Time to Heal

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When I started this project 9 months ago, I promised to be truthful and real, no matter how it may look. I didn’t want to sugar coat my life or make it something it wasn’t because this project was to be about realness, about being broken and finding Jesus in those moments when your low seems like it can’t get lower. It’s also about the good moments, the love and joy and the healing and happiness. It’s about life, the good and the bad and the tough and the easy. I never want it to deviate away from those principals.

With that said, I have struggled with depression most of my adult life. Sometimes, it hides in the inner corners of myself, and I push through with smiles and laughter and it doesn’t seep into my daily life. Then, there are those times where seemingly out of nowhere it grasps me and drags me down, confining me to the comfort of my billowy blankets, unable to face the world. When the latter time start to outweigh the better times, I know it is starting to be a problem.

That time is now.

In deciding to open up about my depression on here, I am doing something that many people don’t like to do, myself whole-hearty included.

I am admitting that there is a weakness in me, a flaw, that I am no quite sure how to handle.

I am admitting, to the friends, family and readers that I don’t have it all together. That, is a very hard thing to do. But, then again, it isn’t much harder than navigating the world of depression itself.

There are people out there that believe depression isn’t real, that it is or isn’t cured by medicine, that it’s lazy, that it’s a matter of “get over it”, that it is selfish, that it is an excuse .. that it’s this or that.

I am here to tell you my personal story, and only that. I know depression robs me of moments with my family and loved ones. It steals my joy. It takes the things that I hold dear and makes them undesirable. It takes the core of who I am and leaves me lost and lonely, even amongst people who desperately want to pull me out of it. I know depression is real, that I fight it daily, and that there is no one in this world that wants rid the sadness inside of me more than I do.

My husband and I made the move from Mississippi to Maryland to live closer to family and pursue our dream of being full-time missionaries. That is still our dream. Right now, my sweet husband is allowing me time to heal myself, before we move onto the next phrase of trying to help and heal others.

This season, as I am calling it, in my life is going to be about me. Of finally taking my health in my own hands, and doing what I need to do to heal. My 20’s have been plagued with these bumps and bruises of pains and hurts that I have gathered along the road of life. I’ve tried to heal them with time alone, hide them away and bury them, but they always come back, bigger and stronger.

Now, I have to face them.

I’m telling you this now, because that’s my job as Editor and Writer of this project. I am telling you this now because there are dark spots in our lives sometimes, and we don’t have to hide them, not from God, not from our loved ones, and not from anyone. I am telling you this so that you know, whatever you are dealing with, it’s okay. It’s okay to feel pain, to crumble sometimes, to not stand strong.

It’s okay to take time to heal.

I thank you all for your kindness, your thoughts and mostly, your prayers during this time,

Jenny

Photo Credit by Flickr Creative Commons Vinni123

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Christian Mothers, Love One Another

This blog has been a long time coming.

It’s going to be a call out to our judgmental, prideful, and worldly hearts. It’s a hot topic these days. I may offend some people, but honestly I think we could use that. It’s about us, moms. About how we stare down our noses at other moms and the way they parent. There is nothing that gets my blood boiling faster these days other than seeing a mother criticize or argue with another mother over breastfeeding versus formula, organic versus processed, epidural or home birth, etc.

I honestly feel like Satan has taken a beautiful, Spirit-lead role and demeaned it down to nit picking each other to make ourselves feel better. Image

Let me back up {and take a deep breath}. I have been the blessed mother of Jude Garrison Taylor for almost 2 years. He is a gift. He is passionate {stubborn}, adventurous {dangerous}, funny {wild}, loving {momma’s boy} and a picky eater {ugh}. I literally think he is the best kid in the world, and I love being his mother. I’m still learning how this looks every day, and most of the time I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing! I pray a lot more and ask for a lot of wisdom. I am also pregnant with our second baby boy, Graham, and we are beyond grateful for this gift too.

However, I have never felt more judged or more “watched” since becoming a mother. I have never been in a stage where other women were so quick to give their two cents on what I should or shouldn’t’ do, how I should calm down or try their tactic {which is unsolicited}, or felt more boundaries being pushed past in really inappropriate ways. The guilt or feeling of failure as a mother immediately had come right after their words, and I realized that it was not from God. But still, it hurts. It hurts to feel that because I had an emergency c-section some women think I am weak or failed at giving birth. It hurts that some women look down at me because my son weaned himself from breastfeeding at 6 months old, and I had to use formula. It hurts that some see Jude carrying around a bag of Cheezits, and shake their heads in disgust. I just don’t get it. Why are we this way to each other?

Why, when mothering is so hard already, takes so much prayer and strength, would we beat each other down like this?

Why can’t we just love each other and be there for each other when we are going crazy?Why do we feel like failures because we aren’t doing the million Pinterest ideas for homemade organic snacks or creative fun activities, and really we just got through the day without any meltdowns? I call that a success! How is arguing over birth or your right to show everyone your breasts in public while you nurse really the best thing to do with our time? It breaks my heart.

Christian mothers, we need to get back to a few basics. One being that the point of mothering is to lead our sweet and rebellious children to the only thing that will truly give them a full, rich, life: Jesus. Not organic produce or breast milk. JESUS. The other being that these children are not our own, they are God’s. He knows their deepest needs, He loves them more than we do, and He wants better things for them than you can come up with. There is no need to argue or fight with anyone for them. He will fight for them. He will satisfy them. There is no need to judge any mother for how she is mothering because He is leading her in the way she should go. Trust God with her mothering, and trust her to trust Him with what she should do. Let the Spirit lead each person to what Jesus is calling them to do, whether that is having their baby in a bathtub or having them in a hospital. Let’s encourage and lift up all of our beautiful and brave mother friends, and support them in whatever God is asking of them.

I’ve got to say this in full disclosure: I do buy organic products often. I think breastfeeding is great. I also used formula. I also let Jude eat hot dogs and ice cream. I really hope to have a vaginal birth this second time. I do think about what I put in my family’s bellies but I also love to get them fries & nugs! BUT none of these things is the MAIN THING. These are fleeting, worldly things.

The main thing is that I discipline my children towards righteousness. That I lead them towards repentance. That I rejoice over their choices to be kind and giving. That I model how to be a servant. That I love them with the love Christ has loved me with.That I take a breath and realize He is in control of them and every detail of their life.

Can we free each other from feeling guilt and shame as mothers? Can we just love and accept each one as a sweet gift to the body of Christ and trust her to do what God asks of her? Can we just lay down our own insecurities as mothers and let each woman feel the freedom God has given her to parent? I would so love this. I know I’ve been guilty of judgment and these words and prayers are for my heart first, and for yours next.

Children are a gift from above, along with every other good thing we have. I hope we steward them well for God’s glory and for their joy. That they would know Him, love Him, and honor Him should be the only fighting we ever fight for, sweet Mommas.

Chavon