Forgiveness

Currently going through Lysa Terkeurst’s book Forgiving What You Can’t Forget with my mentor. I am loving this book for so many reasons and highly recommend the book and the journal if you struggle with forgiveness or are going through the process of forgiveness.

This week I was challenged with really looking inward and finding the pains I still hold onto so deeply.

I was reminded of something that occasionally pops up, the comments made by some of my closest friends when I was going through my devastating skin disease.

Comments like, “You deserve this because you’ve always had such perfect skin.” “You’re paying your dues since you’ve never had acne.” “Good luck finding a husband with that face.” And more.

Now this skin disease I have destroyed my face. My eyes were swollen shut, my face was at times swollen three times the size, and extremely painful lesions that wouldn’t stop filling up with blood completely covered every inch of my face. It was debilitating and I couldn’t leave the house. Most nights were spent wide awake because the pain would not let me sleep and I would be screaming in agony for God to take the pain away.

Since then I’ve been through numerous treatments, surgeries, and injections to try to fix the painful scarring left over. And I still deal with the scars refilling with blood. I’m still in daily pain because of it.

That all being said, I need to forgive those friends for making those comments. I need to process through forgiving them for how painful those comments were to me, and how alone I felt during that time.

That currently looks like uncovering the painful comments that I’ve shoved down deep inside of me, acknowledging them, and asking Jesus to help me heal as I forgive them for what they said.

Will this make the pain I sometimes still feel from those comments go away? No. But we are commanded to forgive those who have wronged us. And forgiveness is apart of the process of healing.

You Don’t Have To Live In The Pit

Oh the pit of mental disorders. Mental illnesses are nasty conniving liars. They tell you that everyone is out to get you, that the worst thing that could (or even couldn’t) possibly happen is bound to happen, they tell you that you are worthless, your life has no meaning, no worth, and no purpose, and no one likes you. They keep you up at night and they make you sleep too much. There is no in between. They give you unavoidable tendencies that make life a living nightmare. You establish unhealthy coping mechanisms just to get through the day because of them. They remind you of everything you’ve ever said or done that you aren’t too happy with yourself over. They tell you that you will never amount to anything. They tell you not to bother. Just sit this one out. Sit it all out. It isn’t even worth trying so why bother?

Mental disorders are best friends. When you have multiple diagnoses they are working together against you. Anxiety disorders are a constant hair raising whisper and a deafening scream all at once. Depression disorders keep you in the place that anxiety disorders tell you not to move from. Anxiety disorders tell you to not leave your bed because all of the worst case scenarios that play over and over in your head will happen if you step foot onto your bedroom floor and depression will keep you there. OCD and PTSD will refuse to give up the fight to let you live a normal life. One minor thing could happen to set off your PTSD and your entire day is ruined. You wanted a normal day? Well too bad. You aren’t going to get one.

There are so many of these binding and crippling mental illnesses that litter society and are never talked about. Suicide is mourned, yet depression is silenced. And when these life destroying disorders are left not talked about and untreated they can lead to a pit filled with darkness and despair with no hope of escaping. They can lead to self destruction and destruction of everything you love in your life. They can lead to lives taken too soon. Mental illnesses should not be silenced. They should not be kept in the dark. They should not be hidden. They should be treated. The thing with mental illness is you need to constantly work on it. It’s not one of those things you can ignore and hope it goes away. Ignorance leads to growth which leads to a less hopeful process of healing and treatment.

Do not be dismayed, do not rest in the feeling of defeat and loneliness because there is hope for us. There is bountiful overflowing amount of hope for everyone who suffers from a mental illness. Over the next four weeks I am going to focus on mental health and finding ways to stick to treatment instead of running and hiding from it. We are only as strong as we think we are. And with the right team and treatment plan we can all find a life filled with genuine happiness, fantastic mental health, and hope. Let’s get out of this pit.

Losing Hope

*deep sigh*

Sometimes healing doesn’t seem to be healing, it is backwards and messy and lonely. It feels like I’m not making any progress but instead I’m hurting more than I was before. Instead of progressing and working through the pain I shove it down and power through. Or shove it down and completely shut down.

Healing isn’t possible in the shut down phase. The shut down phase is scary and dark and I don’t like it. But it’s so hard to pull myself out of the shut down phase. It’s comfortable in the darkness. It’s comfortable not falling apart in front of someone. It’s comfortable to not ask for help.

I’ve shut out God during the past 5 months. I’ve gone in and out of shut down mode but I haven’t been truly real with Him. I’m not even trying. I’m just exhausted. The anxiety leads to depression which leads to overall exhaustion. I’m in the dark depths of that right now, cycling through excuses and anxiety and depression and shutting myself off from the world and God. I don’t manage my own emotions very well.

I find it significantly easier to help others navigate their pain and heartache and mental health rather than take even a second out of my day to take a look inside my own head. The moment I step out of the shut down phase and look in the mirror at the gravity of the situation is the moment I need to address my mental health and the heartbreak I’ve been avoiding working through. And I don’t want to. I don’t feel strong enough. And I can’t bring myself to wave that flag of surrender.

Lord, Be My Strength

Anyone who has depression understands the disconnect from responsibility that happens far too often. During these lows you neglect tasks that need to be done because you can’t even begin to think about getting out of bed or doing anything that might require a thought process. There is a total shut down that happens. And I encourage that behavior. I despise it. But I allow it. I enable it for as long as I need to. But I am so done with that mindset. I’m furious with myself for becoming this person who gives in to their mental illness. I live my life in a constant state of anxiety, denial, and disconnect. And I’m done.

Important mail piles up, piles pile up, laundry doesn’t get done, my floor becomes a pathway of items instead of a floor. The house can be completely clean and dishes need to be done…but I can’t function enough to keep my own room organized. My room becomes a direct product of my depression.

I’m breaking up with my depression. I’m breaking up with avoiding my psychiatrist. I’m breaking up with the inability to keep my life together. This week is the beginning of the new me. I am NOT my depression. I am NOT my anxiety. Or my PTSD. I am Kait. I am a daughter of God. I am a fully capable woman who can handle life without giving in to my diagnosis. Not only handle life but dominate it. And not because I am strong. Not because I am able. I’m not. I am fully aware of my own shortcomings, trust me. But I can do all things through God who gives me strength.

I will start my day talking with the Lord, and continue my day talking with Him. I will get ahead of this illness. I will take my meds. I will meet with my psych on a regular basis. I will not give in to the behaviors of my illnesses. I refuse to be that person. It is not who I am.

Eggroll in a Bowl

This is a delicious and somewhat healthy dinner.

              • 1/2 Green Cabbage sliced thin
              • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper small diced
              • 1 Yellow Onion diced
              • 4 Green Onions sliced
              • 8 Mushrooms sliced
              • 1 lb Ground Chicken
              • Salt to taste
              • Pepper to taste
              • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
              • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Video
              • Garlic to taste
              • 2 TBS Soy Sauce (Can use liquid aminos too)
              • 1 TBS Raw Honey
              • Canola Oil to fry (Optional)
              • Puff Pastry (Optional)

Start by cutting up all of your veg. Create a marinade with the soy sauce, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and garlic, also to the marinade whisk in 1/4 cup of water.

Pour that over all of the cut up veg, toss until everything is combined, and set aside in the fridge for no less than 4 hours, ideally overnight.

After everything has marinated throw it in a wok over medium high heat. A regular pan with high sides works too.

In a saute pan cook up the ground chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. 

Once the chicken is cooked, combine everything together.

Enjoy!

P.S. Feel free to add ginger to this, I personally can’t stand it. xo

P.P.S. I took puff pastry, fried it in canola oil, and added it to the top for an added flaky crispy crunch!

We’re All in This Together

Our current situation is rather unique, as in we are all dealing with this global pandemic together in one way or another. Instead of bickering and clinging to our own opinions we should all be working together to seek truth and comfort.  As Christians we are not called to be gullible and easily fooled. We are called to be truth seekers filled with discernment. While social media is abundantly saturated in a never-ending stream of conspiracy theories, we need to be seeking the truth. We need to be seeking out reputable sources, sources that do not completely obliterate the government. We need to seek sources that are truthful and abstain from engaging and sharing in theoretical and nonsensical garbage. We need to believe the best.

Empathy, love, care, and compassion have completely flown out the window. Instead, we are scarfing down and regurgitating whatever conspiracy morsel finds itself on our Facebook timelines or in our inbox. We are so caught up in catching the government in a mega scandal. Friends and family, I urge you to reconsider your hastiness in pressing the “share” button on a post to a news article link that is doing nothing but spreading misinformation and slander. Seek the truth from reputable sources. Sources like the CDC website.

