mgpcpastor's blog

Leave a comment

Why Open Dialogue About Mental Illness Is Essential For Families (via The Upward Call)

There can be a silence among families (particularly intergenerationally) about mental illness.
Sometimes that’s done out of a sense of embarrassment or a well meaning desire to maintain privacy.
What it achieves are walls that mean when later generations experience mental illness they feel isolated in that it doesn’t always occur to them that their experience is a biological one shared with their family.
Rather it seems that they’re the odd one out.
Friends, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Knowing your parents and grand-parents struggle with mental illness doesn’t have to be an inescapable destiny, but it can help ground your own struggles (or the struggles of your children) is a wider context that opens doors of understanding and empathy.
This article, which appeared on The Upward Call observes the benefit of sharing your own mental illness stories with your children, and for families to acknowledge the mental illness experience of preceding generations.
This calls for sensitivity, nuance, and openness.

The concluding thought:

It’s lonely to struggle with anxiety and depression. I can testify to that. I was in God’s word daily; sometimes hourly. There were nights when I couldn’t sleep and I poured over the Psalms and the gospels. I credit that with keeping me from completely falling apart. But it didn’t cure things instantly. And I am thankful that I know about our family history. As a mother, it has helped me to discuss things with my children, and to be observant and attentive. We need to talk about mental illness. But more than that, we need kindness and compassion. And we definitely don’t need simplistic remedies that betray ignorance.

Read the whole post at The Upward Call.

Leave a comment

He Knows If You’ve Been Bad or Good…and Fills Your Stocking Anyway (via Carrie Willard at Mockingbird)

We never really did the Santa Claus thing, but we made sure everyone got lots of presents.
One mother’s struggle to observe some of the cultural expressions of Christmas without yielding to its anti-gospel narrative of performance rewards.
A taste:

My six-year-old asked my nine-year-old this question in the backseat of my car recently, and I tried to squelch the “of COURSE he is!” that was dying to escape from my throat.
The nine-year-old, who is the tallest innocent I’ve ever met, said that yes, he believed that Santa is real. The six-year-old had his hang-ups. “What would make you say that he isn’t?” I asked from the driver’s seat, imagining a list of logistical challenges that one man might have distributing gifts around the world.
Instead I got:
“I just can’t believe that he thinks we’re so good,” he said. “I mean, everybody sins. All the time.”
Read the whole post here.

Leave a comment

Every Home Is Broken From The Day It Begins (via Richard Pratt)

This article by Richard Pratt called Broken Homes In The Bible was on Key Life, after having originally been published by Ligonier.
It brings helpful perspective.
An excerpt:

Unfortunately, very few people acknowledge how long and how deeply the human family has been broken. When troubles come to our homes, we almost always pin the blame on someone’s personal failures. “My family was fine,” one mother told me, “until my son became a teenager.” “We were without problems,” a husband once commented, “and suddenly my wife was unfaithful to me.” “We were a great family,” a child confided in me, “but then Dad just got up and left.” Of course, we all have personal failures, and there is plenty of blame to go around for the problems our families suffer. But statements like these reveal how much we need to look more carefully at the root of our problems. No family is “fine,” “without problems,” or “great” until someone destroys it. Every home is broken from the day it begins.
If you and I were to believe what the Bible says about the origins of our family problems, our attitudes and actions would be very different. We would be more sympathetic with others going through hard times, more vigilant about keeping our own families on track, and more devoted to pursuing help from God rather than simply assigning blame. Wouldn’t that be a welcome change?

Read the whole post here.

Leave a comment

God Is The Lord Of Time, Even Our Time, Even On Sundays (via Megan Hill)

Megan Hill reflects on how the unique rhythms of Sunday teach witness to those who observe them of God’s rule over us in everything.

God Is the Lord of Time
On Sundays, we acknowledge that God is the author and ruler of time itself. At creation, God made time. He separated light from dark and established the daily cycle of morning and evening (Gen. 1:3-5). At creation, God also organized those days into a pattern of six and one (Gen. 2:1-3): six days for ordinary work and recreation, one day for rest (Ex. 20:11).
As tempting as it might seem to believe we are masters of our own time—carefully manipulating an interlocking puzzle of Google calendar entries—we are not. God is the one who created time, who set us in it and bound us by it, and God is the one who rightfully directs us how to use it. When we submit to his pattern of six and one, we acknowledge that God is the Lord of time.
For our children, too, the disruption of Sunday is a chance to remember that even our schedules are under the Lord’s authority. Once a week, the Lord breaks into our routine and reminds us that naptimes and snacktimes are not ultimate, nor are they determined by our own desires. In all things, we serve the Lord.

Read the rest at Christward Collective.

Leave a comment

A Musical Evening

Listening to my daughter and her cohort performing with their music school.

Especially looking forward to an ensemble rendition of ‘Tears In Heaven’.

Leave a comment

Cat Party by Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Cat Party plays at our house sometimes.
‘Bring your cat, and something to share.’