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.
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 ?