What if instead of spreading lies, we pray? Pray for the techs, nurses, and doctors who are witnessing this pandemic first hand. Pray for all of those currently hospitalized, or fighting this at home quarantined from loved ones. Pray for every single person that has been effected by this pandemic. We need to remember that for a lot of people this is a devastatingly tragic time, where as for most of us, it is just an inconvenience. 

Fish Taco Bowls

Holy delicious batman.

Tonight’s dinner was fish taco bowls. I’ve been so excited for this meal since we wrote the meal plan and grocery list for the week. Nom!

2 Servings

25 Minute Total Time

Fish:

  • 2 Pieces of Cod (Rice & Cabbage recipes allow for up to 4 pieces of cod)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Like Juice
  • Soy Sauce

Rub everything onto the fish, cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 350.

Coleslaw:

  • 1/2 Green Cabbage
  • 1/2 Small Yellow Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Mayo
  • 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBS Raw Honey
  • Lime Juice to taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Whisk together sour cream, mayo, ACV, honey, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Thinly slice the cabbage and onion. Toss into sour cream mixture. Set aside.

Rice:

  • 2 Cups of Rice
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

When rice is almost done add in cilantro and seasoning.

Put everything in a bowl, top with green onions and avocado.

Enjoy!

Distractions

I thrive in the demanding daily craziness and the distractions of my normal. My normal consists of working a demanding job, serving in student ministry and children’s ministry at my church, working one on one mentoring three young women, and running a young women’s ministry Bible study….oh and I am also in a very committed relationship to my amazing boyfriend who also works a demanding job and is in school full time.

I love my normal. It means I don’t need to think. I don’t have time to think. I don’t have time to sit down or eat or breathe. It’s a constant go go go.

This normal I claim to love so much and that I desperately cling to is not healthy. It isn’t healthy and it isn’t sustainable. In this normal I am stressed 24/7. I am relying on myself and not the Lord. And I’m never alone with myself. Working with my psych with my PTSD, anxiety, and myriad of other things I began to realize that I pack my schedule with these mentally and physically demanding tasks so I don’t have to feel. I don’t ever have to be alone with my feelings if I have a constant rotating door of distractions.

Five weeks ago I was laid off and since then I’ve been intentionally trying to begin healthy habits for my mental health. I haven’t been as successful as I would like to be, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be alone with myself. I am trying to cling to the Lord in the midst of a panic attack or the pit of depression. And even though I haven’t been 100% successful in my attempts, I’m just so glad I have begun this new journey of not drowning in distractions.

 

PSA

Honestly….either people are completely overreacting or not reacting to this pandemic as seriously as they should be. There is very little in between.

Stop stealing, buying, and hoarding N95 masks. Hospital workers desperately need them. PPE supplies are dangerously low and are needed now more than ever.

I am currently laid off, I work as a peds care tech for one little patient and they are quarantined from the outside world. During this down time I am going to try to get my sewing machine up and running so I can make masks for all of my nurse and tech friends who need them. Is this the best option? No, but it’s better than the scarves a lot of my nurse friends are having to use as makeshift masks.

If you have unopened boxes of masks that you felt the need to hoard…do everyone a favor and donate them to your local hospital.

Self Love vs. Self Care

Self care is great, but self care doesn’t necessarily equal the self love that this world talks about. Self care is self preservation…loving yourself AND taking care of yourself. It’s reading your Bible, sleeping, showering, take your medication, doing your laundry, going to the gym…things like that. 

Our society seems to be so caught up on self love. Self first. Others last. That’s not how Jesus functioned. That’s not how He operated. He was love others and also self care. He taught others how to put others before themselves. While He also was the example of napping and eating and taking time away from everything going on to sit in a garden and pray. He took care of himself and was able to love and take care of others. What a concept.

He was love others and self care. Can we all agree that this self love and finding yourself is a gigantic waste of time and is so far from what Jesus intended when He was on this earth? Jesus didn’t say to His disciples, “I need to leave you and go find myself. I need to learn how to love myself. You guys figure this out on your own.” Nope. He was alongside of them during His ministry. He loved them. He did life with them. Alongside of them. He loved others. He cared for people before Himself. He literally died for us, taking on the sins of the world, and saving us!

Check out this resource from Equipping Godly Women’s Mary Harp Click Here! I highly recommend reading through her post thoroughly. 

So let’s love others while also practicing self care.

WWJD? Love others while also taking care of yourself. Which means eat, nap, pray.