Survivors of Abuse

 

THE BIBLE CHANGES LIVES

Jehovah Has Done So Much for Me

Crystal, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, tells how learning what the Bible teaches helped her to build a relationship with Jehovah God and to find meaning in her life. Click the link to view her video:

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/activities/living-bible-principles/adult-survivor-child-abuse-video/ 

To watch a video on protecting your children from abusers visit:

https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/family/children/become-jehovahs-friend/videos/protect-your-children/

An End to PTSD?

Traumatic Stress Will End!

(From http://m.wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102001603)

PERHAPS you are a war veteran and you suffer from nightmares and flashbacks that make it seem as though the war has still not ended for you. Perhaps you are a victim of heartless violence such as rape and feel that a part of you died in the horror of the experience. Or it may be that a loved one died in a natural disaster or accident and continuing without that one is extremely painful.

Do you wonder if such feelings can be changed? We can answer with confidence: Yes, they can! In the meantime, all who suffer trauma can find comfort in God’s Word, the Bible.

Helped to Endure Trauma

Nearly two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul underwent terrifying, life-threatening experiences. His descriptions of some of these are preserved in the Bible. “We do not wish you to be ignorant,” Paul wrote, “about the tribulation that happened to us in the district of Asia, that we were under extreme pressure beyond our strength, so that we were very uncertain even of our lives. In fact, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death.”—2 Corinthians 1:8, 9.

While it is not known exactly what happened on that occasion, it was certainly traumatic. (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) How did Paul cope?

Reflecting on his ordeal in Asia, he wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those in any sort of tribulation through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God.”—2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.

Yes, help for trauma survivors is available from “the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort.” How can you obtain such comfort?

How to Receive Help

First—ask for help. If you feel emotionally paralyzed, remember that others have felt that way too. Those who have overcome such feelings are usually glad to assist others. Like the apostle Paul, they often feel that the comfort they received from God during their trial needs to be shared with “those in any sort of tribulation.” Do not hesitate to approach one of Jehovah’s Witnesses—any one of them with whom you feel comfortable—and request assistance in obtaining help from Jehovah, “the God of all comfort.”

Persevere in prayer. If prayer is difficult because you have feelings of anger, ask someone spiritually qualified to pray with you. (James 5:14-16) When you speak to Jehovah God, remember to “throw all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Over and over the Scriptures emphasize the personal concern that God has for each of his servants.

The writer of Psalm 94 may well have experienced something very traumatic, for he wrote: “Unless Jehovah had been of assistance to me, in a little while my soul would have resided in silence. When I said: ‘My foot will certainly move unsteadily,’ your own loving-kindness, O Jehovah, kept sustaining me. When my disquieting thoughts became many inside of me, your own consolations began to fondle my soul.”—Psalm 94:17-19.

Some sufferers of traumatic stress are especially troubled by “disquieting thoughts,” which can become at times an overwhelming torrent of panic or rage. However, heartfelt prayer can help “sustain” you until those feelings pass. Think of Jehovah as a loving parent and of yourself as a small child whom he lovingly protects. Remember the Bible’s promise that “the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:7.

Healing—whether physical, mental, or spiritual—is a gradual process. So it would be unrealistic to expect that prayer will bring instant peace to those seriously damaged by traumatic experiences. Yet, persistent prayer is vital. It will help keep the sufferer from being overwhelmed and driven to despair by post-traumatic emotions.

Read and meditate on God’s Word. If concentration is difficult, ask someone to read comforting Bible accounts with you. You might choose passages that reveal the depth of Jehovah’s tender concern for his faithful ones, no matter how depressed or despairing they may feel.

Jane, mentioned in the preceding articles, drew comfort from many Bible passages in the Psalms. They include Psalm 3:1-8; 6:6-8; 9:9, 10; 11:1-7; 18:5, 6; 23:1-6; 27:7-9; 30:11, 12; 31:12, 19-22; 32:7, 8; 34:18, 19; 36:7-10; 55:5-9, 22; 56:8-11; 63:6-8; 84:8-10;130:1-6. Do not try to read too many Bible passages at one time. Rather, take time to meditate on them and pray.

Unprecedented Distress Now

Sadly, it should be no surprise that rapes, murders, wars, and needless violence abound today. Why? Because Jesus Christ characterized our time as one in which there would be an “increasing of lawlessness.” He added: “The love of the greater number will cool off.”Matthew 24:7, 12.

In recent years traumatic stress has become all too common—often as a result of the very events that Jesus foretold. As recorded in the Bible in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapter 21, Jesus said that in this world’s time of the end, there would be international wars, natural disasters, and increased lawlessness and lovelessness. Yet, as Jesus also observed, relief is not far off.

After describing a worldwide epidemic of trauma and the start of “great tribulation” to follow, note what Jesus said people should do: “Raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Matthew 24:21-31; Luke 21:28) Yes, as world conditions worsen, we can be sure that great tribulation upon this distress-causing system of things will culminate in the end of all wickedness and the ushering in of a righteous new system.—1 John 2:17; Revelation 21:3, 4.

We should not be surprised that our deliverance will come only after wickedness and violence have reached their zenith. God’s judgments in the past against the world of Noah’s day and the vile inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah followed a similar pattern. Those past executions of divine judgment show what will happen in the future.—2 Peter 2:5, 6.

The End of Traumatic Stress

If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may wonder if your painful memories will ever be laid to rest. Yet, the answer surely is: Yes, they will be! At Isaiah 65:17, Jehovah God declares: “I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart.” Although the psychological scars of past trauma may seem permanent, this scripture assures us that someday their power to disturb will be entirely gone.

Today, over one year after the attempted rape, Jane is serving as a pioneer minister (full-time evangelizer) of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “It was not until the trial was over and my attacker had been convicted—more than eight months after the attack—that I really felt like myself again,” she said recently. “This time last year, I could not have imagined the peace and happiness I now enjoy. I thank Jehovah for the beautiful hope of everlasting life and the chance to share that hope with others.”—Psalm 27:14.

If you are struggling with the despair and paralyzing emotional numbness of PTSD, that hope can help sustain you as well.

[Picture on page 8]

Attending Christian meetings can help you to cope

[Pictures on page 8, 9]

Reading God’s Word and praying can help sustain you

[Picture on page 10]

Soon all trauma will be a thing of the past

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic Stress—What Is It?

(From http://m.wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102001602)

YEARS AGO, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was usually called shell shock or combat fatigue and was studied primarily in connection with military veterans.* Today much has changed. You don’t have to be a soldier to be diagnosed with PTSD. You only have to be a survivor of some traumatic event.

The event could be anything from a war to a rape attempt to a car accident. A fact sheet from the National Center for PTSD, in the United States, puts it this way: “To be diagnosed with PTSD, an individual must have been exposed to a traumatic event.” And this event “must involve some type of actual or threatened PHYSICAL injury or assault.”

Jane, mentioned in the preceding article, relates: “I have learned that sudden terror causes certain hormones to surge, and these hormones cause the senses to become hyperalert to danger. Ordinarily hormone levels fall back down to normal after the danger has passed, but in the case of PTSD sufferers, they remain elevated.” The event was in the past, but the terror of those moments seemed to be trying to take up permanent residence in Jane’s mind, like an unwelcome tenant who ignores an eviction notice.

If you have survived a trauma and are experiencing similar aftereffects, it is important to realize that you are not alone. In a book she wrote on rape, author Linda E. Ledray explains that PTSD “is a normal reaction seen in normal people who have been through a terrifying situation in which they could not control what was happening.”

Yet, calling PTSD normal doesn’t mean that every survivor of a trauma will develop it. Ledray notes: “A 1992 study found that, one week after a rape, 94 percent of the survivors evaluated met the criteria for PTSD and at twelve weeks 47 percent continued to do so. Fifty percent of the women seen at the Sexual Assault Resource Service in Minneapolis in 1993 met the criteria for PTSD one year after rape.”

Such statistics reveal that PTSD is common, far more common than most people realize. And all sorts of people are sufferers, following many types of incidents. Authors Alexander C. McFarlane and Lars Weisaeth observe: “Recent studies have shown that traumatic events frequently happen to civilians during peacetime, as well as to soldiers and war victims, and that many survivors of such frequent events develop PTSD.” Even medical procedures or heart attacks have triggered PTSD in some individuals.

“PTSD has turned out to be a very common disorder,” explain the above-quoted authors. They further say: “A random survey of 1,245 American adolescents showed that 23% had been the victims of physical or sexual assaults, as well as witnesses of violence against others. One out of five of the exposed adolescents developed PTSD. This suggests that approximately 1.07 million U.S. teenagers currently suffer from PTSD.”

If the statistic is accurate, that means there are a lot of teenage sufferers in just one country! What can be done for such persons, as well as for the many millions of other sufferers worldwide?

What Can Be Done?

If you believe that you or someone you know may suffer from PTSD, the following are some suggestions.

Strive to maintain a spiritual program. “I always attended the meetings at our local Kingdom Hall,” explains Jane. “Even when I could not concentrate on what was being said, I knew that that was where Jehovah God wanted me to be. Those in the congregation were extremely loving and upbuilding, and the love and personal interest shown meant a great deal to me throughout the whole ordeal.” Jane adds: “It also helped me when I read the psalms. Somehow the prayers of afflicted ones seemed to speak for me. When I couldn’t say what I wanted to in prayer, I could just say ‘Amen.’”

Don’t hold back from encouraging the sufferer. If you have a loved one dealing with the horrible memory of some traumatic event, understand that he or she is not overreacting or deliberately being difficult. Because of emotional numbness, anxiety, or anger, he or she may not be able to respond as you would wish to the efforts you are making to be supportive. But don’t give up! As the Bible says, “a true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.”—Proverbs 17:17.

The sufferer needs to recognize and avoid unwise coping strategies that cause further harm. These include use of illicit drugs and overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. Although alcohol and drugs may give promise of temporary relief, they soon make matters worse. They usually contribute to social isolation, rejection of the people who want to help, workaholism, uncontrolled anger, uncontrolled or overcontrolled eating, or other self-destructive behavior.

Consult with a competent health professional. It may turn out that the sufferer doesn’t have PTSD, but if he or she does, effective therapies exist.* If you are receiving professional help, be honest with that person and ask for help to overcome any of the above behaviors.

Remember: Physical wounds are often the first to heal, but people suffering from PTSD can be wounded in many ways in body, mind, and spirit. The next article will discuss further ways that the sufferer and those around him can take part in the healing process and will also discuss the hope for all sufferers of post-traumatic shock.

[Footnotes]

See the articles “Do They Come Back the Same?” and “He Came Back a Stranger,” in Awake! of August 8, 1982.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not officially promote or recommend any specific form of therapy, be it medical or psychiatric.

[Box/Picture on page 6]

Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress

Many trauma survivors find themselves reexperiencing the trauma in their mind. Survivors usually can’t control this or stop it from occurring. The consequences may include:

• Flashbacks—feelings that the trauma is happening again

• Bad dreams and nightmares

• A tendency to be very startled by loud noises or by someone unexpectedly coming up to them from behind

• A shaky feeling and sweatiness

• A pounding heart or trouble breathing

• A feeling of upset when reminded of the trauma by something seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted

• Anxiety or fear—the feeling of being in danger again

• Trouble controlling emotions because reminders lead to sudden anxiety, anger, or upset

• Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly

• Difficulty falling or staying asleep

• Agitation and a constant state of being on the lookout for danger

• An emotional shutdown or emotional numbness

• Trouble having loving feelings or feeling any strong emotions

• The feeling that surroundings are strange or unreal

• Loss of interest in things that were previously enjoyable

• Trouble remembering important parts of what happened during the trauma

• A feeling of being disconnected from the world around them and the things happening to them

[Pictures on page 5]

A variety of traumatic events can trigger PTSD

How to Help Those With Anxiety Disorders

From http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102012090 

“My heart often pounds really hard, and I break out in a cold sweat and find it difficult to catch my breath. I am overcome by feelings of dread, anxiety, and mental confusion.”—Isabella, a panic disorder sufferer in her forties.

ANXIETY can be described as “a feeling of nervousness or worry.” Have you, for example, ever felt nervous when confronted by an angry dog? What happens when the dog goes away? The nervousness and worry do too, don’t they? What, though, is an anxiety disorder?

When anxiety becomes chronic, when it continues even after there is no more need to feel anxious, anxiety can become a disorder. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older . . . in a given year.” Consider Isabella, quoted in the introduction. Unrelenting anxiety, such as she experiences, can have serious consequences for the sufferer.

Not only that, but the immediate family may also be affected adversely. There is good news, though. An NIMH publication states: “Effective therapies for anxiety disorders are available, and research is uncovering new treatments that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.”

Family and friends can also help one who is suffering from an anxiety disorder. How?

How to Help

Be supportive: Monica, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, explains a difficulty she faces: “Most people find it hard to understand my emotional problems.”

As a result, anxiety disorder sufferers are often so afraid of being misunderstood that they try to hide their problem from others. This can result in feelings of guilt that worsen their emotional state. It is vitally important, therefore, for family and friends to be supportive.

Learn more about the disorder: This suggestion may be especially appropriate for those who deal closely with sufferers of anxiety disorders. This may include an immediate family member or a particularly close friend.

Keep comforting one another: The first-century missionary Paul urged friends in the Greek city of Thessalonica to “keep comforting one another and building one another up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) We can do this both by our words and our tone of voice. We need to show that we deeply care for our friends, and we need to avoid hurtful insinuations.

Consider the three professed friends of the man Job, after whom a book in the Bible is named. Those men, as you may remember, wrongly implied that Job was in some way covering over concealed sins and that his suffering was the result of his cover-up.

So, be sensitive to a sufferer’s feelings. Listen carefully. Try to view matters through the eyes of the one who is suffering, rather than through your own. Do not jump to conclusions while listening. Job’s professed friends did, and as a result, they were called “troublesome comforters.” They actually made him feel worse!—Job 16:2.

Remember to listen carefully to sufferers. Allow them to express freely how they feel. This may help you to understand better what they are going through. And think of the reward! You may be able to help sufferers enjoy a more full and meaningful life.

Identifying Types of Anxiety Disorders

Understanding anxiety disorders is vital, especially when the people involved are immediate family members or close friends. Consider five types of such disorders.

Panic Disorders Recall Isabella, mentioned in the introduction of our article. It is not only the attacks of anxiety that she finds disabling. “In between them, there is the dread that an attack is going to happen again,” she says. As a result, sufferers tend to avoid places where they have had an attack. Some become so restricted that they are housebound or are able to confront a feared situation only when accompanied by someone they trust. Isabella explained: “Merely being alone is enough to trigger an attack. Mother gives me security; I can’t stand it if she is not nearby.”

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder A person obsessed with germs or dirt may develop a compulsion to wash his hands over and over again. Regarding a similar compulsion, Renan says: “My mind is in constant turmoil as I go over and over past mistakes, reanalyzing them and looking at them from every possible angle.” The result is an obsession to confess past mistakes to others. Renan is in constant need of reassurance. But medication has been of help in controlling his obsession.*

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) In recent times this term has been used to describe a range of psychological symptoms people may experience following an extremely traumatic event that involved physical harm or the threat of such. PTSDsufferers may startle easily, be irritable, become emotionally numb, lose interest in things they once enjoyed, and have trouble feeling affection for others—especially those with whom they used to be close. Some become aggressive, even violent, and tend to avoid situations that remind them of the original traumatic incident.

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder This is a term used to identify people who are overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations. Some sufferers have an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. They may worry for days or weeks before attending an event. Their fear may become so severe that it interferes with work, school, or other ordinary activities and makes it hard for them to make and keep friends.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Monica, mentioned earlier, suffers from this disorder. She goes through the day filled with “exaggerated worries,” even though there is little or nothing to provoke them. Sufferers tend to anticipate disaster and are overly concerned with health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Just the thought of getting through the day may produce anxiety.*

[Footnotes]

Awake! does not endorse any specific medical treatment.

The above material is based on a publication of the National Institute of Mental Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Seek First The Kingdom

One scripture that constantly comes to mind is Matthew 6:33 which states, “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.”

With this in mind we have decided to work on personal improvement so that we might serve God to the full extent that our own circumstances permit. I officially put in the paperwork for early retirement two weeks ago.

We start our mornings now with the daily text, a prayer, and either field service or medical appointments. We round out the end of the day with personal or family study, meetings (twice per week), Etsy order filling, and housework. It’s still a little scary, but I think that means we are on the right track.

luke 1 45 wm Happy is she who believed

Visit our boards on Pinterest

See our photos on Instagram

Focus On Today

I was thinking today about how overwhelmed I’ve been. In making decisions about our path to the next adventure in our lives I feel like my husband and I might have lost our way.

keep calm and focus on today

I saw the above meme online and it made me stop for just a second and remember our model prayer. We are instructed in Matthew to pray for today. We are reminded to “not be afraid” and to “never be anxious”. So, I need to pray for help with those things. Deep breath!

be not afraid

I’ll just leave these scriptures here for a reminder:

Matthew 6:22, 23

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye.+ If, then, your eye is simple,* your whole body will be bright; 23 but if your eye is wicked,*+ your whole body will be dark. If in reality the light that is in you is darkness, how great that darkness is!+

1 Timothy 6:8

8 So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.+

Matthew 6:33

33 “Keep on, then, seeking* first the kingdom and his righteousness,+ and all these [other] things will be added to YOU

Hebrews 13:5

5 Let [YOUR] manner of life be free of the love of money,+ while YOU are content+ with the present things.+ For he has said: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”

Luke 12:15

15 Then he said to them: “Keep YOUR eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness,+ because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses

Philippians 1:10

10 that YOU may make sure of the more important things,+ so that YOU may be flawless+ and not be stumbling+ others up to the day of Christ,

Galatians 5:22, 23

22 On the other hand, the fruitage+ of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law.+

Galatians 6:9

9 So let us not give up in doing what is fine,+ for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out.+

Psalm 37:10

10 And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;+

And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.+

Proverbs 2:21, 22

21 For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth,+ and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it.+ 22 As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth;+ and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.+

1 Thessalonians 5:6

6 So, then, let us not sleep+ on as the rest do,+ but let us stay awake+ and keep our senses

Luke 21:34, 35

34 “But pay attention to yourselves that YOUR hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy+ drinking and anxieties+ of life,* and suddenly that day be instantly upon YOU+ 35 as a snare.+ For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth.+

Colossians 3:5

5 Deaden,+ therefore, YOUR body members+ that are upon the earth as respects fornication,* uncleanness,* sexual appetite,*+ hurtful desire, and covetousness,+ which is idolatry.

Philippians 4:8

8 Finally, brothers, whatever things* are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste,+ whatever things are lovable,* whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.+

Philippians 4:6, 7

6 Do not be anxious over anything,+ but in everything by prayer and supplication+ along with thanksgiving let YOUR petitions be made known to God;+ 7 and the peace+ of God that excels all thought will guard YOUR hearts+ and YOUR mental powers by means of Christ Jesus

Matthew 8:20

20 But Jesus said to him: “Foxes have dens and birds of heaven have roosts, but the Son of man* has nowhere to lay down his head.”+

Proverbs 3:5, 6

5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart+ and do not lean upon your own understanding.+ 6 In all your ways take notice of him,+ and he himself will make your paths straight.+

2 Corinthians 13:5

5 Keep testing whether YOU are in the faith, keep proving what YOU yourselves are.+ Or do YOU not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with YOU?+ Unless YOU are disapproved.

2 Timothy 1:7

7 For God gave us not a spirit of cowardice,+ but that of power+ and of love and of soundness of mind.+

Isaiah 41:10

10 Do not be afraid, for I am with you.+ Do not gaze about, for I am your God.*+ I will fortify you.+ I will really help you.+ I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand+ of righteousness

James 4:7, 8

7 Subject yourselves,+ therefore, to God; but oppose* the Devil,+ and he will flee from YOU.+ 8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to YOU.+ Cleanse YOUR hands, YOU sinners,+ and purify YOUR hearts,+ YOU indecisive*+ ones

Proverbs 19:20

20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline,+ in order that you may become wise in your future.+

Give An Hour

I have to admit that I have been a bit stalled in taking the next steps. Sometimes the best you can do in the morning is wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed and simply celebrate your ability to do only that. Other days staying in be until 3pm because you cannot face the day feel like an utter failure, so you browse the internet for distraction. I was doing just that when I found this site: GIVE AN HOUR

Their mission?

Give an Hour’s mission is to develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society, beginning with the mental health needs of those who serve and their families.

How it works?

A site visitor (could be a veteran, family member or person affected by a loved-ones service), clicks on “Get Help” to get information on what to expect and how to choose a provider. S/he clicks on “Provider Search” to find someone offering individual counseling services near their home.

Seriously? That was just what I needed. To get back to therapy. Sometimes a caregiver is so busy caregiving that they don’t realize that they themselves are spiraling into despair. I felt, and still do feel very often, that I cannot go on. That another day cannot be faced. That I will just stay in the fortress of my own bed under the covers until the world melts away and I achieve enlightenment beside my pillow.

That is not living. So tomorrow I will call, and go, and talk to someone.

Interested? Then visit the site:

GIVE AN HOUR

What, What, What Are We Doing??

(See bottom of this blog post for an update)

Sometimes desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. Once I understood that my best friend and lover was suffering from a disabling disorder (combat-related PTSD) that wasn’t responding to traditional therapy I asked myself, “what else can we do?”. I did research online and at the library. I called his psychiatrist whenever I needed advice and started seeing a therapist myself specifically for PTSD caregiver support.

