Days Like Today

Good Day Friends,

Today is a good day. Although the sun is behind thick stratus clouds, the birds are chirping, the temperature is just right, and God was kind enough to wake us up this morning.

It’s days like today that I look forward to. Some call it the light at the end of the tunnel. Other’s call it the rainbow after a storm. I like to call it proof that God hears my prayers for peace and unconditional love. It’s days like today that I pray for when I’m in the midst of mental turmoil.

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So now my mind is clear enough to take care of the things that I need to take care of; return phone calls, text messages, emails. Catch up with family members and friends to let them know I haven’t forgotten about them. And most importantly, come out of emotional and physical isolation from the world and my family.

I know some of you have commented that isolation is needed to gather your thoughts and recuperate from everyday life. Sorry if I was unclear, but in my last post, Isolation, I was speaking more about unhealthy isolation. Like, crawling under your blankets to hide from the world. Drawing your shades to not allow any kind of sunshine to illuminate my home. Not talking to anyone about anything for any reason, For example, the past couple of weeks, I’ve isolated myself from my family and friends, church, and sometimes even my kids. I’m speaking of the kind of isolation that makes you want to sleep for 22 hours out of the day so I don’t have to think about the dreads of life.

While studying my bible, God revealed to me in 1 Peter 5:9 that says

Stand firm against him [the devil], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I’m not the only one going through this. A lot of times, I feel selfish for whining and crawling into a ball when it becomes overwhelming. I suppose that’s what separates those who struggle with mental illness and those who do not.

Today, I’ve decided to cut myself a break and enjoy the peace that God has granted me. I have come a long way and I will celebrate that by loving more on my kids and praise God every chance I get.

Oh, and I found out yesterday that I’ve gained 12 pounds since April (YAYYYY!!) and I found a therapist to see me asap. There are so many things to be grateful for.

Peace. Love. Happiness in Jesus.

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**Pictures borrowed from google pics**

Isolation

Experts say that isolating yourself isn’t healthy for your mind. In isolation, it is easy for your mind to deceive and betray you. Look at the prison system. It’s used as a form of punishment for a reason.

For me, isolation is my “go to” when my mind is completely exhausted from the hustle and bustle of mental wellness. I hear so many people tell me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of not being ok all of the time, but there is something in my brain that tells me that I should be embarrassed about not being ok.

Today, I logged back into social media to check a page that someone recommended to me. I ran across a picture that had a very inspirational post that said something like, “I am grateful for all of the blessing that God has given me.” 

My immediate feeling was guilt. Here I am, mind filled with “why can’t I move past this feeling of disparity”…I should be grateful for all of my wonderful blessings, right? So I must be a terrible person for not feeling grateful? Honestly, I didn’t want to blog this experience because I began to think that you guys would start to feel like, “Oh no…here’s another ‘whoa is me, I’m so sad’ post from Ashley again.” Truthfully, at some point, I want to look back at this journey and say, “Whoa, I really went through it. It was very real and very raw.” So that’s why I decided to blog how I am feeling today. Anyway, I digress.

Before I was approved for insurance, which was a very long battle, I had to find ways to get through my mental breakdowns. One way I dealt with it was I fixed my focus on God and began to attend church five to six days a week. It was a way I’ve coped to stay out of my own head. Now that I am insured, I kind of let it slip my mind that can afford to attend counseling. Like real, professional counseling. Big shocker right. Today’s emotions reminded me of that. Having everyday feelings of embarrassment, guilt, fear, despair, anger, and frustration is not and should not be apart of everyday life. It should not be a struggle to get through moment by moment every day. And currently, that is where my life is.

God is a huge part of my recovery, meds are another part, and now counseling has to be the final piece, right? At least I’m hoping.

So, while I am feeling embarrassed about not being ok, I seclude myself; put on a brave smile and say, “yea, I’m fine” when clearly I am not. Not responding to phone calls or text messages. And when I do respond it’s with short, quick answers.

I mean, if I’m tired of not being ok, then my loved ones must be tired of it too? This goes for mental and physical illness. Seeing that I have been struggling mentally, I do believe it is the cause of my current lupus flare; you know body aches and pain, migraine, muscle fatigue, etc.

Tomorrow’s goal is to find a counselor that takes my insurance so I can begin to heal and talk out some of the issues that I am having. For some reason, I thought by throwing myself into the church, I would find healing, but that was just another distraction.

