Now glory be to God!
By his mighty power at work within us,
he is able to accomplish infinitely more
than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

Ephesians 3:20

Search This Blog

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Important information for ALL PARENTS.

Parents, listen up. I observed community conversation/panel discussion/training on youth suicide awareness and prevention. If you have young children, do not stop reading. One of the panelist was a young adult who was severely depressed and almost ended her life as a teen. She also had friends who struggled with depression. When asked about telling an adult/getting help she said "IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME" to tell an adult. I came home to talk to my teenager-I asked him what he'd do if a friend was talking about hurting themselves or wanting to die. He had lots of good ideas about what he would do to help. IT NEVER OCCURRED TO HIM TO TELL AN ADULT. So we have had a conversation about how this is TOO BIG of a problem for kids to deal with on their own. Even if the friend doesn't want you to tell anyone. You MUST tell a trusted adult. A teacher, a pastor, a parent, a friend's parent, a coach. It is LIFE OR DEATH. Please have this conversation in an age appropriate way with your kids. They do know someone who is struggling, based on the statistics. Other take aways include: 1-the age group (among youth) with the highest risk factors of being suicidal is nine to fourteen years old. 9-14. yes, 9. 2-teens tell their friends an average of FOUR times that they are suicidal/thinking of harming themselves. FOUR times. 3-two of the other panelists were parents that had lost a child to suicide. Ack, the agony. I can't even imagine. They are activists now because of the tragedy of teen suicide. Resources: Idaho Lives Project Suicide Prevention Life Line American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Suicide Prevention Awareness

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Suicide Prevention training.  It was held by mental health professionals in a local church on a Wednesday.  It was a full house.  I'm guessing the church could seat 300-350 people.  It. Was. A. Full. House.

It was all good information, however there were two highlights.  The first was the viewing of a documentary called Daughter of Suicide.  Hard to watch but time well spent. I highly recommend everyone in a helping profession watch it,  as well as those who are not professional helpers.  if you've lost someone to suicide you will relate.  If you've been suicidal, it will be eye opening.  If you have any one in your life who struggles with mental health issues, you need to see this film.  If you have anyone in your life that you care about, you need to see this film.  As the title indicates, the documentary is by a woman whose mother completed suicide.

 The second highlight was a panel of suicide survivors.  I do not mean family and loved ones left behind by another's suicide.  That is a whole other kind of pain.  This was a panel of some of the bravest people I have ever encountered.  They had all taken action to end their own lives, and lived to tell about it, AND did tell about it for the benefit of others.  Moving.  Emotional.  Inspiring.  Difficult.

I won't even try to capture the depth of human experience that was conveyed during this session, but I do want to share a few things.  The panel consisted of five people, ranging from early twenties to late sixties, both men and women, from all walks of life.   Some had multiple attempts, some only one.  The details of their stories were different, but there were many similarities.

All mentioned the use of alcohol and drugs.
All didn't talk about the pain they were in.
All described "tunnel vision" as in they couldn't see, hear or receive love or support.
All mentioned caring people who helped them regain a sense of connection.  It may have been a nurse, a first responder, a police officer or a counselor.  But they all mentioned how they were treated in medical facilities had a very big impact on them.
All mentioned that they were happy to be here, happy that their attempt(s) hadn't succeeded.  They indicated a sense of not being done or finished, though they all still had the problems they had before their attempt(s).
All displayed a sense of humor.

I was blown away by these five people and their willingness to share, publicly, about the darkest time in their lives.  The fact that they cold joke and laugh is an amazing testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.  The fact that they spoke publicly and candidly about this usually hidden, secret topic is a testimony to their courage.  I pray I never forget this experience.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or feeling suicidal, please get help.  Talking about it will not put the idea in their head.  We must bring this out of the darkness and into the open.  There is help.  There is hope.  These five people are proof.

Suicide prevention hotline 18002738255.  1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Both are staffed 24/7 by trained professionals.  
  • Tell a friend or family member.
  • Reach out to someone at church.
  • Call a counselor or mental health clinic.
  • Talk to your sponsor.
  • Call your Pastor.

Do not suffer in silence any longer.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Birthday thoughts

Today is my birthday.  If you use the average life expectancy numbers I am pretty close to mid life.  Though, truth be told, I could also be much closer to the end than I care to think about.  That's not morbid or depressed, it's simply a fact.  Read on to see what I'm getting at.

My birthday  started out well, a day off,  to sleep in (as much as a middle aged morning person with school age kids can sleep in), hugs and birthday cards from my family and tons of good wishes for a happy day on Facebook.  I am blessed and I know it.

