As some of you know, I am attending school to become a counselor. Through my own life experiences and career experiences, my eyes have been opened to the great need for discussions and more knowledge about mental health. I am disappointed to see the stigma that exists around mental health, even in the year 2017.Counseling is still viewed by some as something for crazy or “messed up” people. For some, mental health has a negative connotation and is equated with shame.
I want to play a part in helping to break free of the stigma of mental health! Jesus came that we would have life to the full! (John 10:10) Our mental health is an important aspect of living an abundant life, and living life to the full.
I hope to bring awareness of the importance of mental health and how it affects us all! I pray that all may take steps to improved mental health and never be ashamed to ask for help when they are struggling!
I will be posting one post a week for the series. I am not sure yet how long the series will last. How many posts will depend on the demand of topics. Here is what I plan to cover so far:
-Counseling and mental health
-Food and mental health
-Relationships and mental health
-Faith and mental health
Are there any other topics you would like to see related to mental health? Don’t be shy! I want to write what YOU are interested in reading!
Currently my life is in a season of pruning, and what I am also learning to refer to
as “investment.” Investing is painful. It involves risk. Investing requires giving up something in hopes of a greater return down the road. At the very outset, it requires some sort of sacrifice. It may be a very long time before you see any gain or fruit from that sacrifice. For example, investing money is painful. The money is placed into an account where it cannot be touched until a certain point. The goal is that the amount of money will grow. But what if an emergency arises and you need that money? Painful, and risky. Other forms of investment are financing a wedding, buying a house, starting a business, or investing in an education. These are different types of investment that we hope will bear fruit in some way.
An investment that we are all called to make is purity. Living in purity is an investment for a future marriage. It is even an investment in yourself. Living a chaste life protects you from disease and unhealthy emotional attachments. It requires the daily surrender of one’s desires for the good of one’s self, future spouse, and consideration of the good of a child. Choosing to forgo suitors who are not God’s best for you is a related form of investment. It is easy to settle and may be easy to find multiple people who want to be with you. Taking the time to wait for the right spouse and for sex is an investment in your future joy, your future spouse’s joy, and even the joy of your children. Many people have not made this investment, and have brought suffering onto themselves and others.
Plain and simple: investing equals sacrifice. Sometimes these investments involve very difficult sacrifices. Many choose not to make these sacrifices simply because they are so arduous and involve (sometimes very delayed) gratification. Yet investing creates wealth. It creates an abundance that could not have come without the sacrifice. It is like when a tree is pruned. The tree appears bare aftter the pruning. A person who doesn’t know about horticulture will scoff and think the tree is ruined. But after some time, the tree will be bursting with fruit. This is our hope with our investments. In some way, at some time we do not know, they will bear great fruit.
I trust that this difficult and painful investing process will one day pay off. So can you. I have planted my seeds in the ground, sacrificed much that is dear. I will wait for the sun and rain to grow them. I can only trust the One who has called me. Let us eagerly await the day when we can harvest the fruit from these decisions to invest.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Today I am featured over at Modern Ruth Project with a post titled “Fear, Joy, and Change.” This year is bringing many changes for me. I’m learning to let go of fear and jump into the new things that He has for me–even though it can be terrifying!Head on over and read! I hope you’re blessed by reading!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”~Isaiah 43:19
Jesus was the Son of a carpenter. He would have, then, followed in the footsteps of His (earthly) father. The time between the beginning of His ministry and His death and Resurrection was 3 years. Jesus likely began carpentry at a young age and assisted Joseph
for many years in this trade, until the time His ministry began. Thinking of our lives, He’s given us many tools to use.These tools may not be a saw or a hammer, but they are what He’s given us to use as we build our lives alongside Him. These tools help us in various ways as we work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” These tools help us to navigate our lives. Because Jesus was a carpenter,it seems fitting that He works through so many circumstances in our lives by various tools.
This life is a difficult journey. There are seasons where we can feel the grace and sunshine on us moment by moment. Other seasons? Not so much. Other seasons are dark and we struggle constantly. We may feel helpless sometimes. Thankfully, our Father hasn’t left us alone.
What tools has He given us to navigate and build our lives?
His Word-His word provides consolation, comfort, conviction, guidance, and anything else we could ever need.
His Holy Spirit-After Jesus ascended to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us forever, to lead, guide, and console us!
Prayer-We can connect with the GOD of the universe wherever we are! How amazing is that? Even better, there are styles of prayer to suit every personality, from silent and meditative prayer to belting out in praise!
Other people-We can receive encouragement and confirmation from others. Others can provide wisdom and strength that we need. The Lord did not create us to be alone–in fact, we can’t make it alone through life. Human love can teach us in a small way about the love our Creator has for us.
Counselors-These trusted people help us walk through the broken pieces of our life and into more whole versions of ourselves.
Books-Good books teach, heal, guide, and inspire.
Nature-Nature is a great way to connect with our Creator and de-stress. Nature teaches us so much about our Creator and His ways.
Art and music-Like nature, these gifts of beauty show us Who our Creator is. They can be very healing for many people.
Writing-Pouring one’s heart onto paper is very helpful for many people.
Prophets and the prophetic-These experiences can confirm what the Lord is speaking over our lives.
Laughter-This gift helps us to relax. It helps us to connect with others and is positive physically and emotionally.
Tears-Tears are the words our hearts speak when life seems too much for us to carry. Tears are a release for our body and our emotions. Sometimes they are also a supernatural gift from the Holy Spirit.
What other tools has the Lord given you as you work through life?
I feel like my Lord is leading me into the desert. The old routines and ways of life that I’ve followed for years will change. The daily circles that surround me will be different. It’s amazing how much we like to be comfortable as humans, and how difficult
it can be to truly embrace change. I’ve been aching for change and known that He’s leading me to new paths, but I didn’t realize how difficult it could be to change course. I didn’t realize how much struggle there would be interiorly. When I decided to surrender my life to Him, I didn’t know how unexpected the journey would be. Oh, yes, there are so many blessings! He provides over and beyond in every area of my life. Yet it is not at all what I ever expected. When push comes to shove, the newness will be uncomfortable. I will be challenged in every way. The only stability I can hold onto is my Jesus. And shouldn’t He be everything?How easily we humans become attached to people, places, and routines!
“The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” — Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus is our Shepherd. Not just any shepherd, either: He’s the Good Shepherd.As the priest at Mass reminded me today, a shepherd knows what is best for His sheep. The shepherd leads the sheep where they need to go and ensures that they are nourished and safe. I can trust, too, that He is leading me somewhere good. The Good Shepherd knows what is best for this little lamb of His–and for you, too!
Friend, don’t fear the desert season. He will be our Living Water and our nourishment in the desolation. He will lead us through the desert and sand. He will lead us exactly where we need to be. One day, we will find that we have made it out of the desert. We can trust that there will be abundant fruit after the desert.Follow His voice, and He will be with you all the way.
I almost didn’t believe what I was reading. A dear mentor texted me after an event where I was able to be one of her guests. I had to re-read the text a few times to make sure she wasn’t talking about someone else.Me, a great conversationalist? Yes, it was true-she was complimenting me on what I perceived was one of my weaknesses!
I reflected on her words and on the event. She was right–that day, my efforts had been successful in connecting people and keeping an interesting conversation flowing. My friend, believe me when I say that is not me!It was the power of Jesus & His Holy Spirit working in me.
Perhaps Jesus is shining through you in ways & areas of your life you never expected!
It just goes to show that His power is made perfect in our weakness! In fact, God may very well be using your weaknesses to shine through you!
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”~2 Corinthians 12:9
These days, too many people try to base their worth upon whether they are “in a relationship” or receiving attention from the opposite sex. In my open post over at Modern Ruth Project, I share some of the experiences I had while online dating. Most of all, I share about worth. I share about where we find worth, and it should not be in dating or a member of the opposite sex! Sense of worth will always shift if it is gained from another person. Do you feel unworthy of love, especially in regard to your experiences with dating? Check out my post!
You are a child of the King! You are worthy! You are loved!
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.