Jan 172017
 

 

Striving for the unattainable perfection of tomorrow is like a hampster running a wheel and going nowhere.  Fast.

I have a new grace filled, hope filled, peace filled picture as I fight for Jesus to take hold of me in my day rather than the anxiety which has plagued me in the past.  Visualize this clip:

“A little girl dressed in white, strolling on the beach with colored vibrancy from the Son/sun and blues, whites, and creams textured beneath.  She kicks up the sand, hand in hand with her heavenly Father.  He stoops down to be at her level.  And she is unaware she should have a care, because of the where-in which she has chosen to be”.

This is where I want to be.  Today.  And everyday.  On this ALL love, no expectations, only grace filled walk with my Father throughout the day.  Because I have struggled with anxiety in the past, I continue to rely on God to free me from this tendency to worry.  And because I am learning to walk in my “freedom beach walk with God”, I have a heart to pray for others in similar chains.  The Lord “puts in my path” others with my similar anxiety struggle and just this week I prayed for God to release His peace to guard the hearts and minds of 3 friends in my same boat.  So if you are in this pattern of guilt/worry/stress/anxiety hampster wheel, I.  Get.  You.  And would love to pray for you (send me an email or comment below my blessed sister).

Because sometimes, you need to stop the running to begin the thriving.

P.S.  For my friends with clinical diagnosis’ of depression and anxiety and bi polar and others, please hear this message with hope and not discouragement:  Do I believe we live in a fallen world with troubles and chemical/biological ailments that plague us?  Yes.  Do I believe we have a sovereign God who uses the wisdom and medicine of doctor’s as a part of His plan and purposes for us?  Yes.  Am I trying to say if you only do the below 3 steps what you struggle with will be gone forever? Not necessarily.  But I am saying we serve a God who is the God of all hope, a God who is faithful, and a God who is the ultimate healer.

 So Lord, today, meet my friends who have not been relieved of this biological struggle with anxiety.  Meet them in their frustration, questions, and fears in the unknown.  Thank you that you promise to never leave or forsake us.  You are the Omnipresent God, with me right now and with each of my Sister’s in Christ who are hurting right now.  Here’s the deal:  We are ready to be used by You, in all our given ailments and troubles, for.  Your.  Glory.  No matter what you choose to give or what you choose to take away.  Your.  Will.  Be.  Done.  And we praise Your Name today, because You are worthy of it.  Thank you for your true Word and Spirit which is THE Solid Rock we stand on in times of unknowns.  And we “press on to win the goal to which we are called heavenword in Christ Jesus.”  And today-we “fix our eyes on You, Jesus” for the next step we have in Your powerful Name.  Amen

3 “anxiety free/peace for me” steps with Jesus in 2017:

  1. “Your day, Your way” saying to start the day– before my feet hit the floor each morning this is my mental mantra.  Spending time in God’s Word, even if it is one verse, for 1 min before the “have to’s” begin WILL.  BEAR.  FRUIT-Lasting fruit, Kingdom fruit, lifegiving fruit, in which our God dictates the day’s happenings and we respond to His Spirit’s leading.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33
  2. REFUSE to RESUSE the worry thoughts of the enemy-When the “worry monster” begins to fill our thoughts, we say, “No way!”  Satan may be cunning and persistent, but he is more than predictable.  He tries the “same old negative, doubt filled, hopeless filled”/ areas we are weak in attacks to derail us from our “walk on the beach with God”.  WE.  CAN.  CHOOSE. what true, lifegiving thoughts we will think on today-Choose the “Way, truth and the life”/Jesus thoughts! We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 and …whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
  3. Recognize His Perfect Peace Doesn’t involve the “Being Perfect Piece”-Since we serve THE Prince of Peace, who gives to ALL believer’s freely, we need only recognize we WILL NOT find relief in looking to some “keeping up with the Jones’s” item of this world or “if I only”/comparing our bodies or personalities to someone else, or expectations for perfection in any given area.  Our identity is as a HIGHLY valued Daughter of the King and it is ONLY in receiving His “forever-like Christmas present” of peace amidst the worlds troubles which we find rest.  Pray “Jesus Your peace” in. the.  very.  moment.  you feel anxiety.  And then, “trust in the Lord with all your, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov 3:5) as He begins to bring healing and hope for your mind, body, and Spirit.  Get off the “hampster wheel” of anxiety which gets you nowhere and grab Your Father God’s all knowing/all loving “sand hand”, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34 and Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Are you currently struggling with negative swirling thoughts or an inability to find rest and peace in the busyness of the day?  Our God wants to meet you and give you His peace, will you ask Him for it and ask another to pray for you?  

What in your life are you trying to control and it’s not working?  What can you let go of today to be able to let God be God and you practice a deepening trust in His timing and will?  (I would love to pray for you personally, but also know you are gettin’ prayed for sister, by me, whether you like it or not-“May His freedom, peace and grace be yours as you “beach walk” with your heavenly Father, today”.)

