March 29, 2015

Dealing with Depression

Is Mental Illness Actually Biblical  *Check out that link before you read on

I got this article from a friend this morning. A friend who truly loves me and tries to understand this disease that plagues me. A friend who see's a whole lot more to me than simply this disease. Its a really great article and its so true...if only the "church" (or even non-church goers) could grasp this concept instead of belittling, and talking condescending about it and about those that suffer from it...there might be a lot less hurt, wounded people (although still battling depressing and anxiety) walking around. If people would just educate themselves rather than speaking about things they know nothing about and passing judgement on people who suffer from depression and anxiety. I have three best friends and all of them have "held my hand" through some very tough times. They have been compassionate and sympathetic, even empathetic. They know me as a person. A very light hearted, fun person who truly does enjoy life. They don't give up on me and walk out of my life when depression grips me. They speak loving words to me and lift me up in prayer and are very encouraging to me. They hold me accountable to the healing process.

Someone in my very own family once told me, "if you would just serve others, you would be fine." Little did this family member know, I WAS serving others on a very regular and consistent basis...through my church and even through my own community. And I STILL do those things and enjoy every minute of it and look forward to it each time I am given the opportunity to do so. Instead of just investing (even a little) time in/with me...getting to know me, this family member assumed the worst in me and treated me as if my faith in God was lacking. As if this family member was on some Holy Mountain that I hadn't yet even begun to climb.

Unfortunately, "serving others" isn't the end of this disease for me, but thankfully I have invested in healing and taking care of myself through not only my faith and praying, but I also feel God has lead me down some wonderful medical avenues to continue in that healing process. Thank God, the way I was raised and the things that were taught in the church (growing up) didn't stop me from digging deeper into God and allowing him to direct my path to where I am today. Because those things might have completely broken me. Those things that were ingrained since childhood might have actually PREVENTED me from following God's ultimate path for me.

I have always been a completely open book about the fact that I am in therapy on a weekly basis and that I suffer from depression. I am not ashamed of it. I know that because of it, God has used me in others lives to be empathetic and compassionate and even a friend when no one else would hear them or understand them. I for one, a very real way. I do everything I can to make those therapy appointments an absolute priority for me. My husband has also supported me in this and has made sure I get to those appointments each week. My husband has been my rock and I thank God each and every day because God knew (long before I even met Kevin), that I would need a man such as Kevin to support me and not tear me down. If my husband had treated me as my family member did or used the words that family member did, I don't think our marriage would have lasted. In my dark times, I don't even think I would have lasted. He has stood right beside me, even carried me through those very dark times.

Those appointments (therapy) have truly helped me discover new ways of responding to difficult situations in life. They have helped me become FULLY aware of the times when depression is leaking in and taking hold and those appointments have taught me how to be proactive in "shutting it down"...not allowing the depression to take it use to. Through those appointments I have learned that I DO have a voice. And that I DO deserve to be heard. That just because I struggle with this disease, it doesn't give another person the right to shut me down, shut me up or talk down to me. It has been very tough work...and the journey has been a long one...some days are easier than others, but committing to the effort for healing has  definitely been life changing for me.

If you don't suffer from depression or anxiety its a wonderful thing. I guarantee, there are other things you do suffer from...even if it is, foot-in-mouth. We all have our challenges in life. I tend to look at mine as another challenge to look for God in and trust in Him. Maybe consider educating yourself before you assume all depression is the same. There are so many levels to depression. Some people may grieve the loss of a loved one and feel depressed for a short time, while others suffer from depression their whole lives, for no particular reason at all. While still others might suffer depression from another completely unrelated illness that plagues them. Regardless, whatever stage someone might suffer from with depression, each and every person deserves respect and each and every person has a process to go through or get to in order to receive healing. Simply telling someone to "serve others" or telling them to "get over it", unfortunately isn't the cure-all and you could be doing a lot more damage than good.

March 25, 2014

Scarves For Life

Last year I did a silent auction on one of my infinity scarves and received a $100 donation towards my goal for the Relay For Life. So this year (2014) I thought I would continue (somewhat in that vein) and make infinity scarves in memory of my Dad, Carl Letsen and my Aunt Susan Letsen. 

For those that don't know, my life was first affected by cancer when my favorite Aunt Susan was diagnosed with Breast Cancer that had gone undiagnosed for so long that it had spread throughout her body. I spent many afternoons with her in the Hospice Center, after school. I still remember my very last afternoon spent with her like it was yesterday. She couldn't finish a sentence as she tried so hard to talk to me. She kept falling back to sleep. Her breathing, at that point, had become very shallow and trying for her. I didn't want her to suffer anymore and that was my hearts cry to God that afternoon as I left. God brought her to her Heavenly home on my 20th birthday and as hard a pill as that was to swallow, I know that was a beautiful gift from God, as it was the first day in her new life with no more suffering. 

My dad (AKA Pops) was diagnosed in mid-2011 with stage 4 melanoma metastasized to his liver. At the time he was given 9 months. Regardless, my Pops faith remained steadfast. For just about 2 years he suffered through different trials of medications, underwent gamma knife surgery and a couple hospital stays. He was such a trooper...never giving up on what God had called of him to do in his time here. He spoke to many people about his journey in hopes of giving them HOPE in theirs. He made a point of seeking out other cancer patients to pray with and encourage. This became his mission. He yearned to share his testimony with all he came across. He knew that even though he had cancer, he was also touched by God in a very special way. Last year, on April 29, he went on to be with his savior and is now living his new life without the pain of cancer or any other pain this world has to offer.

I make these scarves to honor their memory, as well as all the others that have battled with cancer. The very sad truth is, cancer seems to have become a part of our every day language in this world. I feel like every time I turn around and share my experience with cancer, someone else is sharing theirs with me. Its heart breaking the toll cancer is taking on those we love. My biggest hope is for a cure. To put a stop to cancer and make it a thing of the past. This is why I have joined ranks with others in the fight and participate in the Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society to raise money to help find a cure. 

This is my very own, personal design that I am dedicating specifically to the RELAY FOR LIFE. ALL proceeds will go directly to this and for any future events...I have specific colors that I am working with to honor their memory: Black (Melanoma Awareness-Dad), Pink (Breast Cancer Awareness-Aunt Susan) and Blue (my Dad's favorite color). I have varying shades of those three colors. I have a limited supply of each color (so orders for specific colors will also go 1st-come-1st-serve and according to supply). I can also take requests for different colors depending on my yarn stash/supply (If the main colors don't peek your interest...I have browns, greens, and purples). I am asking for a $40 donation for each scarf. I can accept cash or check. ALL of the money will be put towards my goal of $1000 for the Relay For Life. If you don't want one for yourself (as these are a somewhat feminine accessory), please consider getting one for your Mom, Sister, Girlfriend, Wife, and/or Daughter. It's for such a GREAT cause. And if you STILL don't want one, that is ok...maybe you'll consider helping me raise money for the American Cancer Society and donate to my relay. 

I created a BRAND NEW EMAIL address specifically for the scarf orders:

Details needed when you email me your order:
Name and Address for Shipping 
Color you prefer 1st and 2nd choice in case the 1st choice is no longer available.

**as mentioned above, orders placed on 1st-come-1st-serve and will depend on my yarn supply**

Please visit my Relay Dashboard to see why I am doing this: Erin's Relay Center

Below are pix of the ones finished so far (and up for grabs)...I am steady making these scarves right these ones below won't be all there is:

Pink Passion

Mixed Berries

God Bless!

Erin Wright

"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..."      ~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~

June 15, 2013

Its GO Time!

WOW! What a fun time hosting my very first silent auction. And for such short notice...I think it was pretty successful with the winning bit coming in at $100. I definitely think the Relay for Life is going to be a permanent fixture in my life and I am already thinking about what I can do next year to raise funds. I definitely see more auctions in my future. With more preparation, there is so much I can do between now and then to create things more "cancer awareness" specific. Since my Dad passed away with Melanoma...who knows...maybe a black ribbon scarf & hat set. We shall see. The wheels in my head are definitely spinning right now.

Today is the Relay for Life and I am super excited about it. We have the kids taken care of (by their sweet Mams) for the night. They are super excited to go spend the night with her and their GG and Papaw. Kevin and I will be able to stay for the whole night at the Relay this year and we are definitely looking forward to being with friends and family as we celebrate those that are still fighting and those that have gone on to be with Jesus.

I definitely had "anxious" sleep last night. Woke up at 2 and couldn't stop thinking about everything I needed to get prepared for the event. Packing, food, making things. This morning I have been working on a sign as our team is hosting the annual Corn Hole event. GOOD TIMES!

The one thing I am REALLY looking forward to tonight is the slideshow and the Luminaria ceremony. I am sure there will be lots of tears shed as I am really missing my Pops right now, but there is a peace that settles in as this ceremony is happening.

Well, thanks to everyone for all their LOVE and SUPPORT as I walk for the 2nd year in the Relay for Life.


June 14, 2013

Infinity Scarf Auction for Cancer Awareness


I am so happy to announce that I have reached my goal of $500 (actually, I have even surpassed that goal thanks to my Aunt Nancy) in efforts to raise funds and awareness for cancer in the Relay for Life that I will be participating in on Saturday, June 15, 2013. THAT'S TOMORROW!!!! I have been racking my brain all week to figure out a way to come up with more funds to go to The American Cancer Society through funds raised doing the Relay. And it came to me EARLY this 5:30...and I couldn't get back to sleep! So here it is...

