Admittedly this is a very hard time of year for me. I'm finding it especially hard this year. The joy that Christmas once brought, now brings me the ever real reality of pain and loss. One day I hope to have that joy return, but for now I'll just gaze at everyone else's joy from a distance.
I'm finding it difficult to even go to the relatives homes this year. The only reason I'm going is to see my dad and give him the hat that I've knit for him. One always wants to make their father happy. I can't make him proud of me, but I can give him a little something I've made.
Anywho, Merry Christmas to all. I hope to be able to rejoin you in the new year with a better outlook on life. For now, I'm going to go back to my little world of pain.
Found this from Lauren. Put an asterisk by what you’ve done! My comments in parenthesis.
*1. Started your own blog *2. Slept under the stars *3. Played in a band (marching/concert/jazz) 4. Visited Hawaii *5. Watched a meteor shower *6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyworld *8. Climbed a mountain *9. Held a praying mantis *10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris *13. Watched a lightning storm at sea *14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (several) 15. Adopted a child *16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty *18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train *21. Had a pillow fight *22. Hitch hiked *23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill *24. Built a snow fort *25. Held a lamb *26. Gone skinny dipping (well sorta....) 27. Run a marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice *29. Seen a total eclipse *30. Watched a sunrise or sunset *31. Hit a home run 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person *34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Yes my native American ones) 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language *37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (For a few months, it didn't last long though.) 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person *39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David *41. Sung karaoke 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited Africa *45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (One of my all time favorite things to do.) *46. Been transported in an ambulance *47. Had your portrait painted (Caricature, does that count?) 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling *52. Kissed in the rain *53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Been in a movie 56. Visited the Great Wall of China *57. Started a business (Doing that one now.) *58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia *60. Served at a soup kitchen *61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 62. Gone whale watching (Would love to!) *63. Got flowers for no reason *64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma 65. Gone sky diving ( I want to do this one too.) 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp *67. Bounced a check (Unfortunately, but not on purpose.) 68. Flown in a helicopter *69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (um, all of them.) 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial *71. Eaten Caviar *72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired/laid off from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London *77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person *80. Published a book (A few poems and creative writing short stories in a book, not MY actual book.) 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a brand new car 83. Walked in Jerusalem *84. Had your picture in the newspaper (More times than I could count...I live in a small area.) *85. Read the entire Bible 86. Visited the White House *87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Gross I know.) *88. Had chicken pox *89. Saved someone’s life 90. Sat on a jury (Does getting called for jury duty count? I got called last year, but not picked.)
*91. Met someone famous *92. Joined a book club *93. Lost a loved one 94. Had a baby (I'm not sure how to answer this one.) 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake *97. Been involved in a law suit (When I was a child, I was in a car accident. My parents settled it though.) *98. Owned a cell phone *99. Been stung by a bee 100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person *101. Learned to play an instrument 102. Kissed the Blarney Stone (LOL, should I be embarrassed that I don't know what this is?) 103. Ridden a camel 104. Been arrested *105. Visited someone in jail. *106. Flown a Kite 107. Been surfing (Oh I'd love to.) *108. Had a broken heart *109. Wished on a star 110. Fell off a horse (Almost but not quite.)
If you are interested, fill it out too and let me know.
This morning I woke up with a bit of determination I had not went to sleep with. I dreamed a very disturbing dream this morning about my upcoming high school reunion next year. I saw each of my class mates in their 10 year senior state with their respective spouses; some with children present, but most without. It was strange as we began to talk to one another. My classmates all seemed so happy to see each other again. Most of them I recognized right away, but others had changed a lot. Apparently I was one of those who'd changed a lot, because no one recognized me without me first telling who I was. ( In real life, there are a lot of people who still recognize me.) I found that a bit disturbing, but wasn't really bothered by it.
