Monday, April 11, 2011

Dear Life

Dear Life, Today I can't keep up with you, I was struggling yesterday too. There are lots of things I have to get done, and I am barely scraping through. There are too many forms for school, I lose them and forget them and get them in late, the world hasn't ended but I am so tired of all the paper and thinking i have got them all back to discover I have more outstanding.... There is so much noise that people call life and enjoyment, it makes my head hurt. Two people talking and a pot boiling on the stove and then I have to keep track of making tea and what was I doing? I can't follow the conversation with the background noise, and when I concentrate really hard I can follow it, but feel like I need a 2 hour sleep afterwards.. I have washing and ironing to do and I have to get boys ready for school, meals to make and a house to keep clean, a job to go to and a husband to care for. There are pets to feed and family to see, phone calls to take and places to go. Practice and lessons and school drop off and pick up, emails to reply to, questions to answer and conversation to make. Normal everyday stuff, and some people really love it, and sometimes I do too. Today I don't, today is too much, today I am in overload. Today I dream of a cave where no one else is. I don't want to talk today, I don't want to go to the doctor, or get a second opinion. I don't want to deal with your stuff, hell I don't even want to deal with my stuff! Don't ask me how I am, I will lie. Its a pathalogical thing with me, can't tell you the truth, I don't want to explain the unexplainable. Today is hard, and I don't want your ideas about how to fix it. Spiritual music has been playing all day but doesn't cut it. Praying has been going on for about the same time and the place where God is, is very very quiet (which in this state is a bit nice, could I handle too much noise from there??). My bed is very very inviting right now. Depression is a black hole and I have fallen in. I know that if I wait I will feel better it might take a while, in the mean time, please excuse me. My emotions are all up and down, really I am trying very hard, it probably doesn't look like it. It feels like I could be the biggest attention seeker the world has ever known. Please excuse me, but your advice is like sandpaper, and honestly it will take till tomorrow for me to process what you have told me. Please don't judge, please don't ask, just be my friend, it will get better I know, it just isn't right now. So Dear Life, If it is at all possible could you please slow down? I don't really know how to simplify any more, and I can't keep up. Maybe you could call past in a month or two, I may have caught up by then. If not once I come up again to breathe, I might be able to swim by and keep in the current, until then I will sit in the shallows. yours exhaustedly Dini

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Update thus far

The year has been hard, again. Marriage holding together just, and mental health holding together better than it has, but still having moments that make your knees quiver and you question your sanity. In the entire time that I have been dealing with serious depression some friendships have been seriously neglected and I waver between horrendous guilt and complete justification of my actions. And even now I am torn really between what is right and what is wrong? I have this necessity to label and box things up so I can cope with them.
The reality is its not a clear cut answer. I have made bad decisions, I would love to justify my guilt away but usually relationship problems have two sides, one of those sides is mine.

Here it is, communication is not my strength by any stretch of the imagination. Verbal communication is hard for me I prefer to write then I can edit, revise, re read and spell check to my hearts content before putting it out for the whole world to read. Telephone calls make me anxious, If you ever chat with me and I don't know you well I have a fall back that I use and its this, ask questions and get a person chatting about themselves and sit and listen. Works every time.

I have this desire after being at work, or out in big public situations to be a hermit. Public relations down to almost nil, I get so tired from talking to people through my work (which I also believe is the mission field that has been given to me by God) that I have enough energy to function in the family situation (and sometimes very poorly there) and that is it. The other week I begged off a family do because I was so tired that if I had to talk to anyone I probably would have cried.

I relate better to older people than those of my own age group, much older say 60 and up. I do have some friends of my own age group but they are few and special. Give me a room of oldies and I am in heaven! They love to talk, and they have so much life experience to share, and they don't give a fig about the latest trend, hair colours, clothes etc. They are more interested in the person inside and sharing their life experience.

Now there are other things I don't enjoy really late nights, I don't like drinking or being out of control, I don't like crowded rooms with alot of noise it overloads me and wears me out. If I have seen people during the day I don't like to go out. If there are jobs that need to be done at home I find it hard to go out especially the washing. Going away for a holiday is almost too much work because of all the work needed to be done before and after a trip.

Depression is a constant thing for me, it is mostly under control, but sometimes it spirals completely off the planet, usually I am left holding on for what feels to be my very life. About once a month it rears its ugly head and as I have posted previously I want to hurt myself to help me cope, sometimes I want to die. People don't understand this, and thats ok.

I am sad that these parts of me, these traits, I have let control decisions I have made, and still do sometimes. I don't want to use this as any justification, honestly I just want to lay the facts out more to clear my own head, sort the emotions out, put the puzzle together. Truthfully I am sitting here finding it really hard to write.

In the worlds eyes and in many religious peoples eyes I do not make the grade. Alot of the time in my own eyes I fail miserably. In Gods eyes I am Nadine Elizabeth, made by Him and He knew me in the womb and even before the creation of the world, and He knows and loves me completely.

This is how I was made, I am faulty, but it is acceptable to God. My misconduct and thoughtlessness, the way I treat people through fear, ignorance, pride and anger is poor at best. I am truly sorry for the way I have treated some friends.

The flip side is that I have made the decision to serve God first, then serve my husband and care for my kids. I swear I am doing my absolute best to serve him and keep my priorities in the right order. I find it extremely hard to balance family life, work, and friends and usually the bits that fall of the order are friends.

Is there an answer? Not really I have spent this past year or two investing my time in my marriage, and some friends have taken a back seat. I am sorry, but truly the marriage needed my priority and attention. I am at a point in my life where I think that if you can't accept me as I am, then I am sorry. If you would like me to put friendship before my Husband and children it won't happen. If you want me to be Mrs Sociable 2010 it isn't going to happen. I am an extremely poor friend, I don't call enough and will think something is a really good idea and then get cold feet and want to pull out. I will get overtired and over emotional (ask my mum and family they will tell you), I would love to be different, I often try harder and fail.

If you take me as I am, and expect very little you will be rewarded, but if you have high expectations and think that I should meet your goal posts you will be dissappointed. Please know that this is who I am, I truly do try hard to be a better person, and I don't always knowingly hurt friends. I will not change myself to suit everyone else, take me as I am, knowing I am imperfect and that I try hard and fail.

God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Have you ever noticed??

Just recently I got caught up in a tv series, it grabbed me and I was held fast until I finished all 3 series. Now people get obsessed with tv programmes and movies and actors, and in society today it is considered "normal". I have a personality that gets caught up in these kind of fictions and obsesses about them, until the thirst is satisfied. Normally it doesn't bother me, just lately it really worried me. Why was I hanging on for the next episode, why did I want to see the behind the scenes stuff? I mean other than normal fascination at a good show (BBC's Robin hood, if you are wondering..) it really consumed me for a couple of weeks. I spent alot of time praying in between episodes, Father why am I not obsessing like this about you? Why do I do this, what is the purpose in it? How can I even do this? So the self flaggelation kicks in (I am an expert in this field) and I got down on myself, but still could not stop watching this show.

It has occurred to me before that most movies, tv shows, echo the desires of our heart, that God put there, the need for a hero, to be saved, rescued and to be loved completely exactly as we are. Movies like Robin Hood, Superman, spiderman, the matrix, and countless others, the hero is willing to sacrifice his life to save mortal man. There are plenty others, these are a few I could think of off the top of my head. Other movies where the hero loves the heroine completely regardless of her faults, and because of his love she is made to be perfect, Bed of roses is like that. Other movies portray the guy as perfect and the woman as perfect and it is all a bit "unreal" but we love these movies and they do well at the box office. Movies that have both a hero saving mortals and a love story entwined also do great.

So I think that human beings crave a hero, and subconciously acknowledge that we are not perfect. It is demonstrated in our movies and books. We represent the need for Christ in our theatres and movies and our idolisation of the "perfect" people shows our desire to be perfect as we once were and will be eventually. We also crave a perfect love that accepts and is not demanding, but fulfilling, and all encompassing. So the world denies God verbally and the possibility that God sent Himself as a man to rescue us is scoffed, then we make movies and write books, and television programmes that express our desire for such a thing to be.

