GodTube

I decided to sit and read a book by one of my favorite authors, Grace Livingston Hill, so I put YouTube on with a song list on and settled in…

  • Music – check!
  • Book – check!
  • Snack and something to drink – check check!!
  • Dog tucked in under blanket and snuggled in – check

Ready to read… And then YouTube started or should I say GodTube started… Song after song… Reminder of the depth of God’s love... Balm to my heart and soul… Refreshment for my mind… Strengthening my resolve… – making it so much easier to be still and know that He is God

It turned out I clearly needed worship time with God more than reading a book so I can fulfill the greatest commandments…

Luke 10:27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Regardless of mental health issues or not – GodTube is just what we need – when we need  – even if we weren’t aware we needed it…

I Have Become…

God never wasted a hurt – a common saying… we all have issues – some are just more prevalent than others – with mental illness it is both out there but also so well hidden…

Paul the Apostle wrote :

1 Corinthians 9:22-23 NLT  I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

I have a friend and together we can talk about some issues we have in common… I have friends who have had to bury a child – something that no parent should have to do – and I can’t begin to understand what they are going through… I’ve had a sick child who was tested for a genetic illness and I know how wretched a time that was for me…

The saying – until you walk in my shoes… Unless people have dealt with deep depression – dealt with agonizing thoughts of wanting to live or die… and die was stronger… dealt with anxiety so strong that you feel you are being dragged into a black endless hole, feeling like you are only holding on by 1 fingernail…

If you want insight into anxiety – try this:

You are walking down a street – and you recognize the person you love most in the world walking towards you – close enough to wave at – but not close enough to talk to – and just as you wave you realize there is an out of control semi truck headed straight towards them and you can not do anything about it – take the brief moment – that less than 1 second of realization that horror – take it and multiply it by 10,000 then multiply it more – then make it last for hours or days… then you are maybe starting to coming close…

Until I knew the label anxiety I called them oppression – and in many ways that is true… As time goes the enormity of it fades – just like the pain of childbirth – but the effect of it is not forgotten… I recall and wrote in my journal, I would not wish this upon anyone – and I mean anyone – including Hitler – they were that horrible… there really is no way I can fully describe them in their entirety…

Looking back on Paul’s statement, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

If I really want to help people – my way to reach out is with what I personally know – mental health (and other things as well)… Paul says I have become “all things to people”

For me personally, I have become an advocate for people (with mental illness) so that be all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

For those whose voice is silenced with the shame and stigma of mental health – especially in the church… but also anywhere… people on the street – women close to where I live… people in whom I have contact…

that I may share in their blessings

Copyright 2018

O God, I Beg Two Favours

From a devotional:

Prov 30:7-8  O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  

First, help me never to tell a lie

Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. 

Psalms 23… I shall not want…also comes to mind…

A clean slate… A new year… Resolutions…

I heard a speaker once talk about how he had just landed off the red eye to be met at the airport by his secretary and a clean suit… the last thing he wanted and he had totally forgotten about the event… He was the keynote speaker at a ladies function. 

While on the stage only halfways awake, he was listening to the hostess talk about a need for a missionary team that required $7,000 for a much needed building… She asked him to come and lead the prayer… 

And he said NO! 

Instead he got up to the podium and looked out over the sizeable audience and said that he was sick and tired of all the prayers that went up when the reality is simply among everybody there they could easily raise the $7,000. He then took his wallet and ask the lady to open it up and take whatever cash he had in there and put it into the offering. He then announced that whatever amount they were short he would write a personal check and cover the balance. He wanted every woman in there to trust God to take whatever money they had their wallet and believe that God would bless them and return it and to come on up and put it in the offering. 

Nobody started to move so finally he looked at one lady, pointed and said you come up here and pointed and repeated to the next few. He said that people were taking money out of their wallets and stuffing it into the hymnals. 

After everybody had come he asked two women to go and count the money. They had raised more than $7,000. 

We live in a country so blessed…

God and Paul are Punny

God definitely has a sense of humor… How else can you explain the duck-billed platypus?

In Philemon Paul talks about Onesimus who needs to be accepted after he had fallen out of grace… Philemon is challenged by Paul to set an example both as a man and brother in Christ… 

And then Paul lightens the atmosphere he says that anything owed… 

I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it.

Then Paul does a little tongue in cheek..

And I won’t mention that you owe me your very soul! 

And Paul gets in one last piece of fun… He writes: Yes, my brother, please do me this favor* for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ

* In Greek favor is a play on the name Onesimus… It’s onaimen

Sometimes we take things way to seriously…

Laughter can be really is good for the soul… God tells us to rejoice! David danced with all his might… And Jonah? Now he had a story to tell at any get together! I never would have thought of a        WHALE for a       JAIL!!!

