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Thursday, December 14, 2017

What is Enough for Christmas?

I woke up feeling a little sad and very inadequate.
When I peeled back the feeling of inadequacy, I found it was related to Christmas.
I think I got off to a good start with my holiday preparations, but then I got a little side-tracked with some other life issues that demanded my full attention and energy.
Yesterday, my oldest child announced that it was 12 days until Christmas.
Oh No. I’m not ready and I don’t really know what “ready” means.
This is a bit of a recurrent theme for me. This feeling of inadequacy, not measuring up, not doing enough, and not even knowing what I’m supposed to be doing can rise up with regard to most anything! Geez! Enough already!! I mean, come on….Who gets worried over Valentine’s Day? Easter? Back to School events? Big Days? Little Days? Spring Break? Fall Break? Please don’t make me go on!
I think there are a few different things involved in this anxiety. I really don’t have a good compass on these matters from childhood. I am sort of just winging it, making it up as I go–which isn’t altogether bad, but it does lend itself to a fear of totally missing the boat and not doing something that’s really important and meaningful for my kids.
I also think the media likes to feed into this anxiety. If I am kept in this anxious frenzy, I may just keep buying more trying to fill this emotional hole. Do you see how this hamster wheel will just keep spinning? Ugh! I can’t buy my way out of this!! No one can. At some point we have to find our own place of peace and rest in it.
The comparison game can have positive and negative effects on me. I have to actively seek the positive (isn’t that always the case!) I can hang out on facebook or my social media of choice and see the happiest, most joyful, perfectly dressed holiday moments and feel like a complete dud that will never measure up! OR….I can call a friend, a soul-mate-kind-of-friend, and find that they might be struggling a bit too, that the dog ate their decorations and they spent a big chunk of their Christmas budget on the trip to the vet!
I also need to remember that some of us are great at decorating, some love making dessert treats, some make delightful little gifts by hand, some have everything ready by December 1….you know these people!! It’s okay if none of these are your special gift. Personally, I’m not tops at any of those. And most days I can’t even remember what my gift is!
Maybe my gift is doing my best to show up and be present for those I love every day in my own perfectly imperfect way. (and write run on sentences!)
Today’s feelings of inadequacy have led to some positive action on my part.
I am asking each of my children and my husband what is important for them in our Christmas celebration?
Turns out the answers are sweet and fairly simple.
I also need to answer the question myself.
May your day be incredibly blessed with clarity and peace in this holiday season.
Remember….You are enough.
love,
pam

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hands 2 Help 2017

2017 Hands 2 Help Donation Quilt

My Hands 2 Help quilt is not quite done, but it's really close. I'm posting a picture now to link up with Sarah's blog.

I started this quilt many moons ago, but who's counting!

(I actually started a different quilt using the Charming Stars pattern that Sarah featured early on with H2H. Let's just say that I got a little too attached to it! I'll try to show it to you soon. It's still just a top, but it really speaks to me and since I've never really made a quilt for myself....we'll see if I can really do that or not!)

The string blocks in the quilt pictured above were made using a method that I learned from Gwen Marston. Basically, you sew panels of strips together, apply spray starch to keep it from stretching as you cut along the bias, and then cut your shapes from the fabric panels. It's fun and fairly mindless.
back of the H2H quilt

I bought a Juki sewing machine last year, so I was experimenting with it on the quilting. You can't really see the quilting pattern from the front of the quilt, but I know it's there. :)
As soon as I add a few more rows of quilting and the binding, this quilt is heading to Refugee Charity in St. Louis. I hope it makes someone's transition a little easier. 


And here is my favorite picture...My daughter and her friends!

Thank you, Sarah, for encouraging all of us and organizing our efforts (herding cats!)

pam



Thursday, February 23, 2017

grief and God

We have had 2 major losses already this year. One in our extended family. The other was my husband's best friend. Each morning I find myself sitting in the grief and pain of these losses. I'm noticing that current grief has a way of pulling old losses to the surface again, too. As if the current grief isn't enough...old grief wants to join in the party! Ugh! It seems the only way through it is to go through it....I've side-stepped and avoided pain for most of my life. That method worked for a while, but certainly isn't a good long-term solution.

I do a lot of journaling to process what comes up for me each day. I also seek God's input when I journal. Sometimes I hear a little from Him and sometimes there is a lot. I feel very vulnerable, but I want to try sharing some of this with you.

From today:
Lord, please speak Your Truth to me. Help me to have clarity, grace, and love in this day. Help me to hear You, Lord. Please let there be healing in our hearts, minds, and bodies today.

It's okay Sweet Child.
It's okay to cry and feel this sadness.
It's okay to be a child and not be responsible for everything.
It's okay to just be today--to just be and look for fun things to do.

Your childhood was never like that.
You can claim moments of that now.
You can be free in Me.

I love you, Sweet Child.
I love you when you are up and when you struggle and feel down.
I always love you.
It is safe to go through whatever you are feeling.

It's okay to have fun.
You aren't going to go off the rails and stop taking care of your family.
You might feel more light-hearted while you care for them though.
You are relearning your childhood--seeking some childish ways.
This is good.

Embrace yourself.
Love yourself.
Be good to yourself today.

All is well in the Universe.
You can take off your cape-- stop feeling responsible for everything and just be you.
I love you, Child.
Take today as it comes and practice doing the fun things.


