Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rapture PTSD

There it is.
I have had it.
I think in some sort of odd way...
I still have it.
Not scared it is going to happen anymore.
Just scared of bringing up the feelings.
All that went along with the ridiculous rapture talk.
In the 4th grade when I first heard about it.
Watch a movie.
A Thief in the Night/A Distant Thunder.
Let me say it again...
4th grade.
Went along with my parents to a high school event.
New Years Eve.
Sat in the back and watched in horror.
What is this?
People disappearing in the middle of the night.
Planes crashing.
Cars wrecking.
People reeling.
And then...
The people who were left behind?
No food.
Fires and death.
And then?
They had to choose.
Get the mark of the beast or get their heads chopped off.
That's how it ended.
The star of the movie up on the platform ready to die.
The sound of the guillotine.
Lord help us all.
Deep breath.
I just found the darn movie on youtube.
Watched some of it to make sure I was remembering right.
Oh... I was.
My nine year old self didn't miss a beat.
The horses, the barn fire, the men with guns.
~ side note ~
I didn't remember how incredibly horrible the acting was.
How cheesy the entire film actually was.
Cheesy and Horrifying.
I absolutely remember the aftermath of what this movie did to my brain.
I slept with my parents night after night.
Holding their hands.
Praying they wouldn't be taken from me.
Praying I wouldn't have to get my head chopped off.
It scared the hell out of me.
And made me want to tell all of my fourth grade friends.
I needed to scare the Hell out of them as well.
I was so sure it was going to happen any day.
I knew it would happen before I graduated high school.
All the signs were there.
Everyone in my life was talking about it.
I had better be ready.
We all had better be ready.
No being "left behind" for me.
Then I had children.
The "Left Behind" generation.
They didn't read the books.
They just had a mom who lived in fear.
Even if I didn't speak it.
They saw the it in my life.
The anxiety of a God who was more about terrorizing children than loving them to himself.
Yep... I lived in fear.
What if they get left behind?
What if they have to go through the seven years of tribulation?
What if we are going through it now?
What if our social security numbers are the mark?
What if?
What if?
What if?
In the last few years my "What if?" has been changing.
I'm seeing everything differently.
Believing God doesn't bring us to Himself through scare tactics.
It's his love that draws us to Him.
It's his kindness that leads us to repentance.
Learning Theology...
Studying who God really is...
Has led me to believe that these movies were all a crock of...
Scare tactics to win people to christ.
Which christ?
The music and the verses that were displayed in this movie were haunting.
I was just talking to my sister about all of this a couple of days ago.
And then I saw the tweets today.
All of the #raptureanxiety.
I am not alone.
The PTSD from these scare tactics is prevalent.
Remembering all of the voices.
All of the scary nights.
All of the prayers lifted to a God who would snatch up a parent and leave us behind.
Holy Smokes.
Can we all start a big support group?
Those movies had more of a negative impact on my life than Jason, Freddie and Michael put together.
Please Lord,
Let us learn more and more the Truth of who you are.
And how you draw people to yourself.
I understand we do not what the future holds.
But I do know one thing.
The God who holds the future?
He isn't out to scare little children into following him.
He just doesn't work like that.
His love is better than life.
Oh God, would you heal us?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Prozac Detox Adventures

