Replacing my Sadness with God’s Joy



Life can be sad – plain and simple.  I think I forget that simple truth.  And you know, that’s okay – life is tricky, it’s stressful, happy, and trying all at the same time.

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know I am fairly open about my struggle with depression for years.  It all really began to surface right after I married when I was 24 and my mother’s health began to severely decline due to her diagnosis with Multiple Scelrosis.  I am sure there are many other factors, but those are the two changes that really stick out in my mind of life changes that occurred.   The problem with my condition and something that resonated here with what Sue shared, is that sadness is considered to be a short-term issue, well – my sadness and hopelessness continued for years…… it did not go away or subside.

Thankfully I am on the other side of extreme symptoms of depression and God’s grace has been amazing by bringing so many elements into my life to help me – His love, an amazing husband, essential oils and friends.

I know we can all relate as moms to seasons of sadness and depression.  But I do love this reminder:

It’s in the season’s of difficulty that we need to remind ourselves about the greater truth.  The facts of our circumstances do not always make something true.

I tend to allow words to top truth.  I forget God’s word and can easily allow my thoughts to spiral down to a hopeless state.  Am I the only one?   It takes real intentional effort to keep my mind in check!

Something I have noticed that really helps me is to a simple thing that I have lost the older I get and more task orientated I am.  It is no secret around our home, I am a severely driven person with goals and high expectations of myself.  This is a good quality, until it becomes all I am.  

I noticed this on Mother’s Day, when I actually was able to sit at a professional baseball game for several hours in the company of my family and enjoy just being.  Don’t get me wrong, I love stuff like that – but I often will have an excuse to not “go have fun” because I feel driven to complete a task or a huge list of tasks.  I, in the end loose my JOY and real focus on what is important.  

I intentionally have to remember this – to have FUN!  I love how Sue put’s it:  GET OUT OF YOUR FUNK!

So, my summer goal is to have more fun, re-organize my time so I can still get done what needs done, but be more realistic with myself.  More fun times with my family and letting lose will in the end produce more Joy for me.

Keeping in His word also will result in a confidence of who God is and my connection to him.  My new morning routine has been great – an entire hour of quiet time and then exercise to get me started for my day. By 7 AM I am already feeling success with a few things that I like to cross off my to-do list.

My next step is to be more grateful, I think that will help me refocus and settle in His goodness a bit more.  How about you?  Do you keep a gratitude journal?  Have you read “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,”  by Ann Voskamp.  I did several years ago and maybe it is time for me to pull it out again and re-read those precious pages.    

Some perfect summer reading.  

I’ll catch you over on the Facebook page with some discussion!

The Vitamin D Impact


vitamin D impact 
Welcome to Day 20 of 31 Days of Mom Mojo – Tackling Time Management.

If your body’s not right, the rest of your day will go all wrong. Take care of yourself.    Terri Guillemets

We talked about getting good nutrition yesterday and I wanted to take it one step further to focus on one area that can often be forgotten or overlooked – Vitamin D.  Again, I am not a medical doctor, but have taken time to research this topic from my personal journey dealing with depression and also Cutaneous Lupus, which prevents me from getting Vitamin D through sun exposure.

Having low vitamin D levels or Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several mood disorders. Premenstrual syndrome,Seasonal affective disorder (also known as winter blues) and major depressive disorder.  In addition, low vitamin D levels can contribute to a decreased cognitive performance, which can include memory and thinking processes.

Symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency are muscle pain, weak bones, low energy, fatigue, lowered immunity, and symptoms of depression; moods swings, and sleep irregularities.

Vitamin D can increase the levels of serotonin, which controls your moods in your brain. Your vitamin D receptors are located in bone, skeletal muscle, immune cells, and several body tissues like the brain, prostate, breast and colon.  So, it is important!

Do any of the following sound familiar or ring true for you?

Do you suffer from symptoms of irritability, crying, depression, over sensitivity, and mood swings right before menstruation?  You probably suffer from premenstrual syndrome  (PMS) which is an emotional and physical disturbances occurring after a woman ovulates and usually ends with menstruation.

Do you find yourself experiencing depressive symptoms in the winter, but feel great the rest of the year? Seasonal affective disorder, or winter blues, is a mood disorder that affects people in the winter months.. This usually happens year after year. A person with seasonal affective disorder may sleep too much, have no energy, and crave starchy foods and sweets.  There’s a reason why some healthcare professionals give their patients Vitamin D supplements in the fall and winter – it’s been shown that a lack of Vitamin D plays a role in SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Major depressive disorder is when you have low self-esteem, and loss of interest in things that once pleased you. This type of depression is more common that most think, especially in woman.

Because the body makes Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, experts believe that the lower levels of sunlight in fall and winter may contribute to lower levels of Vitamin D, and hence depression.

There have been many cases of people experiencing a much-needed mood boost by consuming even more Vitamin D than the US RDA recommends (which is 200 IU). Most sources agree that 2000 IU is the safe limit of supplemented Vitamin D, although your body can synthesize much, much more than that in just a few minutes of sun exposure, sources point out.  This is my favorite Vitamin D Supplement

So how do you get more Vitamin D in your diet?

Supplements are an option, but many people prefer to get vitamins through foods. Here are some foods that are rich in Vitamin D.

