Making our identity in Christ our foundation for living may be the million dollar goal for most believers.
After all, God accepts, secures, and gives us significance with basically one purpose: to advance the kingdom while giving Him glory.
The snag is that if we don't know exactly WHO we are in Christ, we may stumble a bit on our mission. In other words, if we don't believe God's affirmations and declarations about us and really let those sink way down deep into our souls, then our light may not be shining as brightly as it could.
The end result? We may feel like a failure, less than, not enough, unworthy, incapable, and we may lose hope and inspiration along the way.
So what's the remedy?
It’s just that time of year in Kentucky when we go hiking and camping! The nights are cooler and not so stuffy and the fireside is inviting to chase away the chill. My family has a trip planned out to Red River Gorge within the next couple of weeks, and I cannot wait.
My favorite part is disconnecting from the world, reconnecting and being present with those I love the most in this life, putting my phone away, letting the dust from all my busy-ness, and slowing down to think and reorient a bit and relax.
Oxygen fills my lungs, God’s beautiful creation captivates my attention and the stress just rolls away. My heart fills up to full again – camping is right up there with a stroll on the ocean beach to me.
Connecting the dots between camping and hiking literally and spiritually is the fun-themed podcast topic for the day.
Let's welcome Cheri Scott, Executive Director for Avenues for Women -- a pregnancy center in Frankfort KY offering 100% free counseling and medical services for their clients, to the Choose 2 Think Podcast Episode 037 Pro Woman.
Not only does Avenues for Women advocate for the sanctity of human life in the womb, they also advocate for the sanctity of the life of the woman, young or old, who walks through their doors, takes a seat in their office, and is carrying that tiny life within her.
If you wake up feeling really drained, not quite yourself, even tired and achy after sleeping seven hours..well, in a way that's good news! Because when you are empty, this means you can be filled!
I cannot tell you the days that I have awaken kinda like that. It's like the day hadn't even started, and I already felt defeated, overwhelmed, and discouraged. Even now, I think I am as busy in my life as I ever have been, I can feel the weight of commitments and obligations bearing down on me. Thankful to God, I now have a strategy on overcoming those feelings of dread and anxiety.
Over the next few posts, let's dig deeper into how to deal with this type of discouragement and stress. We're going to take a close look at what's filling your tank because you will "run" each day based on the type of "fuel" you are using.
If you are filling your tank full of negative thoughts and toxic emotions, then you will drive to places congruent with the energy inside: dark, toxic, and negative. If you fill your tank with God's Truth, you will discover new and exciting ways to manage your life.
Come with me as we 1) acknowledge the issues, 2) develop new gateways for processing our thoughts, and 3) execute our unique plan to build healthy thought patterns and habits.
Make smooth in the desert
Yes, there is a connection! Just try using that trimmer for about 2 hours, slashing here, lifting there, stooping here and hacking there...and then tell me if Menopause didn't steal your muscle mass.
Okay, so maybe I didn't have much muscle mass before, BUT I don't remember this type of arm, leg, and back fatigue ever in my life! What's going on?!
It's actually simple. The physical aspects of reaching that post-menopause stage of life are to be reckoned with.
Here are a few facts about how undergoing menopause affects our bods:
Okay. Before you throw up your arms in defeat, please understand that there is a solution! You can win this battle!
Let me share with you my personal plan to overcome the physical woes of menopause. I am determined to be healthier than ever! I'm really motivated!
I've worked so hard to raise my kids, to support my family, to serve Christ. I'm stepping into a season where I have more and more and more to GIVE! And I MUST be prepared physically!
I refuse to comply with the downward spiral that menopause initiates or its beckoning nosedive into lethargy. No, no, no.
And let's get this straight right now: I don't HAVE to work harder than ever to stay physically fit and healthy. I GET to! I WANT to!
But, listen. My plan has to be extremely simple. I must be consistent. It's a MINIMALIST, EASY TO EXECUTE PLAN -- otherwise, I get a bit overwhelmed and discouraged. In other words, this has to be something that I can reasonably do and incrementally adjust to make more challenging. Let's weave healthy living into our regular routine, not make it something extra to do each day.
My current physical fitness plan to enjoy and optimize my Divine Upgrade incorporates the following:
EXERCISE: 10-10-10 plan
(10K steps, 10 mins. aerobic, 10 mins. weights) every day. Thank you to Elaine and Sandy for all those Fitbit challenges! I make cardio at least 10 mins. of those steps. I use an bicycle, trampoline, jog, play tennis, or jump rope to change up the daily routine a bit--and to make my body sweat and to increase my metabolism! I use hand and ankle weights when walking or riding the bike to increase that muscle mass. I bounce around and jump when I can to keep my bones and joints powerful and flexible.
