Monthly Archives: April 2015

ACT by filling the potholes….

Monday night I was blessed to have the evening off and spent it recharging my battery with some amazing ladies around a table enjoying tea and learning about Christ. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well, after the video we talk about what we learned and it was about abandonment and connections. One thing about the videos is I keep thinking and thinking on it…

There were several take away thoughts for me. And the more I think the more aha moments!!!

First about abandonment. Marilyn Meberg talked about how we have all have an abandonment issue. At times it is because:

  • Someone has left us that had a role in our lives and it left a hole.
  • We have lost friendships (some for valid reasons and some we will never know).
  • We have felt “abandoned” when in fact, it was unjustified fear.
  • Sometimes we live out the abandonment others felt – example was a woman whose husband left placed in her daughter’s mind that men will always leave – so the daughter believed that.
  • Sometimes as a result of our beliefs we avoid relationships to prevent the pain/fear of being abandoned/left.

Regardless, of what happened, we are left with a “BIG HOLE in OUR SOUL” that we constantly try to fill with things, superficial relationships (facebook friends can often qualify – we connect only there and some for all the wrong reasons), and addictions.

I have had several losses… our miscarriage – I felt abandoned by Christ. That Christmas, I protested Christmas! But our awesome church friends after the church Christmas program brought the live tree, fully decorated, and Steven played the violin for Christmas Carols. Friends tried to fill in that hole. They became the arms of God that held us close! My how times have changed… many additional holes in the soul because two of our dear friends – Bruce and Ed have gone on to heaven (also way to early in my humble opinion)! I sure do not understand why Christ chooses who He does (in our previous week it was about God knows the bigger plan, and though we don’t like it, it is HIS PLAN!)

I have had the loss of my two biggest role models – my mom and grandma Frazee! My mom way too early. She never met my children. I can’t call her and ask her questions. The list could go on and on. My Grandma was amazing too. They lived out Christ. They were gentle sweet spirits. I could go on and on about the life lessons they taught me by word and even more by example! But if I start listing that will just mean the tears won’t stop to finish the blog! I have had wonderful women who have stepped in personally and professionally to mentor me and help with the big HOLE IN THE SOUL! How appropriate to sit around the table with Christian women having tea, hearing a video that put into words what I was feeling on what would have been my mom’s birthday!

Some losses others understand as we grieve – the loss of a loved one, loss of a home, or loss of marriage. While other losses people will never know or understand the grief of – a miscarriage (after all many do not believe that child was a life and say crazy things like there must have been something wrong with “it”)… loss of a friendship (Mary has felt the pain of friend betrayal, a pain that creates a hole and makes you build a wall to protect from happening again.)… loss of a pet (those without pets will never understand – Sam still talks about our first dog Sarah.).

Some losses are things I never thought about until now, but how I have the loss of identity. I am a child of God, a daughter, a wife, a mom, a sister, a nurse, a friend. But often, honestly, I get so wrapped up in my identity to other people/things, and being all things for them, and doing all things for them, that I don’t know who Sheri is…. (now that is a little too deep but definitely explains my issue with recharging me – last blog!)

So how do I fill the HOLES? I don’t believe that some holes will ever be filled completely. I will never know the child we miscarried and often wonder what if… I will never fill the void of my mom and Grandma in my life… I think it is okay to recognize the holes and mourn them, but very dangerous to allow them to consume me or stay in them. For instance, “landmarks” (like birthdays, dates of deaths) can be hard – and honestly, though I am a mom I struggle deeply with Mother’s Day. It’s okay to dwell on the hole of them missing physically in my life.

On Monday with what would have been Mom’s birthday, I chose to surround myself with other women of God who could help fill the hole… I baked the cake we always had on our birthdays and cried as I made it (tears of joys of all the memories) and ate it filling the hole…. I shared the cake with my brother as a surprise as he has a hole from missing her too and filled our holes a little… My daughter is named after my mom and saying her name everyday reminds me of her and fills the hole a little… I can share the memories and as I speak of them the hole seems a little less deep. All healthy hole fillers – memories and relationships!

I will be honest, I fill my holes in my life with not so great health fillers. I would have once said food was a filler, and though I occasionally indulge in food it is more for a taste and not to fill the hole. However, I have a consequence of all the years I tried to fill the hole with the food. I will say I fill holes with work because what I do is measurable, I feel good about my work, and it keeps me busy from focusing on the holes. I am awful on feeling I am not enough of a child of God, a daughter, a wife, a mom, a sister, a friend, etc… so I keep pouring out, and pouring out, and pouring out… the problem is I pour out into the wrong things – leaving the people I should be filling empty and me too….

As a result of self-reflection… I have made some changes. It’s just a start, and it’s going to be a day by day step. There may be a few step forward and a step back. On Monday and Tuesday, my choices and things I discovered totally made me realize what I need to fill the potholes of my soul… Spring is the time for renewal and road work of filling potholes. I am going to ACT on filling my pot holes!

(p.s. I have so much to say about abandonment I will make connections part two!)

(p.s.s. I would love to encourage you as you fill your “pot holes in your soul”, please send me a message and will lift you in prayer, etc.)

“In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.” – Carl Sagan

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ACT by recharging

This blog has drug out and around every turn the message comes up again! It all started before our vacation to Florida. I was assembling all of the electronic devices. (No judgment). The one is my Kindle that I take mostly on trips because it has many books I want to read. I opened it and found a message that read “EMPTY BATTERY. Connect your Kindle to a power source and charge it until this screen disappears….. “

I am here to tell you, my Kindle is not the only thing in my life with an EMPTY BATTERY. I am pretty sure if I had a electronic scrolling sign that was on my forehead, it would say EMPTY BATTERY – Connect to power source! Sometimes I charge myself “just enough” to eliminate the warning. I might get a cat nap, or even a whole 4 hours sleep at night, eat a meal that is sort of healthy (potato chips are made from a vegetable), exercise a little (carrying groceries in or laundry up a flight of stairs), or maybe read a page or two before falling asleep.   I know the warning signs without the message scrolling across my forehead telling me to plug in to power source.   I get a little more (a lot) more snippy, headaches, fall asleep while typing emails (and wake up to a lot of a single letter across the page), a little more (ok a lot more) emotional, the desire to run away but don’t even have the energy to do it, and usually my back informs me as my muscle tense and I sleep in the tub. I even had a recent overnight hospital stay to rule out cardiac issues – talk about an empty battery!

After the message, I couldn’t help thinking about the warning.   The great part was I was going on vacation – the one time I usually charge my battery, reconnect with my family, limit electronic devices, squeeze chapters of books, and not have to cook or clean.

But my vacation start did not come without glitches… which probably were smaller than I made them out to be, but remember I was empty…

  • I had to ask for HELP! That is so outside of my comfort zone. I would prefer to deplete my own battery before asking. However, my friend agreed to take care of crazy dog, and I didn’t even die asking for help. (NOTE to self – when battery is running low it is wise to ask for help)!
  • I ordered a new paperwhite Kindle for the trip (my Kindle with low battery was having more issues and books are essential to me). It came in time for the trip, but wouldn’t connect to download my books, so I came up with a plan B to download them and reset it. (NOTE to self – when battery is running low, retail therapy can help (lol) and/or push the RESET button on button – go back to the basics).
  • We were supposed to leave at 1am, but were greeted with SNOW and slush and a mess. I had to speed up my plan and skip some things I do before I leave (clean out fridge, run dishwasher, vacuum, etc…). I usually roll with the punches and tried my best, but I felt rushed and fearful I was forgetting something (despite my packing list). (NOTE to self – when battery is low, eliminate the unessentials – did it matter that I wouldn’t come back to a clean house? Focus on the important – we had the essentials for a perfect vacation – the 4 traveling in the car and clothes on our backs!)
  • The roads were pretty slick for awhile and we were taking the car! We had snow off/on all the way to South Carolina. My battery was empty…. I hadn’t gotten far enough into the trip to recharge… it was a struggle not to say just turn around! We are blessed with great traveling kids who slept and entertained themselves or I may have thrown up the white flag of surrender. (NOTE to self – when battery is low, sometimes I need to just keep going thru the muck as the recharge lies ahead. The drain was temporary and vacation could recharge me.)
  • The trip continued to put my judgment at question… my battery was still empty from only napping in the car (you know the nap with the bobbing head). We had the WORST McDonald’s experience ever (so I wrote to corporate – I would normally ignore it). They messes with me when my battery was not charged (after traveling all day how hard would it be to get a correct order?). Then we went to a Walmart for Sam approved food (Baby carrots, fruit, pasta, popcorn). OH MY WORD! I am not exaggerating when I said we were afraid. Afraid Jim would get arrested. We couldn’t understand about 90% of the people. People were rude and pushy and scary. We escaped as quickly as possible even though they were out of most things we needed. (NOTE to self- avoid strange places and fast food joints when my battery is empty and not prepared to handle potential rude people and bad customer service).

The next day things changed.

  • That night we all got a good nights sleep (NOTE TO SELF – to recharge – sleep is essential).
  • The weather was beautiful, warm sun, green grass, flowers, etc. (NOTE TO SELF – soaking in nature is a great way to recharge. When I sit behind a desk all day, I may need to break for a trip outside!)
  • We reconnected as a family on the trip. We learned some very valuable lessons on the trip about working together and compromising. (NOTE TO SELF – family connection is imperative for recharging. They are my life line, unfortunately they are also the ones who pay most for my empty battery – I snap, I’m tired, etc.)
  • We did several spur of the moment decisions, which is way outside of our typical functioning comfort zone. The last day we went to a water park and I EVEN GOT IN THE WATER! That is a miracle. I am the observer and bag watcher – lol. I usually have a list of other excuses. It was the last day of our family vacation. (NOTE TO SELF – go outside the comfort zone, the result can be amazing!)

We had gotten recharged as a family – no more empty battery warning as a family. We were ready to come home to sameness (there is truly no place like home for us). We had some good conversations in the car on the way home – projects to complete, and even future vacations to keep our battery charged.

I can tell you though it didn’t take long to start losing my recharge on my battery. We ran into rain and more rain and more rain. The green slowly faded on our drive turning to brown and greys. We got home late eve and I had to work the next morning at 6am.   When we return home, there are no groceries (milk, bread, eggs) and I had to go grocery shopping after work. I also needed to pick up Easter Basket items. On Sunday, I missed church for the first time in years on my favorite Holiday. I missed being with my church family. Then I had a rough Easter morning over a broken heart of a child (another blog). I read facebook and looked at beautiful Easter pictures by others (honestly jealous!)….. and my battery was draining fast!!! I worked a four day stretch. We returned back to school. Therapy resumes…. and my once full battery is draining quick.

I am pretty sure I am not alone when I read Facebook posts.

  • I notice when I get in that empty battery, my gratitude lists disappear because I stop looking at life through gratefulness. I look at it through exhaustion and it just gets more empty, and the vicious cycle continues. NOTE TO SELF – to charge battery must look at positive!
  • When my battery is empty, I don’t take care of anyone well, not even those I love the most! NOTE TO SELF – to charge my battery, I have to learn true self-care. The self-care where I put my own oxygen mask on first, so I can truly be there for others!
  • When my battery is empty I disconnect from my friends. I think of them, but never reach out to them. My text are short and days between. I see sadness on Facebook and I like to try to send a note, but that seems to take too much energy or I forget. NOTE TO SELF – to charge battery connect to friendship power sources!
  • I really know my battery is empty when I forget to even look at my calendar. I forget big and little details, or overschedule because I don’t have the big picture in front of me. NOTE TO SELF – to recharge, reconnect to priorities, keep list simple, and don’t add more!
  • Why do I feel I am so exempt from recharging, when Jesus even took the time from His busy schedule of saving people to recharge – He withdrew from the crowds and the business.  NOTE TO SELF – make time to retreat and talk to the ONE who matters most!
  • When my battery is empty I forget the things that feed my soul. I always watch Elevation Network church on weekends. I try to choose spiritual things to fill the background, but I failed to even play these. So I started listening to them. One sermon even mentioned how we worry about our low battery on our phone, but not the low battery on our soul! OUCH!!! That is so me…  NOTE TO SELF – care about my low battery on my soul as much as I do my iPhone!

The key I am learning is to NOT WAIT for the warnings. It requires daily recharging. For me, it is holding onto the reminder in Lamentations 3:23 (one of my favorites). “His mercies are new every morning”. I have to remember to pause and collect them for daily deposit!!  I need to connect to my main power source – CHRIST – everyday!