New day.
New thoughts.
New words.
Trying to do this every day.
Make myself write something.
My Prozac journey.
Coming off the darn stuff.
One week into it.
I've been on an antidepressant for three years now.
It has worked for me.
I went on the Prozac because at the time I couldn't stop crying.
Anxiety mixed with depression.
I was used to the anxiety.
But the crying???
I'm sure it had a whole lot to do with Dad's death.
There were other factors playing in.
Perfect storm.
I reluctantly took my first dose.
Within a couple of weeks I was functioning more like myself...
The tears had stopped.
I could go to the grocery store.
It was a welcome relief.
Since then, my anxiety and ocd has been up and down.
But, I will tell you what...
There have not been many tears.
Almost none.
Maybe a few.
But almost none.
I told my doctor last week that I am ready to feel again.
Ready to shed some tears...
On the dark days...
As well as the happy days.
One thing about my dad?
He wasn't afraid to shed a tear.
Grandkid's performing.
Guaranteed tears.
I haven't done that kind of a thing in a long while.
When I told Dr. G. about it, she said "Nope, that's not right."
Said it's time for that to change.
So here we are.
Counselor says my anxiety level is fine.
She believes it is time as well.
So here we are.
I may have snapped at Kev last night.
Then I reminded him of my detox.
He said it's gonna be ok.
We will get through it.
Doc says 6 weeks of the ups and downs.
Not to fret if I feel worse for a hot minute.
Is there ever a "good" time to do the detoxing?
Not sure.
But let's do this.
Oh, my poor cheerleaders.
The ocd was actually coming out last night at practice.
"Put your fingers together!"
If they thought I was picky about their motions before?
Well... it will make them even better.
And maybe even so good that I will shed a tear when they perform?
Here's hoping!

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Messy, Muddy Life

I had a dream.
Last night.
So real.
So memorable.
Need to write it down.
Some of the women from our church were hanging out.
Ready to take a hike in the woods.
It had just rained.
Inches and inches of rain.
A muddy mess.
I thought for sure we would cancel the hike.
Can you imagine walking in that?
But... as I looked in front of me.
My friends were taking off their shoes.
They were rolling up their pants.
Ready for the challenge.
Are you kidding me?
We're doing this?
We're really doing this?
Let's go.
It's gonna get messy.
We are about to get dirty.
Real dirty.
There may be snakes and probably lots of bugs.
And I'm a magnet for mosquitos.
Oh... and no men are with us.
Just us girls.
And there is a little laughter.
Some talk of grounding.
You know... going barefoot is good for you?
Well then.
Let's hike.
I woke up this morning and actually thought about going on a hike today.
It would be muddy.
The rain was heavy last night.
I could take off my shoes.
Reinact the dream.
Then I remembered.
In my dream?
We were not alone.
We were together.
I don't have to hike the woods, barefoot, alone.
This dream seems to be significant.
Right now... in my life.
In all of our lives.
We women... we are strong.
We can laugh at the days to come.
We can do this thing.
There is so much to be done.
Right here.
We were made for such a time as this.
Let's go.
Let's get dirty.
It will be hard and gross and scary.
Exactly what we were made for.
To love so deeply we are willing to roll up our jeans and enter in.
Thank you God for giving us this day.
Help us to see what it means to go for it.
In the little and big.
From the dirty diapers to taking care of elderly parents.
From our own backyards to the nations.
The mess makes life worth living.
And... God?
Thanks for the laughter along the way.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Safe Place For Thoughts

