Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stillness of My Presence

I am a planner. If you know me well you know I live for order, lists and a 5 year plan. I actually had the timing of my second child planned out neatly on a post-it note... the details of the note showing how old Mikayla would be if a baby were to be born in a certain month and when I would have to be pregnant by. I left this note on the steering wheel of Dhrumil's car so we could discuss later that night. Funny thing is Nolan's birth was not lined up on the post-it note... just something to remind me that I am NOT in control!

Try as I might, I can not plan everything out. Sometimes it is good to set the note pad down and to just
live a little. This has been an ongoing challenge for myself... to live in the moment.

Living right NOW
Ironically PPD has forced me to live in the now. It has turned this type A person who likes to know what's next into someone who can hardly think past the next minute. The anxiety of what I am dealing with is so overwhelming at times that I can barely deal with thinking what the next hour of the day will bring. And so I just don't think past this minute... I tell myself to make it through NOW because then it will just flow into the next moment.

Isn't God's timing impeccable? Having been discouraged by my anxiety and feeling handicapped by not being able to plan ahead, I happened to read a devotion this morning that spoke to me. Here is an excerpt...

I am always with you, so you have no reason to be afraid. Your fear often manifests itself in excessive planning. Your mind is so accustomed to this pattern of thinking that you are only now becoming aware of how pervasive it is and how much it hinders your intimacy with Me. [...] Return to My Presence, which always awaits you in the present moment.
- Jesus Calling Sarah Young

What I am dealing with... this whole PPD thing... it sucks. BUT through it I can already see God's work in me. To not be fearful of what is ahead because He has it under control. To try to take joy in the NOW and to rest in the peace only He can bring to me during it.

I pray that wherever you are in your life... whether it be in the midst of storm or on calm beautiful seas, that you will take time to rest in the peace and beauty that only THIS moment can bring.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You Can Do This!

Today I had a special moment... and that moment was shared with my mom.

My mom accompanied me to the bible study I attend on Tuesday mornings. This was the last day of the Beth Moore study Breaking Free and at the end we all stood up and in pairs read the below commission to one another. It was so powerful to have my mom telling me this... especially at a time like this.

Yet another reminder that I am never alone... especially during such a storm as this.

Dear Sister
Yesterday is behind you
a new day has come
Christ has set you free
It's time for you to accept that you are forgiven and blessed
When you feel bad let Him preach you some good news
When your hearts breaks let Him bind it up and heal it
When fires come let Him give you beauty for ashes
Walk with Christ just one day at a time 
and He will make you someone you never dreamed you could be
Stay in the Word
do what it says
Do not give up
do not give in
you have the indwelling power of Christ
you can do this

Now unto Him
who can keep your feet from falling
and present you blameless before God
with dancing and leaping joy
be glory and majesty
power and authority
forever and ever 

Friday, April 19, 2013

You're Beautiful

I am a pretty critical person in general and the person who takes the brunt of my criticism is myself. The past fews years I have really grown into being my own person and turning into this confident woman has enabled me to turn off "the critic" and just be. However, in dealing with my struggles of late, the critic has once again been unleashed. I feel as though I am in a constant battle within myself... feeling as though I am not good enough.

Today as I was driving the song Beautiful by Mercy Me came on and though I have heard it many times before, it spoke to me. I am thankful for a God who sees me for who I really am... and who can remind me just how special I am to Him.

Days will come when you don't have the strength
And all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they'd see too much

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful

Praying that you'd have the heart to fight
'Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful

A moment where I felt truly beautiful...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Honey I Shrunk... ElisaBeth!?

The Movie, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, hasn't graced itself in my mind for many many years. But this morning, while I was nursing Nolan and enjoying a few minuets of silence, it came to me. I can only equate the reason behind my glimpse into this 80s phenomenon to two things...

The first... ants. This morning I was upstairs when Mikayla ran to me and said that there were ants around her toys. I shrugged it off as something a three year old might say, but decided to investigate anyways. And there they were... on the kitchen floor... marching back and forth, crumbs from Mikayla's snack from yesterday on their backs, probably whistling a happy little tune. I immediately got the vacuum and tried not to panic as I acted out an ant's armageddon and sucked them up into oblivion. After remembering how the ant was the good guy in the movie I kinda felt bad for being the demise of so many small creatures.

The second... magnification. Dealing with PPD I feel as though everything in my life has become magnified ten times over. Little problems become huge. Past issues I have worked through and conquered are again rearing their ugly heads. Every day frustrations and even ordinary tasks are now the size of huge oatmeal cream sandwiches and are hard for me to navigate around.

