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6.2.16

Our Job Story - Part I


Job has come up a lot in conversation lately. This could potentially be a very difficult book of the Bible to understand. Or not. After I asked God to show what the whole point of the book is I discovered some really amazing keys. My revelation is only a part of the whole picture but I would like to share my piece of the puzzle with you.  I would also very much like to hear your thoughts. Please do join in, see this as a discussion, chat to us in the comments box below.

Bible scholars can't prove or agree whether or not Job was real person or whether the book is in fact a parable.  I believe that it doesn't matter either way as long as we learn from it and get closer to God through it. We are all at some stage in this story.  Either at the beginning in prosperity, easy and peaceful living with much blessing or in the middle in extreme hardships where it seems that everything is difficult and you are barely holding onto your very life or at the end where you have stood firm, held onto God for dear life, passed through the valley of the shadow of death and come out the other side refined and blessed once again with so much more than ever before.  I believe that we are all on our very own Job journey writing our very own Job story. Or more accurately, we are all on our very own journey with blessings, hardships and wonderful testimonies made and in the making. We are all writing our very own story.

In the beginning of your story, there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, 

“From where do you come?”  

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

This is true because we are warned in I Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."  The devil won't let up, he is constantly walking around looking for his next challenge.

Then God proudly mentions your name in verse 8. Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job [replace with your name], that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? [Replace with your special characteristics]”  

You see, God loves you and is so proud of you that He might be saying, "Have you considered my servant Angela, there is none like her on the earth, a dedicated wife and month who always does her best with her life. She is positive and kind, funny at times and also deep and thoughtful."

You are the apple of God's His eye. He loves you so much and has only good things to say about you. I imagine He is like a proud Daddy telling everyone how wonderful you are! God has full confidence in you, that even when tested to the limits, You will praise Him! That is the beginning of your story.




And so the devil begins his prodding and poking into your life, trying to devour you, doing his best to steal, kill and destroy every part of your life. The middle part of your story begins.  For some it begins early and for others it comes later, but to all it comes. None can escape the fact that devil is on earth and is allowed to try to get you to deny your God.  But what does the rest of I Peter 5 say,

"Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

And James says to us in James 1:2-5,

" My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

Even Jesus said in John 16:33,

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Trouble in this world is a given. It is guaranteed. Trouble is not a maybe it is a certainty. You cannot escape it, it is a part of life here on earth! Our story is a job story - no one gets a different option but we all get a choice as to what we do with it and this will determine how our story ends.  So let's learn all we can from Job because he had a happy ending to his story.

Part II will follow but in the meantime please let me know your thoughts.

Love



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2.2.16

Girl's Night - A Resolution to Champion Biblical Femininity

Oh my goodness tonight's discussion was heated! We didn't even get to some of the discussion questions as we were in very serious debate about this subject. It seems that there is a real aversion to the word feminism, submission and other words that are used to describe us as women. At Girl's Night we broke up into three groups and each discussion one of the sections below. By the end of the evening we had no conclusion or consensus about Biblical Femininity  but we all agreed on one thing - that we would go home and diligently seek God for a revelation of Biblical Femininity. Next month when we meet again we will share what we feel God has said to us and then if we all agree we will sign the resolution together.

You must be curious now about our discussion so let me get on with sharing an outline with you.

THIS IS WHO I AM



Pretty in Print?
This section took a look at how the pendulum make have swung a little too far over to the other extreme as a result of women fighting for their rights for years. It hits a tender chord of self worth where women have often confused their identity, gender and self worth. Have we gone too far?

Discussion questions:

  1. How have you seen feminist ideals affect women in the way they . . . dress? Act? Make decisions?  
  2. What are some of the most noticeable ways you see young women turning away from biblical womanhood? 
  3. What biblical principles of womanhood strike you as stifling or repressive? Why do you think you feel that way? 
  4. As you continue to read, offer your concerns about this issue to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to use this time to answer your concerns and reaffirm His priorities for you in this area.

It’s Good to Be a Girl
God created us in His image - both male and female. Women are worth neither less nor more than our male counterparts. We are different but only in function. Sadly since the beginning of time women have been subjugated and abused because they are women. Jesus demonstrated how to treat men and women equally! We women are important and necessary.

Discussion questions:

  1. Choose one of the many roles you currently play in your life, and record for each one how you are . . . good for it . . . necessary to it . . . an important component of it .. . worthy to be a part of it . . . trustworthy to fulfill your role in it. 
  2. In what situations and around which people do you find the biblical value of womanhood most challenged and questioned?
  3. How do you raise daughters to be ambitious, educated, and sure o themselves while at the same time help them appreciate the rewards and blessings of submission? How do you raise boys to view women with a similarly high regard? Discuss with friends some creative approaches.

Role Reversal
This section took a look at..... dare I say the word..... submission. We looked at the divine arrangement of roles, boundaries and responsibilities that are intended to exude blessings in all directions.

Discussion questions:

  1. In preparation for signing your second resolution, read this statement again: “A woman’s strength is best seen not in the demonstration of her power but in her ability to harness it under the authority of God-given leadership.” Consider it carefully and determine what it will look like when fleshed out in your own life. Make this resolution with confidence, knowing that you are choosing to align yourself under His all-wise plans. Enter with freedom and sign your name to signify your commitment.





You are welcome to join us at our Girl's Nights in Cheltenham or if you wish to set up your own group and study along with us where you are get a copy from Amazon and stay connected through www.resolution.kingsdaughters.co.uk and Facebook where we will post every study and chat in the comments boxes below each post.

Love

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31.1.16

Depression and Discernment


The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wonderful! We can have access to the most wonderful supernatural abilities such as: words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation of tongues as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12: 8 -10.

Today I want to take a look at discernment and in particular how this gift has affected me in the area of depression. It will make sense in the end when it all ties together, so please read to the end.

Discernment comes from the Greek word diakrisis meaning judicial estimation or disputation and debate or argument. Judicial estimation is 'expressing careful judgment' or 'making fine distinctions'. So the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to make a careful judgement between spirits.

Diakrisis is only used three times in the Bible.

"Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things."
- Romans 14:1

As mentioned above in the list of the gifts of the Spirit"...to another discerning of spirits"
- 1 Corinthians 12: 10

"But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
- Hebrews 5:14

Now the Hebrews verse shows that there is a level of maturity that comes with discernment as well as exercise.  I believe that all the gifts of the Spirit can be practiced and exercised so that they can grow stronger - it's not that the Spirit gets stronger as he is all powerful but it's that we get more experienced in using the gifts. This applies to all the gifts of course but we are focusing in discernment of Spirits today.

Discernment  is a gift I believe I have. It didn't really occur to me until I noticed a pattern. After spending time with people I would feel certain feelings. One example was when someone came over to visit Eric and I and after he left I felt a great sense of hopelessness and despair. I really felt awful and didn't understand why. On another occasion someone came to visit and after they left I felt suicidal. Not that I was going to do anything silly but had the strong urge that life was not worth living. On both occasions it was completely random and I had not felt that way before the visitors. On other occasions I have felt headaches and nausea during a visit and after the visit felt fine

I was concerned about how I was all over the place and seemed to experience extreme emotions at times so I spoke to my husband.  Eric very wisely pointed out that I may have the gift of discernment and that I wasn't really feeling those things but was picking up on how the visitors were feeling. And in the case of the nausea and headaches I will having a reaction to a demon. He suggested that I test it next time and pray for the person afterwards until the feeling went away.

As mentioned in my previous post that many times we may feel a certain emotion but have the freedom to choose what to do with our feelings. We are not slaves to our feelings, we can choose what to do with them and how to respond. There was a time when I was spending time with several people suffering depression on different occasions. It's no secret that I have had my fair share of depression so I am often drawn to women with similar struggles and have a real compassion for them.

Depression can be contagious! What I mean by that is that because I sometime feel how people feel I can feel when someone is depressed. Sadly this was a feeling all too familiar to me and so I found myself getting more and more depressed. The more I felt depressed the more I believed I was struggling with depression again. Looking back, what happened was that I started to discern depression but instead of using it to pray and fight for the people I was seeing I absorbed it and almost claimed it as my own. It sounds ridiculous I know but that is exactly what happened. I wasn't depressed I merely discerned depression but because I was feeling such real, raw feelings I became depressed!

I now know the difference and have also learned to talk to Eric when I feel a certain way so that I can figure out if I am absorbing someone else's spirit. This applies to any spirit not only depression, I am using depression as an example as this is the one that has the greatest affect on me.

Do you have the gift of discernment perhaps? Do you often pick up on how people are feeling? Discernment can operate in many ways. You can sense something or see something and at times, like me you can feel what people are feeling.

May I remind you of the armour of God. We need to remember that we are in a spiritual battle constantly until the day Jesus returns and takes us home. He has given us the gifts of the Spirit but we need to be wise, on guard and in full armour or we could end up hurt in battle.


Love
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23.1.16

How to have a hot body, a clean house and save money.



My first idea for the title for this post was, "The western lifestyle is ridiculous!" but I thought that may seem a bit negative! Although that is pretty much what I am writing about today - about how ridiculous our western lifestyle is!  Have you ever considered this? I found myself contemplating that I am struggling to keep up with my housework, that I am struggling to find time to go to gym and that I am struggling to make the money that I need. So after my contemplation I tried to figure out how to afford to get a window cleaner, my car to the car wash and perhaps even someone to help me with my housework as I just don't have the time.  My business takes up all my time and more... if that's even possible. So I need to hire in help!

A short while ago I introduced my husband to a great movie that I watched in South Africa when I was a child. The opening scene exposed how ridiculous we are in the Western world and if you continue watching past the end of the clip below into the full move, it showed the contrast between 'civilised man' and the peaceful and content Bushmen who are a tribe who live in the vast expanse of the Kalahari desert.



Most days I want  to go to the gym or exercise in some way, but don't have the time, so I neglect the very thing I want to do.

My computer seems to demand  my attention all day and all night. I do manage to eventually switch off to get some sleep but most days my workload is more than I can complete in a day.

My two eldest children have left home and are doing very well.  Lorah-Kelly is happily married and is expecting her first child any minute now. Jordan has completed her degree in business and marketing and is graduating in May. I am so proud of them both for doing a great job with their life. Daniel and Amy are still in primary school and I am increasingly becoming aware that I need to be looking at secondary schools for Daniel and need to pay more attention to his school work.  So, I consider employing a tutor to see if he may qualify for grammar school.  All his CAT scores are above average so it seems like the right thing to do.

Window cleaner = £40
Gym = £25
Cleaner = £25
Tutor = £25
Car Cleaning = £20
TOTAL = £135

I need to spend £135 this week in order to achieve all that I want to!

WHAT!  That's ridiculous! £135 just to have a clean home, stay fit and help my son with his school work?  What was I thinking?  This is silly. What happened to me. I never used to be like this. I used to clean my own home, educate my own children and be fit and healthy. Hmm my thoughts inspired me to remember a time when Lorah and Jordan were little and when money was scarce. Some of our best memories come from that time.  I reminisce with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart. What made those moments so enjoyable compared to this time - a time that I have more money than ever before but feel constantly stressed and under pressure?

Um... I contemplate and deduce that they were simpler times. And so I look at my life now and chuckle at how ridiculous it is.  I work really, really hard to make enough money to afford the very things that I can easily do myself and these simple activities are actually the things that bring me pleasure.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the amazing company that I have build and get so much pleasure from working on building the Women's Business Club.  The problem is that I have put so much into it over the past few years that I forgot about the simple pleasures in life, like spending an afternoon doing homework with my children or the joy of washing my windows and seeing the beautiful views as a result. Ironically, I am trying to teach Danial to appreciate the reward of hard work so that he puts more effort into his school work and enjoys what he is doing. Perhaps he finds this difficult to comprehend because his mother is sending out a mixed message... ooops!

So, My Life Pie inspires me to find the balance. I must or else life will spin out of control and I will eventually crash and burn. My top tip for today is to enjoy housework, use it as a way to get fit, save money and for thinking or praying time too.  It will firm up your body, clean your house and save money!  Here are some fun ways to exercise while cleaning.


Play Lively Music
Recent studies have shown that loud music with at least 120 beats per minute helps to increase the rate at which you exercise. This is a great way to get you in the mood for some high energy cleaning/exercising.  Music also causes the body to release endorphins, which are your happy hormones - who doesn't want more happy hormones?

Dishes
Washing dishes if done mindfully and peacefully has proved to have a significant impact on your health. In a recent study, researchers at Florida State University had 51 students wash dishes. The researchers found that people who washed dishes mindfully (they focused on smelling the soap, feeling the water temperature and touching the dishes) upped their feelings of inspiration by 25% and lowered their nervousness levels by 27%. The group that didn’t wash the dishes mindfully did not gain any benefits from the task. “It appears that an everyday activity approached with intentionality and awareness may enhance the state of mindfulness,” the study authors conclude.

Do calf raises as you hand wash dishes. Start with your legs hip-width apart. Move onto your toes and hold for 3 to 10 seconds, and then slowly come down.

Windows
You burn approximately 180 calories per hour cleaning windows. Alternate arms to work your upper and lower arm muscles.

Floors
Moving back and forth while vacuuming is great for your abs. You burn about 190 calories per hour vacuuming. Increase the calories you burn by using lunges while vacuuming. Take a large step forward with your right leg and lunge until your right knee is at a 90 degree angle. Hold the position for 3 to 10 seconds and then step back. Repeat with your left leg.

Sweeping or mopping burns approximately 195 calories per hour and works your shoulders and upper arms, so make sure you alternate arms every 3 to 5 minutes.

General Tidying
Use general tidying to get you up and down stairs as much as possible. You burn approximately 500 calories per hour walking up and down stairs. Always squat when picking objects up. Squatting builds the quadriceps, hamstring and abs.

There is so much more you can do, don't forget the positive impact that gardening and car washing can have too.  Painting and decorating is also fun and great exercise as well as money saving! If you have children, actually play with them outdoors rather than taking them while you sit on your phone checking Facebook :/ I have learned to go out with my children without my phone!

Read another great post here with some fun tips on how to exercise while doing housework. I would love to hear from you - do you have any tips or thoughts?


Love
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15.1.16

My Life Pie Update



It's two weeks into the new year and I feel a bit overwhelmed by the reality of my life but also hopeful that somehow I can find the balance - in fact I will not stop trying until I get my days looking more like I want them to! In my previous post I launched the concept of the My Life Pie. I was not quite sure how you would take it. Some loved it and some hated it. However, as the days go by I find myself sharing it with others as a way of explaining my attempt to find some balance this year.  

So far I established that I work way too much and do little else during the week. Every Saturday I stay in my pyjamas and do as little as possible to recover from the week, leaving a little energy to get my butt to church on Sundays and do my best at loving my Christian brothers and sisters. Shocking I know!!

My Life Pie gave me some sense of order, at least in theory, yet to be realised practically. Cleaning was the very first thing that I noticed was missing when after one week of trying to do life better I noticed how dirty and messy my house was! Ooops, I needed to factor some cleaning in.  You will laugh when you read my next post about this, entitled How to have a hot body, a clean house and save money

Each day, in my mind, should have a variety of activities not just work and sleep, so I continue to strive towards building days that are balanced. I want to wake up each morning around 5am as I love the early mornings when everything is quite (this means I should be going to bed around 9pm which is not always possible). I would like some time to exercise and some time to meditate (I have discovered how wonderfully powerful the simple act of controlled breathing can be coupled with hearing God or dwelling on a Bible verse.)  Playing the guitar is also something I strive to do daily if possible, I am not very good at all, been a beginner for many years, but I am OK with that as I only want a simple accompaniment to my simple worship.  I LOVE to play and sing PRIVATELY!!!

Cleaning is now a new time slot where I focus on a quick whiz around the hour or focus on one room's deep cleaning. I couple this with loud worship music or a chilled chat to God while I am cleaning. God can speak even as we do the mundane everyday chores.  

Yes I confess, I do try squash 9 hours of work into my day, at the moment it's more like 10 or 11 some days but I am determined to cut down and fit these others things into my day.  I love my work but equally I loathe it. What I mean is that I love what I do but because it is still a relatively new business, it needs a lot of attention just like a new baby.  The Women's Business Club is growing steadily and very soon I hope will be great success story that will support women in their businesses all over the UK. I do love my work but I don't want to love it at the expense of my children, my marriage and my very sanity!  I especially don't want to love it so much that God get's the bare minimum of my time.  

So that takes me to the final slices of my pie - my family and relaxation time. I LOVE my family so much, it is the most important thing in the world to me but sadly it is my family that gets neglected the most when I overwork. I dearly want to stop working soon after the children get home from school, dedicate some time to play with them and do homework, then cook and have dinner with them and finally end the family time by spending time with them as I tuck them into bed. This is my ideal scenario. Too often they come home and I say, "Just finishing something off, be with you soon." Hours pass and I race to the kitchen to throw a dinner together so I can get them to bed on time. Eeek and another day has passed leaving me unsatisfied that I neglected the most important part of my day!

Relaxation is wind down time in the evening, usually a long bath with candles and chilled music or a movie just to switch off, I would like it to be more reading but I am usually too tired to focus on the words so opt for something more brain dead like a movie. Many nights I go straight from work to bed which of course is SILLY and has a significant impact on my sleep!

You see, I know what I want it life! I know what I want my days to look like. I know how I want to feel at the end of each day. What I want and what I actually have are completely different. My Life Pie is my way of working hard at trying to get what I want to become my reality. Too many years have passed by now, I am 42 years old, I have missed too much of life itself to allow any more years to go by.

Some of you might have a quizzical look on your face right now wondering what all this waffle is about and when I will make a point. Others may be nodding and totally understand what I am saying. Either way, please make sure that you are living your life and not just letting the days, weeks, months and years slip away from you. For me, starting to tackle what my days should  look like in the form of My Life Pie is the only way I can find some sort of control in my life.  

I would love to hear from you.  How do you feel about your life right now? What are you working on to truly life your life? What is most important to you this year?  How can we pray for you so that you don't have to battle through things alone? Please use this blog, don't just stand by and observe all my random waffle but get involved. Let's make this more of a community of King's Daughters who build each other up and support each other and less of a monologue from little ol' me.  

To make chatting and prayer support easier, I have set up a brand new Facebook group for us at www.facebook.com/groups/963686297000397/  It is a closed group which means only the members of the group can see what you write - it is private to outsiders so you won't be exposed to the whole world, just a lovely bunch of Christian women.

Love


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12.1.16

Depression, learned behaviour and the freedom to choose II


Seligman (1973) referred to depression as the ‘common cold’ of psychiatry because of its frequency of diagnosis. Have you noticed how many people have depression these days? Picking up from the first part of this series, let's take a look at the two keys that I believe will change everything. As I mentioned before, these keys are not only for depression but for life itself.

MY FREEDOM TO CHOOSE

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;"  - Deuteronomy 30:19

It is our choice. We can choose life or death and everything in-between. Our free will is powerful and yet do we use it? Do we consciously choose things or do we allow everything under the sun to choose for us? Emotions, people, circumstances and so much more is often what affects people but we have power to choose so much of this. We cannot choose circumstances but we can choose how we view them, do we see the good that can come of all circumstances, do we believe that,

"God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." - Romans 8:28

I am not saying it is easy. It's not. In fact at first it is flippin' difficult! If you are used to one way of doing things then changing to another is really hard but only at first, it gets easier. The main thing is to look at what you are facing and force yourself to look at alternatives to how you feel. Do you feel sad then is there anything in it that is not so bad? Do you feel angry then is the anger necessary or are you overreacting when it's not such a big deal? Take time to think and then respond according to your choice not your feelings.

MY LEARNED BEHAVIOUR

I realised that even though I was healed from depression I was still behaving the same as before. My behaviour was conditioned, it was learned behaviour. It was not caused by depression but by habit. I was so used to responding to certain things in certain ways that I continued to do so and would continue to do so with our without depression unless I did something about it. It hasn't been easy and I continue to work on this and am finding more and more freedom as time goes by.

Sadly I also see patterns emerging in my youngest daughter and am doing my best to work on her behavioural responses and choices now already at seven years old so that she doesn't have to suffer as I have most of my life. Perhaps she has learned some behaviour from me, which saddens me, some may be spiritual inheritance, some temperament and who knows what else but I am determined to give her the best shot at life as possible by helping her learn and master her choice and behaviour.

So for example you may find that every time you get angry you behave in a certain way, you cry or you shout or you storm off like a two year old. Whatever your reaction you know that it's simply a learned behaviour and not necessarily the right thing to do. Perhaps you look out the window and start crying, feeling sad, so you lay in bed and find it difficult to get up. Are you really sad and struggling to get up or are you so used to being sad that you just get sad by default now? Try change your behaviour. Get up anyway, go for a walk and meditate on something positive. Use your choice to change your behaviour. It's easier said than done but it's possible. The mind is the battlefield.  I preached on Battle of the Minds in 2010 - have a look and see if you find anything useful there too.

Tips for change
Change doesn't come easily and requires real commitment.  The great thing is that we don't need to do it alone, Jesus said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things..." - John 14:26

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, to teach you and to show you what you need to work on and what to leave. There are times when he does something amazing from the inside out and there are times when you need to renew your mind as it says in Romans 12:2 When we have a response to something it feels real to us at the time. It takes incredible effort at first to realise that it's not real, it is just one side of the coin, one viewpoint. There are often many angles to just one situation.  Here are a few practical tips that I found useful to help me break that false reality and see things as they really are.

  1. Prayer
    Whenever you feel like you are struggling in any way just stop and pray. Your prayer can be as short and simple as, "God help!" or a nice long conversation with your Daddy in heaven who loves you. There are no rules so turn to him in your own way.

  2. Distraction
    I find that many times I get overwhelmed by an emotional response to something and if I forcibly distract myself then I can very quickly put things in perspective. Sometimes it can be as simple as walking away from a person or situation or it can be a complete change of scenery or activity. Put on a worship song, do your favourite hobby, watch a funny TV program - do whatever it takes to be distracted so your emotions don't get the better of you and then you can think clearly and respond to whatever caused the emotions in a healthy way.

  3. Accountability
    If you have someone that really loves you and you can trust, tell them what you are working on in your character and ask them to hold you accountable or to give your feedback. You can even ask them to encourage you when you get it right rather than point out every time you get it wrong.

  4. Bible
    "The Bible is living and active..." - Hebrews 4:12 The Bible is like probiotic yogurt, once you get it inside of you it does wonders for your system! You may not feel it at first but you cannot go wrong by reading and meditating on the Bible.  Take one verse at a time to memorise it to get it inside of you and read sections at a time as a story too. 
There is much more I can say but I am sure you get the picture. You get one life so live it to the full. What I have written here is based on my experience and perspective but your story is different, you need to work out what will work for you and get you to a place of freedom too.

I haven't given many examples as it is different for everyone. Let us know what you struggle with, what do you now see as learned behaviour that needs changing?

*** Please use your common sense, only you know where you are at on your journey with depression, there is nothing wrong with medication - I took anti-depressants for over a year and it was a welcomed break from all the hard work I have done to beat depression. I feel stronger and ready to do all I have mentioned above.  There is no condemnation in this, just know that God works in many ways and you need to follow His guidance as He leads you in the way you should go.  He lead me to anti-depressants for a season and I am so grateful as it has helped me so much. But now I want to move forward without them because that's what I feel is right for me.  You must figure out what is right for you too.

I hope this helps someone - I know it's helped me.

Love
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9.1.16

Depression, learned behaviour and the freedom to choose.


It's no secret, I have tried so many things to beat depression. I have come at it from every angle, been on and off meds, prayed, fasted, experimented with food and exercise and done whatever I have thought to do. The early years of my struggle are recorded in Hope's Journey. There are days when I feel cheated of life itself, like I will never know it feels like to be content or normal! It is frustrating. At times I just hate myself. I hate that I cry for stupid things, shout at the children I love dearly and annoy my wonderful husband with my nonsense. I don't always feel this way or even behave this way but there are times when I do and I beat myself up over it because it's not the person I want to be.

