Life Sucks at Times – Are you Struggling? I Struggle-here’s Hope!

Recently I have had one crisis on top off another in the home and in relationships. To top it all off a very dear friend passed away unexpectedly. It is hard to cope with. Especially when living alone and no one immediately to talk with. I had a major leak in the bathroom rendering it unusable. So I have been busy putting things right again.

One problem is that coupled individuals do not realise the issues that singles face day by day. Its’ not aloneness that is the issue, its the companionship and bouncing ideas off someone you trust. Its helping each other when stuff goes haywire in bathrooms for instance!

In Wales UK, in this past year we have experienced nothing but lockdowns, due to COVID-19. I have been living a lock-down life since March 2020. However, we are told by the UK government that we can not have total freedom of movement until the end of June 2021. That’s a very long time to live a solitary life when you are accustomed to being very social. It’s a house hold arrest- at least it feels like it.

I have said things to people that I regret. But few understand the pressure that the lock downs has put not only myself, but not just on me- but for many others who will feel its effects for years to come.

I thank God for my faith In Jesus Christ, as there would be no purpose or meaning to life otherwise- for me at least. All my work is weekly public speaking and face to face interaction. COVID has taken that away- and in my emotions and thinking, things will never be the same again.

I am sure that you can relate to my lamination to some measure . The problem is, Living on my own during such times, can cause abject loneliness and even depression.

It seems to me, that the pressure that the lockdowns have caused, bring out the worst or the best in people and you discover who your really are. You also discover who your friends are.

Do people regularly phone you to see how you are, or are you the one who must chase them all the time? Do you feel that when you do speak to your friends or family that the telephone conversation is all about them, and when you try to share, they divert the conversation straight back to themselves? During lockdown we feel that our choices have been taken away, our social circle has been diminished or closed, while feeling that our relationships will never regain the traction they once had.

As devastating as all this, we try to face the reality of what our friendships might really be.  Perhaps facing the instability of our social circle and perhaps our family life as well, we see things as they really are. And possibly for the first time, we realise that we are not as strong as we thought we were. Perhaps we are having a self awareness reality check. One of my recent blogs is about resilience in the face of burn out- check that out it will encourage you!

When life goes well, we can be fooled into thinking that we are invincible and there are no changes to be made. Perhaps good times has given us a false sense of security, propping us up, giving us a distorted view of our situation and of who we really are and what we should be.

The advantages of having absolutely everything stripped away, is that we come face-to-face with ourselves. We become self aware. Our lifestyle choices are virtually gone. We are either at the mercy of the tumult of our emotions, or at the mercy of God’s grace.

The Good News!

You may feel that lock down has taken away All your choices possessing no choice in anything at all. This is not true, it is only your perception of things, but not the reality. Even in lockdown, we do have choices. Below I’ve listed some choices that I have come face-to-face with over the past 10 months and maybe they are the same or similar choices that you had during the course of this pandemic.

1. Allow myself to get down were I just stay in my PJs or bed.

2. Eat my way through the lockdown.

3. Watch TV 24/7 and let go of all my exercise routine.

4. Discover new vision and goals.

5. Set new projects to accomplish goals.

6. Take Action on new project

7. Learn more about well-being and fitness and implemented it into my day.

8. Planning for a lock down future in this and be the foreseeable future so I may be productive and successful.

9. Contact my friends and family even when they do not take the initiative to do so.

10. Listen intensely and carefully to the problems of my friends and families even when I am not heard.

Every day when we swing our legs out of our bed and place them firmly on the floor the power of choice begins. We have the power to choose whether we will have an unproductive day, or just another wasted day in lock down; or one that will be full of surprises, twists and turns but by the end of it will be productive in some way.

As I sit on the side of my bed contemplating on this, I have a choice of what my mood will be. I still struggle at times with my mood controlling me instead of me controlling them.

