Showing posts from December, 2014

My Struggle With Anxiety (Episode 2)

My anxiety was debilitating.

And from all appearances, it looked like it was here to stay.

I had trouble sleeping. I was so tense even while I slept that I woke up every morning to cramped and hurting leg muscles. The smallest decisions suddenly felt monumental--like picking out a pair of earrings to wear. Driving anywhere became almost unbearably stressful. I lost interest in things I used to enjoy, like baking and reading. I couldn't escape into novels or even relax and enjoy a movie. Anxiety followed me everywhere--to work, out with friends, and at home.

Without consciously thinking about it, I regularly hyper-focused on my heartbeat and breathing. I was petrified that I would have another panic attack … which ironically probably only facilitated me having more of them. (You can read about my first panic attack here.)

I knew that I wasn't thinking rationally, but I felt trapped. I tried to battle my anxious thoughts with what I knew to be true: God's tremendous love for…

My Struggle With Anxiety (Episode 1)

I am a Christian, and I struggle with anxiety. 

This isn't the path I would have chosen for myself, but it's the one I've been walking in a very intense way over the past year. It's taken me a while to get up the nerve to share my story publicly.

A big part of my hesitation to share it openly is that there's a stigma attached to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. For some reason, we encourage people to take Tylenol when they have a headache ... or receive chemotherapy when they've been diagnosed with cancer ... but when it comes to anxiety, people say, "If you just pray harder or trusted God more or had enough faith, you'd be cured." This kind of advice is well-meaning, but it can be very damaging and hurtful. The truth is, many different factors can contribute to anxiety. It's a mistake to assume that anxiety is always 100% related to a spiritual deficiency. 

But I understand the wholly spiritual perspective because in all honesty, it…

A Scrabble craft, singing, and Christmas!

I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the next couple of weeks.

Obviously, Christmas is next week—so I’m looking forward to lots of time with family (including a bunch of extended family!). White elephant gifts. Laughter. Memories. Oh, and cookies. Lots of Christmas cookies.  :)

I have some extra choir rehearsals this week gearing up for our Christmas program this Sunday. Our choir is leading the church service with a whole bunch of wonderful Christmas music! It’s going to be such a great time!

If you know me in real life, you know that I like to teach myself new things. I mastered the basics of knitting not too long ago, but I ran into a snag. My eyes are so tired after a full day of work writing while staring at a computer screen, it hurts them to gaze intently at the yarn threads in the evenings. So, knitting is out. But I still love to work on crafts. Want to know what my new project is? Scrabble coasters! (Yep, they’re a thing! You can Google them.) I’m so excited to pick up th…

When God Seems Far Away

If you don't have the presence of God in your life--or if he just seems impossibly far away from you right now, let me first say this: God loves you. And he has a plan for your life.

Sin separates us from God--and everyone sins. (See Romans 3:23)

But broken, messed-up sinners are something of a specialty with God. (A fact I am VERY thankful for.)

Mark 2:17 says, "On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" 

His grace covers prostitutes, liars, blasphemers, murderers, etc. Just read the Bible and you'll see TONS of case histories of these types of folks ... and how God calls them to do extraordinary things with their lives.

Anything admirable or praiseworthy in me comes from the foundational security I have as a child of God. He's transformed my life and continues to help me grow. He walks with me. He never abandons me--even when my path seems dark. He a…

The Trap of Apathy

I want to have a fulfilled, meaningful life. (Don't we all?)

Sometimes that can show up as (for lack of a better word) "restlessness" with the way things are. I think God can use that restlessness to push us to do great things with our lives--things that glorify him.

Now, don't get me wrong, contentment is a great thing. What terrifies me is falling into the trap of being too content with the way things are ... to settle for less for my life when God has better plans for me.

I know Satan would love nothing more than for me to just talk about serving God with my life, but do absolutely nothing about it. He hopes I’ll “entertain myself to death” and focus on no one but myself to the end of my days. But that's a recipe for an empty life--always chasing after the next high--because on my own, I can't reach a place where I'm completely fulfilled.

No matter how many new haircuts I get, Pinterest projects I make, or new movies I watch, it's never enough. The…