Author: Amy Irvin (Page 2 of 11)

Being A Good Mother

I know that not all of my motherly endeavors are successful. But I know that my intentions are well spent. When I see the respect and good behavior of my children, I know that I am doing a lot of things right with them. Yes, I have moments of doubt, thinking that something I did, or something about myself is going to mess them up and they’ll need therapy later in life.

There are so many reasons why one could be a ‘bad mother’, and collective reasons why one could be a good mother. Now, let’s get this clear: I do not use the term ‘bad mother’ loosely. I think that if you let your child eat candy or if you let them cause a ruckus in the grocery store with no consequences, you can still be deemed a good mother. On the other hand, if you abuse your children or use drugs, you are a bad mother. Don’t get mad at me. Check yourself.

I know that we all have things we could improve on and none of us are perfect mothers. Maybe I should use the term ‘compromised mother’. I am not trying to offend anyone, but I know that I have had to change a few things about my mothering, and still need to.

BUT

My children are fed:

I praise the Lord that there is food in my house. He is our provider. My kids don’t always have what they want to eat, but I try to make sure they are always eating something healthy. Sometimes my oldest will get a bit dramatic and act like he’s throwing up when he tries something new, but I am trying to get the healthy stuff in. But regardless of what, they eat when they are hungry and don’t go without. Thank you, Jesus!

My children are housed

I praise the Lord. We live in a healthy environment that I keep as clean as possible with three littles. They all have a place to lay their heads. Thank you, Jesus!

My children are happy

I thank the Lord that my children laugh and smile regularly, and they are creative and enjoy life. I try to keep the lines of communication open too. I want them to be able to come and talk to me when they need to. And if they need something, they will let me know.

My children are healthy

I praise the Lord! They go to their doctor’s appointments, they take their vitamins, they get their exercise… I know that some mamas’ babies have health problems that are no fault of their own. I am not knocking those moms down. If your child has a health problem and you are not getting it treated, you could be a ‘compromised mom.’ But if your child is healthy, you did things to contribute to that, as a mama. Health is general, but I am talking of physical health here. Make sure you are attentive to the health of your babies.

My children are respectful

Making sure that your child treats others well is important. We don’t have 100 % part in how our children treat others; ultimately they make their own choices and have their own encounters in life. But if your child is respectful and treats others well, there’s a high chance that you did something right at home. Thank you Jesus for teaching me!

My children love the Lord

I know there are different religions and beliefs, but I stand on Jesus (The Word of God) and as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. If your children grow up with knowledge AND love of the Lord and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, you definitely did something right. Most of us go astray, at least for a little while, but as I said, they will make their own choices. But without a doubt, if you train your children in righteousness, they will know the Way their whole lives.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a perfect mother. I have had to step my game up and really seek the Lord to help me grow. I also have an amazing husband who does his part in the house very well. Jesus is my God and I do my best to move toward Him all of the time. I have had to check myself, I have had to overcome fears and mature myself to bring better to my children.

BUT I know I am a good mother because I take care of my kids and they have what they need. I see the fruit of my hands (clasped together in prayer!) in them.

If you just gave birth to your first and you aren’t sure you know what you’re doing yet, hang in there. You’ll learn together. If you just got married and are a new stepmom and he or she is not too fond of you, be patient and stay close to the Lord.

If you’re struggling with mental health issues, be kind to yourself. Know that you are important and your babies need you. If you have to take meds and go to therapy, good for you. Do what you need to do to be present and well as your baby’s mama.

If you have a child with special needs and life is challenging in your household, don’t feel bad if you have to ask for help. Do what you gotta do, mama.

If you’re unsure if your child is doing the right extracurricular activity, talk to them. Pray about it. At least you are trying to make sure your child is socialized and learning.

If you are working several jobs to make ends meet and have barely any help, I commend you, mama. Don’t beat yourself up for not having much time to spend with your children. It will all work out.

If you’re a single mom and have no idea how you make it from day to day, don’t stress, seel the Lord. And be kind to yourself!

God bless you, mama. Let’s give our children the best of us! Let us not forget that making sure our own mental and physical health is good so that we CAN give our children the best of us!

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Kill Your Idols

Idol (Merriam Webster definition):

  1. An object of extreme devotion.
  2. a representation or symbol of an object of worship
    broadly : a false god.
  3. A likeness of something.
  4.  A false conception.
  5.  A form or appearance visible but without substance.

Anything we hold in such high esteem that we are honoring alongside or higher than God is an idol.

I speak to Christians and non-Christians alike: Get rid of your idols!

That job you have that you spend so much time at and expend so much energy at, loosen the reigns! Trust the Lord to be your provider!

That girlfriend or boyfriend you love so much, and are fornicating with, but are unwilling to take the next step into marriage with, let them go! Honor the Lord with your body!

Those books you spend so much time reading; Time that could be spent reading the Bible or in prayer…  set your heart free from them! Give the Lord your time!

That Netflix habit you have at night that keeps you from prayer, give it up!

The children you love so much! They are a precious gift but don’t value them over what the Word of God says.

Your spouse is a gift from the Lord. Honor them, love them and respect them but don’t put your trust in them above what the Word of God says.

Those cigarettes you smoke every hour, every day, give them up! Honor the Lord with your body!

Only the Lord id to be worshipped! The Lord is a Jealous God! Enthrone Him on the altar of your heart! Fast from the things that keep you from the presence of the Lord!

True Fasting

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Isaiah 58: 6-7

Let us turn our hearts back to the Lord! Whatever idol we have set up before Him in our hearts, let’s surrender it! Don’t stop praying, stay in the Word and fast and fast again. ‘Til chains are broken!

Chains of lust, chains of addiction, chains of adultery and fornication, chains of gluttony, chains of hate and unforgiveness. Refuse to surrender to the enemy and the Lord will fight this battle with you!

Jesus loves you and His sacrifice was too great to give into the enemy’s call to take your soul to hell with him. Choose the Highway of Holiness today.

Please check out the ministry of Repentance and Holiness.

Repentandpreparetheway.org

 

 

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What Entertains Me As A Christian Mom

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

Christians can have fun, counter to what some believe. I used to be one who thought being a Christina means a dull existence. I enjoy my life! God created life and we should enjoy ourselves. Christian fun should be clean fun, though. I aspire to make it to Heaven. The cross of Jesus and His faithfulness will get me there! In the meantime, what do I do to entertain myself?

Some things I used to think were fun, I don’t do anymore because of the conviction the Lord placed on my heart. I think I am a simple lady these days. Plus, I have young kids, so I belong to them (laugh out loud!)

 

Movies I watch are usually on Prime Video Or Pureflix. I barely watch movies anymore, really. Once in a while on a date night with my husband after the kids have gone to bed. But usually, it’s a Bible movie, an otherwise Christian movie, or a family movie. I like it when my husband picks the movie. He always picks one we enjoy. But at times, I’ll pick one that we like.

Ok, so now for what books I read. To me, this is most challenging. Simply because I love all kinds of books and I get tempted to read books that aren’t the best choices. I am a part of a FaceBook book lovers group that I see a lot of books others are reading that tempt me. Also, I see so many fellow bloggers reading books that sound so good. I have decided not to read fiction for the time being to honor the Lord, and it has been challenging. I picked fiction back up a couple of months ago and read a couple of books I enjoyed but will not read again. For now, I am sticking with my Bible and some self-help and Christian books that I am enjoying. Here are a few books I picked up recently:

Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen

Without Rival by Lisa Bevere

The End Of Mental Illness by Daniel G. Amen 

Made To Crave by Lysa Terkeurst 

I guess the last category for what I do for fun is shopping. I grocery shop in local stores including Wal Mart and Wegmans.  A lot of my shopping is done on Amazon, though. Here are a few of my favorite buys:

Downy in-Wash Scent Booster Beads, Old Spice Unstopables, 20.1 Ounce

GoGo Squeeze Apple Sauce Pouches 

Pacific Food Organic Oat Milk

PB 8 Probiotics 

As for music, I listen to Gospel and Contemporary Christian songs. I love Kierra Sheard (Something Has To Break is my fave song of hers!), Cece Winans (Believe For It is my absolute favorite song right now!). My all-time favorite Christian artist is Fred Hammond. My husband and I met him at a concert a few years ago. We acted like children (Laugh out loud!) One of my favorite Fred Hammond songs is Draw Nigh.

And this is all of the fun I have (Laugh out loud!) I think I am a simple woman. And happy! I am glad to be a Child of the Most High God and I have an amazing husband and children 🙂 I don’t need much. The Lord takes care of me.

 

 

 

 

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Review Of The Lady Boss Blogger Grow Christian Blog Course

This course is thorough and is a great way to learn about blogging before you set up your site and write your first post. It’s also great if you already started blogging and could use some guidance.

The course lays a foundation of prayer, suggesting that those who are Christian bloggers connect with the Lord before writing and going about any aspect of the business of blogging.

The course talks about common mistakes that bloggers make that one will want to avoid. If you haven’t started your blog yet, you’ll want to be sure to pay attention to these pointers.

Email marketing is another important step in a blogging business. It goes very in-depth, walking you through each step of an email automation system and how to run it. Having an email list is important because it will be one of the main ways you will keep in touch with your readers outside of your blog posts.

Pinterest is a big thing in the blogging world and this course goes over how to get your blog to thrive with it. It goes over what automation systems to use and how to post according to the standards of Pinterest to optimize traffic through this platform.

Affiliate marketing is a big way to earn money blogging and the Grow Christian Blog course teaches one how to start affiliate marketing and how to be effective with it.

 

 

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Be Still, My Heart

Be still, my heart and know,

That the Lord is in control

Of every part of your life.

Give Him every circumstance.

Don’t wonder, “What?”

Just trust that He knows every thought.

Give Him every worry.

Take no thought for tomorrow ‘cuz

He’s already got it in His hands.

Trust that He knows everything

That will happen. Everything

that you think is too hard to handle.

The Lord is mighty. To save! To deliver

From every scheme of the enemy.

We fight not against flesh and blood,

But against the powers and principalities

That govern the air.

BUT

No weapon formed against you shall prosper!

Because you are a child of the Most High king!

Creator of heaven and earth.

Creator of all humankind.

He knows your every thought, and every word

Before it’s on your tongue.

Give the Lord all you’ve got!

Every anxiety, every care, every notion that tries to bring you down.

Be still, my heart

And know that

No matter what tomorrow brings, there is a greater glory

That these present sufferings can not compare to!

So don’t give the enemy the attention he grapples for!

Your hope in the one who made you

Will not disappoint once you see Him

Face to face

On that day when He appears

Before your eyes.

Just know that He’s got your back.

And if God be for us, who can be against us!

Nothing you imagine can separate you from God’s love

In Christ Jesus!

Stay close to His heart. Love with abandon.

Give from your deep well of care He has lavished on you!

And don’t be afraid.

No one can take advantage. If they do it to you,

They are doing it to Him!

The Lord will repay you for all you do for the brethren.

For the poor, for the sick and shut in.

For the prisoners.

Even if you are never repaid here on earth,

Great is your reward in Heaven!

Be still, my heart.

That one who hated you for no reason, pray for them,

That one who took your kindness for weakness, pray for them.

That one who talked about you behind your back,

They need Jesus!

Just as you do.

Keep praying.

Keep it between you

And the Lord.

And He will repay you for your obedience,

To the cause of the Gospel

Of Jesus Christ

Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel

And the Lord shall supply

All of your needs

According to His riches

In glory!

Never doubt your Savior.

If he cares for the sparrows, how much greater are you

Than they? He will take care of your every need.

So don’t worry, pray. In the deepest part of your despair,

He still sees you.

He still knows every part

Of you that needs His touch.

So reach out to Him!

No matter how you feel.

Don’t let fear or doubt

Keep you from Hius presence.

His love will reach every secret part of you!

 

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How Modesty Is Still Relevant For Believers In Christ Today

Modesty:
the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
simplicity; moderation. (definition from dictionary.com)

Modesty starts in the heart. To be modest is to be humble. Modesty is holy!

I have told my testimony many times. How I grew up in a legalistic, religious church. I couldn’t wear pants, makeup, jewelry, cut or dye my hair, go to movies or parties, etc. I lived a life of restriction as a child. I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord and I believed Him to be an angry God.

Now, I look back and I think, “That church dressed holy!” The thing is, they didn’t believe Jesus is God and didn’t teach grace and love. No one discipled me. I didn’t know how great God’s love is through the example of that church. But I digress. I am not going to tell my whole testimony here.

The point is what I stated earlier. Modesty starts in the heart, with a relationship with the Lord. It is important to show modesty outwardly, but if you don’t know Jesus, the way you dress is not going to get you to heaven! Living modestly starts with the blood of Jesus applied to your soul once you repent of your sins and trust in Jesus for your salvation. Once you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, then you are made righteous!

Once you have a relationship with the Lord and begin to spend time in the Word of God, learning the scriptures you will see that modesty is vital. Some Christians don’t dress modestly because they don’t see any good example from other Christians. I didn’t dress modestly as a Christian for a while. I went to church with women who wore tights and tight slacks, showed breasts, and wore short dresses. I knew that modesty is vital, but didn’t have a clear example of what dressing modestly looked like. Also, growing up in the legalistic church I did, I thought that wearing skirts and dresses was religious.

Before I started wearing dresses and skirts, covering my whole body, the Lord worked on the pride in my heart. Pride is not modest. Modesty embodies humility and holiness. I thought too much about what I felt, what I wanted, the way I wanted to dress: to be free to wear what I wanted now that I know grace. I was mistaken. Freedom in Christ is not about being able to do what you want to do. Modesty is honoring the Lord in the way you speak, behave, and dress! If you love Him, you will be glad to be modest!

I have always attended churches that women dress immodestly. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I believed they were modest. They were my examples! But the Lord brought me into a ministry of repentance and holiness that is preparing the way for the Messiah to come. The women dress holy, in dresses down to the floor, covering their whole bodies. (See this blog post!) I followed them for several years before I began to dress like this. I’m not sure why it took so long for me to follow their way of dress. But I am glad I am dressing modestly now.

I will never condemn another woman for dressing immodestly, but I will be happy to show her the way! If you are not following the ministry of repentance and holiness, you should be. This is the voice of God right now, through His prophet, Dr. David Owuor. (Please search him on YouTube!)

I, in no way, am writing this post to assert that I am better than anyone. As I said, it took me a while to adopt modest dressing. I want to tell you what I have learned. Immodest dressing is sexual sin. I used to think that if a man is tempted by a woman’s way of dressing, that’s his fault. No! A woman is accountable for tempting her brother to sin. I am speaking to women, but men are to live modestly as well. A woman’s curves, legs, and skin should only be shown to her husband.

So many men want to dress flashy and show off their bodies as well. A godly man needs to teach a man how to dress.

As the church, we are still supposed to walk in holiness and stay separate from the ways of the world! Modesty, in behavior and dress, is so important. We will not win others to salvation by looking like them! An unbeliever should see us and want to know what is different about us. But if we speak like them, treat others like they do, and dress as they do, we will not win them over to salvation through Christ and holiness.

I am speaking the truth in love. I am sharing this post with you, praying that you will seek the Lord and find Him. Begin to walk in modesty, humility, and holiness!  I highly recommend following the example of the men and women in the Repentance and Holiness ministry. God bless you.

If you have any questions after reading this, about how to dress modestly you can email me at amyirvin84@gmail.com.

Some scriptures about modesty:

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire. – 1 Timothy 2:9

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. – 1 Peter 3:3-4

“A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. – Deuteronomy 22:5

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. – Romans 12:1

 

 

 

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How To Break Unhealthy Habits

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

Some of us are more disciplined than others. Some of us grew up with better examples than other people. For these reasons and many others, we develop bad habits. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how you were raised or your personality type. We all have free will to make our own choices. Bad habits have some benefit, or we wouldn’t do what’s bad for us. Unhealthy food is sometimes delicious, and it is filling and comforting. You may have started smoking cigarettes because someone you admire does it, then you continue not only because it’s addictive,  but because it relieves stress. You may crack your knuckles or bite your nails because it helps you focus when you are stressed. There are bad habits we acquire for comfort, stress relief, or other ‘benefits’ that can be replaced with habits that are good for us. Here, I will share some ways to stop bad habits.

Recognize the cause of your bad habit.

Moving forward, it will be helpful to know why you have formed your bad habit. be aware of your ‘why’.  You may sleep in late because you have the option to press snooze on your alarm. Or maybe it’s because you sleep with your alarm right beside you. You may eat an unhealthy lunch every day because you work across from a fast food restaurant and it’s convenient. Recognizing the reason behind your bad habit will help you move forward.

Replace your bad habit with a good one / choose a substitute for it.

I stated that your bad habit has a benefit. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to do it. Know what that benefit is and find out what healthy habit you can incorporate into your life that will replace the unhealthy action with a healthy option and you get the same benefit. For example, sleeping in late is comforting and you enjoy the extra rest. To replace sleeping in late, set aside quiet time during the day when you cuddle up with a good book and a blanket for a half hour and read.

Get rid of triggers.

There can be one trigger that supports your bad habit, or there could be several. Note what those are and eliminate them to the best of your ability. Let’s stick with sleeping in late. Say you sleep with your alarm beside your bed and you have a snooze button. You can mindlessly reach over (still half asleep) and hit snooze or dismiss. Or maybe your bedroom is too dark. This is optimal for good sleep, but will also enforce sleeping in in the morning. Get an alarm with a light on it that gradually brightens when it goes off. Also, you can choose a different alarm sound that is more motivating than a blaring alarm that is the last thing you want to hear upon waking.

Get a support partner.

Whatever bad habit you are trying to break, tell someone close to you who you know will be supportive. Maybe even someone who needs to break a bad habit themselves. Having a support partner will be extra reinforcement for you to break that bad habit. Accountability will help motivate you to stick with a new good habit and not go back into your old, unhealthy ways.

Surround yourself with people who will reinforce new, good habits.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “birds of a feather flock together.” Being surrounded by people who are doing the same unhealthy things you are doing is a reinforcement to keep those bad habits. It will take sacrifice, but you may need to cut some people out of your life (or just spend less time with them). It may be impossible to do this. Maybe those people are your parents, brother or sister, or others who you live with currently. Join a support group or go to a place where you know people will be who will support your new lifestyle.

Begin with awareness.

It may seem daunting or overwhelming to begin, but get excited about the new you! Even if it is a small habit you are replacing, you are moving forward. Be aware of when your bad habit happens. How does it make you feel? Who are you around when you indulge in this bad habit? What are some things that trigger you? You may want to keep a journal to track these things, as well as how you are progressing with your new, good habit.

Don’t beat yourself up when you fall back into your old ways a time or two. This is natural. Focus and move forward. Don’t give up on yourself!

This article is adapted from James Clear’s website. https://jamesclear.com/how-to-break-a-bad-habit

If you are looking for further reading on stopping bad habits and creating good ones, I highly recommend James  Clear’s book Atomic Habits. You can purchase it here on Amazon.

 

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To The Woman Who Feels Like She Doesn’t Fit In

Struggles with insecurity and self-doubt are so toxic. In this sin-ridden world, we are constantly bombarded with images and messages that go against the image we were created in. Every single one of us was made in the image of Almighty God. Culture has made everything the Word of God is against, acceptable.

Whether you grew up as a church kid, in the house of the Lord 2 or 3 days per week, or if you’ve never stepped foot inside of a church (or somewhere in between), I believe that each of us needs our own personal encounter with the risen savior through the presence of the Holy Spirit. A lot of us get to the point of desperation before we give into the power of the cross and repent. But I digress.

This post is not particularly about salvation through Jesus Christ; But if you are a Christian, I hope and pray that you know your worth in Christ! For me, it took several years to gain confidence in my identity in Christ. And I have not arrived yet! He is still affirming me and renewing my mind through the washing of the Word of God.

If you doubt that you are unique, that the Lord loves you, and no one can fulfill the purpose God has for you but you, open a Bible and begin to immerse yourself in the Word of God. You are precious! Created in the image of a God so mighty, He is the creator of all life. He loves you so much that He came and died the most horrifying death EVER, went to hell so you don’t have to, and now sits on the right hand of our Father, interceding for YOU. For your salvation. For the abundance of life He wants you to live here on this earth to bring Him glory!

Personally, before I knew Christ, I had such a low opinion of myself that it was hard to have a healthy relationship with anyone. I am still a loner type, that’s my personality. But the Lord has done amazing things with my life and I can live in confidence. Once a person is born into faith in Christ, the wrong mindsets need to be unlearned so that the mind is transformed by the living Word of God.

You are unique. If you need me to remind you, there is no one with your fingerprints. There is no one with the same thoughts as you. There is no one who can do what you do like you do it. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Let that one sink in. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God has countless thoughts about you. Good thoughts.

If you are feeling like you don’t fit in, embrace that. Seek the Lord for His purpose for you. The Lord has an assignment for you to change someone’s life. If you are a believer in Christ, He is your rock, and He has called you to be someone else’s stability. The Lord created us to be in community. Find your spot in the community He has placed you in and do what you are good at to contribute to your community. Even if you have to learn a new skill, there is something for you to do.

If you don’t fit in, be a leader. In your family, at work, or in your church. If you are asking, “Who will listen to me or want what I have to offer?”, trust that the Lord will make a way.  Begin to pray and stay reading your Bible. The Lord will empower you to reach souls for His kingdom.

Find your purpose and identity in Christ and He will direct you to what skills He wants you to hone to bring Him glory. Even if you are doing something that the World finds unworthy of the Kingdom, looks at Jesus’ example. On this earth, He was lowly: He was very humble, as we should be as His followers. If you don’t know what your calling is, begin to serve wherever you can. The Lord will continue to direct you as He sees that you are faithful.

Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I pray for this woman who is reading these words. She is unique. There is no one like her because you made her a masterpiece. Lord, help her to see your worth in you. That you have a unique calling for her and that where she is at, there are people who are benefitting from her being alive. Help her hone her skills, Lord. Skills that will bring glory to her name my God. The blood of Jesus over her right now!

Amen

 

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How To Be Supportive Of A Loved One With A Mental Illness

So many people deal with mental health struggles. But not everyone with mental health struggles has a mental illness. I believe in taking care of your whole self, not just treating a mental health issue with medication.

Are you someone who knows someone with a mental illness and you’re unsure how to help that person? One of the first things to consider is how close you are to that person; How much influence do you have with them? Will they take your advice? If you are not that close to that person, I suggest you begin to pray for influence with them, as well as wisdom on how to help. If you are close to them, still pray. Pertaining to prayer, I am talking to born-again believers in Jesus Christ.

Another thing to consider when you want to help a loved one with a mental health issue: Is that person already on medication? Or are the issues they are experiencing new symptoms? And how serious are these symptoms?

If your loved one is already on medication, they have been experiencing a problem for weeks or months, and it is affecting their life, urge them to see a doctor. Take note: Are they exercising? Are they indulging in bad eating habits? Are they hanging around negative people consistently? Of course, it matters how close you are to this person. If you have good trust with them, ask these questions if you don’t know the answers already. These may be questions their doctor will ask (I hope!), but maybe you can help your loved one solve the reason for higher levels of anxiety or stress. But like I said, if they are already on medication, they may need an adjustment.

Now, if your loved one is not on medication and is having symptoms they have not dealt with before, and they are serious symptoms, I’d suggest praying for them. If you both are Jesus followers, pray together! Get in the Word of God! Open your Bible and find scriptures that talk about anxiety, fear, enemies trying to overcome your mind, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

While you are praying with your loved one and believing for God’s help, make sure your loved one is getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, and taking vitamin supplements. I want to stress that when treating mental health issues, the whole person is important, not just taking medication and calling it a day.

After making sure that your friend or family member is seeing a doctor and /or taking care of themselves properly, continue to pray for them! We all are in a spiritual battle and prayer is vital, especially when the battle gets strong and negative thoughts and harassment from the enemy begin to manifest through anxiety, depression, emotional struggles, suicidal thoughts, or other symptoms of psychosis.

Prayer is vital, but also make sure you are checking in on your loved one often to see if they are okay. If symptoms are so serious that they need to be hospitalized, visit them often (that is, if they are hospitalized for longer than a day or two). Help them come up with a plan so once they come home, they can stay stable. If they do not know Christ, and you are a believer, share with this person who God loves so much that Jesus saves, and already provided for their salvation and healing. Impress on them the importance of accepting Him as Lord and Savior.

A lot of people with mental illnesses have low self-esteem problems and low opinions of their worth. Encourage your struggling friend or family member to read books to help them understand their worth, as well as developing a journaling habit to get their emotions out and keep track of their progress (whether backward or forward). I’m telling you, reading and journaling are really great self-care habits for anyone’s mental health. If you don’t like to read, or aren’t a writer, still incorporate these activities into your life. They will help you to stay mentally healthy! Encourage your loved one to set a certain amount of time for writing every day. Maybe start writing for ten minutes per day! And read one page per day, to start. Encourage the development of good, healthy habits like this instead of harmful ones.

From personal experience, my husband has been a huge support in my mental health journey. Some tips from what he has been to me: Encourage your loved one past their doubts and fears! If they have thoughts, actions, and beliefs rooted in fear and doubt, lead them gently past those feelings. Encourage them to keep moving forward in productivity and success. You might be thinking that these two things have nothing to do with mental health but yes! They do! Having a daily routine is important and will establish self-worth and esteem. Getting up every morning, cooking healthy meals, having a hobby or job (or their kids, if a parent!) to pour their time and attention into are important. We, as humans are meant to prosper and be fruitful with our time and resources.

In conclusion, encourage your loved one to:

  1. Receive Jesus as Lord and Savior
  2. Read their Bible every day and meditate on healing scriptures.
  3. Incorporate self-care habits such as reading and journaling.
  4. Healthy diet and exercise.
  5. Take a multivitamin and research other helpful supplements to foster good mental health.
  6.  Get good sleep.
  7. Live a healthy lifestyle.
  8. Seek a good support system (regular Bible study group, 1 or 2 good friends, or a counselor/therapist).
  9. Encourage medication if they are living healthy and still struggle.

Remember, even if a person chooses 1 or 2 new healthy habits and sticks with them, that’s awesome. Baby steps are great, as long as we are moving forward toward being more healthy. Remind yourself and your loved one that you matter. They matter!

 

 

 

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Mental Illness And My Faith

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I am compelled to write this post because of a previous post I wrote entitled, One Truth The Enemy Doesn’t Want You To Know. In that post, I mentioned mental illness pertaining to identity in Christ. I am writing this article to ‘clear up’ what I said in that post; really explain more of what I meant. I will also share some of my experiences with mental illness.

When I first started blogging, I wrote some about my mental illness. I shared that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 13 years old. I am close to 40 now, so this has been my entire life.

Explaining here what I believe of mental illness, I do not want to condemn anyone in any way. I am still on medication. I still struggle with things. But I have found freedom and am grateful to the Lord for my stable mind.

If you have been a Christian for any amount of time, I am sure you have struggled with your thought life. The enemy will throw any type of negative thought or temptation your way if he thinks there is even a 1 percent chance you will take the bait. Because you have negative thoughts, doesn’t mean that you have a mental illness. Everyone, Christian or not has negative thoughts at some point in their life. People with mental illness struggle with so much more than negative thoughts. At times, it is a barrage of negative thoughts, voices, and anxiety. I believe it is easier for the enemy to gain ground in a person’s life with mental illness through negative thoughts and feelings because we feel more intensely.

I read a book by Mel Bond entitled, If It’s Not Good It’s Not God. He writes that all bad situations come from the enemy, as the title implies. If you want to check out the book, you can purchase it here on Kindle.

 

I will not go into a book review,  but it was very good. You can leave a comment or email me if you are interested in a book review. The point of mentioning the book is the title. God is a good God.  He promises good things to His people. That being said, we live in a world full of sin. People hurt people and many don’t want to follow laws, let alone treat their neighbor right or obey Biblical principles.

Being that God is good, I don’t believe mental illness is from Him.  Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and other mental illnesses are not from the hand of the God I serve. I believe they are curses from the enemy of our souls to torment us. Mental illness runs in families and most times (if not all of the time), is passed down from a parent or grandparent who has it.

Back to what I stated at the beginning of this article: I am not here to condemn anyone. I don’t know everything, but am here to share what I have learned and experienced.

As I mentioned, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when I was very young: 13. After being on medication and in therapy for several years, I confessed to a counselor, an instance of abuse that happened when I was around 7 years old. This was the first time I told anyone about what happened, but I thought of what happened to me constantly for many years. I was around 21 years old when I told that counselor what happened to me, and I told her I believed I was dealing with PTSD,  not Bipolar Disorder. Now, after mentioning this, I was diagnosed with PTSD as well.

Labels, and what we believe about ourselves have power. The Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7a, NKJV) What others project on us as we are in the formative years of life has a lasting effect on us, and some people never get over the negative ways they were spoken to or treated as children. I am not suggesting that because I was diagnosed with mental disorders or believed the diagnoses, thus I took them on. Mental illness runs in my family, and I have relatives with bipolar disorder. I do believe that people calling me crazy and treating me as if I can’t take care of myself made my mental state worse.

There is so much I could say that won’t all be discussed in this post. I will be bringing more posts on taking care of yourself with a mental illness and such articles. I know that mental illnesses are real diseases, but I do not think that medication should be pushed down peoples’ throats without treating the whole person. Mental illnesses are real diseases, just as diabetes and various other physical ailments are real. these diseases wreck peoples’ lives and make it difficult to live life in freedom.

Deliverance is real too! I believe there is power in the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, the Word of God, prayer, and the laying on of hands. If you are a Christian, you should believe in deliverance as well. Is it God’s will to deliver every single person with mental illness? I do not know. If you’d asked me several years ago, I would’ve told you yes. As of now, I have prayed for deliverance countless times, I’ve traveled far to visit deliverance ministries. I have tried weaning myself off of medication after visiting a deliverance ministry that I watched others get their healing at. Last year, I decided not to try going off my medication again, after weaning off was a fail. I sort of decided that Bipolar disorder is my thorn (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

I read another really good book that I am keeping close: Deliverance And Spiritual Warfare Manual by John Eckhardt. John Eckhardt has been in the ministry of deliverance and healing for a number of years. Reading this book opened my eyes to the origin of some diseases and various other spiritual problems that plague people, and practical steps to deliverance. If you are interested in that book, it’s available here. I highly recommend it, if you are studying spiritual warfare and deliverance.

I am grateful that there is medication for me, and it is working. I am grateful for the Word of God and the presence of the Lord. I am grateful for healthy food and supplements. I am grateful for my supportive family. I am grateful for the Lord’s purpose for my life. I am blessed to have the Lord taking care of me and to be in a healthy environment.

Mental illness does not have to define you! You can be on medication, even be seeing a therapist or counselor, and live a normal, healthy life. Some of the things people without a mental illness do may be harder for you, but even so-called normal people have challenges to overcome. You can choose to tell people of your mental illness as a part of your testimony of Christ, or you can choose to hide it from people you meet. That is totally up to you, and either choice is fine, but your diagnosis and your struggle are NOT your identity.

Father, I pray for every person reading this who has a mental illness. I pray for peace and joy over their lives. I ask you to open their eyes of understanding concerning their mental state. I ask that you take away confusion, depression, and the spirit of infirmity. I know you are a healer! I know you are a deliverer! Father, I pray that every person reading this immerses themselves in your Word, to find freedom. For everyone reading this who knows of someone who has a mental illness and isn’t sure how to help them, I pray you give them Wisdom. I pray they pray. Father, thank you for the cross and blood of Jesus!

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

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