Do I Lack Compassion?

Hey Friends,

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion and how much I’ve lacked it over the years. I mean, in my opinion, I haven’t been an extremely judgemental person, but I have had moments where I would hear a rumor and “shake my head” at it, thinking to myself how much of a shame it is. I’ve been known to share rumors that we’re shared with me, shamefully. I’ve even gone as far as saying things like, “Well I would never…” or “They should have done…” or “Here’s what you did wrong”.

But then, when it came down to my own tragic moments, I would crawl in a little ball, afraid to share my story in fear that people would do the same to me what I have done to others; shame them. Essentially, projecting how I feel onto people, assuming they will share the same guilty, shameful feelings that I have about myself.

Through my journey, what I’m finding out is, God has a way of humbling us through our trials and tribulations. He gives us a choice. It is a wonderful gift of grace and mercy that He extends through the love of Jesus.

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. -John 7:16
I’ve also found out that during my seasons of suffering, God shows me so much compassion (more than I deserve), therefore, I am able to show other’s more compassion when I learn that they have been through similar situations as I. See, if God isn’t expecting perfection from us, why are expecting it from other people?
I think God does this so we can love each other better. In Colossians 3:12, He states that “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Compassion is the key to truly loving one another through faults and flaws. We may not agree with each other’s decisions, but having compassion for one another through the difficult times will not only allow your heart to heal through your own darkness, but it will give God so much glory and honor. It will allow us to focus less on ourselves so we can extend the same amount of grace to other’s that God extends to us when our hearts feel like they have been through the garbage disposal a few times.
Usually, when we are busy pointing out the wrongs in other people, we are really pointing out what is wrong within ourselves. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience are all acts that every human being would love to receive, but sometimes it’s so hard to give, especially when we’ve been hurt. But let’s all ask God to help us draw nearer to Him so we can show each other what He shows us without question or expectation.
Today, because of what I’ve gone through, especially in the past four years or so, I have more compassion for people, but I still have a long way to go. There are many times where I am convicted by the Holy Spirit because of something I have said or done to show that God is still working on me.
So I would like to pray for you and me; that God will no longer allow us to approach life with broken hearts, disappointments, cautious, and cynical attitudes. But instead soften our hearts so that we can be more compassionate, tender, grace-giving, and loving towards one another. I want to thank God for always meeting us right where we are in our brokenness, while not expecting more than we can give at the moment, but still loving us with His beautiful grace, love, and mercy. Thank you, God. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
Thank you for reading my thoughts today. I pray you are having a wonderful humpday. Please remember to pray for one another.
“Just as breaking bread with another hungry human feeds our bodies with nourishment; breaking secrecy with another hurting human feeds our souls with compassion.” -Lysa Terkeurst, It’s Not Suppose To Be This Way

It Takes A Village

Hey Friends,

I’ve been through some pretty difficult challenges in life, but one challenge that outweighs the rest of them all is parenting 👶🏽👶🏽👶🏽. There, I said it. Parenting is by far the most difficult task that has been assigned to me. Now before you judge me, just think about why people say “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well, what would it take to raise three or four or ten?

Being a stay at mom requires patience, diligence, Gods love (not human), and being able to multitask at any given moment. You have to be able to hold your composer when you want to yell and scream 🗣and throw a tantrum yourself when your kid wants to act a darn fool out in public. You have moms faking it for social media trying to make it look so easy, but it’s not. I think moms try so desperately to make it look easy because they don’t want to be judged by society. If we were to admit that sometimes we think about running away and never looking back, society would “clutch their pearls” and gasp for air in awe, like, “how dare she? 👀 Children are the most precious things in the world. I would never think such a thing.” Yea, well, most people who think that have never had to stop a three-year-old from throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store almost every time they went shopping or better yet, never had children of their own.

Yes, children are precious and I would give my life for mine, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes I’m not tempted to rip their heads off every once in a while for the frustrating, nail-biting, angering things that they do as children.

