Thursday, August 18, 2011

I couldn't resist.

Photo Credit: Gary Lawson from

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

bathtub of emotions

This has been one of the most helpful communication tools in my life so I thought I would share.  I think it's especially good on those days when I am in deep pain and working with people who don't understand what that's like.  I've explained this over and over again when I was an RA and working with girls.  Mr. Mays uses this a lot to understand what I'm thinking and why I'm responding a certain way.

Imagine that you have a bathtub for your emotions and for stress.  Each time something is stressful or upsetting, it adds to the tub.  When the bathtub is full, the reaction comes.  That's your personal limit and you response in anger, frustration, tears, or shutting down.

Each situation of life adds a different amount (and each person can handle different amount of stress).  For instance, if you lost your keys and were late to an appointment, that might have only filled up your bathtub 1/10 of the way.  Another day, your car may have been stolen and that is especially stressful to you, so your tub is half filled by that situation.

Here's the key:  Life piles up.  Stress piles up.

When you lose your keys and you suddenly melt into a puddle of tears, it might be hard for you (and others!!) to understand why that small situation was so upsetting.  After all, it only filled up your bathtub 10% of the way!   But what you've forgotten is that it's not just the lost keys....  Before that happened your emotional bathtub was already filled to 95% with other issues so that last 10% pushed you over the edge and your bathtub was overflowing.

Caleb knows when I'm upset about something to ask how full my bathtub is.  It sounds silly, but it really has helped us!  When my pain levels are up, my bathtub is already filled to about 80%!!!!!  So when something that is seemingly small happens, I can get upset quickly.  It has helped our relationship a lot for him to understand how many "little" issues are filling up that bathtub.

It's a very simple word picture.  But it's proven to be really helpful for me.  Hope that this can help others (especially those dealing with pain).  Chronic pain is debilitating.  When others can't understand, it is isolating.  And it's even worse when you can't even understand yourself.

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

wedding bell blues

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

39 days until the wedding (I think....  Sometimes I lose track).

This seemed appropriate for the day.  Let's be done with the wedding and move on to the marriage!!

Now if only Mr. Mays would change his first name to "Bill"....  ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the worst.

the worst part about being chronically ill is not the pain.  it's not the endless prodding doctors.  it's not the questions or the stares from others.

the worst part is when you begin to hope.

a week goes by, perhaps even two.  the pain is lessening.  hope begins to build.  your mind starts playing tricks on you.  maybe i made all this up.  maybe it is going away for good this time.

and then it happens.  the hope that you have so slowly and carefully fostered is suddenly smashed to smitherings.

three days in bed.  cringing from the touch of another who meant to be gentle.  crying as you wait to be picked up on the side of the road because your legs just couldn't make it home.  tossing and turning through the night, unable to get the sleep your body craves.  thinking that the pain could be better mastered if you were inflicting it upon yourself.  isolation seems the best option as no one understands.  thoughts are clouded with the fog of pain. 

it feels like you fell smack on your face.  and maybe you literally did.

so what can you do about it? 

nothing.  just pick yourself up and keep plodding along.

and dream of that redeemed body that's promised when this world is over. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the ideal care package

Today I was dreaming about getting a care package.  I don't really know why.  Maybe it's because I'm in bed sick today.  I graduated from college and am getting married in six weeks.  Do people send care packages to newlyweds??  I doubt it.  But it's still fun to dream about getting a care package stuffed with favorite things and lots of love.

My ideal care package would include...
   - peachie o's (yum!!)
   - a long, handwritten letter
   - a new book (probably the fourth Harry Potter)
   - some sort of chocolate thing (maybe chocolate covered peanuts)
   - Chipotle gift card 
   - a season of Gilmore Girls
   - cutesy note cards

that just sounds soooo nice!  I'm fairly confident that in the coming years I'll be sending many more care packages than I'll be receiving!  oh well!  :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

grace glasses

Waking up, I rub my eyes and squint at the world around me.  My vision seems normal because, well, I'm used to this view.  But what I don't realize is that my eyes are unfocused.  That I'm missing that all-important lens through which I view the world.

Someone left the milk out of the counter.  Now it's warm.  Gross.  I roll my eyes and mutter something about people who are too irresponsible to complete a simple task. 

Driving down the expressway, someone cuts me off.  "Really?!?  What a jerk!  Couldn't you see me here??"  I speed away to get out of the path of the negligent driver.

The day winds on. 

And I still haven't noticed.

The phone rings.  I spent ten minutes trying to calm down the person on the other end.  The person who has been yelling at me and accusing me of being harsh.  "Are you serious?!  I've been trying to HELP you this whole time and you respond by blaming ME for your problems??"

It isn't until later, much later, that I realize it.  All of a sudden it hits me.

My vision's been blurry all day. 

I forgot my grace glasses. 

See, it might sound kinda crazy, but it's true.  When I first wake up in the morning, I need to remind myself to slip on those "grace glasses".  I must view others through eyes of grace.  It is so very easy for me to be critical and harsh and fight against the world.

The cashier calls for a price check and apologizes for the wait.  I sigh.  Oops.  My grace glasses slipped.... Adjusting the focus of my heart, I smile and say, "I don't mind!  It's not your fault!  How much longer until you're done for the day?".

See, the truth is that these grace glasses are actually for my heart as well as my eyes.  When I wake up with a bitter, cynical view on the world, I see everything as an attack.  When I remember those grace glasses, I easily forgive and bless others.  I remember that in the course of all eternity, these little trivial things don't really matter.

These grace glasses aren't just about making me a nicer, softer person though.  Because I remember that each and every day the ultimate Judge views me through eyes of grace.  Can I not afford others the same grace?

So the next time that my vision is unfocused and critical, I need to remember how I am viewed by God.  That each and every day He looks at me through grace of which I am so, so undeserving.  When I'm truly amazed at the grace I've received, it becomes much easier to pass on that grace to others.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover