Sunday, February 28, 2016

On this blog . . .

            This blog is written for (and written by) the brokenhearted, discouraged Christian who is struggling to hang onto the Lord and to grow in faith despite life's messy trials.  (Along with a lot of other goodies, like a Bible Study and a One-Year "Chicken Challenge.")  You are not alone in your struggles.  We are all human here, just trying to make it through this messy life.  And I hope that by listening in to what's going on in my head while I struggle with myself, my God, and my faith, you might find hope, too.  And truth and love and healing.  God bless!     

            Also, unless otherwise noted:  Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION.®  Copyright ©  1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Random Facts About Me. Just for Fun!

            I think this will be the last post I write.  (I’ve said that before, so we’ll see.)  But I’m ready to be done, except for posting and responding to any comments and occasionally adding things to this list and my “random thoughts” list. 
            This blog was a way for me to work through a lot of depression and faith-struggles I was going through (still am, to a degree), to share important lessons with my kids when they get old enough to finally read it, and to vent so many things that I have wanted to say but couldn’t.  It has served its purpose and I am thankful.  But I need to get back to life now.  I realize that if I keep writing, I will just be repeating much of what I’ve already written because this “depression funk” just keeps cycling.  So it’s time to be done.
            So I figured for my last post, I would share a whole bunch of random things about me.  Just for fun!  And mostly because it amuses me!  Some of these are found throughout my blogs and some are not.  Some are serious and some are funny.  And some are embarrassing because . . .well, that’s the kind of mood I’m in.  Besides, it's time to lighten up after all the serious, deep-thinking posts.  (Friends or family members or fellow church-goers who respect me and hold me in high regard might not want to read this.  And this post is the most "improper" post on my blog.  The rest is perfectly safe and proper, I assure you.)  Anyway, here goes . . .

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts (some new, some from my blog posts):

I wish we all came with signs on our backs that said “Construction Zone:  Work in progress.  Please be patient and pardon my dust.”  If we did, I think the world would be a nicer place because we’d all be a little more kind, gentle, gracious, and forgiving with others and with ourselves.


God is much more concerned with where you’re going than with where you’ve been.  Accept His forgiveness, let it make you free, forgive yourself, and “Go now and leave your life of sin.”   

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Broken

            It hurts to be broken. 
            It’s being vulnerable, taking a risk with our hearts . . . sometimes winning, sometimes losing. 
            It’s leaning on others and opening ourselves up to them, to trust, to hope.  Sometimes finding support and acceptance and help, being caught before we hit the ground.  And sometimes being let down and battered, falling flat on our faces when others pull back and fail to catch us. 
            Sometimes, it’s just a minor annoyance, a pain that we absorb with relative ease, realizing that we are better for it.  And sometimes, it’s more pain than we can bear, feeling like we’ll never be whole again, wanting to curl up in a ball in a dark, lonely corner and fall asleep forever. 
            Being broken hurts!   

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Panic Attack

            I wrote this in the post called “Random Facts about Me.  Just for Fun!”  It is #64 on the list.  But I think it deserves its own post.  So I reposted it here, a bit before the “Random Facts” list.  If you’ve ever had a panic attack, maybe you can relate.  I hope not, though.  Because panic attacks suck!
64.  I had a small panic attack three days ago (May 30, 2016.  But it’s posted in February because I wanted the blog to end there.).  It’s the first one I’ve ever had and I don’t plan on ever having another one.  [I also once had a minor nervous breakdown during my parents’ very messy divorce.  It was so bad that the only way I could start breathing and stop crying was to flee from everything, to jump in the car with my husband and two kids and run away to the middle of nowhere for a little while.] 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Satan's Foolproof Plan for Bitterness and Discouragement

          We all want to be bitter and discouraged, don’t we?  But how do we get there? 

            Well, don’t worry, I can help you with that!  Because I have put together a simple guide to help us succeed in becoming better bitter people.  It's for those of us who seem to enjoy wallowing in misery but don't know how to get there.  (For those who don't like wallowing in misery and who are seriously struggling with depression and discouragement, check out "Is Depression a Sin?" instead, the post before this one.)  And I can just about guarantee that if you carefully follow each of these steps, you too will be bitter in no time. 
            So if you want to discover the delicious power, delightful self-abuse, and ultra-fun finger-pointing that come with bitterness, this is what you have been looking for:

“Satan’s Foolproof Plan for Bitterness and discouragement:
Thirty Simple Steps to Finding the Miserable Life that You are Searching For.”

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Is Depression a Sin?

            This issue came up recently when I was talking with some other women.  Someone had read off a list of sins and it included depression.  And one of the women asked the rest of us what we thought about that.  As someone who struggles with depressed feelings a lot, it got me really wondering if it’s right to call it “sin.”
            Of course, the word depression doesn’t appear in the Bible, so this issue requires some conjecture, some outside-the-box thinking.  But my first reaction to this question was:  “Calling it a sin isn’t going to help anyone who is struggling with it.  You can’t just say, ‘You are sinning and you need to stop it,’ and expect that someone is going to be able to go, “Oh, you’re right.  I’ll stop being depressed and start feeling joyful.’” 
            It doesn’t happen that way.  And it may actually be more harmful to talk like that.  In some ways, I think calling depression a sin is irresponsible.  It will only add to the pain and self-loathing someone feels instead of helping at all.  And it will make them want to pull back and suffer in silence.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

It Takes Courage To . . .

It Takes Courage To . . .

            - Get up every day and do your job when you’d rather do your own thing.
            - Get up every day and do your job when you’d rather throw in the towel, curl up in a corner and cry.
            - Find something to be thankful for when so many things are going wrong and you’d rather have a “pity party.”
            - Focus on and enjoy your own blessings when others seem to have it “way better.”
            - Make do with what you have - to be content with it and find joy in it - instead of always thinking you need more in order to be happy.
            - Do the right thing, especially when it’s hard and unpopular and you have so many reasons to not do it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

10 Signs You Might be a "Desert Israelite"

            I have probably learned more about my own humanness through the Israelites in Exodus and Numbers than through anything else.  I used to think that they were somehow “more fallen” than I was.  That I could never be that faithless and disobedient and grumbley.  But as I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, I have come to realize that I am not that much different from them.  I struggle with the same things they do.  I am weak.  I falter in my faith easily.  And I complain way more than I wish I did.  Many times, I am just like an Israelite in the desert.
            Are you, too, like the Israelites in the desert?  If you aren’t sure, here are 10 signs that you might be one.  See if any fit.  And then read Exodus and Numbers (from chapter 10 and on) to see how God responds to them.  It is scary, humbling, and faith-changing.  (These are some of my favorite books in the whole Bible, along with Genesis, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges.)  So here we go . . .  

Repost: Get Comfortable

            In our country, we are told over and over again things like:
            “Follow your heart.”
            “Make your own way.”
            “Never take ‘no’ for an answer.”
            “You can be anything you want or do anything you want.”
            “Apply yourself and all your dreams will come true.”
            (How else could we have so many reality shows where people want to be singers?)

            We are told that anything is possible.  We can make it happen by dreaming big and reaching high and wanting it badly enough.  In fact, look at all the commercials and advertisements that tell us that “We deserve it.”  It doesn’t matter what it is – a luxury car, a vacation, a break, a new phone . . . “We deserve it.”  And it doesn’t matter how little effort or hard work we put in . . . “We deserve it.” 
            But while these statements can be encouraging and can get young people to dream big and try hard and aim high (and become greedy), I think they can be misleading and give false hope.  For many of us, no matter how high we aim, we can’t seem to reach the moon.  Our great efforts fizzle and we end up crashing back down to earth, landing in the mud. 
            What about all those wonderful promises that we can get whatever we want and that “we deserve it”?