Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story

Unmasked: My 10 Mistakes (6-10)

In Unmasked I peeled away the veneer I used to hide from my reality and invited you to see the unvarnished, unpolished me. Then in Unmasked: My 10 Mistakes (1-5), I started to share the mistakes I made, how my poor choices made SAD worse, and what’s next.

#1 and #2 are enough to send anyone off kilter, but they were just the beginning…

Join me today as I share rest of the mistakes I made this winter, what I learned from them, and how I’m working to rectify them.

Psalm 30_5

6) I stopped asking for prayer from my friends and my Tribe members who’ve joined my prayer team.

I know now this decision was motivated by fear and pride.

I can’t stand complaining, and I have little respect for those who make it a habit. So I’m hypersensitive to coming off as a complainer or whiner—of being needy and self-centered. And that’s how I sounded in my own ears when I asked for prayer—even though I was neither.

Friend, as my friend Misty Phillip’s new Bible Study says, The Struggle is Real, But So is God! is so so very true!

Praying for each other is how we win the battle. It’s what give us strength to use our armor and wield our sword. It’s what allows us to be strong and courageous. I know that now. In a way I didn’t before.

I can see now

  • Satan fed me a lie
  • I swallowed it
  • He used that lie to deplete my defenses, erode my guard, and set me up for attack after attack after attack

I love praying for others. My faith is always fortified when I pray for others. Standing shoulder to shoulder with them in the throws of battle; witnessing their God-given victory. I get a thrill watching them grow, mature, and change more into the likeness of their Savior. My heart floods with joy to see how God later uses those dark periods to further His Kingdom and to help others in the same predicament.

But when it comes to asking for prayer for myself, I flounder. I didn’t want to be a bother. Seen as needy. I know, I know…pride.

But what I’ve learned is:

  • No one else sees me that way
  • I’ve sacrificed victories on the alter of my stupid pride
  • When I don’t share my prayer needs, I rob those who care about me the same joy and thrill I get when praying for them! I’m cheating them of the opportunity to fortify their own faith.
  • I’ve allowed this lie to hinder my faith and theirs

Please oh please forgive me.

Now what

  • I need to get over it
  • I need to ditch my pride, selfishness, and fear—put on my big girl panties—and ask for prayer in all things
  • I need restart writing my newsletter to my prayer team
    • These are some of my Tribe members who accepted the invitation to be on the team
      • If you are interested in joining the team
        • Subscribe to my website (if you haven’t already)
        • If you’re a WP follower, you still need to subscribe as I don’t have access to your email address
        • Comment on this post “Count me in”
        • I will add you to the group

1 Peter 4_10

 

7) I wasn’t involved in a hands-on, face-to-face ministry

I served as a small group leader in our church’s youth ministry for the past 5 years . I loved it and my girls—my “daughters.” But in fall 2017, due to restructuring, expansion, and rescheduling my girls were no longer part of my group or attending.

Let me explain: Our church has multiple campuses in various communities, and for years our main campus hosted our youth ministry on Tuesday nights. However, in 2017 the decision was made to have each campus host its own youth ministry on Wednesday nights. And leaders were encouraged to serve at the campuses they attend. It all made sense because this amazing move further empowered our campuses to serve their communities with excellence. Huge win!

However, these changes came with a cost. Most of my girls would be going to a different location than the one I would be serving at. And those who were still at my campus would not longer be able to attend due to the night change. I was crushed!

I still served through the 2017-2018 season and met and mentored other young women whom I quickly grew to love. However, as juniors, these ladies weren’t very consistent due to homework, sports, jobs, illnesses, etc. There were many weeks I didn’t have a small group at all.

Again, my heart hurt, but I understood. I started to ask God what’s next? Is it time for me to move on or stay put?

This fall I talked with our youth pastor at the time and he sympathized with my predicament. He offered me a group of incoming freshmen, but I was hesitant to commit to another 4 years because I felt as if God was preparing me for something else—an opportunity to serve elsewhere in the church. So I opted to take a break until I had more clarity.

This fall I did host a small Bible study in my home with two other women. It started out GREAT! It was awesome! I was excited. Invigorated. They were loving it. I was loving it. But then kids were getting sick. We were getting sick. Someone would get called out of town or into work. One week of not meeting became two, then three…eventually it fell apart.

I don’t believe the time or effort was wasted. I know God planted a seed in me during that time…I’m just not sure what will going to come of it yet. But I know something is there. Taking root.

Another thing I tried to do this fall was get connected with college ministries on the various campuses here in the Twin Cities. But those opportunities all fell through. After a while I gave up trying.

What I learned, is being hands-on in a ministry—teaching, mentoring, and discipling others—helping Christians grown in their faith is my wheel-house. It’s my happy place. My why. My passion. And that passion carries over into my writing. It fuels it. Ignites it. Energizes it. I learned my writing is an off-shoot of my hands-on ministry, not the other way around!

And not being involved in a hands-on ministry this year has created a chasm, a void I couldn’t cross.

So now what?

  • I’m meeting with one of our pastors in the near future to discuss where I would fit in the ministry of our church; who my gifts, talents, and passions would best serve.
    • I would love to
      • disciple/mentor young adult women
      • lead a discipleship class
      • teach one of my Bible studies
        • (test it and get feed back)
  • I’m looking for opportunities to be a guest speaker for youth, women’s, and mixed gender ministries.

