sydney's sidewalk drawing...elijah, sydney, daddy, mommy, kezia

Friday, August 28, 2015

warming up the ol' blog

hmm, does it feel a little cob-webby in here? cuz it seems a little cob-webby in here.

I really enjoy blogging, but life is just, well, life and away it goes with or without you.

I find myself sitting here trying to quick come up with a witty yet deep yet SHORT post I can throw out there, but that ain't gonna happen. 

So, for now, just a gentle dusting off the keys, and preparing my mind to THINK.  I've never been much of a journal-er (except for missions trips), but I find I really enjoy it.  It slows you waaaaay down (it's very difficult to type as fast as you think, am I right?) and give you the time to process through and really understand what it is you are thinking about. 

see you soon....maybe?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Phone Tree - Project Quilt Challenge

My Phone Tree quilt. 
about 24x24, I LOVE my wall hanging quilt.
I'm quilting from Manitowoc, WI. 
The tree trunk is actually a telephone pole, and the leafy portion is an awesome vintage phone print I found at a thrift store last year.
This is a challenge quilt for Persimon Dreams: Project Quilting.
Just a fun online quilt challenge I found.
I've been wanting to make a tree quilt for a while now (check out my Quilts - Trees pinterest board), so I was crankin'* excited about the challenge. 
(* crankin' - adverb. equivalent to very, or extremely...but more interesting than just plain old very)
I started out wanting to make a large throw size quilt...which quickly changed to lap size...which quickly changed to wall hanging.  I had a hard time deciding what to do with the background...I knew what I wanted to do with the phone fabric and telephone pole, but the background didn't get decided until Thursday night!

close up of my thread sketching style around the tree clumps.
Staying up til midnight on Friday and Saturday night was the only way to make it happen.  again, it was hard to figure out how to make the tree shape look like a tree and not just a cloud-like shape floating behind my telephone pole.  Pinterest to the rescue!  I looked up some abstract tree shapes, and found a variety of ways to streamline the tree.  I finished pulling the threads through this morning, then time for church, then had a frantic time posting the pic to the site...with 5 minutes to spare!
 I wish the pole had a little more distinction, but I do like it. 
I may add some hot pink telephone lines at a later time. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

life's a learning experience

I'm in a class/group-therapy/group-counseling/course/thing. 
It's called Freedom Life Skills.
Trying to explain Life Skills (especially since I've really just begun) is a bit of a challenge, so I've copied a blerb from their page:
The first class is an overview followed by several weeks of what abuse really is and its effects on everyone. Denial, emotions, “dirty fighting”, anger, and tools to resolving conflict are highlights of what is covered. The course then discusses why we do what we do; “life commandments”, “arrested development”, reactive lifestyles, and expectations for the different seasons of life for from multiple family backgrounds. From there, the course covers relationships; shame verses guilt, forgiveness, and communication. The last set of weeks pulls everything together showing us positive models for love; friendship, relationships & intimacy in a healthy family.*
It's a 30 week class, 3 hours a week.  It's a lot of information, so I'm thinking of using the blog as a way to process what I'm learning/thinking about.

I guess I'll finish this first introduction to the topic with what I'm hoping to learn and get from the class.

I feel like I can recognize a lot of the things that trigger my anxiety and depression...and anger.  (It's painful and embarrassing to admit that last one.)  However, I am really lacking the skills to cope and work through the problems that trigger me.  I'm hoping to gain some coping skills and techniques.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

a bit of an update might be nice

Sooooooo...we meet again.

I'm not sure what it is about me/my personality, but the longer I go between posts, the harder it is to get back at it.  Something about already being late...I'm not even sure, but, for the moment, I'm back....again.

For those who may not know, Wayne is now...Pastor Wayne.  He became the full time senior pastor at our church in July.  It was such a long journey, in a good way, to get here, and he is pretty darn excited about it all.  And pretty darn exhausted as well.  :)  As many of you fellow ministry friends know, ministry is HARD.  Don't get me wrong (I know some church friends read this, so I don't want to give the wrong impression here), this is definitely where God has called Wayne and us.  It's been amazing for me to watch Wayne grow and mature this past year+ as he has first functioned as the interim pastor and then be hired as THE pastor.  I'm falling in love all over again with this man. 

There has been a lot of growing this past summer, and a lot of "hmm, still need to work on that" for myself.  Glancing back at my previous post, I'm still not sure where Real-Naomi-ton is, but I feel like I am making small strides out of Should-be-ville. 

A big step I took this summer was finally working through our miscarriage from 2008.  I met with a local counselor (a lot) and I think I finally let myself feel.  I'm not big on facing problems head on...I'm more of a ignore it and hope it will go away person.  I was very much stuck in the depression phase of the grieving process. 

I had started a baby clothes memory quilt last November.  I had baby clothes still from each of the kid's first year.  I know many people who make baby clothes quilts for the kid, but I know I wouldn't care too much about what baby clothes I wore, (and probably my kids wouldn't either) but I definitely cared about the clothes MY kids wore.  So, each kiddo got a quarter of the quilt, even Corey (the baby we miscarried).  I'll get a close up picture some other time, but this is the whole thing.  It's big!  Wayne and my dad are holding it while standing on steps.  And the backing is their baby receiving blankets, so lots of soft, floppy flannel. 

I finished it just in time for a little memorial service we had for Corey.  It was just Wayne and I, the kids, my parents and his parents.  And the counselor who is also a licensed pastor.  I talked about Corey, the bible verses that spoke to me during the days after losing her, and each of the meanings of all of our kids names.  My dad played Blessed Be Your Name.  It was a nice time, and so wonderful to really have the support of everyone around me. 

Fast forward to today, the depression and anxiety still linger, but, generally speaking, the edge is gone.  There are still bad days.  There are still times of 'what do other people want me to be.' 

Wayne has been preaching on fear recently.  He gave the church an "assignment" to memorize
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And one I've been focusing on on my own:
 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Welcome to Should-be-ville

I touched on it a while back.  I've lost me.
I feel like I'm just a shell of the fun, interesting, odd, kwerky person I used to be.
I'm dying in the land of "should be's".
Their motto?  A good mom/wife/person "should be" able to ... fill in the blank.

It was so oppressive over the summer that I started having panic attacks.  Do you know panic attacks are not fun?  Nope, not fun at all!  I had one over a bowl.  A LITERAL know, a put cereal in it.  Specifically, Wayne putting said bowl into the dishwasher for me.  That gave me a full blown panic attack.  Why?  Because I "should be" able to have handled all this mess on my own, but I didn't, and now my husband had to help me. 

Sounds crazy, right?  This is a whole other post, but knowing that you are reacting in an unnecessary manner, yet being unable to stop...that will send you into a whole new world of nuts.  Not only are you responding irrationally, but you know can see it... but you cannot make it go away.

I had a meeting with a counselor the other day.  It took a whopping one session for him to see that I was lost in the land of should-bes and not "the real Naomi." 

I'm real sick and tired of Should-be-ville, but it's been home for quite a while now.  I'm not sure where Real-Naomi-ton is, but I've got to get out of here. 

I'm attempting to search out what the real Naomi is like.  Not what she does (ie keeps house perfectly or puts together the perfect monthly meal plan), but who she is, the characteristics and qualities she would like to strive for and grow in. 

Most desperately, I want to be REAL.

Friday, December 20, 2013

a bit of a fall update

My poor neglected blog. 
Well, a quick summery...
Sydney turned 6, Kezia turned 2, and Elijah is now 4.
Trying to take pictures of these crazy monkey kids is nuts.  I took probably 50+ pictures, and this was the only good picture.
Sydney decided she was done. 
Elijah tried to be cute and give Kezia hug
...she didn't really go for it.

