Tuesday, August 2, 2011

These Ordinary Adventures have moved!

To find the new and improved Adventures in the Ordinary website, click anywhere on the picture :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Message Received in Fragments

Not too long ago, I had a bad few days.

Fear and depression grabbed onto my mind and sent me plunging downward. In a moment of strength, I threw a bottle into the ocean with a message for help. My friend received the bottle and read my plea. She sent me a text message and told me I was going to go with her to her "Crossfit" class. Similar to a "boot-camp" experience, it's a new way of exercising for the insane.

She told me that she understood my choice to not use medications in my battle against my depression, but she said that she also knew that the releasing of endorphins helps with the fight. I agreed to join her and met her early the next morning.
The exercise was awful. There was running, rowing, jumping and pulling. It was as awful as I had dreaded it would be. The instructor was a beautiful woman and I liked her immediately. She pushed me and encouraged me. At one point she said, "Stop thinking about it so much and just do it". My eyes welled up and began to sting, as all of the thoughts and fears I had been holding in began to roll down my face in the form of tears.
This lovely instructor had no idea how powerful her words were to me. All of the thinking and rethinking about what I should do was pulling me further and further away from the place I longed to be. I just needed to stop thinking about my life so much, and start doing my life. 
Today, looking back at that dreadful day exercising, I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit goes with me wherever I go; ready to prompt and engage, He opens my mind to the mind and heart of the Father.  I am also thankful that the power of the Holy Spirit can use words said by anyone to accomplish the will of the Father. 
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
And now for the REST OF THE STORY...

This was FIRST written exactly 3 months ago
And yet, like a dog who returns to his vomit, I allowed myself to struggle again with these frustrations again this week. Again this week I allowed myself to feel 
And so, I go and seek the voice of the one that calms the seas. I throw my message in a bottle out once again, trusting completely that the Holy Spirit will receive my message, and make me who I need to be to receive the messages of truth.

And then I hear Your voice.

photo credit Tom Raven Photography
Fierce tides are raging all around and my boat feels very small.  My clothes are wet and my fingers are tired from gripping the side of the small craft. I take a chance and look over the side and into the raging waters:
alarm clocks, gasoline prices, college tuition, court dates, jury duty, car registrations, on-line schooling, HTML codes, status updates, follow me, dishwasher repairs, grooming bills, mortgage payments, IRS bills, job applications, orthodontist bills, mammograms....
I close my eyes and pray I am not swallowed into the ocean of it all.

And then I hear Your voice. 

"He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed." Psalm 107:29

"God is here when we are wholly unaware of it." A.W. Tozer

{Wrote it all and added the pictures and links in 5 minutes} 
{Blog Hop 5 minute Friday...this week write on the word STILL}

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hanging out in Christine's Bathroom

I was asked to Guest Post for The Collins Clan while it's author, Christine, enjoys a fabulous vacation in ARUBA! 

Now, for my non-blogging friends, Guest Posting is kinda like House sitting. Yay! I get to use their toilet, look through the medicine cabinet, watch cable TV channels we don't have at home...oh, and finish off that gallon of Rocky Road ice cream in the fridge! 

Head on over to The Collins Clan to read my post...and check out some of Christine's thoughts while you are there. She is a great writer with an incredible whit. You may want to follow her :)

Bye for now, see you in Christine's bathroom!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

72 Hour Psychiatric Hold

Okay, let's just let it all out.
"What the H-E-double hockey sticks do I have to lose?"
People say that I am unusually transparent
...I may as well live it to the fullest.

There was a time when my behavior led me through the doors of the Hospital's Emergency Room and then up to the "3rd floor" for a 72 hour hold. 

Yep, 3 days in a pink room with twin beds and bars on the window. My mirror was made of metal and there was a shared shower room with clear plastic shower curtains. Just like camp, but, completely different.

I shared my room with a dark eyed girl whose bra straps seemed to continually be trying to escape from under her shirt, landing on her upper arm. She had dirty hair and she kept all of her things in a brown paper bag and carried it with her the whole weekend. We had meals in a common room with people who were truly struggling. There was a young man in camouflage clothing who insisted on keeping one of his arms up over his head at all times. He made no attempt to talk to anyone, he just walked around looking at what the rest of us were doing.  There was another man that stood all day by the locked doors to exit. Just stood there. All day.

There were others who seemed more like me and we sat together and made paper collages for craft time. For years, my son would keep one of my collages hanging on the bulletin board in his room. I don't know what it meant to him, but it was a constant reminder to me of where I had been. There was a TV in the common room that played music videos and, ironically, one of the videos that played a couple times during my weekend stay was Matchbox Twenty's song, Unwell.

I remember knowing the whole time that I was there, that I didn't belong there and I was fully aware that that I had made many small decisions that had led me to this place.  I remember being incredibly fearful that my being there was going to cost my husband and my children greatly. I remember holding onto the guilt of those 72 hours for a long time.  Even now, I am getting tears in my brown eyes for the pain that I caused.  

My selfish thoughts and behavior led me to a place where my obsessive nature took root. I became completely overwhelmed with my environment and I had a strong, strong sense of needing to accomplish MORE. I felt failure in just being me, I had to be more in order to matter. I longed for a way out of my situation--and a way to find joy.  Peace eluded me even in my sleep.

Pretty ugly, huh?

The good news is...they didn't keep me. 
The other good news is...I don't reside in that place emotionally either. 
The bad news is...I could.

I could go back to that state of emotional crisis in a New York minute. I could become completely drawn into competition and allow that to guide me down the path of obsession. I could fixate on things of the world and not on things of the Cross and become so absorbed with how others are "seeing" me that I wouldn't be able to see anything clearly. 

