Monday Prayer

Hey guys šŸ™‚

As we enter a new week, I personally need to get my mind and my heart aligned with God and the best way to do that is through prayer ā¤

 

Dear Lord,

Please continue to hold my hand as I enter into a new week.

Please watch over my family and in particular, I pray for my brother and his fiance as they prepare for their first born this week. May you ensure a safe delivery for mother and baby Pearl. ā¤

May you watch over my family as we continue to grow and strengthen our bond with each other. I thank you that despite the past you bless us with a bright future. ā¤

I thank you for helping me reunite with my church family. I know I need them and you know it too and so I thank you for giving me the strength to overcome my anxieties, my fears and even my complacency.Ā 

Please continue to open my heart and allow me to exercise discipline in your name.

Use me as you see fit. ā¤

You know my heart but I think you also need me to start acting on what’s inside my heart. This is scary Lord. Please help to wash away those fears so that I can better serve you and those who are closest to me.

Thank you for continuing to put a roof over my head, food on the table and harmony in my home. You bless me with the stability I have always wanted in my life and I am eternally grateful for that. ā¤

Please continue to help me keep simplicity and peace in my life and in the lives of those around me.

I pray you touch those who need you but don’t know it. I pray for them most of all. I can’t imagine my life without you. I would not be standing here to today if not for you. ā¤

Please help me to find direction in my writing. I am at a crossroads with my earthly passion and I want my earthly passion to line up with my passion for you and so help me to find the right words. Words that may touch someone in need of them.

Thank you in advance for guiding me through another week. Help me to tune out the noise that is the devil as he loves to play little games with me and those I love in an attempt to chip away at the foundation we have built in your name. Protect me from petty things…petty thinking.

In closing Lord, I thank you for hearing my prayers and I have faith and trust that you will answer every one of them as your plan for me continues to unfold. May you help me to see what you see. ā¤

Amen.

 

Mark 11:24Ā 

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

Take Care & God Bless ā¤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Let It All Out

Hey guys šŸ™‚

As I enter into a new week, I have put my armor on and I’m ready to kick some butt. šŸ™‚

One thing I have done to help with that is I have started making a point to get back into church and make it routine. For awhile there I just couldn’t get seem to get it together and just go to church…an hour out of my week, and yet something as simple as going to church seemed like a challenge but I am determined to make that stop.

In the last couple of weeks I have started to dig deep and get back to basics. I long for a simple, uncomplicated life and that has meant keeping my inner circle as close to me as possible and the rest will have to make an appointment.

Self preservation is not a bad thing. ā¤

Last week when I attended church, I managed to show up early for Sunday School before the main sermon. The topic that morning revolved around being born again, being saved.

This struck a chord in me and actually made me emotional. I had been so wrapped up in earthly, day to day junk, that I wasn’t feeling as spiritually in touch as I wanted to be.

I spoke up in class and asked how can I truly be saved when I am bound to make mistakes and falter? Do I just ask for forgiveness and continue to be born over and over again?

I said, I feel guilty that I have missed so much church. I feel I have let my church family down. I said, it’s not just my work schedule that makes it challenging to show up. It’s an internal thing…it’s me.

When we discuss being saved, I am never sure how to approach it or what to say. I feel I have a relationship with God and I certainly have faith and believe in him but I said, I struggle to come right out publicly and proclaim that I am saved or that I want to be saved and make that true commitment to God.

I mentioned the persecution I feel sometimes as I become more rooted in my faith and more outspoken about it. That lead to discussion that as we get closer to the day when God will return, the bible clearly states Christians will be persecuted more and more each day…

Timothy simply states:

2 Timothy 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

 

I continued to discuss the fact that am not sure I am ready to go there yet. That I tend to sit on the fence when it comes to making something like being saved offical and so I feel behind sometimes.

I didn’t mean to hijack the class and I said as much but the result of me speaking up and allowing myself to be vulnerable turned out to be a much needed positive experience and great discussion among the class.

Emotional and overwhelming but truly cleansing in its own right. I received so much support from the ladies and they were happy I spoke up and they prayed with me. I didn’t even realize I had so much pent up emotion until that moment.

One thing I have realized is that on a subconscious level, I think the reason I had started to avoid going to church in the last few months is because it was striking too many chords within me and overwhelming me.

Also, I am not used to receiving that kind of support…I don’t know how to ask for and accept it and so it feels awkward to me. I walk through those church doors sometimes and think, I don’t deserve to be here…I am not a stand up Christian. Church reminds me that I am painfully human and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with that and so I hide.

But I am starting to realize and understand what church is really about. It’s not about being the perfect Christian or keeping judgmental tabs on each other. It’s about helping each other as we walk our path with God. It’s a support system, a safe haven and a social outlet with like minded people that I desperately need but tend to avoid.

Today, I managed to make it to church again (2 weeks in a row woo hoo!) and today’s sermon was great. Now that I am really starting to dig deep and allow myself to be open I am getting much more out of the sermons and Sunday School lessons. I am left full with soul food and it makes me feel ready to face my week as I know that’s when the devil works the hardest. He loves to beat us down and encourage stress and worry over the day to day.

It’s also a nice outing not only for me but for my fiance too. It brings us closer together as a couple. It makes us stronger.

I finally have a man in my life who also has faith and believes God is with us. We are able to rise above a lot simply because we hold God’s hand together and if one of us is down, we’re able to lift the other up by reminding the other that God will take care of us.

The uphill climb a Christian faces today and throughout history is real. For some reason, many people cast stones on religion…They associate the word “religion” with being radical, close minded, judgmental, self righteous, corny, out of touch, uptight and stuffy.

This is unfortunate and I am not trying to say none of that exists within the realm of religion…but Christian or not, there will always be someone pointing fingers…always… in fact we’re all guilty of it if we’re being honest.

We are ALL human.

There will always be good, evil and everything in between… more importantly there will always be wolves in sheep’s clothing no matter where you turn but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself and it starts with surrounding yourself with the right people instead of trying in vain to get people to see what you see, think what you think and feel what you feel…we need to stop focusing on that, myself included and turn inward and hold on to the people who are truly there to offer love and support.

Keep your friends and family close and your enemies as far away as possible. Don’t engage, don’t react and fuel futile fires.

Try saying that three times fast. šŸ˜‰

I made that mistake just in the last month in one of my posts…it reeked havoc on my Facebook page.

People deleted me and lashed out at me…persecuted me…I had a strong, controversial/Christian opinion and when I wrote the post, I was frustrated and instead of just leaving it alone and turning the other cheek, I sparked one of those futile fires and promoted the wrong kind of conversation and energy…for that I feel remorse and have learned my lesson. I ultimately took down the post because it’s not my true goal to start a social media firestorm of that nature.

Does that mean I retract my stance? No. It does not. Could I have expressed myself in a better way? Definitely.

All I know is I am going to screw up and that day I did but the quicker I make peace with that and stop worrying about what other people think of me the better. I have never claimed to be perfect and I never will be.

I think that’s what non-believers need to understand. Being a Christian does not mean being perfect or living some prim and proper, holier than thou lifestyle. We all have free will and are free to choose our own path so maybe we all just need to focus on paving our own path instead of trying to pave someone else’s.

This has been a valuable lesson that I have learned.

There are many things going on in today’s society that I do not agree with. Things that make me cringe…things I find hypocritical and totally backwards… I am sure there are people who feel the same about me and my beliefs but the one thing I have realized about that is to just stay true to myself and walk the path that is right for me. Talk about that and keep my mouth shut about the rest because honestly, why waste energy on and argue with people who already have their mind made up. Why stir that pot? In my experience, it was nothing but trouble…a total waste.

The best thing I can do is keep promoting the positive example I strive to be. Continue to grow in my relationship with God, with my spouse, my family, my friends and my church. The rest will fall naturally into place and will weed out the people who don’t need to be anywhere near my inner circle.

