Archive for January, 2011

January 30, 2011

Tangent from church.

The sermon today at church was so great. The pastor is doing a series called Motivation Killers: Why we wander. And today’s topic was When Fear Takes Over. From that sermon, the pastor presented us with what I think was a little nugget of gold!

He referenced Hebrews 11:13 – 16, which I have not read (or at least cannot recall reading) and took the time to look it up this afternoon. To save you from googling Hebrews or flipping pages, here is it:

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

The previous posts are accounts of different servants of God and how by their faith, they did great things by God. But what struck me about this verse was the idea that all these servants (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, etc) were “still living by faith when they died (vs 13)”  and they admitted “they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” (vs 13). It just really hit home the idea that when we are here on earth, that we are not of this world – we’re aliens. (We should let all the UFO experts let them know that it’s us that are trying to invade the earth!)

We’re foreign, and the passage goes on to say “People who say such things show they are looking for a country of their own.” (v 14) These servants of God had their eyes focused on heaven, not on earth and it’s reflected by their admittance that they were strangers on earth.  The entire time they were here they knew that this was not the “country” they wanted to be a part of. Enoch and Noah had their sights set on the eternal realm instead of the dusty ground in front of them.

“Instead they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one” (vs 16) Can anyone else relate to this feeling? I know I do. (Especially after reading some of Randy Alcorn’s works – he paints an amazing picture of what heaven could be like!)  I feel like this world is so temporary, and lately my thoughts of my material needs have become so insignificant. Like, do I really desperately need a new pair of jeans? Is my home really not nice enough? How badly do I need more cookie sheets? I’ve just been seeing things in such a different perspective, that this passage hit home for me. Yes – this world is temporary. And I am a stranger here – I want to be a stranger! I want to look around and think “This is not my home – mine is waiting for me with my heavenly father.”

What a thing to look forward to! I just can’t imagine not having something better than this lifetime to look forward to. If this life was all I was living for, I’m sure my depression would be more depressing! This life is great, but it is going to be a shadow in comparison to eternity with God.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

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January 26, 2011

Fever, fever.

This week is a pretty decent week so far. I had dinner with my family last night, and I had this afternoon off (instead of Friday) and I’m seeing friends tomorrow night onward for the rest of the weekend. Score! A most excellent weekend to come.

I have a fever. And it’s not a contagious fever. It’s not disco fever either.

It’s baby fever. And what sayeth you to that? FOOL, I’m sure. Why in my right mind would I even be thinking about babies? Because I just am it seems. All I want these days is a precious little babe to care for.

I defy scoiety’s opinions on marriage and children. I got married at 19 because that’s why I wanted (and went against a lot of opinions about it) and I plan on having kids as a young adult because I believe that’s how God designed it to be. I’m saying that because I am positive there are peeps reading this who think I’m nuts. Especially my friends who are also 21/22 that are college students. What a dramatic difference between lives hey? Me = married, working, thinking of babies, paying a mortgage. Friends = some still living at home, some renting, going to school full/part time, working part time, dating/single. Maybe this is why I have a serious decline in friends. Maybe I’m hard to relate to? I digress.

I believe my baby fever is appropriately placed. My husband however, does not agree so much at this point.

No babies in the near future, just putting it out there that I want one is all. My great revelation for the day for y’all.

Oh, and the cartoon was posted just because I like it. It’s funny because I love Calvin and Hobbes and Fight Club. A perfect marriage, I think, in this cartoon. Marriage, ha irony! (okay maybe just to me.)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

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January 24, 2011

Inspirations.

I wanted to talk about the title of my blog and where the phrase comes  from. I’m sure everyone’s heard a variation of it before, the  only one I  can think of is “Gold refined by the fire.” I think it’s fairly common in  Christianity because we often use it to describe going through hardship in  order to come out more Christ-like on the other side. That we become  better versions of ourselves as we endure our trials and hardships.

The particular phrase “Real gold fears no fire.” came to me from a book by  Christian author Randy Alcorn titled “Safely Home.” It’s used frequently  by one of the protagonists, a Chinese man, throughout the book. This  book was life altering for me. It truly was. To give an idea of what the  book is about (without giving away the plot!) I’ll tell you that it’s based  around the persecuted church in China and the friendship of a wealthy  American businessman and a poor Chinese locksmith.

All I can say is that when you read this book, during and afterwards, all  you can think is “That is the type of Christian I want to be.” Seriously, I  kid you not, that is all I thought about for days. The Chinese protagonist, Quan, is the kind of Christian I think we all want to be. He has a true servants heart and is willing to die for Christ. How many of us in our comfortable North American homes are ever going to face persecution that involves death? Sure we rant about how we can’t pray in schools or keep a Bible on our desk at work, but how many of us would truly be willing to lay our lives on the line for our God? And to look past  material goods of this world and focus on serving our God? I’m guilty of focusing on material things.. clothing, kitchen accessories, decorating my home. I get caught up in this world that I lose focus on serving God first and foremost, and forsaking worldly wants because they just don’t matter as much as I want them to.

