4 Questions To Ask When Choosing Your Priorities

Thursday, June 21, 2018 No comments

Do you feel like there's never enough time in the day? Do you find yourself always behind on your to-do list and struggling to choose your priorities correctly? Do your dreams and goals always feel just a little bit out of reach? You're not alone.

4 Ways To Have a Fresh Start When Someone Hurts You

Thursday, June 7, 2018 No comments

Sometimes I think that one of the easiest things in the world to do is to hold onto a grudge. When someone has genuinely hurt us, it's hard to instantaneously forgive and move on. But holding a grudge is never a good idea. We know that. It's not healthy emotionally (or even physically), and it does nothing but cause us problems. But how do we have a fresh start when someone has hurt us? Is that even possible? And do we even want it?

I think most of us would want a fresh start. Maybe not always. There are some people who just too toxic to try to keep around. And in those cases, I have a whole other set of advice. But when it comes to people we love and who are best kept in our lives, we have to figure out the best way to have a fresh start and move forward.

Clearly we can't keep sitting in our anger, hanging onto grudges like they are some kind of silly lifeline. But how do we make the shift? Today I'm sharing 4 Ways to Have a Fresh Start When Someone Hurts You.

How to Have a Fresh Start With Someone Who Has Hurt You. Reconciliation and forgiveness for friendships. | #faith #forgiveness #inspiration

Stop Bringing Up the Past

I know, I know. All you can think about is the past sometimes. The unkind words, the unwillingness to be flexible, or the back-stabbing you never expected. I get it. It's hard not to bring up something that cut you deeply. But if you really want a fresh start, you've got to stop bringing up the past.

Did they lie to you last year? If you've already addressed it and worked through it, then don't bring it up again. Did they criticize you in an area you are ultra -sensitive about? Still, if you talked it over already, do not make it an issue again.

After all, how can you have a fresh start if you are constantly dwelling on the stale and imperfect past?

Forgive Their Short-Comings

Forgiveness directly ties into my previous point. This is because if you are constantly mulling someones flaws over in your mind (or throwing them in their face), you are never going to be able to truly forgive them.

Forgiveness doesn't somehow say that what they did was okay, but it does release them from your anger and bitterness, and it tells them that you are willing to wipe the slate clean and start over. But if you are unwilling to forgive, you are going to keep on bringing up their flaws and they are going to feel just as hurt, frustrated, and defeated as you do about the situation.

And friends, think about it this way: What if God forgave like we do? What if God was constantly throwing our short-comings in our face, bringing up our past, and only half-way forgiving us? It'd be a disaster, right? So instead of doing things your own way and holding grudges and bringing up past hurts, do things God's way instead. He's really good at fresh starts.

Don't Let Issues Build Up

Letting issues fester instead of talking to each other respectfully when issues arise is a terrible idea. Chances are, if you avoid communicating your frustrations for very long, you're going to explode and make the situation way worse than it has to be.

As a personal example, last week I was really frustrated by how messy our house was. I felt annoyed because in my brain (which can be a very scary place sometimes 😬😂) it seemed like it wasn't as much of a priority to Taylor as it should be. But I didn't address it and I just let myself continue to be annoyed. Then the following week, when Taylor legitimately didn't have any time to help, I was, um, less than tactful when I finally said something to him. Instead of calmly addressing the fact that I felt like he had been slacking for the past week or so, I acted like a douche-monkey over something else very small.

Long story short? Communicate and don't hold things in. Don't be a douche-monkey! 😋

Take a Look Inward

Make sure you also take time to look inside yourself. Have you contributed to the problem? How might the other person perceive your actions? Try to see it through their eyes before acting out against them.

Sometimes our intentions might not be clear, and it is possible that we've aggravated the situation without realizing it. To have a real fresh start that works and lasts, this is a very important piece of the puzzle. Humility goes a long way.

