From a Fork to a Juicer

I’m pretty good and keeping up with my journalling and daily time with God… note, pretty good – not perfect… from time to time I’m angry with God (which is NOT a sin) and I don’t want to do my devotions – just to punish Him! Yeah – I know… it only punishes me…

With mental health, there are times that I do my devotions, and even as I write this post, that the deeper understanding – the deeper thinking – of grasping of…… (arrghhh – ok – I’m stuck again – but hopefully you can grasp my point)…

Even when I take time to slow down… to be still and know that He is God… take time to renounce Satan from being around me – it’s like my thoughts can’t connect… sometimes they seem like they are being scrambled like eggs with a fork… sometimes like a protein shake in a blender… or veggies being chopped up in a food processer… and then there is the juicer… rammed in and all the pulp is separated and whatever left is liquified… aaarrrggghhhhhh #2 can’t piece together the rest of the thought… but again – I’m sure most readers should be able to get my point…

It’s really easy to get discouraged… easy to have my scrambled thoughts amplifying in my mind, drowning out anything else… and mental health is a real problem for many people… a pastor’s wife I knew walked out of her house one day… they found her body a few months later… she loved God… she was a valued member of society… a dedicated Christian…

Sometimes I have to guard my own mind as it too wants to go for a long walk.. (but I am safe!)… long walks are thoughts – not plans… but why is this still happening?

Is it because of a lack of faith? Maybe to some degree… or is it no different than someone battling cancer???? Do they have a lack of faith?

Often it “just is”…

Either way – I will keep praying – and using Bible verses that I have in my Bible First Aid Kit…

Spending time with God is NEVER wasted time… God doesn’t owe me anything… He has already covered me with grace…

As I continue my battle… I will listen to Christian music… I will do what I know has helped… and even if I can’t figure out anything deeper than that God loves me, that He has a plan for me… that I have a purpose… that the simple faith of a child is all I need… I will do my best to stick to that…

Jesus said we need to have the faith of a child… Maybe I need to be more literal…

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From 1% Failure to 100% Success

Oh, those days when life seems hopeless… When mental health issues are kicking my butt…

I don’t know about you… But I have times I feel like I am worthless, frustrated… That my life seems to be useless… and to some it might seem like a “pity party” but it really isn’t pity… It’s something more insidious… How we perceive ourselves…

If you think you aren’t worthy just compare yourself to:

David… A bad parent… A murder… A person who dealt with lust… BUT YET God calls him “the man after God’s heart đź’“

Abraham… He is caught for 2 big lies that affected other people big time… His faith can be called into question when he slept with another woman – because God hadn’t filled His promise…

Aaron, brother to Moses… His brother goes awry for a few days and he not only caves his faith in God… He CREATED his own physical God! This is the man who was present and involved in the plagues in Egypt…

Keep your faith, make sure you keep up on any medications prescribed (we still have a brain chemical imbalance)…

Cain… Bad attitude, oh and a murderer! God didn’t zap him away from earth…

God created us for a reason… and therefore we are only to check out on His timeline… Of that I’m 100% sure…

Reach out when you need it most…

Ice Tea and Refuge

Nestea had a series of commercials quite a number of years ago… people who drank their iced tea felt like they were falling into a pool… The Nestea plunge

Often, with mental health and anxiety, life can seem overwhelming… Those times where you just need to shut down… A place of refuge…

Isaiah 25:4–5 (NLT): But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.
You are a refuge from the storm
and a shelter from the heat.
For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall, or like the relentless heat of the desert.

God provides for our refuge… A place to be safe, feel safe… Where we can ease our distress… Our fears… Where oppression doesn’t rule…It is both simple and complex… At times with words running through our brains it seems next to impossible to control… Shutting down is an option I’ve used both with God and other times I’ve just shut down…

Anything with God is obviously better… listening to Christian music… Finding verses from the Bible that calm us… Praying to God… Sending out a text to someone you know who will pray for you… all of these are available… The complexity is in putting it all into action… seeking the help, realizing it’s what we need…

The simple is… take the plunge with God…

PS Remember that while Satan can create thoughts, he can’t hear them… As a friend said “don’t leave those thoughts staying rent free… verbally tell Satan to go to hell… He does hear our voices…

Grumpy, Great, Grabbing and Canucks

I had one child who, as a toddler, did not always wake up in the best mood, (can we say grumpy) instead they needed to have some cereal and then their day was great… they needed sustenance to start a great day…

Psalms 92:2–3 (NLT):  It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp,
and the melody of a lyre…


Today we have Spotify, YouTube, and Google Play Music of ways to connect with God in musical praise and worship…

With mental health each day can have its own challenges… sometimes just getting out of bed is a monumental task… planning to start my morning with God can help to set the tone for the rest of the day…

Psalm 92 tells of acknowledging God… to think of the good aspects of my life – of God – of His unfailing love… think of it as a personal Spiritual hug… on the tougher days just remembering to connect with God can be hard… the whole pray without ceasing… but if it becomes a habit – something I do every day – it makes me focus on what God has done in the past with and for me… and then at night – it’s time to check in with God and review the day… see what God has orchestrated for me throughout the day… the music aspect… well I have found that when I listen to Christian music or I’m just been more focused on God that I “catch” myself with a song running through my mind… Recently at church we sang about – Jesus we love You, Oh how we love You…

That day and today I had those words filling my mind instead of some of the negative “mental health” battle words… and then, at the end of my day… I had instruments playing a melody…

So finding – wait – FINDING??

No – Reserving – planning – demanding of myself to find MAKING quality time with God is a BIG reason where I am with my recovery… The more “militant” I am about it – the better I am off… it’s way too easy to make a devotion bargain with God… “So God – the Canucks are playing tonight – in about 20 min… so I figure I can get my reading done easy enough – but my prayers will be a Reader’s Digest version instead ok? I’ll try to do better tomorrow”

While feeling the NEED to do devotions should never be because of conviction (there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus), it should be desired… it should be a high priority – and planned ahead… 

One thought I have had running through my mind lately is – if Jesus were to walk into the room would I want to change the channel – or suddenly grabbing my Bible – or change radio stations??

I’m not saying it’s all radio/TV/books are bad… something you need to balance out in your life with God… if I have had a great devotion time then having Jesus sit down and cheer for the Canucks with me would be awesome…  

Validation

I don’t know about you – but I really REALLY like validation… with Borderline Personality Disorder it’s defiantly a symptom for me…

James 3:13-16 (NLT) If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

Before my big mental collapse a few years back… I was self-seeking for validation – through my job – through my networking and volunteering – social media… I had a big hole inside that I was seeking to fill with anything I could – I had many hurts and scars that had festered and then – I couldn’t handle them anymore… not only physically, but mentally I collapsed…

Look back up at the scripture… such things are earthly, unspiritual and demonic (YES! demonic)… what?!?!? you think Satan has just crawled under a rock for the last 2000+ years?

I was jealous of what other people had… I had been that way since my childhood… I was ambitious – my volunteering was at a provincial AND national level before I crashed… I really really tried to find my acceptance away from GOD – and it so FAILED!!!

James 3:17-18 (NLT) But the WISDOM from above is first of all (1) pure. It is also (2) peace loving, (3) gentle at all times, and (4) willing to yield to others. (5) It is full of mercy and the (6) fruit of good deeds. It (7) shows no favoritism and is (8) always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Those two verses of James describe what is the opposite of self-fulfilling – WISDOM… it lists 8 things…

Any validation is great… Getting noticed can be taken with genuine amount of humility… But a false humility isn’t correct…

Validation should really come from the peace, calmness and a sense of accomplishment from within where the Spirit of God resides…

Snuggly Treasure Pouch

I saw a cute chubby cheeked little lbaby being carried in a snuggly… Wrapped up nice and tight to their mom… Able to hear her heart beat, her breath and talking… Almost the same as before birth… Totally feeling secure…

1 Samuel 25:29 (NLT): “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his TREASURE POUCH!

Many times with mental health, Satan loves to make us feel isolated… Tries to get us to isolate… To start to spiral down…

The realization or revelation that we are NEVER alone can be a game changer…

1 Sam 25:29 the chaser IS Satan… and it is our life on the line… Yes, suicidal thoughts but also isolation (a big struggle for me many times)… Being confined to your house is someways death as our interaction with others is pretty much dead…

Is it easy to un-isolate? Nope… But starting to acknowledging the problem, relaxing ourselves enough to hear God’s heart beat as we are in his treasure pouch is a great start…

Awkward Prayers?

If you are like me… It somehow seems hard/awkward about what to tell to God about… Something’s seem “cheesy” while other things seem pretty or lofty… or selfish…

This treasure regarding prayer was from a Chuck Swindol email…

Francois Fenelon, a 17th century Roman Catholic Frenchman, said this about prayer:

Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pain, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you to conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others.

Love verses Depression

The words love and depression seem to be polar opposites…

(Cue cheesy announcer and a bell clanging) In this corner we have Depression wearing words of self-loathing, fear, negative thoughts, remnants of abuse, addiction and feelings of despair…

And in this corner we have Love wearing sins of the world, salvation, peace, acceptance, oil of joy, forgiveness, everlasting, unchanging and hope…

God is in our corner and He desires we be filled with love… Paul tells Timothy the recipe… And remember God is love

1 Tim 1:5 (NLT): The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.

A pure heart… While physically words are spoken the meaning behind them come from our heart… Our hearts store a lot… A throne where either we sit or God/Holy Spirit sits… Our feelings, deepest feelings reside in our heart… Feelings we have collected during our life time… The memories are recorded in our brains but the emotions for them are felt in our hearts… We need God sitting on the throne and His cleansing power over sin to have a pure heart…

A clear conscious… The head game… With mental health issues it can be like a buffet of items… Thinking of all the bad things, the past sins… An account of things “I am hiding” from God (yeah right)… A record of wrongs… But God keeps NO record of wrongs

Genuine faith… A faith that is noticeable to others… Not just in quoting scripture or going to church, tithing… But based on a real relationship with God… Regardless of what life might be or has throwing in your face… That is a genuine faith… It’s a catch-22 you need to trust God and have faith… And then our faith grows then we can apply this growing faith in God that no matter what situation you find yourself… Depression, anxiety, love, contentment… Your faith grows…

You see, when you truly have a pure heart, a clear conscience and genuine faith…

My take is… Keep a list of items that are preventing you from the pure heart &/or clean conscious or genuine faith… If you are have a hard time sorting through all of this… Find a friend who you can call upon..

OR BETTER YET… Find the closest Celebrate Recovery

ASAP My ASAP

I am so NOT a morning person… I tell friends and family that anything I say, utter or promise before 11 am I cannot be held accountable for…

AVOID SATAN AND PRAY

My days are always better when I include God as I start my day… even if it is a hop out of bed and hustle my kestier to where ever I need to get to (read: I am NOT a morning person and the snooze option can be over used) Regardless – I try to always, and can make time to stop and spend a couple of minutes with God – especially if I am racing the clock – take 30 seconds – slow down – and breathe…. relax my shoulders… and be still and know that God is God… that He is in control… I can recited the pieces of the armor of God – I may not spend time looking at each piece but I can rattle them off… it’s better than nothing! And while I’m already spending a bit of quality time – I can set up my safety space and renounce Satan from having anything to do with me…

1 Cor 1:13 For You have rescued me from the DOMINION of DARKNESS and brought me into the kingdom of Your Son whom You love, and in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

And just to make sure that Satan gets the idea…

1 Thes 5:5 (NLT): For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and nigh

So ASAP with my ASAP and your day likely will be better…

Give Me Life…

Psalm 119:37 (NLT): Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word

Life… How much do we value it? With mental health there are times where our lives seem worthless… Where we can be caught up… Or make that down… spiraling down…

Yet, God ALWAYS provides ways to halt the downward spinning… Psalm 119:37 “give me life through your word”

That pretty much sums it up…

There is a sign in our house that says “faith makes things possible – not easy”

The battle for the mind, the heart and the soul are constant… And the battle will only end the moment we see God…

Until God calls us home (note calls not us getting there by suicide)… We need to fight… fight the same way the Jesus did when He was on earth… Scripture… Reading, memorizing, growing our faith, networking with other people, attending church…

Maybe finding a Celebrate Recovery? Recovery isn’t just drugs or alcohol… It’s recovering and dealing with the hurts, habits and hang-ups we all carry with us… Nobody’s life is perfect… Celebrate Recovery has had a huge impact on my life in dealing with my mental health issues… CR is what set me on my path of healing…

Mental health illness has 2 areas of life to deal with… A physical side… Our brain chemistry isn’t correct and for some, our brain is physically different…

There is NO SHAME in needing meds to help!

Would you think any less of one who needed to take blood pressure meds or meds to control their cholesterol?

And more importantly… There is the Spiritual side… The going to God…

Is that easy? Absolutely not! Remember that this is a battle and we need God’s help…And as the verse says:

give me life through Your word…

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