I have been greatly blessed by Jennifer Ervig and her book, When My Mind Winds Up these past few weeks. So many people deal with anxiety and/or depression, but they feel that they shouldn't talk about it. Some feel that it's a weakness and they aren't as strong as others if they admit they have either of these issues. I personally have dealt with depression for well over 10 years. I've tried to be pretty open and honest about it because I want others to know that they aren't alone. One of the things that Jennifer talks about in her book is that everyone goes through stuff. We often tend to focus on the negative and that our "stuff" is worse than what anyone else is dealing with at that time. Comparison is a bad street to head down and typically puts us more into the negative thought process than just accepting that we all deal with things. I've read many books over the years that I would consider as self-help and many of them have left me questioning what I got from this book. I need people to be real and honest in order for me to get great things from what they are saying! Jennifer is so open, honest and real about her feelings, her emotions and her love for God. We can handle so much when we are focusing on God and putting him as a focus in our life. I love the way the book is written because each chapter follows the same structure and therefore you know exactly what you are getting. There is the introductory thought, scripture verses, the main writing in the chapter and then finishing up where Jen Says Own it and Make it Real. I really loved delving into the scriptures that went along with the chapter and then having the thought provoking questions at the end to help me get the most from the chapters.
I got so much out of this book that I took 8 pages of notes on things that I wanted to remember. I didn't really label my notes by chapter, so I'm just going to list some of what really stood out to me 🙂
* Pain is selfish
* Anxiety is not about you. It's an attack on you
* Conviction leaves you feeling cautious, but with hope. Condemnation fills you with dread, guilt and helplessness.
* Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
* Stop insulting God with worry! When I worry about what's happening in the present I am proclaiming that I am not sure God is in control.
* When you feel down look for someone to serve. Pray for Joy, Peace, Health and Good Fortune for someone else
*The good stuff takes time. The true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy stuff needs nourishment
* Life can SUCK, but the Life Giver brings hope and promise....of a new reality
* Mind over matter people.....every time
* Happiness is an emotion or a mood, but joy is an attitude. The most joyful people have gone through the worst circumstances. Being "joyful in spite of" does not mean we deny our discontent or stuff down negative emotions, BUT we throw it at the feet of Jesus. Jesus is the person who has experienced the worst the world has to offer yet has more joy than anyone ever has or ever could.
* Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
* James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.
* James 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea
* Doubt is often closely entwines with emotions. Emotions are fickle. Doubt can be an indicator of something, but it doesn't mean it's indicating truth.
* Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward
* Rather than ask why me? ask why not? When you ask why me? it doesn't offer a solution, but hinders you and makes you a victim. When you ask why not? it sets you free and turns you to God.
* John 11:35 Jesus wept
* Tears mean you are passionate. Tears show you have the heart of Christ. Don't let anyone look down on you because of your tears
* Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end
* Don't let fear and anxiety immobilize you
These are just a "few" of the things that stood out to me as I read this book. So many suffer from anxiety and/or depression and don't realize how many others are out there. When we are real with people like Jennifer has been with us then people feel more comfortable. For example Jennifer tells us about how she uses meds in her life. Does everyone need medicine for anxiety or depression? No, but that also doesn't mean there aren't people that do. When your life is affected so greatly then medication probably is a good thing. I didn't realize for a long time that I needed medication. It just never crossed my radar that I might need it. When I look at the times that I've been off it and on it I realize the difference in me as a person, mom and wife. Do I need it the rest of my life? I don't know, but I know that at this time in my life I'm a better functioning person because of it. If saying that helps one person feel that it's ok to take it then I'm glad I shared. When we are open and honest with others, especially women, then we all can learn and grow.
To see what else Jennifer has written check her out on Amazon, Instagram and/or Facebook. I'll also be posting a review soon for As My Mind Unwinds: 31 Day Devotional - Reflectional - Confessional Ride
** I received this book free for my honest review.