Living a Simple Life

Today’s verse:  Proverbs 13:7   A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.

Living a simple life.   This sounds so easy, but in reality it is not.  Society demands that we live a more complicated life.  Social media causes us to be competitive, to look our best, to out-do our friends in fun and fashion.  It requires that we always look good and enjoy our life.

Work causes us stress and makes u s competitive as well.  We want to be promoted, we want to look good to the boss, we want to get a raise.

Family stresses also abound.  As a parent, we try to be everything to everyone.  We are providers, coaches, nurses, cooks, cleaners, repairers, and so on.   We have to do it all.

Stresses such as these are not good for your health.  Life needs to be simple.   What if we just stay off of social media for a while?   Will  anyone really miss seeing us?  What if we take 15 to 30 minutes every day during work to just meditate, or go for a walk, or read something totally unrelated to work?   What if we don’t make our bed this morning or leave the housecleaning undone?  What if we do something simple, as a family, like a puzzle or read aloud a good novel?   Life does not have to be complicated, and it is so important to our health to do something simple.

Simplicity can be achieved in so many ways.   Taking a walk, enjoying nature, having family time, reading a book, discussing this book, meditating, taking a nap, deep breathing, living mindfully.   The benefits of a simpler life will show in your health.

As the verse above states, God wants our lives to be simple.  Throughout the Bible, he tells us not to be anxious, do not stress, be simple.  The Bible tells us that God will take on our troubles and our cares.  He will be our rock.  He will support us and save us.  Do not make life complicated.   Live simply, knowing that God will provide for all of your needs.      Blessings on your simple life!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/simple/”>Simple</a&gt;

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Invitation to Well-Being

Today’s verse:    Matthew 7:16-20  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Today I extend an invitation to all of you.   I invite everyone to jump on the well-being train.   This is not the same as wellness.  Wellness is concerned with your body and your health.   Well-being is for your mind, body and soul.   It is the complete package.  It is the route to happiness.   Unhealthy people can be happy, and healthy people can be unhappy.  But if you have well-being, you have health and happiness! People with a high sense of well-being have positive relationships, are generally happy, and have a great deal of control over their life.

So how do we get to this state of well being?   There are studies that suggest the following 5 things can help to acheive a sense of well-being.

  1.  Connect – relationships are extremely important.  The more positive relationships you have with family, friends and colleagues, the better off you will be.   Make sure to spend more time with your family – turn off the TV and the phones and have family time.  Volunteer or join community groups.  Build a social network.  This takes work but it is worth the time spent to develop these relationships.
  2. Learn  –  New skills add to a sense of achievement and boost your self-confidence.  Learning about something new helps toward your well-being.   Take some courses, learn a new skill, read about something new, learn a language, learn how to repair something in the home.   Anything to mentally challenge you is good.
  3. Exercise- being active fights depression and anxiety.  You don’t have to be an exercise freak – you can dance while doing housework, stand up while working, and park farther away in the parking lot.   Little 10 minute spurts of exercise add up to a day’s worth of well-being.
  4. Giving – It is always heartwarming to give.  Give anything, whether its your time, your money, or your words.  Being kind to someone has the ability to improve your well being.
  5. Mindfulness – be aware of the present.  Really taste your food,  really feel your clothing, really notice everything “in the minute”.   It all brings about a a positive change in the way you view life.

In addition to the invitation to well-being, I invite you to join me in spiritual exercise.   “Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.  Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.  This is true and everyone should accept it.”   (1 Timothy 4:  7-9)

Blessings to everyone who reads this and I hope you will join me in well-being!

Invitation

Reboot Your Life

Today’s verse:  Job 17:9 the righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.

Sometimes life doesn’t go as we plan.  We fall into old, bad habits.  Our health deteriorates.  Our addictions overwhelm us.  Our kids don’t do what we want them to do.  Our parents get old and need care.  We sometimes feel like such failures.

But we then must call on our inner strength.  We all have it, but we don’t always exercise it.  Sometimes we like to wallow in our misery for a while, and hope that everyone feels sorry for us.  But this is so unhealthy, and leads to a worse state of being.  So we need to dig up the inner strength and move forward.  But how???

What do we do when our computers or TVs or other gadgets fail us?  The answer is always the same – reboot!   And amazingly, it always seems to fix whatever the problem was.

So let’s reboot our life!  We can turn off the negativity, turn off the bad habits, turn off the addictions and start fresh. Even if it is our health or the health of a loved one that is failing, there are ways to re-boot and feel better. Exercise is a lifesaver, literally. Healthy eating habits are another. Affirmations that we are great, said every morning out loud, do wonders for our mental health. Taking one hour a day just for ourselves is also important.  Don’t dwell on the negative, but rather focus on the positive.  Pray without ceasing.  God always listens to our prayers, and our prayers should not only be for help, but also to give thanks.  We should never forget the source of all of our blessings.  With these actions, we are re-booted and working fine! It may take some effort on our part, but the end is worth the trip!   Blessings to all on your journey to a better life!

 

 

No Mope, Just Hope!

It’s the last weekend of the year.   We are getting ready to start a brand new, exciting year.   No moping about what you didn’t accomplish in 2016- let’s celebrate what we will do in 2017.

This is a chance to wipe the slate clean and make a brand new start.  It sounds like a cliche, but it has a ring of truth to it.   So we didn’t lose the weight we wanted to this year, so what?   It is discouraging, but let’s start over again with renewed effort.  We can make resolutions, but those always fall through.  Instead of resolutions, let’s make commitments and goals.  Write them down and chart our progress.  It’s easy to follow through when you  have committed something to writing.

So no mopey faces this weekend. mope No defeatist attitudes.  No saying ” I can’t do it!” No mope, just hope!   And what is the greatest way to hope?  Believe in Jesus Christ.  Make a commitment to have Him in your life more this year.  Whatever you do, do more for Christ.  If you don’t do anything, make a commitment to start – just start by praying or attending church or talking to someone about religion.   If you already are committed to Christ, do more.  Take the extra step – invite someone to join you on your journey.  Help the needy.  Give more time or finances.  Do something to step it up.  Jesus doesn’t want us to mope – He wants us to be happy and celebrate life.  So whatever ails you, whatever failed you, leave it behind this weekend and start a new year with the full light of Christ shining on and through you.   Blessings to all for a safe and happy New Year!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mope/”>Mope</a&gt;

Dealing with the Unexpected

Today’s verse:   Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.   James 4:13-14

I have been away for a while, re-organizing my life.   My father-in-law, who is in the early stages of dementia, has come to live with us.   It has turned our life as we know it upside down!   Life has a way of doing that, of taking us down a road we might not have chosen for ourselves.

My father-in-law has always been a difficult person, and as a result, has very few friends as a support group.  His family has also turned against him for many actions that he has taken in the past.   When he got himself into some legal trouble earlier this year, my husband and I decided that we had to move him in with us for his own safety.  We had tried assisted living, but he was miserable and kept running away.

He is not happy with this decision to come here.  Although we have turned our basement into a handicap accessible apartment for him, he still longs to return to his home.  He wants to be married (he lost his wife two years ago and has re-married twice, both times ending in divorce after a few months).  He is hard of hearing and has virtually no short-term memory.   He needs assistance with money management, medication management, and many other daily tasks.   He has long periods of lucidity, but can’t remember what day or month it is.  It is heartbreaking to see his brain slowly dying.

Was this what we were expecting in our retirement years?   Was this how we envisioned ourselves when we became empty-nesters?   Certainly not!   But we must remember, it is not our place to challenge the plan that God has for us.  We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we trust that the Lord knows. We must not despair and be selfish, thinking that this is not fair and we don’t deserve this.  We must keep our spirits up and be positive.

We are being tested daily, and there are days when patience is in very short supply. Sometimes it is difficult to answer the same question twenty times in one day, or to shout everything in order to be heard. Then we put ourselves in his shoes and try to imagine how life must be for him at this point.He is a fiercely independent man who has always been the undisputed head of the family.  Now he is dependent on someone else, and is frustrated at his failing mind and body.  He is often angry and confused.   I can’t blame him.  So we all pray and ask God to reveal his plan for us.   We ask that we seek his will, not ours.  We are learning to expect the unexpected, because we all know that God will not let us down.

Blessings to all of you = especially those caretakers among you – God bless you!

 

 

Run the Race and Don’t Give Up!

Today’s verse:   Matthew 20:  16  “”So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Is anyone inspired by the Olympics like I am?   I am just in awe of these athletes. I cannot even imagine the training and the time and commitment that go into becoming the best in the world at something.  Of course most of the gold medalists become famous, known for their triumph and skill.

But what about all of the others that compete?  The ones that don’t finish first, or even third. There are thousands of athletes from every country that work just as hard, train just as long, and make just as much of a commitment as the others.  These are the ones that I admire most.  They not only have committed their lives to their training, but many know that they cannot possibly win a medal. But they don’t give up, they don’t stop trying.  They believe in themselves.  Just to make it to the Olympics is enough of a win for them.  What an honor!

We all face trials in our lives – some of us struggle with addictions that we can’t seem to overcome.  Some of us just cannot lose that weight that holds us back.  Some of us are unhealthy in many ways, and just can’t seem to get better.  We need to make the dedication and commitment of an Olympic athlete.  We need to never give up, never stop believing in ourselves.  We many not be able to win a gold medal, but we can overcome!   We have God on our side, and he is always faithful and just.  He gives us strength and holds us up.  He supports us through our trials and never stops believing in us.

We can’t compare ourselves to others.  We can’t give up because we will never be skinny like those models.  We can’t stop trying to quit an addiction because it’s too hard.  Don’t get caught up in the world’s way of ranking thing.  To quote Got Questions Ministry  “Those who are first in the opinion of others (or first in their own opinion!) may be surprised to learn, on Judgment Day, they are last in God’s opinion.”    Blessings to all as you continue the race towards healthier lives! Read on for today’s Healthy Living Recipe

A Psalm of Praise

Today’s verse:  A Psalm of Praise – Psalm 145: 1-2 (see end of blog for full  Psalm- read and meditate on it.   I have highlighted in red the portions that are exceptionally helpful to me.)

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

Meghan Trainor has a song out that says, in part:

“I thank God every day
That I woke up feelin’ this way
And I can’t help lovin’ myself
And I don’t need nobody else,”

I don’t agree with the rest of the song, but I love the chorus and the catchy tune.  It is true that I praise God every day for waking up, feeling good, and loving myself.  I don’t need anyone else to validate me, because I have the love of God in my life.

It is so important to go through life with God’s support, so that we can love ourselves. There is no reason for us to be down on ourselves, to hate ourselves for our mistakes, and to feel bad about ourselves.   We are wonderful creations of God and he will never look down on us.  So praise him to the moon and back when you get up every day.

Praise him for giving you life.  Praise him for sending his Son to die for our sins. Praise him for each day, no matter how bad you feel.  Praise him for his strength and comfort.   Praise him for all of our blessings.  Read today’s verse, Psalm 145.  It is a psalm of praise and truly brings home how wonderful God is to us, and how much we need to thank him for our blessings.  Amen!

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.” 

Praise