:

Schwinn No Pressure <em>Bicycle Seat</em>

They call it the "no pressure" seat. That Other Nut said it will look funny on my nice mountain bike, but I also look funny riding with a jacket on my seat. What does a girl do? I will persevere though, because I am just tough like that. Ha! Also, I just really like riding my new bike. It has been such a fun thing. Just please don't laugh at me if you see me walking funny.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to protect my bum, please leave me a comment so I can ride pain free.

On another note, we have seen 2 movies since spring break started-How To Train Your Dragon and Mars Needs Moms. They were both good movies that we all enjoyed. I personally liked How To Train Your Dragon better, but Mars Needs Moms had a good message to it. I even asked the kids if I would now get the respect I deserved as a mom or was I going to have to go all the way to Mars to get it. Apparently, the message wasn't loud enough, because they all kind of just laughed-even the Other Nut. I guess I will be going to Mars in the near future.

p.s. I know it is Monday so technically it could be a Music Monday, but since it is spring break, I will be waiting until next Monday.

Signing off now-gotta go ice my bum. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bike Ride

We went on a bike ride today. It was so much fun. I hadn't been on a bike ride since I was a teenager. I didn't even own a bike until today. The Other Nut and kids have been on many bike rides, but since I didn't have a bike, I always stayed home. Today, we decided to go get me a bike and helmet so I could join the family. Let me tell you, it was so much fun, and I can't wait to go again. I think I might make everyone go again tomorrow. Today, we rode around on a trail to a restaurant, ate some dinner, rode to Randall's to rent a movie, and then back home. So far, my legs aren't sore, but I am sure that will hit me tomorrow. There was something about getting outside together. It was a beautiful day, and it made me feel less lazy. Not to mention that it was just good old fashion having fun together as a family. It was nothing fancy or incredibly entertaining. It wasn't this really serious bike ride like we were training for the MS 150. It was just fun being together and being outside.

So if you call tomorrow and we don't answer, we're riding our bikes. Did I mention that I had a lot of fun?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Should I Be Worried?

So, I went to the dentist yesterday to get a cavity filled, and a funny thing happened-I almost had a full blown panic attack sitting in the chair. You might be wondering why I think that is funny so I will tell you. You see, it wasn't my fault. Usually I can blame my panic attacks on my own crazy mind, but this time I think I am going to have to divert the blame.

This is a new dentist who I have only seen one other time for a regular cleaning (let me interject here that I still really like this new dentist). OK, moving on. At this cleaning, they found that I had a cavity between 2 teeth. I scheduled another appointment for 2 weeks out to get it fixed. When the lady at the front desk gave me my estimated price, I saw that it automatically had nitrous oxide (laughing gas) on it so I asked about that. She said "Oh we just add that, but I can take it off if you don't want it." I politely said "thank you, I am not going to be needing that", and she took it off. Now, I know I have many fears, but going to the dentist for any reason is NOT one of them (except if it is my little nut who needs demoral to get a cavity filled. Then I freak out); but for me, no problem. I even had a root canal done with just good old fashion numbing medicine. Anyways, when I showed up yesterday, the lady once again asked if I was going to want laughing gas. I said no-again. They take me to my chair to get me all ready, and ANOTHER girl asks me if I am going to want laughing gas, because she doesn't see it on the order form. For the 3rd time, I said no.

Now I am starting to feel a tiny hint of anxiety. I mean, why do all these people keep asking me if I want laughing gas?! And they seem a bit surprised that I don't want it. Am I missing something here? It had been a while since I had a cavity fixed so maybe things have changed. I am beginning to wonder if the procedure is different somehow now. Maybe it is like having your left arm cut off, and all I am using is a little old shot. I am starting to feel the "feeling" now all around me-the floating, fainting feeling, but I will NOT let it get me. Besides, then they will probably make me get the laughing gas.

About this time, a 4th girl walks in and asks "oh, she doesn't want the laughing gas?" and then she looks at me and asks me directly. I finally couldn't stand it any longer so I ask (hopefully nicely), "Does everyone get laughing gas or something, because you people keep asking me if I want it? And I have never been asked before by a dentist." Their reply-"Oh, no. We were just asking." Yeah, like 50 times.

The thing is now I have no idea what to expect. Is this dentist a one shot only man so if it hurts, too bad. Is that why they all seem to want me to get the gas? Do they know something I don't? Am I about to be tortured and should I be worried? I managed to ward off the full blown panic attack by praying and watching the really boring basketball game going on in front of me. About 15 minutes after the dentist started, I was finished and ready to go. I found out that nothing had changed in regards to cavities in the dental industry-I still had my left arm, and my tooth felt fine. I then received what they called "my post-op instructions", because you know, I just had major surgery. Again, maybe I am missing something here. Maybe getting a cavity fixed can really cause pain later to where you need medicine, heat, and warm salt water rinses, but I have never personally experienced this.

I eventually left, the numbness wore off, and I forgot I even had it done-until the doctor called at 8:45 p.m. to check on me.

Well, I still really like this dentist and his office. They are obviously big on customer service and making you feel comfortable which I appreciate. I will just have to remember that when I go there, they might make me feel like I am getting a lobotomy or something.

From a cavity free chick.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clean Out Your Car

Yesterday, I heard on the news that if you are going to a job interview, you should clean out your car. Apparently, while you are inside, the company sends out an employee to look through your windows into your car. If it is a mess, you are less likely to get the job, because they figure if your car is a mess then you might bring that same sloppiness into your job. I don't really know how they know which car is yours, but oh well. What I do know is this-I would never get a job. However, after I thought about this, I decided that these companies are going about this all wrong. What they perceive as sloppy and lazy is really quite resourceful.

You see, if I was stranded somewhere, I would survive. Little old Sally Sue with the really clean car wouldn't make it. She might get the job, but she couldn't survive the tough world if she was stranded somewhere. I, on the other hand, would be just fine. Between the half empty water bottles, old food stashed in various places courtesy of my 3 little nuts, napkins thrown everywhere, a few jackets here or there, 2 pairs of gloves, and an assortment of other things, I would be fine until help arrived. I would probably even gain a few pounds!

So, Mr. "I only hire people with clean cars"-you might want to reconsider your way of thinking and go with the resourceful (not sloppy) person. In this economy, resourceful is a great asset. Clean (AKA throws everything away too quickly) just might end up being a liability.

Thoughts from a self-professed owner of a "resourceful" car,

Ima Nutcase

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

I have some things swirling around in my head, but I am too tired to blog about them in a coherent manner so I will just blog about, well, nothing. I am finally starting to feel better for which I am so thankful. Every other day seems to be a tired day, and my ribs hurt from all of the coughing. I have a spot that feels like someone kicked me hard a couple of times, but oh well-I am not really coughing that much anymore so I will take what I can get. The bum thing is that you would think I would have a six-pack going on due to all of the coughing, but no such luck.

I am slowly getting my house back in shape after being sick. I have to say that men just don't clean the same as women (sorry honey). It is definitely a slow process though. I have a really good sense of smell so the stinch is starting to really get to me. Tomorrow my goals are the kitchen, floors, and one bathroom. We'll see how far I get. Right now, the dog is back visiting. This time I think he brought a friend. It wouldn't be so bad, but Ms. Trini (the wonderful lady that helps keep my house clean) is out of town. She is actually moving to the Valley so I won't have her help much longer. We are all very sad about this, because she is like another grandma to my kids. We love her dearly. She will be missed, but I am so excited for her. When she moves, she is retiring and is just going to relax which she much deserves.

My 2 younger kids got in trouble tonight. I took them to Bible study with me, and they stayed in the childcare. 5 minutes before we went, we talked about how we are to act. They told me all the right answers and then proceeded to completely disobey. They are now grounded from fun activities and playing with their little friends down the street. My son kept digging his hole deeper as he told me very clearly that "they are not my parents". Bad choices my little nuts.

I am still on the couch, because the last 2 nights I tried to sleep in the bed, and it just made me feel bad again, because of lying too flat. I am beginning to worry I will never be able to sleep in the bed again. I am afraid I am forever resigned to this couch, but oh how I miss the Other Nut. He is encouraging though and says I will get back to normal-whatever that is for me. Tonight, I brought Addie's bed in here so she can sleep by me. She is now curled up and snoring. Hey, it is just like having the Other Nut next to me as far as snoring goes.

I am a news junkie and read all kinds of news. I can't help but see everything going on with the actor Charlie Sheen. I won't say much, but I will say that it is showing me that I lack compassion. That realization is a whole other blog for another time when I want to think more deeply, but not tonight.

