Unconditional Love….

My thoughts on gay marriage & how we must proceed if we truly love God…..

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Although I do not support gay marriage or any other marriage not defined as in the Bible between man and woman, I support the fact that God loves us all the same.

With that said, I think during this moment in our country, we have to be sensitive and not bash or bully because we are upset and frustrated. Our laws are changing & whatever our leaders are doing they can not change what is written in the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit. We do have to love our gay brothers and sisters unconditionally and throughout whatever struggle that they face as their trying to walk their walk. This is going to be the hardest for people who do not understand and comprehend God’s grace, love and mercy….my friends it is unconditional. If you’ve cheated on your spouse, murdered in your mind, committed fornication, lied, stolen or stomped on another person just because you could, then God loved you unconditionally & kept you here although according to the Bible (before Jesus died on the cross for our sins) you would have been killed for your sins.

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Therefore, we can not try to isolate people because we ‘see’ their sin outwardly and everyday. We have to love them unconditionally, because everyday they walk this earth they are judged more harshly then the person who murdered a child in cold blood because he thought he could (just like Moses from the Bible before his transformation). We have to remember that everyone is the same before God, there is no favoritism…so God loves that gay person just as much as He loves you and guess what you have to deal with it because it’s the truth.

I won’t deny these days are getting harder to raise children and teach them morality because the laws are trying to change morality based on what’s ‘technically’ best for our country to socially and economically thrive. While we teach morality we have to teach our children to not bully, hate or judge because someone is different from them. This is universal or agape love & it does not respect race, gender, religion, socio-economic background or political status. If you love God, then this is what He calls you to do in this time & every time. I’m not perfect, but every now and then God will allow a sinner to deliver a perfect message because it comes through His spirit. #OneLove #iLive #SuicidePrevention #AgapeLove

Thank you for reading,

Monique M. McDowell

iLive Campaign Founder

Disclosure:  The iLive Campaign is designed to address every issue where suicide is a risk factor. The opinions and views are written to support and encourage groups and not meant to isolate or judge. It is also important that all written views are not the same, that they are respected to keep an environment of acceptance. Please refrain from posting negative comments that may be offensive to groups mentioned above. The iLive Campaign is privately funded and is not a 501c3 organization, therefore this organization can freely express views on religion without risk of losing funding.

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Samurai Song by Robert Pinsky

Positive poetry creates positive thoughts….get caught up in your favorite poets this month….

Start day one with this amazing and timeless poem…

Samurai Song
by Robert Pinsky

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.

We salute poetry that empowers and uplifts from within. Robert Pinsky has created a timeless piece here that I use in my ‘So You think You Know Poetry?’ program. I allow youth to analyze this poem and tell me what they think the author meant in each line…it’s amazing what young minds come up with. They often amazed at the real meaning behind this poem. Dig deep and discover something powerful in this poem today and share it with a friend who suffers with low self-esteem, depression or suicidal thoughts.

Seeds planted today can bring a harvest later.

Long live poetry!
– For more poetry visit http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22241#sthash.SOGuQ8OE.dpuf

You Are So Beautiful

Once I came home from the Miss Plus America Pageant I was contacted by a reporter who was interested in my story because I knew that just competing in the pageant had changed me for the better. I knew my journey wasn’t over yet. Suddenly my weight was all over the internet (with a typo in my favor Thank the Lord!), and comments were being made left and right. I didn’t know what to do! I was losing a battle with myself for control of the fear of mirror again. For the longest time I avoided mirrors because I couldn’t stand what I saw looking back at me. I had to learn 2 very key things. 1. Haters are always gonna hate, but I’m just gonna be me. I had to stop reading the comments and still be me and do what I needed to do to over come my illness day after day and live in a happy marriage. 2.

I love that ‘they’ is in quotations because who are ‘they’? and why do they matter SO much?

In turn I started thinking that I needed to start standing up and telling what I had been through to the world. That I had been diagnosed with mental illness and that recovery is possible. I had to go through my process mostly alone until I met my amazing husband.

All in all, YOU are Beautiful  Just because you are human and you have the capability to love and do good you are beautiful. Now I have a challenge for you, Go to the bathroom right after your done reading this and look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful 3 times and mean it, truly mean it. How did that feel? Awkward a little bit? It did for me but you get used to complimenting yourself. Get used to it because you should!

*Hugs* Mrs. Classic Beauty ‘13 Victoria Donate an Angel to Mental Health

Hope, Fact or Fiction?

