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Relax, de-stress & take hold of God’s best

Can I be really honest here?  I am NOT good at de-stressing.  I don’t do REST well.

I’m really great at creating checklists, completing tasks and just getting stuff done.

Out the door by 6:30 a.m. to work, come home, cook, clean, run errands, play with the dogs, fall in the bed. Do it again tomorrow.

Why Not REST and DE-STRESS?

Just sit and be still for awhile. Admonishment from the hubby.

Take time to relax, go to the beach. Advice from my mom.

And she’s not wrong…I live 30 minutes to an hour from MULTIPLE beaches.

My excuse for not resting…for not unwinding and ridding myself of stress?

I have too much to do…I’m busy.

REST is as important as work.

One of the Core Values of our women’s ministry at my church is REST.  Therefore, as a leader I am earnestly working on improving in this area.

4 Things to help you de-stress and relax

Here are a few things I have found to be tried and true…to get me focused back on Him, settle myself into a place of calm, and just be.

  1.  PRAY. This always calms me down, no matter how out of control I feel.  Drawing close to my Father this way means peace in my heart. And sometimes that prayer is is simply silence. Just to sit and bask in His love for me is everything!
  2.  READ. Not just my Bible, although depending on what is stressing me, it is my first pick. But when I just need to zone and not think about things for a bit, I usually turn to one of three book types: faith-based, history (Civil War, Native American, Revolutionary War) or mystery books. Reading is my happy place – I have always, always loved a good book and even more I just love words.
  3.  GO OUTSIDE. Take a walk, or just sit on my patio. Take in nature. Consider all of the beautiful things the Lord has made. It never fails to calm me.
  4.  WATCH/LISTEN. Watch an uplifting movie (think Hallmark or inspirational films) OR listen to uplifting music. Taking my mind to a more positive place that allows me to decompress from stress. Inspirational music especially helps shift my focus from me and the busy I’ve allowed to cramp itself into my life. 

Relax, de-stress and take hold of God's best

Give God top priority

De-stressing and taking time to let go and loosen up reminds me that HE is the reason for everything and that all I do is to be done to His glory.

If too many other things are screaming for my attention it is time to let some of those things go. I only want to pursue His best for me.

And if I feel I cannot take relax time, de-stress, time, unwind and be with Jesus time, then He cannot give me those best things. I won’t have room.

I hope one of these will be helpful for you as you learn to de-stress better.  

Hymns that inspire, revive and heal

I grew up attending church. Hymns were part of my childhood, from the simplest “Jesus Loves Me” to “Amazing Grace”.

Having a love for music, I have a great appreciation for those old school hymns.

Hurt in need of healing

Sometimes, when life has gut punched me and I find myself falling to my knees, those old hymns are the only music that will do.

Modern worship is beautiful, however, it doesn’t connect as deep in my soul as these tried and true songs do.

They bring me back to a time when things were simpler, less complicated, less chaotic and less burdensome.

They revive me. They heal me.

Hymns that Inspire, Revive & Heal

One of my favorites has always been “All Hail the Power”.

Memories that inspire

I remember singing this as a child, standing by my grandmother in a small church in rural south Georgia. I remember her slightly off key soprano…tremulous and soft the older she got.

I remember singing not just one stanza or chorus. Oh no, we would sing every stanza, every chorus…each more jubilant than the last.

No fancy organ. No drums or guitars. Just the piano. And the voices of a united congregation lifting up their Savior.

Future of Faith

I remember even then, not wanting worship time to end. I couldn’t have told you a reason why then.

I just knew it felt good to be standing there, holding her hand, singing.

It made me happy. It made my grandmother happy. It seemed it made everyone in the room happy.

And when I hear it now…it still makes me happy. Oh but now I know why!

It is the joy of being saved by grace. It is the grace that flows from His throne to my frail human form. It is awe at how marvelous and excellent He is! These hymns inspire, revive and heal our souls.

5 Tips for New Bloggers

Although I have been blogging for over 10 years, I have been anything but consistent.

As such, in many ways I am still working to figure out this blogging thing myself.

A calling, a mission

Almost three years ago, I felt God laid on my heart a ministry need for women. To share my experiences and testimony in order to encourage others.

Ok, so that is the reason many women do women’s ministry right?

Many women’s ministries I am familiar with however, address those who are married with children.

I am married, but no kids. Not able to have children. Multiple chronic conditions.

And my marriage has had some serious ups and downs. Our family has been through a lot of grief and loss.

These struggles are the testimony I feel God wants me to bring forth in transparency. To show other women like me that there is hope. That God redeems and restores.

That He is enough.

So what does that have to do with blogging advice?

