Monday, November 28, 2011


I may have broken my foot… on Monday, but I just now (Friday afternoon) got around to getting it checked out. Hopefully it’s just a ligament thing, but apparently all this walking around, driving, running errands, carrying my kid up and down that stairs and umpteen other activities which make my foot throb are actually BAD for an injured limb. Who knew?

I would be leading the charge if it were my husband, my child or a random stranger off the street who needed a doctor’s care. But when the I am the patient, the rules are different.
The walk-in clinic physician explains in a slow, patronizing way that if it hurts – don’t. do. it. Clearly, HE doesn’t understand a very important fact. I am not a mere mortal: I am the mom!

There are playdates to arrange, groceries to buy, meetings to attend, doctors to visit, pharmacists to bawl out… And when I’ve taken care of everyone and everything else, then and only then can I address my own needs. Usually this is somewhere around 9:37 at night – at which point I can focus on what really matters: facebook, pintrest and eating my weight in fair trade chocolate.

I’m quite familiar with the concept of injury and recovery. After all, only two years ago I broke my foot (in exactly the same place) and after only three weeks I finally found time to seek medical care. Three x-rays, two bone scans and 11 weeks in a stylish grey boot were my reward for delayed treatment.

Medical professionals, women’s magazines and Oprah are always telling us that we need to take care of ourselves and not just everyone else. We nod our heads and hum in agreement. Sage advice. So true.

And then we carry on exactly the same way. Or maybe it’s just me? Lunch consisting of scraps that the kids left on their plates. Exercise plans deferred to sew ribbons on ballet slippers or shop for a last minute birthday present. Missing the fun during special events and visits with loved ones, because I’ve spent the whole time rushing around making everything perfect.

It’s not a bad thing to put others first; to experience moments of complete selflessness. But I need to find balance. After all, this motherhood thing is a marathon, not a sprint. And I’m not going to keep up if I am hobbled (literally) by shortsighted decisions.

All my life I was taught the rule: “Love others, as you love yourself” (Galatians 5:14). This verse loses its steam if we believe we are second class citizens. If I were to take care of my children the way I take care of myself, I would delay medical attention, forget to feed them, cancel their plans in favour of mine and banish them to the kitchen during parties.

I count too. And I’m not hurting anyone by counting myself in. It will make me better (and more spry) in the long run.

So here’s me, lazing on the couch with my foot up ALL NIGHT LONG!

P.S. – FYI, I have PLENTY of selfish habits I need to work on also. It’s not all self-sacrfice, all the time at our house. But that’s a post for another day.

What mommy myths have you bought into? Where do you need more balance? Let's network as women and mothers! Please share.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Right feelings follow right actions.
I heard this phrase for the first time a few years ago, and it is slowly (o so painfully slowly) starting to affect the decisions I make on a daily basis. 
Our culture conditions us to believe the opposite: If you feel it, act on it. The bummer is, about 95% of the time my natural feelings are pretty nasty. Instead of overflowing with thankfulness, I think of all the things I don’t have. Instead of apologizing first after an argument I wait for the other offender to admit guilt. Instead of making time to be with Jesus, I complain that He feels far away. You get the idea.
What I finally realized is that waiting for the right feeling before I did the right thing wasn’t working out for me so well. My relationships were suffering because I was ungrateful, nit-picky, and focused on myself. Believe it or not, feelings of marital bliss, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and deep friendship never actually just appeared out of thin air. 
Some wise women challenged me to do what I knew to be right even if I didn’t feel like it. This still sounds to me like something kindergartners (not 23 year olds) should have figured out, but it is so hard for me to go against my feelings. 
The GREAT news? It works. For real. And if you’re wondering how to put this into practice, check out some of the suggestions below.
  • Feeling unsatisfied with what you have? Start a thankfulness journal. Write down a few things you are thankful for every day and wait for the feelings of satisfaction start to take over.
  • Feeling like God is distant? Read your bible and pray anyway. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
  • Feeling less-than-unconditional-love for your significant other? Point out (as in, tell him out-loud) one thing you appreciate about him everyday.

