When Things Seem to go South….

When Things Seem to go South…..

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Growth of a “Don’t Quit!” Seed

I have had a real mental struggle lately. I just can’t seem to get my mind in the game. I have let so many things overwhelm me and/or drive me to negative thoughts. Yes, there have been some changes in my life and more major changes to come in my near future but really, is that enough to drive me to this mental struggle I have been having? It is almost as though I am battling myself give up versus drive on! I feel extremely overwhelmed mentally and emotionally, tired and just feel like quitting everything. However, I have this little seed in me that keeps sprouting up and shouting “Don’t quit! You can do this!”

I am currently under medical directions to limit lower body work due to an injury/pain in my outer knee area. Thankfully, I am able to do minor things like ride my bike and walk as long as it doesn’t hurt. No running and no jumping. I can also work on upper body and core – both of which I really need to strengthen. So in a sense, I guess this has been a good thing since it causes me to focus more intensely on those areas.

My eating has not been great either. I hit a few days that I binged on sugary stuff. You know, the stuff like chocolate that tastes great but isn’t so great for you (in large doses anyways 😉 ). I am working at getting back on track with my eating. I have pushed the sugar aside and I am eating healthier foods again BUT still a bit too much. Not gaining weight but not losing either. I guess it is time to start tracking my food again. Ugh!

So, why such a mental struggle? I know I battle depression which usually leads to my mental battles. However, I pray that my little “Don’t Quit!” seed continues to grow and eventually blooms larger than the depression battle that goes on inside my head. I have found one way to water this little seed. It is something really simple to do. As I began my bike ride to the gym this morning, I realized that I was breathing deeper and feeling better. Then I began doing this simple but amazing thing…I smiled and said “Good Morning!” to everyone I passed. Do you know what happened? I found myself smiling just because I felt great!

Water your “Don’t Quit!” seed with a smile and kindness!

Kathy

Devotion – Insights from John 1

Today I began reading the book of John. As I read through the first chapter, a couple of things jumped out at me that I had not noticed before. This new idea offers me food for thought in my own life and faith journey.

Though John does not go into detail about the baptism of Jesus, he does tell us that he recognized Jesus by the descending dove and he did baptize him. Further details are found in other gospels. What interested me is the day after Jesus was baptized.

Verse 35-37 “The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.”

They ask Jesus where he is staying and Jesus simply tells them “Come and See.” So they follow and then we learn that one of the disciples is Andrew. I found this piece of news interesting! Can you imagine the lessons Andrew learned from John the Baptist? Just imagine the anticipation the Andrew had been living with concerning Jesus, the Messiah! Now he finds it all true and very real!

What is the first thing Andrew does as a disciple for Jesus? He goes and finds Simon Peter (his brother) and brings him to Jesus! Yep, his first mission is witnessing! What is really radical to me is we see this happen again on the next day. Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Philip. What is the first thing Philip does? You got it, he goes and finds Nathanael and brings him to Jesus. I am beginning to think God is wanting me to learn something here.

God called me to be his disciple in ministry 7 1/2 years ago. I spent several years in school to learn more, only to end up taking a long break. I have spent quite a bit of time in the wilderness sorting through the many things I was exposed to in school and life. Recently I have felt God nudging me out of the wilderness and back into the world. I am not sure I am truly ready to enter but I think it is time I start moving closer. What better way to do that than to spend time in God’s Word and share my insights with you!

Never Let Fear Stop You! Yep, that applies to ministry as well as life!

Kathy

Voices Within

This may make me sound crazy but I am sure that I am not the only one that deals with this type of thing. I remember watching those cartoons when I was a child that revealed the little devil on one shoulder and the little angel on the other shoulder. These came up whenever there was a decision that needed to be made, one that would be considered “morally” right versus one that would be “morally” wrong. I use the term “morally” loosely because that tends to vary from person to person.

