Joy, revisited

 

joy

Really? Really?  Really. Is that what joy is supposed to look like? Cuz my joy hasn’t looked anything like that all year long.  Not even one iota close. Maybe wish it had, maybe it would have felt like the earth moved and the world changed a bit for me, yes, for once, for ME! But nah,  it didn’t.

But what did my joy feel like this year?  Was it quiet? Was it rumbling? Was it at least happy? Let me show you a few pics of what my joy felt like…..

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nothing like mom and daughter bonding! 

 

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Getting ready to celebrate K’s 12th birthday!

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Our new dog, Cooper! 

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Messy hair and out to eat! 

These are the celebrations of joy we had. None were really jump out of our skin into the air moments, and I know it’s not all of our joyful moments of the year. It’s just few that K and I have had along the way. I can tell you that there were definitely more joyful moments in the latter part of 2015 than the beginning because big changes happened in the middle of the summer for both of us for the BETTER!!!! Let me tell you, that made a world of difference in the joyfulness of our lives. More on that when I’m on my laptop to type. But for now, more to think on.  What does joy feel like to you? Like that first pic? Or something in between?

~Julie

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Long Days and Nights

Today is January 2, 2015 and it already feels like it should be later in the year.  I certainly doesn’t feel like only 2 days into a new one.  I wrote this letter to a couple very very good friends of mine at  LifeChurch in Oklahoma asking for prayer.  I am going to paste it here because I don’t want to retype it….too tired tonight.

Dear Friends
Don’t know if you are here the rest of this holiday week or will be back the 6th when Austin gets back.  I sent this email to him as well.  I wrote this in regards to the difficulties I am having with my 11 year old Katey. She has ADHD and it’s going through a lot of non constructive behaviors.  She had a change in medication , I think about 3-4 weeks ago and I think that it is making her more angry and aggressive.  She is threatening me, like throwing stuffed animals and barbies, etc. but it’s just getting worse for her even after we decided to change schools. I wanted you to help me pray for guidance and making good decisions in what the next step should be. I need some added support from my trusted long time support folks at LC.  I really don’t know what to do next.  Her mental health social worker will be coing tomorrow to spend some time with us and we will be talking about options and things that may help or not.  
Well since that phone call, I have gotten other news. Today my mom called me very early this morning. Oh the rollercoaster of emotion today. Overwhelmed to say the least. Need strong, bold, healing prayers for my nephew, Jesse, who was airlifted Mercy Hospital in Mason City early this morning. He has a long road of healing ahead of him. 
He was asleep on his girlfriend’s couch and woke up to her punching him in the face.  I have no clue what that was about.  He got very angry and left. He was also very drunk. One of his buddies was going to drive him out to my mom’s, but he was ticked and left anyway. Mason, his friend, tried and tried to get in front of him in his truck to get him slow down. But Jesse would keep passing him. Jesse was eventually going about 80 mph my mom said. He was just past my brother’s place (his dad) and just before Chelsea’s place (step-sister), when he hit s very deep embankment and then hit a pole just before the bridge at the beginning of the Deer Creek bridge. He was not wearing his seatbelt…then ejected sideways out of the driver’s side window of his truck. Mason was still with him. He couldn’t find him at first because Jesse was ejected from the truck. He called 911. The Northwood first responders came and then called the Mercy Life Flight to get him to Mercy Hospital in Mason City Iowa as soon they could. 
He has a severe flap/cut on his head all the way to his skull…about 200 stitches and staples, where his head hit the glass going through the door window. He broke his nose and has stitches across that as well. Gashes on his cheek and forehead that required stitches too.  He smashed his optical bones in his left eye but his eye is ok and intact.  He broke a bunch of ribs resulting in getting his lung punctured and totally deflated. He has a tube in it right now as it is still not doing what it is supposed to be doing. He broke 4 of those little tree like structures that come out of the main vertebrae, I believe they cover or protect the nerves. They are cracked and broken and the doctors don’t believe that they can be fixed. Jesse also broke his pelvis. Contusions on the bones in his legs. Lots of road rash. 
He will be in intensive care for awhile until they can get his lung to function again and his blood pressure to stabilize. My mom will be staying there with my brother, Jerry (Jesse’s dad).
—There was a praise in all this today too.  My niece Amanda, my brother’s daughter, has been estranged from all our family (by her choice) for the past 4-5 years.)  She has gotten married and none of our family went to the wedding.  But today…Amanda came right down to the hospital at 5am…right to Jesse’s side.  She didn’t want to leave him.  When Jerry and my mom came in, she gave my brother (her dad) and my mom (grammy) the biggest hugs and there were many many tears of  JOY!!!  (My One Word for 2015)  When my mom called to give me one last update this evening, mom asked Amanda if she would talk to me for a few minutes.  So I talked with her.  I cried.  I told her how much I have missed her.  I asked her about her job.  I asked how her new marriage was going.  I also asked if we could  get together and talk some more. We have another Christmas party down in Iowa this coming Saturday.  We are going to cut that visit short so we can head to Mason City to see Jesse.  Then we will travel back through my hometown of Northwood to stop at the restaurant to visit Amanda for a few.  I can’t wait to hug that girl!! 
I won’t be going down any sooner unless things get worse. I have way to much on my plate with Katey at the moment. Lots of things and decisions that need to be made soon. Her mental health social worker will be here tomorrow and we will be talking about what the next step will be. I do know she will be going through more testing and functioning skills also. 
So much stuff. I’m a tad overwhelmed and feeling a lot of body pain from my autoimmune disorders. My immune cells are fighting with each other and have landed in my voice box.  So I sound really funny with a crackly voice.  I will need to find some doctor to take do some extensive testing to figure out what autoimmune stuff is going on.
Thank you for praying for my family and me  We love you and thank you for taking the time to be there for for us.
Blessings.
If those of you that follow my blog are of the praying type…please keep Jesse and the rest of my family in your prayers.  Jesse has a long healing road ahead of him.  I got a call from my mom and he is still in ICU, his lung is still collapsed and the tube is still in place.  He is bruising really bad.  He is in tons of pain.  When the nursing staff moves him just a little he cries out in extreme pain.  He needs all the prayers he can get.  My brother does too.  His heart is breaking.  Thank you, my friends.
No sleep last night. I’ve been awake since the day before yesterday. I hope to get some sleep soon.  I have taken my night medicine and should be getting to bed soon.
I hope your new year is off to a good start.
Blessings and peace,
Jerry (L) and Jesse (R)

Jerry (L) and Jesse (R)

Emotions, a death, and loneliness

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So many crisis type things happen and I get so overwhelmed and then sleep to start it all over again the next day.  I am hoping they all calm down soon.  I can’t keep going at this pace.
Although, crisis today was my mom calling me at little after 6am to tell me that my uncle had passed this early morning.  My uncle Russ and aunt Alouise are my godparents.  Also my mom and Alouise are sisters and as close as close could be.  As kids our families did a lot together and spent time camping and baking and all sorts of other stuff together.
When mom called and said this to me, I was in the instant numb mode or disbelief.  I knew he was sick and he didn’t want any treatments for anything and no doctors.  He lost his will to live.  This made me incredibly sad.  I have been at that point in my life of feeling like losing my will to live, not by sickness but by depression and anxiety and fear.  But I have chosen to live.
Katey and I live.  We chose to be and do living.  We are about going places and learning new things.
Then bump in the road again.  Katey is struggling so much.  She was diagnosed with ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder 3 years ago.  Her behavior was getting out of control and her mouth too.  I had to make that hard decision about medication or what?  So, I talked to some friends and decided to see what medication could do for her.  The doctor I chose for her to see turned out to be an amazing man.  He tried her on an ADHD medicine and after a few weeks, it was just not right for her.  He talked with me and her teachers.  We tried another and that was BINGO.  Katey had done 360.  She was the loving and kind and calm kid that I knew years ago.  Meltdowns to very few.  Maybe one or two every couple months.  It was awesome.
Then this doctor left to take a position elsewhere.  Sadness.  The transition between 4th and 5th grade has been the worst for her and for me.  I have tried everything I can think of to help her in this.  The EBD teacher, school counselor, her mental health social worker, in home worker ….all of us…trying to come up with something to help her feel more successful.  But it didn’t work.  Her behavior escalated.
Finally, talking with her mental health social worker, I had made the huge decision to look into the YTP-Life Span School and therapy.  That is where she goes to school now.  It’s in Burnsville.  They pick her up and bring her home.  She has therapy part of the day and academics part of the day.  It’s only been a couple weeks but she is learning more about boundaries and what is appropriate.  She is learning about self control and expressing herself with out destructing.  I feel like I have failed her because I haven’t been able to teach her these things myself.
Being a single mom is so very hard at times.  It’s just been her and me since the get go.  I feel so lost.  I feel like I don’t know what to do.
I have met an awesome man a few months ago.  Luckily they get along great.  He backs me up and helps me when I need it.  She is listening more to him as well.  He is so calm and just living moment by moment.  He loves the Lord and makes that known to her and me.  He is a recovering alcoholic.  Maybe that is where he has found that serenity.  He helps me to stay focused on what matters most when I start to get so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. I feel blessed to have this relationship in my life.
All this said…..I still feel lost.  I still feel alone.  I still feel like my faith has been rocked.  I want to be the best mom for Katey.  I want to be there for Robert too.  I need to figure out how to be here for me too.  But I am alone.
This is where it is right now.
I would still like to meet you and talk more.  Maybe you have some more ideas?
It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and I don’t know how I am going to figure out how to make money stretch to the end of each month.  I worry that I am going to let both Katey and Robert down.  (Robert is currently in a sober house in St. Paul).  It’s just my income.  And time.  Again…I am lost.
beautifully broken

Nearing the Holidays

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I know, I know, the holidays are coming up quickly.  I used to like them all at this time of year but have become more cynical, no that’s not the word I want to use.  I am more and more hurt by the actions of my family of origin.  When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, there seemed to be an unwritten rule in my house that bringing someone with for the holiday was ok and great.  The more fellowship the merry.  If someone has no place, bring them home with ya….mom and all of us will make the food that will fill the tummies of a lifetime.

Somewhere along the way that unwritten rule has gotten questioned and wrinkled up noses to me.  I still  have friends that don’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving let alone the Christmas season.  The older I get, I am still a single person (well not right this moment) but was single with a kiddo, and me wanting to bring a friend or two with for the warmth and joy of good food and some fun, was certainly ok. But…….ok.  I am now in a relationship.  He is an amazing man.  Sure he has his struggles, just any of the friends I brought to our house before.  But he is my boyfriend and I want him to be around for longer than just a few months.  I can see me and K getting used to him being around for awhile.

When I asked mom if it was ok if I bright Robert along for Christmas, I got the hem haw.  I told her that she was going to have to get used to him and me because we are together.  He loves K.  He is very good with her, for her.  I know he cares about me as well.  I know that we have fun together, even quiet times, that are comfortable and crazy times, where he continues to tell me to breathe or take one thing at a time.  But come back to my mom…..what happened to the open door policy for those who have no where to go or no one to be with?  Did that go out the door when dad died too?  There seems a whole lot of things that flew out the door when dad passed.  It’s just not fun like it used to be.  It’s like things are strained and my brother and sister and their families and my mom and probably me too, struggle to find a commonality that we can just talk about together.  Bringing up anything that has to do with mental health or chronic pain, is a NO NO. We just on’t talk about that stuff anymore.  No one cares.  Except for me.  I miss that.

Robert is coming to the Olson Crhistmas this weekend and he will be coming to Thanksgiving if there is one planned.  If not, we will cook up a storm here, making Thanksgiving here with just him and me and K.  That is just as good.

We will see.

thanksgiv8ing

Still Awake

depression comes and goes

 

It’s 5:30 am and I am still awake.  I can not sleep….yet again.  This not sleeping thing is driving me nuts.  K will be up in little bit…..we are supposed to be going to church at 10:30.  I wonder if I can catch a few  winks before we actually have to be there.

I had taken my usual meds.  I usually wait awhile to see if they will kick in and make me tired.  But tonight…I guess not.  Shortly after midnight, I was feeling a lot of pain my back…so took a pain med.  That should have made me tired too.  But I here I am still awake.  This sleeping thing is for the birds.

So, about a week ago I had a bilateral epidural done in my low back.  It hurt some when they did the procedure but it actually wasn’t that bad.  I have been feeling better or able to do more since then.  I wake up or try to get up and I have a lot of stiffness in my low back and thighs.  So I do my stretches and then get out of bed.  Once I get moving around, it’s better.  I have twinges of pain if I move wrong or step wrong.  But at least now I can bend down and tie my shoes without so much pain that it brings tears.

I am so sick of pain.  I know I live with this chronic pain and other invisible illnesses.  If I listed them all, you would think I was crazy…..well more crazy then you already think I am.  LOL  The worst right now is the chronic pain and the lupus flare that is going on.  It’s like my body is raging against me.

I will write more later on these invisible illnesses stuff.

In other news……I am taking K to camp today.  She need to be there between 3pm and 5pm.  I think we will leave around 2.  It take a little over an hour or so to get there.  It’s called Lake Wapogassett Bible Camp in Amery, WI.  I am really excited for her to go.  I always loved camp.  I so want her to meet new friends and have a place where people will love on her unconditionally.  She really needs that before the hectic weeks to come before school starts again.  I think I will be the one with tears when I leave her there.  She will be gone until Friday.  I go pick her up after lunch.  I think my mom might come with for the drive up to get her.  Don’t know for sure yet.

gods got this

Yup.  God’s got this too.  There is so much I need to remember when I am freaking out with health issues or having so much anxiety I can hardly breathe.  I keep saying lately that I wish my faith was stronger.  I do.  I haven’t found my place yet.  I haven’t found a home church yet.  We are planning to go to Our Saviour’s Lutheran today.  It’s one of the bigger Lutheran churches here.  I read that during church some of the kids that went to Camp Wapo are going to talk about their experiences there.  The church sent kids to camp a week ago, I guess.  If we had been going to this church on a more regular basis, I think K would have been able to go with the kids from church.  My goal is to start going weekly.  To try to become involved more and get K in Sunday school and doing stuff with the youth.  She will be in middle school this year and they do more stuff than when she was in elementary school.

Anyway, I need to keep writing….maybe it will help empty my mind so that sleep might come more easily.

The sun is rising.  The sky is pretty this morning.

I hope you all rested well.  ♥

I made an error

I made and error when I said I was going to do the Zero to Hero challenge.  After reading the first day’s challenge, it’s for folks that are going to make their blog about something that is not a personal journey or journal or something of that sort.  MY blog is about my personal journey, hence the title “Journal to Wholeness”!  So, I will have to see if there is another type of challenge.  I know I saw another one called something like 356 writing prompts or something of the like.  I will have to try to find it….

As for today,  K had another fainting thing.  She got all light headed but she didn’t fall down on the floor, she was able to get herself to the couch…but she didn’t go out cold.  She told me she felt sick.  She did get very pale.  She tried to drink  a bit of water, but then she tossed her cookies a few times.  Then she was all ok.  She drank some more water and then ate her toast that she was making.  Scared the living daylights out of me…again.  This type of thing hasn’t happened in almost a year.  I don’t know if she had low blood sugar or what.  She was just standing there.  It wasn’t like she got up fast or anything.  I called the on call doctor.  I will be calling her doctor today and making an appointment for her.  She needs to get her blood checked and levels checked.  I hope that she doesn’t have diabetes.  She is such a sugar kid.  I have tried to get her away from sugar, but I can’t seem to wean her away from it.  Just can’t get her to stop or lessen her intake.  Even if I don’t have it here.  She seems to want it all the time.  I guess I need to stop buying high sugar anything all together.  But I can’t let her lose anymore weight.  Her ADD meds make her lose weight.  Can’t afford that.  Something needs to be done.

Well, off to make appointments and cleaning and such today.  Tomorrow and Sunday are the last Christmas celebrations for the end of 2013.  LOL  I hope we make it back home on Sunday at a decent hour.  School on Monday….gotta figure out how to work in getting homework done in the in between times.

Day 27 Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  I will be leaving in the morning so I will say my happys tonight.  I am so thankful for my online family and friends this thanksgiving too.  My family of origin knows how thankful I am for them, I constantly tell them that.  But I am not sure how much my online family and friends know.  I am very thankful for all of you who read my blog and who hang out with me on facebook and such.  Y’all make coming online more fun and more exciting.  Knowing that someone out there cares about me and my Kbug and what’s going on in my life is amazing.  I am truly interested in your lives as well.  I love hearing stories and tales of happenings in your lives as well.  I love hearing about your families, trips, boyfriends, girlfriends, mishaps, love stories, fights, anything that is going on.  That makes life so much more fun and interesting.  I am so thankful that God put you into my life.  May our paths cross more throughout the course of this lifetime. ♥♥♥