Many times throught the process of growing up and trying to go through my life and find serenity people would tell me, “Have hope for a better day” or “Just Hope and Pray it will get better”.  I don’t know how many of you have heard of the book and now movie “The Secret”, however I do believe some in its philosiphies in the way that the more you think about and put out there to the universe what you want to get out of your life the more you will get out of it.

Have you ever had that one girl friend (Or guys that one buddy) who will complain to you that no matter what they do they seem to attract losers and can never find that perfect significant other? Yet they still live in thier parents basement and don’t have a job and have no ambition to get a job? See where I am going with this? On some level you have to want it bad enough to do something about it. Hope is the same way. There is a difference between just wishing something will happen and hopeing for it and letting that spark of hope light you up and fill you. Any thing can squelch a spark a gust of wind, someone stepping on it, one wrong word… Lets look at these pictures,

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Now in particular I wanted to say out loud now that there have been countless times that people have said something that hurt me and sent me into a spiral of a depression cycle. Did I believe that there was Hope for tomorrow? No to me at that time it was Fiction. But I am here to tell you right now that Hope is a FACT but it is just a springboard on to bigger and better things. Don’t give up hope ever, Let the Spark fill you so you can become someone and rise to something better. I know its possible 🙂

*Hugs* Tori

Glass Half Full, or Half Empty?

We all have heard the old saying “Is the glass half empty, or half full?” So basically the person is asking are you a pessimist, or an optimist  This my friends is completely and utterly unfair and I will tell you why. One day, I was just having a really bad day. Work was not going my way, I woke up late, felt horrible, and I felt I looked horrible. When I got home from work, I just started talking and one thing ended up gong wrong and my husband just looked at me. I looked back at him and I said, “I am being a ‘glass is half empty’ kind of person aren’t I huh?” He smiled, chuckled, picked up our little dog and sometimes we do do this, put her on her hind legs and said in a little high voice  “Mom, The glass is never half empty, and it’s never half full because it’s ALWAYS full! You just don’t see it because the other half is air.” I swear to you my mouth fell down through to our downstairs neighbor’s floor. That had never had occurred to me before in my life. Even though I had had a crappy day, somehow, this man who probably had a crappier day than me managed to turn this rant in to a learning experience. One of which I will never forget.

Now, I put this to you. Take a look at this picture.

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My first thought when I saw this, was man that sucks. My second thought was everyday I am the driver, aren’t I? I have control over my life. So, how can I be the bug on my own dag-on windshield  Good question huh? If you come up with an answer to that question, please leave it in the comments, cause I would like to hear it.

All in all, It turns out life is what we make of it. Life is also what our attitude is towards it. We can choose what our attitude is. It’s hard, I know, but the glass is always full. *Hugs* Mrs Classic Beauty ’13

Christmas Lights

My Mother once told me you could tell how well someone handled frustration by how well someone handled putting tangled Christmas Lights on a Christmas Tree. I can tell you one thing, I do not enter the room until my husband has the lights up on the tree because i don’t want to cause an argument because I do it differently than he does. Part of my job is working with upset people on a daily basis and I can tell you that that part of my job is no tea party, but I have learned a thing or two as this is not my first BBQ. When someone is upset there is usually an underlying cause.  Secondly they WANT to talk about it they just don’t want you to know that.

Think about what makes you tick. What/who makes you itch? Oftentimes I have to stop myself and say “Whoa there time to just calm down and back off.”  This often comes to mind…

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I have to remind myself I am only human and I have to allow others to be too. It was SUCH a revelation to myself. I had to make those allowances for not only myself but for others. Don’t forget to do this for yourself!

*Hugs* Mrs. Utah Classic Beauty ’13 -Tori

Resolutions

I know its been a little while! Forgive me friends as I have been ill and traveled to an area of the country with no cell phone service or wifi. I have been thinking  a lot lately what makes a resolution different from a goal. In turn what makes a goal different from a Dream? As a child Cinderella taught me that A Dream is wish your heart makes, when your fast asleep. So does that mean my subconscious rules my “dreams”? Medically yes. Other than that? NO! Dreams are possible! We can make them a reality depending on the dream. Now if I said it was my dream to be a billionaire and running a safe house for women do you think all of that is achievable over night? Probably not. However if I really wanted this then it is a possibility over time.

