Motherhood Musings

Anyone who ever said that motherhood is easy was either a liar or in serious denial. Parenting in general is the hardest job on the planet! You are responsible for another HUMAN BEING! I’m a mother so I can only speak to motherhood. If you’re a father, please forgive me. I’d have to get my husband to write a post on that one.

As a mother of grown children I would like to encourage all young mothers to just do your best. That’s all you can do. It is probably inevitable that once they’re grown you’ll look back with some regrets.

As you’re raising them and doing your best, you’ll think you’re doing right, covering all the bases. You’re giving your family all you’ve got; all your love, your energy, your creativity, your heart and soul. It’s what good moms do. If you’re really good, you even balance that out with taking care of yourself.

Then, your kids grow up and you see that there were things you missed; bases you didn’t cover. Even a few bases you didn’t even know were there much less that they needed covering. This can lead to feelings of regret, failure, and anxiety. You question whether you were as good a mom as you thought you were being at the time. You realize that it’s too late to make any changes or do anything differently. These thoughts can be heartbreaking.

There’s no perfection this side of eternity, however. There are no perfect moms just like there are no perfect kids, no matter how things may appear on the surface. We’re all human. You are human. Human = imperfect! You did your best. You loved them, cared for them, taught them what you knew to teach them, and now it’s between them and God.

You need to forgive yourself and move on. Your job is done. You have come to the other side of the toughest job on the planet. Not that you’ll ever stop being “Mom”; loving them, worrying about them, offering wisdom and advice whenever you’re given the chance. But, it’s all on them now. The decisions, choices, consequences, and responsibilities are all theirs now. You’re passing the torch, so to speak, and you need to truly let it go. You did your best now give God the rest, and rest a little. You’ve earned it!

Blessings!
Brenda. 😊

C.D. Journals – June 21, 2022

Photo by Jess Watters on Pexels.com

The first day of summer. That doesn’t mean a whole lot here in central Texas. Spring felt more like summer this year. We’ve had 90 and 100 degree days for weeks. Maybe that’s the reason for my melancholy of late. I don’t like the heat. It exacerbates my symptoms and it’s just plain uncomfortable!

It’s been four years since my diagnosis and I feel like I should be better adjusted than I am. I try very hard to be happy in spite of my “handicap”, to function as normally as possible, and to not affect those around me any more than I can help. But, I still get sad. I still get discouraged, and I struggle with truly being happy.

I still laugh quite a bit, much thanks to my sweet and funny husband who has been amazing through all of this, and my kids who support me and treat me as if I were still normal. I think they’ve gotten used to me holding my head all the time.

In spite of still being able to laugh, even at myself, I often feel restless and discontent. That light, giddy feeling of happiness is something I’ve only experienced a time or two these past few years when I used to feel it much more often. C.D. makes you feel like a prisoner in your own body and I definitely don’t feel free to be as lighthearted and happy as I’d like. I wonder if I’ll ever really be happy again.

Of course, the state of the world doesn’t help right now. A lot of us are not happy in general. I realize that things could be so much worse and that realization doesn’t go very far in changing how I feel. It helps me to appreciate things more and be thankful, and that’s not the same as what I’m talking about.

I’m not special or alone in this. There are so many others not only suffering with C.D., but suffering from so many different things. I guess, in reality, life on this planet has always been that way. Since the fall of man and the entrance of sin this world has been in chaos.

Everyone has their own cross to bear. The truth is that I am really very spoiled. I may be suffering from a debilitating neurological disorder, but I am very well taken care of and loved. I have SO much to be thankful for. There’s a Veggie Tale line that goes like this: “A thankful heart is a happy heart.” I beg to differ. I think we can be thankful and still be unhappy in our hearts.

My word for this year is “Joy”. I am on the hunt for sustainable joy. I could also add the word “Happy” because I would like to find a way to be truly happy with my life in spite of being disabled. I know a lot of others more disabled than I who have done that and I want to join them. I don’t like whining. I don’t like being discontent or unhappy. Life’s too short to live like that even if you have good reason.

So, once again, today I choose to move beyond the sadness and discouragement and go in search of a happy heart. In honor of those who are dealing with so much more than I am, I choose to decline the pity party invite. 😊

CFN! (Ciao for now)
Brenda

C.D. Journals – December 29, 2021

This is exhausting! Fighting my own body every waking hour of every day just gets so draining. So many with this affliction spend most of their days in bed and I can certainly understand that. For me, that would be even more devastating than the disorder itself.