I covet your prayers in these areas. (See I’m already getting better at this! Ha!)

genesis 15_5-6

8) I didn’t get out of my house enough

I could go days without ever leaving my driveway; going outside only to take the dogs out. Of if I left it was to pick the boys up after wrestling practice.

I did have friends over for coffee regularly. Those visits were a pure joy, edifying and enriching. A treasured lifeline.

I did go to wrestling meets and tournaments and practices with Andrew. I talked with other parents and developed beautiful friendships I look forward to growing.

But they weren’t enough.

I needed to get out of my house more. Get a new perspective.

I got stuck. And in the depth of my depression, I hit the point where I didn’t want to go out. Especially when the wrestling season ended and I wasn’t being forced out, I had no desire to go. Even when it meant attending church. Granted, when I did leave go out, I enjoyed myself, but I struggled to find the energy and strength to leap over the mental hurdle of actually getting ready and leaving my house.

In hindsight, I realized I pulled so far within myself I didn’t want to go out or be with people. And when I did, even if I had a blast, I was exhausted from the effort. Which in turn, lessened my desire to go out the next time.

Now what?

I need to be more intentional about getting out of my house—not including errands or kid activities. The question is, where do I go?

Some current ideas:

  • Go to our new local coffee shop to write once a week
    • There’s a financial aspect to this option, so it may just end up being 1-2 times a month
    • Knowing me, I would meet people
    • I would be out of the house while getting work done.
      • I also might be more productive in a new environment.
  • Invite people for dinner more often
    • Here and out at a restaurant
  • We have a new family gym membership
    • Workout there a few days a week instead of just working out at home (which I prefer)
  • Find my ministry niche at church

Proverbs 4_25-27

9) I was too easily distracted

This was the hardest to admit to, to own—it’s also the mistake laced with the most shame.

When my depression was at it’s worst, I wasn’t able to focus, write well, or retain anything I read. I was frustrated and eventually gave up trying. This of course made things worse because it confirmed my despair and insecurities as it ignited the fear I was losing my mind.

I did what I needed to do to complete household chores. I worked out often. Beyond that, I was distracted by inconsequential things like games on my phone, scrolling through social media (not posting), knitting, puzzles,etc. Sometimes I would think and process during these activities. But to be honest, more often than not, I was numb. Blank. Vacant of thought or emotion. I went through the motions of my day, wearing a mask, pretending all was well until I could go to bed and escape into sleep.

My biggest regret is the time I wasted and the opportunities I lost. Part of me wonders if I needed this time to purge my head and heart. To fully pull back and reset. To recover from the prolonged state of being overwhelmed. But a larger part of me laments what I can’t get back.

Now what?

  • The biggest key is awareness, self-control, and discipline
  • The content calendar will help
  • Utilize my Panda planner to it’s full extent also helps

  • Protect my most productive hours (11-3)
  • Get back to a normal routine
    • Start small
    • Master those things before adding more
      • Evaluate each addition’s necessity to avoid getting overwhelmed again
  • Treat writing as a career rather than a hobby
    • Make it a priority rather than trying to fit it into the cracks of my schedule

Please join me in praying for this.

1 Corinthians 6_19-20

10) I dropped the ball on consistent Self-care

I don’t know if it’s being a woman, a mom or what, but I put my needs after everyone else’s needs and wants. As a result, I don’t take care of myself and end up burning out.

  • I didn’t protect my sleep requirements
  • I compromised on my nutrition
    • Too much sugar, gluten, dairy, messes up my gut and the rest of my systems
  • Neglected to take Vitamin D supplements
    • My silver bullet for battling SAD
  • Forgot to buy a light therapy lamp to help beat SAD
  • Not enough play time
  • Rebuke the guilt that rises when I’m resting
  • Not reading books to challenge and grow my mind

Now what?

  • I’m working to relearn sleep habits
    • I’ve set an alarm on my FitBit to alert me it’s time to start winding down and getting ready for bed
  • Be aware of what I’m eating and make sure I have the right kinds of food in the house to eat
  • With Spring the Vitamin D and light box aren’t as much of a need
      • I should have them for prolonged cloudy days spring through fall

  • Make and embrace time to play.
    • Schedule it.
    • Follow through
    • Let everything else go.
  • I have my next three book pullout out and ready

 

There are other factors beyond my control that influenced my SAD and subsequent depression (health issues and weather are chief among them), but these 10 mistakes were made by my choosing. And turning these things around is my responsibility. My choice. There is no one to blame but me and no one else can make the changes needed by me.

Friend, I hope you’re able to learn from my mistakes. Or if you made some of the same ones, that you will be inspired to make the changes necessary. Or if you have ideas to share, please do so in the comments! I love new ideas!

Col 3_23

Blessings, xoxo

Cheyenne


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4 thoughts on “Unmasked: My 10 Mistakes (6-10)”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. That Scripture has given me so much healing this past month. And reading it again is like a fresh wave of healing. Thank you. ❤️ and thank you for your continued love and support, my dear friend.

    Like

  2. Cheyenne, I am so sorry you’ve been going through such a difficult season. Thank you so much for sharing so that we can all learn and grow together. So many of the mistakes you described, I have made repeatedly in my life. I regularly need to pull back to re-evaluate, repent, and make course corrections. I am hard on myself when a get off track, but I’ve realized how God uses those times to remind me that I can’t do anything of value without Him. It also makes me love Him more because of this truth:
    “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to His children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:8-13 ESV)

    I am praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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