Not A Day Promised

Battling mental illness through education and resources. "Let the wise hear and
increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks Given

by Julie Brooks

Today, and everyday, I have many things to be thankful for, including:

  • A wonderful husband
  • Great kids (and their spouses)
  • My family and extended family
  • And of course, the grandkids

But today, on this Thanksgiving Day... I reflect on Thanks Given, a "Thank You" note from Carson; a Thank You note he wrote after his high school graduation... his last correspondence to each of us.  

I have the Thank You note in a frame sitting on the breakfast bar where I can see it while I am in the kitchen. 

This Thank You note is sometimes painful to read.  Do you notice the statement, 

              "Thank you for loving me even though it is not easy."  

You see, those who struggle with a Mental Illness often feel unlovable and worthless.  They struggle to convey their feelings.  A lot of times, their behavior (caused from brain chemical imbalance) is hard to understand because of their Mental Illness.  

I am thankful for Carson's Thank You note.  

I love to look at his unique handwriting.  In it is a daily reminder for me to continue pushing through the walls of stigma and misunderstanding surrounding Mental Illness. 

With God's help and guidance, I will continue to spread words of encouragement and hope. 

Through education and awareness we can make a difference! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Looking for a Rainbow at the End of the Storm

by Todd Brooks

As Christians, we place our trust in the Captain of our vessel. While the waves may cover us, He shields us from total disaster.  

And, while we go about our duties, though weary from work with little rest, it is His strength that sustains us, not our own that glorifies Him; but His strength alone, demonstrated through us, that unifies His spirit across all who are part of His divine plan. 

Somehow, we must "let go" of His helm, trusting that His alignment of all that is necessary to bring Him glory is realized.  But, how can we let go?

Trust, faith, a deep breath , and in humility, on our knees, give it ALL to the Captain.   

Then, continue swabbing the deck...   He's got this!  Amen.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Word Picture - Leaning Trees Stand Tall

by Julie Brooks

Pierce and I just returned from an awesome week at Sr. High Fellowship Church camp at Allaso Ranch in Hawkins, TX.  While there, I was able to take some walks and soak in all of God's beautiful creations. 

The campgrounds are surrounded with gorgeous, tall, perfectly formed East Texas pine trees. They all appear to stand tall and perfect form. 

But, in the midst of their perfection, there would be a few trees that were leaning.  You didn't really notice them, unless you made a point to direct your sight their way. 

God gave me a word picture.  I met a lot of awesome kids while at camp, but God allowed me to see some kids with hidden disabilities.  They became my focus because they are like the leaning trees in the group of perfectly formed trees.  

With just a little encouragement, they began to see themselves as standing tall and straight. They are the real heroes because they are able to continue standing tall, even with their hidden disabilities.

I will forever be drawn to those GOD allows me to meet; to be sensitive to and encourage, because God has a purpose for ALL of us, and He sees us standing tall even when others see us differently. 

Praising God as He allows me to see those leaning in another direction.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It Was His Touch

The following is taken in part from a Facebook post, with permission, by my friend Robert Poole. His words so aptly and sincerely describe what many struggling with different levels of mental illness sometime experience from our vantage point.  Thank you, Robert, for the reminder that, "It was His touch."

By Robert Poole (guest blogger)

A lot of people will tell you that their thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of need. These are words of sincerity and compassion. 

Jesus used words of sincerity and compassion, as well as love and wisdom to convey his mission and purpose during his ministry. His words gave masses of people hope and joy to their lives. 

However, it was His touch that raised people from the dead, fed the masses when they were hungry, healed the sick and quieted the confused. 

This tells me that one's human touch is important, perhaps more important in some situations than words so easily scripted by some. 

Why? Because the act of helping someone, human emotional and physical contact, often compel a more personal investment in the other person. 

The currency of touch requires more; more of one's time, emotions, commitment and trust.

An impassioned plea from my friend, Robert, that in addition to our prayers of support, to do our best to get involved when we see someone hurting. Words without action can be fleeting. 

The Lord won't send you where He is not already.  Will you be His touch for someone today?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Invitation Alone is Not Enough

By Todd Brooks

A recent message given at my church, if you don't mind me sayin', opened the proverbial "can". Whew! It was such an inspiring but scary message for Christians. Here's the gist.  

It's more than inviting someone to church; even more than inviting someone to the saving grace of Jesus Christ (speaking about your action, not the newly saved soul).  Inviting falls short without involvement! Anyone can invite. “You, with the Christian fish sticker on your car, do you get involved?" 

Oh, but…it can get ugly for us if we agree to get involved with the Lord and His plans. We may have to give up personal time for the benefit of another, which may include taking on a burden we don't want. We might wind up involving ourselves in someone’s depression or mental instability, which would be ridiculous, since we have no college degree or professional certification by which to administer to their needs. We might get multiple calls in the same day for help from the same person.  

OMG! Then, those earnestly thankful for our help may tell others that they know, those who are also forsaken, who may then seek us out. This whole involvement thing could start again.  This cycle might not ever end!

Or, we can stop at the invite. And, walk away from involvement. It's much safer this way. And, after all, we did invite someone to know the Lord, or at least to church.

If you are a Christian that stops at the invitation, you may want to consider taking that fish sticker off your car. That way, no one will follow you. No fuss, no muss.

Invitation AND Involvement IS "The Great Commission!”  

The Word is BOLD. The Word is RISKY. The Word is BLOODY. The WORD died for you and me!  

Now, "Go and be a blessing." Amen and Amen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Self-Medicating is Socially Acceptable

by Todd Brooks

Now that I have your attention, if you check Wikipedia, you will find, among other points, that the term “self-medication” is often seen as "gaining personal independence from established medicine."

The Lord gave me a unique perspective on this today.  It’s really a pretty obvious hypothesis when you think about it.

People suffering with mental illness will often self-medicate using alcohol and/or non-prescribed drugs (legal/illegal) because the practice of doing so is more “SOCIALLY ACCEPTED” than taking prescribed anti-depressant, mood stabilizer and/or other “MEDICALLY ACCEPTED” treatment options.

It’s obviously more complicated than this, but for me, it just further emphasizes that until the stigma of the condition “mental” illness is removed, many of those who suffer will continue to seek "escape" rather than risk recovery that identifies them with ever-improving prescribed medicine and holistic treatment.

The next time someone shouts, “Let’s party,” they may actually be crying out for help.  Something to think about.  

Hey.  Get educated!  A good place to start is here. (our Resources page)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Be Still as a Tree

By Julie Brooks
We should be like the trees you created, Lord, standing still to see your beauty and work all around us, until you send your breeze; that moves our branches so we dance in the wind.  

You send birds flocking to find safety within a tree's branches; so do you send to us those that need to see your love.  

Even as leaves fall to the ground, so will trials come upon us.

If we will only trust, obey and submit to you; you will restore us, just as you restore the trees with new growth in the Spring.

But only after we have endured the Winter.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5