Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Trying to maintain focus

I want to thank everyone who sent such encouraging messages to my last post. Although I don't feel too different - still close to tears - I'm receiving tremendous support, from my blogging friends, my friends from church, and my husband. And I'm trying to be good to myself and not push things.

I've decided that my main focus this Christmas has to be to create a clean happy home for our two mothers, my son and his wife, and my sister when they come. I'm only going to bake two things this year: shortbread is done and I still want to make a Dutch cookie that is traditional in our home. The rest I will buy. I will simplify things as much as I can.

I saw my pdoc today and he decided he wants to wait to give me an antidepressant. I'm on so much medication already. Besides, when he saw me I was all bubbly and enthusiastic, telling him about the things that have been happening in my life. I did not seem at all depressed. He thinks my problem might be exhaustion rather than depression. And he might be right. We're going to wait and see if I get any better after Christmas. I'm kind of glad he didn't just automatically put me on yet another pill. I want to see, too, if a combination of looking after myself, physically, mentally, and spiritually, will pull me out of this.

I went to tell my pastor that I did not think I should do anything at the Christmas Eve service. He was fine with it. We had a great talk. I'm glad I made that decision. I would have had to do a lot of preparation for that - not good right now.

A good friend of mine recommended I read Day 25 of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. That by itself encouraged me about the state I'm in. Warren says that "Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days...We learn things about God in suffering that we can't learn any other way." He quotes the apostle Paul, who said, "We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character."(Romans 5:3-4) He goes on to say, "Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever... The Bible often compares trials to a metal refiner's fire that burns away the impurities. "

I've been through much over the past forty years and I know God has changed me because of the suffering I've undergone. If my life had been easy, I would not be who I am now. I think I'd be a pretty bland person. My life is rich because I've clung to God. I've trusted Him since I found Him twenty years ago.

I'll try to be good to myself, be patient, do what I can without pushing myself too much, and be secure in my belief that God knows what's best for me.

Rick Warren quotes Corrie ten Boom, who suffered in a Nazi death camp. She explained the power of focus: "If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. But if you look at Christ you'll be at rest."

This Christmas time I will try to look at Christ, not all the "stuff" that comes with Christmas. I'll remember the baby Jesus and try to place myself back there in Bethlehem, 2000 years ago. I'll take time out now and then, within my mind, re-enter the peace of the stable where He was born. In the quiet of my bedroom, I'll shut out the glitter and noise and pressures of the Christmas we're forced to live today. Then I'll be able to truly worship Him.


Bleeding Heart said...

I could so relate to your sixth paragraph. I, too went through so much in my life and if I had it easy, I wouldn't of been who I am today either...with faith in my life and the strength that I had...I would have never made it!

Hang in there Marja!

Anonymous said...

hey marja,

wow....your post says so much.

i think that was a wise decision, to pull back from the Christmas Eve service. But, i know it had to be least, make the decision.

it does sound like you are tired.

i have heard that book is really good.

be careful, though. your last sentences sound a little bit like depression wanting to isolate you.

i know everyone needs quiet time...but, if it know, don't go into hibernation for too long (of course, i have been there myself lately).

i love you and am praying with you.

Anonymous said...

hey marja,

one more thing...whatever happens, even if you end up is all ok.

you will come out of it. and we will all be here, ready to hug you!


everything is ok...

love, love you,

bipolar_girl said...

Glad to know you're back on your groooove. It's days before Christmas and let's parteeeeeeee!!Happy Holidays!!!!

Anonymous said...

hey marja,

i was stopping by to check on you.
how are you?

thanks for your concern...i wrote a post about y'day. (my mom was worried too)

also, under the post with the quotes--thank you for that comment..i left you a comment there! you help me sooooo much!!

love you

Anonymous said...

I would just like to apologise for my last comment on your blog...reading it now, it sounded kinda pushy and pressure-provoking. It wasn't intended that way, but I think I was a little hypo-manic last night, and when I'm like that, I love to give out advice on every little thing...ack!
Anyways, now that I am of more sound mind, I think you did the right thing by saying no to your Pastor. You knew it would be too much for you and you set proper boundaries in order to keep yourself healthy. I admire you a lot are definately a wonderful mentor to a lot of us young punks :)
I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, and hopefully we will talk before the new year...lots of love

marja said...

Thank you, everyone, for your comments and caring. It helps me a lot.

Shebee: You don't have to apologize. It felt good to be told that speaking at church was something I SHOULD do. I reconsidered, but at this point still feel teary, which means, I think, to relax and not put any more pressure on myself than necessary.
Btw, How can I get in touch with you? I've been trying to leave comments on your blog, but it doesn't work. Could you give me your email address? How are things for you right now?

Anonymous said...

Hi Marja,

I don't mind giving you my e-mail adress right here:

Now people know my real name...big whoop :)

And things...well...have you read my recent posts? (I just posted yesterday and today) Thanks for your concern Marja, you are so sweet :)