Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission 2017-06-24T18:57:55+00:00

Responding to Suicide

This post was originally published August 11, 2014.    Robin Williams is dead, apparently of suicide after a lengthy battle with depression. My heart is heavy. What a terrible tragedy. How could a man who seemed so full of exuberant life somehow lack the will to live? I respect the family’s desire to keep details of his death private. There will likely be a feeding frenzy in the press — speculation over his mental state, drug use, relationships with others, every jot and tittle to try to explain the unexplainable — some people (and it can be anyone) simply lose the desire to see another day. Whenever I encounter suicide in the news or in the lives of people I know, my mind flashes back to one Saturday night in March of 2008. I was feeling flu-like symptoms and had called to get someone to preach for me. I went [...]

By | July 24th, 2017|Categories: Delight in Disorder, Mental Illness|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Is Depression ‘of God’?

In 2013, I partnered with Leanne Sype to begin the process that led to the publication of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. I was thrilled with her work as editor, a crowdfunding consultant,a spiritual adviser, and friend. Here is some of her story. *** I have depression. It’s called “situational depression” because it was induced by the situation of both my kids being diagnosed with mental illnesses. My son has ADHD. My daughter has depression and anxiety, which, for her, include symptoms like self-harm and thoughts of wanting to die. Over the course of navigating treatments, advocating for academic accommodations, and engaging in the bulk of the emotional support for each kiddo, I felt depression slowly weigh down on my chest. *** I once had a Christian friend tell me that anything with the prefix de- isn’t “of God.” Depression fell into that category in our conversation. Whether [...]

By | July 19th, 2017|Categories: Family, Mental Illness|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Grandma’s Soft Hands

She had the softest hands of any woman I ever touched, of any woman who ever touched me. I asked her one time, “Grandma, how do you keep your hands so soft?”  “Dishes. Wash plenty of dishes.” Maybe she thought this would motivate me to do more work around the house instead of constantly burying my nose in a book.  No, dishwashing alone wasn’t the secret of Grandma's soft hands. It was lotion. Tons and tons of lotion. My sister revealed this to me after nearly half a century of going on the washing-dishes-alone-theory. Every baby born to the family for almost five decades felt the gentle touch of Grandma's loving hands as she played with us and prayed with us, as she read to us, as she taught some to work and shook her head at why others wouldn't.  My Uncle Geoff is the one who carries on [...]

By | July 16th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

She had the softest hands of any women I had ever touched, of any woman who had ever touched me. I asked her one time, “Grandma, how to you keep your hands so soft?”  “Dishes. Wash plenty of dishes.” Maybe she thought this would motivate me to do more work around the house instead of constantly burying my nose in a book.  No, dishwashing alone wasn’t the secret of Grandma's soft hands. It was lotion. Tons and tons of lotion. My sister revealed this to me after nearly half a century of going on the washing-dishes-alone-theory. Every baby born to the family for almost five decades felt the gentle touch of Grandma's loving hands as she played with us and prayed with us, as she read to us, as she taught some to work and shook her head at why others wouldn't.  My Uncle Geoff is one who carries [...]

By | July 16th, 2017|Categories: Family|0 Comments

The Social Cycles of Bipolar and Faith: Susan Irene Fox

As I look back on the cycles of bipolar that have tried to steal my life away from me, I am acutely aware of both overt and covert cycles associated with this illness. The overt cycles are mania or hypomania and depression, which is why this brain disease used to be called manic-depression. Some sufferers prefer to use this name because it accurately describes the two polar-opposite cycles we swing through without the middle ground in between. Hypomania is the milder form of the upswing cycling experienced by those who have bipolar 2, the more “benign” form of bipolar. While mania is often accompanied by visions, voices and dangerous behavior, the symptoms of hypomania can be overspending to the point of bankruptcy, risky sexual behavior, or extreme irritability with self or those around us. Depression in bipolar 1 is more extreme, while in bipolar 2 is more frequent. Both [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|Categories: Mental Illness|2 Comments

A Sacred Rest

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-31 Some time ago, there was a law suit filed against a hospital claiming that a young medical resident allowed a person taken into the emergency room to die. The resident had just completed 40 hours of grueling work, without sleep, in this busy city hospital. Sheer exhaustion prevented him from making good medical judgment. In response to the suit the state legislature made it illegal for residents to work long hours without rest. To protect lives, it is necessary that those who care for others care for themselves as well. Many times we made damaging demands on ourselves and [...]

