Posts tagged ‘writing’

Letters of Support

20160801_093206 (1)

For the past few months, I’ve been vigorously working on my husband’s immigration case. It involved a lot of writing, office type work, obtaining and making copies of records, and gathering information.  None of it was easy.  But the hardest thing for me was asking for what’s known as “Letters of Support,” which basically vouch that Amor is a good, decent person and upstanding member of society.  I have social anxiety (along with Bipolar Disorder) and for so long, Amor and I have kept his immigration status hush-hush.   Now, however, we had to come out of the shadows (so to speak) and admit the truth to friends and family that (gasp & shame, shame!) my husband entered this country illegally.  He was 16 years old when his brothers first brought him here and he has built his entire adult life in the US.

It was stressful and nerve-wracking for me to announce this and ask for help. But it had to be done, as part of the petition process.  So, I wrote down a list of 25 names of friends, family, and acquaintances.  It was scary to me to think of contacting these people without knowing their political stance or possible prejudices regarding this touchy issue.  But I took several deep breaths, and said a few prayers and started contacting.

The response I received was shocking.  Our community of friends and family were more than willing to help us file by writing for us.  In all, I collected 20 notarized letters!  I saw how kind and generous these people were to take time out of their own hectic lives to invest in ours.  They had to actually sit down and think about me, Amor and our kids, construct the letter, then go get it notarized.  A few of these people, I know had physical health issues.  One had a newborn baby.  Another person is a dear friend whom we haven’t physically seen in over a decade, but we’ve kept in touch via social media.  Yet another had problems getting the statement notarized because her identification was expired but she made it happen!  Each person went out of their way to help us.

I read each letter as they trickled in.  Each one with optimistic affirmations about us and our family.  After gathering them all, I sat down and re-read them.  It wasn’t just the quantity that astounded me, but the quality as well.  These people wrote from their hearts. I know we are in their prayers. Tears of gratitude trickled down my face.

Our case has since been put on hold, for now, anyway.  But we have our paperwork ready at a moment’s notice.  Now, whenever our attorney says to submit, we will be ready and able to move forward.  Thank you, so much for those of you who helped us.  We love and appreciate you all.

(July 2016, Twins 2, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quote:  Amor – “I’m too smart for that show” (Ruff Ruff, Tweet and Dave).  Me – “That’s why I watch Curious George.”
Bible Verse:  “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Term that has Earned its meaning:  true friendship
Relatable Lyrics:  Lean On Me by Bill Withers

“If there is a load you have to bear, that you can’t carry, I’m right up the road, I’ll share your load if you just call me, if you need a friend…We all need somebody to lean on.”

Struggle to Juggle: Writing

Baby Books and Prayer Journals

I have so much to write.  I love writing my blog and I have so many open drafts, so many ideas of what I want to write, but so little time.  But there is so much more writing I need to do and I’m feeling the pressure to update those things as well as my blog (esp. my “Mommy Resume”.

  1.  My prayer journal:  I’ve been writing prayers – pen to paper for over a decade.  Over the last few months, I’ve been typing or saying prayers but it just doesn’t feel the same as when I sit down with a blank book and chicken-scratch a “Dear God” letter.  There’s no auto-correct.  There’s no editing.  There’s no outline.  And there’s no right or wrong thing to write.  I just pour out my heart and I feel closer to God.  So I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier to try to feel that closeness.  When I’m not interrupted by an early morning rising baby, it’s such a fulfilling feeling to just scribble my thoughts to the Lord in the morning.
  2. Baby Books:  Mica’s baby book is a masterpiece work of art.  It contains drawings we did together and detailed stories from when she was little, with added pages, tailored to show her uniqueness and just how special she is to me.  It is a beautiful exhibit of her character as a baby, and mine too, as a first-time mom.  The twins each have baby books.  I knew it would be challenging to keep up with two, especially considering the time and effort I put into Mica’s.  I definitely have some updating to do there!  With so much going on and so little time, I find myself throwing sticky notes and drawings in the books.  I really need to go through and organize those things, and actually write in them.
  3. Birthday Letters:  On each child’s birthday, I’m supposed to celebrate, make a cake, throw a party, and be exuberant and enthusiastic (regardless of my mood or energy level).  I have also put it upon myself to write an extremely heartfelt card, not to be opened for 18 years (or “when the time is right”).  With four to write for (and two in one day), it can be a lot. These are not just well wishes.  These are spiritual blessings and hopes and dreams for my children’s futures.  Each is unique.  Each is special.  I cry tears of emotion, joy, and sentiment over each.
  4. Immigration:  Amor, my husband, and I have an immigration case pending.  He is from Mexico and is seeking permanent citizenship.  Much of his case resides on my written brief.  For the longest time, we were waiting on the Government for the forms we filed to be processed. The case is currently awaiting my input.  It’s time to get around to that.
  5. Snail Mail:  Who sends good, old-fashioned snail mail anymore?  Me!!!  Well, it’s mostly drawing or collages.  But still, it takes time to put together, write little comments and the addresses, etc.  I send them mostly to my sister but like to surprise other family members from time to time.
  6. Business:  Don’t you just hate calling a big corporation and talking to a machine?  Then after 5 or 10 minutes, you finally get someone on the line and the accent is so thick and the connection so terrible, you can’t communicate?   I’ve gone through this so much and wasted so much time and aggravation.  I usually sit down and write to customers service when I have a complaint with a company.  If they don’t have an online chat or email center, again, I use snail mail.  I usually get results that way with less frustration.  (I get anxiety from talking on the phone anyway, often, even with people I know.  It’s a strange Bipolar-related symptom).

I’m juggling a lot.  Writing is just one of the balls I have in the air. It’s one of my favorite balls to catch, especially due to its therapeutic properties, but it’s hard to keep up with.  There are more pressing issues I have to attend to:  making sure my children are well cared for and also leading them in the path of Jesus, taking care of my marriage, keeping house, grocery shopping and bills, keeping up with friends, helping neighbors, etc.  But I’ll find time.  Lord knows, I have plenty of inspiration. I’ll find time to make it a priority.

(March 17, 2016 –  twins 1 1/2, Hope 6, Mica almost 8!)

Double Talk Quote: “There’s a hair” – Mica, meant to say chair

Bible Verse: “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” – Galatians 6:11

Word that has Lost its meaning: Finished

Relatable Lyrics:  “Under Pressure” by Queen

“Chippin’ around, kick my brains ’round the floor
These are the days – it never rains but it pours…

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?”

 

A NEW song for your brain (a second refrain)

IMG_9689.jpg

This past week, one of the pastors at our church preached a sermon about gratitude and thinking patterns, both from a Christian and a scientific perspective.  The sermon really ‘struck a chord’ with me, so to speak.  It was so in-line with what I write about that I just had to repeat This Article  I wrote over a year ago:

In a depressed mind, neurotransmitters do not work properly. Often the problem is complicated by the fact that neural pathways that have already been formed are often the “go-to” route because they have been used so much. They are the “beaten path” so to speak. A tired brain which is not functioning properly anyway says to itself, “Go the way you know.” In a depressed brain that way is usually a depressed path.

Current path: negative thought –→ acceptance of negative thought –→ obsession on negative thought –→ negative feeling –→ possible negative action

It is very difficult to break that pattern. However, brains are very resilient and are abundantly blessed with neuroplasticity. It is like any muscle movement that has become a habit. Have you ever learned to play a particular song on an instrument and always seem to err at one particular place every time? Your fingers have learned to take the wrong pathway. You correct the problem by practicing a new movement. The same is true for our thinking patterns. The brain has hardwired itself to think a certain way, but it can be retrained! Reprogram Neural Synapse Pathways using affirmations and scriptures.

New Path: negative thought → recognition of thought → replace with TRUE thought backed by scripture → positive feelings → positive action

Satan is the author of confusion and a proficient liar. Why do we even think negative thoughts? They are the whispers of Satan to God’s anointed people. Give your brain a new song today!

 

This is the basis of my Think Big, Be Big cards, that helped me get out of a spiral of bipolar depression and mania, which I would like to see published one day (and soon)!

The anointed sermon regarding the power of positive thinking and retraining your brain to be grateful, was delivered by Pastor Eric Freeman and is available via podcast here.

(12/3/2015, Twins 17 months, Mica 7, Hope 6)

IMG_9636

Double Talk Quote: “Hope is not my sibling or my friend, she’s my cousin.” – Mica, justifying why she hadn’t volunteered to “serve” Hope.   (Her God-Time Card had challenged her to secretly serve a sibling or friend.)

Bible Verse:  “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Word that has Lost its meaning: ungrateful

Relatable Lyrics:  The Thankfulness Song by Veggie Tales

“…A thankful heart is a happy heart”

(Thanks to Starla Ward for the Starlagraph Photography)

Updates & About

“Take a 10 minute, well deserved break                         & see that you, too, can relate!”

Well, I’ve had this blog for over a year now and those of you who read consistently may have noticed that I have changed a few things around.  I have:

  • Updated my “About” page (See Here)
  • Changed Theme
  • Revamped a few settings
  • Obtained a new (easier to remember) URL:  SuperMommyOfTwins.com, which matches my email address SuperMommyOfTwins@gmail.com
  • I have cards that carry my information that I can pass out to fellow “Moms Of Many” (or any mom, parent of twin, person with mood disorder or relative of person with mood disorders, or relative of someone with twins, really)

My website is not used for commerce.  I don’t sell anything.  I am giving away things here.  My thoughts, my words, my work, my prayers, my time, my ideas, and my energy are worth something.  My prayers are that:

  • with every word that I type, I am leaving a seed in the hearts of those who read it,
  • my writing is inspirational to other moms,
  • I give hope to others who also have mood disorders such as Bipolar disorder or depression,
  • I am pleasing God by obeying and glorifying Him with my writing,
  • this may be a stepping stool to getting “Think Big” cards in print somehow.

So, please see my updated “About” page and feel free to comment here or directly at the above email address.  I’d love your feedback on the site and your thoughts about what I’m trying to accomplish with this blog.

Thanks for reading!

Me & my girls, Magnificent Mica & Beauty Bella

Me & my girls, Magnificent Mica and Beauty Bella

IMG_4075

Me & my Super Son, Brooks

(Twins 13 months, Mica 7)

– S. Michelle Ward Mendoza (aka SuperMommy, aka SuperBelle, aka Belle)

Link

Happy 1st Birthday, My Precious Twins!

Brooks tunnel cute Bella rocket smile

Every year on Mica’s Birthday (or around that time), I find a quiet place and sit alone with colored pens and a birthday card.  I write.  I write and write and write and I pour my heart out.  Then I seal the letter and date it to be opened in 18 years or “when the time is right.”  I imagine her as an adult opening it and feeling the love I have for her.  I imagine how the very scripture I’m writing right now will apply to her future self.  I imagine how precious these letters will be to her, particularly if anything ever happens to me.  In this life, you never know.

Every time I’ve ever done this, I’ve felt the anointing.  I’ve been sentimental and nostalgic.  I’ve cried my eyes out.

Today is my twin babies’ 1st birthday.

I’ve got some writing to do, some tears of joy to shed, and some tiny little heads to kiss and hands to hold.  I can’t believe a year has past.  I still can barely believe the journey we’re traveling. Although sometimes trying, I cherish this time.  I’ll never get a moment back.  They only get older, so, as they say, I’m enjoying the ride.

(June 28, 2015 –  twins 1 year old)

Double Talk Quote: “What do you mean ‘Keys my chicks’?” – Mica to Amor –  accent issue He said, “Kiss my cheeks.”  (She’s picking on him in love)

Bible Verse: Little children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18

Word that has Lost its meaning: prediction

Relatable LyricsJack Johnson’s, “In the Morning”

Amor's Phone Bella and Brooks tunnel

“these are the gifts we keep
and this is the morning that we breathe
and then we see
these moments are the only gifts we need”

Brooks baby dedication picture Bella Baby dedication picture

The Writing Job

the writing job mommy writing

I recently applied for a writing job for an online Christian website.  I didn’t get it.  One possible reason why is that my “résumé” was a bit unconventional, due to a large gap in work history (though I still contend that Mommying is the most important job in the world).  Another may be that I didn’t conform my writing samples to the “Lists” for which the site is famous (as are many sites these days, for example “7 steps to a closer walk with God”).  Maybe my formatting was off or my spelling or grammar was incorrect.  Perhaps they were looking for someone more qualified, more experienced, more confident, more humble, more righteous, or more something.  Whatever the reason, it wasn’t meant to be.  But this one thing I know, I must write.

