Public Speaking and Homeschooling

Do your kids love public speaking?

Can you picture your kids being up on stage talking and presenting?

Do you picture your kids being good leaders one day?

How many hours a week, or a month or a year, have you spent in building public speaking skills with your children?

Running a clinic with multiple doctors and staff requires my wife and me to review countless resumes and interview many people. Many people flunk their interview within seconds simply because they were either not able to hold eye contact, were overcome by anxiety, or were not able to think critically under pressure when answering questions.

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking, and it is one of the most common phobias in the world. Whether people realize it or not, their career and life decisions are often decided by their public speaking skills. Some people may choose to pursue a career where they will interact with many people daily. Some may choose to do the opposite, where they will work in private, or have less interaction with people. If your kids learn to speak in public today, they can prepare themselves to speak properly in public, and to manage the fears of presenting in front of others for the future. To put it simply, your children’s future careers may depend on these skills.

We all want our kids to do well when they grow up. We want them to be confident enough to be on stage, especially when God opens doors for opportunities to influence others. We want them to be leaders. Our family intentionally decided to invest in public speaking skills and stage presence skills when homeschooling them on a daily basis. I’d like to share some ideas you may find useful in your homeschooling journey.

MEMORIZATION

There are three benefits of memorization. The first is emotional health benefits. Remember that the brain is a muscle that must be exercised. There is a part of the brain called the hippocampus which is in charge of making and keeping memories, and partly responsible for managing emotions. People with Alzheimer’s disease have their hippocampus fail first and severely before other parts of the cortex fail. People with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizoprenia have a hippocampus that shrinks gradually.  The hippocampus also is now known to control the hormone estrogen, which controls emotions and mood changes.

By training yourself and your kids to memorize things, it may prevent you and your children from depression, anxiety, mood changes, Alzheimer’s, and other mental illnesses!  

The second benefit of memorization is, as your children spend time memorizing passages, tables, and poems, they learn to focus. Studies have found that students who were required to memorize from an early age often go on to have more capacity to focus on educational tasks as high school and college students. Researchers from the National Institute on Health and Aging have found that adults who went through short bursts of memory training were better able to maintain higher cognitive functioning and everyday skills, even five years after going through the training. Practicing memorization allowed the elderly adults to delay typical cognitive decline by seven to 14 years!

The third benefit is increased confidence.  When a child learns to do something difficult, they earn a great sense of accomplishment. This is especially true where plays or presentations are concerned; children often receive praise or even applause after they recite a poem or act in a play, which increases their self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.

Start with a simple task such as memorizing short Bible verses. This is something you can even do with a two-year old. Ask them to do it while standing up before meals and during morning and evening worship times. Ask them to keep their eyes focused on you and to speak clearly with a smile on their face. I make it more personal and understandable by modifying some of the Bible verses so they can understand the meaning of them. Here are 12 simple verses that you can use for each month of the year or the first six months of the year (two verses a month, depending on your child’s ability to memorize):

    1. Numbers 6:24 The Lord bless you and keep you.
    2. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
    3. Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world.
    4. Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey Mommy and Daddy in the Lord.
    5. Matthew 28:20 Jesus said He is with me always.
    6. John 10:11 Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd.
    7. Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
    8. Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.
    9. Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
    10. Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    11. Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in Jesus.
    12. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Some kids who are kinetic learners will find it easier and enjoyable to memorize Bible verses while doing an activity such as running in circles, hula hooping, dancing to a song, doing signs or hand gestures, etc. Make sure to repeat these verses daily during dinner time or worship time.

Older kids can start memorizing a whole chapter of a Bible or a long passage. Have them present to you during morning or evening worship, or in the middle of homeschooling session in between subjects. Even better, parents should also memorize these passages and maybe even do a competition with the older kids!

This will not only help them understand important spiritual lessons, but also help their brain cells to handle large amount of information which improves their cognitive functions. Here are a few ideas of important Bible chapters or passages that older kids and adults should memorize:

    1. Numbers 6:24-26
    2. The Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
    3. The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:1-12
    4. The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:5-15
    5. Psalm 23 & 46
    6. 1 Corinthians 13
    7. Romans 8 & 12

REGULAR GIGS, AWARDS, AND REWARDS

As mentioned previously, when children receive applause and praises, their sense of self-worth and confidence are also increased. Even better, treat them with rewards or awards every so often.  