Many years ago, I allowed my emotions to determine how I felt, which influenced every decision I made, influenced every attitude. I would try to relieve the turmoil with negative, unhealthy, and unhelpful practices. Over the years I have learnt that my thoughts are not me, they are things. Thoughts are things that I will allow or disallow into the realms of my thinking.

Dr Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist, who recently discovered that behaviours have a direct bearing upon our thoughts and not the other way round. The research shows that when we try to gather our thoughts it’s the same as herding cats. Once we allow negative thoughts access, they take on a life of their own. I have come to the conclusion that negative thoughts are like a virus that by nature multiplies and mutates so you never can really get a handle upon it. And before you know it, these thoughts are dictating your emotions, and your overall behaviours and your life.

Here the good news story – address your behaviour first. If you disregard the negative thoughts, and take positive action, you will be in control of your day.  By being aware of your behaviours, we will be better able to control what happens in your day. You can learn how your behaviours dictate our thoughts, and your thoughts will dictate your feelings and mood.

Because I’m a highly sensitive person, I consider that my moods, and feelings are likened to a virus. We know so well during this pandemic, a virus spreads, mutates, while taking hold of the body causing havoc. My emotions can do this too if I allow them. Being aware of it, is more than half the battle, because then I can do something about it. When I am in control of my day, I am happier and content. I cannot control the course of the pandemic, but I can control my day, and therefore my future. As Jim Rohan once said, ‘either let the day run you, or you run your day’.

Getting back to my list of 10 points. There were times where I slipped into points 1 – 3. I soon became frustrated, knowing that if I allowed myself to slide deep into the pit of despair, it would be a long climb – a very long climb indeed to get out that hole. Unless somebody let down a ladder, I would stay in that pit a very long time. Living alone, you have less of a chance of somebody throwing you a ladder to rescue you. So, it’s up to you to encourage yourself to find positive ways forward. I became more aware of my negative emotions and thoughts and stopped the process as I began to slide into the pit of despair and despondency. I jacked my foot up, getting leverage, I hauled myself out before I lost sight of the top. Then I would prayerfully, and intentionally, set about engaging with points 4. – 10.

The scientist tells us that our heightened emotions is something that motivates while propelling us forward. I reflected upon this and knew this to be true because that’s exactly how I accomplished getting my Master of Arts degree in counselling and coaching. Being a high percentile adult dyslexic, and at the time in my mid-50s, the thoughts of achieving an advanced academic level was far removed from me. However, I knew exactly what God had called me to, I wanted to fulfil that, and my university studies was part of Gods plan for me. It was not the love of helping people or even pure faith that propelled me forward – it was anger. At the time, I had people around me who told me that I don’t need to study, others said I can’t do it as I’m not smart enough, while others said it will be a waste of time and money, particularly at my age. There were many other things that was said that proved to be very hurtful and caused me to be so angry that I wanted to rise up and show them. I wanted to show myself, and my God that I could do it. I felt that the God given call upon my life would enable me to go forward in Gods ability no matter how tough things got. I internalised my anger and put it to good use, and over the course of four years, I earned a Master of Arts with a merit.

Be Determined

Now, here, during lockdown I contemplated this deeply.  I knew I needed to get my emotions heightened to be able to propel myself forward. Because emotions dictate behaviour and behaviours dictate my thoughts. But I don’t want to be angry to so it. So at the beginning of each day, I spend time in prayer and reading the Bible, and decide to harness any feelings of emotion good or bad, and direct them as fuel to accomplish my projects.

Be Wise

If we look to favourable circumstances or a special somebody or even something to make you happy and content, you make a huge mistake. If you solely rely upon others, you are affected by their whims and fancies and be left disappointed. If you reply on a favourable circumstance, you will find yourself in a precarious position because circumstances can change or disappear altogether.

Be Happy

Happiness comes from deep within us when we know that God loves us through Christ. When we know that our sins are forgiven, washed whiter than snow.

Deep happiness and contentment come when we are in close relationship with God through Christ. The Holy Spirit of comfort is given to us to walk in us and beside us. If we rely upon God who is the Eternal Now, we find true happiness and profound contentment, even in the middle of our struggles.

During lockdown, although a lot went south, however I reinvented myself by setting goals and learnt how actually to set projects and accomplish them.  Within six months, I had written and published two books, built two websites, and now learning to maintain them. I have done and learnt new things I thought I would never do, although it was really hard. My goal is to create a successful online community dealing with Christian lifestyle issues and wellness.

Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that God will build his Kingdom independently of us. Through the stories of the Old Testament and Jesus teachings, it is clear that we are co-workers with Christ. In other words, we work with God and God works with us. God does not work independently of us and we do not work independently of God. We can have all the dreams, visions, and mission statements enough to pack out a football field. But It is not going to do you or me a scrap of good unless we take action; unless we move forward, unless we bite the bullet and allow God the Holy Spirit to guide us into brand new realms of our walk with Christ. All the learning and all the abilities and even all the support in the world is not going to do us any good unless we take action.

I remember preaching many years ago in a country Church in Suffolk UK, when afterwards a PhD student approached me. She said that she felt so overwhelmed with her work that she didn’t know what to do. She was researching the effects of using mobile phones has upon the brain. To further her research and to complete her thesis she was accepted as an intern at one of the universities in the USA. She asked me to pray for her and I did. Then I felt a leading of God and advised her via a word of knowledge that the Lord spoke to my heart. I was to tell her these few short words – How do you eat an elephant? Mouthful by mouthful!

 The Lord said to her, through me that ‘as you take one step and accomplish that, then you can take another step and accomplish that, then you take another step, one step at a time.  

Try not to look ahead too far ahead because Jesus says, give no thought for tomorrow because tomorrow is enough trouble of its own. Instead, just look far ahead enough where you can see where your foot is going to land upon the ground and deal with that. In the other words – live mindfully in the moment. Then over time, you will find you have achieved your goals.

Don’t Give Up!

Please – please don’t give up, but look to God for your strength and hope for a better future through Jesus Christ. As you seek God, he will give you a new vision and a new mission or renew an old one, and the desire to fulfil it.

Tomorrow morning, as you swing your legs over the side of your bed and rest your feet upon the floor, make positive choices. Take positive action then and there. Ignore the familiar doubts and fears that whirl about in your head. Remember you are not your thoughts. You can choose what to do that day and what you want to accomplish. You will be able to recover from any distraction and get on with what you need to be doing.

My Friend, You are special person, and the world needs your gifts, abilities, your knowledge, and experience. Don’t worry about what others are doing or not doing. I encourage to make a commitment to yourself and to God to learn things new. To learn how your behaviours can rule your negative thoughts. Learning new things each and every day, challenges me and often times frustrates me reducing my to tears. But struggle is part of the process of achievement.  

Remember, you can do all things you Christ who strengthens you. With every breath, every moment that I live, I want this day to count for something in the Kingdom of God. So be blessed my friend during this time of awful lockdown. Look square into the face of loss and despair in name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and go forward in victory!

I am in the process of writing my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that!

If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your mindfulness journey, check out my new course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this!

I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter and receive your FREE thankyou gift!

 If you feel you would like further support through adding you to my prayer chain, counselling or coaching, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me is found in the top menu on my home page.

 HEAD OVER TO YOUTUBE AND CATCH UP WITH MY VIDEOS – it is Free! 

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish

Rev Paula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdQ4NPTNfXSnwd3pimPh0g

How to get through and recover from Burnout of Mind, Body & Spirit and Stay Sane!

I want to share with you in this post,  how I get through Burn out and stay sane. This is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. I am in the process of writing it. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that!

Also, If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your holistic-mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! I am starting a new blog soon just dedicated to Holistic  mindfulness, so keep a look out for that going live!

Before the sun arise to greet the new day, I kneel once more upon my  bedside rug with my hands over my eyes, and pray: “Oh, Lord, let me feel at one with you, myself, and others. Let me perform my tasks with the motivation of hope, faith and love. May  grace be in my thoughts, actions and speech this day”.

