Field of dreams

I needed a bit of headspace this afternoon so I’m sitting in a field mulling over a million thoughts. The grass is taller than my head where I’m sitting which might not be such a good plan since I’m allergic to it. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I’m grateful for the worship music in my ears. It reminds me where to put my hope. I’m grateful for the warmth of the sun. I’m grateful for the distraction of bees, butterflies, grasshoppers and other insects that I’m watching while they busily hop or fly from one flower or blade of grass to another.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve sat in fields contemplating. Sometimes dreaming. Sometimes crying. Sometimes trying to make sense of life. Maybe there’s something that literally grounds you when you sit directly on the soil? More likely it’s the awesomeness of contemplating creation and God and things way bigger than me that makes me dream and hope for better things.

I feel small and insignificant sitting here. That’s okay though – it’s no pressure to be invisible. What is harder is knowing that there should be more and I’m not sure if I can ever be more or be enough. Part of me wants to turn this around and preach to myself right now. I know the ‘correct’ answer to that statement I just made but I need to sit with this emotion for a while. I need to empty out the pain once in a while. There’s no point in hiding the real me. That’s the whole point of this blog.

This is a bit of a verbal vomit type post so I know it probably won’t make a lot of sense to anyone but if you’re still reading I appreciate your time and that you cared enough to read this far.

Does anyone else sit in the middle of fields to process or is that just me? Where do you go for headspace?

He Wants Me

I wanted to share this song with you since I’ve been listening to it most of this week on and off. I came across it the other morning when I was feeling pretty low and it helped to turn around my thinking at the time and made me feel loved.

I think my greatest desire (for myself) is to feel loved and wanted and seen and known but my feelings don’t always oblige. This song reminded me that God sees me and knows me better than anyone and somehow even though he knows all about my shortcomings and my failures the God of the universe wants me. That boggles my brain when I think about it just for a minute. Anyway I hope the song blesses you as much as it did me.

Control by Tenth Avenue North

Here I am
All my intentions
All my obsessions
I want to lay them all down
In Your hands
Only Your love is vital
Though I’m not entitled
Still You call me Your child

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life
And the way it should go

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To open my hands up
And give You control
I give You control

I’ve had plans
Shattered and broken
Things I have hoped in
Fall through my hands
You have plans
To redeem and restore me
You’re behind and before me
Oh, help me believe

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life
And the way it should go, oh

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To open my hands up
And give You control

Oh, You want me
Somehow You want me
The King of Heaven wants me
So this world has lost it’s grip on me

Oh, You want me
Somehow You want me
The King of Heaven wants me
So this world has lost it’s grip on me

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life
And the way it should go, oh

God You don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To open my hands up
And give You control
I give You control

Oh, give You control
Oh, I want to give You control
I give You control

You want me
Somehow You want me
The King of Heaven wants me
So this world has lost it’s grip on me

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Matthew Bronleewe / Michael Donehey

Control (Somehow You Want Me) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Yes I Will

I’ve been a bit quiet again – I know. It’s hard to explain. There are just times when I find it hard to ‘talk’. Sometimes it’s even hard to share with my closest friends. I just seem to clam up. It’s weird in a way because there’s nothing I want more than a safe place to spill out what’s on my heart.

I’m okay really – in the midst of all the craziness in the world right now. Everything feels a little surreal. Hubby is working from home for the foreseeable future. My son’s uni is closed and classes are going online. I’m taking business a day at a time and counting on nothing since it seems like schools could shut at any moment. My daughter’s mission trip has been cancelled and I’m just hoping that she’ll be able to get home from California okay when the time comes.

Friends are having their holidays cancelled and it looks like people of my parents age will be asked to stay at home soon. Many of the shelves in the supermarkets are bare, a Foodbank in my area was robbed and some self employed people are worrying about how they will pay their bills. Night shelters are concerned about homeless people who may come into contact with the virus and teachers are wondering how the children who rely on free school meals are going to get fed. Like my hubby says it feels like the plot of a movie.

Yesterday was a little unusual for a Sunday. Although our church was meeting we didn’t get up early enough to go so we listened to a message online about Kingdom in Mental and Emotional Health. I got pretty emotional listening to it actually. I guess a lot of things resonated with me. In the afternoon I went for a long walk in the countryside to make sure I got my steps in for my charity challenge. After dinner (and a little/fair bit of wine) I fell asleep just before the end of the movie we were watching. Then of course, during the night when I should have been sleeping I was awake! 😝

Photo from Pixabay

One of the things I enjoyed most about yesterday was listening to my music while I was out walking. There’s something about being in nature that makes it easier for me to hear God and there’s something about the lyrics of songs that has a way of getting through to me. Sometimes even when I’m having a difficult day singing at the top of my lungs or dancing around my kitchen can be enough to pull me out of the doldrums.