The disturbing part came when we all decided to play a game of charades. The object of the game was to act out a description of yourself when you were in high school. Some people were acting like their old selves, but most were acting out friends or others. I stood around, watched and laughed with others while they performed their acts. Standing there the whole time, I couldn't think of one thing to act out about myself. Finally I was the last one to play, a former teacher, whom I didn't recognize, came to me and encouraged me just to do something. She suggested I pretend to read a letter and let them just give me a pity guess or two. I was appalled and wanted no part of that. In a weird twist, people just walked off without saying anything to me and went to do their own things. Even my best friends and those I'd been closest to in high school just avoided me.
The dream continued to include me crying with a friend who's 2 year old tragically died a few years ago. After she and I had cried some, she started laughing; the kind of laugh that just roars and you suddenly realize it's about you. Goodness, I couldn't get away from ridicule in that dream.
I woke up with a bit of determination though. I woke up determined to remember something about myself. I don't know what's happened to my brain, but I can barely remember high school anymore. I remember going to class and people's names, but the details are very fuzzy now. I can remember that I was sorta popular, at times anyway. I was one of the brains with good (ok decent) looks. I dated some, was a member of almost every club, hung out with almost every little cliche at some point, was into music and part of the most successful group of the school. But that's really all I remember....well other than my screw ups. I remember those vividly. I also remember being known as the 'skirt girl', because I was forced (by my church) to wear dresses or skirts all the time until I was in 10th grade. I finally stood up for myself and choose to rebel against those who had false authority over me. I went too far actually, but that's another story for another time.
Back to my determination....I'm determined to find my memories again. I don't know how I lost them, but I know they are still in my head somewhere. I'm also determined to look and feel my best for that reunion. I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and was quite scared to see what chronic illness and loss has done to my body. Call this an early new years' resolution if you want, but I will loose some weight and tone up in the new year (providing that I'm not pregnant). I'm determined to have something to show for myself. Right now the only thing I have to show is what a mess I've become. I have no career successes, no children, etc, etc. But I'm going to have something. I'm not sure what, but I'm going to pray that God sends me something, because I'm tired of feeling like a nobody. I'm not a nobody, no matter what lies the devil may tell me.
Anywho, I'm off to prepare my grocery list and head to the store.
Wow I think I got more comments on the last entry than I have on almost any other. Who would have known that talking about MSG would get such a response? Maybe I need to rant more often? *shrugs*
I've been battling a nasty little bug for the past 48 hours. I'm not sure what it is/was exactly. Yesterday I thought it was sinus related because I had some sinus and throat symptoms. But those seem to be pretty much gone today. Thank the Lord. I was so miserable all day yesterday. I haven't even left the house since Saturday afternoon. So, yes, that means that I missed church all day Sunday.
I'm in such a strange place spiritually. On one hand I feel like God has opened some new horizons for me. I feel like He's opening up the Word so fresh to me. I'm studying things lately that I've wanted to forever. God has spoken to me everytime I've opened up my Bible. It's such a time of refreshing on a personal level. But then there's the other side of my spirituality, it's a part that feels dry and somewhat distant. It's strange to feel such extremes. The latter part I believe is directly related to church life. There's times when I almost dread to go. It's not that I don't like my church, its just that compared to my personal times with God, it feels so dry. Does that make any sense? Maybe my expectations of church are different than they should be. I expect to go and be fed; truely fed the Word of God. The messages are good and I'm not trying to complain about them, but I just don't feel that same level as my personal times. Should I or am I expecting too much? It's just strange.
On the TTC front, things seem to be going smoothly. My cycle looks great so far. This is our last attempt at pregnancy in 2008. A big part of me is very apathetic about our chances for this year. I want to be hopeful, but right now I'm just surviving I guess. Unless you've been through this battle, it's hard to imagine the stress of it all. As the days go on, adoption is looking more and more appealing to me. But I know, for me, this is a temptation to give up. I must obey what God has asked me to do; simply believe and be still.
I'm off to find something to cook for dinner tonight.