To pray this prayer daily, is the only way I know to effectually get through and to recover from burn out.

My strength is so very  limited, but Gods strength is limitless, so I draw upon that in faith. I admire people who get through stuff all by themselves. They don’t seem to need God, people or any other intervention- they just get on with it successfully. But that’s not me. I know my weakness and limitations. I recognise that I  desperately  need the power of God in my life. The power of God is called the Holy Spirit who is part of the God head in Christ. The holy Spirit  is given to empowers us, to bring us through, so we can be witness of his love and grace.

That does not mean to say that I sit back and watch God magically work on my behalf. No Never!

But what I do is to submit myself in prayer like the one above, and go through my day knowing that I am not alone. Then I am diligent to learn and apply practical steps as listed below to help me. However,  the difference is that I go forward into my day Gods ability- in Gods power and strength to get through and recover from burn out.

How did I get burnt out if the first place if I trusted in God?

Well the answer is simple – I didn’t!

As a perfectionist, a high achiever, I expect far too much of myself. I don’t give my body, mind or spirit enough time out or flexibility in my tasks, it’s something I am still learning to do. God gives us time out, urging us to rest- it’s called the Sabbath. So having cleared that up, let’s have a little look at a few practical ways  to recover from and avoid burn out in the future.

1) Take the time to  pause and change direction by learning how you can help yourself overcome burnout and feel healthy and positive again.

FIRST-Adopt the three “R” approach:

Recognize. Watch for the warning signs of burnout. Be self-aware. Listen to your thoughts and words, notice you’re the way you approach actions.

Reverse. Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress- this is what we are doing here now.

Resilience. Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health.

SECOND – Learn strategies to do the three “3 R’s” that you are comfortable with.

In the next blog post I will list some strategies That I have found has helped me, and may be of help to you as well.

Thank you for visiting me here, I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter and receive your FREE thankyou gift!

 If you feel you would like further support through prayer, counselling or coaching, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me is found in the top menu on my home page.

 HEAD OVER TO YOUTUBE AND CATCH UP WITH MY VIDEOS – it is Free! 

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish

CLICK HERE—–.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdQ4NPTNfXSnwd3pimPh0g

What is Burnout? How you can recognise Extreme Stress Burnout Syndrome the Signs and Symptoms.

We all have ‘off’ days when we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciated. The alarm sounds and we reluctantly drag ourselves out of bed. however, If you feel like this most of the time, you may be burned out.

 Like you, I have experienced burnout many times in my life. It’s something that is insidious. You don’t notice it’s happening, It sneaks up on you and you are not aware of it until you just crash.

Being aware of what burnout is, and recognising the symptoms is half the battle won.

What is BURNOUT SYNDROME?

Burnout is exhaustion as a result of high levels of stress. Your mind, body and spirit can only handle feeling overworked and overwhelmed for so long. Your body will be tired, your emotions will be fraught. Your spirit( your inner core) will feel simply dried out.

Burnout will make you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet daily demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose interest and motivation and the feeling of overwhelm takes hold.

In our modern society, we think that constantly living under stress is a ‘normal’ way to live. But I have news for you- it’s NOT!

Burn out left unchecked, may lead to a nervous/ mental breakdown. The problems are, that burnout happens gradually, therefore, you might not notice symptoms immediately. But once it takes hold, it can affect your ability to function across all aspects of your life.

SYMPTOMS OF BURNOUT

By no means is this is not a comprehensive list, and you may experience just a few or, many of these symptoms.

  • You may begin to feel less motivated since it seems like nothing you do really matters.
  • If you are experiencing burnout, you may view your living environment and/or your job as increasingly stressful and frustrating. 
  • You may develop a distrust, or disinterest in the people in your life, and may also feel emotionally distant and indifferent.
  • You may develop a distrust, or disinterest and your life in general.
  • You may feel detachment, and alone in the world.
  • Where once you were content with your life in general or work, but now You may feel resentful of the responsibilities and demands it imposes. 
  • Burnout may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches, muscle pain, and stomach-aches or intestinal issues, etc.
  •  Burnout causes people to feel drained, lack motivation, emotionally exhausted, unable to cope with the smallest of tasks.
  • Constant Tiredness is a symptom of burnout.
  • Difficulty in focusing one’s mind and concentrating and often lack creativity is also a symptom.
  • No zest for life, you feel like you are on a constant treadmill.
  • Every day is a struggle
  • Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
  • The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
  •  You may feel one step forward and 2 back and nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated by others.
  • Lowered immunity 
  •  Frequent illnesses

Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress can be a positive motivation tool. It may provide the metal fuel to forge forward. Stressed people can still get everything under control, to feel better.

Burnout, on the other hand, is about destructive, extreme unrelenting stressors. Being burned out means feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring, unable to pull one socks up and get on with it.

People experiencing burnout often cannot see any hope of positive change in their situations. Burnout is a sense of being all dried up, wrung out, parched as a desert, in mind body and spirit. 

Burn-out shares some similar symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression. Individuals with depression experience negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life, not just at work. Depression symptoms may also include a loss of interest in things, feelings of hopelessness, cognitive and physical symptoms as well as thoughts of ending one’s life to get some relief. You may not be depressed, but just burnt out. Once you rest and recover, the veil of gloom will lift and you will feel your old self again. If it does not lift- you may be clinically depressed. If this is the case- you must seek medical help!

In my next post, I will share some tips about how to recover from Burn-out

I want to share with you my Holistic journey. This post is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that! If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! Regardless of where you are on your journey, I hope you will find something useful here- if so, please let me know down in the comments. 

I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter and receive your FREE thankyou gift!

 If you feel you would like further support through prayer, counselling or coaching, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me is found in the top menu on my home page.

 HEAD OVER TO YOUTUBE AND CATCH UP WITH MY VIDEOS – it is Free! 

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish

Traces of Grief

Do you see me_image

Traces of grief may always remain, it changed me,

                             the real victory is not in the deleting the effects,

                                                but in the triumphing over them.            Paula Rose-Parish

When we plan to take a journey of some kind, we take time to prepare. We are savvy travellers, so we ensure that we have our navigation tools in hand, ensuring that they work as they should. We then become familiar with them before we get on the road. The visit to the fuel station guarantees that we will complete our journey. If we don’t, there is a good chance of getting lost, taking a detour, or not getting to our intended destination at all. Now we have a goal, we have a plan, we are ready to begin our journey. Approach this chapter in this same way. Use it as a preparation for your journey through this book. It will get you started on the path to recovery. I write in a particular way, and in this chapter, I reveal why. The usage of the Psalm and my specific application of words are explained. When we are bereaved, we can get exhausted. Therefore, I want this journey through grief to be straightforward as it possibly can be for you.

I am a child of the 50s and have seen a lot of life. I’ve lived and worked in four countries and visited a whole lot of others. The journey through life, from the very beginning to end, make us who we are. I must have been about ten years old when my very favourite saying became ‘Good Grief Charlie Brown!’ I would say it all the time, and it became somewhat of a trademark for me, it was my catchphrase. I didn’t know that I had dyslexia (not diagnosed until in my late 40s). Dyslexia was unknown within the educational system at the time. Therefore, there was no provision for remedial teaching. Without the support I needed, I hadn’t read a book in full until I was well into my 20s. Reading exhausted me, so I gave up in the first few pages, unable to comprehend the storyline, context or the words. Thinking back, I seriously tried my hardest at school, but not everyone saw it that way. I could read a little bit, but not enough to keep up with my grades. My teachers reported to my parents that I was lazy, which would add to my overwhelming sense of failure. Tearfully I shouted, ‘I am trying, I just can’t read, I just can’t’, and they would fire back at me ‘there’s no such word as can’t’ and told me to try harder. I was doing so badly that I had to repeat grade two twice! Then I failed in every year of primary school as well. I didn’t have the grades I need to attend high school, but because I was older than my peers; I was ‘put up’ to secondary school – as they called it. To be expected, I was put in the lowest set. Having an awful time, I only lasted there for six months; leaving in favour of the workplace at the age of fifteen years old. Try as I might, I just didn’t get hold of what was going on in the classroom. I couldn’t follow the thread of ideas, and the bullies duly took advantage of my weakness.

