Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Our Home

Our house is half packed up.  We are preparing for a new adventure.
This old house, with its wide floorboards and high baseboards, is my dream house.  It is sociable, comforting, forgiving. It is a house that is used to being a house; it is content with its duty of sheltering people.  It has heard secrets, seen sorrow and joy, but it does not tell. It has encompassed many people before us and it will encompass many people after us.  I like the thought that this place is not "ours"; it is merely a resting place on the path of our life.  Our time here is coming to a close.  We have added stories and character to this house's legacy.  It is time for us to move on and others to come.  I am glad.  This place is a people place.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Managing Change

We are moving.  In 11 days. I don't like change.  I like learning new things and exploring new places, but ultimately I like to come back to the familiar things again.
A lot of things are going to change next week: new town, new church, new routine, new home.  However, I keep reminding myself that there are a lot of things that will stay the same: same furniture, same food off the same plates, same blankets to pull out of the closet and curl up on the couch with.  Keeping this mindset has helped me not to become overwhelmed by the big life change we are facing.
Knowing that I don't deal with change well is knowledge that is giving me power.  I know that I am going to have negative feelings about moving, not because it is a bad thing to do, but because I need time to adjust.  Taking time to adjust isn't wrong, it just is.  Knowing this helps me to accept my anxious feelings for what they are and not take them as signs that I should stay in my comfort zone at any cost to myself or others. I also know that there are things I can do in order to manage.  Some of the things I do in order to manage change are:
Have a crochet project on the go.  Normally I like to do quick projects that will be finished within a day or two, but right now I am working on an afghan.  This is giving me continuity day to day even though the house is looking more and more packed up.
Read a book.
Listen to music that I know I can still listen to after we move.  This will give an element of familiarity to our new home right away.
Use the same dish soap and laundry soap.  I am sensitive to smells so this is another area where I can establish continuity.
Carry a familiar object.  You'll laugh at me for this, but when my sisters and I stayed at a hotel for a girls weekend last month, I brought my teddy bear.  Having that familiar softness to hold onto as I was falling asleep helped SO much.  It tied that night in a strange place to all the other nights in my life.  (And a teddy bear is easier to carry than a pillow.)
Most of all, I know that God will never change.  All the other things can change, no matter how I plan or set things up.  But God won't.  Because of this, I am confident that it doesn't matter where we go or what happens, we won't be suddenly hanging in limbo or totally alone in the world. God always is, and He is always in control.  This is what gives me courage to face change.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Operation Eat More Vegetables

In my quest for healthy eating, I have been on a "lower sugar intake" mission for the last year or so.  This has involved adjusting my muffin recipes, training myself to like coffee with just cream, and buying less sweets.  I am pretty much satisfied with where we are at with sugar now, so it's on to the next thing!

I like vegetables but I don't like the work involved, especially when I am hungry and looking for a quick snack to grab.   Here are some of my solutions to that problem so far:
-buy peppers, spinach, etc on sale; cut them up and freeze them to throw in soup, chili, or spaghetti sauce.
-buy mini cucumbers that can be eaten whole; these also make a great option for packed lunches.
-buy baby carrots.
-buy radishes; I love radishes and apparently they have a high nutrient content.
-buy lots of veggies and few snack foods like chips and crackers so we are forced to eat veggies.

 What are your veggie-eating strategies?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Hope Bracelet

Let me tell you the story of my hope bracelet.

Every couple of weeks I have a couple of days when my anxiety, or my depression, or both, hit hard.  This week it was depression by itself.  I felt like there was a dark black blank wall about 6 inches in front of my face.  Everywhere I went, this wall was between me and the world. The wall was blank, but it spoke to me.  It told me, "Life is pointless." "You're a failure at being a human being." (Stupid depression, that's impossible unless all the DNA in every cell in my body changes at once, and that ain't happening!) "Your husband would be better off without you." "Nothing is worth doing." 

The other night, I was laying in bed feeling this way.  Feeling sad.  When I feel sad, it feels like there is a big, hollow, sore spot in my chest.  Along with that, my left wrist throbs.  All my life I have felt my sadness in my left wrist.  I was laying there thinking all these negative thoughts, and thinking that it makes sense why some people cut their wrists.  Maybe they feel the throbbing too.  Maybe cutting helps.

Then, almost suddenly, I remembered something.  I remembered that Jesus Christ died on the cross so I can have life.  If He did that for me, then my life is worth living, and what's more, I am worth living that life.  I thought, "I need a visible reminder of that."

I have these sparkly purple beads I bought a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to try crocheting with them, but hadn't thought of what to make yet.  I decided to make myself a cuff bracelet with a beaded cross on it.  Now, whenever I feel sad, I have the visible sign of the cross right there, covering the sad place. 

  My photography skills are not as good as these make them look.  I do know how to use Picasa though. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Introverts Date Night Ideas

I was recently inspired by Bailey's post, Every Summer Festival, Ever to write a post on date ideas for introverts.  My husband and I are both introverts.  Here are some of the things we enjoy doing together:

1. Go out for coffee.  There is a large grocery store close to us that sells THE BEST COFFEE EVER in their "ready made foods" section.  We go there occasionally.  If you go there between 8 and 9 pm there are almost no people in the seating section. It is a great place to sit and look out the window.

2. Go for a hike or a walk.  This is great if you enjoy nature (which we do).  You can stop for ice cream first or pack a thermos of hot chocolate to share.

3. Sit on the couch and play endless rounds of the card game Golf or get really competitive over Carcassonne

4. Go to bed early just to hang out. (Not to be intimate [you should be intimate, but that isn't the point of this date idea.])  Play 20 Questions or Truth or Dare, have a pillow fight, tease each other, ask each other about funny/sad/embarrassing childhood memories - you name it.  I always found growing up that the best "talking time" was in bed, where there is nothing else to do and no distractions.  There is something about being tired and laying in bed that seems to loosen inhibitions and make people more talkative. :)

5. Do a puzzle together.

6. Get a couple of puzzle books.  You can race each other to see who can finish their book first.  Our race has been going on for months.  We ripped out the answer sections and stuck them in the closet first, though.  Occasionally we will pick one particular page and race to see who can finish a Sudoku or cryptogram first.

7. Read a book together.  Each week, each of you should read one chapter, and then set aside an evening to go over it together.  This can be a Bible study book to deepen your faith, a marriage/relationship book, or a book on a topic you both are interested in.  To be honest, we haven't done this since we got married, but it still sounds like a good idea to me.

Being introverted means you probably won't be having "Instagram" worthy dates, but that doesn't mean they can't be fun or significant to the two of you!  And after all, that's what matters, isn't it?