Friday, January 26, 2018

Transformation

“Transformation”

Don’t be stifled, set yourself free,
You’re not who the world tells you to be.
Break the mold, loosen the chains,
Let the real you be all that remains.

With every step, fear will fall away,
You’re a force to be reckoned with today.
Out of the shell you have now emerged,
Unleashing your fire onto the world.

Melting anyone who stands in your way,
You make it clear that you’re here to stay.
You walk in the path you’ve blazed for yourself,
With no concerns for the opinions of anyone else.

Your inner beauty radiates outwardly too,
That’s why they can’t take their eyes off you.
Hold your head up high and brilliantly shine,
You, brave soul, are absolutely divine.

Dedicated to my friend, Maddie

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Be You, Be Beautiful


"But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow"
                                                      -Cyndi Lauper


"You've changed." 
Oh, my, how I've heard these words recently! This statement has ranged in meaning from my views to my depression and almost everything in between the two. It's been spoken like it's an accusation. It's been said with irritation. These words have even been spoken as a reason that I'm harder to love or as something that makes it too difficult to keep me as a friend. 

But, you know what? This is who I am. I have depression. I will not apologize for that. It's part of me. My views? Yes, they've evolved. I've become more informed. I don't want to stay the same, anyway. I find that quite undesirable. I do not want to be stagnant. I choose to be a lifelong learner. Plus, in many ways I'm still the same:
kind, loving, compassionate, giving, bookish, feisty, wine-drinking, Netflix-watching, writer. If people would spend some time with me, they would see this; however, it's not my problem if they choose not to do so. I'm content with the people who are currently in my life and with the friends that I believe I will make in the future.

The older I get, the more comfortable I am with me. I love who I am. I want to surround myself with people who also love me for me. I won't simply be "tolerated." I expect to be loved, appreciated, and celebrated. It's taken me a long time to arrive at this place, and I won't allow anyone to take it away from me. It's an especially hard-won battle for someone with depression, but I've earned this victory and have the scars to prove it.

I feel beautiful in my own skin. I will continue to be true to who I am. For the ones who truly love me, I love you, too, and you all are wonderful examples of being real. To everyone, never be afraid to show your true colors. Your real life - and your real friends - are out there waiting!











Thursday, January 18, 2018

Struggle


"Struggle"

I feel them closing in,
The clouds of Night descend again.
Covering me in Darkness deep and vast,
Surrounding me with Sadness I feel will never pass.

You scream at me from far away,
I struggle to make sense of what you say.
I am lost and I am alone in this Place,
My emotions and my very existence - erased.

I close my eyes, 
a feeble attempt to block out the Pain.
I open them only to see that Nothingness,
In all of its coldness and cruelty, still remains.

Why must I come here,
And why can’t I truly leave?
What is this hold the Abyss has over me?
I can walk away for a time, but will I ever be free? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Compassion


I've noticed that there is a disturbing lack of compassion in the world today. One look at Facebook and it's obvious. So many people are not willing to put themselves in others' places and imagine what it might feel like to be in a different place in life. I cannot understand this. In this day and time, there is no excuse for ignorance. Through the internet and global news, it is quite simple for us to be aware of the plight and struggles of others. It's not for lack of information that people are ignorant; it is by choice.

Furthermore, I cannot fathom the hate that spews out of the mouths of some people. Aren't we to love? Aren't we to reach out to other humans, regardless of race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation? So many problems could be solved if people were willing to truly love one another - unconditionally and without judgment. Trust me, it's possible - even rewarding - to love someone who is different from you.

All I know to do is to spread love and compassion everywhere I go. That is what I try to do. I cannot change the whole world in one broad sweep, but I can change my own outlook and give of myself in the best way I know how. That is my goal for this year and for the rest of my life. My prayer is that one day soon the rest of the world will join me.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

"Rising"


"Rising"

With your words, you tried to kill me, and I lay hurt and wounded for some time.
I had to fight and claw my way back, until strength once again became mine.

You hid in cover behind another; you refused to confront me face to face.
Yet I'm supposed to keep quiet and be sure to stay in my 'proper place.'

The battle lines have been drawn, and you're the one holding the pen.
I will take the high road, yet that doesn't mean that you win.

Everything said in the dark will eventually come to light.
Your words will turn on you; you will lose this fight.

I know who I am, and I do not care what you think.
I am rising now, and I will watch you sink.







Monday, November 6, 2017

When You're Judged as Not "Christian" Enough


"Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure
will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the
wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see
clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye." -- Matthew 7: 1-5
There appears to be a movement, and I'm on the outskirts. It's not that I want to be a part of this group, anyway. I don't care to sit in judgment of others; I'd rather love them and try to understand their views, even when I don't agree with them. But now this "I'm better than you because I don't do (fill in the blank here) or I don't participate in this thing or I don't allow my kids to do that thing" movement has affected me personally because I have been openly criticized for choosing to do certain things and for allowing my kids to do certain things. Both my parenting and my Christianity have been called into question. And that, my friends, is not okay.

I have to wonder if these same people spend as much time praying for me about my battle with major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation and my challenges in being a mother to a child who is severely mentally insufficient and legally blind as they do in judging me for perceived "sins" in my life. They certainly haven't reached out to offer me any sort of tangible help or encouragement. I recall that Jesus said those who follow Him would be known by their love. I'm not really feeling the love here.

Furthermore, as a person with major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation, life is a balancing act. All it takes to knock me off balance is one push. When people say hurtful things about me, ostracize me, look down their noses at me, or judge me as not quite holy enough, it can trigger a catastrophic episode. All the progress I've made can come to a halt and then spiral and crash back down to rock bottom. This is what happened to me last night as a result of things that people said about me. I was right back in the darkness and irrationality that put me in the psychiatric section of the hospital this past January. I was in the kitchen again, and I had a plan. My husband had to stop me and calm me down. It was scary, and it was ugly. I eventually settled down, though, because I did not want to go back to the hospital. But, see, words hurt. Being judged crushes a person. This is true for all people, too, not just for those of us who are diagnosed with some type of mental illness. Plus, it's not your place to tell someone that he/she shouldn't celebrate a certain holiday or dance or have one glass of wine once a month.

I'm writing this post to make you aware of the damage you can do when you speak critically of others. Your words can have far-reaching consequences that you might not intend for them to have. So, think before you speak. If it's not edifying, then don't say it. If you're not saying it directly to the person you're discussing, then don't say it. Talking behind someone's back is cowardly, and it's also gossip - even if you preface it by saying "Please pray for...negative...judgemental statement...criticizing..." Show love. Extend mercy. Overflow with grace. Live like Jesus.

"Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded" -- Casting Crowns



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Poe Party

I'd been missing the early days of our homeschooling years, when my children were "little," and school was fun. I longed for the excitement of activities we all looked forward to doing and the memory-making times of the past. Well, thankfully, I discovered that homeschooling high school can also be fun! I want to give a huge thank you and a shoutout to fellow homeschool high school blogger, Nerdy Little Birdie, for inspiring me. She shared a wonderful idea for a poetry party, and it sparked a fire in me. So, I took that desire and combined it with my love for Edgar Allan Poe. We studied his life and poetry throughout the month of October, and then we culminated our studies by having a Poe Party. Here are some of the highlights I'd like to share with you.

I printed out quotes, framed them, and placed them in various places in the dining room. I purchased the candleholders and raven on the pumpkin decor from Target.

We decorated coffee mugs with black Sharpies and then baked them in the oven to set the designs. Here you see the famous 'Nevermore' quote from Poe's well-known poem "The Raven."

And here, obviously, is a raven.

Another raven.

'Nevermore'

The 11th grader painted this to represent the last stanza of Poe's poem "Annabel Lee."

The 9th grader sketched this and then colored only the couple to convey artistically the meaning of the second stanza of "Annabel Lee."

We had a delicious apple crisp dessert while we took turns reading and discussing quotes of Poe's.

We wore these "masques" so we could be like the revelers in "The Masque of the Red Death." Well, not EXACTLY like them. We're still alive, thankfully!

We had a simple dinner: veggie nuggets, vegetables & ranch, & wine-for those 21 and over only!

More decor on the piano.

Vegetables and ranch for the party.

Cheese & crackers for an appetizer.

Tabletop decor - all purchased at Target.

More decor, printed by me or purchased at Target.

Finally, a coffee mug with the first stanza of "The Raven" printed on it.

Transformation

“Transformation” Don ’t be stifled, set yourself free, You’re not who the world tells you to be. Break the mold, loosen the chain...