Thursday, October 10, 2013

thankful thursday

This morning I was snuggling in bed with my two youngest children, enjoying the silence around me and watching the sun filter through the curtains. Lily was doing what I like to call "burrowing" into my side...she can be completely pressed up against me, but she'll continue pawing her feet against my legs, turning her head and rubbing it against my neck until she can't get any closer. It's like she can't get enough of me. She's usually sucking her thumb while she burrows, and the other hand is busy squeezing my hair or stroking my arm. My husband calls her an affection monger....and he's just as powerless as I am when it comes to peeling her off in the morning.

So I lay there thinking about this season of my life, where I still have little ones who want to call my bed their own. I feel so blessed to have had two children in my forties, and to have grandchildren now as well. I've always been obsessed with babies from the time I was slightly older than one myself. Consequently, I am soaking up every moment with Lily and Hayden, knowing it won't be forever that we have little ones in our home.

And as I lay there thinking about seasons, and the current one I'm in, I started to look back at some of the winters in my life - figuratively speaking - when I had a very hard time finding any sunlight or warmth for the day.

I want to write about this more later on, but there is dinner to make and laundry to put away, and I don't feel like I could do my thoughts justice with a hastily thrown together post about ... anxiety and depression.

Those two words carry a weight to them that I think a lot of women know too well, and I have wanted for a long time to address them in a blogpost. Some recent conversations with a good friend reinforced my thinking - because I have walked through some things that are maybe more common to women than I used to know. She asked me why I never wrote about these issues much before, and I responded that it is embarrassing. It's almost like there's this unwritten rule about Christian moms not talking about issues like anxiety - and I think there are many reasons for that. We might feel we aren't being a good testimony if we admit to anxiety...how can we tell other people about Jesus when we are going through such intense fears that they result in true physical anxiety ? Or maybe we look at anxiety as sin - and who wants to confess their "sin" for others to look down upon or analyze ? I know I have struggled with how much to share because of the size of my family...because I know there are those who would point fingers and say "see, that's why you shouldn't have so many kids!"

But let me tell you this about anxiety and depression : it crosses all barriers. I've talked to doctors who have dealt with it, I've talked to pastors who have dealt with it, I've talked to totally physically fit people who've dealt with it, and those who are pretty "spiritually fit" as well. I've talked to moms of large families, who have faced anxiety, and I've talked to women who have NO kids who have gone through it. I've read about people who went through a brief season of anxiety and depression, and learned about others who battled periods of these things their whole lives.

So I'm going to wade into these waters in the upcoming weeks...because maybe my conversation with my friend was a little nudge from God to do so.

If you've gone through anything like what I've gone through in the past, you know that one of the keys to overcoming anxiety and depression is recognizing that you're not alone. Because one of the biggest lies you deal with when you're going through it is that nobody understands you...and there is no hope that they ever will.

So if you are interested in reading about these subjects, would you do me a favor ? Would you leave a little message in the comment section letting me know ? I'm not going to turn Lily's blog into a therapy session, but I do feel like God has helped me through some things, and if those trials can be turn to gold by helping somebody else, I'm all for it.

I'll leave things at that, but for now, here's what I'm thankful for today ...




She loves to play house. Carries her baby, a cell phone, a purse, and walks around multi-tasking all day. She takes selfies with her baby and shows them to us (on her fake phone) and she is a boss at stealing any money or make-up she can find to stuff in her wallet. She is a TRIP.




Jackson loves his schoolwork. He is only six, but he is doing second grade work and breezing right through it. We found a great online curriculum this year (thank you Shannon!) called time4learning. It is available for all grade levels and although we are supplementing with additional reading and writing, it seems to be a great resource for homeschooling.




Abigail is becoming a miniature Pioneer Woman in the kitchen. She loves looking up recipes online and whipping things up for all of us - donuts, cakes, cookies - and her latest creation, Buckeyes. I just ate one before typing this, and there are chocolate fingerprints on the keyboard to prove it.

Mwahahahaha.





Jonathan loves vacuuming. Okay, he hates it. But he loves flexing his muscles. What a stud.






I already said she loves her babies. I'm saying it again. And she LOVES this little one that friends of ours sent her (thank you, Williams family !) because it looks just like her. She spent the morning wrapping her up in a blankie and patting her to sleep, and she must have discovered that shushing is the secret to keeping babies happy, because she shush-shush-shushes her dollie. All.day.long.

And speaking of shushing...




Hayden needs me. He is probably the most arm-spoiled baby we have had to date, but he is also the cutest. Please don't tell my other ten. But it's true.


And finally...Noah and Abbi made their own movie trailer. Completely unaided. I laughed myself silly after watching it, because they are just too cute.






What are you thankful for ?

27 comments:

Kelly Marin said...

I'm thankful that you listen to Gods prompting, and the rest maybe we can talk privately, but You are right, why is it the hardest things in life we do feel like we are the only ones this is happening to, such a lie from Hell.

Megan Flanary said...

I'm new to your blog, so here is my first comment! When I had my son one year ago, I was overwhelmed with anxiety and depression. And I felt BAD! I just had a beautiful baby....why did I feel like running away? But you know what? I started talking to people about it and they were happy to admit sometimes they, too, felt that way! It was so uplifting to hear I wasn't the only one....so share, share, share! Your blog reaches so many and you never know; you could help one of your readers out of a rough patch just by saying, "it's ok-I've been there and back and it will all be ok".
Love your blog and kiddos.

Megan Flanary said...

I'm new to your blog, so here is my first comment! When I had my son one year ago, I was overwhelmed with anxiety and depression. And I felt BAD! I just had a beautiful baby....why did I feel like running away? But you know what? I started talking to people about it and they were happy to admit sometimes they, too, felt that way! It was so uplifting to hear I wasn't the only one....so share, share, share! Your blog reaches so many and you never know; you could help one of your readers out of a rough patch just by saying, "it's ok-I've been there and back and it will all be ok".
Love your blog and kiddos.

kate kopp said...

Yes Patti!! We all trust you and I know I would love to hear your perspective!!

Catherine Graybosch said...

Patti, I think it would be great for you to discuss anxiety and depression. I am currently struggling with some myself and would love to hear your take on it. Can't wait to read!

Shaye said...

I would love to hear about your journey. Its so comforting to know we are not alone and we can help each other overcome-together

Rose said...

I'm grateful for life and healthn and normal day to day things. I'm grateful for early morning baby breath and bed time prayers. I have dealt with both at different times and it is so nice to hear from others and to hear insight on how to deal. Many times I don't even realize just become quiet and distant then a friend brings it to my attention. After I had #2 there were weeks I felt bogged in mud, and so many other things and I was so afraid to mention it to any one. What helped me was research. I can't wait for your next post. Once again I'm in this place and it can feel so lonely.

maria said...

Hi Patti,
I'm so happy my sister in law connected me to your lovely blog! That trailer is too neat.. Your kids are talented! Way to go Abi & Noah!
I haven't struggled with anxiety or depression myself with my one son (7 months old), but I know it's very common and is a possibility for me - as it is for any woman - at any point. I would love to hear your perspective on it.

maria said...

Hi Patti,
I'm so happy my sister in law connected me to your lovely blog! That trailer is too neat.. Your kids are talented! Way to go Abi & Noah!
I haven't struggled with anxiety or depression myself with my one son (7 months old), but I know it's very common and is a possibility for me - as it is for any woman - at any point. I would love to hear your perspective on it.

Erin Beaudette said...

After my daughter spent 8 long weeks in the NICU I battled severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post Partum Depression. I have always talked about it openly and feel there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is one of the seasons of my life that has made me stronger and more appreciative. I would love to hear your experiences and what it has taught you!

Kathy McElhaney said...

Love the trailer! Your kids amaze me with their creativity.

One year ago, I was going through an extremely difficult time, too many problems to even name them all. My anxiety level was high, no matter how much I prayed. That's hard to admit. I kept praying and studying the Word, and (no surprise) God brought us through. Please share your thoughts and experiences.

teal915 said...

I've dealt with depression and anxiety, mostly anxiety for all of my life. Looking back now, I can remember even as a child. And you're exaxy right that you are convinced you are completely alone and no one understands, even though its not true. I'd live to read what you have to say about it.

Leah said...

I would like to hear about it though I have not struggled too much with either of those topics I do feel like I delt with it in waves. I'm thankful for my family, that loves me & a God that adores me just the way I am. I'm thankful for you Patti, in your encouragement in your posts & the messages we have shared. I am greatful despite the pain that a year ago one of your readers offered a matching grant & a Nikon camera to Giveaway in what was an answer to my unsaid prayers about my mere small grant I was trying to offer as a match for the girl I love. Even though it turned out differently then I could have imagined I have slowly gotten out of the dark hole Satan had me in from advocating for the orphans. It still comes in spouts, but from ashes beauty will rise. I don't think I can ever say thank you enough for all you have done for me.

