Category Archives: Biblical Insights

Never Let the Presence of a Storm Cause You to Doubt the Presence of God

 

 

God is always with us. Our hardest times are those times we need Him most. Learning to lean on Him during these storms is life changing. The hardest times in my life have actually been a blessing because they have radically changed my relationship with God. I now know I cannot make it through life without Him.

We are not built to be strong enough or good enough to do this life on our own. We are all created with a God size hole in our soul. There is only one Love, one Truth that can fill that yearning. He is the only way we can truly feel peace and joy. No amount of money, success, or fame can compare. All things of this world leave us feeling empty because we were designed to have a relationship with our creator.

I love my family and friends, but Jesus comes first. He is the only one who understands all of me. He knows my darkest secrets and deepest fears and He loves me because of the broken imperfect person I am.

 

In the Storm

God With Us

He’s with you through the pain. He comforts you in the waiting. When you’re anxious about your future, He gives you courage. As you climb the mountain, He keeps you safe in His arms. In every moment, we have God With Us. 🙏✝️❤️

Click the link to watch it now! 🔽

Life Church Sermon: In the Storm

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Keep On Keeping On

Amazing, real, and so true, this is my new favorite song. Life is hard and sometimes we want to give up, but “I’ll Keep On” speaks the truth I feel about the love and strength that gets me through my days, the hard ones and the good ones. He is always there, no matter how much I mess up. He chases after us because He loves us more than we can fathom. I would be lost without my Jesus. He is my best friend.

I’ll Keep On by Jeremiah Carlson

Lyrics:

Oh these hands are tired

Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 1: NF]
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this and I don’t have nothing
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said, “you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own so take my hands now”
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin, but I built a house and I still live in it
Afraid to open up the door to You and let You into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is Your direction
I know, I’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it, God
Please retire me now

I’LL KEEP ON LYRICS
[Hook: Jeremiah Carlson]
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 1: NF]
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this and I don’t have nothing
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said, “you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own so take my hands now”
I give you everything, God, not just a little bit
Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
I hate sin, but I built a house and I still live in it
Afraid to open up the door to You and let You into it
My soul is lost and what it needs is Your direction
I know, I’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it, God
Please retire me now

[Hook: Jeremiah Carlson]
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on

[Verse 2: NF]
Trust is something I am not accustomed to
And I know the Bible says I should always trust in You
But, I don’t never read that book enough
And when I have a question I don’t take the time to look it up
Or pick it up
It collects dust on my nightstand
I’m just being honest
Please take this outta my hands
I have no control – I am just a person
But thank the Lord that I serve a God that’s perfect
I do not deserve the opportunity You’ve given me
I never knew what freedom was until I learned what prison means
I am not ashamed, I don’t care if they remember me
My life will always have a hole, if You are not the centerpiece
Take me out of bondage, take all of my pride
If I don’t have a Savior, I don’t have nothing inside
Take all of my lust, take all of my lies
There’s no better feeling than when I look in the sky, in Your eyes
It’s amazing

Real Love

This song speaks truth to my soul. I love the lyrics and the voice on this girl is out of this world. All of her songs are awesome, but this new one is by far my favorite. It’s given me hope and a new outlook in a rough period in my struggle with my Bipolar Disorder.

Real Love by Blanca

Blanca’s ‘Real Love’ is the song about Jesus everyone needs right now.

This is from an interview on EEWMagazineOnline with Blanca about her song Real Love.

This song has been a healing song for my heart. I’ve been through a very tough year. There are several pieces to this song coming together. The biggest focus for me to be inspired to write this song was feeling like I can check off all of the boxes and do all of the things that I’m supposed to do–I read my Bible, I went to church–but sometimes I feel empty after doing all of these things. I feel like God’s saying to me that doing those things are great, but when am I going to go deeper with Him? I feel like He is asking me, “when are you going to go out of the shallow waters into the deep waters?” That’s where it can be painful, but that’s where He wants me to go with Him.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought it for a few years, and she ended up passing away this past year. I think sometimes those very hard seasons that we walk through in life bring out these underlying issues and questions that we have. Especially in that moment, I realized that I don’t want to face the whole foundation of who I am in Him based on these shallow things that leave me empty.

When I was facing these hardest things I’ve ever walked through in my life, and I was questioning and angry and those things were coming to the surface, I remember speaking with my mom. She told me she was scared when she was in hospice. People were telling her she needed to have faith and trust God and believe and that He was going to heal her, but she was still sick. That was like a dagger to my heart. My mom was an amazing, selfless woman who loved the Lord, and when her time was ending, she felt like God’s love was running out on her. That she had done too much wrong or His grace was running out because she was still sick. She was struggling with this issue of works and striving and proving ourselves to the Lord. But He loves us because He is love, and that’s who He is.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 

Romans 5:8 (NIV): “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 (VOICE): “For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.”

1 John 3:16 (NIV): “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV): “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.”

John 7:38 (NKJV): “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 4:29 (NKJV): “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV): “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

What is the takeaway message?

It’s not about religion or what we check off as our good works. It’s about trusting and knowing and encountering the real love of Christ. That’s where this song came to life. I wrote it after my mom passed away. I had all these emotions, and I want this music to be real, and I want it to talk about something that so many of us are walking through. In that process, I wanted it to be healing to me.

This is a song I can turn to when I feel like I’ve missed it. A lot of people have been connecting with this song. It’s kind of an intense message for some people, and can be misinterpreted in some way when I say “you can leave your religion at home.” There is good in religion, but when you look at the Bible and read about the heart of Jesus and what made Him angry and what did He fight for, it was against the religious Pharisees who were missing the mark and the heart of God. That’s so relevant today. We get caught up in the picture of what it should be instead of the heart of what it is. It’s not about religion; it’s about relationship with Jesus.

There are so many people who have been hurt by the church or don’t know Jesus, and the last thing they need from us as the church is how they should dress or which church they attend or their status. It’s about loving on people like how Jesus treated the woman at the well. I’m thanking God that He gave me these words for this song.

Lyrics:
This isn’t easy for me to admit
I got a fire inside and some words I know I can’t keep in
I see faith turning into a show
Of Sundays and sermons and works getting caught in the flow.

Oh but we got real pain
And real fears
Thirstin’ for the drying
Of our real tears
It’s not satisfying anymore
Ain’t it true that veil was torn
Don’t need no stained glass
To be washed in His blood
Don’t need no perfect put together pretty words
To be enough
I want Jesus and His real love it’s something that I crave deep inside of my bones
So you can leave your religion at home

Spent my life trying to keep all the rules
Now I know it’s about what He’s already done
Not about what I think that I gotta do

I want Real Real Love

I got real pain
And real fears
Thirstin’ for the dryin of real tears
It’s not satisfying anymore
Ain’t it true that the veil was torn

I want Real Real Love
I Want Real Real Love
I want Real Real Love

Blanca expresses with transparency her walk with the Lord and how she wants Jesus and His real love, relying on God in the midst of self-doubt, worry and struggling with issues like identity. Believers may know Bible passages like Romans 5:8 and certainly John 3:16, but we should all continue to be so grateful that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The thought that Jesus laid His life down for us as sinners is so remarkable. The story of the woman at the well stirs up my soul to think about how excited she was to drop her bucket and go tell everyone in the town to “come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Jesus knows everything about us, and His Spirit is the well of Living Water that never runs dry. That’s a picture of His real love for us.

God explains love in 1st John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” God’s love was given at an outrageous cost, the life of His only begotten Son. Not only should we love God because He first loved us, but we should also love others unconditionally because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God, our Creator, adores us immensely, and sent Jesus to die for us to show us the definition of love: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 (NIV).

There are several truths we can cling to in this song’s lyrics: “Spent my life trying to keep all the rules,” “I don’t need no stained glass to be washed in His blood,” “I got real pain and real fears, thirstin’ for the dryin’ of real tears.” God is omnipresent and always with us, and we are never too far beyond His reach. “Real Love” is one of my favorite songs of the year. Right from the lyrics “ain’t it true that veil was torn,” I find myself praying and singing along with this amazing song as it expresses a deep desire that many people have, which is to proclaim: “I want Jesus and His real love, it’s something that I crave deep inside of my bones, so you can leave your religion at home.” Amen to that!

Watch the music video below.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

Trials are Temporary

A well-cared-for earthly life will grow like a green, healthy field, full of beautiful flowers, ripe for harvest. Yet, this field will wither, storms will destroy crops, and flowers will fall as seasons change. But, God’s Word endures forever.

When we decided to follow Jesus, we made a place for His Word to grow in our hearts. Our flesh will fail, but now with this seed planted in us we will live forever. Trials are temporary, but God’s Word in us—His life in us—is permanent.

Thank you God!!

This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. It was the message in my morning devotional. I love it when God uses a devotional, scripture, or song to speak to me. I am struggling this week and He has been faithful in reminding me of his promises. He is my rock, my shelter from the storm, my healer, and my redeemed. Because he lives, I also have life. He shows me how to live life to the fullest and have peace despite my circumstances.

The things of the this world will fade away, but my relationship with Him  is everlasting and beyond my full understanding. I am so glad God baffles me. If I had a God who I could understand, He would not be that great of a God. My God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and he loves me and you! He wants His children to call on His name and ask for forgiveness so he may dwell in our hearts. All we need to do is ask. It is by faith and not our actions that we are made to new. “He wants us as we are, not how we ought to be.” He will heal our brokenness if we let him and our sins will be washed away. ❤

Drops in the Ocean

By Hawk Nelson

I want you as you are not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you suffering
‘Cause I am for you
I’m not against you

If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean,

Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you
And I am for you
I’m not against you
I am for you
I’m not against you

If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

Open your heart it’s time that we start again, oh oh oh
Open your heart it’s time that we start again, oh oh oh

If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean, ooh ooh
The drops in the ocean, woah
I am for you
I’m not against you
I am for you
I’m not against you

Read more: Hawk Nelson – Drops In The Ocean Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Suffering Produces Perseverance

I no longer wish I never had trich or bipolar disorder. Although both come full of pain and suffering, there is another side. Working through my struggles has made me the person I am today. I don’t know if I would have have the same faith, spirit of perseverance, or compassion. I think my best traits have been developed through my pain. God did not cause my suffering, but He will use it for good.

I still hope to be pull free, but I am happy now as I am. My moods are relatively stable and I have settled on a set of meds that works for me. I still pull, but it does not rule my life. Yes, I do spend a considerable amount of time practicing awareness and coping strategies. However, I do not feel like less of a person because I do this or because I am missing some hair. Everyone has some form of struggle in their life. Learning to use that suffering for good is the key to moving through it and finding a purpose for your pain. I read this devotional earlier today and thought that it lined up so well with the verse that has been on my heart, Romans 5:3-4.

Your Pain Often Reveals God’s Purpose for You

BY RICK WARREN — NOVEMBER 25, 2014

Your pain often reveals God’s purpose for you. God never wastes a hurt! If you’ve gone through a hurt, he wants you to help other people going through that same hurt. He wants you to share it. God can use the problems in your life to give you a ministry to others. In fact, the very thing you’re most ashamed of in your life and resent the most could become your greatest ministry in helping other people.
Who can better help somebody going through a bankruptcy than somebody who went through a bankruptcy? Who can better help somebody struggling with an addiction than somebody who’s struggled with an addiction? Who can better help parents of a special needs child than parents who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody who’s lost a child than somebody who lost a child?
The very thing you hate the most in your life is what God wants to use for good in your life.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1, verses 4 and 6, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things” (NLT).
This is called redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others.
This is what Jesus did. When Jesus died on the cross, he didn’t deserve to die. He went through that pain for your benefit so that you can be saved and go to Heaven.
There are many different causes for the problems, pains, and suffering in your life. Sometimes the stuff that happens you bring on yourself. When you make stupid decisions, then it causes pain in your life. If you go out and overspend and buy things you can’t afford and presume on the future, and then you go deeply in debt and lose your house, you can’t say, “God, why did you let me lose my house?” You can’t blame God for your bad choices.
But in some of your problems, you’re innocent. You’ve been hurt by the pain, stupidity, and sins of other people. And some of the pain in your life is for redemptive suffering. God often allows us to go through a problem so that we can then help others.

Conflict in Relationships

img_5156Any type of stress, anxiety, anger, or conflict makes my pulling worse. It is a self-soothing behavior that helps me calm down and often dissociate from my feelings. Over the past few years, I have been working to use helpful strategies that help me relax without pulling my hair (which only leaves me feeling worse in the end).
As a high stress person, I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life. It still plagues me at times, but I have learned strategies to calm my mind and body. Taking a quick break from the situation, praying, practicing deep breathing, and trying to find a more positive outlook are some simple tools that have helped me.

If I catch myself being negative or getting stressed out, I try to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. In the past, I would catastrophize my situation. Now, I can identify those feelings and look for the truth.

  • Are my concerns based on truth?
  • Can I do anything about this?
  • Is there a more positive outlook I can strive for?
  •  If the worst case senario does play out, is it really that bad?

Beyond my stress and anxiety is anger that can cause relationship problems. The following article presents 3 ways to create conflict (and therein, 3 ways to avoid it). I know I am guilty of these and am making it a priority to avoid them. Reducing conflicts in our relationships, greatly increases our overall well-being.

