chronic illness

Sharing Our Spoons Returns in August!

Up to this point in 2013, Sharing Our Spoons has been hiatus but I think the time has come to bring it back! I know that personally I have found excuse after excuse to keep from pushing myself to make healthier decisions and it needs to stop. Dealing with depression and anxiety experience has been a wake-up call and its time I made better choices for my total health – physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.

What better time to bring back Sharing Our Spoons and I hope that you will join me! Let’s wrap up the summer on good note and work together as a team to encourage each other to be the best that we can be!

Sharing Our Spoons will officially re-launch next Tuesday August 6th so take the next week to pick out which goals you would like to achieve first! Check out the Sharing Our Spoons page for more information!

I hope to see you back next Tuesday and that you will join me in Sharing Our Spoons!

chronic illness

Sharing Our Spoons: November Goals

Its time for another monthly link up of Sharing Our Spoons!

Here are the goal guidelines:

  1. Physical: could be weight loss or exercise related or it could be goals like eating more veggies or cutting soda
  2. Mental/Emotional: take a day to be alone, write a letter, paint, etc
  3. Spiritual: start a new devotional book, commit a certain amount of time a day for prayer/meditation
  4. Something fun: Take time to treat yourself – maybe a pedicure or Starbucks (if you don’t typically splurge for specialty coffee)
  5. BONUS: One thing to get you out of your comfort zone a week – try something new, sign up for a class you maybe have been putting off.

Progress linkups will be posted the first Tuesday of every month!

 

Here were my goals for September & the changes I plan to make for October!:

  • Physical: Cut back to one soda a day.  I have totally backslidden on this goal.  Ugh. I’ve struggled more with nausea this month (hopefully that is not a sign of pending problems) so I’ve leaned a little more on it than I most definitely should as I’m not eating as much. For November, I’m going to shift gears and focus on being more active. I have the opportunity to review a new at-home workout system so my goal is to do at least 20 minutes of exercise 3 times a week! I cannot wait to share the details!
  • Mental/Emotional: Schedule lunch with a former professor to help gain perspective on the impact of this most recent surgery and help reassess my goals as far as how my illness affects my ministry. I finally had lunch with my professor and it was amazing!  Now to make it a regular event! For November, my goal is to complete National Health Blog Post with WeGo Health (which you probably have noticed has already kicked off). The prompts are so well-rounded and really address all aspects of living with illness.
  • Spiritual: Read How to Start A Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry by Lisa Copen and continue to pray for God’s guidance in whether or not to start a group locally. Still working on getting it finished (and still loving it). My goal is to be absolutely finished by the end of the month! One of the prompts for NHBPM is to review a book so I can kill two birds with one stone.
  • Something fun: Participate in What I Wore Wednesday blog linkups at least 3 times this month. Another fail. I am not taking this done because it is something I really, really want to do darnit! I just got a tripod and remote for my camera so I cannot use the excuse of forgetting to have J take a picture!
  • BONUS: Take a step out of your comfort zone. October was Tough Stuff Month over at WeGo Health and they hosted a blog carnival and I wanted to link up with at least one blog post! My post Choosing Hope vs Facing Reality was definitely a very difficult post to write. My mouse hovered over the publish button before building the courage to click it and I am so thankful for all of the words of encouragement and support I received in response. You all are amazing and your support and kindness mean the world to me! This month I’m taking it light and my bonus goal is to plan a special date for my husband and I on vacation! We are heading the beach in a couple weeks and my parents will be joining us for part of the trip and I plan to take advantage of the free babysitting! It has definitely been too long since we had a date night so since we’ll be away from home I want to step it up and notch! I’ve already picked out a new dress and hope to plan out a couple more surprises 🙂

 

What are your goals for the month? You can link up your blog post in the linky below or leave your goals in a comment!

chronic illnessfaith

Lunch With A Mentor

It has been setting on my Sharing Our Spoons goal list for the last two months but I finally got it scheduled and had lunch with my seminary adviser and mentor last week. God totally had a hand in the timing as it could have not come at a more perfect time.

Last week was hard. Extremely hard. Work was absolutely crazy. Pain was up. My anxiety was completely over the top. I cried many, many tears. The state that I was in when I left my office was pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.

As we sat at small table at the practically empty restaurant, it was as if she was able to read me completely and said, “Let it out.” And I did. All of it.

I cried over the amount of pain I have been in and the frustration of not being able to find a way to treat it. Feeling that the goal of “good enough” was not good enough. Being angry over how unfair it was for my husband and daughter to have to deal with the limitations chronic illness have created in my life. The anxiety that has invaded as a result of my surgery this summer that has seemed to impact just about every part of my life. The worry over what I will worry about next.

I also vented about how I felt work just sucked the life out of me. My job has been stressful the last week or two but it was more about working in general. Illness has left me with very little energy and at this point, I feel like all of my energy goes to work and then I have very little left over for family. I need insurance so right now I need to work (that is a whole other post). We talked about disability and my struggles to get to the point where I can accept mentally that it is an avenue that I need to consider. Physically, my body understands disability. Goodness knows my body is all for it. Mentally, however, my Type-A self struggles with the concept and accepting the fact that pursuing disability does not mean I am a failure or copping out. It means trying to do what is best for myself and my family.

Then we got to where I was spiritually. I didn’t know exactly how to put it into words but as I heard myself talk, I came out with the term “spiritually agoraphobic.” Agoraphobia is an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas. Pain keeps me pretty closed off physically quite a bit and with my increase in anxiety, I have feared that I would get to the point where my anxiety would begin to manifest as agoraphobia. As I shared these feelings, it dawned on me that it is how I have been feeling spiritually. Spiritually I have become terrified of being open or public. I don’t think I have become bitter with God about my illness but I do think I have become despondent and closed off. I do feel like the grip on hope has started to slip and that scares me and I think that is why I have had such a hard time writing lately. The mission of this blog is to encourage choosing hope and I feel like I haven’t been making that choice. I just have not been making a choice at all.

Getting all of this out on the table was so healing. Having someone listen and truly hear me was what I needed to fully recognize where I am at, especially spiritually. I feel like I am now able to accept and own some of these feelings and I feel like that is the first step in moving on and getting myself to a better place.

Moral of the story = having a mentor and “hope builder” is awesome! It is also a perk when said mentor wants to talk to you more about publishing some of your writing!

 

p.s. National Health Blog Post Month is kicking off November 1st with WeGo Health! Be sure to check it out & join in! Hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot of me this month 🙂