This song is one that has helped me out of a difficult place several times. I recommend turning up the volume to listen to it. 🙂

Yes I Will by Vertical Worship

I count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won’t fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who’s never late
Is working all things out
You’re working all things out

Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley
Yes I will, bless Your name
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy
All my days, oh yes I will

I count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won’t fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who’s never late
Is working all things out
Is working all things out

Oh, yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley
Yes I will, bless Your name
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy
For all my days, oh yes I will
For all my days, oh yes, I will

And I choose to praise
To glorify, glorify…

Source: LyricFind

Unstuck!

I’ve been a bit quiet for the last couple of weeks. Truth is I’ve been feeling stuck. I was down after coming back from California (pretty normal after a holiday I guess) but I was also struggling a bit to look forward. It felt like I was bottling things up but I didn’t know exactly what. I needed to get some emotions out (possibly writing would have helped) but I was scared to let them out because I didn’t quite know where that would go. I don’t know if any of that makes sense to anyone else? Sometimes I think I’m just weird.

Something has shifted though. I think I’m starting to accept things. Things that have been difficult in the past, how things are now and how the future might look. I’m feeling more hopeful.

I was in two minds yesterday. I was really toying with the idea of just shutting down this blog. In fact possibly shutting down most of my social media. I’m naturally a sharer. When I’m face to face with someone I tend to be open with them but I guess I was kinda wondering what the point is in sharing for the sake of sharing – that’s how social media feels right now. I sometimes feel like I have friends on WordPress or on Facebook etc but I might never have met these people in person or talked to them face to face. Is that really a friendship? It feels real to me but I have no idea what the other people feel?

That wasn’t meant to be the point of this post though. The point is I feel like I’ve been stuck in the past a bit recently. Struggling to accept some of it. I can’t stay there though because I think it’s what makes me depressed? Or at least part of it. I feel like I might be starting to piss some people off with my ‘stuckness’ too. So I’m choosing to let go. To be happy with my life. To grow into the person Papa God wants me to be. I feel like He has so much more for me and I haven’t been able to move into that. Saying it like that makes it sound like I think that’s going to be easy. I’m sure it won’t always be easy but I have to start somewhere.

In time I’m hoping I’ll be able to get off the antidepressants too. I’m sure they sap my energy and they seem to make my tremor worse. (It’s not dangerous – it’s called an essential tremor apparently – seems totally unnecessary to me.)

For now it looks like the blog will stay too. It’s been a helpful way for me to process so if that’s all it is, there is a place for it. So it looks like you guys are stuck with me in the meantime – and I’m getting myself unstuck. 🙂

Photo taken at Finnich Glen

Goodbye 2019!

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a few days now and I keep putting it off. Partly that’s because I’m a little scared to look back on this year and go through some of the most painful emotions again… so I’ve decided to avoid those to an extent. It’s not that I don’t want to be real – it’s just that I need to work out when it’s helpful for me to look back and when it just makes the depression more difficult. Having said that there have also been some really good times this year and I’m grateful for those and don’t want to forget about them.

I’ve been to some cracking music gigs – Charles Esten; Country 2 Country (where my favourites were Lady Antebellum and Ingrid Andress); Cassia supported by Alfie Neale (twice); The Cactus Blossoms; Joseph and finally Emeli Sande supported by Ben Monteith. I’ve loved all of these for different reasons. I don’t have any more gigs lined up right now but there will definitely be more next year. There have been good books, meals out, trips to the cinema, mini adventures, board games and lots of quality time with great friends and family.

Some of this year’s highlights have been travelling to Belgium and Paris, Croatia and some places not so far from home like Edinburgh and Carnoustie. I had a bit of fun looking for the Oor Wullie models in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the summer – sometimes with little B and sometimes not. For those of you who have never heard of Oor Wullie; he’s a pretty well known Scottish cartoon character who’s been around since the 1930s so he’s a bit older than me 😂.

