"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Quieting...

Some days the world is too loud, too harsh, too much.
When you see the ones you love being battered by situations that have to run their course a first instinct is to look for a way to help, to ease their burden until the storm passes.

In those seasons a sense of needing to fix everything so a loved one can gain some relief, find a little breathing space or just simply sleep, sits oh so heavy on the mind and on the heart - even when you're weary and worn down yourself. 
But you push through, soldier on, try harder to do 'one more thing' as an act of love for the ones you cherish.

Then you wake up one morning, fall in a heap, and as you try to drag yourself from mattress to floor a truth slowly becomes clear and common sense speaks louder than it has in a while and says...

"You are not all things to all people and there really is no Wonder Woman cape in your closet. Nor is there a magic wand, an overflowing bank balance, or a potion of strength."

That was me this week. 




When I'm up, I'm UP. 
Adrenaline loaded I can 'almost' leap a tall bottle of San Pellegrino mineral water in a single bound. 
For days, sometimes a week or two, my life is full to overflowing with tasks and travels and 'all hands on deck' as I attend to everything that needs doing at home and for those I love. 
Being helpful is important to me. Being a burden is not.




But when all my adrenaline is expended, as it always does when I am not mindful to conserve energy, depression comes knocking, migraines return, and every part of my body aches and groans until just walking from one end of the house to the other becomes a trial.

I've had this adrenaline issue all my life, but for the past three years since my brain trauma injury it's become a lot harder to manage because I neglect the obvious - I'm older, have a new health issue and cannot do as much as I once did. 
Yet, stubbornly neglecting the obvious, I power on without thought to what the end result will be - an inability to function normally until I am well rested and my body can recover. 




So I'm not Wonder Woman.
But gosh I'd love her waist, and her energy.

Very humbling admitting this to you, but this is my real life. 
It's not all roses and jam and fresh bread and stitching. Sometimes its a day or two in my pajamas with a pot of tea, a few Monte Carlo biscuits to dunk in my cup, and a string of old movies. It's cheese and vegemite on toast for dinner (my beloved's favourite take-it-easy-tonight meal) or maybe a home delivered pizza. It can be weeks of walking in the valley alone while all the time smiling on the outside so as not to worry those around me.

When life unravels at my feet, or this brain injury reminds me there are limitations to how far I can push the boundaries, it's right on God's doorstep I seat myself, curled up and forlorn, knowing only in His arms will I be comforted and given the grace I need to stop everything for a time and trust my loved ones are being cared for by Someone far more able than I. 
And that's humbling too.

You and I, we can't be all things to all people. We can't save the world, and though we can help with some, we'll never be able to fix all the problems our loved ones face. 

I don't know if you go into rescue mode like I do, and I'm not sure if you push yourself beyond the limits of health, strength or ability...but if you do, are you pushing too hard??
I am. And I think I do some of it because I need to be needed or to feel useful, while at the same time feeling overwhelmed when too many are needing me at once. 

I am so BLESSED in this life. Blessed in ways others may not consider a blessing, yet blessed because in every difficult circumstance, and in every opportunity to rejoice, Jesus walks beside me as my trusted Friend and Saviour. 

And it's because Jesus loves me so very deeply that this time, in this season of utter weariness, He's not letting me hide from the reasons I've found myself once again in a dark valley, nor will He let me ignore His counsel. I have to be realistic, accept who I am and the limitations life has set upon me without guilt, frustration or a pity party, and just do the best I can within those boundaries - joyfully.

I guess it comes down to asking God in prayer, "what can I do for this precious person?" before running ahead to do what I believe should be done. It also means not imaging myself as a rescuer, but turning to He who really is our Deliverer and trusting Him completely, whether He directs me to hold back or run forth. 

When I was young I thought anyone aged 59 was really old.
Yet here I am at 59 and God can make me feel like a child because there's still so much I'm learning, still so much to refine in my character...yes, in His eyes I am a child, a very loved child, just like you. 

So this is why I'm a bit quiet right now, why I'm not pushing myself to do or to be.
Like I said before, I'm so very blessed, and as I'm making my way out of the valley and into the sunshine again there's a confidence I won't see as much of that valley as in the past because a lesson has been sorely learned this week, a lesson about being content as Jenny and not wishing to be Wonder Woman.

hugs


53 comments:

  1. I loved your image of leaping over a bottle of Pelligrino in a single bound"! I am glad I guess that our loving Father gives us these limitations to remind us to let Him be God. Let Him be Savior. As women I think we always want to fix. I am wanting to fight the limitations I now find myself in it for today, I think I will back off a bit, read more of my studies and be at peace. It is raining here and that always brings a washing to my soul. Donna Rowe

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Jenny, exactly what I needed to hear right now. God bless you, you are such an encouragement. xx

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  3. Oh Jenny, that is why we all love you so. You tell it how it is with no frills, and I am sure we can all relate so well. Life is a series of blessings and learning's - however old we are (& I am 10 years your senior!) I can understand exactly where you are coming from, as I thought I was the original 'wonder woman'!! Trying to make everything 'all right' for my family and friends over the years has got me into some pickles which God graciously, has got me out of, and now I am (mostly) content to sit back and pray for those things I can't change. It is alright to let others learn their lessons too, which for any caring mother is difficult but an important life lesson. I am praying your valley experience will soon be in the past, and you are quickly up and out, smelling the roses as you go. Thank you for your generous spirit which continually teaches me about God's faithfulness. God Bless you and your ministry xx

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  4. Wow. I stumbled upon your blog for the first time this morning, and this is the post I read. What a heartfelt post with such great insights and reflections. Thank you for sharing, for you are not the only one who struggles with these challenges, and who must hang up her Wonder Woman cape for a time. Here's a (((Hug))) to ease your struggles a bit, and don't forget: you can dust that cape off and use it from time to time!

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  5. Jenny, I think this is why we find you so amazing - you can be so open and honest with us, which in turn finds us doing the same. Thank you for taking the time to sit with all of us as a true friend and share your life, no matter what form or turn it takes. You truly are a blessing.

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  6. Lovely Jenny, please take care. You are an inspiration to us all.

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  7. Dearest Jenny, as always you have once again shared wisdom that all of us need to hear and learn. For most of my life, I’ll be 59 in April, I’ve suffered with bouts of of depression, sometimes very severe. I’ve been medically treated for it for the past 20 some odd years. In the last few few years severe anxiety and panic attacks started becoming part of my life. Fortunately God, my husband, and my doctors have been with me, helping me cope, and helping get through each up and down. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Bi-polar 2. It’s quite different than Bipolar, the mania is not so high, no psychotic breaks in reality. It’s called hypomania. However, the depression can be much worse and last for longer periods of times. As with most types of of “mental illness”, finding the right medication for each individual is a trying time. Some don’t work at all, some make everything worse, some work a little but not enough or start to work then not so much, or work great but cause you to gain tons of weight......The one I’m on now work great, but seemed to cause me to have lots more migraines, but it doesn’t cause weight gain at all which is very important to me as I’ve lost 105 pounds since January 2017. So the doctor has upped my migraine prevention medication and so far all is well. I don’t “miss” the depression at all, but the milder mania times I really miss. I could get sooo much done. Housework, done. Crafting, gifting, garden and yard work, helping with the kids and grandchildren. But like you, I would totally wear myself into exhaustion. And then I would have to spend time recovering so I could do it all over again. I am now learning the Tortoise and the Haire Story. Slow and steady wins. Yes, there will be times when we will have to go beyond the normal and we will have to take a day or two to recover, but we have learn to make those times the exceptions not the everyday until we collapse. We are learning that we can truly only help others if we take the time to take good care of our selves as well. Like the flight attendants tell us to put our oxygen mask on before we put it on our children. That goes against everything in our hearts. But we can’t help them if we’re not conscious/healthy!

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  8. You are such an inspiration and I find myself in so many of your words. God is truly using you!

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  9. LOL - I never did like Wonder Woman. People who are too capable intimidate me. I thank God who doesn't expect me to have it all together, but does expect me to sit at His feet and listen - I can do that! Remember Martha and Mary, dear girl, and choose the good part. You are such a loving and beautiful example, I thank God for you, my precious and wise sister-in-Christ.

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  10. Your ability to share something so vulnerable online tells me you are Wonder Woman! You are so blessed and so am I that I found your blog. I completely relate to what you wrote. Peaks and valleys. Thank goodness we have the Lord walking with us. Take care.

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  11. You are a treasure and a blessing to all of us who read here. Thank you for sharing your life and story with us. It helps to know we are not alone when we are going through down times. I have been dealing with extreme exhaustion these days and find it hard to get through the day and especially when I am at work.I am so thankful for the Lord holding me up. Where would we be without Jesus? Love you!

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  12. So true we aren't wonder woman! It's amazing though what you can accomplish! You know, I found myself trying to be that when my last grand was born. Almost fell over but I started watching my husband and I realized he knew how to relax! So I started sitting and reading a book, watching a movie, picking flowers in the garden, whatever I thought was relaxing. I'm much better for it and I hope you get your rest in too! Have a wonderful peaceful day. Now I need some flowers to brighten my house like you have -so nice looking.

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  13. Gentle hugs Jenny. Time to take care of yourself first.

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  14. As always, exactly what I needed to hear. I am so thankful to God for you.
    Blessings to you and your family, Jenny. Your sister in Christ, Diane.

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  15. Merci à vous Jenny d'être honnête /à vos soucis .
    La dépression ce n'est pas facile et ce n'est pas toujours évident de l'accepter et de la gérer / à sa vie .C'est un combat .
    Courage Jenny reposez-vous quand vous en avez besoin
    Bises de la France
    Françoise

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  16. Aww Jenny, you really do need to listen to that still small voice and rest in His arms. Take good care and enjoy being still and quiet. Hugs and love, in Him, Gailxx

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  17. Sending love and hugs Jenny. xx

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  18. Understand, different health issues but similar situations. I am wearing my Wonder Woman cape now for the last few weeks and will need to remove it soon. Unintentionally, I become a door mat, I become resentful and angry. I don't want to be that person and will try to do better but right now I will pray for strength for all of us. I think there are many. We need to stick together. Love your inspiration, please know that your efforts are not lost on those of us out here, love you lady (((hugs)))

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  19. I totally understand Jenny. I have a few people that jokingly call me wonder woman as their nick name for me... I am not her at all and haven't been her in years. Breast cancer took wonder woman away from me. I miss her terribly. Everyone still needs me or I need them. But I am just not able to do it all anymore . I miss it at times. But right now I just got to take care of me after this last surgery. Although I have down played the severity of this surgery. It was a very risky procedure which turned out much better than even my surgeon thought it would. It is so hard to be women in todays society. To be everyone's Everything. We all need to turn things over to God More. But that's the problem. We are so busy we often forget about him or put him on the back burner. I am gonna retire my wonder woman cape and make others become less dependent on me. And me more dependent upon him. So I can take care of me. Hugs to you my Sweet Friend

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  20. Oh I needed to hear this. Especially the part about "someone" much wiser and stronger taking care of my family if and when I can't. I am trying hard to make sure my three young grandchildren have kind hearts and good work habits while mommy and daddy are too often busy with other things. Thank you and God bless

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  21. Jenny- you are a very wise woman who is a very kind and loving person.
    God knows your intentions and that's all that counts.

    Please take good care of yourself because we need you to open our hearts
    and see the good that our Lord does for others.

    Be blessed.

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  22. Jenny, bless you for opening your life and Spirit-filled heart. So comforting to see I am not alone in my similar struggles. Thank you for not only sharing the struggles even more importantly Jesus, the Answer to them. Not to be a broken record, but your blog is such a blessing!

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  23. They don't call me Fix-It Mom for nothing. =) Yes, I try to do everything, too. I'm learning to let go, though, slowly. I'm having a bit of a slow-down this week myself, but both of us know this person who watches TV and naps and accomplishes only the smallest things, is not the end of who we are. It's a time out, a bit of space in a cocoon, so the Lord can heal us again and send us forth in his name once more, perhaps a little wiser. I hope the video I sent provides some meaningful time for you, too.

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  24. I think you've written about this beautifully, Jenny. Wisdom comes sometimes through struggle. Meg Xx

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  25. Oh, Jenny, I always love reading your posts. There's so much to gain in every one. This one really came at a time when I really needed it. Thank you.

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  26. Oh Jenny ... how I wish I lived closer to you & I could just leave you a meal on your doorstep along with a small bunch of flowers. So instead I will send you a virtual hug my friend. That is the thing with depression - we never know when it will hit. A counsellor friend of mine said we women in our late 50's are classic examples of women who have just done SO much all our lives juggling families needs & putting ourselves last ... & then it all has to catch up somewhere. And yes, we would all love wonder womens waist my friend!!!! Take care Jenny Xxxxx

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  27. The mom-need to be needed and fix everything for those we love. I know that one well. We are blessed we have a Father who is even better at making things right then we are! James 1:2-4 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." My goal for me! I'll be praying for you, your health and to have your "stressed" turned into "desserts". The love, peace and joy you share with us here is an oasis in the desert...rest in that oasis, dear friend. You know the joy you get when you are able to help someone, know also that there are times when you need to allow someone to help you so they can experience that same joy. You don't see them as a burden, they don't see you as a burden...just a vehicle for dispensing joy! Hugs from afar.

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  28. Since I was young, I teased my Mother that God gave two gifts when children were born: one was a key for the Mother and the other was a lock in their child's heart.... The key was good for instilling love, guilt, responsibility, and hope. But, the thing I didn't realize until I was older was the key in my hand didn't open my heart; I had to do that myself... and it also meant I had to be cautious when opening to quickly or too soon. I am a helper. After, I am named "Martha" and we know what SHE did in the Bible! LOL Learning to be still and rest is challenging, but we are wise to do so. Take care of yourself!

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  29. Oh Jenny, LOVE and HUGGS to you as you rest in Him.
    He truly is the "All, I AM"!!
    Hope your Resurrection Holiday is Wonderful as you continue to seek and serve Him.
    Thank you for sharing as always, Such a blessing and encouragement to all. A real wonder-ful woman.
    Judith

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  30. Hi Jenny,

    This post is exactly how I am as well. It is so hard to remember we can't fix every problem. I am terrible about jumping right in with solutions whether asked for help or not. I've become more self aware about that and have to yell "stop" in my head when (especially) my dear daughter is expressing frustration or pain over a problem. She's an adult - not a baby who needs protecting. But is sure is hard.

    And I know what you mean about being up. I call those times my superwoman times. I feel like I can get everything done on my list and then some with one hand tied behind my back. I over do and pay for it the next day. But, now that I'm quite old, I take advantage of those superwoman days when they hit! :)

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  31. Darling Jenny! I said no this week - somehow it didn't work so well for me, and I still have to do some bits of things. Ha! but at least I said it! It might work next time. Much Aroha!

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  32. I think it is our nature to act like Wonder Woman. A burden self imposed and hard to let go of. I wish you a fast journey out of the valley and into the sun.

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  33. I'm learning this now and I'm 72. It's time. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing. Peace and blessings,

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  34. I hear what you are saying and fortunately decided many years ago that I am a human being with human frailties , needs and emotions. It is always such a lovely feeling being able to help others with words , a shoulder or actions but we are no good to anyone if we fall in a heap. The trick is to listen to the messages along the way. If we continue to ignore those small messages they simply get bigger until we finally come crashing down. I am pleased to hear that you have PJ days watching movies and chilling out. There is nothing wrong with that at all. There are enough things in life which we cannot control so it is important to manage the things we can. I hope nothing serious is happening with your beautiful family and I send you many angel healing hugs.

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  35. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Jenny, I know exactly what you are saying in this message. I have to pace myself, also. It has taken me years to accept the fact that I'm not Wonder Woman and can not do it all. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Arthritis in most joints and Degenerative Disc Disease. I have suffered with depression since I was in my teens. I'm 63 and have learned that some things are just not as important as I thought they were. I've learned to prioritize and only do what my body will allow. I try to only do a little work each day rather than trying to do it all in a day or two. My reward for doing this is I can spend more time in my sewing room without feeling worn out. Honestly Jenny, I don't think anyone cares about how my house looks as much as I do.

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  36. The Lord Bless You and Keep You. He is the one to trust in when we are at our most fragile. Then, you already know that Jenny. Praying you will be feeling stronger day by day, and not jumping into Wonder Woman mode, but just being Jenny, Child of God.

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  37. Jenny, as is frequently the case, God has answered my prayers...through you. Yesterday I had reached one of the lower valleys. I was struggling to make it from one room to the next as the fatigue was intense. "Thank You, Thank You,,,Please Help, Please Help" was my silent prayer all day long. Then I read your blog post and received His help. In your words He showed me that it is okay to stop and care for ourselves as we care for others. I crawled into bed immediately after an early dinner last night and slept straight through until morning. I'm by no means at my "new life" best, but I am one step further out of the valley and closer to the light. Thank you, again...

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  38. Jenny take it easy and rest up. If you get more rain it should be nice to just relax and watch the rain fall..as long as it isn't flooding rain of course. What is happening to the Cowboys? I hope they get their mojo back soon :-)

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  39. Thanks for the honest post. It was a blessing to me and very eye opening. I hope you get your much needed rest.

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  40. Hey Jenny,
    just take it easy! Your body will tell you what it needs, just listen!
    KATRIN W.

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  41. Well said Jenny, all I can say is Amen, Lyn

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  42. Jenny, you are always such a source of encouragement to me, but today's post was spot on. For the past 6 years I have suffered with inoperable chronic back pain and a couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalsia. Pain and such has been a constant companion, but like you my relationship with God has sustained me, even when I have felt hopeless. Keep up the encouraging post and know that at least one soul out here is being blessed and encouraged by them. Hugs and many prayers for you...jackie

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  43. Jenny, please take care of yourself. You are important to so many because of your caring and honest God given talents. I know that what you shared in this blog applies to me and many others. God Bless! Joan

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  44. I, too am very blessed by your words spoken here today. Bless you, Jenny, and take good care of yourself.
    I got a chuckle out of wanting Wonder Woman's waist, as well as her abilities. I could use that tiny waist, too!

    Thank you for being the encouragement you are and for letting God use you to reach out to so many.

    Verna

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  45. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us. I can relate to what you said in so many ways. Take care.

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  46. Thank you so much for sharing this - I too have been like this all my life.
    Often I forget myself along the way and end up like you described in the arms of God - like a child.
    Your honesty is refreshing and inspirational - look at all that you do accomplish - so much Jenny!
    And your blog and patterns bring such joy to many.
    Thank you so much and Happy Easter to you and your family
    Loads of love
    Tanya from Perth Western Australia xxxx

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  47. Dear Jenny. I’ve just read your post. Take care my friend and listen to your body and your Lord. I’m sure Mr E will be in there caring for you too. A hug from me.

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  48. Jenny,I just got the opportunity to read this posting. I'll add you to my prayers. Blessings - Barbara Ann

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  49. Thank you for your honesty, and for your lovely blog. It refreshes my heart. Praying that as your body rests, your heart and mind can rest too.

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  50. Dear Jenny ,thank you once more your honesty.I hadnt realized about ur brainTrauma.I will pray for you yes I will as I can so relate.I am 61,learning to pace myself ,not always to have an answer to my son of 19!who ilove to bits but games constanstly.I love Micah 6v8.Take joy in the little things ,bird song,watching one of our dogs look at insects in the garden!!Blessings and rest in Him!Big hugsXX

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  51. Hugs to you Jenny. You give us all such inspiration. You are so giving but you must give more to yourself. Slow down, breathe deeply and just chill. Please. You give so many of us so much pleasure. We do not want to see you exhausting yourself. Take time for yourself and enjoy your dearly beloved and your gorgeous family. Love Glenise

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  52. You have put your experience in words that are very much my own situation. I am 75 and arthritis is taking it's toll but I still think I can do what I did at 40. Then when the body says enough, I have a hard time excepting the reality of my age and arthritis. I have had both hips replaced and now my hands and a knee are giving me problems. So hugs to you and keep trying to get that balance as I am still trying to learn Janice in Western PA USA

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  53. Hello Janice in Western PA USA! I am Cheryll in Western PA USA! I think that arthritis is the local chronic disease. Quieting is a journey IMO. I hope that when our warm weather finally arrives your discomfort will less. The key is not to give up. Do what you can, rest, plan and go again. Rain today but the sun will shine again.

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x