Bible study, Jesus, Sovereignty, Waiting

Waiting Room

waiting-room

I will run when I cannot walk
I will sing when there is no song
I will pray when there is no prayer
I will listen when I cannot hear

Sitting in the waiting room of silence
Waiting for that still soft voice I know
Offering my words up to the rooftop to Your heart
Trusting that this closet’s where You are

Lord I know if I change my mind
You will change my heart in time

Sovereign Lord this time’s from You
So I sit in the waiting room of silence
‘Cause it’s all about You

I will fight when I cannot feel
I will trust when You don’t seem real
I will tell when I cannot speak
I will step when I cannot see

I thought we had made our final decision about school, but we are now in a season of waiting for an actual final decision (long story).  I immediately started having anxiety (because I always want to make a decision NOW).  I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  Robert had to talk me down, remind me that God has a plan, and that we don’t have to make a decision right now.

I’m having to learn to ignore all outside advice and opinions and focus on what will be best for our family.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to focus on healing myself.  I start EMDR next Monday.  I hear it’s super intense so I’m preparing for that.  I still have a long way to go in my healing.  I’m really just starting the more difficult parts of this journey.

We’re also trying to be as involved in the school where the kids are for now.  They seem to be thriving!  Ethan went from first grade level to second-third grade level in reading.  Levi is on second-third grade level as well.  All three kids are making A’s and B’s (Levi only has 1 B, in math).  Karis is on an eighth grade level in reading.  Ethan is about to start basketball and all of the kids will be doing choir.

On the other hand, I want to homeschool, but that may not be what’s best for them.

This all may be out of my hands for the future.  God is Sovereign!

Today I did my Bible study from She Reads Truth and it was totally relevant.

“What a surprise it must have been to be told simply to wait—and not for a certain amount of time, but indefinitely.”

“We aren’t told if this frustrated Ruth, but it frustrates me for her.”

“But Naomi—the same woman who once named herself “Bitter”—offered enough faith for the both of them. She encouraged Ruth, saying, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out” (Ruth 3:18).

This doesn’t mean that things will turn out exactly the way we think they should. But it does mean that God’s hand is always at work in our story, even when we can’t see it. Even when we’re waiting.”

“In your waiting place, cling to the hope that God will not leave our stories unfinished or unredeemed. They may not look how we expected but, as with Ruth and Naomi, our story is His story. We can wait with hope, and we can trust and obey with confidence. Thanks be to God.”

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Church, self care, self love

Self Care Sunday, February 12th

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I’m writing this after a very long day and weekend.

I’m sipping my decaf Ruta Maya coffee with raw sugar and half and half.  The kids are asleep and Robert is chilling on the couch.

I forgot what it’s like to be super busy two days in a row.  Lately I have been going to town only on Wednesdays and Sundays.  While Wednesdays can be exhausting, I don’t have to get moving super early so that’s nice.

Yesterday we had a fantastic day, but it was busy from the get-go (Levi’s birthday party day and we had family here).

Today we had to get up and moving quickly.  We left out of here at 8:30 (this is early for me to leave these days) to get to church by 10:00.

I actually felt very pretty today, so I took a selfie and had Robert take a picture of my new LulaRoe leggings :-).

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Christ Church Kerrville was fantastic as it always is.  I always learn so much from the pastor there.  The church is small, which we like after being at a huge church for several years.  The preaching is deep.  I love that he speaks truth every Sunday.  I love worshipping through hymns, and I love that the kids are learning some of the hymns that I learned as a child.  The boys always go to children’s church after worship while Karis stays with us and takes notes (they have a specific place for kids to take notes in the bulletin) :-).

We had an amazing lunch with new friends (the pastor and his family).  The fact that we could have lunch with a pastor of a church is different from what we’ve been used to recently (with our old church being Chuck Swindle’s church).  The food was excellent and we enjoyed great conversation.  We just felt right at home with them.  I’m looking forward to talking with them more as I start to learn about the Presbyterian church.  He’s a former Southern Baptist like me, so he can appreciate specific questions that I have.