Starting Fresh Doesn't Mean You Have to Be Taken Advantage Of

Just because you are trying to have a fresh start doesn't mean that you can't say how you are feeling about a situation. You can communicate and say how you feel while still forgiving, giving grace, and moving forward. So don't become a pushover as you try to have a fresh start. Instead, be committed to learning the art of being kind and forgiving, while still being willing to stand up for yourself when necessary. The key is being able to tell the difference, and remembering that the end goal is a fresh start, not necessarily "winning" a debate.

I hope these tips help and encourage you as you navigate the more tricky relationships in your life.

4 Ways To Have a Fresh Start With A Friend Who Has Hurt You. | #faith #christianity #forgiveness #freshstart

3 Ways I'm Taking Back My Health (And You Can Too)

Thursday, May 31, 2018 No comments

For several years now, I've been struggling (and losing) with my weight. I gained over 100 pounds through the four years I was in college, along with some extra "marriage weight" (the weight you gain when you've already got a man and now the two of you can get fat together... 😂😂😂). And for years I've been saying that I am trying to lose the weight. Or that I am trying to get healthy and reclaim my health.

But the truth of the matter is, it just hasn't happened. Between my fatigue, the never-ending desire for Chick-Fil-A + fancy lattes, and my natural inclination towards laziness, it just hasn't been working for me. *Shock!* *Gasp!*

However, I am glad to say that though the scale hasn't change very much, I have really taken some steps in the last few months to improve my health. Do I still eat Chick-Fil-A? Yes. Are fancy lattes still my favorite treat? Of course! But I have learned a few things that have helped me reclaim my health in small, sustainable ways.

Take back your health with these simple tips for weightloss, nutrition, and general health. | #healthy #healthandfitness

Compete With Yourself

I've known for a long time that there's a lot my body can't handle when it comes to exercise because of my "old lady hip". But walking is something that I can almost always manage, even if it's only a short distance at the time.

So, soon after I started nannying baby S back in October, I made a conscious effort to get out and walk every work day that it isn't raining or below-freezing. I was working 3 days/week with her, and at first, my goal was 3 miles/week (1 mile/day). I slowly worked my way a little further each time, and now, I'm walking between 4-5 miles per week. I know that that isn't anything to brag about for a lot of people, but I have been able to tell a difference in myself, and I genuinely enjoy competing against myself, which helps me meet my goals. Plus, now that I have moved to 4 days/week, I can hopefully increase my distance a little more.

I would love to work on getting closer to 10 miles per week, but baby girl gets fussy if I walk much more than 1.5 miles at the time (and so does my hip). But even if I don't get to 10 miles each week, I'm still thrilled with my constant progress. And if you are trying to lose weight, I highly recommend finding something that's safe for your body to handle and that you truly enjoy, and start setting goals to compete with yourself. It's been awesome for me!

Eating Nutrient-Rich Foods

This is where I struggle most. I've gotta be honest, guys. I love fast food. I love fried food. I love all-the-carbs and all-the-red-meat. And man-oh-man, do I love butter and mayonnaise (try to keep in mind I'm from the South... 😂😅😇). But my body needs more than steak, pasta, and butter. And the closer I've gotten to reaching 30, the more my body has been yelling at me to start eating better.

Honestly, unless I am forced to, I never plan to give up an entire food group. I don't believe that's sustainable, and I also don't believe it's necessary. What is necessary, however, is to concentrate on the bulk of my food intake being packed with the nutrients that will help my body improve daily. These foods include (but are not limited to):

Although these foods are awesome for helping me in my healthy lifestyle shift, I also just genuinely like these foods. You may not love some of these, and that's totally fine. Just try to find foods that you love that are also packed with nutritional value. And if you are a person who doesn't love healthy food, trust me, there's something healthy out there for you. Just keep searching for it.

Taking Vitamins

I have spent my entire life NOT taking my vitamins because 1.) I always forget, and 2.) I hate swallowing pills. But thankfully, there are so many awesome options for vitamins now, it seems silly not to take them.

I recently found Vitafusion's B12 gummies and I love them! They are infused with honey and taste like pomegranate. They have more than a days-worth of B12 vitamins in them, and I like them so much, I hardly ever forget to take them.

