Overcoming Fear Through Rejoicing and Requesting

Overcoming Fear Through Rejoicing and Requesting
Philippians 4:4-7 tells us:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Let's walk through this for a moment.

The first thing Paul tells us to do is REJOICE. Why do you think that is? Not only rejoice, but rejoice in the Lord, and to do so always.

As much as we'd like to think we're great multitaskers, the truth is that we can really only focus on one thing at a time. If we're busy focusing on rejoicing in the Lord, we don't have the mental capacity to pay attention to our fears, worries, phobias, and problems.

Paul goes on to say that we are to make our requests known, through prayer and with thanksgiving.

Not only are we supposed to rejoice, always, in the Lord, but when we request things of God as we're instructed, we're supposed to also do this with thanksgiving. 

So first we make sure that we're rejoicing in the Lord. What does that mean? We rejoice simply in Who God is. He is the Almighty who loves us unconditionally. Who sees every terrible thing we've done, and instead of shunning us for eternity, sent His son to take our place because despite those awful things, He still wanted to keep us forever! Sometimes that's hard to comprehend - especially when we think about the people around us who have done terrible things. Sometimes we'd much rather shun them - but not God.

We can rejoice that God is:

  • All powerful
  • Loving
  • Gracious
  • Merciful
  • Kind
  • Just
  • Wise
  • Considerate
Plus a host of other wonderful and amazing things!

As we rejoice in all that God is, we are also supposed to come to Him with our requests. This doesn't mean only the prayer requests of those around us; God truly wants you to speak about what's on your own heart. Sure, He already knows - but He wants you to ask Him. It's the simple act of asking Him that creates the relationship He wants with us. There's no relationship there if we simply expect Him to just do everything He knows we want, without ever expressing ourselves to Him. Relationships involve communication. 

God not only invites us to request things of Him, but He is instructing us to do so!

We are to make these requests through prayer, and supplication with thanksgiving. 

What in the world does that mean?

He doesn't want us to simply lay out a Christmas list of desires. He wants us to be grateful for the things that we have. What's the point in giving us more if we don't appreciate what He's already given us?

Sometimes this can be difficult - but look at what Paul says will happen if we do this: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

WOW! This is the type of peace that we can't even wrap our minds around. Have you ever experienced that? Where you just felt so peaceful and you simply couldn't explain it? 

Friend, do you want that kind of peace to wash over your heart and flood your mind? The peace that drowns out all of your worries, makes all of your fears obsolete, and cures every phobia?

The instructions are simple: rejoice in the Lord always, make your requests known to Him through prayer and with thanksgiving. Perhaps not the easiest of instructions, but they are simple. 

Here is my challenge to you today: spend a few moments writing down the attributes of God that you can rejoice over. Write down as many as you can think of - feel free to Google some if you need reminders. Put this list up where you can see it and refer to it everyday.

Then write out your requests for God - next to each request, include a reason to be thankful. Ask Him for more of His peace to reign in your heart and mind. He's promised it to you; it's okay to thank Him in advance for it as well as part of your thanksgiving.

I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite attributes of God?

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Bursts of Energy - From the Outside, IN! (AKA - The Lazy Girl's Guide to Energy 😄)

Bursts of Energy - From the Outside, IN! (AKA - The Lazy Girl's Guide to Energy 😄)
When we talk about boosting our energy, we often hear things like "drink more water", "get some exercise", "take your vitamins", and other things we need to physically DO. 

But what are some external sources that can sometimes increase - or zap - our energy?

Exposure to Light

Have you heard of Seasonal Depressive Disorder? It's a real thing. That's when some people experience feelings of depression during the months when there is much less sunlight. The weather isn't as pretty, so we often stay indoors.

It's also common for people who work indoors under florescent lights all day to experience some symptoms of fatigue and depression, due to lack of natural light.

If you find this is the case for you as well, try making a habit of spending at least 10-15 intentional minutes outdoors each day. Even if it's cloudy, you can still reap the benefits of UV exposure and increased Vitamin D, which will boost your energy.


Our sense of smell is very powerful and can bring up a lot of memories. If we smell something that reminds us of something painful, that can drain our energy. Synthetic fragrances made in a lab with lots of chemicals can be incredibly draining as well, because our bodies weren't designed to process manmade chemicals. When we're around a lot of "fragrances", our bodies are fighting to work through those which means other functions (e.g. energy producing functions) can sometimes lag. 

It's helpful to surround yourself with natural scents that uplift and encourage you. Fresh baked bread or desserts are wonderful if they invoke happy memories. Flowers and plants are great choices. An easy way to access scents like this is with essential oils! Just be sure you know the source of the oils you use, because so many are mis-labled and actually contain fillers or synthetic chemicals to make them more cost effective (I will only use Young Living because of their transparency and commitment to quality).

What You See

Scientists tell us that many different colors can invoke certain emotions, which can greatly affect our energy. Surrounding yourself with bright colors like yellow, orange, and green can be helpful. More muted colors such as grays, browns, and blacks might drain energy. 

If you're able to paint your walls with colors that energize you, go for it! If that's not an option, some things you can do are to buy decorations like wall art, flowers, pillows, desk accessories in the colors of your choice. 

What You Hear

When you surround yourself with sounds of complaints, or the musings of the melancholy, it's easy to take those feelings on yourself. Negative feelings like these can very quickly suck the life and energy right out of you! 

If you find yourself listening to people who tend to complain a lot, make an effort to infuse the conversation with positivity, or consider spending less time with those people and more time with those who are upbeat. 

Take some time to think about the music, podcasts, and shows you listen to. Do you feel encouraged, lifted up, and optimistic afterwards? Or do they leave you feeling sad or downtrodden? What enters our minds via words and music can have a dramatic effect on our emotions, which can then affect our energy levels.

After evaluating these different external elements, what are some areas where you think you could benefit from a few tweaks or changes? 

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My Favorite FREE YouTube Workout Instructors!

My Favorite FREE YouTube Workout Instructors!
Gyms can advertise all they want that they're no judgement zones and everyone is welcome, but for me...NOPE. I just don't like them. 

Lee and I have gone a few times (pre-Covid) and mostly do the 30-minute circuit because no one else uses it. But honestly? I hate the gym.

I do not like working out with other people around. I am not that graceful, I do not flow well, I look ridiculous, and I'd much rather look silly in private, thankyouverymuch.

For those of you who are like me and hate the gym, I thought I'd share a few of the FREE workouts I've found to do at home!

First, you have your basic walking/jogging/swimming (if you have a pool - I don't).

Second, YOUTUBE.

It's my favorite.

Here are some of the best (in my opinion!) fitness instructors on YouTube, who have full workout videos available.

If you're just starting out...
If you're intermediate...
For the more advanced peeps...

These are only a few of the ones that I use regularly, but there are SO many more for you to explore! 

If you try one, let me know which one and what you think!

Do you have any other YouTube favorite fitness instructors you would add to this?

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SNOOZE! What Snoozing Really Does To Your Health, And How To Break The Habit

SNOOZE! What Snoozing Really Does To Your Health, And How To Break The Habit

Monday morning. 6 a.m. Your alarm goes off and your first thought is to tap that Snooze button once or twice, because really, you don’t have to get out of bed until 6:30 a.m.

But wait - those extra few minutes of “sleep” could actually do you more harm than good, and here’s why.

Think about the stages of sleep: light, then deep, and finally REM.

  • Light: your heart rate slows and body temperature drops.

  • Deep: your body is regrowing tissue, building bone and muscle, and strengthening your immune system.

  • REM: this is the good stuff, when your body goes through all of its restorative process.

This whole cycle takes about 90 minutes, and different stages are repeated throughout the night.

When your body wakes up, and then returns to sleep but isn’t able to process through a full cycle, it can result in:

  • Drowsiness

  • Irritability

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Inability to recall or retain information

  • Difficulty sleeping

Those aren’t quite the health goals we’re reaching for!

So how can you break the snooze button habit? 

Good news - it’s easier than you think with just a few simple tweaks. 

  • Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room, so you have to physically get up to turn it off.

  • Start going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night, until you’re consistently going to sleep 30 minutes earlier than you were. If you’re still tired upon waking, repeat until you’re getting to bed an hour earlier.

  • Make sure your sleep is productive, by discontinuing use of electronic devices 90 minutes before bed, ensuring your mattress is comfortable, the temperature in your house is cool enough, and your room is dark and quiet.

  • Avoid caffeine by mid-afternoon (even if you think you fall asleep just fine with a double espresso before bed, it could hinder your sleep quality)

  • Find something that makes you excited to get up, like a new workout, a new devotional book, a morning beverage you love.

  • Exercise regularly. The ideal is at least 30 minutes per day, but even just 10 minutes will give you some major benefits.

You’ll find that the more often you wake up as soon as that alarm goes off, the more alert and rested you’ll feel during the day. 

Tell me, which of these tips do you think you can implement today to help you break the snooze habit?

And if you’re looking for more energy throughout the day, be sure to grab my free guide on 5 Ways to Boost Your Energy!

5 Ways to Stay Positive During a Pandemic

5 Ways to Stay Positive During a Pandemic
How often would you say you complain?

According to an article on entrepreneur.com, research shows most people complain about once a minute during a typical conversation. That's a LOT! 🤯

Most of the time we complain because we want to "vent", and it just feels good to know that other people feel our pain and empathize with our situation.

When we complain, our brain builds pathways to ease the flow of information, which just makes it that much easier to complain again and again.
And again...

Eventually complaining becomes our default behavior, which not only damages our relationships, but it can also physically damage our brain as well.

Stanford University ran a study that shows complaining can damage the hippocampus. The hippocampus is what Alzheimer's primary destroys, so let that sink in for a minute.

You can cause the same type of damage that Alzheimer's causes just by complaining.

Complaining can wreak physical havoc as well. When we complain, cortisol is released in order to prepare our bodies for fight-or-flight mode, and this raises blood pressure and blood sugar. The extra cortisol released also impairs our immune system which makes us more susceptible to a whole host of issues.

Have you heard the saying that you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you? That's because our brains tend to subconsciously mirror the moods of the people we spend the most time with. If you're around people who complain a lot, you can experience the same damage as if YOU were the one complaining.

Likewise, when you complain, you can damage those you love and are closest to you in those ways as well.

In this season of stress and unrest due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, it is more important than ever to protect ourselves against anything that can damage our immune systems, our bodies, and our minds.

Fear makes it so much easier for us to complain under these circumstances, though, right?

So what can we do to keep ours hearts and minds positive and avoid the damaging effects of complaining, when our worlds feel like they're in a tailspin?

1. Be grateful. 
We've all heard the suggestion to start our day with gratitude, but I would challenge you not only to start your day, but maybe set a reminder for throughout the day to think of more things to be grateful for. The floors in your home, the roof, the people who built it, coffee, your family, your pets, a safe environment, anything you can think to be grateful for.

2. Hear truth. 
Recognize that our feelings are NOT truth. We may feel scared, we may feel hopeless, we may feel lonely, but we have to remember that God promises to protect us, to give us hope, and to never leave us. Focus on TRUTH.

3. Practice self-care.
Take some time to participate in some soothing self-care. Take a bath, go for a walk, search YouTube for some quick workouts, read Scripture, pray, listen to worship music. Just enjoy some relaxation and peace.

4. LAUGH! 
Watch a funny movie on Netflix, search YouTube for comedians, Google jokes you can share with your family. Laugh together, play some board games, just have fun.

5. Stay connected. 
Make sure to stay connected with the outside world however you safely can, whether by phone, social media, video chatting, or sending snail mail. Now is the perfect time to handwrite some letters to loved ones and brighten their day. Staying connected and doing something kind for others will surely brighten your day and lessen any need to complain.

The next time you feel tempted to complain or release any kind of negative energy, keep in mind that our goal right now is to stay healthy.

Try this: keep a rubber band or hair tie on your wrist and snap it when you notice yourself complaining. You'll start to see just how often it actually happens, and it can be surprising!

Which one of these tips will you try today to help yourself break the habit of complaining and get through this pandemic successfully?
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