I don’t post on Saturdays. I’m not sure what happened today, but here I am. I have been praying a lot about what to do with this blog and how to have it be beneficial to anyone who happens to come across it. I spent a lot of time praying about it in the beginning too. I know that the book reviews are supposed to be a part of it, but I feel that God is calling me to add more. Calling? No, telling. I spend all of this time studying and digging into the scriptures and other resources, but no time sharing them. So, I guess that’s where I’m headed. With that in mind, I thought I’d start today – for the simple reason that I started Mormon 1 (Don’t worry, I’ll explain) today and it seemed to just work.
I should take a second to let you know that I call this whole morning routine my “Time With God.” I open the blinds behind my desk, light my candle, and settle in with some George Winston music. I don’t get ready for the day before I’m done either, it keeps me stuck in our room and to my chair until I’m done. My Time With God has actually become a routine and I don’t miss many days. I need it now, like I need my sleep. I was surprised at how quickly it became a regular part of my day. So, here goes…
I’m not going to read the books I’m reviewing on the weekends still, so there’s nothing new to report there. So sorry. I do recommend getting the book though (If Only: Letting Go of Regret). It will certainly make you think.
I also read out of two devotionals each day – one for Overeaters Anonymous and the other for Alcoholics Anonymous. I don’t drink any alcohol. As a matter of fact, the last time I did was 1991. Can you believe that? It was BC (before children). I do feel a debt to both of those organizations. When I was really unsure what was wrong with me mentally, I attended an OA meeting a few times. It felt familiar, like I had found where I belonged. However, it didn’t feel like it was a life or death situation, which was how I felt in my head. I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and why I was eating all of the time and feeling so out of control. I then moved on to AA meetings. Their only requirement was that you don’t want to drink. Well, that fit me to a “T” and I heard myself in their voices – the desperation for help and help from God. The sense of community and the words they used felt exactly like I did. I finally had some words and some hope for healing. My psychiatrist suggested I not go, since I didn’t have a drinking problem, but I continued to. I just couldn’t stay away. I needed my noon meetings like I needed a drink. It was holding me together. It lasted just long enough for me to get the words I needed to share with my psychiatrist about I felt in my head and it led to being diagnosed as bipolar. Those meetings changed my life. I am on medication that is working and I feel about average most days.
The OA reading for today (it’s a devotional book, so it just goes by the date) was about not being afraid to share the OA message that things can get better. This was also a part of my message from God this morning about my blog. I find that as I read the devotionals, they are almost always about my relationship with God and how to share His love with those around me. The AA passage was about not playing around with the disease of alcoholism – there’s no getting around it – it will kill you if you do not abstain. I do have a weight problem and I found this morning that this message was directed at that problem for me. Before I was diagnosed, I would eat away my feelings because they were so overpowering. Now, I have a better understanding of how to handle some of it and I am learning ways to deal with it all. My psychologist (her specialty is trauma) has been working with me on tools to overcome some of this emotional craziness. Currently, I have an equation going that I write on my hand every morning to help me. (Yes, I bullet journal as well, but I do a lot more art type stuff, this just happens to be what I did out of boredom last night.) So, see up there in the upper left-hand corner, that’s the formula. It stands for: M (mindfulness of my thoughts). Are they J (judgement) and, if so, I should only be listening to G (God). Are they T about a transition happening or am I just being W (willful)? Once I have gone through being mindful, then I move on to V – validating my feelings through self-talk and deciding if they need to be C (contained until later when I have the tools or time to deal with them) or if I can just C (comfort) myself through it. I know it seems like a lot, but I can now get through it pretty quickly. My goal is for it to become second nature when I have emotions that I’m not sure what to do with.
In addition to the OA and AA devotionals, I also spend time every morning with my particular religious scriptures and readings. I happen to be LDS (“Mormon”), so I have been reading out of the General Conference talks in preparation for the upcoming General Conference next weekend. I am also just about through the Book of Mormon. I’m not sure when I started reading it this year, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how just reading one chapter a day gets you through it so quickly. Who knew?
Today, the General Conference talk I read was The Greatest Leaders are the Greatest Followers by Stephen W. Owen. Again, it brought me back to thoughts about this blog. I really feel like I need to be sharing what I am learning and be a better follower of Christ. I already mentioned that I started chapter 1 of Mormon in the Book of Mormon. I’m right at where the society is completely killing itself off and Mormon, who is a young boy, is watching it all happen before his eyes. One phrase that stuck out to me was “for their sake.” For their sake the prophets were taken away, for their sake Mormon wasn’t allowed to preach. How is that in anyone’s best interest? I did some digging around online and found that it can mean in someone or something’s benefit or interest or to satisfy the demands of someone or something. I guess they were demanding that God leave them alone and He did. Ugh. Not sure I would ask that of Him. I suppose it might also mean that God didn’t want more punishment added to what they were already going to receive – He pulled the teachers away so that the people wouldn’t be held accountable for any more. God is a generous, merciful God and I know that when I am at the edge of what I can handle, He will pull back a bit. Obviously, it was for different reasons, but it’s kind of similar. They just couldn’t handle any righteousness because they were so full of sin.
So, as you can see from my bullet journal up there, I have more to do today than just sit here at the computer and write to you about what I am learning. I have to go outside and see my garden – the bush beans are about two inches high now! It’s so exciting!! It’s going to be a beautiful day and I feel clear headed and happy this morning, well, it’s 12:24, so not so much morning anymore. See you tomorrow.