April 1, 2018 – No Joke


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Writtern on April 1, 2018  Easter and April Fool’s Day

When you feel no more can be withstood.

Many people are rejoicing today and pulling pranks on their friends.  The first I speak of are Christians for it’s Easter and Jesus has risen!  The second folk are enjoying April Fool’s Day.  Perhaps you are a combination of both.  For me today is a day of attending church service and an Easter supper with my children, I’m not much of a prankster.  Knowing my personality, if one did an xray my funny bone would be quite small.

For me today is a bout of less than stellar emotions. So much to rejoice about yet I can’t knock myself out of this funk.  I know what led me to the depressive emotions, but unable to write about it here or even if I did I know it would make no difference in reality.

Oh don’t worry, I won’t show the downer state at the church service or even at my family gathering.  The nice clothes for church and the smile will appear, even the Happy Easter acolade will slip from my mouth.  I will be happy for the others,  my children around my dinner table, and grandchildren finding Easter eggs will bring me joy.  Then all will go home, the dim state will creep back in, and I will have to figure out how to push through.

Because that is what I do.  I push through, my mother taught me that without even saying the words.  Her example was to bulldoze the challenge ahead of her and never let it win.   Eventually the body gave out and the challenge won.  It was probably for the best, she was tired I know, her fight was less than it was back in the day.  Is that how it will be for me?  Feeling like I am fighting for a life I want but can’t seem to quite grasp it?  Is this really all my own fault, self-inflicted?  I presume some will say yes, some will relate, and some will just scroll through to the next blog post that catches their eye.

I’m feeling tired already to be honest.  Everything seems to be a challenge and if I don’t reach the right level each day I then fall to the state of feeling that of a failure.  I suppose it’s the adjusting period, with the new schedule from the job, my workouts not being when they were, and change isn’t my real strong suit.

Oh there I go, I let you in on just a tad of what the reasons may be.  I always have been kind of an open book.  I mean, why else would I have a blog sharing words from my mind, heart, and soul.

Although of late I have seriously considered closing both blogs down.  Giving up on something I once loved to do to make room for something else in the schedule.  Why does everything have to feel  so hard to accomplish?  I don’t handle it as well as I used to ya know.

Does this blog post even intertwine and make sense?  Perhaps only in my mind. Basically it’s a moment in my life that I may not even recall six months from now.  I may not even give it a second thought next April 1st.  But in the reality of it all where to do I go from here?  What choices do I have before me that I can look at and not feel so overwhelmed?  Marking off my lists, conquering my challenge, stuffing the defeated self away until another cloudy day comes along.  That’s how it goes.

It’s April 11th and I am just now revisiting this post.  To be honest, I am very happy with my writing in this post.  I feel honest and that it is well written.  I had planned to revisit it sooner and share it.  But today is the day because there really isn’t much else to write about it except this.

The bouts of depression appear, they always do.  The stresses of life exist.  The joy filled moments take my breath away and the photographs I take remind me of happier times.  Reality exists and without any of this my life would be incomplete I presume.  

Julie

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Brightness


Today is a good day for me.  I feel like most of the time when I write here I find myself writing when the darkness has once again come to the forefront of my life.  Well today it’s pretty bright in my world! 🙂  Just yesterday was a so-s0 day, but I’m calling it good too!

Today while checking out my Facebook newsfeed, I clicked on the Katie Luther link.  I took the time to read the blog post and I’m glad I did.  It made me remember what difference it made for me when I did the Love Your Spouse challenge. (You might want to read my post before moving on).   I like the writer’s view about marriage and I can see the view of the one that she speaks about of course.

In dealing with my depression and losses in my life I don’t feel that keeping them completely out of the world’s sight is a good thing.  I know there are others struggling as well, it help them or me to share.  Yet part of me feels the shame of not being okay…yet.  It’s an ongoing struggle for now folks but let’s remember!  It’s a bright day for me today!

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Sunrise September 6, 2016

The past two years have been incredibly hard for not only me, but for my husband.  We still struggle with the things that were hard in the first few years of marriage. There are new issues which could include grief or financial or family struggles.  There are things that are coming from both our childhoods that make their appearance and neither one of us can figure out how to deal with them or react to the other spouse.  We have accomplished a great deal of things in our marriage as well.

Sharing isn’t horrible by any means.   Holding onto the issue, struggle, grief, etc forever and ever is.  I know several people, in my own family even, that can let go of the past easier than I.  Sometimes I feel they are the lucky ones.  But then I try to remember how far I have come already.  How the difficult path I’ve been on has brought about who I am.  That I have already beat a lot of demons that quietly reside within me.  I can feel proud of that.

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Julie September 6, 2016  Photo was taken for other blog to show how tall the irrigated corn is! 

The darkness comes and goes.  But today I’m celebrating taking my life back and soaking in the brightness of this life given to me.

Back to the love your spouse challenge thing, I participated in that challenge at one of my marriage’s lowest points.  It’s okay.  It helped, because I had to work really hard to remember what I appreciate about my spouse during a hard time.  I didn’t lie.  I meant every word I wrote on my Facebook newsfeed those seven days.  So.  Thank you my friend that challenged me it was a spot in the process of life!  It helped me and my spouse.

