Stress Management

Mark 6:30-31
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

1st Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Several weeks before Christmas I was preparing to go to Ladies Bible class, I was going through the same routine for getting dressed that I done more than a thousand times, when all of a sudden out of no where I begin to feel extremely ill. I felt a warm sensation move into the center of my chest; it was as though it were spreading and becoming larger and larger. My heart started to race and my hands started to shake. I instantly knew I needed to get to a doctor. My first thought was that I was going down the same path that my husband did five weeks prior to that when he had his heart attack. The symptoms were quite similar. I started to feel as though I was going to collapse.

I was home alone and had no one to drive me to the hospital. When I reached for my purse and keys, something said don’t drive. So I decided my only option was to dial 911 while I still could. When the paramedics arrived they took my vitals and told me everything checked out normal but that something had clearly happened and that I should get in to see a doctor that day. I decided to wait for my husband, who arrived in thirty minutes, to drive me to the ER.

After several vials of blood and being poked and prodded all night, and an overnight stay, they determined that it was not a heart attack, praise God! They wanted to do more testing on my heart just to make sure there were no other complications. All my test came back with great results no signs of blockages. Really Great News!!! I was advised to follow up with my doctor, and that’s exactly what I did

After my doctor read all my reports, and examined the events going on in my life the past year, he determined it was physical exhaustion. My body was simply shouting STOP, slow down, I really needed to rest and I had ignored the small warning signs along the way. I had also not managed the stressed that had been put on me very well. I had stopped taking time for me.

I was told to go home, take some days off and just rest and relax. It made a world of difference.

During my days off I reflected back on the morning of this incident, I remembered waking up and sitting on the side of the bed thinking I am so tired, not just tired but unusually tired. I remembered saying to myself, its Bible Class I needed to be there. I have to go. I was making myself push through and past my body’s desire and need for rest. Now please hear me, I am not saying that every time we are tired we should use this as an excuse to miss church, bible class, and or work. What I am saying, is listen to your body, because you know it better than anyone. Lack of proper rest for long periods of time and too much stress combined can shorten your life. It can literally kill you. We can’t always be the Super Hero Strong Woman for everyone. Sometimes we have to say no, I am sorry not today, or not this time.

I have made a new commitment to take better care of this wonderful body God has given me by what I eat, how much rest I get, getting proper exercise and even some pampering time, every now and then. I have realized that after this very scary event that I can’t do any good for God’s kingdom, my family, or anyone else, unless I am healthy, well and fully present. I am also taking time to relax and read more each day.

Thirty minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time just to reflect and just be, is a HUGE gift. I plan to enjoy the rest of my journey, what about you? Let’s do it together.

Let this be the year that you reclaim your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Start by praying and asking God to help you rearrange your schedule so that you and Him can have more alone time. Have a happy and a blessed New Year.

Luke 22:41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,

Ecclesiastes 3:13 …That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God

Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.
Mahalia Jackson

Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.
Ralph Marston

Our Greatest Gift

Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the
Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

 

Luke 2:1-20
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
 and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

It seems like only yesterday that, Holiday traffic was everywhere due to the shopping frenzy taking place all over town.

Ladies were scurrying around with their mile long shopping list of everything from Grandpa’s necktie to butter for the pound cake and paper plates for the Christmas dinner.

Oh, and don’t let me forget about those sweet little husbands with frantic looks on their faces, because it was the day before Christmas and they had not a clue as to what to get their wives. Just in case there are any men reading this may I suggest that a vacuum cleaner or anything to do with housework would not be a great idea.

But really, can you believe that another Christmas Season is here? Yes, twelve months have already passed. It seems that the older I get the quicker it comes and the faster it goes. Many of us will view this as a very stressful time of year. You see Christmas may be perceived differently to each person or family based on what life experiences they are going through at this time.

This is a time to open our hearts, eyes, ears, and our doors and invite others in. Whether they are struggling emotionally, spiritually or financially. It is a time to share the blessings that have been so richly bestowed on us. It most importantly is a time to share the hope that we have in Jesus and to tell His story to all that will listen. Please know that Christmas is not just about store bought trinkets, cookies, and Santa’s. Although those things are fun, on Christmas we celebrate the birth of our loving, selfless Savior, our Blessed Redeemer and the hope that we have not just for today and tomorrow but all of eternity.

Christmas is not about what we get from others, because we truly have received the greatest of gifts in the birth of Christ. It is what we give to others that matters, a ray of hope, a token of love and a source of peace by sharing our Savior’s story.

Take a moment to steal away this Christmas Day, and sing a Happy Birthday song to Jesus. Express how truly grateful you are for the gift He has given you, this Christmas and all of the Christmases to come, the gift of Himself.

He is the reason for the Season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Matthew 1:18-24

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

 

 

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