Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
When my worry is great within me, Your comfort brings joy to my soul.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
I have always considered myself an introvert. Social situations have always drained me, and being by myself or with my man recharges me. On a good day I would call myself an ambivert…like a very good day.
a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features
But something’s changed…this quarantine has changed me. We are officially in the yellow phase (can I get a whoop whoop?) and that means the start of gathering once more. I met up with a friend yesterday at the lake, and this morning at another friend’s house, and then again this afternoon outside at a coffee shop. I’m energized and excited for life.
What happened to me? Have I just been so deprived of human interaction that I’m absorbing all social interaction I can get my hands on? Will this subside? Will I go back to being an introvert? Who knows. All I know is I’m happy and I love people. I don’t actually feel depressed right now. And I’m ready to see some more friends. Gasp…have I become a …. people person? As of right now I think that answer is a big fat YES.
This is exciting news. My prayer is that this continues.
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.
I can only describe this time as bittersweet. Today marks 77 days since my last day at work and my heart aches for my little one I take care of. I miss everything about being a pediatric care tech and am counting the seconds until I can return to work.
I miss normalcy. I miss teaching preschoolers on Sunday mornings. I miss meeting with the students on Sunday nights. I miss going out for coffee with my friends. I miss going out with my man after a long work week and just staring into each other’s eyes over a candlelit dinner (yeah yeah…we can still do this, but our dog isn’t the best waiter). I miss the mundane and I miss the crazy. There are so many things I took for granted that I completely ache for now.
But I am so ridiculously blessed. I haven’t personally lost anyone in this pandemic, but I know so many who have. Financially, I am struggling in this time of being laid off, but God has abundantly provided every time I have needed. Mentally, I am hanging in there, I’m blessed with a “team” of support when it comes to my mental health so my heart goes out to those who are feeling the depths of depression during this time. I pray that they are being supported and loved during this trying time.
Joy has been found in the Lord across the world in this pandemic. My students are flourishing in their own personal walks with God. They are encouraging one another, they are taking to social media to hold virtual Bible studies, and they are sending cards and flowers to those who need it. They are thriving and they are creative in their own personal study of the Word. I am so proud of each and every one of them for how amazingly they are handling their senior year of high school. I have seen my preschool parents post the fun things their kiddos are doing, from climbing trees, to making posters to hang out of their cars for a drive-by birthday party, to making their parents breakfast in bed. My friends and I are doing check-ins with each other…just to let each other know we are here and we are praying for one another. So many virtual hugs and “coffee vibes” have been sent out. Relationships are being built stronger than ever before. I am seeing God in all of this. I am seeing Him work in ways I haven’t seen before and that is so encouraging.
The church is not a building. The church is people continuing the ministry of Christ. The church is people reaching out those who need a conversation. The church is meals being delivered. The church is drive-by conversations held 6 feet apart with masks on. The church is responding to this time in such a beautiful way that only God could orchestrate. And I’m blown away.
So continue to spread the joy of the Lord during this time, it is so very needed.
…God has blessed me beyond measure!
There’s nothing wrong with breakfast for dinner. The plan was to have leftovers for dinner last night. Well that quickly turned into an eggs, hasbrowns, and waffles kind of night instead. With homemade peanut butter whipped cream and bourbon barrel maple syrup of course. I’m definitely not complaining!
Easy Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
- 8 oz Heavy Whipped Cream
- 2 TBS Powdered Sugar
- 2 TBS Creamy Peanut Butter
Whip the heavy cream until it’s beginning to form soft peaks, add powdered sugar and peanut butter and continue whipping until fully incorporated and stiff peaks form when lifting whisk out of bowl.
Let’s talk about something other than the negatives of this pandemic. Throwback to one of my favorite breakfasts as a kid…eggs in a basket. Which I’ve been making for myself with Ezekiel bread for breakfast in this quarantine. It is bittersweet to have this free time since I’ve been laid off.
What have been your favorite foods during your house bound days?
God has given me the best relationship I could have ever asked for. It is not perfect but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It is everything. Apparently one of my love languages is food… He makes me French omelets and has dinner ready for when I get to his house. He has the heating pad and pain meds ready for when my cramps are so bad I can’t breathe. He is my sounding board for every thought that turns into rambling that I can’t seem to stop from coming out of my mouth in a jumbled mess.
He knows what makes me tick and knows when I’m mentally struggling and he is always there for me. I am so grateful and thank the Lord everyday to have such a man as my man.
Serving in student ministry has looked a little different since COVID-19 caused schools to shut down and life to shift. The butterflies of prom and the nervousness of graduation were replaced with a stay-at-home order and senior year dreams crushed. They are completely devastated. They are aware there are worse things going on in the world right now but this is a major time in their lives that they have all been looking forward to for years.
I figured I needed to do something to help sweeten this bitter time! I want so badly to hug all of my girls but I can’t. So I settled for video chats, phone calls, texts, and brownie deliveries. Hopefully this will all blow over by the summer and we can gather as a group to praise the Lord for keeping us healthy and safe during this time.
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.