Now it's your turn - what are some suggestions you would add to the list? 

And what about you - are you one who acts on feelings or what you know to be right? What helps you make choices that go against your emotions at the moment? We want to hear from you.


Monday, November 21, 2011

THE WAY THE WORLD TURNS - My Battle With Depression

Inspired by the song “The Way the World Turns” – Sanctus Real 
I remember sitting on my living room floor, unable to get out of my pajamas, unable to open the curtains, barely able to make food for my children. I remember sitting there in that moment thinking that I couldn’t just ‘happy thought’ my way out of this one. I had already tried. I had never been here before and I knew I needed help. I felt like I was in a very deep, narrow, hole and I didn’t know how to get out. I had no good friends to call, none that I would bother with this. What had kept me above the surface so far was a small group I was attending…And now we were on a break for Christmas and I was sinking deeper and deeper.

“Doubt and sadness have kept me in fragments
longing for a better life”
I had been taking care of my Mother-in-law for almost 6 months at this point. She had dementia. Neither Dan nor I had ever heard of it, and we didn’t realize that her memory was a problem…until we realized it was a BIG problem. My Father-in-law (bless his heart) had passed away 16 months prior. Being the loving, upstanding, ‘stand by your woman’ kind of guy he was, had covered up and hid my Mother-in-law's ever increasing memory problems leaving them to us to figure out the hard way. I had quit my job 4 months after he passed to stay home with my newborn and our older son. Dan had just left his job of 12 years to start a new career at another company. We were in the middle of re-modeling my Mother-in-Laws house, so that it could be considered decent, for someone in her condition, to live out the rest of her days. It had been 3 months since the cancer, that was supposed to take her life in 2005, had returned. She was given 3-6 months to live if they didn’t take her arm. She had chosen to keep her arm and meet the Lord. It’s hard to remind someone of that over and over. We had moved her to a care facility that could manage the cancer and dementia and I had been to visit her every other day since.
“And I feel the current pulling me down, I can’t keep the world from turning around”
I had been reading book after book on how to handle someone with dementia and each one was telling me that I had to lie to her. Lying was the one, very specific thing I gave up the moment I was baptized. I remember letting it go. Why do you have to lie to her you ask? For her own good, to keep her calm, so that the person in the conversation without dementia doesn’t spend time spinning wheels that will be soon forgotten.  Let me give you an example: “Adrian, is my car fixed yet? I’d like Daniel to bring me my car now, I need to get out of this place.” “ Yes Mom, you’re car is fixed. I’ll call Dan and have him bring it to you tonight.” Complete lie! There is no point in upsetting her, by telling her she is in no condition to drive when she can’t even remember what condition she is in. Plus, she will forget this conversation ever happened in less than 30 minutes. Every book explained to me that telling her lies like this would save my frustration level because we wouldn’t have to go over it and over it again. With every lie I would silently ask the Lord for forgiveness and I would feel myself slipping further into this hole I now found myself in.
Empty moments when I feel hopeless have left me restless inside”
Any attempt at digging my self out of this hole, only got me deeper. I was tired and anxiety ridden…
At this point in the realization of my depression, it was December. I hadn’t been to see her in 2 weeks. I couldn’t…I couldn’t  hardly move. The thought of going Christmas shopping brought me so much anxiety that I had a hard time breathing. I knew I needed help. I remember telling Dan that I thought I needed to see a Doctor and he just stared at me. Dan was dealing with his own depression; he had hardly spoken since his Dad died. I asked him if he would go too, and he told me 'no', and the look on his face told me that was the end of the conversation.
I didn’t see the Doctor much. In fact, I didn’t have a regular Doctor I went to. It was always drop-in clinics for minor things. The thought of calling a Doctor and telling a complete stranger what was going on made me cry. Actually getting in the car and going to the Doctors office made me cry, and while sitting there in the waiting room, uncontrollably, I cried. I had no energy to care who was in there or what they thought of me.
I had no power to do anything. So I accepted the help of an anti-depressant. 
Yes, I am admitting that I had to take pills to get better. I wish I could tell you that I just picked up my bible and began reading and something supernatural happened and we were all healed…that could have happened, but it didn’t. It was a much longer process than that.
I took those pills until Mildred passed away two months later. I probably should have taken them longer, but two months was enough to get me to the top of the hole. To a place where I could see hope again. I could, at least, get in my car and drive it somewhere. This is where the real battle began, not only to finish hoisting myself up and out, but for Dan. There is no way I could leave him behind.
Taking those pills enabled me to be well enough to be able to read up on depression, and start reading my bible to gain some armor and go to battle. Only after taking those pills did things start to get hard. Battles were fought daily and silent to the human ear. No one knew what was going on inside of me. I battled insecurity, loneliness, exhaustion, fear, doubt, and anger. Anxiety became a close friend of mine. The only difference between pre-pills and post pills, was now I could process everything, and with that came feeling it. 

