Posts tagged encouragement
Why God Must Be at the Center of Our Quest for Identity

Growing up, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about my identity. I didn’t sit at home and ponder why I was the way I was. I didn’t spend much time contemplating my decisions or trying to be a certain way. I was just me. For the most part, I really liked who I was. But as an adult, I began to process my identity more and more. Why did I act a certain way? Why did people say hurtful things about me? Why did that situation bother me so much? Why was I the way I was? What was my identity?

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Stop with the Negative Self-Talk

For the month of April, I did 30 days of prayer and fasting. I focused on trying to find my identity in Christ and figure out where my relationship with God is. If I’m being honest, it has been a struggle. Finding my identity in Christ has been such a journey. One thing I want to say to all the people reading this is… finding your identity and who you truly are takes time. You’re not just going to discover who God created you to be overnight. Hair, makeup, clothes, and stuff like that is NOT your identity. Your identity is who you’ve chosen to be in life and who you’ve decided to be in Christ.

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It is Christ Who Knows Me

Before opening up my phone to find out this month’s topic, I found myself talking to my sweet friend Julia about where we find our worth/affirmation. We were discussing times we strived to get the approval of those we felt reflected the Lord through their lives most. Leaders, friends, you name it.  We came to this common realization that we felt like we had been letting down the Lord when the leaders in our circle weren’t calling out the good things we did or the kind people we are. It was as if the people we admired had the authority to judge us in the same way our God does, but not because God said so. We had given them this power.

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Morning Routine for the Busy Woman (FREE Printable)

Lately, my morning routine has been a work in progress. I want to rise feeling rested and ready for the day. Especially now that I work most days from home, healthy morning habits have never been so important. In order to have a successful day, it all begins with the first hour. Setting ourselves up to have a productive, goal-crushing day should be a priority for every girlboss, mother and hard-working gal out there. Here are a few things I’ve learned recently that propel me into having better days.

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Cultivating the Habit of Happiness

Happiness hasn’t been my best friend lately. I’ve been walking through a pretty gloomy season of grief, loss and some might even call it depression. Although, even in the darkest moments, happiness finds me like a ray of golden sunshine. When it does, oh my goodness do I cling to it, girlfriend. Times of sadness are unavoidable, and frankly, we can’t be happy every hour of every day. So, what am I saying? While we might not be able to control the times when we experience real happiness, we can begin to nurture and love ourselves into it. Becoming aware of the importance of being happy is the first step to allowing the light to obliterate the darkness.

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Your Habit Might be Toxic If...

We are a mixture of both healthy and toxic habits. Some of our routines serve us well, while others don’t propel us forward. So, why do we hold onto those that set us back? Good question… Perhaps, it’s because we tend to ignore our flaws. Or, maybe, we’re just downright ignorant to the things we’re doing that are actually hurting us. For the next few minutes, let’s take a good, honest and hard look at how we spend our days. Girl, put your pride aside for a second, and let’s be real with one another. We cannot fully embrace change if we don’t first give ourselves the time to take inventory of our day-to-day operations and rituals.

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Making Peace with Mornings

For years my method for waking was hitting the snooze button until the very last possible minute. Rolling out of bed and throwing on the nearest clothes and rushing out the door with the philosophy that I can get anywhere in Flagstaff in five minutes from my house, no problem. It was never true and I was almost always late, edgy from not eating and drinking only coffee. I didn’t plan lunch, so I’d get cranky and shaky until I’d finally rush to Subway or Taco Bell, or go home and make an American cheese and mayonnaise pickle sandwich. Mornings aren’t my favorite time of day.

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5 Keys to Developing Healthy Habits

Be honest about where you are currently at. What is holding you back from developing this habit? Don’t pretend to be better at it than you currently are. Lying to yourself will only delay the development of the habit. Often times, we judge ourselves on our intent to do something. We give ourselves credit for wanting to change, but we never actually take the steps to change. This can hold us back from actually developing the healthy habits we want to make a regular part of our lives. Give up the excuses. Recognize you alone are responsible for the outcome. You can’t control every circumstance in your life, but you can control how you respond to those circumstances.

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How Not to Become a Creature of Habit

There’s that age-old phrase about being a “creature of habit.” We all know someone who gets into one routine—one way of thinking, one way of doing—and neglects trying new things. Whether it’s trying spaghetti squash for the first time in place of noodles or spending every night the same as the last, it’s easy to leave forward-thinking behind and keep from trying something different. But when you break out from your usual mold and try things that aren’t familiar to you, you’ll find your life and entire being will be better for it. The key to happiness is finding the things that excite you most. If you’re stuck in your ways and unwilling to try anything new, you may spend your entire life missing out on the one thing you were meant to do.

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A Better Life, One Day at a Time

This is my year of habit changes. I decided I wouldn't start a new diet or begin journaling again. Instead, I would change my habits, trusting these new behaviors would snowball into a better quality of life. Though it may not work for everyone, I like to give myself timeframes. A month is usually a perfect amount of time to stop or start a habit. You also get that rush of renewal that comes from new beginnings, and I need any inspiration I can get. I don't look beyond that month. I don't let myself get in over my head. I just dedicate myself to the decided time. I've grown too comfortable in my bad habits, and I am flush with hope they can be changed. 

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Good Habits Build a Strong Foundation

It’s really important to have good habits. Our habits reveal what our life is built upon. One question I’ve really focused on this week is, “What is the foundation of my life?” I’ve asked myself, “What am I building my life on?” For me, I’ve realized lately I might be building my life more on people and electronics. For example, last month my iPad permanently died. I thought it was the worst thing in the world! But I realized when things happen like that, it might be God trying to give me a wakeup call. Maybe He is reminding me to rely more on Him, instead of electronics and screens.

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Peace in the Eye of the Storm

I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness. I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere. I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father.

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5 Steps to Lowering the Volume in Your Life

Silence is deafening to me. In fact, it’s one of my biggest fears. I find it terrifying because, to me, it means something is being forgotten: maybe it’s an errand, maybe it’s plans I made weeks ago and forgot to write down…maybe it’s me. The thing is, silence could—and for most, does—mean peace of mind. It could mean it’s time to relax or stand for fulfillment, or be the gateway to the best sleep I’ll ever have. For now, that kind of silence is unfamiliar. Whether it comes to work, side projects or even bettering myself personally, it’s undeniable that I’m a busy bee. There is so much buzzing that my silence could very well not be silence at all, so I’m taking steps to lower the volume—and, in case you’re like me, or on your way to be—I wanted to share exactly what those steps are.

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A Prayer for Peace

Having peace is really important. So here’s a prayer I often pray that gives me peace: “Dear God, Thank you so much for this day! Thank you so much for all the love and grace you give to me. Even in the darkest moments and the times where I just want to give up, you’re still there, continuing to love, encourage and support me. I will forever love you! Thank you for never making me feel looked down on, judged, unloved, and forgotten. Even if I have some of those feelings on earth, I know you would never think that about me. Thank you for filling my heart with joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gratefulness, and thankfulness!”

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The Day I Traded Peace for Panic, and How I Got it Back

My heart was racing. I couldn’t catch my breath. What was happening? Was I having a heart attack? I’m in my thirties, and I’m a runner —certainly my heart is fine. But why can’t I breathe? I took my phone into the closet and frantically searched Google for the signs of a heart attack. What I found made me feel better and worse all at the same time. Thankfully, I was not having a heart attack! Unfortunately, I was having a panic attack. I had never experienced this before. I laid on the floor and focused on breathing in deep, trying to get this horrible feeling to pass.  Life was so out of control. We had just made our second big move in three years. Starting over again. New friends. New jobs. New places. I was just beginning to feel settled in our last town, and now I needed to start all over.

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The Importance of Peace for the Working Lady

One day, I decided my mindset had to change because thinking about your job 100-percent of the time will bring you nothing but stress and anxiety. There’s a reason people have days off—you lose your mind when you don’t pay attention to the peaceful moments your brain relies on to properly function. If finding a peaceful moment means logging off of email and closing your laptop, do it. Your work will be there in the morning and unless you’re a brain surgeon, you can probably leave the message unread for a few hours. Spend these limited hours doing things for yourself and as hard as it may be, don’t let your long day of work and responsibility leave you dry and uninspired. Blog, read, knit, play with your kids, or go for a sunset drive. Find the things that bring you most peace and prioritize those moments.

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How Can You Love What's Been Lost?

I’m at a loss. I really am. When I sat down to write this, I didn’t think there would be an issue. Self-love? That’s simple. There are hundreds of step-by-step articles on how to love the person you are. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t love me at all. This is my fourth attempt at writing something, and it’s a struggle. Respect, admiration even, is felt, but I do not love the woman I see in the mirror. Everything about me has changed since becoming a wife and mother, and I’m not sure who I am. I’m not sure what I look like without my husband and son. I feel as lost as I did the first time I went blonde in middle school. My hair was mustard, and I was blindly searching for identity. I have wandered so deep into my roles at home I’m almost certain I’ve given myself away.

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The Great Pursuit

In the last few years, there has been a spiritual war on peace within my household. My husband and I both struggle with finding peace and contentment in the midst of his work and raising a child that needs a little more care than the average kiddo. The days have been full of triumphs, but we are constantly fighting the spirits of fear, frustration, and even FOMO. That's what the kids call the “fear of missing out.” Our life is much more restricted than the lives of our friends, and it's hard to ignore the isolation. Since this struggle with peace has gone on so long, it has begun to feel hopeless. I start to think if it hasn't changed by now, we will always live in this chaotic bubble of loneliness and frustration. It was not until the last couple of weeks that I've been focusing my prayers on what I can do.

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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To the Girl Who Can't Love Herself... [An Audio Letter]

At what point in your life did you first feel uncomfortable in your own body? Do you remember the very first moment you were embarrassed with yourself? Or, when did you first feel the pressure to look and be like everyone else? How about that first moment you looked into the mirror, like you’d always done before, but instantly everything changed? When you entered this world, you felt no shame, no fear, and there was certainly no judgment. Your itty-bitty frame, delicate and soft, was absolute perfection. The way you arrived into existence was a bonafide miracle, and that’s damn right beautiful. So, what happened to her?

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