On several occasions, a group of boys and girls were waiting for me at the school gate and chased me all the way home after roughing me up. Growing up in the Australian school system in the 1950s and 60s wasn’t easy. We had to be tough enough to defend ourselves when needed. And it would always help of course if you were a fast runner, and I was. My inferiority heightened when my classmates and family devoured books like they were going out of fashion. They would tell me how easy it was to read, so why couldn’t I? Feeling very alone and misunderstood, I began to withdraw into myself. No way would I visit the school library except for a compulsory session in class. I didn’t understand why I had to attend the library when I couldn’t read properly. The whole system confused me. I quickly became overwhelmed by the hundreds of books housed on myriads of intimidating shelves.

Then one day, while trying to avoid the bullies, and I found myself wandering into the school library, and it was there that I discovered a small book. It was brief enough that I managed to read it almost to the end. I loved that little book, with its cute cartoons on every page which portrayed the adventures of Charlie Brown. I liked Charlie, he was an unusual little boy, and I found that I could relate to him, bless him. In Charlie, there was a small reflection of myself. Like me, Charlie was of short stature, inconspicuous, ordinary, and unremarkable. And like me, he was misunderstood. Charlie had a habit of making silly mistakes, he would say stupid things and did things out of the ordinary, and that is when his friends would exclaim, Good Grief Charlie Brown! I definitely could relate to him.

I suffered my first real experience of grief when I split from my fiancé of three years. I was still saying ‘good grief’ as my catchphrasebut now I knew that grief had nothing GOOD about it. In the end, my favourite little motto became a thing of the past -sorry Charlie! Whether it’s death, divorce a job loss or anything else that causes us to grieve, all are difficult to cope with. Whatever the circumstances, grief forces us to say goodbye to someone or something we hold dear. Grieving is such a personal and individual thing; we all experience it in our own way. I remember the sorrow I felt when I left my home country of Australia, creating a new home overseas. The anguish of saying goodbye to family. My obligations in ministry took me around the world, so I repeatedly had to leave dear friends behind, and sadness became a familiar figure. I was living 15,000 miles away from Australia, when my mother, who lived there died. I felt sad when I couldn’t be with her in her last days. The sorrow deepened when I couldn’t help my sisters to care for our aged Dad – there’s nothing good about grief.

You, Will, Have Troubles

  I share a little my own story throughout this book, so you know that you are not alone in this. I want you to see that there is someone who can empathise. My purpose is to help you understand your own Troubles and learn to manage them, so you can live a happy and fulfilling life. No real language exists, that clearly expresses the reality of the deep pain of grief. In 1976 I came to faith in Christ and began to attend church and was told by well-meaning people, that all my problems have ended.

I believed them. They assured me that I had found a trouble-free life! It wasn’t long before I found out that this idea was terribly dishonest. When the problems began, I was convinced that something was wrong with me. This wasn’t supposed to happen! Discouraged and very confused, I believed that I must have done something wrong, it was my fault somehow. I already had low self-esteem, and this only compounded my sense of helplessness and hopelessness. My God encounter was genuine. I hung on tightly to that experience as the turmoil swirled around me. I began to research God’s word for myself and found the truth of the matter. What I was told was a lie, things do go wrong for people of faith. Bad things happen to good people. And that is OK, that’s life! Every human being on the planet lives through sorrow in different ways and measures, and always will. You can imagine my relief to find this was nothing unusual and that there was nothing wrong with me after all. Many teachings in the Scriptures point out that we will have troubles in this life, especially if we follow Christ closely as His disciples.  Don’t be surprised by what you are experiencing, God is with you. The real problem arises when we don’t know what to do with our troubles. We wonder how on earth will we get through this! And how do we survive this phase of mourning, and not allow it to immobilise us in some way? How can we make sense of what is happening?

 In God’s Name

To be able to embrace God as a friend as we journey through the valley of the shadow, we need to identify who God actually is. One of the ways we do this is by looking into His Name. This is because God’s Name reveals His character, intention, and fundamental nature. When we name our children, we give them a first and surname, and sometimes more. And we often don’t consider what the meaning of it may be. However, this rule does not apply to God. Meanings of names are particularly important. The babies of the bible were named according to the particular meaning of that name.  Some people may not realise it but, there is no first name or surname that is applied to the Creator of the Universe. God is not a John or an Eric or even a Fred, for example. But what we believe are names for God are actually descriptions of Gods nature, character, and actions. For instance, Jehovah-Raah, which means The Lord, my Shepherd. A shepherd is a role description, not a name of a person. Jehovah is not a name either. Translated as The Existing One or Lord. So again, it describes who God is. Also, it suggests becoming or specifically to become known. This implies that God always discloses who He is. A shepherd is the one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Ezekiel 34:11-15). An extended translation is a friend or companion. This indicates the intimacy that God desires between Himself and His people and can be understood as The Lord, my Friend. Untangling the Name like this reveals to us that God is our friend, guide, companion and is the ever-existing One. The One who loves and cares for His sheep. The Lord, my Shepherd.and we see who God is in the Good Shepherd who is Jesus Christ.

💗xx

 If you need help please contact me :

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Mental Health & Contentment & Self Talk.

cropped-denys-nevozhai-191635-unsplash-1.jpg            How many people do you know who suffer from a restlessness that makes them so disconnected they fall into depression or they just give up on life? I know quite a few and I am sure you do too. In fact, I have been there myself- not a very nice place to be!

Contentment is a precious thing, but how can we find it?

Here are some ideas that I have found that can help us to maintain contentment and happiness.

Firstly, we need to watch our self talk. Anything negative will bring us down while positive self-talk will lift our spirits. A regular positive affirmative is to say ‘I am content and happy’  will change our attitude and will open our eyes to the beauty around us so we can enjoy the moment. When we speak to ourselves in a negating way and not trusting and believing in our own abilities we get nothing but negative feedback.

Secondly, don’t cling onto things that will pass. The Apostle Paul a very positive person, said that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6:6). Besides, “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world”.  I think that this verse puts everything into the right perspective for us. It also shows that we don’t really ‘own’ anything. When we leave permanently, we can’t take anything with us. We work hard all our lives and then when we leave it to someone else. In talking of a rich owner, Ecclesiastes 5:15 says, “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.” The idea of bringing nothing into the world was self-evident for the Apostle Paul when he gave his instruction to the young Timothy. Theologian Jack Wellman pointed out that Paul had a secret about contentedness, and he shared it with us in the book of Timothy, he said ‘To begin with, a world without Christ can never be content. There is a discontentedness that lies in the heart of every human being, and that vacuum of discontent can only be filled by God’s Spirit. When the Spirit of God enters into a person, He regenerates them into a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), and they move from being dead in their sins, to being alive through Christ (2 Cor 5:17).’ I think we fail to find true contentment, which is really deep happiness because we cling to those things that rot away or breakdown and then we strive to get more and more and more, so the cycle continues, and we come up empty every time.

Thirdly, trust and believe in God in Jesus Christ. Trusting in God is not old fashioned but rather a very ancient and modern thing to do. It helps us to be truly human and to find out who we really are and what our purpose is.  Instead of trusting in those things that will eventually fall way, trust in the solid rock -Jesus Christ, and this a very cool thing to do!

So let’s give it our best shot!

  1. Self talk positive affirmations every day
  2. Don’t cling onto things that will pass.
  3. Believe & trust in God &  in yourself

AND

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