Aim for simplicity, for peace. Sure, you won’t always get it right. You won’t always practice what you preach but I will leave you with this cliche –

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.Ā 

 

Take Care & God Bless ā¤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Things

Hey guys šŸ™‚

Today, I feel the need to take a personal inventory of what’s good in my life. Things are not bad right now, I simply just want to add to what’s already good. I like to build up those reserves for when the next storm hits. I prefer to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

So what do I have to be grateful for? Well, a lot actually. The last year has blessed me more than my 33 years of existence.

For starters, just over a year ago I finally put an end to an unhealthy relationship (there were others just as unhealthy prior to). This required a lot of inner strength that I didn’t think I had.

I was living on one side of the country and picked up and left for home on the other side of the country. It wasn’t planned, it just happened.

One day after a minor argument, my finance at the time went out. I don’t know what happened, it’s not like it was some blowout fight but for some reason in that moment there was an overwhelming fight or flight response. By the time he came home I had booked a plane ticket (I chose flight) and told him I couldn’t do this anymore. I knew that if I didn’t follow through this time, it was going to be a long time before I had the guts to try again.

God was surely with me that day.

Needless to say I am grateful for that moment because as soon as I moved home my brother introduced me to his friend. My brother’s friend is now my fiance. This all happened quite quickly. I had no intention of finding love after what I had just left but isn’t that always the way?

I found out a little later my brother was playing the role of matchmaker. He knows my struggles well…especially in relationships and so I am glad he sneaked in there and helped me to find a good apple this time. šŸ™‚

To finally be in a healthy, truly loving relationship is something I almost gave up on but when I was ready to let all of that go, God blessed me for it.

So yeah that’s what kick started a healthy, consistent, loving environment which I had been lacking for a very long time. It was scary at first. I wasn’t used to this healthy stuff and wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it lol but over time I embraced it and I continue to hang on to it with everything I got because I will never allow someone to take that from me again…including me! Gone are the days of self sabotage and you are talking to the former queen of it but I have since hung up my crown lol someone else can have it.

So yes moving on to present day, what do I currently have to be grateful for? Let me count the ways :

  1. God
  2. My wonderful soon to be husband
  3. My family/friends of course ā¤
  4. A roof over my head, food, gas…you know the everyday stuff
  5. Did I mention the bills are paid? Take that bills! (for now lol)
  6. The cats<3. Truthfully I should have just included them in #3
  7. The church. Great pastor and wonderful people
  8. My job (there’s a first) love my job!
  9. Good neighbors and a great landlord.
  10. Country living…oh how I have missed home after 10 years of city living.
  11. Being the cool aunt. My fiance and I are fine without children personally but my nieces and nephews? Yeah don’t mess with them because you will see this aunt go from zero to mother hen in an instant.
  12. Standing up for myself (it’s been a slow process but it’s getting easier…almost fun! lol)
  13. My ability to express myself through writing.
  14. Giving myself credit (again, long overdue)
  15. Knowing I have a best friend in my partner. He truly is my best friend ā¤
  16. A sense of humor. Although sometimes dark, my sense of humor has helped me survive a lot of crap.
  17. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Yes you read that right. If I had never reached a place where I was aware of my disorder I would still be out there drowning in a dark sea. I believe knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle. Now that I know better I do better…I know, a string of cliches there but it’s all true.
  18. Being able to see the silver lining in just about everything. I will never let go of that. It holds a lot of power and gives me a sense of control. You can let stuff bring you down or you can counterattack with a list just like this.
  19. Patience. I always have that in my back pocket.
  20. Resilience. I can say this with confidence about myself and my family….we always get back up…always. We have God to thank for that and no matter what is going down in my life, God makes sure I can reach his hand. Even if he has to drag me along, as long as my hand is out he will take it ā¤

 

Take Care & God Bless ā¤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

A Christian With Bipolar Disorder

Hey Guys šŸ™‚

I feel like I keep apologizing for this each time I post, but I am sorry for my absence lately.

I have been thinking a lot. There have been many changes going on in my life at the moment. Good changes but not without its growing pains.