Is there anything that sounds cuter than a baby’s laugh? They give it 100% 

God isn’t all gloom and doom… He’s not sitting up in heaven with a lightening rod waiting for us to make a mistake so he can zap us… 

Even when going through some hard days laughter can be an escape… A funny cartoon… A joke… A pun…  YouTube videos…. Remembering something funny from your past…  How about the time… Or remember when?

I was in a room once when an elderly lady “let one rip” as she walked and bumped a potted tree… And in perfect timing the tree fell over… luckily she was pretty much deaf…

Most of God’s direction in the Bible has to do with instruction on living a better life with Him… 

But God did created laughter…

I’ve always wondered how it was when Adam was giving every creature a name… Did he ever get the giggles when some of them went by? 

And can you imagine how many scrolls Noah needed? He probably invented the catalogue system back then not to mention a sense of humor while checking his list… 

Let’s strive to find the fun and relaxation when we take our day of rest each week… 

On Sundays after church there was a show that played older movies like Abbot and Costello…. One of my favorites was Ma and Pa Kettle (Ma and Pa Kettle Math)

Those old black and white comedians… No swear words or bedroom scenes needed… Just plain old acting… 

So as we gather together, if not physically but in spirit, remember stories… Have the senior generation pass to the next generation happy and joyful memories… And while you are together… You are making a happy memory…

Also please think about people who will be having a not so joyous Christmas this year… Family dynamics have changed… empty chairs, new to your city and family far away… 

And please remember… Over the holidays, there are people who are having a mental health crisis… Hospitalized or on the streets… They belong to someone’s family… Be thankful it isn’t you…

Merry Christmas!

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I Don’t Want to Adult

Today marks 2 years since my last admission ended… Major medication changes… It took many months to get to the right combo but it was well on its way…

I had to trust my psych that he knew what he was doing… 

With God it’s the same thing… I have to trust Him…

Picture a sweet little girl, say little Shirley Temple…  Skipping down a garden path and she finds a weed. She knows that weeds don’t belong in a garden so she pulls it out, goes to where the gardener is working and asks what to do with it. He points out a bucket and she simply goes to it, drops it in then goes on skipping down the path…

Oh, to have a child like faith… So simple… 

See something not right, ask and get instruction, believe instruction, follow instruction, continue on as before as if nothing had happened but wiser in how to deal with this issue again…

Matthew 18:1b-5  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me

When dealing with mental health issues, somedays simple instructions have been all I could do… Get out of bed, go eat something, try to do something to distract (from list prepared for days like these), if needed find someone to talk to, take the dog for a walk, feed the dog, play with the dog…

These are days I don’t want to adult… Actually, I honestly can’t adult, especially when my brain chemistry isn’t correct… 

That’s why there are help lines, suicide lines, web sites…

But I do trust God..  it doesn’t have to make sense… If I find something I don’t understand I just need to go with it…

God’s got a 100% average…

Integrity How To Lesson

INTEGRITY… My new theme idea, goal, challenge, blue chip at CR…

So what is integrity? This word that God has laid strongly on my heart?

Definition of Integrity: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”

“S/he is known to be a person of integrity S/he is known to be a wo/man of integrity

Synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

SYNONYMS DEFINED:

Rectitude: morally correct behavior or thinking:

Fairness: the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency, impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination.

Integrity – But just how can an intangible choice be physically manifested? Words are just words… Words can become actions… How do I know I’m succeeding?

Proverbs 2:1-7 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.

Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.

Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

Then you will understand what it means to fear {awe} the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

For the Lord grants WISDOM!

From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

Routine… Please don’t interrupt my routine or whatever was still left probably will be forgotten, unless it is blatantly the obvious… (Seriously I forget…)

Micah 6:8 O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

The what is good… I’ve been taught values and principles since I was a wee little one… so good, well Jesus is good (perfect, love, etc)… And for me…

Would I offer Him…

I’m going to use the measuring rod of… If Jesus walked into the room and saw/heard whatever was happening… Would I offer Him to join me or try to cover it up…

God also tells me that there are 3 things He requires of me…

1 Do what is right I have a great book with 66 chapters that came with me as an instruction manual if I’m not sure and spend time with Him (see point 3) (and the “Golden rule”)

2. Love mercy (Dictionary: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm)

Mercy… God has been very merciful in my life… Basically it’s was used when Jesus washed away my iniquities at the cross… and then over and over and over again when I deserved the consquences of my actions when I ask for new transgressions…

So to love mercy means I have to give it as well… The Lord’s Prayer… Forgive us our trespasses as WE (I) forgive others

3. Walk humbly with Him He’s been so merciful to me… He is love… He tells me that “I” matter to Him… Realistically… I don’t deserve even being in the same universe as Him… And I need to keep reminding myself of this… God deserves all the glory

Integrity: My challenge… I’ve put down my thoughts, they may need adjusting…

I’m setting the wall high… I can’t remember who said it but it was something like it’s better to be reaching for a high goal then a small one that’s easy to hit…

More integrity coming in future blogs…

Nudges

My sweet pooch, Ivory, would love to play outside all day except on really raining days… Unfortunately for her she needs to be with someone to watch her and my life gets in her way…

But when it’s time to do what must be “done” she gives me a nudges with her nose and until I put down or cease to do what I’m doing and she keeps nudging me until I start moving towards the door…

She follows me to the door and when I put my shoes on jacket on she eagerly starts going around in circles all the time watching me make sure I’m still getting ready… open the door and we are off!!!

As a Christian I, like anyone else, have the gift Jesus sent down shortly after he ascended to heaven… The Holy Spirit… I think of it as my Godly conscience, a connection to God with prayers, direction and decisions – even when I can’t utter a word because I’m overwhelmed for fabulous and not so fabulous reasons…

HE IS WHAT NUDGES ME

That inner (good inner) voice “speaks” with easy tasks like I should take my coat along even though it’s a sunny day… And sure enough it rains or gets cooler than expected or big decisions, life altering ones (not snap though).

Four years ago the bottom of my life was falling away. As a child, as a teen and as an adult years I would have spurts where I was closer to God, usually during the tough times… 

The Holy Spirit always nudges me in every situation… He probably pounded a bass drum, a fog horn, but I wasn’t listening, I was building with MY self-worth… I ignored Him…

When I hit the bottom I had a choice seek His help or just stay there and figure out a successful suicide…

God pulled me up… I’ve need really tuning into God…

Integrity… And being true to myself with myself and I will share my progress on my blog to show myself as accountable…

My daily marker will be did I at least try? I know there will be days I fall flat on my face… Failure, though, will be in not getting up again… I may not blog every day…

Integrity… I started November 1 I wasn’t yet sure of criteria yet… But I’ve had a lot of nudges that I’ve listened to, some I haven’t but

#1 I didn’t quit (huge accomplishment)

#2 I admitted my slips and made amends

Next came some trials… A sore back which interfered me being away from CR big group and Step Sisters…

My Mental Health… I’m pushing through… It’s a struggle…

E V E R Y D A Y

I want to isolate, stay home, in bed… wrong thoughts coming at me…

Out came my daily accountability checklist… And I started going through it…

#1 Morning prayers… Thanking God… The armor of God – piece by piece… Other verses…

And I keep going down my list… Check box by check box…

When I am done, I have a lot of peace… I have Christian songs running in my head blocking out the negative thought. I put on Christian music…

And right now routine is needed:

I’m dealing with a situation/something in my life… Obviously, I wish I wasn’t… and it could turn out to be nothing or else something not if my choosing… And would be more than I can handle… and I will be listening for the Holy Spirit nudges

Huggles and loves and prayers…

Love and Like and Billy Graham

There have been days where I have loved some people but not liked them… my love doesn’t shrink… As I watch from a distance my heart sorrows for them…

From today’s devotions:

“Loving God and living fully for Him are not necessarily synonymous…”

I’m human… imperfect… I still have a piece of that fruit stuck in me… The “one” great- great x 1,000,000 grandparents sampled way back in the Garden…

But just because I love God, it doesn’t mean I’m fully living for Him…

I have frequent personal pity parties…

I have days where I’m really frustrated… You know those days where everything seems to be going wrong. Some days I can laugh about it other days I’m very frustrated and angry.

There are days when I’m angry, angry at God, angry at the world, and I have a major internal (quite BPD no emotions outward) hissy fit…

Until finally I decide, I choose to turn back to God and His word and His ways and to trust in Him…

I know He is love. I know He loves me and that I matter to Him… That he has a plan for me… And I do my Phil 4:4-9

Together God and I go on a trip back in history and I am reminded of times where I trusted Him. We go with some memories (I can remember on my own) or from pictures, through shared memories, or reading back in my journals… (gotta just love a brain injury PLUS mental health… (I have a great memory… just short)…

Then I remember that when things are beyond what I can handle, I allow Himto bring me in and cuddle me and I get to sit there and watch how He deals with whatever it is for me.

Does it mean I’m cured? Well not now it seems… . Maybe sometime later with God… Maybe never…

God knows and He knows what is coming… He has a plan… He uses imperfect people like me…

Who will be touched by my blog…

We all can look at Billy Graham and the incredible impact he personally he had…

Maybe it was just one thing that changed his heart…

So I may not touch the “next Billy Graham” but what if I do because of where I am right now…

For me, someone passing away saved me… then I started down the road and real recovery…

Makes ya think doesn’t it?

Underneath the trappings we’re decaying

My personal Bible study is going through the Book of Revelations. There are 7 church’s addressed each receive praise and instructions. Philadelphia gets a lot of praise but Sardis gets a lot of warnings including that while they seem alive they are really dead.

I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Rev 3:1)

From my commentary:

We cover up the dead places in ourselves with all sorts of regalia. We fill the emptiness with fine clothing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, or relationships in which the other is set up as god. Underneath the trappings, though, we’re decaying.*

To me at least this soooo takes me to my mental health issues… For years I had been trying to fulfil the void inside that could only be filled by God… instead, I sought my self-worth in what I was performing and trying to show-off how important I was… trying to feel special and acknowledged by those around me….

Underneath the trappings, though, we’re decaying.

I had a huge dead place inside – and for me – the longer I chose to avoid it – the bigger it became… until I finally reached a point where the void was so big, I slipped off the edge and fell into it… and was forced to deal with it… and have God save me… but not before I hit the bottom with my depression, anxiety and BPD to the point of suicidal thoughts that would haunt me daily for months and months… and they still pop-up from out of nowhere still and can leave me quivering – literally, physically inside I feel like a taser or something has hit me…

I’m working the way out of the void with God’s help, however, there are scars… working and battling with God in the void isn’t easy… physically my brain is actually changed… I need – require medications to keep me from returning and falling back into the void…

Is it a case of lack of faith? No… Is a diabetic lacking faith by using insulin?

And just like a diabetic – somedays are better than others… it depends on way too many factors to list…

The good news is – I have God on my side… if I stay close to Him – listen to His spirit whispering to my heart and soul words of wisdom, I’m okay – even on the days which are not so good…

And prayer, but just not alone – I have a support network in place – I can send out a text message and know they are also praying on my behalf…

Growth – I am actively (well hopefully more days than not) seeking God’s will through not only reading my devotions but also in a group with women doing a 12-step from Celebrate Recovery – I do not have any personal gain by mentioning this other than knowing it works. The women in my groups have all different ways we have met – substance abuse, sexual abuse, anger, food addiction, codependency… but the one things we do have – a growing faith in God and building a network to support each other…

 

*Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Reality vs Thoughts

It’s easy to write from this side of the screen and have ideological thoughts about how life is lived and everything is peachy-keen and then get up from the keyboard and have life smack me right in the face…

Now to those people who know me in real life… say, laugh, raise your eyebrows, look shocked, re-read the words – but remember it’s a long process… please know that I am trying to live my life as authentic as I can… that I am the same person who leaves the church on Sunday through Saturday and because I have spent time with God I am a little further down the road with God when I return… (reality – I’m human and it will be hard to measure)…

I have a few stresses in life right now… and I’m trying to use my tools to the best of my ability… and yes, I’m overwhelmed from time to time throughout the day… so it’s toolbox time:

  1. Recognise I’m not at peace
  2. Start with Phil 4:4-8 Rejoice and Gentleness
  3. Contact my support network – because well – that’s why I have them right?
  4. Use other tools I have gathered and put together…
    1. God is fully aware of what I am going through
      • As I’m writing this God lead me to Psalm 91 and gives me angels!
        Verse 11: Psalm 91:11 (NLT) For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
    2. Other Bible verses I have gleaned for times like these… when I KNOW that God directed and spoke to me… whispered to my heart – I suddenly just knew or realised…
    3. Resource other times He has proven faithful and loving…
      1. Look back at old journals…
      2. Listen to music I know that comforts my soul…

Mostly though – it’s prayer and (if necessary self-forced) rejoicing (it’s a command remember)… rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice (repeat 10 or 1000 times as needed)… rejoice over anything I can… about my past history with God, my family, that I live on our beautiful earth where I know that God loves me more than nature, that I know that Christ died on the cross just for me, where I know I matter to God – He will come and find me when I get lost, that He protects me under the shadow of His wing… that I live in a country where I can practise my faith…

that if I can’t put into words what I want to really say to God – then the Holy Sprit within me will groan to God on my behalf

and where I go get the peace that I know will be coming and replacing the stress… to spend time with God and remember that I can be still and know that He is God (even if just for a few seconds)…

Yup, I’m off – I’ve gathered my thoughts (thanks for travelling with me today) and I have my battle plans…

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice! – I’m starting here