Friday, June 30, 2017

"I'll Pray for You" isn't Enough

I recently received some devastating news I am not ready to blog about yet.

But I found a timely blog explaining why I told people don't just say you are praying for me. Those  who know me know this is a time to not take anything personally. Like I just called my guy friend (who thinks I need to be in Orlando with friends right now) and warned him he is gonna have to deal with moody Shelly again. That's why I isolate - I lose my filter and say things I know I shouldn't. Sounds like he will go to the funeral with me. Warned him it'll be scarier than Halloween Horror Nights. *I have a cousin who is a prophetic Satan worshipper. I'm talking leaflets and everything!

So now I am going to try to convince God my plan is better, as if I know an inkling of the whole picture, only to have Him tell me a zillion reasons why I am wrong. He says in the Book of Job and Isaiah to come to Him and let us reason together... so that is what I will do... already knowing the outcome - His ways are higher than my ways, and He has plans for me far beyond my wildest dreams...


I'll Pray For You

This is my favorite passage when people say they will pray for you and continue walking. I am in no way discounting the power of prayer, but sometimes, we need a bit more. If the person is willing to listen, tell them how they can help you. If you are the person wanting to help the depressed person, ask. "Is there anything I can do to help besides prayer?" Sometimes, all they can do is pray, and we really need to be thankful for that. We really need to be thankful if someone says they are thinking of us... we need to be thankful for whatever they can do. But try not to discount the power of prayer (as I am this morning). Prayers need to be followed by action... by whomever is praying.

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Be Bold - A Coloring Devotional

Be Bold, a Coloring Devotional by Ellen Elliott is a book I was sent a complimentary copy to review for Tyndale Publishers. Here is my critique-

One day when I was feeling overwhelmed, I picked up this book for a morning devotional. To my surprise,  I was greatly comforted. The scripture verse was Nehemiah 8:10, which says the joy of the Lord is my strength, which compares choosing our outfit to choosing our moods. Initially, I disagreed with the author because I experience bouts of major clinical depression and become frustrated when people tell me to `snap out it` or `just get happy’. As a Licensed Therapist myself,  I find it insulting when people are so closed-minded about mental health.  As I was coloring the adjoining coloring page, my mind went into a free-association mode as I became childlike in my actions and thoughts. The facing coloring page allowed me to let go of my worries and stress.

This book is simple yet wonderfully therapeutic,  enhancing personal growth. Not only did the devotional coloring book lift the burdens from my shoulders, I look forward to using the book for daily devotionals. Reading a lesson for life, then pondering the message as I color. I become childlike,  and now understand more fully why Jesus said we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of heaven. I highly recommend this book for readers who want to surrender their daily worries to focus on God’s Word.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Remember *reposted

Writing for my blog:
Forcing myself to sit and write without any set agenda except to write. My purpose is to write. I am a writer. I am writing.

"Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to this world, do you submit to its rules: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch"?  - Colossians 2:20,21.

Life changes when you become a Christian. Since college, on my day planner, I daily write "WHAT TRULY MATTERS?" as a reminder life is precious. I'm especially realizing this as I reread my old journals and find I recorded stupid stuff like what my crush wore to school each day. Or some kid laughed when I fell. Thirty years later, who cares? What will happen today that seems so devastating to you, yet in 6 months, you won't even remember it? Do you watch the latest episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Or do you make a handmade card for your dear friend with cancer? Do you stay in bed, wallowing in bitterness? Or do you force yourself to write articles on ways God has blessed you?

What truly matters? Live on purpose. Find your passions and live them.

How do you want to be remembered? Let me share my list with you:
* Jesus is real to me. I feel Him in my presence. I have never questioned His existence. I believe all the hardships that happen in my life are signs He believes I will always follow Him. For those familiar with Job, I believe God has given Satan permission to "mess with me" because God knows I am strong enough in my faith that I can face anything with Christ. I hope I am not letting Him down.
* I am a fighter. Yes, I have multiple limitations which hem me in, but I believe many of them are to keep me from temptation. When I was homeless, if I didn't have cerebral palsy, who knows what I would have done for money. But because I see CP as a strike against men's attractions to me, certain options are off the table. AT THE SAME TIME, God showed me I don't give myself enough credit when I refused to sell myself to have heat and a safe place to live. God instilled morals in me.
* I also want to be remembered as a someone who never took people's kindness for granted. So many people have helped me, loved me, kept me going on when they didn't have to. I always pray God will bless them beyond belief since I have no way to express my gratitude.
* And I want to be seen as someone who, while she needed a little help, she did all she could to make her own way without taking handouts. God has given me so many gifts to use to bless others, and I want to do just that.
*Finally, I want to be remembered as a writer - recluse who loves the ocean, away from crowds and worldly distractions. This, I admit, can be for selfish reasons. I'm an advocate to the core, and when I see people being unfairly treated, I have difficulty balancing my role without personalizing  the circumstances. Then that steals my peace and interferes greatly with my health.

That is my list to guide me in my day to day activities. I don't do things as the world does. I don't float passively in the lazy river of society. I have died to the flesh and live for Christ.

Remember that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Writing my novel

It's a good one!

No Regrets

As I write this, my immediate relatives are all together celebrating Father's Day. Tomorrow, they will all be together at the hospital as my dad has surgery to see if they can remove the cancer or if it has spread so bad it is inoperable. My dear friend came up from Orlando Wednesday to drive me to Nashville to be there. I was reminded the family is better without me, and I would have to stay in a hotel because I was not allowed in my parent's house. The past few days have been torture... I always thought in case of emergency, we would come together. I was wrong.

Reflecting back, I am so proud of my education, my faith, my beliefs. I turned down 3 marriage proposals because I plan on growing my entire life and wanted nothing or no one to stop me.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, I am devastated. But I have no regrets.

The Rest of My Life

As I write this, my immediate relatives are all together celebrating Father's Day. Tomorrow, they will all be together at the hospital as my dad has surgery to see if they can remove the cancer or if it has spread so bad it is inoperable. My dear friend came up from Orlando Wednesday to drive me to Nashville to be there. I was reminded the family is better without me, and I would have to stay in a hotel because I was not allowed in my parent's house. The past few days have been torture... I always thought in case of emergency, we would come together. I was wrong.

Reflecting back, I am so proud of my education, my faith, my beliefs. I turned down 3 marriage proposals because I plan on growing my entire life and wanted nothing or no one to stop me.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, I am devastated. But I have no regrets.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Who I Am

A favorite poem written by me...

Unrecognized reflection stared back at me.

It looked like an erosion of who I should be.

Bags under my eyes, tired and weary-

Who is this girl –anxious and teary?

Fighting the authentic whom the world won’t accept-

Fighting the ‘me’ – whom my family rejects.

But I can’t change, I won’t change – God’s creation I am.

I refuse to give up because of my fam! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Snippet of My Novel

Today I am working on writing my next novel, and it's coming along nicely.  Here is a Snippet. Hope you enjoy! 

Sierra thought of writing a suicide note, then realized she had no one to address. Those close to her knew what was in her mind- she had even told them for years, her plan was to take her life. She herself had known this was her fate when she read of tormented writers since middle school.  Never did she think she would survive this long, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. She had several failed attempts which followed her, flagging doctors that she needed to be watched.

“Where the heck was the mailman?” Sierra wondered as the evening was closing in. She wanted to take her pills to escape into a comatose sleep, but had to sign for her package to be delivered today. Ironically, the package was the next three months of her psychotropic medications. It was 92 degrees outside and she was wearing sweats. Her a/c was on freezing, waiting for her to climb into bed for the next 16 hours. But her four legged best friend would need attention. She has only survived this long because of her dog. The only soul who would be affected by her death. 

Finally, there was a knock on the door. The familiar mailman greeted her with a white package containing the ultimate solution to her problems. Taking them as prescribed kept her calm, while taking them all could end her life. Her life that she had felt imprisoned in every since she could remember. It was like trying to escape darkness with no source of light. There WAS no escape to the darkness of her mind… just trapped doors, crevices and pits. Occasionally, a linear pipe of light would enter through one on many broken cracks, giving Sierra an instant spike of hope. But when she looked around at her surroundings, she saw the mire and emptiness. And, inevitably, darkness would patch up the lights opening. A cycle that has been repeating since the monsters entered her room as a child. 

Instead of taking the psychotropic medication, Sierra grabbed a bottle of sleeping pills, pouring several gel tablets on her lap. Seemingly an innocent action, she threw 3 tablets down her throat, then three more, and three more. She hid the bottle in case anyone found her. They would think her heart just stopped until they did an autopsy. By then, it would be too late to revive her by pumping her stomach.
The pills were kicking in. She was getting drowsy and the room was spinning. Tightness in her chest both excited and scared her. What would happen in the next few hours?  Sierra prayed she would wake up in heaven, with her dog and cats. 

