Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness

More Meaningful Together

“Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!” – Matthew 5:4 GNT This verse from Jesus’ sermon on the mount sounds like an oxymoron. Right? Can the path to God’s comfort and joy really begin with mourning? Can joy and sorrow even co-exist? My experience has been that they cannot only co-exist, but they are more meaningful together. I was terrified the first few times I attended GriefShare and know how hard it can be to push through feelings…

What is Mindfulness?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 “Mindfulness” is one of those words that has become trendy in the past few years, particularly as discussion of mental health has increased in the public sphere. But what is it? Put simply, it is the practice (and it does take practice)…

You’re Invited

I was pouring out some pent up emotions (and tears) in prayer on my walk the other day. I noticed I’d been trying to live bootstraps pulled up, marching forward right over my heart. I know that is not the Father’s heart towards me, so I decided to declare the truth to my heart by praying through Psalm 23. When I came to “my cup runs over,” I “looked” inside my cup. It was empty. A tear fell to the…

I Can’t Cheer Them Up – When a Loved One Struggles With Depression

  I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 Watching a loved one struggle with depression is a frustrating, often exhausting battle. For many of us, our natural inclination is to try to “cheer up” someone who appears unhappy. For someone with depression, this is not always possible, and the effort involved can leave caregivers feeling exhausted, frustrated, and emotionally…

Suicide and Teens

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 If you’re a parent of a teenager, you are faced with innumerable challenges every day. Parenting a teen in the age of smartphones, social media, and internet is incredibly difficult and downright terrifying. Bullies, harmful internet content, and comparison-driven social media can now reach…

Suicide-Who Is At Risk?

Suicide – Who is at risk? The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 Robin Williams. Anthony Bourdain. Kate Spade. Ernest Hemingway. Virginia Woolf. More than likely, you recognize at least one or two of those names. If not, you would surely recognize some of the dozens of others that appear after a quick Google search of two words: “celebrity suicide.” Celebrity suicides garner national attention, many express heartbreak over the…

Spiritual Dimentions of Trauma

In my work as a mental health counselor, I have come to realize that trauma is not just an isolated event or a series of events that people have to deal with but that there are spiritual dimensions of trauma.  Some facts that inform this concept are: • The well known and widely accepted notion that we are not just human beings having brief moments of spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having brief moments of human experience. • The…

Love in the Time of Corona – Family Edition

We’ve been dealing with this whole COVID-19 business for several months now, and though society might not be as tightly restricted as it was a few months ago, the strain continues to wear on us, and through us, our families. Initially, we operated in what was almost a state of shock, every decision geared toward survival. Gradually, we have begun the scramble toward normalcy, but it has been made clear that that journey will be a long one – more…

The Impact of COVID on Our Families, Our churches, and Ourselves

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust…He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings will you find refuge.” Psalm 91:1,2,4a   I saw a meme the other day that encapsulated the way I feel about 2020 and COVID-19. It said: “This is not September 15th. It’s March 182nd.” Given…

When Self-care Is A Struggle

As we battle the current global pandemic, physical self-care seems to have become a “buzz word” among individuals and with health care workers. While people often associate physical self-care with having a massage on a regular basis or treating themselves to a movie regularly or buying new outfits on a regular basis, there is much more to itthan this. In my private practice, I often walk clients through what I call the four pillars of physical self-care. These are: Eating nutritious foods consistently It…

Stress and Your Relationship with God

“In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free.” Psalm 118:5  In our previous post, we talked about Nature and Nurture and explored how our genes (nature) have an impact on our mental health. This time, we are going to go deeper to talk about the influence of our environment.  When I say “environment,” I am not necessarily talking about trees and rivers. Mental health professionals often use the term ‘environment’ to refer to…

My Genes, Mental Health, & God

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 These days, you cannot open social media or watch the news without hearing the words “mental health.” But what does that mean? That’s a good question – what is Mental Illness? People have been asking that question for thousands of years, and the results have been instructive, alarming, and sometimes downright entertaining. For example, the word…
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