I want to be STRONG! I want to have STAMINA! This means I have to stretch and work those muscles. I can do squats for my legs, use YouTube videos for overall stretching and relaxing, etc. My grandmother said, "If you keep doing whatever makes you sore, it will keep you from staying sore in the future! [So - does anyone need me to trim bushes and cut away brush?]
Let's MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT.
Build a community to enjoy movement together. If sitting is the new smoking, then we'd better not sit! If you work a lot at a desk like I do, set a timer for 25 minutes to remind you to get up and stretch or walk a bit. Get a dog! This is a great excuse to take walks. Exercise with family and friends. What blessings! I have a couple of "walking" friends. One friend and I meet at the mall to walk our hineys off, and another and I live further apart so we make monthly dates to "walk and talk" on the phone from the comfort of our own neighborhoods.
These are double wins that we can build in to our determination to make the time to be as physically strong and fit as we possibly can. Who knows what life adventures are awaiting?! Let's not allow our physical state to be a deterrent to fulfilling God's purpose for us on this earth!
I'm a count calorie-counting junkie limiting my intake to around 1200/day. If I'm still hungry after that point, I go for fruit and veggies so who cares if I exceed my limit then! I really don't like diets and I'm not legalistic, but I try to make that 1200 include low cholesterol choices, low-fat, high fiber, organic (thank goodness the prices are coming down!), and some good calcium options to help strengthen my bones.
Try intermittent fasting for a week. Or choose to fast from your trigger or comfort foods. Visit the local markets to patronize those hard working farmers who are growing things just for you, to deliver them to you fresh and free of chemicals.
Drink water! You know my saga on just drinking 32 oz./day! I am almost ready to up that to 48! Lord, please help me! Avoid refined sugars and empty carbs! No rocket science here.
Splurge occasionally. Have one "cheat" day a month where you let things blow to the wind. Today a dear friend treated me to a Mexican restaurant. Whoosh, did I enjoy those chips and salsa, plus I think I practically licked my plate clean! Mexican cuisine is high on my no-no chart, but today, well, I just enjoyed it because I knew it was a treat. The real treat was seeing her, but the food was scrumptious too! The point: Don't make food your enemy.
I am a minimalist when it comes to make-up, but I do make sure that I lavish my skin with moisturizer and sun screen. Need a really awesome hair stylist who uses natural AVEDA products? Look up my friend Darlene at South Hill Salon! In my book, gray is an attitude. I don't have that attitude just yet, so I'm saying, "no thanks" to gray at the moment.
Treat yourself to a manicure or a massage or maybe a new shade of lipstick. Step into your beautiful, amazing, attractive, awesome femininity! And while we're chatting about our looks.... Ladies, if you haven't come to grips with the fact that God made you in His image, that your body is a temple of the Spirit...then Now. Is. The. Time.
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. Reject the lies that society feeds you about how you must look. If your motivation to look and feel great is so that you will somehow conform to what society values or to please someone else, you are taking a huge risk.
In that arena, you will NEVER be enough. You will NEVER achieve that perfect look. You will NEVER measure up. You will NEVER look as good as Sally down the street.
Find your motivation. LOOK like the healthy, vibrant, happy WOMAN God made you to be! Desire HEALTH and WHOLENESS, not perfection and worldly standards.
To help myself sleep at night, I limit caffeine to morning hours only. I also take at least one short nap during the day when I can to get a physical (and mental) recharge.
Stretching during the day helps me reduce stress and relaxes my body especially when I've been sitting at my screen all day. My thoughts and emotions impact my actions - so I had better be mindful of what I'm thinking!
Also, go hug someone today! Get a dog! Physical touch is POWERFUL!
Listen to your favorite music, laugh, do a favor, reach out to others, bless someone, and most importantly show gratitude (the quintessential attitude and mindset no matter what stage of living and giving you find yourself in!).
It doesn't matter where you find yourself at this moment. It is NEVER TOO LATE to start doing what is RIGHT! Make the decision today to choose life and health and vibrancy. Your system is in for a Wonderfully Divine UPGRADE! Don't let the aging process become an excuse to stop thriving and living and loving.
As you grow stronger and wiser, you will make a beautiful impact on this world! You are unique. You have so much to offer. Share with us your wealth! We want to see you at your best.
What are you waiting for?
Such a good reminder to put God first in everything!
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