Let’s save money on Valentine’s Day this year. You’ll get my 6 simple ways to save money on Valentine’s Day along with a little history about February 14th. Explore my simple and inexpensive gift ideas for you, your family, and your friend; but first I gotta tell you what I learned about this ‘loving’ holiday, it certainly surprised me!
Valentine’s Day originated from a Roman festival. It had nice intentions of celebrating the coming Spring. Because as we know, with Spring comes rebirth. The Romans capitalized on this season and promoted fertility at this time. Side note; if you have a November birthday, your parents probably practiced the Roman tradition. LOL! Anyway, what I didn’t expect was a dark side to this ‘lovers’ holiday.
The Dark side of Valentine’s Day
This Roman festival included, what sounds like, arranged marriages by a lottery. Say what? All I can picture is taking a ticket at the meat counter and waiting for someone to call my name and hope and pray I was attracted to him. This does not sound very romantic, but they did it!
And according to legend, there was a priest whose name was Valentine. The story isn’t clear of whether the priest secretly married people behind the emperor’s back to spare men from war, or if the priest signed a letter to a jailer’s daughter “from your Valentine” which created havoc. Either way, the emperor, Caludius II Gothicus, martyred him! Yes murdered the guy named Valentine.
As for cupid, he represents the Roman god of love. Are you as confused as I am? This holiday is messed up, murder, love, lottery, and a naked baby with a bow n arrow. The Romans back then had some mental issues.
What We’re Spending
I get it that we’re celebrating this guy, Valentine, but “Be My Valentine” or “Will you be my Valentine?” sounds weird to me now that I understand the back story. Frankly put, these days, retailers use the holiday to get more business. In 2019 53% of all Americans spent a grand total of $30 billion. Heart-shaped candies and decadent chocolates get me all the time, but I spend maybe $25- $50 on Valentine’s Day, that’s including dinner. However, the average person spends about $225 on one person. There is nothing wrong with that. Your significant other’s love language may be ‘gifts’. But if you’re on a tight budget there are other ways to go about showing your love.
Save Money on Valentine’s Day with Simple Ideas
The average cost of a Valentine’s card is $4.99. That can add up with kids and even pets. Yes, they have cards for pets. Three kids alone plus a dog could cost $20. Ouch. Here’s a different idea, back in the day, my husband and I were strapped for money, and so instead of buying each other a card, we took a picture of the card in the store then shared the pictures with each other. I know that sounds lame, but it was actually quite fun. There are many benefits to this: it’s inexpensive, saves the environment, and you can keep it on your phone forever! In fact, if you found more than one perfect card, you can take a picture of that one too!
Unless it’s your birthday on Valentine’s Day, big gifts are out, at least in our home. Money doesn’t buy love. Time does. Time with your spouse, friend, kids, and pets says a lot more than the latest video game. What are they going to remember more? The gift and who got it for them? Or will they remember the memory of playing Battleship and Clue and the epic popcorn-launch-in-your-mouth game? Actually, the Game of Clue might be appropriate for Valentine’s Day…remember Roman times? Here’s my skinny on gifts and what we do in my family. Candy.
Candy is instant, enjoyable for everyone, and easy. Get whatever is their favorite sugar bomb. I know it’s not the healthiest, but skip dessert and have the candy instead…don’t forget portion control. My son loves those Sweetart Hearts, my husband is all about Nerds, and me, well, my hands-down favorite of all favorites is See’s Candies. Seriously, these are the best chocolates I’ve ever had. AND they are gluten-free! If you don’t have a retailer near you, you can order online, believe me, it’s worth it. They are SO good!
If candy isn’t your thing, flowers do make a great gift. Here’s the kicker. Keep the flowers simple. They don’t have to be red roses. The jester is what counts. Recently, my husband stumbled upon white roses at Trader Joe’s. He got a dozen for like $7.00. Can’t beat that, and they lasted a long time. They were beautiful. Thank you Trader Joe’s! The other option with flowers is to go for the carnations. They are a simple flower that comes in a variety of colors. A large bouquet is about half the price of a dozen roses (roses not from Trader Joe’s). I personally like to mix carnations and roses together like in this picture.
Besides the gift of time, sweet treats, and flowers, touch is just as important if not more. Touch is another language of love. It’s definitely my husband’s. Intimate time with your spouse or boyfriend is probably all they want for Valentine’s Day. Stop spending your money on other things, just give him some lovin’. As for kids, snuggles or tickle attacks while watching “Be My Valentine Charlie Brown” serve the best of both worlds for the child and mom/dad. Feel goods with hugs and laughs with tickles are a joy to the heart.
Save money on Valentine’s Day dinner
Let’s talk about dinner. If it’s just your spouse/friend with you, you’ll spend an average of $50 at a restaurant. And don’t forget to tip! Oh, did I mention the babysitter? As for time, Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest nights at restaurants. You may have to wait for a table. I didn’t even mention traffic or the weather.
A different option is to have a candlelight dinner at home. This saves time and is a great way to save money on Valentine’s Day. I know it may sound boring, but that’s up to you. Dress up, get some music playing, and have your kids wait on you and play restaurant at the same time. It’s something different to try this year.
At the grocery, you’ll spend at least half of the amount on a meal than at the restaurant. Get some steak, salad, and garlic bread. Start up the grill and “By the Power of Grayskull, I HAVE THE POWER!” Yes, I have dated myself with He-Man. Dinner at home can be fun for everyone! Save money grocery shopping too, check out my tips here!
Final Tips for a Great Valentine’s Day
Lastly, decorating with construction paper hearts tapped on the sliding glass door gets everyone in a loving mood. This is an easy way to save money on Valentine’s Day. You don’t need to go all out with decorations. Keep it simple. It’s a gentle reminder that Valentine’s Day should be fun and not filled with a martyr. Now, don’t forget the chocolate! For more ways to manage money, be sure to check out my post on No More Money Problems.
Want no more money problems? Listen up to these 9 must-do steps. There is no way in predicting tragic storms, destructive earthquakes, virus pandemics, wars, house fires, the sudden death of a loved one, or unemployment. If we could tell our money ‘a tornado is coming, hang on tight’, life would be so much easier. In fact, we can tell our money to do that, but what if we weren’t ready? In knowing how to fix money problems you can do some simple steps. To get started, I’ve got 9 easy-to-do steps to help you manage money wisely starting today!
First things first
First and foremost, remember these times of despair are just that, a time. It’s not forever, it’s not the end of the world; it’s just a season that is visiting for a while. It may seem like an eternity but it will pass like all our other seasons IF you want it to. The hard part is getting through it without much pain. But you must get through it, keep moving forward! Want to know more about motivation? Check out How to Get Motivated: 4 Critical Tips to Start Anything.
Your 1st priority
Your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family. If it’s a spreading sickness, do everything in your power to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Did a storm hit your house? Then get your family to a safer shelter. If you lost your job, then start looking for a replacement job, even if it pays less than the work you had before, just get something going so you have a little income.
When the overall shock has faded, this is usually about a week to 10 days depending on the severity, you can start working on these 9 must-do steps to get your life back on track and put your money problems behind you.
9 Steps to Manage Money Wisely
1. Clean up the unnecessary subscriptions
Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions: magazines, the gym (unless you’re using it), weight loss programs, email subscriptions that you’re not using every week, and might I even say cable TV? When you add all these things up, you will be surprised at how quickly things add up! It will make you sick. Stop giving your money away to companies you’re not using! Again, look at the numbers and the amount of time you use these things. Is it worth it? Is it distracting you from accomplishing your goals?
2. Work on your budget
Having a budget is the BEST tool out there to manage money wisely. Money problems happen when a budget is not in place. What I love about a budget is that it can help you find the holes and to see what holes need to be filled. For instance, my husband and I recently redid our budget and found that we were spending way more than we thought on eating out. Ouch! I like to think of a budget as a treasure hunt or a crime scene. It lays it all out so we can solve the case.
A budget doesn’t need to be restrictive, tedious, or confusing. Keep it simple. Paper and pencil work great. Or step it up to an excel worksheet. I already created one for you that you can use for free. Go to Freebies to get yours.
If you want something beefier that has printable reports I highly recommend Quicken or Quickbooks. We use both for different accounts.
Start your budget out simply. Scale down and only focus on your necessities. This may be hard but look at it from a survival perspective. What can I, or we as a family, live without for two months? Do we have an emergency fund?
Wipe your money problems away by making extra money. There are some amazing side gigs out there that I’ve even done! For instance, you can grocery shop for others. This is actually a fun job if you like the grocery store. There are numerous delivery services that are desperate for people to work. I suggest searching online using keywords like “work-from-home jobs”, “part-time jobs”, and “best side hustle jobs”. There are a lot of opportunities.
Heads-up: Many bloggers say to start a blog. FYI – You’ll be spending more money on starting it than making any money on it. They are only telling you to start a blog to sell their blog-building tools or to exercise their affiliate programs. Building a profitable blog takes time and money, it’s not impossible, but it is a lot of hard work, especially starting from scratch. Just being honest here.
Simply look at what businesses are booming in tough times and then go there and inquire about opportunities. For instance, health care during a pandemic, delivery services, construction workers, or restaurants. Search with an open mind and ask yourself what you would enjoy and be willing to try.
4. DIY (Do It Yourself)
Do things yourself. Ideas in this arena include selling your crafts and creations on Etsy, cleaning your own house, mowing your own yard, and for minor fixes around the home get on YouTube to find ways to fix things yourself. Doing things yourself can help save you money and give you gratification and confidence!
5. Cut Costs
Cutting back on costs can be kind of fun to figure out yet still be content. Things to look at are the number of visits to: the hair salon, getting your nails done, trips to the grocery store, and the car wash. Other ways to cut back are to shop at a lower-priced grocery store, and to be mindful of your utilities: shower or bathe once a day instead of two, turn off the lights when not using that specific room, turn the thermostat down one or two notches, ‘when it’s yellow let it mellow when it’s brown flush it down’, turn the faucet off while scrubbing those pearly whites. Things like that. Here’s a great post on how to save money grocery shopping that you should check out.
6. Sell stuff
Sell stuff through Facebook Marketplace, Mercari, or other trustworthy platforms. This is a great time to declutter your home and really ask yourself if you need certain things. Selling your things is a lot easier these days too. If you don’t want to hassle with a garage sale, sell things online. I have done well using both methods. In my last garage sale, I squashed a money problem using my profits. It felt so good!
7. Be smart
Make smarter buying decisions on the necessities. Okay, toilet paper baffles me, unless you have an underlying condition like Crohn’s, colitis, or cancer, cool your jets on the TP. Simply take what you need for two weeks then manage the toilet paper you have in the house.
Ask yourself if you really NEED a particular item before buying it. Look for deals or coupons. Opt to never buy full price for anything! Always keep your receipt in case you have buyer’s remorse and want to return an item.
8. Whoa-back on large money deals
It’s human to be uneasy during uncertain times, but only allow yourself one day to ‘freak out’. After that, get your battle face on and make adjustments. However, the one caveat to making change is to not make any major financial decisions in the first 7-14 days. For instance, don’t cash in your 401K buy a new car/house, or rank up your credit cards. Put your mind to work and figure out some ways to adjust in ways that help you and not hurt. Put together a budget and get a plan in place.
9. Emergency fund
When all is back up to speed, start to build your emergency fund for the next time something like a pandemic or war sucker punches us again. One way to do this is to put a little bit away every paycheck. Some people do 10%, others 5%, and so forth. You will be amazed at how quickly this adds up, especially if you put it in a savings account that accumulates interest.
I believe in you. You totally got this. Just remember your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family with the necessities. Work together as a family. Working together will not only bring you all closer together and working as a team, but it will be a lasting memory and bring more happiness into your home.
The only way to change is to change. If you want to feel better and lose weight then grab these tips for weight loss. Here’s the thing, weight loss doesn’t have to be hard or depriving. I have a simple philosophy that will bring you relief and motivation; plus it’s backed up by science. Simply put: TAKE. IT. SLOW. Remember the saying, ‘nothing changes if nothing changes’. Read about my four game-changing tips that change you without feeling like a change.
Changing the diet isn’t something I could do cold turkey. In fact, I’m allergic to turkey! Hence the going slow part. The most successful thing with ‘change’ without feeling like it’s a change is to take it slow. With a gradual approach, you’re more likely to stick with it for longer if not forever! Chris Kresser uses the words, “shrink the change“.
The 4 Tips for weight loss
#1: Weight loss Tip #1: Go Gradual
The trick to losing weight is to eat a healthier diet so the body can clean out the bad stuff, call me Sherlock-Homes. I repeat, when you take a gradual approach, this gives your body time to adjust and not be shocked. If you lose weight too fast, it could backfire and you’ll be headfirst in the bag of cheese puffs…not to mention gain even more weight! The cool thing about gradually reducing the bad stuff, like sugar, is that your body will start to crave healthier foods. You’ll feel better and the sugary snacks will start to taste bad. Interesting, eh? The bottom line is that our bodies will feel better with cleaner foods and they’ll want more of that awesome clean energy. Stick to simple ingredients and ingredients that you understand.
