Can you relate to this story?

Can you relate to this story?
Picture this: Christmas morning, you wake up, make a cup of coffee (or tea), and everyone gathers around the tree to open up gifts.

You're SO excited, because you wrapped up the PERFECT gift for your kid. They've been begging you for this over and over again, sometimes with tears in their eyes, for MONTHS.

As the pile of presents grows smaller and smaller with each gift opened, you see that shiny, beautifully wrapped, ribbon-laden box with the tag that has your child's name on it.

They reach for it, and you hold your breath as they tear off the paper and open the lid to see what's inside.

Overwhelming joy rushes out of them as they thank you and hug you and thank you some more. You can't help but feel like Best Mom In the Universe!

The next day, you notice the box is still there, with the gift still inside. A week later, it hasn't been touched or moved.

A month later, your kid comes to you with tears, begging for this one gift again. You remind them that you've already given it to them, and their response is, "But...I keep forgetting it's there, and when I remember, the instructions just seem too difficult!"

And this amazing gift sits unused, because your child has made the choice to not take hold of it.

This, my sweet friend, is what we often do with Jesus' gift of PEACE. 

In John 14:27, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

We beg Him for it, with tears in our eyes. He hands it to us in a shiny package called the Bible, wrapped in the Holy Spirit, and we leave it to sit unused. 

Does that sound familiar to you, even just a little bit?

Yes, His peace comes with instructions, but they are clearly laid out for us and simple to follow

Not easy - sometimes it's much easier to NOT follow them. Which is probably why we make the choice to ignore them, and then His peace sits unused yet again. But friend, that is OUR choice. God isn't taking that gift back, or hiding it from us. It's sitting right where we left it; we're just making the choice to ignore it and His instructions.

If you struggle with feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, worry, helplessness, hopelessness, or anything like those, please know that Jesus has already given you His peace. It is YOURS. It cannot be taken away from you. You can choose to ignore it, or you can choose to read the instructions and learn how to use it. But the gift is YOURS and the choice is YOURS.

I would be honored to talk more about this with you and pray with you. Please feel free to reach out to me at missiannsmith@gmail.com anytime! 

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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.

Scent

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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Would you take a bath in your bed? 🤦🏻‍♀️

Would you take a bath in your bed? 🤦🏻‍♀️
Sleep Hygiene

When I first heard that phrase, I had visions of a bathtub in my bed. 🛀🏻 Literal hygiene. 

Apparently not. 😂

Sleep hygiene refers to the ways you take care of your health to promote better sleep. 

Some people are diligent about making sure they exercise regularly, avoid caffeine late in the day, stick to a strict sleep/wake schedule, and turn off all electronics.

Other people are on their cell phones as they fall asleep, or watching TV. They don't exercise, they consume a lot of alcohol late at night, and have a tendency to go to bed at all different times.

Which of those people do you think sleep better and feel more refreshed and energetic throughout the day?

My money is on the first group of people. Those are the ones with good sleep hygiene habits.

Did you know that 35% of adults admit to getting less than 7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period? This, my friend, is the definition of sleep deprivation.

What happens when you're sleep deprived?

Lots of things. For one, sleep deprivation is the cause of 1,500 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries every single year in the United States

And what else?

  • It can cause you to be less alert, less able to focus, and less able to problem solve.
  • It hinders your ability to lose weight (and can actually cause you to gain weight).
  • Causes your skin to age faster.
  • Impairs your memory.
  • Can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure - both of which can be fatal.
  • Increases risk of depression and anxiety.
This is why sleep hygiene is so important!

There's a lot more than just a handful of habits that go into sleep hygiene - the foods you eat; the books you read; what you think about during the day can even affect your sleep.

That's why I have a FREE Sleep Checklist available for you to download and work through, to help you develop better sleep hygiene habits so that you can begin to sleep more soundly each night, and wake up feeling refreshed throughout the day. I want you to live your life feeling as good as possible

Click here to grab yours!

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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!

 
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