I am hosting my first official silent auction!

I have considered selling my creations for quite a while now, but have wrestled with the idea of getting caught up with making things based on the demand of a sale vs. making things for my friends and family because I really enjoy doing that. So this auction brings my heart so much joy because in a sense,  my own personal creation (something I am VERY passionate about) is bringing in a proceed...however, 100% of that proceed is going to something else I am VERY passionate about and that is raising awareness for Cancer Research in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.

Last year I walked with my Dad (in honor of him) who was battling it out with stage IV Melanoma and this year I am walking in memory of him as he has gone on to be with his heavenly father on April 29.

So here is how it works, once this blog posts today, this auction will go to mid-night tonight. I will start the bidding at $30. In the comments section below is where you can post your bids. I will check back on the auction at mid-night tonight and the scarf will go to the highest bidder at that time. So along with your bid I will need one or all of the following in order to notify you:

1) Email
2) Facebook ID
3) Twitter ID

Once I have notified you, your bid will be paid by way of my relay for life dash board (where you can also see my bio and the full reason I am walking). ONCE I see your bid post to my relay dashboard in the full amount, I will send the scarf. There are NO REFUNDS and if the full amount isn't posted, I will send the prize to the next highest bidder as I thank you for your donation :-) . So if the bid comes through on my dashboard early enough I can have this scarf in the mail tomorrow morning. So that said, please make sure you check your email, facebook, twitter account for notice and that way I can get your mailing info as soon as possible for your prize.

So for the prize (and I apologize in advance, I am not a photographer...these aren't the greatest pictures):

 A little info about the scarf...its my personal pattern. I named this scarf after my BFF "Christy". All my patterns are named after someone I love. There is a twist in the scarf. So technically it is a mobius and it just adds a little more "character" to the scarf. An infinity scarf can be worn draped long (like the first picture) or doubled up for a bunchy effect. The last picture is just a close up so you get a better idea of how the pattern looks.

So for the winner, if you are a crocheter, as a bonus I am happy to send you the written pattern. Please be sure to follow care instructions as this will shrink in the wash if not handled properly.

The scarf is made with shadow lace yarn (2 hanks)
color: Nocturne Heather
 100% Merino Wool


 Lace Weight
 Hand Wash/Dry Flat
 (this yarn can be purchased at Knitpicks)

Don't forget to come check out my bio on my relay for life dash board: RELAY FOR LIFE


August 21, 2012

Photo Book

Photo Book Tip: Create an adventurous travel photo album at

Back in mid-June I did my very first Relay for Life with the majority of my family (and some friends) in honor of my Dad and in memory of my Aunt Susan. It was such an amazing event. I took lots of pictures and put them into this book that I made on

January 20, 2012

Be Near Me Now

So about 2 months ago I bought the book: When God and Cancer Meet and until today I just couldn't bring myself to even open it.  I kept picking it up, looking at the cover and then putting it down again.  The fear of cancer has had a very strong hold on me...strong enough that I couldn't bring myself to read "true stories of hope and healing". In my eyes, cancer and hope/healing didn't go together.  But today, I put my daughter down for her afternoon nap and I sat down (trying to do no TV during the days right now) and it was actually QUIET.  As much as I always try and escape noise and chaos, I don't ever seem to settle into "quiet" very well.  I get antsy with "quiet".  So I sit down and this book just so happens to be right in front of me...staring at me..."open me".  I got a very unsettling feeling in my stomach...a very familiar, unsettling feeling...anxiety!  So I just said a little prayer: God, please be near me now.  Let me feel your presence as I open this book. PLEASE, let me feel you near me.  Please comfort me and settle my fears and anxieties about cancer. 

And so I opened the book and began to read. Just reading the introduction had me in tears. After today's reading,
#1 I know I want to keep reading this book to the very end.
#2 I MUST have a box of tissue handy each time I open it and 
#3 I can't forget to pray before.

Aunt Susan died of cancer some years ago and it really scarred me and my memories of her and of cancer.  It was a life altering event for me.  I watched as she got sicker and sicker with this disease. I spent my afternoons after cosmetology school in the hospice center with her. I remember the very last day I spent with her, she was having trouble breathing and even staying awake long enough to finish a sentence as she was trying very hard to have a conversation with me.  I kept telling her I loved her and to just rest and that it was "OK", we'll talk later.  I remember leaving her room that day and slumping down outside of her door, just crying and begging for God to please just take her and please don't let her suffer anymore.  I still remember the look on my mom and sister, Sara's face as I opened my apartment door on my birthday and inside knowing what they were going to tell me, while walking away from them screaming NO!  At the same time my phone was ringing and it was my Dad. It kind of felt like everything was spinning out of control around me. My Dad ALWAYS knows just what to say and just how to say it so that it goes to the very fibers of your being. Like he's telling you everything is going to be OK and you just believe it will be because he said so. Even though the pain your feeling is more than you can bear. He told me to think of it as a birthday gift from the Lord because Aunt Susan was no longer suffering, but was finally at COMPLETE peace and with her heavenly Father.  Every time I think of my aunt Susan and how much I miss her, I remember those words my dad spoke to me and then I see her sadness, no pain, no tears, just joy and complete peace.

When Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma back in June, I felt as if someone was ripping my guts out.  I felt like I had just had the wind knocked out of me.  I was gasping for air, but couldn't find it. How could this happen to HIM? I remembered instantly (what I tried for years to forget) how sick Aunt Susan was and how much pain she was in and how much medicine she was on to help her cope with the pain and I was begging God to NOT do this to my Dad. I didn't want to see another person I loved go through what my aunt had gone through, especially my dad.  I thought, its just to much, God.  I can't bear to watch this...again. And yet, for whatever reason, my Dad has had to endure all the hardships of this cancer and the meds...the weight loss, appetite loss, mouth soars, hair loss, vision loss, memory loss, hearing loss, soars all over his body, nausea, coughing up junk, tiredness, fatigue, chills (etc.).  One of the medicines he is taking now for the melanoma actually has a side affect of skin cancer.  Really?!?! Isn't that what started this whole mess to begin with?!?! He just had a mole on his face biopsied that came back positive and so now he will endure ANOTHER surgery, having already had the Gama knife as well as radiation on his brain.  He gets bad news repeatedly, and then a little glimmer of hope with good news and then slammed again with bad news. And yet, he still FIGHTS. He has never wavered in his faith or his will to survive.  He still trusts the Lord and has even told us (his kids and wife) that the Lord told him in the beginning this was going to be for us.  Well, what does that mean? How is this FOR us? What are we supposed to get from watching our dad suffer this way? Some days I feel like "I get it" and some days I just don't have a clue what God is trying to show us and I feel lost and ashamed that I feel the way I feel while my Dad continues to stay strong and unwavering, even in the sickest, most physically painful, trying times of his life.

Today, as I was reading this book (When God and Cancer Meet), I felt His presence near me and this is what I read:

      I can't tell you how, when, or where God will bring a blessing through your trial of suffering. But I can tell you why - because His word promises He will.  Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (NASB). 
     God will bring blessing through your trial because you matter greatly to Him and He longs to show you that. He may bless you with physical healing, or He may bless you by healing you emotionally of some deep-seated hurts. He may bless you spiritually with the joy of knowing Him in a way you never have before. Or He may bless others through you in unimaginable ways.
     My blessing from cancer is certainly not the one I sought, but because God knows me and loves me, He knew how to bless me.
     ...God wants to bring blessing through your cancer experience: you just need to let Him decide the blessing.

Lynn Eib may never read my blog, but those words she wrote in her book (about 10 years ago) were meant for! If I just find a way to rest in him and if I continue to lay this at his feet and not let it grip me or rule my "world", I will gain HIS blessing in it and find peace in Him through this process. If I have learned nothing else through this process or through the many other trials in life, I know for sure I have learned that God's word is FULL of promises, just for me (and you) and that is why it is so important to remain IN HIS WORD! So that we remember His promises to us AND so that we can remind Him of His promises as we pray and cry out to Him.

My Dad's Cancer Journal

Lynn Eib's Story

When God and Cancer Meet

May 27, 2011

Sleepy Time Pooh!

So I guess now is a good time to BLOG, since I haven't done so in FOREVER! There are lots of babies coming this summer. Some to friends and at least one to family. So I have been a busy bee lately making little goodies. My latest finished product has taken me a lot longer than I originally anticipated, which became frustrating for me. However, I am quite pleased with the finished product and I can't wait to give this to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who are due to have their very first little bundle-O-joy within the next week.

Like I said, USUALLY it doesn’t take this long for me to finish a project, but I was working on other projects in between so that I wouldn’t get bored with this particular pattern. I love the look of it. Its a very simple stitch. Its so pretty, but its so monotonous. The middle is somewhat like a bobble stitch, then around that main part I just added a few rows of DC’s in the different colors.

The inspiration for this blanket came from the border for the nursery (seen in the last picture), so to match that I just made simple DC granny squares to put around the border of the blanket. I found a really cute flannel at JoAnn’s that had all the pooh characters taking a nap, which just seemed fitting. So of course, I had to get it and sew it on.

I’m pretty pleased with how the blanket turned out…However, I am still needing to really work on my sewing skills. I guess its true what they say…practice makes perfect.