Our current Girl's Night series this year is a powerful one and already after the very first session I feel empowered and excited about the possibilities. What struck me most was that I had to choose contentment and not wait for the feelings to come. I know this to be true of happiness too, you can choose to be happy or sad. There is always the option for both emotions in most situations and we can choose how we response or react. At times I have been upset that I can't just be happy, why do I have to work so hard at it.  And now to add to my annoyance it seems I have to work at being content too!

My lovely father-in-law bought me a great book this Christmas, Passion into Profit, to encourage me in my business. Right in the beginning the author, Andy Harrington, described a real life scene from his own life at a Tony Robbins convention.  We will jump in at a random point of this story which won't make much sense to you but read it and bear with me as I tie all these pieces together for you afterwards.

"I swallow hard and hope Robbins knows what he’s doing.

‘So you’re depressed? Why are you depressed? Tell me about it,’ Robbins commands.

Within a few moments she is tearful, rocking back and forth on her chair in the foetal position, and she’s starting to become withdrawn and unresponsive.

‘What the hell? How’s this going to help?’ I’m thinking.

Then he asks her something that totally surprised me. ‘Have you ever had
an explosive orgasm?’

‘Huh?’ she asks, incredulously.

‘I’m just curious. Have you ever had an explosive orgasm?’ he asked again.

‘I can’t tell you that!’ she said coyly. The audience laughs.

‘Well you just told 5,000 people about this depressing episode. Why not
tell us about this joyful one?’

She’s stumped, and looks confused. Robbins calls on help from the audience.

‘Ladies and gentleman, can she tell us about this experience – yes or no?’

Five thousand people respond as one with ‘Yes!’ and clap enthusiastically.

Robbins asks, ‘Can you think about that time now? Go back to that time and see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt.’ 

She closes her eyes and begins to associate back to the experience. It starts to resemble the scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally where Sally (played by Meg Ryan) has a full-blown orgasm in a cafĂ©. The crowd cheers her on and it starts to build up – and I mean really build up, if you know what I mean. She is flushed in the face and making quite a sound through the microphone she’s holding. Now remember, there are cameras onstage looking at us, so the whole audience can see on the big screens what is taking place. You should have seen the look on my face. All I remember thinking was ... ‘I haven’t seen this before!’

This one seminar changed her life. She was totally stuck but came to realize through this intervention that she had the power to choose her emotions depending on what she focused on and the meaning she gave to what happened to her."

This got me thinking, as I have thought many times that the power lies with us to change our mind. Freedom comes when we take possession of our mind.  We can choose happiness, we can choose contentment and we can choose our emotions. Most people allow emotions to rule them but the truth is we can choose our emotions.  

Too often we question why God doesn't heal us but I have recently learned that God has healed me. I very specifically remember being prayed for one evening and raced home to tell Eric that I had been healed from depression. I remember it well.  So if that's true why do I still struggle, why do I still cry when I don't want to, why do I still get in a mood and why do I still sometimes just want to die?

I now know why. It is not depression anymore. I believe I am not depressed now. There are two things left that I need to work on and they are: 1) my freedom to choose my emotions and 2) my learned behaviour.

I am going to stop here because before I share these two powerful keys with you I want you to take some time to think about this.  These keys are not only for people with depression they are for every single person no matter what the struggle!  They apply to EVERYONE.

Please share your thoughts with me in the comments box below and I will share part two of this post soon.  It will blow your mind!  You will be free. Nothing will have power over you every again. The enemy will be defeated because his mind games won't work anymore on any of us. I can't wait to tell you about it... but not yet.  First you have to do your homework and think about this carefully and how it applies to you.

*** Please use your common sense, only you know where you are at on your journey with depression, there is nothing wrong with medication - I took anti-depressants for over a year and it was a welcomed break from all the hard work I have done to beat depression. I feel stronger and ready to do all I have mentioned above.  There is no condemnation in this, just know that God works in many ways and you need to follow His guidance as He leads you in the way you should go.  He lead me to anti-depressants for a season and I am so grateful as it has helped me so much. But now I want to move forward without them because that's what I feel is right for me.  You must figure out what is right for you too.

Love
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