What area do you have high expectations, close to the need to be perfect in, and what is your process for handling when things are not “perfect”?  What new system can you implement to hear God’s true words of “therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” and act upon this rather than the world’s, others or your own pressures you are striving for?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 222014
 

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:4-5

There are times when I am focused on the task at hand and times when my mind is swayed by everything else around me.  It was a time when the latter was evident-the word “concentration” was far from my reality.

I was running on my regular nature path.  But for the life of me I could not stay on it.  Let me explain.

I saw a florescent wad of cloth off a couple feet to my left.  I was strangely drawn to it.  Who knows, maybe I had left it on a previous run?  I followed my curiosity to the field beside me. I found it was a boy’s shirt.  Truly not life changing.  Or even slightly exciting.  And most definitely didn’t belong to my girl power kiddo’s.

I was able to move on from this sighting fairly immediately.  I was about to get back on the path when something else mysterious caught the corner of my eye.  It was a deer.  Now this was a little more exciting-an untamed animal in the wild.  And I was mesmerized.  By its calm, staring demeanor.  And if this wasn’t enough of a little piece of heaven, another deer came to join.  And then another followed right behind!   I stood only three feet away from three deer and breathed in and out slowly with eyes fixed on the group.

After the deer party ran into the woods, I headed back to the path to run.  But surprisingly there were multiple other distractions that took me off the path.  Once for roadkill (curiosity getting truly getting the best of me this time), and a sprinkler (happened to turn on with the perfect timing so I received two showers instead of my typical one for the day).

In all of my inability to stay focused on the running route at hand, there was one thing which kept bringing me back to the path for which I had come in the first place.  One thing that helped me refocus on running.  One thing that was so beautiful, there was nothing I could do but respond with action.

The Brilliant Sun.  Rising to mark the new day.  Lighting up the entire sky with brightness.  And when my mind and feet had wandered off the path, this sun beckoned me to look up.  It was as if it was almost daring me to stare into the light because no other shirt, deer, or distracting circumstance below held a candle.  And strangely looking into the light jolted me out of my Curious George moments and reminded me of what I was here to do.  Run.  on.  the.  path.

It is the same way with the light of Jesus.  God shines His light on our path-behind.  before.  in the very present.  And it beckons us to follow.  Anytime we fix our eyes on Jesus, the light of the world, our current “off the path” distractions cannot compete.  Any “off the path” things such as sin, worry, dark places of depression, family crisis, financial issues, trials, busyness, lies, doubts, or insecurities to be seen clearly for what they are.  Satan’s plan to kill, steal, destroy and distract us from God’s plan and love for us.

Turning to focus on the light of the Son gets us out of our mundane, anxiety driven, sin bound, weary minded, restless, fruitless selves and reminds us of our identity, love and calling in Jesus (just like focusing on the sun reminded me of the run on the path I was meant to do).  The light of Jesus reminds us that He will use our difficult circumstances and weak areas for the good of His Kingdom.  That His Word gives specific guidance to our now.  And that no darkness can overcome it.  No matter whether you are currently on the God’s path for you, just stepped off the path, have been too busy to recognize if you are or aren’t on the path, have never been on the path, can’t remotely even know where to begin to get back on the path, our God see’s.  And holds out loving arms of grace to each of us.

So let’s look to the Son/”Sun” today and be welcomed onto His path of light and life.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 122012
 

Last week I shared some of the common signs of depression. A condition that many suffer from.

This week I want to offer hope and some tips you can use to help ease the symptoms of depression.

Depression is a heavy burden to carry, although the burden can be eased by making some of the below changes.

11 Tips to ease depression

  • Have your vitamin D levels checked: Vitamin D is critical to our bodies. Low vitamin D levels often affect our moods and energy levels. The further North you live, the less sunlight you get and the more likely you are to be vitamin D deficient. With a simple blood test I had my vitamin D level checked and I came in with a 13, the lowest we should be is 30!  Your body best absorbs vitamin D in liquid form. I take 5000 ICUs daily and have noticed a huge change in my mood and energy level.
  • Rest: We all know it, rest is important! But we frequently do not get enough rest. Try to get 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is needed for our brains to regenerate.
  • Eat Healthy: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and limit sugar and carbohydrate intake. Too much sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase your chances of a “crash”. Try to stick to complex carbohydrates which takes more time for your body to process and helps improve your serotonin levels.
  • Vitamin B complex: Take a vitamin B complex daily that includes vitamin B-12. B vitamins help improve your energy level and your mood.  I have been taking vitamin B for over a year now and I have noticed a significant change in my mood and energy level. I no longer suffer from the mid afternoon lull. A sublingual is the best form of vitamin B.
  • Exercise: Exercise is very important for our bodies. Even though exercise may be the last thing on your mind, it does amazing things for your body.  It increases  mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, reduces stress, relieves muscle tension and helps us sleep better.
  • Read Proverbs or Psalms: Reading a Proverb or Psalm a day helps keep the doctor away. 🙂 Focusing our mind on our Creator and on positive things helps improve our mood.
  • Relationships: Having close, meaningful relationships are essential to our well-being. Research suggests that having relationships decreases our chance of experiencing depression.
  • Challenge negative thinking:Negative thoughts impact the way we feel. Depression puts a negative twist on everything. Working to change negative thoughts to more balanced positive thoughts can help ease depression.
  • Keep stress in check: Hormones produce stress in our bodies and this stress acts like a poison to our produces in our bodies.  Prolonged stress can make our bodies sick. Look at your to-do list as objectively as possible (or ask a friend) and see what you can take off the list. Make the time for stress reducing exercises such as this 10 Seconds to Peace sensory exercise.
  • Do something you enjoy: You can not force yourself to have fun, but you can choose to do something you once enjoyed. By choosing to do something you enjoy, you are reminding yourself of who you used to be. You may not notice an immediate change in your mood, but over time you should start to feel an increase in your energy.  Your mood will also be lifted. You never know, you might even have a little fun.
  • Know when to seek help: If your signs of depression are over powering and you are finding it difficult to function in daily living, seek professional help. This can be a difficult step to admit that you need help. Know this.  There is no shame in seeking counsel. There are many caring professionals that can come along side you and walk with you on the road to recovery. Psychology Today provides an online directory of counseling professionals. You can search by zip code to find someone near you.

If you are experiencing depression, I challenge you to take a step towards recovery.

What is one step you can take today?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 052012
 

Depression is far more common than you might suspect.  In fact the Centers For Disease Control estimates that 19 million Americans suffer from it. And 10% to 25% of women will experience it at some point in their life.  Prolonged exposure to stress, as well as significant life changes, such as divorce, having a baby or loss of employment increase the likelihood of depression.

Often times we don’t even realize when we are depressed.  Let’s face it, life can be overwhelming and we are often stressed, so it is difficult to see if something deeper is going on.

Depression is different than just having “the blues”. With some life events or even just on any regular day, we may feel a little down.

The key difference between a “down day” and depression is the severity of the symptoms. Ask yourself the question, are your symptoms interfering with your everyday life? And then, are the symptoms present most of the time? Have the symptoms been for more than two weeks?

11 Signs of Depression:

  1. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings: May look like a “bad” mood, but this mood lasts even after the “cause” of the bad mood has cleared up.
  2. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable: This is one of the single most telling symptom of depression. You no longer enjoy the things you once enjoyed doing. Or you have little to no interest/motivation to do the things important to you or that you enjoy.
  3. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or helplessness: A pessimistic view, feelings that everything is wrong and it’s your fault.
  4. Regular crying episodes: The crying may not have an obvious trigger.  The crying seems to come out of nowhere.
  5. Poor appetite or overeating: Either there is a need to over eat or there is a lack of interest in eating altogether.
  6. Heightened agitation and restlessness: Some may find themselves hyper, unable to relax, more irritable than usual or quick to anger. Also, things are intensified. Slight irritations are met with huge reactions.
  7. Fatigue and decreased energy: Some are not restless or agitated; instead they have an increased sluggishness and slowness.
  8. Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions: A noticeable change in your ability to concentrate, make decisions or in your memory.
  9. Sleeping too much or not enough: For some, insomnia is present, while others experience the need to “sleep all the time”.
  10. Expressing thoughts of dying or suicide: Thoughts of dying or suicide may be present particularly if the depression has lasted a long duration. Suicide begins to seem like a reasonable way to end the suffering.
  11. Persistent headaches, aches or digestive problems not cured with treatment: Depression is stressful. Chronic stress is very unhealthy for our bodies. Poor self-care and stress can start to weigh on our body, contributing to physical health issues.  Our bodies also respond to unresolved emotional troubles.

Depression…what a wonderful topic to think about us we approach this holiday season!

However, depression often increases during this time of year. We are exposed to less sunlight, are often more stressed and/or have to face difficult situations.

This post is not meant to be an exhaustive medical diagnosis for depression, but rather a resource for guidance.  If any of the above statements are true for you, I encourage you to seek help from someone you trust, a counselor or your doctor. If you are not sure, but some of the statements seem true for you, then ask someone you trust to comment on what they have noticed.

If you are experiencing #10, thoughts of dying or suicide, I urge you to seek professional help immediately. It is critical for you to keep yourself safe. Know that it can get better. You are a beautiful creation.

I want to remind you that there is no shame in experiencing depression and you do not have to go it alone.

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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