Tuna

Just a quick post to let you know a couple things.

I made it to a young adults life group after having a mental breakdown a couple weeks ago.

And I met the friends I prayed to God about months before moving here. I was welcomed like I had been there before and was just gone for awhile. They have been the most welcoming group to become friends with.

Thank you to the following people for being there: Chase, Hannah, Jen, Taya, Kaelynn, and Tess

I would insert a photo of a few of them here but my phone air balled when I originally tried to send it to my mom and it disappeared.

Second thing is the biggest news I’ve been hiding from most of you for a whole week.

I GOT A DOGGO

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus!

Her full name is Tuna McCoy Pedroza. But we call her McCoy, or just Coy.

Now here are the answers to all your questions about her:

Where did you get her?

Craigslist, I am her third (and last) owner. Her first owner abused her, I don’t know how bad but she has definitely shown signs of being spanked and slapped in the face. Her second owner, a sweet older woman named Tracy, gave her up to me because she had some medical stuff and didn’t have the time or skills to rehabilitate an abused dog.

What breed is she?

Australian Cattle Dog, or Blue heeler. Though she might be a mix because she is full grown at about 25 pounds.

How old is she?

20 months. She will be 2 in June.

What is she like?

In this first week I’ve learned that she is easily distracted, self-entertaining, afraid of almost everything, cautious, loves my mom almost more than me, she loves to sit on people, also loves to nibble ears, she’s infatuated with anything that squeaks, likes women more than men, not too fond of other dogs ( I assume she was not socialized as a baby), is a very picky eater, is interested in anything as soon as it’s in the trash can, afraid of my farts, she is slowly learning that her kennel is a safe place.

And lastly, while I’m at work I leave her in my room so she’s not roaming the apartment all day, and everyday so far she has rearranged my pajamas. The first day I thought maybe I forgot to fold them but the second day I knew it was her. She will move my sweatpants to her spot on my bed to nap, and drag my shirt to her bed (that she doesn’t use, I might add).

I’m sure I left out some stuff about her but most importantly she is my ESA, and I would even venture to say my service dog.

She has helped me out of an anxiety attack, and today tried to comfort me in a mental breakdown when I was feeling more than overwhelmed with living.

The first time I was panicking because of something small and I sat down in frustration. She immediately dropped her toy and ran to me putting her paws on my lap and started digging in a way that was to say “calm down calm down calm down it’s going to be ok!” And she didn’t stop until I acknowledged her.

Today I was having a bad depressed day and couldn’t shake it. I cried and called my mom and then my sister, and then my other sister. I cried so hard and eventually was ok for a short while. When my mom showed up at my door I was ok but could still feel it. I was frustrated with McCoy because she had an accident in my apartment a few days ago and she freaked out when I yelled at her. I felt like a monster. And because of her being easily distracted outside at the littlest things she won’t potty for a long time. And when it’s 27 degrees outside it’s more than frustrating to stand out there for 20 minutes with her getting scared at the branch she broke from stepping on it.

So, with that being said, her presence today was irritating when I was trying to be ok and I just kept getting more and more overwhelmed with the fact that she wouldn’t go pee outside in a timely manner.

I kept pushing her away when she tried to comfort me and bring me out of it. That was until my mom was getting ready to leave and I broke down again leaning on the end of my bed. My mom said maybe it’s just a bad day and that’s ok, do what you need to take care of yourself. But my depression makes me feel guilty for having sad, overwhelmed feelings and I just cried harder and harder.

Then McCoy jumped on my bed and smothered me with kisses and tried her best to climb on me and pull me out of it but I just cried harder thinking “I don’t deserve this dog.” She is the sweetest, and most gentle dog I have ever had. She reminds me a lot of Hope.

There will be another post about her soon to tell you how she got her name and how she’s adjusting to her new home with me.

Love you all so much and thank you for your support through this life change.

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double blessings

SO, I have some major news for you all. BUT FIRST! Let me tell you about my friends coming to visit me!!

BLESSING #1

I had my very best friends come from California (where I used to live, in case you forgot) to visit me for a weekend. And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. The week before they got here I had a complete emotional breakdown, worrying about where I would be living in a month. I got through it and came out stronger than ever, learning to completely trust God with my entire life. It is certainly not easy, but so SO worth it.

So, my friends, Margaret, Morgan, Kaitlyn, and Tony came to town and let me begin by telling you I haven’t had that much fun since I moved away from them. I laughed so hard I peed my pants, twice. I am not ashamed of that because it just says how hard I laughed and shares the joy I had spending time with them. I took them downtown where we explored the Resort shops and got stared at for being the only brown people in north Idaho. It was a chilly day, about 34ish and raining off and on, but that didn’t stop us from getting ice cream at my favorite creamery.

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they flew in late at night so of course we stopped to play in the freshly fallen snow
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abbey’s ice cream (and gluten free cones!!)

We went to a few more shops after getting ice cream and got too hot in the last one so three of us waited outside and built a snowman on the snow-covered bushes before heading back to the car. I got a friendly reminder that it was Friday and it was 2-hour parking…after being parked there for about 4 hours…..Thank you JESUS! It was only a courtesy violation ticket and I didn’t actually get fined. We headed home and were greeted by the warm smell of a Thanksgiving dinner. Yup, there was turkey, stuffing, gravy, and glorious mashed potatoes. Not that is matters, BUT I feel it necessary to tell you that I ended up with a plate of mashed potatoes and corn and a cup (or two) of butternut squash soup, which was slightly disappointing.

We didn’t stay up too late, if I remember correctly. Hoping we would get an earlier start to Saturday. The plan was to find a pond or lake frozen enough to skate on or at least have some fun on. We tried bargaining with a local hockey equipment shop to “rent” us some skates but they didn’t have the right sizes. We went bald eagle searching and saw a few but that was unimpressive, at least to me. However, we did find a frozen lake. Unfortunately it had about 5 or 6 inches of slush on it from the snow that had fallen a few days before and the rain from the day before. It was frozen enough to walk on and probably skate on but we just adventured walking on it and watched the ice fishermen do their thing, while taking in all the God given beauty.

That afternoon we ventured back into town and stopped at one of my favorite thrift stores and then home again in time to see the elk herd feeding down the street from where I live. My friends kept asking to play in the snow and I was reluctant mostly because I needed a nap, but sleep is for the weak, I mean the week. So coffee was required to keep this old lady going. We geared up for the snow and headed out the patio door to an unexpected thigh high snow. Insert video of Margaret running in it and this would be the first incident of me peeing my pants. We played for a while building a real snow lady and then having this great idea to get the inner tube and slide down the backyard. It didn’t work. We would try the front yard. After peeing my pants the second time because of Morgan pushing everyone into the snow multiple times and not being able to stand up, we finally made it to the front yard, where we spent some time creating the perfect slide. It took some hard shoveling and patience but when we got it, it was non stop fun. After heading back inside and changing into dry, clean clothes we went out to dinner with my mom and matt. Thank you again to those two for hosting my friends and feeding them for a weekend.  When we got home we played a few games and laughed a ton more, if you saw my Instagram stories you know how many bets I lost. The morning after was a bit rough but we made it to church on time and they felt just as out of place (I think) as I did the first time I went. But we had more fun on the way to the car wash and even through the car wash, blasting worship music and having a dance party. They packed up their belongings and headed to Spokane to find the ice ribbon and finally skate! I was so full of joy the whole weekend, and even beyond. It was the most fun I’ve had in months, and I can’t wait for more visitors!!

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NOW! I hope you’re still with me, because this is the good stuff.

BLESSING #2

If you have kept up with me, you know I had an agreement to move out at or before 6 months of moving to north Idaho. Well on January 3rd I had a complete mental breakdown, totally consumed by this one thought, “I have this overwhelming sense of impending doom.” It quite literally consumed my thoughts at work all day, and only God knew that I needed that to happen on the day it did. You see, every Wednesday I have therapy. This particular session I cried and sobbed and cried harder than ever before.

Let me pause to say, I don’t tell my hard times so people can say “poor you” I write them because I pray they can help just one person find some hope and maybe some strength to fight their battles. If I can do it, so can you.

That day was one of the hardest, but I came out of it stronger than before, and knowing I had the strength and the skills to overcome whatever was coming next. God had so much  in store for me I can’t promise this will be short. I searched for rooms to rent and had two doors shut. I said “Lord lets this be from you, I hope you’re closing these doors because you have something better for me.” I had to keep my faith, find just a sliver of hope to hold onto.

Then came Tuesday, January 9th. My mother urged me to be an adult and go to this apartment complex by myself to inquire about possible one or two bedrooms that would be available soon. I put on my big girl pants and said “okay, Lord let’s do this.” I got there and of course the parking lot was full. “okay Lord lets do this tomorrow!” “just a second young lady! go park over there!” “but its far..and Ill have to walk through the snow..” “shut your mouth and go park.” “yes Lord.” I parked and walked my little butt into that office with confidence. It quickly faded when the guy at the computer failed to acknowledge me and the woman at the opposing desk smiled while she talked on the phone. “I’ll be with you in just a minute.” she explained. It was more than a minute, and my anxiety grew. “I should just walk out and come back later” “no, just be patient.” The Lord was surely testing me. I waited and eventually was told there was a one bedroom available and was qualified for it. A lot of the housing around here is low-income so I had my hand up quick, “pick me! pick me!” I brought home the application and screamed in joy that the Lord had provided, seriously everything seemed perfect, there was nothing in my way, not a thing could stop this from working in my favor. “just you wait..” whispered the Lord.

I swear I got that application filled out so fast and got that deposit check from the bank and headed over there as fast as I could. With my trusty sidekick this time. On the way there my mom and I talked about how faithful God has been with my little faith. We got there just before closing to submit my application and set an appointment for the next day to fill out some more paperwork. The only thing in my way at this point was the employment verification and I was about to give up. I had little faith in my management at work to get this paper filled out quickly and I was right. It took about a week for them to get it filled out and returned. I was sure I would get a call that I just needed to sign the lease. I was wrong. I got a call. But it was a call, asking for my pay stubs. That didn’t make any sense but I said sure, again I was on a time limit trying to locate the email with the link, save them, print them, and drive them to the office that closed at 5. It was 4:30. a 15 minute drive off the mountain and into town. I thought I would never make it, yet again I made it. Upon further conversation with this lady, whom I did not recognize, she informed me that I made too much and therefore did not qualify for the low-income housing. I was in shock. There is no way I make too much. no. way. In the midst of this baffling conversation she said “Excuse the mess, we’re taking over management here.” I got a bad feeling in my gut. hmm..where are the two other people I had met before? It was definitely a feeling from God, preparing me for today.

More bad news.

I found my most current pay stubs on the new system from work and took them in. However that didn’t change anything. According to whatever program they use to calculate yearly income, I made twice as much as I actually do. Which disqualified me from living there. My mom and I put up a huge argument that they had false information from their stupid program, and better yet, the manager didn’t offer any thing else to help me. Clearly I had proof of my actual income but that didn’t matter. I got up and made a snarky comment that was uncalled for. The manager responded with “Yeah, because it’s ALL our fault!” and my mother lost her cool. I didn’t qualify because of their stupid program. We left completely discouraged and flabbergasted. Just in complete awe that this happened. The Lord had opened this door, to a perfect place. And the just like that SLAMMED it in my face. “This isn’t the one I have for you.” He whispered to me as we drove away. I was losing hope, and my faith was wavering. Lord I thought you had me. what is going on. With my time running short, and my move out date coming soon, my mom suggested we try going to this complex that I had submitted an application for a few weeks before, but had not heard anything. There was a sign on the door, “will return @ 4:20” it was 3:20. We headed down to a coffee shop and I prayed for some peace and guidance about this. I just had no idea how this lady couldn’t offer anything else to help me get the apartment that I clearly qualified for. I needed to let it go. I tried but I couldn’t do it on my own. my mom called the manager of the first place and left a message about this crap situation, she called back while we were at the coffee shop and explained that if I could get my manager at work to create pay stubs that only had my earnings from January first to today they would be willing send it to their headquarters and leave it up to them. I quickly emailed the bookkeeper and owner of my work and waited. In the mean time we headed back to the second apartment complex, We walked inside and were greeted by this wonderful woman, who remembered me from months ago. I explained that I paid for the application online about 2 weeks ago and was wondering if I qualified or not, and if there even was an apartment available. the answer to both of those questions was yes. yes and yes. My mouth fell open. you’re kidding me right! She was not kidding. Handed me the keys and said go take a look. brand new appliances, washer and dryer in unit, covered parking spot, and free gym membership to the gym across the street. I couldn’t believe it. THE LORD IS FAITHFUL YOU GUYS. She explained that because my income was tight for the rent, my deposit would be a few hundred more, but that was not a deal breaker for me. Let me tell you the greatest part, IT IS MOVE IN READY ON FRIDAY. FRIDAY! as in Friday, January 26th. Can you even begin to believe how great our God is. Because,  I can’t.

He is so faithful you guys.

If you have just the smallest faith, He will move mountains, and bless you beyond your wildest dreams. And I am speaking from experience. If he can do it for me, I assure you he can do it for you too.

So excuse me while I happy dance my way into my new apartment.

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!

…..and thank you for reading this. I love you!

don’t get me wrong

Bonjour,

I was just reading my latest posts and can’t believe how faithful God has been through all my struggles in the last year (plus a few months.)

The last time I really emptied my heart on here I told you about how my fear of meeting people overpowered me and how I still hadn’t made any friends or made it to young adults. WELL, I finally made it. and I have been 4 times. I am proud of myself for that. The last two times were in a row (not a big deal, but actually a big deal) and I met some girls who could definitely turn into friends if I listen to my therapist and keep myself from building walls.

In one of my last sessions with my therapist I had a revelation. She has taught me so much about myself in the short time I’ve been here. One of those things is how much pressure I put on myself about my depression and the second being about making friends or doing new things. Another thing she helped me realize is how incredibly important it is for me to stay connected with my sisters. side note, there really is no love like a sisters love.

I obviously have struggled lately with obeying what God has told me to do. And in this session with my therapist I was speaking about how much of a struggle it is for me to make a move towards something good. For example, when I start to feel sad, I immediately retreat (mentally and physically) and feel guilty for feeling sad. ( I was not aware until a couple weeks ago that this is, in fact, the definition of depression) I know certain things will pull me out of a funk and I think about them when Im curled up on the couch or the floor watching tv, but I have SO much trouble actually getting up to do them. The same thing happens when I think about doing something like going to young adults, I make up excuse after excuse to get out of it. It was then, when I was talking-to her about this that the Lord spoke to me so clearly I burst into tears. “Just show up..” I had cried earlier when I thought about how much I missed my sisters, but these tears were different tears. “Just show up…and I’ll do the rest.” He said. Just show up  Marisa, stop worrying about all the unknowns and what ifs. So I showed up. I started saying “Yes Lord.” more. and I pray I keep saying yes Lord, more and more. I can’t even begin to tell you how many blessing have been poured on me since then.

