Tag Archives: health

Giving Love to the Grieving Heart

IMG_2029

Many of my readers are currently navigating the journey of grief with close relatives or friends. Grief changes people. Grief changes the everyday routines of the home. Grief changes relationship dynamics. Grief can be very troubling.

It can often be very difficult to deal with a grieving person. It’s hard to know what to say and when. It’s easy to offend a grieving heart. It’s tempting to try and “rush” the grief.  We just want that person “back to normal.”

I want to offer a few thoughts on grief and ways to give love to a grieving heart. This list is by no means exhaustive. However, I think these ideas may encourage that person who is struggling in relationship to a grieving person. Continue reading Giving Love to the Grieving Heart

Wednesday Whispers #3

IMG_4368 (1)

Opportunity vs. Disruption: Paul David Tripp podcast

I’ll never forget the first time I read a book by Paul David Tripp and then attended a parenting seminar with Paul . . . his words left me with a burning desire to know more of God and to give my children a huge view of our awesome God! I have such admiration for this man of God who lives and teaches the Gospel. Parents, you are missing out if you’ve never met this guy!

How to Teach Your Child Obedience (without Raising a Legalist)

“As we are the ones teaching our children about God, we especially need to ensure that as we teach them obedience it does not get confused with legalism. I have too many friends that grew up in households that were so focused only on behavior modification that they grew up thinking God only wanted good works from them.

. . . As we teach obedience we can’t avoid talking about the actual acts we expect of our children, nor should we, but there are certain things we can do as parents to teach obedience without it leading to legalism or the belief that they can earn salvation and acceptance from God by being “good” or performing. Here are seven ways we can do just that.”  Christina Patterson

Be Held (Lullabies for the Beloved) Christy Nockels

This music album is a favorite in our house! I’ve often given this CD as a baby gift. These lullabies remind me to rest in Christ . . . to be held by His unending love and grace. Elysabeth often requests to hear “River of Grace.” It’s her favorite!

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety Dawn Huebner

Last school year, I found myself sitting in a professional Christian counseling office. One of my children was struggling with anxiety about school. The constant headaches, lack of appetite for breakfast, intermittent nightmares, tears, and the struggle to sleep had taken a toll on both of us. One of the tools that she suggested was this workbook designed for children. God greatly used this book to give my child language for her struggles and tools to help her overcome much of the anxiety!

Carrot Casserole . . . a family favorite!

My kids ALWAYS request this dish for holidays . . . and often throughout other times of the year. It’s delish!

2 lb. fresh carrots (peeled and washed)

½ c. onion, chopped 

1 c. grated cheese

½ t. salt

2/3 c. mayo

1 T. sugar

1 stick butter

1 tube Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and wash the carrots. Cut the carrots into small circles. Finely dice/chop the onion. Boil the carrots and onions together until soft then drain. (You don’t want the carrots to be too mushy.) Mix the cheese, salt, mayo, and sugar into a bowl. Add the carrots and onions into the sauce. Pour mixture into a casserole dish.  Crush crackers and spread over casserole. Melt butter and pour over the crackers. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Enjoy!!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

 

 

Learning to Trust His Heart

FullSizeRender

Exactly four months ago today, Jason experienced a massive heart attack. Who would have thought that my healthy, in-shape, non-smoker husband would almost lose his life at 38 years old? Life can change so very fast! Each day we are given is truly a gift from God.

God has been very faithful to provide healing for Jason in the past few months. But his life has definitely been changed. My life has also held many changes. Our family has had to adjust to many “new normals.” Continue reading Learning to Trust His Heart

Fighting for Joy Physically

 

Sweet friends,

As I mentioned in a previous post , I’ve spent the last few months fighting for the JOY of the Lord! I have come to know that fighting for joy is not exclusive to fighting only spiritually. Fighting for His joy has meant that I must fight physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. As I give attention to my whole being, I am able to more effectively war in the fight for joy.

Let me share a few ways that I am fighting for joy in physical ways-

  1. Exercising- Our bodies are designed to move! Research shows that endorphins (those little things that make you happy) are released when we exercise. Many days I do not want to exercise or necessarily have the time to exercise. . .but I know the value of exercise and what it does for my body and mind. In the past few months, I have been walking the neighborhood in the early mornings with a friend.  Having an accountability partner and friend makes a huge difference for me! Recently, our family has joined the local YMCA and plans to utilize the many options for classes, equipment, and accountability found there. I’m loving the Yoga class! Getting started with exercise is by far the hardest part! Yet I can’t tell you how I’ve benefitted in multiple ways from my choice to exercise. Consistent exercise really does help in the fight for joy. . .exercise helps me avoid depression, anxiety, and other health issues.
  2. Eating healthy- Making wise food choices directly affects my overall well-being. Limiting sweets, processed foods, and gluten continues to be a challenge for me in this fight for joy. However, I have learned that my body functions in a more healthy way when I say “NO” to these triggers. God designed our bodies to need healthy nourishment to function at our best capacity. It’s my goal to serve my family and others with energy, joy, and kindness. Eating healthy helps me accomplish my goals.
  3. Sleeping– I’m a girl who needs a solid 8 hours of sleep to function at my best level! My husband, on the other hand, is a grump when he gets too much sleep. His body doesn’t seem to require the same amount of sleep that I do! Learning what your body needs is very important. Getting my 8 hours of sleep is a priority to me. I work hard to get into bed on time so I can get up on time. Often, this means putting aside some “work” that needs to be done, setting aside housechores that can wait, and putting down my phone or computer in the evening. It takes discipline to get to bed on time! Again, God designed our bodies to need rest. I will say that getting quality sleep during the past few years has been quite a challenge for me. Throughout the grief journey and many changes that I’ve walked through, my body has gone “on strike” many nights. Insomnia, stress, and anxiety have robbed many nights of good sleep! Yet, I have practiced many effective habits for getting a better night’s rest. Deep breathing, essential oils, massage, a hot bath, Bach’s Rescue Remedy, and Unisom are some of my best friends! Find what works for you and don’t hesitate to do what’s necessary to ensure a night of quality sleep! A well-rested body fights for joy much more effectively!
  4. Crying- When I release the pent-up emotions from struggling in the fight for joy, a sweet peace always floods my body and soul. Tears are very healing. Tears also bring me humbly to my knees in dependence on Christ. So I thank God for tears. Don’t be afraid to cry. Jesus understands the language of tears. Tears are a sweet gift from the Father.
  5. Playing with my children– Whether it’s chasing kids around the house, kicking a soccer ball outdoors, taking a neighborhood hike, pushing a swing, or simply tickling a child on the living room floor. . .all of these things release stress from my physical body. I’ll admit that it is hard for me to take a break from the daily motherhood chores and simply play with my children. But I always am glad that I made the choice to PLAY! My kids love for me to play with them, and they benefit from having play-time with mom. I also benefit in so many ways! I challenge you to engage in some type of physical activity with your children today. The stress will lighten and your heart will feel glad!
  6. Taking vitamins and supplements- I’m thankful for the extra help I’ve found in natural supplements and vitamins. Magnesium, B vitamins, and a good multi-vitamin have greatly helped my body during stressful times.
  7. Working around my house- During times of stress or grief, it’s very easy to be lazy. To sit on the couch, to binge watch on Netflix, to sleep the day away. I remember my mom often quoting from Elisabeth Elliot, “Do the next thing.” My next thing is to take care of the normal household chores.  With a family of 7, there is always work to be done. I’ve found that embracing the responsibilities of work that God has given me and getting the work done brings a certain joy into my own heart. When my work is done, it’s easier to rest and enjoy my family. What is the work God has given you?
  8. Singing- The Scriptures talk often about praising the Lord with our song. Most every day in my home there is music playing throughout the house. And very often, you will find me singing along with the worship tunes! Singing to the Lord lifts my spirits and puts my focus on Him. . .not on my lack of sleep, lack of energy, or lack of motivation to do the chores. Most recently, I’m enjoying the music of Chris Tomlin, Ellie Holcomb, Laura Story, Audrey Assad, JJ Heller, and Christy Nockels.
  9. Getting outdoors- Our bodies need sunshine and fresh air! Many days when I am struggling and feeling a little blue, I take a walk around my house outdoors. Smelling the flowers, seeing blue skies, hearing a bird sing, watching a butterfly, and feeling the fresh breeze on my skin is invigorating! My spirits are always lifted from spending a few minutes outside! Even better is when I do a physical activity outside–watering my flowers, raking a few leaves, sweeping my front porch, or swinging a child! Taking a nature walk is one of my favorite things to do as well. God always reminds me that He is our Creator and loves beautiful things. I’m reminded to simply trust the Maker of all things.

This list is by no means exhaustive. I’m sure you could add your own things that help you fight for joy physically! Paying attention to your physical body is just so important in the fight for joy. We are whole beings. . .therefore, we must give attention to the different facets of our whole selves. I do not believe we can neglect our physical bodies and fight effectively for His joy!

Please comment below with the ways that you have found effective in fighting for joy physically! I’m always on the hunt for new and effective strategies! Remember, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are fighting together for His glory!