 And then they were both mad.
Sydney is in first grade and she is doing pretty good.
Elijah is in 4K. Wednesdays are his favorite because he has swimming lessons.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

identity theft

One of the things I struggle with is remembering my identity in Christ(this is a link to Freedom in Christ ministries, specifically their "Who I am in Christ" verses.  These are AMAZING by the way.  A very neat ministry and a great set of verses focusing in on three common areas where people struggle.  "I am accpeted, I am secure and I am significant.")
While not literal voices, I definitely have a running track in my head.  Unfortunately, I've allowed it to record junk, so what I hear are things like "failure," "disappointment," "just give up," and "I hate my life."   I often said that (I hate my life) to myself on the hard days.  Even on not so hard days, if I were to be honest. 
I'm finding myself having to work crazy hard and intentional to stop those thoughts when they come along.  I've let them just run so wild and free in my head, that they just pop to the front with very little effort on my part. 
Elijah starts to scream (for the bazillionth time in the last 5 minutes)..."ugh, I hate my life."  Sydney and Elijah get into yet another fight..."grr, I hate my life."  The laundry is still wet after being in the dryer..."dangitall, I hate my life." 
Ridiculous to be that mad over laundry?  That's the point.  I let it go for so long, it's just everywhere all the time ready to tell me lies. 
So, one remedy has been to read the identity verses and listen to Hello my name is, by Matthew West.  The chorus of this song is "Hello, my name is Child of the One True King."  Man, when you really stop to think about that, how can you let words like "failure" and "disappointment" linger!  (actually, yes i do know how. but that is a whole other post). 
Another fun song for me lately has been  We Shine, by Stellar Kart.  It also talks about who we are in Christ (redeemed, free, belonging to Jesus, alive, meant to shine in the world).  And the best part about that is that, then, we get to sing for God, speak with words of love, dance a little wild, becase we belong to JESUS!  We are his possession. (Titus 2:14) (this came on in the car the other day, and Elijah was head banging awesome.)

So, I'm reclaiming my identity. 
Hello, my name is child of the One True can call me Naomi for short.

Monday, May 27, 2013

why the color purple

So, I recently dyed a chunk of my hair purple.  Like, really and purposefully purple.
(it is so much fun, I absolutely love it.  It's a large chunk at the top, but depending on how I comb the part, it came seem like just highlights [top pic] or a huge purple head of hair! [bottom pic].)

I've gotten a lot of positive response, some stunned "wow, that's...neat?" and some "is it permanent?"
A lot of times, the underlying question is, why?
Why? Why not!
I can't say the depression is completely beat, never to be seen again.  I can't say all my problems are gone. 
BUT, I've had so much freedom these last few weeks.  I was able to get some wonderful counseling from an amazing christian counselor in Manitowoc (if you are in the area and need to work through some things, I know who you should call!).  I can't even begin to explain it all.  I was finally able to pin down some of the underlying problems in my life. 
Shame was the big one.  It's like a fog that seeps into every crevice in my life, just permeating everything.  A lot of pain from the past was made even worse from the shame I felt over it.  Shame over letting it consume me still, shame over "letting it happen" in the first place, shame what others might think if they knew the struggles I was still wrestling with.  And even shame that my problems were not "big" problems. 
Shame has kept me from really living my life in recent years.  I remember liking myself for being odd and a bit weird.  I haven't felt like that for a long time.  But I'm starting to again. 
And part of that, for me, has been to get me some purple hair.  It's been something on my mind for a while, and I finally took the plunge...just because I can.  It's a reminder for myself to not be so concerned about what others may or may not be thinking of me. 
It's a reminder for me to listen to the one who made me and loves me. 

Some verses that have been speaking to me lately.

Colossians 1:13-14 and Ephesians 1:3-8

Friday, April 5, 2013

photo bomb....a lot of months in review

First day of 3 year old preschool (he loves it)
Sydney's first day of Kindergarten
 Went for a walk last fall, found an intersection where someone had "eye-bombed" a cross walk button.  pretty awesome I think.
 Realized I don't have any pictures of Wayne at his job, so there he is.
Sydney stole my camera soooo many times this past year....this seems to be a favorite angle.  she ended up getting her own camera for christmas.
Sydney is a Sparkie at AWANA
Elijah took a tumble into the metal radiator...he lost.  this was last fall, he still has a scar.
sisterly love
kezia hanging out at subway...we love straws
 trying out big brother's spiderman costume
a very failed photo session for her 18m pics.
sydney's winter concert.
mommy, elijah and kezia having fun
I did some sewing...
elijah drew a monster with 7 legs, he was so proud
 winter time waiting for the bus