I already struggle with melancholy (I don’t want to say “depression” because I don’t think that’s what it is. I just battle chronic sadness.). To completely give up and not even get out of bed would probably lead to depression. I have been there before and it is not even a little bit fun.

So, I get out of bed every day and do SOMETHING. Actually, I do quite a lot really. I take care of my dog. I take care of myself. I take care of my husband as much as possible, but really he takes more care of me. I do laundry and light housecleaning. I go for walks. I engage in as many of my hobbies as possible and in between all of that I rest.

The resting is the tricky part. First off, I am very task oriented and always need to be doing something so stopping to rest is something I have to make myself do. Well, truthfully, when my neck and back are on fire it’s not so hard to stop. But, if I’m not in significant pain, then it’s definitely hard to make myself stop. I also know that if I don’t rest there WILL be significant pain. I say significant because there is always pain in varying degrees.

Another tricky part of resting is ending it. Once I sit down or lie down and take the pressure off my constantly straining muscles, it can be difficult to get up and start the battle again. So, I have to make myself stop and I have to make myself start again. In between those two things I have to fight my body to make it do what I want it to do however I can. Can you see where the exhaustion comes in?

Add to all that the holidays! I am Mom and Grandma. That’s a lot of pressure at holiday time from my perspective. My grandma always made the holidays extra special when I was a kid and I am driven to do the same for my grandkids. I know it needs to change, but my heart just doesn’t want it to. So, I push beyond my limits baking, wrapping, cleaning, decorating – all the things we women do during the holidays. The only difference now is that I start in October. I’m thinking of starting even earlier next year.

In general, I do the best I can with where I am. Some days I do even better than I normally can because I’m stubborn. I’m also SOMETIMES willing to suffer the consequences depending on how important it is to me and how I’m feeling at the moment. Apparently, making sure my grands have several different types of cookies, candy, fudge, and a cake I’ve never made before for Christmas Eve is worth doing very little for the few days after. I think I must be a little crazy! I’m doing much less for New Year’s.

If you’re reading this and you have Dystonia, or any other type of movement disorder, I would love to hear how the holidays went for you; what you were able to accomplish and how you coped.

Many blessings in the new year! 😊💕

Perfect Imperfection

I keep thinking about people. Not particular people, but people in general. The way we act, the way we treat each other, the things that seem to come natural to us. The human condition, I guess, is what I’m really thinking about.

I’m dealing with a situation in my family where I have been accused of things I’m not guilty of. In this person’s eyes, however, I am guilty. It’s their perspective. My reaction to these accusations was quite human. I was shocked. I defended myself, I denied them, and I was chastised for that response.

I feel I was chastised for being human and that’s partly what got me thinking. Why do we expect each other to not be human? What makes us think that when we attack someone they shouldn’t feel attacked? And, accusing someone falsely is definitely attacking them. Regardless of how “mature” or “spiritual” someone may be, they are still human. They still react sometimes instead of responding, and they still have feelings.

Just because I’m “Mom” or “Grandma”, or the matriarch of a family, or even a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect in any way. It doesn’t make me any less emotional than anyone else, and it definitely does not mean that I’m not going to be hurt when someone I love accuses me of doing something I wouldn’t even think of doing.

The people on this planet are all human; flawed, imperfect, broken in some way humans. The last thing we should expect of each other is perfection. Even the “high-minded” are not perfect. NO ONE IS PERFECT! This is why we need grace and forgiveness.

We need to extend grace to one another. We need to forgive each other. We need to do what we need to do to deal with hurt and offense so that we can move forward in a healthy manner. If something needs to be discussed then discuss it and allow each other our humanness. If we need to be emotional, then we should be allowed to do that, within boundaries of course. Physical violence is never acceptable.

I don’t think anyone should be chastised for being emotional unless those emotions turn into verbal or physical abuse. Hate talk, bullying, downright nasty insults are never productive nor should they be tolerated. A little yelling, crying, even “How could you?” is not abusive in my opinion. In some cultures, yelling and hand-gesturing is a completely natural form of communication, but some people are offended by that. I think they’re called “snowflakes” these days. At least that’s what I hear.

My point is we are not robots. We all react to life and other people in some way – some more calmly than others and that’s part of it. We are all different. We respond and react differently. We process things differently. The world these days is all about differences. How about we learn to accept ALL the differences, not just the ones we think are cool or fashionable, or liberating, or whatever. How about we agree to disagree and still treat each other with respect as long as there was no serious harm inflicted? Forgiving things that happen outside those boundaries is a whole different topic and not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about sane, rational human beings who sometimes lose their temper and yell or who feel hurt and cry in public. Or when someone is falsely accused and they respond with defensiveness, or react with shock and disbelief. Purely human responses. There was only ever one perfect human being who walked this planet – Jesus Christ. How about we allow everyone else to NOT be Him?

Melancholy Morning

Some mornings the melancholy is overwhelming. I try to focus on my gratitude list with tears clouding my vision. So much heartache. So much disappointment. Most of the time I try not to go there. I try not to think about the broken relationships with loved ones that I feel helpless to mend. I try not to dwell on the things I’ve lost. I do my best to overcome health issues that limit me; finding new ways to function and new pain thresholds. Most days I resist the melancholy and succeed in pushing it back.

I have always believed it unhealthy to bottle emotions and at the same time I am an expert at denial and constructing walls. I can put up a brick wall in the blink of an eye! In all honesty, I don’t like to cry and the walls help me with that. Crying is messy and painful. I don’t like messy or painful!

That’s life though, isn’t it? Messy and painful. And we get to choose whether to waddle in it or get up and move on. Eventually, I always move on. I wonder though . . . am I avoiding or am I being more positive minded? Is there a fine line between positivity and avoidance?

I think there needs to be a balance. Deal with the sadness, the disappointment – feel it, then move on. If there’s something that you can change, change it. If not, then release it. At least for the moment. Maybe a solution will come later, but for now, put it on a shelf and walk away. Dwelling in the sadness sounds so dangerous!

What would become of me if I stayed there – under that little black cloud? Would I make life miserable for those closest to me? Would my heart break completely and cause me to go mad? Then I would be the cause of sadness and disappointment for those I love most and I could never do that on purpose! That is usually what brings me back from the brink. Realizing how giving in to my depression would affect those who love me, keeps me from giving in. But some mornings, the battle is harder. Some mornings . . . the melancholy is overwhelming.

December Devotionals

The Lord is My Rock – Day 5

Who Holds Your Hand?
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” -Psalm 37:23-24

What a beautiful and encouraging portion of Scripture! When I fall, it will not be as bad as it could be because the Lord holds my hand. Wow! It doesn’t say we won’t fall, but we will not be hurled headlong when the Lord establishes our steps. Is your Heavenly Father holding your hand today? Do you allow the Creator of the universe to establish your steps? If not, here’s your chance to ask Him to. If so, write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for His protection over you.

Father, what an awesome picture of Your protection – You holding my hand as I walk through this life. Thank You for not leaving me to face this world alone! You are so amazing to love one so unworthy so much as to not only sacrifice Your life for mine, but to continue to bless me with even more of Your love and grace in my daily life. I praise You, Father and give You all glory and honor, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!

December Devotions

The Lord is My Rock – Day 3

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” -Psalm 23:1

Another way of saying this verse is, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be discontent”. Wanting is a disease that has only one cure; contentment. Being content with what God has blessed us with for this day is total freedom. When you have a God who hears you, you have all you need.

What is causing you discontentment in your life? Write it down and give it to God, and choose the freedom of contentment.

Thank You, Lord, for being my Good Shepherd. You are Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, and with You there is no discontentment. Father, cure me of the disease of wanting and help me find contentment in You. In the name of Jesus I ask, amen!

December Devotions

The Lord is My Rock – Day Two

Love His Name

“But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy, and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O’ Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” -Psalm 5:11

Do you love the name of Jesus? Does the name of your Abba Father, Jehovah, give you goose bumps? Jehovah in Hebrew is “Yahweh” and the Jews consider it so holy and sacred that they will not even say The Name out loud. I believe the Father enjoys when we say His name with love and reverence, and there is power in the name of Jesus? In your journal, list the different names of God that you are familiar with, and highlight your favorite. My favorite is Jehovah Shammah which means “The Lord is there”.

Father You ARE my shelter and my refuge, O’ Lord, my strong tower. You are my Yahweh Shammah, The Lord who is there; my El Roi, The God who sees; and Oedosh Yisrael, The Holy One of Israel! I sing Your praises and give You all glory and honor, in the powerful name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; the Rose of Sharon; the Lion of Judah; the Lamb of God who rules my life. Amen!

Devotional for December

I’m going to share a devotional with you this month, that I wrote years ago. It’s 30-days long, so we’ll do one each day up to New Year’s Eve. Most of the devotionals are fairly short, so you can take as much or as little time as you like. I pray that this will be a blessing to you and draw you closer to your Heavenly Father who is your Rock and your Salvation! So, grab a journal or notebook and let’s dive into Day One!

The Lord is My Rock – Day One

Dwell in Safety

Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD. Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD! You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4:4-8‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

Do you trust only what you see, the circumstances of your life, or do you trust the Lord? When you lay your head on your pillow at night, do you dwell in His safety? If you have trouble trusting Him completely with every aspect of your life, what holds you back? Write your thoughts in your journal or notebook.

Heavenly Father, work in my heart the ability to trust You completely, to rest in Your sovereignty and be okay with not understanding everything. I thank and praise You for being my safe dwelling place. In the precious name of Jesus, amen!
🙏🏻💕

Big Birthday, Little Freak-Out!

Today is Monday, my birthday is on Thursday. Not just any birthday though, my 60th birthday! That’s a milestone, right? It definitely feels like a milestone! I thought turning 40 was hard! That was a cake walk compared to this! Turning 50 was fun! I celebrated all month and had several parties! This year . . . not so much.

Aside from the pandemic that has plagued all special days this year for a majority of us, my health has put a damper on the celebratory spirit. My quality of life is very different from when I turned 50. Having a movement disorder puts a very different spin on things.

All is not lost, however! I am married to the most generous, big-hearted guy I’ve ever known. His positive attitude has been a lifesaver for me! He makes me laugh every day! He’s my best friend, my biggest fan, and the love of my life! He has been celebrating my birthday all month with little gifts and big gestures.

Under normal circumstances we would probably be taking a trip of some kind. We love to travel and often celebrate special occasions with at least a weekend trip somewhere. Things are very different this year and a hotel stay is not something we’d prefer right now. Which may actually turn out to be a good thing!

Like many are doing this year, we’re turning to the great outdoors. Rich has taken a week of vacation and we’re planning several day trips to national parks around us. I’m excited about it! I was once an avid hiker/backpacker and I’m willing to give it a go with my new “normal”. I’m eager to see just what I can do out there. It will be different, but Rich and I share an adventurous spirit and the ability to go with the flow. We also enjoy just being together. It’s going to be a birthday to remember whatever happens.

In spite of looking forward to our vacation, I seem to be freaking out a little bit about turning 60. I freaked out a little at 40 and it turned out to not be that big of a deal. I’m hoping this will be the same. Things are just SO different. I still had kids at home at 40 and even at 50, and was not encumbered by a movement disorder. I also became a grandma for the first time at 40, that distracted me a little. 😊. I guess I feel more alone this birthday; no kids at home, semi-isolation due to the pandemic AND my health, just a very different picture from turning 40 and 50. Not one I’m ecstatic with.

Life is full of hills and valleys, I know this. Attitude is everything and focusing on the positive is key to maintaining a healthy one, as is acknowledging the negative and moving on. It’s funny though, how you can know things in your head and yet your emotions don’t seem to get it.

I am a melancholy personality and naturally gravitate toward the little black clouds. I am Eeyore in the Hundred Acre Wood. I’d rather be Tigger, he’s my favorite, and I sometimes try to act like Tigger, but it doesn’t stick. That’s probably why I’m having this little freak-out over my birthday. I’m being true to my inner Eeyore.

I just need to remind myself that God is in control and He has a plan. It’s okay to be aware of my own mortality (which is what I really think this is all about) because it’s an opportunity to remember that life doesn’t end for me after I leave this mortal shell. I don’t HAVE to be anxious about getting older. I have a choice. I can believe that my best days are behind me or I can remember that His mercies are new every morning, and believe that the best is yet to come. I prefer the latter. I also prefer to be thankful that The Lord has allowed me to be here this long. I prefer to celebrate His grace, mercy, love, and generosity!

So, damn the high cholesterol, diabetes, and anything else that may be lurking and bring on the birthday cake! (at least for one day). 😂 There has to be some wisdom to go along with the “maturity”, right? Sigh! The joys of an aging body!
A sense of humor is very helpful also. 😉

Happy Birthday to all of my fellow 60-somethings! May we look to the future with hope and joy, and believe that the best is yet to come!

🎉🎂🎈🎁🎊💕 (I like emojis)