  • Have them present what they just learned from science or history lessons in the morning to the rest of the family during evening meal.  Ask them open-ended questions: “What did you learn about amphibians this morning? What did you learn about the Egyptians today?”  
  • Morning and/or evening worship times are perfect for them to present a Bible verse or chapter.  
  • Have the kids present what they memorize in front of church as part of the worship program or Adventist Youth program.  
  • Challenge other kids in their Sabbath School class to memorize verses and passages as well, and have them present during church service.  
  • Have your kids present their school project or what they learned this past week to their grandparents or family friends when they visit.  
  • Make a calendar with goals of which passages to memorize for the month and for the rest of the year.

USING VISUAL AIDS AND PROPS

Just like with a science presentation, help your kids with their speaking presentation using visual aids and props. I have been invited to be a judge at the local schools’ science fairs, and it’s always interesting to watch how some kids with average project can shine because of their public speaking skills, while some kids with average or amazing projects end up not winning because of their presentation skills. Younger kids can start with simple objects, while older kids may use slideshow software or props.  

Have your children be involved in a play at church or school where they get to do speech as a character. Preparing for a role, and preparing visual aids and props — both of these activities teach them to be prepared for their presentation in advance, which will help lessen their anxiety.

JOINING A PUBLIC SPEAKING CLUB

Toastmasters International or other local groups are often found in local libraries or churches. Look up Toastmasters International to find a local chapter. You’ll be surprised how much you and your older children can benefit from attending this weekly meeting of various people from all walks of life who simply want to improve their public speaking skills.  They will give you constructive criticisms, and they will help you to be a better speaker.

Our children at the time of this writing, are eight and four. They do fairly well being up on the podium or on stage with other kids at church or at a dance recital.  However, they still have some stage fright when they are up there by themselves. They are getting better at it, though. The oldest one actually recently asked when she could do special music all by herself. And, both of them enjoy doing mini presentations during evening dinner from what they learned in the morning.

I hope this article is helpful to you and your little ones. We have the responsibility to train our children to be pillars of the church and to be leaders wherever they go in life. Leaders are not necessarily bosses. Leaders are influencers. Everybody is a leader when you can influence others around you.  With the Great Commission as our task, we must equip our children with public speaking skills to reach others and to spread His love.

Maranatha!

Arthur P.

Taking Care of Us

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There comes a time when we start questioning ourselves, when the challenge of parenting, educating, therapy, work, and all the other things we deal with in our lives becomes overwhelming and we wonder if we are doing the right thing, or if we need to let something drop off our list. These are often signs of burnout and fatigue.

We need to make sure we take time to take care of ourselves. Self-care is something I often neglect. It’s important to take care of the whole family, to remember ourselves while we are doing so much. As parents we often put the children first. There are so many things vying for our attention that it is easy to lose us in the process.

There are things we can do, though. We don’t have to go big to take care of us:

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  • Journal – Writing for some is greatly therapeutic! It gives us a place to vent and express our thoughts and feelings in a safe place. Sometimes all we need to do is express it.
  • Be Alone – Sometimes just doing something by yourself is refreshing. Grocery shop without the kids, get out of the house alone, go for a drive, sit in the driveway, just find some silence where no one is able to interrupt.
  • Exercise – Plan something regularly to get out and move! Find what you enjoy — dance, aerobics, yoga, swimming. There are many classes you can enroll in to bring accountability into your exercise program. I once joined Middle Eastern dancing for the fun of it, and I’ve done rock climbing too. Find something different, try something new!
  • Friends – Just spend time with friends. Go out for dinner or to a movie, have coffee, go window shopping. Do something you enjoy with someone you like.
  • Date – This isn’t (just) for single folks. If you have a spouse, make a plan for date night. Take care of your relationship, add some spice to your relationship. Make room in your life for uninterrupted quality time with your partner.
  • Get Creative – Draw, paint, photograph, write, decorate, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, needlepoint, sew… You don’t have to be good at it, you just have to do it. Express yourself!
  • Play – Be social. Have game nights, spend time with friends as a family. Have family movie nights, family games, family outings. Make time for fun. So often we get so focused on raising and teaching kids that we forget to have fun with them. It’s important to make sure our kids know relationships are important too.
  • Know Yourself – Know what you enjoy and go do it. Make time for yourself. If you don’t fit this list, make your own.

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Burnout happens to everyone. We need to be proactive; if it happens, be honest and gracious with yourself. Be purposeful, make appointments with yourself and keep them! Take care of yourself. Remember we show our children how to take care of themselves, and this is something we must model, not teach.

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Teaching Humility

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How do we teach our children to be humble when we so often miss the point of it?

What is humility? How do we protect our children from the sin of pride, while at the same time teaching them that they are valuable and important?

For too many years, I thought humility was to depreciate myself, to cling to my failings and faults in order to refuse value. I thought humility was always being aware of my failings, my sins — to live in degradation because of the things I do or have done wrong…in other words, to continually pay for the consequences of my sins. I have lived in the shadow of seeking to be perfect because I didn’t believe I had value otherwise. I have struggled with teaching my children to be humble because I did not understand humility myself. I have heard parents say they did not want to praise their children’s accomplishments because they didn’t want to teach them to be prideful. I do not want my children to believe they were less than they are. I want them to know I believe in them and I am pleased with their accomplishments!

God has been working on my heart. I have realized that humility is very much like courage. Courage is strongest in the face of danger. A person who never faces a challenge, who never faces danger, cannot be called courageous; so also, a person who does not believe in their value cannot be called humble.

If we do not have an intrinsic understanding of our value, we cannot truly understand humility.

Let’s look at some Biblical examples. Who does Scripture admonish to be humble? At first, it is the Israelite nation. Why? They have intrinsic, God-given value. God made it abundantly clear to them that He held them in high regard. He literally moved oceans, rivers, and armies to prove how much He cared for them. They KNEW, without a shadow of a doubt, that they were chosen to be God’s special people. What did they do with this knowledge, however? A lot of the time they used it to set themselves apart from the other nations. They set themselves up as more valuable than other people because they had God’s favor. So often, they took the special favor given them by God and decided it was their right rather than their gift. They forgot the source of their value. They sought perfection to hold onto His favor instead of seeking Him. They refused to be humble. In turn, they had to be humbled.

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God doesn’t want proud people. Prideful people treat others with disrespect and abuse. He wants us to understand we are valuable and then show others that they, too, are valuable.

Pride is believing you alone are valuable and have the right to hurt or hold others down so you look more valuable than they are.

Then there is self-degradation. Self-degradation is refusing to believe you have value, focusing only on your failings, and believing that you cannot have value until you have achieved perfection. This is disproved in Scripture time and time again.

Self-degradation, the belief that you have no intrinsic value, is pride, not humility. It stands beside pride in believing that you alone are responsible for achieving value.

Though there are many examples through Scripture, you really only need to look at one character to see this: David. David was a simple shepherd, without value in his family of origin, shrouded in mystery, small in size, without anything to recommend him when Samuel anoints him to be the next king of Israel. Suddenly, his life does a complete turnaround and he is pretty much left reeling from the changes. What David does have to begin with is a deep understanding of his value in God’s eyes.

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David understands that all his accomplishments are because God has provided them and protected him. Even knowing that, even understanding that God was beside him and eager to answer any question he had, David was not perfect. Sometimes he forgot to ask God what to do. Sometimes he blatantly chose to sin, such as when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed. Sometimes he made huge errors in judgment because he neglected to check in with God. History, however, tells us that no matter what David did, God continued to show him favor. David didn’t need to be perfect; he needed to maintain his humbleness by remembering where his favor came from, returning to God every time he messed up, and using his favor to help others.

Humility comes from understanding God holds your value; it is a gift meant to be shared. Humility is understanding you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to accomplish it all or be strong enough to sustain life. Humility is remembering where you have come from, what you have survived; it is knowing you have value despite the mistakes and errors made along the way. It is seeing the full journey, recognizing God’s hand in your life and treating others the same way.

This is what humbleness is. Humbleness is knowing intrinsically what your value is and Who it comes from, and helping others to see the same value in themselves.

So, how do I teach my children to be humble? I have to start by teaching them they are valued, that they are loved, that they are important. I need to teach them that their failings and mistakes will never affect their value in my eyes or in God’s. Then, I have to teach them to treat every other person they interact with as valuable also. Only then will they truly understand the meaning of humility.

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Call Me Pastrami on Rye

I have now officially joined the ranks of the sandwich generation.

It’s been three years since my dad died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. The nurses contacted me that morning; perhaps my mom hadn’t answered their call. I was the backup contact.

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We arrived at the nursing home mid-morning; he died around midnight. In the intervening hours, my mother, who has been, throughout her life, solid and stoic, grieved like I’ve never seen anyone grieve. At one point, she had no idea where she was. It was shocking.

My mom was a nurse who became a director in two hospital systems. She was masterful at managing her departments and actually getting rid of ineffectual union-protected employees (at a certain point, they would start transferring when word went out that she was coming in). She was a powerhouse.

That day in December of 2013, I remember watching her sob, so frail after Dad passed away. In that moment, I said to God, “It’s okay. She needs to grieve. But, at some point, I want my mom back.”

It was a prayer that would go unanswered.

My mom has never been the same. It’s like she doesn’t have the same drive or focus. One week prior to my dad’s death, his mother also died. Mom had been primary care giver — despite them both being in facilities — to both. Soon thereafter, she also quit her part-time nursing job that she’d had since she’d retired.

Now she had no reason to leave her apartment.

And, in the last three years we’ve watched, helpless and sad, as she declined physically and most recently mentally.

And so last month, my sister began talking to her about the necessity of her giving up her own apartment that was a financial drain. She has three daughters, and combined with her family and friends and the visiting possibilities, there’s no reason she can’t live with my sister and then travel a bit.

It sounded like a fantastic idea — until she unexpectedly gave notice at her apartment, necessitating a move in with my family until she leaves to live with another sister out of state for several months before finally settling back in with my older sister just north of me.

While it is only a temporary arrangement — Mom will live with us through the first of December — I find myself squarely in a sandwich between the children I’m raising and my mom who needs me.

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With everything going on with my oldest son during the last year and especially this summer, I’ve felt like I’ve lived in such emotionally upheaval! I’m dealing with physical manifestations of my stress; ironically, my shoulder has developed a condition called adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder.

Isn’t it interesting that it’s my shoulders that are suffering? The pain is excruciating at times. And, there’s no reasonable explanation as to what started it. Unless it’s the weight that they’re carrying around.

My kids have mixed emotions about Grandma moving in. I think they’re still mostly excited, and I’m doing my very best to encourage that. I’ve read accounts of other homeschooling families who had unexpected situations come up that have turned out to be huge blessings despite it interrupting schedules and plans. Heaven knows she might bring a bit of structure and routine to our sometimes-crazy household!

My mom was my rock as I was growing up, and now it’s my turn to be her soft place to land. She’s got health challenges that seem daunting, and I’m already praying for wisdom and strength. I guess it’s time to start leaning, even more so, on my real Rock as I face this new situation!

Depression: You Are Not Alone

Depression. The simple definition from Merriam-Webster is “a state of feeling sad.” If you’ve ever experienced it, though, you know that definition is a bit simplistic. What about these words? Lethargy, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, anger, despair, edginess, exhaustion, fragility, grouchiness, insecurity, melancholy, nervousness, pain, sorrow… Maybe one or more of those resonates. In any case, if you ever experience depression, know that you are not alone.

You might be surprised how many of your fellow homeschoolers deal with it on a regular or sporadic or seasonal basis. This can be especially trying when you are striving to do the best thing for your child, but begin to doubt yourself and your homeschool journey because of depression.

A couple months ago, the SDA Homeschool Families group for Adventist homeschoolers on Facebook had an anonymous note posted from a suffering mom. So many members reached out to embrace her, share their own experiences, and give advice. It seemed worth sharing with a broader reading audience.

Below are excerpts from numerous responses. Keep in mind that these are not medical directives from trained doctors or psychologists. Nevertheless, they are the heartfelt offerings of homeschooling parents, many based on their personal experiences. Some are spiritual, some related to diet or supplements, some to outside resources. Others are simple well-wishes and prayers.

I hope that if you are feeling discouraged or depressed, that possibly the words below will offer hope. Following the responses are a few resource sites, including both member blogs and public health information.

 

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The original post:

I am a newbie to homeschooling my girls. I need encouragement, or maybe more than that. I deal with depression and was wondering if…there are any mommas that go through the same thing, and how do they deal with it. A day like today I am very depressed, and I know my Lord loves me, but I am in total darkness now. I do not want to quit homeschooling them, but sometimes I think it would be healthier for them, mentally speaking. I do not want to mess them up. They are so precious to God and me! Please pray if you would. I appreciate your time. God bless you.

 

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Responses:

  • I also battle depression. When my kids were little I had to let go of the dream of homeschooling them for awhile and realize that they were better off in school for a time. This does not mean you are a bad mom. Between my health issues and my girls’ learning issues, it was better for us all. Do not let yourself fall into the trap that if you are in depression you are not a good enough Christian. Depression is caused by so many things, and you need to see a counselor and your doctor. Do not dismiss going on meds! Sometimes we need the help, if only for a little while, or sometimes for the rest of our lives. It does not make you a lesser person. It does not reflect on you relationship with God. You may have a chemical imbalance. I and my daughter take B12 shots. It helps a lot, but we are also on meds. Yes, a healthy lifestyle helps, but depending on how much your depression is affecting you, you may need to use meds to get to the point where you can mentally and physically do those things for yourself. I also have anxiety and have found that getting out, or on a treadmill and walking/running, helps with that….You need to realize that depression is an imbalance, and eating healthy and juicing help, but are not enough for most people to beat depression.
  • I live with anxiety/panic attacks…but I have managed to keep it under control, and without drugs. My advice would be to talk to your doctor about this and get tested to see if you are deficient in something. My doctor found that I was deficient in vitamin D, so now I take drops every day. Also make sure you are getting enough exercise. When homeschooling, it is easy to get into the habit of sitting too much. Do not sit for more than 15 minutes at a time. And, when it’s time for your “workout,” you need the kind of exercise that gets air into your lungs and makes you sweat out the toxins in your body. God be with you.
  • It takes a lot of courage to recognize the need for help. Never underestimate the power of prayer; however, I would suggest that you seek medical care. An examination and blood panel may be beneficial to finding answers. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking medication if it’s what you need.
  • Are you getting enough exercise, water, sunshine, or vitamin D? Have you tried essential oils applying them topically or diffusing them? Essential oils help motivate me. I will be praying for you.
  • I can relate. I started juicing, taking supplements, walking, prayer, and I take time for me. It got better. I also just take one day at a time. I have really good days, and some that are not so good. Praying for you.
  • You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to do what’s best for your family. Playing encouraging music helps. Getting time away each week for Bible study, a walk alone, or a visit to a friend helps perspective. It’s a lot of responsibility and it can be extremely challenging, but remember no one cares about their hearts and education as much as you do. You have a unique, dedicated perspective that can be a great blessing in their lives. Pray for what you are lacking. It takes time, but God will give you what you need. Don’t forget you are not alone! Praying for you!
  • I have been helped tremendously by going through a depression recovery seminar and learning some ways to help deal with depression or to stave off depression when I start feeling it coming on, particularly in the winter months. I make sure I take my vitamin D, try to get in some walking outdoors every day, deep breathing, etc. If your church isn’t putting on a depression seminar, you can still get the info and books by Neil Nedley [see Resources below]. There is also a great book called Telling Yourself the Truth that I highly recommend. It is Christian and talks about recognizing and correcting cognitive distortions. The things we tell ourselves about ourselves can make a huge difference in how we feel, and it’s something I struggle with very often, particularly where my skills as a parent and teacher are concerned. You are definitely not alone in this, especially at this time of year when we’ve been cooped up with our kids and our physical health is typically at the lowest point of the year.
  • Please know that we will pray for you and your family. There is power in intercessory prayers. Just keep pouring everything out to the Lord in prayer and He will bless and guide you. If songs help your faith stay in tune, please listen to the song titled Did You Ever Talk to God, on YouTube. I find that song very comforting and I pray it would do the same encouragement to you.
  • Christ draws close to mothers and is always willing and ready to help with the labor we have. It can be demanding and overwhelming with little to no time to cope ourselves, but God is near. He will heal, equip, and enable you. Hold on; you are wonderful and we serve a wonderful God who will never leave you or forsake you.
  • I take B vitamins, zinc, and maca to stay on top of depression.
  • Neil Nedley’s Depression Recovery changed my life! Now I know the triggers and how to take care of it before it reaches full blown depression. This is nothing to feel ashamed about. There are many who understand, and it’s wonderful that you are reaching out for help!
  • I deal with this every day. A blood work up showed I had hypothyroidism and low vitamin D. My depression also became worse after my children were born, and though I have tried everything else, medication is the best way for me to deal with it. Everyone is different and, just like homeschooling, you have to find what works for you and your family. Prayers and love to you!
  • You’re not alone in your struggles. Will be praying you find some relief! Dr. Nedley’s program helps a lot. It is available where you can just buy the materials and do it at home yourself.
  • First of all, being afraid of messing your kids up is a normal part of motherhood. Don’t let it make you more depressed. But depression is real and needs some kind of help. Try to find some kind of support system. Try out the things mentioned here in this group, and stick with the ones that work for you. Two things that have helped me in addition to the ones already mentioned are learning to be fastidious about keeping your time with Jesus each day, and keeping a gratitude journal. List at least five things in it each day. It will be hard at first, but will get easier. Don’t forget to read back over them when you feel yourself going down. It really helps.
  • Will be praying for you dear. I tend to suffer from this as well. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to get a women’s ministry started? You can meet up twice monthly and pray together and lift each other up in prayer….Big hugs my dear.
  • What helps me: time with God; eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (juicing and smoothies are great); getting the rest I need (which is hard); and remembering that what I do or don’t do, what I achieve or don’t achieve, does not affect my value at all — my value is in being a child of God. Anyway, it’s not so clear-cut and not always easy. Depression is so different for each person. I found Dr. Nedley’s “Depression: The Way Out” very useful.
  • I have a daughter who suffers from dark depression. She has found a much cheerier life since she started taking magnesium regularly.
  • You’re not alone. Most of us go through it. Vitamins B stress complex and D really do help. So does flax meal. And, trusting that God has a purpose and a plan, and that the hard days are not a sign of his disfavor or hopelessness, but precious moments of growth to be entrusted in his hands. Praying!
  • Baby steps…If someone is in the midst of depression, all these ideas can be very overwhelming, especially when getting out of bed in the morning is a great accomplishment. All of the above is good advice, but is not always practical (unless you have help: someone to juice for you, for instance). Depression is serious and you need to realize your limits. Set small goals that can be attained until you are out of the depression. Depression recovery is a great program, but can be overwhelming if you are in the midst of it. That doesn’t mean I don’t recommend taking it in the midst of it. It means just take it one day at a time. Don’t beat yourself up. It is okay to make yourself a priority. On an airplane you put the mask on yourself first so you can help your loved ones. As moms we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. The Lord will get you through even if it seems to take longer than you would like.

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5.

 

Resources:

www.kindlingdreams.com
“I used to suffer from horrible depression. I was on a bunch of meds also. Now, I do not suffer from it or any of the other diagnosis they gave me, and I am off all medications. I wanted to help others, which is why I earned my MS in mental health counseling. It is possible to get better. I am living testimony to that.”

http://depressionrecovery-friend.blogspot.com/
“There are so many people who suffer with depression and anxiety, and having been there in a BIG way, I understand the struggle. I also understand and rejoice in the cure. Yes, I am bold enough to use the word cure even though traditional treatment tells us (as my doctor did) that depression and anxiety can only be treated, not cured…. I’m now a director in our local area for the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program [see next resource below] where I have the privilege of watching other people recover, too. Depression is real!! Sometimes well-meaning Christians tend to give the message that if we’ll just pray harder or have a stronger will, depression will leave us. That attitude is a disservice. Prayer is definitely a huge part of healing, but we need to acknowledge that depression and anxiety happen to Christians just like anyone else. If we break an arm, we don’t counsel each other to just pray harder. We expect to get help for that broken part of ourselves before we end up handicapped. Depression is the brain saying that it’s broken. But, it can be fixed and does not have to leave us handicapped for life.”

http://depressionthewayout.com/
This site is home to the Neal Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery program mentioned in several previous responses.

www.adventistwomensministries.org
This site has a program you can go through for yourself or in a small group or use for training. Its is called “Thinking Well, Living Well,” and it is in the Resource section of their website: http://www.adventistwomensministries.org/index.php?id=970.

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-resources
There’s a wealth of information about depression on the Internet. Here, WebMD doctors have selected the finest professional organizations that can help people gain a better understanding of living with depression and other mental health conditions.

http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/ask-and-learn/resources
This is a huge list of resources from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
The National Institute of Mental Health provides lists of definitions, symptoms, risk factors, treatments and therapies, and clinical trials.