Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth, Raising kids

Thoughts about daily life’s hiccups

Having small kids means getting comfortable with last-minute changes. Winter is harder with all the bugs going around too.

My ongoing challenge has been dealing with missing out on regular kid’s activities that I think will give them a fun childhood. It’s all the expectations and assumptions that I think we should be doing. You would think that after years of practice running to and fro Ellis’ medical emergencies I should have become accustomed to it by now. It’s still hard!!!!

We were all recovering from a recent bout of bronchitis, sinus infection, and cold; the kids and I were on antibiotics. Then, we were physically well for about three weeks. And Elliot has come down with a cold again! Pediatrician said it’s a virus so he needs to ride it out; no antibiotics this time.

It’s been a wacky week with him feeling under the weather, on and off, and this morning his symptoms are full blown. Another bout? Called the pediatrician to see what we should do. While he is still coughing and has a runny nose, he’s considered contagious. Another bubble existence?!!!!!

And Ellis keeps whining that she’s not getting personal attention. She holds her blankie and softly cries into it making puppy sounds saying “I need ten’tion.” I explain that when she’s sick I give her all my attention, but when brother is sick I need to tend to him. She ignores what I’m saying and continues to whine. Pediatrician says it’s because she’s so accustomed to all that attention since birth.

“where is my attention?!!” That’s her show of discontent.

The little one hasn’t caught it yet and I’m hoping she doesn’t. When she gets sick, our whole family goes on high alert.

I need to take these life’s hiccups with more stride. Life gets messy with small kids…they go from one cold to another. It takes time to build immunity. I realize it’s harder to be the person who is sick, so I need more patience on this road to recovery. See, this is where I feel disappointed in my attitude.

I wonder what God wants me to learn through these experiences. Maybe: let go of my plans and trust God with my days?; let go of personal disappointment and ask for God’s wisdom?; trust that God will fill in the gaps?; stay teachable?; or get my priorities in order?

Learning is hard; it brings mixed emotions in yourself as you wrestle with old and new beliefs. It also asks you to have the courage to create new paths in your thinking. Motherhood is challenging and it’s a self-refining process. I realize the depth of my selfishness and that realization gets me down.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

I’m telling myself to have a good day before the day is over. I would feel worse to have spent the day with a cloud hanging over me, but I know today can be salvaged with God’s help!

Posted in Faith journey

A lingering headache makes me pause

I’ve been taking Nyquil nightly for my cold these past few days. Its symptoms are awful: headaches, watery eyes, achy bones, and throbbing pain behind my eyes and nose. Now I’m wondering if it’s a sinus infection, because the pain has evolved into a dominating headache. This pain has blended the events of my days into one big blob.

Feeling so lousy makes me realize the need to intentionally pause in my life. Good for me and good for those around me.

Looking forward to a new month. January started rocky with lots of volatile emotions and tiredness. I am praying for a smoother February with an abundance of health, hope, better time management, wisdom, joy, and overall God’s peace!! I trust that He answers when you reach out to him.

Believe in GOD like you believe in the sunrise. Not because you can see it, but because you can see all it touches.—C.S. Lewis

Wishing my readers a brighter, healthier, and happier February!!

Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

Rest, rest, rest

Elliot is almost over his croup turned bronchitis from last week. It was obvious that he felt unwell when he took afternoon naps and had a loss of appetite. Overall, it was a busy week with doctor’s appointments, recovering, and taking various medications: antibiotics, steroids, over-the-counter pain reliever, and doing breathing treatments at home.

I took last week in stride and hoped that I wouldn’t get sick too. But last night I felt the first inklings of a cold: lightheaded, pounding head, achy body, and a yucky tasting cough. I consoled myself that at least Elliot was feeling better and Ellis hasn’t been throwing up. Ack! I got ahead of myself because Ellis felt queasy right after waking up and ran to the bathroom. Today was the first time she threw up without someone next to her.

The best scenario was resuming our regular activity schedule this week, but it’s having to be pushed back again. In the big scheme of things a few days will not break or put us behind since we can do make-up classes and still catch up to our lessons. But when I am tired, it makes those changes seem large and daunting. I wonder, where is my faith in all of this? God has brought me through challenges much bigger than this and I believe He can do it again.

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.

At-home breathing treatment with nebulizer. It’s helped so much with his coughing.

Today has been a rough day. I’ve been dealing with cold symptoms, fatigue, and extreme guilt that I couldn’t help Ellis this morning. Other nagging thoughts: I’m inconsistent with homeschooling lessons and our learning environment is too scattered. I wonder how our learning journey turned into this burdensome task. It used to be an exploration of budding interests and having fun learning together. But once I put so much pressure on myself, it’s begun to lose its spunk.

“I love a broad margin to my life.”

Henry David Thoreau

I need to give myself some margin and enjoy this time with my kids.

Rest. Must rest. Need down time to recover.

It’s a daily lesson in surrendering my fears and insecurities to God: let go and let God. Another lesson is setting my priorities in order.

Psalm 37:7

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently or Him to act.”

Philippians 4:6

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

Purposely taking life slow with depression

From past experiences, I learned that waiting for depression to go away on its own doesn’t happen. If left neglected, it gets worse over time. After a sleepless night, I called the doctor’s office and made an appointment for that afternoon. The kids came with me; while I spoke to the doctor, they sat outside the office door eating snacks and playing on their tablets.

Having depression is not obvious: appearances and demeanor can be misleading. To others you seem to be doing okay externally; you’re smiling, functioning, and not visibly in pain. Talking about it is not easy: it’s not the best conversation starter and there is always the lingering fear that people will not like you or avoid you because of it.

“You are so brave and quiet. I forget you’re suffering.”

Ernest Hemingway

I tell myself that everyone gets depressed at one time or another, but does that mean I need to see a doctor about it? I don’t feel like my usual self, but is it bad enough to take medication? How can you differentiate between regular sadness or something more? Isn’t it reasonable to feel this bad after all that’s happened recently? BUT I don’t have time for this; get over it will you!!, I tell myself.

I wonder why I need to justify it to myself or someone else. It doesn’t need to be a confession (wise words from a professor referring to a childhood memory of meeting my parents at four years old, but her words seem relevant in this case too). Why can’t I accept it as part of my story and my reality??

One step at a time. Life is not perfect but living it well is my wish. God doesn’t abandon me when I’m hurting; He draws me closer. I’m thankful God’s grace covers me when I’m feeling this way. All the condemnation, that I’m a bad believer, a sell out, a weak person, is not from God but from the enemy telling lies. What a time to actively listen for God’s affirming words and his promises by reading the Bible. I’ve been reading it a lot lately.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Going through this so early in January is a wake-up call. This year I need and want to intentionally focus on living slow. All this constant internal pressure to do more and stay busy deflates me. I want to find contentment in this space of ours and stop reaching for what I think I “should” do. So cliche but true: quality over quantity.

Photo by Nacho Juárez on Pexels.com

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming “of it.”

Helen Keller


Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

A personal talk about depression

Photo by Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will know that November and December of 2018 was an upheaval of sorts with my 5-year-old daughter getting hospitalized three times in one month. When she gets sick, it affects our whole family taking us time to recover and settle back into our regular life. After the last hospitalization, we spent the last week of December catching up on sleep and physical rest.

January couldn’t come any faster. I wanted to put 2018 behind us and start new: a new year, a new attitude, new experiences, new adventures, new plans. The first two days of this year went well for me. Then, on January 3rd, a rush of sadness and hopelessness swept over me. These feelings surfaced intermittently, but I pushed them away so I could keep moving forward. But at Ellis’ cardiology appointment on January 3rd, a casual conversation with the social worker brought my despair to light. I didn’t know why it was a big deal that we had a rough month; I was doing just fine.

On these clinic visits, parent/s and child meet with various specialists to discuss issues, progress, and questions. Many parents with children who have chronic medical conditions suffer from depression, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD (hospital experiences become a war zone in the mind). Doctors always ask parents how they are holding up. But this time it was evident to me that I was not okay. I recalled what happened each time, which events led up to it, and how I was coping; having someone ask me with sympathetic eyes just broke me down. I was hurting.

My depression has made another grand entrance in my life. I’ve struggled with it since my twenties, and I notice it reoccurs with major life changes or stressers. It’s hard to talk about depression openly with all the negative stigma attached to it and as a Korean-American. These kinds of things are rarely discussed, acknowledged, or admitted in Asian cultures; there’s lots of shame attached to self and to one’s family. It can be seen as a sign of personal weakness and lack of willpower. Oh well. So be it.

I have depression with propensity for panic breakdowns. I wish I didn’t have it and many times I white knuckle it through those anxiety sweeping moments. But talking about it releases the grip it has on me. Sometimes I get tired of smiling and making it seem like I’m doing fine when really I’m scared and hurting badly inside. This kind of stuff is hard to share: what if my feelings burden someone else?; what if it makes people dislike me?; will they think I’m crazy?; will this label me?; will people think I’m a bad Christian?

I don’t want to be seen as the party pooper who walks around with a dark cloud above my head. It’s not all the time, so I would rather keep it to myself. With depression, it’s hard to articulate those waves of sadness and hopelessness that overpowers the self.

I made a doctor’s appointment the next day. My current medication was not working. I couldn’t let it get worse; I really was holding on by a thread. I’ll see a therapist again. My constant irritability and crying were affecting my family members; it wasn’t only about me anymore. I feel very vulnerable and weird sharing this on my blog. But this blog is about my life and how can I ignore it. Believing in God does not mean that I’m immune from things like this; God is here in the midst and helping me work through it. I cling to Him more in times like this.

I’m learning that it’s better to seek help to get better than to sweep it under the rug. I do the latter a lot and it explodes in various ways. I hope anyone who is depressed and feel hopeless will reach out for help. It doesn’t have to stay this way.

BTW, if my writing sounds defensive or too explanatory, please understand. This is a vulnerable topic for me and something I feel ambivalent about. Thanks readers!!