Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Encamping, discarding, listening and repositioning

Over the last few weeks I have really felt like things had fallen apart. I wasn't in a good place and I didn't know what was happening in my head. I felt like all the progress I had made up until this point had simply fallen away and I couldn't seem to find any of it again. I have struggled how to share this, as I felt defeated. A few months back I was claiming my victory and now I find myself here. It has taken me a while to realise that I was being pursued by an enemy who would rather have me feel down and beaten, than having the sight to realise that my battle is a daily process.

I found myself back in the doctors office 2 weeks ago feeling that ever familiar drag of depression. I was back to the emotion state that was unable to control myself or bring myself to function. Of course the doctors first words were, "you came off your anti-depressants too soon and this is expected". Failed again! Was all that was going through my mind. So out of his office I walk, feeling defeated and with a script written for Effexor again. For two days I wrestled with the idea of taking the pills again. On one hand I remember the pain of getting off effexor and the sense of victory I felt after doing so (as I wrote about here) and on the other hand I had my doctor telling me that it was too soon, that I now fell into the category of relapse and should probably be prepared for a good stay with effexor.  I let the enemy have some ground, I felt defeated and like I had failed God.

I began to try to remember good things about Effexor, it had worked quickly when I first started it and I also had the effect of decreasing my appetite, which meant I lost weight while on it - and I really wanted to fit back into the jeans I purchased while I was on Effexor. So two days later I started my dose of 37.5mg to slow wean back on. Amazingly throughout all the lies the enemy was throwing at me and telling me about myself, God never stopped speaking too. I just needed to learn to hear Him and only Him again.

Battles are won and victories are made but we still have to hold our ground. My past is my process which means it's not just one day going to all miraculously disappear, no matter how hard I wish it would. Over the past few weeks God has been talking to me through a Brooke Fraser song, although at the time I thought I was just enjoying my personal taste in music. It talks about a journey that I feel like I have been on lately but it also tells of how I need to position my heart through it all.

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward a home land that I've never seen
I am changing:
less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

You make all things new

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Another thing that God showed me was that some times we just need to stop and camp.

I am on a journey up the mountain but that doesn't mean that it is always going to be easy. When you look at a physical climb of a mountain you hear of people having to camp down from the weather at times.
It was like God showed me it is ok to need to encamp.
I had thought that I was losing ground and that I had started a backwards stumble in the last few weeks but He showed me that sometimes we need to get out of the weather, hide away and refocus, but no ground has to be lost. I need to stand on the victories I have already won but I might also need to stop and remind myself of them and how I got there some days. I must make a shift in my heart position. Retreating is no longer an option, but that doesn't mean staying put isn't some times needed. As I gaze on God, it is Him who will help me to become impervious to the winds around me.

My prayer lately has been 'God let me see you everywhere and in everything, leave your markers and your trail in my life'. He then challenged me on being careful what I pray for because as I ask Him to be more present He requires me to look for Him more. As I began to open my spirit to His speaking it is amazing what you hear.

While reading Helen's blog a few days ago I found God speaking to me about the everyday routine of my life. How He wants to help me to dignify the mundane of the routine of being a housewife and mum. Helen spoke about looking for beauty in everyday things and how often we lose sight of this and get annoyed at the mundane-ness of our day to day life.  In no way am I about to become a Buddhist, but that doesn't mean that when I am tuned into the frequencies of God that He can't speak to me through one.
So how do I dignify my mundane? I ask God to show me how to enjoy and see the beauty of the role He has called me to be in. I ask for His sight and His joy. I ask for His list of what is important for me today - not mine. It's a refocusing of my gaze from things that seem so boring and routine, to Him, the creator of it all. The one who has nothing but good planned for me.

While watching T.v. the other night God also gave me a real practical task to work on while I encamped for a few more days. I saw this ad and it's titled Only What you need - Yes it is a beer ad and I'm not saying that was what God was endorsing but more that when you search for Him you can find Him everywhere if you are listening.
At one point of the journey one of the men has to decide between taking his bug spray or beer to the the next stage with him, both to him served a purpose but he had to choose. God showed me that while I am encamped it is a good time to look at lightening the load and taking only what I need with me, but that sometimes this may be a hard choice as there might be things that both seem to be relevant and of good worth but there may come a point when I need to shed some stuff that I deem valid for the journey.

At the same time I came off Effexor in December 2010 I also decided not to have my Depo-Provera shot I was due for.
 I really felt at the time that a large part of my depression had been linked to my hormones and that the Depo was not helping. So after discussing with the Hubby I came off and have been letting my body readjust to natural cycles. I knew this would take some time but it was until the other day that I realised since Feb when my menstrual cycle finally returned that I have had 6 or 7 periods! I had read that it takes some time to readjust the body and get the hormones back to the right levels so I had just put up with it.
But what I hadn't taken into account was the amount of hormone imbalance that was still going on not to mention the vitamins and minerals that I would be lacking in due to the frequency of my periods. They also had been lasting 10 - 14 days and heavy throughout. All this I thought normal to coming off the depo. 

Then it was like God turned on a light and said maybe there are some valid reasons to your lack of energy, your emotions and the symptoms of depression. That was the answer I needed. I hadn't lost my victory but I had failed to ask for new answers from the One who gives it to me. I had symptoms of depression - not depression! And what do you know, symptoms of depression are caused by a wide range of things including Iron, vitamin B12, Zinc, Vitamin D deficiencies, which are also caused by heavy menstrual flows....
That got me thinking and researching and praying and praying and praying. Thank you Lord for still speaking even when I used my own rational thinking, to be bullied by the enemy, back into anti-depressants.