Friday ~ November 3, 2017

I need to write.
In a safe place.
An area where I'm free to be myself and tell my thoughts.
My learnings.
My leanings.
Every day I'm growing.
Eyes are opening.
Breathing deeper.
Excited to explore.
Claudia told me this week that I am "courageous".
Fearful and timid seem more like it.
But, oh how I long to be what she said.
Podcast I was listening to yesterday said to make a list.
Three adjectives.
Words I want to be true of me in five years.
He said high achievers will make this list.
I decided to be a "high achiever".
 1.)  Joyful (full of joy).
 2.)  Healthy (stop seeing myself as a disease waiting to happen).
 3.)  Courageous (for real... excited about what this life has to offer).
I want to say "I'm not afraid anymore!"
I want to trust God with my life.
Not a naive look at life.
But a deep gut level belief that I am loved by God.
That we all are.
I went to the doctor a couple of days ago.
Told her I think I'm ready to wean off my Prozac.
Lord have mercy.
I'm taking it slow.
I told her I want to feel again.
To cry again.
I went on the antidepressant 3 years ago when the tears wouldn't stop.
Life was so uncertain at that time.
My brain needed a reprieve.
I knew that I wouldn't be able to cry.
It happened before.
I was ok with it at that time.
Now I'm ready to shed some tears.
Happy and sad tears.
I've grown a whole lot in these 3 years.
Counseling has been amazing.
Podcasts have been a tremendous help.
A whole change in the way I eat.
I have a dog.
And a room that I can sit in to meditate and be near nature.
Let's do this.
The doctor said it will be a rollercoaster.
I need to give it a couple of months.
I want to document this.
Maybe it will help others.
Writing it down will help me.
To see where I've come from.
Where I am heading.
Even if I am the only one reading this.
It's all good.
Might even be safer that way.
Typing brings relief.
Helps me breathe.
Helps me think.
This blog has helped me walk through some dark times.
I'm glad I can go back and reflect on those days.
Thankful today for a place to "let go".
Gonna do this more.
I say it and then I don't do it.
Let's just see how this goes.
So much to say.
Lord Jesus, help me to be courageous with my words.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Year 5 -- A Letter to Dad

5 years
And yet?
Just yesterday.

Oh Dad,
How can I miss you as much as I do?
Absent from here for five years.
And yet?
Still very present in all of our lives.

We had to pull out our old memory box this week.
Lance was wanting to wear Kevin's Varsity jacket on "dress like your parents day" at school.
He's a senior, ya know.
For real.
Our baby is in his last year.

I saw a picture in that box of you, m and me at my graduation.
You looked young.
Happy to have your arm around me.
Proud of me.
Your baby.
The last of five.
Your favorite.
I know.
I kid.
And yet, I think we all felt that way, Dad.

Remember the "tunnel tunnels"?
Those forever tunnel going under the mountains on our way to Virginia?
If I close my eyes I can still feel like I'm sitting on the hump in our front seat...
~The "car seat" of the 1970's~
And you are pretending to be scared as you drove us through that long, lighted tunnel?
Oh, and using your pretend voice?
I miss that voice.
Holy Smokes.
You know what?
I think I use that voice now.
With our grandkids.

I wish they knew you.
Well, wait a minute.
It's almost like they do know you.
Through us.
Your legacy lives on.
Your love for life still flows through us.
Those silly songs are still being sung.
Cards are still being played until all hours of the night.
The tickle mousey lives.
Milkshakes are still being made.
Even the "car game", Dad.
We all still talk about and play the "car game".

You made life fun.
You didn't take it all so seriously.
You laughed a whole lot.
And made us laugh too.
Ball games.
Trampolenes and pool tables.

We didn't have a ton of money.
Didn't live in a big house.
One tiny bathroom.
Shower in the basement.
Somehow though?
Our little home was a safe haven.
A comfortable place for everyone to congregate.
Mom's kitchen was always open.
Soup on the stove.
You siting in your rocking chair.
Reading the paper or waiting for the mail.
Available to talk.
To listen.
To tickle.
To rock.
Just plain available.
Thanks for that, Dad.

I broke my ankle this past year.
it was completely humbling and a tad bit funny.
I think you would have laughed.
But it knocked me off of my feet for a good couple of months.
And I sat.
You know what the kids said about it?
They kinda liked knowing they could find me on the couch when they needed me.
That was you, Dad.

If one of us needed picked up from school?
Call Dad.
If I needed someone to rock one of my babies.
I will just call Dad.
Ok... I know, you maybe threw it at us and said "Just take it all".
Haha... that makes me smile just thinking about it.
You know why?
Because it didn't scare me.
You never did scare me.
As mad as I made you sometimes?
I wasn't ever afraid.
I don't think ever.