On Thursday December 21 I got head butted by a dog at work. It happens all the time, a small bump or bruise every once in a while. But this was different, when I got hit I immediately got dizzy, tasted blood, and had a headache. The blood was from a small cut in my bottom lip where I bit myself when the dog hit me. I was fine. Two people saw it happen and I ended up telling one of them a little later, “dude, that seriously hurt, it felt like my brain shook, and my head is still killing me.” I was almost off of work so I figured the chiropractor could help me out. I definitely felt better after an adjustment but the headache continued to get more and more intense as the day and night went on. The next day at work I hardly noticed it, went the day with out thinking about it. When I got home everything changed, it was a Friday night and I usually stay up a little later, but I was struggling to keep my eyes open at 6pm. I tried going bed and instantly as my head hit the pillow the pain went from a level 5 to a 9. I started crying and writhing in pain, it was like someone was squeezing my brain. I tried turning to the right, it got worse. Tried the left and it was bad. Back to center and I was writhing again. I made it through the night sitting on my bed, legs straight out with my head leaning as far forward as it would go, and an ice pack on my forehead and another on the back of my head. “I have a concussion, I just know it..” I told my mom Saturday morning. By this time my vision had been going in and out, super blurry. I was dizzy, and the back of my head was still hurting like nothing Ive ever felt. (quick story about  pain, Ive had meningitis, migraines my whole life, debilitating menstrual cramps, a dead gall bladder, abdominal surgery because of it, and a few stress fractures. I have had my fair share of pain and its incredible how many different types of pain I can explain at 24 years old) I took tylenol, I was terrified it would do something to my stomach since pretty much everything does. Lucky for me it had no effect, at all. I was walking around the Spokane mall feeling like a zombie that was about to pass out or go blind at any second. I made it home and honestly have no idea how the day ended. I remember feeling better Sunday morning and made it to church. (condors just won!! whoop! whoop! I miss those guys) I worked on Christmas morning for a few hours and was feeling it a little, the dizziness, the pain, the new symptom of pain in my right ear with loud noises. Kinda worried me. but I kept my mouth shut. I ended up calling my primary doctor on Tuesday to make an appointment but she wasn’t available until the 3rd. I thought oh crap I’ve already waited too long to be seen I’ll be fine, but the lady on the phone insisted that I talk to a nurse and the nurse ended up sending me to the ER. I finished my shift and drove myself there with my mom by my side. I knew I was fine. I have a concussion (my second dog related concussion), and my brain is not bleeding. cool. I left work early two days in a row because I was too dizzy to stand and my job requires a lot of walking, running , standing. Ive been managing ok, but it is incredibly frustrating. I have an appointment with a concussion specialist in a few weeks, but I’m hoping I’ll be better and won’t have to go. Lord knows I don’t need another medical bill.

 

Last year on new years eve I was covered in hives and puking uncontrollably, I went to the ER and cussed out the doctor when he told me there was nothing he could do.

this year, Im having a gluten free beer and listening to Justin Bieber, praying an affordable apartment comes up in the next 30 days. Cheers to a new beginning and turning dreams into a reality.

 

Sorry this is such a long read, but if you’re still with me, thank you. I owe you. I love you.

On Christmas eve someone contacted me that I never in a million years thought would ever talk to me. I’m not gonna lie, it brought back a ton of memories and feelings even though I only met this person once, for less than 30 minutes probably. I don’t remember anything we talked about. BUT, I must have made a good impression. And, If you’re reading this, yes, you should have made some sort of effort back then to get to know me better. And no, I don’t actually have a terrible personality, but I am weird and hilarious, and yes, I’m cute.

If you’re struggling today, or any day, please please please talk to me. or talk to someone. there is no sense in hurting in silence.

I hope this year I can be nicer to myself, take better care of myself, make new friends, do things that scare me, and start up the comfort cafe!!!!!!!!, and maybe take a dance class, or play hockey again.

 

ya gurl, maris

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Im still alive

Hello family, friends and strangers,

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here so let me update you quickly.

  • I wore an emergency heart monitor for 14 days here’s what happened: it gave me a rash, made me realize my chest pain was related to eating, and it irritated me.
  • The results from that were normal. But I also had an ultrasound done on my heart and they found a “possible lesion” on my liver. So I had an ultrasound on my abdomen and they found nothing.
  • I had a treadmill stress test to see why I was almost blacking out when exercising and the only thing I got from that test is that I have an “incomplete right bundle” basically an electrical shortage in the right side of my heart. Not totally normal but also not the cause of my chest pain or anything else.
  • I haven’t written because I’ve been depressed.
  • I miss my friends
  • I got myself a therapist and am currently going through CBT and DBT
  • One year ago today (dec. 13) I had surgery to remove my dead gallbladder.

That’s all I have time for right now because I am sitting in the parking lot in my car at work and I have two minutes before I have to start.

I’ll be back soon.

I promise.

Love you all.

I will get there….eventually.

It doesn’t surprise me that its come to this for me to be writing again. I am missing my friends. crying.

Why is it so hard for us to do what God has called us to do? For me, its the unknowing. I have terrible social anxiety and have really tried overcoming it with this move to a new state. Yet here I am, sitting in my room on another Thursday night, while my church young adult group starts in less than an hour. Do I have time to get dressed and go? probably. Am I going to do that? probably not.

I dont liked being touched unless I ask for it, so thirty minutes ago when I said to myself,  “I need a hug.” and let my mom walk by without actually asking for one, God must have told her I needed one because she walked right back to me, hugged me, and said “I love you, you know?” I choked back tears and said, “yeah, I love you too.” We had a brief conversation before I started tearing up. She said, ” Why does that make you cry?” She was referring to my comment of having no desire to make friends. I know thats something I need to do. I prayed and prayed and prayed, everyday before we moved for God to have a group of people ready for me. But Im to scared. to even try. and that makes me so sad.

I hate being singled out as that new person, that one girl standing there by herself. Looking lost and confused. Inside, totally falling apart and having an overwhelming feeling of “flight” but not really having a way out. So it turns in to a feeling of  “fight.” But thats not the right thing either. So I end up shutting down. Answering small talk questions with one word, or a nod. And then I become “that rude girl from California who thinks she’s too cool for us.” And then becoming, “that girl who can’t keep it together, crying her face off during worship.” I don’t like drawing any type of attention to myself. I’d rather sneak by, behind the other new person, walk in late so I can sit in the back row, just incase I decide to leave early, then no one will notice.

those are my fears.

Praying for an open heart and an open mind just doesn’t cut it sometimes. I have a part, God has a part and the people I talk to have a part.

I visited California for the first time since moving a couple weeks ago. Mostly for my cousins wedding, but I also helped move my Grandma out of her apartment, got my hair done by a good friend, got to visit my best friends, and see a few faces I missed dearly at church on Sunday.  (If you’re reading this and I did not see you, I am SO sorry)

I didn’t realized when I left, how good my friends are. I sobbed when I saw my friends Margaret and Tony. And I sobbed again when I saw Morgan. And again when I saw Savannah. I said to her, “I didn’t realize how much I missed you.” and Im sobbing now remembering how I felt in those moments. Will you guy please come visit me already?

ride or die 2

It is incredibly dumb how I choose to say no to God every week, making up excuse after excuse about not going to church on a Thursday night at 7. But what is absolutely amazing, is how relentless He is. Every week He softly asks, “are you ready?” “no Lord, not this week, I have a cold” “no Lord, not this week, Im too tired.” no Lord, not this week..” I have run out of excuses. and I need to start saying “yes Lord.” to everything he asks me to to. He’s reminding me that I moved to a whole new world and what could be scarier than that? Whats meeting with people your own age who love Jesus just as much as you? BUT LORD. IM SCARED. “girl quit your crying, wipe your tears, put on your big girl pants, kill that spider and lets go” BUT LORD. “no more buts, lets go” BUT…. did you say lets?

He’s always with me and will go where I go. “Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move, I will follow you.” truer words could not be said right now and I am starting to remember that He will be with me even in the scary stuff.

Whatever your fears are, don’t let your them overpower you, or dictate what you do or don’t do. Tell God your fears and pray about giving them to Him completely. Im still working on that too, so if you need prayer or just someone to talk to or at, please know, I am always here. If I can’t answer your questions I know someone who can, and hopefully I can be someone to always point you towards The One who always has the answers.

have some more photos from my trip

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Not now, Not ever again.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV) ” ‘In your anger do not sin’ : Do not let the sun go gown while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Where to start…

IN THE LAST MONTH:

  • I had my 24th birthday, God reminded me, “It’s not about you. No, not even on your birthday.” It started out terrible, I let one small thing get to me and ruin my day, then I had dinner with some family and friends, it was ok, it could have been better. In my opinion, I’m a terrible host.
  • I watched movers move 19,000 pounds of stuff into the back of a truck.
  • I was late to my own going away dinner. But it was something I’ll never forget.
  • I sat in the passenger seat of my moms royal blue Prius for 20 hours while we drove across California, Nevada, the tip of Arizona, Utah, the southern tip of Idaho, Montana and again, Idaho.
  • I moved to a place I had never been before, where I knew no one.
  • I cried. and cried. and cried.
  • I felt like Pocahontas when I saw all the wild animals in my front and backyard over a few days. (deer, turkey, moose, porcupine, snakes, brown recluse spiders, hornets, wasps, yellow-jackets, bees)
  • I unpacked, and repacked. (most of you know that living with my mom is not permanent and I’ll be moving out in January)
  • I cried again.
  • I applied for a job and within a few hours of my interview, I got the job. (its another doggy daycare, they have cats too)
  • I watched the solar eclipse at this lady’s house down the street, with a few neighbors. (they’re all old, which I am fine with.)
  • I had my first day at work.
  • have some photos of me and my ladies road trippin’

Today, I woke up feeling defeated, I didn’t want to go to church, mostly because I feel like I don’t belong. I had a rotten attitude but hid it pretty well and pretended to be ok. I was trying to figure out how to shake this feeling of being sad and unloved and alone. I ( and mom and matt) went down to the Ironman triathlon at the local resort. It was exciting while we were there but when we got in the car to go home I really couldn’t shake the feeling.

I had a scare two weeks ago where my body starting shutting down in the middle of the day, I almost puked in a vintage store, my vision went blurry, my head was throbbing. I went home and slept for a few hours. Woke up feeling ok, until I stood up. I went upstairs and slept on the couch in front of the tv for another couple hours while my mom and matt went to dinner at the neighbors house. I ended up eating a bowl of cereal and going to bed. I slept another 12 hours that night and woke up the next day feeling generally ok, but a little groggy. I just thought, “what the hell happened yesterday?”