One of the Oor Wullie models in Edinburgh

I had the Best Surprise Ever!! when my son came home from Australia in the summer and a more difficult time when my daughter left for California. Can’t wait to go over there to see her in a couple of days. I finally took the plunge and left teaching – no regrets about that. I’m loving my new job even though it’s not exactly a viable business yet. I’m spending more time with some new friends and some old ones than I had been doing and that’s been really good for me. I’m still blogging! Not something I’d ever thought I’d end up doing but it’s been a useful processing tool for me and a way to express myself. I’ve also found the blogging community to be really supportive and friendly.

At the beginning of 2019 I had decided that my goal was to ‘be a blessing‘ but I’ve found this a lot harder than I anticipated. I guess it takes that bit of extra effort to go out of your way to be kind to someone or help them. One of my friends insists that I’ve probably been more successful at this than I think just by being there for people but I suppose it’s not what I had in mind. I guess I know that across the year I have managed to be a blessing to a few people and hopefully that will continue and maybe even develop in the future.

I haven’t made any resolutions as such but looking forward to next year I have thought of a few things that I’d like to do more or less of. I’d like to try to restrict the time I spend on social media and spend more time reading books. I want to spend more time living in the present and being grateful for God’s blessings in my life now. To help me with this I’ve bought this cute little diary and I’m going to try to write down some things that I’m grateful for every day. I want to find a new freedom to be myself and say what I think (I don’t want to allow myself to be silenced any more). This one will probably be the hardest for me as I’ve trained myself to keep quiet over the years. I guess it’s taken me a long time to realise that it wasn’t good for me. I want to grow more as a person and in my relationship with God. I want to grow my business too – a lot easier said than done but I’m hopeful that as I feel stronger in myself I’ll be able to do what it takes.

That’s a lot of things to work on and if I plunge straight in to trying to do all that I will probably feel overwhelmed and fail miserably so I’m going to start first with the little diary and take it from there.

What have you been grateful for in 2019?

Is there anything you want to do more or less of in the New Year?

Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through this year; reading my posts and sending lovely comments. I really appreciate you and I hope that 2020 brings you good health, prosperity and joy.

The Gift of Tears

I had a conversation yesterday that kind of impacted me so I wanted to tell you about it. I was driving to our friend’s funeral along with another friend B whom I’ve only started getting to know better recently. B also used to be a teacher and she has a very similar personality to me (at least we both have the same MBTI and Enneagram types).

We started off talking about funerals and how we feel about them. Neither of us are scared of sad emotions and we both cry quite a lot and have a lot of empathy for others. Sometimes that means that we get emotional at funerals even if we don’t know the deceased that well because we empathise with family members who are upset.

I mentioned that I sometimes feel like I cry too much and she told me a story. She said that her mum had once said to her mum (B’s gran) that she cried too much. B’s gran told her that she didn’t cry too much; she had the ‘gift of tears’. I think that’s a kind of beautiful way to look at it. Not everyone finds it easy to express their emotions I suppose.

There are some people I know who seem to struggle with emotions. It seems as if they don’t know how to process the more difficult ones or what to do with them. They also find it difficult to watch others who are emotional and it can seem like they think expressing emotion is a weakness. I don’t know if that’s what they really think but it can come across like that. Sometimes the only emotion that you really see them express is anger.

As a child and a teenager I rarely cried; but after I got married and had kids I seemed to become a lot more tuned in with the sad emotions or maybe I was just more empathetic? These days I cry at all sorts of stuff – movies (happy or sad), adverts, the news and books. Sometimes my family laugh at me when I cry at movies. I cry a lot with song lyrics or when people share their stories, like when people share testimonies in church that often gets me.

The funeral service yesterday was very emotional. All four of our friend’s sons and his wife and his brother and other friends and family shared about the impact he had had on their lives. They spoke about the kind of man he was and what he had taught them. It made me wish that I had had more time to get to know him. One of his sons had even written a beautiful song for his dad. It certainly got my ‘gift of tears’ flowing.

When I first went to the docs earlier this year about depression I was crying so much that it was interfering with my life – I don’t think that was healthy – but sometimes a good cry does make you feel better. It releases oxytocin after all so it’s bound to help. I think I’m doing a lot better now and I’m crying a lot less but I’m not afraid to cry. Sometimes I think the right thing to do is to let those emotions out.

How do you feel about crying? Does it bother you when other people get emotional? Do you have the gift of tears?

Self-medicating in my PJs

I started writing this yesterday (Saturday) at quarter past three in the afternoon in my time zone. I was still in my PJs having had a lie in in the morning and having done very little with my day (unlike me – or at least unlike the old me 😝). My son made me breakfast at lunchtime and then I spent my time reading posts by other bloggers and drinking wine. I probably should have been more motivated and up and doing stuff – especially as it’s getting closer to Christmas and I have plenty to organise. But there I was lying on the couch writing this post (and not even finishing it). (In my defence I was feeling a bit under the weather with this cough/cold that’s not quite shifted over the last few weeks.)