I also really love protein powder that is infused with lots of vitamins. My favorite is a brand called Spirutein and it has an astounding amount of vitamins and minerals, plus a good amount of protein. I buy the vanilla flavor and either mix it with whole milk and cinnamon, or mix it with chocolate almond milk.

Again, I want to reiterate that I have only lost about 3 pounds in the last 6 months. I'm not really talking about what the scale says in this post. And honestly, I'm not even talking about feeling tons better right now. I'm just talking about legitimately healthy, sustainable practices that are setting me up for a much better weight loss journey. The day-in and day-out habit changes are going to add up in the long-run, and even though I can't show you any before-and-after pictures or boast that I've gone done in my clothing size, I do know that a change is happening. I feel stronger and I feel like this journey is actually doable- slow as it may be.

And I also know that these changes would benefit many who struggles with their weight (unless a health problem or food allergy would prevent it. So I encourage you to get serious about your nutrition and overall health. I have got a long, long, LONG way to go, but I am encouraged by the little things that have been helping.

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and am just sharing what is helping me and may be helpful for you. If you have any health problems/allergies or any questions about anything in this post, consult your doctor before implementing this advise.

Make small, sustainable healthy lifestyle choices. A small change can go a long way. | #health #weightloss

Why Christianity and Entitlement Can't Co-Exist

Friday, May 18, 2018 No comments

I've been noticing a trend for a while now. A trend in which people feel that they are entitled to whatever they want, as soon as they want it, and without working for it. This trend rears it's ugly head in many ways. We feel entitled to respect from others, often without giving respect in return. We feel entitled to our pay check, our benefits, and to getting a raise, even when we know we are only doing the bare-minimum amount of work. And worse-yet? We feel that we have the right to live our lives without being offended by others.

How did we get here? How did we get to this embarrassing state of entitlement that encourages whining, laziness, anger, and disrespect? It's mind-blowing when I look around me. I quickly discover that very few people are willing to take responsibility for their own actions, yet they are more than willing to tell others to take responsibility for theirs. Very few people are willing to listen to opinions they don't agree with, yet they demand to be heard when they are spouting their own ideas.

Entitlement makes the world a terrible place. It makes us angsty and angry; it makes us difficult people to get along with.
But friends, there are even bigger problems with these entitled assumptions we tend to hold. These problems, as Christians, should make us immediately recoil from attitudes of entitlement in a drastically counter-cultural way. It should make us take a very good look at our causes, soap-boxes, and daily mindset, and it should push us to reform anything within us that leans towards selfishness and entitlement.

If you are worried that you may be living life in selfishness or entitlement, you aren't alone. I struggle with it everyday. But the thing is, we have to recognize it to be able to fight it off. So whether you know you need to improve, aren't sure, or feel like you're good on this topic, this post is for everyone. We all need to check our hearts from time-to-time, and today on TPT, we are diving in to see why Christianity and entitlement can't mix, and how we should be living instead.

An attitude of entitlement and Christianity are two opposites that cannot coexist. #faith #inspiration #Christianity

Hard Work In Scripture

The idea that things should just be handed to us by employers, family members, or even the government is just not Biblical. Scripture is clear that we should work hard and earn what we have (2 Thess. 3:6-10). Scripture is also clear that we are all equal in God's eyes (Gal. 3:28). He doesn't see race, gender, job titles, etc. When God looks at us (for those who know him) he sees people covered in the blood and righteousness of Jesus, and called to live a higher life.

This life we are called to live is an invitation to be selfless, to put others before ourselves, to do all that we can to be at peace with those around us, while still speaking and living the truth of the gospel- which is in it's very nature offensive. We are called to boast in nothing except for Christ, and to be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (James 1:19). None of these Christ-like traits leave any room for entitlement and all that it breeds.

We Can't Grow If We Refuse to Be Offended

These days, everyone seems to think that it's their right to not be offended. But honestly, that's ridiculous.