The blog has really fallen by the wayside...nearly a year since my last post.  In that time, a lot has happened.  Sydney is in kindergarten, Elijah is in a 3 year old preschool, Kezia's favorite phrase is "MINE!"  Wayne has begun teaching Trinity U, a discipleship/training course he has been working to put into place for the past few years.
As for me, it's been a roller coaster.  On the off chance anyone thinks otherwise, depression stinks.  (I know everyone knows that, it's called sarcasism.) :)  I think one of the things that makes it hard to cope with is that, on the exterior, everythingappears fine.  You don't get a cast, or bandages or technicolored polka-dot rashes (if you have a technicolored polka dot rash, see a doctor, that sounds serious).  I've mentioned it before, but life just goes on
But I'm not here to talk about that.
I've been going to counseling with an amazing christian counselor.  We recently talked about the Who I Am In Christ verses.  I saw that I need to really hammer home the truth that I am complete in Christ, Colossians 2:9-10.  These verses also talk about how Christ is the head.
I got to thinking in how whenever I try to live life on my own (very often), I'm really just acting like a zombie.
(as a side note, I have no idea why zombie stuff is so popular right now, but I find it disturbing.)
Then, having read Colosssians 2:10, I saw that I was not just a zombie, I was a headless zombie.  I like to think everything is fine, but I'm bumping into walls and crashing around life.
I told wayne about the picture in my mind of living without Christ as the head being like a headless zombie crashing into things.
He said to me, "why are you walking have no head."
Not sure why it is we think we even are capable of moving if we don't have a head!  Seriously.  Do we really think ourselves so capable that we can survive without a head.  I hope you are following along.  Several times in scripture, Christ is called the head of the body. 
 I'm thinking the best we got (when we try to live our life without Jesus as the head) is a foot twitch.
And somehow we convince ourselves that that twitch is life. 
Not so.
I'm only complete when Christ is the Head in my life.  And if He is the head, boy will my life just be so much better.  Not necessarily easier, but better.  I can't think of the last time my hand has second-guessed a message the head sent it.  If only complete surrender and submissionn to Jesus as head were so easy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the days are slow, the weeks are fast

and now it is the end of june...that kinda caught me by surprise.

life just keeps on a moving. 
Sydney finished 4K.  She is so excited about going to kindergarten...I'm nervous about putting her on a bus.  Here she is with her 4K teachers.

 Elijah is as talkative as ever...maybe even more so.  He loves playing pretend and we are thrilled that he finally has his own costume (no more dresses for this little man!). 
"I not Elijah, I 'Pider-man!"

and this little peanut is not much of a peanut anymore!  Growing like a weed, Kezia waves and says "hi!"  it is adorable!  here she is a while back at bay beach...getting excited about seeing sydney and elijah on a ride in the background.

And one more for good measure

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

in which Naomi has a good day

today was a good day...

don't get me wrong, it was full of 'oppurtunities'
but all in all, we had a good day.

the kids and I went for a walk after supper.  well, a walk, bike ride and toy car push

 we stopped at every tree and looked for "squirrel nuts"
we found quite a few

The favorite was a nut we all thought looked like a heart...
(or a pig snout, I suppose)

anyway, we had a nice time.  sydney and elijah raced ahead to each tree, then stopped and walked around it giving kezia and I a chance to catch up.  We talked about the birds we saw, we talked about the noises elijah heard, we took turns deciding which way to was nice.

we got home and played limbo.
we discovered that doing the limbo is much more fun if you say "liiiiiiimmmmmmmbo" really slowly and in a low voice.

and if you are the right height, you don't even need to duck...just march on through.
elijah decided even if you are not the right height, you can just march on through.

 yes, we had a good day.

mommy loves sydney, elijah and kezia
(cuz mommy pig snouts sydney, elijah and kezia just doesn't make as much sense)

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Somehow, I think (my) grandpa fletcher would be proud.

Picked this up today at a rummage sale.
18 Chord Silvertone Organ
oh yeah, behold the wonder.

It even came with a few chord books. 

Grandpa Fletcher (my grandpa) was always humming and playing music.  He often played the piano at our home when he lived with us over the winter months.  I remember the piano and organ he had set up in his living room...a larger organ with lots of pretty colored keys.  He played both of them wonderfully and was always singing or humming away to his favorite hymns.