And a few days ago, I was taking the dogs outside for their final potty before bed, (I learned quickly to take a flashlight with me because it gets darker than my depression in 2011 after about 8pm) I scanned the front yard from the porch, starting from left to right, didn’t see anything so the three of us walked out into the grass, the girls went pee and then Grace’s head turned to the right and she went into stalking posture, Mercy followed suit. Sure enough there were a couple of deer walking down the driveway like they owned the place (but really, they do). The dogs tried to run for them, I locked the leash, ran for my life and drug them inside. I was more startled than anything, just because they quite literally came out of nowhere.

If you remember from my past blabbing, I have had a few worries about my heart and blood pressure. I was advised by two doctors to not exercise in any way shape or form. So, did that mean running for my life away from deer too? Probably. I ended up collapsed on the kitchen floor trying to catch my breath. My heart was beating as if I had just sprinted 6 miles and my lungs were having trouble keeping up. It was a little worrisome, but I eventually caught my breath and my heart stopped racing. I felt out of breath the rest of the night, and even more so when I tried to put my bed back together. I felt completely exhausted, almost fell over a few times trying to straighten out my blankets.

 

When I was feeling sad today, I didn’t make a solid attempt at figuring it out. I kinda just let it be. and it grew. until I tried to make dinner and it was a disaster. So I scooped myself the last of the ice cream and in my attempt to throw away the container, my bowl tipped off the edge of the counter and there went my feelings with it.

At that point I said quietly to myself, “Not today. You can’t have me.”

I scooped up my ice cream and ate it, dog hair and all. I was not about to let the enemy steal the only joy I had left. even if that meant eating dirty ice cream.  Unfortunately the enemy is as relentless as the Lord, and because I had not totally surrendered my frustration, the enemy said, “go to your room, they don’t wanna hear it.” So thats what I did. I walked down the stairs and into the darkness that is the basement, and down the hall to my black room. yes, I turned on the tv (to the hillsong channel, God trying to make a comeback), and the lights. I plopped on my bed and sulked. An hour later my mom came around the corner, “hey what’re you doing?” “nothing, why?” “just wanted to see what you were up to.” After deciding not to bleach my hair, (you’re welcome Yesse) I walked into my moms sewing room and sat on what I like to call “my chair” and started crying softly. I had a short talk with my mom trying to really surrender it this time. “I’m going to take a shower” I told her. Hoping that would make me feel refreshed. As I was rinsing my hair I found myself in a posture of surrender, with my hands at either side of my head and my head tilted to the sky and just like that I starting praying, “Lord I declare victory over this. Take this from me, help me to truly give it to you. I won’t go to bed with anger in my heart, I WILL NOT give the devil a foothold. Lord, I just pray peace over myself, help me feel your love and forgive me for my attitude today. Jesus, Im begging you to show me what I’m here for. Help me be in tune to hear your voice, don’t let me slip away. Jesus, tether my heart to yours. Let me walk in your shadow.”

I walked out of that prayer feeling confident that I had power to overcome this.

So, thats it for this one.

I have to give credit to Hillsong United for my last post tittle and this one as well, Lord knows they write songs that speak volumes. and they have been speaking to me with every verse lately.

23 and 364 days

My birthday is tomorrow and I currently feel like crying. 

All I want right now is for my moms husband to have a heart towards “family” and yes that includes the dogs. AND himself. 

It wrecks my soul and breaks my heart that he can’t see all the suffering the dogs have been enduring with the crap food they get and the hardly existant walks and exercise. These poor dogs could live such a better life if he just understood what he was doing to them. And maybe he does know and he just doesn’t care. I really have no idea because he doesn’t communicate well. 

I mentioned that he doesn’t have a heart towards himself, I could be very wrong but from my perspective he doesn’t care what he’s doing to himself. He eats constantly. All day long. And over eats. His portions are way out of control and his view of healthy food is skewed beyond belief. He won’t exercise because he says he doesn’t need it, he says he’s strong enough. But that’s not what it’s about! It’s about making sure your body is all working together properly to be the best you can be. I just don’t know how to explain what I see everyday. 

My heart breaks for my mom because she sees it happening and unfortunately it’s like she’s being brainwashed into not caring either. She knows what’s right but she won’t fight for it. 

I wasn’t taught to stand back and watch things fall apart. I was taught by my mother to fight for what you’re passionate about. I’m trying but Lord knows I have no idea how to tackle this one. Someone who thinks they know it all. It’s impossible to even begin to try to teach someone who thinks they know it all. The person has to admit they don’t and be willing to learn. 

In my opinion, He just thinks there’s nothing to learn from a child, (yes, in his eyes Im still a child, in some ways yes I have a lot to learn but by no means am I a child.) It is beyond difficult to get things through to him. 

They keep asking me what I want for my birthday, I just want my hospital bills paid off so I don’t have to worry about that when we move to a new state (literally and figuratively) in 6 days. 

Im passionate about dogs, and health, and dogs health, and mental stability AND LORD WHAT ARE YOU CALLING ME TO DO HERE? WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR ME? I feel so lost this moment. Lord help me hear you, I need you desperately. 

and i won’t be afraid

 

its time to write again.

Im sitting here in my mostly empty bedroom. trying to figure out how to put into words whats been going on. I can’t figure it out. I read one of my previous posts and started crying, I can’t believe how much I’ve been through. I can’t believe after all of that, I don’t breakdown crying every day. But at the same time it makes me realize how good God is. That He won’t let me fall. And even if I do, He’s still holding me.

