Posted on Leave a comment

5 Forms of Self-Care

self-care, selfcare, self care, anxiety, depression, mental health, counseling, destress, stress, stressed out, subscription box

Self-care is more than just candles and face masks. Now don’t miss understand, we LOVE candles (preferably gardenia-scented) and have a drawer full of face masks and scrubs, but learning how to take care of yourself goes beyond this. We’ve spoken to many women who say that they will schedule routine manicures appointments or grab a Starbucks drink twice a week but, for some reason, they still don’t know why they find themselves tired and depleted at the end of each week. And then of course the weekends are packed with errands that you can’t seem to be able to fit into the weekdays, making your weekends feel like “just-as-busy” extensions of the week.

When it comes to really taking care of ourselves, self-goes beyond just physical care. Self-care comes in many forms, and the most ideal situation is having a healthy balance between these multiple forms of care. These next 5 dimensions of self-care help to support various parts of who you are!

Physical Self-Care: This first form of self-care is probably the most recognized one. It involves activities that you could do to care for your physical body. Many of these activities are associated with eating healthy, exercise, and sleep patterns.

Mental Self-Care: This second form of care include activities that relate directly to your thoughts, reflections, and understanding – recognizing thought processes, ideas, and responding in a healthy way. You might be familiar with the term mindfulness, the act of being aware of your thoughts and reflections of the present moment. Mindfulness activities can help you develop a more positive mental state.

Emotional Self-Care: We are capable of expressing an endless number of emotions on a daily basis, and sometimes we even feel more than one emotion at a time. Talk about confusing! There is a phrase that is commonly used in day to day language to convey the negative impact emotions can have on oneself: feeling emotionally drained. Emotions are very powerful influencers on our overall health and so it is in our best interest to be aware of our feelings.

Spiritual Self-Care: Spirituality can be defined in many ways but underneath this broad topic is a fundamental dimension that covers the personal values and meanings by which we live our lives. Spiritual self-care includes activities that allow us to focus all that’s beyond this physical world; things that can oftentimes be very stressful and demanding. The awareness of these transcending experiences can positively impact our personal lives and relationships with others.

Social Self-Care: No matter our personality type, Myers Briggs score, or temperaments, we all have one thing in common…we are relational beings. How much we actually love being around people may vary (lol!) but, at some level, interactions with others is a vital part of who we are!

So here’s a challenge for you! Arrange these 5 forms of self-care in order, from “yep, got that down pack!” to “yeahhh….ummm, I need to get on that.” Which 2 forms of self-care do you practice the least? Now, identify one thing that you can do to incorporate them into your life.

Are you one of our subscribers?!? If so, guess what?!? February’s box will include ideas for all 5 areas of self-care!

Not a member yet?? What are you waiting for?! Join our tribe! We have subscription options for every type of girl. Visit our website: Click Here.

Posted on 2 Comments

Improve Your Relationship

I was recently standing in my bathroom, straightening my hair when it happened. I jerked as I burned my finger with the straightener, and I thought, “what?!? I thought I was going in the right direction?!” And in this moment I realized how often we all fall prey to this struggle – man, woman, those with straight hair or those with curly hair like myself. This problem is no respecter of persons, because it’s a problem involving something we all have – perspective.

See, as I looked in the mirror it seemed (from my perspective) that my free hand was going in the right direction – away from the heated object. How could I be wrong? I was looking at myself in the bathroom mirror?

And how many of us go through life, thinking that people, situations, interactions, and occurrences are exactly how we perceive them. That REALITY = PERCEPTION? Or would it be more accurate to say that the way we perceive something may not be exactly as perfect of a reflection as we might originally think?

I will sometimes present this equation to the clients that I counsel:

(LIFE EXPERIENCES+KNOWLEDGE) + REALITY = PERCEIVED REALITY

The way that we experience a dispute with our spouse, an interaction with a co-worker, or a simple look from our employer may not always be the most accurate depiction of what really occurred.

I was recently counseling a married couple who have been married for 17 years. There are some concerns with the behavior of one of their sons and the wife made a comment during the session that sent her husband into a semi-controlled rage, accusing her of undermining his authority. A simple question posed by me opened the door for deeper communication and understanding. I asked the husband, “What did you hear her say?” As I had expected, what he reported “hearing” was simply his wife’s words filtered through a few of his personal assumptions and feelings.