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My husband and I.

By the way, my spouse and I actually have several photos of just us but I realized in the past couple years we have taken less.  Probably because I haven’t felt good about me and many other things.  Perhaps I need to take a spouse selfie today! 🙂

Feel the brightness friends!  Don’t worry about when it’s going to go dim again!  Just feel the brightness!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

*My view is that the difficult moments in a person’s life do several things. But I’ve always said, “it builds character and strength.”

Emotional Roller Coaster


I have been kind of missing in action these days.  I haven’t had time to sit at my computer and put my thoughts and feelings down.  It’s taking its toll on me but there have been some very important tasks at hand taking up my time!  I’ve been on a emotional roller coaster and I was very very high and then by Sunday morning very low, more like drained.  Let’s start with the high shall we?

Our weekend was spent celebrating our oldest daughter’s marriage.

MOther Daughter Wedding

I have to say this day was one of the most enjoyable days in my life.  The weather was lovely, the bride beautiful, the wedding party fun, and it just went off very smoothly.  Being surrounded by family and friends while watching your offspring take a new path in her journey is something surreal.

On Sunday morning I made my way to my mother’s home.  I have one sibling that doesn’t live in state and while they were home we had to go through our mother’s house together.  Let me take a moment to show off my siblings at my daughter’s wedding. They clean up pretty good, don’t they! 🙂

siblings

The task of going through our mother’s home was not one I looked forward to honestly. I would like to say though, if I had to do it, I’m glad I had these three to do it with.  The love and support of these three people is beyond what I deserve.  Although our parents may not have been the best parents in the world, their kids turned out pretty darn good I think!  Our bond will not be easily broken, the material items that lay in my mother’s house are just those.  Material items.  They will not bring her back, they will not bring us a fortune, they will not bring us peace.  They will only remind us of the woman we called Mom.

We spent two days from morning till about 11:00 pm looking, touching, and separating our mother’s belongings.  Those were long days.   We did the following and it seemed to work well for us.  When you come upon an item that more than one would like, we flipped a coin.  When three people were involved, we flipped, then odd man out. Then the last two flipped.  There were no cat fights, name calling, dirty looks or anything like it. I think because when we began we spoke honestly and said how we felt.  No material item is worth losing or fighting with a family member.  It just isn’t.

I’m happy to say I came home with things that I can finish that my mom began, patterns she used, dishes from my childhood, and various other items.  The best treasures were the three I got to share the trip down memory lane with.  My brother and two sisters.

Life can be turbulent at times, but there’s always a safe place to land.  Mine is my home, family, and time with God.

Grace is a gift,
Julie

 

 

My Front Porch


I wish I could take you there. To the spot that brings me a sense of calmness. The place I do devotion, read a book, embroider, or just sit.

As I gaze out it’s not a view of mountaintops or creeks or forest. It’s just a yard, a few trees, and the crop of choice across the road. To the right I can see just the outer edges of a sunset.  To my left can be the same for a sunrise. On the days of high heat and humidity I miss it so. When winter comes I’m sure I will feel the same.

I  spend time here with my daughter, pondering whatever life has thrown me, or in prayer. My corner of the porch is a safe haven for me.  I hope you have such a place in your life. Where the breeze relaxes you, the warm sun upon your face makes you sleepy, and the sunsets make you think of God.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Moment in Time of Joy


This photo represents pure joy to me.

It is a child.

My child enjoying the summer fun of swimming.

While her Daddy tosses her to a splashing good time.

Summer Fun

 Looking at her face I see these things.

Joy.

Innocence.

No boundaries.

Trust.

Only in the moment.

This child, I hope never loses what this

particular moment in time is giving her.

Joy.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

The Sun at the End of the Day


Tuesday was one of those days when I was happy all day long.  I know I am supposed to be happy and content with life but let’s face it, I’m not.  I just enjoyed Tuesday so very much I wanted to share on here!  From spending time with friends playing, to devotion on the porch with the kiddo, to watching her blow bubbles for the dog, or then there was just visiting with my spouse for a while.  It was a good day my friends.

Summer fun

I wish I could bottle that and just keep it for those less than stellar days!  I am documenting our #pvjv15summer. My plan is to take at least one photo each day of summer, then share at the end of the summer. I also plan to make a photo scrapbook of them.  So far we have remembered to take at least one photo a day! 🙂

Sitting in the evening sun on this Tuesday evening while I did some embroidery was a perfect ending to the day.  I would stop and just soak in the goodness around me.  The life that God brought me to and through has been one remarkable ride.  I am grateful for the small and big things that bring me and my family joy.

This post was more about me documenting this day for myself.  It may not be inspirational or motivating, but to me it will mean a lot when I read through it later.  Thanks for allowing me to share the good and less than good days with you.

Grace is a gift,
Julie

Just An Ordinary Joy Filled Day


Sometimes the post is just going to be about the joy I have in my heart on any given day.  Today it has been filled from the moment I woke up.  It’s a good day.  It’s an ordinary day.  It’s a day that I am grateful for.

The pain is less in my hip.  I’ve gotten in two 20 minute walks.  I’ve spent time in the kitchen and great outdoors.  I’ve texted sweet nothings to my hubs, and can’t wait to have breakfast with all my babies tomorrow morning!

My time on earth is never guaranteed but today one is one of those days when I am so grateful for all that is.  I hope you find times like these more often than not in your life!  May you be blessed!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

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Still on my mind


It’s been awhile since I blogged about my Dad.  It doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of him.  I suppose it means I’m adjusting to the fact that he is gone.  Perhaps it helped that I didn’t live near him and that I only saw him a handful of times during any given year.  I still miss him though.

Especially when I turn on my tablet to read a book or check something online.  The last picture I have of him smiling and laughing is on the backdrop.  I can’t bear to take it down and I can’t bear to look at it at times.  Tonight while my daughter curled up on my lap before bed, it was on sitting in front of us.  She didn’t say a thing, she just swished the page across, so to get a clear screen to see the photo.  As I held my little girl all snuggled up on my lap, looking at my Dad, tears began to fall upon my cheeks.

DAD 2

The thing that made me so sad was the fact that I won’t see that smile again.  I won’t feel the hugs he gave again.  That’s what brought the tears.  That is what I miss.

Only ten minutes before I read an email from a friend that gave me so much joy, so much purpose, so much opportunity.  I still find joy in that email, and the tears have stopped.  They didn’t last too long, but I still miss my Dad. Taking the joy with the heartache is part  of life I know.

I won’t quit missing my Dad, but I think I will go back to that email.  He’d rather I feel joy than sadness I do believe.

 

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Humble Bakery


I have this friend that is hilarious and one smart dude.  He styles a Carhart coat in the nicest establishments in the city with class and if there was a hashtag contest he would win hands down!   Oh and this guy’s family is one of the best to be around.  There’s two littles and a wife that is wise beyond her years.  They live a life of modesty and share abundant personalities that will make you want to schedule a time with them as soon as possible when the current one is over!

This friend loves my Amish White Bread I make.  No that isn’t the reason for the first paragraph of super compliments for this guy! I really do mean all that I wrote! Honest!  You’d love him too if you could meet him! Get this, he’s an engineer even!  🙂 

Anyway back to the bread. You will notice the name of this post is Humble Bakery.  In our text conversations after one of his partaking of the bread I made we were conversing and I mentioned I was just the humble baker.  He then  came back with some witty line with Humble Bakery attached.

I like it.  In fact I love the name, and if I had time I’d setup a third blog and name it the Humble Bakery Blog!   I’d share baked goods there and live amongst high carbs in splendor!  But I don’t have time for another blog, so I think I will just continue to bake some bread and send to my friend (and others).

The point of my post today is just to share the joy that was brought to me.  Everyone likes to be complimented and loved on right?  I mean really it is a wonderful past time if I say so myself.  To be the recipient of compliments.  My “bread friend”  brought to me a shimmer of light on a pretty dark day, just via a text.  To thank me, express the joy he had in partaking of something I made with my own hands.  (not even a bread machine I might add) This was one simple task and it meant so much to me.

I hope I can be that kind of friend to others.  To lift them up and bring them joy via the simplest things. How about you?  How do you feel about sharing joy with others?  Have you been the recipient lately  this type of joy?  Do share! 🙂

Grace is a gift,

Julie

This is not the Amish White Bread, it’s the 3 grain bread I recently made! 🙂

3 grain bread

Tip of my toe?


I’m so very blessed in the area of friendships.  I have friends that giggle with me, listen to me silently, teach me daily, and some that push me to do things.  I have a blogger friend that challenges me to blog better, one that gives hugs that are right up there at the top in my books, one that listens while I talk and objectively gives her opinion, one that ever so sweetly listens to my more often than not negative mindset at times, and one that connects daily with me via email so our relationship stays strong.  Most all of my friends are women these days, but there are a few men I hold quite valuable to my life.  They have taught me a thing or two about endurance, to get a stiff upper lip, and to have a strong backbone when needed.  My collection of friends, each one more different than the other, brings joy to my life.  And to be honest, most of those relationships came from me stepping into the unknown.  

Last evening one of my friends and I shared an experience  that neither of us had ever done before.  It included few people either of  us knew, and it involved being somewhat creative. It also involved me being outside my comfort zone.  We attended a Women in Ag event where all the attendees paint the same picture.  The daunting task of choosing colors for my portrait and then actually getting rid of my straight line and even sides attitude took a bit.  But having that friend there on my left made it easier.  Even the strangers on the right made it awesome!

My masterpiece in all it’s glory with it’s non-perfect trees, crazy lines, and the “wind” at the top!

art

 

My point today is…….

Sometimes when I put the tip of my toe on the unknown I end up dancing into happiness.

 Don’t let the unknown hold you back, grab a friend, and ever so slowly put your toe, then your whole foot, then your whole body into that place that eventually becomes  LIFE. 

Grace is a gift,

Julie