I would wake up with it every morning and go to bed with it every night. There would be no relief in sight until Dan was safely on the other side.
It took two years until God started slowly answering the prayers of my heart along with bringing some healing of the losses we had taken, and another year on top of that to rid our lives of everything that had caused us anxiety and stress in the first place….One thing at a time, God lifted from me. 
“Cuz You’re the hope of a new sunrise, breaking over our desperate lives”
Everything, except anxiety…we became too close to be separated. I still have hope that one morning I will wake up without having to talk myself into believing that there is nothing TODAY to be anxious about. That TODAY I am virtually stress free. That TODAY looks pretty darn good. Maybe it’s because I know I’m not promised that tomorrow will be the same.
What I am promised is this: My prayers are heard, and if I allow it, my heart healed. The timing is not mine, but I trust that it is perfect. Sometimes, help comes from unexpected places, ones that others may judge or label me for. Freedom comes from not caring what others think and remaining in the security of my Savior. 
God can use all circumstances for his Glory. 
“So I’ll keep on turning to You”.
Listen to “The Way the World Turns” at:

As Adrian has chosen to be transparent, I know there are many who can relate and feel isolated. Break the silence today by just responding to his blog - How are you dealing with your black hole? Do  you have a network of support or one person you can talk to in your life right now? Those of you who have come out of your hole, how did God lead you on your journey? Let's be honest and real with one another ladies -- it's healing.

Adrian Kashporenko

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”
Psalm 39:4-5, ESV
Do you ever wonder what the word Selah is doing weaved between the Psalms?  It is a note commanding our observation. Stop here. Sit awhile. Take time to consider and apply this truth.
The Psalmist is not asking God for the time and date of his death, nor for a glimmer into the future.  Man craves to know the future; being tempted to call upon psychics and horoscopes. The Lord tells us to avoid such things. Instead, He tells us to take one day at a time.  This involves trust and acknowledging Him as we take each breath.
The Psalmist is asking his Creator to help him understand the brevity of life. Our time on earth is a mere breath compared to the Eternal God. Yet, most of us live with the assumption we have many days before us.  Isn’t it easy to waste these days away?  The demands of meetings, extracurricular activities and the plethora of television channels and entertainment compete against the opportunities to serve, love, worship, and hear Jesus.  Before we know it, we have lost days and months investing in things that don’t have eternal value.
How will we ever be able to break free from the sinking sand of living in vain?  I need to ask God for help.  Throughout the book of Psalms we read key phrases; “Teach me. Remind me. Make me. Help me.”
“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12
Lord, teach me to see things in light of eternity.
Remind me I am just passing by, I am a transient on this earth.
Make me understand Your wisdom.
Help me to live accordingly.
Do you ever consider how you would live differently if you knew it was your last days? Would you love more, laugh more, spend your time differently, and eliminate empty chatter? Would you take more risks for the kingdom? What would your life look like if you decided to abandon your fears and put it all out there?
Are you willing to let the Lord rearrange your life today?
Get in the habit of taking inventory of your days; asking yourself  if your energies were spent on empty deeds or with eternity in mind. Invite the Lord to teach you to number your days, in order to present to Him a heart of wisdom.
Lord, this place is not my home. My life is but a breath.  Remind me of my end, that I would live passionately - with full abandon - unto You!


