Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Story

Over the last month life has not been easy in my home, I have alluded to this numerous times in earlier posts. My youngest daughter, 21, is bi-polar and has made choices in her life that have caused chaos to enter our family. It is amazing how our decisions not only affect us personally they affect those around us, if only we could realize the impact while we are making daily choices.

I have noticed recently several of my blogger friends have written about how the negative words of our mouth and heart have a huge impact on our life. My daughter’s self-talk can be such a downer, for herself and our family.

In the book of Psalm and Proverbs the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts are a central theme. God knows how he wired us!

What I have experienced is how the negative talk has affected every aspect of my own life. What I am learning to do is rise above the chaos and negativity by journaling about everything, getting it out of my heart, mind, and soul onto paper. Sharing my journey verbally with others at times can be helpful, but when it is intense and is full of prolonged grief and sadness, it can become exhausting to share.

Here is what Henry Nouwen has to say about writing to release the negative impulses that are caused from a stressful life:

Writing to Save the Day

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

Tamara has been in the hospital for the last month and will be coming home on Friday. My prayer for her is that she will realize how her thoughts and words reflect everything about her life. My desire is that my positive attitude will override her negative responses, to bring about change. I do need to remember as she reminds me daily, it will be small steps toward wholeness.

I have not posted about this situation because it is still such a sensitive topic. I asked Tamara if I could post about her disease and she thought it was a great idea. In her words, "Mom, my illness has affected our family and others."

Concerning the picture at the beginning of this post: On Friday, I purchased a beautiful journal, titled Spirit of Flight by Josephine Wall. My first thought when I picked up the journal was how the picture reminded me of the character profile of Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) from the book, The Shack. It does feel like my life is in total chaos, but I know God is creating a beautiful garden. The journal will be my safe place to release my fears and concerns I face daily, as I walk along side my daughter through her journey.

Sorry for the long post. My desire is to write further about brain chemistry disorders in the future. I currently have two books I would like to write reviews on: This is Your Brain on Joy, by Dr. Earl Henslin and Blue Genes, by Dr. Paul Meier. As for my papers and classes the journey has been slow for me. My prayer is now that the chaos has stilled, I will be able to focus on writing.

One more thought from Henry Nouwen: Writing, Opening a Deep Well

Writing is not just jotting down ideas. Often we say: "I don't know what to write. I have no thoughts worth writing down." But much good writing emerges from the process of writing itself. As we simply sit down in front of a sheet of paper and start to express in words what is on our minds or in our hearts, new ideas emerge, ideas that can surprise us and lead us to inner places we hardly knew were there.

One of the most satisfying aspects of writing is that it can open in us deep wells of hidden treasures that are beautiful for us as well as for others to see.

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 16:21
The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Love to all of you.


Prairie Chick said...

I love that quote by Nouwen, I copied it over to my livewriter, because it resonates with me so strongly. I love to write for the exact reasons he shared, and I love to be privvy to other people's secret thoughts because it encourages and uplifts me to see how the Lord is working in the lives of His people. I didn't know Tamara was in the hospital. I will be praying for you and looking forward to hearing more of your story. Soon we will be able to sit and have iced coffee outdoors dear friend. Plan to come this month!

Robin said...

PC. I am bringing my camera.

Murray and I are leaving for Vancouver on Sunday, we are taking Tamara with us for healing.

I am looking forward to the drive out to your home!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Robin. I shall continue to pray. Your beautiful heart will show Jesus to Tamara. How we go through these things is just as important as coming out of them. You are travelling the difficult journey well. See you Friday.

Annie said...

This is a beautiful post filled with the deep love you have for your daughter and Christ. I find writing is like visiting with an old friend. When I am in despair, the words release the burden. When I am happy, the words express my joy. And when I don't know what to say, the words come and though I am writing them down, I sometimes feel as if God is the author.
Prayers for you, your daughter and your family. Remember, someone, somewhere is going through something similar and needs to hear your voice, your experiences and your optimism.
Blessings and Peace

Robin said...

Deb I am still very behind in our class assignments, my brain is having a hard time snapping into gear I will finish this race well.

I am not sure who I am staying with this weekend, but it will be good to be with all of you.

Anne, thank you for the encouragement. You are right, there are other families or persons who are just starting the journey with a loved one who is struggling with life, it is good to know you are not alone in the struggle alone. Our journey has been going on for about six years, however the last year has been brutal.

My prayer/hope is we are resolving some of the issues and moving into a season of learning to live well with her disorder.

Alleluiabelle said...

My Dear Sweet Friend,

As I read each word of this I thought of so many different aches and pains that I and my family have been through. You have touched me deeply inside with this writing. My life has been brutally chaotic too for the past couple of years...some in the same ways and some not. I have never read the writings of Nouwen you referred to here, but I related so true in heart to what this man had to say.

You were meant to write this post dear friend, not only for you, but for me and so many out there.

My thoughts and prayers will be said fervently for you Robin, even though we have never met face-to-face, I feel I know you and my heart embraces the pain that you, your daughter and your family have endured, but things are on the upswing and my prayers will be ones with strong positive words being prayed over your daughter, you and your family as you face life together once again.

Thank you for sharing your heart dear one, you touched me in ways that gripped my heart.

God is in control of it all. You will be blessed dear woman of the Lord, you will be blessed with your sweet daughter. All that seems impossible to us at times, is always possible through Him.

Many, many, many hugs and love,

Robin said...

Alleluiabelle, Your comments have been encouraging over the last month, it is good to know other sisters are coming along side through prayer and encouraging words. Blessings to you my blogger friend.

sojourner said...

Robin, it was good for you to share this story and I'm glad I read "back" (having skipped this post yesterday because I ran out of my alloted blog time). The quotes on writing entertwined with your words about Tamara were sweet to hear together. I've been praying for your paper writing as I have been writing my own (now finished - my last will be turned in tonight) I will add prayers for Tamara and the family that holds her dearly in their arms - she is in a good place when she understands herself embedded in the context of family. Peace and grace to you and yours!

Robin said...


It is 7:23 a.m. I am sitting at my computer, praying and ready to start on my due assignments. I am not sure the reason but writing down my thoughts for the papers has almost been impossible. I would say it has been the stress in my life that is stopping the creative process. But, as Nouwen has written I need to start. Your comment has given me comfort, and thank you for your prayers.

Thank you to all who have been praying my family and my writing.

Carolyn Ward said...

Thanks for sharing this, friend.

Robin said...

Carolyn thanks! I will see you on Friday, it is good to be called friend. What a wonderful word...friend.

Anonymous said...

"Bi-polar" is a difficult illness for both the person and the family. The good news is that there are medicines today that are very effective to allow a more normal life. An older drug "haldol" was given to my loved one along with "zoloft". This combo has brought her back to a very normal life!

Robin said...

Thank you anonymous for leaving a comment. It has been four month's since I wrote this post, with medications my daughter has become healthier and home life has improved. If she forgets to take her meds or adds street drugs to the equation situations do become out of control. My daughter will succeed, with love and care.