Unfortunately,  she opened her eyes to her dimming bedroom. She had survived another attempt, and was so downtrodden to realize she was trapped on this earth. There was no escape, and hopelessness layered her so heavily, it was hard to move… hard to breathe. Part of the pressure had to be the sleeping pills. She could only hope the repeated overdoses were causing accumulated damage, weakening her heart or other internal organs. The one good thing is she was still here to take care of her babies.  They needed her, and she needed them so much, she wanted to die before them. Just the thought of losing them practically drove her insane. Would there ever come a day when she actually wanted to live?

Sierra has her license in psychology after spending years in Private Practice until she was drowning in an ocean of deep clinical depression. She had spent the next ten years staying in bed. All her friends walked away,  not knowing how to deal with Sierra’s raw side. They desperately tried to help with their  “I’ll pray for you”, “where’s your faith?” and “what do you have to be depressed about?” What surprised her most was her psychological peers did not even understand!

Sometimes she longed to go where no one knew her, where there was no chance of being recognized… where she didn’t have to worry about tarnishing her testimony … she always had to be careful not to cause anyone to see her behaving in a way that was less than Christ like… she was a God-fearing Christian down on her core… nothing would change that. Nothing. 

Yet… sometimes… rarely, sometimes… she thinks about who she would be if she wasn’t a Christian… life would be like it was in her 20`s when her lifelong friends had turned away from her because they refused to “condone her lifestyle”… 

She got out of bed and immediately fell backwards. The pills had caused her to feel as if she was watching outside her body, preventing her from standing, so she crawled to the bathroom and used the sink counter to pull herself onto the toilet. Then she bounced like a pinball, grabbing walls and furniture to balance herself and let her dog out. Fortunately, she could lay on the floor while Rusty went to the bathroom. Rusty was such a loyal dog. It was hard to tell who took care of whom. When Rusty came back in, Sierra gave her a dog biscuit, then they both stayed on the floor to go back to sleep.

Chapter 2
“Another great sermon”, Mary said while walking with Ben to the car. She was stopped four times in the church parking lot to chat with people. This church was where she had attended faithfully her entire life. She practically lived in that building due to her active participation in church functions. Mary grew up in a strict, legalistic household, including being sheltered by homeschooling with her two siblings, Matthew and Micah. Mary wasn’t allowed to watch TV, movies, or listen to secular music,  and the same upbringing was on all her friends. Mary had no idea what the real world was like, and that was fine with her. Ben and Mary had met in church preschool and remained best friends until one night at a Single`s retreat, Ben gentry took Mary’s hand as they were walking, and it felt right for both of them. At age 22, this made both of them reevaluate their relationship and they naturally started dating. 


Monday, June 5, 2017


I'm working on a Bible study manuscript and here is a snippet from what I wrote today:

Read 2 Corinthians 1 - God gives us more than we can handle so we rely on HIM, not ourselves.  And when we have people pray for us, they see God at work in our lives, so He is glorified. Just as we share in each other's suffering, we also share in each other's blessings. We reap the rewards of following Christ now, while the ultimate reward will be spending eternity praising Him forever!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Freedom From Guilt

I had a wonderful day with Jesus... my depression is gone!
He showed me I am excited because I'm spending eternity in heaven... how can I be depressed when I have THE ULTIMATE to look forward to? Going to Heaven! My depression is gone! Not only that, all my life, I have felt indebted to my mom for sacrificing her life for me... she continues to treat me like crap, and today,  after she hurt me by treating me like a burden,  Jesus told me I am NEVER a burden to Him, He is NEVER too busy for me, and...HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR ME!!! PRAISE GOD! I owe my life to Jesus, NOT my mom! Those chains have been broken! I'm free!

So are you. If you have accepted the Lord as your Savior, you are not stuck in any relationship... you are free to live for Jesus... and He loves you more than you can even fathom.

Great Article

How Christians Should Treat People With Chronic Illness -

See link here.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fighting Depression

So I am in a bad depression...and I have reached out to people I trust... and they are encouraging me. They are strengthening me.

Sitting in the bathroom, having a Crohn's attack. Fun. Still, thinking of the amazing people in my life, and determined not to let them down. Wounded Warriors, United Cerebral Palsy, and my writing are all areas to use my gifts. Cher sings this song, "You Haven't Seen the Last of me"... that is my song for all you dear friends who loving me, and are rooting me on. I will keep fighting because I AM the girl who inspires...

Here's a link to the Cher song -