answered prayer

Isn’t it amazing when God answers a prayer? Even when we know He can, we know He has, then when He blesses us with another provided need, another confirmation, another open door…wow. How blessed are we?!

This morning, He did that for me. We have always had kids, well, teens or kids our boys’ ages around the house. Even now that both the boys are married and on their own, we end up with “kids” around here randomly.

I can’t make myself NOT call them “kids” even though many of them are moving into their twenties now! Many we have known since they were pre-teens from a former church. Their peers seem to always look up to my boys and so even when we left that church, we kept in touch with those kids who really connected with us.

Some of them have broken our hearts many times. Some have made major turnarounds in their lives. Some have disappointed us but then they have overcome whatever struggle they had and made a good life, a righteous life, for themselves. Then some we have never been able to break through with, never been able to get past their hard hearts, their disbelief in a loving Savior. Those we still pray for and sometimes fret over.

This morning though, one of the boys who really carved out a special place with us all contacted me through Facebook. He’s such a sweet boy but from a rather rough home without Christian parents or other Godly influences in the home. That’s always hard to overcome. We have loved on him, laughed with him, helped him fix broken parts on his vehicle so he could get to work and pleaded with him when he fell back into detrimental things.

prodigal son

He’s been gone, away from us at least, for over a year. He lives in the next town, so we didn’t see him anymore other than an infrequent post on Facebook. Most of those were short rants or photos of him with his middle finger extended with sad eyes looking directly at you. 😦 So heartbreaking for me, but we didn’t push, we didn’t pursue him. We gave him his space realizing he’s an adult now, he’s not actually our child although we have worried and prayed for him as if he was.

This morning… what an answered prayer. He contacted me. With his usual opening line,

“Hey momma.”
Yeah, he’s always called me that. We small talked for a bit, then I asked him

“How are you really?”

Forgive

He’s never been an open book, he won’t share what’s troubling him most without a lot of coercion sometimes. The same was true today, although he did at least tell me that he was really struggling, that he knew he’d been doing wrong and wanted to change things. I immediately texted my husband, the boys and their wives to get them praying right then! I pointed him back to Jesus, when he said he didn’t know what to do or how to start, I told him, “You start with Jesus.”

I went on to say, “I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s true. You have to start with getting back in tune with Him before the rest will ever fall into place.”

Then he said, “I have a question.”

“Shoot,” I told him.

“Are you all mad at me or do you think I’m no good now?”

*deep breath* Bless his heart, I quickly assured him that none of us were mad and we all missed him. I told him he’d always had a special place in my heart, that I worried and prayed for him as if he was my own. I told him I wanted him to go to church with us and he said he wanted to go.

He asked me to pray for him, told me he loved me and missed us all and couldn’t wait to see us again.

*long sigh* I’m just SO relieved! Just as if one of my own sons had come to mend a rift between us. Thank God for His mercy, for keeping him safe all this time, for letting him feel secure enough to reach out to me again.

I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do in his life.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
~Mark 11:25

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update on the latest “brand new”…

Just wanted to pop on really quick and share that we are really LOVING these new groups. We’ve had our first meeting a church and it was just great. The staff worked with me on getting my sister moved into a group for women, which she was perfectly fine with, thank God!

group-sihlouette

We had just that other couple I mentioned and then the husband of another couple who is going to be leading a group. They are the ones I had contacted a couple months ago about starting a group of our own. The system isn’t complete yet, so the few people for their group didn’t show up and his wife was home sick, so he sat in with us.

We had the best conversations and just a time of getting to know one another! It was awesome and I’m not sure if that was because we were so relieved to have gotten my sis satisfactorily situated in another group and then gotten along so well with our own group or what! *laugh* Maybe it was a little of both. AND that we were just so tickled to finally be getting somewhere with having a small group again. We’ve sure missed that sense of community and comradery!

group-bible in hand

The next night, we had our third meeting with our LIFE group and it was the best yet too. Our kids didn’t get to go because our son was working over and our daughter-in-law didn’t really want to go without him. But everyone else was there and it was just a great time discussing God’s Word and fellowshipping.

Afterward, everyone had gone home and it was just us with the host couple and we had a really nice time of chatting about all kinds of stuff. The husband is a car guy too, so he and Tommy had a great time talking about the projects Tommy has going right now. I’m so glad he has found this man who loves the same things he does AND loves the Lord too. I hope he will get to come “hang out” in the garage with Tommy soon. I think they’d both be on Cloud 9 with so much to talk about and get into out there.

Anyhow, nothing else much, just wanted to toss that out there. I’m so thankful that we have these two great groups in our lives right now. I am praying God does mighty things in and through us all!