Allow me to indulge in a personal story for a moment. When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to play in the dirt and read my books. I had no interest in other people and I wanted to live in a fairy tale. I grew up and got married. This whole time I had been watching Miss America dreaming that one day I would be pretty enough or skinny enough to be up there with those women who had done so much good in the world it seemed like. Come on ladies you know what I am talking about! Then one day I saw an ad for plus size pageantry. I was not a girly girl, I didn’t know how to walk in heels, hated skirts (Still do at times), and didn’t even really know how to do my make-up. But that 6 year old me looked up at that ad and screamed YES! I can have the chance to be one of the amazing women even if I am married and a college student! It was a Dream I had long forgotten and put to dust.

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Some dreams are learned. Sometimes we have to find new ones. But these two posts above are true and they taught me a lot on not giving up on myself. All in all a resolution is nice but instead of new years resolutions we have new years Dreams and then turn them intro reality! All I know is that tomorrow is a whole new day for me to get 1 day closer to that dream. -Kiss Kiss Utah

Recipe For a Warm Heart

Recently I was asked what made me unique. I gave the person who asked me this a little bit of a blank stare until I realized that I sometimes do not have a “filter” between my brain and mouth. Some other things that I thought were a little unique about myself are I get my best Ideas in the shower, I can suck my nostrils in all the way, and most importantly I have cold hands. You may look at me and say what in the world is unique about that? Well have you ever heard the phrase warm hands Cold heart? I think you are getting my drift.

With the time of year we have we are talking about giving to others, giving service and being a kind generous person.  Before we can give of ourselves we must first be stable enough mentally, physically and emotionally to give. We need to understand how our minds function for us individually and how to go out into the world and seek the positive.  I know for me I need to take a shower before bed to de-stress from the day and laugh some during dinner.  To have a Warm heart I have to consciously “feed” it with the positive things of the world as we seem to be constantly bombarded with the negative trying to tear us down.

I would like you to look at the following as a potential for your recipe for a Warm Heart;

Trail Mix Fab Cat

Treat

Camel

 

I hope these made you smile. These are some of my favorite pictures that when I need to put a proverbial space heater on my icy heart that I go looking for to make me laugh.

For each individual the process of finding your recipe per se will be different and also for each illness, if you have one, it will be different. I feel most comfortable at home with my Dogs and Husband or even alone ,as I live anxiety and Depression and not want to get the feeling tat someone is judging me for doing what I need to to keep my heart warm and myself happy. I like searching for pictures of inspirational quotes, funny pictures, or pictures of beautiful places like Ireland or anything of the clear ocean.

What is Your recipe for a Warm heart? Please feel free to share so that we can all learn from each other.

*Hugs* Mrs. Classic Beauty ’13

Find the Happy Place

When I hear this phrase I tend to giggle for several reasons. 1, It makes me think of Finding Nemo and that movie makes me happy 2, My husband has a funny story about a psychiatrist session where they worked on finding his mental happy place.

For some people finding their “Happy Place” is being in a physical place, for others it is simply a state of mind, while for others yet again it is different. One of the things I have learned about myself is that I can never be in a “Happy place” while I am stressed so much my toes want to curl and I want to rip my hair out. I don’t know about you but its really not that much fun.  One thing that I have had to tell myself is

 

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I am a worrier so I often times can easily create stress for myself with out even knowing it.  Unfortunately I have become very well acquainted with tension headaches. However on the bright side I have become quite adept at getting rid of them!

One of the things I was taught to do was to create a basket or box of things that I can go to that will make me smile when I find I need it most. It contains things such as, My first movie ticket (You know when they were less than an arm and a leg), The first letter my husband ever wrote me, An Angel he crocheted for me etc. What would yours have in it?

When in Crisis

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My friends, tonight I will brief and to the point. In the past few days, I have had to face some personal challenges that had I had been given the choice I would not have chosen them for myself. In times such as these, it’s who we surround ourselves with people that can either build us up, or tear us down. I know everyone is busy with the holiday season fast approaching and I myself am busy with family in town and doing a remodel blitz per se with my parents.

When we hit the critical points in our lives when we need help or something more than ourselves  it is easy to recognize those moments, but hard to say we need help. We need to listen to our bodies and our minds. We know what is best for us. No one can tell us that but us. Being one who lives with mental illness on a daily basis, I have to constantly remind not only myself, but those around and closest to me, that when I say I need to go to bed, I need to go, or something is not right, that I have to do that, because there is no question.

In time of crisis, we need to know how to best seek treatment. Just as in times of calm, we need to know how to best make a reserve, so when in crisis  we can make it through. All in all, the hard times come, but we are still here.

-Kiss Kiss Utah