Tag Archives: peace

Thank You God for These Hands

Thank you God for these able hands that shoveled many feet of snow. My poor van was almost lost for good, but with help from my wonderful husband we saved her.


Now I rest. I’m thankful for this ‘Mommy break’. I gave myself a manicure. I am happy even though they are short. I broke four nails in the process of shoveling and putting outside clothes on and off four kids about a hundred times.

A little me time and pampering goes a long way. It was a much needed 30 minute break while my three big kids played outside and baby Rachel napped. Thank you God for moments of rest and peace. #simplepleasures #girlygirl


When God Doesn’t Move the Mountain

Why can’t I  stop pulling my hair?

Why do I still have manic episodes?

Why does this cloud of depression try to consume me?

 I know God can heal me. The creator of the universe can do anything. So I wonder, will He ever heal me? I pray and pray and try to fight through His strength. Some days are better than others, but the bottom line is that these strongholds are the anchors trying to drag me down.  I am the child of the one true King and nothing the devil throws at me will change my unwavering faith and love for my God, my Savior, and my closest Friend.

Through my most recent manic episode that lasted about four months, I have begged for healing.  Through my prayers and seeking God through His Word, I keep getting the same message.  There is a purpose for my pain. God will use me and my struggles in His time. I know His plans are perfect and He is preparing me for what lies ahead.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about his disability. Paul is the guy with an insurmountable faith. He commanded people to be healed in the name of Jesus, and they were healed instantly. He told a demon to flee simply  because he was annoyed, and the demon fled. Paul clearly lacks no faith. He’s the guy that could say to a mountain, “move,” and it would have to move. He says:

“…I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then He told me,

‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.”  {2 Corinthians 12:7-12}

The poster child of faith could not pray his own disability away. Three times he prayed, using a level of faith that is hard to wrap my mind around…and God still said no. God wanted Paul to rely on His grace to make it through, not on Paul’s own ability. God wanted to bring Paul to his knees so that he would have to rely on Him to get by.

But sometimes God says no.

You don’t have to tell yourself that the faith you just tried so hard to muster up, so intensely that it made you physically sick, wasn’t enough. That if you could just try a little harder, you could make God change the situation. That you could somehow control God.

Because, surprisingly, it’s incredibly comforting to know that God can say no. And he does, often. There’s strength in knowing we can’t control His decisions, and that the outcome does not always, in fact, depend on our level of faith.

And there’s strength in knowing that sometimes God doesn’t move the mountains, simply because He wants us to rely on Him to climb them.

Through the Eyes of a Lion

TTEOAL_2_InstagramQuote_1.jpgLet’s Welcome the Light and Gain a New Perspective on Our Pain

Levi Lusko has used his pain to produce this powerful message. I consider the sword of the spirit (the bible) to be one of my most powerful weapons against the enemy in  my battle with bipolar disorder and trichotillomania. In his biblically based book, Levi explains that our suffering is an opportunity for us to to be used like never before.
Our biggest struggles are also the places where we can help others the most. Living through the pain gives us a unique perspective to help others through the same troubles we have. I think one of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is the question of why would a loving God allow such heartache to happen. God does not allow evil, it is part of our sinful world in which we have free will to choose how we live. God hates to see us suffer, but He allows pain to enter our life for a purpose. He uses our pain to help us grow deeper roots in faith and shows you how to help others who are suffering in a similar way. It is a powerful testimony.


Suffering is not an obstacle to you being used by God. It is an opportunity for you to be used like never before.

Levi uses the famous quote from Aaïs Nin, “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”  to show that the world is not fixed in some pattern. It can be viewed from many different points and it changes according to who is watching it.


There is a two part sermon series that goes along with this book. I am posting the sermon notes below along with a link to the sermon.

Lc tteoal pp title

An Important piece in the armor of God in my battle plan for My current mania

Sword of the Spirit

The Word of God  – When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Jesus modeled this so beautifully during His temptation in the wilderness. When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit. Jesus spoke the Word of God to Satan. In Luke 4:1-13, Jesus responded, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord God only. Him only you shall serve.” and again brought the Scripture back into context, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

Key Scripture

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

Key Thought

Suffering is not an obstacle to you being used by God, it is an opportunity for you to be used like never before.

How to See through the Eyes of a Lion

  1. Don’t rely on the naked eye.
  2. Train for the trial you’re not yet in.
  3. Let God use your pain.

More Scripture

Ephesians 1:17-19Colossians 3:2Psalm 34:151 Samuel 16:7

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Pastor Levi talked about the 1990’s for a second. So, about the 90’s … want them back, or glad they’re gone?
  • What did Pastor Levi say that you’re still thinking about?

Start thinking. Ask a thoughtful question.

  • Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Do you give more energy and focus to “seen” earthly struggles or “unseen” eternal things?
  • Think of one of the worst things that’s happened to you. How does the depth of its impact compare to the length of eternity? How often do you consider eternity?

Start sharing. Choose questions that create openness.

  • Read Ephesians 1:17-19. Pastor Levi described how lions’ eyes don’t get more light, they fully use what’s there. What’s blocking light, or hindering your vision?
  • Where do you think you’d be weakest in a trial? How will you train for a trial you’re not yet in?
  • What God-given insight or opportunity might your eyes be opened to because of pain you’ve experienced?
  • Have you seen past pain turn into opportunity? Can you share your story?

Start praying. Be bold, and pray with power.

Heavenly Father, we want to see our pain through Your eyes, through the eyes of a Lion. Help us fix our eyes on the length of eternity and the strength of Your Holy Spirit living in us. Show us how You are turning our pain into power for Your purpose. Amen!

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Choose a painful moment and ask to see it from God’s perspective. Each day, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the opportunities you now have.
  • Ask God to help you see the unseen this week. Make note of any time you sense Him expanding your vision. Come ready to share next week.
  • Read Pastor Levi’s Bible Plan: www.go2.lc/eyesofalion

Get this in your inbox. Visit go2.lc/emailme



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.


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.


Battling Bipolar Mania


Racing mind never stops
Thoughts run out
In uncontrollable speech
driving others mad

I see myself causing anxiety
But am unable to stop
I prefer depression
No one knows what is going on inside

My mania overflows and
Cannot be contained within
Fully exposed and vulnerable
Unable cope with life

Forever writing lists and setting alarms
Help me focus despite my desire to accomplish
Every random thought that pops into my mind
I get a LOT done, but
My long disorganized process
Concerns everyone around me and
distracts me from pressing responsibilities

I don’t know what to do
It’s never been this bad

God please take this!
Heal me help me
Strengthen me
I know you are there
and will not give me more
than I can take so you
Must think I’m pretty strong


Reflections: Peace

Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are. ~ Robwert Fulghum

It’s quite natural to crave a feeling of peace.  This is true whether you are experiencing a significant mental health issue, coping with a personal crisis such as a divorce or the death of loved one, or just trying to effectively manage the vicissitudes of every day life.  If you have Skin Picking Disorder or Trichotillomania, peace is likely something you have been “wishing” for throughout your struggle.  Of course, it would be wonderful if a feeling of peace would descend upon us just by wishing for it.  But in reality, peace requires action. If you are committed to finding peace, you must wholeheartedly agree to do the work involved in attaining it.

Sometimes, the urge to pick or pull can be so powerful that you might find it difficult to even have a few moments of peace.  In many ways, peace is a function of acceptance, in that it requires you to accept reality as it is, rather than as you would like it to be.  Some with Dermatillomania or Trichotillomania describe urges as being like a loud sound that can’t be ignored – as if someone has turned the volume of the urge up so high that it is the only thing you can pay attention to.  In order for you to move through and past this extremely distracting urge, the first thing you must do is to fully accept its existence.  If you spend your time attempting to control or avoid your picking and pulling urges, all you are doing is spending time engaging with something you simply cannot control.

Once you have accepted the presence of your loud and annoying urges to pick or pull, you can choose to engage in other activities.  When you do this, you will notice the volume of your urges decreases because they are no longer front and center.  They will still be there, but they will not be all consuming.  By choosing the action of doing something other than engaging with the urge, you take an enormous step forward in your recovery.

Choosing to act differently than you have in the past in response to your urges may at first feel quite difficult.  But keep in mind that peace is not just wishing or hoping – peace is “something you do”.  It is something that requires repeated practice.  And with effort and commitment, it eventually becomes “something you are”.

1. In what ways are you accepting, or not accepting, of your unwanted urges to pick or pull?

2. What actions might you take to further develop a peaceful, accepting relationship with your urges?

3. What are some activities that you find peaceful, and how can you implement them in your daily life?

Tip of the week: This week, try to be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions at those times when you are able to accept and move through an urge without giving in to it.  Notice if there is a sense of peace after you accept an urge rather than trying to control it.  Practice this approach in order to develop a consistent, new pattern of responding to your urges with acceptance, action…and peace.

Written by
Kelley Franke, BA and Tom Corboy, MFT
© 2014 OCD Center of Los Angeles

I blog about my personal struggle with trichotillomania and bipolar disorder. I also discuss helpful strategies, reflections, and treatments.

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