So I watched Robin Hood by the BBC and I really enjoyed it, I watched it with my husband, and cried when people died and felt sad and laughed. When I had seen all 3 series, it had finished and I was satisfied I realised again that it echoed my own hearts need for a hero, someone to save me and to love me completely exactly as I am. My husband loves me as I am, and his patience sometimes goes way beyond the normal human levels (in my opinion), but the need for the Love of God, of the creator who made me, and knows me, goes way beyond the need of the love of my husband. It drives me and satisfies me in a way that no other could, and I long to be perfected and to be with Him in His glory.

While the world vehemently denies and mocks God and His Son, and ultimate sacrifice, hero of the world, take time to look beyond what is immediately verbalised, and hear the echo of their souls as it whispers to us at a deafening level. They want a saviour, they crave a hero, they feel a need that they know they can't fill, but try to. Will we show them? Will I show them? How do we tell a hostile world who is angry and scared, confused and feels alone? The anger and denial (that I also have sometimes) they have is a wall put up to keep the soft vulnerable part of them safe. They act severley to hide their vulnerability, look past the initial barrier and see the vulnerable person and act with consideration and gentleness.

Christians do not preach words at these people, words are cheap and meaningless. Make your message Love, let it be in the things you do, and the way you approach them. Read the Gospels and make your sermon be the way you live your life, the way you interact with these people. Forgive people, make it real, not just words, start with the people close to you who sometimes should know better, forgive them first. Forgive the members of your church, who sometimes should know better, the mission field is at your doorstep, and Christianity starts at home. Acknowledge your own need for forgiveness and keep this at the forefront of your mind to help you keep a humble heart. Don't get all pious about forgiving them, be humble, be quiet and let your behaviour show a changed spirit toward them. For too long Christians have pulled out their bibles and slammed the verses into broken people and the verses have been given with such haste and thoughtlessness that they wound rather than heal. Do not bash people with the Bible, do not twist its words to humiliate and flagellate, to make yourself better than them, to shame them and scare them into salvation. That is not what Jesus did, and not what He wants us to do. Let the Bible live through you, let the love of Christ resonate out of your life, let people see you and wonder why you are the way you are, let them see it and want to have some of it, to be close to it and to be like it.

The world craves our hero, and the world craves His perfecting Love, they need it, they deny it, and their souls whisper a deafening message to us constantly, will we heed it? will we hear it? will we respond??

Friday, February 12, 2010

Where are we at?

Ok so a couple of posts ago, I was saying I wanted to know exactly what God wanted me to do, where did he want me to go? I put it out there so people could see what is going on in my life, to be transparent. Here is where we are at.

The personal family life left the planet for quite a bit, taking my mind with it. Nothing is completely resolved, and some of it is totally out of my control, which completely terrifies me. But I think the answer is to keep going, keep trusting and know that the Father is completely in control. I have decided to try not to panic, not to freak out, to trust completely. Harder than it sounds, so much harder. Like grinding my bones in a wheat mill hard. Part of this is to refrain from judgement. I pride myself on not being judgemental (good one hey?) and then discover that the people I care most about receive a good lashing of judgement from me. Hmmmmm. I am trying to deal with this, not sure that I am that successful though..

The other thing that has happened is that I started aged care certificate III in January. I am going to work with people who are elderly and frail, lonely, grumpy, sad, mad, and trapped in a body that no longer does what it should for them. I have no assumptions that it will be easy, actually my mum has told me every story that could ever make your toes curl or bring your dinner up for a repeat performance. The trainers in the course are not sparing us either and we have done scenario's that echo real life (well done ladies!). I am sure there will be things that make us go Woah! but for the most part we know what we are getting ourselves into (I think...)

