Noticing things..

I have an elderly mother. She just turned 88 in November. She has suffered for years with arthritis and has been so positive and of good spirit. She does not feel sorry for herself. She says “oh there are other things that are much worse”.

In the last year and especially the last 6 months I have noticed some changes. She is weaker and not so inclined to want to move from her suite to go any where any more than she has to. She loved to go out, granted Covid-19 put a kibosh into that but still there has been a change in desire. The past few times I went to visit she asked me to leave because she was tired, done in and before it would have been hard to leave and she would love to chat and tell stories of the old times.

Today she phoned in the morning saying she didn’t want to bother me but she really did not feel well. I had noticed her face and eyelids being puffy along with her ankles in spite of pressure gradient stockings. She was also short of breath just sitting and she had no energy.

Here it is a few days before Christmas , what are the chances of getting into the doctor? I called right away and there was a cancellation for the next day. I was so thankful to God. I hope there may be an easy medication adjustment or treatment . I notice I am very concerned, more concerned than she would like. I notice my feelings about thoughts of when she might die. I don’t think this is imminent but the reality is that she is compromised and growing older. I notice I still want to depend on her and not have her need to depend on me.

I notice that I have times of fear and sadness and have to remind myself to stay in the present and not forecast ahead that which I do not know.

I notice I need support as well and I need to depend on God for all of our needs.

I notice that God is here. Thanks be to God

Learning New things…

But I just want to write! I don’t what to worry about Facebook pages and websites and advertising my book, I just want to write.

Wow, what a learning curve. I soon realized that I didn’t just want to write for myself, but I wanted to have my words seen and shared and read by others. This takes a little more doing. I’m sure you have all heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”. Well , it takes a village to write a book .

My journey started by getting an editor and publisher, then I needed a printer, then I needed to advertise. All of these parts came at the right time as not to overwhelm me. I got the editor and publisher and started to send in sections piece by piece for refinement. Then they helped with a publisher and printer. Now I realized I would want people to know I had a written a book and not just keep a box full in my house. Then a friend gives me a name of someone who is a wiz on electronic media. What a gift for this is not my strength. I learn that I cm capable of learning and all of a sudden I realize I have reached over a hundred people with this knowledge. How wonderful social media can be to help you achieve your goals.

I am on my way to selling books and finding joy in that my words can encourage people and hold meaning for them.

Thank you dear friends for all your support.

Books can be purchased direcctly through me and also purchsed with page master publishing, store@pagemasterpublishing.ca

May the Lord bless you for your interest in reading this book and may it bring comfort to you.

A Dream Come True

It has happened! I am an author. A genuine published author of my first book called “Prayers for the People on the Journey”.

Such exciting news and such a great milestone. I have been writing my own prayers for use in my home church First Baptist Church Edmonton. We practice a liturgical style of worship which invites corporate confessions and Prayers of the People. I was thrilled to become part of a group of writers and then to participate with worship in the presentation and reading of my personally written prayers.

I received a great deal of affirmation and a dream was seeded that perhaps I could put my prayers into a book. I started to think I better stop talking about this because it just wasn’t coming together. The dream held fast in my heart and would not let me go. I completed my little book with the help of editor Dr Rochelle Sato and Mugo Pine Press Ltd and printing by Page master in Edmonton.

I am so thankful for everyone who helped to encourage and make this dream come to life. Some of you may not even know that a word of encouragement and affirmation helped me on my way.

My books will hopefully be ready by December 15, 2020. Please look for more informaiton on my Facebook Author page.

I hope these prayers might provide hope, comfort and encouragement for your journey. Perhaps I have been able to put words to the feelings of your own heart and spirit.

So far, the journey has been great!

Ahava of Hebrew origin meaning Love

It’s just been a few weeks since I adopted a kitten whom I have named Ahava. I have never had a pet growing up or ever in my life. This is a very new experience. New Moms forgive as I say “I imagine I feel a little like a new mother”.

I’m getting to know all of Ahava’ s little quirks and actions. What she likes, what she doesn’t and also what seems to actually traumatize her. I long for her to get close to me so she might jump into my lap and purr as I pet her. Sigh.. this has not yet happened. What I have noticed is that she follows me all over my little condo. When I am settled in a chair to read or watch TV she settles with her favourite cushion and curls up contently to have a snooze. She is also always ready to have a good play with the string on the stick toy!

As I look at my spiritual journey I realize that I do less following and curling up next to God secure he is there and caring for my every need. I am an emotional person and find that I rely on my feelings to let me know how my spiritual barometer is registering. Lately I have thought this is perhaps not the best way to measure. If Ahava does not jump into my lap does that mean she does not love me. Likely not, she responds to me in every other way. She sniffs and follows and purrs and she responds to my stern “NO”

Can I hear the voice of God of Yahweh as he encourages and guides and says “No” firmly?

I will watch Ahava and keep learning.

Self Talk

I have been known to say negative things about myself  and to entertain negative self talk and messages. I’m sure none of you know what I am talking about. Your inner voice is always positive and complimentary, right?!

My biggest struggle with negative self talk is to first of all acknowledge and recognize that I do it and when I do it. Awareness is always the first step towards any change. Then I realized that I immediately felt guilty and was negative towards myself for having this problem and having to work on it. WOW! that went well, not….