I knew this one lady. She was the epidemy of a perfect mother. She was patient and kind to her children. She even made baby food from real fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to make real vegetables and fruits for dinner for my whole family. Anyway, her house was always nice and clean and her children were so well behaved. Until….I found out that she and her six children were all taking over the recommended dose of Adderall (a drug to treat ADHD). No wonder she had the energy to get things done! Everybody in the family was drugged up. My only point being is everything isn’t always what it seems. And she was heavily addicted to drugs to help her raise her family.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes! Kids can drive you to drugs and alcohol if you’re not too careful. People like to assume that loving your kids will make you make the right decisions for them. Love will make you become patient and kind. Love will conquer all the feelings of fear and frustration that comes along with parenting. I am here to tell you that is not the case. Only Gods love for us can do those things. We need support and guidance from other moms who have been down the same road. We need a shoulder to cry on when those days come when we just want to run. We need help!

I judge myself all of the time as a parent. I want to do this right and that right. I want to make them happy, but discipline them so they become responsible adults. I want to love them unconditionally, but also let them know that I am not their friend, but their mom. Lately, I feel like I’ve been screwing up on all of it. I’ve allowed other people to get into my head to fuel those feelings of insecurities and inadequacy. My love for them just never feels like enough because of the things that I struggle with within me. I’m a bad mother…so I thought.

Then I have to remember. Who made me? God did. Who made my children? God did (with a little hanky panky). Who gave me my specific children? God did. Who trusts me with them? God does. Gods opinion of me is the only one that matter and if someone’s else’s opinion of me doesn’t match Gods opinion of me, then that is their problem, not mine. I’m learning to parent everyday that I wake up. I know what God says about me, therefore I know what He says about them.

He says I’m more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. And I know there is nothing that one one can ever say to me that can separate me from His love. And He says the same things about you and your children.

God also says in His word that children are a gift and that He is will get us through everything that we go through, including raising children. So I want to tell you that if you are a parent and you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that you are not alone. I’m sure you are doing the best you can with what you have. Of course, if you feel yourself getting angry to the point where you want to beat or shake your kid(s), please seek help. Go see your pediatrician and they should provide help for you. Otherwise, look in your area to see where the nearest emergency nursery is. It’s an organization that provides free childcare for parents who need a couple of hours to themselves to clear their heads.

This parenting thing is hard work and it definitely didn’t come with an instructional manual. I don’t care how many baby books you’ve read, each child is different so something that worked for one child may not work for your child.

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. I pray if you are having a rough day, that God shines His light brighter than usually during your moment of darkness. I pray you are able to sit at His feet, even if you have a screaming toddler sitting at yours. I pray that you are able to see your children as God sees you, worth more than all of the riches in heaven and on earth. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another, especially us parents ☝🏽🙂

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. -Hebrews 12:11

Restoration

Good Morning Friends,

God is so wonderful, isn’t he? God does wonderful things in everyone lives, including yours. Even when it seems that everything is going wrong, God is right there beside you, guiding you with the Spirit that lives inside of you.

What Spirit you ask…The same Spirit that rose our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead to make us right with God (Rom. 4:25). Isn’t that powerful? Thank you, Jesus!

Sometimes it’s hard to see the blessings that are right in front of us because we may be distracted by what is going wrong in our lives. I am guilty of this and quite frankly, it’s frustrating as hell. But, when we know and acknowledge the love that God has for us, we are able to see our problems from a different perspective.

We like to blame God for our issues. We may see Him as cold, heartless, distant, or even cruel. My daughter told me that God is the reason why she is having a hard time in math. I’m going to tell you the same thing I told her…God is not at fault. The god of this world is at fault and his name is Satan. Since we live in a broken world, no one is perfect. So, we struggle with things and situations. Here is where God is awesome. Because He knows that we are not perfect (nor does He expect us to be) He has promised that He will be there for us and love us every step of the way towards RESTORATION and PEACE.

As of lately, the Holy Spirit has been pointing me in the direction of restoration and faith. I love when God answers prayers. It’s so cool! A while ago, I started praying that He speaks LOUD and CLEAR for me to hear. I become confused by His whispers because I doubt whether or not it’s Him speaking to me or my own will speaking to me. So, He has done just that.

For example, I’ve recently begun taking a precept class at my church that is now talking about faith and it is coinciding with my daily devotional of Walking In Freedom by Neil T. Anderson (which all Spirit lead, meaning, I didn’t know that these two studies would touch basis on such topics). Also, last night, I was able to attend my Overcomers support group that I haven’t been able to attend in months, and guess what? We were talking about restoration and faith.

At this point, God is not only speaking loud and clear, but he is slapping me in the face with it. By bringing restoration and faith to my attention, He is gently answering a prayer that I have been crying to Him about for so long. I was starting to wonder why He hasn’t been answering me, why He is leaving me stagnant. But He’s not, He hasn’t. He is speaking loud and clear saying, “Ashley, I am the God of restoration. Just have faith and hang in there.”

 God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. -Deut. 30:3

How wonderful is our God! How glorious is His kindness and mercy! I am so proud to call myself His daughter and Jesus my brother. They love all of US so much.

If you are feeling like God is being distant, don’t! He is right next to you (Psalm 145:18). Remember, our feelings can betray and deceive us, just like the enemy. Don’t fall into Satans trap of deception. Understand and know the truth of Jesus and his promises:

  1. Whoever seeks God, they will find. Whoever knocks, it will be open to them. Whoever asks, will receive. All according to Gods will in the name of Jesus Christ (Matt. 7:7-11)
  2. Whoever trust Jesus will be able to not only do what he does, but they will be able to do more. Whatever we ask for in the name of Jesus will be done to glorify God our Father. (John 14:12-14)
  3. Jesus chose us to bear great fruit (love, joy, kindness, goodness, self-control, faithfulness, gentleness, peace, and forbearance) and that it shall remain. (John 15:16)

Thank you for reading God’s words today. I pray that everyone is having a wonderful start to their week. Please remember to pray for one another. Love you all and God bless you.

“[Jesus] was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” -Romans 4:25

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

Funny Friday

Hey Friends!

I’m so glad to be back. Writing is the source of my calm. Even if I wanted to stop ✋, I couldn’t! It’s my life’s passion. It’s like breathing for me. Do you have a passion like that? Do you find yourself missing something that used to be your “calm”?💆🏽‍♀️ Make sure you make it a priority to get back to doing whatever made your heart flutter. 💕We all need a healthy escape from life sometimes. 😉

Anyway, welcome back to Funny Friday! I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend filled with many blessings and Gods endless grace and love. Please remember to pray for one another and don’t forget to laugh! 🤗

A BUS FULL OF UGLY PEOPLE

A bus full of ugly people had a head on collision with a truck. When they died, God granted all of them one wish. The first person said, “I want to be gorgeous.” God snapped his fingers and it happened. The second person said the same thing and God did the same thing. This want on and on throughout the group. God noticed the last man in line was laughing hysterically. By the time God got to the last ten people, the last man was laughing and rolling on the ground. When the man’s turn came, he laughed and said, “I wish they were all ugly again.”

Can I Get A Lil’ Bit Of That Anointing Oil, Please?

Happy New Year, Beloveds!

Early yesterday morning after the ball dropped, I watched a movie with my little ones. I love spending time with my kids. I remember a time when it was hard to spend time with them. I was so convinced that they deserved a better mother, so I began to put a wedge between me and them. Now that I think about, my thinking was so warped. What a great example of how the enemy will use such tactics to get inside our heads to destroy our families and each other. Praise God that I decided to allow God to heal my heart, soul, and mind. Now my children not only have the mother that they need but the mother that they deserve.

After our movie, at around 3 a.m., we decided to anoint our home. I’m not sure how often we should do it, but I thought to start the New Year off, we should do it. Plus, my children have been complaining of nightmares so what great way to get rid of the evil spirits that are trying to plague the minds of my children.

There are so many benefits to anointing our homes and our families. Through the blood of Jesus and Psalm 91, we are PROMISED protection from every danger, which included but not limited to sickness, disease, assault, crime, tornadoes, fire and any other threat to your safety and well-being. But God’s protection is not automatic. There are things we have to do in order for God to be our refuge.

4 Steps to Anointing Your Home and Family

  • Obtain Olive Oil – I’ve been told that extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil is the best to use because of its purity, but I’m sure any olive oil will suffice. You can also grab anointing oil from your local religious and secular stores.
  • Pray over your oil – Some people believe that only a religious leader can anoint oil. I believe that we can do it ourselves as long as we have Christ living within us. We pray to Him about everything else, right? Here’s an example of the prayer that I used to pray over our olive oil:
    • In the name of Jesus, I set this oil apart to be holy anointing oil. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice so that we can have complete healing and wholeness. This holy anointing oil speaks to the perfection of your finished work. I thank you that whatever this oil touches, the fullness of your grace, power, provision, and healing virtue will flow according to your living word. I pray that wherever this oil is applied, it will bring glory and praise to your name. Amen. 
  • Understanding Anointing Oil – Understand that the power of the oil is from God and God only. Anointing oil is a symbol of our faith, trusting that God will fulfill his promises of protecting us. And if you don’t know God is incapable of lying! He is a God of His word:
    • “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” -Number 23:19
    • Please know that without faith, anointed oil is useless. You must believe in the power of God and the authority that Christ has given you. *Remember, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living inside of each and every one of us (Romans 8:11)*
  • Using Anointing Oil – There are many things that we can anoint; ourselves, our home, our children, our vehicles, our office, etc. When I anointed my home, my mentor told me to take the anointed oil, put a small amount on my finger (many people place it on their right thumb), and rub it around the entrance of each room while praying Psalm 91. Remove all objects that have evil roots attached to them; false idols and/or statues, evil masks, etc. If you are unsure, pray for God to reveal those items to you so you can throw them out. God revealed to my husband and I that a wooden table that was donated to us had evil spirits attached to it. Once we got rid of it and prayed over our home, you could tell the difference.
    • When anointing my family, I placed a small amount on my thumb, made a sign of the cross across the foreheads of my children and my husband and prayed Psalm 91.
    • If you are using anointing oil for healing, you can rub a small amount of oil across the damaged area of the body while praying for healing.
    • When I prayed Psalm 91, I made into personal prayer. God loves it when we repeat scripture back to him, especially when we pray His words. It not only glorifies him, but it also turns him into a blushing papa.

I pray that this helps you and your family start anew this year. Although I feel this should be done more often than once a year, at least we’re all starting off on the right foot. This year, I would like for whoever is reading is this to be free from the strongholds that Satan has on you and your loved ones. We must accept who we are in Christ and begin to see ourselves how our Abba Father sees us; more precious than anything in the universe, in order to do so.

I love you all and please remember to pray for one another. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to the right so you can receive email updates on new blog post. Oh and let me know in the comment section on how you anoint your home and other living spaces. Peace and love!

“Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, anointing him and making him holy for his work.” -Leviticus 8:12

All We Need Is Jesus?

Hey Friends,

I almost did it. I almost allowed what was in front of me to distract me from the awesomeness of Jesus. Let me explain.

In the Gospel of Mark Chapter 8, Jesus feeds four thousand people with only seven loaves of bread and “a few small fish” (v.7). This isn’t the only time he has done this. If you are unfamiliar with the first time, Jesus fed five thousand people right before then with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, Jesus and his disciples went to see the Pharisees who demanded to see “a miraculous sign” to prove that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Jesus was like, “Look, man, I’m not proving anything! Why do people keep asking me to prove stuff?” Well, he didn’t quite say it like that:

“When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” (v.12). 

You’ll notice that whenever Jesus says, “I tell you the truth”, he really, really means what he is about to say, like a *fist slam on the table” kind of  “mean it”. 

He sighed “deeply in this spirit”. Can you imagine how frustrated he could have been to sigh “deeply in his spirit”? I know when I sigh deeply in my spirit, I do a long eyebrow rub along with it, trying to figure out how to keep my cool. 

So after that, he and the disciples got back in their boat to go on the other side of the lake from Bethsaida. The disciples turned around and were like, “Oh crap, we don’t have enough bread for us to eat. We should we do?” They began to freak out a little because they started to argue about it. Can you imagine? Yelling like crazy people in front of Jesus.

At this point, I would imagine Jesus was a fed up because he then said:

“Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes – cant you see? You have ears- cant you hear? Dont you remember anything at all?” (v.17,18)

Then he goes on to say:

“When I fed 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterwards?” (v.19)

They said:

“Twelve.” (v.19)

Can you imagine the look they had on their faces? Like children being reprimanded by a parent. Maybe had their head down, twirling their thumbs in between each other, completely understanding that yet again, they have underestimated the power of our Savior.

Jesus goes on to remind them:

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” (v.20)

Again, the disciples answered

“Seven.” (v.20)

Then Jesus asked a simple, yet complex question, “Don’t you understand yet?” (v.21)

Sometimes, our “hearts are too hard” to take in the miracles that are right in front of us. We are the like the Pharisees and the disciples, always asking for God to perform miracle after miracle and when He does, we miss it completely because we are so focused on what we DONT have. I almost missed it. I almost missed the miracles that I have right in front of me because I’m too busy looking at what I don’t have or how can what I do have, be better.

It could be your marriage, it could be your job, it could be something as simple as a nice gesture that someone does for you every once in a while that they don’t have to do. It is in our broken nature to take things for granted. It stems from the result of The Fall.

Adam and Eve had everything. They were literally living in a perfect world; paradise. When Satan tempted them, it was more about what they didn’t have (the knowledge of good and evil), rather than being appreciative of what they did have in The Garden, which was literally everything else.

Lord Father, please forgive us for being so greedy. We leave in a materialistic world, and sometimes we can get caught up in having “it all”. But your words say that we need is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and your promises (Hebrews 10:23)  (oh and food and water to live). Thank you, Lord, for your glory, mercy, love, and gifts of righteousness. Thank you for the constant running of Living Water through us and in us. I pray for everyone reading this, that their days are filled with your joy and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Thank you all reading my thoughts. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

 

Funny Friday: 1st Grade Answers

Hey Friends,

Welcome to Funny Friday!!! I pray you all are having a wonderful start to your weekend. This week has been filled with unexpected blessings and fruitful experiences. God has been rewarding me for my growth and it has been absolutely beautiful. My frustration and anxiety have been down AND I taught a small group for the very first time at my church. It went really well and I can’t wait to do it again. It may seem small, but one thing I am learning is to celebrate the small stuff; that is what makes life more enjoyable.

 

 

Ok! Enough about me. Let’s get to why you’re really here. Time to laugh your butt off with today’s joke brought to you by www.Inspire21.com.

1st grader answers

A first-grade teacher had twenty-five students in her Clarkston, MI class. She presented each child in her class the first half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It’s hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are just 6-year-olds because the last one is classic.

1. Don’t change horses……………………… until they stop.
2. Strike while the……………………………. bug is close.
3. It’s always darkest before………………. Daylight Saving Time.
4. Never underestimate the power of….. termites.
5. You can lead a horse to water but……. how?
6. Don’t bite the hand that………………… looks dirty.
7. No news is…………………………………… impossible.
8. A miss is as good as a……………………. Mister.
9. You can’t teach an old dog new………. math.
10. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll…….. stink in the morning.
11. Love all, trust……………………………… me.
12. The pen is mightier than the…………. pigs.
13. An idle mind is……………………………. the best way to relax.
14. Where there’s smoke there’s………… pollution.
15. Happy the bride who…………………….gets all the presents.
16. A penny saved is…………………………. not much.
17. Two’s company, three’s………………… the Musketeers
18. Don’t put off till tomorrow what……. you put on to go to bed.
19. Laugh and the whole world laughs
with you, cry and……………………….. you have to blow your nose.
20. There are none so blind as……………. Stevie Wonder.
21. Children should be seen and not……. spanked or grounded.
22. If at first you don’t succeed…………… get new batteries.

23. You get out of something only
what you………………………………….. see in the picture on the box.
24. When the blind lead the blind……….. get out of the way.

25. Better late than………………………….. pregnant.

 

Thank you all for sticking with me and I pray you all have a safe and wonderful weekend. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. -Mark Twain

Motivation Monday: What is Mania To You?

Hey Friends,

In my last post, Sometimes We’re Not Who We Think We Are, I discussed how I was experiencing a manic episode. It was a proud moment because, since my diagnosis, this is the first time I’ve been able to recognize it and be proactive before I did something I would regret later.

Today, I would like to talk about how I got through it and signs that you may see in your loved ones that they may be struggling with the same illness. Most times, it’s more helpful if you are able to see the signs first and present them with it versus seeing the signs and not saying anything at all.

Related Post: She Must Be Crazy– How to Approach A Loved One Who May Have A Mental Illness

First, let me explain WHAT IS A MANIC EPISODE?

According to Psychology.org, a manic episode is a symptom of Bipolar Disorder in which one experiences “a mood state characterized by a period of at least one week.”

Signs of a Manic Episode

  1. “I’m Totally Fried, Man!”- Feeling wired, jumpy, and more upbeat than normal
  2. “Not So Sleeping” Beauty – You have a decreased need for sleep

3. “Natual Beer Goggles” – You have an exaggerated sense of well being; always in a euphoric state of mind. You feel untouchable

4. “Chatty Cathy” – You are extremely talkative about any and everything. You begin speaking really fast as if you are unable to get your words out fast enough

5. “You Said What Now?” – You are easily distracted. You are unable to stay on one topic or project at a time. You jumped from one thing to another without skipping a beat. 

6. “I’m Feelin’ Friskay” – Bluntly put…you feel the need to have sex all of the time; hypersexuality. 

 

Now, the above are just average symptoms. Some people experience all of them, some people experience only some of them. Just to give you an idea, below are the symptoms that I experience.

How did I recognize that I was manic?

  • I began coming up with “brilliant” ideas that are exaggerated and unreasonable to everyone else
  • I started to spend money on things that we didn’t need as a family (when normally I am a penny pincher).
  • I found myself talking really fast about any and everything. I also began shaking while talking (which is new).
  • I started taking on a bunch of new projects and assignments that in essence, started to become overwhelming. Once one project became overwhelming, I would quit it and start a new one.
  • I began thinking about things that would destroy my family; I began seeking attention from other people besides my husband (I didn’t act on any, thank you, Jesus).

There are so many ways that you can get through a manic episode because once it is over, you will experience a fall of deep depression. For me, I have to prepare myself and my family for it.

How Do I Get Through A Manic Episode?

  1. I inform my healthcare team – I immediately let my husband know what I was going through and the things I need him to do to support me through it. I involve him because truthfully, I need help with monitoring my behavior. A lot of times, I don’t remember things that I have said or done. So, open communications and complete transparency is necessary.
  2. I DO NOT make any major decision – I relinquish complete control to my husband. I communicate with other people who may ask me to make major decisions. I simply tell them that I am unable to decide at that time. Usually, people are understanding. Use your own decretion on whether or not you want to share why.
  3. I attend support groups in my area – It is important NOT to isolate yourself. When I isolate myself, I convince myself to do all kinds of unhealthy activities. It’s healthy to talk things out around people who understand so they can say, “yea, maybe that’s not such a good idea.”
  4. I prepare yourself for the “deep depression” fall – Everyone is different. For me, when I fall, I fall hard. I isolate. I withdraw. I stop eating. I stop living. Since I know this about myself I prepare by:
    1. Communicating with my husband about my needs
    2. Set five goals that I will meet per day no matter what. Even if it’s as simple as brushing my teeth and washing my face.
    3. Walk outside (even if it’s to the car and back)
    4. Not putting pressure on myself to get better.

Bipolar Disorder is real but extremely manageable. If you have it or if you a have a loved one who has it, know that your life isn’t over. I pray that this explanation helps. I will be praying for everyone who is struggling. Please email me at HarotianEssentials@yahoo.com if you have a prayer request for you or your loved one who is struggling or if you just want to talk or have questions.

Thank you for all your time. I love you all and 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

 

**Pics and Gifs are borrowed from Google**

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

Funny Friday: How To Tie A Tie

Hey Friends,

Hay, hay it’s Friday! This weekend is exciting because my two little nuggets will be turning 10 and 12 years old. I still can’t believe I’m a mom to a preteen. The past 12 years have gone by so fast. I’m thanking God every day that he has given me the chance to be their mom. All my children are great kids; polite, funny, kind, considerate, warm-hearted…I can go on and on about how wonderful they are. They are truly the reason I’m still alive.

Anywho, let’s get to it. Today’s Funny Friday is brought to you by GreatCleanJokes.com because you know of course this is a Christian, family blog and I have to have clean jokes on here. Although I must confess, I’m always tempted to throw some dirty ones on here every once in a while. I hope you enjoy it.

I pray that each of you enjoys this wonderful weekend. Please remember to pray for one another.

On the day of my big job interview, I woke up late. Frantically I threw on a suit. “OH NO!” I thought. “MY TIE! My Dad was out of town and wasn’t there to help me, and for the life of me I did not know how to tie a tie! I grabbed a tie and ran out the door. “Excuse me sir,” I said to the crossing guard, “I have an important job interview, can you please help me make this tie?!” “Sure” said the guard, “just lie down on this bench.” Well if someone was going to help me I wasn’t going to ask any questions. After he finished and the tie looked good I just had to ask why I had to lie down. “Well in my previous job I learned how to tie tie’s on other people when they were lying down. He replied. What was your previous job? I asked incredulously. “I ran a morg.” Was the reply.

September Theme: Who Are We To God?

Hey Friends,

This morning, I was thinking about how much we mean to God. Why does he love us so much? Why are we the center of God’s universe?

Did you know that God created us specifically to be with Him?

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” -Genesis 1:26a (emphasis added)

We were made exactly how the Holy Trinity wanted us to be. We were made to be like them. How amazing is that? Did you notice that God said us? Before the beginning of time, God knew exactly how he wanted us to be. This is also why building and maintaining relationships with each other is so important to God.

Related Post: How to Maintain a Successful Relationship

He loves us so much that he gives us the best gifts a Father can give. He knows the struggles that we face and will always face. He knows that we have an enemy that is constantly after our immortal souls.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the goods things he planned for us long ago. -Ephesians 2:8-10

Our lives aren’t about what we can do for ourselves. Our lives are about how we can serve our Abba Father. God only wants us to pursue a relationship with him. That’s all he has ever wanted from us. And when we mess up, he is always there to forgive us and help us to move forward.

We are not our mistakes. We are not our past. We are the children of God…made in his image, to reign forever with him in heaven.

Thank you, God, for the gift of salvation and righteousness. Thank you for putting us above all else, and loving us despite our flaws. Thank you for sacrificing your son, Jesus Christ, to make sure that we receive what you created us for…to live with you for eternity in heaven.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts today. Right now, it is important to me that I understand who I am to God and why I’m so important to him. Maybe if I understand the love he has for me, then I will have the same love for myself. Please remember to pray for one another. Stay safe.

God bestows His blessings without discrimination. The followers of Jesus are children of God, and they should manifest the family likeness by doing good to all, even to those who deserve the opposite. -F.F. Bruce 

 

**Pics borrowed from google**

 

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

 

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**

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