Tip #2: Awareness is key!
Awareness. Sugar was my number one weakness. It still is, but I’m now aware of my consumption and I know my limits. When I adjusted my intake of the sweet stuff I finally understood the ‘less is more’ philosophy. My taste buds became more content and my body was a happy human. Did you hear that? I didn’t give up sugar completely, I just cut back immensely. Toxic foods can do a number on our bodily systems, in other words, bring on inflammation. I wrote a short ebook on digestion and what things might trigger our inflammation. Once we remove the trigger, the inflammation heals. Check it out here: Triggers and What to do for IBD.
What’s for lunch?
Back in the day of wanting to lose weight, I would only eat a salad for lunch. It contained greens, Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and maybe fresh broccoli. I didn’t have any protein or cheese. Just veggies. I chose whatever salad dressing sounded good, however, I would dip my fork in the dressing before I stabbed a helping of lettuce. Not too shabby of a lunch; but for me, it didn’t hold me over, which lead to a Snickers Bar in the afternoon, and then a hefty snack after work. Can we say blood sugar on the fritz?
The small change I made was to add protein to my salad in the form of lean protein, I’m not talking cheese or other dairy products; but things like nuts, eggs, or grilled chicken are good choices. At lunch, I still aim to have more greens than protein, yet with a little protein, the Snicker Bar isn’t needed at 4:00.
Tip for losing weight #3: Know your body
Know your body. If you need protein, get protein with every meal. Whether its nuts, clean meat, or low-fat dairy (if you can tolerate it) make sure you get enough protein into your diet. If you don’t, you’ll be hungry all the time and your blood sugar will yo-yo. Let me reiterate, protein helps you feel satisfied longer, it gives you energy, and need I say meat is an excellent source of B12, B6, zinc, and iron to name a few?
A little bit more about protein
Protein builds muscle mass, and it’s especially good after a workout. Add a little vitamin C to the mix and you’ve got a digestive helper and a helping hand at iron absorption. Listen up! The meat won’t make you fat unless it’s highly marbled or fatty; you also want to keep in check your portions. Choose lean beef, grilled chicken, grilled or baked fish, nuts, legumes, eggs, or pork loin. Don’t be scared to add it to your diet or your salad. Remember portion control is king.
Tip 4#: be prepared
Okay, okay, okay…you’re at work and can’t make lunch. That’s okay! You have a couple of options for a healthy clean lunch; the most obvious is to make it the night before. The other is to choose simple, limited-ingredient dishes when eating out. For instance, a 100% beef burger without the bun paired with a side of steamed veggies or a cup of clear broth soup, is a great lunch. It’s not heavy in carbs (bread or pasta) and it’s high in protein. You can also opt for an “unwich”, a sandwich without the bread. I eat this all the time but use lettuce instead of bread. Some people use a gluten-free wrap. Turn the sandwich inside out…lettuce in the center and lean ham for the wrap. If you want this weight loss thing to work, you need to be prepared and stay on point. Pack ahead or have a plan when eating out.
All in all: Keep it simple
Think ‘simple’ when at a restaurant and think portion control! As for drinks, you know what I’m going to say…water without ice. Hey, it may be a little boring, but your body will be quieter and happier. You may not even need to drink water with your meal. Too much aqua with food will cause a lot of vitamins to flush through your system, plus it will take longer to digest the yum yums. I hope you found these tips for losing weight helpful. Remember to take a gradual approach, be aware of what you’re eating, know your body, and be prepared. You got this if you want it. Keep moving forward!
When you’re stressed out, what do you turn to relieve it? Allow me to open your mind to some different ideas that may be cheaper and more effective. I’ve got 13 natural stress relief products you’re going to want to check out.
What to look for in natural stress relief products
There are a lot of stress relief products out there… as there should be. Everyone is different in how they relieve stress. Sure you could pay big bucks for a prescription but it will probably give you all kinds of side effects. Who needs more problems? Let’s check out these natural stress relief products to see if one fits you!
What do I mean by “natural”?
What I mean by natural is non-medicated. And what I mean by non-medicated is simply nothing that is consumed into your body; this includes medication, anti-inflammatory pills, alcohol, drugs (of course), and food. Yep, “natural” doesn’t mean a pint of ice cream. When it comes to natural stress relief products, I’m talking about products that get your mind at ease simply by doing something.
13 Natural Stress Relief Products
1 – Epson Salts
Draw a tub with soothing Epson salts. Epson salts are inexpensive and can help your muscles relax in an easy way. Stress can cause all sorts of muscle issues and imbalances. End your day in a hot tub with a cup full of Epson salts. Permit your body to soak and to let the tension go. Epson salts can be found in most grocery stores and pharmacies. You can find scented salts with essential oils or non-scented. They run about $5 a bag.
2 – Massage Ball
As I said, stress can cause our muscles to tighten up, twist, and knot. With a little pressure pressed on those tight muscles or trigger points, you can get instant relief. A physical therapist can really get in there and relieve the tightness. But if you can’t get into the PT, try a massage ball. I absolutely love the massage ball I have and use it twice a day. You can get it for about $15 and it’s worth every penny! Note, a tennis ball is not the same.
3 – Music
Instrumental music is an extremely effective way to relax. Find a track, particularly instrumental music; whether it be piano, jazz, bluegrass, or acoustic guitar, find your stress relief jam and keep it handy! When I personally get stressed I turn to Soaking in His Presence by William Augusto. He does such a great job of putting me in the right frame of mind. This music is also amazing to pray with.
4 – Boxing bag
Get some aggression out and throw some punches at a boxing bag. It not only relieves stress, but it gives you a workout at the same time. Boxing improves strength, improves your balance and stability, and helps you build endurance. Heck, you might even lose weight! Check out your neighborhood sales or Marketplace for deals. Amazon has boxing stands for under $60 or you can go with the classic boxing bag or a speed bag. Lots of options! Don’t forget the gloves.
Along with boxing, any general exercise could be your go-to to reducing stress. There’s nothing like a good run or long bike ride. Get your heart pumping and mind clear with at least 30 minutes of exercise. To make your run more enjoyable, be sure to have the proper running shoes based on your feet. As for the long bike ride, invest in some biking shorts and reflective gear.
5 – Scents
The essential oil craze is still going on. Scents take a direct route to the brain. It’s pretty awesome how the smell of something can have such a powerful effect on your mood, memory, and mental health. Just think about the smell of garlic bread, or banana bread for that matter. What about lilacs or roses. Fresh cut grass, campfires, or burning autumn leaves anyone? Use that nose to help you experience happiness and calm.
6 – Heavy blanket
The weighted blanket does wonders for a lot of people. There is something about the weight of a heavy blanket that gives a sense of security and safety. Heavy blankets are known to reduce anxiety. However, it’s not for everyone. I tried a weighted blanket and it was personally too heavy for me. A folded quilt is my absolute favorite blanket to sleep or nap with. Before you head out and spend $25+ on a weighted blanket, use what you have in the house, if it’s not heavy enough then start shopping for deals.
7 – Art project
Get your hands busy and your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s coloring, woodworking, or gardening, get your mind focusing on something else. Being creative is an excellent outlet for reducing stress naturally. You could even grab a notebook and start doodling! Essentially find a hobby that you can go to when you feel stress coming on.
8 – Plants
Having something to take care of gives us a sense of purpose and peace, I’m talking about a houseplant. Green plants are soothing to the eye. Plants promote peace, healing, and they help you focus. Gardening is a big bonus when it comes to reducing stress, especially if you can see it from your house window. Don’t have space for a garden? No problem. There are numerous planter boxes designed for small spaces for under $13.
9 – Journal
Writing your frustrations down helps you release them from your mind. Stop letting your mind mess with you, get it down on paper instead. There are times when we need to vent. Save your friend’s ear and vent onto paper. Journaling also helps you from saying something stupid if you’re venting. When you have it all written out, pray over it, then destroy it. Give it all to God. Lament if you will. He will hear your cry for help. And His hand is ready to grab yours.
On that note, you can also use your journal as a prayer resource. For inspiration in getting it all out, check out my Journal Prompts download.
10 – Routine
What is one thing that helps reduce anxiety in kids? A routine. Structure is important for human mental health. Having a routine helps us to prepare mentally for what is coming next. It also gives us a sense of control. Plus you feel more productive when you can carry out your routine daily. Did I mention more organized? Use a daily planner to help keep your routine in shape.
11 – Printable Wall Art
Who doesn’t need daily inspiration? Simply looking at encouraging and inspiring artwork or words can do wonders to naturally reduce stress. Looking at affirmations to speak goodness into your heart builds self-esteem. Reading Biblical truth that is on your wall emits power in your home. Looking at a beautiful piece of art helps you to escape reality for just a minute.
12 – Finance Journal Step-by-Step Guide
Managing money is the top stress trigger. We all face it at some point in our lives, everyone has a season. Everyone. Using a budget is by far the best way to understand your money management situation. We’re all adults and we need to take responsibility for our lives and for our future for that matter. Have a plan. Download a finance journal form and fill in it. This is a small action that has huge benefits. When you understand what’s going out and what’s coming in, you can then be at rest and start to plan how to move forward.
13 – Diet
What I’m talking about is sugar. Sugar was my number one weakness, and I was stressed…not to mention overweight. Sugar causes all sorts of issues in our bodies: diabetes, weight gain, stress, tooth decay, yo-yo energy levels, it slows growth, can cause skin issues, digestive distress, and inflammation to name a few! Like any drug, sugar can be addicting.
Other addicting additives include MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup. In the long run of consuming these substances, our bodies get tired of trying to process them and we gain weight. On top of the weight gain, we also carry around inflammation which could lead to disease down the road. Take it from someone who has been there and done that. It’s just not worth the 5 seconds of tasting good.
When I adjusted my intake of the sweet stuff I finally understood the ‘less is more’ philosophy. My taste buds became more content with fewer sweets and my body was happier a.k.a. less inflammation and less stress! This is a super cost-effective way to reduce stress and lose weight. Choose water to drink, check the label on products, and look for high fructose corn syrup, msg, and sugar. Simply pay attention to what you’re consuming.
Wrapping up natural stress relief products
My hope is that when you feel stress coming on first try a natural approach. Experiment with one of the tactics I mention and find what natural stress relief products work for who you are. Do yourself a favor and take care of your mind and body in a natural way. You will have more control and a sense of peace knowing that you’re not dependent on medication, drugs, or food.
*This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things. This article is for information purposes only.
Before you go, check out these other great posts about stress relief:
The first step to losing weight isn’t cutting back on calories, it’s much simpler than that. To be successful with weight loss and the management thereafter, it’s going to take a pencil and paper. There’s more to weight loss than weight. That’s why the first step in losing weight should be to answer some questions. Clarity gives you a pathway. This can seriously be a total game-changer for you!
Where I came from
In 1992 I was 20 pounds overweight. I know this was a long time ago, but that’s important to know. Listen up, I wanted to lose weight, but all the things I was trying to drop pounds weren’t working. It was like walking in the sand; every step seemed so hard and it barely felt like I was going anywhere! Then something clicked and changed my weight destiny into a reality. When I did this first step in losing weight, the weight came off.
My weight story is an interesting one. At that time I was a freshman at a small college. As months ticked by in this new setting, the weight inched on. However, I noticed that sitting and studying weren’t the cause of my weight gain, it was actually depression! I’m not saying that all weight gain is due to depression, but this was my story. I was living in a toxic environment where judgment after judgment was passed on me and others. As if high school was bad enough, this was worse! Something had to change. I wanted to be happy, to find myself, to be free.
My ‘ah-ha’ moment came when my roommates and I were watching TV in the common area. We happened to be watching an Indiana University basketball game. One of my roommates said something that stirred my inner core. She said, “I’d love to go to Indiana.” I looked at her as she watched the game and asked, “Why don’t you?” She responded, “Because I don’t know anyone and I don’t think I can get in.”
Her answer struck a chord in me. You’re letting the fear of not knowing, stop you? It was as if I was asking myself that question. As I watched the game and the exciting fans…I began to want to be a part of that picture. I wanted a large university experience.
Be true to yourself
What does this have to do with the first step in losing weight? I’m getting there. In the fall of ’93, I was officially an Indiana University student. I was in a new setting, with new people, and new goals. I faced fear and made things happen, not knowing what would happen.
Within six months, I lost 20 pounds and then some; all because I looked at my thought process first. On the surface, I wanted to lose weight, but deep down I wanted to explore who I was and be true to myself. When I understood my motives, the weight naturally came off.
