hope quote

12 Ways Not to Lose Hope

Are you going through a transition?  Does life seem uncertain?  Are you unsure of what the future holds?

Whether you are battling a disease, working through a divorce, searching for a new job or dealing with other life struggles in this chapter of your life, don’t give up hope.

Here are 12 ways to keep hope alive:

  1. Read your Bible—this is the best place to start.  There are plenty examples of individuals that have struggled and been blessed by God.    read Bible
  2. Keep a hope journal—write in your journal every day, sharing your heart and feelings.  This is a journal just between you and God.
  3. List of gratitude’s—make a list of things to be thankful for each morning.  I like to list at least three things, but you can list any number you want.
  4. Art journaling—this is simply drawing your feelings and heart.
  5. Uplifting Music—listen to music that lifts your spirit.  While you listen you can sing along or even dance to it.
  6. Inspirational Movies—find an inspirational movie that relates to your circumstances or just lifts your spirit and makes you feel good.
  7. Place your name in the Bible Verse—when you read a verse put your name in that verse.  For example: “cast not your movie realburdens upon the Lord.”  I would say, “Leagh, cast not your burdens upon the Lord.”
  8. Cast Your Cares Away—write your burden out and then burn it.  As the ashes burn, lift that burden and prayer up to God and allow Him to lift it from your shoulders.
  9. Say Goodbye to the past—if your house burned down go back to that site and say goodbye.  If you hurt someone, meet with them and apologize.  If it is impossible to meet in person then write that person a letter.  Even if you never send it, you’ve released those feelings and said goodbye.
  10. Speak with someone else that has overcome that situation—find someone else that has overcome the same situation and share your stories with one another.  Just knowing that someone else has been there and understand helps.   help homeless
  11. Help the less fortunate—often doing something for someone else is the best medicine.  You get your mind off of yourself and onto others.  Doing this provides you with a new perspective of how much worse your own situation could be.
  12. Life Coaching—this is a great tool that will allow you to set goals and keep you accountable as you move forward.

How do you keep hope alive?  What struggles have you overcome?

 

hope quote

purpose of life

Discovering My Life Purpose

Have you ever wondered what your life purpose is?  Did you know that God made each of us for a purpose?  We were made in God’s own image and with a purpose.

Only recently have I begun to question and seek what my purpose is.  Seeking these answers has made me wonder how my life would be different, if I’d known this years ago.

Did you know that God has a purpose for each and every life?  Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”    life purpose questions

So how do you determine God’s purpose for your life?

Let’s begin by defining life purpose.  Your life purpose is a declaration of your passions, gifts, and talents that intentionally provide life direction and is driven by the Holy Spirit.

When determining your life purpose, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Does it honor God?
  2. Does it reflect my passions, talents, skills and spiritual gifts?
  3. Does it apply to all seasons of my life, not just my current chapter?
  4. Does it give me a specific direction for life, but remain flexible to allow God to lead?
  5. Can it be easily reduced to one short phrase?

When determining your life purpose, seek God’s wisdom and guidance through His prayer and Bible Study.

What is your life purpose?

purpose of life

praying through the wait

10 Lessons I’ve Learned from the Wait

Previously we discussed waiting for things to happen.  Waiting is never easy, especially when that season is prolonged for years.  I want to share a few lessons that I’ve learned while waiting.

  1. God will always provide and in the process I’m drawing closer to Him    praying through the wait
  2. God is preparing me for the future
  3. I am learning how to be patient {not easy}
  4. I am learning to have faith
  5. I can use this time to prepare my mind, heart and skill set for what’s to come
  6. He has a reason to keep me waiting
  7. His timing is perfect and His timing isn’t our timing
  8. He has a reason for keeping me where I am {often this is to help someone else}
  9. I am growing and changing as a person
  10. I may not be the only one God is working on

What lessons have you learned while waiting on God?

in the wait

waiting on God

In the Wait

Have you ever wondered what’s next?  When am I going to reach this goal?

I have!  For years, I’ve asked God about various aspects of my life.  Some I have waited for patiently and others, well I’ve shown God my attitude.  Needless to say I’ve been impatient and even angry at times. God wants us to be truthful with Him and tell Him how we feel.               waiting on God

We are told in Ecclesiastes “For everything there is a season.”  Still I wonder when that season will come.  Why have I been in the desert so long?  When will God show me the direction and answers I’ve been waiting for?

Waiting is not easy.  I understand why the Israelites grew frustrated after 40 years in the desert.  I often wonder how Joseph endured while he was in prison those seven years.

waiting       Still I know that the answer comes down to one answer, with God’s help I will wait.  That’s the same way that I’ve made it through.  It’s not been easy, but I have to trust that He knows best.  As my pastor says, He sees the upper story when I only see the lower story.

That doesn’t make it any easier, but I’ll trust that He knows what’s best.  So while I wait, I’ll continue to lean on Him.

the food plate

Understanding Your Plate

When I was growing up, we had the pyramid to explain the basics of how we should eat.  This was what was taught in the schools and while very straight forward, was confusing to many people.

Last year the White House introduced a replacement to the pyramid.  This is called the food plate, which shows what your plate should look like at each meal.  In many ways it is much simpler and easier to understand than the pyramid.     food pyramid

Let’s take a look at the food plate for better understanding:

Protein—these are your meats and should not be larger than the palm of your hand.  Research has shown that meats such as fish and chicken are healthier than red and processed meat {hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, etc}.   Red meats and processed meats should be limited to once or twice a week, while you enjoy fish and chicken the rest of the week.

Whole grains—these are your carbohydrates and should cover a fourth of your plate. Whole grains are gentler on your blood sugar and insulin than the refined grains we normally eat.   Some examples of whole grains are whole wheat, brown rice, barley, whole wheat pasta, etc.

Vegetables—almost half of your plate should be filled with some sort of vegetable.  These are low in calories but very filling.  Vegetables are rich in color and nutrients.  A few vegetable suggestions would be green beans, carrots, squash, peppers, etc.

the food plate         Fruits—fruits should make up half of the plate with your vegetables.  Between your fruits and vegetables you would have a very colorful plate.  Many fruits are naturally sweet and cut that craving for something sweet. A few fruit suggestions are banana, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, apple, grapes and oranges.

Drink—water is the best drink in the world.  Standard guidelines recommend eight glasses of water per day, but some people need more.  An occasional cup of coffee and tea are also healthy and beneficial.  Skip the sugary drinks found in soft drinks and sports drinks, while limiting juice, milk and other dairy products to no more than a serving or two a day.

Of course, no action plan is complete without a good exercise plan.   I encourage you to try and exercise at least thirty minutes each day.

Does your plate look this balanced?  Where can you make changes to your plate?

brain health

10 Benefits of Exercise

When I was much younger I loved to walk.  Regardless of the weather, I walked four miles a day.  Then life got in the way, I put on weight and got terribly out of shape. I realized that I had to do something about my additional weight.  The best place to begin was with exercise.

Exercise is not my favorite thing to do but each day I make the choice to exercise or not.  There are a number of benefits of exercise.  Some of these are:

  1. I have more energy after I exercise and get more accomplished that day.
  2. I am in a better mood when I exercise.                                brain health
  3. I am able to release stress in my life when I exercise.
  4. Exercise is good for my heart.
  5. I begin to see changes in my body when I exercise on a regular basis.
  6. I feel better about myself when I exercise.
  7. I keep my blood pressure down when I exercise on a regular basis.
  8. Exercise is a great way to start my day.
  9. Exercise can be something that I enjoy doing {such as walking, swimming, etc.} and not drudgery.
  10. Each day I discover that I’m able to do a little bit more than the day before.

These are just a few of the benefits I have discovered from exercising on a regular basis.  Do you exercise regularly?   What types of exercise do you enjoy?

benefits of exercise

 

snowball money

How to Pay off Debt

I hate being in debt!  I feel that debt is a noose around my neck.  For years I have been struggling to pay off a student loan.  This has been a struggle and I will be so relieved to finally get this debt paid off.   debt

Dave Ramsey refers to paying off debt as the snowball effect.  He suggests that you tally up all of your bills and credit card statements.  You have to be completely honest with yourself and your partner in doing this.  You cannot keep credit card statements hidden from one another.

Now that you have that stack of statements in front of you, make a list of who you owe money to and how much you owe.

debt bondage        Next you are going to put this list in order from lowest to highest.

Create a budget with your essential bills and determine how much you have each month to pay off your credit cards.

At first this will seem overwhelming because you have so many bills.  Let’s say that your lowest bill is $200 to a department store.  After paying your minimum on all of your cards, use the excess to pay off this $200.  The next month you will put that extra money on the $500 gas card you have.  In two months this bill will be paid off and then you will put the excess money on the $1000 gold card you have.

                By slowly paying off one card after another with the money you are saving, you will quickly discover that you will soon be out of debt.  You are snowballing the money towards those higher cards, which is why Dave Ramsey refers to this as the snowball effect.  snowball money

                You mean I have to do this for two years?  With determination and dedication, we do this for however long it takes.  I’m want to get this done immediately and have to remind myself that I did not get into this mess overnight and will not get out of it overnight.  With dedication and perseverance we will reach our goals.

What are you looking forward to paying off?