Saturday, June 27, 2015

How Can You Battle Depression and Overeating?

Being depressed means you can spend all day in bed, and still not get a good night’s rest.
                                                               Anonymous
 

 

I feel inconsequential, unimportant, empty.                       
                                                            My personal journal from 1984
 

Overeating is a symptom.
It isn't the food. It's the fix.

The devil hits us with a double-whammy of depression and overeating.

The compulsion brings on depression.
The depression fuels the compulsion.

The 1-2 punch renders many Christians ineffective for God's work, or even to our family and friends.

The first quote described my oldest daughter during her rough time. She slept all day every day but could never get enough. Panic attacks struck my middle girl when she lost her daughter. My quote revealed my self esteem. I believed my family would be better off without me because I was fat and fussy. 

Symptoms of depression are many and varied; not only being unable to sleep, but unable to make decisions, detached from activities you usually enjoy, or like in my case, stuffing my face until I was sick.

In the Bible, David gave us his description of depression.

    I am weary with my groaning, all the night make I my bed to swim; water my couch with my tears.
    Mine eye is consumed because of grief. It waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
                      Psalm 6:6, 7

Elijah fought depression just after his mountain top experience confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel.


Let’s discuss some of the answers to help us with depression.

 

1.     Sometimes we need a psychiatrist and medicine.


2.     Christian counseling


3.     Praise music – This was one Tara Johnson recommended in her book “Hollow Victory.” She’s a musician, so that makes sense.


4.     Prayer


5     Read your Bible if you can, or quote Scripture you have memorized if you can.


6.     Make small goals. (leave the house, call your mother/daughter, eat 3 fruits that day)
 
 
7. Get out in God's great outdoors.
Mountain waterfall
 
 
8. Let go and let God.
 
 
 
 
 
To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept our powerlessness.
To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To "let go" is admitting we can't do it by ourselves and ask for help.


       9. Ask if you need to H.A.L.T.
     H - hungry
     A - angry
     L - lonely
     T - tired

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
C.S. Lewis

That's one of my favorite quotes.

 Remember, what the devil means for evil, God can use for good just like He did for Joseph.

Is Satan using this weapon on you?

What do you need right now to help?

Feel free to contact me at Janet.hope@att.net if you need someone to talk to.



        

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Story of a Writer: DIVINE DINING BY JANET K BROWN

The Story of a Writer: DIVINE DINING BY JANET K BROWN: Welcome Wednesday. How is your week so far? After the beautiful rains over the past couple of months, we now have lovely sunshine, temperatu...

PERFECTIONISM

We expect to be derailed by grief or fear, but perfectionism? That one slips up on our blind side. This problem is deceitful. What causes it?


I know I never measured up to what my mom wanted of me. Perhaps I’m still trying to make her proud. Beginning at the beginning helps overcome the urge to err on obsession.

What started your obsession with perfectionism? For that matter, how do we distinguish between trying to be the best we can be and worrying over being perfect? This can be a delicate balance with falling over the line, easy.


In her book Hollow Victory: How to Identify & Disarm 5 Landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie, Tara Johnson gives us this checklist of warning signs that you're out of balance.

1. Never satisfied with your performance
2. Negative recurring and persistent thoughts
3. A constant state of awareness about the lack of perfectionism in yourself or others.
4. Refusing to deviate from guidelines or the 'way things are supposed to be'
5. Constantly fearing rejection
6. When your mistakes feel like a death sentence
7. Refusing to change unhealthy behaviors because you might fail at the change
8. Thinking "I have no value in life unless I'm successful."
9. Thinking that love = good performance
10. Overt competitiveness
11. Persistent low self-esteem
12. Guilt over perceived failures
13. Depression
14. Rigid, inflexible, non spontaneous
15. Obsessive-compulsive behavior
16. Lack of motivation
17. Eating disorders
18. General unhappiness and comparing yourself to others.


If you read this list and decide you're there, the danger comes from deciding what you've been doing is a failure. Let me tell you a story of mine.


When I was losing my weight, our teacher left. I continued his class for several months but then stopped. About 7 years ago, encouraged by others to start a weight loss class, I did. I wrote my own curriculum. It was all about me and how great I had done. The class began with about fifteen members but, within four months, went down to four faithfuls (which isn’t unusual with people with weight problems). However, I started overeating, often crying in class, doing more damage than helping. I began to regain weight. I felt condemned and quit the class before the first semester was over. I felt such a failure.
God has given me 3 books, 2 on something about weight loss.

 

My daughter gave me some great advice. She told me, “Mom, that doesn’t mean it was a failure. God can use what you learned. Who knows but what He’ll use you to teach again, or have you encourage others online, or who knows what. It wasn’t a failure. It just wasn’t’ the time or the avenue. You weren't ready. You were still learning.”

 

That was before God helped me write “Divine Dining."
 
Before He spoke through me to groups about right thinking and weight loss.
 
Before, He used me to help others lose weight online 
 
 
 
 
One part of my teaching now is it’s NOT all about me. Perfectionism is a killer.
 
In her book, The Freedom of Letting Go, Donna Clark Goodrich tells us "Ask yourself: Have I truly failed, or am I simply not meeting unrealistic expectations?"
 
Accept yourself as you are before you try to be anything different. Failure in a task doesn't mean you're a failure as a person. Relax. Give yourself a break."

 
Thanks to my daughter's advice, I stopped, learned, prayed, and started again. It wasn't a failure; just success delayed.


