Ice chips falling from thawing bacon.
That's what he wanted.
That's what he begged for.
Of course, I did not oblige.
I mean, raw turkey bacon flavored ice?
"You've done this! This is all your fault! My entire life is ruined because of you! You're evil! Evil!!!"
- I couldn't help but chuckle. The dramatics of it all are hysterical, especially if you were to see the kid it's all coming from.
I've mentioned before about some struggles I have with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Over the past few months I've been addressing those issues more aggressively, coming to realize how much they were effecting my life and my lovely wife.
I had been referred to a psychiatrist by my family physician for a proper diagnosis. I knew that an accurate diagnosis would most likely result in an accurate treatment, but scheduling the appointment made it seem all too real. Its easier to pretend there are no issues when the issues remain undefined. I understood that by seeking professional help, repression and denial would no longer be an option.
With some much needed support, I did manage to make the appointment though. Since that first meeting, a lot has changed. God has provided me with great resources and good care providers.
I'm now shifting into a maintenance mode: how to maintain and continue progress. One important thing to determine is whether or not the downturns in my mood and perception happen within a specific pattern, and if so, what that cycle may look like. Simply gauging this in itself is a healthy habit to have.
So I've been assigned the task of keeping a mood log, and I've decided to do it via blogging. Mood logging? Mogging? Yes, I like that! Mogging. I've decided to do it this way because it's easily tracked by using tags on my posts, its super quick and easy to do from my phone, and I'll most likely be more consistent with it if I do it here. I also like the transparency of doing it here, although that might change when my mood isn't so great :-) Regardless, here is my first Mog:
- feeling energetic, cheerful, accomplished
- slept very well last night
- only mildly irritated at work, which seems reasonable considering...
- been enjoying exercising and hiking lately, and feel motivated to eat carefully.
Its Sunday. My Friday.
My week in Indiana was great, but definitely go-go-go. I had one day off after my return home before going back to work. Because of Thanksgiving, there was only one kid left behind in the group home for the weekend. This made for a very laid back week at work, but also somewhat emotional. That one kid left behind, well... he felt left behind. He misses his mother, which is only amplified by the holidays, so he's been on an emotional roller coaster and us staff have been on it with him.
So now I have three days to leave behind his drama and live in my own :-)
I can't imagine living the life of some of these kids I take care of.
Having a homeless mother. Unsure of her safety. Not knowing when I'll see her next, and having every reason to believe I might never even see her again.
And the holidays. Seeing everyone leave for weekend visits, coming back with grand stories and bags of goodies.
All while staying behind.
Hoping. Praying I'll see my mother soon.
Praying I'll see her again.
I can't imagine.
I'm going home in two weeks; that is, I'm flying to Indiana for a visit. Part of me is indifferent to the idea of going back, but another part of me is excited. I miss my parents and their farm. I miss the cold and rain. There's a handful of people outside of the family I'm happy to see, too.
But I'm just a bit apprehensive about the trip. What will it feel like to be back? Outside of good times at home with my parents and growing up and falling in love with Kimberly, I'm not exactly full of fond memories of the motherland. Although I've missed my family, moving to this new place has been great for me.
Naturally, living 27 years within the same 25 mile radius, I consider the area of Winchester, IN home. But as I grow as an individual here in SoCal, as I grow closer to Christ in service to him here, this too feels like a natural place to call home.
Maybe my divided heart is the source of my apprehension. I don't know. But it'll be interesting to see exactly how I process being back; to see what emotions it invokes.
Don't get me wrong. I'm excited. I'm happily anticipating the trip. I'm just a little... nervous?
Two brothers send their mother to Jesus to seek a high position in his coming kingdom.
- Jesus challenges them to consider what they're asking and to consider the suffering necessary as followers of Christ. "Can you drink from the cup I drink?" Etc.
Matt 20:26 "but whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your servant, even as the son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
-servitude should be lived out, opposed to the worldly concept of greatness
-humbleness, selflessness, operating not out of pride
- I must examine myself in comparison to Jesus, measuring pride vs. humility.
-fear the lord
-accept their place
-make good leaders
-are quick to repent
By nature, we are not humble. Humbleness takes pursuit and is fruit of a relationship with God.
Pride and humbleness are easily confused and can look similar. If you're avoiding sharing gifts or leadership to avoid attention or to appear humble, you are focusing on others perception of you, which is PRIDE.
What can we do to become less egocentric and more others/God-centric? How do we become more considerate, loving others before ourselves?
What would happen if we no longer expected to be served, but lived to serve others and God?
- To truly understand God is to accept we have nothing to offer him for our salvation. We make no contribution. Its an undeserved gift we must gratefully and humbly accept, without pride.
-there is a joy in surrender to servitude and freedom of living a life without pride
"Resident M ran through the house yelling 'Llama! Llama!' in his peers' faces and made many references of various sexual acts with llamas."
-Something I'd never written until now, and I've had to document some messed up stuff over the years.
These stinkin' kids. They drive me crazy.
And they're bad. Really bad.
But I love them.
God has broken my heart for them.
And they know it.
They know I can't stand them.
They know I love them.
They know I keep coming back because God makes me.
They know there is a God who loves them enough to make me love them too.
-Christianity is always one generation away from extinction.
The disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus stated it was the children, which was counter-cultural of the time.
Matthew 18:4, "Whoever humbles himself and becomes like this is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
-Children humble themselves and don't have shame of their reliance on adults.
-This is the way we should be with God: completely dependent and unashamed.
- Invite God into all areas of life, the way children invite others to share life with them.
- Children are most likely to become fully devoted followers of Christ.
- When you open your heart to a child you open your heart to Christ.
- Make room in your heart for children and others and you make room in your heart for God.
- You're better off drowning yourself than leading a child or follower into sin. (Matt. 10:6)
Read the parable of the Shepard and the missing sheep (Matt. 18:12-14)
- Notice the emphasis on 'little ones.' Reaching out to the lost means reaching out to children.
Ever run into one of those teeny tiny ankle biters that thinks he's a giant canine beast? There's a new kid in the group home I work in and he's just like one of those little dogs.
He is a constant reminder of my own self-centeredness.
One moment he's this big thug that's gonna kill me, and the next moment he's this crying little kid that misses his mommy and needs to be sung to sleep at night because he's scared of the dark.
There are these times when I need to yell at him to get him under control and keep him safe. There are times I need to point out his 'gangster vs. kiddy' personas because he needs to understand himself and his issues.
And there are times I WANT to do what I NEED to do because I'm frustrated. Because it feels good to yell at him. Granted, its what NEEDS to be done, but I sometimes find myself doing it out of WANT.
I've had to pray all week for God to replenish my mercifulness.
And, of course, He provides, reminding me the difference between NEEDS and WANTS.
Even when they're the same.
Jesus appears in all his glory to Peter, James, and John. They saw Him as he appears in Heaven, his true form.
-Jesus was sinless because He always sought God's will. Our sin begins when we serve our own.
-Peter was overwhelmed with joy in the presence of the Lord.
-Pursuit of the Spirit of God is not an option as a Christian. His presence is our joy and His honor.
-Develop a holy dissatisfaction with your spiritual. Desire more God in you always.
-Develop a plan to grow towards God. Put forth effort to seek Him, thru study, meditation, etc.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Beholding the glory of God is transforming.
-Faith is not a one time event.
- Jesus pleases God as a reflection of himself. As we are transform to become more like christ, we become more pleasing to the Father.
-In His perfection and righteousness He loves us despite our imperfection and unrighteousness.
-Our joy: His honor
What would it be like if we stepped into His presence completely, forgetting ourselves?
Is God a co-pilot in my life? Or is He the driver?
Matthew 16:24 "If anyone would come after Me let him deny himself..."
-Jesus often speaks of dying to ourselves. This is a false self He speaks of, not our true selves He created us to be.
-Surrender is an internal and external process; lives change inside and out.
-live with a rebellious heart
-live with a divided heart
-live with a surrendered heart
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me..."
What part of my heart have I cornered off for myself? Am I willing to surrender it to God?
Read Matthew 15:32-39
Believe: Do we really believe? Do we really believe the miracles of the bible? Or are they just fairy tales?
-he really healed the blind
-he really fed thousands
-he really brought dead the life
-he really rose from the grave
Having issues believing? Read the bible! But first ask God to open your heart to his truths.
Remember: we often forget what God has done for us. We fail to remember our spiritual highs.
-read the bible about what God has done
-journal! Read back into what God has done in your own life to remember the blessings
Be renewed: continually allow God to renew you through and in your belief and remembrance.
There is no stopping what the Holy Spirit can do!
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:12.) If you don’t like your circumstances, blame God!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:53.) Hang around bad influences.
“Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:334.) Give in to temptation.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14-155.) Love this world more than you love God.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15* I love when Pastor Kris is facetious ;o)