Thursday, January 14, 2016

Embracing the Current Season of Your Life

“Embrace the current season of your life”
- Gabrielle Blair

It is not often that I share one of my personal journal entries but, today I think that that is the best way to communicate what God has put on my heart lately.

January 12, 2016 9:59pm
“I saw the most amazing quote tonight. ‘Embrace the current season of your life’ – Gabrielle Blair. I know you wanted me to see this. This season of my life is definitely just that, embracing this season of my life. I know I crave adventure but that is just not where I’m at yet/currently. Right now is the time for school, family, and work. But, those are just easy titles for what’s really happening: a second chance at being the student I know I can be/ doing my part in paving the way, rebuilding/mending relationships, and learning to handle money responsibly. I’m only 21. My time isn’t up yet. This is my real second chance. And God, I can’t thank you enough. Your grace and forgiveness is truly something I cannot comprehend. I will honor and praise you with all that I have. I have only just begun.”

We all are going through a season of life. It doesn’t have to be bad. Whether or not we are happy with where we are at or if we are feeling trapped is not the point. Like the wise words of Gabrielle Blair, we need to embrace it. God never intended for us to just survive. There is a lesson to be learned from this season, and it will make you stronger. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

4 Tips For Fighting Depression

Some of you reading this may currently be in a season of depression. Others of you may have gone through and conquered a season. Whether you are clinically depressed or weighed down by the struggles of life, here are some of my personal ways that get me through seasons of depression. 

Now note this: I am not a professional, I am not a doctor, or a psychologist or anyone along those lines. If you are prescribed any form of medication by a professional I STRONLGY recommend that you continue to take it. I am not sitting here telling you to stop taking prescribed medicine. These tips are my own personal opinions and are not and should not be used in place of antidepressants and such.

Now, for a little backstory…

I have gone through seasons of depression. This past year and a half has been a prime example of those seasons. As those close to me know, I moved back home with my parents after two years of being away at college. I go from being surrounded by awesome friends and an awesome ministry group to nada. All of it is two hours away and sadly my beat up, old 1985 Olds just couldn’t make the drive. I had my family but, I was still alone. And I’m sure you can imagine, given the title of this post, what happened next. I started down my season of depression. Quite frankly, I still don’t feel that I am completely through it. And honestly, I really don’t feel like I am experienced enough to give tips and advice on this subject. But, Jesus doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. So enough backstory, here are four tips on how I fight depression:

I Journal

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.” Psalm 94:18

I’ve talked about before how I journal. And I’m not kidding when I say it really, really helps me through. If anyone ever picks up and starts reading any one of my journals they will probably think that I am nuts. Why? Because journaling for me is a conversation with God. One sentence I’ll write “God, what should I do about my lack of hours at work?” Then the next sentence will be, “But I’m so tired of staying up that late.” So, I am behind journaling 100% but, I understand that journaling is not for everyone. You just need to find the equivalent of that, or as I call it, your outlet. You can read my post about outlets here.

I DON’T take a trip down memory lane

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

It’s easy when you are feeling depressed to gravitate towards anything that reminds you of the “good times.” For me that would be looking at photos from my freshman year of college. While I truly cherish these moments and the people that I shared them with, it just makes me think of how much I am missing out on by being here…and not there. Then I start thinking about how I’m going to jump in the car RIGHT NOW and go and visit… but then I remember I have to be at work in thirty minutes… and then I remember how frustrated I was that one shift three months, two weeks and four days ago… you get the picture. It’s just a giant snowball effect. Then to add to that, when I go to look at those pictures in a better time, I’m kinda reminded of this snowball effect. Then those pictures become something I avoid, rather than cherish like I should.

I work on a project

“I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Everyone knows that I am a pretty crafty person. I have more yarn and fabric remnants than clothes in my room. When I have that dark feeling that is associated with depression come over me, I will sometimes grab a crochet hook and a ball of yarn and crochet the day away. Once I get my mind focused on doing something productive, such as getting to that scarf I started four months ago, there is no room for those dark feelings. I’ve accomplished something. And I think we all can agree that feeling accomplished is a great feeling. What’s even better is when I give that brand new scarf to one of my eleven-year-old brothers and their face lights up at the sight of a new orange and navy scarf to match their favorite football team!

I make someone’s day

“He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me…” Psalm 55:18

Going off of tip number three, one of the best feelings in the world in my opinion is the feeling you get when you have made someone happy. Whether that is writing a blog post that really touches someone’s heart, helping my grandma carry a laundry basket up the stairs, or filling up my cat’s food dish when its empty. It feels good to know you have helped someone in some way. Every night my mom falls asleep on the couch. She is a fourth grade teacher, so some days are veryyyyyy long. In my family, we have bad knees and sensitive feet. She always asks my brothers to rub her feet because they hurt so bad. But they are seventeen, eleven and eleven...yeah. I have made it my personal mission to every night rub her feet. I don’t do it suck up to her; I don’t do it for attention or to prove a point. I do it because I know it makes my hardworking mom feels ten times better. She’s my mom. Why wouldn’t I do it for her?

So, it’s not a lot but I hope this helps. Depression is a serious, exhausting and overwhelming season to be in. But, remember this, you are breathing. You are alive. You are not alone! As long as you wake up every morning you have purpose! God has a plan for each and every one of us. Including you! Yes, I know it’s too much at times. Yes I know that it seems like there is no end. But trust me, there is! Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who STRENGTHENS me.” Don’t give up! You are STRONG and you WILL get through this season! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Imagine yourself at the end and you look back through all that you have overcome, trust me it will be worth it.

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way...” Deuteronomy 8:2

“The pain you have been feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming.” 
Romans 8:18

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DIY Simple Plate Stands

I was gifted two pretty vintage plates. When I was given them I was told that since I am crafty, maybe I could do something special with them! It didn’t take long for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with them! And it seriously is one of the easiest crafts I have ever done. No joke. All you need are three simple things:

Fancy/Interesting Plates
Candlesticks (I got two from the thrift store for 25 cents each)

Ready for the instructions? Try to keep up, it gets a little tricky!

1) Apply glue to the underside of the plate
2) Attach candlestick
3) Let dry

I know, right? Super tricky! Anyways, you could use them as a fancy stand to display cupcakes or other treats. But for me personally, they are holding various pair of earrings and jewelry.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Serenity Prayer

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

This prayer was posted in my church’s bulletin. It had no author, no book reference, nothing. Just the title called “Serenity Prayer”.

I have it so worked into my mind that “God will provide.”  And He will. But I also have it worked in to my mind that “God has given us the power of free will.” And He has. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels very confused and tangled up inside about these two truths. How, much am I supposed to do until I’m overdoing something? How long do I need to sit back and wait for God’s provision before I do my part? Do I even need to do something at all? It goes on and on, you get the picture. This is why I felt so convicted when I read this prayer in the bulletin. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Yessss! I DO have the power to change things! It may seem very basic and “Duh” to many of you out there but, for me this is something I have really been unsure of for a while. Sometimes, it’s good to be brought back down to the basics. I’ve been so scared to make a decision that I’ve basically been at a standstill. Not moving forward or progressing. I also love the last part of the prayer because; this was the other issue I was having. They kind of go hand in hand in my opinion: ‘I don’t know if I have the power to change things, but if I do how do I know what it is?’ When part of the basic foundation is unsteady, everything else will be too. How could I tell the difference between my decision or God’s decision when I wasn’t even sure I was able to have a decision? I hope that makes sense. Now, at night I’ve been praying this,

“God, what are the things in my life that I have the power to change?”

That’s, it.

So, I strongly encourage all of you out there to pray the Serenity Prayer and ask God yourself about the circumstances that you can shange in your own life! :)