Mania, O How I Miss Thee?

The other night, I was lying in bed and I suddenly began to have thoughts and memories of my longest manic episode. I’ve had flashbacks before, but this one was different. My window was open to allow the cool summer breeze create the most wonderful aroma throughout my bedroom. I could hear the birds singing to each other as if they were making love songs. And the crickets were chirping as if they knew exactly what I was thinking.

Before, I spoke about the crazy things that I did during Mania. How I’ve messed up friendships and put myself in dangerous situations. But there was a side of Mania that will always have my heart.

During a Manic episode, I felt on the top of the world. I’ve never felt more confident then I did during Mania. I had goals and I would stop at nothing to finish them. Since I stayed up 20-21 hours out of the day, I was able to accomplish things on my to-do list. I was funny, outgoing, and very likable.

I was able to make friends easily because I didn’t care what others thought about me. I loved every part of myself, no matter how crude or deranged I came across as being. I never doubted or regretted the choices that I made. I felt I was truly free.

Free from the prison of self-doubt and condemnation. Free from sadness and loneliness. Free from guilt and shame.

It was only until after a manic episode, I could see the destruction I had caused. During an episode, I had Bipolar goggles on; they gave me a warped point of view.

As I was lying in bed, missing Mania and how wonderful it used to feel. I began to realize something even more wonderful…

That my relationship with Jesus gives me the same freedom that Mania gave me. The only difference is with Jesus, I am truly FREE from self-doubt and condemnation (There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1).

I am truly FREE from sadness and loneliness (You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. -Col. 2:13)

I am truly FREE from guilt and shame (Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven. -Isa. 6:7).

Mania deceived me from the very beginning like Satan deceived Adam and Eve.

I have a new life. I am a new me. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to be Manic to feel special or worthy. I am a child of God. He is my mania. He is my strength and my fortress. He is my Comforter and Healer. He is the great I Am.

Farewell Mania. We’ve had some good, crazy times, but it’s time to let you go.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray your day is going well and that you are finding the comfort of arms of our wonderful Abba Father.  Please remember to pray for one another.

“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.” ~ Julian Seifter

Are You A Lost Cause?

Hey Friends,

I pray your day is going well. My day is going great! This morning, I was reminded of 1 of God’s many promises.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. -Philippians 1:6

How amazing is our Abba Father? This verse tells me that I am never a lost cause. God will never give up on me. Living in a world where abandonment is apart of most of our life’s stories, God says he will never abandon us. Not only will he never abandon us, but he will continue his good work within us. In order for him to continue his good work, that means he already started it, right?

And since God makes NO mistakes, then that means the good work he is doing in each one of us is leading to perfection, since God is perfect. Wow! I’m getting chills just typing this.

If you ever have doubts about where you are in life, what you are doing or may not be doing, be assured that God is working in your life. He never stops. He will continue his work until we meet Jesus face to face either when he returns or in heaven. Whichever comes first.

Also, know that there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love, so don’t worry about that. I used to think that if I gave up on myself, that God certainly has given up on me. Not the case AT ALL!

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

Dear brothers and sisters, take comfort in knowing that God will never leave you, nor forsake you. He will continue to do his perfect work in us and there is nothing that we can do to separate us from those promises and his love for us.
Thank you for reading my thoughts today. I pray that each and every one of you is finding comfort in Gods grace and everlasting love. Please remember to pray for one another. In Jesus’ name.
If there be anything that can render the soul calm, dissipate its scruples and dispel its fears, sweeten its sufferings by the anointing of love, impart strength to all its actions, and spread abroad the joy of the Holy Spirit in its countenance and words, it is this simple and childlike repose in the arms of God. -S.D. Gordon

 

This Sucks Memory Lane

Happy Monday Friends,

I pray that you all had a wonderful weekend.

In the past couple of days, I’ve been forced to look deeper into my heart. Satan has been bringing up old, shameful memories through my loved ones, my ex-husband, even certain smells, and tastes. Have you ever been reminded of a shameful act through something as simple as a taste? It’s a little frustrating, to be honest. The enemy will use all sorts of tricks to pull you down the rabbit hole of “This Sucks” memory lane.

It was easy for him to do because for a brief moment, I forgot that I was forgiven for the sins that I had committed and still continue to commit.

From the beginning of time, God knew who I was going to be. He knew the mistakes that I would make and He knew the trials that I had to face. Yet, he created me anyway. think about that. He knew that I would reject Him and His word. Yet, He created me anyway! He loves us that much.

So, although the enemy will try to use my past against me, God already had a plan to use my past to strengthen me.

When Satan tries to take you down “This Sucks” memory lane, tell that fool to leave you alone because focusing on Christ and looking forward will get you further to God’s heart then looking backward. Jesus prayed that we would experience the same glory that God our Father has given him. And that glory has more value than anything this world or the enemy has to offer you.

Father, I want those whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! -John 17:24

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that you all are growing closer to God to achieve the ultimate goal for His glory. I pray that you all experience his gifts of righteousness, grace, and mercy each day that you wake up. I also pray you are able to feel his presence every day, which is literally the best feeling in the world. Please remember to pray for one another. In Jesus name.

If you make the mistake of looking back too much, you aren’t focused enough on the road in front of you. -Brad Paisley

 

 

**pics borrowed from google**

 

Funny Friday: Three Brothers

Hey Friends,

Happy Friday! Please enjoy today’s Funny Friday joke brought to you by Sunny Skyz.com

I pray that you all are having a wonderful start to your weekend. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

Three Brothers Age 92, 94 And 96 Live Together

One night the 96-year-old draws a bath, puts his foot in and pauses. He yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?”

The 94-year old yells back, “I don’t know, I’ll come up and see.” He starts up the stairs and pauses, then he yells, “Was I going up the stairs or coming down?”

The 92-year-old was sitting at the kitchen table having coffee listening to his brothers. He shakes his head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” He knocks on wood for good luck.

He then yells, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.”

1,036

Last November, I was in such a dark space. I was physically ill, mentally isolated, and extremely depressed. I so badly wanted to get out of my own head and start a journey of recovery, but I didn’t know where to start. So, I started in the only place I’ve always known where to start; writing.

I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a goal of how many followers I wanted to reach or even what I wanted to talk about. I just wanted to write. I wanted a place where I can openly express myself to relieve the pressure of mental discomfort I was facing.

Then, something miraculous happened. You lovely people began to like and follow my page. To my amazement, you all started to actually enjoy what I had to say. Even when it didn’t make much sense.

Every follow I gained, every like that I received gave me goals that I wanted to achieve. I went from blogging once every few weeks, to once every couple of weeks, once a week, to almost every day. Wow!

Now, I log into today and see that I’ve gained over 1,000 followers!

1,036 Followers to be exact!

Thank you all so much! There aren’t enough words in any language to express how grateful I am to each and every one of you.

This number is so important to me because, although some people may not read everything that I write, I know that I have the chance to encourage 1,036 people to get through the difficulties of everyday life. I have the chance to bring 1,036 people to Jesus. I have the ability to share the gospel with 1,036 of God’s people.

What A Blessing!

So, thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you. May God bless you, keep you, comfort you, and grace you with His love.

Thank you all for your continued encouraging words. They have helped me out of some pretty dark times. They have inspired me to continue to do what I love to do best, which has played a large part in my mental wellness.

Do You Have High Self-Worth or High Self-Esteem?

Hello Friends,

Yesterday, I gave an example of how I struggle with self-worth (click HERE). Many people do not realize that there is a difference between self-worth and self-esteem. Self-esteem is how much you THINK you’re worth, while self-worth is what you are ACTUALLY worth.

The world will trick you into believing that self-esteem is more important than self-worth. Self-esteem is measured by what you have financially, economically, socially, and physically. While self-worth is measured by the fact that God sacrificed his only son so that we can be saved from eternal damnation.

Let’s go over the facts…

God created everything (Genesis 1)…

God created man to rule over all creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:26)

God provides food and water for all plants and animals on earth (Psalm 147:8-9) We see proof of this everytime we walk outside and hear birds chirping, leaves blowing in the wind, grass sprouting in our front yards, and sunrise/sunsets.

If he loves even the smallest creatures enough to provide food for them to survive, then can you imagine how much he loves the creatures that he put in charge of said small plants and animals? He even loves those ugly bugs that you see in the seal of your window during the summer months.

It shouldn’t matter what others think of us because the world has a bad habit of lowering our self-esteem in order to make itself feel better. For some reason, people only feel better about themselves when others feel worse about themselves. It’s a paradox that has us stuck in a cruel cycle.

Here are ways that you can FIND YOUR SELF WORTH

  • Know your strengths and weakness
    • What comes easily to you?
    • What would you like to do?
  • Become more aware of yourself
    • remove distractions
    • stop comparing yourself to other people
    • try to face the hard truths about yourself
  • Be courageous
    • face your fears
    • be honest about your likes/dislikes
    • find what motivates you/discourages you
  • Learn and reflect on your past and present mistakes to make a better future
    • understand that self-awareness is a lifelong journey
    • ask yourself-
      • What happened?
      • What could I have done better?
      • Where did I go wrong?
      • Where did I go right?
      • What I can do better next time?
  • Try new things
    • embrace the word “yes”
    • go outside of your comfort zone

Find the oppurtunities that exist. Create the ones that don’t

  • Use all of your available resources
    • internet
    • textbooks
  • Improve yourself by investing in yourself
  • Think, Reflect, Accept, Action
  • Ask yourself- What’s affecting your awareness of self-worth?
  • Avoid negative thoughts
    • Retrain your thoughts
    • See yourself as God sees you
  • Connect with other positive people
    • join a small or large group
  • Create attainable goals:
    • Check them off one by one
    • It doesn’t matter how big of a step you take, as long as it’s in the right direction

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that each and every one of you allow God to show you His awesome love so you can know that you are more than worthy of it. Please remember to pray for one another and I pray that you are having a wonderful start to your Tuesday.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14

**pictures belong to google**

Questioing Self-Worth

It wasn’t until recently I noticed that I thought I was undeserving of nice things. An opportunity came up where my family and I was offered to sublease a really nice condo from a fellow church member. Her home was really, really nice. It is a lot nicer than my current home and in a way better neighborhood.

After viewing her home, anxiety set it. It was heavy anxiety. The kind that kept me up at night. I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt so uncomfortable. I loved her home. I loved the space, the funky wallpaper, the furniture, the animals, even the backyard. I loved the neighborhood, the school district for my children, and even the private parking space.

So, why did I feel uncomfortable? When I walked into my apartment after viewing hers, I looked around to see the broken light fixture that apartment management has taken weeks to come by and fix. I look at the broken screen door leading out to the patio and the small cluttered space that has my family basically living on top of each other.

I was confused. The opportunity to sublease her nice home compared to staying in my broken down apartment should have made me happy. So why wasn’t I?

Then I became conscious of a recurring thought that I’ve been having for most of my life, subsequently, I was never aware of it. It was a lightbulb moment. I was thinking why would someone like me deserve a nice home like that? 

When I became aware of this thought, I was genuinely shocked. Why wouldn’t I be deserving of a nice home? I mean, of course, I am, right? I immediately asked myself, what kind of person thinks like this? Then the answer quickly came to me. The kind of person who has done so much wrong, they feel like they can never be redeemed. The kind of person who feels like they are deserving of every bad thing that happens in their life because of shameful acts from the past. The kind of person who doesn’t believe that their sins died on the cross with Jesus.

Wow! What a wake-up call. There are so many negative feelings that I continue to work through on a daily basis. It’s crazy how thoughts and emotions have been embedded into our psyche that has the ability to prevent is from accepting God’s blessings in our lives.

I’m being reminded on a daily basis that feelings of shame, guilt, and regret have to be fought continuously. One day I’ll feel forgiven and the next day, I’ll feel unworthy of all things good in life. Sometimes I even look at my children and wonder how they can love someone like me.

The way I see it, I am grateful that I am now aware of these feelings. Now I can be proactive about retraining my mind and thoughts to know that I am worthy of a nice home and other things that God wants to bless me with.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that you guys see that how wonderful you are and that you too are worthy of Gods awesome blessings. Please remember to pray for one another.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” -August Wilson

 

Liebster Award 2018

Hello Friends,

So, back in April IvesTrendyTopic nominated me for the 2018 Liebster Award. I know, that was almost five months ago, but I am always truly honored when someone loves my writing so much that they honor me with a nomination. Even though it was five months ago, I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to IvesTrendyTopic for thinking of me. I love you, GIRL!

Do me a favor, friends. Please check out her blog by clicking HERE. She’s so funny and humble in her writing. She has the ability to warm your heart and educate you on health, makeup, and beauty at the same time. She is truly a gem.

Many of you may know the rules of being nominated, but for those who don’t, I’m going to lay them on you.

♦♦ Thank the person who nominated you

♦♦ Repost the rules

♦♦ Answer the questions that were asked of you

♦♦ Nominate 11 people who have 500 followers or less

♦♦ Ask your nominees 11 new questions

That’s it. It’s that simple. The rules always vary, so I did the best I could to remember. So, if you are nominated by various bloggers and the rules are different, ignore the ones I told you. Ha!

Ives 11 Questions for me

  1. What was the happiest day of your life? I would say when I had my children. There is nothing like holding the most beautiful creature in the world all while feeling a flood of positive emotions.
  2. What sad event would you change if you had the chance to? I wouldn’t change any sad event. All have shaped and molded me into the person I am and meant to be.
  3. Dogs or cat? Dogs. Cats never listen. Ha!
  4. What’s your favorite series? It used to be Game of Thrones, but I’m not sure at this moment.
  5. If you saw a celebrity, how would you react? All depends. If it were Leo DiCaprio, I would throw my underwear at him. If it were 50 Cent, I would throw a raw egg at him.
  6. Whats your idea of fun? Laughing and playing games with my family.
  7. Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? No, and never would want to be.
  8. What is your inspiration in life? My children and husband. Everything I do is for them
  9. Are you a foodie? Amen!
  10. Would you be in game of thrones if you had the opportunity? No! Noone is safe. When you think you’re going to be the main character, you suddenly die in a tragic death. Nah, I’m good.
  11. What has God done for you this year? God has saved my life, saved my marriage, and helped me grow closer to my kids. Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts and thanks again to IvesTrendyTopic for the nominations. I appreciate each and every one of you who continue to share this journey with me. Love you all and remember, please pray for one another.

Funny Friday: Lesson #1

Hello Friends!

Wow! Friday came so quickly, didn’t it? Being a stay at home mom, weekends really aren’t what they used to be. When I was working full-time, the weekend meant that I was able to do things I couldn’t do during the week before starting a new work week. Now, it means finding new activities for me the kids to do. Ways to keep them busy and sometimes sleeping in.

Also, it means that I get to share with you this week FUNNY FRIDAY joke! I love to laugh and right now I need it, and I’m sure you guys do too. So please enjoy this short story that I found on MyGoodTimesStories.com.

Image result for laughing quotes

The Depth of Relating

Good Day Friends,

I pray everyone is having a wonderful morning. This morning I woke up feeling a mixture of sad and angry. Not sure why, but I refuse to allow those feelings to control my day and how I interact with my loved ones. So, after I sent the kids off to school, I cleaned my house and spent time with Jesus.

He always provides perfect calming methods when things seem like a struggle. This is the best part of having a relationship with Christ. He understands me. He accepts me. During the up and downs, he is always there to comfort me.

This makes me think about personal relationships that we have with each other on earth. There are not that many people willing to go through life’s devastations with you like Jesus does.

There are so many people who want to be in a relationship, but not willing to evolve when the relationship evolves.

Everyone in life will go through a devastation; loss of a loved one, financial hardships, mental or physical illness, etc. It confuses me when people say they want to be in a relationship when they put limitations on what kind of love they accept and receive.

It is my belief that once we understand Gods love, then and only then, will we be able to understand the kind of love we should show others. It’s my personal opinion that ONE of the reasons why God allow people to be single because they haven’t figured out how to love others the way God loves them. And the only way to love others the way God loves us is to allow God to replace your heart with his own.

That means forgiving when you don’t want to forgive. That means loving when you don’t want to love. That means being patient and kind when you don’t want to do that neither. That means being faithful when that person hasn’t been faithful to you. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

He promises that when we display this kind of love, we will be blessed. (Deuteronomy 7:9)

When I’m mad at God, He doesn’t get mad at me back. When I turned my back on Him, He continued to seek me and call out to me. He knows my worth even when I question it on a daily basis. THAT IS LOVE! And that is the love that He wants us to show towards each other.

Jesus is the perfect companion. If you don’t know how to love the only perfect man that walked this earth, then you certainly don’t know how to love an imperfect, broken man or woman of this earth, right?

I have a wonderful husband, but he isn’t perfect. He has made mistakes. Over time, I’ve been able to love him as God loves him, and not put my Expectations of love on him. Every day, I chose to love the man that I’ve woken up to. Sometimes, that’s a different person than yesterday (an example of evolving). It has strengthened our marriage in a way that we could have never done on our own.

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For me, staying in God’s word is so important. It is a daily reminder of his love and how I should love.  My relationship with Jesus is the driving force behind how I raise my family and interactions with my loved ones.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice because my life is truly better with you on my side. Thank you all for reading my thoughts. Have a wonderful, blessed day everyone. Love you and remember, please pray for one another.

Whew! I feel better than I did before I started blogging. Thank you, Jesus.

Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love. -1 Corinthians 13:13

 

Progress, Not Perfection

Good Day Everyone!

Wow, it feels great to write again. I had to take a break in order to concentrate on the things that are truly important, my family.  I know what you’re thinking…Ashley, you’ve sung this same song before in Goodbye For Now and then came back a week later…But this time was different. 🙂 When I would take breaks, I would come back prematurely. This last time, I had to really focus on my family. They needed me and I needed them.

This past winter, my primary goal was to become healthier, physically and mentally. During that journey, I become selfish (which was much needed). I had to concentrate on my health so I could take care of my family and with Gods help, that is exactly what happened.

I feel so much better than I did earlier this year. Please read some of my stories to understand some of the emotional and physical hurt I was going through.

I’ve continued to seek God and as he promised, he has taken care of me. I no longer think about suicide or hurting myself as an option when I experience extreme stress. With the help of Jesus, medication, and family support, I can officially say I am doing great.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days that are really hard. There are days that I wake up extremely sad and unable to explain why. There are days that the Evil One tries to penetrate my thoughts with past guilt, shame, and worthlessness, but then I remember the promises of God.

  • I am LOVED – John 14:23
  • I am WORTHY – Psalm 139:13-15
  • I am FORGIVEN – Ephesians 4:32
  • I am HIS – 1 John 4:4

And guess what?

YOU ARE, TOO!

My kids started school today and it hit me, life is really happening. They are at a tender age where they see and understand everything that I do. They have started to ask “why” questions. Why are you crying, mom? Why can’t you leave the bed, mom? Why does your body hurt? And with help, those questions have been less frequent thanks to our Abba Faher. Plus, Jesus is so wonderful.

So, my new goal is to get back to the goals that I had before I became ill.

  • Grow my blog
  • Serve my family
  • Serve Gods people

Thank you all for reading my thoughts and continuing my journey with me. It is so important to me that you guys see the growth that happens when one commits themselves to become healthy by any means necessary; God, medication (optional) and support. Remember, progress is important, not perfection.

I pray you all are having a wonderful start to your week. I cannot wait to share with you the things that I have learned during my hiatus. Until then, love you all and remember to pray for one another.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. -1 John 4:4