Maintaining Consistency on Things that Matter to Me

Consistency is hard for me.  I am a planner and plan to do things often that I struggle with follow through on or just give up when things don’t go as planned.  This has been a struggle for me my … Continue reading

Recovering Beautifully

I wrote a piece for Juggling the Jenkins blog.  If she chooses it, it will go on the blog and in her new book.  We’ll see!  I thought I’d share it here because it’s a short version of my story. … Continue reading

Establishing Our Values and Goals as a Family

I feel like I have so, so much to share and I don’t even know where to start! Robert and I went to Big Bend State Park last weekend and it was so amazing and just what we needed for … Continue reading

Transformed By the Renewing of My Mind

These past few months have been transformational.  I have grown in so many ways.  The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that what I believe about myself will be true.  If I believe that I can’t handle anything, that I am … Continue reading

My Vision and “All Or Something”

Yesterday, I relaxed all morning (drinking coffee of course), then I worked in the house all afternoon.  The kids and I cleaned the whole house, I did some laundry, and I organized my office. I also made an amazing vision … Continue reading

Update On All the Things

I’m thankful for Facebook memories.  They remind me of how hard things were the past several years in the spring/summer.  They remind me of how great I’m doing right now.  They remind me that making the decision to put the kids in school (or keep them in school) was the best decision we could have ever made.  It has been amazing for all of us.

Even so, life isn’t perfect and there will be hard days/weeks.

Sleep

I have been so so fatigued again lately despite falling asleep pretty easily most days, and I feel like it has been getting worse.  I just had lab work done to check my thyroid and it’s normal now. I probably really should focus on movement.  I need to get out and hike more (again).  I feel so good when I do, but it’s so hard to convince myself to just get outside.  I honestly don’t know if I have the energy to make it happen at this point.  But I will try.  I have to remind myself that any movement is a good thing.  So a 10 minute walk to start is okay!  That could be enough to jump start something!

Anxiety

I’ve had a little more anxiety this week as well (though nothing like this time last year and the year before).  I’m trying to remember that there is absolutely nothing that I have to do in my day (well, except for picking the kids up from the bus and leading the 12 step meeting in Rocksprings).  I always want a spotless house, the laundry caught up, etc because it truly helps me mentally.  But I can also let it go for the day if I can’t focus on it for whatever reason.  It’s perfectly okay.

Dealing with kid issues is often what causes my anxiety.  Ethan has always been my hard kid.  In the past, he threw tantrums all day every day.  From a baby till not that long ago.  When he was homeschooled it was really bad.  He struggles badly with relationships and being the “mean kid.”  Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him.  He is in counseling, he takes medication for ADHD now (started about a week and a half ago, and hopefully it’ll eventually help his impulsiveness), and his teacher and I are working with him.  Unfortunately there are some who can’t see all the work he is doing and just focuses in on his flaws.  But I can’t do anything about that.  So we keep moving forward.  I do need to pray for him more.  That’s something big that will help.  My friend also shared a scripture with me that I can pray over him and share with him each day.

Psalm 19:14 (from the International Children’s Bible)

“I hope my words and thoughts please you.  Lord, you are my Rock, the one who saves me.”

I printed it and will be putting it on the boys’ wall.  It would be a good thing for Levi to focus on as well :-).

Younique

This is my favorite part of my days lately.  It is so so so fun.  The women in the community are amazingly supportive and encouraging (who want to see each person succeed), making videos has become fun and less nerve-wracking, there are ALWAYS fun incentives and perks, I’ve made a little bit of money (and have the potential to make a lot over time), I love the makeup, I love the skin care, it’s so nice feeling pretty, I’m taking better care of myself, it gives me some purpose and something to look forward to, I enjoy sharing the makeup with friends and seeing their excitement for our products (and how they make them feel), and I could probably go on and on! I worked several hours today, and it was fun the whole time!

12 Step Meeting

The 12 step meeting is going really well even though we only have a few people going.  We have a new guy that is getting what he needs from the group.  There are a LOT of alcoholics and addicts in our little town and very few of them are in recovery.  Everyone joins each other in their addiction and do it all together.  I’m hoping that by being consistent and continuing to show up even if we only have a few people coming that we will be a soft place to land when enough is enough.

Unfortunately, everyone has grown up in their environment so they don’t know any different.  Anyone trying to get out of active addiction have a hard time because it’s everywhere.

Yesterday I was 18 months sober!!  It’s such an exciting thing!

Robert and the boys are camping and Karis was at a friend’s house until a little while ago.  I did a lot of work because the next two weeks I have 4 Younique parties!  They will be small, but it’ll be a good chance to learn.  My first one will start Monday!  I have lots of videos, photos and graphics, etc along with doing at least one live video each day.  I hope to do games and activities.

I’ll let you know how they go!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thankful Thursday… God Has Given Me Rest

Good morning friends!  Today is starting out with a gorgeous sunrise.  I got to listen to the birds sing for a while as well.  I love being outside.  There’s just something about God’s creation that brings peace and solace.

God is good.  In the midst of the struggle, and in the midst of the rest and peace after the struggle.  Y’all, I have struggle consistently for years.  Like since Karis was born (and even before that, really).  Severe anxiety, panic, depression, losing my brother the way I did, relationship issues, etc.  I have had some good times, but they usually only lasted a few weeks at a time, and I’ve realized that many of those were times of hypomania.  I thought I was just feeling amazing (I know now that it was the feeling of euphoria that I get when I’m hypomanic).  And these times were always followed by depression.

I started a new med at the end of January (it’s actually a very old med and for some reason it’s not used very often… it’s also really cheap).  I’m on a very low dose (in addition to a lot of other meds).  I have been doing great ever since.  I mean, I have low days, but they don’t stay that way.  Usually it’s because I’m overly tired or dealing with circumstances that are difficult (usually involving one or more of my kids).  I have consistently had low anxiety, no lasting depression, have had motivation (but not overly motivated like when I’m hypomanic), and I’ve enjoyed myself more than I have in so long.  I have great relationships with people (I’m not assuming the worst as often).  I spend more time with friends and family.  My family has noticed a HUGE difference in me. They often recall what life was like when I was drinking all the time and when I was depressed all the time.  I slept a lot.  I was really short with them, yelling a lot.

Anyway… yesterday during Bible study we were studying Judges 3:7-11.  In verse 11, it said that the Israelites had rest for 40 years!  I was telling my friends how big that was for me and they said that they could see how that would stand out to me.  This is so big.

Othniel

7And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lordtheir God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. 8Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. 9But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10The Spirit of the Lordwas upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”
So today, my biggest thanks is to God for giving me rest.  I don’t know how long it will last or if it will continue to be consistent, but I will enjoy it today and praise God each day.
I’m also so thankful for the relationships with the amazing people in my life.  I’m especially thankful for my amazing husband and children.  I wouldn’t be where I am without them in my life.  Robert has stood by me and supported me through severe mental illness, dealing with the suicide of my brother, and through my alcoholism.  We still have a lot of growth ahead, but I’m thankful for the growth that has taken place so far.  And my kids have been amazing as we have processed all that has taken place in our family as well.  They have grown so, so much this year.  We’re still working through some things, but overall I’m so happy with the official decisions that we have made for them (especially for putting and keeping them in school).
I’m thankful for the friends that I have in my life.  I have lots of old friends and a few new friends.  I’m blessed with rich relationships.
Other than these things, I’m just thankful for the little things.  My plants, candles, Willow trees, the sunrise over the hills, my Happy Planner, coffee, Coke Zero :-), God’s word (not a little thing), Bible studies that point me to Him, my amazing office, decorating my house so that it feels warm and cozy, all of our needs provided (okay, also not little), my new business venture, my blog as my outlet, hobbies, and so much more.
I am truly one blessed child of God.

Simple Living

Simple Living

Over the years, due to my mental illness, I have had to simplify my life so much.

I have tried working so many times and can’t; I’ve tried homeschooling (many times) and can’t.

These cause severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.  Also, with my bipolar 2, I never know if I’m going to be able to function from one moment to the next.  I haven’t been stable for more than a month at a time for years.

Because of this, I am working towards getting disability.  I have a hearing soon and I’m using a lawyer.

Simple Schedule and Routine

Recently, I decided to get rid of a lot of things and truly simplify.  I organized well in order to keep things easy to keep up with.  I take one day at a time.  I try not to over-plan because I know that that usually means anxiety.

The only things on my plate are:

  • Time with family (though the kids are gone from 6:30 till 4:30 every day, so that means I’m alone a lot)
  • Self care
  • Bible study (personal daily and women’s once a week) and Church (a few times a month)
  • AA (twice a week, at one hour each time)
  • Counseling (sometimes) and kids’ counseling (every other week)
  • Coffee with friends (when I can handle it)
  • Cleaning (I have a daily routine that I keep up with so things don’t get out of control)
  • Cook/make simple meals
  • A few small hobbies as I can handle it (mostly blogging and baking)

That’s it.

Our kids also have very simple lives.

  • Chores (daily they make their bed, fold and put away laundry, and clean up their rooms and living room if they leave things there)
  • School (of course, they are gone a long time every day for school)
  • Homework (very little… reading for 20-30 minutes and math and/or spelling)
  • Play (they spend a lot of time outside and with friends)
  • Play games and read
  • Counseling
  • Church
  • Electronics, limited

Karis does choir (one hour a week), and Ethan does some mountain biking (a few races a year).  No large amount of time doing sports or other extra curricular activities.  This isn’t for everyone, but it’s best for our family.

Simple Planning

I basically just sit down with my Happy Planner the night before or the morning of and plan my day.  It tends to be a lot of the same each day and I’m good with that.  Other than that, I go by my daily/weekly routine.

