Is your family wounded or broken today?

I have a certain routine to my day, especially my morning routine. I wake up, spend time with my husband before he leaves for work, have my cup of coffee, read posts and post on FaceBook, then at 7:00 or 7:30 am I always watch Joyce Meyer on tv. She always inspires me and stirs me up. I take notes of her great messages then post them on FB. After that I read 2-3 chapters in the Old Testement and one chapter of the New Testement in my Bible. Next I open my prayer notebook and pray for my friends and my loved ones. Then I get dressed go for my outdoor walk with the dogs and feed my birds. And then continue with the rest of my day.

Well today I joined WordPress.com and I want to start blogging. The more I read, the more excited I got. I have so many painful and joyful and life changing experiences in my life that I would love to share with people. I love to write and I especially want to help people that are hurting. I think God could really us me. I was so engrossed in reading about blogging and readiing people’s blogs that I totally lost track of time.

Then a dear friend called who I have not spoken with in a long time and we chatted and she shared her prayer requests with me. By that time it was time to take my dogs out for a walk- I had not taken them out since 4:30 am and it was already 9:15.

And then it happened. This black cloud settled over me. I did NOT want to read my Bible. I could think of a lot of things I would rather do because I really really did not want to read my Bible. I called one of my best friends. We usually chat on the phone for a while. I explained all of this to her and she prayed a 2 sentence prayer that God would speak to my heart and I would open my Women of Faith Study Bible. I literally had to force myself.

As soon as I started reading the Word of God I was instantly glad I did. I love to read the old familiar stories in Genesis and I read the study notes and I always learn something, I am always comforted or encouraged or inspired or convicted of my sin or just be reminded of the woman God wants me to be.

This morning Genesis chapter 33 spoke especially personally to me. It concerned family relationships. Jacob and Esau were brothers- they never liked each other, they never got along and to make matters worse the mother favored one son and the father favored the other. While the father was on his deathbed his wife and her favorite son tricked the father into giving the birthright and a full blessing to the younger son. ( The custom was the oldest child had the birthright and got his father’s full blessing and the younger brothers would serve the older brother and the older brother would gain all the land and be blessed by God and be prosperous.) Esau, the older son hated Jacob and planned to kill him after his father died. The mother sent Joseph away. Jacob was gone for 14 years- he served seven years working for one wife and another 7 years working for the second wife.

Now we come to Genesis 33. My chapter for today. I understand now why the devil did NOT want me to read this chapter…Jacob is returning home. He fears that his brother, who is approaching with a great army of men will kill him, his family, his servants and all his livestock. Jacob sends his servants ahead to his brother with gifts of livestock. The brother refuses the gifts but instead Esau runs to his brother and embraces his brother and they wept. Their hard hearts were softened and they felt love and mercy and forgiveness for each other.

Does your family live in perfect harmony with each other or is there conflict and strife?My 4 children did not have a happy childhood- they each grew up in different homes- 3 of them were in numerous different foster homes. Each one says they have forgiven me 25 years later but our family is still wounded and broken. One of my adult children visited me on Christmas Eve and we had a great time before he drove back to D.C. Two of my other children drove together from New York and New England to surprise me with a visit. I got to see my granddaughter who I have not seen for 3 years. My child who lives in Michigan was there also with my other two grandchildren… I live in Michigan. We had the happiest 4 days that we have had in many many years. It was a joy to see my children and grandchildren bond with each other. I was filled with joy. Then Friday night words were said in anger- cruel unkind words that left all of us hurt, devastated and angry. My son and my daughter left two days later and two of my children are not speaking to me, I cannot see my grandchildren- they want nothing to do with me and one of my children wants nothing to do with anyone in our family. So, as you can imagine, I am deeply hurt and dissappointed. But I have chosen to focus on the happy times we did share together and now my focus is on God, my loving husband, the two children that do love me and want to be their mother, my dogs, my cat and my birds.

