Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days to Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 21: Treasure Your Marriage

Treasure Your Marriage - The Cozy Nook

In my last post I talked about the importance of maintaining a good home environment. One HUGE component to think about is the quality of your marriage.

When marriages falter,
there is a great amount of stress.

The marriage is the foundational relationship of a home. All goodness stems from it as the husband and wife work together, as a team, to build a home and legacy.

God created the marriage relationship
to be a source of joy,
the source of the most intimate
companionship on earth.

Troubles will come. Differences will occur. However, we must FIGHT for our marriages!

I oftentimes don’t know where I would be without my husband. He is my confidant, my best friend, my provider, my protector, my stabilizer, my companion, and my love. When difficult times come, I need him. I need his strength. I need his perspective. I need his friendship.

When we don’t work hard to preserve the intimate bond of marriage, we will experience great stress and hardship in life.

Yes, having a good marriage takes much hard work! Perhaps that seems like a daunting task in and of itself. However, the contrary option – a distant, separated, or divorced marriage – will cause much more difficulty and heartache for ourselves and our children, as we undo the sacred bond that God has created to be life-giving.

The marriage relationship is to be
one of the most rewarding relationships
on the face of this earth.

With something so precious, so valuable, and so fragile, we ought to be very protective.

Take Action: Is there stress in your life due to your marriage? Don’t look at your husband. Don’t look at the past. Look at yourself. What can YOU do to help? What can YOU do to make your marriage better? What can YOU do to show your love for your husband today?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days to Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 20: Maintain a Good Home Environment

Maintain a Good Home Environment - The Cozy Nook

Home is to be a place of rest, rejuvenation, love, security, and much more. When our homes are not in order, we definitely feel the weight of it.

For those of us who work in our homes continually, it is crucial for us to keep our workplace a place of peace.

Keeping order at home is not always easy. The home environment can easily sway towards disorder with people living in it. People are imperfect after all. We can create difficulty in relationships and leave traces of living around the house.

Maintaining a good home environment
is essential to keeping stress at bay.

Maintaining a good home environment is crucial on two fronts:

  1. Relationships
  2. Cleanliness, Order, and Comfort

When our relationships at home are tense, life doesn’t feel very good. It’s important for us to do our best to keep peace in our home. We need God’s help! Evaluate what you can do to improve the relationships in your home.

Love.
Serve.
Be kind.
Be humble.
Apologize.

Also, do your best to keep your home clean, orderly, and comfortable. Remember, we are not striving for perfection, but order! You DO live in your home, so there will be evidence of that. However, we want to do our best to keep our homes in good shape.

A cluttered, disorganized home
causes stress!
A clean, orderly home
brings peace!

Take Action: Think about areas of your home that are stressing you. What can you do to bring more peace and order?

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days to Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 19: Live YOUR Life

Live Your Life - The Cozy Nook

Recently I wrote about Five Good Reasons You May Be Spending More on Groceries. One reason I wrote that is because I, myself, tend to spend a good chunk of money on groceries and sometimes would feel as small as a pea when I read the testimonies of low grocery bills. I felt like a failure.

Stress comes when we lose focus
of living OUR OWN lives.

Instead, I am coming to grips with how we live our lives when it comes to groceries (never giving up on improvement), and can read those articles with more peace.

It is great to read articles and glean from people. We need continual encouragement and wisdom to live good lives. However, it is not good for us to compare and feel like we aren’t measuring up if we are not living exactly like the Jones Family.

God has given you a life of blessings.
Live it!

Eat the foods God has given you to eat – the foods that work well with your budget and your health conditions.

Be a team player and best friend to YOUR husband. Don’t worry about how other couples are making things work. Talk with your husband. Problem solve. Create vision. Move forward.

Love the children God has given you. Don’t compare your children with other people’s children. Every child is different, and every child is a gift!

Serve in the ministries where God has called you.

Use the talents God has given you.

And the list goes on…

Don’t try to live someone else’s life.
Stop comparing yourself to Jane.

Focus on living YOUR life!

“aspire … to mind YOUR OWN business,
and to work with YOUR OWN hands”

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Take Action: Try hard to stay mentally focused on your own life. Be thankful for the blessings God has given you.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days to Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 18: Lead a Quieter Life

Lead a Quieter Life - The Cozy Nook

“that you also aspire to lead a quiet life”
1 Thessalonians 4:11

Life sure is noisy these days!

Smart phones.
TVs.
The internet.
Billboards.
Books.
Magazines.
Radios.
The news.
Blogs.
Social media.

Our days are flooded with noise,
and without a good amount of quiet,
we will surely feel stressed!

We are bombarded with information and news daily! We are the ones who choose how much of that we will hear and how much will affect us.

Even if it is good, too much information can be overwhelming. It is hard to remain focused when our minds and emotions are spinning.

On the other hand, if it is bad news, it makes the situation all the more stressful. Bad news not only provides more data for our brains to compute; it also opens the avenue for heartache and disappointment which also causes stress!

How can you live quieter days?

Is the news stressing you?
Ebola, ISIS, storms and tragedies galore! It really can be too much for the human heart; can’t it? Sometimes I wonder if we really are meant to know about everything that is going on in the world. Sure, it’s good to be aware of things, but living your life with a continual awareness of the grand spectrum can be overwhelming!

Is social media discouraging you?
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I like the ability to connect with people, but I don’t always like pictures, news, and articles being flung at me… of which I really had no choice.

Are you reading too many articles and pinning too many ideas and not giving enough time just to LIVE your life?

Think about what stresses you
and how you can quiet your days.

Some suggestions:

  • Hide your phone for portions of the day
  • Schedule times for checking social media and blogs
  • Create an allotted time for internet time
  • Read and focus on articles that encourage you
  • Take a break from social media for a season

A friend shared this verse with me recently. It has always been one of my favorites:

“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
Isaiah 40:15

In returning to God.
In resting.
In quietness.
Therein lies our strength!

Take action: Try to live a quieter day today. Shut out some of the unnecessary, extra, or disheartening noise in your life.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days to Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 17: Let Go of What You Can’t Control

Let Go of What You Can't Control - The Cozy Nook

Sometimes we become stressed by things that bother us, things we can not control. We worry and fret and stew, all for naught.

Are there things in your life that you think about frequently that you really have no control over?

We must let go of the things we can not control,
lest they consume us.

Unfortunately, on this side of heaven,
Bad things will happen in the world.
People will hurt us.
Things will break.
Circumstances will disappoint us.
Good and evil will continue to contend against each other.

The only thing we really can control is how WE live.

When we consume ourselves with anything other than that, we open the door for stress to enter. Busying our minds thinking about things we can’t control really is a waste of our time and energy.

Let’s focus on the things we CAN influence
and where we CAN make a difference!

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Reinhold Niebuhr

Take Action: Do your best to focus your energies on what you CAN control today. Live the best you can and let God do the rest.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 16: Let’s Review

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I don’t know about you, but I get a bit overwhelmed when a lot of information is thrown at me, and here I am throwing a lot of information at you! I realize that tackling stress in 31 days isn’t really as easy as it sounds. Sure, it may be easy to write about it in 31 days, but to change habits… That’s another story.

I’m halfway through the series now, and I thought it would be good just to take the time to review the list of topics I have covered so far.

Your challenge is to find ONE on the list that you really want to improve, and make a plan of action.

For the second half of the series, I will be covering topics relating to contentment, relationships, time, money, and walking with God. I hope the rest of the series will encourage you to continue in your journey to live a less stressed and more refreshed life.

I’d love to hear from you if something from this series has blessed you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days to Becoming Less Stressed, More Refreshed. Day 15: Say Good Things

Say Good Things - The Cozy Nook 

“I’m stressed.”  Do you ever find yourself saying that?

Years ago a friend of mine caught me saying that often.

“Lisa, do you realize what you are saying? Do you realize how often you say, ‘I’m stressed’?”

It hit me. Ouch. Truth. I did say it a lot, and how did I expect those words to help me? Maybe I hoped people would see that I was feeling stressed and have compassion on me. Maybe I thought it would feel good just to say those words and get it out of my system.

Whatever the case, saying, “I’m stressed” doesn’t really help much.

Words have power,
and what we say becomes truth.

I’m fat.
I’m ugly.
I’m weak.
I’m sick.
I’m bad at that.

All of these words confirm in our hearts what we really think about ourselves and our situations.

The Bible says that our words
have the power of life and death in them.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21

There is a famous saying:

Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Our words are a large part of what we will do
and who we will become.

Yesterday I wrote about thinking good things. Obviously that starts the chain reaction. If we aren’t thinking we are stressed, we probably aren’t going to say it. An important step, therefore, is to keep our minds cleansed.

However, if we are struggling with our thoughts, we can try to catch them from manifesting themselves by preventing destructive words from coming out of our mouths.

May we strive towards speaking words of life,
words that will cause our stress to dissipate
!

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Ephesians 4:29

Take Action: Be conscious of the words you are saying today and make a strategic effort to say good things.

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