At the end of the day, what have I done for God? How have I served him? Have I put myself on the line for him? I’m ashamed to say that most days the answer is: nothing and no. I hide in my comfort zone and refuse to speak out for our Father and refuse to do anything that would cause others to think poorly of me, let alone be persecuted.

Quan is the kind of Christian I want to be. I want to serve whole-heartedly and to use my time here to serve God because this lifetime is fleeting and all the items I own and all the opinions of others do not matter. I am here to serve, not to be served. To get back to my main point, the saying “Real gold fears no fire” resonates with me. If I am truly a woman of God and here to serve him and to give my life to him, then I shall not fear any trials set before me. My faith is in him and I will only exit the fire as a better servant.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

January 24, 2011

Productivity – 0.

Current Song: Bass Down Low – Dev Ft. The Cataracts

I’m digging this son – as well as the new Britney Spears song! I know people say she ruined dubstep but as what feels like the only young adult who doesn’t listen to dubstep, I think it’s great!

I had great plans to do productive things today, but so far I managed to have a shower. And that’s it. Which is one step more than I managed to do yesterday. I’ve pretty much spent the last 48 hours in bed, eating and watching tv.

I think I need to address my big pink elephant in the digital room – my claim to depression. How to start in on a topic I’m uncomfortable discussing with myself, let alone the world wide web. I have had untreated depression probably since I was a kid. I know there’s people going “What? Kids don’t get depressed! You attention seeker, you.” But  I honestly believe I have, and I think my parents could attest to that. Well not my dad, since he won’t admit that he has untreated depression. but my mom would tell you that she’s seen it since I was probably like 11 or so. I’m 25-50% predisposed for clinical depression because my mom deals with anxiety problems, my dad has depression and his father was depressed/mental illness that resulted in hospitalization. It’s like I was doomed from the womb. I struggled with my depression more as I got older, and it really peaked around age 16 and has held steady since then it feels like. My parents seperated when I was 13, and finalized their divorce when I was around 15 I think. I don’t know exactly, but I do know that this divorce heightened my depression.  I guess deepened it would be a better description.

How to describe what depression feels like to someone who’s never experienced it… Let me try. The phrase I use that can give you a short and sweet answer is that “Every day is a bad day, sometimes I have good days.” Every day is a struggle to get out of bed, to find the energy to put on a happy face and to make it through the day without having a breakdown at some point. You’re on the verge of tears most days, and the stupidest things can choke you up. Like cheesy sentimental commercials on TV.  I have constant sickness or physical pain around. I never really get rid of colds, I get frequent headaches, stomachaches, sore joints or something just doesn’t feel “right” with my body. I wear a mouth guard to bed because I grind my teeth from stress and I chew my nails to the point of bleeding sores from stress. I have small moments of happiness in the midst of a daily sadness – I don’t know how else to describe it. My lows are lowest of low – everything seems pointless, I feel worthless and I can’t think of a good reason to get out of bed. My lows are like feeling sadness and anguish in the very deepest part of my soul. As though my world is over and nothing or no one can rescue me from it.

That’s the best way I can describe it. The last 4 days have been those low days and the reason I didn’t get out of bed for two days.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

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January 22, 2011

Working girl.

I am so, so, so happy that is is Saturday and that I don’t have anywhere to be or anything to do that is work related. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. It is hands down the greatest job I could imagine having! But it is a lot of work for a little pay and it is tiring at the end of a day.

For those that don’t know what I do, to summarize both of the companies I work for, I provide in home/school therapy for kiddos between the ages of 3 – 6. I work with 3 different kids and  they are all an absolute hoot! I see each child between 8 and 12 hours a week, and basically get to “play” with them. Each one has a different personality with different disabilities and challenges, but it’s just so great. Why is it tiring? Well playing with kids for 8 hours a day can be tiring, and then doing 1-2 hours of planning/prep work every other night can be tiring. My work day doesn’t end when I walk in my front door; it continues on into progress notes, craft planning, daily planning and goal tracking. It can be exhausting, but I wouldn’t  pick any other job. I love working for companies that are non-profit and that provide desperately needed services to families that are dealing with the biggest burden’s they’ll face in life.

Speaking of burden’s…. I went to a Professional Day this week and the topic was grief. I thought it was weird before I got there that that was the topic of choice, but the session was so eye-opening. It was on how families with disabled children (especially in the early years , when their child is still being diagnosed) are dealing with grief of losing that dream for their child. It was profound to me – how would it feel to see your child and realize that they would never be able to walk, or to graduate high school, or live independently? Heartbreaking, I think. Parents are coming to terms to the “burden” that their child will be for the rest of their life. Most parents get to send their children off at 18 and eventually become empty nesters. The parents of disabled children most likely won’t get that… and neither will the siblings of that disabled child.