You need a strong why to offer a mission and vision that your readers can relate to. And then the work begins.

5 blogging tips pin

Commit to the work

Here are the 5 things I am committing to this next year to grow this ministry God has given me.

  1. Make time to write daily. Not everything you write will wind up on your blog. BUT, the more you write, you will get better at crafting your stories, you will bring new ideas to fruition and you will figure out how often you should post based on the time you can commit.
  2. Learn Social Media. You can use all the platforms, but you don’t have to. If you are new to social media, I suggest picking one that you like best, and learn everything you can about it to leverage your blog. Grow that platform, then learn another one.
  3. Take a class. There are some great bloggers in the ‘sphere that offer courses on blogging and social media. Research, find one you like and that is highly recommended and take a course, follow their accounts and learn.
  4. Join a writing community. This has been a big help for me. Facebook has some great faith based writing groups. They consist of seasoned writers…and us newbies. They are places to share your writing, ask questions and get tips. They kind of rock!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/kingdombloggers/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1883153105322982/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1636189639833806/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/saltandlightgroup/
  5. Get good with graphics! A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Your graphics that you use on social media and your blog are what draws people in first. And you don’t need to be an actual graphic designer to make cool designs. My secret weapon…and it’s free…Canva. Trust me, you will love it!

 

 

I hope these tips get you thinking of things you can do to commit to improving your blog and your writing in general.  I have a long ways to go before I would call myself an accomplished blogger so if you have some tips for me I’d love to hear them…shoot me a comment will ya?

Favorite Blog Posts…

Favorite blog posts

For those who may be new to my blog, today I thought I’d do a round-up of my favorite posts to date.

All of these were written at different points of pain or struggle in my life. Writing allows me to journal through those experiences to grow and heal. It’s been a tool I’ve used since I was a child.

Even the act of writing is soothing to me.

My prayer is that these posts will touch others and help them grow and heal as well.

8 Favorite Blog Posts

Returning to my first love
Do You Know How to Fight Right?
Hope in everything but God
Outside vs. Inside
Darkness cannot stay where there is light
5 important promises when everything seems to be wrong
Guest post on marriage on With Purpose with Lo Tanner
Not so different

If God uses any of these posts to speak to you, would you drop a comment and let me know?

Be blessed.

Lessons learned from my mistakes

It’s not comfortable to talk about mistakes that we’ve made in our lives.

Thinking about past mistakes can take us to a place that is very distressing, one that we wish we could forget.

Even the thief on the cross was ashamed in his moment of being forgiven. It is our humanity that makes it so.

Thankfully, on a very similar cross, our Lord and Savior took our shame when he took our sin.

So our biggest mistakes do not hold sway over us anymore. They cannot haunt us. Oh, Satan will taunt us with them, but friend, you don’t have to listen.

My biggest mistake

I’m honestly not sure I can point to one single thing as a big mistake in my life. What I think of, is a series of things, that given the chance I have thought many times that I would change.

Hindsight and Godly wisdom has shown me that to have changed those things though would be to change who I am today.

And while there are things that I would certainly improve, I am coming to really like who I am today.

Lessons in adversity

Lessons learned from my mistakes have been unpleasant processes. However, throughout the Bible, we see God use mistakes in people’s lives to bring about good works. Kingdom work.

It’s messy. It’s chaotic and drama filled. It’s painful.

Could God accomplish his work differently? Of course He could. But we would not grow in the same way if we did not go through the fire.

Diamonds. Pearls. Forged steel.

All go through types of adversity to reach the beautiful ending we all desire.

Lessons learned from my mistakes

3 Things I’ve learned from my mistakes

  1. Seek Godly counsel in trials, not popular culture. If the people we confide in approach problems with a worldview instead of a Biblical one, we will find ourselves spiraling deeper into an already troublesome situation.
  2. Act with patience. One thing I can definitively point to in every mistake I have made…acting rashly. Letting emotions control me. When we “listen to our heart” it will often lead us astray. Feelings fade, actions last. Be patient before making 5 minute decision that will affect the rest of your life.
  3. Admit your mistake quickly. Excusing your mistake or running from it by trying to cover it with a good story (let’s be honest, cover it with lies) will only exacerbate the issue. Take responsibility. Apologize where needed. Commit to better actions for the future.

Moving on from mistakes

Lessons learned from my mistakes are what has brought me to where I am now. Unfortunately, it may take others awhile to get past your mistakes. Perhaps some will always see you through that lens.

Take heart that your Father doesn’t.

God knows we will make mistakes. He is not surprised when we stumble. Trust Him with your sin and humble yourself before Him. He is waiting with forgiveness, grace, and mercy that will cover over all of it.