Monthly Archives: February 2013

Babies!!!

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Today was the day that my brother and sister in-law got to find out the sex of their twins…Yes I said TWINS yay I am a very serious baby lover their smell and soft skin they way they can just sleep for hours in your arms I can’t see anything that isn’t to love about babies. All day I kept thinking it was interesting that I hadn’t heard from them but as the day went on I didn’t think much of it and figured that I would find out when they were ready. When we pulled up to my house around 4;30 pm and Peanut says mom someone left us balloons I thought no one has a reason to leave us balloons but as we walked up the walk lo and behold balloons are tied outside Peanut kept insisting they were for us and I was confused and thought that they must be for someone else. She wanted to untie then and bring them in the house I insisted that they stay outside and as I was closing the front door it hit my holy crap that it the announcement I yelled to Peanut they are ours they are from James and Cassi oh my goodness they are having a boy and girl I cannot even tell you my excitement!!! Such a creative and fun way to announce that our family will be joined by Paige and Cooper Johnston in July!!! So awesome I am so very excited to be an aunt again I have 4 nephews and 1 niece and I just love being an aunt so I am super excited that with the double trouble arriving soon. ❤

Jenness

c/s

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Calming the Crazy…

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Today I am having a hard time calming the crazy in my head I am breathing deep breaths and in an attempt to manage I did some house cleaning in the midst of my efforts my sister sent me a text today to encourage me…John 14: 26-28 “26  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28  “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” That led me to my go to verse my favorite…Revelation 21: 4 “4‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rarely have I read beyond that I have clung to those words in times of heartache and trouble like a life line to my heart…but today I was reading beyond those verses they seemed to accompany what my sister sent to me…”5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

The parts that speak directly to my heart are…”I am making everything new…To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” I feel as though my soul is parched it is like a dry desert I pray I long and yearn for a solution as my face and arms are tingling and I am shaky herein the words that literally come the mouth of God are a promise to me He says everything will be made new and the thirsty will have their thirst quenched.  My faith is a struggle last night my mom said something that I related to she said that I “seem to be afraid to completely trust God”…and the answer to that is yes I am I have bared my heart and soul open my life and my time a hundred times over to only to have it made to be nothing to be taken for granted and taken advantage of and partnered with that I am scared that the work that is ahead of me will destroy me and the small measure of control I have over things now will slip away from me and I wont have days of being undone I will have a life of being unraveled and crazy. I am so afraid that what is going on is so much more deep than I want to go reliving pain and heartache are before me and I am not sure I can come out the other side of it better for it. I hide from the hurt and I shrink from situations that would highlight my weakness. Openness and vulnerability are nearly 4 letter words to a soul torn apart by abuse, guilt, shame and disappointment in the state of my heart and mind my lack of forward motion in life. I don’t think that I am defeated by these things but what I do think about them is that they need to serve a purpose and it is hard for me to clearly see why my trouble soul lingers and why I get just enough hope and progress to barely get me through another long valley…I want to embrace the words God breathed into the Bible and not live with such a restricted view. Long ago I thought outside of the box I was an optimist and though I tend to be that way with other people’s lives it is hard for me to apply that viewpoint to myself. Though I am experiencing the effects of the anxiety and the current struggles are yet without a solution the words, peace I leave with you; my peace I give you & do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid…are a reminder that I am not alone the fight is not only my own but my Heavenly father cares He doesn’t want me to despair and to let my heart be troubled. He wants me to have peace through it all and to fight for these things.

The rawness and sharp pain of a life not fully lived and appreciated is in and of itself a struggle. I want to be the person God purposed for me to be and I see glimmers of that woman and for that I am grateful…but for the uncontrollable things in my life for the things rob me of my sanity and steal moments of joy and peace from my Peanut and I. I need prayer, I need solutions and I need understanding. I want to come out on top of this a better Mom, person and even more than that a more faithful follower of the King of all creation…one thing I do know is that He has not and will not abandon me even in my darkest pit I have felt His hand and seen His devotion to me. I am always humble and touched that no matter my level of commitment that He still seeks me…what kind of love is this that the wayward child is still pursued by her Father the King of the universe who could have written me off and given me over to myself and the world. He loves me and honors the covenant I made at 8 with Him to be a follower of Christ…”29  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” Matthew 10: 29-31

Facing whatever the day brings, seeking ways to cope in the midst of anxiety and frustration, trying remember the words I have read today are all part of what I think will help me come out the other side of this. I don’t have the answers and I am not ashamed to admit that. I think it would be more shameful to not reach out and seek help to wallow and let myself wither into a shell of myself. I pray for renewal of heart and mind to be freed from the shackles of anxiety and the feelings of inadequacy. God said it Himself…”even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Jenness

c/s

P.S. I took a lovely drive to Bogus Basin on Saturday it brought my heart and mind much peace God put on a real show in the skies…I would love to share His love letter to my heart in the form of the pictures of took of the beauty he created. ❤

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Undone By Anxiety…

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Here I am after a hiatus and tonight my blog is my journal I haven’t been avoiding writing I just haven’t been making time for it. Part of it has been my ANXIETY I am not going to sugar coat it I am not going to try to pretend that I am ok today I am going to try as hard as I can to just say what I need to get off my chest.

