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!

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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. 😦

Ugh!

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!

 

End of August 2017

Hard to believe September starts tomorrow! I’ve said it many times before, I love Fall, but this summer flew by. Took two classes and have a lot going on at work, so I feel like I am always busy.

Glad to be back down to only 1 class. Took counseling for women and retook Acts this summer. A in one, C in the other. 10 points from a B with that C, but that doesn’t matter. Now I’m taking Theological Interpretation of Scripture. Hopefully it won’t be as hard as it sounds like it will from the title. With that, 4 classes to go! Less than 9 months until graduation! Not that I’m counting down or anything!

My coworker quit and another gave her notice. So we’re interviewing but things are busy. I’m hiring about 35 people at the moment and each requires approximately 50 pages of paperwork. That’s a lot of faxes, emails, and meetings! Not to mention if they are in the school and need fingerprints or a therapist and need to go through getting billable through insurances. On top of that, all the day-to-day stuff with existing employees, of which we have over 450 on our campus alone. Can you see why I’m exhausted at 4pm?

Then have to do homework, work out, do laundry, etc. etc. etc. I am so grateful for not having kids! Sleep is hard enough to come by!

Dead-lifted 160 (or was it 165?) the other day! Squatted 135! While the scale actually went up this morning, I’m definitely getting stronger. Some of my clothes are getting loose too 🙂

Haven’t told you my other news this month! I’m no longer the Director/Pastor of the Senior Citizens’ Ministry at church anymore. God seemed to reveal to my Pastor and I that my assignment was coming to and end. Someone else has already taken over, and I’m moving on. I’m going to do more with photography and tech stuff, just not sure what that all looks like, but I’m excited. My ego/pride is a little upset that I won’t be in leadership per se, but my stress level is certainly going to be lower! With starting my Masters program next year, somethings are going to have to be given up or set aside for a couple years. Guess this was just the beginning.

Went to the Festival of Nations last weekend and walked about 7.3 miles in one day. It wasn’t too hot, but we were in the sun a lot. I had no MS symptoms even though I was exhausted. Had a good time and ate some good food, including a dish I hadn’t had since West Africa in 2013!

Well, that’s about all the updates I’ve got for now. Be blessed everyone!

Mid-July 2017

Hi y’all! Hope you are all enjoying your summer. So far, my MS symptoms haven’t been a problem, even though it’s been pretty hot here in STL. I’ve even gone on walks outside and not had problems! Praise the Lord!

I have been sleeping a lot on weekends though. Not sure if it’s MS fatigue or if I’m just not sleeping well during the week and am trying to catch up. I’m trying to wear my CPAP every night, which really helps. No, I haven’t been wearing it faithfully for a while, but I’m changing that! Slept a lot this weekend, mostly due to (I think) allergies, which lead to sinus pain, which leads to toothaches. Ibuprofen is my friend!

Earned an A in my last class! Now my GPA is 3.22 🙂 Taking 2 classes right now, a bit overwhelming. But I’ll make it. One class I’m retaking because I earned a D in it the first time. Some of the work I’ve already done, so that helps, but they changed a lot of the format.  Which actually makes it a little easier this time around.

Saw my PCP and GYNO recently. All pretty good, just focusing on losing weight, as usual. Which has been happening, just slowly. I’ve lost inches, but the scale isn’t moving too much. But some of my clothes are getting too big, so that’s a good thing! Still working out with the trainer and loving it! Anyway, we’re also watching my BP, it might be getting too low. Could that be causing some of the sleepiness? Maybe, I guess. My PCP also mentioned getting an ablation, which I’m not sure I’m quite ready for. I don’t plan on having kids, but that seems a little invasive. We’ll see, if things in that area don’t improve, it might be an option, I’ll have to talk with my GYNO. Nothing too scary, but probably a little TMI for here already!!

So, dad’s OK. Mom’s OK. Hard to watch your parents age though. Mom had a little scare the other day, but she’s good. Dad’s at home at least.

Work’s OK. Some days are super busy and drain my brain power. Still love my job, just a lot going on – a lot of hiring, which that’s my main area.

Ever mess up something in your life and think you’ll never get back to where you were? I know, kinda vague, bear with me. I know God is like a GPS, He has a destination set for us, and even if we take a wrong turn, He can still get us there. I’ve probably shared that before, not an original thought, but a comforting one. I just think I went down a path that I shouldn’t have and feel like I lost a lot of ground. Ground in my friendships, leadership, walk with God, reputation, etc. I’m feeling condemned, which isn’t from God and I know that. I just, I don’t know, wish things were different. I know He’s forgiven me because I’ve repented and all, but there’s still the regret and remorse. Guess maybe I’m mourning the mistakes I’ve made?

But that’s all in the past and I need to look forward. He has amazing things in store for me, and I want to follow hard after Him. Whatever and wherever that may entail. I’m excited for my future and His plans for me. I know that last paragraph might sound otherwise, I was just lamenting. Things are getting back on track and I’ll be OK.

Thanks for sticking with me through my (sometimes mis-)adventures!