RSS

Tag Archives: not just on sundays

In the Wreckage: Depression, Anxiety, and Jesus

In the Wreckage

This is a deeply personal piece. I wish it weren’t. I wish I had skipped over these genes in the gene pool. I wish mental health struggles didn’t ravage families, shooting out shrapnel like loaded cannons to anyone and everything around them trying to help.

And yet—they do.

My mental health journey started before we had children. Round One for me was setting right in my head what my heart mislearned along the way for a lot of reasons. At age 27, I was simply trying to make sense of adulthood and childhood, and mesh it all together. I needed to pull out the good I learned and discard the rest, like anyone else does at that age. That time, a therapist was helpful, but chemically I remained untreated.

Round Two was third-child-post-partum. It was short-lived, and I was fairly well supported by friends and my husband. It was a brief re-dip in a dark well. I had a lot to live for. My hormones simply were not cooperating.

Round Three almost killed me. We were on a tiny South Pacific island with three young children for two years. I spent my evenings biking around looking for a place to change my sense of desperate.

(Let me emphasize that I still had a lot to live for then. Three amazing, beautiful, spunky children and a loving husband. That had not changed.)

I was all the way around the world from all that I knew, living a fish-bowl military base, ex-pat lifestyle in a beautiful setting—only Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review of “Not Just on Sundays”

I’m very honored that a new review was written for “Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day”! Thank you to Amanda at “The Nerdy Bookworm” for your lovely description and for so beautifully capturing the heart behind this project. Amanda’s book reviews are a great place to check before you start your summer reading. I enjoy receiving her reviews emailed directly to me.

For more reviews of NJOS, feel free to check out the Amazon.com page.

Blessings to my “Espressos of Faith” readers for letting me hone my craft and share my heart lessons so intimately with you on such a regular basis.

Blessings!
Bonnie Lyn Smith

the nerdy bookworm

frontcover Image courtesy of Bonnie Lyn Smith

When I first got an email from Bonnie Smith asking me to review her book, Not Just On SundaysI was excited. Not simply because I enjoy reading and reviewing books, but because she sounded like such a kindred spirit.

When Not Just On Sunday arrived a few weeks later, the subtitle excited me: “Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day”. Yes! That sounds like what I desire to do with my life!

Not Just On Sunday might appear daunting with 312 pages, but don’t let that intimidate you. Filled with Scripture, and reflections on faith and life drawn from Bonnie’s personal journey, you will laugh, cry, and be refreshed.

Simply written, Not Just On Sunday is an easy read, and I felt as though I was reading Bonnie’s journal, or sitting with her in a coffee shop discussing what God is teaching her…

View original post 109 more words

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bridge of Transition

The Bridge of TransitionAs my youngest child was getting ready for school, I had an e-conversation with my sister-in-law. As I often do when I am reading someone’s story, I tried to imagine what it’s like to have one child graduating high school this year and another one doing the same a year later. I could picture it, but it was surreal to me. It’s not my current transition. But it is hers.

My whole year has been an extended transition: One child entered high school while one started middle school. Every day, I switch gears between fellow high school-er parents talking about student drivers and SAT prep and the typical middle school concerns of “mean girls” and safe texting guidelines. Meanwhile, I’m still in the “playdate” phase of raising my third child.

Some days, all I seem to do all day is transition: at-home responsibilities, writing, arranging appointments, taxi driving, counseling the one quickly approaching adulthood, and navigating the social wrecking ball that is middle school. (I’m convinced that once you survive middle school, you have the thick skin needed to go directly into the military or a career in psychology!)

As I write this in the early morning, coffee half-consumed, my iCalendar keeps popping up with new band performances and rehearsals. It’s comforting to “hear” from my oldest son, if even through a brief data entry about yet another place I have to drive him.

Maybe this title should be about interruptions and not transitions, but wait!

Aren’t they often the same thing?

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dancing With Leprechauns and a Father Who Loves to Bestow Good Gifts

The other day I was in a local grocery store with my daughter. It was a few days before Saint Patrick’s Day, and the entire store was decked out in clovers and green décor. You could pick up clover cookies or a sparkly green cake from the bakery. Personally, I was hoping there was a pot of gold to be found. (After the energy bill this winter, I may as well throw my entire wallet to National Grid and be done with it!)

leprechaun-22We Bostonians are admittedly a bit obsessed with this holiday. I had a hard time talking with my son’s elementary school teacher the other day because she had this cute headband-Irish-hat-thingy on her head, and it bounced while she nodded. I could not thereafter form one coherent thought while looking at her. Not one. But we Irish (and partly Irish) peeps have to represent, after all!

As we turned the corner of the second-to-last aisle of the store, there he was. He was on the shorter side, sporting a red wig, leprechaun hat, green suit, belt, and shoes.

And I had to talk to him. Really, when you find a leprechaun roughly 2 feet away from you, how can you not greet him? (My tween offspring may beg to differ.)

