An Observation

As I wrote the other day, I am intentionally focusing on my self-talk and really trying to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Do you know there is a lot, I mean A LOT of negativity out in the world, at least in my little world.

I’ve noticed it at work, while swimming at the pool, at the grocery store and just visiting with others how often people speak a negative thought. I’m sure I’m noticing because it is something that I am consciously working on.

I’m sure someone out there reading this is thinking “well there is a lot of negative stuff going on in the world.” Yes there is, but what would happen if each of us just changed one negative comment into a positive one.

For example, someone getting into the pool the other day yelled “dang, this pool is hot (meaning the water).” I would agree it was tepid, like a warm bath but you know what, it was also so refreshing to be able to cool off in the pool, listen to littles laughing and to be able to relax and not worry about anything.

At the grocery store I overheard someone say “they don’t have the right kind of sliced cheese.” How about “I wish they would carry Brand X but I’m thankful I have the choices I have.”

Yesterday I had to check myself a few times, I had a headache (and dang still do, one of those pounding ones where I just need to bury my head in the dark for a few hours) but I added a positive to it. “Dang I have a headache but thank goodness I can just rest this afternoon in the comfort of our air conditioned little home on wheels.”

I made a pork roast w/potatoes and onions in the crock pot. As I dished it up I thought “that is a pretty bland looking meal.” Then I rephrased it…”Dinner isn’t very colorful, but I am thankful we have food to eat. And it tastes pretty dang good.”

As I continue this journey of learning to see the positive in things, changing those negative thoughts into positive ones and learning to extend grace to myself in the same manner I share with others, I’m wondering what would happen if each of just turned one negative comment or thought into a positive one? I’m thinking that the peace that I am beginning to feel more and more would spread among each other. What do you think?

One of the verses in my devotions this week was:

I am trying to focus on this verse in a tangible and real way. Trying not to think of wants or what would be better but giving thanks for what I have and being content. As I fell asleep last night I thought “I truly am blessed! I have a wonderful husband who loves and cares for me, a job I enjoy where I get to meet new people every single day and find the common bond between us, and most importantly realizing I am loved by the One who matters, Jesus! He is my rock!!! even when I’m not so aware.

What are you focusing on today?


Life’s Happening’s

Once again I find myself acknowledging it has been awhile since I have written but that’s life! A lot of things have been going on with me and with us…nothing serious just life….

Let me share the hard stuff first so I end on a positive note…since that’s my theme for the past couple of weeks or so and in my self talk – changing the negative to a positive.

If you have been following our blog for any length of time, you know I have battled depression and anxiety for many years. I am on medication, have been on, it seems like forever, but my depression over the past few months has climbed and gotten more intense in the past few months. Life has thrown us a few curves, some our own making like quitting our jobs at A Kid’s Place last October, normal life issues: high cost in groceries, insurance, gas, you name it and the price of it has gone up!!

We chose to move to South Carolina and begin work at Camp Sparrow in April of this year. To say the transition has been easy would not be true. We were thrown a curve ball when we arrived that the manager who hired us had been fired the morning (Monday 4/11) of our arrival, new managers began on Wednesday which is also the day we started. I am happy to say that overall our work experience has been pretty good even dealing with a little drama ~ but what work place doesn’t have some kind of drama? But Kudos to J & K for working through things and keeping our team working together and moving forward.

We typically work 20 to 30 hours a week with the same two days off and for that we are very thankful. We love our little home on wheels and where we are parked. We get the sunshine and lots of shade, the best of both worlds!

We are hoping to be here for at least a year if not two! Lord willing!!! As we have settled into Gaffney we have found a sweet church to attend, Love Springs Baptist Church and have been welcomed and loved on even with our crazy work schedule. Sometimes we arrive a little late or have to leave a little early but are always told “come on!”

