Monthly Archives: May 2011

5 Minute Fridays: On Forgetting

Before I deleted my Facebook account, a friend mentioned Gitzen Girl’s blog and how she had a chronic illness. I clicked over and started reading and quickly added her to my Google Reader.

I have really enjoyed her Five Minute Friday posts and thought it might be a great way to try and get my blogging mojo flowing again. Basically, Lisa-Jo aka gypsy mama, chooses a topic every Friday and writes for five minutes.

Five Minute FridaysHere’s how she says it works:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat without editing your voice.
2. Link back to her and invite others to join in.
3. Pony up the comment love for the five minuter who linked up before you.


So, I’m all in, and giving it the ol’ 5 Minute Try.

This week’s topic is : On Forgetting. Here’s my entry. Jump in and let me know what you come up with too.

On forgetting . . .

People like to talk about forgiving and forgetting. Forgetting isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes you need to remember so that you can learn and grow. Just because you forget something doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It doesn’t make it any less painful or any less real. Forgetting just shoves it away, away from where real healing can occur. Remembering is hard sometimes. Really hard.

Sometimes it takes us back to things that we’d rather forget. But whether memories are pleasant or painful, they are a part of what makes us who we are. I don’t think God wants us to waste any of our life experiences.

And I like it when people love me for who I really am, the imperfect, messy, tenderhearted me.

And I love how God loves me that way. He doesn’t forget and He doesn’t ask me to forget. He loves me through it all.

(And I had to look this Bible verse up so it took me more than 5 minutes, but it goes right along with this for me.)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Psalms 139: 13-17

How I’ve Been Spending My Time

Since I’ve taken a break from work, a few people have asked me what I’m doing with myself. Honestly sometimes I ask that question myself. (It certainly hasn’t been laundry!)

Because of the depression, I sleep a lot. That’s probably a good thing in many ways. I’m absolutely certain that my body needs time to rest and recover. I know that adrenal burnout figures in to all of this in a major way. I’m really trying to take care of myself as best I can.

Other than sleeping, I didn’t do much else for a while. I couldn’t really get into reading. I would read a page and find myself thinking, “What did that just say?” I would have the TV on, but wasn’t really following along with the shows. It was just for noise, and after a while that got irritating. As much as I love my family, I wasn’t even spending a lot of time with them. Strike that, I was at home (I certainly didn’t want to go anywhere!), but I knew that I was grouchy and hypersensitive so I’d just spend a lot of time in my room.

I tried to spend some time outside each day. That was my challenge to myself. And I think it helps. I’d just sit on the patio and watch the animals or I’d walk to the barn or chicken tractor to check on animals. If I was feeling up to it, I’d mosey around in the yard to see how things were growing.

And that’s when I discovered something that did bring me some joy: flowers. Nothing fancy, just the modest hearty plants that have survived the heavy-duty traffic of animals and kids. For some reason, those flowers make me happy. I guess because they survived and that was an encouragement to me.

A couple of years ago, a friend brought over some Wal-Mart bags full of hosta starts. She had a patch that was overgrown and needed thinning. I had killed a store-bought hosta earlier that year so I wasn’t real optimistic that the plants would survive. I got the boys to help me, and we planted those starts out-of-the-way, near our garage so that we could see how they would do.

Last year, I was pleasantly surprised when they came up, but it still wasn’t much to brag about. This year, WOW, they began to get huge and thick. In fact, for Mother’s Day, the boys did some landscaping for me.

Next to the garage

They thinned out the patch of hostas so we could plant some in a different flower bed, then weeded, mulched, and outlined the beds with rocks from our creek. I was SO blessed. I loved how they took something we already had, and just made something wonderful from it.

Next to the House

We may not win any awards for landscaping and I have to admit that I still kind of hold my breath that they don’t all turn brown and die, but the flower beds and the loving care that went into them have brought me a lot of joy.

So, I’ve been spending my time sitting outside and just watching things grow. And that’s okay. . . for such a time as this.


There’s an App for That

I got an iPhone about a year ago and I have to say that I love it. It’s a great tool for keeping up with dates, taking a quick pic on the go, having fun while waiting, doing research online, entertaining younger kids, and much more. I’ve been amazed by the selection of apps and always love hearing what apps my friends use.

For a long time, I couldn’t find a blog reading app. (Sometimes it’s all about just using the right words when you search.) But I recently discovered Feedler RSS that syncs perfectly with Google Reader and keeps all of my favorite blogs at my fingertips.

