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The 5 Best Ways to Start Your Morning

How many days are you stumbling through work like a zombie relying on that jolt of coffee to keep you up? Do you find yourself corroborating with co-workers that if you had just gotten a wee more shut eye your mornings would feel like a dance routine out of Glee? Ok maybe you wouldn’t be that jazzed but you’d be able to stay awake at your cube.

Here’s some quick tips to help your mornings go smoother:

1. Prioritize sleep and get to bed early – Getting the proper amount of sleep (8+ hours) on a nightly basis affects how well we function in the morning. Sleep is critical for our health. It affects our ability to stay alert and learn new information, so without enough, our mental capabilities are reduced, making new tasks and detailed or manual labor much more difficult. We may feel grouchy and less able to adapt to new situations, plus we tend to overeat and gain weight when we are not well rested. Not getting enough sleep can also negatively impact heart health.

 

Bottom line: make a bedtime routine you can stick to. Prioritize your health and your sleep knowing that balanced rest helps you be able to work.

 

2. Get up 15 to 20 minutes ahead of schedule -Why? To start the morning off with God. I like eating breakfast with Him since I am seated long enough to enjoy the time, thank Him for the blessed meal and read and reflect on devotions. Devotions are helpful because they present small bits of Scripture in a succinct way that can stick with you.

 Find a devotional you like and will stick to and if breakfast is hard, pick something to eat every morning and make it right when you get up. Oatmeal, eggs, just do it! (I eat 3 eggs every morning)

 

3. Don’t take on big projects in the morning – Sometimes when my alarm kicks off my mind races thinking of an exhaustive to do list – I worry about the uncertainties of the day and manically start a bunch of half chores before getting dressed… Point? Don’t let your morning get hijacked so you are running around last minute trying to find the last black sock in the dryer. Remember God, and let Him guide you only to do what is important, everything else can wait.

 

4. Review God’s promises and your identity in Christ – Review God’s promises and what He says about you. Believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection can erase fear from your life as you can now live in intimate connection with God, relying on Him for forgiveness, grace and mercy. God’s covenant to us through Jesus, which removes our guilt and shame for acting unjustly, stands for all of time.

God is personal too; in the Bible He shows us He cares about us. Scripture says: You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), I will never leave you or forsake you , you were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16).

 

5. Get to work with time to spare – In your car, prepare your heart for the day. Ask God for his help, wisdom, presence, guidance and strength. Talk / Pray about your worries and hopes and surrender to the Holy Spirit expressing your deep need for Him. Acknowledge His promise that He is always with you. Then continue to talk to Him, and trust His plans during each part of your day, He can embolden you with faith.

I hope this article helped you think about the ramifications of a good morning routine to start the day off right!

Pietrangelo, Ann, and Stephanie Watson. “11 Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body#1.

Sleep Health.” Healthcare-Associated Infections | Healthy People 2020, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/sleep-health.

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Deserving of His perfect love

“We accept the love we think we deserve” Stephen Chbosky from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

For a long time I felt undeserving of love and this quote expresses why I made poor choices in dating.

I made poor decisions on love based on my poor self-image. I was basing my flimsy self worth off of how my family and friends felt about me which fluctuated so often I was left feeling distressed.

In many ways, I can identify with the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4 of the Bible.

Jesus was so compassionate to a lady so lost and caught up in many affairs after being re-married time and time again -but instead of berating her, He lovingly looked upon her and offered her Himself as ‘living water’ that would truly sustain her. He promised her that she wouldn’t have to look any further than Himself for true and lasting love.

Jesus offers us this same refreshing gift today that he offered the Samaritan woman – Himself as the life-giving source of all our needs.

In Christ we are independent from worldly critiques.

I am the daughter of a King -carefully crafted in my mother’s womb and loved enough for Jesus to die for me. My worth comes from God and God only.

Jesus’ love is enough for us to be sustained by. 

As a believer Jesus’ love grows within you ( the holy spirit) as time goes on. Once you accept Jesus Christ as Savior the Holy Spirit is what compels you to act like The Lord.

I personally accept Jesus’ love for me and His personal sacrificial death and resurrection for my benefit. The benefits are a relationship with God Almighty, His Son and Holy Spirit, freedom from sin, worldliness and shame as well as eternal access to heaven!

I was fortunate to get publicly adult baptized and spoke about my acceptance of Jesus as Lord. This was a powerful moment in my walk with Jesus because I love acknowledging my relationship with Him. We all need a caring friend and Savior like Jesus.

Many people think they are unworthy of love but this is NOT true and a very hurtful and destructive lie that can affect our lives negatively.

Even if you come from a broken home, our ability to accept love does not need to be limited by what we can see or have experienced because God’s love (which is experienced on a soul level) is , contrary to any self-limiting beliefs, real and perfect.

When I struggle to see myself the way God sees me, I find reassurance from the Bible, talking/praying with God, listening to worship music, my friends and boyfriend that God loves me despite what I sometimes consider my glaring weaknesses.

I know that God loves you in this space too.

Maybe you feel like your pain is too great because you’ve come from a broken home..

Maybe someone wasn’t there for you or you lost an important relationship.

You are not alone.

God gave up His own Son Jesus to all curses and sin for a time, on the cross, for humans to be reconciled back to Himself. This pained God in the flesh which He took on as Jesus physically and I can’t imagine the anguish God felt being connected to His Son so closely as He experienced the worst tormented death on the cross experiencing all sin and wickedness poured out at one time.

However God knew that Jesus would not taste death forever as Jesus rose from the grave fully alive despite expiring on the cross days before.

 

On a more personal note, A turning point in my life was when I lost a relationship with someone I loved very much. Although this was very hard, It compelled me closer to God in looking for answers of why human love just couldn’t feel the void in my heart. I learned something very valuable. I didn’t value myself the way God sees me and therefore I could not love myself or him. Rejecting love comes at a great price to ourselves and to others.

God is always faithful to help you overcome any difficulty you may be facing. Just ask Him into your heart, life and situation.

I pray that you would accept the wild, crazy, sacrificial, satisfying , dependable and enduring love that Jesus offers us everyday and in every moment. I pray that His grace and mercy would permeate every level of your soul and that you would not accept anything less than His passionate love in Jesus name amen.

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Humble Pie

pie
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

As a Christ follower I never stop learning more about how l can be more like Jesus.

Thankfully God gives us the Bible to help us uncover more about how He wants us to love Him and accept His Son. He also gives wisdom freely to those who seek and ask it of Him.

The expression “humble pie” means having to admit fault/becoming aware of doing something wrong usually involving a lesson/ learning curve. I am not in the least bit impervious to being humbled by God. After all, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23)

One of my pastors used to pray something like: “Lord use me as an example whether by me or in spite of me “… And I love that prayer because he is admitting that we don’t always display the best examples of what it means to follow Christ.

And I think that’s OK because of such a thing as grace that God gives us to admit that we are sinners and it is by Jesus’ saving grace only that we are fully forgiven, redeemed, loved and saved for eternity.

Now I am not for a moment saying that we should stay steeped in sin. But instead we should humbly confess and repent of our sins to our loving and just Father who has the power to forgive us.

Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.

Last Sunday it was hard for me to rest and unwind and my attitude frankly sucked.

I realized I was experiencing burnout from letting my to-do list run me ragged and was missing out on the true rest and joy that comes from letting Jesus lead my life.

When I reflect on God’s Sovereignty, I find great reassurance that God existed before the creation of the world (before I ever came on the scene) and that He continues to work in and through all things today.

Also, Jesus died for us and rose from the grave giving us access to heaven knowing we are still sinners (Romans 5:8).

This reminds me of the parable of the builder in Matthew 7:24-27 where Jesus says that a wise man hears and builds his house on the solid rock foundation of Jesus and His teachings, yet the foolish man listens to Jesus’ teachings and does not apply them. The foolish builder is building his house on sand which easily collapses in on itself when trouble comes.

In other words we were built to have a relationship with God – we can’t get by without Him by whiteknuckling it. And if we try life that way we will surely hit a wall. “And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” ‭‭James‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If we are walking in selfish pride and think we know what’s best for ourselves we will be less likely to follow through in talking and drawing close to God asking and believing in faith for prayer and guidance and we will be less likely to receive from God what we need. Don’t let this be you but let us continue to encourage one another to keep the faith even when we are unsure of or impatient about what God may be doing.

Prayer: Lord help us to rest in you and your mercy today. Help us be a blessing to you, ourselves and others, and help us to put your teachings into practice with the help of the Holy Spirit and trust you so that we may live an abundant life as Jesus promises. I also give thanks for Jesus’ saving work on the cross in Jesus’ Name Amen.

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New Year, Same Jesus

Happy 2018!

Welcome to those looking beyond themselves this year for something more. I hope you will choose to learn about putting your faith and hope in Jesus and His saving work on the cross!

And a big Hello to those walking with the Lord already!

This year, as I’ve been busy making my own plans and scrolling on my phone I realized I really need to “plug” into God.

Just like plugging a cellphone into a socket (we do it because we know it will power up our phones), we can come to God the same way needing to spiritually re-charge – trusting in His power, mercy and grace to restore us.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV

If God is not your source of strength, read about how God protects King David in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel from many enemies. Additionally David’s psalms are strikingly beautiful as they show his dependence on God. He talks to God about everything, including when he is afraid and things look impossible which is why I imagine he is a man after God’s heart.  David seeks and prays and sings to God in the psalms even when he feels desperately defeated.

“My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭62:7-8‬ ‭MSG‬‬

In order to be closer to God and His plans we have to seek Him. God is readily accessible and available to us in all seasons through faith and we can go to Him in prayer being confident that He hears us. If you need help with this or are unsure of how to seek God questions/comments are welcome!

This year let’s put His kingdom first and practice trusting Him with all our hearts.

God’s plan will look different for everyone. What is it God has asked for you to Trust Him in this year?

 

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Could God Really Love Me?

man in green shirt and black pants sitting on top of rock cliff under white clouds
Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas! God bless!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus the Savior of the World!

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I am a wanderer and stubborn, the Lord knows this, but I can tell you that God can work with anyone, yes ANYONE that will give Him a chance. Anyone that can look at their life and say you know what I need some help, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will you lead me?

For a long time I wasn’t in touch with my emotions; I just kept trudging along thinking “I’m strong, I can handle my life all I need to do is move on from {insert person, place or thing here}”. “I’ve got everything together”. I actually convinced myself that the things that bothered me would just disappear if I chose not to think about them. Ultimately running from the problems didn’t work out though because the emotions were still there under the surface and it eventually came to a point where I knew something needed to change.

I enrolled in a Christian class looking for God’s healing and in it God chose to help me deal with reality and start pursuing Him most of all.

I was lucky enough to study under two Christian pastors who helped point me in the right direction towards my new “born again” self instead of my old ways of relating to the world.

Hence I started this blog. To help those and others like me continue on the path to becoming more like Jesus and our “true self” in a less than ideal world.

Trusting the Lord is much like trusting a person. To begin with, He respects our decision whether to invite His love in. Once we have a relationship with Him, He wants us to be open and honest before Him. And finally, trusting Him takes practice and constant choice.

Accepting or receiving love is hard for some people but the Lord is willing and able to make you a strong believer at whatever point you’re at.

A question that kept nagging me was: Was God really interested in me?

Have you ever asked this question to yourself or God?

I studied Scripture diligently and my boyfriend uttered the kind and gentle words I needed to hear that God indeed loves me.

And guess what: The Good News is that He loves you too!

Yes, if you are unsure and don’t have people God has brought into your life yet to convince you of your worth I tell you and encourage you now that you belong to God who loves you. You are His beloved creation!

I know this because God created us with His breath (Gen 2:7). He gave us His breath of life and created us in His Image (Gen 1:27). He wasn’t content to leave us but kept bringing His people out of trials — out of slavery in Egypt and out of death through the death and resurrection of His Son  Jesus.

Jesus’ death on the cross was also God’s climactic action in canceling out any guilt or shame that may keep us from approaching a relationship with Him so we can be fully forgiven from any negative guilt that can ail us.

He also still wants to be with us in the end which is why believing in Jesus gives us access to heaven (John 14:6).

God has given us the greatest gift of all which is Himself incarnate in Jesus the Son of God. And we can feel the love of God in our own lives should we stop to feel and even ask God to feel His presence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I praise the Lord for being able to open my heart up again to love again after heartbreak and let my ears and heart re-adjust to accept the love that surrounds me.

I hope you are surrounded by those you love this holiday season. Both those that are here on earth now and those that have passed. And may you revel in the greatest gift of all: Jesus who will come again in all His glory and bring us to heaven to meet our God.

May your wanderings lead you to surrender to God.

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

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