As many people have been facing, we have faced some difficult financial issues but I can say, we have always made it…because God has always provided. I will say, I have shed many a tear, cried out to God, to Ron, to my bestie and so many…I’m scared, how are we going to make it? What are we going to eat? How are we going to pay our bills? Y’all know the drill and the cries and tears…but again, God has been faithful, maybe not how I would want it to work out but y’all know what ~ we have not missed a meal, we’ve always had gas to get to where we need to go, we have not missed a truck payment and for that we are so thankful. Financially things are still very difficult but we are going to cling to God’s promise that He will always provide.

As many people have been facing, we have faced some difficult financial issues but I can say, we have always made it…because God has always provided. I will say, I have shed many a tear, cried out to God, to Ron, to my bestie and so many…I’m scared, how are we going to make it? What are we going to eat? How are we going to pay our bills? Y’all know the drill and the cries and tears…but again, God has been faithful, maybe not how I would want it to work out but y’all know what ~ we have not missed a meal, we’ve always had gas to get to where we need to go, we have not missed a truck payment and for that we are so thankful. Financially things are still very difficult but we are going to cling to God’s promise that He will always provide. Sometimes though, I just need to remind myself of that when my anxiety starts to rumble.

Let me take a minute to tell you how wonderful God is, I am working this afternoon and a gal called in to see if we had any sites available as they are traveling and having some truck issues and needed a place to pull in for the night or maybe two. I could tell A was stressed and near tears, I told her we had a site and to come on!! (sound familiar PR?). Well A just got here, started apologizing for her tears and I told her “nope, no reason to apologize, us mama’s and grammy’s have to stick together. When she called she was about 30 minutes from the campground…she let me know they didn’t hav a single problem with their truck on that 30 minute drive. And we both chuckled and I said, well God has his plans and not only do you need a hug but I needed one too!!! We hugged so tight and said “thank you Jesus” at the same time!!!

God knows I have been struggling and feeling so alone, needing a girlfriend hug and I am so thankful that A came to campground!!! Thank you Jesus for loving us both and giving us those hugs!!!

Since we arrived in Gaffney I can say the struggles have been real but so has God’s love. Besides finding a Bible believing, preaching church and being welcomed as we have God has also provided us with a good doctor. We know with all our traveling that finding a doctor is not always easy but now with both of us having heart issues, my diabetes and Ron’s history of breast cancer it is important to find one soon after arriving in an area. So after getting our health insurance switched to SC, the next step was finding a doctor. I prayed that whoever we found would be easy to speak with, not give us a hard time for having so many doctors in our history and know about diabetes and heart issues. God answered that prayer…we found Dr. J Nesmith…he reminds me of a big ole football player who could pass as a teddy bear!!! I have seen him twice and Ron will see him in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday was a six week check up following my initial visit. He had done a bunch of blood tests and told me, no news is good news, so don’t be stressing over things that don’t need to be stressed over. LOL I think he knew me in just a few minutes ~ LOL. During my first visit, I talked about how my depression was reeling it’s ugly head and could we tweak my medication. He said yes! So we increased my Fluoxetine from 40mg to 60mg…while Ron and I were hanging out on Wednesday we talked about my depression and I said “I think I’m in a better space” and Ron agreed. Yesterday when we were talking with Dr. N he was glad to hear both Ron and I felt there had been a positive turn. I also mentioned that I had started counseling again, YES AGAIN! More about that later…so we talked about my numbers. My A1C was 7.3, better than the 10 it was in February yet still room for improvement. Due to insurance changes I had to change my Basal (long term insulin) and I just started that this week so we will see if it makes a difference for the good. If you have taken Toujeo I would love to hear your comments about it.

Ron will see Dr. Nesmith in early August. I also have an appointment with a Lung specialist in early August and an opthamologist the end of August.

