Being Peculiar and Crazy

1 Pet 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light

I grew up listening to Gospel Music… and I still love it…

As a teenager, I was attending a Sunday school class and our teacher mentioned that we are peculiar people… and another guy, who not also grew up on Gospel music, and I instantly started to sing this song (sorry, no YouTube could be found)

We are peculiar people
We rejoice when things go wrong
We shed tears when we are happy
We sing a new glad song
We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus
We are the children of the heavenly King
And if you care to join us
Just come and sing with us

Needless to say, the rest of the class just groaned while we grinned like two Cheshier cats…

The really funny thing was that the pastor just happened to be preaching on the same passage… the back pews were shaking as all the teens couldn’t help but laugh as my friend and I sat at opposite ends and mouthed the words… and the adults and pastor decided that yes – we were peculiar…

With mental health we maybe aren’t always feeling this type of peculiar – but we can feel like we don’t belong… growing up I NEVER felt that I fit in… not the best athlete – my goal was to NOT be the last picked for teams…

As a teenager, I found I had little empathy for girls who were complaining that they had chipped nails… petty things in comparison… my life just wasn’t like theirs… I was one of the outliers on the Bell curve…

Now though, as an adult and enjoying my relationship with God, I am no longer alone… I have my relationship with God – and my network of family and friends…

Now I’m able to show others the path I have been travelling for the past 5 years…
2 Cor 5:13 (NLT) If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit…

So – yes I am peculiar and crazy!

Care to join me?

Looking to find a support network check out Celebrate Recovery

I don’t get paid or have any affiliation with CR – I just started attending 5 years ago and I know it has been a life saviour to me – literally…

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From Ding to Thanksgiving

I had gone to the postal pickup box and I was expecting a cheque to arrive – but instead, I received a notice that I wouldn’t get the funds for another 2 weeks… and I had been really depending on that cheque to arrive!! As a single mom at the time – every penny counted!! So, I have my 3 young children in the minivan and I know that God will see to all our needs… I start the vehicle… get the dings that remind me to put my seatbelt on – and then it happened!!

That extra ding!! the “you need gas” ding!!! Now, earlier I had looked at the gas gauge and it had read at 1/2 a tank… now it read empty… the gauge had been stuck… I calculated the amount of driving verse the gas I had put in – and yup… I needed gas…

I was frustrated – but I also knew that God would provide our needs – He had already proven Himself – so with minimal thanksgiving – I heavily thumped the steering wheel and somewhat aggressively proclaimed “Well praise God anyway!!” and my gas gauge jumped to 1/2 full again… and it stayed that way for 2 weeks – until the next cheque arrived… seriously – angles must have pushed my minivan everywhere because there is no other explanation – mathematically – I drove on fumes…

Phil 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice (notice not if you feel like it – it’s not an emotional request that you have to start rejoicing – you can start regardless of your emotional state)

Let your gentleness be evident to all my children need to see me in control… not a screaming yelling out of control mom…

Do not be anxious I was a bit grumpy but I didn’t act and freak out asking now what!! or well this is just great!!

The Lord is near – the “well praise God anyways!!!!!”  – I addressed God… I knew He was there with me…

But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus… now, I didn’t say any other words out loud – and I didn’t have to – this wasn’t a time for a long time with God – I had 3 children to look after…  God knows our hearts and our thoughts before we utter them… He knew I was doing my best to trust Him at that moment… and yes, I had peace… my burden was lifted… God was in control…

We don’t need to “perfect” before we go before God… even the little God help me prayers on the days when just getting out of bed seems like a climb up Everest… just a simple “Hello God” is enough… you are acknowledging that God is there with you… you don’t even need to get out of bed and dance through your house… just breathe and say Hello God… He knows your intentions… just choosing Him over the dark thoughts is praising Him… and addressing Him – you realize there is a brighter side and that you even thinking He there is. that idea there is a way out – that slim ray of hope – that being about to take a better breath….  admit it – you are thankful…

In the Land of the Living

My devotions took me to Psalm 27 today… A Psalm that David wrote…

Now he definately had some big issues he dealt with throughout his life…

His family considered him unworthy (not even thought of to be the next King of Israel by his family… Samuel had to ask if there was anyone else) and a pest (read about his brother’s comments when he was sent by his father to the (non) battle with Goliath)…

His predecessor King, Saul, tried many times to kill him…

He suffered from depression…

He was a murderer…

His son sought to kill him…

He wasn’t the greatest dad… (See above)

Yet here in Psalm 27 verse 1 he states: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?”

Verse 4: “the one thing I ask of the Lord – the thing that I seek most – is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”

With mental health we often want to isolate, get away from the stressors, just pretend but there’s no world of there we have to deal with…

In verse 4 David is basically doing the same thing, isolating but in God’s care…

When we feel overwhelmed, anxious, in dealing with the world or with life in general – the standard coping mechanism is to find a distraction… Whether it’s go for a walk, binge TV, artwork, gardening, anything that takes us off focus of anxiety…

As I’ve walked through my journey with mental health issues, the one thing, the only real thing that has truly helped is God…

Verse 5 talks about how God will hide him and conceal him and his sanctuary… Isn’t that what we really, really need? Comfort from God?

Verse 6 talks about being able to hold his head high above the enemies who surround him… Yes it’s true, we don’t have Saul beating at the door trying to kill us but we do have the enemy knocking at the door of our brain and of our heart… And make no mistake, Satan is trying to kill us or put us out in left field where are we are not participating in God’s Kingdom here on Earth…

verse 11 says “Teach me how to live, oh Lord, lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.”

It’s the how to live that caught my attention… Isn’t that really what we’re after? How to live? Really live? To live beyond our mental health issues…

Verse 14 “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

The status of having mental health issues isn’t like the flu that one day you are fine and the next day you are ill and a couple of days later everything is back to normal…

Mental health for some people might be for only a few weeks or months… For others it will be something to keep a check on for the rest of our lives…

So where verse 14 talks about patience, realize that it often the hardest thing to do is to wait…

But let’s back up to verse 13 where David says “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”

Let’s stay in the land of the living… And not just “live” but THRIVE

Destiny

Psalm 20:4 (NLT) May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.

What are my plans?? Good question! I was at our church’s Art Life monthly session a couple of weeks ago and we were challenged to answer a few questions… the theme for the day was “March” as in marching with God…

Destiny – what is my destiny with Christ? Another question – but on a much deeper level… it’s been sitting in my mind ever since and I still haven’t come up with an answer…

What are my heart’s desires?? What is really in there – deep down? Hiding because I never thought it was possible – because I didn’t “deserve” it – or could “earn it” or “accomplish” it… all those “lovely” thought battles that mental health ricochets around in my mind…

I’ve said to others – what is the ONE thing – something you would LOVE to do, without regards to income – what would it be?

It isn’t healing – although you might need healing before you can do it – but it’s an action – a physical, tactile – something you perform… do with purpose…

As a kid just out of grade 12 I would have said become a nurse or a music therapist… if I would have had more faith in myself – maybe a doctor…

Fifteen years ago – I did make a choice and changed my occupation to something I really loved doing…

But was it my destiny?

I’m not sure… and I’m leaning towards no – I wasn’t walking really close to God – and I was trying to find my self-worth away from God…

From where I am stationed in life today – with the skills I have – with my “placement” in society – I would like to say – Christian Mental Health Advocate… (big surprise as I have a blog doing such)…

I would like my destiny to “say” – helping people to understand God’s love and how much God LOVES them – just as they are… regardless of any issues in their lives… that they are safe to admit and deal with their hidden secrets of depression, anxiety – that they can take off their masks and just be real… JUST BE REAL!! No judgment… Just love…

So I guess I answered my own question – what is my destiny – to show God’s love to people who are dealing/struggling with mental health issues…

That there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

We are made free!!! of the power of Satan…

For me being free it’s been a combination of, yes, medications and a lot of GOD being infused into my life…

So many of the lies of Satan had overtaken my life… but re-establishing my relationship with God has been the game winner for me… I was taught the way back through Celebrate Recovery…

CR has been a way – a path – that I can and still do follow and I know is established and works… no questions like – is this the correct way to go?? It’s a safe and proven way… It also has provided me with a network of support that is so needed when dealing with mental health…

See and Swallow

(Sarcastically) I would love to get infront of misinformed believers who make the (wrong) assumption that taking medication for mental health equals a lack of faith or a weakness of character (I’m not going to quote 2 Cor 12:9)…

And if I could I would ask them if they believed in God’s ability to heal!

Then I utter I powerful sounding, but sincere prayer, asking for healing for everyone’s heads from top to bottom and side to side!

I would then ask who has the faith to believe that people had been granted healing!

Then I would ask all those who believed to remain standing as a show of faith!

Lastly, I would challenge all those wearing glasses or contacts to remove them and leave them behind when they drove home!

Reality though… Until I became the one in 4/5 I was pretty ignorant…

My SEE challenge is to both sides… Those who see from the swallow side gently trying to have God open there eyes…

And to those who are realizing the need to see from God’s view… that we who swallow need to as much as anyone who needs corrective glasses…

Because I follow my doctor’s directions I AM able to contribute and serve God…

Open dialogue will allow everyone to be able to see through God’s eyes…

The Mighty wrote a good Pill Shaming Article

Sometimes Life Just Happens

I’ve been expecting a kick up of dust from Satan as I have an event happening later this week… and at times I’m also a bit slow on the uptake… I shored up my fortress where I figured the battle would be and he snuck in a back door I haven’t even realized was there let alone open…

My last blog I said I wasn’t sure if I was ready to jump in with the whole food addiction… today I talked to my 12 step CR sponsor… condemnation was the word she used… Food is a part of life… and I am going to blow it from time to time… it’s different in that we still need to eat – unlike those who battle drugs or alcohol… their boundary is clear… smoking and weaning off is maybe a bit closer… it’s the attitude of the heart that makes the call… the fact is – I have lost a lot of weight and yes,  I am struggling… but this is all down a rabbit trail – this was where I figured the battle would be… it has been – but there was another sneak attack…

Just what me and my mental health (and brain injured) brain “needed”

Something else popped up out of NOWHERE! It was supposed to be 2 years away still but nope – it was here now and wasn’t just here but ASAP… and yes, it freaked me out a bit… ok – and still is as I continue to follow my Bible First Aid plan…

So this is what I meant by the title… Life just happens – even when we think we know what to expect…  mix in depression, anxiety not to mention some borderline and well…

Phil 4:4-8 the pathway to peace… and I need peace… we all do of course but sometimes we need it more evident than other times…

Step 1. Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice…. so I have music playing to help set the mood… but rejoice isn’t an emotion… it’s a choice…  it’s great when there are emotions along with it but sometimes they can take a while to come…

Step 2. Let your gentleness be evident to all… as opposed to someone totally out of control of themselves – we may have no control over the situations we face but we can have control of our behavior…

Step 3.  The Lord is near… God is always right with us – beside, in-front, behind, under and above

Step 4. Do NOT be anxious… am I at this point yet? if not – back to step 1!!

Step 5. With prayer and petition – self-explanatory…

Step 6. In every situation – is there anything God can’t deal with?

Step 7 With praise and thanksgiving – if this isn’t something we can do – go back to step 1… Praise because I know that God is with me and wants only the best for me – and thanksgiving because I KNOW He IS with me…

Step 8 Present your request to God – lay it out to God – don’t be shy here – God already knows what is in our hearts – he knows the words to say before we do – and let it ALL out… read the Psalms and see how David addresses God…

Step 9 – and the PEACE that transcends ALL understanding will GUARD our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!!

And if you have doubt if you have obtained this level of peace… go back and start again – you will KNOW if you have it… no questions asked…

(Step 10 is verse 8) – things to think about instead of what initially brought us to prayer with God…

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever lovely whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think upon such things…

Right now – having God using my fingers to type this… I’m at about stage 5 🙂

It works…

Crutch or Cry?

My mom found both me and my brother crying on our driveway one afternoon…

The backstory… I was a toddler (4?) and fascinated with bugs and on this day – an ant… so I was lying on my belly watching it…

My brother was riding his bike with his friend and simply didn’t see me in time to stop…

All mom heard was both of us crying… my brother was claiming innocence as he didn’t see me soon enough (and maybe because he has fallen)…

I was wailing away and my mom finally got me calmed down so she could hear me snuffling saying – “he squashed my ant!!!”

Toddler’s know crying can sometimes get them something they want – so in the middle of Walmart, they will let go!!

Men generally hate it when women cry… (it’s our secret weapon)

I cried at one son’s wedding…

I cried with the birth of my children…

I cried many times with the death of my father – even thinking about it now causes a few tears to form…

Crying is mentioned in the Bible a lot –

Shortest verse:
John 11:35 (NIV): Jesus wept.

Crying can be a release… our sign of letting whatever it is to God to help us deal with… good or bad… joy or sorrow…

With mental health, there are a lot of emotional upheavals… mostly negative…

And with it often being negative it’s an easy excuse… a crutch to fall back on… that I am “experiencing attacks”… or “I am struggling” so I gloss over certain attitudes or choices… in other words – I can use mental health as a crutch…

In my devotions, I came across a verse that had touched my heart many years ago

Psalm 3:3-4 (NLT): But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.

Verse 3 was the memory – verse 4 was what drew me to my issue… I cried out… and it challenged me… do I actually cry out?? Or do I simply know that I can but use mental health as a cover all umbrella…

To cry out – to admit I really – and I mean real – ly want to – more than want – I know that what I am talking to God about is something that is WAY bigger than I can deal with without His Spiritual intervention…

Psalm 3 – David was is a BIG time issue – he was fleeing from his son who wanted to kill him – he was facing death by his own son… his heart must have been absolutely breaking… so he CRIED out…

My situation I’m dealing with isnt’s so dramatic or imminent but it does bare crying out… and yes, mental health stuff is involved – and my question is – am I actually really willing – not to mention be obedient as I have spiritual conviction inside –  to cry out and ask God to help me – it’s a something I have struggled with for years… it needs to be dealt with…

So – am I ready to cry out – to no longer use mental health as a crutch and excuse myself when I fall short…

It’s a good question – and to be honest… I’m not totally sure… it would be easy to type – of course I am!!! But reality says “really?” Prove it!!

My big struggle is that I am a food addict… (I will tell you I have debated long and hard about actually naming it on my blog)… Now, I have lost a lot of weight in the past 5 years and kept by far the majority off (150 lbs lost with 25 or so back on) but I am still only about 35-40 lbs away from my goal weight… so not all is lost!! I’m just off track and been using an upcoming, somewhat stressful event along with mental health as a crutch… but Psalm 3:4 the “I cried out” convicted me – that I need to admit I am not winning this battle on my own and it IS time for me to cry out…

So there you have it… I have made myself accountable… and I will try to cry out to God instead of reaching for chocolate…

What If ‘s x 2

Deep depression for me means isolation… Hiding from the world… Hiding from anything I can…

Un-depression is different, obviously… And useful is a hope for well, sometimes anything

Anxiety can kick in here… The what-if’s…

What if…

  • I fail
  • I make a mistake
  • No one needs me
  • No one noticed me
  • I’m not really needed

The head games… The thought battles… As my friend puts it… Satan is rattling around in my head getting free rent he doesn’t pay for…

Did you know that while Satan loves to fire flaming arrows thoughts that he actually can’t HEAR our thoughts?!!? So the take from this tidbit of knowledge is if you are going to get rid of him… You actually NEED TO STATE IT… Not just a think it…

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT): Three things will last forever—faith, HOPE, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

HOPE lasts forever… Think about that again… And if needed again and again and again and…

(And when you finally realize and allow yourself to have hope… Add in some rejoicing!!)

We are all uniquely made by God… We all have been created to honor God and give Him glory AND we all have perfect talents for the one place in the body of Christ that NO ONE ELSE fits!

Now, we might need some “spit and polish”… or some chiseling (take time to watch the video… These guys are great!)…

We may not totally fit… But here’s the secret… NO ONE DOES! and those “super” Christians are vulnerable to sin still just like us…

We may not really even know where we fit in and just out of a deep depression or a dip might not be the best time to validate your calling…

I’m a good while out of deep depression (3+ years)… I get dips and bumps… And I’m still a huge piece of work but I am starting to see where I fit in… I’m starting to see some of my deepest desires coming closer… God says He will give us the desires of our hearts…

Not sure where to start? Go ask your Christian friends… Or your pastor… What is in your heart? You know, it’s likely something you want but automatically go to the negative self-talk (don’t deserve, never be able to, I’m useless, I’ll just screw up so why try)…

Just ask yourself…

WHAT IF GOD also desires you to… After all… He built us and knows EXACTLY what we wish for… And He knows how to lead you to see you successfully obtain it…

Maybe what if’s can be looked upon through God’s view…

A New Moment to

The Borderline Personality Disorder in me loves to keep “safe” in the negative thinking… The old idea of not risking something might happen… Better to expect that it won’t or otherwise I’ll be (yet again) disappointed… Which my BPD already “knew”…

It’s easy to stay with what I already know… I’ve lived most of my life this way… Passive… Sometimes the jokester in the room but yet most of the time a wallflower…

I can try to fool myself that I’m being gracious and letting others go first or simply bowing out so others get to enjoy or have or… Well I’m sure you get the idea…

It’s not me being a martyr though… It’s the lifelong belief that I don’t deserve anything and should I get something… Wow! Then it’s… Well it won’t last, soon they will figure out it’s a mistake…

But God and I have been working on this… Working on my self-worth… About the now…

I’m really good at looking back and wishing I could do many things over and different…

And as I’m doing my devotions I’m reading in John chapter 8

John 8:31–32 (NLT): Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Free… I’m free inside of all the darkness and the oppression that was inside…

Instead God gave me a really nice and simple truth:

Each moment is new:

  • For my mustard seed of faith to grow
  • A new moment to drop something from the past
  • A new moment to ask forgiveness
  • A new moment to acknowledge forgiveness
  • A new moment to forgive
  • A new moment to recall what God has done
  • A new time to step forward with God on my path of life
  • A new moment to just stop and breathe
  • A new moment to listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice
  • A new moment to rejoice
  • A new moment to enjoy peace
  • A new moment to be still and know God

Keep the Home Fire Burning

Keep the Home Fires Burning was a song composed in 1914 in Britain during the First World War…

As a Christian we are charged to always keep the light burning… To have His light showing…

With mental health all around it seems so dark… But God always provides a light to shine…

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV): For God, who said, “Let light shine OUT of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ

From within its so easy to just close your eyes and give in… You can become hopeless…

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT): Three things will last forever—faith, HOPE, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

When there has been absolute darkness even the smallest flicker of light is visible…

Why is this flicker showing? I believe it is because of someone being obedient with prayer when they felt the need to pray, and someone physically obedient to God’s voice and going where God wanted them. This is just a simplified version of what it takes but hopefully you understand…

As Christian’s, we have the great director inside… The Holy Spirit who whispers to us and can lead and guide us to carry out God’s will which we all have prayed…

Matthew 6:9–13 (KJV): Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

We know praying is important… Daniel’s answered was delayed because of the spiritual battle.

2 Cor 10:3-5 spells out what type of battle exists…

Satan LOVES to get us – me – as isolated from God as possible…

Leviticus 6:13 (NLT): Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.

Keeping the home fires burning has been a command since the building of the first Tabernacle back with Moses…

It’s a good command…

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