I lost my voice for a while.
No, I didn't really have laryngitis. At least not the vocal kind (although, perhaps my children wouldn't have minded a bit). I've experienced what some might call "writer's block" but it was that and more. It spilled over into a lot of daily living. The outcome was that I've not been visibly "around" much here. In all honesty, I have been on FaceBook and Twitter, but those are so different. They can consume a lot of time--but they are different.
A couple things happened. Around October I was continually getting a sense that the LORD was telling me that I needed to take a break from my blog. Really? I didn't want to hear that. And I didn't want to announce I was taking a break, because I kept thinking I would "get better" and/or I wouldn't really be able to take a break after saying I was.
One problem with naming your blog "Joyful Days" is that there is a perceived (and maybe only by me) notion that my post should/will be positive. Naming my blog "Joyful Days" however was a challenge to myself. I wanted to start finding "joy in all things" I wanted to see joy in the tiny blessings as well as in the huge miracles. I still believe joy is a choice. I've seen what happens to people who choose to be the antithesis of joy--grouchy, depressed, angry, obstinate...in a word--me.
I've been hesitant to talk about my health issues--certainly not large and devastating, more of the chronic and persistent type...just annoying really, and in the grand scheme of things, very manageable. I didn't want to talk about them much because I didn't want my blog to go that direction even though those things are very much a part of who I am. I didn't want to define myself that way then.
But I have found joy is easier when you are addressing your health issues. My diagnosis of hypothyroidism was a blessing. Depression comes in many forms. I was experiencing sometimes debilitating depression--the depression that took all the energy I had to get out of bed. That kind and other depressions that are caused by chemical imbalances are not depressions that involve choice. But after my blanket of gauze was lifted I saw patterns I had allowed to creep into my life..."Poor me, life is unfair, people are mean..." Well those things are true sometimes, but the better choice is to see the "blessed me." I know I don't deserve all of the blessings I have and I've seen most often people are so kind.
Pre-diabetes has become part of my vocabulary. And when it did I finally chose to lose weight however I could get it off without surgery or medication (other than my thyroid medication, I guess). I've been hesitant to talk about my weight loss, but last year I lost 50 lbs. I've been worried lest I say anything and every last ounce will jump back on my body. My choice of diets has been debated in "real life" and while it is a choice due to my health issues, most people don't like the idea. My choice of exercise has taken a few hits too. Those two things combined with a few others molded my health choices last year. In all likelihood, now that I am a little more comfortable with them, I can share a little more.
My blog found some new readership and I had to decide how much personal information I can allow out here--both my personal "stuff" and my children's and the stuff that belongs to others in my life. I've been hesitant to talk about anything controversial or potentially offending.
Apparently I can be controversial and offending without intending to.
I've been hesitant to post about the reality of my days lest I sound like I'm boasting or worse whining--that "joyful days" thing again.
So, what have I been up to?
Exercise and diet. The road to "healthy" has helped me choose joy.
I found myself slipping a lot in my witness. Asking myself the "What Would Jesus Do?" question more often; asking myself if my action is "Christian" helps in finding joy--it is oftentimes inconvenient and takes a little extra thought--but the reality is liberating.
One more joyful thing is that I've been sleeping more. Part of my research shows that as you age you should get a certain amount of sleep. For quite a few years I worked overnights and still came home to school the boys during the day. That kind of lifestyle catches up with one sooner or later. So four or five nights a week I am in bed before eleven, which for me is huge.
I've pushed my children in ways I said I would not. I've allowed my children things I thought I wouldn't--still surprised when I realize how culturally deficient we are--why do I feel the need to apologize for that?
Driving lots of driving
Sitting and waiting.
School--although I daily feel inadequate, and humbled by the children God has given me.
Trying to keep clothes clean and food on the table.
Facebook, Farmville, Farm Town, and Twitter.
Hopefully hitting "Publish Post" will help me blog again. I miss my blog. I miss my bloggy friends. Maybe I can get back on track...
Count it all joy,