Are you asking yourself the right question/s before you start your weight loss plan? Do you have a picture of what you want to be a part of?
This is the first step to losing weight:
This leads me to the core: it’s not what we’re eating or doing, it’s what we’re thinking. It’s not the weight on our bodies that give us frustration; it’s the weight we carry around in our minds that trip us up.
First off, I’m not going to tell you how to lose weight; you’re going to do that. Why? Because I want YOU to see results in more areas than one. I want you to live in harmony with your body, mind, and heart for the rest of your life…not just during swimsuit season. And only YOU can make that happen, not someone telling you what to do.
5 Questions You’ll Want to Answer.
1:What is your WHY?
Why do you want to lose weight? I’m not talking about surface answers here. Peel that off, look under that. WHY? Write this down in a journal.
2:What are you WRESTLING with?
What’s blocking you from making this happen? What are you carrying around with you? Stress? A belief? Fear? Identity crisis? Loneliness?
3:What is your WAY?
In other words, what method works for YOU to reach your weight goals? What are you going to do EACH WEEK to make this happen?
4:What will you WIN?
By reaching your goal, what is it going to do for you? Freedom? Confidence? More energy? More outgoing? Motivation? Purpose?
5: What is it WORTH?
What are you going to gain? Can you visualize how you’re going to feel and what kind of freedom you’re going to experience?
Wrapping up the first step to losing weight
I’m happy to say I’ve kept the weight off ever since my Indiana days; even after having a baby and going through steroid treatment for an ailment. I have managed the weight; not the other way around. There is no better feeling than saying, “I finally figured it out.” To learn more about my weight loss strategies you will definitely want to check out my eBook: Simple Happy Wellness Strategies.
If you can’t physically get outdoors, reading nature quotes will take your mind there. We were born with this internal love that connects us to nature. The awe of sunsets, oceans, and majestic mountains gets our attention. The outdoors is extremely entertaining and incredibly powerful. Things like storms, trees, flowers, and even vitamins like vitamin D can bring healing to our mental health, bodies, and even hearts.
Preparing to enter nature
Do you ever get that feeling something is off-balance, that you just need to get out and breathe? I sure do. In fact, this past weekend I said to my husband, “I have got to get outside and surround myself with nature. I’m feeling anxious and need to clear my head.” There are numerous studies about the power of nature and how it helps ground us, relieve stress, and simply be a vitamin for our souls. To motivate younger generations to get outdoors some people call it, Forest Bathing (Japanese term). It is a pretty cool term, kind of like “earthing” a.k.a. walking barefoot on the ground.
One of the things we can do to prepare for the outdoors is to get in the right mindset. Reading nature quotes is a great way to anticipate your outdoor venture. Nature quotes do a couple of things, they give you a mental visual of what you might experience, and they set the stage. They open your mind and prepare you to open your eyes to things you might otherwise not notice.
Taking a look back to move forward
There is just something about being in nature; you’re surrounded by the beauty and uniqueness that our pioneers and Native Americans lived in every day. This gives me awe that in some areas of the outdoors, it looked the very same as when our ancestors were around.
When I was a child I would play in the woods for hours. I’m sure you can relate if you lived in rural areas. I’d make a fort and play house of course! Making a broom out of a stick and pine branches made me feel purposeful and resourceful. Know what I mean? This is probably why I enjoy camping.
Our children and nature
Outdoor play is so good for our children. It not only stimulates their creativity, but nature actually helps them be creative. Playing outdoors creates confidence. It helps our kids develop a relationship with nature, and it comforts their natural spirit. Playing in God’s creation also brings them closer to Him. Here’s a post you gotta check out: 5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Wellness in Kids & Us. It talks about developing a relationship with nature. And gives ideas on how we can get our kids outdoors. It also covers our mental well-being and how to manage it naturally.
Nature can be our secret haven
For some people, like myself, nature is one of our favorite worship sanctuaries, it’s our haven, refuge. It’s informal and a perfect place to be one on one with God. Even if we don’t go into the woods or visit the meadows and mountains or beaches with the intent to worship God, nature has a way of rejuvenating and healing our souls. It’s like osmosis.
Being outdoors doesn’t mean you have to exert a lot of energy to benefit from it, like climbing a mountain or going mountain biking; you can just be, and soak in that unexplainable need for it. It keeps our minds fresh and it maintains equilibrium with our daily lives. There is nothing more pleasing to the eye than the serenity of God’s creation.
7 Amazing Nature Quotes
Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
Verna M. Kelly
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
– Albert Einstein
The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence’ the stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.
– Mother Teresa
When I get into the woods my cluttered mind says “Thank you”, my soul says “Ah”, and my spirit whispers “Be still”.
– Christy Troy
The oak sleeps in the acorn. The bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of reality.
– Napoleon Hill
I can’t change the wind, but I can adjust the sails to reach my destination.
– Jimmy Dean
Wrapping it up
John Muir loved nature and God. He published over 300 articles and 12 books about wilderness, nature, and preservation. He co-founded the Sierra Club which helped establish a number of national parks. John says it perfectly here,
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”
– John Muir
May you make an effort to get out into your haven over this next week, practice forest bathing, read some of these nature quotes before heading out in nature, take a step back into time and see the world through the eyes of the pioneer and Native American. You may be surprised at what nature does for your heart and soul.
How to heal your body is time well spent. There are a lot of things in life that are priceless in navigating our length of time on this planet. One of them is taking care of your one and only vessel…your body. We all go through a lot of ailments, my goal is just that…to go THROUGH and not to settle and stay. Learn 8 things you can do to get your body onto the road to healing. Let’s get you back on your feet to do more than exist!
Getting started in how to heal your body
There are times when taking care of our body can be pretty complicated. Not only do we seek professional help and get tests to make sense of it all, but what’s frustrating is that sometimes I want more information and understanding than I get at the doctor’s office.
Keep moving forward
Your incredible body is mysteriously amazing! No two bodies are the same, even though they are treated the same in a doctor’s office… God made our bodies to work a certain way, your body knows this and will try its hardest to stay aligned. The problem is, is that sometimes, your body needs a little extra help…consistent help…before it remembers what to do. And that’s where we come into play in knowing how to heal your body.
To know how to heal your body, we need to do a few things; whether it’s a general sickness, muscle imbalance, disease, inflammation, or whatever…we need to take a stand against this distraction and do our part so God can do His. Keep moving forward every day so He can do His healing.