I don’t really remember everything that has happened in the last month but ill try my best:

  • I went to a friends birthday dinner and had the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
  • I cried the next day for the first time thinking about missing the friends I’ve made here.
  • I baked a ton of gluten free lemon cupcakes
  • I had friends over for a small backyard fourth of july barbecue.
  • I started to get sick again.
  • I went out to dinner after young adults for the first time since late december. that was a mistake.  I learned who my real friends are.
  • my last day of work was July 11th, that was rough. I’ve never had such a great support system at any place of work, except maybe when my sister was my manager. regardless, working at Dioji taught me so many things about myself that I never knew. So, thank you to the ones who helped me realize my potential. Love you guys.
  • July 13th came and I had my first appointment with Dr. Lo, he is the number one specialist in the country for Sphincter Of Oddi Dysfunction, He didn’t say I don’t have it but he did put me in the the category of Type 3. he put me on an anti-depressant because of the connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal system, mostly for pain control.
  • my capsule endoscopy was july 19th. that was one roller coaster of an experience.
  • I have been listening to he new Hillsong United album non stop. current favorite songs are: Not Today, and Glimmer in the Dust
  • I climbed inside a tangerine tree.
  • i held a newborn goat
  • I saw Whiskeys boyfriend Boss Kitty in our front yard
  • my moms great aunt passed away almost two weeks ago so her services were last Tuesday, My aunt Patty came down to stay with us the monday night before and the following night. It couldn’t have been better timing. I had to prep for my EGD/Capsule Endoscopy tuesday night and if there is anyone that knows that struggle, its her.
  • my mother and I baked gluten free zucchini bread.
  • i sold my car

I had some time last Monday to sit and talk to my aunt and it was really something I’ll never forget. She has been through even more than I have regarding GI stuff, having had parts of her colon removed and surgery after surgery to repair what is left. God certainly used her testimony to remind me He’s still with me. I was on the edge of a mental breakdown and He used her to pull me back into His love.  and at the end of it all, when she was already tucked in to her blankets on the couch she said to me as I walked upstairs, “hey Maris, Im proud of you.” I almost cried but instead I just smiled and said thank you.

My EGD prep was the worst. I don’t understand why the stuff has to taste so bad, like pure celery extract. It didn’t go down easy. I threw up a tiny bit of it. But I drank almost all 4 liters of it by the time I had to get up to head down to UCLA for the appointment. When we got there I had to run to the bathroom a couple times just on the way up to the medical procedures unit. When we got there we checked in and waited a few minutes before I was called back, Thank God my mother was with me. I was getting a little anxious. The nurse introduced himself as Chris, and walked us back to a large exam room. I saw the bed, the bp cuff, the bp monitor, the IV, and everything else. But then he started talking and it sounded like I was just supposed to swallow the pill and wear the monitor all day. My mother put the breaks on and started scolding him that I was not about to have this procedure done without the EGD/anesthesia part of it, she explained why (the first time it was done the camera stayed in my stomach 48 minutes and died before it got to the end of my small intestine) This time they were supposed to deploy it past my stomach during the EGD so it would get everything. We ended up waiting in the room while the doctors and nurses tried to figure out what happened with the scheduling and called my doctor to see what they should do.  After a while Chris came back in and said they were just waiting for my doctor to talk to the charge nurse. We talked to Chris about my symptoms and of course my chronically low blood pressure came up. He didn’t believe us so he opted to check it right then. He did, and when it read, of course the alarm went off because it was 100/46. His jaw fell open and she shook me “are you alive?!” he screamed. “Yeah I feel fine, a little dizzy but I always am.” he took it again, It was 96/56. He warned us that, that could point to a cardiovascular disease, then he shook his head and said no, you would be tired all the time too, it would manifest like a cold. My mom told him about my daily 6 hour naps, and sleeping 9-10 hours a night and my randomly sore throat. His jaw fell open again. He said, “If this test doesn’t show anything, you need to see a cardiovascular disease specialist, even if it does show something you still need to get that checked out.”  He walked us back to the waiting room so he could start on the next patient who actually had a scheduled appointment. We waited a few minutes before being called back again by a different nurse, this time we went straight to the pre op bed, and all of a sudden everyone was introducing themselves, Rob the anesthesiologist, joy the nurse, and i don’t remember the others,  They were asking my name and date of birth and telling me what they would be doing along with putting leads on chest to monitor my heart, and sticking me with a needle to start the iv, fast is an understatement. they were moving like lightning. as soon as one nurse would leave another would show up. I had the procedure done and was on my way after a while.

I have been told there was something wrong with my heart before, that it wasn’t getting enough oxygen. but the test was done a second time and came back normal, so no one has been concerned.

Now I am. more than ever. When I saw Dr. Lo he told me i can’t exercise anymore. Because whatever is going on in my intestines and abdominal cavity is causing the muscles of my abdomen to spasm causing  more unnecessary pain. I feel like that may have been a blessing in disguise.

Any time my heart rate goes up I get very lightheaded, even losing my vision at times. I wonder if thats because of my blood pressure. I guess its good that Im not allowed to exercise.

