Monday, December 28, 2009

Poem - Not Playing

So much more than "a game",
My objective's not the same. 
Much deeper than all the rest.  
Not an ego-based conquest. 

I don't want to be a pawn
In a match I don't belong. 
My mind has a will of it's own. 
Exploring territory - I've not roamed.

Still sweetness and tenderness abide
Filling the darkness inside. 
Memories of encounters so real. 
Hopes I will never reveal.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Online Group Study


New Online Study - Celebration of Disciplines by Richard Foster

Description:
Starting an online Bible Study book, "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster, which will be starting the first week of January. This will be a great way to join together and share thoughts/experiences on this book of Spiritual growth.

Details will follow here.
Privacy Type:
Open: All content is public.

Join us!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advice for the Depressed

I am sorry you are having mood swings. I know how bad it can be when you don't feel right and you don't know why. People can ask what is wrong, yet you don't know and that can be frustrating. If I may give you some survival hints...
1. Don't believe you are any less of a Christian. Sometimes, Christians ignorantly say things like "Just pray about it." or "You shouldn't be depressed... where is your faith?" Don't even try to justify your feelings to people like this... they don't get it, they can't understand... use your energy for taking care of you.
2. Try to find people who do understand. It's hard, but there are rare exceptions. People who listen without trying to 'fix you' or expecting you to get better within a day or two. Depression and mania are continuous- if you've had 3 major depression episodes, you're a lifer, Baby. Knowing/accepting this can help you prepare for next time.
3. Know that brain chemistry has a lot to do with mental health. People who say they don't want to go on medication have that right... and not everyone needs medication. But when the feelings of hopelessness, despair, and lethargy interfere with activities of daily living, one must decide what truly matters.
4. Take it one hour at a time. Know it will pass and try not to label or analyze why you feel this way... just take it one hour at a time.
5. Know Jesus is with you. You are never alone.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sheepy Sleepy

Depression is back, my brain's out of whack,
Life is taking more energy than I've got. 
The holidays are here, along with good cheer,
But me, I'm sleeping a lot. 

Went to bed at one, finally rose with the sun,
Head dizzy from 14 hours of sleep. 
This is no way to live, so much I should give,
But for now, I am counting more sheep

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Freedom Costs

I didn’t make it to BSF, but I did meet with the pastor. I’m thankful Michele convinced me to meet with him, and I am thankful I was able to be honest with him. He reminded me talking about issues can lead to acting out. That explains why I was/am feeling like ‘the old Shelly’.

The ultimate question is why talk about issues at the risk of acting out, emotional pain, and immense guilt? Why go through that? Why not let the past be past? As David prayed in Psalm 25, Lord, forget the sins of my past…

He has forgiven my sins, problem is, I haven’t forgiven myself. And the longer I try to deny and bury them, the longer Satan has a way to make me feel like a horrible person.

I have wise friends, one of which pointed out the following:
…you're letting Satan get the upper hand by convincing you that running away from your problems (in the short term) is easier than dealing with them. The thing is, you know these issues will still be there after Christmas, then they'll be back the next holiday, and the next, and the next, etc., etc., etc. You get the point. The sooner you deal with the
issues that are causing you to run the sooner God will be glorified
through those issues. I know there is nothing easy about all this,
but I also know this isn't a battle Satan needs to win. He (Satan)
knows how much you love the Lord and has pulled out all the stops to win this battle. You, with the power of the Holy Spirit and using the
tools God has provided (the pastor), are able to win not only the battle but the war as well. Running away is only extending your pain and giving Satan a continued foothold. Satan only has the power we give him. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you, but "when you do get through it" you will truly be set free.

---
I want to be free. Freedom costs… I have to pay.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Writing!



Miss me? I’m still here, just haven’t been writing. And me not writing is, well, not me. I have to write to stay sane. Recently, I’ve been filled with self-doubt, criticism, even loathing toward who I am internally, so the last thing I want to do is put those thoughts on paper for the world to see… and judge.

But God wants me to write. Not only write, but glorify Him with my writing.

I have never been so sure of anything as I am of His purpose for me. I love writing. I love God. I love glorifying God. So what’s the problem? Satan convincing me I have nothing worthwhile to say, and things I feel may help others will only show what a terrible person I was… or I am.

So I started talking to a Pastor who is showing me I haven’t dealt with things… things I believed were all done. Finished. Kaput. Things that Satan uses to remind me who I am. Sure. These things happened years ago, but I never confessed them, never laid them at the Cross and walked away. I know Jesus has forgiven me, but I haven’t forgiven myself. Instead, I have buried them deep in my heart to take out whenever I am feeling worthless. Lately, they have been out of burial constantly and never far from my mind.

Still, I could not understand why I was unable to put words on paper. It didn’t make sense until last week, as I was walking across the church parking lot. God reminded me of those days in March after I had been released from the hospital from a Xanax overdose. My mind was crap for 6 weeks… no short term memory, frequently getting lost driving on roads I have known for my lifetime… real, serious brain damage. The psychiatrist had told me I needed to rest my brain for 6 weeks… no complex thinking, not even crime TV shows… nothing taxing on my brain. And as he promised, 6 weeks later, I had my old brain back and could write again! I was so thankful, vowing to never take writing for granted again!

Time erased that vow from my memory. After receiving an upsetting phone call recently, I took a Xanax. The next night, I did it again. And again. And again. That is when my writing stopped. A day later, I remembered a profoundly intimate encounter I had had with God back in March. Suddenly, it all made sense.

It was one of those undeniable messages from God: “Your time on earth is not finished- you are staying here. I want you to spread my message through the gift of writing I have given you. You cannot witness for me while being strung out on Xanax. So here is your choice: Waste your days being drugged up on Xanax, or write for me. You cannot do both.”

The past few days, I’ve chosen the Xanax. And each day I take one, I get a little more depressed, feeling a little more guilt. The breaking point was taking Communion the other night. I choked on the wafer, as if it was some psychosomatic message telling me I don’t believe/accept taking on the life of Christ in place of my own. It has been devastating.

But, thank God, Michele met me at Starbucks when I called her crying and we talked for a long time. She cried with me, telling me this is all the enemy trying to pull me back down. She convinced me to keep going to talk with the Pastor so I can work through this.
She also told me to lay off the Xanax.

I am meeting with the pastor today. I have not taken a Xanax. And I am writing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Checking In

Although Nanowrimo is over, I'm not abandoning my barely started novel. My goal is to work on it 5 days per week. I worked on it Sunday, skipped Monday... so you know my plan for the rest of the week. I am also working on Dillon the Dolphin series and am determined to send an assignment to CWG today or tomorrow. I can do this. I can get out of this creativity insecurity pool.

In the meantime, I keep blogging at Sufficient Grace. Also poking around the Write Anything website.