When Facebook Seems Like It’s All You’ve Got

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It’s not really much of a secret that I am a Stay-At-Home-Mom. If it was a secret, well then…Surprise! I remember when I gave birth to my first-born. Of course, as a new mom it was a struggle. I was learning about car seats, breastfeeding, breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding in fitting rooms, diapers, sleep schedules, best clothes to wear for breastfeeding, and that pretty much sums up the first few months of being a mom.

Okay, there was a bit more to it than that, but if you are a mom who breastfed…you so know what I am talking about. It was a mess at times to say the least.

But I loved it. I loved staying home with my babies. I loved watching them grow and hearing the funny things they would say. I loved taking them for walks and out for ice cream in the summer. I carted those kids everywhere.

And when it was time for them to start school, I loved that too! My husband and I had decided early on that we would send our kids to public school. It wasn’t that we were anti-homeschool, but we did want our kids to be involved in mainstream life. We wanted them to be exposed to teachers who had different personalities, kids with different backgrounds (religious and culturally), and we wanted them to learn to question the world around them…including the one contained under our very own roof.

Our oldest has proven to be the most headstrong. He has opinions about everything and if he doesn’t, he will find one in about two seconds. It’s true. He loves to argue and debate and while it can feel like a losing battle when I’m in the midst of it with him, it’s one of the things I love about him the most. I hope and pray my younger two will learn by his example that it’s okay to be yourself…even if it’s different.

This is the second year I have spent at home while all three of my kids go to school and it’s proving to be boring and a bit lonely. I mean there’s only so much cleaning a girl can do. My kids are pretty self sufficient too. They can do homework, grab snacks, and entertain themselves with very little intervention on my part.

And yes. I have thought about getting a part time job. I have even made a few attempts at it, but generally speaking, I need a degree to do anything that would come close to satisfying.

A few years ago, my world opened up in a huge way. I didn’t plan for it. I wasn’t looking for it. It just happened. The floor of my faith fell out from underneath me and I suddenly found myself questioning my entire existence. And by existence, I mean all of the things in my life that contributed to where I was at that point in time.

It was scary at first. I thought that maybe I would end up an atheist which sounded crazy to me. Especially since my Faith in Jesus was basically the reason behind every major decision I had ever made in my entire life. And I didn’t really know where I was going to find answers or how I would find them. I wasn’t really expecting sufficient answers at all. I just remember feeling a lot of anger and a lot of confusion and it was as if someone had sold me a giant lie.

Eventually I discovered a whole community of people who were not only asking the same questions I was asking, but had been living out these questions for some time. It was such a relief to find people who had rebuilt their faith and wanted to talk about it online. Most of the conversations were through social media and blogs. I would have some of the best discussions and I remember learning so so much from these conversations/debates and also my love for reading became a rediscovered passion. I couldn’t get enough.

But something happened over the course of about three years. The conversations have seemed to grow smaller. Sure, there are still a ton of online resources and bloggers/writers that I continue to learn and read from, but they have grown in popularity which makes online interaction tough. For the most part, the discussions are either non-existent or boarder line argumentative/ugly.

I often wonder “where are my peeps at?” And perhaps I missed some boat that everyone else is sailing away on. I’m not sure. But what does seem apparent is that most people just simply have better things to do than sit around and discuss “stuff” on Facebook. In other words… I have no life. Ha! I also have found that most of what I believe now seems to be the minority view among those I do interact with, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it can feel isolating when I know that most of my supporters are at work during the day living their dreams…or at least trying to and I am sitting at home thinking, dreaming and not really having an outlet for all of the stuff going on between my ears.

So what’s a girl to do? I am considering going to school. There are a few options/paths I’m exploring when it comes to furthering my education and that might be a great outlet for me. I’m also wanting to start writing more consistently here on my blog. I’m hoping to be somewhat of a voice when it comes to the tensions felt among many Christ-followers and the plurality of…well everything in our world today.

I used to blog a long time ago and it was so good for me to give words to all of the things floating around in my head. And I know that there are so many out there who are struggling with life and faith and wondering how to do them both. I’m here to say, “You aren’t alone!” So what are some things your are questioning these days? Maybe you have been hurt by the church? Or maybe there are passages in the Bible that just don’t seem to line up with reality anymore? Or maybe your struggles have nothing to do with the Bible, but you struggle with relationships or anxiety/depression? Whatever it is, I want to know about it.

Let’s engage. I want this place to be a place where I not only continue to chronicle my own journey, but I invite you in on it. So shoot me a message or leave me a comment and lets do this thing together.

-micky

#baltimore

  
What can I even attempt to say that hasn’t already been said?
My heart is hurting. I’m grieving over the lives lost, over the division among Christ-followers, and the deception in which we all are walking in. I always walk away from these incidents feeling defeated, feeling ugly, and feeling like my heart has strayed in some way, shape, or form. I lose site that outside of the debating, these are real lives. Real lives lost and real lives hanging in the balance.

And I am reminded that we are each created in the image of God. He has a heart with real emotions. He feels joy and sadness and anger and loss. Whatever is happening, however you choose to spin it, no matter how much we disagree, He is still a God who loves His creation and weeps over the disasters.

And we haven’t even discussed Nepal.

Maybe taking some time to remember the Gray family, the city of Baltimore and all of those who are crying out for peace tonight would be a good place to start. Maybe speaking less and allowing our hearts to be with those who need comforting so much right now would be wise.

May we mourn with those who mourn.

