Whole World In His Hands

Sometimes my anxiety and depression gets the best of me and I start feeling very overwhelmed. When I think about how much my life will change by adding another life to our mix (that I created!) I get to feeling like it might be too much to handle. On top of all that future possibility is the reality that I’m already dealing with the stress of losing some very dear family members quite recently. Life can be so tough and yet so full of promise and possibility.

Sometimes I just need to step back and remind myself that He’s got the WHOLE world in His hands. He is in control. He will make things work for the good of His purpose. I pray that you will know what it feels like to know that God is for us and not against us, that God is always by our side and on our side, and that no matter the circumstances, God will not leave us to walk this earth alone.

by Christy Nockels

“I fear no evil for You are with me
Strong to deliver, mighty to save
He’s got the whole world in His hands”

 

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Your Grace Is Enough

Hi there! Happy Hump Day to you! Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite Matt Maher songs. I especially love this acoustic version.

Sometimes I feel like I just can’t ever “get it right” and that I’ll never be “good enough” and then this song reminds me that it’s not about being good but about God’s goodness and mercy. He loves me no matter what. He wants me to do good things for him but when I fall short (and I always will) He reminds me that nothing can separate me from His love.

I hope this song touches you today and gives you encouragement to see out the end of the week. Friday is coming! 🙂

by Matt Maher

“Great is Your faithfulness, oh God
You wrestle with the sinner’s restless heart
You lead us by still waters and to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart”

Monday Catch Up

Wassup!?! Long time, I know. A lot has been happening and I’ve been so hesitant about sharing my personal life on this blog. I’ve written about it before (herehere, and here). In addition to both my father and step-father passing away last fall, my great aunt passed away a few days ago and another great aunt of mine isn’t doing well.

On top of the family stress, my husband is working on his Certified Financial Planner license which requires him to be in class on Friday and Saturday for four weeks with only two weeks off in-between modules. He started the program in January and will be finished in November. This, plus tax season, meant that we’ve been feeling stretched thin.

Really though, I think the main thing holding me back has been my fear of allowing myself to get personal and ultimately the fear of rejection. So, here I am… trying once again to move past the fear.

As I mentioned in my New Year – New Goals post one of the goals was for more healthy living. Y’all know that I’m pretty healthy overall. I make good choices when it comes to my food intake and my exercise but I definitely could do better.

So, here is where I am today… contemplating what I want from my life, what I want from my blog, what I want for the future… where am I headed and do I even want to go there?

How about a goals update?

  1. Focus on Christ – Better but not what it could be. Busy is not an excuse. I really need to get back into the habit of daily reading. I’m working on this. Gotta make time for what’s most important.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I’ve been making this a priority. Craig and I have so little free time right now and I feel silly booking out weeks in advance but I’m making it happen! Gotta make time for my relationships.
  3. Healthy Living – I’ve been off and on with Pure Barre. It’s great but I don’t feel like I get the instruction I need and I find I’m injuring myself. My joints just need extra careful maneuvering and I don’t feel like I’m getting the instruction/ attention I need/ deserve. I’m going to start running on the treadmill again after work and working out at home as often as possible. At least it’s free (Pure Barre is ridiculously expensive). I’m taking prenatals (yay) and not drinking soda (ugh) so at least I’m keeping up with the other stuff.
  4. Better my Budget – Craig and I have really been reigning in the spending. I feel like now that we’ve accomplished the major renovations on the house we can just squirrel away the money until the little one comes.
  5. Personal Development – Well, I definitely did not re-enroll in graduate school (darn that GRE) but I contemplated it once again. I know I really don’t have time but I don’t have time to waste either. I really am thinking about just taking the dang GRE as soon as possible and applying with whatever score I have just to get the ball rolling. I’m so close to my master’s that it just makes sense to try and squeeze it in. I’m still spending way too much time on Facebook and I haven’t picked Fluenz back up but I am trying to do more reading and less surfing the internet. Progress? Hopefully.

Are you up to date? Almost. Next month I get my IUD removed. It’s for real happening. We’re really going to try and get pregnant. As of next month there’s no turning back. I’m both excited and petrified. I have grown so accustomed to doing life my own way that I’m super scared of what it will mean to be responsible for another human being. I can’t even. I’m so close to throwing in the towel and staying childless… but then I see those Publix commercials and my emotional side takes over and I feel super strong about procreating asap.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my fears and excitement and conflicted nature. I’m hoping to share with you more. I’m hoping to move past my fear and to be honest with you. Maybe someone out there has the same concerns? Maybe this little bit of sharing will help someone? Who knows? I do know that I’ll be back in a few days with some more thoughts so stick around! 🙂

#IRL

Well. I figure I should catch you up on my life and unexplained absence. This year has been full of ups and downs and will go down as both one of the greatest and also the worst year of my life. I don’t even know where to begin.

First, we finished our kitchen renovation just before the new year and have spent this year rearranging and beautifying the space. We are really loving the makeover and spend a lot of time in that space.

Also, we adopted the most precious pup, Jethro, in April. He was born January 31 and he’s an apricot standard poodle. He has the best personality. He loves us fiercely. He’s definitely daddy’s boy. He’s a protector and a love bug. He will bark loudly when he wants to warn us of “danger” but then will spend all afternoon spooning on the couch. We couldn’t ask for a better addition to our family.

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We built a shed for our backyard in the heat (and rain) of the summer. From scratch. I’m not kidding. Craig and I set the foundation, framed the walls, etc. It was a true labor of love. One day I hope to have a post on the process.

We went to Michigan to visit some good friends and went wine tasting around several wineries around Traverse City. Our favorite was Brys Estate. We highly recommend their Pinot Noir and my favorite was the Cab Franc. Then, in September, for Craig’s birthday, we went out to hike around the Olympic Peninsula. We did the Hoh River Trail and I lost 5 toenails from having terrible boots (didn’t know they were bad until about 10 miles in).

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Finally, we had some tragedy hit our family. My biological father passed away suddenly at the beginning of September. In the span of dinner with friends he had stopped breathing, entered the hospital, and then passed away. The doctors tell us it was a pulmonary embolism. It was very sudden and although he was not in good health none of us expected him to be gone so soon. It is especially hard on his parents, my loving grandparents, who in their early 80s have lost a child.

In addition, my step-father (and the man who raised me with my mother since I was 5 years of age) passed away suddenly on Halloween night. Again, a sudden and tragic and unexpected loss. Norman was in the backyard with friends when he just collapsed and was alive no longer. We did not have a chance to say goodbye. My sisters and I are finding the adjustment to life without him rather difficult. My mother is having the most difficult time of all, as one can imagine.

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Life is both wonderful and terrible right now. Every day I feel conflicting emotions. It still doesn’t seem real and yet it is. How can this be real life? How are we to manage it all? This holiday season is both a blessing and a yet reminder of our loss. I pray everyday for my mommy and for my sisters that we are somehow able to continue moving forward while keeping his memory alive. It is very hard.

So, that’s where I am right now. That’s what’s been happening with me and mine. I have more to say. More stories to share. But for now, I will wish you seasons greetings of love and happiness and great blessing upon your life. Hold your loved ones close tonight. I pray that you remember to cherish every moment you are given on this earth.

I’m hoping to really dive back into posting here on this blog. I like the journal aspect and since Craig and I are looking to try and get pregnant in 2015 I feel like this will be a good way to document the journey. I’d love for y’all to continue to follow along. Thanks for your support.

XO – Caron

The Struggle

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Observed on the 10th of October each year, World Mental Health Day was established to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world with the goal of mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

The struggle is real. For me, this struggle exists each and every day. Most of the time I’m pretty “normal” in fact, most people have no idea that I’ve suffered from crippling depression in the past or that I deal with anxiety daily. Unfortunately as good as I am at “managing” my thoughts and behavior there are times that I lose control. I break down. I lose the ability to think rationally. Most often I cry. Sometimes I get angry and mean and say things that are hurtful to others. The hardest part about dealing with my “faulty” brain is that other people do not understand, cannot empathize, and have unrealistic expectations.

I do the best that I can. For me, this is drug-free. I have found that the episodes I have are few and far between and thus I have chosen to deal with them individually instead of maintaining a medicine regimen. For others, this means they are taking mind-altering medication on a daily basis. A well known blogger, Heather Armstrong, has written about her struggles (and depression in general) quite often.

What I want you to know is that my struggles with mental health are not uncommon and they are not something for me or anyone else to be ashamed of… we, as a nation, as a global force, need to do more to raise awareness of mental health issues and must do more to get the help out there where it’s needed.

The issues that seem to be most relevant lately deal with mass shootings and the growing homeless population. Both of these issues are rooted in the lack of readily available mental health services and support. I know that many people claim that gun violence can be curbed by outlawing guns but that simply is not the case. Look at the drug culture here in America. The “war on drugs” has done nothing to stop people from choosing to partake in hard substances. Approximately 20-25% of our homeless suffer from mental illness and although there is no direct correlation between those who commit mass shootings and mental health issues we know that the majority have been labeled as “loners” and had some kind of “psychosocial problem”.

The bottom line is that mental health is a real issue with real consequences and we do little in this country to help. Most insurance will only cover 60% of the expenses related to mental health care and it is not treated the same as other medical issues such as a broken bone or even migraines. The out of pocket expense for true expansive coverage of mental health is too much for the average person and far too much for those who need it most.

Today, TED has collected a playlist of 7 talks dealing with the struggle of mental health. Please take some time to educate yourself on the issue and to take action. The struggle is real. The struggle is relevant to us all.

Thank you for your time.