What I Need

I was driving and listening to one of the Christian radio stations we have here and the dj played an intro to a song. The intro was from one of the artists who’s song was about needing Jesus. And it hit me. I need Him. I really do. I was thinking of all the times in my life I thought I could do it on my own or thought I was doing things in my own strength and how very wrong I was/am.

I started thinking of how many times I didn’t thank God for his goodness and mercy. I repented for transgressions that happened a long time ago. He knows. I’m sitting here at the ferry terminal waiting to go to work and I realize He is here. Right here in this building full of people waiting to get to work, school, tourists… Our Lord and Savior is alive and well and He is with us wherever we go even in times or trial, especially in times of trial. I never before thought of The Lord as being so… so tangible. His love is amazing and all anyone has to do to receive it is accept Him as your Savior; the Lord of your life.

I also thought of The Gospel. The truth that God sent his only son who lived a sinless life to die a horrible death for us all of us. It’s so very humbling and unreal and so very real at the same time.  The Gospel is indeed good news!

I thought of all this while driving home from bringing my daughter to my Mom’s for a sleepover. It’s amazing how God will meet you where you are when you’re least expecting it. He meets you where you are… You don’t need to be “perfect” or cleaned up or have your act together to meet Him. The Lord takes you as you are and loves you as you are.

She’s an Adult.

I’m so proud of my daughter Alyssa. She started college today. Her first day. Tommy drove her in to Manhattan with him this morning. She said it went really well except for being unable to find her first class and arriving there late. She even made a friend. Everything you want for your child. I’m proud of her for going to college by herself in Manhattan. She’s very familiar with the city having gone many times with friends either shopping or going out to eat. But this is different, even though she’s still living at home she’s grown wings and is flying solo. She’s an adult.

Alyssa even went on an interview today to pass out a magazine during the upcoming fashion week. It’s a paid position and she has the opportunity to meet many different people including celebrities. I’m excited for her.

My heart swells for her. I love all my girls but Alyssa is my first girl. My first child after Thomas who was able to show me what a typical kid could do. And do it fabulously. I think of the days we lived in Jersey. Thomas would be going off on a tantrum and put in his room to calm down. I used to sit with Alyssa in front of Thomas’ door (guarding the door until he calmed down). Alyssa and I would sing the alphabet or her favorite Sesame Street song. She was 2 and fabulous even then.

I can’t wait to see what this semester brings for my YaYa. My girl. To watch her grow and blossom even more as an adult. I’m so proud of her.

Worship night

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Worship Night in America presented by Chris Tomlin at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Oh. My. Gosh. It was amazing. Truly amazing. I get goose bumps talking about it and reliving it all over again. All the artist he had lined up were so, so talented and so very dedicated to serving our great God. The special guests were Louie Giglio who preached a very moving session on traveling “the 20 inches” between our knees and the floor to pray for our nation. This man had all of Madison Square Garden on our knees and praying, very moving and oh so powerful. Max Lucado was another speaker he was so wonderful reinforcing how much we are loved by our God that we should let Him love us; we can call our Heavenly Father just that “Father, Abba, Papa” because He loves us so.

The musical artists were, Matt Redman, Matt Maher, Phil Wickham, Kim Walker-Smith (whose voice was incredible with all the jumping and dancing she did and never once faltered), Bryan and Katie Torwalk, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Tasha Cobbs and the very talented DJ Promote. When Tasha Cobbs took the stage to sing “There is Power in the Name of Jesus” she had the whole Garden mesmerized and singing and worshiping with her, I wish I could describe the feelings she provoked in her performance. The only thing I can do is link her performance of the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pD2zIuiC2g  She sings from her soul.

Chris Tomlin performed his hit “Good Good Father” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqybaIesbuA. He had everyone singing and worshiping. Honestly all the performers had us worshiping the one true God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I haven’t been this moved at a concert since I can’t tell you when. I felt filled with the love of Christ, something I feel is desperately needed in our country. To feel that love and to know it is finished, we’ve been ransomed and paid for by the blood of our beloved Savior.Another song was “How Great is Our God” also by Chris Tomlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBD18rsVJHk. Matt Redman did not dissapoint with “10,000 Reasons” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM

I can’t recall every song that was sung last night but they all prompted you to jump up from your seat, raise your hands in worship and surrender your heart to our great God. f anyone reading this has the chance to see this awesome concert I urge you to go and be prepared to be moved by the power of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Work and “the city”

I was in the city yesterday for work. I had such a great day at work. I met really nice people and the babies who came in to get their ears pierced were adorable and each did really well with the procedure. One family even brought me the most delicious piece of crumb cake sealed in a plastic single serving container. I just looked at them wide eyed and said, “No way…Thank you!”. They were a great family besides the cake, very down to earth and they loved cracking jokes.

