Dating

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Dating is one of our culture’s most painful rituals. Meeting someone new, seeing the mutual attraction, feeling out the level of interest, taking a risk, opening up.
Then there’s the first kiss, it might even make the whole thing worth it, so sweet and yet full of awkwardness.
I’m scared. I have been trying to hang onto an illusion that I have some control over how this all turns out. I have none.

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Things I like about me

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I was reading something in the last day or so that insisted that words of self affirmation are important to overall well being.  I think pretty highly of myself for the most part, but I saw a writing prompt in a book that requested I write my favorite attribute.  It’s a little hard to choose, but I think my best trait is my attitude.

First of all, I am an unusually optimistic person.  For someone who’s been through the ringer, and works in a field full of unpleasant realities, I almost always see the bright side of any situation.  Along with that, I think highly of people until they prove (repeatedly) that they are unworthy of my admiration.  Some of that comes from believing that all people are created in the image of God, and some probably just a gift of a naive personality.

I learned as a child that I cannot change what happens to me, but I can control how I respond to it.  Part of that means allowing myself to retain an openness to people, despite the risk of getting hurt again.

 

Counseling

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Is there still a stigma about going to see a counselor?  I was taken as a kid because of the way I was acting out, so it’s never bothered me.  As an adult, I find going to a counselor one of the best gifts I give myself.  To be able to spend an hour talking about whatever I want, and get objective feedback is such a treat.

There are so many aspects about myself that I’m still learning.  And then I keep changing too.  I hope to always have a grasp of who I am, and what I’m living for.  There’s a verse in 1 Corinthians 13 that talks about putting away childish things.  It seems like the older I get, the more I’m finding in my life that needs weeded out, like a childhood toy that no longer has a purpose.

What are you seeing in your life that isn’t working for you anymore?

Night shift

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I’m never quite sure how to transition from night shift to day shift on my days off.  I have children, they need driven to school and fed during daylight hours, so just maintaining a nocturnal state seven days a week isn’t an option for me.  I enjoy night shift, I still feel a bit of a thrill at times to be up and productive while the rest of the world sleeps.  There is something beautiful about empty city streets.

I sleep well for the most part, but it’s hard to set limits for myself.  On the days, like today, after working all night I’m exhausted, but don’t want to sleep too long so that I can sleep tonight.  That state I spend the day in, when I’ve only had a couple of hours of sleep, is almost like suspended reality.  I’m too tired to feel really productive, my head feels fuzzy and slow.  I know my reactions to my kids are not as patient as usual.

 

My favorite verse

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It’s actually three verses, but they’re short.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

I was a teenager when I found these verses.  I had been asking anyone who would listen “how do I know God’s will for me?”  And “what is his will for me?”  When I found these verses, I knew I had my answer.  This is God’s will for you.  It is so simple, yet so profound.  If we wake up every morning, and do these three things, our day will be beautiful and full of promise.  It will change the way we experience difficult circumstances, create a completely different environment in our home, allow us the possibility of being a blessing to everyone we come in contact with.

I hope and pray that I will be diligent to do this.

Silence: Daily Prompt

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My life is very noisy. I have more than a couple kids, and they are only quiet when sleeping. I work in a hospital with lots of beeping, talking, and even some moaning and groaning. Then I like to go to church on Sunday mornings, and there’s some loud music there. A moment of silence is a rare thing.

I’m sitting at home alone right now. The kids are at their dad’s house, the dog is quietly sleeping on the couch. For a while, I have been sitting in the silence, not sad, not wishing it away. My mind wanders where it will in the quiet. In the noise of every day, my thoughts don’t have a chance to really form themselves into their full potential. They can’t follow the path they choose out to it’s end.

I find more often lately, I would rather drive in silence than have the radio on. Is it because of getting older, or because my situation is complicated and needs pondering? I feel grateful for where I am right now. I am grateful for the choices that I have to make, grateful for freedom to make the choices that are best for me and my children. There is always potential for disaster, but I’m choosing to see the potential for great things.

Where I am now.

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When I was young, I had a step-dad that was abusive. The things he did, the way he treated us, shaped the person I am. I can’t stand unkindness. I don’t even tolerate gossip well. Somehow, despite all of this, I married a man who treated me and my kids the same way. I know that there is something wrong with me that put me into that situation. I have a warped view of myself and probably undervalue myself.
I shared that to explain where I am today. I am free. I am a single mom, which seems to imply suffering or difficulties, but I love it. I love my children, and am so grateful to have them. I even enjoy the peace and quiet when they’re all tucked in for the night.
I have a feeling that there’s more to come, probably more difficulties, maybe even a little romance. Right now, I think I’d like to hit a pause button and soak it all in.

things I’ve learned

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I’m learning so many things lately, and most of it I’ve learned before. I don’t know how to keep track of everything I know, the lessons of life and how to live it. I know I’m not the wisest person out there, and I don’t even know how much I don’t know. Despite that, I want to share what I’m learning. Don’t know if it will help anyone, but maybe by putting some of it into words, I’ll solidify it in my own understanding, make it stick a little better in my own mind.
It might all fit in this post, I might remember everything I want to say right now, or this may be a series of posts. I don’t really plan any of this.
First of all, stay humble. It’s funny to me that I even have a problem with this, because in my own mind I’m pretty darn humble. But somewhere along the way I started seeing this as a virtue. I attempt to learn every day, and am learning, but see my increased knowledge as another virtue. God has had to knock me down a few pegs to teach me that none of this is of me. “My” virtue is only of him, not myself. This is a lesson I have been taught before, and may never fully grasp, but hope and pray sticks with me.
My second lesson recently is to stop trying to do it all on my own. As a single mom, or maybe it’s inherent stubbornness, I don’t want to be a charity case. I know I’m strong, but not allowing others to help me is a weakness, and robs them of the ability to be a blessing to me. I actually caught myself at work the other day when a coworker offered me help. I knew I could handle my difficulty on my own, but by allowing her to participate, it eased my work load and brought us closer.
It’s been a long day, and my bed is calling my name, so I’ll end there for now. Hopefully I’ll have some other lessons to pass on soon. God is patient with me, continually showing me what I’m missing.

depression

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I battle depression.  It’s a massacre some days, with me figuratively left in a ditch to die.  I feel run over and weak.  I know in my head that I serve a living and loving God, but it doesn’t always transfer over to my feelings.  That leads to more guilt, as if I don’t have enough to deal with.

This past week, I have fought off the negative bad thoughts by doing more yoga (love yoga!), taking a walk in the woods, spending time playing with my kids, soaking up the sunshine, eating well, drinking enough water, cleaning my house, reading my bible, praying, and chocolate.  Usually just one or two of these help stave off the voice of doom in my head, but here I am days later still morose, wishing I didn’t have to get out of bed again in the morning.

So I will have to seek counseling.  Have you ever tried it?  The thing I love most about going to see a counselor is that I can say anything.  They don’t get to judge, they aren’t some new friend I’m trying not to scare away, they listen.

 

Daily Prompt: If I could Turn Back Time

My dad has always said that he refuses to regret any choices he has made, and I know his life has not been an easy one. I, unfortunately do regret some of the choices I have made. I can’t help myself from the regret, they were bad choices, but I can’t be sorry for the lessons learned. If I could turn back time, would making better choices get me to a better place? Probably not. I needed those lessons. I had to learn some things the hard way. I think going through a divorce is probably the most difficult thing I have experienced. There are so many emotions, along with so many decisions to make. That was the time that I wondered the most if I could have done things differently, because the pain from the decisions didn’t just harm me. Being a part of causing my children pain has been the biggest regret of my life.