Even with this outlet of blogging...

I could become driven. 
I could become desirous. 
I could become determined.

I could allow the disappointments in what I lack to dictate how I respond to what I have.

And it could happen in one quick click.

So, how do I avoid another 72 hour hold in a Psychiatric Hospital? I have to keep pulling back from certain things that I naturally am drawn to. I have to pull back on the reigns of competition and self promotion. I have to find JOY in my now. Not, joy in what might happen one day, but, joy in my today as it truly is.

Deciding to see the Beauty in Simple things...
  • when a text message, from my daughter, wakes me to say that she has created a blog
  • when the conditioner for my hair falls into my palm-- in the shape of a heart
  • when my kitten chases a lizard under the patio table {go baby lizard!}
  • when the wind walks with us down the street, as we go to buy ice cream
  • when a cup of coffee is delivered to me as I write
  • when the one delivering the coffee is a son, who has turned into a man

And Deciding to discover Joy through Disciplines...
  • with a bible verse to meditate on..read it in my shower, read it on my mirror, engrave it on my heart.
  • with a book, written before I was born, that requires me to "think"
  • with a walk up the steep hill near my house--to the top? To the top!
  • with a friendly timer to call me away from my computer. Enough is enough.

    But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 
    We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; 
    perplexed, but not in despair; 
    persecuted, but not abandoned; 
    struck down, but not destroyed.
    2 Corinthians 4:7-9 

    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell.  
    I know right now you can't tell but stay awhile maybe then you'll see
    a different side of me.
    I'm not crazy I'm just a little impaired 
    I know right now you don't care
    But soon enough you're gonna think of me and how I used to be...me.
    --Unwell by Matchbox Twenty


    Picture Perfect {food}

    When is food not picture perfect? 

    When you don't have it 
              and you don't know how you're going to get it  for
              the ones you love. 

    One of my most favorite memories this year came in November, when I got to be involved in collecting all the fixings for Home-cooked Thanksgiving Dinners. We passed them along to people in our community who might not have been able to afford such an extravagance

    We were collecting frozen turkeys, veggies, rolls and pies and I was overwhelmed with complete joy at the unselfishness of others. 

    Their unselfishness was truly picture perfect! 

    gobble gobble...

    a girl, a boy, and a blog

    Introducing the brand new blog of my daughter, Emily Jean. 
    Follow the newlyweds at Just Us Two...for now,  
    as they purge through the mundane 
    to find pleasure in the simple things.

    So click on the LINK or click on the picture above :)

    The Way I See it WEDNESDAY Blog Hop

    The Way I See it WEDNESDAY is a Blog Hop designed for those who want to share their thoughts in either WoRDs or PiCTuReS

    Life can feel like a Ferris wheel, as we go round and round, sometimes exciting sometimes mundane. Through the days of pleasure and grief many of us have found that when we pour ourselves into our craft, we feel more whole and more fulfilled, but, part of the JOY of expressing ourselves is the way it touches others. We have a desire for community and a desire to "be heard". 

    The link will open on Tuesday evenings for all the California girls to get linked up with the Midwest Farmer's wives and the New York City Folk. The Way I See it Link will stay open until Sunday. So link up and then visit other lovelies like yourself. {leaving comments is always appreciated}

    There are no rules, 
    if you want to follow--thank you. 
    If you don't--that's okay.

    I would LOVE IT if you used the button that you'll see on sidebar! 
    {but I won't delete you if you don't}
    Buttons are just an eye-catching way to keep it going...plus, can you imagine a world without buttons?! Good Grief...that's a lot of chest hair I wouldn't want to see!

    So... I shall see you AT THE HOP!
    It's Wordless or Wordy.
    It's Wonderful. 
    It's Wednesday.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Life's a Beach when You're a Female Dog

    GUEST BLOGGER! Lucy of Narnia

    I am Lucy and I am continuing in the count of the 1000 Gifts from God. There is so much to be thankful for in this little life that I have. 
    84:: I have a great yard with grass and a few trees. There are plenty of lizards and birds to help me get the exercise I need. 

    85:: My bark is powerful enough to keep both racoons and airplanes out of my yard. I protect because I love. I love because I am loved. 
    86:: The Alpha Male and the woman took me to the beach. They told people that I was a good dog. I heard them say it over and over and that made the puppy in me want to leap. But, I remained still so as to not embarrass them.

    87:: On the way home, they gave me ice cream. Don't tell the cat about this. 
    88:: Some of the canines I tried to introduce myself to were shy. This is okay, because I remembered that even shyness is a gift. Being shy just means that maybe the person is being careful with their words. In my opinion most people are not careful enough. Most of the world just barks out what they think without enough thought. 
    89:: This is Gloria. Gloria didn't want to go to the beach on this day. She wanted to go to the mall and get a new collar for a party she is going to next month. I realized that I could count Gloria as one of my 1000 Gifts, because she brought out the encourager in ME! Because she didn't want to be there--I worked hard to be a better friend. That is a gift. 
    90:: Then there was that magical moment when I met Justin. Justin was just amazin'...I loved everything about him. I was really sad when we had to say goodbye. And I wondered if it was a curse. But, then I remember the Dylan Thomas quote:
    "Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion."
    And I remembered that this love is a gift--even if it didn't end the way I had hoped. Love rarely ends as we would hope. 
    91:: When I think of the things I learned from the time I spent with new friends and sea salted air, I know that there are more things to be learned and more gifts to be counted. And, just knowing this is another gift.

      Oh, and if you would like to read the guest post from The Cat (Luna Lovegood) follow this link to C is for Crazy Cat Lady

    friday favorite things | finding joy