I can see now why not he devil did his very best to keep me from reading the story of Jacob and Esau. If there was hope for these two there is hope for my family- and for yours. Whatever your family situation is God can heal it if we turn to Jesus, ask him to forgive our sin, be our Lord and Savior and put all of our faith in his death on the cross, burial and resurrection. Once we do this we are born again, we become a child of God and we can pray to him and give him all of our worries and cares and burdens and ask him to help us to patiently wait until his timing is perfect. He does not always promise us we will get what we want and we need to ask him to help us accept the things we cannot change… but he hears our every prayer, he loves us, he loves our children and our family members and He knows what is best for us. All I know is that if he could soften the hearts of Jacob and Esau he can soften the hearts of anyone if we pray and trust him and patiently wait.

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Terri’s Life: On Thankfulness

I will be honest I am feeling really depressed. I am not feeling very thankful. I want to go back to bed and stay there all day. I spent time alone with God. read my Bible. I listened to an excellent sermon. I prayed a little. I read a few pages and answered questions from the great book and workbook “Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Will Set us Free.” I realized my circumstances and my emotions rule my life. They rule my thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.

I have actually been doing very well until yesterday. Something reminded me of my daughter Tiffany. It bought back happy memories. I used to go to Tiffany’s apartment where I was adored by Chuck’s and my twin grandchildren. I loved playing with them, cooking a meal, having dinner with them and reading them bedtime stories. I enjoyed staying up late watching movies with Tiffany. Tiffany always had great movies and Netflix with good tv shows. We had some good conversations too.

There is snow outside today. My twin grandchildren used to love sledding down the hill in our side yard. Chuck or I made a path and gave them a good push and they slid really far. Chuck loved playing outdoors with the kids- they would be out there for hours. I would have hot cocoa for them when we came in the house and then we baked cookies. In the evenings Chuck built legos with them and even played Barbies with my granddaughter. They used to stay over and we both liked reading bedtime stories to them. We were exhausted by the end of the day. But it was a happy exhaustion. We loved to shower them with gifts on Christmas and their birthday until their Mom decided they had too many toys and would not let us buy them any more. And then she wouldn’t talk to us or let us see them any more. It has been a year and a half since we have seen them but it seems much longer

I miss Heather and my granddaughter also. It has been nearly two years since I have seen them.But to be honest I love Heather and my granddaughter with all my heart but I spent more time with Tiffany. When Tiffany’s children were little Tiffany would invite me over for a 3-4 day weekend to play with the kids and watch movies with her. She was always so happy to see me come over. She got some sleep and I got to play with the babies all morning. Plus I didn’t have a car and the bus station was five minutes away from where Tiffany lived.

I often asked Heather if I could come for a weekend but she always said no so I stopped asking. In hindsight I really wish I had ridden the long bus ride to Heather’s house, spent time with my daughter and granddaughter then taken a bus home the same day. At the time Heather had her boyfriend living with her, with one child and Tiffany had two babies with nobody helping her. She had another boyfriend after the first and she did not really seem to need or want any help from me with her child. Still I should have spent time with them even for a single day when I had the chance and I will always regret that. I do not think Heather will ever forgive me for not spending more time with her and her and my granddaughter. There is actually a long list of things Heather will never forgive me for. There are a number of things Tiffany will not forgive me for also.

Two years ago three of my children and three of my grandchildren were all together here in Michigan for three days after Christmas. I was overjoyed to spend time with my children and grandchildren. Eight years ago I spent two days at Heather’s house Christmas Eve and Christmas with all of my children and all of my grandchildren at my daughter’s house. We were all so happy to be together…

So today I have very low energy and I feel exhausted- but it is not a “I had a great day” type of happy exhaustion it is more of a I’m so exhausted I cannot even cry any more.

But God tells us to give thanks in every circumstances. So thank you Lord that I have happy times and happy memories with my daughters, my sons, my granddaughters and grandson. And who knows? Maybe some day all of us will be together again for Christmas. That would be the best Christmas ever (second to the gift of God’s Son who was born a virgin, died on a cross, rose from the dead and offers us forgiveness of sins, adoption into his family, eternal life and a whole lot more).

Next week is Thanksgiving. I am thankful that I am alive (after numerous suede attempts, breast cancer, a horrific car crash…). I am thankful my husband, all of my children, my grandchildren, extended family, church family, in-laws and best friends are alive. I am looking forward to a romantic weekend in Frankenmuth Michigan to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. I am thankful to be spending Thanksgiving with my husband, my mother-in- law, my sister, and our extended family on Thanksgiving. There will be an abundance of food, family and fun.

And how are you today? Are you going through a difficult time in your life? Two of my favorite songs (on YouTube) are “Even If” by Mercy Me and “Praise You in This Storm.” Even if God does not give me what I long for I know that He loves me and that He is all I need. When I listen to these songs it takes the focus off of me and helps me to focus on my Great and Awesome God. I challenge you to listen to these two songs. What about you? Is there anything you can be thankful for today?

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Michelle Obama: A Republican Viewpoint

“Oh I hate that woman!” I thought. ” I do not want to hear anything she has to say!” I was about to change the channel when I felt God reminding me we are not supposed to hate anybody. We can have extremely opposite viewpoints, politically, religiously, culturally but Jesus tells us to love everybody. I decided to listen to what she had to say, preparing to change the channel.

Michelle had written a book which I might actually buy. Robin Roberts asked Michelle several questions. One of the things Robin asked Michelle was what she wanted people to take away from this book. Michelle said her main message is that everybody’s story mattered. We should all be able to share our story with others. I was surprised and I liked her answer. She was asked about the vote we just had. She talked about the importance of everyone voting -not the liberals, not the conservatives, not the Democrats and not the Republicans but everyone. Here was the perfect opportunity to gloat over the Democrats taking over the House. She did not gloat. She did not bash Donald Trump. She did not bash the Republicans. She talked about how wonderful it is that so many women were elected. I am happy about that too.

Robin asked her if she wanted to run for President. She shook her head and said no way. She had no interest in running for President. Robin asked Michelle who would be a good candidate. ” Anyone is qualified to run for President,” she said. Oh here it comes. Now she is going to bash Donald Trump. Robin asked her if she was saying that because who is in office right now. Michelle said no that was not what she was saying. She did not say one bad word about Donald Trump. She took the high road. She did not spread hate. She explained that anyone with a passion to serve this country. She said anyone should be free to run for President. She said one of the things she would look for in a President is someone who is polite and respectful. Michelle said anyone who runs for the office of President should not have to fear being beaten up. I agree with that too.

I am still a Conservative Republican. I see our economy is the best that it has been since the 1980’s. I see the coal mines and the factories and other companies opening up in America providing thousands of jobs. The African Americans and Hispanics have the highest employment rates they ever had in our country. Our debt has gone down by billions of dollars. I want the borders to be closed and people coming into our country legally, after being carefully screened. Our products are being sold in other countries now where before they were not being sold at all or they were heavily taxed. I think Donald Trump is a great President. I believe he has been badmouthed by the press like no other President has ever been badmouthed. They lie, they print half truths, they absolutely are biased towards liberals. I wiling he did not feel the only way he is able to get his message to the public is through Twitter. I wish he was more respectful to others. Some of his tweets are terrible- I do not like the way he demeans and badmouths others. Yes, there are some things Donald Trump does that make me cringe but I still believe he is a great President. He loves THIS country more than he loves other countries and he does what is best for THIS country. He IS making America stronger.

But still, I have a new found respect for Michelle Obama even although I strongly disagree with her political views. I strongly disagree with my son’s liberal political views but I still love my son.

I think God means it when he says in the Bible the two greatest commandments are to love God and love people. We are even told to love our enemies. Maybe we should all do that and spread love not hate.

Michelle is back on tv again. She is talking about the importance of a strong male role model (like her brother) in the role of a strong girl. WOW! In our anti-men culture today you don’t hear statements like that very often.

She is talking about her daughters and praising them and she is also praising Chelsea Clinton and Jenna and Barbara Bush who helped her daughters, and how much she loves those girls. She doesn’t care that their Dad was the Republican President- she loves them anyways.

I am going to listen to what else she has to say and maybe that is what we all need to do- listen to those with other beliefs, politics, religions, cultures and love them the way Jesus loves them. And I am going to buy the book.

In conclusion Michelle said our main responsibility today as adults is to be good role models for our young people. I agree with that too. What an extraordinary woman.

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A Gifted Writer

See CRYSTALPARENTEAU.COM for some beautiful writing- her blog about Gratitude will touch your heart. Yes, she is my niece. Yes I love her but that is not why I am recommending her to you. I am recommending her to you because she truly writes from the heart. Photo below is beautiful Crystal and her handsome husband Steve. Crystal is the mother of three sweet children. As a wife, mother and godly Christian woman she shares her experiences and valuable insights with others. Please read her blog. You will be glad you did.

Terri D

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The Life You Were Meant To Live

I receive an email with a daily broadcast from Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Baptist Church. It is called Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope. What a great message I heard this morning! I would love to share his message with you. He is preaching a series of messages about envy. Today’s Bible study is titled:

“THE LIFE YOU WERE MEANT TO LIVE”

“You are as happy as you choose to be.”

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

Please read Matthew 20:1-16. Right now. Put down your iPhone, iPad or laptop, go and get your Bible and read this passage. It is important to see what GID has to say about this topic. Read Matthew 20:1-16 before you read any further.

BE THANKFUL

1. Be thankful for what you have. You have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, clean water, food, you are not thrown in jail for your beliefs, you have freedom, and you are not under persecution. Ecclesiastes 6:9 says that contentment is when you realize it is better to be satisfied with what you have than to always be wanting more. Paul said, “I have LEARNED to be content”. You by nature are not a contented person. You have to learn it. Envy comes with maturity.

WHAT ENVY IS NOT

Envy is not desire, ambition, a dream, setting goals – these are all good things. These things are given by God. Envy is resentment for those who have it already. Envy says “I can’t be happy unless I get this”.

TRUST GOD

2. I must trust God when life seems to be unfair. The sign that shows whether you have envy in your heart or not it when you constantly say, “It’s not fair.” What you are saying is, “God you blew it.” When you have envy in your heart you are in a battle with God. You are saying to God, “If you really loved me you would have made me somebody else. You made me wrong. You didn’t give me the talents I wanted. You didn’t give me the looks I wanted. You didn’t give me the opportunities I wanted.”

GOD KNOWS

God knows what is best for you more than you do. There are things you don’t have in your life and there is a reason for it. Don’t blame God for all the things you don’t have. Some of the things you don’t have is because you are too lazy and don’t want to work for it or because you made bad financial decisions. You didn’t put in the time, effort, discipline and study to achieve certain goals – don’t blame God for that.

There are some talents God did not give you. There are some opportunities God did not give you. Envy is the fever. Doubting God is the illness. We doubt God loves us. Start living the life that was intended for YOU– that is the one that is going to receive rewards, responsibilities and roles in heaven. Envy distracts you from YOUR purpose. God gave YOU a race to run. You can’t run anybody else’s race. They can’t run yours.

Read Hebrews 12:1. Right now. Get your Bible and look up this Bible verse. When you are running GOD’S race, you are not worried about anyone else’s race. You do not need cheering crowds. You are running for ONE.

Read Psalm 139:1-18. I will repeat my statement: is important to look these Bible verses up. It is important to read what GOD has to say. Now please read Psalm 139:1-18. God planned YOUR race before you were born. Any time spent envying other people is wasted time. Be who God made YOU to be. All the other roles are taken.

IN CONCLUSION

What does the Bible say in Matthew 20:16? Many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first. What does this mean? One day – judgment day – all the price tags will be taken. The roles will be reversed. Some of the people you were envying are going to be at the back of the line on judgment day.

PASTOR RICK WARREN’S DAILY HOPE

pastorrick.com

1-800-600-5004

Let me ask you a question. Have you made the decision to repent of your sins, believe in Jesus and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior? The first purpose for your life is for you to choose to give your life to Jesus. When you put all of your faith in Jesus death on the cross and resurrection from the dead (and not on your own efforts to be good) you are fulfilling God’s first role for you: to be born again. You are born once physically. You must be born again- born spiritually to have your sins forgiven, become a child of God, receive eternal life and have a home in heaven. The Bible says in John 3:3 that unless you are born again you will never go to heaven when you die. Will you choose to be a follower of Jesus today?

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God’s Grace Is Amazing!

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost

But now am found

Was blind

But now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far

And grace twill lead me home.

When we’ve been there

Ten thousand years

Bright shining as the sun

We’ve no less days

To sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun.

I do not deserve God’s love. I fail Him time and time again. Yet He still lives me, not because I am good but because GOD is good.

The Bible says:

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. 1 John 1:8 –10

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MARRIAGE: Things We Have Learned About Marriage

In In nine days my husband and I are going to Frankenmuth Michigan! Frankenmuth is a little Bavarian Christmas village. Bonner’s Christmas Wonderland is there-the world’s largest Christmas store! My hubby Chuck and I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage! We are going to have dinner at a nice restaurant, have a 30 minute ride down Main Street in a horse drawn carriage and then the two of us are going to read a love letter (or Hallmark card) to each other and renew our vows in the Silent Night Chapel- no priest or pastor, no guests, just the two of us. I cannot believe we have been married five years- we have had some really tough times. I have oftener wondered if we would make it to our fifth anniversary.

Here are some things we have learned- although we are far from perfect and do not always put these things into practice- but we try to do these things.

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED (And ARE LEARNING)

1. Put Jesus first always.

2. Pray with each other and for each other often.

3. Start your week out right; Go to a good Bible preaching church together every Sunday.

4. Read your Bible- alone and together

5. A soft answer turners away wrath- don’t be a screamer.

6. It is more important to be kind than it is to be right.

7. Not everything is worthy of an argument.

8. Pick your battles- what is really important.

9. If you are sure you are right and your spouse is sure he or she is right- agree to disagree- you are not going to change their mind and they are not going to change yours.

10. Never go to bed angry. Your spouse could die in their sleep (which actually happened to me).

11. Be merciful- forgive each other- we are all human- we are all sinful- we are all capable of saying and doing terrible things.

12. Love your spouse’s children/family- they are your family now.

13. Never say no when your spouse is in the mood. no = rejection.

14. If your spouse is exhausted – don’t ask for anything.

15.Have a nice clean home when your spouse comes from work.

16. Learn to be a good cook.(See allrecipes.com)

17. Cook a nice big dinner- your spouse will be happy and you won’t have to cook for the rest of the week.

18. Write little love notes/emails to each other.

19. Say thank you often- everyone likes to be appreciated.

20. When your spouse has worked hard all day and is tired do his or her chores (like emptying the trash or taking the dogs out at 4:30 am).

21. Take some fun time out to spend with your friends and give your spouse some alone time.

22. If your spouse hates to go places go with your sister/brother or friends.

23. Negotiate/Compromise- both of you give in a little.

24. Learn to take no for an answer. Do not demand to get your way all the time.

25. Don’t try to change your spouse- look at all the good qualities of him or her.

26. Offer sincere compliments and praise.

27. Read articles/books about successful marriages- like “the Love Dare”.

28. Let the non-employed spouse have an allowance so he/she has some spending money.

29. Let your spouse go overboard on birthdays and Christmas.

30. Make every anniversary romantic- cook your spouse’s favorite dinner or go to a restaurant, play soft music, have candlelight, turn on the radio and slow dance.

31. Be extra caring and sympathetic when your spouse is hurting.

32. Never badmouth your spouse on FaceBook or to others

33.If your spouse doesn’t like to have his/her photo taken and refuses to smile for photos- that’s okay- accept him or her.

34. Accept him or her- overlook his/her faults. You are not perfect either.

35. If something is bothering you calmly explain the problem and how you are feeling- do not let anger build up inside of you.

36. Never start a sentence with “You always,” “you never ” or “you should”.

37. Do not argue in front of other people especially in front of children and animals- it scares them.

38. If your spouse is forgetful- accept that- be patient and repeat it as many times as you have to.

39. If your spouse is hard of hearing don’t get angry- he/she can’t help it – speak louder

40. Allow your spouse to spend time with his/ her friends.

41. CELL PHONES : Do not use in restaurants, public places, mealtimes, in the evenings when you are spending time with your spouse, in the car when spending time with your spouse, when you are having a conversation with your spouse- no one is more important than your spouse.

42. God first, your spouse second, your children third, then others and lastly yourself.

43. Don’t be ashamed to ask others for help- if you need individual or marital counseling be willing to go.

44. Listen to what your spouse is saying – give him/her your undivided attention.

45. Listen to what your spouse is not saying- look at facial expression, body language, listen to tone of voice.

46. Ask your spouse how his/ her day was and be willing to let him talk.

47. Try to take an interest in what your spouse enjoys- sports, politics, movies, motorcycles, the beach, walking a 5K, camping, traveling, hobbies.

48. Love your spouse even when he/she is being unloveable- that is when he/she needs love the most. God loves us even when we are unloveable

49. Laugh at his/her jokes. Watch funny movies and tv shows. Laughter is the best medicine.

50. Never bring up your spouse’s past. Focus on today.

51. Ask your spouse his/her opinion. Everyone likes to give their opinion. He/she might have some valuable insight on your problem or decision.

52.,Be thankful that God has given you a spouse- there are many single people who are lonely and would love to have a spouse.

Now it is your turn. How long have you been married? What truths have you learned about marriage? I would love to read your comments.

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A DBT Group Or a CR GROUP CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Here is the Wikipedia definition of DBT:

I first learned about DBT at a day treatment facility which served severely depressed and suicidal people as well as others with various forms of mental illness. Many of us had been abused as children. One of the first things we did was look at a page with about 30 different faces on it. Under each face there was one word that described an emotion. The facial features matched the emotion. If I asked you to name the emotions you would probably say anger, fear, depression and happiness. There are so many more emotions and often we do not know or understands all the emotions we are feeling on any given day. There were emotions like anxiety, frustration, envy, jealousy, embarrassment, joy, sorrow, worried, confused, panicked, furious, suicidal, proud, joy, and many, many more. Each day we learned something new. I saved my handouts and I still read them today.

I began meeting every day with this group of people. I learned so much. What I learned changed my life and I formed a strong bond with these strangers. In later years, I met weekly with a DBT group. In the beginning, only one or two of us made comments or answered questions. As time went on more people shared and I understood that I was not alone. There were so many people out there who understood how I felt. More than that, there were a lot of people that felt exactly how I felt. I learned skills to help me feel better, behave better, helped me to control my emotions and deal with my childhood and get along with others. What I learned helped me in so many ways.( I could use a refresher course to be honest with you).

My recommendation to you- to any of you and all of you- is to join a group. I have two groups that changed my life and gave me some very good friends. The first group is a DBT group. You will find them at mental health agencies. If you do not have health insurance many of these agencies have funds that will help you. You will learn so many skills that will help you have a normal stable life.

Another group, which was free was my Christian Recovery Group. Many churches have Christian Recovery Groups. It is very similar to an AA Meeting with Jesus as our higher power. Believe me, Jesus makes all the difference. After the speaker speaks to the group or shares his or her story, people divide up into two groups. There is a men’s group and a women’s group. I LOVED the women in my women’s group. They were kind, caring, totally nonjudgmental and understanding. Here again I found women who felt the same way I felt and understood me. They helped people with many different addictions, hurts, habits and hang ups.

Comments? Would you be willing to try a DBT group or a CR group? What would keep you from going? I promise you if you take that first step, as frightening as it might be, you will be glad you did. Maybe a friend or family member would go with you to a CR group for the first few times

Always remember- you have value and worth. You were designed and created by God. God doesn’t make mistakes. Jesus loves you so much that He died on the cross for you. He paid for your sin. There is no sin that God will not forgive. The Bible says if you confess your sin, trust in Jesus virgin birth, death and resurrection, if you ask Him to be your Lord and Savior He will forgive your sin, adopt you into His family and give you eternal life. When you die you will have a home in heaven. Below are some Bible verses for you to look at.

Romans 5:8-9, 1 John 1:8,9, Romans 3:23 and JOHN 3:16,17

“Dear God, please help, comfort and encourage people who are reading this blog. Help them to confess their sin and pour out their hearts to you. Help them to put their faith in you and ask you to be their Lord and Savior. Help them to find the help they need to stop hurting and lead a normal stable life. Please pour out your love and blessing on my readers. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

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