By | July 10th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Responding to Suicide

This post was originally published August 11, 2014.    Robin Williams is dead, apparently of suicide after a lengthy battle with depression. My heart is heavy. What a terrible tragedy. How could a man who seemed so full of exuberant life somehow lack the will to live? I respect the family’s desire to keep details of his death private. There will likely be a feeding frenzy in the press — speculation over his mental state, drug use, relationships with others, every jot and tittle to try to explain the unexplainable — some people (and it can be anyone) simply lose the desire to see another day. Whenever I encounter suicide in the news or in the lives of people I know, my mind flashes back to one Saturday night in March of 2008. I was feeling flu-like symptoms and had called to get someone to preach for me. I went [...]

By | July 24th, 2017|Categories: Delight in Disorder, Mental Illness|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Is Depression ‘of God’?

In 2013, I partnered with Leanne Sype to begin the process that led to the publication of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. I was thrilled with her work as editor, a crowdfunding consultant,a spiritual adviser, and friend. Here is some of her story. *** I have depression. It’s called “situational depression” because it was induced by the situation of both my kids being diagnosed with mental illnesses. My son has ADHD. My daughter has depression and anxiety, which, for her, include symptoms like self-harm and thoughts of wanting to die. Over the course of navigating treatments, advocating for academic accommodations, and engaging in the bulk of the emotional support for each kiddo, I felt depression slowly weigh down on my chest. *** I once had a Christian friend tell me that anything with the prefix de- isn’t “of God.” Depression fell into that category in our conversation. Whether [...]

By | July 19th, 2017|Categories: Family, Mental Illness|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Grandma’s Soft Hands

She had the softest hands of any woman I ever touched, of any woman who ever touched me. I asked her one time, “Grandma, how do you keep your hands so soft?”  “Dishes. Wash plenty of dishes.” Maybe she thought this would motivate me to do more work around the house instead of constantly burying my nose in a book.  No, dishwashing alone wasn’t the secret of Grandma's soft hands. It was lotion. Tons and tons of lotion. My sister revealed this to me after nearly half a century of going on the washing-dishes-alone-theory. Every baby born to the family for almost five decades felt the gentle touch of Grandma's loving hands as she played with us and prayed with us, as she read to us, as she taught some to work and shook her head at why others wouldn't.  My Uncle Geoff is the one who carries on [...]

By | July 16th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

She had the softest hands of any women I had ever touched, of any woman who had ever touched me. I asked her one time, “Grandma, how to you keep your hands so soft?”  “Dishes. Wash plenty of dishes.” Maybe she thought this would motivate me to do more work around the house instead of constantly burying my nose in a book.  No, dishwashing alone wasn’t the secret of Grandma's soft hands. It was lotion. Tons and tons of lotion. My sister revealed this to me after nearly half a century of going on the washing-dishes-alone-theory. Every baby born to the family for almost five decades felt the gentle touch of Grandma's loving hands as she played with us and prayed with us, as she read to us, as she taught some to work and shook her head at why others wouldn't.  My Uncle Geoff is one who carries [...]

By | July 16th, 2017|Categories: Family|0 Comments

The Social Cycles of Bipolar and Faith: Susan Irene Fox

As I look back on the cycles of bipolar that have tried to steal my life away from me, I am acutely aware of both overt and covert cycles associated with this illness. The overt cycles are mania or hypomania and depression, which is why this brain disease used to be called manic-depression. Some sufferers prefer to use this name because it accurately describes the two polar-opposite cycles we swing through without the middle ground in between. Hypomania is the milder form of the upswing cycling experienced by those who have bipolar 2, the more “benign” form of bipolar. While mania is often accompanied by visions, voices and dangerous behavior, the symptoms of hypomania can be overspending to the point of bankruptcy, risky sexual behavior, or extreme irritability with self or those around us. Depression in bipolar 1 is more extreme, while in bipolar 2 is more frequent. Both [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|Categories: Mental Illness|2 Comments

A Sacred Rest

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-31 Some time ago, there was a law suit filed against a hospital claiming that a young medical resident allowed a person taken into the emergency room to die. The resident had just completed 40 hours of grueling work, without sleep, in this busy city hospital. Sheer exhaustion prevented him from making good medical judgment. In response to the suit the state legislature made it illegal for residents to work long hours without rest. To protect lives, it is necessary that those who care for others care for themselves as well. Many times we made damaging demands on ourselves and [...]

By | July 10th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments