What it Feels Like… Anxiety.

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It’s two am. Second time in as many days that I have laid here and watched the clock hit two. Then three. Yes, even four and five happens before my tired eyes. When I got home from work I was starting to feel worn from the day and night before. I plugged on, cleaning up a bit, did an exercise challange, and made dinner. I tucked my self on the cozy bed by nine. Turned on the same old movie and pressed play. Not long after the light is off I start to doze. It feels so good, I take note to every part of me relaxing. I feel each limb get heavy and my body sink down. So calm I drift off to sleep.
Startled like an urgent phone call in the middle of the night I am jolted awake. Terror is the only way I can describe how your mind and body feel. It takes a few seconds before you understand what is happening. ANXIETY!
It’s almost like a relapse from a drug. Your emotions are comfort, this is a place you have been before. The voice in you that screams,  “Something is terribly wrong!” And the sensations that you feel are nothing new so you are able to tell your self it will be okay. You know what’s going to happen next.
Your mouth goes dry from panting and your throat feels closed. It’s almost like trying to exhale thorn covered air. Your head spins out of control, why is this happening, what’s wrong, how can I stop this? All the thoughts twist and turn in your mind and there is a confused pressure to focus on one unobtainable thought at a time. Eyes begin to burn, they tear, and uncontrollably they search your surroundings for help. You close them, but still they scan shadows and light from behind your lids. The nose and sinuses feel open, so open you can not feel the sensation of a inhale and try harder. This is all in the first seconds and only what’s going on with your head.
Ribs become the enemy and they seem to crush your lungs. The harder you try to catch a breath the harder they constrict. The heart beats faster then you would think is possible. You can feel it, you can see it. No matter how fast it beats it’s not doing its job and you feel dizzy as if your brain is not getting enough blood. It’s a head rush like when you stand up to fast but you have not even moved yet. You can feel your vains, they feel swollen as blood surges back and forth through them. Tingles! That is the only way I can describe blood in every part of my body. Joints get a tingle too. A sensation to shake or jerking your body or limb is out of control. I have been known to curl, curling my hands or feet to subside the sensations.
It’s at this time you have taken note to every transition your body is going through. Every feeling and thought consumes you. Overwhelmed you start the fight or flight mode. It starts to get worse, like looking at the sun. Get up! Do something, distract yourself, sing a song, pray begging to be released of this.
But you lay there. You don’t move, you can’t move. Deep inside there is a part of you who enjoys all of this. It makes me feel like I am still alive. There is a conflict though because it doesn’t feel right. It’s not “normal.” Somehow, some way you find peace and the moment passes. What felt like an hour was only minutes of distress.
I have been dealing with this for about 8 years now. With age and time, it seems to get worse. So what? What do I do?
“Lean not into my own understanding but in all things thrust in the Lord.” I repeat this over and over sometimes out loud to gain focus. “Be anxious for nothing” words that grow meaning as the storm subsides. Once I feel I can breath again I sing to myself, “It is Well” like a lullaby until I sleep again.
I am working with controlling my anxiety. Honestly, that’s the biggest part of the problem… control. Even in reading this, some still won’t understand but now you know a piece of what I am going through in those moments. I don’t need you to understand, I need you to support me. To love me anyway, to tell me it will be okay, and help me trust Im not alone with my pain.

Spiritual DOMS

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DOMS!!! Delayed onset muscle soreness. Oh you know what I am talking about. 24-48 hours after a new workout when you are not sure if you will ever walk again. I started the 500 workout Saturday and by church I was thankful I am not Catholic and could just sit there. My thighs and bootie were so sore! Walking was a chore, going potty was a site and climbing in my truck was hysterical! No one is exempt from feeling these pains. The most seasoned gym junkies and physically fit people get them. It sounds terrible but it’s microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. Eh… what!? Yeah, you read that right. It’s most often caused by doing new activities your muscles are not used to. There are a few ways to cope with them… Bengay and the type of rubs Warm bath in Epsom ibuprofen Stretch rolls (I love this thing!!) And… Get back in there!! I know the last thing you want to do is work out again. It can be the most discouraging part of fitness for a lot of people. I went to work today and walked a little over 8,000 steps. The first couple hundred were like a war between me and my legs. After the first couple hours I am still sore but I can feel a huge difference. How is this compared to my relationship with Christ? When we spend some time away from him and come back we go through some spiritual DOMS. This may be the most common time we feel these pains but again, no one is exempt from it. Some call it spiritual warfare, some call it faith growing pains, I’m call it spiritual DOMS. It is the same because it can become discouraging to starting a better walk with Christ. When I moved to Louisiana everything was terrible! I had issues with every part of everyday. From getting a job, getting my son in school, becoming a legal resident, making my vehicle legal… the list goes on and on. Only one thing in my new life was perfect, my new church. It was amazing! The praise ignites my soul, the word is exact in its timing, and the fellowship is family. I was feeling spiritual muscle pain! I was getting so bitter. I didn’t want to go to church and connect or give praise. For what!? That’s when it hit me! I just needed to continue to work my soul and stretch. I began to force myself through the pain. I gave thanks for a perfect church and renewed relationship with Christ and slowly the pains of life were less of a burden. In working out your body or your soul keep these words in mind… “Get back in there!!” image