To those of you who read my blog and relate to the challenges of mental illness, I am sure some of you can relate to what I am about to tell you.

As someone with bipolar disorder, I have moments where I have all the energy in the world. I can multitask like nobody’s business and about 3 hours sleep is all I need. I become super social and everything is rainbows and butterflies.Too bad those periods of mania couldn’t last a little longer!

Currently, I can safely say, I am not going through a manic phase right now. More like a “I don’t care” phase. Not super depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts or anything like that but just simply “blah”. Low energy, lack of motivation, lack of appetite. Content to hibernate in my house. It’s nothing personal…it just is.

I can feel this indifference starting to lift hence why you see this post today. I am slowly but surely starting to have the drive to write again but here’s the thing. I cannot promise consistent posting at this time.

I have tried this before and eventually I have to just go away for a bit. The catch 22 of the disorder. Trying to find balance and consistency. It’s certainly not easy and hands down the biggest frustration I have with bipolar disorder.

So yeah, if you see me fall of the map for a little bit, chances are I am going through a low period.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have been thinking a lot. I have been noting some of the ways having bipolar disorder effects things like my work, interests, activities, my relationships and yes even my faith in God.

Before I really started embracing my faith, I never really gave this concept much thought but I am starting to see that my faith becomes altered depending on which end of the bipolar spectrum I’m on.

For the most part, things are fairly balanced. I take medication. I see my doctors on a consistent basis. Despite that, it’s not a cure. I am still going to have bipolar moments.

When I experience mania, I notice my faith and desire to keep God at the top of my list quite easy. I make note of Him everyday. I am more willing to contribute and going to church is a happy social event for me.

When I am experiencing the depression side of things, I start to question my faith, going to church becomes a challenge, the main reason being, I don’t feel comfortable around people during that time. The public social outing I normally enjoy becomes riddled with anxiety and a lack of interest in general.

Sometimes I wonder, is it possible to be a true follower of God when your views and beliefs tend to shift because of mental illness?

I guess I throw the question out there because I honestly don’t know the answer. All I do know is I believe in God and I believe He is with me always. I have been posed the question “Are you a fan or a follower of God” At this point, I know I am not a true follower if I measure it against a list of criteria, however at the end of the day I do believe.

My fear is, if being a true follower requires more than simply believing then how I am ever going to achieve follower status when my brain has shifts in mood and thought that are sometimes very hard to control?

I would enjoy any thoughts or discussions on the matter. Am I the only one who has pondered this? Are there other Christians out there living with mental illness who face the same struggle?

Take Care ā¤

Cavelle

Mustard Seeds To Mountains

 

Hey guys šŸ™‚

I am feeling so blessed right now. It’s amazing how God answers prayers that you didn’t even know needed answering.

Since turning back to God nearly a year ago, it’s surreal at times how much my life has changed for the better. I have to say, aside from meeting my soulmate, going back to church has been a big part of this change.

Before that moment, you would not have seen me in church. I had no interest. In fact, I was cynical about the idea.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Wow Timothy, brutal words my friend. I can’t say I was all of those things but it stings to read this verse and in hindsight realise, I was one of those people you should avoid. I have always had good in my heart but God was not at the top like He should have been. He was more like a pang in my heart that I kept shoving down.

Turning back to Ā God was terrifying for me at first. I was at a rather low point in my life but…

Sometimes-God-lets-you-hit-rock-bottom

It’s never God’s intention to punish us. We are His children and like any parent there comes a time when you have to let your children go out into the world and hope they will take with them all the lessons you have taught them. God has that same hope and he’s waiting for you despite all of your mistakes and shortcomings. You think this would be an easy concept to understand but it was difficult for me to accept.

When I started going back to church, I became painfully aware of my sins. It had nothing to do with people in the church judging me (a misconception I had about church). On the contrary, I was accepted with open arms…new territory for me. I had never had that kind of support before.

I spent the first few months of church crying nearly every Sunday. The whole experience was overwhelming. All the emotions I felt as I started to face myself for the first time, knowing I had brushed aside God’s love. My faith had been suppressed for so long. I felt shame and guilt but also an overwhelming release of negativity.

