Friday, March 25, 2011

Stretching, I will...

Okay so the title of this blog isn't TOOOO funny but everytime I think of Yoga, I think of Yoda.

I never really took interest in stretching. I have been a "runner" for 6 years now and could probably count on all my fingers and toes the number of times I actually "stretched." I wanted to be better not only for running but for my mental health as well.

So, for the past 3 months I have been an avid stretcher by taking yoga at the YMCA. I love it!

Now, I am not into all the logistics of Yoga. I do not "hummmm" or "pray to the gods of poses" but I do believe it has helped me physically, which in return helps me mentally and the other way around. I have successfully held poses for the amount of time required and actually felt my heart be glad (like I would in a race) when I accomplish such difficult moves.

I feel great and even notice my posture changing.

This new road of physical fitness has been amazing. I thought a marathon was something but in reality it was just a small glimpse of what God can do through you if you allow it. When you are in that moment with yourself and your "weakness"-push through.

Yoga has shown me how to focus, relax, perservere, discpline yourself, and push through. I am not sure where this will take me, but I am pretty excited to find out!

"No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it."-Hebrews 12:11

"May the force be with you."-Yoda

Monday, March 21, 2011

SPRING (give her a) BREAK!

Well, it's here! The time that all students (elementary, middle school, high school, and college) wait for...SPRING BREAK!
It's that break that's not too cold, not too hot, and means that it's almost time for school to be over and on to the next chapter.

While some of our friends are making trips to Cancun or Kansas City...we are making a trip to the hospital.

Even though Maddy has done well with weight gain, her lung function hasn't improved much since November. It was time to make a move.

I took some leave during the week of Spring Break so we could head down to Louisiana but it didn't work out that way.

Maddy was pretty upset when she first found out we had to go to the hospital and who wouldn't be. So, even though Maddy has to tough it out this week (and next) for the better of her health, we have decided to postpone the fun of Spring Break for another time.

Instead, we tried to find some positives in being in the hospital. Maddy gets to wear her pajamas all day long, she gets to eat junk food all day long, she rode in a wheelchair, I fed some things to her, she got to watch her channel all day long, and play her DSi. I know that it is easy for me to see the good in a "tough" situation but I also have to get to her level too.

Right before they did the I.V. I noticed a change in Maddy's demeanor. "Maddy, it's okay to cry," I said to her, "you don't always have to be strong." Then she cried. I hugged her and kissed her forehead and then the nurse walked in. I then noticed her demeanor change was "GO" time. She took it like a champ and was ready to "fight." Maddy is ready to fight C.F.

We don't always know the things that will happen. People say to have faith. I think that is true but I also believe "Thy will be done." God is so merciful, sovereign, and just. I know HE doesn't like seeing Maddy go through physical much more with emotional pain. It hurts HIM as well. We just lean on HIM and trust.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on YOUR own understanding."-Prov. 3:5

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I don't know about you but whenever I feel convicted, it stings.

It's like you are trapped. You know what you should be doing and when you don't, God convicts. Sometimes conviction hurts and sometimes it's just beautiful.

This past week I learned that my cousin, Charles, was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for violating probation and drug charges.

Charles was my favorite cousin growing up. His mom is my moms sister and they were close, which meant WE were close.

Charles was my protector and I always knew I could count on him to be there.
Years went by and our families went separate ways.

Charles and I would no longer see each other except for major holidays. He would get married and have children, as would I. We did what everyone else had done...we grew up.

After a motorcycle accident a few years ago, Charles seemed to have distanced himself from everyone and everything.
I remember going to Louisiana during Thanksgiving in November 2008. I couldn't wait to see Charles. As he was walking up to my grandmothers porch, I ran up to greet him and hug him. He hugged me back and his response to me was, "I'm not sure who you are but...okay."
He then walked past me and I was left standing there in shock. Did he really not know who I was?
I talked with some family members and they told me to just hang in there that he was just struggling with some things.

*Divorce, medical discharge from motorcycle accident, loss of friends, not having a heart to see his children, pain killers, sudden death of new wife, etc.* What do you mean he was struggling with SOME things? I'd say he was struggling with a lot.

It all caught up with him on the night he was caught speeding and busted for drugs.

There is a lot more to Charles than just all that. He was missing some things while growing up. He was missing his dad. His dad cut out on him as an infant. His mom remarried when Charles was 3 years old and that man adopted Charles. Charles called him daddy. Later on Charles parents would divorce and daddy would no longer be active in Charles life.

You see, we are all like Charles in some way or another. We have this sin in our lives that we allow to overrule. It's one thing after another and keeps getting piled up until one day we get caught. It's easier to point out the "obvious" sinner rather than take a look at the sinner in secret...which is you/me. We can tend to make everything look "perfect" on the outside but inwardly struggle with who we are.

