Saturday, June 28, 2008

Enjoying nature and photography once again

Thank God for strengthening me day by day as I wait upon Him.

Yesterday, a kind friend and sister-in-Christ, Grace, took me for a walk at Hort Park. It is a beautiful park with flowers and plant. We had a good time of fellowship together.

I am thankful to God that I can enjoy nature and photography once again!

Whenever I go through clinical depression, I seemed to lose all ability to enjoy anything. Due to chemical imbalance in my brain, I was not able to think or feel aright.

Thank God for restoring me. Now that I am better, I am so thankful to be able to enjoy nature once again.

I love nature. The beautiful flowers and plants remind me of the wonderful creation of God. God creates these beautiful flowers and plants for us to enjoy. I am thankful that I can enjoy photography once again. It helps me to capture some of the loveliness of God's creations.

God also creates us so that we can enjoy Him and His creations. I am reminded that He will take care of me and all of His beloved people no matter what we may have to go through in this world.

Thank God that He is with us through all the changing scenes in life, and He never leaves us nor forsake us. He give us grace and strength to live for Him each day. We are weak but He is strong. We can look forward to the day when we are with Him forever, no more to be burden by a weak and frail body or mind.

Recovering from depression always give me a sense of a new life in Christ. It's like being born-again or being raised from the dead.

Thank God for His presence and His Words which encourage and strengthen me daily. I pray that God may enable me to live for Him each day as He strengthens me.

Thanks for stopping by, dear friends! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements.

Your friendship, prayers, encouragements and concerns have been used by God to be a great encouragement to me!

The thought of God and you encourages my heart daily. May God bless each of you in His special ways.

Hope you have a blessed weekends! Take care.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Psalm 73:25-26

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thank God I am better!

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for your prayers, concerns and encouragements.

Thank God for strengthening me.

Just a short note to let you know that I am feeling better. Thank God!

I will pace myself slowly and post more later on.

Take care!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lack of Motivation : How to motivate myself when going through depression

How do you motivate yourself when you go through depression? Or how do you cope with a lack of motivation to do things?

With bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), whenever I am well or hypomanic, I enjoy my family, church, work, photography, briskwalkings, making homemade bookmarks and other crafts and gifts, writing, blogging, etc.

But when I go through a relapse of clinical depression, all my motivation to do things seemed to disappear! Do you experience this too?

I felt extremely tired and easily tired. I have no heart nor energy to do anything. Waking up each morning seemed to be most difficult. I dread to wake up to face another day. I don't think I have the energy to face another day.

When severely depressed, it takes a lot to effort to even attend to basic general hygiene. I remembered days when I go without bathing or washing my face!

Eating takes too much effort as I don't have appetite. Exercise became extremely difficult because I was too tired.

Actually during clinical depression, it was due to the chemical imbalance in my brain that I am not able to enjoy anything in general.

But when I am not doing very much, I began to believe that I am useless, ineffective, inadequate, helpless and incapable of achieving anything. These negative thoughts make me feel more discouraged and in turn reduced my ability to do things. It becomes harder and harder to wake up each morning and to attend to my usual activities. This become a visual cycle and it has been called the lethargic circuit.

How to break this lethargic circuit and derive motivation to face each day?

For me, praying to God and reading the Bible daily, is my first weapon to break this lethargic circuit. I realized that unless God gives me the grace and strength to cope, I will not have the energy nor the desire to face another day.

Thank God for His faithfulness in helping me to cope. God sent me many kind friends who prayed and encouraged me. God also led me to read useful books and articles on how to manage clinical depression.

I am learning and doing the following which is helping me to break the lethargic circuit and derive motivation to face each day and to do things:

1) I am learning to wake up at the same time each day though I dread waking up. I realized that once I am up, I am able to do some things after all. I also try to sleep at the same time every night so that I get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep or rest can worsen depression.