Blessings,
G~

another brand new thang…

Lately, my husband and I have had a longing for community. For a group of closer friends who we could share with and encourage and who could encourage us. At our church, the staff has been struggling a bit with how to make groups a very integral part of our congregation. We go to what some might call a “mega-church” although realistically, it’s not that in the true sense of the word. But for our rural area, it’s certainly a much larger church than usual.

Anyway, the church experienced some sudden growth spurts at different times, which always makes for some trials in how to handle the influx of people in the different areas of ministry.

At one time we were in a “small group” with our lead pastor. We loved it, it was a great way to get to know him a little more personally and of course, to meet others in the church that we may not have otherwise gotten to know.

As time went on, however, the group grew too large for one room so we split and somehow we ended up in the group without our pastor, which turned out to be okay, we just would have chosen differently. And so this new group did well for several months until one night, the leader and his wife didn’t show up. There were about 3 other couples there and two new people showed up as well, so we all just kind of went on with things the way we usually did. The next week, the same thing happened and another new person showed up.

I was concerned about the situation because I’d seen the couple who were leaders of the group at church that morning, so I sent a message to one of the associate pastors asking what we should do or if he knew if there was something wrong with the other couple. The reply I got was “Congratulations! You have just become group leaders!” Hahaha… um, no. 🙂

Actually, we didn’t mind, it was just a little scary to be given that title and so we asked the other two couples who were regular attenders if they wanted to lead and were told emphatically NO, so we carried on with the group.

After about a year, things changed, the church began to want groups to meet in homes instead of the church which made ME nervous and then things happened like one couple’s job schedules changed drastically and they couldn’t meet the same night anymore, then another couple had some scheduling issues and finally, our group just kind of fell apart. Soon after, though, the church tried a new approach to groups and asked two of our regular couples to become leaders of their own groups.

That didn’t work so well as we were put into a large room with a sign telling what sort of group we had (age range, location, meeting day, etc) and then people would come and “join” whichever group would work for them. We had one couple in our new group and they seemed to always have some conflict and didn’t often show up, so that fell apart too and we had no group at all.

It’s been that way for a couple years now so we finally just gave up and filled out a form to be put into a group. We ended up being put into a group lead by a couple we know and love, but they’ve had a group for years and still had one couple in it that had been there from the start. The other couple was nice, we knew and liked them as well, but it was really hard with so much history between them to feel as if we belonged. Maybe that was our own doing, but there it is. We just felt so outside the loop it was uncomfortable to try and belong. As it was, this all happened just before Thanksgiving so we put off scheduling a meeting til after that and Christmas since our church does a MAJOR Christmas event that draws thousands and so many of us volunteer to help with it.

And so here it is the end of February and we hadn’t had the first meeting. I wasn’t sure if they’d been meeting without us or what, but found out that they hadn’t started meeting yet. I guess life is crazy for all of us!

And so, while I was serving at camp for a young girls’ Emmaus weekend, one of the pastors called and asked Tommy if we would lead a group. He immediately said we would, which kind of surprised me, but I was glad.

The fact was that I’d been talking with another lady that had discussed desire for a group to join and was contacting another to see if we could just start our own study group. What was even funnier is that after this lady and her husband said they would love to start a group with us, we got this call and they also got asked to lead a group!

—February 27, 2016—
(that’s what happens when I get interrupted repeatedly during a post! LOL!)

The other thing that was going on during this same time is an Emmaus friend of ours and her husband were starting LIFE group at their home and asked if we wanted to join them. (read about what LIFE group is at the link above)

The first week there was only one other couple there and it was nice, we got excited about it. The curriculum revolves around the real meaning of the Tree of Life and the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. So far, we really like it.

So, here it is a week later and last time I checked, there are three people signed up for our discipleship group. One of them is my sister, which we’re not sure about. I mean, one of the objectives we’ve been given is to get people to open up. That’s NOT as ominous as it sounds. The idea is to form a close, cohesive group that comes to love and depend on each other and what better way to do that than by sharing about our lives? As you may or may not know, my sister and I have had a pretty non-functional, almost non-existent relationship most of our lives. Lots of things contributed to that, but nevertheless, we have just in this past year been able to deal with it in a more productive way. Once she went on an Emmaus walk for herself, frankly, she almost became a different (better!) person! Her inward, self-focused thinking changed and it’s been a really great thing.

For the past several months, she’s actually been going to our church which is a big change for her all by itself. Much the same way it was for us. She’s really been loving it and learning more than ever. So anyway, it’s NOT that the relationship is still so strained, it’s just that, well, she’s my sister so I would think either it’d be easier to open up with other people or that it would just be nicer to chat with people she doesn’t have history with. I guess she just wanted to be where she knew someone, but we are hoping that either it works EXTREMELY well, or that she’ll see the wisdom in moving to another group. I’m hoping there is a women’s group she can get in since, for the time being, her husband isn’t going to be coming with her.