Simple Eating

We typically eat a lot of the same things consistently.  I try to mix it up sometimes, but pretty much every meal I do is simple.  I use my instant pot a lot, and I usually make meals that don’t take very long.

I have a weekly routine to do some food prep so that things are simple through the week.  I fill my veggie tray to pull out for lunches and sometimes for dinners.  I sometimes make homemade Greek yogurt, but this time around I just bought some.

I try to buy some things that are convenience to be easy to use/eat.  For example, I buy already cut broccoli and baby carrots.  I buy some granola bars and peanut butter crackers.  I LOVE buying pre-boiled and peeled boiled eggs (I hate boiling and peeling them).  The boys just grab a bag and eat a few for snacks. And I eat them at lunches often.  Sometimes I buy pre-made salads but they are much more expensive than buying leaf lettuce.  So sometimes I buy leaf lettuce, tear/cut it, and add some bagged spinach to it.  I have taken a break from salads for a while, though.

I meal plan each week so that we all know what we will be eating.  It helps keep the guess work out of it, and I am able to do any prep ahead of time (like thawing meat, etc).

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We also eat in the dining hall when we can because it’s free, and I don’t have to cook and clean up.  Sometimes I can’t handle being in a loud dining hall, but I’m getting to where I can these days.

The Little Things

I try really hard to enjoy the little things each day.  I have learned to be content with what we have and where we are in life.  I am at peace with where we live and know that this is life from now on (unless God has us move on, but I highly doubt it to be honest).  I light candles every day, and start out with a good cup of coffee.  I have been slowly decorating our home (on a tight budget) because I want to enjoy being here.  Having coffee with friends has helped me to grow closer to others here and it has given me a ministry (other than AA).  I enjoy getting up in the morning now and watching the sun rise.

I love hiking and am so glad that we have the hiking trails right outside our door.  We live on 1400 acres.  We try to take family hikes on weekends as we can.  It doesn’t always work out.  This is basically the only form of exercise that I like :-).

Our Home

I love our home.  It’s not very big (about 1300 sq ft), but it’s perfect for us.  The boys share a room, Karis has her own room (that is so fun and perfect for her), and our bedroom has a comfy love seat in it (that I got for $30 from a Thrift Store).  I have an amazing “bonus room” with my office area, a couple of shelves with books, a chair with side table and books, my guitar (that my brother gave me and I want to learn how to play), curtains (that were $20 for 4 panels), a fun rug ($30 on Amazon), and a bunch of art that I already had or got for $1 at Dollar Tree.  It’s my favorite room in the house.  I also have a succulent plant on the windowsill by my desk :-).

Our living room is so great.  The tree wall was here when we moved in.

I spent a lot of time working on the kids’ rooms recently and it’s so much easier to keep clean.

I love our kitchen and our food storage.  It makes me happy.  I spend a lot of time in there.

This is the view from our back windows/back porch.

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My office and bedroom are my sanctuary.  I just love them.

I just love life and feel at peace with where we are.  I am also excited about our future and what that looks like.

Grati-Tuesday, February 20th

As I sit here and listen to Bethel radio on Pandora, drink coffee, and reflect (while hanging out with my hubby), I’m so incredibly grateful for the life that we have.  It has been a really hard journey for me, … Continue reading

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow

I have never been a huge fan of Valentines.  It seems to be a “Hallmark Holiday” and just a reason for people to feel like they can’t keep up… especially with children.  The kids (well the boys) had to take valentines to school and this morning Ethan asked me why I didn’t get something for his teacher.  Umm.  I know that teachers like stuff from their students, but I have always been a parent and see both sides.  I know their teachers will be okay.

Anyway.

I decided last night (at the last minute) that I wanted to do something special for the kids.  I had already bought some amazing cookies from my talented friend, but I wanted them to wake up to something different today.

I decided to set each a place setting with a plate, cloth napkin, a mug, hot chocolate in the mug, their cookies, and then I also made muffins and sweetened cream cheese.  I used the confetti from the box with the cookies to throw around on the table.  The kids woke up quickly when I said, “Come see the surprise!” They were pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed their morning!  Again, this was all throw together at the last minute.  Nothing difficult.  Not Pinterest worthy.

Today at noon I hosted Bible study at my house.  I made a pot of amazing coffee (Ruta Maya) and got the water for tea ready.  Unfortunately, only one person came.  So we just talked and prayed which was really nice.  We have decided that in the future if only one other person comes we will go ahead and do the study.

My hubby had to go somewhere today and came home with a sweet Valentine’s gift.  🙂  Well, that’s on top of the blue tooth speakers that he had ordered me (that are coming in today!).

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bluetooth speakers

I have an amazing life.  Yes, I struggle with bipolar 2 and severe anxiety, along with insomnia… but I have so much.  A wonderful husband, beautiful children, amazing friends, this camp to live at and do ministry at, a beautiful view and a home that I love, a relationship with my Creator, and the ability to take good care of myself most days.  We also have all of our needs met, even if the budget is tight.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.