2) I am learning to eat my meals regularly and as nutritiously as possible. Though I don't have much appetite and eating seems to be such an effort, I realized that I need all the energy and nutrition to fight this depression and therefore I must eat! I try to eat more vegetable and fruits to gain more vitamins and nutrition.

3) I am learning to exercise regularly. Exercise seemed so difficult at first as I am so tired daily. But I am learning that exercise is important to build up my strength and stamina. So I learn to start slowly and daily. I find that as the days go by, I began able to exercise longer. My body and mind becomes stronger. Exercise release good chemicals to help us fight depression.

I enjoy briskwalking. I go for briskwalks whenever I can. Sometimes I exercise by walking on my brother's treadmill or stationery bike.

4) I am learning to create a routine. I realized that without a routine, I tend to avoid doing things as I no longer enjoy anything. This will only caused me to remain in the lethargic circuit. To break this lethargic circuit, I learn to plan my days. I schedule regular exercise and some activities that I enjoy for each day. I found that with every task that I managed to complete, I began to feel motivated to do more. I began to experience a sense of accomplishment.

5) Break tasks into smaller portions. When going through depression, every tasks seemed so difficult. It's hard to began to do anything. Procastination sets in. To avoid this, I am learning to break my tasks into smaller and more manageable portions. I try to do only a portion each day and I found that I was able to get things done slowly. This again gives me a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to do more.

6) I am learning to be patient and not to be too hard with myself. I try to remember that I am unwell now and it takes time to rebuild my body and mind. So when I failed to accomplish what I planned for the day, I learn to tell myself, it's okay. I will try harder tomorrow. Or I break the task into even smaller portions.

7) I am learning not to let my negative thoughts or feelings prevent me from daily activities. I am learning that my feelings during depression are not necessarily valid. They often have little bearing on the truth. My feelings of being too depressed to cope do not mean that I will not be able to cope when I am actually in a situation. So I am learning to ask God for strength to cope with daily challenges despite my depression.

I am thankful to God for His mercies and faithfulness in helping me to cope each day. This relapse of clinical depression is yet another learning experience for me to learn to manage my bipolar disorder better. It is also another opportunity for me to experience God's love, goodness and mercies in many wonderful ways. God's Words and His presence with me is my daily encouragement and strength.

I am also thankful to my family, my church and my friends for prayers and support. I am thankful to all of you, my dear blogging friends and visitors, for your prayers, encouragements and support in this difficult time. Thanks for all your suggestions on how to manage depression and for sharing your life and experiences with me. I have so much to learn!

How about you? How do you motivate yourself to do things when you go through depression?

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a blessed day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Comfort from God's Words

In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19
Iris has chosen the theme "His Words" for Thankful Thursday, reminding me afresh the preciousness of God's Words.

♥ I am thankful to God that in the multitude of my thoughts daily, God's Words comforts, strengthens and delights my soul.

♥ I am thankful to God that His Words guides me to live for Him and to do His will in every aspect of my life at home, in church, my relationships and friendships, at work, on my blogs, etc etc.

♥ I am thankful to God for using His Words to change me by and by, and the assurance that He is doing a deeper work in my soul daily for His glory. I am what I am by the grace of God!

♥ I am thankful to God for teaching me to challenge my negative thoughts with His Words and to change to more biblical thoughts and actions that is pleasing to Him. May God help me daily for I am weak but He is strong!

♥ I am thankful to God for the following portions of His Words from the Bible which has encouraged, strengthened and uplifted me when I remember God's Love.
  • The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3
  • ....I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5
♥ I am thankful to God that He hears and answers our prayers, and He gives us peace as we trust in Him. He knows what is best for us! He has promised :
  • Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3
  • Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
♥ Thank God for a blessed time of fellowship this week with my 2 dear friends from Brunei and a sister-in-Christ from UK.

♥ Thank God for blessing me with a family, church and many friends who love God and love me.

♥ Thank God that this week my church can go for a Church Conference in Malaysia to listen to God's Words and to have a blessed time of fellowship. Although I couldn't join them because I am taking care of my mother, I remember them in prayer that God will bless them abundantly with His Words.

