I’ve decided to reinstate the Holiday ministry that start this blog a year ago. I noticed that around the holidays the Gentle Christian Mothers exploded with excitement, pain and dispair. Many of our families were joyful, but many of us couldn’t share that joy with their families. Because of that I sent a devotional a day to my blessed friends might find some hope, and even joy. I also made my phone number available, something I am unable to do this year, unless you have an affiliation with GCM and can send me your number in my PM box.
Today I want to talk about burdens. One thing I hear a lot from friends contemplating suicide is that they are a burden on their homes and families. Their husbands would be happier without them, their children deserve better mommies and whatever activities or work they do. Then meditate on these thoughts and feelings.
Most of the time these feelings are just that: Feelings. They are not based on a balanced mind, but on a desperately lonely feeling. I love feelings, don’t get me wrong, but making decisions based totally on feelings is not really an effective way to get healed. It’s really hard for a person with a mood disorder to shuffle logic in to their illness when they’re in the thick of it.
So what do we do next? I really don’t spend time looking ahead to things too much. That works for some people – my grandmother wanted to live to see her youngest grandchild graduate from high school. (Cancer took her before she could do so). Something that does work for me is thinking about Christmas and a Hanukkah party my friends always throw. I completely respect that Christmas in a stressful, unhappy, ugly time for many of you and for that I am sorry. None of these things work for everyone. The ideas are mine and I’m just some mentally ill mama with a blog. I’m still going to talk about Christmas just for the next paragraph. Skip ahead if it’s hard for you to hear about it.
Christmas morning is so exciting and happy for my family I almost feel gleeful. We do what we can to make it magical and make everyone feel special. This year I’m making these really cool paper crafts – for example, I am taking circle price tags and stamping my mother-in-law’s name on eight of them. On the back I am going to write something she is: mother-in-law, creative, grandma, intelligent, etc. I hope she will love it, but pretty sure she will. We have a wonderful, rich breakfast with a thick hot chocolate that I make and biscuits that my mom makes. My dad puts on his new shirt or sweater or spreadsheets and my daughter plays with all her new toys. We have poppers because we love to and it’s a tradition taken from my husband’s ex-fiance (weird, I know). We watch the kids on the street with their new bicycle and skateboards. I forgot to mention that I have the responsibility to hand out the presents. We go one present at a time, but This year the ones I made will be delivered all at once, last so no one will be able to guess what they are.
Still, holidays can kill me. I’m not eating a good diet and there is a lot of alcohol around. The last serious trigger was when my father-in-law and I sat together at Thanksgiving. I thought, “It’s a holiday, I’ll just have one glass as a special occassion.” My wonderful father-in-law kept my glassful. I drank about four glasses, the equivalent of a bottle of wine. And it was tasty.
I let myself get manic so I could drive home quickly without stopping. (Don’t do that.) Three weeks later, I wound up in the hospital. I’ve been more comfortable now with food-boundaries since then, but I still crave a good glass of wine, and don’t even get me started with rum.
Most everyone in my familly is pretty fat, with the exception of Mr. Malakoa and my brother and his wife. During Thanksgiving or Christmas we have had as many as fifteen deserts, most of them. Even if controlling diet is part of your treatment, like it is for mine, it is really easy to have just a small slice of everything. When you’re got fifteen options, with one mince meat, it’s easy for you to try fourteen of them without batting an eye. It’s also easy to feel guilty afterwards. Or, if you are able to have self-control (I don’t) you’re off the diet until Christmas, or the New Year, telling yourself you can repair it all (which you can) but never return to your healthy ways. I’m not telling you not to eat what you’d like, it just makes things worse to keep on the right food plan for you if you can start again the next day. You know you’ll feel better.
So, back to this burden stuff. I could tell you you’re not a burden, but you won’t believe me, and you even might be one. But that’s okay. (I couldn’t choose just one of these amazing translations.) Listen to this:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
International Standard Version (©2008)
Practice carrying each other’s burdens. In this way you will fulfill the law of the Messiah.
GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.
It’s part of Jesus’ law to carry each other’s burdens. Things like that are blessings! Most people like helping other people. (Don’t you). So don’t worry too much about this. There will be a time you are the one with the other’s burdens on your back. And you will do so greatfully