Most of you know that my sister is disabled and that she lives with my mom. I wonder how many of you thought about how my mom will always have my sister live with her. Sure, she may become independent enough to live with a supportive roommate but she’s 23 and that isn’t going to happen until she’s over 30 for a lot of reasons. And I wonder how many of you realize that once my mom passes away, that I will be my sister’s caregiver. When I’m 40 and my children are all in high school or college, I will have my sister with me and will be responsible for her finances, her laundry and to be her advocate. I’m not looking for sympathy on this, seriously, I’ve known this fact since I was about 12. It’s not shocking to me. I’m saying all this because I am surprised at how little support and/or understanding my mom gets from her friends and family about dealing with my sister. They act as though she should get over it and just move on. But how can you when you never see an end to the care-giving and you are reminded daily that your daughter will never have a spouse and never have children? I think that my mom is still grieving for my sister. It was an eye-opener in so many ways.

And it made me realize that I still grieve for my sister and for myself. I lost a childhood too; I wasn’t carefree as my friends. I spent my youth defending my sister to other kids, talking with teachers in the middle of the day on how to calm her down, helping my mom take her to dentist appointments, talking her down at the dentist and helping her understand how to spend her money when we went out. It is my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I feel blessed to have my sister and secretly, I wonder if God will give me a disabled child too. God only gives us what we can bear. I wonder if he thinks I can bear my own child to be disabled. It’s a fear, but it’s not as scary as I think others make it to be. I feel equipped for that to happen.

Anyway, this is long and I have to get ready to go to a friend’s house to see them and their cute babies!

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

January 19, 2011

Long lost love?

I haven’t been to Starbucks before noon in a very long time, however I’m realizing that I miss it. I really love hanging out in a coffee shop. Starbucks was my old study haunt as it was 5 minutes from my house and I actually really miss it. I’m here for a work meeting and all I can think of is how productive I would be if I were here doing work prep instead of at home! I always get sidetracked at home with stuff like grocery lists or laundry or the productivity nemesis Facebook. With no home, husband or Facebook to distract me I imagine I could get a lot done. It worked great for studying!

Perhaps I’ll have to get myself a Starbucks card and make a habit of working here more often…

January 19, 2011

Blink 182

…will now forever be in my top 5 bands of all time, along side Tegan & Sara and Relient K.

No denying it.

I’ve been here before a few times
And I’m quite aware we’re dying
And your hands they shake with goodbyes
And I’ll take you back if you’d have me
So here I am, I’m trying
So here I am, are you ready

Come on let me hold you, touch you, feel you
Always
Kiss you, taste you all night
Always

And I’ll miss your laugh, your smile
I’ll admit I’m wrong if you’d tell me
I’m so sick of fights, I hate them
Lets start this again for real

So here I am, I’m trying
So here I am, are you ready
So here I am, I’m trying
So here I am, are you ready

Come on let me hold you, touch you, feel you
Always
Kiss you taste you all night
Always
(Come on let me hold you) Touch you, feel you
Always
Kiss you, taste you all night
Always

I’ve been here before a few times
And I’m quite aware we’re dying

Come on let me hold you, touch you, feel you
Always
Kiss you, taste you all night
Always
(Come on let me hold you) Touch you, feel you
Always
Kiss you, taste you all night
Always

Always..

Always..

Does anyone else ever feel like they have an unreasonable amount of connection to songs about things that have never happened to them?  I do. I am married to my other half in every sense; yet when I hear songs about heartbreak and someone leaving their partner, I honestly feel my heart ache. My husband’s my only real “grown up” relationship but we’ve never broken up,  so I can’t say that I’ve really ever experienced that pain of losing someone you really, really, really loved.  I can just empathize so much with the anguish and the deep despair it would bring, yet I’ve never actually experienced it in real life. Intriguing.

I thought about this on the way home today in my car and I think:  successful song writers have either dealt with depression or are just really brilliant I guess. Because I swear some of that stuff they can write and make happen with instruments can only come from a place of deep, deep sadness and loneliness. Maybe why I can relate so well? I deal with those feelings on a regular basis, so I connect easily I guess.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

January 18, 2011

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Well. Here I am. In the blog world, officially.

Isn’t the first blog entry always the most awkward one? I guess I’ll get the explanation part over with so I can just start writing my own musings without looking back.

My purpose for this blog? Nothing other than personal satisfaction really. I have a far off distant dream of being a professional blogger, however we all know that the lucky few who score that gig are just that: a lucky few. I like to write, but I have no real direction. All the “advice” out there on how to start a blog recommend having a theme or topic. I have neither as I have nothing in my life that really absorbs enough of my attention to dedicate a blog to. I tossed around a couple of ideas: a foodie blog….a Christian blog… a newlywed blog…my journey with depression blog… but none of them justified a blog. So I guess this will be all of those in one.

So to those who don’t know me, I’m a 21 year old Christian newly wed (1 year!), who did not arrive at that point in the typical sense, who is in love with food and any method of making it, who is in the midst of coming to grips that I have undiagnosed depression that needs to be dealt with.

To those who do know me, this is for my sanity in my chaotic and confusing life. The depression bit deserves a post for those that this is news to, which will come in due time.

This isn’t a blog to preach, or to get sympathy or to give marriage advice.. it’s for me to be honest with who I am. In a public setting.

Read along if you want to know the most inner thoughts of a stranger, or a friend for those I know =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo