Category Archives: struggles

Impulsive Exalts Folly

For the last week I have been struggling with wanting my opinion to be heard. You all who read my blog daily, would have seen a post I put up last week about the CDC and the MMR Vaccine. You also would have seen how I took it down…. and how I put something up on facebook about it, then took that down. You also may have seen today, where I posted yet again, another article about the situation.

This topic literally felt like a weight on my shoulders. I could not stop thinking about it... and it burdened me to think about all the infants and families affected by the situation.

Now before people start getting defensive… thinking this is a “VACCINE” post… its not.

As I posted these last few days about the topic. Here. On facebook. Through a shared link… I felt a conviction in my soul over it.

Resulting in it coming down.

At times I felt heavy and didn’t want to deal with the lash back of comments I got via email, blog response, facebook and private message…I realize now that the heaviness I was feeling, was conviction, not my own personal frustration over the topic.

As I sat in the living room with my boys playing lego’s on the floor…. listening to JJ Heller on Pandora (love that station)… I just sat there thinking, block after block, why…

Why was I so worried about posting this article?

Why did I keep going back there and putting stuff up?

Then putting it down.

Why did it matter so much?

I sat in my bedroom this evening, after my husband got home and I was able to escape for a moment, alone…and began to read in the scriptures… I just prayed for peace over this topic. I felt like I could not escape it and feeling the need to talk about it.

I realize today, I am being impulsive with my words.

I am being quick tempered and foolish with my tongue.

While I still stand very firm in our decisions about this particular topic. My trying to convince others to share the same beliefs… correct, judge and condemn those (even tho those where never my intentions), is ultimately wrong of me.

“A quick tempered man acts foolishly,
and a man of wicked intentions is hated.”
(Prvbs 14:15,17)

“He who is impulsive exalts follow.” (Prvbs 14:29)

“A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prvbs 15:2)

I need to stop feeling the need to rub certain topics into peoples faces…. I will be totally honest, I want people to see what I see. I think each of us who has something we strongly believe in, can admit, we want people to see it the same.

I always appreciated friends of mine who shared with me information that was very blunt… at times offensive but always shared in love with me. I always found friends who lived transparently and openly with me, ended up being the best of friends.

However, in all those cases, those friends shared with me in a way, that was private… not malicious and always in love. I heard them and they heard me… and words could be spoken in truth without stirring up anger…. or spewing harsh words.

The Bible even says…

“... a word spoken in due season, how good it is.” (Prvbs 15:25)

I think this war upon mothers is so vocal online….

People writing harsh words in regards to topics like – Formula vs. Breast Feeding… Vaccine vs. Non-Vax – Co-Sleeping vs. no Co-sleeping… Babywearing vs. sticking that kid in a cart :-) – the topics could go on…

I see post after post of women and men fighting over topics like this.

Trying to prove their point.

Using words that I have no doubt, would not have been used face to face with most.

I want to start new today on my blog and social media really. To stop trying to prove a point.

To stop trying to be right.

To stop feeling the need to be heard and agreed with.

I want to be that friend who is transparent and open about topics like vaccinations…. I want to share openly with my friends the struggle I had with breast feeding… and the thoughts I have on my natural birth experiences vs. epidural birth experiences… I want to be real and an open book…. however, I don’t want to stir up wrath…

I don’t want to be consumed with the need to be accepted or heard.

So to those who read my rambling thoughts from day to day.

Know that I am not perfect.

I am far from it.

I make mistakes and I am constantly growing and learning from them.

I am so thankful for the Lords constant conviction on my life… and the heaviness he puts on my soul when I am doing something I should not. Its part of our journey… and while it hurts to ever admit wrong, I am glad we have a place to put that wrong and be forgiven.

Broken

IMG_9468I spoke briefly about this on my instagram over the weekend… but thought I would speak about it in more detail on my blog.

On Friday this weekend… my family and I went to a nearby beach/lake type place about 20 minutes from our home. While our neighborhood has a nice pool for the boys to cool off in, after the same ol’ pool, the boys often want to swim elsewhere. So the lake is a good option and close by. So Friday we went on our way to this lake… Up til this point we had been twice before. Both times enjoying our time there with no issues at all. We’ve noticed if you go on a week day, there is literally no one there. A friday however, seems to be the day people come out.

So we pull up to this lake… and begin to unload and set up our picnic area nearby. This lake has about 10 picnic tables in the shade right by the lake. So its nice to be able to relax, eat a picnic on an actual table, all the while watching your kids play on the shore.

While Travis prepped charcoal for a grill… and I helped baby Reed get into the chips. We all of a sudden heard a lady yell at the top of her longs “HEY KID! Don’t be throwing Sh$* at my kid!!” – My automatic reaction was “Oh no, she better not have said that to my child…” but even more so I was thinking “Who in their right mind is cussing at the volume in front of children!” I had a very big rush of anger hit my entire body and the Mama Bear in me wanted nothing more than to get my COP Husband to arrest her HAHAHA… Although, he obviously had no grounds at that moment.

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I cannot even imagine the brokeness my husband has to face daily in his line of work right now. I know he has had to deal with suicides face on… people shooting their brains against the wall or hanging themselves in a bedroom. He also has to deal with families broken and falling apart… spouses going at each other and neighbors bickering over someone stepping foot onto their grass. He see’s it all…. and I know because of that he was able to retain a proper composer better than I was.

I was so upset at that woman that it completely ruined my entire night. I could not relax… and was watching my children like hawks to make sure they stayed away from her. We could hear her continue to drop curse words throughout her conversation with her friends, as she sat in the water smoking a cigarette… but we just spoke to our boys and kept them away.

Her behavior makes me never want to go back to that place.

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I am trying very hard to remember that we cannot shelter our children. We can in some degree…. and I believe it is wise to protect our children from the world… but one way or another, our children will hear the F bomb, or random curse words. They will be faced to see the depravity of our world, one day.

Caleb who will turn 10 next week, noticed a magazine cover at a grocery check out the other day. He looked at it and saw Robin William’s’ face on it. He then saw where it had his birth date… and date of his death. Caleb was very confused as to what the two numbers meant and asked me what happened. He knew who Robin William’s was… and ill be honest. I had no intention of telling Caleb he had killed himself…. I didn’t want Caleb to face that truth until he was older. I didn’t feel he needed to. He loved Robin William’s in Jumanji and in Hook. Why tell him he killed himself? … you know? However, in that moment of our conversation Caleb asked me point blank. “How’d he die?” and I knew, I had to be honest. So I told him what happened… and I just saw a very puzzled 9 year old looking back at me and he just said “Why would anyone do that?”

It was sad to have that conversation with Caleb.

It made me sad for him.

The Brokenness of our world is all over… and my prayer is just that my boys would come to know Christ early… and grow in a maturity from a very young age. I want them to be equip for battle against the depravity we face… and know they have a Savior who can see them through.


And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Phil 1:9-11

The same week I faced this situation at the lake, I also came across randomly a persons instagram account that had photographs of a blogger I followed for years. The photographs looked like paparazzi photos, taken of her, to do nothing more than poke fun. The person created their instagram account to belittle this individual, ridicule… and bully this mom. This person also has a website that is there to expose personal things about this person. From police reports, to bank statements and other information regarding their family. Now while I do not believe the person they are doing all this against is innocent… regardless of what she has done in her life or is doing, NO ONE deserves to be bullied or treated the way this person on instagram is doing… Calling her names like Fat Cow… Check out that Neck, Spare Tire, and so forth… everything about what that person is doing is just complete evidence of our worlds depravity and state. That anyone would think that doing that is right, is beyond me.

… and yet, we live in a world today, that would actually allow this type of person to accumulate followers who agree with her bullying ways, as if her words are justified by the way this mom is living.

IMG_9496-3Where have we gone? What is wrong with people!?

Satan has got a grip on peoples hearts – people are literally blind to their wrongs.

The night we came home from that beach… while I felt very weighed and heavy by what had happened… my husband ended our evening, with a family devotional time. He tries to do this every night with the boys. This particular evening a neighbors boy happened to be over. We asked him if he wanted to join and he said yes. This young boy who I believe is 8, sat on our couch… heard my husband speak about how much God has done for us… and ended the time with songs of praise. We sang songs like the Doxology… and this young boy who said “I’ve never even heard these songs but I like them!” – sang along with us and ended the evening praising God from whom all blessings flow, without even realizing I am sure what he was saying.

All we can do is learn to be a light in this dark world….

I don’t think my light shined very bright at that beach :) – but I know the Lord was pleased with our end to the evening by inviting that boy to be a part. Even tho part of me didn’t want him there – ashamed as I am to admit that. Even those with good intentions can be selfish. I would not be where I am or who I am without God working in my heart too. Cause really without him, I can be pretty harsh myself… Thankful for Grace.

Suicide and Depression

If you are at all on any sort of social media. Or watch the news. You would have heard by now that the beloved actor Robin William’s was found dead yesterday. I first found out about this on instagram… It caught my eye immediately because just a day or so prior, my son Caleb and I had just had a conversation about Robin Williams. We had recently watched the Night at the Museum movie together and Caleb was curious about the actor who played the Theodore character. He then went on saying how he has seen him in A LOT of movies and liked him.

One of his favorites is the movie Hook. It came out in 1991… hard to believe… use to be one of my favorites. When it released I was around 8 years old or so. Maybe a little younger.

My cousin’s, brother and I use to pretend play Peter Pan often. I always pretended to be Tinker Bell, since I was the smallest in our group…. but because I was darker skinned and darker haired, I sometimes got cast as Tiger Lilly. Who is not in the Hook movie :) – but was in the cartoon.

All this being said…

Many I know who are my age have memories of Robin William’s in their life. He was amazingly talented… and made almost anyone smile. I loved his imperfections and quirkiness… it made him who he was and everyone loved him for that.

I cannot imagine what his family is going through right now…. I am not one to ever write a blog post about someone who recently died… I want to respect the family and what they are going through. I cant imagine loosing someone in the public eye like they have.

That being said.

I know this may seem rather lame… or cliche’ … but if you are struggling with depression, please reach out. I for one have struggled with it throughout the last few years. Especially after I had baby Reed. My hormones and our situation added fuel to the fire and I was a mess. I remember many mornings waking up beside that precious baby… and physically not being able to even move!

I recall so clearly one morning telling Caleb I needed someone to take them. That mommy did not feel able to care for them. I called up a friend and she came as fast as she could. Gathered my kids and took them to her house the rest of the day. While I literally laid flat on the carpet floor, as if I was in a literal fog and unable to move. It is one of the strangest feelings I have ever felt…. but I knew when that happened, something was not right and so I sought professional attention. We during that time had lots of contacts with professional counselors and psychologist… all believers and safe sources of help. I was able to be seen right away and medicated for my postpartum depression.

Prior to my having to go through that myself, I use to frown upon Christians who needed to be medicated.


I use to think ignorantly that if they had a good enough relationship with Christ, that God would heal them and that medications should not be needed.
While I believe God can heal and God can do super natural works in peoples lives… I also believe now that depression is very much chemical and of course in some situations environmental…. but regardless of the cause/source… it is very real and very scary.

Years before moving to GA… I followed a blogger who was a mom of 3… BEAUTIFUL stunning mom… a photographer with an amazing talent. Her blog was so fun to read… and I had followed her since 05′ when I began blogging. I saw her post when she introduced her baby girl… and then when she introduced her 3rd born… she was so sweet… and at one point we even txted about meeting up.

One day I got a random email or txt, I forget… asking me if I had heard about my friend. I will keep her name private out of respect for her family… but some of you may know who I am speaking about. I responded to the txt with something like “No, whats wrong?! what happened?” – she then responded back with “she killed herself….

I honestly thought this was a joke and did not believe it.

Sure enough though…. it was true.

She was gone.

She took her life…. and there was no taking it back.

My first thought was “How could she be so selfish!” – while I was sad for her life lost… My thoughts immediately went to her children… I was so sad for what this would do to them… and it just broke my heart.

I replayed stuff in my head over… and over… wishing I had known she was sad.

Wishing she had reached out…

Wondering if I could have done something differently… to change the situation.

Just so confused as to why…. and how could she.

A believer.

A mom.

A wife.

A beautiful, beautiful woman.

Gone, by her own hands.

To this day It still seems unbelievable to think about her doing that…. and I often wonder how her children are doing now years later…. her blog still sits there… full of her words and photos of her family… with no updates.

One day the blog just stopped.

So to those reading. If you are struggling with depression. Reach out.

Email me! (drea[at]dreawood.com) I mean I may be a stranger to you but I am an open book… and while I am not the best on the phone with all the kid interruptions… I will find time if someone needs me. Write me… reach out to a family member…a counselor. A Pastor. A friend.

You are not alone… and if you are struggling with depression, know it is real…. and its ok to admit to the struggle.
I for one, at times feel ashamed of my struggle… but when I see things like Robin William’s committing suicide come up on the news… I want nothing more than to post everywhere, the very real struggle of depression and power it can have in ones life… I want people to understand its ok…

Don’t take your life.

God gave us one life… it was meant to be lived. Not taken….

It’s just a move.

IMG_0017copyMy parents who lived in Charlotte, NC… moved yesterday.

From my childhood home.

A house I spent from  age 3 or 4, to age 19 (when I got married).

A house where I sat as a child but also an adult, married, pregnant and with my children, throughout the years. Its the house my parents became grandparents in… and a home that holds so many childhood memories, all very vivid still today.

My parents are both retired now… and while I may not have understood their move completely… one thing I am realizing, is…

It’s just a move…

A hard one. For more than one person in this case… but a move.

As I thought yesterday of someone new moving into my old bed room… of new children exploring the back yard and creek… of different things up on the wall… and new smells and people entering those walls, parts of those thoughts, made me sad.

I think it should make anyone sad.

That is a lot to let go of…

As I sat yesterday, I looked around at my home. A beautiful 5 bedroom house that the Lord most obviously blessed us with… A home I wanted… and yet at times find myself discontent because of the unknown with Travis’ job. At times finding it hard to be, in the now… wondering when God might uproot us again.

IMG_9364copyIn our 1st 10 years of marriage we moved 8 times.

8….

Twice before Caleb was born.

Twice in Ohio (so Twice before Taite was born)

Twice back in NC before Owen was born.

and Twice since being in GA.

We have had a new baby in every city we moved too. We joke if we move again God may give us more HAH!

My parents today will be moving into a rental, while they figure out what the next step is. They will reside in a new city… a little closer to us (but still a bit of a drive)… around new people… new stores… and new things to see. It will be new for them.

Different…. and unfamiliar.

I know from personal experience… you will have days where you miss the old days and the old house… I still have moments where I miss our small parsonage back in NC… as much as I hated the small kitchen it had for many years we lived in it… the memories it held when my first two children grew up in that home for 4 years…  will forever and always be special to me, regardless of how we left.

Life here on earth is temporary.

“We are here for only a moment,

visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us.

Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

- 1 Chronicles 29:!5

 

Some people stay planted for 25-40 years in one spot. Others like us, move every 2-4 years. It is just how it is.

One thing I am trying really hard to do though, is relish in the now… and remember that the walls around us, don’t matter in the end. Enjoy the memories… the pictures… and the move… one thing I always tell my boys when we move is… “To Consider it an Adventure!” :) – and always try to make it fun….

Discontent just being….

The post I am about to write is full blown emotions kicking in. I understand and realize we should not live life based on how we “feel” or get to caught up in our emotional side. It can cause poorly judged decisions… I get that. This post though is me just being real in the moment of my brokenness for all to see. Because, well. I want to be.

It has been almost 3 years since we have served full time in ministry. 3 years since I have heard my husband Preach… for 4 years he was not only my husband but my Pastor. Yea. Weird but honestly I didn’t mind :) – I suppose that is a good thing. My husband has such a talent for speaking… and teaching. I loved listening to him.

We have applied for over a dozen Senior Pastor positions over the last year. If not more. My husband feels called to Pastor again… location is a toss up.. We don’t really have one specific area we feel led to yet… I just know I don’t want to live up north (no offense Canadian readers… but I think id go into a pit of depression if I had to live in those temps). We’ve applied for positions as high as Maryland and as low as Florida. All up and down the east coast. I suppose we could spread our wings a bit more… but we just haven’t yet. The idea of moving across country is hard for me. Although the thought of moving to Panama in Central America, where my moms entire family lives, has crossed our minds… I hate to limit God’s calling… and localize it so to speak… but at the same time the one time I did do this and moved to Ohio, I felt like our world came crashing down… it was far from good… and while I miss students from Ohio, living 12-13 hours from any family, for me was so hard.

It has been a solid year since we started applying for church positions…

Nothing.

Its discouraging.

You sit and wonder, what on earth is God waiting for. We have a desire to serve, yet we feel stuck.

Travis’ job is so demanding (yes I get many jobs are) that I feel all we do is, work… sleep… and survive.

I am struggling to be content.

I see tons of blogs that speak on being content. Who spout off scripture after scripture on being content… yet I find very few who just lay it out there the cruddy part of the process… and how being content, doesn’t just flourish in everyone automatically during certain seasons.

I wont lie and say I am being content. I am and I’m not. I am so thankful for what God has given us… He has been good. He has been faithful…. but as I wait. I feel a bitterness in me build. Angry at times with what the church in NC did to us. Did you know they told church members, after asking us to resign, that we had never been asked to quit and that we resigned to hurt the church and to take a higher paying position at a larger church. When I sit and dwell that and on what they did to us, it truly makes me angry… and while at times I feel I deserve to be angry with them, I know letting it fester will do no good…

Thankful God took care of us even in that hopeless situation… by putting us into City of Refuge… to heal us… and love on us in a way we never had been loved on. God knew best. He knew we needed that time. Out of ministry. To focus on us. It was needed and I have to remind myself of that often… so I don’t go into the bitter pit and ponder thoughts of wrath on people -ha….- yea… terrible I know. I don’t do that often btw, just in the discontent times. When obviously my spirit is not where it should be (I can admit that).

I know this is why God teaches us to not be discontent… So many scriptures on it (No I’m not posting them. Try google)

I just feel all I do is wait.

I have this constant feeling of dauntlessness…. wondering when God will move us. Wondering if it will be this year or next. Wondering if we should move and find a place to plan our lives more permanent (I so want that…. so sick of moving) … wondering if this is where we should be for good… but at the same time knowing and understanding that financially…. with Travis’ job, we cannot make it long term here. You’d think a cop who risk his life daily, would get paid well. Yea … wishful thinking. Its a job. Im thankful for it. So many people have so much less… but you can’t help but be discouraged, pay check after pay check, barely making ends meet… even while living frugally. The thought of money and always wondering if we will stay a float, weighs heavy on me… and I know, I know. God provides. I know that. Knowing truth does bring hope. Its the….

Waiting.

Wonder.

Trying to take those verses captive that teach us not to worry… that God has this.

He has had it.

Our lives are perfect evidence of that.

I just feel weary tonight. With this waiting.

So if you think about it. Pray for our family. Pray God will open some doors… somewhere. That we’d have answers… and in the waiting, contentment for me. Its hard for me.

Don’t feel sorry for us, don’t take this post as a pity post. Its not. Its me. Being open, real and genuine, hopefully for yall to relate, share and understand.