I love being in the city. I love the anonymity you have walking down the street. I’ve been thankful that I’ve had nothing but uneventful visits to Manhattan except this one time last week when I was walking from the R train to the Ferry Terminal. I had a sweater thrown over the opening of my bag. This guy on a bicycle came flying by; caught his handle bar on my sweater and then he flew over his bike and did an awesome tucked up somersault to the ground. It was as if he had lessons on falling off his bike. Someone screamed, I froze and watched the whole thing. I asked the guy if he was alright (he literally jumped back to his feet after the somersault) and told him he was caught on my sweater. He said, “Well…it’s very windy out” which it was but still… He said he was fine and we were both on our way. Definitely odd and eventful.

I really don’t mind the commute to the city for my job. I love meeting people from literally all over the world. NYC is definitely a melting pot. I’ve met so many parents from many different cultures and their children are simply beautiful coming from such an array of backgrounds. I’ve also learned and/or picked up on how different cultures act towards each other and their children and that’s interesting. Nothing bad or adverse, just different depending on the culture. When these parents meet me it’s for a specific purpose and I’m kind of chatty so I’ll get them talking too most of the time. There are quite a few first time parents who are so nervous my heart goes out to them. I remember being in their shoes.

I’ve applied to quite a few part time jobs. I don’t necessarily want to leave my job I do like it there and I really like my boss. I simply want more money. I would love even more hours at this current job even though have been given another day. I have a suspicion that I’m exactly where God wants me to be right now. I’ve heard nothing back from over 10 jobs I’ve applied for. Maybe my resume needs a tune up, yes I’m sure it does.

I go back to work in a couple of days. Hopefully this heat wave will break and my commute will be even better with great weather. The ferry is always breezy being on the water, the subway platforms on the other hand can be quite brutal. Even so I still don’t mind. I get to visit and walk the greatest city on Earth and be a part of the living breathing population of NYC.

 

Feeling good :)

I’m wondering when you classify yourself as “cured” from depression?  Are you ever really cured or do you learn to manage this very real chemical imbalance in ones brain?  I feel good most days. I catch myself in a good mood here and there and I no longer feel the irritability, angst, and anxiety associated with depression. I’m looking forward to the future and toy with the idea of stopping my therapist appointments. I see her every 2 weeks now and when I do see her the 45 minutes are filled with various ways I  handle situations in my life.  And we also talk about all the good in my life.

The more I think about it, I don’t think I’m ready to stop seeing her. There isn’t a pressing “need” as was in the past, it’s more of a want to see her. To discuss my life; not dissect it. I think that’s the biggest difference in our talks. To not have my life under a microscope as was when the depression was taking over my life. To say  that the depression was bigger than me that it was taking over my life is accurate. Today I am bigger than the illness. And I’m proud of myself. Proud that I did not give up because giving up cannot be an option.

Im looking forward to events that in the past probably would have been fraught with worry and I wouldn’t have had any joy in them. I recently caught up with a friend who was visiting NY, she lives in California. When I was fighting the depression I wouldn’t have been able to sit and talk with her in the easy manner that we got along. Conversation flowed naturally and I had such joy in our time together. When events like that occur I know. I’m “okay”.

Joy. It can be so elusive. And when you’re depressed even the word can seem like it’s mocking you and seem so close yet so far away.

Letting God In

I remember growing up and attending church. I felt church and God was just for Sunday. I couldn’t imagine applying my faith in God to other areas of my life like school, hanging out with my friends, etc… When I was older and went back to church I again couldn’t fathom letting God in to other parts of my life such as work, friendships, relationships, etc… I mean I believed in God and Jesus but they were “separate”. They were only for Sunday.