Again, how can I thank you?
I think I'm learning how.
By being me.
Enjoying life.
Loving my kids.
Your grandkids.
Loving Mom well.
~She is starting to say she is ready to go and be with you.~
~You can't have her just yet though.~
~Not just yet.~
I can learn to laugh a little more.
I can stick with the Tigers.
I know right?
You know what I did one day when I was missing you?
I listened to an old replay of a Tigers game.
Just wanted to hear Ernie Harrell's voice.
Music to my ears.
The sound of my childhood summers.
Baseball and golf.
No Air conditioning.
No problem.
Sweat it out.
Go play outside.
Go to the pool.
Enjoy life.
Enjoy the outdoors.

You helped show us all how to live.
I'm sitting here with Leslie right now.
We are watching a few of your grandsons play Spikeball in the backyard.
Football is on T.V.
Mom is in Columbus holding your newest great grandson.
She got to see Sawyer play in The Ohio State Band earlier today.
I know...
Not Michigan...
BUT... you would be so stinking proud.
You would have shed a few tears watching him.
And let's be honest.
Holding that baby too.
And watching the boys in the backyard.
All of it.
You would have shed tears for all of it, Dad.
That's what we all love about you.
Your love for us.
Miss ya, Dad.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Bad Boys

Remember the good old days?
The late 80's - early 90's.
The Bad Boys.
They were incredible.
Isiah Thomas was my favorite.
That smile?
So cute.
Dad and I watched them every night when I was pregnant with Alyssa.
The Detroit Pistons?
In my heart of hearts...
Could do no wrong.
Joe Duuuumars.
Vinnie (the microwave) Johnson.
Dennis Rodman - Mom's favorite.
She said he "ran like a deer down the court".
We loved our Bad Boys.
Even Bill Laimbeer.
I'm not kidding.
In my eyes?
He could do no wrong.
I'm serious.
Stop laughing.
He was just what we needed.
He got the job done.
It may have been a dirty job.
Someone had to do it.
I knew he had haters.
Lots of them.
But he was good for us.
Good to us.
If there were flaws?
I could look over them.
For the sake of the team.
For the sake of the back to back championships.
I did not wear Bill Laimbeer's jersey.
Would never do that.
But I was a Piston.
Through and through.
Oh, and do you know who I couldn't stand????
Who was so evil in my eyes?
Michael Jordan.
So overrated.
I know right?
Michael Jordan = Evil.
How dare he keep "my" Isiah off the Olympic dream team?
He was so mean.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago.
30 For 30.
The show on ESPN.
A special on my Bad Boys.
How fun.
These older bad boys...
All talking about the glory days.
The fighting.
The "you do what ya gotta do to win" attitude.
The stories about Bill.
He was such a jerk.
They were all admitting it.
Even Bill was admitting it.
I looked at Kevin and said "He was such a jerk".
Kev laughed and said "ya think?".
"No... like I mean, a REAL JERK".
"Seriously Karen, you didn't know that?".
No! Nope! I couldn't see it.
And if I did see it, I excused it.
You know... for the good of our team.
Was I blind?
Who was I kidding?
It's just basketball though.
I mean, who cares?
Again... for the good of the team.
I "kinda" get it.
I'm just wondering if this plays out in other areas of my life.
Blind spots.
Looking past the lies... for the good of my team.
Oh Lord,
For today.
Open my eyes.
Help me to see what's really going on.
Break my heart for what breaks yours.
Bring Truth into the light.
Eyes on you.
The author and perfecter of my faith.
Lover of my soul.
Open my eyes.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Image may contain: outdoor and one or more people

hey dad.
4 years?
just yesterday.
and yet?