So this job will get me out into the community caring for people (which is what my heart wants to do) and will give me an interest outside of the four walls of my house, and has already given me so many opportunities. What God does with it now is up to Him, I will do this for a while and see how the dust settles in other aspects of my life. People have said I could do my Enrolled nursing, and on the outside of my brain I play with the idea of Registered Nursing, but I don't know. One thing at a time I think.

So that is a positive area for me at the moment, and I have kept the house in some kind of semblance of order, and even organised time by myself (right now actually) without having to do too much to get it to happen. Not that the importance of those two things individually is great, just means that I am more organised and relaxed and that is good.

I am challenged with my behaviour and perspective I present while meeting other people and wonder if it is all it should be? What lasting impression am I leaving? How do I touch other people's lives, do I demonstrate the Love of God while doing it? Do I whinge? Do I make it harder than it should be, do I give correct advice? Should I really give any advice? Does Christ shine out of me? In all honesty for some of these questions the answer is yes, and then is followed by a but.... some of these i am sad to say may be no. For me that is sad, and it makes me want to hide at home and never go out again. How do I get myself to this spot? How do I not turn it into self flaggilation that will chain me to a position of hopelessness and uselessness? How do we move onwards? The only answer is to keep going, I will do it better today, I will try harder tomorrow, and with the help of God I might get close to succeding. Maybe people will see a hypocrite, and as if there aren't enough of us around already, hopefully God can show a person who does not think that she is perfect, and is not perfect, but that God can still use. The holiness and perfectness of God, I believe, can take the most disasterous situation and use it for His Glory. Although my behaviour does not lean toward the disasterous, it certainly doesn't always reflect the heart of God. The other thing I have to remember is that God uses the normal, and the sinner, and the imperfect. The Bible is full of people who were not perfect (far from it) and God used them to Glorify Himself and to help us to know that we can be loved completely. Examples are Moses, David, Peter, The entire nation of Israel (several times). David had his friend killed in battle because he had an affair with the guys wife, and then married her. The bible notes also that "David was a man after God's own heart". Not that his behaviour was right, but that his heart yearned to serve God despite his fleshly failings.

I have to remember not to apply my own level of perfection to the rest of the world. It is unfair, and takes me closer to being a pharisee than I would like, and yet I do it unconciously, and see my behaviour for what it is after the fact. I apply assumptions and my own fears to people, and that is unfair. When something gets too hard I want to run, hard and fast, as far as I can, and yet the greatest satisfaction is gained by pushing through to the end, enduring and going to the last step.

So the journey continues, depression and anxiety goad from the sidelines, fear grief and shame all tag along and jeer from behind. But hope, love, laughter, peace, joy and contentment beckon in front of me, encourage me to take the next step, and Yeshua jogs beside me, sometimes silent, sometimes He holds my hand, sometimes words of encouragement are spoken, sometimes joy bursts forth like a miracle in the depth of my dispair. Sometimes I turn and don't see Him, but he is there (probably on my other left, as Ash would say :) ). I run, walk, jog, and crawl the race, but I will do it to the finish line, and He is my coach, and my friend. It isn't easy, but God never promised us a limosine and a cruise to the Bahamas, and so much is gained by going the hard miles, I don't think I want to miss out on that....

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Review

"It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times" a very good opening for a Tale of Two cities and also a very good explanation of 2009 for me.

Grind a stone down slowly and that is what it has been like, painful, long, exhausting, and transforming. We started the beginning of 2009 with me painfully depressed, self harming and suicidal. A human wreckage, not really even wanting to cling to life anymore. I had in reality probably been like that for at least 6 months, there was so much inner turmoil that the pain was so hard to bear that to cope I would hurt myself so I could concentrate on something else. Very bleak days.
Medication, psychiatrist and trying to help myself were in some way helping, but I was convinced that I was going to remain that way for the rest of my life, living on the knife edge.

In the middle of the year I was doing somewhat better, being more controlled than I had been. We went away to the Flinders Ranges for our annual holiday with my husbands sister and their family. My kids were sick, and I got sick - very sick. While my husband and his sister were driving me to a doctors appointment a 40 minute drive from where we were staying, where there was limited telephone reception, I went into respiratory failure. I lost circulation to my legs, arms and was last stage colour for hypoxia. My arms locked into position, my eyes started rolling to the back of my head, my sister in law had to maintain my airway, when I could speak it was one word at a time and in the end it was slurry like I had been drinking. At that stage she administered my nephews epi pen to me, which made my lungs open up. I had really no idea what was going on, I can remember telling them that God was in control, and I felt it more firmly than you could imagine. Rock solid.

Truly I didn't fully understand until a month later how close I had come to dying, but I know that I instantly felt so much appreciation for my life. It took about 6 weeks to get better after that and in 6 months we are going back there and I am concerned for how the husband and the sister in law will take it. Time will tell.

Did it cure my depression, No. Did it end the suicidal thoughts, yes, and the self harming, yes. Or maybe as a bi product of that instance I just decided to chose differently, and chose differently every day from then on.

The last 3 to 4 months have been better than they have been in such a long long time, weeks and weeks of feeling "normal", for the dispair and pain to just be gone altogether. I still have days where the emotions are in overdrive and I cling hard to the fact that it will pass, and ride out the storm, its hard work though.

Even in the last 5 weeks I have had days where the prayer has been "please God, I can hardly do this anymore, I can barely cope". We get through.

It hasn't been all bad, but it hasn't been great, and in previous years I have foolishly thought "next year will be better", but this year I think, it doesn't matter what happens this year, this year I will do everything to the Glory of God. No resolutions, no other commitments, God is in Control- and that is my motto probably till I die now, and I will live to Glorify Him Alone.

Yahweh is the only true God, and Jesus Christ is the only way to get to him. People will tell you that there are many ways to God, but the Bible says that you can only get to the Father through Christ the Son. People will tell you, be good, do your best, and that will count (even in some christian circles the message lived out is that you should be perfect now) but it won't. God is Holy. Holiness is Perfection. We are not Perfect. Jesus is and was. Tell God that you are not worthy but the death of Christ was for you and you accept it. I don't want a God that makes me work for my salvation, because I will NEVER EVER earn it. Its not a bad thing. He has done the work for us. I find it hard to believe that we will believe scientists who have been proven untrue regarding certain world situations, and yet people will believe that the God who created them, in the very beginning, and gave us a free will, does not love us and does not exist. We just banged into the atmosphere, from nothing, and it all slotted together a perfect eco system that could sustain life. Even kids don't believe that kind of story, and we teach it in our high schools as fact.

So unlike a fairy tale I cannot tell you that I will live Happily Ever After. It isn't reality, and I reckon it isn't your reality either. I have dreams and hopes but truly in the end I want to get to the end and say "God I gave it my best shot, and I did it all for you. I mucked up a bit, but thanks for your help through those bits, I want it all to Glorify you."

2009 is not the great story of I nearly died and God saved me and He cured me! I believe that God did save me, so many things had to have happened, years and years before that moment so that I would live, and to some extent I am cured of the nasty end of the depression. In all honesty though I can sit here and tell you that even now the the dispair and emotional pain sit outside the boundaries I have set myself waiting to jump in and take over.

I pray constantly that in all situations I will Glorify God. I want to be an honest Christian, I want to show you that we are normal people, that some of us don't judge, some of us do, but regret it. We are hypocrites, our marriages are rocky and hard work, our kids are not perfect and we have no right to judge others. Jesus told the pharisees to get the tree out of their own eye before dealing with the plank in their brothers. We suffer from that, many christians are pharisees in disguise with our perfect houses, perfect children, perfect church attendance, perfect clothing choice, perfect choice of words for social situations.. It isn't reality. Please come to my house I will show you how perfect we AREN'T. God doesn't love me because I have achieved any kind of status, God loves me because He made me. I love my kids because I gave birth to them, no matter what they do I will always love them and want the best for them, even when it hurts them a little. God loves you too, in your dispair, in your self perfection, in your abilities and inabilities. The Bible, and therefore God, says this "Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest" Can you find another religion anywhere where the diety saving says that?