It’s only since I’ve been saved do I really understand letting God in to all areas of my life. The Lord has permeated every aspect of my life from my marriage, raising my children, friendships, discussions, my job, you name it; and I am so grateful to have Him there. Yesterday at church Pastor John said, “You are where you are because God has put you there.” I love that. Because it’s so true. I’ve wondered often if I’m working where I’m supposed to be. I’m working as a nurse piercing ears in Manhattan. It’s definitely where I wanted to be geographically but I never imagined myself working in this capacity. Never. I’m exactly where God wants me to be for whatever reason and it’s okay. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that my supervisor just happens to be a Christian. There are no coincidences just things that happen as orchestrated by The Lord.

Having God be a part of every aspect of my life certainly changes the way I think and approach circumstances. I know it’s the Lord’s presence that gives me the calm, patient demeanor I have with my clients. I know it’s the Holy Spirit that gives me words when my kids have questions about God or our Savior Jesus Christ. I know it’s also the Holy Spirit working through me when co-leading my small group/bible study.

I would encourage everyone to simply let God in to all areas of your life. He’s already there you just need to acknowledge Him.

Are You Where You Though yet You’d Be?

If someone were to ask you if you are where you’d thought you would be say 5 years ago would you say yes? What about 3 years or even 1 year ago? My answer would be no. I always pictured myself with Tommy but to tell you the truth I rarely think of the future, I’m not one for planning ahead. We make plans and God laughs is what my husband says. I remember the exact time I stopped making plans. It was after I had the second miscarriage. I kept making these grand plans to have another baby but God had different plans at that time. I did end up pregnant again and giving birth but it was at God’s timing, not mine.

I do think of the future and have hopes. I hope Thomas will be living at a group home in this town where we live when he turns 21. I hope Alyssa gets into her college of choice and is able to dorm in Manhattan the way she wants to without putting herself in a crap load of debt.

If someone had told me 3 years ago I’d be happy and not constantly fighting the depression I don’t think I would have believed them. Three years ago I was still trialing medications and having good times and bad times. I desperately wanted a job, any job. I have no idea what I thought I’d be doing. I was adamant that I not be working in any way as a nurse.

Turns out God did have plans. He wanted me in a better place than I was 3 years ago because a job did materialize. But like everything else it was on His timing. I don’t think I would have been able to keep and do well at a job three years ago. Heck, even 2 years ago I wasn’t doing as well as I am now depression wise. Two years ago I decided I didn’t want any job, I wanted a job in Manhattan; part time.

I’ve been employed now, part time in Manhattan for 17 months. I know this was all in God’s plan for me. I’m working as a nurse but not in a capacity I ever dreamed of. Every day that I work I pray on the way there while on the ferry, sometimes on the subway. I pray for wisdom and discernment and for God to be with me while I’m working. On the way home I pray again and thank Him for being with me. If it were not for Him I wouldn’t be where I am today. Everything I wanted on my terms did not come to be. It was all on God’s timing. And His timing is nothing less than perfect.

The Thrift

So I’ve amassed quite the collection of handbags through my thrifting adventures. I don’t know how it happened but lately I’ve struck gold in the handbag department. A Christian Dior limited edition straw woven bag for the summer, a made in Italy Coach satchel, Bottega Veneta jute woven bag also for the summer and finally a Longchamp nylon tote that is all the rage in Manhattan for commuters so I’m right in style. Some of these bags I find have never been used. It’s crazy to me anyway. I’m such a (self titled) bag whore that I can’t imagine getting rid of any of the ones I’ve found while thrifting. It really is true that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. And before you ask, yes I will use each and every bag~I like to change bags often.

I’m not a one borough thrifter. I love thrifting in Manhattan as well as where I live. I find bargains in Manhattan too. At first I figured I wouldn’t find anything or that things would be overpriced but it isn’t so. Items are priced just as reasonable in Manhattan as they are here. Of course it depends on the store. There are certain chains of thrift stores that benefit a specific cause that I find to be expensive so of course I avoid those stores. I even thrifted in North Carolina while on vacation. A good friend and I hit every store on a major highway at the Outer Banks after sightseeing one day.  I found nothing! No, wait I did find a sweater but it fell apart when I washed it so there you go; nothing. I was so bummed.