As I sit here writing tears are in my eyes, and I am shaking, I feel like I could throw up any minute and my heart is threatening to betray me by stopping all together because it is so heavy that my chest hurts and all of these things are a 4th of what they were yesterday. Part of what is so frustrating about an anxiety/panic attack is that I cannot control it I have been trying for weeks to keep this at bay to manage my stress and to relax, pray and do things that distracted me from the anxiety and panic that was looming at edge of my consciousness. I don’t know how to control this I don’t know what to do.

Two days ago I was subjected to a very high stress situation involving extreme discomfort with a now ex-friend that turned to fear, frankly I can see that it was somewhat unreasonable fear but nonetheless it threw me off the prevention track and into a full on panic/anxiety attack. Yesterday I got up and was just off, irritable and snappy every time I turned around I was snapping at my Peanut for very little I was straight forward and kept asking for my space but as I was on my knees stain removing and trying to talk things out with a friend and all the sudden I knew I needed help and that I was coming undone I didn’t hesitate and I called my dad I told him I was not in a place to be a good mom and that I needed help and he became my angel in the moment without question said yep bring her up. Even not being myself I praise God that I had enough sense to reach out and do what was best for Peanut. After dropping her off I could no longer hold it back or put on a brave face and I came completely undone.

I felt out of control, one minute I was angry the next I was reduced to a puddle of tears. I was driving not knowing where I was going I was trying to rationalize in my head what I wanted or needed and I was drawing a blank…because I didn’t know what I wanted or needed I called my momma and talked with her a bit she reassured me that I had done the right thing with Peanut and that she was there and would help how she could…I got off the phone though knowing Peanut was safe I was once again overcome by crying, shaking and feeling powerless and not having any idea what would make me feel better. I literally went home locked myself in I got in bed and curled up and just let the fan blow over me I laid there for probably two hours. Anxiety is define as…distress or uneasiness of mind (1) one of its synonyms is disquiet…that is such a good explanatory word it means…lack of calm, peace, or ease; anxiety; uneasiness…to deprive of calmness, equanimity, or peace; disturb; make uneasy. (1)

Anxiety is a terrorist of the mind it robs me of my sanity and peace of mind, all of the things in the above definition were felt in hyper drive. It hurts in a way that feels like it cannot be soothed. I was to the point yesterday where I seriously considered checking myself into a psychiatric unit. I have never in my life considered this before but I had a moment where I didn’t know what I would do if I didn’t figure a way to come back to earth…all I could think about something has to work I needed to find a way to cope and as I continued to lay in bed I kept thinking that a hot shower would help but I couldn’t get up I just laid there felt myself breath and felt the pressure of my weight on my arms and pulled in tighter finally through the tears I could feel myself starting to come back to reality…I eventually made myself get up I got into the shower put the water as hot as it could go and I tried to let go praying and trying my hardest to relax under the flow and pressure of the steaming water. Feeling more human with the familiarity of my ritual I got out of the shower and the fog had lifted just enough that I wasn’t feeling completely hopeless.

I got in the comfiest clothes I own and watched one of my favorite shows. My sweet Peanut called to say good night and after I got off the phone I felt blessed for the opportunity to rest…I would like to say I may not have a perfect relationship with my parents but I am telling you right now without them I can’t and don’t want to imagine my life and how different my struggles as a single mom who battles the things that I do would be…I am SOOOO grateful that without question and without judgment my parents have left dinners taken time away from their lives, friends and come to help myself and Peanut. All I have to do is say I need your help and they do it. Praise God they love me that much praise God they love Peanut that much and that they are willing to help us both in this way. I can never ever thank them enough. Throughout the day many people reached out to me and gave me encouraging words and things to hold onto I am very grateful for the sweetness of a new friend and for the rest that God gave me when my head hit the pillow.