The following are my answers, in conversational form, to the questions from the application:

“Ten years ago, God spoke to me. He told me in no uncertain terms to write. Write. Write what? What does a 22 year old college student have to write about? I didn’t have an answer for that. I do now.

Since that time, I have struggled with Bipolar disorder, addiction, marital conflict, motherhood, and feeling lost in life. I have also been delivered, healed and transformed. Satan has attacked me countless times. He is not only betting against me, he’s actively seeking to destroy me! I know this from scripture AND I know this from the past (I will write “Testimonies” one day). God has called me to do something for Him and Satan has tried all my life to stop this from happening. The irony is, the harder he tries, the more God overcomes and the more testimonies I get.

So, to answer the first question: Why am I the person for this position? Honestly, I don’t know that I am. That’s something that would need to be revealed by God, to the person reading this. What I do know, however, is that I am qualified, experienced, passionate, and anointed to do this. If this is the site for which God wants me to write, I am ready, willing, and able.

What is my favorite subject to write about? I have a blog where I write from a Christian mom’s perspective about God, life, family, and struggles with mental illness. Although I rarely begin writing an article with a particular category in mind, I usually find that they fall into several distinct sections:

  • Bipolar Mommy: I write about my struggle with Bipolar disorder and how it affects my life and those around me.
  • Cultural Differences: My husband and his family are from Mexico and my brother-in-law and his folks are from Israel. Sometimes this leads to conflict but is usually more comedic in nature.
  • Instructions Included: This is practical parenting advice from a mom/psychologist who’s been there and has some ideas that might work for others.
  • Life with Twins: These are mostly stories about, well, life with infant twins.
  • Psych Tips: These articles are a mix of advice on using a combination of basic psychology and the Word of God to help with life struggles.
  • Drum Roll Please: God has graced everyone with a different sense of humor. Sometimes mine pops through in these articles.”

I followed up by giving them a link to my blog, sending 3 writing samples and my résumé (a boring one, not the fun mommy one (https://theearthquakers.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/mommy-resume/).

Although I’m not writing for the site now, I know I’m writing for God because no matter how many readers or supporters or followers I have (or don’t have), it doesn’t mean a thing if He’s not in it.

Double Talk Quote: On a snow day: “That silly school board, they always wait until the last minute to cancel school. – Me    Reply: “It’s b/c they’re board” – Mica (funny, funny girl)

Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope”

Term that has Lost its meaning: rejected

Relatable Lyrics: “Sea of Faces” by Kutless https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kEZ1mh2jzg (I am not just one of a million faces)

Manic Mom

SuperBella!

I’ve been pretty manic lately and it seems like the creativity just pours out of my mouth or fingertips. Ideas barely have time to form before I get a chance to respond to them. I looked up postpartum mania but I didn’t find much. Most articles are about postpartum depression and/or psychosis. Is mania really that rare? If not, why isn’t anyone talking about it?

Every morning I wake up feeling like supermommy. Every night as I’m drifting off into Ambien-induced oblivion, I feel beat down. The feeling of grandeur replaced by self proclaimed shame and inadequacy. I’m not depressed, however, just irritated; Irritated that I can’t be perfect.

Writing has been therapeutic for me. Sometimes I talk and talk. It’s obvious that people can hear me but they are not listening. Writing, even when it goes unread, has been the only way I’ve found to release that aggravated ecstasy I feel within. Mania feels so good to me. Apparently it doesn’t feel so good to those around me. Also, I’ve been manic enough in the past to know that what goes up must come down. I cannot be depressed with three kids. History has taught me that I can’t even be depressed with one kid and get away with it.

My counselor recommended (and Amor demanded) that I go see my psychiatrist. She put me on a combo of meds that have worked for me in the past. All they did this time, however, was dry up my once-ever-so-abundant milk supply. I stopped taking them. Want to see me depressed? Yeah, take away my ability to feed my children! As the wise old turtle, Ooguay, from Kung Fu Panda says, “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” Please Lord, destine me for joy, not depression!

Double Talk Quote: “I need to use the restroom. I’m going to the attic.” – Amor

Relatable Lyrics: “I’m no Superman” by Lazlo Bane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQjFHxJ9IKs

Verse: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Word that has Lost its meaning
: Coincidence (God ordains everything)

August 25, 2014 (8 weeks old)
SuperKids!

Tag Cloud