Here are few of my other favorite apps:

  • TextNow Free– This is what I use for texting using our WiFi connection since we don’t get a cell signal at our house. Works great!
  • PageOnce Money & Bill – This is how I keep up with when our bills are do and when they are paid. The free version is able to sync with most online accounts, but I was having trouble finding the app in the App Store earlier.
  • 5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite Free – I really love being able to listen to our local weather spotters LIVE when bad weather is happening.
  • HoursTracker – Perfect for keeping up with the time worked on various projects! This one wasn’t free, but I liked being able to export my times in various ways. If you really just need the tracking capability, the Lite (free) version might work VERY well for you.

What are your favorite apps? I haven’t even gotten to my favorite games or apps for the kids. I guess I’ll save those for another day!


Required Listening/Reading

The worst issue for me with fibromyalgia was always my pain. Notice how that is past tense. It’s not that the pain is gone, no, oh no, it’s just that now depression has been added in to the mix.

I’ve often talked to others with fibro and tried to figure out how they were coping with the pain. A lot of time, they would comment that although they did deal with pain, theirs wasn’t as acute as mine. That their bigger issue was depression. And I would always say, “Oh, hmmm. . . I don’t really have that problem.”

Alas, I’m in new territory here. And I have to be honest that I don’t like this territory. I’ve probably been fighting it for some time, but just called it “the blues” or “normal stress”. Nope, in the past few weeks, things have gotten really bad and I’m left with the frank reality that I’m battling clinical depression.

I don’t particularly enjoy sharing this news. It’s humbling, oh so humbling, because not only does it stem from some really hard stuff, but because I know that there are those who will judge me, and think that somehow I must not be “right with God” because they believe that it is more of a spiritual issue than a brain chemistry one. To those people, I’m just going to ask that you not send me any emails. I’m not posting this to ask for your opinions. (I’ve got enough of those flowing through my head already.) I’m posting this for all of the people who have struggled with depression silently or have a loved one who is struggling silently, just so that you’ll know that you’re not alone and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

On the other hand, if you can relate to this and want to share your stories, please feel free to comment or email me. I would especially like to hear the Bible verses that helped you fight out of the darkness and in to the light.

My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;  for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

Last night, as I was trying to get to sleep, I started looking for a new podcast to download. I am so thankful that God directed me that direction last night. I listened to a Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson series last night on depression and it was SO encouraging. They aired May 16- 18, 2011 and featured a discussion with pastor Tommy Nelson. Tony was already asleep last night when I started listening to the episodes, but first thing this morning I told him that those 3 episodes were required listening! They did a great job of explaining the chemical part of depression and how it feels. I keep saying that I just don’t feel like myself . . . that I can’t explain things well, that I can’t grasp info that I’m trying to read, etc . . .  When Tommy Nelson said something about not even being able to read during his depression, it was a huge comfort to me. I really never knew that depression could affect a person in so many ways.

So I want to encourage you all to listen to those podcasts online. I am fully convinced that they will help you if you ever battle depression or if you have a friend or family member who does, just because the podcasts will truly help you to understand the very real chemical process that they are facing and will educate you about what is helpful and what isn’t.

I’ve got more thoughts that I might want to share as I work through things, but here’s another thing online that really blessed me this morning: You can’t always be trusted with yourself by Gypsy Mama. Even if you’re not battling depression, I know that we all fight the lies that Satan whispers to us and that we need to remember not to trust those lies.

Thank you all for hanging in there with me, for your encouraging comments, emails, and prayers. They really have been a blessing even if I haven’t had the energy to respond to them all individually yet. I plan to, but I’m just taking things at a much slower pace right now. I know that quite a few people who read The Homeschool Minute weren’t sure about what health issue I was talking about in my entry, I apologize for that. I didn’t mean to be so vague and to leave people hanging like that. It is fibromyalgia and it’s hard to explain.  I found two websites that might help explain what fibro is: the Fibromyalgia Network and Mayo Clinic.

Also know that during all of this, I decided to deactivate my Facebook account. (I didn’t just drop you as a friend.) It probably would have been good etiquette for me to give all of my FB friends a warning before I did that, but I had fought with myself about it for a few weeks and just kind of did it in the spur of the moment. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to the world of Facebook, but for right now, I’m focusing on the peace and quiet of the here and now and just trying to find my way back to me. Thanks for understanding.

Blessings my friends,