Friday, June 27, 2008

After "Living Room"

I went into Living Room today with a lot of prayer, trying to clear the clouds hanging over me and the prayers did help.

The meeting felt a bit stunted, though. I thought the topic for discussion that I brought was a good one. However, the eighteen sitting around the table were so unengaged in what I was saying. It was like pulling teeth trying to get people to talk. But I did eventually manage to pull a few into the discussion. Was it the large number of people? Last meeting we had only twelve and almost everyone took part. It was a lively time that we stopped only because it was time to go into our small groups. Today's topic was a similar one, but not too well received.

I pulled Pastor Don in by asking him what Peter meant when he said, "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do." (1 Peter 1:15) I asked, "So, Pastor Don, what does it mean to be holy?" Everyone laughed...and I only just now realize what was funny about that.

Pastor Don usually likes to just sit and listen, not taking part, preferring the discussion to be ours alone. But it's kind of fun to surprise him now and then with a question he's not expecting. And we really appreciate hearing from him. His explanation for the word "holy" was that it meant to be set apart, devoted to God.

My friend and I are emailing each other. She's explaining how she feels and I'm explaining how she misunderstood me. I would hate to lose this friend. She means a lot to me.

So where is my mood now? I feel the usual peace and contentedness I feel after a Living Room meeting. However, I also feel tears kind of near the surface. Perhaps I haven't had enough sleep lately. Perhaps it's the result of worries about my relationship with my friend. I don't know.

I have a busy few days ahead. Wish I could have a whole day off to just putter at nothing too much in particular. Catch up on my reading. Perhaps even draw or paint a bit. One day...

13 comments:

Jena said...

Thank you for commenting on my blogs recently Marja, they have been so encouraging. And what a cool coincidence that i was prayed for today. I really needed it. And I felt it. I really did. The mean nurse even hugged me!

After contemplating this post you wrote for a while a few questions came to mind. I think one of the main questions I had was, what is the goal of Living Room, specifically? I understand that you want to raise awareness of raw reality of mental illness within the church. With that, Living Room meets at tthe church at certain times a month and bible studies seem to be central. Perhaps the focus on education and family support on mood disorders is compromised? Just a thought.

Anyway, I will continue to have you close to my heart and in my thought and prayers. Take care. xoxo

P.J. said...

All I am going to say today is that I love you and that I am sending prayers and hugs your way.

Nancie said...

Marja,

I can understand how sad you feel about the misunderstanding with your friend. Hope the misunderstanding will be cleared. May God be with you and strengthen your heart in Him as you look to Him.

I am praying for you. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. Sending my prayers and hugs your way. Take care!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Marja,
Thanks for appreciating the award I gave you. God bless you more for the efforts you have put in trying to expand your living room discussions. Just leave everything to the designs of the Holy Spirit. We can only do so much my friend. Thanks for the post. God bless. BTW, you can contact Sarah From Brazil through Facebook.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
When a friend misunderstands something I've said, I apologize. What I'm apologizing for is not necessarily what I've said, but for the lack of understanding that hurt my friend's feelings.

Also...after so many years of so many depressive episodes, I never say, "When I have time, I'll write, or take photographs, or play music."

If I need to take a day off, I do. What I've learned is that there is nothing I have scheduled today that I can't reschedule for tomorrow or next week. And, if my busy schedule causes a depressive episode, which lasts for months, that is far worse than canceling a few meetings to "regroup and replenish myself."

Susan

marja said...

Jena: I've been thinking myself that we should include some topics that are more closely related to the issues we deal with. However, we are focussing on a faith-based approach. There is so much information out there for people already. What there isn't a lot of is guidance on how to trust God as we struggle with our medical disorders.

So, to answer your question, our purpose is to help people accept their medical disorder and to turn to God as they deal with it.

There are other supports in the community, places where talking about our faith is uncomfortable. And there are supports in the church - small home groups - where talking about our mental health problems could be uncomfortable. At Living Room we offer a place where people can talk comfortably about both, without fear of judgment.

I would welcome any ideas you have of topics we could use that would address both the medical and spiritual aspects of what we deal with.

marja said...

PJ: Thank you for your hugs and prayers. I have the same for you.

marja said...

Nancie: I'm so glad you're starting to improve. Thanks for visiting and your encouragement.

marja said...

Thanks Mel. So good to hear from you. And thank you for telling me about Sarah. Now I have to learn a little about Facebook and how that works. I've never gone there.

marja said...

Hi Susan: Yes, I did tell my friend that I was sorry she misunderstood me and that I made her feel bad. She's still not understanding, but we're leaving that discussion behind us now.

The things that are making me busy right now are not things I can put off or have control over. My mother is one person who is keeping me busy. As her main caregiver, and her living almost an hour away from me, and her health not being very good right now, I have no options. I have to take her to medical appointments and for tests, etc etc.

Then there's my church's activities. I need to be supportive there as well. We're planning a big Canada Day event on July 1st and all the church member need to be on hand to help. Today we're making preparations.

Tomorrow is my husband's aunt's 75th birthday. We do need to make an appearance at the open house.

And then there's the preparation for my book launch. Right now I'm getting all the invitations out - lots of them. We're planning a big party.

Sorry, Susan. I gave you a lot more information than you asked for. (In fact, you didn't ask.) But it was just therapeutic to tell you about it. And I thank you for being there as my sounding board.

Jena said...

Thank you for explaining the group Marja... i wasn't really clear on what your intentions were so that helps me- and maybe a reminder to some of your attenders would also be good! (mind you i haven't been to your group in a really long time so maybe you already do that!!!)

If I can think of anything i will let you know. My brain is anything BUT crisp these days...

Take care. Allow yourself to rest, ok? love you. jena

Merelyme said...

i do hope you make up with your friend. a misunderstanding can color your whole emotional lanscape until it is resolved. i am sorry for not visiting lately...as usual...my depression gets the best of me. i am trying to do better.

Mariposa said...

I had to scroll down to check what happened...I've had similar thing happened to me early this year...and sad to say, she is still not talking to me. It bleeds my heart...and despite how she tries to hurt me and attack me...I stay quite and strong...I don't want to add any more damage to it, for I know, everything will be good again...

I'm glad you've bounced back...