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.

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.

5 Important Promises When Everything Seems to be Wrong

I wrote this 4 years ago, after a 9/11 remembrance ceremony…

Goodnight my dear, lay down your head and drift away to dreamland
No fear here though we don’t forget we don’t dwell in sorrows
Tears made wet this sleepy space 14 years ago this night
Awakened to a new morn where the light did not shine as bright
Normal is not as it once was yet normalcy is regained
Bitterness lends way to a gentle pain
So close your eyes and know that there is safety to be found
Yes, peace and comfort, love again on this earthly ground
Store treasured memories in your heart to glimpse from time to time
The place where love and great loss were forever intertwined.

When we remember this event, do we simply pause on that date as so many did yesterday, then go on unchanged and untouched? 

Do we read a few stories, peruse a few updates on survivors and what they are still suffering through, and think “Wow, that is so sad”, yet, return to the everyday of our own lives, not really feeling much regarding the sorrow of these “others“?

We should never wallow in the pit, however, remembering what took us there and how God brought us out is important as there are lessons in those moments not to be missed.

Here are 5 Important Promises from God learned while in a “pit moment”:

  1. He will restore us.
  2. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
  3. He will make us overcomers.
  4. He will comfort us.
  5. He will sustain us.

Today’s headlines may not be about 9/11, as that day has been marked in passage for another year.  However, trials and tribulations abound in this fallen world where Satan roars about looking for someone to devour.

We will continue to experience dark times…yet when we run to the light of the Lord Jesus Christ we let that light of His glory shine through us in all the broken places.

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We gain healing, understanding and yes, even joy, when we stand on His promises.

Whatever you are going through today, rest in His arms knowing without doubt that He has your best interest in mind.  He is a good Father to His children and He is constantly at work on our behalf.

 

 

Let Us Pray…

I for one am definitely tired. Tired of all the pain and suffering in this world. Tired of those who are inflicting it on innocent people in the name of religion and especially in the name of God, tired of those who maybe are not so innocent being killed as well, because no one deserves to have their life just taken from them. I am tired of each side blaming the other. I am tired of there being sides!

Love One Another

Simplistic and kumbaya as it may sound, I really just want everyone to love each other and respect each other and look out for each other. It seems like it is too much to ask, it seems like we are simply bent on destroying each other.

The Bible tells us that many will hate us (those who are Christ followers) because of Him…but that does not mean we have to hate them back.

Righteous Anger

Am I angry at those committing these terrible acts? Heck yes, I am angry!

Yet I am also angry at the husband who verbally or physically abuses his wife and children. I am angry at the alcoholic who gets behind the wheel and ends a life. I am angry at the mother who is annoyed by her precious child who just wants a few moments of mommy time. I am angry at the kids who thought it would be funny to torture innocent puppies.

There is much in this world to get angry about. Instead of just being angry and posting about who has caused this or that, and why America is headed to hell in a hand basket, why don’t we all stop…and pray?

God can and will heal

For those who do not know the reference below: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land2 Chronicles 7:14.

One thing we should remember too I feel is that the Lord’s healing of something does not always look the way we humans think it should. Often it is in the trials and tribulations that healing takes place…yet we want the healing without the hurt. Christ wanted that too when he faced the terror of the cross, yet he prayed “Thy will be done“.

Those four words are hard to get out when you feel you cannot bear the pain of the current struggles any longer…just remember that three days in a dark and dank tomb made the difference between death and life ever after…for Christ and anyone who would believe.

We can all do better

So, get angry, but do not stay there…be vocal, but do not let it be in vain. Let us love the unlovable, pray for the perpetrators, lift up the lonely and help (with hands and feet action) the hurting. If we all will do a little, we can accomplish a lot.