But I didn’t just chat. Nope. Didn’t stop there.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Telling “You’re Not Worthy” Exactly Where It Can Go

Telling You're Not Worthy Where to GoA close friend and mentor of mine taught me this cute little phrase: “Go lick a shut-up-sicle!” Now, I realize that can be offensive, so I try not to say that to people, and if you’re offended by “shut up” in any context, maybe it’s best you stop reading. But I do believe there is a place for this little phrase, and I’ve more or less come to adore it. Even around my Moms’ Prayer table every other week, we’ve come to have more than one giggle about it.

Why?

Because we do have the right to say this to a few things in our lives, and one of them is that haunting, sneaky voice: “You’re not worthy.”

Here are some versions we can hear in our own minds:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boxing Kangaroos and Other Signs of Hypervigilance

Boxing Kangaroos and Other Signs of Hypervigilance

Lately, I have had my hands and schedule way too full. Our daily schedule involves speaking with at least two doctors/specialists a day, multiple evaluations, massive amounts of paperwork, class observations (volunteering is a great way to keep an eye on your own kid), interacting with teaching staff, and constantly considering how to adjust sleep, vitamin intake, dietary choices, and schedule to maximize the best functioning for just one of my three children. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a tricky thing in the middle of growth spurts, metabolic changes, classroom setting, sleep patterns, and any stress in the house. I can’t say I have anything figured out yet, but I am learning to be proactive, attentive, and flexible.

In the middle of the crazy merry-go-round we are riding, my son was doing a school research project. For his poster, he had to choose a continent and an animal that lives there to blend the concepts of habitat and geography, with some zoology thrown in for good measure. Since we had visited Australia a few years ago when we lived in the Marshall Islands, he chose a kangaroo so he could happily declare how he had pet one!

Well, actually, he went to feed it and accidentally stepped on its toes (yes, they have toes!).

Know the feeling? When you go to help someone, but you unintentionally end up making it worse or, at the very least, have your intentions misunderstood?

Well, I happened to be in the school library during one of the days the students were working on their continent/animal posters, and I caught Little Man, 9 years old, fascinated with several pictures in the book. He was so captivated, in fact, that I had to keep redirecting him to stay on task. But if I hadn’t stopped telling him to “stay focused,” “answer the right question,” and “finish up,” I would have missed what had him so enthralled: two kangaroos boxing each other. That’s right— boxing. They actually support their entire bodies on their tails while they aim two feet at their opponents at one time. (It’s true. I saw footage here.) That was Little Man’s fun fact of the day.

But it stuck with me beyond that. I couldn’t shake the image of those intense marsupials getting a swing in here and a swift, two-legged kick in there. (Apparently, their legs go together and can’t kick independently. Who knew?)

And it’s what I felt our family had been doing for so long.

We were boxing kangaroos!

Sometimes, we would sit on our tails trying to hold everything else up while we kick-boxed and punched at everything around us.

Often, we would stop in the middle of something else we were doing and drop everything to go a couple rounds with the current battle or struggle that threatened to rob us of peace.

Know what I meanEver been there?

But, as it turns out, I don’t have to take a swing at all strife everywhere all of the time. I don’t have to do amazing balancing acts on my tail and whack at everything offering me the slightest look of menace or provocation, no matter what the challenge is before me.

Why?

Because the Lord my God goes with me. He fights for me. I can rest in that. I can ask Him to take it and then show my trust by being still and waiting for Him to act on my behalf, as He promises to those who believe in Him. I might not be fighting Moses’s Egyptians, but the mountains ahead of me need moving. I cannot do it only in my own strength.

And really, once we grasp that concept, it’s such a huge relief, isn’t it?

Deuteronomy 31:6, English Standard Version (ESV), Moses narrating
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Exodus 14:13-14, ESV, Moses narrating
And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Isaiah 45:2, ESV, God speaking through Isaiah the Prophet
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron…”

He goes before me and levels the exalted places.

What now? He’s going to “break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron.”

Well, it sounds a lot to me like I don’t have to put up my dukes after all and break out in a sweat over everything that comes across my path. I can be diligent, and I certainly don’t want to be complacent, but it sounds like I can put my trust in God, a mighty and very capable warrior. When I believe and trust Him, He promises to remain close, go before me and with me, and remove obstacles from my path.

He says: “Fear not.”

If I really place my trust in Him, it also sounds like I can stop boxing kangaroos.

How about you?

————————————

Intrigued by Australia? Here is a wonderful guide on 100 Best Things to Do in Australia and also Our Aussie Adventure, a personal travel experience, written on my original blog site about life in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (and our travels in that part of the world).

More on hypervigilance can be found here.

 

*This blog is also featured at Your Tewksbury Today.

**It can also be found at Grace & Truth Link-Up, Mom 2 Mom Link-Up #23, Pick Your Pin Tuesdays, and Simplified Life.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be Still and Walk with Him Awhile 

BeStill

“’Be Still’ isn’t just for crisis mode.
That’s simply where we found it.
It is a new way of life, ensuring the health of our family.”

Today, I am so excited to be featured as a guest blogger at “The Urbane Flower.” My piece, “Be Still and Walk with Him Awhile,” can be found here.

Check out this uplifting blog site that my new friend Heather Gee put together!

I look forward to Heather guest-blogging here at “Espressos of Faith” very soon!

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: