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Mental Health


Campfire explanation below

ADHD (One of my kids has lots of energy and lots of super funny stories)

Bipolar (Thorns and Gifts, notes on why God gives us such hard stuff to learn.)

Brokenness (Kintsugi, my favorite Paige Bradley sculpture, and thoughts on healing)

Depression (Sunshine, and ten tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Gratitude

Grief and Gardening

Insomnia

Moving (It doesn't matter where you live, but how...)

No Spoons

Palm Tree vs Aloe (Notes on death, healing, and regrowth)

Pornography (The Mirage, lessons from Las Vegas)

Rainbows 

Slow Down (manic phase)

Thankful

Turning 40

Work in Progress (Notes from a recovering perfectionist)

Notes on mental health challenges. Most of the stuff I've written about comes from my own experience, through trial and error, and from lots of education and therapy. By being transparent about some of the really difficult parts of my journey, I'm hoping to share notes and thoughts that might benefit my friends and family members. I'm not a therapist, guys. I have a bachelors degree in psychology, but that's it. I've spent dozens and dozens of hours giving "free therapy" to my friends, but you get what you pay for. ;)


The other day when A and I were drawing a picture, I suggested we draw a fire. She added the following blue "magic" to the flames. When we used to go camping a lot, see here (Tinney Flat) or here (The Cabin) or here (Scoutmaster), N would bring awesome pinecones like these to throw into the fire. Then you say a silly rhyme or something about looking up at the stars (to distract the kids so they can't see you add it to the fire). All of a sudden there's magic in the fire.

I wish I had thought of that. What a cool thing, that my sweet little girl has memories of magical campfires. But let's think about the metaphor for a minute. If there are seasons of life where the fire is burning super hot, maybe it's time to pause and search for the miracles. The following story isn't mine, and the author is anonymous. But the message resonates with me.

There was once a group of women studying the book of Malachi in the Old Testament. As they were studying chapter three, they came across this verse which says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women, and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.

That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered "Yes," and explained that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be damaged.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that's easy. When I see my image in it."

I hope that all the seasons of refining in my life are working in me. I'm not usually thrilled for pain or change or growth. During the seasons of fire in my life, where the learning curve is steep, I need to keep my eye on the magic: the tender mercies or holy echoes or silver lining. Whatever word you use to describe God's hand working in your life, that's the magic in the campfire.




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