Mental Health Month: More than Awareness

Mental Health Month

Thanks to Sue at “My Loud Bipolar Whispers…hope” for sharing my life story!

Check out her blog site here at: My Loud Bipolar Whispers

The Month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

My main source of Mental Illness came from stuffing and denying GRIEF.

We are all taught to take our time through the grieving process.  But what happens to the person who denies that the whole thing ever even happened?  Do you still tell them to take their time?

I am thankful for one special friend, Kathy, who taught me to face grief head on and to acknowledge it straight on.  Because of her loving push, I am alive today and healthy.  I might not be alive today without her push.

Be a good friend.  Don’t let “deniers” get too comfortable in “taking their time”.  Push if you have to…but do it in love.

Consider your own Mental Health this month.

But also consider the Mental Health of others around you.

Be aware and don’t be silent…fearful of what to say.

Be more than just simply “aware” be “ACTIVE” in their life.  Speak up.  Love.

Others need YOU right now.  They might not be alive tomorrow without your caring influence.

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

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Welcome New Followers!

I just amazed that anyone would be interested in my writing…. let alone 80 of you. Others have always told me that I have a gift for writing but I never believed them. This is such an encouraging thing for me! And I can promise you it does not come from a place of pride or arrogance. I am extremely humbled. ♡

While not trying to seek approval, it sure is nice to know that others are appreciating my writings. It encourages me to keep writing…. even on days when I don’t feel like it.

If you feel like my blogs or blog site would be helpful for friends or family, please feel free to share!

My blogs are primarily geared towards helping people through recovery (such as through Celebrate Recovery, the 12-step program), Christian encouragements, eating disorders, infertility, miscarriage, and childhood abuse.

Thanks for tuning in each day!

Much Love!

-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

May. Spring. A Fresh Start.

Spring Bloom

Hello May.  Hello Spring.  Hello Flowers.

GOODBYE SNOW!

Spring infers newness.  Freshness.  New creation.  Death gone.  Hibernation gone.

Hello flowers.  Hello birds.  Hello lawn mower.

You say goodbye…I say hello.

Beetles “You Say Goodbye…I Say Hello” YouTube Link

Sitting here listening to my favorite Beetles song cheers me up.

Just as I anticipate Spring after a long Winter each year, I also look forward to the anticipation of Spiritual Newness.

I don’t want to be stuck in a Spiritual Winter.  I want new.  I want fresh.  I want life to the full.

Isaiah 43:19 says “ 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.”

I am ready for newness with God.

I will not settle for old stale manna.  I want the daily freshness of His Spirit.

Are you ready for newness?

Or are you settling for same ole’ same ole’?

Much Love!
-Karen

P.S.  Have fun and watch the Beetle’s Link again!  Happy Spring Everyone!

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Self-Permission Leads to Destruction

permission

I, Karen, give myself permission to: ______________________________

We all do it.  We give ourselves permission to “XYZ”.

We give ourselves permission to:
-lie
-be angry
-be selfish
-“act” religious
-judge others
-manipulate
-self-loathe
-act upon temptations
-live in unforgiveness
-spend money
-eat beyond feeling full
-starve ourselves
-hurt others
-put ourselves first
-compare and be jealous
-be lazy
-misrepresent ourselves
-hide the truth
-hide our faults
-isolate
-distrust
-indulge
-stuffing in the grief
-live in depression
-live in anxiety
-live in fear
-live in frustration
-live in denial

And the list goes on.

But I’ve learned one thing through my own personal journey, the more I give MYSELF permission, the less permission I give to GOD.

John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.”

Letting myself take the lead as “Boss” never results to anything good.

I’ve tried.  Oh, how I’ve tried!!!

I am “learning” (actively learning) that letting God be “Boss” is way better.  And I end up less hurt and annoyed.  I can be at peace.  No more striving.  Just resting.

I finally get to be a “child” again.  Resting in my loving Papa’s arms.  He gets to be the parent.  He gets to make choices for my good.  He gets to live through me.  And I get to enjoy life.  What a great plan!

So I am trying to give myself less permission to act upon fleshly mindsets.

