Stress Management During the Holidays (Part 1)

 

Let’s face it, we aren’t going to rid our lives of the stress that abounds. We can learn to say no and clear our calendar of non-essentials. But sometimes even good things – like the holiday season -bring stress!

For the next few days we will chat about ways to support our body’s systems, boost our immunity and manage the STRESS of the holidays! We will chat about some self-care tips along with tried & true methods for handling stress. I have verses to share, practical tips and encouragement to inspire you to be intentional about dealing with the stress that comes with living in the year 2017.

The Bad News

The bad news is, stress takes a HUGE toll on our bodies both physically and emotionally!

You’re sitting in traffic, late for an important meeting, or you’re waiting on the surgeon to find you in the waiting room for an update on your loved one, you just watching the minutes tick away. Or maybe, like me, even taking 3 little toddlers and babies into walmart is enough to raise your stress levels. I have vivid memories of feeling very panicky and so anxious that I had to leave walmart about 12 years ago when I had a 3 year old, 2 year old and baby. Crying babies, toddlers pooping on the floor and dinner being burned in the oven. Stress at work. Stressful relationships.

You can read more about my journey through depression & anxiety here. 

Call it stress, call it anxiety, call it what you will, it affects our health, our emotions, our sleep, our mood…our lives.

Stress is a natural God-given physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Even good things cause stress. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, divorce, job loss, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. God created our bodies to work in this way! Stress can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.

Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being.

 Stress Affects Every System of Our Bodies

Our natural “fight or flight” response to a stressful situation is actually a God-given good thing. However, it’s when we STAY in the stressful mode that our bodies begin to have problems.  Stress becomes a problem when it becomes chronic stress.

The stressful situations cause our body to release stress hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones sort of rev up the parts of your body that need to kick in for the stress. This is good. But, when the hormones continue to be released time and time again, day after day, our bodies are impacted.

We breathe faster, our heart rate is faster, our muscles tense. When our bodies react in this way continually, we are more likely to experience heart trouble, stroke, or chronic pain. Our heart has been working too hard for too long. Our blood pressure is elevated but then doesn’t go back down as a result of the chronic stress.

Your digestive system is also impacted. Maybe your stomach is upset, maybe you can’t eat or maybe you overeat. Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge. Chronic stress may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Your immune system is also weakened by chronic stress. Over time, stress hormones will weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s response to foreign invaders. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like the flu and the common cold, as well as other infections. Stress can also increase the time it takes you to recover from an illness or injury.

The Good News

Hang in there, friends! I know today was full of bad news. However, it’s good for us to have the empowering knowledge that stress does impact every area of our lives.

From headaches to disease, from anxiety to depression and irritability, stress impacts our health, our emotions, our relationships and our mood.

The good news is that there are things WE CAN DO to help MANAGE the stress of our lives! We can be intentional, we can be proactive and we can make wise decisions that will help us to not fall apart (physically and emotionally) under the weight of the stresses of life.

In the next few days I am going to share with you 10 Verses for the Anxious Heart, 10 Essential Oils to Help with Stress, 9 Suggestions for Stress Management and more!

In the meantime, if you want to begin to get your heart focused in the right direction, grab a blank journal and begin writing down what you’re THANKFUL FOR. The big things, the little things, write them all down. Turning our focus from our problems to our abundance plays a HUGE role in how we manage stress!

 Facebook Chat

I recently did a Facebook class on this topic, here is the video where I talk about what STRESS does to our bodies!

Stress Management Series

 

Three Years Later…Lessons I’ve Learned {and Give Away!}

Three years ago in October I began the difficult process of weaning off of Effexor. My path has been topsy turvy to say the least. But God is SO FAITHFUL. He has and continues to teach me so much. His ways are not my ways. He is faithful, friends.

I want to share with you some of the lessons I learned on the other side of the valley. As I have done battle with the enemy and continue to battle for joy, God continues to show up and give me more of Himself.

If you’re reading this in an email, click here to watch my video on the lessons God is teaching me. 

Lessons I Am Learning

We are capable of choosing joy.  I used to believe that I might be incapable of joy. That God had made me with a negative disposition. That I was prone to it and there was no changing it. But God’s Word says we can be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of our minds. God’s Word tells us that He is MAKING US NEW. (See Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

I now know that finding and choosing and DOING BATTLE for joy is a daily, intentional habit. I have to intentionally look for the good. I have to choose to lead a Philippians 4:8 life.

Gratitude can change a life. We can be complainers or we can be grateful. We can look at the world and see all the problems or we can look at the world and see the chance to be LIGHT in the darkness.

Look around today and ask God to open your eyes for you. Ask Him to help you see the blessing amid the suffering. Choosing joy and choosing gratitude doesn’t take the pain or hard thing away. It doesn’t change the fact that we live in a broken, fallen world. It changes US.

Baby steps can make huge changes. We tend to be all or nothing people. We think if we can’t get it all right we are failures. The enemy wants us to think we are failures and can’t get it right. So we don’t even try.

But when we take small steps of obedience, those steps can lead to life changes. What is one area of your life you want to work on? Make a list of small, actionable steps you can take and start today! Start a gratitude journal, drink more water, read 1 Psalm per day, get out and walk around the block…all of those things will propel you to make the bigger changes you want in your life.

Stress management is more important than eliminating all the stress in your life. Our world is stressful. Yes, we can learn to say no. Yes, we need to say no to people pleasing. Yes, having less on our calendars can lead to a more meaningful life.

However, even good things in our lives can bring stress with them. So, instead of continuing to try and eliminate stress, find ways to manage it in HEALTHY ways that will benefit your overall wellness. Stress impacts us in so many ways. If we can find healthy ways to help us thrive in this life, the stress won’t overwhelm us!

The 2 things in my life that are making the biggest impact on my stress management and anxiety levels are 1) strength training and 2) daily, consistent use of essential oils. Learn more about oils on my Love, Mercy, and Oils page. 

Jesus came to give us LIFE and LIFE more ABUNDANTLY. Sometimes the bitterness in our souls leaves us with closed, clenched fists. We have to release the bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts to be open and receptive to the work of the Holy Spirit. With open hands we can surrender to the work of the Lord and receive His gifts.

Isaiah 61:1-3 tells us why Jesus came…and sweet friends, if you have the Spirit of the Living God in you, you too are here to proclaim the GOOD NEWS, to be a vessel of HEALING for the brokenhearted, to proclaim FREEDOM from captivity (just like we’ve been given!) to COMFORT those who mourn, to share with the world that God brings BEAUTY from ASHES. The world needs your story. The world needs your light. 

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

Give Away

GIVE AWAY NOW CLOSED. Kristy is the winner! 

Have you checked out my friend Angela’s shop before? Her stuff is GORGEOUS. She graciously partnered with me to offer this give away! (Hint: if you’re in my oils group already, there is ANOTHER give away happening this month with some of Angela’s stuff!) **If you see an item “out of stock” please message Angela and she will be taking orders! 

You could win:

  • 1 diffuser necklace (pictured above) 
  • 1 bottle of orange oil which is my favorite HAPPY OIL for mood! 
  • 1 $10 Starbucks Gift Card

More from Angela’s Shop

Angela has some gorgeous items that would pair BEAUTIFULLY with an essential oil! Use the owl or unicorn or eye pillows paired with a bottle of lavender. Put a few drops on your pillow and keep it on your bed or let your little one hug the unicorn to calm them.

5 Verses {and 10 tips} For When You Feel Stuck

We all feel stuck from time to time. Or maybe we have lived most of our lives feeling stuck and unable to move forward. The enemy wants us to believe that we are a failure and there is no use in trying again. The enemy doesn’t want us to cling to those new mercies. The enemy doesn’t want us to even believe that there are new mercies or that we are capable of change. The enemy wants us to believe that we are a failure so that we will not move ahead in confidence with God’s purposes for our lives. The enemy wants us feeling defeated!

But, God’s Word tells us differently. God’s Word tells us to renew our minds. To be transformed. That we are a new creation. God’s Word tells us that He is a God of REDEMPTION and TRUTH and LOVE. We must choose to walk in that redemption, to walk in truth and to walk in love. We must believe that we are indeed being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that we can take intentional steps to renew our minds.

No matter how many times we have failed in the past, we must choose to believe in those new mercies, that redeeming love of the Father, and that the Holy Spirit does truly reside in us strengthening us and empowering us to live bold lives of faith.

Do we believe God’s Word or don’t we?

Facebook Talk about Feeling Stuck

{If you’re reading this in an email, click here to watch video.}

5 Verses for When You Feel Stuck

I encourage you to read these verses, write them, pray them, memorize them, place them on cards around your home. If God’s Word tells us to renew our minds, that must mean that IT IS POSSIBLE to change!!

Romans 12:1-2 – be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind! This tells me that renewal is possible!

2 Corinthians 5:17 – you are a NEW CREATION

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – fix your eyes on what is UNSEEN which is ETERNAL

Colossians 3:10 – put off the old man, put on the NEW MAN

Ephesians 4:23 – be RENEWED in the spirit of your mind!

10 Things To Do When You Feel Stuck

Start again. Remember those new mercies. Cling to them. Remember the statistic that it can take (on average) 30 times to quit smoking. What if you gave up on the 29th try??

Get accountability. I would never have continued exercising this regularly had I not been meeting friends! What friend can you ask to text you and ask how it’s going? To hold you accountable? To not let you give up?

Go to be 30 minutes earlier. Getting good sleep is so important to our overall health but also to our motivation. If we don’t sleep well, we wake up tired and grumpy, we aren’t motivated to eat right or do the right things. We stress eat. We give up. We need our sleep!

Remember that your physical health impacts every area of our lives. This goes along with sleep, but our bodies are so intricate that it all works together. If we are tired, we don’t want to exercise. If we don’t feel like exercising, we may not be as motivated to eat right. If our hormones are out of balance we may be depressed. It all works together.

Keep yourself motivated. Figure out what motivates you. Is it a reward? Is it time with friends? Is it listening to podcasts or reading new books? Find what motivates you and do that thing at least a few minutes every single day. For me, listening to books about eating well and how foods affect our bodies is VERY motivating to me…if I listen for even just 10-15 minutes per day, that is like my little pep talk and I feel motivated to make good choices! {Listen to Dr. Edie’s September Morning Mentor videos. SO GOOD & motivating. Click here and scroll down to “Your Morning Mentor videos”}

Be grateful for the journey. Do not begrudge the hard things in life. God is making you more and more into His image by using the things you go through. I would never know such JOY had I not felt such despair for so long. I would never know how GOOD it feels to feel GOOD, had I not felt poorly for so long. Be grateful. Your journey is making you you.

Take baby steps. Don’t try to change the world in one day. Don’t try to eat an elephant in one day. Take one bite at a time. Start small. Small changes lead to big impact. Start drinking more water today. Start walking around the block today. Pick up your Bible and read 1 Psalm today. Get started with essential oils today. 

Change it up. Maybe you’ve been trying to change in one area of life for months or years. You need to try something new. Try a different Bible study or prayer journal. Try a new eating habit. Try a new exercise plan. Change it up.

Seek God first. Don’t leave God out of the equation even if you feel like that thing you need to change isn’t a spiritual thing. God made us mind, body, heart and soul. We are intricate beings. He has told us we can be renewed. To believe Him and to replace the lies of the enemy with TRUTH, we must be READING and STUDYING TRUTH. We must be in God’s Word. Don’t leave God out of your habits and mindset.

Change your thoughts. Memorize Philippians 4:8. Don’t get stuck on the negative. Read this book. Don’t just read it, follow it’s suggestions. Think about whatever things are true, noble, lovely and right. To think about TRUTH, we must be READING truth. We must be in God’s Word. Memorize this verse. Make a list of the things you KNOW to be true. Now THINK ABOUT THOSE THINGS.

Friends, you have Christ in you. He is transforming your life. He is making you new. He is the God of REDEMPTION. Ask Him to help you believe. Ask Him to help you seek His face. Ask Him to help you let go of the past and focus on what is UNSEEN, which is eternal. I’m praying for you as you seek to make these changes!

 

Deal with Stress the Healthy Way

We all have stress. It’s what we DO with that stress that matters. Since finding essential oils and all Young Living’s supplements, God has been healing my emotions, helping me manage stress WITHOUT medication and I just feel better than I have in years.

If you join me in October 2017 with a premium starter kit (wholesale membership, but no monthly requirements!) I will GIFT YOU with a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Go here to get started!  

(Just make sure my number is in both boxes to join our team and our helpful Facebook groups! 3387390!

20 Verses to Pray During the Storms of Life

 

We all face storms. We all have struggles. We all face trials in this life that we would never have asked for.

I’ve lived in this fallen, broken world long enough to know we are all faced with storms. Storms are a part of life as we know it. While we look toward heaven with eagerness and anticipation and hope, we must also face the storms of life with the confidence and hope that God alone is sovereign and He is faithful and true.

Each of us are faced with various storms. No two storms are the same. Some face physical storms in the form of cancer and lifelong disease. Some face emotional storms that bring depression and anxiety on a regular basis. Some face relationship storms and are dealing with rebellious children, prodigal children, divorce or years of family arguments.

While I may not have experienced the storm you are facing, I have faced my own storms. And I am learning that I simply must fix my eyes on Jesus during the storm or I will drown in the flood of it all. These verses that I want to share with you help me to fix my eyes on Jesus and to remember truth and hope in the midst of despair.

We must stand on the promises of God and tell our hearts that He is faithful.

{If you’re reading this in an email, click here to get your FREE PRINTABLE}

Standing on the Promises 

hymn lyrics by Russell Carter

Standing on the promises of Christ my king,
through eternal ages let his praises ring;
glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
standing on the promises of God my Savior;
standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Click here to print your free PDF: Storms of Life 

Praying the Scriptures in Every Season

Praying God’s Word has transformed my prayer life. When we have no words, we take His. We speak them, whisper them, pray them right back to the One who gave them to us. And with His Word, He changes our hearts.

Find ALL 16 of my Praying the Scriptures documents in one easy PDF download in my shop for $5.99! (These have been updated and revised from all my old Praying the Scriptures documents over the years.

Find Praying the Scriptures in Every Season here!

 

Open Your Eyes

When you look for blessings, you find them.

Two summers ago when we bought this house we didn’t know what the trees would look like in fall. Fall is my favorite season and every year I love driving around finding new beauty everywhere I look. The heavens declare His glory!!

But God knew.

And He gave me 2 trees with my favorite color of fall leaves on them. Right in my front yard where I sit on my porch every morning. The yellow-orange are my favorite.

I happen to look at those leaves and those trees as little love notes from God straight to me. He loves me so personally. He loves us enough to give us little gifts if we will but open our eyes!

This time of year is such a beautiful reminder that change and growth are beautiful, life-giving gifts from God.

Change can be hard. But change can be good. From pruning and stretching and change comes growth. From the struggle comes a nearness to Jesus that we might never have known otherwise.

Count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done.