When Your Soul Is Tired….

There is no tired worse than when your soul is tired.

I have been telling people when I would have a few moments of peace that those moments were good for my soul.

The other day, it all collapsed on me at once. It wasn’t one thing it was multiple things.

The thing that really got me thinking that I needed to care for my soul was when they found my neighbor dead.

At that point, I decided my soul needed to rest. It needed care, I wasn’t sure how to start; I began by emptying out. My journal has been busy. I have been writing about all those things that were making me weary.

I didn’t use this time to make anything. I haven’t even stepped foot in my workroom. I cleaned my living space. It tends to get cluttered when my mind is cluttered.

I filled up, I listened to only music that inspired me. I joined the local gym to take care of my body, I read  a book about a strong woman that I admire.

I took some time to relax and watch some movies that make me laugh.

I gave myself a facial, I gave myself a pedicure and a manicure, I took care of my skin.

I fed my mind and my body and ultimately my soul.

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Trying a Different Approach…

There are situations in life that have you stumped . I have several of those at the moment. One in particular will be the focus of this post.

I deal nightly with someone who is so very angry. They have deeper issues than I wish to go into here.

They often ask for services that we do not provide and see it as a personal attack. It isn’t, we try to appease them but it seems to back fire. When we ask questions we are required to ask we get yelled at and cursed.

I want to be kind and I try but they have the ability to speak to you like you are an underling. Last night they snarkily referred to me as “Humble Servant”, then proceeded to yell at me.

When approached with that much hostility, everybody tends to have a negative response but I have been praying about this.

I let them  have their rant and never spoke. When they  finished, my response was okay. No argument,  no point in that. I did not try to reason. They are not in a place a place in their life where they can not be reasoned with. Perception is reality.

During the second call of the night, they yelled at me,  they accused me of not doing my job and wanted some information. I looked up the information on the web and gave it to them. I didn’t tell them that it would not be helpful, not my place. I did so calmly, I did not get flustered, in an even voice I read off the information on the screen.

When they heard the tone, their whole attitude changed. They explained that it had been a rough time for them. I sat there and I let them talk. See they just want someone to listen.

I never offered advice, not in my scope of duties to do so.

Something occurred to me as well I was talking to them, they are angry at life and the people who sit in my chair are easy targets. Someone is there 24/7. It is easy for people to blame us for their pain.

I know what pain feels like, I never  took it out on others, I punished myself until I learned to cope with it and then learned to love myself just for who I am.

It is how you see the world. Some people see pain as an attack, some see it as a chance to grow because it is as complex and as simple as I said before perception is reality.

Withered…..

I have had some problems with my stomach for a week now. We still don’t know what it is. If it is a bug or medication. We are working on figuring it out.

Now, I am not a weakling when it comes to being sick but this second round of whatever this is kicked my tail literally.

Yesterday, I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I explained to her what was going on.

Her final words to me were, you have to eat. You need nutrition. You are severely dehydrated. We have three options. We can give you fluid here. We can admit you to the hospital or you can drink everything you can hold at home.

I chose to drink at home. So I loaded myself up with Gatorade, water, hot tea anything I could think of.

I have never had anything like this. I really wasn’t able to care for myself. I didn’t want anyone near me, in case it was a virus. I could only react to what my body was doing.

It is hard living alone when you are so very sick. It is easy to fall into the mire and get depressed. About two am yesterday morning, I was praying asking God if I was dying.

I was so sick. Adding to the problem, I caught a cold off a coworker. I couldn’t get warm, I didn’t want to call an ambulance although I strongly thought about it.

I just sat and prayed, waiting for the doctors office to open and believe me, I do not want to go to the doctor. Ever!!!

I had to go for blood work to see if my pancreas had been affected by the new medicines I have been put on. I have been very open about my battle with diabetes. One of the side effects is problems with the very organ that is making you sick in the first place.

Thankfully, that turned out well.

I didn’t want to complain because I have just found out one of my best friends was that same day diagnosed with breast cancer. She was very open about it, which is strange for her as she is very private.

Instead of complaining, I kind of made Where’s Waldo jokes and posted a pic of me in a mask that they made me wear.  Just trying to be upbeat about the whole thing.

Things are better today but I know how a plant feels when it is withered.

Although I have somewhat rehydrated myself, the effects are still there. Now, to get over this hurdle.

The Moment Christmas Visited Me….

My health had been going down hill for a good while. I think I knew it. I was almost walking in a fog. I thought that I was depressed. Maybe I was. I think it was a physical to mental to emotional down slide.

I had it backward. I was looking it as emotional to mental to physical.

After three weeks of taking better care of myself. Getting on medication for the health issues. Getting enough rest. I am feeling better.

It had even gotten so bad that I wasn’t even looking forward to Christmas. I have to work until Christmas morning. My family still hadn’t made plans. I didn’t know what to get my person. I was just have a blue Christmas.

Christmas finally hit me Wednesday evening. I had slept all day, my mom called to make sure I was awake, not remembering I didn’t work that night. I laid there and debated if I was going to church or not. I did.

I was standing in front of our small congregation, 14 that night. We were singing Silent Night. As we sang the last verse: “Silent Night, Holy Night, Shepherd’s quake at the sight. Radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace. Jesus Lord at thy birth. Jesus Lord at thy birth.”

As we were singing, I got a vision of what that must have been like. There was no sound except the angel heralding the birth of the Christ child. The Savior of the World. The only light in that lowly stable was the light from the star shining above it. The animals who called it home, stood or laid in the straw and made not a move. It was a silent night until the infant king arrived. Then his young mother wrapped him tightly so that he would feel secure in the world he had come to save.

As we sang, the leader stopped leading and started following just a little more closely than she had than she had in a while. I cried as I listened to this small group sing. They were not singing in tune but they were singing from their heart.

At that moment, Christmas came.

I still have to work until Christmas morning. I still have no idea what the family plans are. If nothing else, I’ll sleep. I now have my persons gift, something he picked out himself and a few more surprises. No matter what it will all be good. It is Christmas after all.

Anxiety is a Sneaky Bastard….

If you live with anxiety, you know that it is more than worry. If you don’t, please allow me to educate you.

Anxiety is a physical, mental and emotional reaction to outside stimuli. (disclaimer…not a physiologist, just a human).

The thing you have been longing for happens and you are excited beyond belief until…..It sneaks up on you.  You are okay with failure because you are used to it but now it is happening and you are on sensory overload.

For me it begins physically. Last night, I thought it was a hot flash, as I laid in bed and chewed my lip raw trying not to cry, wanting to run at 2 am, thinking of all the what ifs, you try to stifle the scream building up inside you.

You wake up and even the smell of your coffee makes you sick.  You try your best to be excited or at least normal. Then you find someone you think will understand and the word vomit begins.

Things don’t always work out as planned. Your silent pleads for understanding are not heard. You need to tell someone yet you struggle to find the words to make them understand the storm going on inside you and you become more anxious until you are in tears.

Your head is telling you to stop. You heart is begging you not to let them see. Yet you can not stop. They roll down your cheeks as you try to control the sob rising up in your throat.

The more you speak the deeper you dig the  hole until you see no way out, so you stop talking.

You suck it up and deal with it the best way you can, on your own. You use those coping skills you have learned. For me when it gets awful, I need touch. I have to have a stress ball, play dough, something that is forgiving to work with. Sometimes, I need to feel the bark of a tree, moss, something created by someone bigger than me.

People don’t understand that you really have no control over it. You really try to, but you don’t. You cope.

The best comparison I can think of is my aunt. She is totally blind. She has been for years. You can’t tell someone with anxiety to stop worrying any more than you can tell her to see. She has eyes. Her eyes are open, she is coping with her blindness but she can’t see like we do. She uses her hands to “see”. Telling people with anxiety to stop worrying is like telling a blind person to see. You can tell them until you are blue in the face and it won’t change a thing.

And Then Came Peace…

In my last post, I wrote about my pastor. What we were afraid was going to happen, happened. His transition has come. Sunday night just before midnight, he left his Earthly home.

My folks called and told me. They called the other members of the church and told them.

Sleep did not come that night. Plenty of tears but not a moments sleep. The next day was my great nieces birthday and we had planned a girls day to take her to breakfast. My mom questioned if we should continue on, we decided that we should.

We went and had breakfast. I didn’t eat a lot. I had no appetite. I went back to my mom’s to take a nap. It never came. I rode to town to speak with my supervisor in case I needed to take off work. My person wanted to go have lunch. Once again, not hungry for food just his company. I told him what I was thinking. The loss, we as a collective group, was feeling. How it was effecting my parents. I just needed to be near him. I needed to know he was there.  I was tired. I hadn’t slept much on Sunday and none on Sunday night. I wasn’t much company but we were together. It helped to talk to him.

I worked last night. I had plenty of time to think. I firmly believe that we as humans are eternal beings in a temporary flesh dwelling. We are not meant to stay here forever. We are here for a limited time. Yet, I still struggle when someone I loves leaves their flesh house.

I use the term flesh house because a house is a dwelling. Not to sound cliche’ but home is where the heart dwells.

I wrestle with what I know and what I feel. What I know is that they are relieved of pain and worry. What I feel is selfishness, plain and simple. That is what grief is. We have lost that familiar. We have lost that thing we never thought we would lose yet here we are and we helpless and out of control; because WE ARE. We don’t control anything.

Today, I got ready for work and I hadn’t  been  around people. Something kept telling me that I needed to go to my church which is just outside town. I drove up there and I was listening to the song “something in the water. “

As I stood there, I took a picture of the three crosses in the church yard. There was a  cloud looming behind them. As I stood there, a light mist of rain began. It was almost as if there was something in the water. Peace, peace came to me right there on the side of a hill.

When The Heavens Cry With You….

My pastor is “dying”. I prefer the term transitioning to his permanent home.   He was sent home this morning, from the hospital with Hospice care. He was transported to one of the big hospitals on Thursday. This morning his wife and children heard the words I have heard before. “We’ve done all we can do”.

That very moment is when you start functioning in survival mode. You have arrangements to make. You have to make sure someone is there to care for them. Luckily, this is a family of a wife, 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren who are old enough to help out.

When he heard the news, he told them that he wanted to go home. So they went home. Last report, the nurse was with him where he resides getting him settled in.

We live in a small mountain community and we are a very small but loving congregation. We have been in constant contact for the past three weeks since he got severely ill.

He has been at our church for 23 years. He has driven 50 miles, three times a week to preach to us. He made numerous trips to the same hospital and others when things were going wrong in my world. He has been in my home when we were facing death to let my husband know that he was loved and cared for even when his own family would not come around.

When my husband died, he was right here in my home providing love and comfort.

After making sure my parents were okay after getting the news, I went for a long drive. I was alone and I could cry as hard as I wanted. It was raining buckets almost as if the heavens themselves could feel my pain.

I cry for his wife and his children knowing what they will be facing. I cried for our church, we have a heartache that unless you have felt it, you don’t understand. My tears are not for where he is going. He is heading to Heaven, where his heart and lungs will not be an issue. I cry out of selfishness. I will miss him.

He has been our spiritual leader, our burden bearer, our under shepherd taking care of  the flock. You have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him.

We are independent. We don’t have someone to come in and fill that spot, not that anyone could take his place.

So for now, we as a collective group try to carry on. We will have a fill in preacher tomorrow. We do what we have to do to cope. One lady went and rode with her husband in a dump truck so she would not  be alone. My mom carried beans to the can house to stay busy. I went for a long drive and had a good cry.  We all handle it differently.

My prayer for his is that his crossing be gentle. He has been a faithful servant.

My solace??? I can just imagine my husband looking at him when he crosses and saying “Well Preacher, what are you doing here?”