And so... naturally... my brain put one and one together and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, with its amazing use of green screen and all, appeared to me as a metaphor for this moment in my life. Somehow I have been zapped into a very tiny person and, at times, feel as though I am trying to survive in a big bowl of cheerios... hoping I won't be eaten by the world around me. It is extremely frustrating feeling so small and at times I feel as though I will never make it out... never be me again. But there are and will continue to be those in my life who will help me get though this... including myself. And so I will continue to keep on trudging through this and be thankful for each "ant" that I come across. (Ok maybe I should have coexisted with the ants after all)

Nick, I've got six hours to get home, get big and get to the mall, now get moving.
- Anna Szalinski

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Covered by God

These past few days I feel as though I have been covered in prayer. It is hard to explain the feeling, but it as if the rocky waves I am swimming through settled just a bit to help me feel more secure. As though I were not alone... as though I was not only holding God's loving hand, but also those of others unseen.

This feeling was solidified yesterday afternoon as I unknowingly walked to the mailbox found a few lovely notes from people I know well and some I don't really know at all. The messages were all the same... that they were thinking about me, that they were praying. I was so deeply touched by these and also conversations I have had and texts and emails... I am so amazed at the timing God uses for moments such as these. 

Jesus draw me ever nearer
                                            As I labour through the storm.
                                         You have called me to this passage,
                                            and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

                                          May this journey bring a blessing,
                                              May I rise on wings of faith;
                                         And at the end of my heart's testing,
                                              With Your likeness let me wake.
                                                  Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer - Keith and Kristyn Getty

Friday, April 12, 2013

Humor in the Hard Times

What a week! In the last seven days I have been to the Dr. for the kids three times. It has been very challenging trying to navigate my own stuff as well as deal with two sick kids. I wouldn't have been able to get through it if it had not been for the help of my parents last week and the amazing and constant support and help from Dhrumil.

Mikayla with a really high fever
Mikayla had croup and Nolan ended up getting his first ear infection and also bronchiolitis. Poor Mikayla's reaction to the medicine was pretty intense and she was not a happy camper. Thankfully she is back to her old adorable, sweet and helpful self!! Nolan, on the other hand, is still dealing with being sick BUT is just constantly happy... so much so that he actually fell asleep during his last nebulizer treatment and was cracking up at Mikayla's antics while waiting for the Dr. to come listen to his breathing.

Today has been a very good day for me amidst the sickness and for that I am truly grateful. I have been able to snuggle my sweet Nolan and sniff his intoxicating baby scent... pretend I was mommy bunny to my Mimi bunny and even enjoy my Dr. "date" with Nolan.

A few laughable moments from my Drs visits...

Nolan is sick and he doesn't know it
Me: "What color should Nolan's poop be right now?"
Dr:  "Oh green, brown, yellow or a combination, but sometimes if they have something with artificial strawberry flavoring it could be a neon green"
Me: "Oh really? I just had a popsicle with strawberry flavoring I wonder if it was artificial"
Dr: Blank stare
Me: IN MY HEAD... wait that didn't come out right I meant through my nursing Nolan he could get the artificial flavoring, but she must think I think I will poop fluorescent.

Dr: "Make sure you clean out his nose"
Me: "Oh yes I got this new nose cleaner and I suck out his snot"
Dr: Blank stare
Me: IN MY HEAD... hasn't she heard of this latest invention?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Up Up Up

It's 'bout as bad as it could be
                                             Seems everybody's buggin' me
Like nothing wants to go my way--yeah, 
it just ain't been my day
Nothin's comin' easily

Those words played in my ears as I ran today... yes ran... ok more like jogged. Shania wascheering me on as I told myself that I could do it... I could jog the whole route... ok more like around a large block, but I have to start somewhere don't I?

For those who know me well exercise and I aren't friends. I actually despise it. My exercise growing up was ballet and if my body could fit into a leotard and tights without looking ridiculous right now I would be doing that.

I can only remember two times in my life when I really ran with a purpose. The first was the morning after Dhrumil and I first kissed. I had so much energy and I was freaking out...

run, run, OH MY GOSH WE KISSED run, run, WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING run, run, ARE WE AN ITEM NOW run, run WHAT WILL MY MOM SAY run, run AM I READY FOR THIS run, run HE IS SO CUTE run, run COULD HE BE MY HUSBAND run, run WOW AM I REALLY RUNNING run, run AHHH run, run...

The other time was after a heated discussion with my parents when I was in my after-college-figuring-out-life-moved-back-with-the-parents-who-am-I angst...

run, run, I AM MAD run,run WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY LIFE run, run WHERE AM I GOING run, run WHAT DOES LIFE MEAN run, run I MISS SCHOOL run, run WHAT IS MY PURPOSE run, run WHO AM I run, run...

You get the idea. I randomly thought of those instances today when thinking about what I should do for exercise. Although I didn't continue running either time... both were significant in helping me gather my thoughts, cool down, help me think and make me feel better.

And so I thought I'd try my hand at running. I really will try anything right now to feel better and today I actually had the drive.

So I have challenged myself to run... ok jog... for a whole week (unless it rains) and see how I fair. I'm hoping I can stick with this as it is hard to stick with anything right now. 

                                               Can only go up from here
where the clouds gonna clear
Up--up--up--There's no way but up from here

Shania helped me... or maybe I helped me... and I jogged the whole thing without stopping once!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We are Nothing

I have been dealing with feelings of inadequacy through my struggles of late. I have felt so broken that shame creeps in and I don't want to burden even those closest to me with who I am right now.

I have had discussions with two very wise and lovely friends of mine about some of these feelings and they have reminded me that

1. We are ALL broken without God!

2. We are not alone in our struggles!

3. There is no shame in what I am dealing with!

I had an image flash by me today when discussing our brokenness as humans... Voldemort. Yup you got that... my love of all things Harry Potter invade my thoughts even now. I can't remember which movie it is (one of the first), but the image of him when he is that weak gross thing that can't do anything for himself but drink unicorn blood. Anyways... that is what we all are without God. We need Him to be anything! Yes some may have it more together than others at certain times in their lives, but no one is perfect. God in our stronghold and our refuge. He will hold my hand through this valley.

Four Months Old

My little baby boy is already four months old and growing ever so fast. I am trying to savor each moment of his sweet baby-self but the days keep on speeding by.

We go to the Dr. next week to find out his stats and get his next shots (NOT looking forward to that) I think it will be fun to see how much he weighs since he is now wearing mostly six month clothes. He definitely has more chub than Mikayla had.

The first five words that come to mind when thinking about Nolan... Happy, Readable, Sleeper, Mama's boy, Eater :)

Nolan is now nursing about 5 times a day, WAS sleeping from 6:30pm to 7:30am, but since a cold has thrown him off he has been waking up at 5:45 to eat... it's ok, still amazing to me! He is not the best long napper but he does take multiple one hour naps a day and is usually so happy it doesn't matter. He is pretty flexible and that is probably because I am more relaxed this time. :)

Nolan LOVES his hands and putting them in his mouth. He also loves to watch his sister in whatever she is doing. She is able to make him crack up in a way we can't and it warms my heart. He will also burst into tired uncontrollable giggles which have been inherited from yours truly.

Nolan continues to be a joy and I blessed with such a happy easy going baby!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Call

It was the hardest call I've had to make... it meant admitting to myself that these feelings... or whatever they are... weren't going to pass on their own. It took me two weeks to do, but I finally did it. I called the Doctor.

After discussions with my GP, she agreed to let me try to improve without the help of medication. I am definitely not against medication when it comes to depression, but since I seem to have a moderate case of PPD I wanted to try another route for the time being.

And so I am going to meet with a counselor, exercise, improve my diet, and possibly supplement with vitamins and fish oil. All of these steps look relatively easy for me to do today... a good day. But I have no clue how I will feel about it tomorrow.

Here is how best to describe one of my tough days...

Trapped in a well of darkness, clinging to the ladder that will bring me to the clear surface, the numb feeling of sadness threatening to overcome me. I clutch the ladder and try to focus to just take one small step up... or at least to hold onto the ladder and not let myself be enveloped by the darkness below. I am fighting it...

The hardest part... not blaming myself for these feelings. And so I cling to the one who Created me.

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For you are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my  heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
- Casting Crowns Praise You in This Storm

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coming Clean

I write my blog in the way I try to live life... honestly and void of illusion. I find that in writing many of my posts I tend to start with a dilemma and end with a solution. I guess you could say writing is a way I sometimes clarify the jumble of thoughts that run through my head. And I share this on my blog as a way to possibly help and identify with others.

Honesty in my life could be seen as over-share... I remember taking a personality test in college and one of my traits was "you put all of your cards on the table." Such truth at the time! I wore my heart on my sleeve and would share the depths of my soul to those friends who would listen. I remember feeling exhausted and vulnerable when those conversations were through. In those times I envied my sister who went through life as a mysterious creature only divulging so much of herself as was necessary. I on the other hand would share and get burned more times than naught. Thus I learned... I don't think it was a bad thing, though I became a bit jaded. I tried to keep things a little closer all the while still remaining true to myself.

And so I share this with a guarded heart, but also with the honesty of someone who is trying to deal with reality of what is and maybe find some solace in opening up.

I am dealing with the waves of postpartum depression. What I thought were baby blues turned into something deeper, darker and the thoughts of just getting over it turned into thoughts of will I ever get back to who I once was...

It is a tough road to be on... the inability to control my feelings can be crippling.

I feel as though there is such a stigma when the word "depression" is uttered. Add postpartum to it and one may immediately jump to the conclusion that oneself or one's child may be harmed... but that is just one form. As many people are different, that is the way that one can be effected by this.

And so I've decided to share some of the journey of my ups and downs on my blog and maybe... just maybe... gather some clarity through it.

I began these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my own individual balance of life, work and human relationships. And since I think best with a pencil in my hand, I started naturally to write. I had the feeling, when the thoughts first clarified on paper, that my experience was very different from other people's. (Are we all under this illusion?) My situation had, in certain ways, more freedom than that of most people, and in certain other ways, much less.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh Gift from the Sea