Grandpa would always talk about the songs he would play. 
"Oh Nomey" (as he called me.  he'd always start off with           Hey Nomey, do you know me, Nomey?)
 "Oh Nomey, do you know this song?" 
He'd play a few chords. 
"It was very popular in the 20's." 
"I was born in 1982, grandpa." 
 "Oh.  So, do you know this song?"

Grandpa loved music and loved Jesus.  He passed that on to my dad, who in turn passed it on to me and my siblings.  I am definitely the least musically gifted, but still love music.  I've been wanting a piano for a while now (mostly for the kids to plunk on and see if they show any interest), and when I found this for 5 bucks, I decided it would do the job nicely.

sure, the Bflat chord button wants to stick on occasion,
but who doesn't love a good harmony.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ob la di, ob la da

Life goes on.

That statement is true...of everyone else around you.  When one goes through hard times, it can come as a shock that other's lives still continue on and do not seem to be affected by our hurt, sorrow or loss. 

It can make it difficult to "get back to life" since everyone else around you is now suddenly in a different place than you are.  You've experienced things they never have, you've felt things they may never understand.*  They've continued on...meanwhile it feels as if your life was paused. It makes staying "paused" feel very tempting and easier.
*by this I mean that everyone experiences and processes things differently. an example from my life would be that many women have had miscarriages, but when we lost Corey, that was the first time I had ever lost a child. And if we had lost Kezia, like it seemed was happening, that would have been the first time I ever lost her. Having it happen more often, or knowing that it has happened to many others, does not necessarily lessen the pain.
I was thinking the other day about how life just keeps rolling on, with or without me it seems sometimes.  You can get to feeling like no one knows the whole story, no one understands.  It starts to spiral out of control and it can feel very lonely.

Then I was reminded of these two guys.  They were talking a walk and discussing recent events that had greatly affected their lives.  Another man comes along, sees them deep in discussion and asks them what they are talking about.  They were so shocked, they stopped walking.  They basically ask him how could he NOT know what is going on.  In this case, nearly everyone in their town knew about the events these men were discussing. 
"Are you the only visitor to town?  The only one who does not know the things that have happened these past few days?"
"What things?" came the reply from the stranger.
"The things concerning Jesus from Nazareth!"
Many of you may be familiar with this event, often refered to as The Road to Emmaus, found in Luke 24:13 and following.  This happened on Easter Sunday.  The two men were followers of Jesus, and they were discussing the apparent tragety of the death of their teacher, whom they considered a great prophet and had hoped would be the Messiah who would redeem Israel.  Infact, the man who had come along side them was Jesus himself, resurrected from the dead, but he kept himself from being recognised by them.  The conversation continued with Jesus talking with the two men and explain to them all of scripture regarding himself.  Only later on does he reveal himself to them, their risen Messiah.
These poor men.  They're world had come crashing down around them.  In their explaination of what had happened (vs. 19-24), I always imagine their voices being filled with memories of hope mixed with confusion and doubt.  I wonder if they felt like I have, as if no one really understands what they are feeling or experiencing. 

boy, these "ramblings" always end up longer than I originally plan.  anyway, in all of a few minutes I processed through some the above and began thinking about the irony of these men talking to the "one stranger in town" who knew nothing of what had been going on in their recent lives.  But, the reality was, they were talking to the one person who knew completely what these men were going through and thinking.  In fact, he knew the WHOLE story, things they had no way of knowing or fully comprehending. 

I was reminded of the importance of going to the one who knows the whole story and how it is all working out for His glory.

And so my story continues.  In general, the depression and anxiety are getting a little better; I no longer feel like I am spiraling out of control.  
I've been reading some beautiful verses from the Psalms lately as well.  of course, I don't have my notebook here with me at the moment, but God has really been using some beautiful poetry to remind me of His glory, faithfulness, and sovereignty.  Maybe I'll post some of those soon.

In the meanwhile, if you made it through this, you get the good blog reader award.  :) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a few random pics

sydney and elijah are all like "love love love"
and kezia is all like ""

Kezia 6 months