We Have a Solution- Depression Part 2

In part 1 of this series of posts, I acknowledged to myself and those reading the post that depression is a very real problem to many people today. I felt like that post was a little discouraging. Today I want to offer you hope! Yes, I have struggled with depression, but also, I have found freedom and healing in Jesus Christ! A quote from Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst is this. “Running from the pain won’t help. Pretending to be fine when you aren’t won’t help. Avoiding relationships won’t help. Turn to God.”

I like to compare myself to plants. When I am depressed and discouraged, I feel like that thistle. Other times I am just on a plain. Life is neither great or terrible, kind of like a plant that isn’t blooming. But when I allow Jesus to bring truth and peace to my life, I am like a beautiful flower.
Last week I stated that the main cause of depression is believing lies. I want to revisit these lies and refute them with the Truth of God’s Word.

I am not doing enough

“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not they eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.”

1 Corinthians 12:14-20

These verses clearly say that every person in the body of Christ has their different responsibility. As long as we are doing what Jesus wants us to do, we don’t have to worry that we aren’t doing enough. He will use us all to fulfill a much greater purpose than any one of us could do on our own.

My circumstances are bigger than God

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1

“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”

Jeremiah 32:17

God is so big! He created the entire world in six days, and He holds everything in place. No trial you’re facing was overlooked by Him. He knows how much you can handle.

God doesn’t love me

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

1 John 3:1

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:18

John talks about love a lot on the books he wrote. Probably the most common Bible verse is John 3:16. God proved His love for us when He came and died for us even though we were sinners who did not deserve it.

People don’t love me

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 17:17

“The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.”

Proverbs 23:24-25

First of all, it doesn’t really matter what other people think of you. God loves you, and that will never change. True friends will love you at all times. Find those true friends. I know that there are a lot of people who do not have loving parents. If that is you, I’m sorry. But most people do have a parent, or parent figure who loves them.

My challenge to you is that when you are depressed, take a lot of time to study God’s Word, and see what He says about you. I have found it helpful to memorize scripture. Recently I have really been struggling with hopelessness and what feels like broken dreams. I committed to memorizing Psalm 91. This passage has become very precious to me. I quote it when I am tempted to become discouraged or when I want to satisfy my desires on wrong things. The Word of God is powerful. Satan has no hold on us when we acknowledge who God is- that He is stronger than whatever we might be facing. Another way to find healing is to share your struggle with someone. Find a trusted friend who will be able to listen and speak truth back into your life.
To wrap this up, I want to tell you that God is REAL! His power is evident in so many ways. I also would love to hear what helps you all fight depression. Leave a comment or send us an email and let me know. We are all here to help each other out.

Written by Ginger

Children :)

I love children, but sometimes it can be hard to know how to keep them busy. This post is a compilation of ideas of fun things to do with children.

When I worked in Baltimore, one of my responsibilities was to be the aftercare teacher. Crafts were something that kept the children busy and happy. I think I did more crafts in those three months than I’ve done in the entire rest of my life! Below I linked a few crafts made from paper. Other ideas for crafts are oragami, pipe cleaners, and slime.

Both my 10 year old brother and my 4 year old brother, as well as the children I babysit, love to play card games and board games. The games listed below are fun for both my 4 and 10 year old brothers. I have also discovered that both Spot It and Rats work well to play with children who do not understand English. My 10 year old brother can be entertained with board games such as Monopoly, and Risk for hours, although sometimes he has a hard time finding siblings who agree!

Anyone who knows me knew this was coming! Books are an amazing way to bond with children. I can get tired of reading books over and over again to my 4 year old brother, so sometimes when he asks me if I can read him some books I say that I will if I’m allowed to pick the books. There are many children’s books that I, as an adult, love to read! Here are just a few children’s books that I recommend.

Thank You, Mr. Falker

Patricia Polacco has written many amazing books. Little children love her books, and yet they have themes that interest older children and even adults. I love the art in her books!

Snoopy the Sheep

My little brother has many of the books in this series, and he loves them! These wholesome books are all about animals on a farm.

Corduroy

There are several Corduroy books, and all of them are so sweet!`

Also, sometimes the most important thing is to not find things to try to help children entertain themselves, but to instead keep them right in the midst of whatever you’re doing. My youngest brother loves to help cook, clean, feed animals, and anything else his older siblings are doing. It’s so good for children to help with work and have their own chores. It can really build a feeling that they belong in a family and are needed, as well as growing a work ethic.

Written by Kinza

We Have a Problem- Depression Part 1

Depression. This is such a sensitive topic, but it needs to be talked about. I have struggled with depression over the years, but to a mild degree compared to the many broken hurting people around me. I do not feel qualified to write a post on depression, but I pray that God can use what I write to speak truth into your heart.

During a 2015-2018 study done by the CDC, 13.2% of Americans over 18 took antidepressants within the last 30 days¹. I think I can safely say that this percentage definitely hasn’t dropped. One of the side affects of antidepressants, which is noted on many pills, is suicide. According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die from suicide every year². While not all these tragic deaths are linked to antidepressants, some are.

When I am feeling depressed, I just want to feel better. I want to overcome the feeling that I am covered by a heap of blankets, suffocating from everything weighing down my mind and emotions. If I can put my finger on what is causing me to feel so overwhelmed, then I will be better prepared to fight for joy. That is what we are going to talk about in this post. We’ve stated that depression is a prevalent issue in our society. Why?

There are many different ways of thinking that can lead us to depression. It also depends on personality to a degree. Some of us are more emotionally oriented, so we tend to carry weight from problems that are not ours to carry. Circumstances and people around us will influence us too. Children who were neglected or abused are more likely to struggle with depression³.

For myself, I usually experience depression because of lies that I believe. I think that most cases of depression will come back to one or more of these lies, no matter what the circumstances are. Satan wants to destroy us, and he will use literally anything to make us feel hopeless and doubt God. He tells us lies to make us feel worthless. What are these lies?

I’m not doing enough

My circumstances are bigger than God

God doesn’t love me 

People don’t love me

If Satan can get us to believe these lies, he then has a grip on our lives. There is power in acknowledging why we feel depressed and discouraged. In part 2 of this post, we will explore ways to fight depression. For now, don’t dwell on depressing thoughts, but do consider why you personally may struggle with depression. Acknowledge what lies you might be believing, and take them to the Healer, Jesus Christ.

1-https://ourworldindata.org/suicide#:~:text=Every%20suicide%20is%20a%20tragedy,die%20from%20suicide%20every%20year.&text=That’s%20one%20person%20every%2040%20seconds.

2-https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db377.htm#:~:text=%2C%202009%E2%80%932018.-,Summary,in%20both%20men%20and%20women.

3-https://hospitals.kvc.org/2021/04/13/whats-the-connection-between-child-abuse-and-depression/#:~:text=In%20this%20study%2C%20childhood%20abuse,number%20of%20lifetime%20depressive%20episodes

Written by Ginger

-Sourdough Sandwich Rolls-

Coming at you with another sourdough recipe folks!

These rolls are amazing and blow me away with how incredibly soft they are!

They do have some yeast in so they do not require as long of a rise time as some sourdough breads, so it is a good recipe to use when you need to do something with your sourdough starter in the middle of the day.

Please excuse the lovely phone picture:)

-Ingredients

2/3c. active sourdough starter

2c. milk, warm

2 eggs

2 tsp. yeast

2 tsp. salt

1/4c. sugar

7c. all-purpose flour

6 T. soft butter

egg wash ( 1egg beaten with 1T. water )

sesame seeds (optional)

In mixer bowl combine, sourdough starter, milk, eggs, yeast, salt, sugar and about 1/3 of the flour until a loose, shaggy dough is formed. Cover dough and let rest for 30 minutes.

After the dough has rested, knead the dough for 7-8 minutes, gradually adding the rest of the flour and the butter. You may need more flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but pulling away from the sides of the bowl as it kneads.

Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise for 2-3 hours until doubled.

