Tag Archives | depression

What Has Happened

what has happened has helped

Phillipians 12:12

 When I happened across this verse (Paul writing in prison), I knew exactly how I wanted to put it into artwork.  You know I love me some stones and especially a path! His wording really stood out to me.  Even though good and bad things had happened to him, he realized how it all worked together for good.  So this time I wanted the stones to be colorful to represent all the different things that happen in a lifetime that build a path.

And for me–it is the bad things as much as the good things that got me to here today.  If it hadn’t been for that crazy bad depression in 2011 I would not have started art journaling my faith.  My artwork wouldn’t have developed into my own style, I wouldn’t have a blog or a business and I wouldn’t be using all that to spread the gospel.  Even though that depression was Baaaaad with a capital B, it brought me to here, closer to God, closer to you.

There are a lot of good things too–I have had a lot of wonderful Christians on that path.  A lot of great experiences.  They all came together to this point.  That’s why the stones are all different shapes and colors, no two are alike or have more impact–just different.

How about you?  What does your path look like?  Has it brought you to a spot you can help spread some light and love?  Or not quite yet?  Have you ever looked at your past in this distinctive perspective? Take a few minutes today and contemplate that.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

Bravest Thing


This piece is a little different from what I usually post.  I make more collage pieces, but they tend to be more personal in nature, so they don’t make it onto the blog.  And they tend to be messy on the paper as well as emotionally messy.  But this one is different.  I had fun collaging bits from my desk that are part of my story:  stamps (travel, writing), hearts/love, growth, circles and cycles, birds, measurement, music, a J for Jeff–and then a random goldfish, just because I liked it.  🙂

But it is the quote that really spoke to me and that made me want to share this piece.  I am pretty open about my fight with depression these days, but I wasn’t always.  And fighting through the process to healing was definitely the hardest and bravest thing I did do.  And coming out on the other side loving myself, giving myself grace.

I did a presentation at a MOPS group a few weeks ago.  I was supposed to be talking about faith art journaling, and I did, but what I ended up emphasizing was owning my story and the process that brought me to healing and the part art played in it.  I think the coordinator was disappointed–she wanted more of an art lesson.  But I had three women come up to thank me for sharing.  They felt like they had heard their own stories, diagnoses, and felt they weren’t alone as I spoke.  God sent me to them that day.  God knew I needed to own my story and be brave about it to help those other women.  It was worth it.

Love your self today enough to be brave today and own your story.  You never know where it will take you.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

Comfort, Hope and Cheer


For me it can be hard to feel–not worthy of God’s love–but to feel worthy of being His messenger.  I often get caught up in doubting my skills, the depth of my surrender.

I don’t doubt His love for it was His love that lifted me from the pit of depression and kept me from doing anything permanent.  It was His love that led me to healing.  But often I still look in the mirror and see the shadows.  I wonder if others see my self doubt.  Because of course in those moments my brain tells me that no one else feels this way, that others are so liked by their peers that they do not doubt.

But then I remember GOD created me.  He created me beautiful in body and spirit to HIM.  That I bring HIM joy.  That when I am a messenger for Him that He finds my actions beautiful despite my skills or surrender.  He knows that being His messenger will only bring me closer to a more beautiful relationship with Him.  And that brings me comfort, hope and cheer.

I hope that you feel that comfort as well.  For He created you as well and those words above are true for you as well.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

I Want to Be With Me


Be Who You Want to Hang Out With by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Aren’t these little guys funny?  I have no idea why I drew them like this–I probably saw something on Pinterest that inspired them.  They make me smile.

Those are the kinds of people I like to be with–the ones who SMILE A LOT.  The ones who make me want to smile a lot.

It took some hard self-reflection to understand this concept.  Not long ago, I spent a lot of time with people who didn’t smile a lot.  I had things in common with them.  We could talk easily.  But I didn’t like who I was when I was with them.  And I discovered I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be with–think about that–not wanting to be with your own self because you are disgusted with your own heart.

I had let a lot of bitterness fill me.  The depression was taking over.  I didn’t smile much.  I was constantly annoyed.  I blamed it on my circumstances and everyone around me.  And then I realized.  I was the circumstance.  I was the nasty person.

