Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Church support

I'm now really getting into the planning of an afternoon seminar entitled, "Mental Illness and How Congregations Can Respond". Thing is - and this is an important thing - I first need to know I have a team in place to help me with it. If that doesn't happen in the next little while it will be very hard to pull this together for our projected date of May 15th. If I don't have a team, I will cancel the plans. I've wanted to have a workshop/seminar like this for years now. Even before Living Room was born.

At the seminar I - and hopefully we - will have someone give an overview of mental illnesses (what they are and how they're treated), have stories from people who live with a mental illness, and have speakers on how congregations can be supportive. I hope to include a psychiatrist, a pastor, a Living Room facilitator, and members of Living Room as speakers.

I've had my ups and downs lately - far too many - wondering if anyone was going to encourage this, wondering if God was really going to help make this happen. But today I'm feeling energetic, ready to get organized. I've had encouragement from a number of sources now.

Thing I'll have to try and maintain is keeping God close. Although busy, to remember to "dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." To remember to take time to "rejoice in the Lord." (from my Psalm 37 meditations)

My husband and some others think I'm obsessed with Living Room work (have I told you that before?). But I think I'm okay. Don't you readers who live with bipolar disorder find it's part of the disorder to focus with zeal in what you believe strongly about? And isn't that how we get a lot done? Thing is, I'm not manic about all this stuff. I'm just humming along.


Coco said...

Hum away Marja! You're dedicated, that's what I call it. It is an all-consuming disorder at best, and at least you are doing something POSITIVE; something that is helping people... I so admire your strength.

Writing Works said...

The seminar sounds wonderful!!! I pray things all work out and that God's will be done!

marja said...

Coco, Thank you SO much for your encouragement. I very much need that. And my "strength?" I might not be as strong as you think. That's why I need your kind of encouragement. Very many thanks.

marja said...

Writing Works: Yes, we do need to pray that God will be in this - that His will be done. Please do pray.

Wendy Love said...

Hi Marja,
Yes, I can just feel your enthusiasm jumping out of my computer! Yes, we bipolars do tend to throw ourselves into things. I find that I am not my best judge of whether what I am doing is healthy or not. I trust my husband to judge for me. I am simply not a rational person. I wish I was, but I am not. That being said, I would encourage you to take into consideration the comments of your husband. However, having said that, I have found that I can jump into all sorts of things, trust the Lord to open or close the doors, and know that I am safe in his hands (whether my husband is right or I am right... and usually my husband is right!) Grant Mullen is giving a seminar in our aread in a couple of weeks. He deals with the very same issues you are talking about (as you probably know). I am tempted to go to the seminar and yet wonder if it would be too much for me and then find I will need days to recover from all of the stimulation.... I guess I will just pray and see how the Lord leads me. I will pray for your situation while I am at it!
Wendy Love

marja said...

Thanks, Wendy.

I do listen to my husband and my friends and weigh whether what they're telling me is true for me. Yet I have a history of taking on big things, including Living Room, and they have often led to a lot of success, as Living Room has.

Today I'm happily working away at the seminar and planning for the Living Room meeting on Friday. I'm finding that to keep thinking about stuff and not take action is hard on me. I need to work. I need to accomplish things. Doing so makes me feel good and strong.

Of course, I also need to do other things - not forget about cooking dinner and doing the laundry, etc. Go for a workout. Try to get together with my son and his wife to enjoy an evening of board games with them. I'm not so focused on Living Room that I'm forgetting those things and I think that's a good sign.

More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Marja,

I am thankful to God that you are dedicated to the work at Living Room. There is such a need for this kind of faith based support. I can understand your passion and determination to make a difference there.

I too hope to fight the terrible stigma that still exist in the church and among believers regarding mental illness. Our church and fellow believers are the best to help us and they rightly should do so as they are our family in Christ.

I too tend to focus with zeal in what I strongly believe in. I just hope I don't have to many of these things as I will then burn out in no time! I too have to try and maintain keeping close to God. And I have been trying harder to limit the amount of things that I do for others or I break them into smaller more manageable portions. I am learning this from you as I read your book, A Firm Place to Stand :)

May God bless and guide you always, and continue to give you much joy and strength to walk with Him and serve Him, and be a blessing to all that come into contact with you. Take care!

With love in Christ and prayers,

marja said...


Yes, you understand all this fully. Thank you for being there and for sharing with me and others.

You're right, Nancie. It's our fellow believers who are in the best position to help us - to encourage us in our faith - to share the love of God with us. And yet so many are fearful of people with mental illness. They don't understand. We need to help educate them. We need to pray for their willingness to learn.

Forbidden Regrets said...

Enternal Love
Grab hold of the utmost love,
gaze upos its eternaty.
Passionate images enclose you in a dream.
Chosing illusion over reality.
Dreams over life.
Pleasure over freedom.
Your desires take hold where you're sheltered.
Only to get a glimps of a healing wish.
Leaving unheard echoes behind.
Waiting for the miracle that will embrace your soul.
You're touched by the unblemished angel.
Your ambitious heart is betrayed, lost and wretched.
Invisible to the eye,
controling over your mind,
Precious memories will stay at ease.
Intertwined into a collapsed promise.
Only to remember your unconditional detemination.
So the fragile body has warmth.


marja said...

Forbidden Regrets: Thank you for visiting and for sharing.