If you ignore God, if you force Him away, he will step aside. Just don't go asking "how can God let all the bad stuff happen?" In the end He will be told to stand back and to Go away enough that He will. Don't wait for that to happen, go to him now. You are His beloved, and even if nobody ever loved you before, He has always Loved you, and He LONGS to meet with you.

Make 2010 the year that you sought out God, even if it is just to find out if He really is there. Look for Him, He is waiting for you, He won't force you, you have to chose.
Happily Ever After is a fairy tale, but God can take the story of your life and change it into something that is more meaningful even in a pit of dispair, than you can ever ever imagine.
And really when you think about it, what is there to lose if you look for Him? Nothing, but if He is there really and truly, what could you gain? Everything... take a chance, I dare you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Could all the arrogant Christians please exit stage left????

Sorry I was going to blog, then realised I was a tad arrogant sometimes, and therefore had to exit, stage left.......

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What now??

Well after the last post it got the grey matter going into overdrive. What does God want for me??? Quite honestly it scares me to death, but with morbid fascination I still long to know. I think that it doesn't matter so much What I do, but how I do what I do. Trust in the lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight Proverbs 3:5-6. So quite honestly I believe I should do whatever it is that I am doing for His Glory. Good, but I was disappointed honestly and then I was shocked. I have blogged that God is not the fairy floss, genie, magic maker and I really really believe it - and yet my pride grows again and says "God answer me with a big bill board giving me the definitive outline and plan for my life!" Ugh! God might want me to wipe dirty bottoms, clean gooey noses and to pray with my boys every night.

I am full of pride. I want to do something for God, anything - but let it be public so everyone can see. I have blogged that I am a hypocrite, it isn't anything new people, and here it is right in your face (and mine). So now God I will serve you with myself. Then self pity steps in, larger than life - He wont send me (and maybe I am to lazy to move too) I am hopeless I have nothing to give. What am I? A self obsessed woman with pride and hypocrisy issues, who is insecure and sometimes cannot get over herself. God could never use me - can you hear the violin??
Woe is me blah blah blah.

I have just read today about a woman who went to China in the 1930's because she believed God was sending her, and she was a lady who went into service working as a maid in someones house. God funded the trip through savings and hard work, and when she got there she started an inn and cleaned mules. God used her obedience and even her failings to reach people. She was motivated by a love of God and a desire to serve Him implicitly.

Now I have 2 children and a husband and can't go off to China on a whim, my circumstances decree otherwise. But she was knocked back so many times and really was very uneducated when she began, and yet God used her, and not immediately either. God will use me and is using me just not in the way I thought He should (yeah I know giving God advice again!) So now I hear the word "Obedience. Be obedient". I hear and know it and still want to chuck the mother and father of all tantrums! What about what I want??? I want to do something for YOU God!!! and the answer I receive and keep getting is "glorify me in your life, and glorify me in your marriage" in other words make your life about me instead of yourself. So now I am learning obedience, patience and thankfulness.

God is in control, and not Dini, (thanks God!), and my soul really aches to do something for God, but I am learning that I am doing something for God, just not the big show people, the hard boring, dirty everyday stuff. Not glamorous at all. So right now I will love my children and teach them about the God, Yaweh, who I know and love, I will love my husband and let God teach me tonnes of stuff through him, and I will learn to love myself and while doing that I will learn self control, and I will seek to Glorify God in everything I do, I will trust in Him and He will direct my path. When the next opportunity presents itself I will be more prepared and I believe He will have me ready for that part of the journey just as he has done before. A simple answer and we want to make it difficult, by wanting our own way and not seeking God.

Thanks God that you love us and me, and that you see all my failings and the horrible self seeking person I am and that you still love me. I feel so crushed sometimes and out of control, but You know all, and You alone made the universe, and You are in control. Thanks so much! Help me to do the little stuff for you so later I can be ready to do anything for you, even more little stuff - and to do it with joy and to do it to Glorify You alone. Love D.