Mid-March 2018

I should probably be headed to sleep about now, it is a work night. But I’m in the mood to write and haven’t in a while, so here I am.

I’ve spent the majority of the past 2 months in pain. Physical pain that is. I messed up my back at the gym in January and it has caused or highlighted some other issues back there. Plus I spent most of the last week with a migraine. Yuck.

At the gym I deadlifted 170 pounds, but that didn’t cause the pain. I was putting away a 25 pound weight and picked it up and twisted wrong and could hardly move after. That pain mostly went away, but the pain in my lower back and hips has intensified. I drive a manual transmission car and every time I push in the clutch, pain would shoot down my leg. I can hardly sit at work for very long and have to get up to relieve some pressure. I started seeing a Physical Therapist and things are getting a lot better now. I just have to get on the ball and do the stretching exercises at home!

Not sure if the migraine was brought on by environmental or hormonal triggers or stress. Probably a combination of all the above. This time of year between Winter and Spring can be harsh on sinuses and headaches. My stress isn’t too bad lately, just was dealing with finals.

On Spring Break now. Off this week and then start my last undergraduate class on the 26th. A little nervous about this class, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. I received an approval for my RSVP to the graduation, so all I have to do is pass this class. 2 months left! Then 2 months off, then 2 years of the Masters program. Then I don’t know 🙂

Spiritual lesson of the day… I realized during worship this morning at church that I have been looking for validation from all the wrong places. Be it from my pastor, friends, boss, other leaders I admire, I’ve been stressing about making them proud of me and approve of me that I’ve lost sight of the One that really matters. And I already have His approval and am totally validated by Him through Christ. God is so merciful and loving, yet it’s like I take advantage of His love. People have their own lives to worry about, making me feel good about myself isn’t their job. My value and worth comes from the One who made me and died for me. Yes, being validated by people feels good, don’t get me wrong, but not being validated by them shouldn’t be detrimental.

Then I worry I’m not pleasing to God. Did I pray enough? Read my Bible enough? Give enough money? What about time? Could I have done xyz better? Did I completely mess it up? Oh my goodness! Stop it! God doesn’t have a sticker chart with our names on it, grading us on how well we did everyday!! Oops, she didn’t pray for 30 minutes, only 10, red X for today! Ugh! The Father sees us through the blood of the Lamb and that blood has made us perfect in His sight. Does He want us to do our best? Yes, but it doesn’t make Him love us any more or any less!! Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing He died and rose again, and confessing Him to others – that is what matters! Everything we do from there is motivated by Love, not fear that He is going to strike us down.

I’m preaching to my self and as much as to you, BTW.

Through Jesus and only through Him, do we find love, acceptance, and validation that truly matters.

Alright, now I think I might be able to sleep, maybe? hopefully!?!?

Good night! ♥


Mid January 2018

Happy New Year!!

Hard to believe my birthday is coming up! Harder to believe I’m going to be 39! 40 is sneaking up quick. I’ve got some ‘I want to (blank) before I turn 40’ things to accomplish this year. Get healthier, graduate, pay off some stuff. Not that 40 is a deadline or anything, just a milestone.

I stepped out in faith today and applied for a masters program. I know, I know, I said I was going to take some time off or not even go for a masters. I don’t know if it’s just fear of having to pay my student loans at the end of the year, but I keep coming back to wanting to further my education and selfishly want a masters and initials after my name! Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment and stress. We’re just at the application stage at this time though, not registering for classes or anything like that yet. Oh, it’s a MA in Global Studies.

My Bachelors graduation is in 4 months! Actually 4 months from today I’ll be headed to VA 🙂 We start the 2nd to last class on Monday, and it happens to be Intro to Global Studies. Guess we’ll see how this class goes in determining further studies in this field. I don’t need a Master’s degree to be a missionary, but this might set me up to work for an organization that does mission work.

Also, it’s only a 36 credit hour degree, not 60+, so I’ll graduate faster, will owe a lot less, and I promise to not take out any extra personal loans. I’m starting to just argue with and justify myself now.

Just be praying for me for wisdom if you are so inclined. Thanks!

End of December 2017

It’s not that nothing’s going on, I just haven’t been in the writing mood. But school is out and work is slow, so I thought I’d check in.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

I’m on break from school! Out until Jan 22, whew! Not doing anything exciting while I’m out, mostly just reading for fun and possibly some art. The next class should be super easy as I’ve already went through the material in another venue, so most of the work is already done. The capstone after that has me a little nervous, but we’ll worry about that in 3 months when I actually take the class. I might take the opportunity to read ahead since the other class will be easy. Oh, and I earned an A in the class that just ended 🙂 My GPA is now 3.31.

My brother and I booked our vacation for May! I’m going to ‘walk’ for my degree graduation and he’s going to support me. We’re spending the next week just hanging out in the Blue Ridge Mts and relaxing. We’ll take a day trip into DC too, but we’re not planning to many other adventures.

Also looking forward to going on a mission trip somewhere next year. Maybe Costa Rica, maybe Nicaragua, maybe Austria, not sure. Leaning towards going back to Costa Rica, but we’ll see. Maybe somewhere else entirely, wherever God leads.

Started see a therapist. I really like her, she seems to get me. We’ve had 3 or 4 sessions so far and I think I’m feeling better. That and the adjustment to my antidepressant was a month ago, so it’s had time to kick in. The depression is still there a little, but things don’t feeling like I’m walking through mud so much.

Looking forward to 2018. I’m going to have a lot going on, as usual. I’ve set some goals because I don’t do resolutions. One of them is to walk a 5k faster than I have before (last one was 1 hour, 15 min and my best time is 57 min). I hope to read 6 books for fun, get to my goal weight, read through the Bible… among others. At least they are measurable goals, not just generic things. I’ve done this over the past few years, I didn’t get much accomplished on my goals for 2017, but that’s what the new year is for, right?

For Christmas I got some camera stuff from my brother. Excited to play with all that soon. He also gave me a book for dummies for my camera model. I realized I bought myself an expensive fun toy that I really have no idea what all it can do. Anxious to start learning more soon!

Things are still going well with my trainer. I’ve deadlifted 175 and squatted 160?, I think. Definitely my favorite love-hate relationship! I had to put my scale in the back of my car. I started focusing on that number again too much and putting it in the closet was deterrent enough. My therapist mentioned giving it to a friend and I could go that far.

Well, that’s about it, I think. Talk to you all again soon!

Mid-November 2017

I’ve sat down to write this entry a couple times now. Despite already putting the general news on Facebook, talking about what I’m going through isn’t always very easy. This is post number 270 (wow!) and I’ve talked about a lot of things here. But let me get really real with you. Depression really sucks. I’ve been denying that I’m under the cloud again for a while. Maybe the weather has something to do with it (Fall here in the Midwest and it’s darker longer). I think the clinical depression has returned. And has been around for a little bit. I feel like I’m walking through mud and like everything is a chore. Yes, there are fleeting moments of happiness and I still have the joy of my salvation (deep inside). But for the most part things are hard. I still enjoy some activities, but it seems like getting to those activities can be a burden.

Ugh, I don’t want it to sound like I’m whining or begging for a petty party or anything. That’s the thing with depression though. In order to be honest about how I feel, it might sound that way. I’m just expressing myself and being honest about what this mental illness is like. It’s difficult to explain to people who don’t understand, or have never been through it. Multiple Sclerosis is like that too. They’re both similar also in that I don’t think 2 cases are alike.

A while back I likened depression to being in the ocean. Your feet are sinking in the sand and the waves keep beating against you. You feel like you can handle all of that, but after a while you grow weary. If you’re not careful, the waves can take you down or at least pull you in deeper.

Liken that to our relationship with God though. Stick with me on this. Let’s put a positive spin on the ocean metaphor. In order to have a deeper relationship with Him, we have to leave the shores of this world and all its cares. We start to walk out closer to Him but the world pushes back, wave after wave. Our feet feel like they are sinking in the sand and we can’t go any further. But as we let go, He holds us and carries us deeper still in to His presence.

Not sure that all made sense to anyone else besides me, but I think going deeper and getting closer to the One who loves me sounds scary, yes and hard, but it’s where I want to be. There’s a song called Oceans by Hillsong UNITED that kind of inspired me, check it out sometime

Since I wrote all that things are a little better. I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist next week to go over my meds. I’ve also had a lot of people praying for me, and that has certainly helped. My pastor preached yesterday on joy and thankfulness. I’m willing to fight the depression, and if simply being thankful for things will help, I’m all for it! I believe it’s also a chemical imbalance in my brain, so I’ll still see the doctor but I know it’s also a spiritual battle. And I ain’t going down without a fight, from all angles!

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and holiday season and get to spend time with those you love!

Late October 2017

Fall break is on!!

Such a much-needed break! 1 more class then Christmas/Winter break! Yay! Only 3 classes left until graduation! Just received my final grade in the last class, even though I was late on multiple assignments and stressed out, still earned a B, 6 points away from an A. I’ll take it!!

So, my master’s degree. Yeah, I don’t know. If my end goal or dream job is to be a missionary, do I really need to keep going to school… and increasing my student loan debt? Probably not. I do (did?) enjoy organized learning, but I think I’m burnt out. This happened at the end of high school too. I was supposed to go off to college on the East coast somewhere fancy, but got burnt out my senior year and ended up going to community college for a while and entering the work force. I do not regret that at all, mind you. I’ve changed my mind so many times on what I wanted to do when I grew up, that I would have had so much more debt if I’d kept going to school through the years. I am proud and humbled to earn my Bachelor degree, but I don’t think jumping into more schooling is going to be wise. I still have time to make a decision, so I’m not set either way right now. Prayers for wisdom and guidance are appreciated.

Thinking and praying about where I’m headed next in ministry. I’m pretty sure the new role I’m taking, just seeking out what that looks like. I’m excited about it though, so that’s good! Can’t give away too much yet, but it involves cameras and people 🙂

What has God been teaching you lately? I think I mentioned this a blog or two ago, but I’m learning to take it all one step at a time. While there’s wisdom in planning for the future, if those plans are not prayed through, they fail. I get excited easily about things and think, “this is it!” Only to find later that it wasn’t ‘it’. Know what I mean? Relationships, career paths, schooling pursuits, mission trip opportunities… the list goes on. Being flexible when learning God’s will is so vital, and so hard!

I mentioned in my last entry that my blood work wasn’t very good. After talking with my trainer and my doctor I’m not freaking out as much. This was just a wake up call. The exercising I’ve been doing over the past 16 months is great, I really appreciate what I’ve learned from my trainer and what I’ve accomplished. I just need to work on my eating. I stress eat so easily and need to get a handle on my stress. Easier said than done, right? Learning to say ‘no’ is important, and to not worry about what people think about me for saying ‘no’ is even more important.

Thought I had something else to say… oh well. I’ll write again soon!

Mid-October 2017

Look at that! 2x already in one month! Told ya I was hoping to write more often.

I’m writing to vent on myself. I received some blood test results this morning and I’m upset. It seems like the harder I try to get things right, the worse they get. My A1C was the highest its been in over 7 years. My triglycerides have increased again and my HDL has dropped. I meet with the doctor next week, and I already know what she’ll say. That I need to workout more and eat less junk. After ‘injuring’ my ankle last month, I haven’t been able to workout as much. Plus, with all the stress at work, it’s been really hard to have the energy to workout before the ‘injury.’ My eating hasn’t been the greatest, but I eat my emotions and again, with the stress of work and studying, I haven’t made the best choices.

So, why do I say the harder I try the worse things get? I really do feel like I’ve been trying! It’s just when I look back over the past few months, I don’t see the fruit of that trying.

Maybe these numbers will be the kick in the pants that I need???? Nothing else has seemed to work. 😦


At least the stress at work is letting up and I’m almost finished with this one class.

Something clicked in my motivation 7  years ago and I lost a lot of weight and my numbers were looking good. I need to have that ‘click’ again somehow.

I know, pray about it, right? Sometimes that seems so cliché. I’ve asked God for years to help me get healthy. I know it’s a matter of my will depending on His strength. I know that in my head and not so much in my heart, I guess.

Any tips? 

Beginning of October 2017

Believe it or not I actually did write a post in September! I just never published it. I hope to start writing more again, I’m just so stinking busy I haven’t had time or the brain power.

Things are work have been crazy. Two coworkers quit so I was doing a lot and getting behind every day. We’ve hired a new lady and one of the coordinators from another region is transitioning to St Louis. So now we’ve got plenty of help. Plus, hiring is slowing down some. From Aug-Sept I had 36 new hires that I processed by myself! Ugh! But things are looking up and I still really like my job.

Somehow managed to injure my left ankle. It swelled up and I ended up in the ER to get checked out for a blood clot. No clot, thank God. It doesn’t hurt, just swells if I’m on my feet too long. I’ve had to take a couple weeks off any lower body exercises, but hope to be back at it 100% very soon.

School’s OK. I’ve got senioritis pretty bad and just want to be finished with my Bachelor’s degree! I’m behind in my class and really need to lock myself in my apartment and study for a few hours. Hopefully tonight that will happen.

I’m thinking I’m changing my Master’s program. I’ve said for a while that I wanted to do Social Work, but I’m not as interested in that as I was. I’m looking at Strategic Leadership. Kind of a broader degree I can use different places. Someone asked me what my end goal is, what do I want to be doing? Of course it’s missions. Visiting established missionaries in the field and being an encouragement to them and that face from home. I’d like to possibly lead small teams in that too. Social work doesn’t really fit in that scenario. Still praying about it all, not making any decisions for a little bit, probably won’t decide until the end of 2017 just to give me time to ponder and seek wisdom.

Spiritually I’ve been learning to not make my own plans, because they might not come out as I think. There’s a verse in Proverb 16 that says that we make plans but God directs our steps. MLK also said that we don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step. So, where does this leave me? Trying to trust God with the next step, but preparing myself for the possibilities in the meantime. I’m learning that it’s OK to have dreams and ambitions, but that His ways and thoughts are higher and different than mine. I might still end up in the same end point, but getting there won’t look like how I planned. The destination might not be quite what I had imagined either. Just look at the last year or two of my life! Lost one job and am now working somewhere I never would have planned on. And if you’ve read for a while, I thought I’d be married by now too. Hmm, don’t get prideful and think you’ve got it all figured out, because just as soon as you start thinking all that, God will remind you Who’s Boss!