♥ Thank God for sustaining me daily as I continue to look to Him for strength, grace and joy to manage my bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and other challenges in my life daily so that I can live usefully for God and be a blessing to others.

♥ Thank God for strengthening my health as I continue to wait upon Him. Thank God for many who have prayed with and for me. Thanks!

♥ Thank God for opportunities, joy and strength to serve Him in little ways daily.

♥ Thank God that He is with us always and give us guidance, strength and joy through His Words as we look to Him each day.

♥ Thank God for all of you for stopping by, and for your prayers and encouragements. May God bless all of you with His love, peace and joy daily.

How about you? How has the Lord blessed you through the past week?

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed and thankful day!

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris at Sting My Heart. It will be a very blessed and spiritually uplifting experience for you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : Fear not... I will be with thee

"...Fear not:... when thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee:... " Isaiah 43:1-2

Thank God for the assurance of His presence with us through all the changing scenes in life, and especially in our difficulties, trials or afflictions. What a comfort!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you.

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

(I took this photo of the waves at Changi Beach, Singapore)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Making Bookmarks for Friends : A therapeutic hobby

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements.

Thank God for preserving me daily.

Just a short update. My condition is still fluctuating. It kind of worsened during the weekends and I rested much. I prayed and read a little of the Bible whenever I can. Thank God that I am better today.

I went for a walk this morning. It was refreshing to be out in the nature once again to behold the beauties of God's creations and to remember His greatness in creating and preserving us.

Today I was also able to work on some bookmarks that I am making for some overseas friends. Thank God for the joy of making these little gifts for my friends.

I will continue to pray and do whatever I can daily, and hope to get better by and by.

Thanks for stopping by. I am praying for you too. Take care.

If you are interested to make bookmarks for yourself or your friends or to sell, do feel free to download some Free Bookmarks Templates from my Homemade Bookmarks and Crafts website.

Free Calendars 2010 and Free Planners 2010 Resources:

Free Bookmarks Resources:

Free Cards Resources:

Free Handicrafts Resources : Free Cross-stitch

Free Sewing Resources : Knitting

Free Origami Resources:

Free Arts and Crafts for Kids Resources:

Nice Piano Instrumental Music Resources:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thankful Thursday

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:26

I have missed Thankful Thursday last week due to poor health. Thank God for strengthening me and as I continue to wait upon Him for restoration, I hope to recount God's goodness and mercies to me in this difficult time.

♥ Thank God for sustaining me and giving me strength for each day as I wait upon Him.

♥ Thank God that though at times my flesh and my heart fails, He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

♥ Thank God for the assurance of His love and mercies especially in very difficult times. I am clinging on to His precious promises that His grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9) and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).

♥ Thank God for many friends' prayers and encouragements. Thanks to all of you for stopping by, for your prayers and encouragements.

♥ Thank God for the privilege of partaking in the Lord's Supper last Lord's day in my church. I am reminded afresh of our Lord Jesus Christ's love for us in laying down His life on the cross to redeem us and His care and blessings upon us daily.

♥ Thank God that we can cling on to God's love and faithfulness irrespective of our outward circumstances or inner struggles. He is with us always.

♥ Thank God for bringing an oversea friend here. She is a dear sister-in-Christ and God has delivered her from a difficult trial. I look forward to fellowship with her.

♥ Thank God for His mercies to His people wherever they are. Let us continue to pray for the people in China and Myanmar who have experienced great loss and calamities in these recent day. May they find comfort and grace in God to rebuild their lives and homes.

♥ Thank God for the privileges of prayers and the assurance that God hears and answers our prayers according to His will and time. And He knows what is best for us.

♥ Thank God that though our outward man perishes each day, our inward man is renewed in the Lord daily as we seek Him in prayers and reading of His Words. May God draw us nearer to Himself and make us useful in His kingdom to share His love and Truths with others.

How about you? How has the Lord blessed you through the past week?

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed and thankful day!

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris at Sting My Heart. It will be a very blessed and spiritually uplifting experience for you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : Waiting upon the Lord Who renews our strength

As I wait upon our Lord to restore my health, I thank God that He renews my strength in Him daily.

May you find encouragements too as you wait upon the Lord in your particular situations that He will renew your strength for He has promised:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you!

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Overcoming Discouragements

Whenever I go through an episode of clinical depression, I feel as if I am wearing dark-glasses. Everything around me looks gloomy. The sun seems to have eclipsed behind the dark cloud. It is too easy to forget that behind those dark cloud the sun is still shining. And after darkness, will be the light. After the night, morning will come.

When I realized recently that I have once again slipped into clinical depression despite medications and efforts to cope, I was quite discouraged. I realized afresh that my battle with bipolar disorder is still an ongoing one. My hypomanic episodes will alternates with my clinical depression. I realized afresh the importance of managing hypomanic and stress better so that I minimize the tendency to overstrain myself and from burn out and clinical depression.

That morning when I was most discouraged, I poured out my heart to God in prayers. I asked God to strengthen my heart and give me the strength and grace to cope, and to live for Him.

God in His mercies spoke Words of comfort and uplifted my soul to Himself. I read the following encouraging devotional by CH Spurgeon.

God reminded me afresh that in life, we will face various ups and downs. After the morning, evening will come. And after evening, morning will come. Both mornings and evenings have their usefulness. God is with me through the mornings and evenings of my life.

I realized that my experiences with clinical depression is once again being used of God to draw me closer to Himself. I am cast entirely upon God. I know that unless God gives me the strength and grace to cope, I shall plunged deeper into depression when negative thoughts and doubts overwhelmed me.

I am learning to challenge my negative and faulty thoughts, recognizing that they are the effect of chemical imbalance in my brain. While waiting for the chemical in my brain to be restored, I am looking to God and actively seeking to identify faulty thoughts and reverse these thoughts and do that which is right in the sight of God. I read the Bible and speak to my own soul, counselling myself with God's Words to think aright and not believe my faulty thoughts.

If you are struggling with depression, everything will look very gloomy and negative. Know that it is not true. It is the chemical imbalance in your brain that takes away your ability to think and feel aright. Learn to identify these negative and faulty thoughts and to challenge them with more rational and biblical view. These will help you to see things in a more balance view and it can prevent further spiral down into deeper depression. Do read Dr David P Murray's message on Depression - The Condition and The Cure.

I realized that experiencing clinical depression once again is helping me to understand afresh the pain, agonies and discouragement that those who are going through clinical depression will experience every day. I sincerely believe that God is using this experience to enable me once again to be able to feel for others in their sufferings. When I am well, I will be able to be more effective in supporting and helping others who undergoes discouragements due to clinical depression.

So it is my prayers that this experience will not be wasted but that God will draw me nearer to Himself to depend upon His love and sufficiency, and God will make me more useful in His kingdom in helping others who struggles with clinical depression or other discouragements and sufferings.

Thanks once again for all of you, my dear friends, for stopping by and for praying for me and encouraging me. Thank God for all of you!

Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness in strengthening me day by day. I will continue to look to God and seek to serve Him in small ways during this time, and wait for Him for restoration.

Thanks again for stopping by! Hope the devotional from Spurgeon will bring some encouragements to you too.

“The evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5

Was it so even in the beginning?

Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day?

Then little wonder is it if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity.

It will not always be the blaze of noon even in my soul concerns, I must expect at seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my Beloved in the night.

Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord’s beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight.

It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation till we reach the land of which it is written, “there is no night there.” What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.

What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do?

Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good.

Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours.

Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief.

Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labour, at night exchange it for watch.

Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory.

My soul, thine evening of old age and death is drawing near, dread it not, for it is part of the day; and the Lord has said, “I will cover him all the day long.”

(Taken from CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, 1 June, Morning)