Where does this angst of saying positive things or of treating yourself at least as well as you treat others come in. For me I grew up getting taught this was pride. Now I have to get over my false pride when I demean myself when there is no need.  It seems acceptance has a great deal to do with this topic. Accept that I have negative self talk that I can recognize, correct and improve upon and that this will take the rest of my life. This is not one of those things that just goes away never to ever be a problem again.

I needed to believe that I was not the only one with negative tapes running in their head. This was a huge acceptance factor to help me be able to non judgmentally or critically understand when I gave myself negative messages and that I could accept I was being negative and then correct the statement into something more helpful and supportive.

Another important adjustment I made was that knowing I could control this and work on it did not mean I was a failure and that having negative self talk was my fault therefore I was a bad person.

It is good to know I will never run out of things to improve in myself, I would hate to be bored.

Creativity

I’ve started to try painting to just relax, express myself, be creative. I find it works if I don’t think too much. I have to silence the inner critic all the time. Especially if I am watching a you tube video telling me how to do something and finding my rendition turns outs totally different than the artist’s rendering. So what if it’s different it’s mine. There are some pieces I really come to love an appreciate and the great part is that there are other people who end up enjoying some of my pieces as well.

The art of creating is interesting in that everyone is different with how it occurs. I had this thought that it might be what is supposed to happen just as God created all of us not a single person the same, all unique.If God can be so unique in each of his or her creations then why would I try to be any different that God?

So I will keep on being creative all in my own style and just enjoy!!!! In the process I may come to appreciate God’s rendering of me as well.

Coming Back, starting again

Hi friends,

It has been quite a long time since I have committed to write on my blog. I am back!

Life continues to supply enough grist for the mill. My trajectory of growth is definitely a steep upward. I continue to struggle with depression and anxiety and in that process I have to check myself and my thinking all of the time. It is dismaying to discover that I have a lot of negative thinking. Case and point that was just a negative thought and statement. How could I say that another way. Perhaps, I am aware that negative thoughts come easy but I am catching them and correcting myself more often. That’s good. Realistic, honest and positive for a trajectory that heads to the future which always implies hope. Hope is always good!

Uncertainty

I have been living with uncertainty for at least the last 6 weeks in regards to my job and if I will be allowed to return to it. I never dreamed that wanting to go back to work after being off sick would be such a problem. True I have requested less hours so I am not returning to my original position as it stands right now. The system says it finds it hard to accommodate me working less hours. I find this perplexing, maddening and quite frankly can’t believe I have to deal with this.

I have been off work due to depression and anxiety and now am in recovery. I state it this way because life isn’t perfect and not every day is glorious. Lately the stress and frustration I have felt over this uncertainty has made my mood go down and my anxiety up. I end up doubting if I am ready to go to work and if I really am well enough, This is a temporary state and one day there will be a decision and I will then know what I need to deal with. My dip in mood is because of the disappointment, frustration that the uncertainty of having meaningful work has brought me. I need to in the midst of this weed out the negative thoughts and thinking and harness the optimism and belief that all things will work out and in the end will be good according to God’s will. This is not an easy bit of gardening to do and weeding is never fun, but a beautiful flower garden as a result is very satisfying.

When I feel more grounded and centered I ask myself what I can learn from this experience or how I can take advantage of this time and look at it as a gift, but many times I feel like I am not strong enough to do that. What does strength have to do with it? I really think it is a measure of tenacity and hanging on when I just want to let go.

Strangely enough in order to hang on I have to let go of something so that my hands are free to hold on and the thing that I need to let go of is control.

As my grip slips , the need for control has found its way back so again , so I let go and hang on, resetting my grip not to control but to hang on.

Navigating Barriers

Sometimes it seems to me as if the systems we deal with in our world encourage almost force us to manipulate them and be deceptive. This disturbs me. I try to live by my core values of which one is honesty. Recently it seems to me that honesty and discussing issues in an open way are not welcomed.

I have been on sick leave for an extended period of time. I would like to go back to work part-time but it seems that at every turn another barrier or rule crops up. My needs are not specific enough, or too specific. I have not stated exactly what my work restrictions are . Sometimes we don’t know until we try exactly what it is that we can or can’t do.

In the midst of ongoing paper work I lose confidence that I can contribute as I  did in a meaningful way. I feel as if I am being asked to play a system game where I don’t know the rules or dangers.

In all of this quandary I am fighting to maintain my integrity and not bow down to something that seems like deception. I carry on the best I can through a mental land mine.

 

Missed You

The last time I wrote I was struggling with severe depression and anxiety. Since then I have been in the hospital and was treated with 17 ECT (Electro Shock Therapy) treatments. and have been off work recovering.

I am thankful to say that I am in recovery and feeling quite well . This has by no means been easy as it feels like I have to put myself back together again and make the pieces fit , fashion new ones, get rid of ones that are not useful anymore and make myself a complete package.

This is by no means done in isolation. I am thankful for great professional help through my psychiatrist and psychologist as well as some exercise rehabilitation specialists and of course my spiritual supports of my pastors church community  friends and family.

One thing I learn over and over again is that depression takes me into isolation and seclusion and to break out of depression and to heal and be healthy requires reaching out, being willing to be vulnerable, asking for help, and accepting all that people want to give you that is pure and good. I learn over and over again that mostly people want to help and give what is good and are happy to be on the journey with me.

So I’m back to writing, living, praying, exercising, laughing and crying, painting and reading and learning above all learning !