I bring this up because I tend to experience something similar with a couple of twists. First twist is it is voices inside that I hear and no I do not see little devils or angels anywhere…LOL! The second twist is I don’t feel it has anything to do with morals but rather a negative/positive conversation that goes on in my head. I really battled this yesterday afternoon. When the conversation gets too loud it tends to drive me to tears and I begin to withdraw inside myself and become quiet. Now for those that know me at all, me becoming quiet is NOT typical. 🙂

These voices usually have nothing to do with decision-making but rather in dealing with life in general. I can see and feel the woman I want to be and that tends to be the positive voice I hear but at the same time I have this older, negative voice that I hear playing what my counselor would call my “old tapes.” Those old tapes tell me that I am not good enough, strong enough, worthy enough, etc. They tell me my goals, hopes and dreams are impossible and I will never be the woman I see and feel inside. They tell me that I will end up alone in this world.

I guess I have spent most of my life trying to please someone or live up to someone else’s expectations of me. My parents always had high expectations of me educationally and morally. I always wanted to be the “good kid.” I always wanted to be the perfect picture of a woman and wife for my husband and mother for my kids. I always felt that I was an embarrassment to them all. Things are different now. Yes, I still want them to be proud of me but I want this more for me. I want to be healthy and I want to be active. I want to live a life as full as possible! When these voices begin to converse, it tends to turn into an argument in my head.

I have been trying to pay attention to these voices lately because I am struggling with knowing who I am and where I belong now. So much has changed in my life in the past couple of years. My role as daughter is not what it used to be. My children are more independent and building their own worlds now. My role as wife feels different too. Career-wise, who knows. I hold a Master’s degree in Christian Ministry but seminary lessons and things that happened in my life that last year, has left me with serious doubts about my spirituality as well. So what do I hold onto in life? I try to hold onto to the real me but that is difficult when I am having so much trouble finding her. I see her at times but can’t seem to hang on tight enough for her to stay around very long.

This has been a bit of a vent for me. I am fine, just trying to sort out where I am in life and how I fit. Some would say this is a mid-life crisis, who know? Maybe they are right and it will all pass with time. For now, I will keep striving to hear and follow that positive woman within. Thanks for listening….

Not Giving Up Just Yet,
Kathy

Past, Present, Future

Today I changed my computer background to my before and during pictures.

After each race I run, there are always pictures. Those pictures remind me of where I am. However, I always see the “past” Kathy and I feel horrible. Then one of two things happen. I either get really depressed and allow myself to get into a funk that almost disables me from life OR I buck up and decide that I still have a long way to go and GET MOVING!

Unfortunately, my past practice has usually involved falling into the “funk of depression” and staying put or even moving backwards. I have been trying very hard to think positively and look beyond where I was and who I was in the past. I have changed a lot but there is still a lot of work I need to do on me and it is not all physical. What I have found is that much of the physical also requires mental and emotional change as well. These are the difficult ones for me. It takes constant effort on my part to “talk myself out of the negative thinking” and into reality. Yes, I realize (finally) that most of my negative thinking is not real but rather an inflated negative view of myself. When you have thought like that for over 40 years, it is a major task to view yourself in any other light but alas, I am trying and slowly achieving.

My present is just that – where I am now. It is not where I was and not where I plan to stay BUT it is a reminder that I have moved forward. It is a reminder that I can do this thing I am trying to achieve. I can improve my thinking, my body and my overall health.  It reveals a progression in my life, better yet a positive progression.

What does my future hold? It holds whatever I choose to achieve. It holds the results of my present actions. It holds my dreams and goals. It holds the REAL Kathy and the woman I have been hiding for so many years.

So, friends I am now asking for your help. Do not let me forget that I have already come a long way but I am not done yet. Don’t let me fall into my funk of depression but kick my butt forward in thinking and action. I do have dreams and goals that I will achieve but encouragement and assistance from the sidelines is always welcome. Better yet, why not join me on this journey?

I refuse to quit. I refuse to fail. Live! Laugh! Love! Life! Don’t Let Fear Stop You! I am NOT!

Kathy

A Time to …..

Recover. I can only push my body beyond its max for so long before it needs recovery time. Today begins a period of recovery for me from yesterday’s race and our busy couple of months of OCRs and 5Ks.

Heal. I have battled a minor injury for a couple of weeks now. Recovery time is also a time for healing. It doesn’t mean do nothing, it simply means back off and pay closer attention to what my body is saying.

Train. I know specific areas that I need to work on and the next few months will provide time and focus to those areas. Mainly cardio, upper body and balance.

Strengthen. Training will help strengthen my body physically but I also need to focus on my mental. I must continue to educate myself about my body and how it works, habits and nutrition. I must also take a look at my goals and mentally see myself achieving them – one by one!

Focus. I have 2 HUGE goals. I WILL complete the Spartan Trifecta by completing the Midwest Super in IL (October) and the Beast in TX (December). I have fears with both of these goals: hubby will be deployed AND I have never done anything at those distances before. However, I will overcome those fears by visualizing myself completing them; feeling the immense pride that both I will feel and know my hubby will have; and by relying on my Anytime Fitness, Corn Fed! and F.O.O.T. families; and focusing on my nutrition and training.

Yes, there is a time for everything in our lives.  Today it is time to speak positive, think positive and BE POSITIVE! There is no time for fear today because I choose to “Never Let Fear Stop Me!” Let’s Get Moving! Live! Laugh! Love! Life!

Kathy

Coping When I Just Don’t Want to!

I have been avoiding the probable deployment of my hubby for quite some time. I first heard about it at the Christmas Ball last December. It came as a shock to me! Hubby reassured me that he had just heard about it and nothing was definite yet. So, I put it on a back burner and we continued on with our life.

This week, it has smacked me in the face! I am really struggling with many emotions: anger, hurt, guilt, shame, pride and fear – LOTS OF FEAR! His last deployment was 2008 but upon his return, he took an OWT job in Indiana while I remained in Ohio with our youngest. Our daughter was nearing graduation and I was attending seminary. We found life apart very difficult and our communications became very scrambled and many things happened that nearly destroyed our marriage over a course of 2 years. We finally pulled ourselves together last June and I moved to Indiana so we could be together once again. It has been wonderful! With our children grown and on their own; we have been able to just go and do! We have found ourselves in the adventurous world of Obstacle Course Racing with Spartan Races! We have pushed ourselves to physical limits, began taking better care of ourselves and made a lot of new friends. It has been truly awesome!

Alas, the dreaded deployment! We haven’t even been back together a year and he is soon to be off again. I am proud of the job my husband does and his willingness to serve our country and I am proud of the man I married. At the same time, I am very angry, hurt and full of fear. Why? Because I fear losing him either physically or emotionally. I fear the distance that comes with this type of separation: distance in both miles and communication. I fear being left behind alone. I fear losing the Spartan Races because I am afraid to try them alone. I have always done them with him, as Team Baconator. When he gets on that plane a large piece of my heart, soul and life goes with him and I fear I am not strong enough to handle it.

As if these emotions aren’t enough, I am also dealing with shame and guilt. I agreed to be a military wife. I know I need to be strong and supportive. Mike needs to know that I will be ok the few months he will be away. He needs to be able to focus on the mission and not worry about me. That is what I want for him. I am ashamed of the way fear seems to be controlling me. My real struggle lies with learning how to cope with this situation. One would think I would know how since he was deployed a few years ago. However, my whole life is different now. I am in a different state now without family. My mom has passed away and she used to listen to my ramblings when I would become overwhelmed. My whole world is wrapped up with Mike – we truly have become one and even the thought of him being away for so long and so far causes me to feel so empty inside. I feel guilty when I try to do something without him.

Thus, I must learn to cope, even though I really don’t want to. I don’t want this deployment to happen at all. There is still a minute chance that it will be cancelled – the Army tends to do what the Army wants whenever it wants but I doubt this will happen. I have to begin facing it and fighting the fears inside. I only wish I knew how. I can only argue with myself and win so many times without caving to the fears.

Coping – I just don’t want to but I must! Never let fear stop you! Hmmm….can’t let fear keep me from living….now there is a thought.

Kathy

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