If those warning signs hit you between the eyes, think about what you're doing. Is it really a failure or is it just your perfectionism showing? Are you ready or still learning?


Monday, June 22, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT

Thank you, Patti Shene, for helping me announce two free days to get Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Don't miss this: http://www.pattishene.com/theover50writer


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sit! Listen! Decide!

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gatherest her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
                             Matthew 23: 37

 
I love the way Jesus taught with metaphors and stories that give us visuals. I can just see a mother hen opening her wings. Without question, the little chicks huddle under the protection she offers. Why don't we do that?

 
God wants to guide our steps. He wants to comfort us and give us peace. He longs to hold us in His arms and take the load off our shoulders.

 

But sometimes, we won’t allow Him to.

 

 

God gave humans free will, and He will not cross that barrier. Everything that God does for us comes first with a decision from us. A few years ago, I worked at a busy doctor's office. My stress level and long hours often left depleted and in despair. I needed quiet time, just the Lord and me, but wasn't able to fit it into my busy schedule. When I got home, I was hungry, tired, and cranky but still needed to get dinner on the table. When the days' chores were done and I dropped into my recliner, I fell asleep.

 
One day, I made a decision to use my alarm clock and have quiet time before breakfast. At first, I had a hard time forcing myself to get out of bed, but I had made a decision. I stuck to it until it became habit, one that brought joyful rewards.

 
A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.
                      Proverbs 16:9 The Amplified Bible

 

 
1. We make a decision to do something for God.

2. He shows us the strategy to fulfill the decision.

3.  When we flounder, as we often do, we reinforce our decision.

4. God provides the strength to keep going.

 
"Don't just do something. Sit there.
"Sometimes sitting with our problems is the best thing we can do. Quick fixes can make things worse. Sometimes, the long way around a problem is the only way around it."
             The Spiritual Path to Weight Loss by
                         Gregory L. Jantz, PhD

Do you need some sitting time? Some quiet time? Some listening to God time?

You know prayer isn't about talking all the time. When does God get a chance?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are you in a safe place?

On June 15, I began this post right after reading the devotion in Divine Dining for that day.


Forgive me for sending it on. Those who own the book may have just read it, but today, it's on my heart.
 

Safe From Winds.

 

 

“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6

  

     Memorial Day, 2011, my husband and I camped in our travel trailer. The winds were horrendous, the heat oppressive, in North Texas. Fires ravaged acres of land taking homes, barns, cattle, even some people in their path.

 

     Through the air sailed tumbleweeds and small limbs. On the west side of our trailer, I watched a small oak. The owners of the RV Park planted it for extra shade. When a gust of wind blasted from the south, a big cottonwood tree bowed over our patio and dropped cotton balls on our picnic table.

 

     The oak, not more than four feet tall, braved the monster wind with strength and determination. The spindly branches folded but remained tight against the strength of a two-inch diameter trunk.

 

     Though wind (or trials) buffeted that small tree, the branches remained in the trunk (or vine) and stayed firm, unmovable. God didn’t promise I’d have no trials, no temptations, but He advised me to stay in Him to be able to withstand.

 

     Foregoing daily quiet time with the Lord isn’t an option for a compulsive person to prepare for the wind.

 

 

Prayer: I abide in You, today. It’s the only way I stay safe when the winds blow.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How does symbolism affect our lives?

When I was in college, I loved English except for when the professor asked us to look for the symbolism in the stories we read. The stories she choose didn't make sense to me. Though I did well at every part of English except that, I often failed the symbolism tests.

Several years ago I took a fiction mentoring class for three days with award-winning Christian author, DiAnn Mills. One lesson focused on symbols. I explained I hated that. She tirelessly tried to convince me of its importance. The next year I took a class from DiAnn at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writing Conference, and I finally got it. Sorry, I was such a hardhead, DiAnn.

In my latest release, Worth Her Weight, food symbolized freedom to my main character. Of course, she learned that freedom only exists through Christ.


Tomorrow is Flag Day in America which gets me to thinking about how symbolism affects our lives. Men and women have died protecting the flag. Because we love America, we handle the flag with care by keeping it off the ground and folding it a certain way. Tomorrow, as flags unfurl across our cities, our minds will think of the United State of America. The flag doesn't become the land mass from "sea to shining sea," nor the great people that live within its boundaries, but we do fly it as a symbol of those things.
 
 
 
 
Other than God, the most important thing in my life is my marriage. The love that Charles and I share warms my heart. He's my friend, my lover, and my biggest fan. When we married, he slipped a wedding ring on my finger, and I've kept it there for 53 years. He's offered to buy me a new one, but this one means more to me than anything I might purchase today. The ring on this old, wrinkled hand of mine symbolizes the day I said "I do" commit to Charles.
 
Think about what symbols we use.
 
A cross represents our Christian faith because of Jesus' death on a cross.
 
A red rose stands for romantic love. (Take note of that, guys.)
 
For a fiftieth wedding anniversary, we give gold to indicate the golden years. (I wish.)
 
After 9/11, the workers looked at a metal beam that looked like a cross as a symbol that we would overcome.
 
Like my character, Lacey, in Worth Her WeightI used food as my God, but food, drugs, alcohol, or even sports, shopping, or fishing can't replace God.
 
I open my Bible. I don't see it in the same way as the decorative cross. The Bible doesn't symbolize God's Word, it IS God's Word.
 
How does symbolism affect your life?
 
I'd love to hear your thoughts.