Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I read today in my daily devotional that it's not enough to keep the bad stuff out of our lives, but we've got to let the good stuff in. It's not enough to keep no list of wrongs. We have to cultivate a list of blessings. A day or so before reading this, A quote came to my mind that I had heard in the past. It said, "What if you wake up tomorrow and the only thing you have is what you thanked God for yesterday". I wondered how hard it would be to come up with 100 things to thank God for and I challenged my followers on facebook to try to do the same things. I learned that unless you are being very specific, it's actually a difficult task. It's also very humbling to reflect on the many things that God has done just for me. I also learned that once you come up with the initial 100, blessings just keep coming to mind. So, now I have more than 100! Here's my list:

1. God woke me up again this morning.
2. I have a great, hard working, selfless husband.
3. A healthy, funny, 13 year old son who is now old enough to babysit our 5 year old.
4. A healthy, loving 5 year old son who makes sure to tell me that he loves me to the moon and back every night.
5. A healthy, sweet 2 month old. He's such a blessing to everyone we meet.
6. He has delivered me from depression!
7. He has healed me from a tumor that I had in my chest at age 13.
8. He has healed me from endometriosis.
9. He healed me from a mysterious brain issue.
10. I have lived in the home of my dreams for a year now.
11. I have great neighbors.
12. I have great friends.
13. Ability to homeschool
14. Money when we needed it.
15. Money when we didn't realize we needed it.
16. Great church: Bethel Harvest
17. Ability to bless others.
18. Wonderful singing voice to use for His glory.
19. Love of reading.
20. Protection from harm. There's been so many times in my life where I can look back and just think, "Wow. If it weren't for God, where would I be?".
21. Deliverance from the fear of tornadoes.
22. We were able to buy a van to fit the needs of our growing family.
23. Even though my brother has no relationship with me, I'm still thankful that he's alive and there's still time for his salvation.
24. Homeschool groups.
25. Long hair.
26. car that has lasted over half of my life time
27. His Word
28. Fresh air
29. Hot water
30. Electricity
31. Laughter
32. I've won many contests which were a real blessing to our family.
33. Fresh drinking water.
34. Food
35. 2nd, 3rd (well, more like 5th or 6th) chances to breastfeed my baby. It was a huge struggle for 2 months and I even started to ween him. But God gave me the desire of my heart, which was to press forward and start enjoying it.
36. Quiet time
37. The ability to stay home
38. I've led other children to Christ
39. My husband has a job.
40. We sold our last home in just 35 days.
41. We sold our first home a day after we sent in the cancellation to the realtor. He never got the cancellation. This was a true miracle for us.
42. I was able to buy my first home when I was 20 years old.
43. Freedom to raise my boys how I choose
44. My blog & writing skills
45. Gift of prophecy
46. My parents are still married after almost 43 years.
47. Still have all of my immediate family.
48. Fans to sleep with.
49. He allowed me to live after developing a severe allergy to bees and getting stung on my 13th birthday.
50. Debt free except for our home.
51. Crazy childhood memories like sliding down our barn roof in the snow and riding our cows.
52. The job I had for 10 years.
53. The 401k that I got because of that job.
54. Scentsy business that I owned.
55. Babysitting jobs that have helped us through some hard times.
56. Ability and desire to help others.
57. Vacation we had in 2009 to Tennessee.
58. Many trips to Lake Erie with my family when I was a kid.
59. His grace
60. His mercy
61. His love
62. Forgiveness
63. Chipotle
64. Naps
65. Chocolate
66. A house overflowing with stuff. My barns are overflowing! Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
67. Computer
68. Internet
69. Trampoline for my kids (and for me occasionally).
70. Chance to volunteer at a nursing home when I was a child. This forever gave me a heart for the elderly. 
71. My salvation.
72. My husband's salvation. We never would've found each other if he weren't saved.
73. Unlimited text messaging. It used to be limited and so easy to go over.
74. Happy hour at Sonic.
75. Nesquik (my morning drink)
76. Cousins ~ I have tons of cousins and a few of them are extra special to me.
77. Great eyesight. 
78. My son gave his life to Christ when he was nine years old.
79. Had the wedding that I always dreamed of.
80. Carbonite (a program that backs everything up on the computer). Before Carbonite, we had lost all of our pictures on the computer. I was pretty devastated, but thankfully (another thing to be thankful for), my genius husband was able to recover most of them. 
81. Craigslist ~ Not just for selling things! This is where I met one of my best friends, when she found a babysitting ad that I had posted.
82. A doctor who listens to me.
83. A comfy bed to sleep in every night.
84. Nice neighborhood.
85. Air1
86. KLove  
87. Prophet Traut
88. Having family that is close in distance, but not too close. It really makes me appreciate our time together better.
89. Party Right (a fun, inexpensive place where my son loves to play) 
90. Skyline
91. Massages 
92. Cameras (and the one I'm believing God for)
93. My husband's help finishing this list.
94. Gifts from others
95. Baby monitors
96. Redbox
97. Restaurants that don't serve shellfish
98. Soft blankets
99. disposable diapers
100. I am an American!

And here are the few that I've thought of since this list. 
  • He healed me from an ear blockage that I had off and on for about 2 years.
  • Reconciliation with family and friends.
  • A net for the trampoline.
  • Skyline chili is available in a can
My mind is more aware of the blessings that I receive each day because of this list that I have made. I challenge you to give it a try too! Share your thoughts.

Be blessed my friends!

Friday, August 2, 2013

DEPRESSION ~ My Story (The Short Version)


 I have battled depression off and on for most of my life. It began as a teenager because of growing up with an alcoholic father and brothers who mistreated me. My mom and my brothers took the brunt of my father's abuse, and I hid and listened to the arguments and fighting. I overcame depression in my late teens when my dad quit drinking and my parents reconciled their marriage, only to battle it again in my early twenties. At just twenty years old, I became a single mom. Working full-time, going to school full-time, and taking care of a baby on my own really took a toll on me. 

I found the love of my life when my son was six years old. He took so much pressure off of me. He loved me and my son unconditionally. It was hard for me to return love in the same way that he gave it because of the way other men had treated me. I thought my husband was just being so great to me so he could get what he wanted; but he's never been that kind of man. After a couple of years of marriage, we had a son together and for the first time in my life, I experienced postpartum depression. I feel like this was the worst kind of depression that I've ever dealt with. It just came out of nowhere and I battled with wondering how I could be so depressed when God had given me such a beautiful gift. I felt so much guilt. I looked at the baby with resentment. I had feelings that I couldn't understand. I tried going on medication, but they put me on something that I was allergic to and I got violently ill. I decided then that I wouldn't go on medication again. 

Fast forward a couple of years down the road and depression came back. I was lonely and felt isolated, but instead of seeking out friendships, I isolated myself from the few friends I did have. The depression got so bad that I started picturing myself telling my boys goodbye, kissing them goodnight, and then getting in the car late at night while everyone was sleeping, and driving off the road on purpose. I believe that God intervened by giving me an ailment that I thought was brain cancer or a stroke or something else that would be terrible. I suddenly started seeing each day as a gift and realized that I really didn't want to die. It took me two years before God healed me of this thing. Doctors never figured out what it was, but I knew in my heart that it was placed there to bring me back to reality.

Depression does occasionally try to creep back into my life, but I recognize it much more quickly than I use to. I realize right away that Satan is attacking me. I seek God quickly to restore me back to a completely healthy mind. 

Stay tuned for more posts on depression. I want to discuss ways of overcoming depression and what to do (and what not to do) when your friend or family member is dealing with depression.  

Be blessed my friends! 


The picture on the left is our newest baby. When I saw this picture, I remembered one of our 5 year old that I thought looked similar. I couldn't believe my eyes when I put them side by side. Even their own grandma couldn't tell which one was which. 

Be blessed my friends!