I am probably going to do another give away soon. And yes, it will be a little bit better than the first (that one was more of a joke). I don't have gift giving as one of my love languages, but I realized that I liked the element of surprise of who was going to win. It was fun getting to surprise someone with the news that they won. Again, it will be a better gift, but remember that it is still Nutcase style-Kitchen Aide hasn't contacted me yet. 

I go to 2 doctors' appointments tomorrow. I am kind of tired of seeing doctors lately, although I am very thankful that we have them so available. I am just tired of the driving. Plus, I need to be cleaning. But, I will go because I need to. I have taken all the kids to catch them up on their well child check-ups. In 2 weeks, I will have gone to 7 appointments with at least 3 more to schedule. This reminds me that my nursing license expires in 22 days. Yikes! I better get to doing my 20 hours and studying to take my test. It is easy-just remembering to take the time to work on it is hard. Maybe I should take it to my 2 appointments tomorrow.

I love that it is spring time. Seeing the grass turn green, and the trees starting to put out leaves is really fun. It is my favorite time of year. I love the smells, the sounds, the weather. I don't really like the allergies, but they are worth it to see the promise of new life. It is amazing to see things that look so dead begin to look so alive. It reminds me of myself. I once was so dead in my sin only to become alive in Christ. He is what allows me to experience "spring time" in my life. I get so excited to see things bloom and grow. It makes me smile. I like to think that is how God feels when He sees new growth on me. I think He smiles when an area of sin in my life begins to die and wither away and is replaced by new growth that is more like Christ. I love spring!

Well, I guess that is it for now. It is time for bed. Good night!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Music Monday

Music Monday
OK so it isn't Monday anymore, but we are going to pretend it is. My computer was acting up and got a virus so I couldn't really blog very well. I got one short blog in and that was it.
Today, I am highlighting another song by JJ Heller called “Your Hands”. This was written by Katie Herzig, JJ Heller, and David Heller. You can hear the song on my playlist.    
I really love this song and have from the moment I heard it. It immediately meant a lot to me, because I heard it first when my panic disorder was at its worse. Something about the song resonated with me during that time so I did some research about it. Turns out JJ (along with the 2 others mentioned above) wrote this song out of her struggle with panic attacks. When you are going through panic attacks, your world really does feel like it is shaking, sometimes literally. It is a very scary place to be. You feel like your whole world is in complete chaos with few people to truly understand. Panic is something that is completely irrational; yet it does some very real, concrete things to your body. Yes, it is simply a feeling that you can’t breathe and are being crushed; but, at the same time, your heart rate truly goes up, your breathing increases, you sweat, your blood pressure goes up, things go numb around your body, you visibly shake. It is a difficult place to be-something so irrational causing real reactions in your body. It takes a lot of thought and help from other people to remind you that you are not dying, even though you feel that you might. I will have to say that for many reasons it is the one of the worst things I have ever experienced.
When I found myself in the middle of panic, I remember thinking “how did I get here?” It hit me out of the blue so fast I wasn’t even expecting it. Panic isn’t something that slowly creeps in; one day you are fine and the next day, you are struggling to breathe. The fear of the panic alone begins to take on a life of its own and makes the anxiety even worse over time. As my panic grew to happening so often that I didn’t even want to leave my house anymore, I remember sitting on my kitchen floor just sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t want to be in this place anymore. Yes, it was horrible, but more than anything, I felt like a complete failure. As I sat on the floor crying, my counselor called. I cried, telling him that I was such a failure, that my faith had failed me, that I had failed God. He talked to me (God bless Tim) and eventually had to tell me that he wouldn’t counsel me until I went to get some medicine to stop the cycle. He knew that I had gotten to a point where I couldn’t get off my merry go round without help. I had to stop what was going on in my head, and he felt I needed medicine to help with that. That was hard to hear, but I trusted him with everything and so did the Other Nut. At 6 a.m., I found myself lying in a hospital bed in the ER getting a really big, painful shot just to calm me down. Shortly after that, I left with a prescription for Xanax and numbers to psychiatrists. I went to sleep right when I got home, feeling defeated and scared.
I realized pretty quickly that there was a stigma within the Christian community in regards to mental illness. Somehow having a mental illness meant that you had no trust in God, that somehow your faith was a lesser faith. People all around me were trying to figure out why I had panic disorder-there had to be an explanation, and not just any explanation, but a medical one. Medical problems are easier to swallow for people. Very few people look at taking chemo to hopefully beat cancer as a lack of trust. Very few people look at me like I don’t trust God just because I take a thyroid pill every morning. It’s a thyroid-sometimes they stop working; or its cancer-use all of the medical treatments available. After all, God allowed them to be discovered. I know there are some out there that don’t even believe in that type of medicine, but they are not as common. But when it comes to taking drugs for mental problems, the tide seems to shift. Somehow faith should be all you need to cure the mind of whatever attacks it. But the brain is also an organ just like a thyroid or heart. I felt in some ways that the answer to me having panic disorder couldn’t just be the simple fact that I had it. Now please don’t get me wrong; I know that some of my feelings were coming from my own insecurities, but I also know what I sensed from others was sometimes real. Also, I was looking for the "why" as well, but I was ok with the fact that it didn’t necessarily have to be medical. Maybe it was merely the fact that my brain had wigged out to the point of not being able to process reality. My hormone levels in my brain weren’t working and were completely out of balance. And  please know that I was fully aware that there was a level of distrust going on between God and me. I struggle with trusting Him with all things medical, whether it be me, my kids, or the Other Nut. Nursing school can do that to someone after you learn about every awful disease and problem out there. But what I realized was this-we all struggle in different areas to trust God. We are human, and we have sin. The difference is where it comes out. Some people try to control everything around them. Others exercise all of the time, controlling their outward appearance. And still others might over eat. The bottom line is we all have areas of distrust. It’s just that panic disorder is a lot more noticeable, because you kind of act like a freak when you are having a panic attack.
The funny thing is that when I was lying in that ER bed, my level of trust in God was more than it had been in a long time. I had gotten to a place of complete incompetence and was only able to trust God and who He brought into my life to help me. I literally couldn’t help myself at all. I couldn’t try to manipulate the situation to make it look like I was trusting God, but really I was still trying to control it. I couldn’t even really go to the bathroom by myself at this moment. I was having so much panic, I couldn’t even think. All I could do was lie there and trust; plain, pure and simple trust. When I realized that, I decided to hold my head high and speak of my struggles with panic. I decided to share with others that I had to take 2 pills at that time in my life to work through some things. I decided to testify that God was a big God, and only because of Him, could I continue this journey-even it meant me being on medicine. I decided to trust in the journey that God had me on, resting in it and learning what God wanted me to learn. I decided to embrace my need of medicine, because I could think straight as I was processing the "why" behind my panic. I decided to no longer be afraid of panic, because it couldn’t hurt me anymore.
Three days after I was lying in that ER bed, I was standing up proudly teaching women from the book of Joshua; not proud because of anything I had done. Proud because God was big enough to carry me through even what felt like was the darkest moment of my life. I viewed it as a great testimony to Him, and I was proud to be able to share it. I spoke of my struggle with anxiety and my new need for medicine. I spoke of my journey to uncover my distrust and learn to trust Him in these areas. Not to get to stop the medicine or the panic, but simply because He calls us to trust Him.
I am thankful for the medicine that I took for a while. I am thankful for my journey. I learned so much. I am thankful that I was able to get off of the medicine eventually simply because it is 2 less pills I have to take a day. I am thankful that when someone is struggling because they have to take a “mental pill” that I can relate and hopefully encourage them. I am thankful for music, for JJ Heller’s song that spoke to me so much during that time. For a while, I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t answering my prayer to be free from anxiety. I didn’t want panic to be a part of my life. I remember having it out with God in the garage, because I knew He could take it all away. But He didn’t, because His plan was bigger. He had some things I needed to walk through, to learn, but all along He was making my paths straight. All of the times I felt like I was in complete chaos and my mind wasn’t thinking straight, heaven stood; God stood, because He is always constant, never changing. I still have panic disorder, but with God’s grace and help, I have learned to cope with it. I don’t need medicine anymore. I don’t think it means my faith is stronger than someone who may need medicine-that is just my journey that is unique to me. I have learned to notice panic really early on and sort through the “whys”. I immediately pray for God to show me where I am worrying to the point of panic, and He always does. I am ok that my panic is not completely gone, because one day it will be. One day, He will make all things right again. Until then, I am in His hands and He stands even when I am shaking. I still love this song. When I hear it, I am reminded of how far God has brought me. It makes me smile, because of His love for me. It was a rough journey, but a good journey. God’s good like that.


BY KATIE HERZIG, JJ AND DAVID HELLER

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

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