I really enjoy the thrill of the hunt. There are plenty of second hand “Thrift” stores online but I prefer finding my own treasures at a store or at a yard sale.  My siblings and I grew up going to yard sales and thrift stores with our Grandfather. He was always finding some “treasure” to bring home. He loved to collect Avon bottles. They were figurines with cologne inside, usually. He even installed a ton of shelving in his basement to display those beloved Avon figures. Unfortunately no one else in the family (that I know of) shared his love of Avon. I have at least one daughter who loves handbags as much as I do thank goodness, so there’s a shared appreciation. My late Aunt Marge was another thrifter. She had a gift of finding gold jewelry. It was like she just knew by looking at a bracelet, ring, etc…that it was worth something.  She was so funny and would always rejoice with you over a good find. As I write this I realize I’m in great company family wise for thrifting. However, I don’t think my husband will install extra shelving in the basement for my handbags.

 

 

Changes

The office where I work has moved. I’m no longer working on the relatively quiet street of East 30th Street, I’ll now be working right on 5th avenue close to the Empire State Building. I helped my boss and her family move into the new place Saturday evening after I was done for the day. I liked where the old office was, nice and quiet kind of tucked away…but now things have changed. My boss is no longer leasing office space from another physician; she has her own office and I’m happy for her. I’ll be happy in the new space once I get acclimated. One thing I’ll have to get used to is the busy-ness of 5th Ave. I felt overwhelmed by the whole New York-ness of the area. And to top it off I didn’t know where the subway station was so I looked like a tourist trying to find my way after we were finished setting up. I had to ask a street vendor for directions and walk 2 blocks to get the 1 train. Two long city blocks. The next time I’ll take a different train, one closer to the office. I’ve already mapped it out.

The new office has 3 rooms, one my boss will be renting out shortly and 2 for her own use. One is almost set up ready for me to begin, we’re just waiting for a sink to be installed which will be nice for me to be able to wash my hands without running down the hall every 15 minutes between clients. I’ll no longer be close to a thrift store I found that was close to the old office. I’ll just have to find another one…I know I will.

The other change is my small group/bible study begins in 2 days. I will admit I’m excited and nervous. I’ve never undertaken anything like this. Any other group I was involved in I was never a “leader” but one who attended. I’m praying this works out well. That I’ll be able to bring God glory through my experiences with Thomas and my family and the depression from the trauma of living with him the last 6 months or so that he was home. I’m praying the book I chose speaks to the other women the way it spoke to me. I’m just praying…

 

 

 

It’s been a while…

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog.  Nothing much has changed since my last entry. I’m still working the job, I still love the Lord, and the family is fine. I’m just quiet. I don’t particularly like being quiet. I need to be shaken up a bit, but in a good way. I’m searching and applying for other jobs but I’ve only been met with rejections. I keep reminding myself that where ever I am is exactly where God wants me to be. I have handed over my trust to the Lord that another job will come along when He feels the time is right and it’s where I’m meant to be. So right now midtown Manhattan twice a week is where I am meant to be and where the Lord wants me. I don’t dislike the job, I do wish I had more hours and more people interaction. I like chatting and interacting with the public. Speaking of the Lord, I’m enjoying church and bible study. I’ve been quiet at both venues though. I used to be very outgoing during bible study, sharing my thoughts and ideas. As of late I’ve been taking a back seat and let others be vocal and just take it all in. There we go with the quiet issue again. I haven’t had anything to share or felt the need to share. I so want to change that. Again I need a shake up. I’m still thrift shopping, finding treasures here and there.  Last week I found the cutest Chanel t shirt and the week before brand new Diesel denim that fit like a glove. Lucky for me both were in my size so I was happy with those scores. On the Thomas front, Tommy and I are officially his legal guardians. When Thomas turned 18 Tommy and I had to file for legal guardianship of Thomas so we will be able to continue to make decisions for him as he is incapable of making decisions for himself. We were fingerprinted and back ground checked.  I find that mildly amusing as no one said boo to me when I gave birth and we were sent home without any kind of instruction manual. But then Thomas turns 18 and we’re subject to whether or not we are capable of being his guardians. We seemed to do a fine enough job for the past 18 years…