Later on, I am reminded that life can change in an instant.  We are headed out of town, up into the mountains for a little r and r.  We've been this way before and so we are not surprised by the road work that delays us in a couple of different places.  What we are surprised by is at the second stop, a woman walks up to us and says there's been an accident.  A rockslide and some of the road crew are hurt.  An ambulance is on the way so keep the road as clear as possible.  Immediately  I feel a deep sense of sadness as I look around the beautiful mountain side and river valley and wonder how long it will take the emergency crews to arrive.  We aren't too far from the city, but we aren't that close, either. Often, there are no alternative routes through mountainous terrain.   I say a silent prayer for God to be with the people needing help.  I think of them and their families and ask God to be with them.

What is inconvenient for us is life altering for others.  I am  a fairly patient traveler,  able to view inconveniences and delays as opportunities.  I look for the adventure in the mishaps.  To me, that is the art and beauty in a road trip.  I guess moving (and driving)  across the country twice, spending several weeks on the road and living in the camper for two months, as well as multiple trips to Haiti have brought out this ability in me.  I highly recommend travel to a third world country for at least a week for every American.  But that's another post about perspective.   I pray that I could incorporate this attitude/virtue of patience, flexibility and a positive outlook more in my day to day life.

Fortunately for us, it's a nice day and we have the camper with us.  People are out of their vehicles, chatting, stretching, watching.  A lady walking by says " this is nice for you, you have your home with you" referring to our camper.  So we have lunch while we wait and watch and pray.  The whole time I am struck by how life can change dramatically in an instant.  These guys (or gals) went to work and were doing their normal thing, and then they weren't.  Their family members were doing their normal thing until they got the phone call.  Then they weren't.

An ambulance made its way through a bit later.  Followed by a med-evac helicopter.  It took a few attempts to land because of the terrain.  That chopper took off and another landed within a few minutes.  As I watched the first take off I said another prayer for them to make it to the hospital safely.  It was almost as if I could send them "good vibes" and "positive energy" to make the flight as quick and as smooth as possible.  I hope it helped.  After a bit the second, larger chopper took off and I sent the same intense, fervent prayer.

We wondered how long it would be before we could continue on our way.  Shortly we saw traffic coming from the other direction so we loaded ourselves back into the vehicle.  And then we were on our way.  Driving past the "office" of the construction crew was revealing.  As we passed by their trailer and parking area, the looks on their faces were tense, the mood was somber.  Hard to get back to work after something like this happens, no matter what you might think of your co-workers.  They looked dazed.  And exhausted.

 We went on our way with full bellies and only about an hour delay in our plans.  And with the very real reminder that life can change in an instant.  Lets not waste one minute.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Green Smoothie Detox Day 3 Update

If you want to read my intro to what I'm doing, click here.

I'm so excited-today I feel fantastic!  No headache, no fatigue.  Because I am feeling more adventurous with the green smoothies, I am not following the meal plan exactly.  I am essentially picking and choosing my menu each day.  This is totally not necessary, but I am enjoying myself.  One of the great benefits of doing the Living Raw By Grace Green Smoothie Detox Feast is that all the planning is done for you, complete with a shopping list, and if you want, a class at the grocery store to learn about selecting produce and saving money on it.

Savory Smoothie Soup
At any rate, this is a picture of a smoothie I made and enjoyed as a soup.  This one had no fruit in it-it was savory.  It was very good, almost like a salsa.  I chopped up some green onion for a garnish too.  One low speed blender batch generated about 5 bowls like this.  It's a lot of food.  I love the beautiful vibrant green color.  I know that disturbs some people but to me green=health.  Delish and Nutrish!

Below is the last green smoothie I made in my low speed blender.  Notice the dark flecks in it.  I believe that to be the skin from the grapes I put in this one.  The low speed blender just couldn't break it up more than that.  It was yummy, but if you need a smooth texture, you wouldn't have enjoyed it. 
No recipe, just using up what I had on hand.

I was so excited to get my Vitamix home that I neglected to take any pictures of the first smoothie I made in it, an Apple Pie Smoothie.  It tasted like Apple Pie!  My kids loved it and even my smoothie averse husband tried it and liked it.  I found the recipe online at Incredible Smoothies and it was delish.  Technically, this one was not a green smoothie due to no greens in it, but I could add spinach (because it is so mild in flavor) and it would be a green smoothie.

Avocado Banana Smoothie
This morning I made another recipe I found at Low Fat Vegan Chef.  The only change I made here was to use one banana instead of two.  Let me tell you that this was the creamiest and most satisfying smoothie I have ever had.  I was looking around for some more substantial smoothie recipes because of my hunger level the first day.  An avocado is filling and loaded with healthy fat.  It makes the smoothie so creamy, it's to die for.  

The other special thing about this particular smoothie is that I got to make it in my Vitamix.  With my low speed blender I had to peel and/or chop my produce into smaller chunks.  I would then have to add those ingredients one at a time.  Not so with the Vitamix.  Everything went in, I turned it on and within a few moments, smoothest smoothie ever!  Have I mentioned how happy I am to have my new kitchen appliance?  :-)