So anyhow, the other two people in the group is a couple that we sort-of know. Well, we know the husband very well. He and I went to school together from kindergarten through high school! This is his second wife, so I don’t know her, but it’ll be interesting to see how this thing works.

We were under the impression that the staff would be putting people into groups, but apparently, they are able to choose which group they want. I’m not sure, but from what one staffer told us, I think maybe they are surprised by this too…I think they assumed it was set up so that the people were only signing up with their info and not actually able to choose a group!

We had our second week at LIFE group and more people were there, including Corey, our eldest son and his wife! I was so glad they agreed to come and hope they will continue. Corey’s a youth pastor at another church and they are both always just stretched to the limit with church activities. I get a little irritated (okay, a LOT irritated sometimes!) because of the way the church will schedule things that require Corey’s involvement without consulting him. Just last weekend, they took the group to Winter Jam and then had a lock-in at the church and the next day he was responsible for much of the Sunday service then they had a belated Valentine’s dinner planned that, of course, the youth are supposed to be in charge of. WHY would anyone schedule all that stuff the same weekend?!?! It happens all the time and I really wish Corey would just tell them NOPE sometimes, but he usually picks up whatever they throw at him and deals with it. *sigh* He’s much more patient than me, obviously.

So there it is… I’ll post again with news of how the discipleship group goes. Maybe we will have more people by Wednesday and it will all balance out. 🙂

Blessings!

30 whole years!

Okay y’all… you’ll have to extend some grace here.  I had my 30th wedding anniversary last week and I’m just now posting about it!

weddingtoast

Yes, we were just babies in 1985.

There have been times, over the years, that it wouldn’t have taken much for either of us to just walk away.  It’s been hard at times.  There have also been amazing, awesome, wonderful times, of course.  But those storms when it seems there’s no chance of escaping in one piece can shake you to the core.

But God…  If not for having Him in our lives and in our marriage, we surely would not have made it for thirty years.  Of course, we can do nothing on our own, but we like to think we can.  We so easily forget that it’s only by the will of God that we even breathe let alone move, think, walk and talk.

I’m so thankful that He intervened so many times in our marriage.  I have always felt really glad that both Hubby and I had intact families (neither of our parental units have divorced) and have two examples of half-century marriages to look to, although… *giggle* our marriage looks nothing like either of theirs.

And we don’t want it to!  We exchange knowing looks of agreement when either set of our parents are doing something we find annoying and we’ll laugh or commiserate later that we’re SO glad we don’t “___whatever___” like they do.  I’m sure our kids have the same feelings about us and I guess that’s how life is.

We make our own lives and our own favorite ways of being a couple.

Speaking of the kids, July has become Anniversary Month around here.  Our oldest son and his wife

wedding-victory

wedding-smiles

celebrated seven years of marriage the week before our 30th anniversary, after which our youngest son & his wife

victory

Casey-Taylor-bw-reception

had their first-ever anniversary!  Yep, all within three weeks.

I’m not sure how that happened, but I think it’s kinda cool.  And convenient too in that none of us can quite forget any of the others’ anniversaries.  Ha ha!

I have to admit…I was feeling pretty bummed that we didn’t have any kind of “real” celebration for our 30th though.  I mean, that’s supposed to be some kind of milestone, isn’t it?  I sure don’t know many couples our age who have been married even half this long.  I remember having “dreams” if you will, of being able to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary, but that didn’t happen.  Not for lack of wanting on either of our parts, but for lack of funds?  You betcha.  So five years ago, we plunked down a chunk on a room for the night way high on this mountain, and it was awesome.

It just would have been more awesome if I hadn’t worried about money the whole time.  *sigh*  And here we were five years later, and once again, absolutely no funds for any kind of get-away or even a room for the night somewhere.

I was getting really bummed.  We talked about maybe going to do the Virginia Creeper trail, which is a cycling thing, and that would have been great, but the drive was so long that we’d have been killed to have driven there, ride the trail and then drive back home in one day, so we didn’t even attempt it rather than go and not enjoy it.

After having to replace our air conditioner system (lighting hit it) and then just the week before our anniversary, our water heater broke, saturating the carpet in our bedroom and adding another big expense we couldn’t afford… we just didn’t have any extra money for anything big.

I had spent the week being really sad over it to the point I just didn’t want to do anything.  However, the day arrived, a Sunday, and my best friend from high school, who I hadn’t seen in probably 10 or more years, who has recently moved back here with her newly-adopted TWO YEAR OLD son!!!  She was coming to our church and wanted to see if we could meet and at least sit together.  Of all days for this to happen, on our 30th anniversary had to be a “God thing” because this sweet lady was my one and only “bridal party”..my maid of honor!!!  How cool is that??