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Three Sure Ways to Create Conflict

By Rick Warren

“Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (Proverbs 20:3 TEV).

Wise people are peacemakers, not troublemakers. Wise people don’t carry a chip on their shoulder. They’re not always looking for a fight, and they don’t intentionally antagonize other people.

The fact is, if you’re around anybody for any length of time, you’ll figure out what that person does that irritates you, and you file that information in the back of your mind as a tool to use when you get in an argument. It becomes a personal “weapon of mass destruction”! When you get in an argument, and that person says something that hurts, offends, or slights you in any way, then you pull out the big gun. You push the hot button. And it works every time!

You know what the Bible calls that? Foolishness! You’re not getting any closer to the resolution. You’re not helping the relationship. In fact, you’re hurting it. It is not wise.

Proverbs 20:3 says, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (TEV).


We all use tools, tricks of the trade, and skills in relationships that are actually counter productive. They’re hurtful, they’re harmful, and they don’t get you what you want out of relationships. In fact, they get you the exact opposite behavior. But when we lack wisdom, we use them anyway.

There are many of these tools, but here are just a few:

1. Comparing. Never compare your wife, your husband, your kids, your boss, or anybody else, because everybody’s unique. Comparing antagonizes anger.

2. Condemning. When you start laying on the guilt in a relationship, all you’re going to do is get the exact opposite of what you expect. It doesn’t work. It’s foolish.

3. Contradicting. William James, the famous psychologist said, “Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.” There’s some stuff you just need to overlook.


The Bible says in Proverbs 14:29, “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes” (TLB). Have you ever said or done anything stupid out of anger? Yes? Because when you get angry, your intelligence goes out the window. When you get angry, you say and do foolish things that are actually self-defeating.

Did you ever think about the fact that there is only one letter difference between “anger” and “danger”? When you get angry, you are in dangerous territory. You are about to hurt others — and yourself — with your own anger.

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Anxiety

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Anxiety is a major trigger for my pulling and mood swings. I used to suffer from panic attacks. I have learned to manage my anxiety before it gets to that point.

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When in therapy, I learned to chart my anxiety level on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a panic attack.  This chart included information on what happened before the episode and the steps I took to calm down. The charting process helped me understand underlying  factors and early signs of anxiety.

The most helpful strategies for me are very simple: take a 5 minute break, pray, or take 10 deep breathes. There are many other relaxation strategies I use when I have more time. Some of these include progressive muscle relaxation, calming music, tea, a bath, relaxation color books, fiddle toys, stress balls, head massager, etc. 2014368078-Anxiety

I read this today and thought it was helpful for anyone struggling with anxiety. I’m definitely adding these verses to my toolbox. 🙂

3 Simple Verses for the Anxious Mom

Here are 3 simple verses to reflect on when anxiety creeps in:

1.  Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

How can you seek the Lord?  Through worship, prayer, and Bible reading.  Focus on these key disciplines during your most anxious moments, and He’ll show Himself strong.  He’ll either deliver you from the fear and anxiety, or show you His strength by carrying you through.  He’ll give you the wisdom to move past fear into a place of peace.

2.  Psalm 86:15 – But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

His compassion is for YOU. He is gracious towards YOU. He is not angry with you, but rather He loves you with an extravagant love and he is faithful to see you through your struggles!

3. Philippians 4:11 – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

There are times I’ve had to resolve in my mind that I was going to be content with where I was, regardless of the circumstances around me. I would worship despite the thorn in my side. I would pray,”God, if it’s not Your plan to change my situation, then help me be content. Help me pray through this. If You won’t change _____, then please change me. Give me the grace to get to the other side and give You glory.”

Precious mama, you are not “less than” or damaged goods.
None of us are perfect. We all have struggles. Satan will try to whisper lies in your ear; fight them with prayer and the word.

God has a plan for you! You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves you more than you could ever imagine!

In grace,

Jaime, Like a Bubbling Brook

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(Note: If you feel your anxiety is severe and could be more than a spiritual struggle, you’ll find my post on depression and chronic anxiety helpful. There may be other causes to consider, such as hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.)

 

My Prayer Today

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Lord, thank you for Your unending love and grace. You have blessed me in so many ways. I am so thankful for the gift of everlasting life, my husband, precious children, loving and ever supportive parents, sisters who are God given best friends with whom I share a special bond, my loving extended family whom all love me and have helped shape me into the God fearing woman I am today, and the prayers of loving friends and family.

I know you are carrying me down the beach of life as I struggle now. You will never leave me or forsake me. Please quiet my mind. Show me what to do next. Help me to find balance.

I love you more than words can express, more than anyone, or anything. I cannot fathom Your greatness. You meticulously planned and created the entire vastness of our universe, from the inner workings of an atom, to the number of hairs on my head, to each star and planet in the universe.

Because you can do all things, I know you will lift me up and carry me to solid ground. This storm will not destroy me because you are fighting my battle!

In Jesus Name, Amen

🌅💜🙏

Healthy Living in God Centered Life, Heart, and Home is my Key to Healing and Peace from all My Struggles

This past week has been very hard for me. I am bipolar. My postpartum hormones and inability to take mood stabilizers while breast feeding has made this last year challenging.

I was determined to keep a balanced mind and hopeful outlook, even though I was rapidly see-sawing from extreme depression, to numbness, to high anxiety and a racing mind.

I have been fighting a mania for  a few months now. It got worse in the beginning of April when both my van and my husband’s car broke down on the same day. The added stress of this caused a major fight between my husband and I. My anxiety escalated exponentially and I could’t sleep.

If I don’t get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night, I start to become manic. I can feel it coming on and usually try to get a few long nights of sleep. This generally brings me back to earth.

Unfortunately last Tuesday the insomnia and anxiety ramped up even further due in part to PMDD. I have been fighting it, but I keep spiraling further into a full blown manic episode.

My family is concerned and I am nervous too. God is helping me stay in touch with reality, but completing ever day tasks as a SAHM of 4 is overwhelming to say the least. I need help and I have learned to reach out. My family is amazing!! I would be lost without their unconditional love and support.  My husband, parents, and sisters have helped with the kids.

I am using all the tools I learned in therapy to cope and level out. However, they are not cutting it this time. I need a psychiatrist and some medication. My former doctor retired and I could not find anyone who takes my insurance for the past year. Finally, an office I formerly attended had an opening. I got an appointment, but it was a month out from when the mania really amped up in April. I am now much worse and I still have to wait a week for the doctor. 

I am scared and trying to get in earlier, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I am clinging to God right now and he is giving me peace. My daily devotional spoke especially true to my heart today and I felt the need to share here. My God is my rock, my refuge in the storm. He is my healer and the maker of heaven and earth. I know He will not give me more than I can bear, so he must think I’m awefully strong.  I am not sure what he is preparing me for.  I feel once I overcome this, I will do great things in His name. He can do anything and I am continuing to pray for complete healing from bipolar disorder and trich.

To end on positive not, my pulling has significantly decreased over the last two weeks. I did not pull at all for the last two days and have also had several good days. This comes after a year of bad pulling so it is such a relief. The urge is lower and I am more aware. Fingers crossed.

***UPDATE***

May 21, 2016

After meeting with my new doctor, I started the same medication regimen I had in the past. It has been over 3 years since I have regularly taken medication; I have had 2 babies close together. I became pregnant unexpectedly with my third child in February 2013, and again in August 2014…so I have been off medication since February 2013 (3+ years 😳).

I stayed remarkably well balanced, but recently my mania has been impending. I am fighting it, but it’s slowly overtaking me. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am continually giving my struggles to God because he can fight for me much better than I ever could. I have peace in His love, omnipotent, and omnipresent ways. ❤️🙏💐🌈🚇⛅️😊

How to Help Your Family Grow
By Rick Warren

“Since I … have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15 NLT, second edition).

If one of the marks of an awesome family is that we help each other grow, how do you do that?

Let me give you two ways that help people grow and two ways that don’t. This applies in every area of life.

Help each other grow:

1. Through example. Jesus did this in teaching the disciples. John 13:14-15 says,“Since I … have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (NLT, second edition).Your kids don’t want to hear a sermon. They want to see Jesus’ example in your life.

2. Through conversations. If you’re not having critical conversations with your kids about real issues, they’re not growing. Unfortunately most conversations we have with kids are about schedule, eating, or homework and not about the stuff that really matters in life.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:7, “You must teach [God’s commandments] to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning” (TLB).

Now let me tell you two ways that don’t work to help people grow:

1. Through criticism. Nagging doesn’t work. Condemning doesn’t work. Criticizing and complaining are totally ineffective in helping a person change. Why? Because when you criticize, you’re focusing on what you don’t want rather than what you do want.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.”

2. Through comparing. Everybody’s unique. There’s nobody in the world like you! That’s why comparing never, ever works. In fact it’s lethal to any relationship. The Bible says, “Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done” (Galatians 6:4 NCV).