After 8+ months of feeling like I was teetering on the edge of the slippery slope and chatting with my Bestie, Ron and another friend I reached out to our pastor, PR, to see if he could recommend a counselor/therapist. I was having lots of ambivalent feelings – I know what I need to do, I know how to do it and yet I was feeling I needed to check in with someone. PR recommended New Mercies. I got the number from PR on a Tuesday, didn’t send them a text till Friday…you know I can’t just jump into things, LOL! After texting back and forth an appointment was made for Tuesday. I must say, up until I was actually walking into meet with Mr. Keith I was battling with Go/Don’t Go. But I went. Mr. Keith is easy to talk to and with. We just chatted a bit about my history and what I was thinking I needed. One thing I liked was that he prayed before we even began talking and before I left at the end of the session. We came up with a plan, well he came up with a plan and I’m trying to follow through with it. I am doing three things:

  1. Reading out of Psalms & John every day ~ well trying to, some days it just doesn’t seem to work out. But that’s okay…because I am extending grace to myself that I’m not perfect and giving myself credit for the days I am successful.
  2. Reading this book

and answering the questions at the end of each chapter. I find that I am reading it, absorbing the material and really thinking about the questions and the answers. Basically the book is about working on your mindset, turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts. One thing I like about this book is that it is not just a secular book but written from a Christian perspective, intertwining scripture.

3. Praying out loud ~ I am realizing that praying out loud is very different then thinking my prayers or even writing them out. I picture myself sitting either at Wood’s (local Whatcom County coffee shop) or sitting at a picnic table just chatting with Jesus.

4. Oh I guess there is a 4th thing…sitting quietly and letting the Lord speak to me ~ this is dang hard!!! I don’t like the silence, no music playing in the background. The goal is 5 to 15 minutes of silence clearing my mind to allow the Lord to speak to me. I will say…I’m still working on ONE minute of silence. I find my thoughts drifting and catch myself and go back to Lord, help me to just sit and absorb…one of these days I will be shouting “I did it! I did it!” when I can sit for 5 minutes and just letting the Lord minister to me.

Ron asked me the other day how long I thought I would be meeting with Mr. Keith/counseling. I said I didn’t know…I do know I want to complete the book and once and for all break the strongholds of my negativity from my life!!!

As I have met with Mr. Keith, one of the assignments was to write down a list of 5 things I want TO REMOVE from my life and 5 things I WANT in my life. When he gave me the assignment I thought “easy peasy.” Well I spoke way to soon. I have come up with 2! Get rid of the misbeliefs/lies I tell myself and the clutter in our home. Two things I want in my life are to get all my journals put onto the computer. I still have a dream of writing out my story, to be able to share and encourage others that even though I faced many trials and obstacles in my life I don’t have to live in a negative fashion and to actively/intentionally get rid of my stinkin’ thinkin’!

Have you ever thought of things you want to do in and with your life? What about removing things from your life? It’s not as easy a question as you might think.

Moving on…this blog post has been pretty heavy but there are good things happening in our lives…we were able to spend 24 hours with Brandon, Danalyn, Max and his sweetie Malarie, Christopher, Treyson and Alex at the beach in NC! It was so good to get and give hugs! And just hangout together!!! Then we had this guy . spend a week with us! The week went fast but was filled with lots of fun stuff…watching movies together, went swimming, took a road trip to an Amish bakery, stopped for ice cream at a local farm and laughed and played together. At the end of our week we drove to Blairsville, GA to meet up with B, C and T to pass Alex off to them. After giving/getting lots of hugs they headed back to Florida and we took a road trip. As most of you know, we don’t like to drive the same route twice! From Blairsville we drove through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, drove through a very busy Gatlinburg, TN and ate some of the best BBQ we have ever had at Bones BBQ Joint ~ we stopped there because they had free parking! LOL but the food was delicious and we hope to go back there again one day soon.

We are enjoying our jobs here at Camp Sparrow and yesterday we were blessed to learn we are each getting a 50 cent per hour raise! Doesn’t sound like much but we know it will help us as we play catch up on our bills. We are very thankful!!! We like the laid back atmosphere here at the campground. And we love meeting people and getting to learn about them and share how the Lord has blessed us.

Today Ron gets to do one of his most favorite things ~

as we celebrate Christmas in July here at Camp Sparrow!!!

Thanks for listening/reading…I hope and pray that in some way I can be an encourager to you…reminding you that none of us are perfect, that God will always provide even when we don’t see a way, and that each of us sometimes need a reminder that this too shall pass…
I look forward to a great day…how about you?