I still have a few medical bills to pay off, a little less than $1,000. Its not as bad as I originally thought.

My 24th birthday is this Thursday. I wish I was more excited. All this packing and moving boxes down stairs is really getting to me now. its all getting so real. the moving truck comes on the 31st and we leave on the 1st.

 

NOT A BIG DEAL

Hello all,

I realize it has been awhile since I have updated you all on the happenings of my life (as if you really care.) But I have big news that will hopefully explain why I haven’t had the chance to write. I will try my best to make it short and sweet.

since may 23rd here is what has happened:

  • my mom turned 60
  • my dad turned 62 (we celebrated at The Huntington Library, it was incredible and I can’t wait to go back)
  • I started drinking coffee
  • I got my blood test results back from UCLA, everything was normal
  • I graduated the Training For Life level 3 class at my church (I am very proud of myself for that,please read the rest of this post before clicking here, this is a link to a paper I wrote for that class, It is something that was very profound and totally wrecked me into truly trusting God in EVERYTHING)
  • I have been getting stronger mentally, spiritually, and physically
  • I am supposed to have the capsule endoscopy re-done to see if the abnormalities that were present before are still there, and if they are I will have biopsies taken.
  • depending on the results of that test, I may or may not have the abdominal angiogram done.
  • I may have to have a manometry test done (two weeks ago my throat swelled up and basically shut, it felt like a ridiculously sore throat and I couldn’t swallow water without severe pain, I did not go tot the ER because it had happened before and I knew it would go away eventually so I just slept it off)
  • I started baking gluten free desserts
  • I started eating normal food and just dealing with the pain (which hasn’t been so bad lately)
  • I started cooking whole healthy meals that are easily digestible
  • I have been working a lot
  • I have been incredibly blessed

So, with that being said, here is the big news

I AM MOVING

WP8

I realize this looks like a photo you might find on google, but it is in fact the house I am moving to. Here are the answers to the questions you probably have

  1. where? Coeur D Alene Idaho
  2. why? that is where my mom and matt have chosen to retire and I have nothing keeping me in California so when they asked what I wanted to do, I said why not go
  3. when? July 28th ish
  4. what about your current health situation? We are praying that we get it figured out before then, and if not Im not worried because I might not know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future and I would seriously be wasting time if I worried.
  5. what are you going to do there? Work? School? I have some ideas but nothing is set yet. Again, Im not worried.

If you have other questions feel free to ask. preferably not in person unless you are ok with short answers and no explanation. Im not really in to talking to just anyone about it.

well, I am off to bake and eat and stuff so Ill see y’all soon. or not.

One Hour of Silence

For my Training For Life Level 3 class I was required to spend one hour in Gods presence and just listen to what he had to say, and let me tell you, He spoke to me in a way I have never felt before.

This is the result of that:

I found the one hour of silence very difficult to do because of my current schedule, I am getting ready to move out of state and have little to no down time between work, church, and packing. I decided to to it while at work bathing dogs where I am generally alone and doing something I love for eight hours. God really showed me how to be present when I would find myself getting frustrated over small things, I would get the feeling of Him saying, “why are you getting angry so fast at little things?” And I would have to step back to see that the small thing that made me lose my mind for was something I have felt with before. So being fully present to me, is not forgetting to be in the moment, and be fully aware of what you are feeling, and taking a step back to see the bigger picture. While I was bathing a dog, rather getting ready to do a dogs nail trim, God was speaking me to me through this current situation. (It was as if He shouted “ITS TIME TO LISTEN TO ME!”) This dog was a playful loving creature, going about her usual business of play bowing at other dogs and running away barking, in the yard around the other dogs. But everything changed when I called her name to come to me in the run, she got a little anxious but still came, I got her into the groom room, a quiet room, She was petrified. She wouldn’t listen to any command I told her, she just cried out in fear and anxiety. And just like that , the Lord told me, “thats you.” I have been through a lot of health issues lately and I cry out to god about how scared I am and ignore all that He has to say. In the exact same way this poor pup was crying and not listening to me. I have cried out so loud  that I am not able to focus on hearing Gods voice, or anything He is saying. When I realized this, I simply sat with the dog and talked to her, petting her gently to calm her. her cried got quieter and she started to respond to me. “come here” I said to her, motioning to my right, she followed my hand and sat down. If I have learned anything from this, it is that I need to stop shouting and crying for fear of the unknown and to sit down and hear Gods voice, to be still, and to feel His touch, and to simply trust that this will eventually end. Nothing is going to be as bad as I think. I think the busyness of this culture is negatively affecting our relationships with God because we make time for what we deem important. Forgetting that God is of utmost importance. We don’t prioritize the right things and we unfortunately make time for the wrong, or unnecessary things. We have to start focusing on the most important  relationship, that is of course our relationship with God. When the nail trim was over I walked her back out to the run and into the yard and she became the lively pup she was before. I have faith that God will bring me out of my current mess and I will return to being the lively person I used to be.

 

Friends I felt to led to share this with you as a reminder that God will meet us where we are, we don’t have to change or do anything different for God to love us, He already does no matter what you think. You don’t have to get your life together before coming to Jesus, in fact you can’t get your life together without Him. Just fully surrender to Him where you are and what your life start to change.