Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Be Gentle With Yourself

Something that several people who love me have told me recently is 'be gentle with yourself'.  It is starting to really sink in.  I have a tendency to be too hard on myself; and also let others be too hard on me.  I told my husband recently that I feel like I have spent my whole life being a punching bag- for others but also for myself.  I expect so much out of myself and will agonize over the smallest thing, and worry about what others think.

I am learning to be gentle with myself.  In a way that seems backward to the whole concept, this also means finding my voice with others who are not being gentle with me.

I am letting myself be human.  No less like Jesus, who I want to be like, but a human like He created me.  I am not Super Woman.  I'm me.

I am going to treat myself like He would treat me.  Like I want others to treat me.

Being gentle with yourself doesn't have to be some huge action.  The time will come when you have the opportunities to do something major for yourself.  To take down the barriers and let someone in and love you lavishly. To have a moment where you get huge revelation of who you are.

This week there was small decision made to help me be gentle with myself.  I had a coupon for those laundry detergent pods.  If I bought them and used my coupon, I could get one of the ingredients I need for my homemade detergent free.  I've been sick and tired and I am still reeling from the time caring for my son.  I stood at the end cap in the store for ten minutes.  No exaggeration.  I was beating myself up for even considering the purchase.  But I have been SO tired and overwhelmed and my homemade soap is running low and this luxury was really wanted.   So I bought them and have really been enjoying them.

I probably won't buy them again, unless another tough period comes up.  But for this week, I was able to be gentle with myself.  I made the purchase, reveled in them, and did not beat myself up about it once I made the decision.

This may all sound selfish.  But it isn't.  After all, the Bible tells us to love others as we love ourselves- but if we don't love ourselves- the workmanship of God- how can we love others?

Monday, February 3, 2014

30 Day Water Drinking Challenge

It seems like I'm on a challenge kick this year!  Nothing keeps me going like accountability and public declarations!  I'm going to do a 30 day water drinking challenge.  My goal is 90 oz a day.

I read this great article recently, which is what kicked me into gear.

Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say.

My hope is that this 30 day challenge will turn into a lifelong habit!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Einstein's Legs

I just had that awkward moment...when Einstein's legs are way hotter than yours.

And he's wearing sassy sandals.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gays In Church

Philippians 2: 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

No, the above verses aren't about homosexuality.  Usually on this subject, people refer to the 'clobber passages' (interesting name, huh?) But it is about how to be a Christian, and as I was reading it this morning, I found it applicable.

58% of Christians ages 18-24 call Christianity "anti-gay" and 79% of non-Christians in the same age bracket agree.  So, this age group in churches is shrinking.  About 1/3 choose to unaffiliate themselves with the church in general.

A 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows  44% of white evangelicals aged 18-29 in support of marriage equality compared to only 12 percent of those 65 and older.   (I don't know why the white part is pertinent but I don't want to skew or misrepresent the facts I read, so I'm leaving it.)

According to the same survey, nearly 70% of young Christians also agree that religious groups are alienating young people because of gay and lesbian issues.

Why is the church's primary message that is reaching people a message of "anti" anything?  Why isn't it Christ's love?  Grace?  What are we doing wrong that we are most known for our rantings about politics, parties, policies and people?

I read recently that 84% of homosexuals were raised in a household of faith.  Where are those people now?  I don't see them in church.  Why?  Because the church has told them they can't be gay and have a relationship with the Lord.  I'm glad that all of the things about me that people find unacceptable haven't kept me from a relationship with Him, or joining His church.   Why don't we open our doors, our homes and our arms to all human beings, and let them work out their own salvation with fear and trembling like each of us had to, and let them live for Christ to the best of their ability like each of us do, and give them a shot of a faith filled life in a body of believers, instead of telling them they can't. By telling these children of God that they cannot be a Christian and gay at the same time, we have done our part to guarantee that they don't live for Him or make it to Heaven.

Are we showing humility in this area, or are we unmoving and overbearing?  Are we being real servants to others and messengers of His gift of salvation and light?  Are we doing things in vain?  Are we grumbling and arguing and isolating?

Here is a beautiful article about a group of Christians who went to a gay pride parade without protest signs.

The goodness of God calls men to Him!  Are we Christians known best for His goodness?  No, I'm sorry to say, we aren't.

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."  John 13:35

PS.  This blogger says some of the things I think in response to the question "What if you're wrong" more indelicately than I would, but makes some good points.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Caring For Mental Health

I was talking with a friend recently who was hesitant to tell people that a loved one was getting mental health care.  During the conversation, this stuck out to me: "We treat our bodies when they aren't well, why is it so hard to admit sometimes our brains aren't well and need help too?"

Why is there such a stigma about treating mental health?  We treat our bodies.  We need to be sure to treat our brains too when they aren't working correctly.

I've been to therapy. There have been times I have needed medication.  Sometimes I just needed someone to use as an unbiased sounding board to help me sort out difficult situations.

I was talking to some therapists at the children's hospital, because Philip's long term special needs have really been taking a toll on us.  They said that there has been a big increase in people seeking therapy and mental wellness measures in my generation and the current generation.  They said they wished more people were willing to get help.

You might not need therapy...but maybe a loved one does.  Maybe someone you care about is already getting help but isn't confident in sharing.  So my advice is, get help if you need help, and be supportive when others do.  There is no shame!  Be proactive in fighting the stigma!