It was a quiet moment last week when I stumbled upon this hidden relic of sorts. As I unpacked the papers of my writing desk, I found an old email correspondence written many years ago between myself and another person. To say our relationship was dysfunctional is a great understatement, even though it took me years to understand how bad it truly was. I browsed over the conversations and was struck with terror at how truly awful and unhealthy our relationship had been. This print-out contained paragraphs of my attempts to build up the self-esteem of an adult who had chronic depression and was extremely emotionally needy and unstable. Our relationship was out of balance. I continued reading and realized I had spent, no, wasted, so many years of my life trying to help this person, even to the point of telling them what they wanted to hear when it wasn’t the truth. Oh, that’s so painful to say! I took up a burden that was not my own. I thought it was my responsibility to fix certain people in my life, and in fact, I had been told to an extent that it was my job and Christian duty.
What I didn’t see until I found these papers was that I had spent out all of my energy trying to help someone I couldn’t and shouldn’t have helped. When others choose to stay in pits of their own making, you can’t make them get out. And you CANNOT get in there with them! Then you’ll both be stuck! And that is what happened to me. Instead of using my energy to heal and live a peaceful life, I was using it to keep dysfunctional people living in their dysfunction. I had wasted years trying to take responsibility to fix the poor choices of my family and, at times, friends too. I could not take away the decisions and actions they chose, the consequences that resulted and how they felt about themselves afterwards. In the end, I ended up depleted in every way and had nothing left to give to my own family and loved ones.
The more disturbing issue in all this was Read More
Easter. I had rushed around making sure we all had spring time clothes to wear. Easter baskets? Check. Toys and candy? Check. All this going on while my husband transitions into a new job and we finalize everything for our new home. Once Easter arrived I was so ready to relax and spend time during service just worshipping God and praising him for Who He is. April is also child abuse prevention month, and with where I come from, that had been on my mind lately. I was in worship Sunday thinking about how grateful I am that Jesus is so gentle with us. A bruised reed He will not crush. He took our pain and infirmities so we could walk in freedom. But then something so unexpected happened.
Note: I have not forgotten about the Peace Series I said we will be starting! I am working behind the scenes on organizing it and putting together some tools I think will be helpful to you.
If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you already know the basics of my story – my background. One part of that story is the shaming I under went for most of my young life for not being pretty, or pretty enough, depending on whom you asked. All of my family relatives are pretty nice looking folks. But like it happens for most of us, no matter who we’re with, there are comparisons. I remember VERY clearly sitting at a family Christmas gathering right after my parents had split and hearing a group of them talk about how beautiful one of my siblings was and therefore, that one would be successful. But me? They said I wasn’t very pretty; I was cute, but not pretty and it would be harder for me to have a good chance in life. People I can’t make this stuff up! And the fact that my entire life I have always at least 20 pounds (but usually more, sometimes A LOT more) overweight due to health problems and medications I was taking. I was in a very deep depression by this time from the years of abuse and was probably around 10 or 11 years old. I had another relative who told me out of concern that if I didn’t “get pretty” no man would ever want to marry me.
I grew up with a huge inferiority complex and zero self esteem. I spent all of my pre-teen and teen years hearing people classify me as “the ugly one” in the family. Or the ugly one out of a group of friends or in class at school. After awhile, those comments became my inner identity. By the time I was approaching 20 years of age, I had severe crippling anxiety about going out into public. Going to the grocery store or Wal-mart became almost impossible. I would hold my breath constantly out of fear and anxiety. I felt like I was too ugly to walk into a public place and felt so ashamed of myself. Why did God make me look like I did? I truly didn’t understand. Read More
One of the new features I wanted to do on the blog this year was a regular reading list. There’s nothing like having a child that will quickly rid your life of time to read, right?
Above is my current stack of books – you should see the magazines that lying around unread! See all those bookmarks? I have a terrible habit of starting lots of books at once, and sometimes not finishing any of them. I’m getting more serious now about picking back up on reading regularly and finishing books. I found some interesting books at the library, and a few were Christmas gifts. As you can see, I really enjoy Sally Clarkson’s books.
Unless there are extra days miraculously added to this month, I will not be finishing all these books in January. But I am making changes to my schedule to allow for more reading time. Just a few minutes for a chapter here and there can add up quickly.
Here’s what I plan to read: