Taking Thoughts Captive

Good Morning Friends,

I have been struggling lately. I have been struggling to find the time to do the things that I love; blogging and spending time with God. Sometimes I question, it is laziness or mental illness. There have been a few days where I do nothing but cry all day and other days where I do the bare minimum. I know that those are the symptoms of deep depression; the same symptoms that I experience at least once a month, so does that mean that I’m in denial?

When I go a period of time having really awesome days, I forget that I struggle with mental illness. I forget that one day, deep depression will come rushing back like a flood and try to destroy the hope that I have built up over the past few weeks. Even though it happens time and time again, I always feel thrown off and unprepared. Like, “wait, what? Why is this happening? Why am I so sad?” Then I have to claw my way out like a tiger trapped in a pit of sorrow and self-pity.

I’ve come to the realization that I have to push through and force myself to do the things that I love even though I may not “feel” like it. One thing that I have learned is that feelings lie to you. Feelings have the ability to make or break who you are and what you want to become. I will never become a successful writer if I only blogged when I felt like it. And even though I have a condition that makes it more difficult, I will not allow it to become a crutch nor an excuse for failure.

I see people using mental illness as a reason to feel sorry for themselves, for not accomplishing their goals, for being mean and disrespectful, or even falling back into harmful, risky behaviors. Mental illness is just like any other illness. Yes, it can cause limitations. Yes, it has the ability to delay goals and aspirations that you have set for yourself in life, but it is no different from any other illness that others face on a regular basis.

For those of us who struggle with mental illness, it does not define us or make us who we are. It’s just a challenge that we have and EVERYONE has a challenge that they have to face in life. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves and boo-who to and from the doctor’s office. It’s easy to allow the feelings of hopelessness to plague our minds and entertain the thoughts of suicide. I see so many of my brothers and sisters “talk” about how mental illness is ruining their life, but I see few talk about what they are doing to overcome it (besides taking medication).

How do we do that? How do we overcome the sad days and push through thoughts of suicide and hopelessness? The answer is right in front of us. BELIEVE IN JESUS AND HIS TRUTH!

I believe in Jesus’ truth because when I am doing well, when I am having good days, I believe that I am loved. I believe that life is worth living. I am able to look at up the clouds during the day and the stars at night and see the beauty of the universe. I am able to see how glorious it is to hear my children laughing and playing and causing all kinds of “kiddy hell” in their rooms. I can see that. But when the dark days come, I become wrapped in my own pity. I can only see how badly I’m hurting and how dark the world is.

Life isn’t about how dark the world is. The world has always been dark since the beginning of time, but there has always been beauty forged from the darkness; art, love, and redemption. You’ve had artist struggling with their own mental illness make history by painting, drawing, or singing about their pain. Lives have been changed for the better because of it.

Jesus is the truth. He is the way to true freedom (John 14:6). He is the light to get through the dark days. Darkness cannot outdo light. It’s virtually impossible. Allow Jesus into your heart and allow his light to shine through when those dark days come. When you don’t feel like doing what you love, press into Jesus who loves you! Take a breath and ask for strength to get through it because you know one day, you’re going to wake up and be able to see the beauty of life once again. That won’t be by chance or accident. It will be because of God’s mercy and love that he has for us.

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. Usually today I would post Funny Friday, but I had to get this off of my chest. Please remember to pray for one another. Love you all and God bless each and every one of you.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7

My Identity

Hey Friends,

My post has been far and few between because I am concentrating on developing my relationship with the Lord. I was beginning to feel like this blog was becoming my identity, but then as each day passed by, God was revealing that the plans that he has for my life will “accomplish infinitely more than we (me) might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

I want my blog to be successful. I want to help people with my story of how I am overcoming mental and physical illness so it would inspire you to do it as well. But it says that His “mighty power at work within us” will help us to “infinitely accomplish” more than we could ever imagine for ourselves. Which means that I will accomplish more than developing a blog and helping people. He will use me to do so much more. I just have to keep my eye on the prize – focused on Him and His ways – and not allow the ways of the world to distract me.

It’s so easy to fall into that trap though, right? I mean, the world is constantly telling us what we have to look like, what we have to sound like, what college degrees we have to have, what friends we have to have in our circle, how many likes and comments we should have on our social media….it’s becoming more and more brutal by the day. Anxiety and depression are on the rise because, in my opinion, we are constantly comparing ourselves with “perfect” people online who seem to have everything. When in actuality they are as miserable as the person on the other side of the phone or tablet.

How are we suppose to know what our purpose is if we are constantly “following” other people? Sometimes I think we just poke around until we find something we like and do it. How are we supposed to gain any kind of individuality of we are always seeking approval from the world? We are losing sight of what is truly important, even if you have the right intentions of helping people. One of my favorite quotes is “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I truly believe this quote because people are focused on what they are doing and not who they are doing it for; Jesus.

While finding my freedom from the world through Jesus Christ, I am finding things out about myself that I have been in complete denial about. I truly thought I was more self-aware than most people on earth. WRONG! I even prided myself in it.

If I could be completely honest, it is hard to peel back the onion of your life only to see that you have been a mindless zombie like the same people you said you would never become. There have been a lot of tears through this process but it is so worth it! Why? Because God will do exceedingly abundantly more in my life than I could have ever imagined and I’ve imagined some pretty cool stuff. But first, He has to strip away what I thought was right so He can renew my mind to what is actually right.

Have you ever tried to put tape on a dirty surface? You can’t. It’ll peel right off. You have to clean the surface first, then place the tape on there. That way, it’ll hold forever. Jesus has to do a deep clean in our lives before He can do His good work in us. That way, the good work He does will “stick” forever. Praise God!

My identity is not this blog or helping people. It’s not even in my husband or kids. It is in Christ because all of the above are wonderful gifts that he has blessed me with. And one day, the kids will have their own families, my husband has his own walk with God and this blog and/or helping people may not be what He is calling me to do 40 years from now. Our lives I meant to be lived like seasons; winter, spring, summer, and fall. But you know what will never change? The fact that I will always be His! I will always be a child of God. God will always love me and nothing will tear me from His love. I will always be a follower of Christ Jesus and that is where my identity lies.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and for sticking with me during this journey. If you are just now following my blog, thank you! If you have been around since the beginning, thank you! I am truly grateful for all of you, I love you, and please remember to pray for one another.

I…beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” -Ephesians 4:1-3



**Featured image borrowed from google**

October Theme: Can You Rush Forgiveness?

Hey Friends,

Short answer. Hell no! Many of us would like to think that when we say sorry to someone we’ve hurt, that they should automatically forgive us. And not only automatically forgive, but forget it as well. Then, everything will magically go back to normal. I’m here to tell you, friends, that is not how it works.

I’ve known (let’s call her Jane) since I was a small child. Jane and I have known each other for a very, very long time. She is what I would call eclectic. She has her own way of thinking. She is very outspoken about how she feels with little to no regard on how it may make the other person feel. Most of the time it comes from a place of love, and other times I question if she finds joy in hurting people with her words. For the past couple of years, Jane and I haven’t been as close because I believe that she is suffering from a mental illness that causes her extreme outburst and delusions. And when I brought it to her attention, let’s just say she wasn’t happy about it.

So, I’ve been slowly detaching myself from Jane mainly because I’m unable to handle her “outburst” and I don’t think I’m the only one. I am noticing there are a few people in Janes life that feel the same way. Some people are doing what I am doing and slowly detaching themselves; only communicating with her every once in a while. Other people have abandoned her altogether. And sadly, other people only come around her when they need a favor or if she can provide a service to them.

One thing about Jane is that she expects people to forgive her right away after one of her outburst. Her outburst is what many would call indiscriminate expression. Indiscriminate Expression is when someone tells anybody and everybody exactly how they are feeling. It may feel good to Jane when she is verbally “letting off steam”, but this form of expression has the potential to destroy relationships; family, friends, and work.

I for one have been on the tail end of Janes indiscriminate expression and it has broken my heart so many times. I find myself reluctantly forgiving her because I know that she will do it again. But God says that we must forgive because “He [God] has forgiven us” (Matthew 6:14). Also, one thing I must remember is that God loves her just as much as He loves me and if you know God that way that I do, He is really big on loving one another (John 15:12).

Sometimes we don’t like to forgive because we feel like we are letting that person “off the hook” for the how they hurt us. But forgiving has more to do with us, than the other person. When we hold onto hate or hurt, it can rot us from the inside out. In Psalm, David explained that when he “refused to confess his sin, [his] body wasted away” (Psalm 32:3). Plus, it causes anger, frustration, and a number of other negative emotions. Then you may find yourself taking it out on other people that don’t deserve it. 

One day, I want Jane and all of the Janes of the world to know that when they hurt someone, do not put pressure on that person to forgive them right away. Just because you have moved on from it, doesn’t mean that person has. It is an unfair expectation. AND if you are a repeat offender, it may be possible that although you’ve said sorry, and that person has forgiven you, they may not want to have the same relationship with you as they did before. I love Jane and I will always love her. I have forgiven her for the hurt that she has caused me, but do I have any interest in rebuilding a relationship with her? Absolutely not!

God says that I have to forgive her, but nowhere does He say that I have to have the same relationship with her as I did before. God doesn’t want us to be doormats to other peoples abuse. Nor does He expect us to immediately forget the pain that was caused. God knows that forgiveness is a process for both parties.

So, if you have a Jane in your life, pray to God to help you forgive them so YOU can have peace of mind because malice and love for Jesus CANNOT coexist in the same heart. And if you are a Jane, pray to God to help guard your lips against any sinful words/actions and to help heal whatever is going on with you that is making you lash out.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. -Psalm 141:3

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. Please read my related post Journey to Forgiving Yourself and Please Forgive Me. I pray you are having a wonderful start to your week. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. -1 John 1:9

God Answered…

Hey Friends,

In Exodus chapter 3, God asked Moses to go to His people in Egypt and lead them out to be set free from “their harsh slave drivers” (v.7). Moses felt like he wasn’t qualified to take on such a task. He even said, “Who am I to appear before the Pharoah? “Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” (v.11) And God’s response was amazing. God answered, “I will be with you.” (v.12)

It’s just like God to not only send us on a task that is unattainable by human standards but also promises to be with during the task. How awesome!

So, Moses asked God who should he say sent him to lead them out of Egypt? I mean, these were hurting, destitute people. Moses understood that he couldn’t just walk up to people and say, “hey come with me, ya’ll, to a foreign place that I nothing about nor the location.”

God’s answer was so amazing and in His character. He said, “I AM Who I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors…” (v.14,15).

There are many times in our lives that we feel called to do something; that God has requested us to complete a task and we doubt ourselves. We think we’re not qualified, we think we’ll mess it up, or we’ll think that we’re hearing God wrong. Like, “Lord, I know you’re not talking to me. I can’t do that.”

But God doesn’t make mistakes. He’ll never ask us to do something that 1) He doesn’t believe we can do it and 2) without His help and guidance. He will never set us up to fail and fall flat on our face.

The next time God asks you to do something, remember Moses. Pray for confidence that you are the only person He believes can do what is needed to be done for His Kingdom, no matter how small or big it may seem. Everything you do for the Kingdom of God last forever.

Thank you guys for reading my thoughts today. I pray you all are having a wonderful day. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

Focusing Less on Yourself

Good Day Friends,

What a wonderful day that the Lord has made. Let’s rejoice together and be glad in it. There are many days that I feel like “today isn’t worth celebrating” because of all of the things that are currently wrong or things that could go wrong. But then I think about what the author of Hebrews said:

 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. -Hebrew 12:2 (emphasis added)

I love this version because it reminds me that Jesus suffered more than I am, yet, he endured because he knew what was at stake if he didn’t – and now he is right alongside God! I don’t know about you, but I want to be right alongside God, too (me and my family). Just chilling with God, Jesus, and all the saints that came before me.

And do you see where it says “and finished”?! That means that the battle has already been won; the enemy has already been defeated on the cross when Jesus said those sweet words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). We are living our lives because God has given us a choice to do so. Not so we can defeat the enemy. Jesus has already done that.

I love my children endlessly and I will do anything for them, even endure the sufferings of this world, as our brother, Christ Jesus, did for us because our Abba Father asked him too. Not only did God ask him too but Jesus happily obliged because of his love for us is that great.

When God asks us to do something, especially if it’s hard, he always equips us with the tools needed to accomplish the goal, especially emotionally and mental support. He has given us the authority that he gave Jesus to tap into our inheritance of demanding all demonic forces to flee from our minds, our lives, our circumstances, our families, and everything in between.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. -Ephesians 6:11

We forget at times that we have that authority. We allow the enemy to get inside our minds and make us forget who we are and whose we are in Christ Jesus.

Repeat After Me

I am a child of God (John 1:12)

I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit (John 15:16)

I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him (Romans 8:17

I am united with the Lord and am one Spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17)

I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:1)

I am righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24)

I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4)

I am an alien and stranger to this world in which I temporarily live (1 Peter 5:8)

One of the greatest ways to fight negative thoughts is to constantly remind yourself who you are in Him. When you focus more on Jesus and less on yourself, he will give you unimaginable strength.

I like to challenge people who do not believe in Jesus to repeat the above scriptures every day for a month straight and tell me that they don’t fell a difference in themselves afterward. You will definitely feel a difference. You will begin to see the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, you will begin to see great things happen in your life and the lives of those around you.

God’s Word is as alive as you and I. It transforms your mind and heart to bear the fruit of the living Spirit – love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) — I mean, who wouldn’t WANT to live a life filled with all of that? I know I do and I want the people around me to see it in me, too. So then, they will feel inspired to allow the Spirit to lead them.

I pray that you allow the Holy Spirit into your life. I pray that you allow Jesus to transform your mind and heart so you can inspire others to do the same. This world is so broken and hurt and I truly believe in order to change the hearts of others, we have to change the heart within us. I pray God shows His love for you as He wraps His arms around you during your difficult times. I pray that he does exceedingly, abundantly things in your life, more than you have ever imagined. And I pray that He continues to remind you that you don’t have to fight because Jesus won over 2,000 years ago.

Thank you for reading the thoughts and the words of the living Word. If you have any questions about what I spoke about in this post, if you are a new believer and want to know more, or if you aren’t a believer and have questions in general, please feel free to email me at HarotianEssentials@yahoo.com and I would love to share more of the gospel with you. Please remember to pray for one another and I love you all. 

Sometimes We’re Not Who We Think We Are

Hey Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I became aware that I am going through a manic episode. If you are new to my blog, please click here to read my journey of being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I.

On one hand, I’m really proud of myself for not going into complete denial mode but on the other hand, I’m frustrated that I cannot fulfill the wild urges that I’m having. I feel like a caged animal. But, I am aware that if I unleash the bipolar beast, all hell will break loose. Not just for me, but for my family. I’ve come a long way keeping this beast tamed, but every day I wake up, the more I want to release it.

Sometimes it’s hard not to focus on the things that are right in front of you. There are many times I feel as though I put too much emphasis on my illness, but then there are other times I feel as though I don’t put enough thought into it. When I don’t think about my illness, it is easy to be in denial. I begin having thoughts like, “Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe there is no such thing as mental illness. Maybe, just maybe, everyone else is crazy and I’m just living the life that I’m supposed to. Maybe, God made me this way for a reason and society is just trying to tame me to make themselves feel more comfortable.”

Recognizing manic episodes is important to me because I want to do something about it. I don’t want to sit in it. If I could speak bluntly, a lot of people who talk mental illness claim it like it’s apart of their identity. They say things like, “MY mental illness.” I used to do the same, but when you claim something long enough, then it does become apart of you. It’ll attach itself to you like a leach. You’ll become less of you and more of it.

Mental illness is a condition, it is not me. A part of controlling this condition is recognizing when it may be out of my control and understanding that it has the potential to be out of my control. The crazy thoughts above is an example of how my mind can take me down a rabbit hole of more self-doubt and less God.

This condition was birthed out of the womb of this broken world, but we were birthed from the love of God. When God came down from His kingdom, I imagine He got on His hands and knees, grabbed a large clump of wet dirt and began molding us into his perfect image (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1:26). Can you imagine God getting dirty just for us? Think about it. He created everything just by speaking it into existence, EXCEPT for us. For us, He got on His hands and knees to mold us, to make us exactly how He wanted us to be and took his wonderful breath and breathed it into us. Praise God. Sidenote: I imagine Gods breath smelled like cinnamon and mint. 🙂

But then Adam and Eve doubted Him and fell into Satans trap. Along with that trap came anger, fear, shame, guilt, and of course mental illness.

Mental illness is not who God made you to be, it is just a result of our broken world. So, decide right now to accept your flaws, but to also accept that God makes no mistakes and He is perfect (Psalm 18:30). Decide to not claim what this fallen world has thrown at you, but instead rejoice in knowing that a perfect God made you to be YOU! Take your addictions, your fears, you flaws, your guilt, your shame, your anger, and your despair to Him. He will comfort you, He will love on you, and He will bless you.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. This post was a long one, but the Holy Spirit needed someone to read this. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the power. -Isaiah 40:29

Glorious Labor

Happy Labor Day Friends,

Thank you to all of the hard-working people in our country that make it run as smoothly as possible. Everyone from the stay at home moms to CEOs of our favorite grocery shops to the school janitors…THANK YOU! Our social and economic achievements have made us one of the best countries to live in. Despite the bad, we as a country has done great things for our families that I personally will always be grateful for.

Yesterday, I was reading Philippians 3:12b:

“…I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”

Paul is speaking to us about pursuing the life that Jesus has waiting for us in heaven, here on earth. A Christ-like life that should be a goal that’s pursued, and not a mere moment of achievement.

Celebrating Labor Day is a great way to pat ourselves on the back for being hard-working Americans, but the real celebration starts when we get to heaven to acknowledge the labor we’ve done on Earth for the glory of God.

I pray you all had a wonderful day and I pray that you felt Gods presence in your heart. Please pray for one another. I love you all.

Kicking back is that much sweeter when you’ve earned it. – Caroline Picard

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**


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**

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.


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?


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



July Monthly Theme: Emotionally Healing

Hey Friends,

The past few days have been filled with much needed up’s and downs. The ups are always wanted and appreciated, but down days are filled with learning and worship. Does that make sense? I know it may sound crazy, but I’ve learned to take my bad days as learning experiences from God. Like little pop quizzes from what I have learned from good days.

Instead of allowing my mind to be filled with doubt and despair, I’ve learned to rely on the strength of the Lord to get me through. It doesn’t feel like the end of the world anymore. Better yet, it feels like God is giving me more time to correct my life so I can become who he needs me to be for his glory and kingdom.


My down days have forced me to deal with bitterness that I didn’t know I was harboring. I thought I was over it until my ex-husband decided to make a decision that would not only change the lives of our lovely children but everyone in our family. My ex-husband decided to move to another state despite how it would affect our children. Needless to say, I was angry. Mostly because I knew the pain that my children would feel since I experienced the same abandonment and rejection by my own father.

Right after the move, I concentrated on making sure my children felt loved more than ever. I initially ignored my feelings so I can concentrate on theirs. I felt as though I was over it as the days and months went by because of the feeling of “I want to rip his head off” became less and less. But then, he would say something rude or selfish and those “I hate you” feelings would come rushing back.

Unbeknownst to me, I was becoming bitter. Or maybe I was already bitter and didn’t know how fast it was growing inside of me from the moment I heard “I’m moving!” Recently, I began reading this book called Chaos Beneath The Shade: How To Uproot And Stay Free From Bitterness written by Tracey Bickle. It shined a light on how I truly felt and what I need to do to get over my feelings. I don’t want to “hate” the father of my two oldest children. I most definitely don’t want how I feel to spew out onto them. That would break my heart even more.

So, I’ve come to the realization that I need to heal from the situation. I’m not the first woman to be left to raise her children without the father and unfortunately, I won’t be the last. Plus, I have a wonderful husband who has gladly stepped in to pick up what my ex-husband has left behind. So, first I began to pray, Lord, please heal my heart. Please remove this hatred stirring inside of me. That wasn’t enough though and Tracey Bickle let me know why.

How to Begin to Heal Emotionally

  1. Pray for the person that has wronged you. At first, I didn’t like this idea, but there are a couple of reasons why praying for the person that has hurt is effective:
    • Forgiveness breaks the cycle- So my children won’t be affected
    • When you consistently pray for them, your heart will begin to heal itself
    • Jesus said so…But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! -Matthew 5:44
    • Why did Jesus say so? Because “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.” Matthew 5:46
    • “[Forgiveness] softens our heart to see the temporary nature of the conflict.” -Tracey Bickle
  2. Going through the process of forgiveness is helping you trust God and because you are being obedient, He will bless you. He will then hold the person who offended you accountable for their own actions. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” -Luke 6:37
  3. Talk it out. Seek counseling or talk to someone who you trust that would be able to help you look at the bigger picture. We need those who can see what we don’t and with compassion, tenderness, and kindness, they can help us walk through it.
  4. Let it go. It was hard for me to let go because I felt like he is “getting away with” abandoning his responsibilities, while he’s living his best life; doing as he pleases when he pleases. But I have to trust that God will hold him accountable for the real reason that he left. “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” -1 Timothy 5:8

Simply put, this is not my fight, nor my worry anymore. I love my children more than anything! I will do anything for them to have great lives. And if that means letting go of the bitterness that I hold against their father, then I HAVE to do that. Plus, bitterness causes illness and I’m already sick enough, so this is my declaration that I am letting it go.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. I pray that if you are holding onto any bitterness from someone that has hurt you, that you are able to hand it over to God so you can begin to heal. I love you all. Please remember to pray for one another.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32

**Pictures borrowed from google pics*

Gods Affirmations

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)

I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)

It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20)

I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7, Ephesians 2:4, Colossians 3:12)

I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13)

I am Gods workmanship, created in Christ for good works (Ephesians 2:10)

I am more than a conqueror through him who loves me (Romans 8:37)


Reference Unashamed by Christine Caine 

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