Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dish cloths - a God thing

We came back from our fishing get-away last night. Had a good time with not too many mood problems. It was good to be with others at the beginning of our trip. People to socialize with. Not so much time to think about myself and the way I was feeling.

On our long drive out to Fletcher Lake I had lots of quiet time to think. I realized how good it would be to be knitting or crocheting dish cloths in my free time, something I hadn't done for many years. I would sell them to benefit Connections, the coffee shop our church is opening up for the community. So in Williams Lake we stopped to buy some cotton yarn and a crochet hook.

Now, lo and behold, this was truly a plan planted within me by God. I'll tell you why it was a real God thing. My husband's friend's wife, someone who I don't have too much in common with, had - unbeknownsed to me - also brought a crochet project along to work on. This gave us something we could share in while the men were out fishing. Such an unbelievably good thing this was! God knew exactly what I needed at that time.

I'm happy now for this activity for those times when I feel like withdrawing. It fills a hole for me and helps me feel contented. I can knit and crochet while I visit my mother, someone who herself is always crocheting. It will give me something to share with Mom in as well.

Another thing I'm happy about is that my husband has agreed to let me have an open house in October to sell photographic items and other crafts (like dish cloths) - again for the benefit of Connections.

Right now I'm feeling very useful, with lots of creative projects to fill my time. I have an activity for every mood!

Creativity really is such a good thing to fight adverse mood problems! I've only felt the need to withdraw a few times while we've been away, and it didn't stick around. Thank God!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Roller coaster life

I gave my first book the title of Riding the Roller Coaster and how apt that was. Have I ever been riding a roller coaster of moods and emotions over the past few weeks!

Yesterday I felt like a butterfly, newly released from its coccoon. I felt wonderfully free and prayed to God that this feeling would last for a while.

But it didn't happen. This afternoon I've been feeling like coccooning myself all over again. I want to withdraw - turn within myself, safe in my leather chair or on the bed.

I wish I could just sit and live in my own little world. But I have a fishing trip to prepare for. Tomorrow we'll take off for a week, spending some of that time with a friend of my husband's and his wife.

It was only a few days ago that my husband had to take my pills for safe-keeping. I know, that sounds pretty drastic. But people with bipolar depression can easily become suicidal - even though it may seem their life is wonderful and they have everything to live for. That's one of the crazy things about this disease. That's one of the tragic things that causes 30% of all people with bipolar disorder to take their own lives. It can happen all too easily.

I feel like writing - lots. And I've been peppering a close friend with many emails, confiding in her all the things I'm thinking and feeling. It feels good to share with someone who I know cares about me. It's less lonely. And I feel I need for someone to understand me.

This afternoon I've been wondering if I couldn't - somehow - turn this roller coaster into something good. Could I write something that would help others? Perhaps another devotional? But to do that, I have to learn something from all this, and at this point I'm not sure I'm learning a thing.

On my way to my mother's this afternoon, I was remembering what I had read in a book by Erwin McManus (I think it was him). "God pursues us with His love." What a wonderful thought! I'm a love sponge and am needing a lot of love now-a-days while I'm going through all this stuff. I will try to spend our time away seeing God's love expressed in everything I can: In what God whispers to me in my quiet times; in my husband's presence for me; in the beautiful things I see around me.

And, you know, I feel God's love most when I'm loving towards others. His love then reaches my heart in a big way. I will try to show my love to my husband and to his friends while we're gone. By giving love I will receive it too. Isn't that the way it always works?

But first I'll have to come out of my coccoon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thinking big

The Living Room global initiative team held a meeting this morning. One of the questions I asked them was "Are we thinking big enough?" If we want Living Room to become a true movement, we've got to get out there and do everything within our power to promote it. Are we doing enough?

One of our members pointed out, "Yes, we are already thinking big." We have a workshop planned for September 17th. And we will have a booth at Missions Fest in January. Yes, I guess it's me pulling on the bit again. Wanting to do things before we're truly ready. Wanting to get everything done at once. This kind of work can only be done in little bits at a time.

She pointed out how we can gauge from interest at Missions Fest what to do next. Step by step, we'll gradually accomplish our goals - to help decrease stigma and help churches learn how to give support. Step by step, as God leads.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our need for love

In the end - to see us through our mood glitches - isn't all we need, to be assured that we are loved? And when that reassurance of love isn't forthcoming, we start to doubt God's love, don't we? We start to feel isolated and abandoned. And isn't that the worst feeling of all?

I believe the worst thing for Jesus wasn't the physical pain of the cross. It was that He was abandoned by His friends. Those to whom He had revealed all He was.

At least Jesus understands. And that's a source of comfort.