At the moment I am on day 8 of a period after maybe 4 or 5 days between finishing a 14 day one. So yesterday I took myself down to the health store and got myself a bottle of 5HTP (which I used as a natural aternative to anti-d's when I decided to come off in December as it helps with the natural production of serotonin) and also came away with some iron tablets and progesterone drops, which are a homeopathic medicine, after speaking with the lady in store. She also gave me a hand out on iron and B12 which fit the symptoms I have been experiencing including why my skin is so different lately and why my nails are so brittle, not to mention the tiredness, headaches, weakness, fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, depression, etc, etc.

So all in all I must give the glory to the One who wont give up on me, even when I give up on myself.

I am also nearing the completion stages of Jaybugs knitted jacket and hope to have it finished by the end of the week. I also plan on a post in the next day or two about my adventures with crochet, the book I am excitedly awaiting the arrival of, and the biggest crochet confusion discovery I made the other night, where all things suddenly fell into place and made sense!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Joys of today

Today I had one mission and that was to get my hands on a copy of The Art Of Crochet weekly series that has just been issued here in NZ. It has been available elsewhere for quite some time but only just arrived here. I had a look online and found that it was a 120 issue (Eeeek! at $9.99 a regular issue....) to complete the weekly square to form the blanket they make. So I have decided that for $3.99 for the first copy I would take a look and see what I think before deciding whether I might buy more.

 For just $3.99 this week I have received 2 balls of yarn, a crochet hook, issue one and a starting out Dvd. Will let you know what I think once I get a chance to sit down and have a look inside.

I also managed to get my hands on a Jan 2011 Creative Keepsakes mag at our local recycled mag shop today for $2. I have in the past had wonderful Helen who has passed on her copies when she has finished reading them. But as she has excitingly moved to Aus on a new adventure I sadly have to get my own now!

Helen had some awesome pics on her post today with amazing pics of Bean in autumn leaves that made me have some fantastic scrapping ideas. I am looking forward to sitting down and getting out some things that have been away by themselves a little too long.....

I also got an amazing early Mothers Day present that Quack brought home from school for me this afternoon.

He was so proud of his very first handmade efforts

This is a picture of me out walking with the pram

Inside is a beautiful handwritten message: 
I love my Mum because she takes us for walks and she buys me puzzles. I like my Mum because she helps me do my puzzles. 
Love From Zac
(In the holidays we found on a walk our local bookstore had second-hand puzzles which we have been buying and doing together which has been lots of fun)

And inside it is filled with some of my favourite things!
Marshmallows and coconut ice - Yummmmm

Looking forward to sitting down tonight, once the kiddo's are in bed, with my new reads and some yummy treats.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

More Feijoa's, some knitting and crochet - all in a day.....

So today I have for you Fab Feijoa Muffins! These are so yummy that they are just about all gone. They have a yummy sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar over the top too.

To start off with though I hadn't thought about the fact that although we have Feijoas coming out our ears so of you would have no idea what they are (as Tea so kindly pointed out.
So Feijoas are a fruit that grow on trees and fall when they are ripe.

They have green skin 

 and a soft white flesh inside.

If you cant get Feijoas any of the recipes can have banana added or any other soft fruit that you may wish to use. I opted to add frozen berries to my muffins too which help add a little bit of colour and flavour.
You can find the recipe for my muffins over here.

Also a project I have been working on is a Hooded Jacket for Jaybug. I wanted to get her a bright striped jacket from somewhere like Pumpkin Patch, then I found this awesome free pattern online from Spotlight.

So I have been working on this with some awesome Moda Vera - Marvel plain 8ply yarn. I found it at our local Spotlight store for $3.99 a ball (which I thought was really reasonable for 100g ball). There is a huge range of colours too which makes it so easy to get excited. It is an acrylic yarn which I find easier to wash with the kids.

So here is the colours I have chosen

So far I have done the back, two fronts and have just about finished the first sleeve.

But today I got a bit distracted when reading PaisleyJade's post with yet another one of her awesome crochet creations. When I mentioned in the comments that I have been wanting to learn she sent me a fantastic blog link with learning to crochet a granny square (So Helen I am learning to make them!)
The link was for Meet Me at Mikes at was super easy to follow with great video instruction.

So here is my afternoons distraction:

Round 1 and 2 completed and then I thought I better get the beef casserole in the oven otherwise there would be no dinner tonight and lots of explaining to do!

 Completed 3 round granny square and even a colour change!

Sewing in all the ends

And completed granny square!

I am super excited and ready to make more. It was so much fun and heaps easier than I thought. But for now I really must get the Jacket finished for Jaybug. Granny squares awaiting may just help me get it finished super speedy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello my long lost friend

I have been pondering, what feels likes forever, how exactly to get back into my blog writing. How would I explain the past five months? Then I decided I just wouldn't explain. Those who know me well know enough and those here in blog land I'm sure are willing to accept the craziness of life sometimes.

Here in NZ it is the time of Feijoas! I love them and squeak seems to have taken a liking to them too. Jaybug thinks they are OK but nothing flash and Hubby will eat them occasionally, but as for Quack he has no time for them whatsoever.

So today's mission, as I have a huge bag of Feijoa's that Squeak and I cannot get through alone, is to find some baking to use them in where everyone will eat them.

I have found a few recipes I want to try but today's one is Spiced Feijoa Cake - I found the recipe here at Everybody communities.

 It's pretty simple but there are a couple of things I love about it.

 1. It has a yummy crumble like topping

2. My Tupperware Turbo chef is just perfect for chopping up the feijoas.

I will add the recipe to my baking section here if anyone would like to try it. I also have another cake and some muffins to try too. Will let you know when I get them baked.......