Saturday, August 24, 2013


I've typically associated PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) with military personnel returning from deployments. However, I've started reading a book "Healing the Child Within" by Dr. Charles Whitfield. Through my counseling I am starting to understand that there is a part of me - a Child Within as Dr. Whitfield describes it, that was kind of frozen. I got this book in an effort to better understand and help aid in the healing process I need to go through so I can be a healthier person.

I have been reading today and just got into the chapter on PTSD. I thought about skipping it, thinking it wasn't going to relate to me, but the OCD in me can't skip a chapter...

Must. Read. Straight. Through.

He talks about how PTSD can manifest itself in depression, anxiety, numbness... he goes on to talk about stressors which can lead to PTSD. I suffered 3 of them - chronic parental fighting, divorce of parents, and sexual abuse. He says PTSD can be more damaging if it occurs over a time of 6 months or longer, if the traumas are of human origin and if those around the affected person deny the existence of the stressor.

Oh. My. Word.

Spot. On.

This really doesn't change anything - I am in process, I am on a journey to healing - it just gives a name to what I already knew was going on. This also opened my eyes to see that many more people than I realize are likely suffering from PTSD. We live in a depraved and fallen world full of sin. People hurt people. There are mothers who don't know how to love their children. There are fathers who don't protect their children. There is abuse occurring all around us.

This saddens me.

This angers me.

This breaks my heart.

But this also motivates me.

It motivates me to take the pain and hurt of my own life and to continue working my tail off in the healing process. This has meant not being as active in church ministry as I would like. This has meant not spending as much time with friends as I would like. This has meant not being as available as I would like to help people in need. But I need to do this. I need to take this time for me to go through the healing process. There is so much stuff that has been bottled up for over 30 years - I buried it. I was trying to protect the Child Within.


She doesn't need protecting, she needs to be allowed to grieve, she needs to be allowed to have a voice, she deserves to be heard. I am going to keep going no matter how hard it gets. I am going to keep doing the work.

Whatever name you want to give it - even if you don't have a name for it. If you are hurting today. If you are struggling. If you feel alone. I am here to tell you that you are not alone. No matter how bad you might feel, there are people who care, people who love you. Don't let hopelessness take over. Reach out around you.

With faith and hope,


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Me? Not Interested in Food? Who Am I?

Lately I have found myself quite dis-interested in food but you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at me. Since I've thrown out the scale I don't know what my weight is - but based on how my clothes fit I am guessing I have neither gained nor lost weight since my dis-interest in food began. Dis-interest in food does not necessarily mean I haven't been eating, it means I haven't been making good choices. Oh... cake. Even if I'm not interested I have found myself eating junk I shouldn't be eating on a regular basis. I have had a hard time shopping - trying to buy healthy food but often times things were going bad before I could eat it.  I have been at a bit of a loss on what to do. Preparing food is of little to no interest to me right now. Anyone who knows me knows how weird this is - but anyone on Facebook has probably noticed... no food pictures lately. Things like this used to be normal to find regularly on my Facebook wall.
Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Mango Salsa

Lately, however - not so much. While that looks delicious, and if someone fixed it and put it in front of me, I might eat it. But... well, put it this way - there was Raspberry Pie at Solid Rock Coffee House this afternoon and I LOVE PIE and I LOVE RASPBERRY pie. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "Nah" I was NOT. INTERESTED. AT. ALL.


I value eating well, but haven't been living like it, I value exercise, but haven't been living like it. Right now I have decided I need to pick my battles. I want to eat well but I decided I need to make it as easy as possible for me to do so. I need to have quick, easy things on hand that I can just grab. So, I went to SAM'S club today after work. I have a strict rule at SAM'S to ONLY buy what is on my list. Today that was tricky as I didn't know what I wanted - so I put "healthy snacky food" on my list as well as fruit and veggies. I figured that would cover it. This was my haul (and within my grocery budget too!)

It might not be pretty but it is basically healthy. My favorite find was the freeze dried fruit. Packages of apples, strawberry/banana, and pears. I got 20 packages for $12.48 which figures to be about .62 per serving which I don't consider bad at all. And, I don't have to worry about it going bad. I got sweet potato chips, roasted red pepper chips, cottage cheese, KIND bars (yummy and relatively healthy bars), tropical dried fruit trail mix, sugar snap peas, and spinach (to throw in smoothies). I already have yogurt, milk and frozen fruit on hand for smoothies. I have some eggs I plan to hard boil so between the eggs, cottage cheese, and yogurt I should get my protein. This isn't how I plan to eat for the rest of my life, but right now I have to pick my battles. I need to get out and exercise more I should say... I need to get out and exercise PERIOD!  So, for now this is what I am going to do - I am hoping to get back in tune with my hunger signals, only eat when hungry, and get my butt back in gear and exercise more than just my fingers on the keyboard (they are getting quite a workout!) I find it a bit humorous that the most exciting thing to me about my "food venture" was sitting down and WRITING about it. Guess that shows what my passion is and that I have finally truly found my passion!

In the meantime - here's a food pic for you - my pretty "fruit bowl".

I DO have actual apples in the fridge, but in the summer I don't like to keep them in my fruit bowl - so this will work!

Striving to make better choices,


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"You do." "I do?"

As I wrote yesterday, everything has started coming together with my writing. I woke up this morning with ideas racing through my head - the introduction stayed the same but the rest changed. A lot. It flowed like the other one didn't, it made sense, my fingers were flying on the keyboard at 4:00 in the morning... yes... 4:00 in the morning...

I rushed to get out the door and got in my car and started to pray as I headed down the road. I was overflowing with thankfulness. It has been a long time since I have felt like I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing and it is awesome. Just. Awesome.

I realized something as I was praying. Something that my counselor said Monday when we met really hit me. I was telling him about Jon Acuff's #StartExp and what I was doing - and that I was going to submit something to be published at the end of the 24 days. I made a comment about how I didn't necessarily think I would get published...

"I mean who gets published their first time submitting something?" I asked.

"You do." he responded, without missing a beat.

I told him that, of course, I realized it was possible, but that I wasn't setting myself up for any unrealistic expectations. Then, as I was driving to work this morning I realized what a profound impact those two simple words had on me. I thought to myself as I was going down the road, "You do." "I do?" Wow. It hit me right between the eyes. Growing up my hopes and dreams were squashed. I never felt good enough. I don't remember things I did being praised. I don't remember being encouraged to follow my dreams. I felt like I could never measure up and would surely fail at anything I tried.

After my appointment Monday things came together and it dawned on me this morning why - actual affirmation was given to me... my counselor is one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met and when he said, "You do." he meant it... he truly believes that I could very well be accepted for publication on my first try. I realized as I was praying that I am so blessed. He's not the first person to believe in me. My younger big brother as well as other friends have told me several times that they have enough faith for the both of us, I have friends that encourage me to dream big and believe in me.

The power of words is amazing. The power of letting someone know you believe in them and their hopes and dreams can have a huge affect on someone. I am very grateful today for my counselor's simple words the other day. They really made big difference and have helped me to believe in myself. God has placed all of these people in my life and He has used them to remind me of His truth - that He began this work in me and that He will be faithful to continue that work in me. Now, I don't mean to Jesus Juke my own blog post, but the fact that God Himself believes in me is reason enough for me to believe that I can do what He has set before me.

That being said, I know there is no guarantee that I will be published on my first try, but I know that I am doing what God has called me to do and that is all that matters. He has promised to be faithful so I need to do my part and be faithful to what He has called me to do. So, for that reason, I will keep doing the work, I will keep writing, I will tell my story, and I will trust that God can take all of my brokenness and use it for His good and His glory - because that's just how He rolls!

I am...

Unbelievably blessed and overflowing with gratitude,


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Today at work my mind was racing. I was thinking about things my counselor and I talked about yesterday and thinking about my assignment for the #StartExp:

Today’s task is to let go of at least one failure. Get out your pen, get out your journal and write it down. It’s over, and I don’t want you to let it control. Fear always wants you to give your present to your past until you don’t have a future. Let it go.

I realized one fear I had really had nothing to do with the writing I was doing. I had a major fear that the counseling wouldn't work. I have been in counseling before, made progress and then seemingly "failed". The truth is I didn't fail - I quit. I didn't see it through. I didn't see it as a long term commitment. I realized how afraid I had been to stop protecting the little girl inside me and allow her to feel, allow her to hurt, allow her to grieve.


All of the sudden.

It hit me.

I knew what I was supposed to write about. 

On my next break I sat at my computer and started typing furiously.  I ended up typing an introduction that grabbed my attention, I found my voice. God brought it all together - the work I'm doing in counseling is DIRECTLY related to this #StartExp. It is no accident I saw Jon Acuff's blog asking for people willing to take a risk, to step outside their comfort zone and that I filled out that form. No - it was no accident at all... it was God's Providence. God knew all along that I needed this push to find my voice, to let this healing begin. I sat and wrote tonight - I wrote 999 words (the guidelines for the place I'm submitting is 500-1000 words). It is a draft. A rough draft. But, it is only day nine and God is bringing things together and all I can say is I am grateful, so very grateful.

With Gratitude,


Monday, August 19, 2013


Yesterday's assignment for our #StartExp was this:

Sometimes it’s hard to do the right things because we haven’t quit the wrong things yet. Today, I want you to make a “quit list.” What are 3-5 things you can quit doing today that will open up more time, energy or hope for your dream?

My first thought when I read this was things I could actually quit doing - things that take up time. But the reality is lately all my time has been spent working my day job, working on writing (blogs/ideas for article), reading, and a little bit of relaxation to keep me from going crazy. So, I thought, "What can I quit?"

I realized there are some major things I need to quit:
  • I need to QUIT DOUBTING.
Growing up I was never good enough. I could never do anything right. My dreams and hopes were never encouraged - rather they were squashed to the point that I quit dreaming and hoping. Now, today as a 44 year old woman, I am in counseling trying to heal the hurts of the past (insert Jesus Juke here - "Jesus can heal anything" - yes, I've heard that a million times and YES I know Jesus can heal anything, but having more faith and trusting more aren't always the answer - sometimes counseling and medication are necessary so NO Jesus Juking my work in counseling) *steps off soap box

I started a journey a week ago - I signed up to take a risk, to step outside of my comfort zone. During the first week God did some amazing things in my heart - reaffirming that my dreams and hopes were valid and that I was doing exactly what He wanted me to do. However over the weekend that punk satan began throwing punches - filling my heart with doubts, questions, lies.

So, today I am going to keep fighting that punk and I am going to not allow him to win. Because...

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.
Al Franken, Stuart Smalley in Saturday Night Live, catchphrase

Love me some Mandisa, and she called me her "sister from another mother." :-)

Quitting the doubting,


Sunday, August 18, 2013


Today has been a day where I feel like my mind has been all over the place. I got up this morning and I looked at Buddy lying in his cat tree and thought, "Some days I wish I were a cat because that looks like a pretty legit way to spend the day."

Doesn't that look like a nice, relaxing way to spend the day... just lying around gazing out the window? In reality it's kind of how I felt today.... the spaced off look in Buddy's eyes is how it has felt in my head all day.

I went to church this morning because I knew I needed to and a part of me wanted to but I felt like there was something fighting me to go. I firmly believe it was satan and his evil forces trying to keep me from going. I have been doing well, I have honestly felt lately like I know I am exactly where God wants me to be and that is a dangerous place to be as a believer... that's when the enemy strikes.

  • I fought.
  • I went to church.
  • I sang when I didn't feel like singing.
  • I believed in my heart the words I was singing even when my head felt like it was floating in space.
After church a couple friends asked how I was and all I could say was, "Discombobulated." That's a "fun" word... and sometimes it gets thrown around without thinking about what it really means. I looked up some synonyms for discombobulated and found: "disconcerted", "mental discomfort", "distracted", "removed". Those all describe me to a "T" today.

The message today was on Heaven - it was an introduction to a 7 week series our Pastor is doing. I know one thing - I am definitely ready for that day. I know as long as I am here I have a purpose and I will seek to fulfill that purpose. But one day... one day... this is His promise and I am ready for that day...

In the meantime... I will keep on...

Running the Race to the Finish,