Category Archives: Stress Management

Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side

Some Tips on Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side

Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

A good friend of mine is going through a tough time right now. She’s brokenhearted and grieving tremendously about some of the bad things that are happening to and around her. I’m not at liberty to share the details, but I know all of us can relate to feelings of us loss, grief, betrayal, defeat, loss of hope, despair, confusion…the list could go on and on. Sometimes things happen in our lives that we don’t see coming. Things that knock us off of our feet and take our breath away. Things that feel crushing. It might even feel like we won’t be able to come back from these awful things.

I’m here to tell you today though that WE CAN! We have a wonderful, powerful, amazing God who can do things greater than you could ever possibly imagine! Don’t lose heart during a tough time. We serve a God that can bring things back from the dead. Those situations, circumstances, and even relationships in our lives that appear to have died…He can resurrect them! We serve a resurrection God.

“That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.” Romans 4:17 (NLT)

It’s okay to be sad…God gets sad too

First, grieving is perfectly okay during a tough time. It’s okay to be sad. We’re not a “bad Christian” if we’re not happy, positive and hopeful ALL the time. We’re human, and God knows that. In fact, God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). So guess what that means? We’re a lot like God. Did you know He gets sad and grieves too? Continue reading

When Things Are Going Wrong…

When things are going wrong...God still has your back.  Read more in this story about a weekend getaway with a very rough start!

When Things Are Going Wrong…God Still Has Your Back

This past weekend my family spent a couple of days at the lake in a rented cabin. Eric was competing in a fishing tournament, and we had an annual family reunion to attend as well. So we had decided to just make a family weekend of it. Boy, did it get off to a rocky start though with everything seemingly going wrong!

Today I thought I would share what I wrote in my Saturday morning quiet time journal entry while at the lake. I wanted to convey how even in the midst of things going wrong right and left, that God still sees us, takes care of us, and even rescues us.

I started my journal entry Saturday morning saying that I was thankful for finally having a semi-peaceful moment to relax after a not-so-good start to the weekend. Then I proceeded to list all the stuff that had been going wrong…

It started going wrong with a late start

Eric went to the lake early, and we stayed behind to attend my niece’s birthday party that evening. This meant that I was responsible for getting myself, the kids, and the dogs packed and loaded to go by myself. This can be a somewhat stressful task, in and of itself, even without anything going wrong. Unfortunately, we got off to a later start that night than I had originally wanted, and we still had an hour and a half drive ahead of us.

Tire trouble

A warning light was coming on in my car to indicate low tire pressure. Apparently one of the tires on my car has a slow leak. Eric said I should probably go to a gas station and air it up before heading out of town. At the gas station I proceeded to use the hose provided to try to air the tire up. It seemed like it was taking FOREVER, and there was a car waiting behind me, the driver getting visibly frustrated. I checked the tire pressure again, and it had actually gone down not up. Fabulous.

After a couple of phone calls to Eric, some help from my son, and the waiting car speeding off angrily (without offering me any help, mind you), I finally figured out I was neglecting to squeeze a trigger handle thingy (that’s my technical term for it). I had been letting the air OUT of my tire, not filling it. When I started doing it correctly, it filled pretty quickly. Whew! Now we could leave.

Got lost

Evidently the cabin where we stayed didn’t have a physical address to where a GPS navigation would accurately direct/find. Eric took a screenshot on Google Maps (even though mine looked different on my phone). I dropped a pin into my phone maps and had Siri direct me from there. Don’t ever trust Siri. She wasn’t my friend this weekend. Needless to say, I got lost…a lot…in the dark…very late at night…in a strange place. Oh, and by the way did I mention that I typically don’t see well at night? I’m also a bit directionally-challenged (as I’ve mentioned before). It was a bad combination putting all those things together.

On a side note, can I just say that these lake residences really just need to get their act together? I mean, really. There’s no lighting on the roads. There are no road signs (and on GPS it looks like you’re driving in a field!). If you take the wrong street there are no turnarounds. I may or may not have driven on a few lawns and barely missed a few trees and mailboxes. And if all that wasn’t enough going wrong so far… Continue reading

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

What to do when you don’t know what to do

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

I recently received a question from a sweet reader on a previous post I had written, How To Use the Correct GPS–God Positioning System. This person felt like they might be on the wrong track and may have made a wrong decision about attending a design school. They were starting to doubt their original decision to attend. The essence of this reader’s question was basically, “What do you do when you don’t know what to do?”