So, we got to meet her adorable little guy, visit for a bit, then we took off.  We’d gotten a coupon for a free appetizer at a restaurant we like, but there’s not one near us, so before I even knew what he was doing, Hubby was on the interstate and all he’d say was we were going to eat.

We drove 100 miles away, found the restaurant and had a great meal.  By this time, God had worked on my sour attitude and I was just enjoying time with my husband of 30 whole years.  I began to think about how hard-working and caring he is.  How he’s encouraged me to try harder and do more than I ever would have attempted myself.

30yrstogether2

Later, we stopped in a couple of surplus home goods stores and bought a few little items, found a gorgeous duvet cover with shams for our king size bed for just $18!!  Then we walked through the other place, that was more for builders I guess.. it had furniture and decor and we saw some gorgeous items that gave us some inspirations for future improvements on the house.

Then we went to a couple of health food stores and he helped me pick out meals for the coming week.  His request, saying “since it’s our anniversary”… LOL! is for me to start eating better.

*sigh*

Well, okay.  So, we ended the day at Whole Foods, where we ate a slice of “wholesome” pizza and drank his ever bottle of kombucha tea (which I’ve been thinking about attempting to brew myself)kombucha-WF

and then stopped at the Walmart at home to pick up some batteries we needed and I bought us a selfie stick.  See?

selfiestick

This is the photo I sent to the kids showing them how techno-savvy their parents are.  HAHAHA!!

And so, our 30th anniversary came and went and left me with a sense of satisfaction.  I am sad that I’ve wasted so many years being dissatisfied with things, life, people, myself… but I am doing my best to change things now.

And I’m looking forward to reaching our 50th anniversary and yes, still hoping we might have a bit bigger celebration by that time.  But if not, I know that’ll be okay too.

We have each other and we’re happy.  That’s enough.

Philippians 4:11-12Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

rain – – bleh!

So, SO much rain. It rained all last week, flooding a couple times, actually and I haven’t gotten to ride at all!

I am feeling so pathetic! I need to ride! Here’s hoping for a chance in the next couple days!

I finally got the yard mowed today. It was in desperate need after going without all last week and then all the rain.

Tonight, instead of going for the group ride I went out to visit with the ladies in my reunion group. We hadn’t gotten together in months and months! It was nice and on Saturday, the one lady is having a fish fry, so there’s that to look forward to.

Wednesday, there’s a big shindig to celebrate our town becoming a TrailTown, which is a big ol’ deal and such a great thing for us! After that, I have an appointment to get a long-overdue haircut.

Thursday is our next planned group ride with some of the older and newer riders and they go at an easy, ride-at-your-own pace that I like. They don’t mind if I stop a million times to check my sugar and stuff which is really nice.

Maybe I can ride with the other group tomorrow night too…they go at a bit faster pace, but I may go anyway. Or maybe Hubby and I can go Wednesday night.

I dunno, but have mercy, I have a busy week ahead and hope, Lord willing, (and I’m sure He is…that’s me, layin’ it off on Him *shame*) I will get some accomplished on this house too.

Blessings to all!

a new thing…

Not to the exclusion of the old thing, just in addition to it.

Heart to Heart Too blog.

This blog is a collaboration of the ladies in my Emmaus reunion group, a sort-of small- or accountability group of ladies in the area who have been on an Emmaus walk. There are only about 7 of us who semi-regularly attend. We are stretched out over a large geographic area, so it’s not as easy to get together as it would be if we all lived in the same county, but we are hoping through this blog, we can accomplish several things.

We can express what God’s showing and teaching us, hopefully in a way that will also help others. We can discharge some of our creative writing tendencies or exercise those with the hope of growing them further. And we can keep in touch with each other even when we can’t get together.

Go check it out. I happened to get the honor (or maybe it was a punishment? HAHA!) of being the first to publish a post. It’s harder to write when you have some parameters to meet. Unlike when I just get on here and verbally slobber all over you. *pththt*

I can’t wait to see what the other ladies come up with in the future!

Go. Read. Enjoy. And share!

Exodus 34:27“And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”

God’s place, God’s time…

I’ll try to make this follow-able, understandable, but I can’t promise it will be.  Just do the best you can.  🙂

When I first got on Facebook, I started a group page for graduates from my high school… for the entire 80’s decade.  Yup.  Everyone who graduated from 1980 through 1989.  The school underwent a name change after that when it became South “County” High School because they had build a new high school that was called North “County”.  All of us who went there during the days when it was the only high school in the county were bummed that when you did a search for the school, it would only come up as “South” or “North”.  Hmph.

Anyhow, I ended up with a TON of people on my friend list since anyone who joined had to be my friend since I was determined that a bunch of people outside that time frame not be in the group.  Not to be exclusive necessarily, but because the 80’s were just so cool, y’know.  Ha.

And so, that’s how I ended up with so many “friends”, many who I don’t really know other than they went to my high school in the 80’s.  And that’s how Sasha* ended up on my list.

She’s been on it for quite awhile and I always appreciated her posts.  She seemed like a very committed Christian mother and wife.   We didn’t really interact so much other than to like each other’s stuff and occasionally comment.

Then Saturday happened.

She posted about needing prayer because she was prejudice.  Turns out, none of the people who commented thought that was so.  But because she had got out of a drive-thru lane when she saw a lady in middle eastern style clothing (don’t want this to come up in searches for certain words… overlook my not using the titles for this type of clothing).  Anyhow, I commented that I felt the same way but that didn’t make us prejudice.  There was lots of talk about being cautious and language barriers, etc.  And that was that.

Then a bit later, I posted a link to this (yeah, you need to go read it) and I posted this comment along with it:::

This used to make me insane when i was in school. I have to say, I believe this mother was right on the mark with her response! That teacher should have been disciplined for not making the boy stop. Reminds me of a teacher I had who was beyond inappropriate when a boy was bothering me in class (he was grabbing my pencil away from me during a test) I don’t even remember who the boy was now, but I remember this man’s response when he looked up and saw him snatch my pencil… I won’t put it here because it was just pervy but it makes me sad that I didn’t feel I had anyone to report that to back then. I wish I had at least mentioned it to my parents. Not sure it would have had any sort of result, but I wish I had now. As it was, I just sat there, embarrassed out of my mind and hated that teacher more than usual.

Not long after that, I got a private FB message from her asking who the teacher was.  We messaged back and forth; me giving her the name and her telling me about two incidences that had happened with two other teachers and her frustration that one of them was witnessed by a third teacher who just rolled his eyes and shook his head.  We lamented how things like that were not reported when we were kids and such.  Then her messages just stopped.  I assumed she’d got busy or something.  It wasn’t a big deal, but later I saw she  had commented back on her ‘prejudice’ post that FB messages had stopped working and wondering if I’d got her last message and that she’d like to continue the conversation.  I gave her my email address and soon we were messaging back and forth like long lost friends.

I told her what exactly had been said by the teacher from my post.  [When he looked up to see a boy reaching across the aisle to grab my pencil repeatedly he said, “______”, (using my last name) “if you want to make love to him, go out in the hall.”]

*insert incredulous face here*  Yeah.  I was mortified and didn’t know what to do.  He was a real gem of a fella *SARCASM* normally, so this wasn’t out of character, just a bit more over the top than usual.  That’s when Sasha asked if I’d gotten her message about being kidnapped and raped by a fellow student when she was a freshman!

I was stunned!  Obviously, I had NOT got that one, so she directed me to a status post she’d put up a few weeks ago that I had not seen.  In it she talked about this incident and how it was years before she realized that a crime had been committed against her and how she’d tried to cope as a teen with alcohol and how God had since healed her.  She eventually told me who had done this, both his name and the name of the boy who had helped carried her to the truck and drove.

She said she was hesitant to tell me since I had this man’s wife as an FB friend, so I explained that I didn’t even know this lady.  When she told me who, it struck me that normally, I never see status updates from her.  Either because she doesn’t post often or just because they don’t show in my newsfeed.   But for the past week or two, I’d been seeing these posts from  her about her husband being sick and having to have surgery.  I hadn’t thought anything of it since I don’t know them, but after this revelation, I felt God had put them there.  I don’t know WHY, but for whatever reason, He wanted to me see this info about this man.  And the other thing?  Just that day, the wife had posted a photo of him sitting in a chair in the hospital.  That was the first time I’d ever seen him and I didn’t recognize him.  Perhaps I need to be able to though?  I just don’t know, but for all that to have happened in that order, at that time was just too much.  I don’t believe in coincidences, so I believe, for whatever reason, God orchestrated all that stuff… me seeing those posts, seeing his picture, connecting with Sasha and getting on a subject to where she would share that info with me.

Of course, then there was the additional stuff… like me just pouring out my heart and telling her about all the things I’ve been dealing with lately, even the intimacy issues in my marriage and that I’d started seeing a therapist for depression.  She then sent a reply telling me that she deals with depression too and basically describing me by telling me how she isolates and has no energy, etc.

So, I really wish Sasha didn’t live in Michigan now!  It’s just uncanny how much we have in common while also having such different backgrounds.  And we just connected SO well almost instantly.

God’s pretty amazing the way he does things.

Proverbs 17:17 — A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

*not her real name, obvs

busy (for me)

So yeah, the past couple days have been busy! Not like, normal-people busy, but busy for me.

I was going to fill you all in on how things went at the PA & therapist yesterday, but I didn’t get time!! Let me try to fill you in now, okay?

Okay, at Richmond I went in with the PA first. I really liked her a lot! She asked a ton of questions, both about my past meds and what I’d been on most recently. We talked about how depression “does” me, how it makes me feel, what kinds of symptoms I have (fatigue, disinterest, sleeping too much, self-isolation, malaise) and she even got into asking about my life, some of the “highlights” of the triggers and causes of the depression.

The final verdict? Wellbutrin is the best bet for me. *sigh* That’s great except I took that for over 10 years and it worked great, but eventually seemed to stop being so effective. Matter of fact, the last time I tried to start Wellbutrin again, it just didn’t seem to work at all.

Now, that COULD have been because it was generic. My experience with the generic bupropion have been less than stellar! When it first became generic, I tried it for about a month, during which time it seemed to almost reverse the normal effects of Wellbutrin. It was a bad experience, meaning they messed with my meds which messed me up. I hate that!! So, it was like I spent several weeks going downhill trying the generic, then had to suffer through getting back on the “good stuff”. Not fun, no matter what meds you’re talking about. Several years later, I tried the generic again and it seemed to work okay. And by okay I mean it kept me from being totally dysfunctional, but didn’t really make me “better” feeling at all. So perhaps, in hindsight, it didn’t really work that well after all. I dunno at this point, but eventually it got less and less effective, money got tight, so I made the decision to just not purchase the bupropion and went off it.

I didn’t really seem any worse for that, so I never sought to get back on it. A couple years after that, I was offered (by a doctor!) Viibryd to try and it didn’t really seem to work, so I just didn’t pursue anything else.

And so, having done some research on all these meds myself, I knew that Wellbutrin seemed to be my best shot…would address my symptoms, not cause weight gain and would not induce fatigue…so hearing that from the PA, as I told her, was ‘kinda depressing!’ *sigh* That’s when she told me there were some dosing options. A higher dose of Wellbutrin XL (actually, we’re trying the generic) or a sustained release version, Wellbutrin SR.

Although, as I’m writing this post and searching for info, I’m finding articles like this and this…all about the shortcomings of these generics… so, I’m thinking it may not be worth my aggravation to even try the generic. AND this certainly makes me feel validated in what I’ve always said about the generic, at least for Wellbutrin. I’m not a brand snob, but if the generic doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work! I don’t have time for what doesn’t work!!

But as it stands, I’m supposed to start on 150 mg of XL for two weeks, then go up to 300 mg (the dose I always took) and then go back to see the PA. If it’s not working at all, we’ll try something else (the SR, I guess) or if it’s making me feel better but not “great”, we will go up to 450 mg and see how that goes.

I went straight from the PA to my therapist. I’ll be honest, I’d decided that this visit would determine for me if I was really getting “my money’s worth” out of these sessions. Not that I don’t enjoy talking to her, or that she’s not very easy to talk with… it was just that I wasn’t sure the whole idea of “talk therapy” or whatever it is was really gonna work for me. In my mind, I was like, “Why in the world do I need to pay to talk to someone?”

But I discovered, just in thinking it over in my own little head (heh) that it’s good to have someone totally outside the “fray” to tell things. We talked about a lot of stuff, it seemed like to me. I was able to share how I felt that what my mom had said to me as a child influenced how I thought and how I thought people felt about me. That led to me explaining to her how my parents tend to favor my sister, how they always blamed things on me as a child and even to the point of as adults, verbally blaming me for her making an extremely bad choice. “If you’d just been a better sister to her, she wouldn’t have done that.” I was told. Out of respect to my family, I’m going to refrain from giving any details here. Maybe later I’ll need to divulge, but for now, just let me leave it at that. How they have done for her, buying her cars and building her a house even though she’s married and is now a middle-aged woman. I know they don’t make that much money, I UNDERSTAND that, but we struggle for money ALL the time too. I would never ask them to pay for my meds or my groceries, let alone all the other stuff Mom buys for her… clothes, makeup and jewelry, etc.

I’ve never just sat and “stewed” about that stuff, but it’s there, it’s obvious and it hurts ya know? Mom is the main one who wants to just DO everything for her. My sister has had seizures since she was about 3. She had a surgery at 15 that stopped them for many years, but then when she got to be about 28 or so, the seizures returned. She held down a full time job and lived on her own for periods of time (just up the road from mom, of course, and rent-free in a home they owned) until she married when she was 35.

If it were up to my mom, I would probably be in a wheelchair. I mean, seriously. Not that she’d “put me in” one, but that she would rather me be there than push myself to “do more”. For instance, I used to have horrific neuropathy pain in my feet. That’s something diabetics get, it’s basically nerve damage that causes pain, numbness or tingling/burning. I was also diagnose with plantar fasciitis at that time too, which causes horrible pain in the feet. I could barely walk and she was forever telling me I needed to get a handicapped placard for my vehicle so I could park close and she’d always want me to ride in the motorized carts if she went to the store with me. That’s what I mean by she’d have me in a wheelchair if she could have her way.

I know it was because she wanted to ease my pain, but c’MON, Mom!! And that’s what she’s done to my sister. The biggest difference has been that I married young and married someone who is hardworking and won’t accept handouts OR let me wither away even when I want to. My hubby pushes me to push myself. Sometimes he’s downright annoying about it, but he never tries to push me beyond my capabilities, but he believes I can do more than I believe myself.

So, there’s all that stuff. I feel very “cheated” in a lot of ways. And my sister’s feelings toward me is that I “won’t be” her sister. She resents me because I have friends, close friends who treat me more like a sister than she does (or than I do her, also… I’m not perfect here) But she and I have nothing really in common and she is so consumed with herself, her limitations, her own favorite things…so unless I’m willing to just conform, I “don’t want to be” her sister. She’s even written me letters telling me to just stay away from her (as if I am down there at her door??—she lives next door to me, by the way)… I dunno. The last letter was extremely rambly but that’s what she wrote. Maybe she was just writing when she was feeling very hurt, but the fact that she put it in my mailbox on my last birthday? Yeah, pretty petty if you ask me. I know she is immature mentally, but a lot of that *I believe* is just because she’s straight-up spoiled.

A spoiled child is hard to stomach. But at least you can spank them (hopefully) and there is time to improve the situation if the parents choose. A spoiled adult? Unbearable!! And honestly, there are way too many of them around today. We all know at least one. It’s hard to understand how someone can reach adulthood feeling as privileged as some of them do.

So…yeah. That’s some of the stuff I talked about yesterday. We also talked about the whole “schedule” thing.

I am so NOT a schedule person!! Time has no meaning or context to me most of the time. I’m sure that’s from all these years of being at home. And the hubby is an EXTREME schedule-ist. Drives me flippin’ insane!! He thinks I should plan what time I will start the laundry, estimate how long it will take to finish it and so that will tell me what time I can start or do something else. He lives his life that way, so when he’s home and eSPECIALLY when I’m deeper in depression, it really drives me up a wall to have him around.

Most of the time, he keeps that crap to himself. (heh) But sometimes it spills out and we have some *ahem* ‘vigorous discussions’ about the value or lack thereof of such schedules… however, I am constantly being told I need to be on some sort of schedule.

*SIGH* I don’t wanna. UGH!! But I’m gonna try. It’s just so SO hard for me. So pray that I can improve that area of my life for my and my health’s sake.

We also talked about logging my moods…my emotional and even physical feelings. That’s where this blog will come in, I think.

I mentioned the blog yesterday. I’m not sure what she thought about it, but she was encouraging.

I cried a lot yesterday too. Both with the PA and my therapist. Sheesh. But then, these days it doesn’t take much to make me cry. *sigh*

Okay, so once I finally got home, I needed to get ready for our Emmaus reunion group’s meeting. Our group is called Heart 2 Heart 2. Yes. There’s supposed to be another “2” on the end. We’re a branch off the original Heart 2 Heart group. I dunno who decided to use a “2” but if we branch again, it should be called “Heart 2 Heart < 3" LOL! Okay, so maybe that wasn't as funny as it seemed. Sorry. 😉

Anyway, it was planned for even those outside our group. We had a lady coming to share her testimony and planned to serve food, so I had food to fix. I haven't fixed food for a pot luck in ages it seems. I was at a loss, but decided to fix a crock of Dill Pickle Soup. If you like dills at all, you must try this soup. I am a pickle freak, so to me, it’s divine!! I also fixed what’s become known as “Dirty Puddin'”. One of the boys who still comes around from our days of being youth leaders at our old church told me it was dirt cake. I had never heard of that. This is made from vanilla pudding, cool whip and crushed Oreos. I don’t remember where I got the recipe or if there even was a recipe. When I looked up Dirt Cake, this is not really that similar, so for him, I called it “Co-co’s Dirty Puddin'”. The name kinda stuck.

ANYhow, one of my friends rode down with me. She’s the one who insisted on picking me up the last time I got to a group meeting. We had a great time talking about a lot of the stuff that had been said in my session and how she had those words from her childhood in her head too, that colored how she sees the world, how she interprets things, how she feels others think about her. Then, wouldn’t you know it? At the meeting, the speaker spoke directly to those very issues. My friend was sitting by me, and I was sniffling and crying… she reached over and grabbed my hand. It was a great blessing and that little bit of confirmation…that little nod from God that “Yes, I wanted you to be here tonight.”

