Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Good Reason to Break My Silence

I haven't blogged in a ridiculous amount of time, but I have an EXCELLENT reason to share today. I have been BLESSED, and I don't use that term loosely, to be selected for a book launching team! And not for just anyone, but The Humbled Homemaker herself, Erin Odom!

I have been following her for a while on Facebook, and love the information that she shares. It is definitely a beacon of hope in this stressful world. 

I was mailed an advanced paperback copy of her soon to be out book More Than Just Making It, Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated and asked to write an honest review of it. I haven't read a physical book in a LONG time, but this one I gobbled up like it was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! And anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE Reese's! I read all 244 pages in less than 24 hours! And that is a miracle with 3 kids at home for the summer!

People who know my family knows that we have been through a lot. Life has been rough since my husband and I started dating, and it hasn't gotten any easier. Job losses, health issues, and all the stress that goes with them. We're finally doing more than decent again.

I've been interested in Dave Ramsey for close to 10 years, but his information just didn't seem to quite work for us. Some did, but most didn't. Erin's book has filled the holes in our financial "diet" and given me hope for our future.

While Dave Ramsey's information and books are geared toward middle and upper class families with debt and financial issues, Erin's book is geared for the working poor and lower middle class. Her story with all the shared stress and mistakes are more than overcome with her suggestions that should actually work for EVERYONE! She makes living paycheck to paycheck doable!

Her chapter "The Elephant in the Church: The Government Aid Question" was a wonderful breath of fresh air. It helped help me feel not so bad about the help that we had gotten for several years when the kids were younger. It also showed me that so many people just don't understand how hard life can be trying to get government help or getting off it. So many people think that churches should take care of the working poor when it comes to things like food and rent/bill assistance.

I have personal experience with a church that could help only with food a couple of times a year, if that. They may have been called food poundings, but not all of it was recently bought from the store. Some of it had been in people's pantry/cubbard for years.  Beggars can't be choosers, and we were grateful for all of it. Help with a bill, would have been out of the question due to finances of the church. That's what happens when the kids grow into teenagers then into adults and need something more than what that church is offering.

Erin shared so many ideas, many of which I hadn't thought of using or hadn't used in a long time. I can't recommend her book enough. If you pre-order it, there are more than $220 worth of resources that you can get for free! And you don't have to order from one specific website to get the bonuses, there is a simple "form" to fill out to get them!

You don't have to be a Christian or religious to learn something from her book. Check out her website and download the first chapter FREE! You won't be wasting your time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Truth is Sometimes Hard to Listen to

Mental illness sucks. Living with mental illness or living with someone living with mental illness sucks. I personally think it's even harder when you love that person. Mental illness is not all happy pills and unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes it takes a BUNCH of different medications at different doses for months or even years to get to a good place. And when I say I good place, I mean in your brain. You can't always be in a good place physically and mentally and spiritually at the same time. It is a very difficult and delicate balance.

I am going to be 100% honest about my depression battle over the past year. Some of it was easy to deal with, or so I thought, and others was entirely too much. Some you know that Mike lost his security job November of last year. It was rough on us, but I wasn't really worried. TONS of jobs were applied to by both of us and most of the time nothing was heard from.

We moved in with one of Mike's sisters, praying that it be temporary, but it turned into longer term than any of us really wanted. We both had a job with the same company for a while, but it wasn't going to be enough $ to get us into our own place. We were really stressed, and I wasn't handling it well. At all. I let my feelings bottle up, until I exploded mentally. I had some HORRIBLE thoughts that I knew were wrong and finally asked for extra help. It was decided that since I wasn't in immediate danger to myself, that a crisis residential unit would be better for me than in-patient at the hospital. It was REALLY hard to ask for help.

CPS got involved, and it honestly broke my heart. It took me a short time in the crisis residential unit  to see that I wasn't thriving in our situation. I was spending my days coping with all of the stress. I wasn't voicing my concerns and feelings. I was hiding A LOT of emotional/mental stress from my husband. Overall, it was a wonderful place to be, even with some very frustrating residents. I learned a lot and am working on putting the great information to use. Probably the best thing that came out of my "time on the inside", was a pinch pot nest that I made during a Grief/Loss group. The first thing she asked us to make was something to signify our loss. Mine was an empty nest. I couldn't see my kids as much as I would have liked. Then she asked us to make something to signify the good in our life. So I traced a heart with my finger on the inside of the nest. And one of the other girls, I say girl because she was in her early 20s, made me 3 eggs. One to signify each of the kids. Genevieve and I traded pinch pots temporarily, and when I got mine back, one of them had drawn a heart on each of the eggs. I smile every time I look at it, because I know I will see them again soon.

It was hard though, because I missed my family. I had never been away from any of my kids for more than a day or so. It's even harder now, because I haven't had a hug from my husband or kids in more than a month. IT HURTS!

I assumed to much of people while I was in care. I thought I had a place to stay when I was discharged. I didn't. I asked a bunch of people for suggestions, or just to crash on their couch for a few days. No one could or would offer the help I really needed. I don't know if they were afraid of me or how I might behave. I went outside my comfort zone and asked for help, but I couldn't find what I really needed. I was offered 2 different options, but neither would have worked out. It was suggested that I stay in one of the local shelters. So I tried, and got into the Salvation Army shelter in Denton. It was decent and the food was more than edible. I just wasn't use to sleeping in a place like that, so I honestly have no clue how much sleep I got. Not much. I know after having kids that as long as I get 5 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, I can have a socially acceptable attitude. I was pretty close to borderline ready to go off again. It sucked. The ladies in the room were nice, but they all snored in various degrees.

A relative offered to let me sleep on their couch, but after spending a couple different days there, I could see that it was not going to be a healthy place, mentally, for me. I was grateful for the time and food, but my mental state is more important.

I also slept in Mike's truck for several nights. It wasn't as bad as the shelter, but I needed more space to stretch out. I wasn't 100% where I needed to be mentally, so I finally listened to my husband and gut and went to stay with my mom. I've been here since October 10th. It hurt to miss Mike's birthday, but it hurts even more that I won't be there for Genevieve's 7th birthday in December. I could probably go back before then, but I want to move back with more than my head on straight and a tiny amount of $ in my pocket.

I will be back before Christmas, and that is all I really want this year. Screw presents. I just want to be in the same house as my husband and kids again. I want hugs and kisses every day. I want the chemical reaction in my brain when I receive those much longed for touches.

It's going to take a LONG time to get back to "normal". If there even is such a thing. I have to prove I am stable and not a danger to myself or others. I have to earn trust back and try to get back to how life was, but better.

Mental Health and Homeless reform needs to happen. There are entirely too many chronically homeless people in the US. To my best knowledge, there is no real long term options to most needing help. Most shelters are only short term. The shelter I stayed in only allowed people to  stay 5 days a month. That's it. If you had a job, you might be able to get an exception, but is it worth the frustration if you have to be out of the shelter by 7am and back by 5:30 if you wanted dinner? What if you worked afternoons til 10pm? You don't get in. They lock the door around 9:30.

Prayers have been greatly appreciated and I would love to know that someone is continuously praying for us.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Praying for children with disabilities

Our creator in heaven, we take this special opportunity to pray for our children born with disabilities. Father, we cannot question your creation for you are the only Creator in the universe. No living or non-living thing has power over your creation and we are privileged to be part of your amazing work. We pray for those kids who are having a difficult time living a normal life due to physical or mental challenges. We pronounce your healing over their lives for you are a miracle-working God. We pray for society to love and appreciate them the way they are for you are the only one who knows why they were born that way. Give us the will to interact with them as one of our own, share your love, and enjoy the diversity of your creation. Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Prayers against bad thoughts

Dear loving God, 
Sometimes I have, 
Terrible thoughts,
That run through my head. 
Do you see me, dear Lord?
Do you see my struggle?
You are mighty,
You are strong,
And you love me.
Set me free Lord!
Remove the bad thoughts,
That torment me.
Cast the enemy out,
Of my mind and my life.
Let no attack, deceit,
or contamination,
Affect me any more.
For I have been,
Washed clean,
By the blood of the Lamb.
Your mighty spirit, 
Protects me always.
All victory is yours alone.
Dear loving Lord,
Clear my mind,
Bring rest to my heart,
With the sweet caress,
Of your loving grace.
In Jesus' holy name.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Praying for Peace of Mind

Dear Heavenly Father, I humble myself unto your presence, praying for peace of mind. Calm my mind, O Lord, and give me the heart to understand whatever I am going through right now. Help me understand, O Lord, that everything happens for a reason, and that you are in control. Give me peace, even when I am surrounded by war. Set my heart at ease, even as I am burdened by revenge. Give me peaceful days and nights, during these difficult times. I pray this short prayer trusting that your will shall be done, amen.

Unless you are a hermit, living under a rock with no contact with the outside world, you know or will shortly know that Donald Trump is the new president-elect of the United States of America. I admit that I am a little upset. I voted with my conscience, and can live with my decision. All we can really do is move on with our lives and pray for him and those he has to advise him. Pray that he will make decisions that are the best for the nation. We don't have to like him. He will be our president.

Friday, November 4, 2016

from Invitation To Love

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene'er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome...

...Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling leaf
Or with the redd'ning cherry.
Come when the year's first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter's drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Monday, October 31, 2016

Declaration of freedom from depression

With you, O Lord, I am free. I am free from depression. I am free from the worries and stress about tomorrow. The fact that you are the only one who knows what tomorrow has in store for me, makes me more relaxed and loyal to you. I surrender all my concerns and stress unto you. Ease my mind O Lord and take over my thoughts. Take away all the negative thoughts crowding my mind, O Lord, and replace them with positivity and hope. Give me power to overcome the devil's negativity in my heart and mind, and make me victorious over my depression. In Jesus name I submit this humble prayer. Amen.