Charles was going through a rough time and he kept pushing it. Now he has to deal with the conviction of the law, his family, but most of all his God.
Growing up Charles was always there for me. He protected me, cared for me, and loved me. I think it's time for me to step up and give back to him what he gave to me.

I wrote him a letter for the first time this past week. I am praying for a conviction in heart for the convicted. God is the judge and HE will give Charles the ruling he needs...lovingly.

"...My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you."-Hebrews 12:5
"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent."-Revelation 3:19
Charles-your name means "man" or "manly." I don't think that means you have to be "tough" to be a "man." Be humble and allow God to soften your heart. I know you grew up thinking you had to be the "man" for your mom and a "man" to your dad. There is only one type of "man" you should be...a God-fearing, God-loving, God-admiring, I love you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Own Worst Enemy...

I have been loving Netflix! I have enjoyed the 'documentaries' on there. But I have to say my most favorite things to watch are seasons of "Intervention" and "Obsessed" season 1.
I have always loved psychology. The way the mind works and mental illnesses have always moved me. I want to know more about people and if they are struggling, mentally, with things...what caused it and let's get to the root. Doesn't that excite you? :)

After taking psychology classes and really being interested in OCD, depression, and schizophrenia, I realized that these illnesses aren't just something these people are choosing to do. It's deep rooted and that is what made me want to be a part of helping others.
When I was 9 years old my mom took me to a psychologist. I remember, in Louisiana, it being this old white victorian house that was turned into a clinic. I walked up creaky stairs with a bag of "Cap'n Crunch" in a bag and sat on a wooden bench, waiting on the doctor to call me in. I wasn't nervous. My mom had told me that we were going so I could tell the doctor why I was angry at my dad. Was I angry? I didn't know I was.
The lady gave me a white piece of paper and crayons. She asked me to draw a "typical" day of what my home life looked like. I began to draw the first thing that stuck in my mind. It was a day when my step dad and mom were arguing and locked us (kids) outside in the backyard to play. I didn't feel right that day as I swung on the tire swing and tried to go inside (to check on my mom) but when I tried to open the sliding glass door, it was locked. I remember being scared that day for what was happening on the other side of the door.
I described the picture to the doctor and my mom was called in to discuss what was going on in the picture. I never went back to the clinic after that day.

Fast forward 21 years to January 17, 2010. I was getting to bed early due to having to run a long distance the next morning. Jeremy and Maddy were downstairs watching t.v. As I laid down and began to relax it happened. Dizziness, heart racing, heavy breathing, heavy chest, slurring speech, and not recognizing my surroundings. I ran downstairs and it kept hitting me. Was I having a heart attack? I had never experienced anything like this in my life.
After suffering all weekend with this feeling, I went to the E.R. They ran test after test all to find out it was a panic attack.
They prescribed me medication (which I didn't take) and sent me on my way.
The panic itself was enough to drive me mad but it was the months that followed that kept my mind busy.
I had developed some OCD tendencies by not washing clothes, cleaning house, and picking my left eyebrow hair until there was nothing left. I am sure that sounds weird but MY mind was telling me that if I washed clothes or cleaned house, that meant I was preparing to die. So, I lived by the "I'm not going to do ____ for fear of dying," in everything I did.

I had also developed depression. I would cry while making dinner, not wear make up or decent clothes to work, I quit running and socializing. The turning point for me was when I was driving down the road and a voice told me to "run into that light pole and die." After telling Jeremy about that, he encouraged me to go see a doctor and I did.

It was amazing to me the road trip MY mind was taking me on. It was scary, dark, and desolate. No one could understand. I lost hair to the point of balding. I was an "eyebrow" puller (I did this to not confront the anxiety). I lost weight. I lost friendships and relationships over it. I tried to describe to these people the best way I could about the torment and feelings I was having but it was like hitting a brick wall. It took over.

I sought Christian counseling and discovered the root to why I had been through the valley. It was a mental breakdown because I had taken on some burdens and emotions that I couldn't let God have. I was afraid to let them go. Already knowing the outcome, I tried to hold on to those things for as long as I could. I remember getting a "warning" from God about a month prior to the panic attack but I ignored it. Consequently I had to endure some mentally tough months.

I had studied these things, so I should know what to do right? Wrong. It is out of your control. EVERYTHING is out of your control. Why are we holding on things we don't need to? Why are we not allowing God to handle things? Why do we visit those dark places over and over again only to feel pain?

It was by grace that I was able to and continue to get through. The grace of God.

You hear people say that all the time but when I say it, I feel it. He loves me that much to stick beside me. I mean, I didn't let Him take control of those areas in my life and it brought me to my knees...and He is still here.
I don't pick my eyebrow hair anymore because of anxiety, it's mainly a habit when I'm doing homework...or blogging, oops! My hair is finally growing back, woohoo! I am also still VERY interested in much more now!

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad."-Proverbs 12:25

I guess you could say I hit "rock bottom" and God held an Intervention. I accepted because I needed to be free. Free from my own worst enemy...ME.