We ran a few errands, got some more groceries, and finished out our Sunday trip in town with my favorite Sonic Coke Zero with lime (self care!).

In true Courtney style, I couldn’t end the day with a messy house so I spent a little bit of time sweeping, vacuuming, doing dishes, picking up, etc.  It didn’t take long.  I had planned to do my prep for the week this afternoon since I didn’t get any done Friday or yesterday, but I was just too tired.  I’m home tomorrow and can do my prep then.  I don’t have much prep to do since I’m home most days now.

So my self care today was church, lunch with new friends, cleaning up the house a bit (yes, that’s self care for me), and now sipping my favorite coffee and blogging.  Oh, and I got a few new candles today that smell like spring (which go great with the weather we’ve had lately)!  Great way to end the week.

Body Positivity, Jesus, Mental Health, self care, self love, Vulnerability

Learning to Love Me

love-yourself

Yesterday I wrote this post:

I am Your Anchor in the Wind and the Waves

Then last night I read this:

“I’m working on my abandonment issues, and I am also working on not saying ‘sorry to bother you.’ I’m not a bother, a nuisance or a burden; I’m a human being who deserves to be understood, loved and valued. I won’t let anxiety tell me anything otherwise, no matter how hard it tries.”

What It’s Like When Anxiety Tells You Everyone is Going to Leave You

It’s so spot on.  In every way.  I’m thankful that there are other people who understand what this is like!  It makes me feel less alone.

I have decided that it’s time to tackle this “self love” thing.  I am learning that I may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” but I want to be happy with being me.

“What people think of me is none of my business.”  This was repeated in rehab often, and I need to repeat this daily.

All that matters is that my Savior loves me unconditionally, and He has grace for me every day.  I mean, He made me!  He made me on purpose, for a purpose.  That purpose is to share my struggles and how I overcome every day so that people have hope!

I decided to write a list of things that I like about myself (learning to love).

  • My eyes are pretty.
  • My freckles make me look unique.
  • My body is pretty great.  It shows that I’ve had 3 kids and that I’m no longer yo-yo dieting.  My husband loves it just as it is.  I’m taking good care of it by eating nutritious foods much of the time, but also nourishing it by eating foods I enjoy.  I’m allowing it to settle where it will.
  • I’m strong.  I have overcome a lot through the power of Jesus.  He makes me strong.
  • I’m a Christ follower.
  • I share my faith most days.
  • I’m vulnerable about my mental health and addiction.  Maybe this makes me brave and courageous?
  • I’m quirky.
  • I’m passionate about important stuff.
  • I am fighting hard to have a close relationship with my family (after lots of distance because of my illnesses and drinking).
  • I help other people going through mental illness and/or addiction.
  • I love people when others may not.  I love deeply.

What do you like about yourself (learning to love)?  You should make a list as well!

Jesus, Mental Illness, self care, self love, Social Anxiety, Vulnerability

I Am Your Anchor in the Wind and the Waves

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So yesterday went pretty well (the day at least).  I went to San Antonio to my new doctor.  This is the second time I’ve seen her.  The first time she told me to stop taking birth control (that I was only taking for moods) because it affects my Lamictal.  It makes the effectiveness cut in half.  She said that could also be causing my evening anxiety.  So I stopped it.  With-in a few days I noticed a huge difference!  My anxiety about disappeared (only here and there instead of every single day).

Yesterday she told me that she wants to keep all meds the same (praise God!).  She also said I don’t have to see her till April!  This is huge!!  I’m so excited.  At $150 a pop (for 15 minutes!), this is so nice to have a month of reprieve.

I thought I was good to go… then last night happened.  I think it’s something I just need to work through… I am on good meds for anxiety, so I don’t think that will help at this time.

A few things happened last night to bring me anxiety.  Through that, Robert and I had a long talk about it.

The reasons I was anxious were totally me thinking that people (multiple) were mad or annoyed with me.

My anxiety totally paralyzed me.  I just sat on the couch unable to function.

I asked Robert if he thought this was a symptom of my social anxiety, and he told me that it definitely was.  It’s also a symptom of knowing how people felt about me growing up.  I walk around feeling like people are mad or annoyed with me all the time.  Sometimes it really affects me like it did last night.

Robert talked me through it.

I keep hearing from people that I’m strong, courageous, brave, and bold. All I see in myself is someone who annoys people and makes people mad. I’m often anxious about that. That’s my social anxiety. Robert reminded me of what I know people think about me (what I’ve been told), and what I don’t know what people think about me (what I assume). I want to start seeing myself as brave, but I only share things because it helps me. I feel like the things I do for my health (seeing a psychiatrist, counselor, going to AA, having a sponsor, etc) are just necessary. I hope that soon I start to see what people have told me they see in me.

Robert also asked how God sees me.  My immediate answer is that he is also annoyed and frustrated with me.  He told me that the only one that is annoyed and frustrated with me is myself.  God’s grace is sufficient.  He loves me with an unconditional love. My sins are washed away.  He sees His Son in me.

“I am the Lord your God.  I go before you now.  I stand beside you, I’m all around you.  Though you’re feeling far away, I’m closer than your breath.  I am with you wherever you go.”

“I am the Lord your peace.  No evil will conquer you.  Steady now your heart in mine, come into my rest.”

“Come to Me, I’m everything.”

“When the storm rages, I won’t be afraid.  Cause I have locked eyes on You face to face.  Your voice I will follow.  Your eyes I will see.  Come a little closer.  Come close to me.  Oh cause you are my anchor in the wind and the waves.  Oh and you are mine and I won’t be afraid.  Cause even in the darkest nights, oh I know You are there.  So I press into Jesus.”

Alcohol Use Disorder, Jesus, Mental Illness, self care, self love, Sovereignty, Vulnerability

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord

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“19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”  Ruth 9:19-21

“8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:8-11

From She Reads Truth, Ruth, Day 3

“If prayer is a picture of believers lifting one another before the Lord, there are times I have been full-on carried. I don’t mean they’ve just walked alongside me or encouraged me to go on. No, they have picked me up from the pit and held me high before the Lord, my spiritual self limp and lifeless, desperately in need of the life-breath of my Savior. It sounds melodramatic until you’re in the thick of it, too spent to sigh another “please” or “amen.”

Naomi’s circumstances were indeed awful. She’d buried her husband, lost two sons, and said goodbye to a daughter-in-law. She had no hope of a grandchild, no path of provision. “I went away full,” she told them, “and the Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:21). Yet, there was no fist-shaking at heaven. No renouncing her faith. Naomi believed God was sovereign, even in her tragedy.”

“Circumstances change, but they do not change our God. And they do not change the saving power of Jesus Christ. We need not waste time shaking our fists at heaven when we can run full-force into His arms, trusting He can redeem even us, even this, even now.”

Life is so hard, but God is sovereign.  He has a plan even for the darkest tragedy.  I have seen him used my struggles to bring about healing for others.  Just sharing what I go through everyday with mental illness, alcohol use disorder, and trauma helps others to not feel alone.  It helps others to share and be vulnerable.  It helps others to get it out.  It’s not me, it’s Jesus Christ with-in me that allows me to be so vulnerable. I care too much what people think to do it on my own.

Asking friends what they are doing for self care helps them to remember to take good care of themselves.  It helps them to dig deep and realize that they are worth taking care of.

Again, this is not me, but it is the power of Jesus with-in me.  He is using me for His glory.  It’s not about me, but about Him.

I don’t always share that.  I am selfish much of the time and want the glory.  But I’m learning that without Him, I am nothing.  He gives me purpose.  He gives me strength and courage.  He gives me boldness.

My daily prayer is that God will use me to bring about glory to Him.