4 years later? 
here's what i know.
i think about you so much.
i wonder if you somehow know?
you are still so much a part of our family.
we carry on your legacy.
well, maybe not the michigan part.
you really liked those wolverines.
didn't you?
ya know what? 
i kinda did too.
I kinda still do.
our little secret, dad.

guess what.
we got a puppy.
man, is he ever cute.
of course, we named him after the ohio state quarterback.
jt barrett.
you would love him.
and he would adore you.

oh, and we bought a house.
you should see mom's room.
it looks like a little piece of schultz st.
the piano.
her hummels.
your wedding picture.
and we out in two sturdy doors.
she can watch hallmark and fox news now...
just as loud as she wants.

i'm sitting in our florida room as i type this.
windows open.
it's beautiful.
know what i love most about this house?
i can hear the trains.
sounds just like home.
music to my ears.

we have a big front porch.
just like growing up.
I have so many memories of us on that porch, dad.
you and me.
playing the "car" game.
hours upon hours.
we never got bored.
how did that never get old?

and you, sitting on our porch, watching me twirl my baton.
you loved to watch me practice.
you loved to watch all of us kids practice.
no matter the sport.
whatever the extracurricular activity.
our orvie would be there.
enjoying it all.
possibly even shedding a tear.
i mean probably.
probably shedding a tear.
every time.

oh dear.
i miss you dad.

you know you were a pain sometimes though, right? 
remember when tami used to come to the front door?
what you would yell?
every stinkin time???
"nobody's home!"
why was that funny?
every stinkin time???

remember how you would wake us up on sunday mornings?
"whoop de doo. whoop de doo.
time to get up and go to sunday school."
oh man.
i hated that.
"no dad...
leave me alone...
you wouldn't.
leaving us alone was not an option.
you were going to church on sunday morning.
and... we were going with you.
thanks for taking us dad.

thanks for waking us up with silly, ridiculous songs.
thanks for putting us to sleep at night with silly, ridiculous songs.
i'm still singing them.
the tradition continues.
rock and sing.
sing and rock.
and sing.

i went with alayna to a golf match the other day.
i had to get a hotdog and mountain dew.
for old times sake.
everything there?
was a reminder of you.
me and you.
so many summer days at auglaize.
driving your golf cart.
my dad owned his own golf cart.
coolest dad ever.
and you never seemed bothered by having me come along.
your friends didn't mind either.
i knew the rules.
right, dad?
be quiet.
don't drive the cart on the greens.
don't twirl the golf hole flag.
that was the hardest rule to follow.
i still wanna twirl that dang flag.
every time i'm at a golf course.

i was such a girl.
a flighty, boy crazy, girl.
a daddy's girl.

we didn't have much money.
remember when i would ask for $5 for mcdonalds?
your response?
"can't ya just eat a bologna sandwich?"
i would just smile.
and you would give me the cash.
you spoiled us. 
didn't ya dad?
with the little money we had.
you spoiled us.
at least, i felt spoiled.
never had designer jeans.
didn't live in the suburbs.
that front porch?
well, know now.
what you did give us?
worth so much more than money.
was time.
lots of time.
not a whole lot of lectures.
you weren't a man of many words.
you were a dad with lots of smiles.
and hugs.
and happy tears.

how about the time you went to the ER with me?
you made me laugh as they stuck me with needles.
and you told me to think about santa claus 
even though i was 28 years old?
it worked dad.
and i still think of santa claus today when they stick me.
and it still works.

i'm gonna say it again this year, dad.
you taught us well.
the whole "love of God" thing.
you never took all of our pain away.
we never asked you to.
you did, however walk through the pain with us.
always there.
always present.

even though you aren't here with us anymore.
at least not physically.
and we won't hear you sing "i've been working on the railroad".
or "comes the mousey, comes the mousey".
those days are over.
you have been transported to another place.

what you have left with us though?
your love.
love never ends.
your love for us carries on, dad.
your love for life carries on.
and your love for Jesus?
carries on.
in us.

as mom always says...
"precious memories,
how they linger".
your love dad?
it pointed us to a God who loves us.
it still does.
a father's love.
i know full well not everyone has that.
and money sure can't buy it.
i also know you weren't perfect.
although, mom thinks you were.
but on days like today?
we will eat hohos.
we will drink milkshakes.
we will watch videos of you.
we will laugh.
we will cry.
we will celebrate.
your love.
your life.
your legacy.