So I made changes.  I did what I needed to medically control the depression. I prayed and prayed for the bitterness to be set free.  I decided my circumstance wasn’t going to change–we weren’t moving–so I needed to find reasons to like where I live.  I needed to make my house what I wanted.  I needed to give of my gifts and stop letting people take what they wanted.  I made more time for the people who make me smile, and let go or either budgeted small amounts of time for the unhealthy relationships.

And it made a huge difference.  I like ME again.  I am someone I would want to spend time with.  And I realized:  some people will want to be with, will need, what this version of me has to give–others will not.  And that is a wonderful lesson to be okay with.

Have you ever had to learn this lesson?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

I thought I had a plan


The Lord is near by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Ah, peoples, I am just going to be real tonight.  Completely honest and vulnerable and transparent.  Off the cuff, not using my scheduled art and notes, nothing.  Just gonna let you in.

Because today was HARD.  And I don’t have the energy to dig deep tonight.  As a lot of you know, I usually write most of my posts on Saturdays, schedule them for the week, and then can focus on other things.  But this weekend I didn’t have a chance to write.  The last couple weekends I haven’t had a chance to write.  I am in a polar vortex of sports. This time of year is hard for a non-sports fanatic:  between our own baseball games, hockey playoffs and basketball playoffs on tv, and regular season Twins games…I cannot escape it.  And I can’t get anyone else to turn it off.  So if I am not running to games, I am spending an hour every day looking for the stuff they have lost.  Because they can’t see the hat sitting on the table.  Or I am trying to catch up on everything around the house.

I am in technology meltdown. One computer is dying–hopefully we can keep it running until our IT guy comes back again.  Everything seems to be in slow motion.  I cannot seem to be happy with several marketing items I am trying to put together, I spent all morning rearranging pieces.  My phone keeps dying and getting stuck so I have to restart.  And then when I was supposed to work on-line with it and make some calls during dance, I forgot the stupid thing.

I got lost three times today.  Trying to find one store. Who does that?  With a GPS?  I wanted a store not a distribution center.  UGH.

We did homeschool, but the girls were pretty independent today.

Then I had someone email me tonight that a notebook I made, I used the wrong dictionary page, I am tearing up I am so mortified, it had several horrible words.  I really do try to be careful.  So please, if you have bought anything from me with dictionary pages, please check it and I will replace it for free.  My heart is heavy.

My current to-do list is filled with lots of fun things.  Lots of stuff I want.  But on a day like today, it is overwhelming.

Ever have those?  So I am having a little pity party right now.  And I am trying to remember that my Lord is near me.  My spirit is feeling heavy under the weight of all those little pebbles.   And I am trying to remember that Satan is trying to tempt me right now.  Anytime something really good faith wise happens Satan seems to be right there tempting me over the edge.  He loves to play with my perfectionism.  He loves to push my guilt buttons.

So I am going to stare at the breathe deeply artwork, drink some wine, and talk with God.  He is such a good listener, even for the little pebbles.  And I am going to push away my frustrations and Satan.  And I am going to look forward to a new day tomorrow full of grace.

Thanks for listening.  Love ya’ll.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.


IMG_0009Going a little personal here today.  Just warning ya’ll.  I have made a committment to myself to be open about my issues with depression.  I want to be there and be honest for other people struggling, they same way I found their words comforting on various blogs and websites.

I struggle with all of the above.  Depression has been taking over my brain since I was in fourth or fifth grade to be honest, and I have had several seriously bad bouts over the years.  And then there have been really good years.  It has its ups and downs.  (Haha…little depression joke there).  But seriously, it is a cycle.  Sometimes I am fine.  And sometimes the crazy cycle of doubt, guilt, shame, self criticism, and high expectations is overwhelming and crippling.

I am on some good medicine now.  Just like diabetics need insulin, I need help with serotonin and other brain chemicals.  And they are working.  I am beating this thing.  This winter has been so much better than others.  The whole year to be exact.  I was not created to live in a fog.  I was not meant to hide.  But to be out there.  Enjoying and sharing in life.   I was meant to be victorious.  I know that God created me to share my gifts–and I really feel like sharing the gift of being victorious over depression is one of them.

If you are at the top or the bottom of the spiral, I understand.  Whether you are finding help right now or not, I understand.  Just know, you are not alone.  I am praying for you and your victory.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

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