As time passes, my faith in God becomes stronger more and more each day. My church is beyond supportive of this relatively new journey. I don’t feel like I am walking alone anymore. There are people who are more than happy to walk with me and cheer me on. It makes me cry for a totally different reason now. Tears of joy for a change.

What a difference it makes when you let go of the people in your life that hinder your faith and in turn, surround yourself with people who are not ashamed to walk with God and actually want to walk with Him. It was a huge step for me to walk through the church doors knowing the last time I went to this church, I was a child.

Now that my faith in God and the support of my church is a constant in my life, there is simply no way I can turn back. I am hanging on for dear life and God is not about to let go of my hand…it reminds me of the first time I was able to swim in the deep end of the pool without having to cling to the edge. God is my swim coach. ā¤

What I take away from this transformation is that God is willing to work with even the smallest inkling of His presence in your life. There are times I still have to give myself a shake and realize that no, I am not dreaming.

As you build on your faith, God starts throwing more and more blessings your way. Sometimes we think we have to pray for these blessings and yes, prayer is vital but God I have discovered, is a cool guy. He likes to throw out random blessings just because. Bonus blessings if you will.

That’s what God has done for me and my fiance recently. We’re getting married this summer. Sooner than we had originally planned for.

I thought planning this wedding was going to be stressful but the outpouring of support in my church has made me realise there are truly good people in this world who are ready, willing and able to help.

My fiance and I are not used to this and we don’t even expect it yet there it is right in front of our face and it’s been there the whole time. We just needed to get real with ourselves. Get real with God and be true to ourselves for a change instead of compromising with people who are so far removed from our core values and most of all our faith in God.

If I had one piece of advice for anyone out there on the fence about their faith, just know that God has left you a trail of mustard seeds to follow. These mustard seeds lead to a mountain and if you are willing to climb that mountain, God is waiting for you at the top. Sky’s the limit after that and when God returns, there is a place for you beyond your wildest dreams. ā¤

Take Care & God Bless ā¤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Break – In Progress Update

Hey guys! šŸ™‚

I know it has been some time since I have written anything here. The main reason being, I have reached a crossroads in which direction I would like to take Mental Break – In Progress.

Technically, I have had this blog for over two years now. The original premise was to create awareness about mental illness in order to combat the stigma associated with it and also to have an outlet and connect with others through something I have always loved and that is writing.

About eight months ago now, I went through some serious life changes and in the process I felt it necessary to delete my blog entirely. In hindsight, I wish I had given it some more thought before hitting the delete button. Two years of written work gone. Just like that!

After considering my actions, I decided no, I don’t truly want to give up my blog so I resurrected it and made an attempt to carry out the original blueprint but something changed…

I changed.

The blog and it’s current format does not speak to me like it once did and therefore I have struggled to write on the topic of mental illness that once came so easily to me.

After much deliberation, I feel I now know the new direction I would like to take Mental Break – In Progress and although I am not looking to turn my back on the original concept, it’s time for that concept to align with where I am in my life today.

As mentioned earlier, about eight months ago my life changed, in the best way possible. On July 1st, 2016 I turned to God to help me for the first time since I was a child.

I was raised to believe in God and went to church from an early age. I said my prayers every night before bed and my father would read the Bible to me and my brothers every night after supper. This would go on until I was around ten years old when my parents ultimately divorced. You see, even though God was present in our home, so was the devil. My home life for much of my childhood was surrounded with mental illness and abuse.

My father was technically diagnosed with bipolar disorder but did not follow through with therapy or treatment. He did not believe that he needed it. My father was also abusive.

Before I go any further, I need to make it clear that I am not trying to say all people with a mental illness are abusive because that is simply not true. The abuse in my family’s case was primarily from my father, whose father and mother were abusive to him and most likely my grandparents parents were abusive to them and so on and so forth.

My mother also comes from a line of family abuse and found herself in a marriage with more abuse. Needless to say, this took a toll on my mother and did not bring out the best in her.

As I entered into adulthood, I would end up finding myself in abusive relationships and I would retaliate with abuse…not my finest hour to say the least but the biggest form of abuse I endured was self abuse.

My entire 20’s was spent in a downward spiral to nowhere and during that time, I lost my way with God. I turned my back on Him. I doubted the word of the Bible, that God was truly watching over me and I scoffed at Christians and organized religion assuming that every church going person, despite their choice of religion, was feeding into a fraudulent, flawed and political agenda.

Now in some cases, that is true and there has been more than one church over the course of time that fits that bill but there are also many that don’t but at that point I just lumped it all together.

Like I said, I turned away from God and I started to focus on things like astrology, tarot cards, numerology…New Age philosophy and the list goes on. I was extremely interested in those subjects and I practiced them. They were my new found spirituality yet at the pit of my gut, God still lingered (although He was a faint light at the time). The thought of a Higher Power still existed in my mind but I attempted to call it everything but God.

Needless to say, during this time, nothing in my life was going right and the self abuse continued to get worse and worse.

When I hit my 30th birthday, something started to change. Perhaps it goes along with starting a new decade of your life. When I turned 30, I cried and I am not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was because I was so far removed from where I thought I should be in life and really had no direction that is until I started this blog.

Oddly enough, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder is when I feel my life truly started to take shape. Many people use their mental illness as a crutch but for some reason, I felt liberated by the experience.

As I started receiving therapy and treatment, I started to notice something. I was changing in a positive way and the people I surrounded myself with were not.

Two years later I would call out to God to help me after finally having enough of the self abuse and the toxic environment I insisted on putting myself in over and over again. It turns out God was waiting for this moment because as soon as I called out to Him, my life changed more than it had in 32 years.

That same day, I left a six year relationship that was not serving either party well and I hopped a plane and moved back to my home town to be closer to my family who had recently in the last year moved back home as well. This would be the first time in nearly a decade that our entire family would be together in person and not spread over long distances and Facebook messaging.

I was prepared to live alone and find myself. I had jumped from relationship to relationship with mild success at best and I was tired of it. I wanted to find me and felt the only way to accomplish that was to avoid romantic relationships entirely.

God on the other hand had other plans for me. When I arrived home my brother introduced me to his friend “D”. D and I discovered we had lots in common and in a short amount of time we found ourselves in love and are currently engaged.

Now on paper it could be argued that I was about to repeat the same mistakes but because I had asked God for help, he not only helped me but blessed me with my soulmate and to be honest, I was beginning to think the idea of a soulmate was foolish and a bunch of fluff.

D and I were on a similar path when we met. We had experienced much of the same hardships in life and self abuse and we both were trying to rekindle our relationship with God and so we took each others hand and started that journey together.

Eight months ago, I would not have fathomed this was possible. I would have told you to save it for fairytales.

So why am I telling you all of this? What does this story have to do with my blog?

Well, it explains the new direction I want to take my blog and that is the direction of God. Just as medication and therapy treats mental illnesses, so too does the word of God. God knows we are suffering and He wants to help you. He didn’t have to help me after everything I had done (or not done for that matter) but He did.

God cannot help us if we do not ask but when we do ask – Wow! He responds in kind. You help yourself by admitting you need help and as soon as you do that, God is so excited to help you.

I want to continue down my new found path with God through this blog and it is my hope that not only can I spread the awareness of mental illness but also the spiritual awakening I am currently navigating. It’s not always going to be pretty. I will stumble and fall. We all do and it may feel like no one has your back but I am here to tell you, God does. You don’t have to agree and I can only speak for myself but I can’t hide anymore and I don’t want to. I want to explore my faith openly.

I hope you will join me on my journey and I look forward to seeing where Mental Break- In Progress 2.0 will take me. I plan to revamp the blog over time to reflect this new path I am on so if you would like, stay tuned for more updates. šŸ™‚ ā¤

Image may contain: text

Take Care & God Bless ā¤

Cavelle