Tag Archives: relationships

Mental Health Series Pt. I: Relationships.

For the sake of this series, we will define mental health as including: “emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” (Definition taken from: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/index.html)

We are all a part of one another and can’t exist except in relation to others. Our past, present, and future relationships all have (or will have) a profound effect on us, whether we realize it or not. Thus, we will start the series with relationships!

So, how do we work toward positive mental health in regard to our relationships?

  • Build a strong support community. It is so important to surround yourself with people who are positive and who build
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    Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

    you up, helping you to grow in healthy ways. People who criticize or undermine you just aren’t worth your time. (If you are searching for community, pray! It will and can come to you in interesting ways! A solid church home is important as well.) Think about it this way: Are the people you spend time with helping you grow closer to the person God created you to be, or does your time with them leaving you feeling like an inferior version of yourself? (“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

  • Learn signs of abusive relationships and get out! (Here is a number you can call if you are in the USA and need help getting out of an abusive relationship.) These relationships are immensely harmful to your mental health/emotional state, and their impact is very negative. Find freedom and go back to the step above.
  • Recognize where your current sources of difficulty may have come from past relationships. If you grew up with a father who told you that you were useless–or a father who just didn’t seem to care–it’s going to affect you today. This goes for any kind of abuse, neglect, rejection, etc. Bring these to the Lord, and if needed, to a counselor (no shame!). All of us have these areas, even if we are not aware of them. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring these specific areas to light and to heal them.
  • If you are taking care of others, don’t forget to take care of you! Most of us are taking care of someone, whether it be as a parent, a teacher, or helping your grandparent or older parent. Self-care will go a long way for not only your mental health, but also for the relationship. An empty vessel cannot fill other vessels. If you forget to take care of yourself and keep pouring out on the other person, you may even grow to resent them.
  • Set boundaries. This goes along with the above point. Even Jesus set boundaries. Remember when He went away on the boat Himself? The crowds even tried to follow Him (Matthew 14:13). Boundaries are important in managing stress and doing only what you can. Again, you need to be filled up. Boundaries are important in building healthy relationships. A relationship is unhealthy if one person walks all over another or takes advantage. People need to be clear and honest about their boundaries with one another.
  • Forgive. The main person you are hurting by not forgiving is yourself. Not only that, you are harming your relationship with God! (If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. (Matthew 6:14-15)) Forgiveness is seriously important. When you hold onto hate or anger, it can lead to bitterness and anger. These do not lead to positive mental health, and even affect our physical health negatively.
  • Last, but definitely not least, keep your relationship with God first! If you are truly seeking Him, it will keep you grounded. It doesn’t mean life will be perfect and that you won’t struggle with any type of mental health difficulty, such as depression or anxiety. Having God in your life will give you the grace and tools to fight whatever battles you face. I’ll touch on this more in the faith and mental health post.

Next up: counseling and mental health!

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
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Upcoming Series: Mental Health

Hello, my dear readers!

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!

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Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

 

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!

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Photo by Jordan Donaldson | @jordi.d on Unsplash

Guest Post: Guarding Your Heart.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.”—Proverbs 4:23 

It’s time for my monthly post over at Modern Ruth Project! This month, the theme is boundaries vs. intimacy. I bare my heart about when I have not followed the wisdom of this very important verse from Scripture. I share about the importance of guarding one’s heart and what it takes to build a healthy relationship.

Check out my guest post! Hope you are able to gain wisdom as you discern best how to guard the one heart that you have been given from above!

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The Tools We Have.

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

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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.
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What other tools has the Lord given you as you work through life?

Where Do You Find Your Worth?

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!

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Single Sundays-Finding Wisdom and Clarity.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!”~Proverbs 16:16

I hope you are having a very blessed Sunday that includes lots of peaceful time with the Lord & fellowship with others! Today is the last Single Sundays post, as it is the last Sunday in February. Today I will focus on how being single provides ample opportunities to gain wisdom & clarity for your life and future marriage. Without further ado, read below some of the reasons why being single for a longer time can actually be a blessing!

Being single provides time to gain wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. Very young people can be endowed with more wisdom than an elderly person. However, God grants many of

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us the gift of wisdom over time and through experiences and growing in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Experiences can take years to amass for many of us. Sometimes we even need to re-learn the same lessons over and over during a period of years. During your time of being a single person, you can find wisdom about marriage. You will be able to observe many relationships & marriages. This will give you a vantage point to determine qualities you hope for in a partner. Your observation of different relationships and talking to those you know who are courting, engaged, or married will give you wisdom. You will be able to learn from the successes, challenges, and even mistakes of others.

Being single gives you time to gain clarity. As I wrote in the post last week, marrying young can turn out to be detrimental for some, as they have not yet realized their callings. They may not have had the time and experiences to clarify their purpose that those who are single for a longer period of time have. A person who waits longer for marriage is generally more mature and has had more life experiences to gain clarity about what direction their life is headed. A time of singleness (and past relationships) can also provide clarity about what you are and are not looking for in a marriage partner.

The clarity you find as a single person can bless your marriage, future family, and maybe even a ministry as husband and wife. As you grow older, your vision grows wider.

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You are more aware of the direction your life is headed in. I am in the midst of some big decisions, decisions that could affect my husband & our children. These decisions have come about due to wisdom and clarity I have gained about my purpose & the vision I have gained for my (and my husband’s) future family. As a person in my younger twenties, I did not have full clarity about these visions for my life.  I am grateful now that I have a clear vision for moving forward into marriage and family life. If you are in ministry or feeling called to ministry, it will be good to know the realities ahead of time so you and your spouse can be on the same page. Sometimes the Lord calls couples into ministry together, so you may even be looking for someone ministering in a similar or complimentary way. That clarity is very freeing.

What opportunities has your time of singleness provided to gain wisdom and clarity?

Choosing the Better Part.

Lately I’ve been learning the lesson that Jesus taught Martha about choosing the better part. And it’s a lesson that I will need to continually learn as my life evolves.

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman

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named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”~Luke 10:38-42

Before I’ve written about how difficult it is to balance my job, school, and all the other aspects of my life at this point. I’ve learned without prayer, it all falls apart. Without Jesus as my Pilot, I crash. Sitting at the feet of Jesus fills me up. The Living Water fills me up to pour out to others and into my callings in life at this time.  It is all about relationship. When I neglect my other relationships, too, things do not go well. Community brings a sense of peace and focus to me that I lack on my own. I need time with Jesus, and I need time with others who love me and encourage me (while I do the same for them). 

Choosing the better part means choosing relationship over the tasks that “need” to be done.

I’m learning what it means to choose the better part. I want to set aside my “important” tasks and sit at the feet of Jesus. It is there where I gain all I need. It is the better part, and it cannot be taken from us, as Jesus Himself tells us.