Joy said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I have been really struggling since our last move (we are a military family) six months ago. Finally, two weeks ago, I wrote a post on my blog about how things were really going and how low I had gotten and what I was learning from it. I was amazed by the responses, sort of a resounding "thank you!!" for being honest. I look forward to reading what you have to say because just today I was wondering if you'd gone through anxiety and/ or depression because I'd imagine you have so much on your plate, it would be easy to fall into either of those at different times. Thanks in advance for your willingness to be honest!

Race Bannon said...

Jonathan! YOU ARE GOING TO GET A HERNIA CARRYING A VACCUM LIKE THAT! (Ask you mom...)

I'm having a little anxiety about reading about your anxiety...could you please stop. Thinking about reading about somebody else's anxiety makes me feel, well, anxious, like, what if I can't handle it, what if its all too real, and I get confused by big words or complex thoughts, your blog posts can be very wordy you know...or I can't breathe...or...I just feel like somebody wants to burry me alive in a box!

Anyway, talk to ya later...

Race Bannon said...

By the way, I may be going to Africa at the end of the month...I'm sure that plane will be large, and safe, and the pilot will have had lots of training and stuff. I'm fine.

cathy said...

You honesty

Would love to hear your thoughts----Mr Anxiety & Ms Panic Attacks often visit!

xoxo
cathy

Pogue Mahone said...

I am a homeschooling Christian mother of 11 kids who suffers from crippling deep dark depression and anxiety as well and I know what you mean. I feel "guilty" since the Bible says fear is the opposite of faith, as if it somehow means I have "less" faith, or love God "less" and I don't, yet have been suffering with this disorder ever since I was 13 YRS old( I'm now 46)but it IS my faith, and my love and trust in God that HAS gotten me thru, and WHY I'm still here in spite of it, despite several traumas in my life, suicide attempts and depression and anxiety that won't go away this side of Heaven.It's ONLY His love and providing for me that has sustained me thru a dark life of pain and suffering.

Liz/happymommy said...

I would personally love to hear about your battles with anxiety and depression. I have 2 babies of my own and after each one I suffered severe post pardum depression/anxiety. After having it with the first one I wonderd if I could do it again with another but I talked with my doctor and we said we would be more proactive the next time as we knew it would be a possibility. Well, the second time, even though we were more proactive, it was so much worse. Those feelings, well it's hard to explain them and I never really talked about them to anyone besides my family because I felt ashamed and alone. I woudln't wish those feelings on my worst enemy. I believe it probably happens to a lot of people but it is something people don't talk about so in turn that makes the person going through it feel ashamed. Although my husband and I have always said we wanted 2 kids, even if we wanted more I don't think I could go through that season of my life again. It was so very hard but with the support of family and doctors I came through it and sometimes feel I am a better person because of it. Thank You for sharing what you already have!

Naomi said...

THAT TRAILER.... Love them so much!!

Amy said...

I have struggled with depression, and like you, struggled with how to share it. I shared the stress I felt over discovering my daughter had a hole in her heart and the depression it lead to on my blog, and my mother tried to have my children removed from my home, trying to say that a depressed mom was an incapable one (the state thankfully did not agree and we no longer have contact with her). Like you, I worry that in sharing people will tell me that I shouldn't have had so many kids (despite the fact that I only have 3 kids from 2 pregnancies). The world can be cruel and quick to judge, willfully forgetting that they too have likely felt overwhelmed and stressed and yes, even depressed, at some point in their life. But I can tell you right now, if you share, there is one person I know for sure would be grateful to know she is not alone.

M. E. Stephens said...

One of the most helpful things the Lord did for me to help me deal with my anxiety and depression was to put me in the same church with a pastor's wife who had been through 12 years of depression. She was such a huge help to me! She had so many observations that were so applicable to my own experiences. It was a real eye-opener and encouragement.

One passage I have remembered in passing on my own experiences to others is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

As tough as it is sometimes to deal with, God doesn't allow these things to happen to us without giving us a time and place to reach out His comforting power to others. I also remember something a pastor we knew repeated - "Nothing is wasted with God."

M. E. Stephens said...

P.S. I'm one of those childless ladies who's had anxiety and depression, so the accusation that yours was caused by "too many" is rather humorous to me. ;-)

Mariah said...

Write, Patti, write. Please.

Sarah S. said...

I have struggled with anxiety as long as I can remember. I would love to read your take on it.

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Oh, yes...Please write about it. I have battled anxiety and depression for most of my life....Medication helps, but it's not a cure.

Your kids are a riot!!!

nicole said...

You know where I stand on this one. ;)