May your day be blessed,
pam

Friday, March 27, 2015

you are enough, My Beloved

I awoke this morning feeling anxious because my mind always thinks that there is too much to do.

It tells me to hurry and run to the next thing. It keeps me feeling stressed and others feel it, too....especially my children.

During my quiet time, I went to Jesus and asked if there is something else that I need to see regarding this? Is there some way to resolve this anxious feeling?
Don't be anxious. Just turn to Me.

I can't hold it all together, Lord. I keep trying and I just can't. I see other people holding things together just beautifully, but I always seem to be running 3 steps behind or spinning in a circle. Why Lord?? (no answer heard)

Jesus, what do I do with this world that tells me to run faster and do more?
You run your own race. The course is set by Me.You have to let go of this anxiety, Pam. It will kill you.

Is the answer in simplifying? That seems to be a myth to me. Please help me see the truth, Jesus.
It's Me. I am the Truth and the only way to journey successfully through this world. 
     
Then I heard the Most Beautiful Words:
You are enough, Pam...just as you are. You are beautifully, wonderfully made. I created you with love.

I felt God's love and peace fill me. He kept telling me "You are enough." Finally I was able to say it to myself. "I am enough."

Oh Thank You, Sweet Lord!

I guess this means when I run this crazy "I can't do it all" game, it's really me thinking, "I am not enough." But that's not what Jesus says.

I sat a little longer, thinking about all this. I found myself applying the "enough" to more things:

I am enough.
The kids are enough.
We are doing enough.
The house is clean enough. (haha!)
We are studying and doing enough with school.
I am working on taxes and bookwork enough.
I am cooking enough, shopping enough, doing enough.
My husband is doing enough--he is not behind with his work either.
Everything will work out.
God and His Grace are enough to see us through all our struggles.
I have enough energy and mental strength to do all that needs to be done today.
I am loving enough.
I am living enough.
We are organized enough.
I have plenty of time today--enough!
I am enough!

THANK YOU, LORD JESUS!!


I feel God nudging me to share this today.

Someone else must need to hear this. These words are for you:

You are enough.
You are loved.
You are precious and dear.
Jesus loves You.
You are His Beloved Child.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Just Fake It



Been wondering where I've been?
Me too.
My life spun out of control for the past year.
My Dad died in March 2014. I was already on rocky ground emotionally before he died.
His death was sort of a nail in my coffin, too.
Emotional healing is hard. Really hard. And it takes a lot of time. At least it has for me.
I've learned a lot in the past year.
I've learned that I don't want to go backwards, and yet sometimes I still do.
I've learned that I have to go back and face the pain, walk through it, to find freedom and healing on the other side.
I've learned that depression and anxiety prefer to play a sick game together.
I've learned that a full night of sleep is a most beautiful thing.

I've recently realized that I've forgotten how to dream and have goals for my life.
Today I decided that even though I feel empty and without dreams, I will create some made up dreams.
Sort of a 'fake it till you make it' plan.
I'm going to keep reading through my made up dreams until I start feeling again...until my dreams become real and important to me again.

One of my dreams is to help others whose emotional life is spinning out of control.
I don't really know how I will do that.
But I know that I can't help anyone in my silence.
....and so I will share.
The up's
The down's
and the building of a life in between.

May God bless your soul richly today.
pam
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Anxiety, Part 1

Living with Anxiety is awful.

I've found myself in Anxiety's powerful, life-draining grip for the last few months.  It started with some life struggles and was compounded by the death of my Dad.  Panic and constant anxiety ensued.

I've tried to put all this into a nice, tidy story for you--but frankly, this episode of my life won't submit to a handful of painful, witty paragraphs.

This morning I see that this should be shared in little pieces.  I will share as part of my healing with hopes that it will facilitate any needed healing in your heart, too.

Here is a really good video by Brene Brown about shame and sharing our stories in order to heal.






May God bless you with insight and healing today,

pam


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How NOT to Have a Perfect Garden!

Check out my potato row!
Now there's some imperfection for you...
Looks like I need to lay off the wine coolers
before I head out to the garden!!

Yes, you read that right.

I don't want you to have a perfect garden!  Perfect gardens never happen...at least not in my world.  


Check out this beautiful spud!  He's from some left-over potatoes
that I got from Azure Standard.  Since they are organic, they
started sprouting before we could finish eating them.

It's important that you get over the perfect garden plan. Avoid it!  Set yourself free.  Enjoy your imperfect garden. Have peace and joy in the imperfections.  They are beautiful.  

I'm telling you this because I dream in "perfect".  I research and try to figure out all the perfect answers for every question before it even gets asked.  Sometimes I find multiple answers to each question which really throws me off my perfect rails.  The needed decisions keep piling up and I get completely bogged down in it all.  





Mr. Crazy Spud!


I'm telling you...Don't go there!  Trying to figure out all the right answers and create a perfect garden is really code for "I'm not going to have a garden at all."

That would be sad.

Buy a few plants or seeds and stick them in the ground.  Do your best to help them along, but trust that your plants do not require a "perfect" world.  Their job is to grow and they will do their very best to accomplish that end.  Let them!

There is much to wonder about in the garden.  Turns out, playing in the dirt is good for our soul.

may your day and your garden be blessed,

pam