Monday, December 15, 2008

Grateful for... Your Patience, Love, and Understanding

Pick yourselves up off the floor. You're not hallucinating or imagining things--it's true!

I am actually blogging again!

First things first--thanks to anyone who has continued (in vain) to check this blog week after week, month after month, wondering if I was even still alive. Not sure what motivated you to keep checking, but thank you. It means a lot.

I've had a lot of ups and downs since I last posted. Unfortunately, those "down" times were a major contributing factor in my not blogging for so long. For those who aren't aware, I struggle quite a bit with depression (and have for the past 9+ years). I'm here to tell you that it's a very real issue and not something that you can just wish away or ignore. I have so much compassion for those who struggle with mental and emotional issues. It's a triumph some days just to get out of bed and get the kids fed.

I have spent many hours in prayer to a loving Heavenly Father, begging Him to take this trial away from me. I keep reasoning with Him that I would be so much better of a servant if I didn't have this cloud hanging over me. I'd be so much more outgoing and serve so much more if this was something I didn't have to deal with on a daily basis. But in the past few years I've come to realize that it's BECAUSE He loves me so much that I am tested and tried. If life were a bowl of cherries, how would we ever stretch and grow? I look back on the times in my life that have been the hardest and realize how much I gained from those experiences. Although I don't think I'd choose to repeat them, I do stand here now grateful.

I'm not out of the woods by any means, but I can see the Lord's hand in my life--guiding me and nudging me towards better things. I've been able to feel a lot more in the past few months and I know that it's time that I stepped up a lot of things in my life. I've let a lot of things in my life sit by the wayside and it's time to change that. The people in my ward/neighborhood probably think I'm a recluse/hermit and anti-social based on my behavior since we moved here. I'm usually the polar opposite and I think it's about time to start being "myself". So to those of you in my neighborhood who think I've been avoiding them on purpose, please know that's not the case! Give me a call and let's do something! Sometimes all I need is a nudge to get out and I'm feeling much better!

It's also time to let some things go. As many of my stampin' sistas know, I LOVE making cards/being involved with Stampin' Up! It has been a wonderful creative release for me over the past 5+ years. But right now in my life, I need to focus on the MOST important things in my life---my little family and my faith. I have 4 young children that are looking to me to teach them all they need to know to make it through this crazy world as unscathed by evil as possible. I can't do that when I'm being sidetracked by other fun, (still good, but not ESSENTIAL), things.

I attended an LDS Women's Conference earlier this year, and one of the speakers said something that REALLY grabbed my attention. She spoke about a hobby/side job that she had that she really enjoyed. But she found that it started consuming most of her time and was crowding out the responsibilities she had as a wife and mother. She told us that she prayed for direction, and the answer she received was that her hobby would still be there waiting for her when those critical child-bearing/teaching years were over, or that her strong desire for this hobby would simply subside. I felt as though the Lord was talking directly TO ME. I only wish I'd had the courage to follow that council back in May, but I had already committed to not only attend Stampin' Up!'s yearly convention, but to personally head up a major shin-dig for 200 ladies during that convention.

But that's the beauty of the gospel of our Savior. He is ever standing at our door, knocking, and waiting for us to Let Him In. He wants us to repent and change and come to Him. He doesn't care if we've been wandering for a few months or a few years. He loves us and wants us back. He forgives us freely.

So...hopefully that helps you understand a little bit about my blogging absence. I've been wanting to start back up for a while now, but didn't know quite where to start. I actually had great intentions to blog on Thanksgiving Day, fiitingly rolling out the new title/direction I'm taking my blog in, but it just didn't happen. We spent time with family on both sides, including a sister-in-law who flew all the way from Connecticut to be there. But thanks to an INCREDIBLE Bishop who gave such perfect advice to us at church yesterday, I decided that I just couldn't put it off any longer and today was the day!

Thank you to all who made it this far--you're wonderful!!! I haven't decided how often I'll be blogging, but at the very least, I'll be posting once a week (instead of once a year!!!). Thanks again for those of you who have been so very supportive of my ups and can't begin to know how much I appreciate it!


Jenny Kapp said...

Melissa you sweet thing. Your neighbors don't think you are a bad neighbor. We all understand - we all have challenges we deal with too! I remember that talk too. That was the one we forced our way into. It is amazing how just changing small things can really focus us on the Savior and what he would have us do. Let me know if I can help you on your journey!

Sarah B said...

I'm so glad you're back! And thank you for your honesty and openness about your trials. I sure love you and have enjoyed our friendship. Thanks for being such a great example of prioritizing.

Diana H said...

Beautiful - your words, the background, the music... I am touched and so glad your up to blogging. Just one word to the wise set your computer time limits now - or it will be another thing that takes you away from the kids. Thanks again for my book - I am LOVIN it! It was just what I needed for this Christmas season. A true friend makes living the gospel easy and you are that true friend. Remember I'm always here for you.

Marilyn said...

Hi Melissa!! I've been worried about you and so glad to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your story and it was an eye-opener for me to read how difficult depression is to deal with. My sister suffers from it. You are so on track to put your family before anything else. That will bring you the most joy and contentment in life, next to serving God. I will be praying for you that God will be your provider in whatever situation you find yourself in. I have you on google reader so I won't miss any of your updates when you do find time to post - hugs!!

Erin said...

Melissa I feel so much for you. I have a brother who has dealt with the same trial and it is a VERY real thing that people who have not experienced will never understand. You are awesome and I would never have suspected you were dealing with this. I truly think you are one of the most outgoing, friendly, awesome people in our ward! You have been one of the few to offer smiles my way and make my day! You are so awesome and if you can serve the Lord more than I have seen you serve him then you are Wonder Woman. You are such an example to me and I hope if you ever need anything you would call on me. I had so much fun playing with McKenzie that day and would love to do it or anything else anytime to help you. Although I understand that during times of depression there isn't much anyone can do. You are amazing.

Sherri said...

I hear you sis! SO good to have you back! I love your new blogging theme. Love you tons and see you soon!

Nick and Tanya said...

Melissa you are the most outgoing, friendly, personable person I know. And I have never thought of you as a bad neighbor, we love having you as neighbors. Thanks for being so open about your challenges, we all have them, your not alone. Maybe you guys need a well deserved trip to Hawaii, I have a great place you guys could go!! ;)

Becky said...

Yeah your back!! I just told another friend of mine, don't worry about when you blog, we will keep checking in for your updates.

Love Ya,

Shannon said...

It was good to see you. I need to figure out what to do with my blog too since I set it up to keep people informed about Charlie. I think I'd be better about writing here than in my journal, but it still doesn't happen. What's the deal?! Oh well. Little by little, right? It's good that your open about what your going through. It's easier for people to help when they know what's going on.

Eliot's Mom said...

Thank you, sis, for your honesty, for being you. I know the true you, and I understand the cloud that hangs over and the hermit behavior . . . I get it. I love you and will be glad to get your updates. It will help you not seem so far away. Hugs from Oregon.

The Reynolds said...

May this will serve as motivation for a new post :) Thank you for being open enough to share this! We went for a drive tonight and ended up at a random little historical site that I know Pops would love! Anyways - Tyrel found and gave me a shiny black rock. As my anxiety kicked in for no good reason I went through our conversation and it helped. So then I turned that lovely rock into a metaphor about coal being put under pressure to make a diamond. Reading through this post made the analogy real. Love ya, see you soon!