So this one is a bit of a confession really. Over the last few years I’ve gradually been drinking more and more alcohol. I used to drink only occasionally. Maybe that’s partly because when I was younger alcohol was a luxury I couldn’t really afford. I was also responsible for looking after children more often than not so I always tried to be sensible about my intake. When I started teaching I could afford to drink more and I did (stress of the job maybe?) ‘cause everybody did – not usually on a school night though. Since I started really battling with depression I’ve noticed that I’m drinking sometimes to take the edge off my feelings and recently I got to a point where I was drinking almost every night. It scared me a little bit because I don’t want to become dependent on it so I’ve made a conscious effort recently to have at least a few dry days every week.

It’s Sunday now and I’m at it again. My day has been more productive though. I went to church this morning (first time in a few weeks as it happens) and I’ve made a good start on the Christmas decorations (early for me but I felt like I needed some fairy lights). The Christmas tunes are on and I’m feeling a lot more positive today.

The thing is I know I’m not alone. I know lots of my friends are drinking more than they ever did too. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism? Maybe it’s just more socially acceptable to drink with every meal or even without a meal? Maybe it is simply that alcohol is more affordable when you don’t have nappies to buy? I’m also aware that it affects me more while I’m on the anti-depressants so I probably should really be drinking less.

Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Do you drink more or less than you used to? Do you think it’s an issue? Is it a bigger issue in society in general than it was in the past? Do we need to do something about it?

Maybe it’s Okay…

img_0531

As you know I’ve struggled a bit over the last few months and I know I’m not alone; there are lots of other people that I know who are hurting or struggling.  I often see the phrase ‘it’s okay to not be okay’ and it’s true – we shouldn’t have to hide our feelings or pretend that we’re ‘fine’.  (Of course it’s difficult sometimes because you don’t want to expose your hurts for just anyone to have a prod at.)  No one wants to be depressed or anxious or struggling but it happens and it’s real.  One of the things I teach the little ones in my classes is that it’s okay to feel what we might think of as ‘negative’ emotions – those are real feelings – it’s just that we need to learn how to manage them.  As adults sometimes it feels as though we have to be okay (or better) all the time; have it all together, put on a brave face for the world.  We have to be in control of our emotions.  Squashing those emotions down might work for a little while but eventually it just makes it even harder to cope.

By the way I’m doing a little better on the whole and making some progress.  I got some healing from stuff that I hadn’t even realised was affecting me since I was a kid and that’s made a bit of a difference.  I’ve also realised after talking to my counsellor that part of what I’ve been struggling with is losing/burying myself again so I need to change old habits and keep working on being myself.  I guess once you start exploring deep emotions there are lots of things to work through.

I’ve been listening to this song a bit recently (lyrics below) and the chorus stands out to me every time.  It’s so good to remember that even when I’m not feeling okay that my Papa is holding on to me and that He is in control of my whole life.  I don’t have to control everything or anything really, I can rest in Him when I’m not alright and allow Him to carry me through.

Maybe It’s Ok
by We Are Messengers

If I didn’t know what it hurt like to be broken
Then how would I know what it feels like to be whole
If I didn’t know what it cost like to be rejected
Then I wouldn’t know the joy of coming home

Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life

If I didn’t know what it looked like to be dirty
Then I wouldn’t know what it feels like to be clean
And if all of my shame hadn’t drove me to hide in the shadows
Then I wouldn’t know the beauty of being free

Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life

Father, let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done
Here in my heart as in Heaven
Father, let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done
Here in my heart as in Heaven, oh!

Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life

Now I’m alive in You
The best that I deserved
Now I’m alive and I can see You in everything
Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok

 

Embrace the madness

Is this a mental breakdown?
Or maybe a midlife crisis?
My emotions are in turmoil
Don’t know whether to laugh or cry
Maybe I’ll just do both
At the same time

I feel just a little bit crazy
Some would say I always was
But I know deep down
It’s just life that is mad
And I am just hurting
… A lot

How is it that one thought
Can trigger so much pain?
Even a thought that at first brings joy
Can quickly turn and then
I’m drowning
In floods of tears

Maybe it’s not drowning
Maybe it’s washing and cleansing
Maybe it’s all part of healing
Making me whole again?
And in the meantime
I just need to embrace the madness