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!

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on the upswing…

Things have been going much better at least depression-wise. I’m not sure why, I mean, physically I’m not doing anything really different…no new meds or vitamins. I’ve decided it’s just the good Lord pouring His favor on me.

I’ve been in such an awful place over this house. Ever since the horrible bout of depression for most of 2014, I have just not taken care of the house. I did what laundry HAD to be done, kept enough dishes clean to eat off but that’s about it. Seriously, this place has really gone to the dogs.
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It’s hard for me to admit that “out loud”, but there are plenty enough people who know it either first hand or because I told them. But I guess because of the way my mother is, the way I was raised, having a messy or dirty house is a direct reflection of your character. Your worth as a human being. I’ve worked a long time, a lot of years, to be able to deal with the indoctrination that because I didn’t keep a pristine house, I was a lousy person.
house-hatemorethan
My mother is an immaculate housekeeper. My dad always had his own businesses and so Mom always did the bookkeeping and such instead of having a job outside the home. She apparently was almost OCD about cleaning when she and Dad first got married. Her older sister laughingly told me that she caught my mom ironing Dad’s underwear when they were newlyweds. I guess she laughed at my mom then too, but it seems to be Mom’s way of showing love. The love language of service.

She once told me that as a child, her mother, my grandmother, wasn’t a great housekeeper. She seemed to not even take into account that Grandmother had 7 kids, an unsupportive, cheating husband and always lived in a rented home with little money to live on. After I learned those things about my Grandma, I realized she was probably really depressed!

All my mom remembers is how embarrassed it made her to have people see their messy house, so she would clean it as best she could. She was the youngest girl and next-to-youngest child of the seven, so her older sisters were either about to get married, busy dating and going to high school and really didn’t care about the house the way Mom did.

Somehow, even as an adult, Mom didn’t realize that more than likely the biggest reason Grandma didn’t worry about keeping the house nice is because she was depressed.

I mean, I think you’d have to be depressed if your husband was running around on you and left to you deal with seven children on your own. Oh, he didn’t walk out on them…he just cheated on her and then came home expecting to be welcomed and respected.

Anyway, I think that’s why Mom connects the way you take care of things with your self-worth. She’s made me feel like dirt many times over the years, just ragging on me because my house wasn’t clean enough to suit her.

When I was a child I had chores of course, but most of it only involved my own room. As I got older, she’d have me do other chores around the house…mostly washing dishes or loading and unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming. The times she wanted me to do anything else, though, like cleaning windows or mirrors, I never did it “right” and she would just go behind me and do it over. The only things she didn’t complain about or do over were the vacuuming and dishwasher. I guess there’s not many ways to mess that up.
neither do I
I think it really messed with me the way both my parents tended to not be really generous with compliments or encouraging words. Add the way Mom never thought I did anything right with those tasks and how mad it made her, and I ended up with a huge deficit in the confidence department.

Years ago when the kids were young, any time she came over, she’d never sit and chat like normal people. She would start cleaning. Because even if I’d just cleaned, it was never clean enough for her.

Now I admit, I’ve never been a super-duper housekeeper, but I used to do just fine when the kids were home. Even after my youngest moved out, I could do okay.
burglar obstacles
Then last year happened. A lot of things just came to a head. I think there were many “little” things that all worked together to send me to the bottom of The Pit and because I’d gone off my anti-depressants, I ended up in a horrifically dark place for over eight months.

And during all that time, it was all I could do to get out of bed. I avoided people, going only to church and not much else. I certainly didn’t worry about or feel like cleaning or taking care of the house.
i-don-t-care
Now, it never got quite THIS bad:
nasty
in case you’re picturing an episode of Hoarders or some other equally nightmarish reality show.

It was probably more like this:
house-clutter
Except with a LOT more paper. Paper/mail/documents are the bane of my existence!

So anyway, somehow, some way I have had more determination and energy to tackle the long-neglected chores around here. The hubby helped me get a bunch of items out of the house that were causing clutter too. We even got the Christmas decorations out and finished putting up the tree AND have the mess from all that cleaned up already.

I’ve dusted and swept and vacuumed and mopped in places that haven’t had any attention in a long time. I have all the laundry caught up and most of it put away. I did a major decluttering and cleaning in the bedroom and really all I need to get done is the kitchen (where most of the papers are) and master bath.

It’s crazy how much better I feel just knowing I have started to get some “control” over the state of this house. It’s crazy how I KNOW it makes me feel better, but when I’m depressed/tired/frustrated, I just don’t care. It doesn’t matter how much I know it’ll make me feel better…I just can’t make myself do it. It just seems too overwhelming.

Now, to just finish these last rooms (we will talk about my two spare rooms that need major work at another time) so I can start planning a menu for our traditional Christmas breakfast at our house!
messy house prayer
I’ve prayed this prayer many times before in my life. I can’t imagine ever NOT needing to pray it, though!

harder than I thought

So I have thought for years about writing a book.

There. I said it.
you-have-one-life-set-bigger-goals
Actually, I really did say it out loud in a Bible study at my church several weeks ago. The leader asked us about what we’d do that we had thought about for a long time but just never done for lack of time or courage or whatever.

That was mine. So, after praying on it a bit, a very little bit, I just sat down and started writing. I had over 2000 words by the time I quit that day. After sort of hitting a wall, I quit for about a week and then started again and now there are almost 10,000 words and a lot of wondering, doubting and frustration.

The lady in that Bible study asked me details…she asked if I wanted to write a novel and if i had a title in mind. I answered no the first question and yes to the last.
impossible to possible
I’ve thought that a book about my life, the various medical situations and dealing with a chronic disease and depression might be interesting to some people and that it might help in some way.

Maybe you’ve figured out by now that I’m not really an ambitious person. I tried to be…back in “The Mary Kay Days”…I thought I could be a competitive sales woman. Yeah, I know…it was makeup and there have been MK ladies forever, yada yada.

I’m glad I tried that, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I feel like God probably used that time in my life to stretch me and show me some things about myself. I was so determined to be successful and it was hard and people would lie to you (not necessarily MK people, although some did, but potential customers and such) and I didn’t like the stress that made me feel. But that’s not actually why I quit, although it probably should have been. I had to get an unbelievably painful rash that made it impossible to wear clothes part of the time it hurt so bad. Then during all that, I developed a worse sensitivity to strong odors and chemical scents. Being all up in someone’s business while they are wearing perfume was no longer an option for me. I’ve spent the past year and a half dealing with all these new allergies and sensitivities, getting rid of chemicals in the house and all that. I really feel like that was God’s way of saying, “STOP” with MK. And ultimately, I had no choice.

One thing it did for me was make me have to set goals, which is something I had never done before. Honestly, other than small ‘to-do’ list type stuff, I’ve never set any grand goals in my life. I’d never really been encouraged to and I didn’t know how.

So like I said, this book thing has been in the back of my mind for probably fifteen years. It was like a joke I had with myself. I’d never told ANYONE about the idea because it seemed so ludicrous. So when I had to say it out loud, it kind of made it become a real possibility. I mean, I was sitting in a room with a doctor, a pharmacist, a teacher and writer, and several other women who had careers and families they were juggling. I felt so completely like the one thing that’s “not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong” (sorry, I had a Sesame Street flashback there) For me, doing this…
A list of my goals...yeah.
is terrifying. I become paralyzed and my mind goes blank.

But then I think wouldn’t it be encouraging for other people to know that life doesn’t have to end or be miserable when you have diabetes? Wouldn’t it help folks to know you can overcome the depression, even if it sometimes gets the best of you, you can still win? But there are many other things that have happened in my life and all those tend to work their way up through my story.

There’s the hurt and struggle of not being “the favored child” at home. The obvious preference given to my sister over me since we were children. There are the years, three or four of them, when my father’s preacher friend moved his family to our town and his son molested me repeatedly. And I never told anyone. Those are relatively minor things, I guess. I mean, in the big picture they are just a petty brushstroke, but they have made me what I am. They have shaped how I think and feel and how I see myself and others. I just imagine that finding out some of those things after years and years might be hard to take or hurtful.

Then there’s the act of actually putting into words the feelings, the hurt and wounds I carry. The reality of how my family will feel if they ever read my book. Thoughts like, “Do I leave out things that really matter because I might hurt someone’s feelings by telling how they hurt mine?” and “Do these things really even matter now?” go through my mind and now I’m once again stuck.
Should I be the bear or the bunny?
Fear speaks loudly in my mind… like I’m just wasting my time, why would anyone care about what I have to say? Even if I finished the book and by some miracle it was published, what kind of mess would it create with my family if they read it? Is telling MY story worth possibly hurting someone I care about?
analysis-paralysis
Well, no, of course not. But then I think, Should I omit things because someone else might potentially have hurt feelings? Even when it’s true? Even when I’ve actually toned the whole thing down a lot already? When I’ve left out details that would make it sound a lot worse to others?
I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure.
Argh! I drive myself crazy with these things!

I’m not sure what I will end up doing. I will keep working on the draft when the mood hits me, I guess, and see how the Lord leads me. He will have to direct me because I am completely stumped. I feel like the book could be so much more than just “how I live with diabetes and depression”…I want it to show the hope that I have in Jesus and to relate how it is ONLY by my faith in Him that I’ve made it this far. I want the book to reflect the life He offers, the peace He gives…but I feel like getting to that “chapter” is oh-so messy.

I just don’t want this to be true of me….
Indecision destroys dreams.

why we don’t “do” halloween

First of all, let me say that I am not condemning any of my Christian friends who are posting pictures of their kids dressed up in costumes and preparing to help at their church’s “Fall-Festival/Carnival/Whatever” alternatives for Halloween.

This is just MY opinion and the reasons behind and the way we got to skipping Halloween.

Halloween

My two sons are grown and married now, so this is ancient history. But the subject of Halloween and whether to do or not to do it came up with a good friend who has small children and is facing the same questions I did at this stage, so in light of the season, I thought I’d share with you also.

First, some a-little-more-than-ancient history (we’re talkin’ stone age here) my birthday is the day after Halloween. As you probably already know if you’ve visited here before, I’m also a type 1 diabetic for the past forty-some years. Me and Halloween had issues, okay? We celebrated it when I was a kid growing up in a Christian home. Most often, it was combined with my birthday. I both loved and hated it. Loved the dressing up (I often made up my own costumes, so that’s always fun) but hated collecting a bunch of goodies I couldn’t eat. I was often the very sickest each year because of stinkin’ Halloween/birthday because I could always figure out where the stash was hidden or would overdo it on birthday treats. What can I say? Such was the life of a child with diabetes in the seventies. It was a lot harder to figure how to dose to cover candy and other treats. But I (hugely) digress…

My boys are four years apart. When the youngest was still a toddler, we always dressed them up in very non-scary costumes. I had the crayon, lion, Mickey Mouse and scarecrow costumes from my eldest that my baby son just had to wear, of course. We didn’t think much about the consequences of participating in the traditions. Not only were our babies babies, but my husband and I were babies ourselves, both spiritually and emotionally…and physically for that matter. We just hadn’t put any thought into how we’d handle it when they were older nor what the holiday even meant or represented.

I have seen heated and ugly debates online between Christians about whether or not it was appropriate or whatever to celebrate this holiday and I DO NOT want to do or start that here. PLEASE understand me when I tell you I am not looking for any division to come from this. I just want to offer you, perhaps, another perspective and give you some things to think about.

To begin, let me share the testimony my friend had found on Facebook that started the discussion between us.

A Former Witch’s View on Halloween by Carol Komancki

“I see images of Christians being slaughtered for their faith—- blood everywhere, children- young adults -grown men/women- willing to die rather then deny Christ—— it takes my breath away.
What I don’t understand is when Christians celebrate Halloween, decorate with gory bloody images, put up skeletons and images of death and darkness, without a second thought! And they will argue and debate trying to make it okay and refuse to give up celebrating that nite!
I am an ex witch, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, when I was practicing witchcraft, Halloween was the biggest night of the year for those practicing the occult. People try to say it’s about the candy and fun, it goes way deeper then that!
The roots of this highly pagan holiday remain the same, it’s a night of death -darkness- gore—- and no matter how much you dress it up to make it pretty, no matter how many excuses you make, it’s a night to celebrate Samhein——– the god of the dead!
I don’t recall those who practice paganism coming on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Lord of life.
Yet Christians will celebrate the pagan ritual of Halloween —–the god of death and darkness. …..
I don’t care to debate….
You can do whatever you choose —-but it won’t change the truth or the facts!!!!”

I think we all know that the origins of Halloween are not particularly good. As we often do, though, we’ve ‘tamed it down’, we’ve turned what can be dangerous into something cute and fun. We’ve said “It’s just for fun. We’re not playing with a Ouija board or anything, for crying out loud!” I have read many different articles and books about what Halloween means, what it represents and how it is diametrically opposed to all that God represents. As Christians, we serve a RISEN FROM THE DEAD Savior who’s all about LIFE. Halloween is all about death. No matter how much fun dressing up is, how innocent that is on its own, when I do it to participate with Halloween, MY belief is that it ceases to be innocent.
occult

So our experience…once the boys were a little older and we were in the beginning of our homeschooling adventure, we started to discuss what Halloween was and talk about what we, as a Christian family, should do or think about it. We came up with this idea of dressing up as Biblical characters. At the time, I thought, “Sure. That’s a great trade-off. They can “witness” while they trick-or-treat.”

I went to great lengths to create this Goliath suit for my eldest and a shepherd costume for the youngest. The shepherd was easy. We even got a patch of leather and some leather “string” and made an old fashioned sling! For Goliath, I spray painted an old pair of his tennis shoes with silver metallic paint. Made him a breast plate, shield, arm and leg guards out of poster board and painted those too. I then used some of the leather strap to tie them on and drew in the details with a black sharpie. It was pretty awesome looking if I do say so myself! (of course, I can’t locate a photo of it to show you!)

The day finally arrived. Hubby and I headed out with the boys, armed with a couple weeks’ worth of studying the story so they could tell people about who they were and many discussions about why we were approaching Trick-or-Treating this way. They were so anxious for someone to recognize who they were, but no one had a clue. Most of them would ask, as people usually do, but when the boys told them, almost every single person just got a blank look on their faces. No one even knew who David and Goliath were and the one time our eldest tried to explain, the person wasn’t interested. Once he said, “They are people from the Bible who…” the person just sort of cut him off and proceeded to do something else. The youngest didn’t really perceive what had happened, but our big boy? He was certainly disappointed and my heart hurt for him.

Besides this awful experience, there was everyone else’s costumes. Most all of the other ones we saw were gory, monster-y type of costumes. Some of them were really hideous with lots of bloody guts and such. I could tell the boys were a little shocked, if not scared at the sight of them. I felt like it was something we shouldn’t be exposing them to.

I was rethinking my idea of “trade-offs” with Halloween. Later, it came to me that wiccans don’t show up at church for the Christmas play with their Book of Wiccan in hand, ya know? Why were we, as Christians, trying to share Jesus with people on a holiday that has NOTHING to do with our faith? Even if not all of them were celebrating “the true meaning” of Halloween, why were we trying to shine a light in the middle of a holiday with its roots firmly planted in very dark, and yes, fully evil, ideals and origins?

I’m not saying, of course, that we shouldn’t try to shine God’s light when we are in dark situations or places, but should we step into a very dark holiday, to shine it there while we sorta-kinda participate in it? While we play with the fringes of it?

That’s something I contemplated and chewed on for many years, even before this Halloween that I just described to you. After that experience, we just decided as a family that Halloween would be an extra special family-fun night at home. My kids never suffered any ill effects from not going door to door to beg candy while dressed in a costume. *smile*

jesus-pumpkin

For a couple of years, we took part in Halloween alternatives at different churches. I don’t think if I had young children now that we’d do this. The first time we did it, it was actually fairly well-done, and by that I mean that it really didn’t have a lot to do with Halloween at all. However, many people that showed up didn’t really seem to “get” that this was something to do instead of traditional Halloween activities. I DO understand the idea behind churches having these events at all…that it’s an attempt to give church kids and families a way to do fun stuff on a night when most everyone else is taking part in more dark-themed parties and such. But it’s not presented this way for the most part. Now I have also had friends or seen other churches do a “Reformation Day” event, and I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand what that is other than a celebration of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of “The Church”. [I’ve linked some words so that you can research more if you want] This is linked primarily to the Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Because I was raised in a different denomination, this event wasn’t emphasized or really taught to me. However, when I have seen photos of one of these events, they were also dressed up, but as historical figures from that era, not as random characters or superheros or monsters. Now, that may not be the usual practice for Reformation Day at churches. This was a congregation made up of mostly homeschool families, so that might have just been unique to them, ya know? ALLLL that to say this:
halloween-alternate
I think IF a church is going to do something like this, it should be markedly different from a Halloween event. And that’s just my opinion because the last time we did this at another church, it was very disappointing to me and confusing to my kids. Don’t host a Halloween alternative event at your church and then have it look exactly like what the world’s doing, right? I mean, that’s how I see it.

Our family’s journey to really rejecting Halloween was sort of meandering and wandering more than anything. It wasn’t some decision we made all of a sudden. And it’s still kind of a fuzzy area, even now that our kids are grown and married. I mean, we still have friends who don’t feel the way we do or maybe haven’t arrived at the place we did after our own journey, ya know? But I believe it is definitely worthy of discussion and civil, loving debate. It’s something that families should talk about and decide where they stand on the topic. What is your opinion and how does it line up with what scripture says? I believe it’s something we should settle within ourselves, within our families if you have young children. The topic is going to confront you…halloween-shouldChristiansRomans 14:5 – “…Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

taking on the taboo

I’ve had a couple of discussions about it in the past couple days. I saw several posts and vlogs about it lately. I know many people who suffer with, from and through it. Heaven knows I have dealt with it enough myself.

So let’s just discuss it. I feel like maybe I’m supposed to speak about it.

Maybe you’ve figured out by now I’m talking about depression. Sadly, even in the 21st century, it’s still a taboo subject. It’s still cause for shame or at least embarrassment in America.

depressed2

I’ve shared here and other places online about my own struggles with depression. I have had discussions publicly and via private message with people about it.

[DISCLAIMER: I’m not dispensing clinical advice to you or recommending you do a particular thing. I am just sharing MY experiences, MY “what works for me”, MY findings while researching the problem. You do what’s best for you, seek professional advice first and BE WELL!]

My motives are pretty simple and very straightforward. I think it’s important for people to be aware of depression…of the signs and symptoms, of the treatments, of the facts that there are many of us who suffer with it and how it would surprise you to find out how many of your friends, family and acquaintances are living with it right now.

First let’s look at what depression actually is and what it isn’t. What I have is referred to as “clinical depression” and it’s what many of the folks who have reached out to me also deal with.

    [NOTE: Please make use of the many links I have put in this post. (the first one is in the previous paragraph!) If you don’t live with depression yourself, at least be educated enough to understand and help those around you who are living with it. I guarantee you there are more than you’d think.]

Clinical depression is that “black cloud” that sticks with you. It’s a “sadness” that you can’t explain or shake. I find that the best way to explain it to those who don’t understand is that I KNOW without a doubt I have MUCH to be thankful for,
I K-N-O-W it. But I can’t make myself be happy. And it’s not that I’m overtly sad or anxious. It’s just an indescribable inertness, if you will. A complete lack of energy, or perhaps an inability, to feel joy.

Depression

If you read all through the link for clinical (or major) depression (and I urge you to!) then you’ll see it lists the symptoms and then states “when it’s not caused by a medical condition or medication” and that’s where I depart from the medical book, as I usually do. (ha) I DO have medical conditions that can cause those symptoms. I even have a chronic disease which makes me much more susceptible to being depressed. (diabetes, to name just one) so I don’t fit “neatly” into a particular diagnosis. Lots of us don’t and that’s okay as long as you have a medical professional who can deal with that.

There are currently several types of depression recognized by the medical community. Some of these you’ve probably heard of, like “clinical depression”, “major depression”, “postpartum depression”, even PMS has its own depression called “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder”! That last link will take you to webmd.com’s list of these with links to more info on each of them. I’m not sure how valid some of these are, but perhaps medicine is just trying to give a name to the things we deal with all the time but never know what to call it. (for instance, on the list is “situational depression”…who on this earth hasn’t experienced that before? I’m not sure the emotions tied to various temporary events deserves a medical diagnosis, but that’s fodder for another post, right?–HA!)

Let me say that I don’t want to “push” depression and make it like so many things these days, cool or in any way desirable or something to be envied. That doesn’t make much sense I guess, but stick with me while I try to explain… Like so many things in our society, people try to put labels on various people and behaviors. Sometimes to make them ‘hip’ or whatever, sometimes to make them seem acceptable. (first thing that comes to mind is how ADD became a buzz-diagnosis so quickly and then, even though it can be a genuine problem for some people, it soon became the go-to excuse for not doing your work, not being dependable or responsible, etc., etc.) I don’t want to do that here. Depression is serious. It can be life-threatening at its worst, debilitating or at its very best, it can make living feel like a burden. So it’s not something to be trifled with in any way. I guess I just don’t want to come across as if I’m just tossing the word around and diminish the real significance of the disease.

Okay, so here, I want to share with you a video by a pastor I’ve met a time or two that I really admire. For one, he’s now an avid cyclist. (Seriously, the man’s a beast on a bike!) For two, he’s an honest-to-goodness Bible-believing man of God who isn’t afraid to speak truth. For three, he’s a loving husband and father and he also suffers from depression. I already like him, but after he posted this video on Facebook, I admired him even more. See for yourself as someone with a position of leadership and somewhat notoriety goes very public with how he struggled with and then overcame the monster that is depression: Pastor Greg Locke on Overcoming Depression

As you might guess, one of the reasons I so love this video is that he says cycling helped with his depression. Of course, not everyone can jump into this the way he did. Since I’ve been watching him for years now, I can tell you that he first got “into” bike riding when he went to the Goodwill and got a bike to ride in a charity ride. From there, apparently, he was hooked. He has since done a 3,000+ mile ride (IN TEN, that’s 10, one-zero, T-E-N DAYS!!) to the Pacific shore and also the Tour Divide, an unsupported mountain bike ride from Canada to Mexico! He’s a beast, I tell you!

I don’t foresee myself ever doing such amazing bike rides, and that’s okay. I have impressed myself enough with the longer rides I have been able to do. I’m just happy to be getting out and being active because before cycling, I was pretty much a couch potato. A long day of errands was about as much activity as this ol’ gal ever got! So, praise God that I have this activity to get me moving and inching toward better health!

Okay, back to the topic at hand. I hope you watched Greg’s video. Part of what was SO encouraging to me was the discovery that someone who seemed so alive, so interactive, so “with it” would have a problem with depression. It was like LIFE-GIVING to realize that he KNEW what it felt like, knew how it felt when someone says to you, “Just snap out of it. Just trust the Lord. Just read your Bible more.” When it was all you could do just to get out of bed in the morning, IF you even did that!

And I guess that’s the most important thing I want to do with this post. I want YOU to know that *I* KNOW. If you never meet another soul who understands depression, know this… you’ve stumbled across this minuscule spot on the web, this unknown web address to this post because God wanted you to know that you are not alone. Let’s face it, that’s the only way you’d have ended up here! Ha!

Maybe, if you happen to know me in real-life or you’ve read other posts here, maybe you never imagined that I have depression. Once you start being open about it, researching and talking to others, you will find that many of us who suffer from chronic clinical depression can be the funniest, goofiest, seemingly-up-beatest (Ha!) people you know. Here’s the thing.. it’s easy to fake it for a few hours. At least most of the time. So don’t assume that someone who’s always cracking jokes and smiling could never understand depression. Often, it’s a way to cope. That doesn’t mean we’re not genuinely funny or goofy, it’s just that that part of us isn’t the strongest during the dark-cloud times and so we relish our time of being able to laugh and make others laugh, because once that’s over, the cloud is back. At least that’s how depression is for me.

Y’know, you’d think that for those of us who cope that way, since it does feel so much better to be with a few people laughing it up we would seek that out, but in reality it finally becomes too hard. It gets to be too much effort to drag myself out to be with people, to even want to be with people. The devil and my own dark place will start to tell me no one really wants to be with me. They will just wonder what’s wrong with me…why am I so pale, why don’t I have any makeup on, why am I not talking as much, etc. Then there’s the whole monologue that goes, “You’d need to shower and fix your hair. You don’t have the energy for that. It’ll be too hard to smile enough or to ‘be your usual self’ and they’ll know something’s wrong. They will think you’re weird or sick or they’ll just wish you hadn’t come. What if it gets too hard to try and you burst out in tears. You can’t let them see you cry, and you’ll probably cry. No, just stay home. It’s easier that way.”

Only a few short months ago, that conversation played routinely in my head. I stopped going to the get-togethers with some of the most dear friends I have. I’m sure they knew something was up, but I couldn’t bring myself to just say, “Hey guys? I’m hurting. I’m in a bad spot. Nothing physical, no one in my family is terminal or has died, I just feel like crud and I can’t smile anymore. Pray for me. Tolerate me if I come around– encourage me to come around because it’s entirely too easy to convince myself not to!!”

I finally just had to come clean with them. Some of the reasons were deeply personal, so it was hard to even speak them out loud. Secrets in my marriage that were decades old, but they had contributed hugely to the massive black hole I was in and at that time, I had decided to confront and seek help for that and it had stirred up all kinds of ugly. It was HARD to tell my closest friends where I was and how bad I was hurting. They still probably don’t entirely understand, but at least they have an idea now and when I say that I’m feeling “dark” and need some prayer, they are on it. They don’t hesitate to check on me and encourage me, to ask questions which are not comfortable, not convenient to ask.

So I guess my next suggestion or bit of advice for you is this…get, find or make yourself some good friends. At least one. They don’t have to be people you talk to every day or even every week. It doesn’t have to be the person you do everything with (when you DO go do something)… It just needs to be someone you can count on to see through your hiding, your coping methods. Someone who will confront you when you have slipped into dark mode.
don't give up
One last thing, there’s something even more taboo than depression and that’s suicide and having suicidal thoughts during a deeply depressed cycle. I won’t lie to you. I have been there. I’ve said before, I’m thankful to have my faith in God because I truly believe that’s the only thing that kept me from attempting to end myself years ago when the idea came to me often.

I now know that a permanent solution to a temporary problem is never the answer. It took growing in my faith and becoming solidly convinced that I am worth something to God and even when I feel I’m not worth anything to anyone, not even myself, I have to trust that God’s got a purpose for me being here. A lot of the lies I tell myself are that my family would be better off, my husband could find someone without my problems, who he wouldn’t have to worry about or care for, take to countless doctors or wake from a dead sleep to feed through a low blood sugar, who wasn’t so self-doubting that I paralyze myself and need him to make the simplest decisions… I think my kids could live without wondering if their mother is crazy, without her words that come out so carelessly unintentionally causing pain to them and the ones they love. Even when those quite loud thoughts are going through my mind every single day repeatedly, I can remind myself that God has a purpose. I don’t have to know what it is because He does. I just have to trust Him.
suicide
That kinda takes the pressure off me. *ha* So if you don’t know Jesus, I urge you to learn about Him and trust Him with your life. He will keep you safe if you will just trust Him. He’s the best friend and ally against depression I can recommend to you. He may not choose to deliver you out of the dark hole, but He will be with you in it and make you strong enough to endure it.

Hebrews 13:5“…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.””

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.”

wonder dawg

max-kayak-May2015

So, here’s our Maxie.  We had been talking about a canoe/kayak trip for Memorial Day with our youngest babies for a few weeks.  This is the day before that, when “they” (meaning not me) decided we had time to make a practice run down a closer river than the one we had planned for Memorial Day.

I’m not sure what possessed us to think Max ought to go, but go he did.  And he did awesome.  He is such an amazing little boogar.  I’m always impressed with him whenever we take a leap and take him with us somewhere.  He’s such a good boy.  He never seemed the least bit scared on the water, although he did simply step or roll out into it a few times.  We’re not sure if he thought all the pollen on the surface meant there was solid ground where the water was still so he should be able to walk on it or if he needed to potty and was determined to get to a good potty spot.

As unafraid as Max was, I, on the other hand, was not so brave.  Almost from the start, we hit a bit of rough water, or rather the Hubby was moving more than I was comfortable with and I panicked.  That just set the mood for me.  I suddenly remembered how little I actually liked canoeing.  The kids have a couple of kayaks but Hubby has a canoe, so that’s what we float in.

I don’t much like a canoe.  I don’t much like water, actually and especially if it’s moving at all.  In case you didn’t know, the very first time Hubby took me canoeing we went with his buddies to a river he’d never been to himself, with class 3 rapids and he had never been in the back of a canoe (where you steer from) he’d always been in the front!

As a result, I got dumped out no less than three times, each time in a section of rapids.  It was everything from unnerving to terrifying.  My insulin pump got water damage and one of the buttons get broken from hitting the solid-rock river bottom so I spent the next few days giving shots because I had no pump, not to mention that my sugars shot up during the remaining 2+ hours of water-time and 3 hour ride home.  I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t like being on the water.  It’s a constant fear that my pump will get damaged.  Other than that, I would like the water except that I can’t swim…and I hate getting water in my nose and ears.

Yeah so I probably won’t ever be liking water so much.  Heh.

I learned on that first trip that moving water is POWERFUL and if you are dumped out in it, you won’t just casually wade to the shore and stroll out of the river.  And if you are pinned on top of tree roots or anything else by said water, you might as well forget getting out of the water on your own.

So yeah, those things might have been flashing through my mind every time the canoe rocked back and forth and each time I heard the boat scraping rocks.  Then there was the moment when, for some reason, Hubby couldn’t steer the canoe fast enough to keep it from ramming underneath a tree.  Since I was in the front of the canoe, I was rammed into and under the tree too, and when I grabbed the limbs to keep them from taking my head off, the canoe tipped just enough to spill me out and Hubby either got dumped or jumped out, leaving poor little Max in there, floating off by himself. After him jumping out on his own, it was funny that he was the only one that stayed in.  I came out with a couple of fingernails ripped off and one bleeding with a hunk of meat hanging off the side of one finger.

I wasn’t  happy, as you can imagine.  I wanted to go back right then and there, but um… well, you don’t “go back” in canoeing.  Nobody comes to “pick you up.  We had to go on, but my babies suggested we use their kayaks and let them use the canoe.  DIL #2 insisted we switch since the kayaks are easier to control in the water.

So Hubby and I got in the kayaks and let Baby Son & DIL #2 in the canoe.  I still wasn’t completely comfortable, but it was indeed much simpler to navigate the water and in all honesty, I very much enjoyed the floating down the calm water… but the “bumpy” areas are SO not my favorite!

I decided by the time I had paddled to the take-out point, that I wouldn’t go back with them the next day on the originally planned trip.  My neck and shoulders were horrifically tight and they’re still sore today.

This is Max on the trip back home.Max: Post-Kayaking
I think we are both done with river running for awhile.

The Baby kids, hubby and a friend of theirs went and had a good time.  When it took them about 9 hours to run the section they did, I was very glad I’d chosen to stay home, even if it was boring.  Maybe I’ll go on the river again, but probably not until I’ve had time to forget that I don’t much like it.

Ha!

Genesis 41:51 –  “….“God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”[

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Cycling. I really do like it. I probably don’t love it like many people. I sometimes have to make myself ‘just do it’… I have to overcome the mind games that make me hesitate when I’m scared because of the pain from falling or whatever. When I am tired or sore, when I don’t wanna deal with the sweat and aching muscles.

Right now, I am just proud that I can make myself get on the trainer at least a few times a week. I mean, that’s a huge step forward for me. I want to get healthier and smaller. I want to get stronger and more focused.

I’m not a “pusher” though. I am not big on doing ‘the hard thing’. I’m the first one to quit when it gets hard or difficult or ugly. Well, at least physically. Although I guess there are things about me, parts of me that are always doing the hard things. I mean, living life with a chronic disease, one that never gives you a day off, never a moment to forget about it… that’s a hard thing if ever there was one. So … I dunno… maybe I’m a little stronger than I give myself credit for, but I could definitely be stronger than I am.

I am almost a total opposite of my crazy hubby, though. He never backs down from something he wants to accomplish. Like cycling. He has been committed to doing this century challenge this year. After his wreck, the crutches and all, he was still saying he’d give it a try. Then, he’d move wrong and get that muscle aching really bad and say that he couldn’t.

With this trip coming up this weekend, his work conference in Nashville, we have a LOT to get done before Sunday when we plan to leave right from church. Last weekend was planned to be the first leg of the century challenge with our local Redbud Ride, but he wasn’t at all ready to attempt that. About a week before this, we learned that they were making changes so that if you volunteered to work the ride, then you would be permitted to do your century ride either the weekend before or after the Redbud and still have it count toward the challenge.

He was so excited about that and started making plans to do that. We DID have a fun day working at one of the rest stops and driving SAG
Volunteers for Redbud Ride 2015
And earlier this week is when he’d told some other riders that he didn’t think he was going to try doing a century this weekend.

Then he rode about 20 miles. And didn’t feel all that bad. He told me the muscle that was injured and has been giving him so much pain felt better. So now he wants to attempt to do this 100-mile bicycle ride. Tomorrow. The day before we leave for him to attend a 3-day conference for work.

*sigh* I’m just not sure about the wisdom of this, especially when he’s not been training for that long a ride at all. Not one bit! He says he’ll just start it and see how much of it he can do. He had said before that even if he had to walk the worst hills in the ride that he’d rather do that so he could still have this first century done with.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that if he does this ride, it will mean I must be his “SAG Wagon”…I’ll have to follow him in the truck all day. And understand, a ride this long will take at least 7 hours for a very fit athlete. I’m thinking, even if he didn’t have to walk any hills it will take him around 9 hours to finish.

Now, I’ve never driven SAG before for more than 10 miles for him. That is enough to know it’s not fun. The very most you can run is about 20 mph, and that’s only in certain areas, ya know? So it’s a long, slow exercise in patience. And we’ve already established that I am NOT a patient person.

Yes, I’m also worried that at the very least, he’s going to feel miserable for an almost-4-hour drive to Nashville the very next day, not to mention that this will kill an entire day I was counting on to get things ready and packed. I worry that he’ll injure or re-injure himself in the process. And I’ll have to do something with Max for that whole time. I can’t imagine dealing with him in the truck for the entire ride, but that may be what I’ll have to do. Maybe I could put him in Sam’s pen for the day, but boy, is he going to be a mess once we get home. Probably physically as well as ‘mentally’… he’s pretty hyper if he’s been confined for any length of time and I hate dealing with him when he’s like that.

I know. I sound pathetically unsympathetic, don’t I? And perhaps I am to some extent, but I HATE feeling this pressure and he sees as me not supporting him. I DO support him, but dangit if this thing isn’t becoming more and more trouble. If he had ridden the century during the Redbud, there would have been a ton of SAG support provided. This way, I will have to do it AND there won’t be the public awareness to be cautious of cyclists either, which adds to the danger factor.

Yes, yes… *sigh* I know there’s not much “awareness” of riders when we just head out for a spontaneous (or even a planned) ride, there’s no news crews out covering it or any giant crowds to let anyone know there’s a special event going on. But sheesh… this is A HUNDRED MILES!?!

Maybe it’s just the sheer monumental-ness of the task that is bothering me. If Hubby does this, he will be on Cloud 9. He’ll be so pleased with and proud of himself, as well he should be! And *I* will be proud of him too, if I survive, that is. Ha.

I know, I KNOW!! I’m so selfish. Fear of the unknown is gripping me. The pressure to be ready in time, of losing a whole day to prepare. The worry that he will make the injury worse or be hurting the whole time we’re gone, when he’s supposed to be concentrating on what’s going on.

Ugh.

Fine. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I DO support him in this. I admire how determined he is. I drove SAG for him back to our house a few days ago and just kind of sat in awe of how he pushes himself beyond what’s comfortable and maybe even safe sometimes. (which is the case here…the ER doctor told him he didn’t think he would be ready to do a century for this ride)

I just found out a lady who sort of heads up our cycling club is planning to drive SAG for the riders (there are several) who are going to do the century tomorrow so maybe he has changed his mind about thinking I’m unsupportive. And she had said she would do this a couple weeks ago so I’m not quite sure why he is insisting on me doing it for him. *SIGH*

Shutting up now. I have stuff to do! LOL!

No matter what he thinks of my support or lack of it, I will be cheering louder than anyone when he does this, no matter how much of it he completes.

Post-Redbud Ride ride 2015

1 Corinthians 9:26-27“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

crick

Not “crick” like “down by the…” Nope. I have one in my neck. Well, not really a crick. More like the muscles are so stinkin’ tight!

Now this has been going on forEVER! I normally am tight up there and along the tops of my shoulders, but it’s getting to the point where it hurts all the time, not just with certain movements.

Sheesh!

I really should go see the chiropractor, but I haven’t made an appointment. I don’t see much use in trying it right now since we are leaving for Hubby’s work conference on Sunday. I doubt I could even get in before we leave. Tow of the kiddos have been going lately and it takes them awhile to get scheduled, so I guess I’ll try to make do and call when I get back late Wednesday.

My sister came by today to leave some egg cartons. We chatted for a little while and it was good. She later called me and offered to keep Maxie-Wag for us while we’re gone. I had mentioned our trip while she was here and that we were planning to take him with us.

I told her I’d let her know and that for now, we just planned to take him. I said if something changed, I’d call her. I’m just not sure she could handle him for that long.

For one, he’s a little hyper sometimes. He likes to jump. Over, in, on and under stuff. ANY stuff. He’s like that cat meme…

So, if he can reach it or fit in it, he’s SO there. He jumps in people’s vehicles, in their laps, or their chairs if they make the mistake of vacating it. And most of the time, it’s not just to sit there calmly to be petted. Nope. He gets all up in your bizniss, right in your face like, “Hey! Look at me! Here I am! Whatcha doin’? Whatcha’ talkin’ ’bout? You should do something (let me out, feed me, find me a toy)! I won’t get out of your face til you fix this situation. You’re welcome.” He also likes to use me as a sort-of vertical trampoline. At least that’s what he acts like, coming from the other room sometimes, full speed ahead and *POUNCE*, he’ll plant all fours on me with enough force to leave a bruise just because he wants my attention. Seriously!?

I’m just afraid four days of him will be too much for her. And then she can be pretty forgetful too and I’m afraid she’d forget to put his radio collar on when she let him out, or that she’d try to grab/catch him by his front feet when he’s bouncing up to face level the way he does. Usually that means he wants you to cuddle him like a baby, but sometimes he’s just doing The Tigger. Just because he can.

I dunno. It would be nice to not have to worry about him when we are out. There’s some kind of social thing at a fancy restaurant one night, then of course, we’ll have to get food at least a time or two. We can’t leave him in the room even in the crate, so we figured we’d have to crate him in the truck, even if we leave it in the garage and walk wherever we’re going. Depending on the weather, that could mean we have to leave the thing running so he won’t get too warm. Then there’s the sorta-scary thought of having to try and keep him occupied all day while Hubby’s in his labs or whatever at the conference.

In one way I think it’d be great to have Max there to keep me occupied, but then I think, I COULD just take LOTS of long naps or watch LOTS of movies too…and I could easily do that, trust me.

*sigh* I just hope I’m not too freaked out by being in the middle of a huge city and will be able to go take him out walking some. Looks like there’s a big park about a quarter-mile away. I might attempt to make it over there. Just not sure about walking.

Not that I couldn’t, but when I think of something like that, I get nervous about what would happen if I went low or something, ya know? Argh!

And now I am in that horrible indecisive cycle where I can’t make a stinkin’ decision. Drives me crazy.

Ah well… I guess writing about it didn’t help and how pathetic is it that I had to sit down and write about whether or not to take my dog on a trip?!?!

I am certifiable!

Proverbs 16:33“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”

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