Daniel Chapter One

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I started reading in Daniel because the fast is what started all this. I didn’t know much about it even though I had participated in a church wide Daniel fast in the past. Eat only fruit and vegetables, drink only water, and stay in the word for 10 days. When I look back on my relationship with Christ it’s like human growth. I won’t go into all that just now but I was clearly in a teen age relationship. Just obey.
I don’t honestly know much about Daniel except he was thrown in a lions den for not listening to the king. My memories are more of coloring pages and children’s books. I have gone from wanting to know about the fast to wanting a better idea of just who Daniel was.
King Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem. The king ordered the court officials to collect the best Israelite men and bring them to him for training. They would train for three years and once done the would enter the kings service.
The king provided foods and wine from his table for the men. Daniel was given a new name along with his three friends. (You know them as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) This food was contaminated and not prepared according to the law. The first portion of the food was offered to idols and the wine was poured on a pagan altar.
This is where the first fast comes to play. Daniel requested permission to not eat of the Kings rations but rather eat only fruits, vegetables, and water. An officer who saw favor in Daniel told him he feared his own head if the men not eating looked less then the other men. Daniel asked for 10 days, in ten days if they looked different from the other men the officer could treat them accordingly.
After the time the guard found they not only looked great but better then the others and allowed them their diet. The Lord rewarded these four men with knowledge and understanding. Daniel was also given the ability to understand visions and dreams.
After the three years, the King found these men to be supreme and none compared to Daniel. They then entered the kings service.

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I decided to do just the first chapter because I connected to it. I left my home in Texas and moved to Louisiana. This is a different world to me not just because of the culture shock but everything down to the habitat is different. Though the men’s relocation was under different circumstances I can understand being in a new place. Once Daniel was there he was in a position to go along with what the others were doing or stand up for his convictions. I moved here one week before Mardi Gras. Everyone told me I had to go. I had to see. It’s part of living here. I would not have minded a family friendly parade or event but I wanted not part of New Orleans. My answer was always the same, “I have no business being in a place with so much sin.” I was teased, I lost chances to make friends, and I even felt left out at times. Looking back now, I am happy I stood where I did.
Have you ever had to go against the grain? What did you do when people mocked you for it? Have you ever considered if you were in Daniels position, would you have the guts and heart to do the same?

No Signal Sunday

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My challenge to you is no signal Sunday. I know what you are thinking… “No way, no how!” But hear me out. I try to maintain Sunday as a day for family, faith, and food. I have always asked to have Sundays off from work. It’s a day we are all home. In a perfect world we would go to church, come home and relax, eat a feast, and enjoy time as a Christian family.
I know Sunday is to be a day of rest and preparing a feast sounds like a lot of work. If we do it right we cook as a family. We dance in the kitchen to some praise music. In the end we have leftovers to last the week. When I think feast, I think thanksgiving. Sunday supper is a chance to receive the blessings the Lord has provided and be thankful for all we have.
Now, on to the no signal part. I dare you as a family to go two hours with no signal. This means no phones, tablets, computers, or world music just old fashioned family fun. So… what are we supposed to do? It would be crazy to set such expectations without plans.
No signal time can be spent doing anything. Maybe decide as a family what to spend the time doing. Perhaps everyone can write down three ideas and put them in a jar. Pull a new one out every Sunday. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels spinning.

– Geocache
– Check news paper for events
– Do what tourists do in your town
– Prepare Sunday supper
– Play outdoors. Ie: fishing, hiking…
– Go to garage sales (set an amount for each person and stick to it)
– If you can afford to do amusement activities. Ie: putt putt, aquarium, zoo…
– Google “things to do in _____.”
– Play board games
– Do a craft or hobby

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Maybe you can think of more? Comment below any you may think of.
All that really matters is spending time with your family with NO SIGNAL!

*Turn your phone on airplane mode to use it as a camera and save some memories.