Update

For those of you who don’t know, I’m going through some personal stuff.

David kicked me out of what was home for three years. He kept the dogs. I’m not angry. I’m hurt. I feel very betrayed and trust was broken.

Enough on that, I’m settling into my new place nicely. It’s still uncomfortable at times, but I’m finding solace in being single (again.)

This week I also learned that my first husband-my first everything-is getting remarried. This will be marriage number four for him. I truly hope that he is happy…and stays that way. Our relationship was dysfunctional. His 2nd marriage was also dysfunctional. May God bless him on his fourth.

See…here’s the deal…there’s a voice in each and every one of us to be accepted and to fight for love. That’s all he is doing. Listening to that need and drive. May God grant them peace.

These days I’m in heavy duty therapy. I’m learning coping skills and ways to survive my broken brain and broken relationships. One day at a time. May God grant us all peace from our struggles. Amen.

I Am Not My Diagnosis

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I have been diagnosed with Bipolar 1, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am not these things. I am not my diagnosis. And neither are you.

Due to these, I have symptoms that must be managed. Things like panic attacks, mood swings, depression, mania, etc. I’m learning to cope within these. I was diagnosed originally with unipolar depression back in 1998. After my first manic episode, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in 2003/4. There are MANY articles about the difference between 1 and 2. I suggest you do some research if you’re curious about 1 vs. 2. In reality, the differences don’t make that big of an issue with this post.

Despite being labeled “crazy” by every man I’ve ever lived with, I’m not crazy. I have an illness. Along with 2% of the population of America. The deal is once you know your own weaknesses-NO ONE CAN USE THEM AGAINST YOU.

The conversation around mental illness is changing. People are speaking up more about having a diagnosis. People are speaking up about getting help. People are no longer afraid of a little label destroying their life.

For me, when I received that little label, I knew it was going to be a long, lonely battle, but one that I was finally prepared for because-frankly-I was sick of being sick. Fact is: I still get sick. It happens. BUT NOW-I speak up about it. I have a voice and you do too. Find yours. It just might save your life.

The Best Thing Since Instacart!

Okay, y’all. I follow a blogger named Jami Balmet. You can find her here. She and her hubby recently purchased a meal planning site.

Because I trust her and it was on sale, I bought a subscription. I am not kidding. This is the best thing since finding Instacart!

The platform has a gagillion recipes. You just go in. Choose your grocery store. Pick a week’s worth of meals. Annnnnd BAM! It spits out your 1) meal plan and 2) grocery list (with cost!) This thing is life changing!

How do you get it? Click here.

Victim’s Rights

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Please do not minimize what victims have gone through. If a victim is sharing what she has gone through, please listen. Please.

I am a survivor of domestic violence. It was December of 2015. To this day, I believe my ex was planning on killing me and then killing himself. I will believe that until the day I do pass. You see, when he was released from jail, I wasn’t notified. The employee of the jail that I left my number with said something about, “he said/she said” crap. MY LIFE IS NOT HE SAID/SHE SAID CRAP.

This…this is why I get hot about victim’s rights. This is why I voted for Marcey’s Law. This is why I find my voice and tell my story. But for the grace of God, there go I.

Domestic Violence is scarily common. Domestic violence with a gun is commonly fatal. I count myself very blessed. Very blessed indeed. Find out what your local laws that need rallying around are. Here in Georgia, it was Marcey’s law. It made victims’ rights constitutional as well. Abusers have their rights guaranteed. Victims need the same.

Faith When Things Prove Challenging

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It is no secret that sometimes life gets hard. Really hard. Like lay your dad in the ground hard. That has been my last six months. Pop passed six months ago the 29th of this month.

Grief, mental illness, and general discontentment can suck the life out of you, if you let it. Quite literally. I have never in my life leaned into my faith like I have the last six months. Leaning on Jesus. Leaning on hope. Leaning on Truth.

For me, it’s easy to forget my faith when things are going well. When things are tough-that’s when I buckle down on development. I soak up whatever bits of wisdom I can find. Here are a couple of those.

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst

Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges

If you are also going through a loss, or a change, or a challenge-these books are great resources for renewing your spirit . Dig in. Dig deep. Hold on to Love and Faith.

Camping

We went camping at Sloppy Floyd State Park this past week. It was beautiful camping weather! Great temps and sunshine all the way.

More than just hanging out with nature, we needed to hang out with each other. We needed to see each other. We needed to be present.

We did just that. I cannot tell this man or show him enough how much I love him. From the tip of my head to the souls of my feet, I am thankful God brought us together.

My advice is this: when things become challenging, turn off the phone, put down the social media, take a break from everyone else and focus on the two of you. The things that you first fell in love with-embrace those things again. Don’t give up just because it’s the easy thing to do. Dig deep.

Roles of Wives

This week on Instagram I talked about Jolene Engle. She is an amazing woman of God who is teaching me about what it means to be a wife.

Backstory: I am a twice divorced survivor of domestic violence. For this reason (and a few others), David and I are not legally married. We are, however, spiritually married. We are equally committed. We are all in. We are one.

Jolene points out that wives have four main roles:

  • Help
  • Submit
  • Love
  • Respect

Out of all of those, I struggle with submission most. I can love, respect, and help him no problem, but to submit my will and wants and needs to David…that’s a little more challenging.

So, here’s what I’m doing about it: I’m going to study Biblical submission in depth. What does it look like? What does it mean? How can I more readily do this?

I know. I know. Lots of feminists out there would be up in arms about this wording. Here’s the deal: submission gives me power. It does not make me weaker. It protects me. With that, I’m signing off to say, “I’ll let you know what I learn.”