  • Oatmeal – It’s nice that a cold-weather breakfast cereal – which you might instinctively reach for when the weather turns colder – provides around 188 IU of Vitamin D per serving.
  • Salmon – Have you ever wondered how people in far northern climates, where the sun doesn’t even shine for months in the winter, get enough Vitamin D? Their diets are rich in fatty seafood. Research supports the positive effect of fish oil on mood, and fish oil contains Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so getting it through a (healthy) fat-rich source makes sense. Sources note that wild-caught salmon is best. (Other fish with Vitamin D include cod, herring, sardines and trout.)
  • Mushrooms – Canned or fresh, mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D, with almost 170 IU per 1-cup serving. White mushrooms and shitake, even dried, are considered the highest in Vitamin D.
  • Eggs – One egg has about 20 IU of Vitamin D. Organic, free-range eggs may be higher in this vitamin than conventional eggs.
  • Fortified Foods – While it’s not a natural form of Vitamin D, you can find significant amounts of this vitamin in enriched breakfast cereals and fortified cow’s milk.

Vitamin D can be found in food, but only a few foods are a good source of it. Because only a few foods have a good amount, some people should take vitamin D supplements if they are not exposed to sunlight on their skin on a regular basis.

Another source of vitamin D is sunlight.

Sunlight is far more likely to provide you with your daily vitamin D requirement than your food intake will. It only takes about ten to fifteen minutes of sunlight for your body to take in the vitamin. After this time you should apply a sunscreen of at least and SPF of 15 to protect your skin. You want to expose your face, hands, arms, or back at least two times a week to the sunlight without sunscreen to get the adequate amount of vitamin D.

To make sure you do not get a vitamin D deficiency; allow yourself limited, unprotected exposure to the sun, eat a diet that’s rich in whole foods, take a multivitamin everyday to make sure you are filling in any gaps of vitamins you may not be getting enough of, and take a vitamin D supplement on a daily basis. You can also see your health care provider to get tested to see if you are vitamin D deprived and come up with a plan to get you on the right track.

The US Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D is for women up to 50 years of age is 200 IU of Vitamin D per day.

If you feel that you could be vitamin D deficient, try incorporating some foods that contain vitamin D into your diet and see how you feel.  If that does not increase you energy level or improve your symptoms, then perhaps it is time to see your doctor.

Do you think you could be suffering from low vitamin D levels?

Weekly Household Quick Tip


Tackling this daily task in the Weekly Household Planner:


I shared some ideas on this topic a few months ago, but as the school year approaches and we begin to start NEW routines, I thought it would be good to approach it again, especially since I’ve been able to get back into a routine that is easy and helping me stay a little more balanced.  We all need that!

I thought if might be helpful to share some of the most effective fat burning workouts.  A lot of us feel you have to work out for hours on end to burn fat, but the reality is much different.

As you begin on a regimen of fat-burning exercises, it helps to know a bit about how weight loss works. Within each fat cell are drops of oil made up of triglycerides. These drops of oil are, essentially, the body’s fuel reserves. If you continue eating more calories than you burn, the body continues to store up the triglycerides in your fat cells.

During weight loss (which can be initiated through fat-burning workouts), hormonal triggers cause the fat cells to release these stored-up triglycerides. Then they are processed primarily by the liver to give you the extra energy your body needs to keep up with your exercising.

So for fat-burning workouts to be effective, the above cycle needs to be set into motion. Many sources claim to have the best exercises; in sorting through them, you can discern some common threads to put together an optimal fat-burning workout. Here are some ideas and tips on how to get the most fat-burning out of your exercise time. [Read more…]

How to Stop Feeling Mom Guilt


Ugh, mom guilt. It seems to be an integral part of motherhood. Born at the moment of conception, the guilt starts wreaking havoc on your life. Even before the baby is born you start thinking, “I shouldn’t have done this” or “I should have done that.” And once they’re born, forget about it. Every little tear they shed, every little mistake piles up like dirty diapers until you’re overwhelmed by a giant stack of stinky guilt.

Does Mom Guilt Need to Be a Part of Your Life?

It seems some mothers latch onto the mom guilt as a rite of passage. You’re supposed to feel it, right? Well, perhaps not. In most cases, guilt is a rather unproductive emotion. It doesn’t help you accomplish anything. It doesn’t make you or your child a better person. It doesn’t change things.  It actually can make things much worse.

Think about the last time you felt a bit of guilt. Maybe you snapped at your child or didn’t feed them as many vegetables as you think you should have. Or like me, as a work at home mom, you spent a little more time at the computer than you wanted to.   Those haunting words inside your head making you feel like the worse mom ever!

What did the guilt accomplish? Did it change the past? Did it magically make you, or your child, feel better? No and no. Let it go!

How to Stop Feeling Mom Guilt [Read more…]

Depression in the Later Years – Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW


Depression in the Later Years: How to Help an Aging Loved One Cope

Do you have an aging loved one in your life? Have you ever wondered if they are depressed and not understood why or how you can help? Now is the time to equip yourself with information and tools to help them! Depression is rising among our aging loved ones. According to the National Institutes of Health, of the 35 million Americans age 65 or older, about 2 million suffer from full-blown depression. [Read more…]