This morning though I awoke earlier then expect but it was for good reason…my sweet little Peanut was trying to call me and I woke up just missing call 5 from her I listened to her sweet voice (on my voicemail, which I saved) 🙂 telling me how much she loved me and that she just wanted to talk to me. The 6th call I picked up and had a nearly 20 minute heart warming conversation with my greatest blessing in which I learned that she was using the phone without permission and that her Pop and Hon (grandparents) were not even awake yet. I didn’t care about the naughtiness in the moment I cherished every word from her sweet lips they were salve on my hurting heart. Today was a little easier still shaky and emotional but functional. And for that I am grateful. I am trying to not be a victim of this but to gain better understanding and to find tools to try to prevent the thief of anxiety from robbing me of precious time. Time is something we never get back and all the hours and days I have lost to this makes my stomach turn. While doing some research this evening trying to put some tools in my belt I found a list of things that I think are fairly tangible for me to help manage the crazy…

  • Get daily exercise. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer, can improve your mood and can keep you healthy. It’s best if you develop a regular routine and work out most days of the week. Start out slow and gradually increase the amount and intensity of exercise.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid fatty, sugary and processed foods. Include foods in your diet that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.
  • Avoid alcohol and other sedatives. These can worsen anxiety.
  • Use relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
  • Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor. (2)

I am going to go do the last one right now…before I sign off I want to thank everyone who reads my blog this outlet is literally a life saver for me and I appreciate all who take time out of their day to look in on my life. ❤

Embracing a better tomorrow,

Jenness

c/s

References used in this post…

1. http://dictionary.reference.com/

2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/generalized-anxiety-disorder/DS00502/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies

Lily needs more…

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Traces of her everywhere yet I don’t see the beauty before me the mess is her distress…calling me begging to see how much she needs to be seen today I see her art her and I hand in hand never apart lying everywhere like love letters to my heart…when did this start how could I have pushed her aside damn my foolish pride…my tears are falling my Lord gave me a calling to train and protect to have a positive effect…this little life was but a loan how could I have let her groan the pain heavy on a crazy brain mom driven to distraction when all she was asking was but a fraction…of time to show her love that came from above…wake up and take notice she is a beautiful Lotus embrace the life that was sent to you and no longer will she have to stew…thank God he can renew the purpose He gave to you cherish the moments for in there brevity must come much productivity hoping to bring to her life her true meaning and purpose.

 

I write this to remember to truly see my daughter and to actively participate in her life I was walking through the house tonight pushing the mess aside when I realized that Lily had drawn pictures all over the house of her and I and the things in her life she spent the whole day trying to get my attention and in my purpose driven mind I ignored her cries to me for attention and love, for companionship and the simplicity of me stopping my day to actually spending quality time together. As I write this I have tears streaming down my face because far too often is this the case my baby needs her mommy and I am too distracted to see it. How could I not see that I was hurting the most wonderful and important person in my life. It is my job to mold her and shape her into the person she was meant to be, to help her get the best start possible so that she can face all the things that life is going to throw her way. Praise God for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances. Praise God for the unconditional love of my 5 year-old!! I must humble myself ask for forgiveness and do it better everyday.

Please God show me the way and the path you have for us show me how to be a better mom and to show her everyday how special she is and how much I love her. Let your love shine through me.

 

Jenness

c/s

 

 

Food Stamps…

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Thursday the first of this month food stamps were released . I am a recipient of food stamps and without them would be lost as to how to feed my child. Even when I work full-time there is very little left over to help cover our grocery costs. As a recipient of this program I do not feel entitled to the states help I keep in the forefront of my mind that this is a temporary station in life and I try to use them responsibly. Being that I know they are released on the first I try my best to not shop on the first but the state of my pantry and refrigerator as pictured below…it was an absolute necessity that I go to the store on the first of the month…It was a crazy morning to be at Winco number one reason was because I literally had an entourage with me my ride to the store Frankie,(https://jennessjohnston78.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/i-did-it/) the lovely Abby, my cousin Ron and of course Lily bug. Yes that is 4 adults and 1 child at Winco on food stamps day…it was like a congested highway during 5 o’clock traffic. While I was there, as had been my experience many times, before I learned my lesson not to shop on the first I saw carts literally filled with, sugar filled cereal, processed food packages, the quickest and cheapest food items possible lining the carts and hardly a vegetable or fruit in sight. With the growing number of obese persons and children in our country it made me sad and a bit sick to my stomach to see this phenomenon.

My Fridge Wednesday. :(

My Fridge Wednesday. 😦

A 2008-09 school year BMI assessment of Idaho students in all odd grades 1 through 11 found
that overall, 30.5%of Idaho school children sampled were classified as overweight or obese. The study found that significantly more boys were obese than girls.

Based on results of the 2011/12 Idaho 3rd Grade BMI Assessment and the 2011 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey, there are an estimated 6,200 (29%) overweight or obese 3rd grade students and 17,700 (23%) overweight or obese high school students (grades 9 through 12) in Idaho.

U.S. medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion. Annual medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight (CDC, 2008).

Due to the prevalence of chronic conditions often associated with obesity and the rising trend of obesity in children and youth, today’s generation of children will likely live shorter lives than their parents. (http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Health/DiseasesConditions/OverweightObesity/tabid/177/Default.aspx)

As far as I am concerned this is child abuse…seriously we as parents control what we buy and what our children ingest. Why the hell would people purposefully disadvantage their children in this regard…I may be overweight and have bad habits but I am open honest and talk very frankly with Lily about what the dangers of being overweight are and I am trying my damnedest to provide her with the tools as to how to do it different than I have. One of the arguments is that it is too expensive to eat healthy. To highlight a specific area that people could save money on healthier items…studies are starting to show that because of the flash freezing process that we use to freeze veggies is helping to retain more of the health benefit of the vegetables in comparison to the fresh ones. Because of the fact that vegetables start losing nutrients very shortly after being picked so by the time they make it to our table they don’t have the benefits “fresh” that is available in the less expensive frozen counter parts. Food in general is expensive and I understand the thought behind the quickest and easiest thing to throw together after a long day at work…but lets look at it objectively. I will use my sad trip to the store as an example of why  what we are feeding is not only disadvantaging them but literally killing them as exampled in the statistics above.

According to the Livestrong website (http://www.livestrong.com/article/256927-how-many-calories-should-a-child-be-eating/) children the age of my daughter 5, should be eating 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day…So when at Winco these are the items I saw in cart and I would like to break it down meal by meal with the items I say in people’s carts that are common to the American public…

Breakfast = Lucky Charms and 2% milk

LC 1cup 142 calories

2 % Milk 122 calories = meal totals= 264 calories,  26.3 grams of sugar, and 10.6 grams of protein.

Lunch=Gogurt, pb&j sandwich, chips and milk.

Gogurt 70 calories

PB & J  447 calories,

Chips 200 calories

Milk 122 calories= meal totals= 839 calories, 30.5  grams of sugar, and  24.3grams of protein

Dinner=Mac and Cheese with broccoli

Mac and Cheese= 207 calories

Broccoli- 52 calories meal total=259 calories, 4 grams of sugar, and 14.2 grams of p protein

Snacks = Pop tarts

Pop tarts= 410 calories, 33 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein

Daily totals equate too…

Calories= 1772

Grams of sugar= 77.5

Grams of protein= 47.4

Ok so that is 372 more calories than a child needs in a day ( not to mention that it is approximately 19 teaspoons of sugar if my calculations are right the recommended and or healthy amount per day of sugar is 12 grams)…it takes about 3500 calories more than your recommended daily intake to gain a pound so if  you have a sedentary child that is overeating every day about every 9.4 days they are gaining a pound that is up to 3 pounds a month and in a year it could equate to 39 pounds!!!! Now this doesn’t take into account how many calories they are burning with daily activity and exercise but with the rising numbers of obesity in children, children are obviously not burning off the excess caloric intake. I am so alarmed at this!!!! Breaking down the actual numbers makes me heart-sick. People seriously come on do not kill the next generation before they even have a chance to make a mark on this world…what a broken system we have.

Couldn’t the state put a limit on what people can buy with governmental monies?? I mean if people want to eat crap shouldn’t they do it on their dime??? Over process, enriched, genetically modified food, high salt and fat content as well as high amounts of sugar in all this PROCESSED food is literally killing our children!!! Diabetes, behavior problems and rising numbers of chronic illnesses in children should say it all. Please love your kids enough to do what’s best for them not what’s easiest I understand being tired I understand not having money but aren’t your children more precious than say cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs that people find a way to get while living on food stamps?? I am not making a blanket statement that everyone who is on Food Stamps or assistance in general are drug addicts or completely irresponsible people at all! I am just trying to shed light on a subject that to me is disheartening enough that I felt compelled to speak what was on my heart and mind. I am not perfect and could use some improvement as well in this area for sure!! And for me the take away as a parent is I want every bite that goes into my little Lily bug to have a positive impact on her health…I am not saying that kids should never have “sometimes” food like sweets or a special cereal I think it is that we should be focusing on the overall health and wellness of the generation that will be leading our country sooner than we think!!! So much information is out there do research find out how to best serve your child and do not be ashamed to ask for help from your family doctor, a friend, family member or your local school nurse they may have valuable information that could help in the fight against the ever-growing waists of Idaho and America’s children. I hope I did not offend anyone this is not meant as a judgment just as a HOLY COW something needs to be done and I think education is one of the most effective ways to bring about change. ❤

Jenness

c/s

Links to where I gathered information…

http://www.livestrong.com/

http://caloriecount.about.com/foods