Accomplishing Much in the Desert: My Journey with Depression

Overcoming Depression | Beneath the Cherry Tree | Choosing Joy | Finding Happiness Again | Finding Hope

Accomplishing Much in the Desert: My Journey with Depression

Depression is more like an ongoing enemy, but somewhere within myself, I want to call it an old friend. Not because it’s been good to me – no. But because it has always seemed to be more readily by my side than almost anything else for most of my life.

I remember the first time I felt its grip. I was twelve. I started taking birth control at a very young age to curve some health issues I was having, and the benefits of it made me always second guess the depression that walked in hand-in-hand with it. That medication was my companion for six long years. Six years that I wrote off feeling as though I had no hope and no joy and no substance to my soul because I thought it was just teenage angst.

I remember spending so many of those nights in a pool of tears. I felt so completely consumed by a weight I felt in my chest and a blur of disillusionment about my life. I struggled to see my way out of this pit. I felt crazy. Unsure of how to cope and unsure of what would happen if I confessed to my weakness, I pressed on. I fought back feelings of hopelessness and exchanged them for substance abuse and busyness. I thought this was who I was and that I was doing all that could be done.

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3 Reasons to Consider a Social Media Break

Blogging Tips | Social Media Break | Beneath the Cherry Tree | Find Your Passion | Free from Comparison

3 Reasons to Consider a Social Media Break

Well, sweet friends, here we are – already almost a week into 2017. It seems surreal! Want to know what else seems surreal? It’s been a month since I’ve published anything on this little space. I’ve missed it. I’ve missed the amazing community of blogging friends I’m building, I’ve missed an avenue to pour my heart into, and I’ve missed connecting with like-hearted souls who make this journey so vivid and bright.

I haven’t signed off of social media completely over this month. I’ve just been trying to take a step back and really think about what my intentions have been, where my heart is at, and what direction to go next. I had to take some time to really think about what my habits with social media and navigating the blogging world had come to and what the outcomes of them were. I really don’t believe these things are inherently bad at all – they are fantastic tools to grow and learn and connect! I am so thankful for them and so value them still.

But to be honest, I think I really needed to take a teeny tiny break. And this social media break has been really great for my heart for 3 main reasons (you might want to consider it too!):

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3 Reasons You Lost Friends When You Got Married

 Marriage Tips | Marriage Advice | You Lost Friends When You Got Married | Young Marriage | Beneath the Cherry Tree

3 Reasons You Lost Friends When You Got Married

I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been tip-toeing around this post for quite some time. Partly because I know a topic like losing friends can be almost like salt in the wound for some, and also partly because I’ve been trying to navigate it myself. But the more that I have talked to friends who have gotten married young, the more that a roaring response comes rolling in that shouts, “Yes, I lost friends, too! And I thought I was the only one!” Sweet friend, let me tell you – you aren’t the only one who lost friends when you got married. I did too. And you know what? It’s okay.

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His Ways Are Higher (Day 14)

Encouragement for Women | Thanksgiving Devotionals | His Ways are Higher | Learning to Trust God | Hope | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 14)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

His Ways Are Higher

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Today is the final day of this two-week daily devotional and I have so beyond grateful that you’ve been willing to walk through it with me. I really felt like God placed this on my heart because I had been going through a season of about two months of feeling as though I had fallen into a pit I couldn’t get out of.
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Taming a Wild Tongue (Day 13)

Learn to Speak Life | Encouragement for Women | Thanksgiving Devotionals | Taming a Wild Tongue | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 13)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

Taming a Wild Tongue

The tongue has the power of life and death,and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

The world was created with the words of our God speaking it into existence. In a single moment, as He commanded light to come forth, the expanse of our universe was instantly illuminated (Genesis 1-3). Life was brought forth by the words of His mouth and the breath of His lungs. His very Word is the living and breathing guide to our lives as we seek Him in it all (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus also knew the power of His words when Lazarus had passed away. After several days of his body lying in a tomb, Jesus approached it and commanded that “Lazarus come forth!” (John 11:38-44).
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Freedom From Comparison (Day 12)

Find Freedom from Comparison | Tips to Overcoming Comparison | Thanksgiving Devotionals | Encouragement for Women | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 12)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

Freedom from Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

Yesterday we prayed and talked about God showing us the aspects of our life that we need Him to change in order to unrush us. We prayed that He would remind us of our priority in Him and that He would lead us to His peace in a busy culture. Today, going hand in hand with that, it is important that we talk about the subject of comparison.
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Battling Busyness (Day 11)

Tips for Overcoming Busyness | Encouragement for Women | Learning to Slow Down | Thanksgiving Devotionals | Battling Busyness | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 11)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

Battling Busyness

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)

When was the last time that you allowed yourself to rest? Really, intentionally, honestly rest?

Our society has begun to so greatly glorify a life of busyness. Our days can so easily become scrambled with meetings, classes, work, and social obligations. If we spend one Friday night sitting at home when we know that the rest of the world supposedly isn’t then we feel less than, uninvited, or inadequate.
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When You Don’t Feel Good Enough (Day 10)

When You Don't Feel Good Enough | Overcoming Insecurity | Encouragement for Women | Thanksgiving Devotionals | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 10)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

When You Don’t Feel Good Enough

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:14-15)

I believe that one of the greatest threats to our peace that we can face in life is the temptation to believe that we can earn grace.
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Love the Giver, Not Just the Gifts (Day 9)

Delighting In God | Love the Giver | Tips to Strengthen Faith | Encouragement for Women | Thanksgiving Devotionals | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 9)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

Love the Giver, Not Just the Gifts

Delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

What does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord?

The easy answer that my human mind wants to go to is delighting in the joy of walking with Him because all goes well. Of course, we can delight in someone who gives us good gifts! Absolutely we can find delight in someone who brings a smile to our face with their provision.

But is that what it really means?

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When Happiness Isn’t Enough (Day 8)

Happiness Isn't Enough | How to Choose Joy | Tips to Be More Joyful | Thanksgiving Devotional | Encouragement for Women | Beneath the Cherry Tree

THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 8)

The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.

When Happiness Isn’t Enough

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

We have made it one week into our devotional, and I am so thankful that you’ve been walking this path with me! The last seven days we have prayed and sought thankfulness in whatever season of life each of us is in. Today is a new day! Today we begin a few days of finding and taking refuge in the joy we have been promised. I’m so expectant of what God wants to do in your life!
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