I think that many people could relate to this question. So today I wanted to share my advice to this reader for when you don’t know what to do, in hopes that it may help others too. There are 3 simple steps that I find helpful in any decision-making process, large or small. I’ll jump right into your practical steps…

Take Some Practical Steps When You Don’t Know What To Do:

Continue reading

Remember the Biscuits and Don’t Give Up

Remember the biscuits and don't give up...a story about overcoming life's problems. Remember the Biscuits and Don’t Give Up

This past week my sister, Shawna, shared something with me that she posted on Facebook. It was so insightful and helpful that I got her permission to share it here on my blog as well. I think many of you might find it encouraging and helpful too. God showed her that just because it looks like nothing is going right, that it doesn’t mean there isn’t peace, a place of rest, or a promise still there waiting just past the problem. I hope that you will “remember the biscuits”, and don’t give up the next time you are tempted to throw in the towel.

Shawna’s biscuit story (9/29/16)

So my day started out like this:

Having a rough mental kind of morning, kids fighting, worries building, heart hurting, etc. etc. etc.

I decided that before I get to work, I’ll take some extended time out for me and God. I will enjoy this beautiful fall morning by doing my quiet time on the front porch today in a sweater (cuz today you actually need one!), a cup of coffee (and it’s #nationalcoffeeday), and some hot jellied biscuits.

I cook my biscuits, make my coffee, and grab my sweater.

On my way out the front door to go renew my mind, soul, and spirit, my dog trips me. Jellied biscuits fly out of my hand all over the door and floor, and coffee spilled all over me and soaked my sweater.

At this point I want to cry and give up. I’m on the verge of doing just that when a thought occurred. If I give up then I’m letting the devil win. And I’m letting him steal my plan, purpose, and peace from me.

So as much as I want to do something else, Continue reading

Stop Being Negative!

Stop being negative

Stop Being Negative!  How I had to learn this, EVEN in the most magical place on Earth… 

We sometimes have to be purposeful and intentional to stop being negative.  It’s so easy to get into these ruts of complaining and negativity.  We tend to dig ourselves deeper the more we give in to these feelings.  That’s why it’s so imperative that we are deliberate about not letting negative situations and circumstances consume us.  It will take some effort to stop being negative.

To give a personal example, I’ll share about my family’s recent vacation to Florida to visit Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.  To be honest, at times it was very difficult for me NOT to focus on some of the treatment we received at Disney, especially with the amount of money we spent on this trip (we could have bought a small car!).  I had such high expectations going into the trip because I had always heard of the wonders of Disney’s amazing customer service and how they go above and beyond to make your stay with them special and magical.  Disney is supposed to be known for being the happiest and most magical place on earth.  Sadly, many of our experiences there were anything but that.

We encountered rude and condescending employees at every turn, saw people who really didn’t seem to enjoy their jobs at all, received lackluster service (or no service at all) on a number of occasions, and frequently had to spend close to two hours just to get from one place to another (sometimes causing us to arrive late to reservations…thus giving additional reason for a Cast Member to treat us rudely).  Needless to say, it was hard not to be negative and to avoid complaining.  To try to be positive and encourage somebody else on top of all of that seemed almost unrealistic.  I’m ashamed to admit that I was not always successful in remaining positive and encouraging.  I was downright frustrated.

There were times though that through frustration and all, I could see positive things if I tried and if I focused on them. Continue reading

Be Thankful–Remember What God Has Done

Be Thankful Remember What God Has Done

Be Thankful–Remember What God Has Done

“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 (ESV) 

Thanksgiving seems to be a good time to reflect on what God has done for us, positive memories, blessings, and just things in general for which we’re thankful (for us U.S. folks anyhow!).  I usually try to find some type of craft-like activity each year to do this with my kids.  Sometimes we’ll write down things we’re thankful for on construction paper feathers and then glue the feathers to a paper turkey.  Sometimes we’ll do the same thing on paper leaves and post leaves around as decoration, and we’ve even made paper link chains before where each link listed an item of thanks (this encouraged them to think of more than just a few items in order to have a chain long enough to hang!).  Last year I also posted several ways to try to stay thankful like this year round.

When I teach at Glory House I do an activity with them somewhat similar to these Thanksgiving activities (even when it’s not Thanksgiving time).  I can’t take credit for the idea though!  I think I first heard this tip from one of our pastors at church years ago.  I was taught to write down 3 things that God has brought me through, brought me to or delivered me from. They could be what God has done through victories, ways God has come through for me or has been faithful to me, answered prayers, etc.  I was then told to keep this list handy and reflect on it or refer back to it when I’m going through a rough time when things seem hopeless or bleak.  The ladies love when we do this activity.  They also usually come up with more than three, but three things are typically pretty easy to come up with and recall.  It’s just a good way to remember what God has done.  It helps us to think positively and gives us the mindset “He did it before.  He’ll do it again.” or “He helped me with that.  He’ll help me with this too.”

I also remember another tip Continue reading

Praise Music Is a Spiritual Anti-Depressant

Praise Music Is a Spiritual Anti-Depressant

Praise Music Is a Spiritual Anti-Depressant

We recently talked about some of the benefits of praise and praise music and how we should always start with praise.  This week I’d like to continue discussing some of the benefits of praise music and of praising God.  Another benefit of praise is for actually for us not for God.  Praise music actually has the ability to make us feel better.  It can calm us down when we are anxious or angry.  It can bring joy and cheer us up if we’re depressed or upset.  Another thing it can do is alleviate fear.  Overall, it really improves our general sense of well-being.  Listening and singing to praise music is a great way to get through a hard time.

I jokingly said to my church small group members one time, “Praise is like spiritual Prozac!”  In all seriousness, I really do “use” it like that from time to time.  And…it works every time.  There may be times when I have to spend longer listening to and singing along to praise music, but it always changes my mood and perception. 

How it helped me

I can remember a specific time in my life (one of the lowest points in my life) when I used praise like a spiritual anti-depressant.  It felt almost like I couldn’t exist without it.  I listened and sang along to praise music morning, noon, and night (if I wasn’t listening to encouraging podcasts).  I had songs downloaded to my phone, and I used my YouTube playlists.  In fact, I had to recharge my phone battery several times a day because I played praise music and listened to podcasts so much!  I remember I was even tanning at a tanning salon at the time, and I would turn their music down and put my phone with my praise music at the top of the tanning bed near my head so that I could even listen while I tanned.

The praise music was continuously playing.  I would turn the radio down in the car and listen to praise music on my phone while driving.  Additionally, I would carry it around and listen as I cleaned the house, did the dishes, or did laundry.  I would take it outside and listen as I worked in the yard.  Basically, I listened to it nonstop.  I felt almost as if I would have a meltdown or go into a full-on panic attack if I didn’t have praise music playing.  As a result, it really helped me get through a very dark time in my life.

Biblical examples…

I think some of our friends in biblical times also understood the benefits of praise music during difficult circumstances. Continue reading

This Will Change How You View Stress

Read this post to change how you view stress...

This Will Change How You View Stress 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) 

This past week in my college classes we were discussing stress…including its symptoms, causes, advantages, disadvantages, and how to manage it.  Since we are all about being Happy, Healthy and Prosperous at this website, I thought it fitting to discuss stress here too since it can have an impact on all three areas…our happiness, our prosperity and definitely our health.

The dictionary defines stress as physical, mental or emotional strain or tension.  Things that happen in your life can contribute to strong feelings of worry or anxiety.  Stress can also be felt when demands on you, in a variety of forms, increase or when you feel threatened by a situation.  There are many things that can factor in or add to stress, and most commonly stress has a negative connotation.  Stress can, however, be leveraged for good if balanced properly.

In class I showed a TED Talk video about how to make stress your friend.  This video greatly changed the way I have always perceived stress.  After viewing it myself, I immediately wanted to share it with my friends and family.  I would also like to share it here.  The video is about 14 minutes long, but it’s well worth the watch when you have the time.  Who knows…It may even prolong and enhance your life!  If you don’t have time to watch it now, I highly encourage you to bookmark the video link page and watch it later.  You can watch/bookmark the video on the TED website by clicking here or by clicking on the YouTube site link here (both sites have a “Watch Later” option).

I think it’s interesting that Continue reading