Ah, yes, distractions. Those can be deceiving as well. We think we are ignoring the problem, solving the problem…when in fact we are just distracting ourselves from the problem. Although I love my church home, their not God. Make sense?

Ugh, I don’t know what I mean or what I want this post to be about. This post was more of a rant and not very well thought out. Just a bunch of thoughts put together like ingredients in a meat pie. You don’t know what a meat pie is? My point exactly!

Please pray for me as an I try to find someone to help me because I can’t live like this anymore. My family deserves better.

Peace. Love. Happiness in Jesus. Please remember to pray for one another.

 

**Image borrowed from google pics**

First Time I Was Abused

The first time I was physically abused by a boyfriend brought on a bunch of confusing emotions. He would say things like:

“I love you”

” I can’t live without you”

“No one can love you like I can”

“If I can’t have you, no one can”

“You are mine”

All while strangling me with his rough hands that used to rub my back…all while slamming my body against hard surfaces of his home…all while violating my body with scars that never seem like they would heal.

I was confused because my heart was telling me that he loved me, but my mind was asking, “how is this love?”

Back then, I didn’t know what love was, but I knew abuse wasn’t it. We hear so many stories about women getting hit by their boyfriends and husbands, but they chose to stay. Why?

I believe because it’s a lack of knowledge of what true love really is.

Since my journey of seeking God, I’ve gotten to experience what true love feels like. There is nothing like feeling so broken, inside and out, and our heavenly Father comforting us with his unconditional love. To describe in words, I would say that it feels like a warm, supernatural embrace.

Last time I felt it, it made me weep. Yes, I said weep because it wasn’t just crying. My spirit let out a spiritual S.O.S and his spirit responded with an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and grace all wrapped into one. I realized that he created me so wonderfully made. So much so, he spent so much time creating me in his likeness. And I’m positive that allowing someone to damage his temple (my mind and body) was not apart of his plan for my life.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139:14-16

Now that I know how much God loves me, I will never allow anyone to treat me less than that. How many people can say that their father loves them so much, that he sacrificed his perfect child for you? We all can. Now that’s love.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16

Love is not meeting his fist with the side of your face. Not enduring hateful, blaming words of regret and how you’re not worthy of love. And definitely not death by his hands because of this narcissistic personality.

To this day, I still have nightmares from that night, and many other nights that I thought my life was going to end by an abusive narcissist, but then I wake up, praising my Ab\ba Father for giving me the strength to leave that situation and never return. For giving me the strength to find value in me. And for loving me so much by showing me through this word and example that this is not the plan that he has for my life.

Please reach out for help if you are in an abusive relationship. God says, Love is…

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13

If your spouse is showing anything less than what God says love is, seek help from a family member or click this link to find your nearest Safe Place location or your local hospital/clinic on ways to escape from your abuser.

I love you. God loves you. You are worthy of true happiness. Have a safe and wonderful Saturday. Please remember, pray for one another.

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Funny Friday: A Trip To The Doctor

Hey Friends!

Welcome back to Funny Friday! Woop, Woop!

I’ve been absent for the past couple of Friday’s, but God has been so good to me I had to share a laugh with you guys. 🤣🤗😁

Please enjoy!

Love. Peace. Happiness in Jesus.

A TRIP TO THE DOCTOR

A woman and her husband go to the doctor because the woman is complaining of shortness of breath. After fifteen minutes, the woman comes out into the waiting room and says, “Apparently, my problem is that I have a nice cooter.”

“Excuse me?” says the husband.

“That’s what the doctor said. My problem is that I have a nice cooter.” The husband is a bit angry and goes in to talk to the doctor.

“What’s this about my wife having a nice cooter? I need a damn good explanation.”

“That’s not what I said,” replies the doctor. “I said she has acute angina.”

Music Is Life: Hills and Valleys

Hey Friends,

Wow, my last post Well, At Least You’re Not…  was fueled by lack of sleep and other things, but today I feel so much better. Not only did I get to sleep, thanks to Seroquel, but God’s love and peace. I found myself praying in the midst of a nightmare…which means God’s love is a permanent part of my mindset. Yes! Mental illness is a permanent part of my life, so staying faithful to his word is crucial to having a healthy recovery.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)

Anyway, I wanted to let you guys know that we are going to face challenges in life. Point. Blank. Period. (If you haven’t noticed already). I say this because when I first became a Christian, it was my understanding that things would magically become better.

Whether you face mental illness, physical illness, etc., you will have challenges. It’s how we get through the other side that determines the rest of our life and eternal life. If you face hardship and you choose to hide from it, do you truly heal from it? Or do you chose to walk through the storm head on, only to come out of the other side stronger?

For me, coming out of the other side with God is the only way I can become stronger because God is most present when we are faced with adversity.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

He uses our circumstances to make us stronger. We just have to trust him. In Exodus, Moses had a choice to trust God by leading Gods people to safety, not knowing what lied ahead or stay in slavery. It’s hard to trust Gods plan, especially when we don’t know what lies ahead, but he loves us so much, he won’t allow us to sit in the hurt. He promises to bring us out. And I am living proof that this is 100% true.

Please listen to this song, which has encouraged me to get through the dark times, including the other night’s episode.

He is the God of hills and valleys. He is present through the good times, as well as the bad times. We just have to trust him.

I love you guys. Please continue to pray for one another. Love. Peace. Happiness is Jesus.

Well, At Least You’re Not…

Hello Friends,

I really try not to tell you guys “what to” and “what not to” do. I mean, we are all adults and I don’t want to come off as someone who knows it all. Plus, there are a lot of blogs who say, “do this or don’t do this” and they come across very condescending. So, personally, I like to share what has worked for me, hoping that while sharing my experience, I can give you an idea on how to deal with your situation…advice, if you will.

But this post is different. I will absolutely say with certainty that when are talking to someone with a mental illness, there are just some things that you should not say. Not only will it sound insensitive, but it may very well drive them over the edge.

One thing not to say to someone with a mental illness is, “Well, at least you’re not…” (followed by a tragic event happening in the world). For example, if I say, “I can’t deal with life anymore” and then you say, “Well at least you’re not facing deportation and having your kids taken by the government.”  Although this statement may be true, it does not mean it is appropriate.

Why you ask? Well because mental illness is more about the personal hell that the individual is living in their own mind and less about their circumstances. If you have been connected to social media, then you will know that there has been an increase in suicides from very rich, influential people. Well, I guess you can say that it’s not just recently because some of the richest, most popular people were known to be the most depressed; Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, and now Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade…either all died from suicide or drug overdoses.

Night time is the worst time of the day for me. When everything is silent, my thoughts are the loudest. If I am not asleep by 10 p.m. I become frustrated because then I know I will be extremely tired the next morning (whenever I fall asleep). And that alone is hard because my kids are early risers. So the more time that does by, the angrier I get, and the louder my thoughts get. Fear plays a large part in my insomnia because I fear for what awaits me in dreamland. My dreams have not been the best for the past few months. Honestly speaking, I’ve been having nightmares. To the point where I wake up screaming in my sleep.

My five year old woke me up with this afternoon because I was screaming while we tried to lie down for a nap. I have tried natural sleep aids, tea, tiring myself out during the day…nothing seems to work. My doctor prescribed Seroquel 50mg to help stabilize my mood, along with Depakote (yip-freaking-dee), fight depression, and help me sleep. But honestly, if I take one more pill for one more thing my head is going to explode. I am a freaking walking Walgreens. I’m sure in a 1,000 years after the apocalypse and they come across a sample of my feces, they’ll be shocked by the number of medication one person could have in their system. I’m sure my poop will be a living species of its own. Sheesh! It’ll be in a museum titled, “The 21st Century Creature Formed From Prescription Medication Epidemic”. Ugh!

I just want to scream, but then my kids are sleeping. So I’ll just let out a loud grunt, “GRRRRRRRRRR”.

Anyway, this is my personal hell. I may not have my kids being torn away from me, but it doesn’t make my struggle any less real or fragile than anyone else’s. So I don’t want to hear anyone’s crap. This is hard, dammit! I’m doing the best the I can with what I can. Take it or leave  take it.

Peace. Love. Happiness in Jesus.

Not Just Staying Alive

Hello Friends,

Thank you to everyone who has left kind, encouraging words under my blogs. Like I’ve said before, there are not enough words in the universe to express my gratitude. Your words help my flame flicker when I feel it is about to go out.

This week was a hard week, but God showed his mercy and love the entire way through. I recognize that I am more blessed than most. I have supportive family members who understand my illness and try to help the best way they can.

I have a church family that I can call to gain spiritual counsel when I am feeling weary and mad at God, and I have you guys who inspire me to continue to write. It’s a miracle if I’ve ever seen one.

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It is truly my faith in God that keeps me grounded. This week my faith was tested. A few days ago, I found myself screaming at God, “What more do you want from me!” as I felt abandoned. I had faith that he would provide, but I was frustrated not knowing when he would while other hardships kept piling up; more and more things kept happening, pushing me to become more discouraged every second of every day. It was to the point where all I could pray was, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” because I didn’t know what else to say.

A lot of people have their opinion about taking medication for mental disorders. Some people believe say it is all in your head while others think that my depression is situational or circumstantial. I’m here to tell you it is not. I have been manic when things were perfect in my life. I have been 100% well when things have been falling apart. One thing that I have learned mistake, after mistake, after mistake, is that for me, having Bipolar Disorder I and Manic Depression has to managed with medication. It has to be.

My faith in Jesus is 1/3 of my treatment, medication is 1/3, and Christian counseling is the other 1/3.

I now see that bad things are going to happen in our lives, whether you are a Christian or not. God makes that perfectly clear in his word. When sin came, so did our desires for sin,  sin against ourselves and sin against other people. It’s human nature. And the Lord knows that I have sinned a lot! Everything that I do is centered around The Holy Trinity because it is the only way for me to live this life with the shame, guilt, and disappointment that Jesus says he died to take from me.

If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. -Hebrews 9:26 nlt

Otherwise, shame and guilt would consume me. I’ve done some jacked up stuff guys! Like, realllll jacked up! But knowing that he bore that shame for me at the cross gives me the courage to live my life with him walking alongside me because I have my children looking up to me; copying my every move, watching all of my decision, counting on me to provide for them and educate them.

I recently read a quote that says

Christ is not a resevoir but a spring. His life is continual, active and ever passing on with an outflow as necessary as its inflow. If we do not perpetually draw the fresh supply from the living Fountain, we shall either grow stangant or empty. It is, therefore, not so much a perpetual fullness as a perpetual filling/ -A.B. Simpson

Taking medication every day to ensure my mind has the correct chemical balance, and regularly going to each of my doctors and counseling appointments, I have to stay connected to Jesus. He is my lifeline. Otherwise, I would have ended my life a long time ago.

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At one time, I felt so much shame as a mother, I thought of leaving them in the care of my family members would be better for them. But that was the enemy talking and that was before I knew how to give my shame to Jesus. It is still a daily battle, but with the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), I will be called home by Jesus and not by my own hands.

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Please love one another as God loves you. Pray for another as the Holy Spirit prays for you. And help one another as Jesus helps you. I love you all. Please stay safe out here. It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are in, there is always someone suffering. Stay blessed, family.

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*all images from google pics*

 

What Was I Thinking?

Hey Friends,

I’m back! Didn’t take long did it, ha! It’s not because I have figured things out and I am back to being able to live life without questioning my own existence. Oh no! It’s quite the opposite. I am back because I continue to doubt and question myself and of course, I feel I am crazier than ever?

I had to remind myself of why I blog in the first place. I am a writer. It is my safe haven and my place of peace. Why did I think I can find peace by cutting out the one thing that helps me? If you look at my description is clearly states, “To share my journey of mental and physical illness while inspiring others along the way” or something like that, since I’m too lazy to double check the exact wording.

So, I asked myself, whats the point of taking a break when I am at my lowest? It is literally defeating the purpose of why I began blogging in the first place.

I can tell you what happened. I got caught up in the logistics of blogging. The “when to” “how to” “what to” of blogging. I began comparing myself to other bloggers, their views, and likes. I obsessively began to check my stats like I was actually getting paid to go this. I did what many of you say “What Not To Do As A Blogger”. It seems everyone has a post like this.

But, I didn’t get into blogging to get paid, although it would be super nice. I got into blogging to save myself from mental illness entrapment. I needed a place to express my feelings, hoping that others would be able to relate and blogging provides that.

I feel I owe the people who come to my blog as inspiration a sincere apology. I was being selfish. I forgot the true integrity of my blog and why I started it in the first place. Am I not being a hypocrite if don’t share the darkest moments of mental illness (which by the way, is my current state)? I became afraid and like a coward, I ran. Just being honest.

Facing scrutiny and judgment while living and telling your truth is expected. This is another reason why I look to God for strength. Also why I want him to use me to touch the lives of those who are going through what I am going through.

Anyway, this is my truth and my journey. Thank you to everyone who left kind comments under my last two post. I will respond to them as soon as I can because right now, it’s 1am and I couldn’t sleep. It is dangerous for someone who is struggling with mental illness (or any illness) to not get enough rest…it will literally make me even more insane (which would explain a lot), and who has time to deal with a manic Ashley?!? I sure as hell don’t.

Love you guys! Stay safe. Please, love one another as God loves you. Pray for one another as the Holy Spirit does for you. And save one another as Jesus did for you (you don’t have to die, but you know what I mean 🙂   )

 

*Image borrowed from google pics*

Being Eeyore At A Tigger Party

Hello Friends,

If you are unfamiliar, Eeyore is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne. He is well known for his gloomy, depressed personality. Truthfully speaking, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized why Eeyore was my favorite character out of all the others. I could relate. No matter what was going on, he was sad. The difference between Eeyore and I was that I felt the need to mask my sadness, even as a child.

I remember being told a few times throughout my life that “no one wanted to be around someone who was sad all of the time.” This forced me to put on such “mask” because I didn’t want to be shunned by society. Honestly, I love people. I love the energy that people provide, I love their smiles, I love helping them when they are in need, I love humanity as a whole. So, I did what I had to do to be a part of society. I hid. Hiding created anxiety because I didn’t want to be discovered. I didn’t want anyone; family, friends, co-workers, God…to see my sadness. I needed everyone to know I was ok, like everyone else. But let me tell you, once you suppress something long enough, it would eventually bubble to the surface. Trust me.

Recently, I’ve been faced with social anxiety. My sadness has reared it’s ugly head and I can no longer contain it with my own strength (if you guys haven’t been able to notice), thus causing extreme anxiety. Sadness is not something I can’t control, nor is it something that I voluntarily chose to have (like some would like to think). This is why it is called a “mental illness”.

My church started offering a social event called, Parents Connect. It’s a night where parents come together once a month, without their children, and socialize. I tried to attend the first event. I drove the twelve minutes to get there, grabbed my purse, stepped out of my car, checked the rearview mirror to see if I had anything on my face, walked to the door, and looked through the window like a creep. I suddenly felt the need to turn around and run (which I did, well more of a fast paced walked). My palms became sweaty, I began to shake and tremble. It was horrible. It was the beginning of a full-blown anxiety attack. I saw all of those parents who were well dressed, smiling, laughing, enjoying themselves. Honestly, I just felt like I wouldn’t fit in. So, I ran. Sat in my car for the next hour reading a book…in the church parking lot because I was too ashamed to come home and tell my husband that I couldn’t handle it.

How did Eeyore do it? How was he so sad all of the time, yet was able to have fun with Tigger and the rest of his friends during social events? If you are unfamiliar with Tigger, he is also a character in Winnie-the-Pooh. His personality was very exuberant, friendly, and energetic. The complete opposite of Eeyore. I believe the reason why Eeyore was able to be sad but still have friends was that he didn’t put on a mask. He didn’t have to suppress his sadness because that’s just who he was. He accepted it and his friends did too.

Which brings me to my next point, anxiety just isn’t anxiety. Anxiety is the result of a deeper, rooted issue. For me, my rooted issue is fear. Fear of being discovered. Fear of judgement. Fear of rejection. When I saw the other parents living it up like it was 1999, I was afraid. I was afraid that I would walk in like Eeyore at a Tigger party, except they would judge me or treat me like a leaper because “no one likes to be around a person who is sad all of the time.” So I ran and spent time with the only person I knew wouldn’t judge me; Jesus. If you thought I was going to say myself, that would have been a whole lie because I judge myself all of the time.

I’ve been feeling really anxious lately, but then God revealed to me it is due to fear. Once I thought about it, I couldn’t help but agree. I am truly afraid. I’m afraid all of the time. I’m afraid for my children’s future. I’m afraid of what people may say about my appearance or health. I’m afraid of certain family members and their judgement. I’m afraid of the choices I’ve made and the result of them. I’m afraid that I may never get better. Any of this sound familiar? If not, it wouldn’t surprise me that I’m the only crazy worrying about this kind of nonsense because let’s be honest, who cares what people think? Or better yet, why do I care? Because I’ve always cared. It’s been a driving factor in my life to do well and be in the “elite class” of humanity. And when I fall short, I am judged, thus creating fear. I wish I wasn’t like this. I pray every day for the Lord to take it away, but then if I don’t have it, will I still have the passion that I have for humanity as a whole? Ok, I think I’m going down a rabbit hole with this one.

Louie Giglio, a pastor at Passion City Church, wrote, “The antidote to fear is faith, and the soundtrack of faith is worship.” When we are feeling fearful or anxious, this is the time to draw closer to God.

We must remind ourselves that he is able by refocusing on him and his plan for our lives. Did you know that in the Bible, God tells us to “fear not” 366 times? That’s every day of the year including leap year. Fear and anxiety is not something we are supposed to carry.

It is easy to say, I will not let fear reign over me when it feels like my chest has an elephant sitting on it. I have to remind myself that God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 

I know his plans for me aren’t to walk around in fear, that’s what Satan wants. He is not of God of fear, but a God of mercy and righteousness. His gift of grace does not include fear, anxiety, depression, addiction, anger, hopelessness, rejection, nor judgment. Those are the enemies tricks and lies.

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[a] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. -Romans 3:21-24

Next time you feel anxious about anything, I recommend you to do two things: (1.) Find the root of the anxiety so whatever fruit you bear will be free of it (2.) Draw nearer to Jesus because he bore that fear and punishment for you on the cross. Give it to God!

Remember, as I stated Prayer Is The Best Medicine. Pray for yourself, pray for others, pray for those in need, which is everyone! We all need Jesus. I love you all and have a wonderful day.

Goodbye For Now

Namaste Blogger Family,

Thank you all so much for reading my thoughts and staying with me throughout this journey, but I have to step away from social media for a while. For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been doing well emotionally and social media intensifies what I’m feeling. So, I’ve decided to take a break and spend more time focusing on my family and my relationship with God.

I so badly wanted to have a successful blog 1. so I can monetize it and 2. because I wanted to help people realize that all isn’t lost when you are struggling with a mental and/or physical illness. Turns out, I am unable to accomplish neither task if my mental state is in the wrong space. And social media has a way of offering false hope and idols, allowing the enemy to further distract me from the ultimate goal; becoming a God-fearing mom for the children.

So I would like to say goodbye for now, but not for long. I will allow God (and health professionals) to let me know when it would be safe for me to return.

I have a post scheduled for later this afternoon and since I feel it is important, it will still get posted. Hopefully, you find comfort and hope in what I was lead to say.

I love you all dearly, and remember, pray for another as the Holy Spirit prays for you…love one another as our Abba Father loves you. God bless you each and every one of you.

 

Seeking God Part 5: Shame

Hey Friends,

Remember when I said I Suck At Maintaining Friendships, well I also meant online relationships as well. I apologize if many of you feel as though I don’t reciprocate the same love on your blogs as you do mine. I blog to release my feelings and share God’s words. So I apologize and will try to work on it. I truly love you all and are very proud of each and every one of you for doing what you love to do day in and day out.

Now that is out of the way, I want to share what happened to me tonight. Right now, I am currently reading a book by Christine Caine titled Unashamed. This is such a great read, especially if you are like me who has been carrying around the burden of shame since adolescent years.

While reading, it kind of ties into what happened tonight. So, as I was getting ready to head out to one of my classes at church, I looked for what seemed like an eternity for a shirt that didn’t show how skinny I am (current shame); anything too baggy or too tight would reveal an alarming skeleton frame. But, Eureka! I found a white shirt that I felt fit perfectly.

I get to my class, sit down next to my classmates, pull out my bible and notebook, look down only to see two large orange stains on the front of my shirt. Those stains led my eyes to a large brown stain on the left side of my shirt. My first thought was, “what the hell! This shirt was clean when I left the house 15 minutes ago.” After further inspection, it seems as though the stains were “sat-in” stains…meaning, even though I had washed it, those stains weren’t going anywhere.

Needless to say, I was embarrassed. I began to think about what other people would say to themselves when they noticed the stains. Would they think…“Oh, she’s dirty? She’s nasty? Why would she leave her house with a dirty shirt on?”

I would have never left the house in a shirt with stains all over it, for this exact reason…shame. Then I realized the lighting in my room and the lighting in my class are completely different. The lighting in my room made the shirt look nice, white, and clean. But the lighting in our classroom made my shirt look dingy with stains.

This made me think about my relationship with God. Before I began my journey, I felt like my life was nice, white, and clean. But then the more I sought God and the closer I became, the more He began to reveal that my life was just the opposite; gross, dingy, and stained. But he did this out of love to show me that the only way to “change my shirt” was through him.

Sitting in class, as embarrassed as I was, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to hear what God had to say to me. Since this week has been emotionally tough, I needed to hear hope. But God didn’t speak to me during this class…or at least I didn’t listen to what he had to say. The chatter in my head about the stain on my shirt (and other nonsense I have no control over) was too loud for me to hear anything God had to say to me. So he chose to speak to me through Christine Caine.

The more we draw closer to God, the more God shines a light on our shortcomings… it may make us feel ashamed, embarrassed, just as Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:7). 

When God shines his light on our shortcomings, it’s not to shame us, it’s to draw us closer to him. We were created to feel no shame. We were created in his image, his likeness (Genesis 1:27-28). Is God ashamed of us? No, quite the opposite. He made us “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28). 

As yourself, you would give that kind of authority to someone you were ashamed of? Would you kill your only Son for people you were ashamed of?

That is what’s so amazing about his love. God forgave Adam and Eve, even though they didn’t listen to the one and only rule he had given them; But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:16-17.

God still gave up the most precious gift he had, Jesus, so we didn’t have to feel shame, or guilt, or regret, or hate, or anxiety. He gave us his word as a guide and his promises that through him, we will see better days. Remember folks, the enemy has already been defeated on the cross…that battle has been won, through Jesus name. But I was told that even if you’ve cut the head off of a rattlesnake, his venom can still harm, or even kill you. Meaning, even though Satan was defeated on the cross, his “minions” are still working hard to turn you away from Jesus and shame has become one of best tactics.

When you walk into the brighter light and see of all of the stains in your life, don’t turn away from it. Don’t turn off of the light, but embrace it. God will tackle all of those stains one by one. Turn to Jesus when Satan throws another stain on your shirt because he is the only one that can get the stain out.

Love you all. Have a wonderful day. Please pray for Guatemala, each other, and anyone else you know who is suffering. The enemy is busy, but God is almighty. Blessed be, family.

“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you…” Isaiah 54:4

 

I Would Like To Order The Early Bird Special, Please!

Hello Friends,

I saw a video on Facebook this morning that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I don’t remember the creator of the video, so know that the information that I’m about to lay on you didn’t come from me. Then again, are any of our ideas original?

Let’s call him, “Mr. Monk”. He said that the most successful people in the world wake up extremely early. “Mr. Monk” said that he lived as a monk (thus the nickname) for three years, which forced him to wake up every morning at 4am to meditate and do whatever monks do. He even said that some monks would wake up as early as 2am. Yikes! “Mr. Monk” went on to use successful people, such as, Michelle Obama, who is working out by 4am.

Michelle Obama

Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 a.m and begins working on his emails.

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Xerox CEO Ursula Burns rises at 5:15 a.m. to email and work out.

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…for examples. I’ve always wanted to be an early riser. I remember being a teenager and I would watch my younger cousin wake up 2 hours before she had to be at work at 10 a.m. just to get her day started. I was always the last minute sleeper. I would wait until, literally, the very last minute I had to wake up in order to get to work during the 7-minute window they gave us to be late without getting in trouble.

Later in life, I noticed that I used to sleep as a coping skill to get through moments in my life. If I was sad, I would sleep. If I were angry, I would sleep. If I didn’t want to be bothered, I would sleep. Starting as a child into adulthood, I slept to escape the realities of mental illness. If I was asleep, I didn’t have to do or think about anything.

I remember when I began down this road of Seeking God (click the link to catch up), I desired to be an early riser. Mental and physical illness prevented me from doing so. When my Lupus symptoms started to get under control, it was more so the mental hell that I was living in that kept me captive in the bed. I slept not to feel shame, guilt, and rejection.

Then one day, out of the blue, I woke up around 6 a.m. while the kids were still asleep and spent the next hour and 45-minutes with God, reading my bible and journaling. It was truly a miracle. My body wasn’t stiff and in pain. My chest wasn’t caved in from anxiety. There weren’t the normal sounds of grunting, ooohhs, and aaahhhs. I felt…regular.

This gave me hope that I can have more days like this again. Soon afterward, I fell into a Lupus flare, but it didn’t matter. I did it!

“Mr. Monk” asked, what would you do if you were deposited $86,400 into your bank account each day. The catch is at the end of the day that it would disappear. But the same $86,400 would reappear the next morning. What would you do? Would you spend it on yourself? Would you spend it on other people? Would you invest it? Would you leave it sitting there untouched completely? My answer was, “darn skippy I would spend it, then invest it, duh! Every last penny. Then, do it all over the next day.” 

Then he said, turn that same $86,400 into 86,400 seconds into your life account. What would you do then? What would you do? Would you spend it on yourself? Would you spend it on other people? Would you invest it? Would you leave it sitting there untouched completely? My answer completely changed.

I realized that God has been putting 86,400 seconds into my life account each day. Most days I use maybe 8,000 seconds, maybe!…other days I prefer to use none. When I fact, I could use most of it to help shape the world. Just as I would use the $86,400 to better the lives of my children and loved ones, I should use some of the 86,400 seconds from God to help better the lives of those same people (well most of it with the proper rest, of course).

Bringing awareness to God’s grace and salvation has become a goal of mine. Now that I know what is a stake, I can’t allow the seconds that God is gifting me to go unused any longer. I want to be able to be like most successful people in the world; wake up, do what needs to be done for the people who are defenseless to do it for themselves.

I no longer want to use sleep as an escape from reality. Now I’ve found more of a reason to do so. It’s funny how God will use non-believers to make a point and pull your attention back to the original plan of what he has designed you for. I’m not sure if “Mr. Monk” is a non-believer, but he definitely delivered a message from no one other than God.

I pray that each of you feels Gods unconditional love throughout the day. No matter your circumstances, you find peace in his glory, rest in his love, and comfort in knowing that you are a child of God.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 

**Just a reminder, images and gif’s are not my own**

 

 

Foggy Days

Hey Friends,

So, have you guys ever felt so busy or occupied that it is almost like you are in a fog? It seems for the past couple of days, I’ve been really occupied with my kids and maintaining a relationship with God, I haven’t been able to have time for anything else.

Lately, my mind has been reminded of heartbreaking moments in my life…relationships that have been lost in outer space (it seems). I’ve even been reminded by haunting dreams; people that I haven’t thought about in years have suddenly come up as if our relationship was obliterated yesterday.

I can’t help but to wonder, is this the trick of the enemy? Is it suppressed feelings that have stayed dormant for so long that they no longer can stay hidden in whatever God-forsaken area of my heart? Or is because of a recent heartbreak that opened the floodgate of hurt feelings that I’ve tried to ignore for years?

I’m not sure of the answers to any of these questions, so I’ve occupied my mind with two things that I know would bring joy to my heart; my children and God.

Fixing my focus on God’s love for us is vital to my mental and physical health. Simply put, when I feel good and I am able to “do good”. I’m able to be a good mother to my children, I’m able to take care of my household, and most importantly, I’m able to see past my own struggles and have hope for the future. And hope is so important when trying to overcome adversity.

I have hope in knowing that God has given the gift of grace and righteousness. I have hope because Jesus Christ died in order for us to live! When I meditate on that thought alone, I have no other choice but to worship and rejoice. Knowing that he has paid the price for my past, present, and future mishaps.

That being said, I don’t know where this feeling of heartbreak is coming from. I don’t know why, all of a sudden, I am hit with past and present foes, but I do know that I will not let them defeat me because Jesus’ death defeated them for me already. And it is a complete waste of time to spend anymore thought or energy on it.

So, Satan I say to you…

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I pray that you are not allowing whatever demons haunting to no longer haunt you. I pray that you put on the armor of God each day that you wake up and fight as if your life depended on it because Jesus’ is fighting for you. I pray that you find comfort in God’s love for us and know that it is more than our mere human minds can comprehend. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

Have a wonderful blessed start to your weekend. Sorry I missed Funny Friday…I will be more prepared next week. I love you with all of my heart.

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7