Happy New Year Friends

To all of my friends,

I wanted to write a simple note to thank all of you for walking with me in 2008. Your prayers, your encouragements, and your simple friendship mean the world to me. You know the real me. The woman who runs back to God, battered and bruised, more than she runs forward. The woman who is learning (with his grace) to find her own wings and fly under his.

This year brought many gifts that I do not fully understand yet. Gifts that were both seemingly good and seemingly bad. God’s ministry at Ablaze Church – and Ablaze World Wide is growing and we get to be a part of that. We lost my father in law and yet I know that he is home (heaven) celebrating with Jesus. We found answers regarding my son’s epilepsy – no they were not the answers we wanted and yet God’s grace keeps me from caving into the fear of what could be. Jeff’s band, Zion’s Fire is almost finished with their first CD (It’s being mixed as I write) and he is studying to be a pastor. Charlie is filling out college applications and getting ready to spread his own wings in the fall. (I’m so not ready – but he is).

Life continues to move forward for all of us.

I wrote about “favor” yesterday, and that really is for all of us who know Christ. Through his death and resurrection, we now have favor with God. He sees us through the blood of Christ. Our sins are forgiven – fellowship restored. While we as a body may not necessarily treat each other with favor, he does not treat us that way. His love endures forever. Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

Pastor has a new benediction for 2009 and I leave for the same for you. I’ve made it my memory verse for January.

(Ephesians 3:14- 21) For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Mary Did You Know?

Our Christmas sermon was on a song written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene called “Mary did you know?” Mark apparently wrote it as a poem for his church one Christmas and Buddy put it to music several years later. It’s one of Pastor’s favorite songs.

Pastor pondered the questions in that song and asked a few more taking his references from Luke 1:26-37

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Two things jumped out for pastor and he wanted to relay them to us. Did Mary really know what it meant to be “highly favored?” and did she really believe that “Nothing is impossible with God?”

When we think of what it means to be “Highly Favored” we think of wealth, health and prosperity, don’t we. Do we think of her reality though? Pastor pointed out some things I’d never thought of.

1. She was a young child herself suddenly with child – and not her fiance’s how would she explain that?
2. Her fiance was planning to quietly divorce her.
3. The leaders of her church and community had authority to stone her to death if they chose.
4. An angel took care of Joseph – this much we know.
5. She traveled for days to Bethlehem and gave birth in a stable
6. They had to flee for their lives soon after

There’s also the rest – she watched her son die. And other things.

Highly favored – at least for Mary doesn’t sound good when compared to our own limited perceptions. She was favored – she gave birth to the Messiah – to Christ. She was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and conceived the Christ Child. With Favor came great responsibility. And yet nothing is impossible with God. She did learn that. But favor does not mean cushie life. Does it?

I thought that was an interesting message for Christmas. I had someone make that statement about me once – calling me “favored of God.” – I’m not so sure I like that now.

I have some new readers – so let me explain that a little bit. I don’t typically make it a habit to talk about myself as much as I have been lately. God is doing a work that I do not know how to explain fully. Part of my personal testimony includes being born in a home for unwed mothers, growing up in all kinds of disfunction and such, being kicked out of church as a child because of my parent’s divorce, being raised by my mom who made less than 10K a year, and other things.

Knowing that I get to facilitate Bible studies now? Blows my mind. Seriously. It surprizes others too who knew me when. (Trust me) I am the woman who busted the binding on my Bible during my very first Precepts (Kay Arthur) class taught by my pastor’s wife 13 years ago and here I am – certified to teach it if I want, facilitating Beth Moore Studies as well as others, teaching Sunday School for women, and serving as a missionary in my own denomination (Ablaze).

I’m not doing any of those things because I’m so great and so smart – trust me. I am a scardy cat coward who cannot believe God actually wants to use me most days. I used to do them to seek his favor – but I’ve learned that Christ already did that for me. I do those things today, out of obediance to God. This path I’m on? Was not my choosing at first.

I’m learning to follow his voice even when it doesn’t make sense. I take the classes today that he tells me to. God has had a lot to teach me in the last few years. Including what I will and will not do as a teacher. (see older posts on Matthew 23).
I’ve argued with him a lot. I know what His word says about teachers, and leaders and it scares me. That’s a lot of responsiblity – I don’t want to let him down. And true to form when I tell him that – I’m reminded that “nothing is impossible with God” and that HE won’t let me down.

So for 2008 – it’s a year of getting over myself yet again – and focusing on him.

I don’t have the right – to write this blog – to teach – to lead – to speak – I am a fellow traveler who gets to share and journey with others.

What a kick that is.

God worked miracles in my life this year as far as courage goes. I took some huge risks following God. Major steps of courage. I chaired a community egg hunt at our mission start – which was a total flop by the way, I planned for 750 and 2,000 showed up, over ran us and beat eachother up over candy filled eggs. I turbo hosted a comedy concert for Chonda Pierce with several other helpers and it sold out. I’ve hostessed some other Christian events as a runner and met some speakers I get to learn from now. I went to a Speak Up class in Mich taught by Carol Kent (by myself mind you with no security blanket come with me friends.), I joined a comedy association and actually speak with some of the comics so that I can learn, I went for and got my Precept teachers certification. I reached out to people in the faith who are farther along than I am and asked them questions – I asked for and found mentors, I’ve gathered materials, I’ve laid myself down as a student whenever possible.

Why am I sharing these things with you? Because 15 years ago I shook in church. 15 years ago, I couldn’t put two words together in front of a crowd. A lot has changed in 15 years.

God and I have come a long way from the days where I was more interested in cloning myself into those I admired, rather than being me. The old me wound up setting my dress on fire as a result. You’d think I would have learned from that, but.. it took a few more years and a few big failures, before that message really sunk in. I don’t want to be the next Kay Arthur or Ken Davis, Beth Moore, or Chonda Pierce nor do I even want to be my with me mentors like Lisa Lessing, Joy Moss, Zeal Beal and Velma Campbell – real life women who have been kind enough to teach me and share with me along the way and be my friend – I just want to learn from them. All of them.

I went three years without a teacher – or mentor of any kind. God brought me to himself, loved on me, and revealed to me his word. I was stripped of all would be idols and learned to desire him alone. Then and only then did he bring new people into my life.

I’ve been writing about some of them because these are the people I get to learn from right now. – with intention and with blessing and with humilty and thankfulness.

I want to honor God with my life like they do theirs, what ever that means. I want to be open to His call on my life – and not my limited vision as I have in the past.

I haven’t taken the time to fast and pray yet for the new year, but I will. I have no clue where he wants me – or what he wants me to do – except the next right thing directly in front of me. Somehow, I know that he will get me where he wants me to be.

I am the Lord’s servant. May it be with me, as he says.

Blessings to you my friends, both old and new. And thank you for walking this path with me. May the Lord our God bless and keep you this new year.


Christmas Eve Services at our home congregation are always beautiful. Every year, we have the Children’s Program at 5 pm and the Candelight Service at 11. Our family likes to go to both.

Every year pastor has a child read the Christmas Story (Luke 2:1-20). This year little Amber was chosen. Amber has grown a lot since I directed the children’s program four years ago. Back then she stole everyone’s heart as the runaway angel. This year she is reading a mouthful of a story. Amber did a great job and only tripped up once on the names in verse one. There was a soft “oopsies” and she started again. That took courage. More than I probably have most days. I’m proud of my angel.

My diningroom traditionally becomes shipping and receiving central the week before Christmas. It’s where I work on my goodies, cards, gifts, etc. I was in a bit of a hurry this year, and rather than put stuff away to make room for Christmas dinner, I chose an old standby – throw everything into a laundry basket, place it in the hall closet and deal with it later. And yes, that’s how I tend to deal with my emotions some times as well – stuff and hide and deal with it later. But that’s another story.

Today – four days after Christmas is “later.” I thought this would be a good time to grab my basket and really put stuff away.

It’s like Christmas all over again. I found gift cards to Sonic (meant for stockings), an unwrapped present meant for my oldest (I wondered what happened to that), AND – my mother will kill me – the Christmas cards I could have sworn I mailed.


Every year we take a picture of the boys in front of the tree for the cards. Every year, I go for the “perfect” shot of all of us, or at least them. This year, these are the choices they gave me. This is what happens when you have teenagers.

I guess I can still mail them – and make them New Year’s Cards instead. Picking just the right picture – might be a challenge. What do you think?

Cowgirls Don’t Cry – Ride Baby Ride

I have a girlfriend moment here – a couple of weeks ago, God blessed me with an email from someone in the body who read my blog and liked it enough to ask permission to link to it. I sat and stared at the email and cried. Joyous tears mind you. This email was from a writer I admire. Someone who’s own speaker’s classes I’ve yet to attend because of finances, but want to dearly.

I was simultaneously thrilled and scared. He read my blog? oohh – The holy spirit left my brain and Deana kicked in. I can’t write now.. what if I write something stupid and he sees it.

Yep – me at my most real – fearful and neurotic.

Then God kicked in… somewhere deep and still and said “write baby girl, write.”

I know what Joy would tell me, if I’d shared this with her, “Well aren’t you full of yourself today?” Which is her way of saying “get over yourself and focus on God.”

So.. My eyes are back on the author and perfector of my faith.. I had a blog here for today, and the rapport step was just supposed to be the opening. Then I decided I liked the opening, but not the blog. So.. I’m leaving the opening for now. I hope you don’t mind.

I have a feeling, I’ll be looking at riders next year. Not the focus I was planning – but it’s the message that keeps finding me.

Be blessed.


You’ve heard of hanging chads right, well this is a hanging rapport step. I learned about Rapport Steps from a workshop I went to last summer. After listening to our teacher take us into her stories in such a way that I felt like I was really there, I laid down everthing I thought I knew about speaking, put myself on hiatus and became a full blown student.

I hate it when I listen to a speaker and they use a story that obviously isn’t theirs, it robs them (in my eyes) of authenticity. Her stories were real and they made a real difference. I want to learn how to use my own experiences as rapport steps to stay authentic.

As a writer and speaker I know that rapport steps are supposed to be written last. I originally wrote this one to open a very specific message. Only when I finished writing it, I realized it didn’t fit with that message anymore.

As I’ve said before,I’m a teacher and I’m also student. I have been blessed to speak at various retreats and events over the years and right now I am on an intentional hiatus. Right now I’m putting myself thoughtfully and with purpose at the feet of people who are gifted in this area, traveling to do so when needed, so that I might learn from them. I have talent as far as speaking goes, and I get to use that talent, for God, in my own church at times. I also feel led by God to stretch that wall farther out. I want to be better. Not much of a sales pitch right now, I know. But I’m not selling anything so it’s okay.

I really wanted to write a really spiritual blog for the end of the year, after all everyone else is – instead dear readers, I leave you with a hanging rapport step as well as my heart. The heart of a student. The heart of a woman who knows the true rider first hand. A woman who sat by the fires of life only to have him appear out of the darkness, pick me up and carry me off.


I love cowboys. Real cowboys make me weak in the knees and render me speechless. All that hat tippin, and the way they drawl out “Maaa’aam.” So polite and so tall. Who needs Armani suits and Hollister cologne? Give me a real cowboy any day; all rough and tumble, scarred hands and polite hearts, a love for God, family, the outdoors, and for this great country.

Cowboys bring out the wow, with a capital W.

Don’t worry – my husband already knows that real cowboys can make me swoon when I least expect it. He’s kind of okay with that now. He wasn’t always, but he’s learning to be.

Living in Oklahoma, you’d think that would be a given. Loving cowboys that is. But it isn’t a given if you are from up north and never met one before. I’ve only lived in Tulsa for 15 years and I didn’t meet a real live cowboy until just six years ago. His name is Dale and he goes to my church. His wife, Janel used to teach Bible studies when we first joined Our Savior, and when I met her she was engaged to this tall drink of water cowboy who helped with her ranch. She was smitten. Jo, as we call her, is from Montana, she’s a rancher and it only makes sense that she would marry another rancher. Everyone was dying to meet him. And meet him, we did. That’s when I found out that cowboys can make me swoon.

They were having a cowboy BBQ at her ranch complete with a bon fire and the whole church was invited. As we were walking up, Jeff and I could see someone squatting down over a dug out pit in the ground, stirring a pot of cowboy chili so we went over to introduce ourselves.

Dale saw us approach and stood up to say hello. I think he’s about 6’2, but I’m not sure. I just know he’s tall. Dale shook Jeff’s hand and I stuck out mine to shake his. He looked at my hand and then this cowboy slowly turned to look at me. Instead of shaking my hand, he bent at the knees just a touch, touched the front rim of his hat, with his right hand, bowed his head ever so slightly, looked me in the eyes, held my gaze, and drawled out this “Maa’aaam” like I’d never heard it before.

My whole body just went limp. My hand that I’d stretched out to shake his suddenly found the collar of my denim jacket and didn’t know what to do. My eyes widened trying to take in the whole picture. My cheeks turned bright pink, and my mature grown woman’s alto voice, cracked and giggled like a school girl. All that came out my throat was an estrogen blush of a whisper of “oh my!”

Ah yes, that was definitely a day and year to remember. And if I forget, Jeff won’t. He hung his head and buried his face in his right hand like he does when I’ve done something crazy – it’s the “Let the world just swallow me right now” sign he sends from time to time. Dale turned and winked at him and when he saw him later he said “Sorry man.”

Later at the bon fire, I saw Dale ride in from out of the darkness, pass Jo, reach down and in one swoop pick her up and place her on the horse behind him and off they rode.


What woman doesn’t want a rider like THAT?

Side note: Dale and Jo got married the following year, and we were all there. They still go to our church and have two beautiful children. Raising young kids and teaching horseback riding keep Jo too busy to teach, but they are still our friends. And I still like cowboys – riders make me swoon what can I say? With good reason, but I’m ahead of myself.

This video clip is “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”, with Brooks and Dunn and Reba at the CMA’s.
I love the message in this song – it came out originally with the movie “Flicka” – and it stuck with me all these years.

The whole Cowgirls don’t cry thing, isn’t all that true – but the riding part? Definately.

Words of Welcome – Long Edition.

Welcome to Red Bridges Home. I’ll admit, I picked a strange title for my blog. Part of it comes from my love for old country bridges and part of it comes from my desire to build relational bridges with my family, with my friends, and with the world.

My husband and I are members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and we are passionately following the call of Christ to go forth and make disciples of all nations. For us, today, that means participating in the Ablaze Movement, sponsored by LCMS in what ever way God calls us.

We are an odd mix, my husband and I. He was raised in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (Red Hymnal pages 5 and 15), while my family didn’t go to church as a child. My family had at one time belonged to a church, until my pay parents got divorced and the priest asked us to leave, so they left. I was crushed. I loved church.

I was for years the little girl no church wanted. I could visit, but I couldn’t join. There is a story in that and I share bits and pieces throughout this blog. I am also the child who went to outreach events and who heard the Gospel in the most unusual of places. I am the woman who was/is passionately pursued by the lover of my soul (Christ) for as long as I can remember. My husband is a man whose love for Christ bleeds into his business, his work, his music, his friendships and our family. He has the heart of a pastor and I am blessed to be his wife.

There are a lot of us who walked ourselves to church or outreach events as children and while we may not have joined YOUR church when we grew up, we are here. Even if you never meet us today, your work for Christ was not fruitless. We are here. We are teachers, pastors, evangelists, Christian comics, and so much more; members of the body of Christ and we are paying it forward

Keeping the Hopeful “Yet” in ADD.

(Awareness, Acceptance, Action)

When I saw my doctor the other day asking about ADD, her first reaction was one of disbelief and skepticism. That’s normal. Is ADD over diagnosed and over medicated? You bet. I see it in schools even – a high energy kid is labled a problem and teachers push parents to doctors offices all the time. When she asked if I had ADD as a kid, I told her they didn’t diagnose it then – I was just an avid talker and class clown.

I’m coming around to acceptance and have chosen to take right action and let my feelings follow later.

I want to thank everyone who has left comments or sent emails to me this week. I was truly afraid this was going to simply be a self indugent rant – and I found out, I’m in good company. I had no idea so many other adults deal with this. We joke about having ADD moments – but we hide the pain it can cause. So thank you for writing, and thank you for sharing. That was very encouraging.

– Day three and I am still alive, still not speeding, able to sleep, and I had a small impulse issue yesterday with another blogger – but it turned out well. We had a great converstation and I learned a lot about liturgical and high church worship.

I found an online survey very similar to the test Dillon’s doctor gave me. All of these questions were preceded with Do you have a lifetime struggle with (even if you can control it today) – issues.

If this is a new thing, or recent, or seasonal, it’s not ADD. More than likely it is depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or signs of an addiction of some kind. ADD is almost always diagnosed after ruling all of those out. Two years in counseling and three in group – pretty much ruled out everything else.

While I do have my addictions – praise junkie being one – I’m not chemically addicted to substances. Mine are more relationally based and I’m in treatment for those through a 12 step program.

ADD people aren’t lazy or stupid. True ADD’s have very high IQ’s. We think much more quickly than other people and more quickly than our mouths can keep up with. We are the right brained full blown technicolor 3 dimensional dreamers and thinkers of the world. We are the explorers, and inventors. We do a lot, we just seem to truly accomplish very little unless we find coping mechanisms.

I went to an E-Women’s Conference last year and scanned the book tables. Lisa Welchel has written more books than I have time to read – she’s home school mother of at least three high energy kids, a pastor’s wife and a national speaker – She even developed something called Mom Time Ministries and has her own business of sorts. I looked at that table, her skinny blonde body, and truly thought to myself – if that woman’s laundry is complete and her house clean, I may just hate her.

I don’t hate her by the way – she seems really nice – and gave a great talk about – over achieving and approval seeking. Okay – Lisa – you won me over. She’s multi-talented and very real.

I have dreams and for me, this ADD thing is really getting in the way. Multiple conversations overwhelm me and I cannot follow them. I would love nothing more than to speak and teach women about the Word of God. I get to in small groups and I love it. I love talking about God’s power and will in our lives. I love reaching out with the Gospel. I love watching thier eyes light up.

I even like the whole stand up comic thing – if I could remember my jokes, I’d like it even better.

I’m good at thosse things. I’ve rocked the mic enough times to know there is talent and potential there. And that’s my problem, I have a lifetime of “talent and potential” opportunites that I don’t seem to cross over into very well.

Until now.

My impulsive side is what caused me to join the Christian Comedy Association (CCA) three years ago at the insistance of a friend. I’m not actively rostered now as I’m not “sale ready” if you will. I don’t have a set long enough to open for anyone and I can’t travel. But I am on the boards, I’ve made new friends, and I am learning, writing humor and telling stories.My joining was impulsive and unplanned – and I’m glad I did it.

My impulsive side also led to – when CCA went Facebook – I was there – and yes I have truly conversed in one fashion or another with almost everyone on my facebook page. Where I found the courage to do that, I’ll never know. But I am learning to ask if I can learn from someone else. Sometimes they let me, sometimes they don’t – and I’m okay with that.

That’s where the social butterfly comes in. Some of them – I know on a deeper level. For some of them, I’m a hostess when they are in town, or I participate in classes with them (led by them). These are men and women I get to learn from – even if I don’t run with them. Yet.

Vikki Wells taught me how to add “yet” to my vocabulary last year. We were in the green room at E-Women talking about how I can teach a class of 30 or so, and really relate to those women and I love it, but cannot fathom speaking in front of 3,000 and being able to relate or keep my place, I just don’t know how. Vikki looked at me and said “yet”, you don’t know how “yet” but that will change.

She had no clue who I was – keep in mind this gal was speaking to her DRIVER! I was a runner for the weekend – a Chauffeur if you will – errand girl – gopher – water fetcher – a woman trying to discern between helpful and helicopter hovering (and over shot that runway a lot) – and Vikki spoke the word YET over me. So now I remember it – YET – is a word of hope and expectancy.

Keep “yet” in mind when it comes to ADD – there is hope even if the diagnosis comes late in life – Do not look back and wish for what was. It is a waste of time – look forward and be expectant of your own personal “yet.” For some people medication is not needed – some adults learn to surround themselves with super people who keep them organized – and they learn other mechinisms for getting by.

Maybe you are like me, I need the meds and denied having this even though I would joke about it to excuse impulsive behavior. Maybe you’ve thought or joked about it, but never really stepped out to do something about it – yet.

Maybe you are the mom who always runs late, loses field trip forms,etc, and get’s picked last for committees because people think you are a ditz. Maybe – like me – you try to get by being a cutsie, funny, social butterfly, but long to be taken seriously and get angry when you aren’t. I tend to hear a lot of “When I first met you , I thought you were a total flake, I had no idea there was so much depth.” adn stuff like that. It used to hurt me feelings, now I just say “yeah, I know.”

I have had leadership positions at school, church and NPO’s – it is possible, though I survived some of those postions by hyphenating anal-retentive and by controlling everything myself, simply because it was too hard to juggle people and me or communicate schedules. I use the excuse “I do my best work at 2 am.” when really I’m overwhelmed and don’t want anyone to know.

The following questions are not a diagnosis tool – but rather a thought tool. They could also be attributed to other issues, so be sure to speak to a doctor and cover all the bases.

So… do you have a lifetime issue with:

1. Getting distracted easily?
2. Having difficulty concentrating on one thing at a time?
3. Being disorganized?
4. Having a hard time focusing or paying attention during conversations, listening to others, or while reading?
5. Forgetting things like appointments or obligations?
6. Having trouble following directions that have multiple steps?
7. Having difficulty starting and finishing projects?
8. Procrastinating
9.Trouble prioritizing information?
10. Getting impatient easily?
11. Feeling restless and antsy?
12. Losing track of time and have trouble with time management?
13. Misplacing or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
14. Acting before thinking through consequences?
15. Speaking or blurting out before thinking about the impact your words will have on others?
16. Tending to have lots of racing thoughts?
17. Getting bored easily?
18. Tending to make careless mistakes when you have to work on a tedious or difficult project?
19 Taking frequent risks.

There were 20 questions on my original survey – and I answered yes to 17. The “magic number” was 10.

As I said this is simply a tool – and not a diagnostic. If you answered yes to most of these, talk to your doctor and check out CHADD and find out more.

Interesting thoughts today

Today is my second day taking concerta – my son relished the idea of waking up and asking ME if I remembered to take my medicine. Lovely. He thinks it’s hilarious. I’m still not so sure.

It hasn’t effected me like I feared. I’m not speeding, or overly energized in any way fashion or form. It did not keep me awake all night, and I’m afraid it has not burst forth a sudden gift of immense interest in house cleaning. So.. it’s isn’t a miracle drug.

And yet – this morning when my son asked where his school shoes were, I remembered them being at the foot of my bed.

When Charlie wanted the car keys – they were hanging up.

When a confusing confrontation took place I was able to discern the communication break down. The person in question is a literal thinker – I am more 3D in my thought process and take into account the spirit of communication and not just the one dimensional line. I could discern that and communicate that without much conflict, emotion or confusion.

I can clearly articulate thought structures again – something I thought was lost forever. My brain and my fingers (and mouth) are coming close to the same speed. I am no longer thinking so quickly that I lose the train for tripping on the tracks.

My husband is understandably iffy – and is distantly optimistic. With good reason – we’ve had a bumpy road while I try to figure out why I can’t “be like other people” – knowing something was not quite right, but not being able to find answers. I’m sad to admit that I had truly resigned myself to simply being a failure at life and that this (jumbled mess of a woman who can’t keep up with anything) is all I’d ever be.

It’s been an interesting road. I’ve known about being ADD for only five years. I’ve done everything my doctors (and therapists) have suggested. My tendancy to be larger than life and fast moving, can be a strong hold for others and gets in the way of my heart. I can learn how to work with this, instead of against it.

I have learned over the last five years that ADD can be confused with bi-polar disorder, but that it is not one and the same. ADD people are subject to depression and low self esteem. Point taken. And i’m not bi-polar – sadly that information saddened me. I thought if I was at least that, then I could understand. I’m just crazy. I would have been okay with that diagnosis. Crazy is better than failure. KWIM? – I’m not taking that nearly as flip and lightly as it sounds. I have a family member who is bi-polar – it’s painful to watch.

Knowing thyself is important, true. Trusting God enough to live in the room of grace – where he stands with me – looking at the real me, and working together to mature me into the woman he wants me to be – is a far better road than my simply toughing this out on my own and continuing to fall short. With Christ I am victorious. Alone – I drown.

Yes, my husband and my friends are correct. The less medicine the better. I’m trusting God with his provision and his care. If this is not the help he wants for me, he’ll show me that. But for right now, I’m enjoying the clarity, the lack of fog, and I am hopefully expectant in our future together.

A Simple Note Really, it seems I’m ADD

I’m always fascinated by the tucks and turns of life. Mine especially. I’ve struggled with a lot of things lately and written them off as “Well, you do have a lot on your plate, of course it’s hard.” but secretly, in some deep down quiet place, I really do think it’s harder for me that it should be.

Does that speak to anyone? Or just me.

My mother tells me that I never met a stranger. I was very smart but always lived below expectations. An underachiever – who worked very very hard to stay afloat mind you. Grade school was a nightmare. Sometime in high school, I was able to pull myself up enough to get A’s and B’s. But it was hard work. And you can forget about college. I was lucky to get my associates degree in computers. I had a 2.89 gpa as I recall.

Pastor calls me his “social butterfly” and always points me in the direction of new comers in the church.

I love to teach.
I’m great at making people laugh.
I lose – everything I touch.
My house? I prefer not to discuss it. 😉

I’m not dealing with rocket science here. Just life. I’m a stay at home mom with two boys. My husband travels. I lose papers, car keys, glasses, I forget to pay bills, my finances are a jumbled mess most of the time – we have the money, I just forget to click “PAY”.

My youngest is ADHD, but I missed the signs for the hyperactivity. I’m not hyper, much, more impulsive than anything else.

An impulsive mess, actually.

When Dillon was first diagnosed with being ADHD, his ped offered to work with me as well. I wrote that off as a money hungry sales pitch and found a new doctor. His second ped said the same, as did his neurologist. ADHD is heriditary Mom, he got it from someone, are you sure it’s not you?

No. It isn’t me. Yes, I’m scattered, but that’s only because I was never taught how to take care of a home. There can’t be anything wrong with me a little hard work and better organizational skills won’t fix.

I asked my doctor about it, and we thought “maybe I’m just depressed. Maybe that’s why I’m so overwhelmed by the simplicity of my life.” and so we tried Prozac. All that did was make me fall in love with the color yellow and I painted my oldest son’s room a bright mustard color.

My career in telecom was a great success when I knew what my job was. Some positions were great, I had a worksheet of orders to follow and my day was totally scheduled and I did well. Other positions like finance? Well, not so well. Those were opened ended planning positions and numbers just weren’t my thing, so they put me back on the floor as a trainer. I did great at that. I taught new engineers about telephony. I walked them through a long distance phone call. Teaching them every piece of equipment calls traveled through and the cost per piece. I got scattered in my presentations some times, and was usually told, “You’ve obviously worked very hard at this Deana, let’s just focus it in a little bit.”

Then there were the part time office jobs. Those were fun most of the time. Until I took one that I was over qualified for. I was bored to tears, and picked up admin stuff for the Senior Pastor. Even then? I started losing things. Things like his outlines, or his re-imbursement requests for the new Vicar. And when the food pantry needs went from eight a week, to eight a day? I just couldn’t keep track or stay focused.

I finally really DID get depressed. In 12 months I lost ten friends (death), the only school my kids had ever known, was bad at my $8/hr cake job, Dillon’s seizures got worse and other life issues aroze.

My husbands always says “Deana hates surprises as much as she hates change.” Too many surprises and too much change. Everything overwhelmed me to the point of my becoming almost comotose. Sitting wrapped in a blanket on my back porch for hours at a time was all I could handle then. This time the meds did more than change my likes in color. This time they were necessary. I stayed on them and in therapy, for two and a half years.

I haven’t needed depression meds for over a year now. I’m no longer depressed. I’ve eliminated EVERYTHING from my calender except my house and my boys. And I’m still behind, I’m still overwhelmed and it’s still harder than I think it should be.

Last month we had Dillon re-evaluated for his ADHD, and this time the doctor gave us a survey to fill out for ourselves. Jeff answered yes to four, I answered yes to 17 out of 20. He strongly suggested I see my Dr. and just try ADD meds and see if they don’t help.

So today, I went to see Dr Laura. The women who has seen me through my ups and downs over the past five years. The women – who it turns out – is also ADD. It took some walking through conversations and explaining exactly which survey I’d filled out, and Dillon’s doctors requests over the years.

No it wasn’t some internet survey by Eli Lilly.
No, I’m not here to get drugs to lose weight.
No, I’m not depressed – just still unable to keep up with life.
Yes, I’ve emptied my day runner – I do nothing but be a mom.
No, my laundry is not caught up, my house is not clean, I have unfinished projects from two years back at least and I cannot balance a checkbook.
Is life supposed to be this hard?
Why can other women do all that? And more. I don’t get it.
I can’t even work outside the home anymore. It’s all too hard to juggle.

So, starting today, I am on Concerta 27 mg. I’m curious to see how it works. Or if it works.

My ADHD son thinks this is hilarious. My husband is, well, “Staying out of it.” 😉
My other son – the only sane person in the house some days is expectantly hopefull.

Our Nativity

I was at the store the other day, and walked through the aisles in wonder. Our local hobby store (Hobby Lobby) is owned by a Christian family. In this store there are Christmas trees, and not holiday trees. And in this store there are rows and rows of decorations. Our old Christmas tree finally bit the dust last year and so we purchased a new one as seen in an earlier blog. Some things though, don’t have the same feel when new. Sometimes old is better. Like my Grandmother’s Nativity set. How I got blessed enough to wind up with it, I’ll never know. But I did. And I’d never replace it for anything in the world. She hand painted every piece herself. It must have taken her forever. Mom says it took a few years before the set was completed. Looking at the detail on these pieces, I am not surprised.

My Memory Verses for 2009

This entry will be frequently updated regarding my memory verse challenge on the LPM Blog for 2009. I will list the verses I choose here for everyone to see.

March 15, 2009 – Isaiah 50:7 – “Because the sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.”

March 1, 2009 – Hebrews 10:35-36 – “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded, you need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”

February 2009 – Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

January 15, 2009 (Isaiah 41:9-10) – “I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’: I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will up hold you with my righteous right hand.”

January 1, 2009 – Ephesians 3:17-19. “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”