We all have filters through which we process situations, interactions, and conversations. This week, I would like to encourage you to join me in practicing to be more aware of our filters. It just might minimize miscommunication, disputes, or confusion. 🙂

Posted on Leave a comment

It’s That Time Again…

You take me in
You lead me out
You take me in
You lead me out
You take me in
You lead me out
Such a journey walking with you now (x3)

…the lyrics to a song that appear to have been written specifically for my life.
Some have asked where I’ve been, and so as I sit here and prepare my mind for sharing, the only words that come to mind are the lyrics to this Housefires song – “Mountain to Valley”. I think about all that has changed since I’ve last written – work, ministry, home – and am amazed at how life is. Everything happens in seasons.

You take me in
You lead me out

Over the last 10 months I have been in a season where God was leading me out – sending me out into this world to minister, lead, influence, help and I’ve done just that. I’ve stood back in awe of the way that the Lord has used my life to bring change to the culture of today’s ministry. It has, in turn, been a blessing in my life because I’ve had a taste of the goodness of God when I think of the ways that He’s called me to speak healing and restoration into the lives of the women that I’ve shepherded, but I’m pleased to know that He’s now taking me into a new season. This season is a season of rest, as I prepare to “just be”…to simply abide in Him.

In this season God is calling me to press into His presence. I look forward to sharing all that He shows me in this season as He takes me in.

You take me in
You lead me out
You take me in
You lead me out
You take me in
You lead me out
Such a journey walking with you now x3

Mountain to Valley – Housefires

Posted on Leave a comment

But, Why?

I was recently asked why I chose to title this blog: Life’s Uncertainties.

The quality of life lies in your perspective of it, I strongly believe. I love Walgreen’s motto: at the corner of happy and healthy – a place many of us want to arrive at, but only a few find. And I’ve asked myself why that is, after hearing my internal GPS scream, one too many times, “rerouting” as I’ve sought to find that corner in my own life.

See because the quality of life lies in your perspective of it.

I also love the show Big Brother and it’s motto: expect the unexpected. (Which has also always left me a bit confused because if you expect the unexpected, then that would, in turn, mean the unexpected is no longer unexpected…) But see for a person like me, the unexpected occurrences of life were anything but happy and healthy – instead they were moments that would leave me feeling unhappy and ill.

See because the quality of life lies in your perspective of it.

Brene Brown beautifully brings you to the corner of faith and unexpectedness when she says “faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” This left me then wondering how could one who proclaims to have faith in God fight so strongly to hold onto control over her life’s circumstances and occurrences? If I was to be honest with myself, I had to figure out what has brought me comfort over the years: the desire for certainty in life or the faith in a God who is constant and good.

See because the quality of life lies in your perspective of it.

I was recently asked why I chose to title this blog: Life’s Uncertainties. I’ve learned to use how I handle life’s uncertainties as a way to gauge the strength of my spiritual walk. I find that those times I choose to embrace the beauty in the uncertainties of life are the times that my focus is fixated on my faithful God.

See because the quality of life lies in your perspective of it.

Posted on Leave a comment

Moving Onto Better Things

I’m so happy to have found this outlet. I’ve often lived life ruminating on my thoughts and feelings, afraid to share them with people who may not be all that interested in the ebbs and flows of my mind and heart.

For as long as I can remember, I would struggle with what came naturally for me – a drive to always improve, move up, or move on. Work. College. Relationships. Hobbies. Cars. Physical Shape. Even hair color.

Religious, legalistic, people would always quote me Paul, who in the book of Philippians, was imprisoned and writing to the church at Philippi about being content no matter the circumstances. I’d often feel guilty striving for betterment and improvement, for I was left feeling that striving “for more” equated to dissatisfaction for the present day with which God has blessed me.

But don’t be fooled. The love for materialism, along with the love for self-deprivation, both lead to idolatry.

We serve a God who wants His children to live an abundant life, as long as it is Him who we remain serving. God Himself instructed Moses in Exodus to “go up to the land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 33:3). Abundant life.

It’s quite possible that Paul was doing what we are all called to do. To speak into our circumstances. To declare victory. To call forth what isn’t as if it is. To verbalize to the Enemy, who wants nothing more than to imprison you through passivity and insecurity, that we will not be kept down. To stand face-to-face with your Enemy and say “I’m not moved by your manipulation of my circumstances, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” That’s very different than accepting the belief that life is what it is, and not deciding to actively strive for the great, abundant life waiting for you on the other side of your steps of faith.

Live life. Move on to better things with boldness.

Posted on Leave a comment

Some Call it Science. I Call it A Miracle.

It’s amazing how much we have complicated life as a people. We hear stories of miraculous things occurring and we try our best to use the finite human mind to come up with practical explanations – because of course there can’t be a supernatural explanation for some of these occurrences, right? I mean, surely probability, logic, and science hold the keys to all things real. [Sarcasm]

I recently watched an episode of The View talk show and listened intently as a man recounted a moment in time that forever changed the lives of two individuals: his and a teenage boy. Meet Kevin.

One afternoon, Kevin agreed to attend the local fair with a few friends. As he walked by a few of the food and game stands, someone who asked him if he would like to be a bone marrow transplant donor approached him. He thoughtlessly agreed, as he recalls the story.

Two years later, he receives a call during which he is informed that there is a teenage boy in need of a transplant and he was a perfect marrow match. Kevin shares during the show segment that he could not even recall signing up as a marrow donor, but felt compelled to say yes to the request.

The transplant was a successful one, and the boy lived. He is now 20 years old and forever grateful.

What is it that you long for? Desire to have? Pray without ceasing about? Petition for daily? Find yourself fluctuating between faith and despair constantly?

God knew exactly what this young boy would need one day, and had a plan all along for his life. There was an appointed time in history for Kevin to be the answer for someone’s prayer. God orchestrated that boy’s blessing and He hears your cries today. He collects your tears. As your Creator, He knows you intimately.

This same God who saved this young boy’s life, is your Savior as well. I hope you find comfort today in knowing that He is the God of miracles.

Posted on Leave a comment

Wrestling with Weariness?

Tired?

As I sit here I’m confused. How can someone who has experienced so much in the last week stare at a blank page and not be able to think of anything to write about. Let me assure you, it is not because I don’t have any content: I could easily write about the 5k run I have this Sunday, one that I haven’t properly prepared for, and could use this as an example of how people often do what I’ve done with this race…not properly preparing spiritually for life’s obstacle course, finding themselves struggling the day life is suddenly upon us. Or I could begin to share how my dog loves to stand on my knee while I drive and look out the window as if he is on the highest peak of the largest mountaintop, and equate that to how we sometimes think our obstacles are the largest of mountains but yet to God are the small knees of Life.

So I ask myself once again, how is it that I feel like I’m aimlessly searching for a story to tell or a question to ask, as if nothing has transpired all week? I believe it’s because I feel tired. So today this will serve more as a lesson to share.

In today’s life, we all live full-throttled lives. Yes, although some people’s plates may be larger than others, all of our plates are full – full of endless demands, unrealistic expectations, imperfect relationships, the stretches marks of personal growth, and the constant evolution of purpose and passion. Tiredness is usually the warning sign that more attention is being given to completing, accomplishing, and “crossing off of the list” than enjoying this day, hour, and moment.

God could’ve easily completed all creation and then sat back to admire it all upon completion, but instead He created in intervals, and marveled in intervals. After creating the light “God saw that the light was good.” After creating the land and the seas He “saw that it was good.” And so on…

Tired?

Take the time today to stand back, admiring life as it is, and see that it is good.

Posted on Leave a comment

Walk Through Your Open Door

The visualization of walking up to a wall and knocking on it, no matter how gentle or how incessantly, seems quite ridiculous. I imagine myself even just standing off to the side of Publix’s entrance, facing the cement wall and hoping that it automatically slides open, allowing me to enter and complete my shopping. No matter how long I stood there facing the wall or tried my hardest to think positive thoughts and remain hopeful, the wall off to the side of Publix’s main entrance would never budge. Now, literally speaking, I know none of us would ever do such a thing (or we have a bigger issue on our hands!), but figuratively speaking, I’m sure we do this all of the time.

Have you ever wondered why life didn’t quite turn out how you had hoped it would? See many times we have great intentions, big plans for our lives, and the drive to accomplish a ton, but yet find ourselves frustrated at time lost, disappointed with what seemed like missed opportunities, and hopeless at what appeared to be closed doors.

Are you confident they were closed doors though, and not walls?

For those who know me personally, they would agree that I love for everything to be organized and for things to be in their proper places. At my center recently, I so desperately wanted to move a large bookshelf from one side of the office to another side. (It made perfect sense, in my mind, to have all of the resources in one main location!) As I attempted to move the large bookshelf on my own (emphasis on large!), it quickly became apparent that either I would have to settle on it staying where it had always been or asking for some assistance. See a job that size was impossible to complete, in my own strength. And isn’t that how life can be sometimes? Trying to mend a broken family, move up in your company, or start that small business you’ve been dying to launch, can often feel like we are up against a large wall that won’t budge – an impossible feat.

Remember, though, that with God, all things are possible. Surrender it to Him and wait expectantly for your door to open.