October 19, 2018

A Grateful Heart

:: October sky above the back pasture ::

:: the last three wildflowers on our farm ::

:: my best friend watching me potter about the kitchen ::

:: "Mama's deer" - the mule deer buck that visits our homestead often ::

What a glorious October day it is on our farm. Blue sky, a slight breeze, 64 degrees (F) outside, a small fire crackling in our wood stove inside. I have bread rising on the kitchen counter and the day's laundry on the clothesline, blowing dry in the sunshine. School is done for the day and we have been playing outside, enjoying our farm together. Good things, I am grateful.

I began my day with a beautiful 3-mile outdoor hike and a sermon. Our Friday morning schedule is sometimes a bit more relaxed than our other weekdays and allows time for such things. I am listening to a sermon series about depression in a believer's life, its causes and cure.

Though I am only a few messages in to the thirty-one part series, I feel so thankful to have found these teachings of sound doctrine about Spiritual Depression on Sermon Audio.

I am nearly a year into my eating disorder and exercise obsession recovery (Praise the Lord!) and I do believe I am fully recovered... I have become truly body positive and self-accepting and free of disordered food and fitness behaviors.

My joy is from Jesus, and it will not be shaken. God is so good!

But along with that unshakable joy, there are still residual feelings of anxiety and depression just beneath the surface, sometimes. Or right there on the surface, occasionally. No disordered behaviors, I don't act on those temptations, but the thoughts - while dwindling - do remain more than I prefer.

It puzzles me. Life is good, I am surrounded by people and animals and land that I love, we live a simple homemade life that I wouldn't trade for anything, and I am *very* happy, but that niggling feeling of slight anxiousness, and tiredness, of feeling a bit downcast, remains... I know it doesn't make much sense, especially since I am a saved-by-grace, born-again believer.

Oh, I have come so far and for that I am *thankful!* My body is healed and in its fat-and-happy place. I have made so many necessary changes and given myself permission to let things go. I don't have an eating disorder anymore. I am, for the first time in my life, kinda like my own friend... I am nice to myself, I even like me. I often feel misunderstood by those who don't really know me very well, but that doesn't even bother me anymore.

I have learned how to forgive past hurts (and the people behind them, when necessary) and move on... even allowing myself to remove some difficult relationships from my life guilt-free after forgiving and healing from their damage. I no longer require myself to maintain or restore stressful relationships when it doesn't seem wise for my health and happiness to do so.

My support team helped me realize that I need to be kind to myself, too! That isn't selfish, it is a very important gift. One cannot draw from an empty well. And difficult relationships can be oh-so draining, yes?

Recovery has been a lovely, messy, brave, complicated, and necessary process. How amazed and thankful I am to be putting so many things behind me at last... to truly grow in the Lord and as the woman He created me to be... and on the cusp of turning fifty!

And the victory I have been blessed with physically and mentally in this past year encourages me to keep going until *all* of the lingering anxiety and depression are gone, gone, gone. Until God's voice of truth is the loudest influence in my thinking.

So I think this sermon series will be a wonderful tool in my recovery arsenal. Thank you, dear friends and sisters, for your prayers. I really am fine, I just want to have complete victory over these long-standing issues. {smile} Oh that God would somehow be glorified as I continue to overcome and share my imperfections with the interwebs.

Is vulnerability actually beautiful? Authenticity. Sheesh... I would say it's just hard and incredibly humbling. Oh, I do write a lot more about all of this on Run Hoop Julie, if you would like to join me there.

Here are a few more things I am thankful for today~

:: Pumpkin spice. I am of the thinking that the more things that are pumpkin spice flavored, the better. I love it. So I was *thrilled* when our local grocer finally got the pumpkin spice flavored coffee creamer in stock this week. Yay!

:: October. My favorite month of all. I love mid-September to mid-November... autumn! {smile} FYI, my current order for favorite seasons is: autumn, spring, summer, winter... but I do enjoy them all. I picked winter last because that is usually the hardest season for us on our homestead.

:: Woodpecker. There was a woodpecker on our deck this week. We watched it grasp some insects out of a crack on our deck and eat them. It was fascinating. Such good timing that we looked out the window when we did!

:: Jack. That dog brings so much joy into our days. He is just playful and fun and happy all the time. And sweet and loving and... well, you probably know how much I love my dog!

:: Books. I just finished a novel that I really enjoyed - "Thieving Forest" by Martha Conway. And now I am reading "The Four Million" by O. Henry, it is a collection of short stories. I am reading "By the Shores of Silver Lake" by Laura Ingalls Wilder *and* the first Harry Potter book aloud to my children. And in my Bible reading, I am in the books of Deuteronomy and Luke.


Thank you for coming by this blog today... and for your visits to Run Hoop Julie and Images of a Happy Gentle Life, too. One big blog in three parts is how I look at it, and they each fulfill a niche and purpose that is just right for me and for them in this season of life... thanks for following along! (I hope you enjoy them!)

Blessings,

most popular