My weight gain journey…

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About three years ago, I was feeling pretty down about my body image. I had finished nursing my youngest about two years prior to that, and slowly the weight I lost while breast feeding began to creep back up. I was heavier than I had been (aside from pregnancy) in eight years.

Due to some emotional and spiritual stress, I started noticing a drop in my weight. I would randomly get on the scale and each time the number would be lower than before. I had no idea what was causing it at the time, but stress can do terrible things to our bodies if we aren’t careful…and I was not careful. I started smoking cigarettes and my eating went way down. I was lucky if I got 900 calories in some days. I drank loads of coffee and the weight just kept coming off.


The thing about losing weight for all of the wrong reasons is that most people don’t care. I can’t tell you the amount of compliments I received while my body was fading away. A typical conversation regarding my weight would go something like this:


Person- Micky, have you lost weight?


Me- Yeah, I have. It’s not for any good reason though. I’m just not taking care of myself.


Person- Well, you look great!


You guys, something is seriously wrong with a conversation like this. But at the time, I didn’t care. I was under so much stress, walking in constant turmoil, I would often think to myself, “Well, at least I’m a size 0. I have that going for me.”


This last year has been about turning my whole life around. It’s become more and more about transparency, healing, and finding out who I can be when I’m at my very best. In July, I quit smoking. I never thought I would be able to quit, but it happened.


And slowly…the weight is coming back on. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t miss my old body or slightly cringe when somebody comments on my “healthier” new appearance. But that is where the skewed thinking comes in. I was skin and bones. I was experiencing irregular heartbeat, skipped periods, and my bones were showing through the skin on my back. And now I freak when I can no longer squeeze my thighs into my favorite pair of skinny jeans.


What ridiculous nonsense to long for vanity rather than health, to sacrifice our very lives just to see that small number on the scale. The fact is, I have friends of all shapes and sizes and what I have noticed in the amazing friends I have is that their size has NOTHING to do with how brilliant they are, how accomplished they are, or kind, giving, and generous they are. And that is what the reality we are called to live into actually is. It’s made up of souls who have their very own uniqueness to offer. It has nothing to do with billboards, hand bags, or skinny jeans.


So once again I’m learning. I heard someone once say that all of life is the process of learning to let go. Letting go of fame, money, status, relationships, notions-thoughts-judgements. Letting go of control, unforgiveness, pain. Letting go of plans that didn’t turn out, people who let you down, and the list goes on and on and on…for all of life. For me, I’m learning to let go of the misplaced attention, the accolades for all of my wrong choices, and those awesome skinny jeans which I loved so much. But that’s okay. Life keeps moving onward and I no longer have time for unnecessary hang-ups. The greatest impact we will ever make in this world will always come down to relationships. Everything else is either a bonus or a hindrance. If my time is consumed with things that take away from my relationships, I know it’s time to re-evaluate.


I have been blessed with some incredible people along the way and not one of them has mentioned their grief over my long lost pair of size 0 skinny jeans. Nope. We talk about way more important things like marriage, love, parenting, our unique giftings, and of course Jesus. I don’t know what size I will be in a few months from now, but I do know that my life will be filled with people who love me and are choosing to share their lives with me. And that is something to celebrate…with cake and extra buttercream frosting please!!!! 

Invisible

It rained today. I should be grateful for the warmer temps and I should be mindful of the drought that many other parts of the world are currently facing. I should… But I’m not. I’m bummed that I can’t sit outside and soak up the sun. The sun. That giant ball of fire which somehow contains some magical power to lift my spirits. 

Another day goes by. Maybe tomorrow will be different.

This is what it’s like to suffer from anxiety and depression. Small tasks are harder than usual. It’s as if there is this wall surrounding you and no matter how hard you try, you just. can’t. break. through. Life is all bad. And more than that, it’s terrifying as well. 

When reaching out, most of the responses are something like this:

“You have to stop thinking that way.”

“I’m sorry you are struggling.”

“Things will get better in time.”

Back to my bed I go, waiting for “time” to pass and binge watching Netflix series in hopes that I can “stop thinking that way.” Thanks for the sympathy.

Life is a struggle for those suffering with mental illness. Some days are better than others, but then there are days like today where it rains… Every moment seems to present the wall and it only leaves you more angry, saddened, and alone.

I shuffle myself to the bathroom, wash my face and pray that the cloud will just lift already. What did I do that put me into such a dark place? A place where I seldom see a way out. Of course I know how I got here. I just need to know how to get out now. Whatever that means.

Some look at this illness as personal weakness. “Let’s see if you are able to jump through a few more hoops, then we might let you back in.” 

When someone who has been fighting battles with depression and anxiety, continues to muster up the strength and courage to not give up, to reach out, seeking ways to use their talents and abilities…this is THE ONLY hoop left to jump through. It’s the hoop labeled “Choosing to Live”. And to those who deem you unworthy or “not ready”, may the scales fall from their eyes so that they might understand just how isolating their words and actions can be. While I’m sure there are some sort of good intentions blended into that confusing pile of rubbish, abandonment and betrayal are what grow from such manure. 

I don’t need to go fix myself. I need community. I don’t need more time with God. I need God in the flesh. I don’t need to be politely excused. I need to be welcomed in…with no strings. Love is a risk. Love is scandalous. Love enters into solidarity with others.

Days like today… My bed has been my solidarity, my sweats and hot tea…and I think to myself for the umpteenth time:

Maybe tomorrow.