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Archive for March, 2014

I’ve not been blogging much because I’ve felt mired down in crap. I was feeling good, but tired, when I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Since learning what it is I’m feeling overwhelmed. I had to have a mammogram last week, which is an annual event for me as I have an extensive family history. The doctor’s office called to say that the screen is irregular and I need to have more investigative tests. That’s got me somewhat concerned.

It doesn’t help that I’ve not been mindful of my self-care. I’ve not eaten properly. I’ve not exercised. I’ve slept. Ate. Slept. Worked. Slept. Not good for me at all.

I was having lunch with a friend the other day who could see I was struggling and he said to me that I looked “blah”. I realised that I’ve been waiting for the bounce. I know I’m on a downward trajectory, waiting for more test results, and knowing that it’s going to get darker before it gets light again. At some point I will hit my low point and bounce back up again.

The hardest part of a depressive episode, for me, is waiting for the bounce. I recognise that now is not a good time. I recognise that there will be light again, but before that, there will be a great darkness. And that, simply, sucks.

Today I self-medicated with food. And man did it feel good. There was no guilt…only enjoyment. I think maybe I need to loosen the “rules” I have in place for my eating habits. Listen to my body and if it wants something unhealthy, then have it. At the end of the day, does it make that much of a difference, if I fall off the wagon for a little while? Who knows?

I am going to take a walk with a friend of mine. We were going to go to the mall and walk around, but decided instead to walk the local indoor track. Healthier and less expensive than going to the mall.

One small step at a time. One small decision at a time. Waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the test to be scheduled. And knowing that no matter what else happens, I am, and will always be, a servant of the Lord. Patience may not be my strong suit, but I can try it for a while.

Saturday will be a very interesting day. I have a memorial service at 9:30 a.m. Another one at 11:30, a marriage counselling session at 3:00 and a 50th birthday party at 7:00. I should sleep very well Saturday night.

So between now and then, I wait. For the phone to ring…for the next food craving to hit…for the bounce to indicate that things will get better. Because they always do.

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It’s an interesting time of year…Lent. Each year I challenge the congregation to adopt a discipline for the duration of Lent. This year it’s clearing out our emotional storehouses of unresolved anger, shame, hurt and other such hurtful and destructive emotions. Shame, in particular, is a horrible emotion to hold on to. It is destructive, all-consuming and can completely shut us off from the love of God.

What we often fail to recognise is that, even in our brokenness, God reaches through and surrounds us. It is in the middle of night raging, when we feel most vulnerable and alone; that is where God meets us. God loves us through the brokenness and often, despite the brokenness.

We don’t have to make sure our shoes are shined and our teeth are brushed to be with God. We simply have to be and God is there. Always has been. Always will be.

It’s a time of year for us to shift our priorities; to look inwards and really look. To peer into the deep dark recesses that we deliberately shy away from. To take a good, hard look at who we were. We must release these negative emotions, or they may hold us hostage. We must realise our value and worth, because nobody else will do it for us.

Each and every one of us is a beloved child of God. We were created in perfection; not societies perfection, but God’s perfection.

Remind yourself of these three things:

I am worthy.
I am loved.
I am perfect.

Tape them to a mirror if you have to. Say them over and over again. One day you’ll believe them. Why? Because they are true.

You ARE worthy.
You ARE loved.
You ARE perfect.

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I’ve had a rough couple of weeks…sleeping poorly, eating badly, not getting enough exercise. This past week I’ve been weepy, and that’s not me. I don’t like losing control of my emotions, especially in front of people. This morning my beloved and I had an appointment with our marriage counsellor. She asked how things were going and I burst into tears. Never a good sign.

We chatted for a while about stress levels, fatigue levels, etc. She asked my beloved a lot of questions, and he expressed concern. My plate is always full, lately its been overflowing and I know I need to take some things off it, especially things that are not life-giving.

After quite a bit of conversation she expressed to me that I most likely I have adrenal fatigue. I came home and looked up the symptoms. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Talk about a Holy Sh!t moment.

I looked at what can be done for adrenal fatigue I was not surprised that there’s no easy fix. Its going to take about a year to heal myself. It means cleaning out my cupboard, clean up the foods I eat. Add a couple of supplements to my storehouse. And set down some things that are not healthy.

I decided to resign from a Diocesan committee that I have been a part of for six years. The past couple of years I have not felt like I am contributing much. So I decided to step down. Once I am well I may decide to return to the committee, but I may not.

Right now I need to care for myself. Rest more. Stress less. Laugh more. Eat better. Keep juicing.
Move more. Work smarter.

I can do it. And I will.

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Today is Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or whatever you want to call it. It is the day where we use up all the fat and whatnot before we enter the 40 days plus Sundays of Lent. A time of fasting, of almsgiving, of turning our attention inward.

This year I have challenged my congregation to keep one word at the forefront of Lent: mindfulness. So often we go about our days in autopilot and we forget about the joy and pleasure that surrounds us. We don’t listen when people are talking; instead we are formulating our response. Lent is a time of year when we need to slow down and look around.

I have challenged my congregation to deepen their relationship with God. In whatever that looks like for them; be it daily bible reading, meditation, prayer, sitting in silence. It’s about shutting out the sounds, embracing the silence and being at peace with the sacred.

Today I burned last years palm crosses for ashes and they are ready at the Church. The silver has been put away and the pottery brought out. We have veiled all the brass, veiled the crosses and now begin the time of contemplation, the vivid and shocking realisation that we are dust, and to dust we shall return.

Lent is about turning yourself inside out and examining everything about yourself; even the dark and scary corners that you usually avoid. This is the place to sit in the stillness and anxiety; to allow yourself to look at failure and doubt, knowing that you rest in the arms of a God who loves you completely and honestly: always has, and always will.

I have decided to give up processed food and to embrace juicing every single day. For my spiritual discipline I am committed to spending 20 minutes of uninterrupted silence for meditation and/or prayer.

I encourage you to keep a holy Lent and to rest in the arms of the One who created you, who loves you, who sustains you.

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Juicing seems to be going okay. I invented my own juice this morning and I quite like it. I even saved the recipe for later. It’s 2 apples, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 1 lemon, 1 thumb of ginger. Tangy and tasty. Not sweet, but not bitter. Yummy.

I have slacked on walking because the weather has been so cold and my schedule has been such that I’ve not made time for the walking track. I am sure, once the weather improves, that I will get back to walking with the dogs every morning. Even 20 minutes with them made a difference. Come on Spring!

I am enjoying cooking at home, and we are going through a lot of groceries, but this is a good thing. The positive things is the groceries are being consumed, not rotting and having to be thrown out. I have made a commitment to 30 days of juicing, but I already know I will be juicing every day for a very, very long time.

The downside of juicing is the mess with the juicer, but it makes life much easier to have the juicer. So I guess its worth it.

As we approach Lent I am determined to make this my healthiest Lent. Every year I pick something up that is good for me, and set down something that is not. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about living life to the fullest. Taking on things that scare me. Trying my best to take one day at a time.

This year I am going to eliminate all processed foods from my diet for the 40 days plus Sunday’s of Lent. I am going to juice every day. And I am going to move my body in some way for at least 20 minutes a day.

As far as the Spiritual side of Lent goes, I will spent at least half an hour in meditation or prayer, as I want a closer relationship with God. Every year I try to follow a devotional for Lent, but have yet to complete one within the 40 days. This year I am not putting that pressure on. I will read every day, but it doesn’t need to be from a specified Lenten devotional.

Tuning up my body as well as my mind, heart and soul. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am certain I can get there.

One step, one sip, one bite, on prayer, one moment at a time.

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