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Day 231/365 photos


Saturday was BUSY! This is my ten-year-old, dolled up for her aunt’s wedding reception, outfit completed by her new favorite piece of jewelry, a mockingjay pin.

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224/365+ proof of God’s love


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I didn’t feel like doing much of anything yesterday. My husband, daughters and I went to Muskegon to my sister’s house. I talked with my family about a few things and as I was talking to my mom, I thought about my kids and my relationship with them. There were times when my mom wasn’t really present when I was a child. She was there, but not. Some bad things happened. In our ability to forgive one another, I felt God’s love and was also comforted by the knowledge that I have a decent relationship with my mom now, and I am thankful that while sometimes I feel like I’d like to retreat and hide from the world, I force myself to be present for my children. Kids cannot comprehend that when a parent is depressed, it’s not got anything to do with them. It’s easier for me to try to stay up and moving than to have to try to explain to them and hope someday they’d forgive me.

Day 213/365 photos

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My hubby and I, watching season 2 of Merlin (which he liked & I mistakenly called Mervin the first day we brought it home from the library & now I’m hooked too).

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…and the kids being kids!

Poverty & Mental Illness

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I can speak only to what I know of the subjects of poverty and mental illness. I’m sure studies have been done regarding the link between the two, but this isn’t about those studies. Nor do I mean to imply that people who are middle class or wealthy cannot have mental illnesses. It happens, I know, across all demographics. However, I do question the link between chronic, persistent mental illness and not having enough money to meet basic human needs. I, at least, have a job and insurance so that I can see a doctor and afford my medications, and somehow, with the help of food pantries, help from family and payday loans (a very poor solution, that one, but sometimes necessary when you run out of gas money or toilet paper before payday). My anxiety level has been so high almost constantly for the past few years. If you’ve never struggled to provide for your family, you may not understand. If you’ve never had a panic attack, you may not understand. Right now, even with the medication for anxiety and for depression (because, though I have bipolar disorder, I’m depressed much more often than I am manic), I’m not myself and not really sure who that self is anymore. I wanted better for my children than this. I grew up poor. You’d think I’d be used to it, right? Even as a child, I worried about money, rarely asked for anything because I didn’t want my parents to feel bad that they couldn’t afford something that wasn’t a necessity. I cry myself to sleep. I am trying so hard to be a good person, a good wife and mother and a good provider. I am trying so hard to trust that God’s providence covers us too, but at this moment, having to choose gas for the car so I can go to and from work over buying groceries, I feel like a failure. On top of the anxiety and depression, there is the poverty. Poverty is full of fear for me. It is also full of shame because as much stigma surrounds it as surrounds mental illnesses. I am just a person. I like to laugh, I love my family and if I could just be happy, I would. I often wonder, if I wasn’t always feeling like I’m walking on a thin, almost invisible line between having enough and not having enough, would I still have panic attacks? Would I still cry myself to sleep and be so easily irritated that I feel as though I’d be better off alone? I can’t answer those questions. I can only repeat that I am just a person, like anyone else.

190/365+ proof of God’s love

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In the opportunity to play at the park with my kids after church today without worrying about anyone having heat stroke, I felt God’s love. He provided the beautiful day and the time to enjoy my family and for both, I’m do thankful!

183/365+ proof of God’s love

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I felt God’s love all around me in so many moments today, from the overwhelming passion that welled inside during the music at church to the purchase of a car, but one feeling wraps itself around me like a hug from a living, loving Father. In the busy-ness of the day, my family went to the lake to grill some food for dinner and swim for awhile. Much of the time was spent chasing my two-year-old, but my ten-year-old offered to watch her and play in the sand with her for a little while, with my husband watching from a nearby picnic table. I had a chance to swim and then, brief moments to float weightlessly, the noise of the crowded lake drowned by the warm water. I felt totally at peace, the sort of trusting contentment I strive to allow myself to feel in my relationship with my Lord and Savior. It was absolutely beautiful.

Life of a Mom: installment fourteen, sh… Poo happens

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It’s probably happened to most of us who have children, at one time or another. Or so I tell myself. One of my children had a tonsillectomy three days ago and hasn’t been able to eat. So she wanted me to make some instant potatoes, much smoother than my mashed potatoes. No problem! I didn’t have much interest in peeling potatoes today, anyway. My dear husband asked me to make a salad and he headed out to the grill to cook the meat. He was even sweet enough to change the two-year-old’s poopy diaper before going out. Awesome! As I sliced a cucumber into the salad, the milk and water heating on the stove, the two-year-old came into the kitchen, held up her right foot and said, “Poopy, Mommy.” Oh no! That poopy diaper Daddy changed must have been a doozy. One look at the floor where little Miss stood with her poopy foot revealed several splats of icky stinky brown. Kitchen and dining room floors, both peppered with splats. It looked like a war zone, if poo was a weapon. I think it could be an effective one. Anyway, I cleaned the poo off the two-year-old and the floors and returned to the kitchen, where the milk and water for the potatoes had, of course, boiled over. What a mess! The family seems to be enjoying the meal and no one is covered or walking in poo at present, so I guess all’s well that ends well.