Last night RL and I were in the grocery store trying to find some ranch dressing. I usually make my own dressing, but I was out of the necessary ingredients to make my mix. To avoid spending a bundle on spices, I thought I'd just buy a bottle already made. Boy was I was shocked when I checked the labels of all the popular (aka delicious) brands of ranch dressing ! Every single one of them contained MSG (monosodium glutamate) . It frustrates me to no end that almost everything now contains this harmful substance. It's very difficult to shop for ordinary things. I posted a video below that shows some of the harmful neurological effects of MSG. I also have some physical reactions to MSG. Almost upon touching my tongue, my skin begins to become bright red and blotchy. I start to feel slightly nauseous and if there's a high concentration I can even become dizzy. The next day's effects are much worse though. I experience terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea, which often leave me bed bound for a couple hours.
One recent MSG reaction happened at KFC. I don't usually eat there, but I received some coupons in the mail and gave in. RL had worked a long shift and I had been busy all day, so there was no dinner made at home that day. I went to KFC out of the sheer convenience. I later wished I hadn't given into that convenience factor. We both got the hot bar there. I took a couple bites of some breaded okra and immediately the rush of redness came over my skin. I started to chill and felt like the sides of my face were literally expanding. I continued to eat some chicken and didn't notice any change, but when I ate another piece of okra, my symptoms increased. I'm certain that the okra was full of MSG to cause that degree of a reaction. A bit later, my symptoms started going away, but then I ate a little bite of the skin from my chicken and it all started again. So apparently I now am not able to eat there anymore. Take this as a word of caution if you too are allergic or highly sensitive to MSG.... no KFC.
MSG is a terrible toxin in our foods today. I learned a lot by watching the following video. I had always wondered why I was so drawn to foods with MSG. You ladies know that kind of craving I'm talking about right? You know when your mouth is literally watering thinking about some nice cheesy Doritos or Cheetos or even some peanut butter. Now I know why those things have enticed me so. I hope you'll be enlightened some from this entry and the video below. If you don't want these toxins in your body, please do some research and check your food labels. It's really important to take care of your body, especially for those of us trying to conceive and/or with PCOS.
Since my last post, I've really spent some time in prayer. Most of it though has just been meditative prayer, meaning that I've been just sitting and letting God speak to my heart. God knows the questions that I have and He's honored me by answering a few.
Some answers: How do I move away from youth ministry? His reply - Slowly. Prayerfully. Guided only by Me. I'm still not exactly sure what that means, but I know that my biggest apprehension was thinking that I was just going to have to rip myself away like you'd rip a band aid off a wound. I anticipated the transition to happen immediately and that it would leave me empty. I dreaded that feeling of complacency that I have strived so hard to avoid. God's words have brought me some needed reassurance.
Do I just leave these kids and completely turn my back on them? His reply - No. Again I'm not sure of how my relationships will change with these kids, but apparently God doesn't expect me to leave them high and dry. This eases my heart more than I'm able to articulate. It also gives me hope in the direction He's leading. The thoughts that keep running through my mind are that I may still have a ministry with this age, just that God wants to remove me from the traditional quote-on-quote youth ministry. It's hard to explain, but I feel that God is continually pulling me from these comfort zones that have held me for so long.
What doors will this close for us in our local church? His reply - silence.... I think I know the reason for the silence. I'm sure this is an area that God is trying to show me that He's working behind the scenes. I know the importance of this issue in my mind, but I suspect that He doesn't count this as such an importance. ....ouch....toes...stepped....on.....
So where does this all leave me right now? In a word, still. I'm left still at the moment. My husband and I haven't talked a lot about this. I suspect that God is working on his heart too and I'm sure he'll let me know all about it once he feels like he can. The only thing we've talked about is not doing anything till after the beginning of the new year.
I'm a person who finds delight in many different things. I enjoy interacting with all sorts of people. I take comfort in the variety and diversity of others. People inspire me. Art and nature color my life. Music moves my very soul. My faith in God empowers me. Working with my hands drives me. Love and family make life worth living.
I'm currently a work at home Mom and wife of 15 years to my high school sweetheart. I spend most of my days chasing around the miracle we waited 13 years for. He is full of energy, joy and love; the typical 1 year old toddler. In my downtime, I'm a knitwear designer and a wannabe homesteader.