And I see that Jesus is loving others through me in the process.

What a deal!

Are you still giving yourself permission to live “XYZ”?
How is that working for you?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Incubators of “animosity”

incubator

Women can be incubators of children.  Some can’t at all.  Some seem to be rapid multipliers.  As you know my story, I definitely struggled in this area.

Yet, just as women tend to incubate children, we also have a tendency to incubate other things.

Have you ever noticed (in general) that men process things differently than women.

Boys when they fight they will punch it out and they are over it.  My son can literally be “over” his anger within minutes.  And by morning, there will be no recollection of the ordeal whatsoever.

Whereas us girls fight emotionally (we fight dirty…we gossip, we withhold, we ignore, we resent) and hold grudges for many many years….or maybe even for a lifetime.

Knowing this, I personally have to keep “tabs” on my emotional well-being and my ability to “let go” and to “forgive”.

Why hold on to things for a lifetime?  Is it worth it to carry around all that gunk?

Am I “pregnant” with animosity and resentment?

It’s time to give birth and get this unforgiveness OUT!

In Celebrate Recovery (12 step recovery program) we are taught that we need to let go.  We need to stop stuffing and to stop incubating hurts.

Incubated hurts lead to unhealthy habits and hang-ups….and destroyed relationships.

Ask yourself these questions:
Q:  How long have I been incubating these hurts?
Q:  For how many more years am I willing to incubate these hurts?

I’ll leave you to that!

Right there with you, dearest friends.

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Visitor, Tenant, or Resident

home

I am cleaning the house vigorously for our family member to come for a visit this weekend.  Extra laundry, dusting, sweep, beds made up fancily, vacuuming, bathroom cleanings….everything!  I love visitors but the work involved can be overwhelming.

Not so with a resident family member.  After awhile, you get used to the daily messes of dishes, laundry, messy beds, dirty toilets (boys in the home), etc…  You can simply be the real and genuine you without all the fuss of extra cleaning.  Sure, daily maintenance is important, but not all the extra frills that come for visitors and guests.

I’ve seen all three kinds of “Dwellers” through the years.  Maybe four.

First Kind:
These are the people who never come to visit.  Either no relationship at all or else a very distant one by phone or social media.

Second Kind:
Guest or Visitor.  You clean extra special for them.  Hair done nicely.  Make the home as neat as you possibly can.  You treat them to extra goodies or meals out.  You host them.  However, there is a known fact that they will be leaving.

Third Kind:
Tenant.  (Not to knock renters, as I had been one before).  These people have no firm obligation to stay.  Temporary.  Short term.  They do not care if the place they stay lasts a lifetime.  No legacy of memories made.  Just an in-between stop on the journey of life.

Fourth Kind:
Resident.  Owner.  In for the long-haul.  Not leaving.  Signed the deed.  Attained a mortgage.  These people make memories here.  They decorate for the holidays.  They have a mailbox on their property.  Firm.  Unwavering.

This very simple reminder of our family member coming reminds me of our relationship with God.

First Kind:
Never come to God.  Stay far away from Him.  Either ignore Him or outright push Him away.

Second Kind:
Just a guest at a Christmas or Easter service.  They may visit a family member’s child sing at a church event.  They may go to appease their mother or grandmother.  No heart connect.  Just obligation.

Third Kind:
They play house but not actually taking up residence.  They don’t want the full life commitment.  They want God when they’re in need, in trouble, or need rescuing.  I have seen this time and time again after tragedies such as 9/11, the Boston Marathon, etc…  People run to churches.  And then once they have relief, they go back to normal living.  Without God.  When a health issue arises, people run to God and others for prayer.  When there is a death, a pastor is called at a near by church for assistance with grief and the service.  Again, just a season, not a lifetime.  At best, a Sunday morning church service is enough for these types.

Fourth Kind:
These are the ones who are in it for the long-haul.  Fully committed.  Fully surrendered.  Not turning back.  Not playing games.  Not just looking for a life-fix or out of obligation.  They have a relationship not just a religious experience with God.  A daily encounter with Jesus.  Not a Sunday visitor.  A daily home-maker with God.

