Saturday, February 15, 2014


I've been bummed out lately. No, I'm gonna be honest. I've been flat out depressed. And when I say flat out depressed I mean flat. out.

As in I was flat and I was out.

My depression was so bad I was stressed out over being depressed. To the point I made myself sick. My stress had caused my good bacteria to call it quits and the bad bacteria to take over everything. I finally broke down went to urgent care (being completely disconnected to my body, completely sure it was strep throat) and got a prescription because my kefir smoothies just weren't cutting it.

Which of course made me more stressed ("For goodness sakes I can't even keep a suitable environment for BACTERIA to thrive in what makes me think I can ___________________?!") which made me more depressed.

So here I was: tongue swollen so much I couldn't close my mouth properly, I couldn't eat anything thicker (or more distinctive) than applesauce and I was doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. For days.

Then He woke me up at 5 am. There was no Earthly reason I should have been awake that early that day. I tried going back to sleep but nothin doin' when He wants to talk to you.... And He needed to talk to me.

I'm sure you were aware of the books Beth Moore was giving away earlier this year. You know, 10-ish books that she was just handing out for free Kindle devices. Madness, I tell you. Facebook, the Mommy blogs, every Christian woman I know was all over that deal. Anyway, I was part of the madness. I got my books...

So I'm reading "Praying God's Word Day by Day"..... "reading" is more like it. Just being honest..... and I flip to that particular day: February 12th. This is what it says:

We Must Never Cease
That God Cares About
Those In
Physical, Emotional,
Or Spiritual Prisons

Crap. She's talking about me. 

Reading on this is the scripture used for this particular day. The day I'm wide awake. As if I had just downed a medium french vanilla 2 and 2 from Dunkin' in 15 seconds flat awake at 5 am.  

You comfort all who mourn. You provide
for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on
us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil
of gladness instead of mourning, and a 
garment of praise instead a spirit of despair.
Isa. 61:1-3a

Crown of beauty instead of ashes.

Oil of gladness instead of mourning.

A garment of praise. Garment.

I had to put it on. I had to go in my closet, pick it out, squeeze into it (because with my depression comes a serious craving for the junky stuff), and put. it. on. No matter how uncomfortable it may be at first. Because like most of my spandex laced jeans it will stretch a bit and feel a bit more comfortable as the day goes on. 

So that day I was gonna do it. I spiritually and physically got dressed. 

I found my "thankful" journal à la Ann Voskamp and wrote everything I was thankful for: the silly stuff (cookie butter, warm slippers, a Wegman's less than a 3 minute drive away from my front door) the real stuff (a healthy little girl, a husband who loves me for who God made me, our home, a reliable car) and the Sunday School stuff (His saving grace, His enduring love for me, that I am a princess in His kingdom).  I went on and on for pages and finally I felt it. The deep thankfulness of who He is and what He's done for me. Just for me. Only me. 

I turned on KLove.... which is huge for me. I'm not 100% sold on KLove. I mean, who on Earth is that chipper in the morning? Nobody, that's who. Nope. I don't wanna hear that kind of saccharine sweetness until at least after 10 am. Shut it and play the music Kanklefritz. Of which about 1/4 of which I actually like on it's own musical merit...... but this time I didn't listen to be entertained. I listened as if it was part of my spiritual ensemble. 

I cleaned. Oh boy, did I clean. Every room, every surface, every nook and cranny (what's a cranny?). And as the house straightened up so did I. I made it my mission to have the kitchen sink empty and shiny every moment I could. Laundry cycled through from hampers to machines and back into closets. No more did we share the dinner table with (clean) socks and undies. I went back to my daily vacuuming habit. My house was clean for nobody else but my little family. You could stop by this very second and I wouldn't need to make a mad dash around the house filling an empty laundry basket to stash in my closet in the time it takes for me to realize you're here to open the back door for you. Seriously. Stop in. Try me. 

I started working out. Nothing fancy. Just some YouTube videos. Something to keep me sweating until I thought I was gonna throw up  moving. Though I dread those 20 minute videos I look forward to that clarity and peace I get after I'm done. (At this point it may be about half an hour after I'm done but at least it comes.) 

So there it is. My new wardrobe. Better than what Stacy and Clinton could shop for (What Not To Wear, anyone?) Some items were an easy buy. Some needed altering. Others I needed to step outside of what's comfortable and try a new style... but it's there. And I think it looks good on me.

....a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair....

****PSA: Depression is real. Depression is painful. Sometimes God can help you out of it. Other times He can help you get the medical help you need. It's different for every person and every scenario. If you begin to suspect your depression is more than "cabin fever" or "baby blues" please seek help. Tell your husband, tell your friends, tell your family. Then tell your doctor. It's OK to get the help you need to be the Mama your babies need.  ****

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Growing Up is Hard

I knew we would be asked. Everyone at the office would ask. And they did.

From the nurse that brought us to the room to the hygienist and finally the Dentist himself. They each asked in turn:

"How's the thumb sucking?"


(From 2012, but the idea is still the same)

If you know my daughter personally and have spent any length of time with her I'm sure you've noticed her ambidextrous thumb sucking skills. It's a gift, really. A gift that must end for the sake of her teeth (and our orthodontic bill).

But I don't want it to end. This little girl, my only go-round with motherhood, is growing up and I just don't want to watch it happen anymore. I want her to forever curl up in my lap and suck her thumb as I rock her the in the last few moments of each day. I want to look back in the car and see her in the booster seat with one thumb in her mouth another on her ear as she dreams out the window. I want to know what that little "thuk-thuk-thuk" noise is when I check on her at night with my eyes unadjusted to the dark.

I had to let so much go already, can't I hold on to this last little bit of babyhood a little longer?

No? I know...

We have a strategy: a calendar that we put stickers on in hopes to earn a "thumb trophy" (her Dentist office will make a mold of her thumb and send it home with her) and the promise of  a build-a-bear Rainbow Dash. Because she is a little girl after all.

She's doing very, very well. She catches herself and reminds herself that she's going to stop forever. Even after she gets her trophy. When I catch her not sucking when I know she usually would she bounces towards me with the slight remnant of her baby belly and her lengthening limbs exclaiming "I'm growing up! I hafta grow up! I can't stop!"

Like Wendy moving to the nursery she has to leave her childish things behind if she's to grow up.

Needless to say, she's taking it a lot better than I am.

Unless she really needs it. We've had a couple of meltdowns since the dentist. Nothing earth-shattering. Just crying, weeping, gnashing of teeth. Over TV time limit, over what's for dinner.... You know, typical kid stuff.

Then one afternoon I get this: "But MAMA! I CAN'T reset!!! I can't suck my mouth! Remember?!?!" (Her term for sucking her thumb, which makes the whole act of thumb sucking that much sweeter, right?!)

And in that moment my heart broke into a thousand pieces.

And I did the only thing I knew to do. I opened my arms, let her crawl into my lap and snuggled close to my chest, and I just sang. Little songs that we've sung for years. One after another Not stopping until the tears had ended, until her breathing slowed, until she just sat. Silent. No "thuk-thuk-thuk" sound.

I buried my face in her hair smelling of sweat and shampoo.

"Growing up is hard, but I know you can do this. You're a brave girl. You're a big girl. I believe in you. You can let this go."

I don't know if I was talking to her or to me... but she seemed soothed and bounced back to whatever imaginary world she was in earlier. Ugh. Growing up is hard. I knew it, I just thought I had a few more years before we had to start.