We all have a right to share our thoughts and speak freely. Are all thoughts equally true and good? Of course not. But we still have the right to express our thoughts and feelings. And just as I said above, as Christians, we are called to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to become angry (James 1:19). But it's inevitable that when we take the time to listen to others, we will occasionally become offended by their words. In those moments, it's important to remember that we are not entitled to never hearing offensive things. In fact, when we become offended, we can often learn a lot from it.

Whether we learn something new about ourselves, are confronted with a new worldview we've never encountered before, or whether we simply have an opportunity to learn to handle conflict in a more Christlike manner, being offended could actually help grow us as people. So, instead of feeling like we are entitled to be shielded from every offense that comes at us, let's remember to reject those entitled feelings and find a way to grow instead.

James 1:19-20 | Be slow to anger and quick to listen. Reject an attitude of entitlement. Live selflessly. | #bible #Christianity #faith

Life Isn't About Us

When it comes down to it, life isn't about you and me. Life is about Jesus. Life is about loving him, living for him, and being his hands and feet. In fact, in order to be the peculiar treasures he created us to be, we need to learn to be the exact opposite of entitled. We need to be selfless to others, for God's glory, just as He gave Himself for us.

Entitlement says that we matter more than the people around us. It says we deserve better than what God has chosen to provide, and that our idea of "the plan" is better than the plan that God has set into motion.

Simply put, life isn't about us, but if we give into an attitude of entitlement, we will start believing selfish ideas about life, which are totally opposed to the truths of Christianity.

A Missional Mindset

Finally, one enormous reason that Christianity and entitlement cannot coexist is because we can't live missionally while simultaneously being self-absorbed. If we are focused on our own desires, feelings, and frustrations, we will not be attentive to the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of those around us. Being oblivious to such things sets us up for failure when it comes to helping others and sharing Christ with them.

Christianity says "put Jesus first" and "put others above ourselves". Christianity calls us to selflessness. But when we allow entitlement to take over our thoughts and our hearts, we give into our own selfish nature instead. We can't do both at the same time. If we are really keeping our eyes on Jesus and really living to share Him with the world, we will not be dwelling obsessively over what has gone wrong in our own lives. But if we are living with an entitled attitude, we will be too caught up in our own issues to take notice of the hurting world around us, and we will fail to commune as fully with God as we could otherwise.

So, let's all band together as a people who reject entitlement, whining, and inward focus, and let us live for God and give of ourselves selflessly instead.

Entitlement breeds selfishness and anger. A life in Christ (Christianity) breeds selflessness and kindness. The two cannot coexist. #faith #Christianity

Why the Christian faith and an attitude of entitlement cannot co-exist. | #Faith #Christianity #inspiration #itiswell

The Do's and Don't's of Respecting Your Husband

Thursday, April 26, 2018 No comments

When it comes to respecting your spouse, how would you rate yourself? Are you a pro at respecting your other-half, are you admittedly terrible at it, or are you not even sure what real respect looks like? I'm certainly no saint when it comes to respecting my husband, but I do try to give him the respect he needs and deserves.

I also know that for some wives, respect is even more difficult to muster because their husband isn't a Christian. I can't imagine going through that, and I do feel for them. But for those ladies out there, try to remember that love is a mission field. Respecting your husband is a big part of showing that love that they need.

I've been married for four years. Not technically "newlywed" status, but not even close to "veteran" level. I (like most married gals) sometimes cause stupid fights, defend arguments that mean nothing in the long-run, and allow my independent spirit to take over more often than I should. But in my 4+ years of being married, I have learned a thing or two.

Among the lessons I've learned, respect is a biggie! I am learning that respecting my husband is much deeper and more complex than I initially realized, and I am learning that being a respectful wife who loves well is a marathon- not a sprint.
We all need some help in improving as wives, and no one is perfect. So whether you feel like you've got control in the respect department or you feel like you need a lot of help to get there, today's post is for you.

The Do's (and Don'ts) of respecting your husband | #marriage #faith #godlymarriage

The Do's of Being a Respectful Wife

Do: Try to be mindful of his time and interests when you make plans that include him too.
I am so bad about making plans for me and Taylor before I check with him first. He is one of the most laid-back people I know, so I usually just know he will go with the flow. But it is far more respectful for me to check with him first, even if I already know what he will say. Plus, on the off chance that he really doesn't feel like doing anything, he would definitely appreciate being asked.

Do: Brag on your husband in public.
I know I love it when Taylor brags on me in front of others, and I want him to know how proud I am of him. I want him to feel as special as I do when he brags on me. Brag on your hubby, friends. Make him feel loved.

Do: Be considerate of his hard work when you are considering going on a shopping spree.
I get it, ladies. Maybe you work full-time and you figure that your husband makes enough that you can use "your money" to buy whatever you want. But honestly, unless you and hubby have had a conversation specifically agreeing that what you make is yours to spend, you need to be considerate. Once you say "I do", whatever money you make is no longer just yours. It belongs to both of you, and therefore, that new Iphone really should be talked about first.

Do: Try to show him love via his love language.
It's easy to love people in our own love language. But learning to love your spouse in his love language will bring him more joy. Don't know what your (and your husband's) love language is? Take the quiz together and find out!

Do: Remember to judge him with the same measure you judge yourself.
If we are honest, we are all hypocrites in one way or another. Let's be sure to give our husbands as much grace as we give ourselves- and give ourselves as much accountability as we give our husbands.

Respect your husband and show him godly love. #faith #quote #bible

The Don'ts of Being a Respectful Wife

Don't: Assume your husband is chill with you hanging out with the opposite sex.
Personally, I don't like hanging out with the opposite sex without my husband present anyway. He trusts me, and he knows that I would never do anything to hurt him, but I still prefer to stay away from those situations. Plus, I definitely like him to avoid situations where it's just him and another woman/women. I trust my husband. But we both believe that it's important to keep ourselves out of awkward and inappropriate situations.

Some husband's won't mind their wives hanging out with the opposite sex. I know that. Regardless though, respecting your hubby enough to talk to him about where you are going and who you'll be with is crucial. If nothing else, he will probably appreciate the gesture.

Don't: Complain about all his flaws in public.
Your husband has flaws. You knew that before you married him. But talking about his downfalls in public (or in front of friends/family) is not only hurtful and embarrassing to him; it's also very telling of your own character. Just sayin'.

Don't: Treat him like he is your servant.
This one is honestly really tough for me. I did not grow up learning that wives were princesses, but somehow, I adopted the practice of acting like one anyway... "Taylor, will you get me a drink?", "Taylor, will you please do the dishes and vacuum the floor and let the dogs out (even though I haven't moved off the couch all day)". These phrases are a little too common in my house and though I believe that men should be willing to serve their wives, I also believe that we as wives should be willing to serve our husbands. Whoops...

Don't: Project past hurt from other men onto him.
He is not them. Plain and simple. Just because your ex devalued you doesn't mean your hubby is doing that. Just because your ex was unfaithful doesn't mean you should assume your spouse will eventually be unfaithful too. He's the good guy, remember? Isn't that one of the reasons you married him?

Ladies, each couple functions differently, and there isn't necessarily a formula for being a respectful wife, BUT (and it's a big but) there are still general principles that are a good idea to follow. I believe these are some of them.

At the end of the day, being a respectful wife means loving your hubster in the way he needs, being there for him, and speaking well of him. Build him up and treat him well, both in public and behind closed doors. But if you want to get more specific than that, I hope these tips will help you build a better marriage- one in which you respect your husband more and more each day.

Learn how to better respect and love your husband in a Christ-like and practical way. #marriage #faith #Christianity

The #1 Reason We Should Love Those Who Hurt Us

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 No comments

I was talking to a friend recently who was expressing frustration toward someone who had hurt them deeply. The hurt had seeped even further down and turned to bitterness, as hurt so often does. The loved-one who caused the hurt now seemed more like an enemy to my friend. And if I'm being completely real, I don't blame my friend for being angry, hurt, or frustrated. I don't even blame her for seeing them as an enemy. But as I lay in bed days later, I started thinking about her situation again. I started thinking about how often love ends up feeling like a burden. In those moments, and it feels unreasonable that we should be called to love those who hurt us.

I genuinely hurt for my friend. I want to be able to fix it for them, and make the deep-rooted pain go away. But I realized something as I continued to think about her situation: she needs to remember the truth about love.

How do you love someone who has hurt you? And why is it important? #love #Christianity #faith

The Truth About Love

As much as we would like to think otherwise, when people hurt us, we are still commanded to love them. We must realize that whether they are close friends, family, co-workers, or acquaintances, Jesus calls His people to live in a counter-cultural way. He calls us to love those who persecute us and pray for those who have wounded us.

Love is not supposed to be a burden. It's easy to understand why it feels that way sometimes. Love can be the hardest thing to practice when someone ignores us, slanders us, or deceives us. But friends, if you claim the name of Christ, you are called to a higher way of living. You are called to a life that proclaims the name of Jesus instead of proclaiming your bitterness.

Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. #faith #Christianity

Love Is A Mission Field

I know this can be so incredibly hard, but in my opinion, this is the most important reason to love those who have hurt us. Love really is a mission field. That friend who spread rumors about you? Love them. That co-worker that said nasty things to you? Love them. That parent who treated you like you were unworthy of their love? Love them. That spouse who ignores you, makes you feel alone, and doesn't help you around the house? Love them.
You have a divine opportunity to show the love of Jesus to people who totally don't get it. You have the privilege of loving them in a way that they don't expect or deserve to be loved.

And why is it a privilege? Because Jesus already gave you and me that same love. He swooped in and loved us abundantly before we knew we needed it, and before we wanted it. He gave himself up in complete sacrifice while we were still scorning him. Trust me: Jesus can relate to your hurt. Jesus has been hurt just as badly by you (and me), as we've ever been hurt in our entire life. And guess what! He loved us anyway, as a sign of his goodness and salvation.

And aren't we called to live like Christ? Aren't we called to love our enemies as Jesus loved us? And isn't loving people who have hurt us one of the most grand testimonies we could ever display for the saving grace of Jesus?

Friend, if you have been hurt and your hurt has turned to bitterness, you are not alone. But you cannot hold on to that bitterness. Not only will it eat you alive, but it will also prevent you from doing exactly what you've been called to do: sharing Jesus with others. So whether you've been hurt by a spouse, a friend, a family member, or someone else entirely, stop thinking of yourself as a victim and start thinking of yourself as a missionary. That's what you are, and the greatest example of that mission is a love that runs deeper than your hurt.

*NOTE: This is not in any way a call to ignore sin. You can (and should) address destructive habits in relationships (i.e. porn or infidelity in marriage, gossip and slander in friendships and family, etc.). But it is entirely possible to release grudges and love people deeply in action and in word while still addressing those sins. Your attitude and actions towards them can shower the love of Christ without ignoring deeper problems.
And also, please know that if you are being abused, you are not called to stay in that situation. Get help. Don't continue being abused for the sake of "love". In those cases, love means getting yourself safe, and hopefully getting some help for the other person.

When someone hurts us, we have the opportunity to love them in order to show the love of Christ to them. Love is a mission field. | #love #faith #Christianity

3 Truths You Need to Know About Mental Illness

Friday, April 6, 2018 No comments

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Everything in this post is my opinion, and comes from my own experience. If you have any questions or concerns about your mental health, consult a doctor. While my advice may be beneficial, it is NOT to replace professional help.

Hi. My name is Kristin and I struggle with depression, anxiety, and a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Most days, mental illness does not rule my life. Most of the time, I function normally and am a pretty happy-camper. But there are moments where that isn't true. And there have been times in my life of prolonged, intense struggle with my illnesses.

Though mental illness is a giant pain in the tush, I really do believe that a benefit to struggling in this area is that I can try to help bridge the gap between those who struggle with mental health and those who do not.

There are so many facets that go into the human brain, and so many reasons that people may struggle. But I also know that it is very hard for well-meaning friends and family to know how to help their loved-ones who struggle mentally and emotionally. They want to, but the "how" seems so unclear.

So today, I'm laying out 3 truths that people need to know about mental illness. Whether you struggle yourself or know someone who does, this post is for you.

3 Truths You Should Know About Mental Illness and Mental Health | #faith #Christianity #mentalhealth #mentalillness

Each Person's Struggle Is Different

If you were to put 5 people in the same room who were all diagnosed with anxiety and depression, not one of those cases would be the same. Yes, they would all have the same general diagnosis, and they may even be on the same medications, but at their core, they are all struggling in different ways. One person's condition may stem from a childhood trauma, while another person may have no "real reason" for the struggle other than a chemical imbalance. 

Even when two people have a similar root cause (i.e. childhood trauma), each individual person is still going to vary in their triggers, their personalities, and the way they handle their tougher days with depression and anxiety.

The moral of the story? Be sensitive and give grace to those who struggle with mental illness, and try to learn what helps each individual most on their journey.

Most People Don't Want To Misuse Their Illness

I think that most people have met someone who uses mental illness as a crutch, as an excuse to treat others poorly, or both. Those people are incredibly frustrating not only because they are just hard to deal with in general, but also because they give people with mental illness a bad name.

Not everyone you meet with a mental illness wants to take advantage of you. In fact, most people want to live normal lives, with as little disturbance from their illness as possible. 

And though I can only speak for myself, I would want my friends to tell me if I were driving them crazy or making them feel as if I were allowing my struggle with anxiety to exploit their kindness or take advantage of them. I would want them to gently show me the error of my ways, and ask that I work on improving. My hope is that other people with anxiety, depression, OCD, etc. would desire the same from their friends.

We Can't Always Explain Or Control Our Feelings

Sometimes, I will wake up anxious for absolutely no reason. And a lot of the time, that unexplained anxiety will linger on for the rest of the day. Sometimes, I can do things to beat it- or at least take my mind off of it. But there are also times that I will be in a cloud of anxiety that I did not ask for or want.

In these moments, I am still responsible for my actons. I am still responsible for how I treat people and for the decisions I make. I would never claim otherwise. However, something that I would like for people to understand is that you can't always just snap your fingers and change the way you feel, or the emotions you are struggling with.

You can absolutely work to improve your thoughts and outlook, but if you don't even know why you are feeling a certain way, you can't just snap your fingers and make your emotions change. And in the same way, you can't always explain how you are feeling.

That being the case, it's really easy for those of us with mental illness to hide away because we are scared that people just won't understand. But it's really important for people with mental illness not to retreat and hide, just as it is important for those who don't struggle with it to keep pursuing their loved ones, even when they don't fully understand what they are going through.

3 Things You Should Know About Mental Illness | Giving grace to others | #mentalillness #mentalhealth #faith


Mental illness is a tricky thing. It's something that some people take advantage of. Some people use their own illness for manipulative purposes and, unfortunately, this fact makes mental illness harder to address and explain to others. Furthermore, this can sometimes serve to invalidate the struggles of those who genuinely seek to live normal lives and be a blessing to the world around them.

But despite the fact that this subject is so tricky, I would like to encourage all of you to seek to help, encourage, and understand each other. For those of you who struggle with mental illness: strive to take care of yourself. Do your part in healing or managing your symptoms. Remember that your loved ones are doing their best to understand, and give them grace when they fail or struggle to know what to do.

And to those who don't struggle with mental illness, remember not to lump everyone with mental illnesses into the same category. Remember that most people aren't trying to milk their struggles for all they're worth, nor do they want to burden you. But also know that if they are being a consistent burden (and you know them well enough), it's okay to gently address the matter. It's okay to tell your friend how you are feeling too. I can't promise how they will respond, but if they are a person who doesn't want to take advantage of others, I'm prone to think they will receive the criticism and strive to do better.

So friends, give each other grace. Wherever you find yourself, treat others with love, patience, and kindness. That will go a long way.

3 Things You Should Know About Mental Health (that a lot of people don't talk about). | Mental illness doesn't need to be taboo. | #faith #mentalhealth