Monday, November 7, 2011


I recently had a radio personality ask me, “Are you interested in anything other than sex?” I laughed because the truth of the matter is that I have numerous interests but they always find their way back to intersecting with relationships and intimacy for me. It’s like the Kevin Bacon game of 6 Degrees of Separation for me…give me a topic and I will link it back to sex in 6 or less steps.
One of my hobbies is personality tests. I have been fascinated with who we are and why we are who we are since I realized (at about age 12) that the reason my father and I fought all the time was because we were actually quite similar. This concept fascinated me and began what has become a life-long study.

Most recently, I have just finished reading Helen Fisher’s book Why Him? Why Her? For those of you who are not yet familiar with Dr. Fisher, allow me to introduce you. She is one of my favourite anthropologists and sex researchers. Dr. Fisher is known for putting people who are in love into an MRI machine and then watching their brains to see which areas light up when they are given a picture of their beloved. Science and sex together. Seriously, who would not want this woman’s job??
Evidently, not everyone. In her book, Dr. Fisher describes four broad personality types – not all of whom would enjoy doing what she does. As she describes these personalities, she asserts that while everyone has a primary personality type, they also have secondary type that also influences how they think and act.
So far, her theories weren’t much different that what I have previously studied – she just gave different names to the categories. But here is the part that really caught my attention – these personality types are influenced by the predominant hormones that you have coursing through your system which, of course, are genetically inherited.
I know, I know, the nature/nurture debate is never-ending and quite frankly, I am a bit bored by it.  Scientists are finally beginning to conclude (and Dr. Fisher accedes to these findings) that it is about a 50/50 split.
But for the purpose of this article, let’s focus on the genetic part of your personality right now. Here are the four broad categories:
EXPLORERS. “Carpe Diem.” These individuals have a higher amount of dopamine in their systems. This makes them intensely curious, impulsive, energetic, enthusiastic, optimistic and creative. In her Word Type Study, Dr. Fisher found that adventure is the word most frequently identified by Explorers to describe themselves. They tend to be attracted to other Explorers, have the highest incomes, are the most sexual of all personality types but also have the highest divorce rates.
BUILDERS. “Pillars of Society.” The hormone that is most prevalent with this group of people is serotonin. They tend to be loyal, social, conscientious, dutiful, cautious, moral, respectful of authority, orderly and excellent managers. In the Word Type Study, family is the word used most frequently by Builders. Builders tend to gravitate to other Builders, are popular in their large social circles, have the lowest divorce rates of all the personalities but also have the lowest sex drives.
DIRECTORS. “Always to the Stars.” Testosterone is what influences the personalities of this group. Consequently, they are outspoken, direct, independent, competitive, pragmatic, goal-oriented and systematic. In her Word Type Study, Dr. Fisher found that intelligence is the word used most frequently by Directors. They are the most likely to get their PhD’s, can be very self-critical as they search for the highest prize (knowledge), have a healthy sexual appetite and tend to be attracted to Negotiators.
NEGOTIATORS. “Philosopher Kings.” The amount of estrogen found in this group makes them tend to be big-picture thinkers, emotionally expressive, intuitive, imaginative, tolerant of ambiguity, and empathetic. In her Word Type Study, Dr. Fisher found that passion is the word used most frequently by Negotiators. They too are drawn to Directors, are the most likely of all the groups to read books, they are highly introspective and have a rich fantasy life.
Evidently, my husband and I make a very good match. He is an EXPLORER/Director and I am an EXPLORER/Negotiator. Our primary types enable us to constantly seek out adventure together (much to the chagrin of his predominantly Builder family), and our secondary types balance each other nicely. Why is this helpful information to have? The better you know yourself, the better you know your partner, the better you will be able to navigate the bumps, twists and turns that life hands you.
So, can you see any traits that seem like you? What about your spouse? Does it shed any light on why you have succeeded in your relationship or run into problems?
Obviously, in this article I can’t cover all the ground that Dr. Fisher does in the book. So, here is the book at Amazon. I highly recommend it!