Which are you?

It’s okay to be honest.

There is no judgement from me.  I used to be in all four of these places in one time of my life.  I have learned that once I discovered who Jesus was (beyond religion and theology), I wanted to make my home in His arms.  I played the “stay away” type.  I played the “I’ll visit out of obligation” type.  I played the “I’ll do Sundays and pretend to be religious” type.  But now, no more playing.  I’m a resident in the home of God.

Do you want to be finally….home?

If so, I want to welcome you.  It’s a warm and loving and accepting (Just as you are) place to be.

Try it out and see. What could you possibly loose?

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Embracing “Me”

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When I was a child and even into my 20’s I desired to be who everyone else wanted me to be.  I’d dress like everyone else.  Talk like everyone else.  Act like everyone else.  I even morphed my laugh to laugh like everyone else (the cute girly giggle).  Never ever truly liking myself at all.

Now nearly 36 years old I have finally arrived at liking the real me.  Who God created me to be.  Not the world-influenced version of me.

2017 became the year to learn how to like and love myself.  Hard task after abuse and heavy let downs in life.

Undergoing a new transformation inside and out took place in Celebrate Recovery (12 Step Recovery Program).  I needed to address some very deep wounds in order to get to where I am today.

I have not arrived.  I guess I am merely beginning.

I no longer “care” about pleasing others.  I no longer “care” about being their rescuer or their source of strength.  I no longer dwell in the land of co-dependency.  That in itself was the biggest hurdle.

The real Karen is:
-Introvert
-Extrovert at times
-Enjoys the boring lifestyle
-Enjoys being with family than anyone else
-Deep and contemplative
-Joyful and youthful
-Crafty and Organized
-Neat-Freak
-Even-Keel (not easily given into emotional waves)
-Naturally pretty (wavy hair, make-up free)
-Enjoys being home rather than out
-Overcomer vs. Victim
-Enjoys positive words by others
-Repelled by negative words by others
-Love simplicity: cooking real meals, gardening, housewife

Our family motto is “Let’s be a boring family”.

Not in the sense that we are a boring family.  But we gravitate (on purpose) to the drama-free, the simple, our home is a refuge lifestyle.

We don’t overwhelm our schedules with running here and running there.  Soccer practice, ballet, swim, tennis lessons, baseball, basketball, footfall, choir, band, church, church gatherings, work, travels, guys night out, girls night out, shopping, etc…

Not that any of those things are bad.  Just doing them all at the same time is.

We choose one activity to be involved in.  Right now our son is in swimming.  That’s enough. (Besides church of course).

I think we live too much in a “have a full schedule” world that we loose focus of us.

When I was in my 20’s I craved a full schedule.  Every day something.  Every evening something.  I was involved in every ministry possible.  Every meeting, every gathering.  I was there.  I realized one day that I only felt self-value when people needed me.  When my schedule was full.

WHAT A LIE!

I had value even if I had nothing planned for my entire week!  I didn’t need a busy calendar to make me feel cherished.

For our family, it is like a vacation everyday.

Not that there aren’t bumps in the road (goodness our family has been put through the ringer) but at least we embrace mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

For many of you who are chronically alone in your home, this may not be the right thing for you.  You are already too home-bound.  Get out.  Explore.  Have real face time with people.  Get off of social media and get out there and actually “be” social.  Go for a walk.  Have coffee or a meal with a friend. Make new friends.  Get signed up for classes you might enjoy.  Serve at a church service.  Be present in life.

As for our family, we daily try to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit (and not walk in the ways of the flesh).

Galatians 5:22-23 says “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control….”

Who is the real you?  What are you like?

Are you living for others?  Or are you learning to embrace the real you?

You should not be like me just as I should not be like you.

I would be a real jerk if I told you to do things my way.  How foolish!

So what works best for you?  What do you need to change in order to be “happier, healthier, and free from stress”?  Do you need to cut out some activities?  Do you need to get off social media?  Do you need to get out of the house more?

Be real.  Be you.

As for me, I am giving myself permission to not blog everyday…this pregnant mommy needs rest and lots of it!  ♥

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!