On the way home, my first DIL called to ask if I could pick up some ginger ale because my son was feverish and chilling. I stayed down there talking with him for awhile. Thank God he was better this morning and able to go with his brother and my dad to a conference they had scheduled.

So… that was my yesterday. Busy. Crazy. Full of squishy emotional mess, but good. It was all good.

Proverbs 25:11 — “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

and a fun day…

So besides going back tot he therapist today, I spent the day with one of my dearest friends and best supporters. When I first saw the therapist and then the gyno and got all those appointments, this dear friend offered to go to appointments with me any time I needed her to.

Since we hadn’t seen each other for quite awhile, she arranged her work so that she could go with me today.

We had fun chit-chatting on the way up there, then after my appointment, she very sweetly insisted on buying my lunch, so we had a nice long sit at the steakhouse, talking and laughing.

Then we took a trip to TJ Maxx. That probably doesn’t sound like a giant deal to most people, but for me it was huge. I haven’t gone anywhere but the grocery or the pharmacy in probably 3 or so months.

To go traipsing through a store just for the heck of it was SO MUCH FUN. Even more so with a dear friend. My intention was to window shop since we really don’t have any extra money, but I ended up finding a pair of the MOST comfortable shoes and having looked for shoes all winter without having any luck, I just had to. I knew we could find a way for it to be okay, but I felt so bad, however, soon I found a perfect birthday gift for my first daughter-in-law’s birthday coming up in a couple weeks, then I found a kitchen gadget that my younger kids needed…then I found an amazingly nice tea kettle for us. The one we’ve been using is not long for this world and this one is really well-built and was a great deal! Um, I also found an awesome little colander that we needed. Oh, um… and an adorable ceramic owl.

Okay, so I went a little wild. Heh. Thankfully, my sweet hubby made a little overtime this week and he is very understanding.

And I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the day with such a sweet friend. God really is so very good to me!!

Proverbs 17:17 — “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

and why God is so extremely good…

So if you read my previous post, you might, well…. you might be passed out on the floor because I’ve posted twice in one day. Ha ha! But you might be interested to know that I spent the evening with three of the most precious ladies in my life.

What a complete “God thing” it is that tonight would be the usual meeting night of these ladies. After my long post about my mindset on friends and how I don’t have that many in my life and how hard it is for me to make true and actual friends…

These ladies are part of what’s called a “reunion group” in the Emmaus community. It’s similar to a small group. We meet to talk about our walk with Jesus, the struggles we’re having, the victories we’ve realized and we pray for and support each other. We hold each other accountable.

I stopped going to the meetings except for the rare occasion when I started selling Mary Kay because I always had some MK thing to do on that night.

I missed my friends, my sweet girls, so much, but felt I had no choice. God took care of that for me. Or maybe that’s not exactly what He was doing or why my health went downhill so much that I couldn’t continue with MK, but nonetheless, I was SO happy to meet back up with my little core group of women tonight.

The group has grown and shrank (shrunk?!) and changed over the past few years since I became a part of it, but this core group of women has always been there, so it was nice to go back tonight and it just be us.

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I have secluded myself during this last bout of depression. I cut myself off from pretty much everyone. But my little core group of gals from the reunion group would still text to see if I was coming or how I was doing.

So tonight, there was a lot of heavy burdens we all had to share. I felt like, for most of the evening, that I wouldn’t add my stuff to the pile. It didn’t seem appropriate or I didn’t feel comfortable or as if it was “the right time” to share this stuff with them.

I honestly thought I would just keep it all to myself. I mean, there were three other people there. Did I really want to tell them this stuff that was so deeply painful? Did I want to trust them with that?

Well, yeah, I am kinda just telling the internet, but somehow, that’s different than looking someone in the face and saying, “Hey, I have lived 40 some years with this huge despair in my life and I’m having a hard time carrying it lately.” “Sometimes I don’t want to live anymore.” “I have this deeply personal sorrow in my life that I cannot share with just anyone–can I share it with you? Do you care enough to listen and pray?” Then hope that they are as trustworthy as you think and that they then care enough to … not ‘deal with’ but support you while you deal with your pain.

That’s a scary thing to do. The issues with my marriage I have only entrusted to two other people before tonight. One proved to be entirely trustworthy. The other, and first, did not. Tonight, I praise God for three women who love me and Jesus enough to have listened to me and who I know will pray for me as I make this journey.

So, on the day I write a post about how I have come to be so slow to label someone “friend”, I am supremely thankful that God put three more of those people in my life.

He really is a loving, merciful Savior!

Deuteronomy 4:31 — “For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.”

Psalm 112:4 — “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.”

Proverbs 17:17 — “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”