Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Memory Jars

I really enjoyed doing homemade gifts this year. I was so blessed in writing all these memories of my loved ones (three brothers, mom and dad) and creating a collage on the outside of a variety of jars. I also made tons of homemade cards and put them in sets for my girlfriends and sisters-in-law.

Dad got really teary

Greg reading some memories

Nate looking at his jar, and Kat with her homemade cards

Sarah Jane and her homemade cards

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yesterday's Mind

I had to borrow this because it it describes very well how it is inside my mind. This man's blog has been helpful to me in my struggle with depression.

It was the kind of thing I might read about in a case history – safely distant, someone else's particular torture. But it wasn't remote; it had directly invaded my brain. That overpowering noise could distort every mental pattern, setting all perception loose from its mooring. The torrent of sounds and sights disorients each moment, leaving nothing firm to hold to, no shape I can recognize , only a din of color, motion, threateningly near, whips of sensation, each small pain magnified in intensity because each is experienced for the first time as part of a shriek-like collision. There is a flailing to organize, find pattern and order, the habit of the intentional mind, but nothing sticks, no memory holds, no meaning persists to render the assault of bulleting crashes ordinary, expectable, endurable. It is the constant stress of assault, defense, striking back, retreat. No escape, just a desperate running, and there is nowhere to run. ~John Folk-Williams

Friday, December 11, 2009


Just read an article called "How to Practice Safe Optimism" by Tamar Chamsky.Here's a link to the whole (really good) article. I could write a blog entry about each one she lists, but today I will just stick with one:

Strategy Five: Define success flexibly: Value process, not just product An optimist hopes for the best, but has realistic expectations. There isn't just one bull's eye of success and everything else is failure. This usually means girding ourselves for slow progress and defining success broadly. When we set unrealistic expectations we manufacture unnecessary disappointment that we then have to waste our precious energy overcoming--it's an additional hurdle which we don't need right now.

This reminds me of what I read in Never Good Enough (a book about perfectionism) and what I learned in DBT about black and white thinking. Currently I am working on "cognitive restructing." Due to my perfectionism, personality and other things, I tend to have really distorted expectations for myself.

Success has been defined in my mind in black and white terms. Such as, "Your teaching licensce was non-renewed. Failure." "You're single with no children at age 25. Failure." "You don't have a 'real' job. Failure." "No graduate degree. In fact, no idea what you want to do with your life. Double failure." I could keep going but this isn't helping things. SO I have to change these thoughts into degrees. Such as "You survived two years teaching inner city teaching. Success!" and "You will make a better wife and mother one day because of your committment to healing of self and waiting until you are older and wiser. Success!"

More on this later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Crafty Times

A lot can be done with the same rubber stamp! This "Sketch Flower Trio" from Hero Arts is one of my favs! These are among a bunch of cards created in one afternoon all with similar layouts.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I am so Sick of Trying so Hard

More about this later but I will share the lyrics of a song that I like, that kind of talks about this waiting period I am in. I need to let Him be Who He is and realize this trying is just pushing me into a deepr feeling of insanity

The Altar and the Door
-Casting Crowns

Careless, I am reckless
I'm a wrong way traveling, slowly unraveling, shell of a man
Burn out, I'm so numb now
That the fire's just an ember way down in the corner, of my cold, cold heart

Lord this time, I'll make it right
Here at the altar I lay my life
You're kingdom come and my will was done
My heart is broken as I cry....

Like so many times before
I flood my eyes
I try before I leave the floor
Oh Lord I try...(I'll try)
but this time Jesus how can I be sure
I would not lose my follow through
between the altar and the door

Here at the altar
Oh my world so black and white
How could I ever falter
What you've show me to be right

Lord this time (Lord this time)
I'll make it right (make it right)
Here at the altar I lay my life
You're kingdom come, but my will was done
my heart is broken as I cry

Like so many times before
but my eyes, are dry before I leave the floor
Oh Lord I try... (I'll try)

but this time Jesus how can I be sure
I would not lose my follow through
between the altar and the door

I'm trying so hard, to stop trying so hard
just let you be who you are
Lord who You are in me