How to heal your body with these 8 extremely powerful actions:
Hydration is ridiculously important in the healing process. Drinking fluids flush our system out, keeps things slippery and moving, and power our cells to function correctly. Technically, we should drink half our weight in ounces. To make the math easy let’s say you weigh 100 pounds, you should then drink 50 ounces of water a day.
100 lbs. / 2 = 50 oz. per day
160 lbs. / 2 = 80 oz. per day
2.Diet low in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats.
All these things are inflammatory to our system. With inflammation comes illness and disease. I know these ingredients taste good, but please be conscious and aware of how much you are consuming these treats.
Movement is magic. Keep moving. Go for a walk, bike ride, do yard work, and just get your bones and muscles working every day. Think about a river versus a pond and compare the water quality over time. The river keeps moving and flowing, a pond gets stagnate and rotten. This rings true for our bodies as well.
Sleep is so good to help your body restore and refresh. It’s in the slumber where we get better. It’s recommended to get 8 hours of sleep a night, well some of us need a little more and others a little less. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t reach that 8 hours. Give yourself permission to rest as much as you need.
5. A spiritual connection to Jesus.
There are times when our illness or condition may seem all physical, we often forget the spiritual component in healing. This is a huge part, if not the most important part of our healing process. The One who created you, can heal you if you want to be healed. There are numerous stories in the Bible about healing and faith. Healing was and is a big part of Jesus’s ministry. Faith alone can heal. And to have faith, is to get to know Jesus. To know and meet Jesus, is to read about Him in the Gospels and to ask Him to come into your life. When you have that one-on-one experience with Him, things will change for the better.
What is so awesome about His healing is that it is mysterious and true. Mysterious as in you don’t know when He will, and true because He is the way, the truth, and life (John 14:6). His promises are truth, and his promises are promises. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” This is filled with incredible promises. Jesus is the source of healing; He will heal in more ways than one. Please open your eyes to His amazing love. Here are some Bible verses for healing to reflect on and memorize. I have found these extremely helpful!
6. Mental goodness.
Filling your mind with positive vibes affects your thoughts, which affects your choices, and your heart. This is SUPER important in knowing how to heal your body, especially now. Our world is broken. And the only way to make it better is if we make a change by putting good, healthy things into our minds. Add affirmations to your morning routine, listen to good music to and from work, read positive books, eliminate the daily news, remove horror movies even though you know they’re fake, and be aware of who you’re hanging around and what those conversations are filled with.
It’s incredibly good to get outside and go for a walk, especially if you have access to a park or trail with trees. There are numerous studies about the power of nature and how it helps ground us, relieve stress, and simply be a vitamin for our souls. To motivate younger generations to get outdoors some people call it, Forest Bathing (Japanese term). It is a pretty cool term, kind of like “earthing” a.k.a. walking barefoot on the ground.
This will see you through in knowing how to heal your body. Think of perseverance as a daily vitamin. Perseverance is doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Whether you’re in physical therapy, fighting an illness, or dealing with an addiction, every day you must do your part to keep moving forward. Keep doing the exercises, continue to eat healthy and drink fluids, and to fight and resist the temptation to get off track…this is perseverance. How bad do you want to get better? If you want it, it will happen.
The Bible talks about perseverance. I especially like Galatians 6:9 where it says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” The other truth I surrender to is Romans 5:3b-4 “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” There is nothing more powerful than hope. Hope keeps you moving forward.
You gotta want it. Healing isn’t for people who think they are entitled or that someone else is going to do it for them. For you to heal, you must do your part so He can do His. Grit takes courage, grit takes strength. It’s asking for a second opinion, researching on your own, trying different approaches, being persistent, having perseverance, trusting in Jesus, and doing what it takes to make things happen! Grit is “STRONG” and refusing the Enemy to take a foothold in you or in your mind. Stand firm. In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, the Bible says this, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”
Wrapping up how to heal your body
For you to know how to heal your body, you need to do your part, so He can do His. If you want to frolic like well-fed calves, get your ass off the couch and make it happen! God put you on this planet for good works that He has prepared in advance for you to do! Use what He gave you, take care of it as much as you possibly can, show Him you want it, and ask Him to help you get moving. Healing happens. Healing gives you clarity, hope, perseverance, confidence in Christ, freedom, compassion, wisdom, and love.
Keep moving forward friends even if the doctors say differently. Do your own homework, get second opinions, look at the holistic route, use trial and error, and keep moving forward. Simply said, do more than exist.
Ready to manage stress in a healthy way? Stress is now becoming a part of our everyday lives. The pace of life is heightened, people seem to be edgier, and anxieties of all sorts are making their way to the front of the line. However, there are ways to manage stress in a healthy way that will make you happier and healthier than submitting to medication or drugs. Today I have four questions to help you manage stress in a healthy way.
“She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes.”
While writing this post a lyric from the old childhood song, She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain got stuck in my head. She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes ‘whoa back’. Busyness can take many forms: a badge of accomplishment, a strained ball-n-chain, or simply a lifestyle without margin. When we get in the busy mode we have blinders in our peripheral vision, our backs are heavily weighed, and we kick ourselves to go faster. The term ‘whoa back’ isn’t in our vocabulary, so slowing down would be a crime!
However, at some point, we will get bucked off and hit the ground, it’s just a matter of how hard we hit. After we dust ourselves off we most likely will ask what the heck was that. Staying on the horse is about knowing when to say “not right now”. It’s about knowing where we need to slow down. And it’s about knowing how to do it.
Do I have the right motive?
While reading through an email from Holley Gerth, her words struck a cord in me. She said, “Our God didn’t design us for maximum productivity but for relational intimacy. We so easily forget this and think we’re on this earth to do as much as we can as quickly as we can.” Oh, how I have fallen for productivity! I love being productive and there is nothing wrong with it, but there is a fine line…motive. When the motive isn’t aligned with God’s will for you that day, stress comes to play.
4 tips on how to manage stress in a healthy way
Question 1. What is causing me to stress out and fall off my horse?
I recently got bucked off of not knowing what caused my unstoppable momentum. My schedule had no margin. If I wasn’t working on my blog, I was working on my side gig, and if I wasn’t doing that, I was busy with some other project, and then finally…I would fill in the cracks with my family. My priorities were out-of-whack, seriously backward! The harmony of the many roles I played each day was out of tune. And the problem was an overloaded schedule. I knew it but ignored it.
Was I addicted to being busy? Running from something? Trying to impress someone? I’m not 100% sure, but I know when I fall prey to comparison, my schedule builds. If she can do it, I can do it. The word “no” doesn’t exist. The word “stop” is blasphemy.
How comparison happens
During these comparison seasons chatting with colleagues and hearing stories of massively insane schedules makes me wonder how they get it all done. Am I doing something wrong? Am I not doing enough? Are they getting it done? This thinking catalyzes my expectations of myself, which can be good and bad, but differentiating between the two is a challenge.
Why am I so tired?
This superficial race is mentality exhausting and frankly, it’s stupid thinking. No one is perfect. Who has it all figured out? No one is ever skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with all her ducks in a row. Everyone has different strengths. Yet, the problem with comparisons, whether it be on social media or in grocery store conversations, is that we don’t know the whole story. We don’t always see the condition of others’ hearts and how it weighs on their wellness. We just see the ‘yes man’ and subconsciously start to compete.
The ‘yes man’ is a vicious cycle and a damaging one. We agree to things we don’t want to do, we fill our schedules to please others, and we constantly aim for perfection. But what happens to us in the process? What happens to OUR well-being? What happens when we’re running here and there and everywhere with no time to spare? Mistakes. Mistakes happen.
2. When do I know when something has to change?
My red flags come from a variety of sources. One source is my family when they voice their opinion. Another source of red flags is when I don’t have time to get outside to garden or walk. The biggest warning that something has to change is from my body, the one vessel that makes it all happen. If there is one thing that will slow us down, it’s our bodies. My mistake is not listening to these messages. Before you know it your body will tell you when to change things. Unfortunately, in 2019 I ended up with horrible piriformis syndrome which forced me to slow down, way down. Injuries aren’t the only signal from our bodies, being overweight, being chronically sick, and developing a disease can tell you too.
The Bible talks a lot about slowing down, taking a Sabbath (Exodus 20:9-10), just be (Psalm 46:10), and coming to Him who are weary and need rest (Matthew 11:28). These are just a few references in the Bible. But the Lord has a reason for teaching us how to slow down. I believe one of those reasons is to give our bodies and minds rest so we don’t make big mistakes.
3. Where do we need to slow down?
This question is simply answered by paying attention. Where are you most stressed? What is occupying the majority of your time? How is your schedule affecting others? Are the people around you agitated? Needy? Lonely?
Perfecting balance in every area of your life is not a destination. It’s a moment. We can’t be everywhere at once. There will be days when the schedule weighs heavier in one area than another, but the key is to recognize it. Quieting the mind and sitting in silence helps see where there is congestion. Slowing down a racehorse isn’t easy, so start by giving yourself five minutes of silence. This awareness helps you try harder the next day to find that harmony. Consciously be aware of how you’re using your time, you’ll see where it needs to slow down.
4. How do we slow down before it’s forced upon us?
This is a great question. I’m still figuring it out. One thing is for sure, we need to set boundaries. Setting boundaries gives us permission to say “Not right now” or “No, but thank you for thinking of me”. Boundaries give us our space to recuperate so when we do say ‘yes’ we can be our best. You can say ‘no’ to others, but it’s imperative to also say ‘no’ to yourself and the expectations you’ve created. Learn how to relax.
Wrapping it up
How to manage stress in a healthy way starts with being aware of what you’re reacting to. Asking yourself key questions will help you understand why your body and mind are working on overdrive. What is causing this stress? Knowing when to change something. Where you need to make that change. And how to slow down. Please note that racing with other horses is a game, not a lifestyle. Set your boundaries and take the time to love yourself.
Have you ever gotten overwhelmed, in a funk, or frustrated about the pace of life? Having a hobby can help quiet the roar of chaos and make you feel human again. I’ve got some great hobby ideas for you. But wait! I know what you might say, “I don’t have time for a hobby”. I used to think that way too, but after a little experimenting, I found my hobby to be a superhero to my mental health. Let’s get a better understanding of why a hobby helps us then get hobby ideas to try out.
What exactly is a hobby?
A hobby is an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working. The keyword in that definition is “not working”. The hard part is knowing when to stop working. What I love about a hobby is that time isn’t ticking in your ear. You’re not looking at the clock to see when your shift is over. A hobby is your gift to yourself, so you can be yourself! When we’re under heavy stress our bodies produce more cortisol which can be harmful to our health. But when we’re engaged in, let’s say, a hobby, we’re producing the ‘feel-good’ hormones.
I like to look at a hobby as a type of recreation that rejuvenates your spirit. It’s an activity that challenges you in a way in which you want to be challenged. You see, your hobby is YOUR hobby. No one can tell you how to do it unless you welcome the suggestions.
12. Helps prevent boredom when boredom can be harmful to you. Let me expand: overeating, depression, drug use, looking at things you know you shouldn’t, or alcohol use usually come into play when we’re bored. Boredom and its adverse effects are going to get the best of us at times, but when we have a hobby we have an easy way out and can focus on that.
13. The icing on the cake about a hobby is that it actually helps you do a better job at work. CNBC posted an article about how a hobby can improve your work performance. For one, it helps prevent burnout. As said earlier, it helps inspire creativity and enhance your problem-solving skills. A hobby helps reduce stress.
More on hormones.
Hormones are a love/hate relationship. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. As said earlier, the most damaging hormone is cortisol which is produced in our bodies when we’re under stress. The good news is that happy hormones do exist, but to get them we must do a few things. There are four major blissful boosters: endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Each hormone serves a different purpose, in a nutshell, this is what they do:
Endorphins are essentially the body’s pain killers.
Vigorous exercise or even eating spicy food releases endorphins.
Serotonin is the mood mediator. Get outside.
Being in the sun helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which helps produce
serotonin. Or even low-intensity exercise helps.
Dopamine is a gratifying hormone, in terms of
goal achievement. It’s all about goals and achieving them to bring on the
dopamine. We set an achievable goal and go after it, when we reach it, dopamine
Oxytocin. This is the love hormone. I think my
husband has an abundance of this one! LOL. Physical contact, hugs, massage, and
sex release this hormone.
When it comes to your hobby, aim to achieve one of these hormones. Now if you want to experience all the bliss boosters at once, you might want to look into “R5HHPJ” as your hobby: Run 5 miles while holding hands with your honey, drinking hot pepper juice from your water bottle…now that’s a hobby!
What are some great hobby ideas?
This is a loaded question because you can make a hobby of your own; the trick to finding one you love is to try some on. Here are some hobby ideas for you to check out:
Knitting, exercising, reading, sales shopping and discount hunting, start a blog, music, woodworking, organizing, auto work, boating, horseback riding, hobby farming, candle making, photography, dance, winemaking, beer brewing, cooking, traveling, wilderness survival, Bible memory, drawing, painting, decorating, gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, running, write a book, kayaking, cycling, walking, surfing, sewing, essentially any sport, collections, puzzles, and pretty much anything other than work.
Remember a hobby is something that gives YOU personal enjoyment yet still a little challenge to enhance your well-being. Think of it as keeping your hands and mind busy getting lost in creativity. This could very well be the peacekeeper you’ve been looking for to help balance life.
There are some great hobby ideas out there to suit you, you just need to experiment with which one or ones find your fancy. Hobbies do change too. Pay attention to when you might be phasing out of one hobby, so you can start searching for new hobby ideas. Just remember, hobbies are not a waste of time, they are our therapy to keep us happy.
In 2007 my confidence collapsed and my heart panted for fullness. My independence, which I held on to so tightly, attached to others. The attitude to do more than exist went to merely existing. I desperately needed to know how to build confidence and courage once again. Have you ever felt this way? Our adversities are not only confusing but paralyzing. However, there are 5 antidotes to help resurrect us.
A little background
My hardship started in September of 2007 with a pregnancy disease that birthed at five weeks and proceeded to torment me for 31 weeks thereafter. During that anguish my skin was pale green, my mind a twisted mess of nausea, and relief was too far to be seen; I literally was fighting to just exist. Being dependent on others to help me function, let alone trust, made me feel like a failure. Things like I can’t even take care of myself, swarmed my thoughts. Any physical excursion or consumption, or even water, was a cautious and fear-provoked decision. My ribs pierced from wrenching, and dehydration was the foremost threat.
The instant my healthy 7.1-pound baby boy was born, the sickness disappeared. Yet, the mental anguish was far from healing. Have you experienced an event like this in your life? Was it an illness, an unexpected break-up, a massive hit to your bank account, or a loss of something that meant so dear to you? I think the worse of it all is when it’s done, when we think we made it through, after-shocks sucker-punch us with unforeseen triggers we didn’t see coming.
When things don’t go our way
Those days still impress on my psyche today, how can it not? Yet immediately following the birth of my son, the fear of pregnancy halted our family plan. Two years later I knew I had to fight it. I knew I had to give it one more try; after all, every pregnancy is different. This is where I’d like to tell you the second time around was easier, but friend, it was far from that and left our arms empty. I have a post on infertility if you want to read it.
Answers to ‘how was I going to recover my confidence and courage’ slowly inflated my hope. Those answers didn’t come from a special diet, therapist, or medical doctor. The true answers came from one source, Jesus.
You see when I prayed before our second pregnancy, I didn’t hear a “Yes” as I did with our first. With our first baby, my husband and I waited eight years before I drummed up the courage to even pray about it. And when I did pray, I heard a clear “Yes!” But the second go around, I heard a solid “No”. Of course, I didn’t want to believe it, a no to another child? That doesn’t make sense! So I took my destiny into my own hands. And it didn’t turn out as planned…
Bit by bit I had to rebuild my confidence and courage using my anguish as building blocks and my faith as mortar. Jesus didn’t come down from a cloud and profoundly say, “You are healed, child”. I certainly would have accepted that if He did! It was through His followers who physically passed His love on. He used other people in subtle ways to comfort my broken heart and body. Jesus equips us to love, and honestly, that’s all he wants us to do, is love. In 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 Paul says, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (NIV)
I needed to not only learn to love who I was now, but I needed to learn how to use love to become the confident and courageous person I sought out to be. Moving from just existing to living a life of fullness isn’t about accomplishing amazing feats or earning a special degree, and so forth; it’s about loving others the way Jesus does. It sounds easy, but it’s the doing that’s hard.
5 easy additions to building confidence& courage
Since God is
love. Who do you think we need to connect with to learn how to love? Rick Warren says, “When you are disconnected from God, you’re not really
living; you just exist.”
So, how do we connect with our Heavenly Father? How do we hear clear answers? I go to church. I pray. Isn’t that connecting? Yes, friend, it is. But there are some easy additions which can lead us to live a do-more-than-exist kind of life that will naturally build confidence and courage. Let me share with you what I have learned so far in this journey:
When clarity is the question, I don’t hold the emotion back. I pray with strong emotion, whether it be anger, sadness, joy, or excitement. Expressing it to Him helps keep things real. Emotion develops a relationship with Him, a trust.
Listening, singing, humming, and dancing to music that is good for our souls, brings us closer to our Creator. In this day and age Christian music isn’t just hymns. It has developed to feed all our genres. The writers and bands have done a great job at helping us fend off the Enemy and open our hearts for answers and comfort. Give it a try. I really enjoy praying and listening to instrumental music. My favorite is Soaking in His Presence.
Our beloved Anne Frank says, “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature. …I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
Numerous studies show that… simply sitting and looking at the trees reduces stress-related hormones. And the University of Minnesota says there’s “a growing prevalence of depression caused by ‘nature deprivation.” Maybe we should think about spending more time in God’s creation. Here are some nature quotes to get you in the mindset.
There is something to be said about being around other Christ-followers. It’s kind of like a family reunion. Being surrounded by a common denominator encourages us, comforts us, and brings us closer to Him. We all have the same goal so to speak. The hard part is finding a church that fits you and your worship style. Keep hunting until you find it, you’ll know when you found it.
Being grateful changed my game. For me to love myself and to pass the love on to others, I had to learn how to be grateful even when it didn’t make sense. Gratefulness brought me out of adversity. Before we move forward, understand I’m not grateful for the hardships we face in life. I’m talking about the little things that surround us, those things we don’t even notice; like clean water out of our faucets, cozy beds to rest our bodies, medical help at our fingertips, and grocery stores to feed us. I’m talking about the love He gives us in delicate ways like music, flowers, and comforting smells.
Yet, what about those moments when you step out and help someone? When you smile at someone even though you don’t feel like it…and they smile back? Sometimes to get what we want we have to give it first. I’m grateful for those promptings where we use our gifts to brighten someone’s day even when our life is a mess. It takes courage and confidence to make those things happen. And I’m grateful for the time He gives us and the freedom to choose how to use it, especially if it involves our calling.
If you’re hurting for confidence in a specific area of your life I encourage you to begin with being thankful for each comfort you receive every day. When we recognize the little things, the small achievements, the flickers of love passed hand to hand, then our courage and confidence surface and we begin to see what life is all about…love.
Don’t miss out:
Download my favorite affirmations to help make you stronger. You can get them here.