Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Recently, some new bible study groups were started through our church, and I joined the group studying, "Lord, Change My Attitude." We're four or so weeks into it, and this morning's discussion focused on replacing a "complaining" attitude with that of "gratitude."

I wanted to share this quote that was in our study guide; it's so great - really take in each component...

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, bring peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." -Melody Beattie

Not sure who Melody Beattie is, but she sure is smart ;-)!

So, to better discipline myself to show gratitude instead of griping about what I wish I could change, wish I had, yada yada, I'm going to make a quick list of things that come to mind I'm grateful for - big and small, in a random list...

1. plenty of food in the pantry and fridge
2. two beautiful, mostly well-behaved kids and our one on the way
3. a great experience at the ultrasound yesterday, revealing a properly forming baby
4. having a wonderfully supportive and loving husband
5. having a husband who works hard so I can stay at home
6. both my parents are still living, and they're very involved and interested in my life and well-being
7. two brothers who provided lots of fun growing up ;-)
8. I got to go to college
9. Fall weather!!!!!!!!!!!
10. financial security
11. a cozy home
12. an awesome church
13. sincere, trustworthy, caring friends
14. dvr
15. my minivan which opens its own doors ;-)
16. cleaning help
17. jack's ability to say lots of words, which makes communicating with him so much easier than it was a month ago.
18. my family's house we get to ski at in the winters
19. in- laws, who are GREAT!
20. lots of extended family members
21. nap time when both the kids are asleep
22. really good suggestions and advice from friends
23. silly tv shows which are oh so entertaining to me
24. my dog
25. Food Network

Seems a good place to stop, as I need to grab dinner out of the oven.

What are you grateful for...take a minute and write a comment...it really keeps things in perspective!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lucy's Date

Jason and Lucy went out on a little father-daughter date last night, and boy was she excited!

During dinner, Jason was telling her what they were going to go do - feed the ducks at Big Spring Park, and then get ice cream - and she blurted out, "Let's go now!" So, much to her excitement, after we finished dinner they were off. It was so funny to hear Lucy run around the kitchen, shouting, "Date! Date!" of course not having any idea of what a real date is ;-).

When she got home I asked her what her favorite part was. Ice cream came in as her very favorite thing, of course, but her next favorite thing response was hilarious..."Looking at the statues."

My, my...if Daddy can make looking at statues in the park super fun, perhaps he should be the one staying at home with the kids!?! ;-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

There are no such things as "coincidences"...

So, you know I've been going through a pretty rough patch, but I'm so happy to report that I feel like I'm through the worst of it, and I have begun to actually feel in my heart like I know it will all be better, and I think soon. So praise God! Every day is better than the one before. And after feeling so hopeless and battling the ugly depression and anxiety that plagued me, I have finally found, grabbed onto - and I'm holding on tightly ;-) - to that peace, God's peace, that seemed to be eluding me for so long. So many people have been praying for me and encouraging me, and I just want you to know I appreciate all that you've said and done. Those prayers are being answered; thank you!

Today in church, we were blessed by the message given by Siran Stacy (a former Alabama football player) who was affected by an unspeakable tragedy. His message was all about having faith when it feels hopeless. He spoke of his anger and shaky faith after he lost his wife and several children when a drunk driver hit his family. He and his oldest daughter were the only survivors. At his breaking point, he reached out to God, unwilling to give victory to the Enemy, and he spoke of how the only way he was standing there before us today, was because of the love and grace of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

My situation in no way compares to the hopelessness he must have felt, but I certainly could identify with the basic feeling. Weeks ago, I was so uncertain for what lied ahead - I feared I might never feel better, or different - but now I have confidence that everything is going to be all right. And probably even better than just all right, for as God promises in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." A well-known verse, but also one that a friend shared with me that helped her through her mother's passing.

It's ironic how I have been saying for months and months, way before I began to struggle, that "I'm really seeking God in my faith right now." Jason and I shared with our Cgroup and friends that we were just "really seeking" God; seeking a closer relationship, seeking that "thing" that so many people we knew seemed to have with God. That close relationship that seemed so comforting and powerful.

And wouldn't you know, not long after, I was battling, going through the toughest time I ever have in my life. And I never questioned God; I just knew that I wanted to reach out for Him, and I knew that the one thing I really needed was His Peace. I started doing many things that I was told would help, and lots of those strategies have proven very helpful, but nothing has been more comforting than immersing myself into scripture and spending more time in prayer.

A friend recommended the daily devotional book, Jesus Calling, and it has been wonderful. I never would have though I'd have time in the morning to take a few minutes to read and pray, but this book is so perfect for that. The author, Sarah Young, writes just a paragraph or two for each day, words written in a manner as Jesus speaking to her. I've only been reading it for about two weeks, but the daily messages have just been so "spot on." She writes often about slowing down our pace of life, being still and expectant for God, and several times the day's reading has focused on God's Peace - just what I've been seeking so desperately.

Here are just a few scriptures that I've written down in my own notes that I read and reflect on daily. Perhaps they'll comfort you as well:

"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid." -John 14:27

"The mind of a sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6

Here are some passages from Young's daily devotionals I've particularly loved:

"Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of my Presence. Look forward to an eternity of strife-free living, reserved for you in Heaven."

"Trust me and refuse to worry, for I am your Strength and Song."

"Among all my creatures, only humans can anticipate future events. This ability is a blessing but it becomes a curse if it is misused. If you use your magnificent mind to worry about tomorrow, you cloak yourself in disbelief. However, when the hope of Heaven fills your thoughts, the Light of my Presence envelops you."

Aren't those wonderful messages? I love the repetition of the strong sentence, "Refuse to worry." And how worrying causes you to be "cloaked in disbelief." Pretty much sums up how I was feeling. I was terrified of just about everything. Normal, every-day life had me falling to pieces, having panic attacks, crying uncontrollably several times a day. All because I was scared and worrying...We're all smart enough to understand that all of our worrying doesn't change a single thing that's already happened, nor will it change what's to come, but regardless, we spend so much energy WORRYING, fretting, playing "what if," all the while wasting the precious time that's being given to us right at that very time we're worrying. At least I'm guilty of that... ;-) But that's exhausting, and I really want to guard against wasting any more time being that way.

The last thing I'll write is this: there have been two times I've truly felt "at peace" since this whole ordeal began; when I was warmed and strengthened by God's Peace: one time late at night - in the middle of my struggle with insomnia - when I was praying, just shouting in my mind, begging God for some sort of relief, to please bless me with His peace, and I felt my hands warm; it literally felt like Jesus had wrapped his hands around mine - it was incredible. And the second time was today during Siran Stacy's message - not at the closing of his speech, or even during a prayer. Instead, it was like I had walked into church with that "ever looming anxiety" that I constantly feel and battle against throughout each day (much less anxiety that afflicted me several weeks ago, but a lingering anxiety nonetheless), and when the sermon was over and we stood up to leave, my heart felt so much lighter. And for the first time, I thought to myself -and more importantly, knew in my heart - that everything was going to be okay.

I joined the long line of people in the lobby, after the service who wanted to talk to him, and I was literally the next person in line when they ushered him away to begin the next service (Oh man! :-)), but I wrote him a note, and slipped it in the basket where offerings were being given to his Ministries (He does not charge a fee for appearing). I hope it will get to him; I think it will ;-)

What lavish gifts have been given to us, and all we have to do is ask and have faith. It really is, "Amazing Grace...that saved a wretch like me..."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Game Day!

War Eagle! It's a big Game Day today as Auburn takes on South Carolina. Jason's pumped, and apparently, so are Jack and Lucy:

First, they carefully check the stats Daddy had up on the computer, just to make sure they know what they're talking about...

"Oh yeah, Auburn should dominate ;-)"

"IT's a great day to be an Auburn Tiger!"

Jack: "I can't wear my true AU gear yet, as my outfits include sweatshirts and pants, and we haven't even begun to reach temperatures for that kind of attire ;-( "

Lucy: "I have a crush on Cam Newton"

Practicing tackling...

War Eagle! Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bible Study Irony

I began a new women's bible study group - through our church, Cove - and we've met now two times. Great group of ladies, and our study is one I'm excited about, because I think it's a really worthwhile one. It's called, "Lord, Change My Attitude." Everyone needs an attitude adjustment from time to time, and I'm no exception. I try to have a thankful attitude, but it doesn't always shine through like it should.

So, as I've done a few days of homework now, looking more into the story of the Israelites wandering though the wilderness, their grumbling and complaints hurled toward Moses and God on more than a few occassions, I find it so ironic that I'm just super frustrated with two situations currently affecting our household:

1. our air conditioning unit has been broken for four days now...A serviceman diagnosed the problem Friday, and told us we'd have the part Monday -today. The temperature has reached mid 90's every day since the a/c went out; our house teeters around 88 degrees during the warmest part of the day - no fun. So you can imagine our disappointment when we checked in with the ac company this morning, and they said it's likely be tomorrow. But, God provides...and our lovely friends the Becker's are out of town in St. Louis and basically "loaned" us their house to use when we need to cool off ;-) And from now on, once our a/c is working, I'll be sure to always include "working a/c" in my list of things I'm grateful for ;-)

2. loud, barking dogs, which surround us on nearly all sides of our house. And I'm not talking about "during the day barking." I have a dog, who barks sometimes during the day, too; I understand dogs are dogs and they will bark, but what I'm frustrated with is that there are two dogs who are kept outside, full-time barking, WAY past a decent time to have your dog outside, barking. The other night it was the worst...10:45pm and still outside barking, and the owners don't do anything until Jason goes outside and yells across the yard for the dog to stop. Only then, do they promptly come outside. Since it was near 11 o'clock, Jason asked them to just take their dog inside. Duh! THey didn't even apologize, clearly exhibiting they don't even think there was any wrongdoing on their part. That same night, a small fluffy dog who lives two houses down was yapping in his yard at 3:45am. I heard and know these exact times because I was awake, unable to sleep because of the hot temperature of our house and the anxiety that keeps coursing through my body at the most inopportune times. The sounds were even amplified because we had every window in the house open, trying to take advantage of the coolest temperatures of the day. Just a no-win situation. But, I just can't understand how dog owners can be so irresponsible...doesn't the dog barking annoy them too?!?

Oh well, I'm off to pray for a more complacent attitude, and to see what today's study holds for me. If there's scripture in the bible where Jesus had to deal with loud, barking dogs, that'd be super helpful ;-)

Monday, September 13, 2010


Humh, where to even begin...I'm back from a blogging hiatus - not a hiatus I elected - but I'm just beginning to come back around. Come back from what you may wonder, although those of you who live by me and have come to my aid during these last three weeks could probably tell within moments of being around me something was wrong. At least, that's what I keep hearing from concerned friends.

In a nutshell, this past month has basically been the "lowest 'low'" of my life. And it's actually quite amazing when I think about it, because I made it an entire THIRTY YEARS before I actually encountered any difficulty that brought me to my knees. Jason and I always joked we were "waiting for the sky to fall" because neither of us had ever had to deal with anything very difficult: we found each other early in our lives (college); we have a wonderful, strong marriage, we have no trouble getting pregnant - pretty much the month we decide we'd like; Lucy and Jack are healthy, very happy kids, we've never lost parents or friends to illness or death; no unexpected moves; we've just never had to endure anything that would be considered "a difficult experience."

Until now...I'm just now coming back from battling some pretty extreme anxiety issues...I'll spare you the whole ugly story - mainly because it's pretty depressing and I'd really rather not even revisit those events, even in memory. I'd rather focus on the positive; that things are finally turning around, and I'm beginning to feel like I'll be okay.

The gist of what happened is that twelve weeks into this very planned, very anticipated pregnancy, I absolutely FREAKED OUT about having a third child. One day I was thrilled to be pregnant, planning a baby quilt, thinking about names, and the next I was battling multiple panic attacks, practically unable to take care of my current children, throwing up everything I ate (which led to a drastic weight loss that landed me in the hospital), sleeping less than three hours a night (for eight long miserable days in a row), and basically living in fear - irrational fear, but fear nonetheless. Yep, that's basically it in a nutshell.

Moms came into town to help, Jason took off of work to step in, I was an emotional MESS, unable to cope with day-to-day life. In football terms, I was the quarterback, sacked from behind, and taken off the field on a gurney.

There are a few theories as to what brought this on: I did stop taking a medication "cold turkey" that I was supposed to wean from - a side effect of which I've since learned can cause someone to tailspin into extreme depression; perhaps pregnancy hormones (although I don't think it's likely just that); I was sick with terrible nausea, all day, every day for over two and a half months; and after listening to an awesome sermon yesterday, the pastor's words, "Just when you think you've got it all together on your own, that's when God can bring you to your knees" hit a little too close to home, and really got me thinking. I like how my friend put it, "When you think you're safe, that's when you need to put on a helmet..."

I think it's probably a combination of all those factors, but the important thing now is that I'm on the path to recovery. My family and friends have literally kept me afloat during this trial, and I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing that should help things continue to look brighter. By God's grace, I made it through the "low point," and I know His peace will bring me back to health.

If I sound dramatic, forgive me; all of the details aren't relayed here in this post, so it may seem like things don't fit...I dunno...I just wanted to try to give a "cliff's notes" version...you know, talk about it, but not go overboard and tell you more than you wanted to know (I'm waaaay guilty of that all the time ;-)

But, should I come to your mind when you're praying, please do pray for me and that these "better days" will continue, that I keep putting one foot in front of another until this difficult time is just a thing that happened to me once when I was thirty...thanks...