Wednesday, January 22, 2020

2 Tools You Need for Your Bedtime Routine

Creating a Bedtime Routine

For the past several years I've been convicted of sticking to a bedtime routine in order to get a good night rest and wake up ready to tackle my duties for the next day. Yet I lack the discipline to implement them. Yes, that's present tense because I do still lack the motivation and discipline to actually stick to them daily. BUT, when I do the tasks of my bedtime routine, I've noticed I fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer (that is as long as my children don't wake me up). The two most important tasks of my bedtime routine are :
  1. Journaling my thoughts and prayers, and
  2. Listening to the Abide YouTube channel as I fall asleep 

Why Journal?

Do you ever struggle to fall asleep because you have endless thoughts swarming through your mind?

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Why Even Close Friends Don't Satisfy Loneliness

My Past Struggles with Loneliness

6 years ago, I was desperate to have the number of friends that I do now. At that point in my life, I didn't have anyone to really confide in or pray with. Although my husband and I attended church and were part of a life group, I didn't connect with any of them outside of our weekly meetings.

Despite Having Friends, Loneliness Lingers

Today, I can barely keep up with the friends that I do have. So many friends that I consider dear to my heart, but I struggle to keep regular contact with them for various reasons, mostly lack mental energy (I am very much an introvert, so most interactions exhaust me), but to an extent lack of time.

Please don't mistake this for popularity, because I am quite awkward and definitely not very well known among my community circles. And I'm pretty sure those who do know me from afar don't envy having me as a friend.

Yet, despite having a full slate of friends, I still feel lonely at times.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Why I Hate the Term "Best Friend"

The Natural Desire for a Best Friend

I think people have a specific longing for a best friend. For another person we can relate to. Someone who knows our heart, our darkest secrets and brightest victories in life. Someone to help us get through life's storms. Even the most shy and introverted of us, I think if we're being honest, long for that. For most people, it's a position that cannot be filled by a spouse, parent or child. It has to be a friend.

I think the desire for a close, trusted friend is a natural longing that God wired into us.

Why I Hate the Term Best Friend

When I was growing up, whenever someone referred to their best friend, I always had a ping of jealousy. Even if it was a girl I didn't really care to know, if she referred to someone as her best friend, I felt left out. Alone. Excluded.

Monday, May 20, 2019

34 Bible Verses About Storms

I'm guessing pretty much everyone would agree that life is full of storms, trials, complications, and frustrations. Using The Strongest NASB Exhaustive Concordance, I compiled this comprehensive list of Scriptures about life's storms. I pray that God makes some of these verses stand out for you to memorize and use to endure whatever storms life blows your way.

A lot of these verses have great applications for facing storms in life, and offer hope despite doubt and fear, even in today's world, thousands of years after the divinely inspired authors wrote these verses. However, sometimes it's difficult to understand how it's applicable when you don't fully understand the context of the verse. So in parentheses next to several of the references, I've included little blurbs that attempt to give at least enough context to glean more value from the passage in regards to its real life application. (Some of the blurbs are taken from the headings of the NASB).

Thursday, May 9, 2019

My Top 5 Favorite Coping Mechanisms for Depression & Anxiety

This post contains affiliate links of products
we highly recommend. Thank you for your
Carrying out this list of coping mechanisms does not come naturally to me. It takes effort for me to devote time and energy into something positive. My default nature is to allow my thoughts to control my actions, usually leading to just sitting around feeling defeated and sorry for myself.

If you can relate, let me encourage you that it really is worth the effort.

My Negative Coping Mechanism

If I must be honest, my go-to mechanism for coping with any unwanted feelings is TV. Getting lost in a screen of make-believe provides an immediate distraction from envy, jealousy, self-pity, loneliness and the plethora of other negative thoughts that enter my mind on a daily basis. 

Watching TV isn't a bad thing in and of itself. But it certainly isn't an adequate coping mechanism, and often times it causes even more unwanted thoughts (because even what is considered "clean TV" today stills contains a number of innuendos and indications that make it easy for the imagination to fill in the blanks and fantasize).

As God is slowly transforming me to become more like Him, He is helping me to discover better coping mechanisms for feelings of depression and anxiety. Here are my top 5 favorites:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hope in the Dark: Clinging to the Lord in the Midst of Trials

Guest post by Cailin Davis at Purposefully Portioned

When Trials Come

Trials are never enjoyable experiences. We all know that. 
But certain trials are worse than others.

Some trials are simply a source of irritation, such as discovering a flat tire or getting a leak in your roof. While others are a source of great pain, such as divorce, illness, or even death.

Minor trials do have a way of clouding our days and distracting us from our relationship with the Lord. But the major trials sometimes seem to block the out light completely.

It’s in the midst of the dark trials that God often seems absent at best and cruel at worst. And it’s underneath their consuming shadow that we often begin to question and doubt His love and goodness.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Is it Okay for Christians to Take Antidepressants?

I am NOT a healthcare professional and this material is NOT to be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your physician about any medications to see if they are right for you.

Years ago, if I was asked, "Is it okay for Christians to take antidepressants?" I would've answered that such medication is a cop-out. I thought, "Why put a substance in your body when you can simply seek God, pray, and take care of your body naturally?"

But God had a plan to knock me off my high horse when it came to my attitude toward medicating depression.

When I Thought Antidepressants Weren't For Christians

I once had a charismatic pastor who was adamantly against any form of anxiety or depression medication.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Facing Pregnancy Scared

I wrote the post below back in June 2018, shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my third son, Cade Oliver Code. In October of 2018, at 20 weeks, I found out Cade died. I wrote about my experience of grief and hope with his neonatal death months before I got the courage to publish it. Well, here's another post I never had the courage to post until now. I actually wrote this post while I was still pregnant, and I was feeling very depressed and hopeless. I was facing pregnancy scared but trying my hardest to keep my eyes on God.

Below is the original post I wrote during my pregnancy, with just a few minor edits for better flow structure. Anything written [in italics and in brackets like this] is a later edit I wrote commenting on the original post. 

Feeling Scared

One Thursday in June

I started my day off confused about what my role is in my family.