Divide the dough into portions that are about 80g. each (I hardly ever weigh my food but this is the one exception because it is so fun to have them the same size!) To shape the rolls, pull the edges of the dough ball to the middle, then cup your hand around the ball and roll on the counter until it is a tight ball. Place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart and slightly flatten. Cover and let rise 1-2 hour or until they look doubled and are pretty much touching. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes. The rolls should be a beautiful golden brown. Have yourself a delicious sandwich!

*recipe credits* Lovely Little Kitchen

Post Compiled by: Daisy

Ukraine

I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop screen for a while now with a new document open. The problem is that the document is completely blank and I’m not sure how to change that. Sometimes the words just come and sometimes they don’t. Our blog doesn’t understand that, though, because it is always there, seemingly waiting for another post. So even if I’m not feeling inspired, I will give it a whirl.  

Recently I have not been reading the news. Mainly because that’s just one more thing to take up my precious time. So, I don’t know all the latest details on the situation in Ukraine. I do know that it is not good. A few months ago, when this war started, I was going through a time of um, stress, maybe I could call it? I was living away from my family and I really missed them. I was also feeling overwhelmed by all the needs I had to fulfill at school as well as all the assignments I had in college. It was all too much.  

Well, allow me to back up a little bit. My family has relationships with several native Ukrainian children. When I heard of the impending war on Ukraine it frightened me. Knowing innocent and helpless people firsthand makes it scary. I had to learn to trust God. It is my tendency to want to fix things. I think that I can do stuff that will make everything better and I believe that I need to help in every bad situation. God’s teaching me that He alone can heal broken situations and that He will work through me where needed. It is in our helplessness and brokenness that God can work. When I try to take things into my own hands I get stressed, because I know I’m not capable of solving the world’s problems. Through that time of worrying about the innocent children I love and my helplessness to do anything about the situation, God changed my perspective. He’s actually still changing it.

These are some encouraging verses I read during that time.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

John 14:27

“He shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressors.”  

Psalm 72:4

“But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” 

Psalm 59:16

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 

John 16:33

What’s a Christian’s response to war? The Old and New Testaments clearly say that Christians are not to kill or retaliate, but to instead do good and love their enemies. Jesus taught that Christians are to be separate from the world; that this is not His kingdom. A Christian’s response to this situation should be to pray for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and other countries that are involved. I choose not to view the Russians as brutal enemies but instead see them through God’s eyes. I know that He sees people whom He loves. We are to pray for the leaders of our country and honor them. God will take care of the rest.  

What can we do? I had considered going to Ukraine to help, but it was obviously not what I was supposed to do at that point in my life. Maybe you can, though. There are many missions that need volunteers to help evacuate refugees and do other humanitarian aid. However, most of us are called to stay here. What can we do from 5,000 miles of land and sea?  

It is important to financially support people who can physically help. If you know of good missions, then support them! New Horizons for Children, a mission that my family works with is doing wonderful things for Ukrainian orphans. Support them here! There are many other places to give God’s money. 

“We tried it all but in it all we found there’s nothing we can do to turn this world around cause after all these years it’s still the same. Sometimes it seems that life is never gonna change. We’ve exhausted our resolve. We have tried all that we know. We’ve given all we have; gone as far as we can go. But what if we prayed? What if we fell to our knees, wouldn’t we fall into grace? What if we prayed? What if we cried out to Him? Maybe the change would begin in this place. What if we prayed? He promised He would heal this broken land when those of us who know Him, those who understand, would humbly kneel and forever seek His face. Together we are turning from all our selfish ways. So why then would we worry? He says, “Be still and know and bring your every burden. Lay them down and let them go.” What if we prayed? What if we fell to our knees, wouldn’t we fall into grace? What if we prayed? What if we cried out to Him? Maybe the change would begin in this place. What if we prayed?”  

“What if we prayed” Brian free & assurance

It’s easy for me to think that I am going to solve everything, but God says to be still and know. We don’t have to do, do, do. We can pray and let God take care of the rest.  

Photo Credit

Words by Kinza