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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! ♥

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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!

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!

September 2016 #2

Met with my trainer yesterday and we did a monthly assessment of my progress. I’m doing well on training and cardio, but not so well with diet/nutrition. So, overhaul in process. I feel stronger, but not dropping weight or inches, so this has to be the missing piece of the puzzle. Even though I’ve been logging calories for 6 1/2 years (!), it’s time to get back to weighing and measuring everything, in order to re calibrate my ‘eyeballing it’. Daunting, but exciting to see where this will take me.

I think I’ve got a handle on the emotional eating issue. Most of my problem is eating out and convenience foods. Going to try more meal prep early in the week and limit eating out to just Sundays after church. Hopefully we’ll see more progress in the numbers at the beginning of October!

Shameless plug… I had a Park Land Jewelry party last Saturday, if you interested in shopping/ordering anything, here’s the link to my party (orders due in Friday morning 9/9/16): click HERE

I haven’t talked about Mike in a while. I don’t know, just seems like I talked about our relationship a bit too much early on. Basically, we’re dating. Nothing serious, and we’re not planning on getting married. I know that’s a huge turn-around from last year, but I really don’t know if I’ll ever get married. We have a few theological issues that we differ on still, issues that neither of us are going to budge on, and that’s OK. We still enjoy each others company, and maybe we should just be friends. I really don’t know the answers. What’s the point of dating if we’re not going to get married, especially at our ages? Companionship for one. But are we holding the other back from anything? Maybe. Pray along with me/us for wisdom. Thanks.

What else… still looking for a job. Just contacted another recruiting agency to see if they have anything. Waiting to hear back from them to set up an interview. There are jobs out there, it’s just hard to find the right one. God has a plan, He always does, but I miss the comfort of my old job though. Change can be good, but isn’t always fun!

A lot going on in my head, but nothing else that I can put into words. So much, but nothing at all, ya know what I mean?

On that note, I best stop writing or I’ll start rambling! Talk to you again soon 🙂

September 2016

I love fall! I know it’s still summer, but September means fall is almost here 🙂 I much prefer Fall temps, colors, smells, clothes, etc. I’m not really a fan of Halloween though, but to each their own. Hard to believe it’s already September, though, right? I mean, Christmas is just around the corner! Yay!

Job front – signed up with a temp agency last week. I’m not wanting to do temp work, but looking for temp – to – perm positions. With the end of the year sneaking up on us, I need to keep in mind health insurance issues. I’m on COBRA right now, but that probably won’t make sense Jan 1st when the deductibles start over. Hopefully, I can get started somewhere soon. Keep me in your prayers! Thanks!

Went with my dad to his MS check up yesterday. I hate this disease! My case isn’t so bad, but it’s hitting him a lot harder. I really hope they find a cure soon. Speaking of, even though I’ve been working out more and walking outside when it’s been warm and humid, I’m doing pretty well. Again, another reason I love Fall – walking outside without all the humidity in St Louis.

I’m coping with the depression. Talking about it last month helped some. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes I just feel down. I’m hanging in there and not doing too bad, I just know things aren’t right sometimes.

Started a class on the book of Romans this week. Good study material, but a little intimidated by the 10-15 page research paper due in 7 weeks! It’s an upper level class, so it’s to be expected, but I’ve told you before how much I dislike writing papers. I just have to not put this off, like I usually do! Also on the school note, I should finish my studies at the end of next year, which means my graduation will be May 19, 2018!

Well, I gotta get ready for my workout with my trainer. It’s still going well, by the way. I’m starting to notice muscles and stamina growing, so that’s awesome!

Alright, take care and take to you again soon!

 

August 2016

Been a trying month.

Have really missed Fitz. It was a month ago yesterday that I put him down. I’m starting to get used to him not being here though, and that makes me sad again. I’m not ready for a new one yet though. I got a tattoo of his paw print with an orange heart around it. If you’re not a tattoo fan or animal lover that might sound crazy, but I’m a lover of both so it works for me.

No luck on the job searching yet. Considering a temp agency or something just to get out there again. Almost been 2 months. The severance pay is still there, but I can’t rely on that forever.

Behind in school a little. Ended up getting a D in my last class, so it didn’t count towards graduation, but did against my GPA. I’ll have to retake the class soon. At least it sound be a little easy since I’ve done some of it already.

On that note, I probably won’t be going on a mission trip, or any trips for that matter, next year. I have to let a few things go in order to focus on school and a new job. I’ll be in my final year, so I’ll have upper-level work to keep up with. Scary, yet exciting. Plus, who knows what the next vacation package will look like.

I don’t know if the depression is trying to show up again, if I’m just down because of Fitz and work and school, or I’m just unmotivated to do anything. I’ve also had a couple of panic attacks lately too. It’s so like the waves I talked about a while back. As soon as you think you’ve got your footing again, another wave knocks you off-balance. I wish I could say I was just in a funk and a couple of hugs would make me feel better, but it’s deeper than that. Depression and anxiety are hard things to explain to others who’ve never experienced them. People worry about you and part of you doesn’t want to burden them or you don’t want them to see you as weak or searching for a pity party.

In the meantime, I search job sites, work out, try to keep the apartment clean, read a lot, and study. I do the things I have too, and occasionally have a little fun.