Then I saw this blog, Two Happy Campers, where this couple decided to leave their home (part-time) and go on outdoor adventures in a truck camper with their two dogs. I thought that was extreme. I mean, I’m a city girl! I like the idea of camping but am much better suited for five-star hotels, spas, and room service. The more I dug into camper/RV lifestyles (there are tons of blogs about this, who knew?) I started to recall phrases I had been reading and hearing regarding coping with PTSD:

  • Keep things simple
  • Put everything in its place (my hubby has OCD tendencies)
  • Focus on the basics
  • One day at a time
  • Get fresh air, start exercising
  • Don’t isolate
  • Make thoughtful changes

Then I thought, could we consider this? Could we simplify our 5 bedroom house (we have a lot of stuff for just two people and it’s a constant source of stress for my husband), downsize our wardrobes, cut our ties with the 9 to 5 (and live on just his disability), and lead a much more frugal life?

The same things in the bulleted list above are what we learn from the Holy Scriptures. At Matthew 6:22 it states, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. The footnote lets us know that the context of the translated word “focused” is modern “simple”. So, keep your eye simple. What we were learning from mental health professionals aligned with what we are taught from the holy scriptures. Acting on it was a no-brainer!

tiny house

Crazy, right? Then I thought, maybe the way we live right now is crazy. The average American spends 1/3 to 1/2 of their income on a home that takes 15 years to work to pay off. 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe living the “normal” way is actually crazy. What if we could live on less and instead of investing in a career and house we could invest in our personal relationships with our creator, each other, and nature?

Rat-Race

Next, I though about living vs. surviving. With PTSD it seems like the sufferer and his family just survives daily life. I want (and deserve) to see my husband really live, not just survive. What if by changing things drastically we could both get back to living instead of just getting through each day to face another filled with the same issues in the same spot?

dont just survive live

Another scripture that kept coming to mind is Matthew 6:33 which states, “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” With this in mind we decided that going from full-time working to full-time RVing seemed like a moot point. So we have decided to work on personal improvement so that we might serve God to the full extent that our own circumstances permit.

We start our mornings now with the daily text, a prayer, and either field service or medical appointments. We round out the end of the day with personal or family study, meetings, and housework. It’s still a little scary, but I think that means we are on the right track. The planning stages of this adventure has begun. Join us while we figure out the rest!

See our photos on Instagram

Visit our boards on Pinterest

 

2016 UPDATE

I’m a regular pioneer as of September 1, 2016. As of May 5, 2017 we are part-time RVers and international travelers for need-greater work!!

… Matthew 6:33 states, “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” With this in mind we decided that going from full-time working to full-time RVing seemed like a moot point. So we have decided to work on personal improvement so that we might serve God to the full extent that our own circumstances permit.

We start our mornings now with the daily text, a prayer, and either field service or medical appointments. We round out the end of the day with personal or family study, meetings, and housework. It’s still a little scary, but I think that means we are on the right track. The adventure has begun. Join us while we figure out the rest!

 

Peppermint Rose Simple Syrup

This is our herbal syrup made from organic peppermint and rose petals grown in our garden. In 13th century Andalusian cookbook entitled Manuscrito Anonimo there is a chapter on drink recipes made by combining a syrup with hot or cold water. These simple syrups were consumed for health benefits. In the Manuscrito there are numerous syrup recipes featuring dried or fresh rose petals, lemon juice, mint leaves, ginger root, lavender flowers, quince, rosewater and carrots alone or in combination with each other. During the year we will offer seasonal selections of simple syrups that you can combine with hot water for tea or cold water (including sparkling water) for a refreshing beverage.

This listing is for a 4 ounce glass container filled with our tasty syrup. After you finish the syrup please recycle the container by using it for whatever your heart desires.

syrups

To use: simply add a tablespoon or two (more or less to your liking) to hot or cold water (or lemonade, tea, sparkling water…. or a cocktail).

Ingredients: Peppermint Leaf, Rose Petal, Raw Cane Sugar, Distilled Water

~ ~

Handcrafted in my own personal still-room in New Orleans, Louisiana. I use primary source recipes from historical manuscripts along with organic, all-natural ingredients that do not contain chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances or synthetic chemicals. I use pure herbs, spices, oils, vegetables, and occasionally a mineral pigment known as iron oxide. THAT’S IT. My products are safe and simple.

rosa sciroppo

Disclaimer: The statements presented on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered on this page are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.