Tag Archives: intentional

Less stress in just 2 minutes???

26 Jan

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Happy New Year, beautiful girls!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get on here and wish you a Happy 2014…We had a crazy start to our new year with being snowbound in another state and then, once home, battling the flu—TWICE! But life is back on track again now, thankfully!

Over the holidays, I watched a video in which the speaker shared some interesting research regarding body position and its effect on the body chemically. She gave a lot of information, but what I took away most was this:

 Body position can alter your body chemically, both positively and negatively.

This researcher found that the test groups members who (upon request) sat in a chair for two minutes making themselves physically small, close, and withdrawn:

1)    Did poorer in the job interview that immediately followed.

2)    Tested lower in testosterone (the get-it-done hormone) and higher in cortisol (the stress hormone)

The researcher also found that test group members who (again upon request) sat for two minutes with their arms raised in a victory pose:

1)     Did better in the job interview that immediately followed.

2)     Tested higher in testosterone (the get-it-done hormone) and lower in cortisol (the stress hormone)

She urged viewers to take just two minutes before important events (like a job interview, important test, etc.) and strike that victory pose. She is convinced it will make a real difference in the outcome.

Instantly, I thought of the different verses in the Bible that encourage us to raise our hands to our Heavenly Father.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:3-5

God, come close. Come quickly! Open your ears—it’s my voice you’re hearing! Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising; my raised hands are my evening prayers.  Psalm 141:1-2

While we may think of worshipping God for who He is as benefitting us spiritually and emotionally, according to this research, it even helps our body work better! It actually reduces stress and equips us to succeed.

So let’s lift our hands to Him this year, even if for two minutes at a time, trusting Him to take care of our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our dreams.

With God, nothing is impossible. And that victory pose is ours.

Believing with you for a great new year,

Lisa

photo credit

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What Girls are Saying — L., age 17

13 Dec
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I loved them! =) I read them all in a course of two days, I could hardly put them down. With a little suspense in them, it kept me right on reading, and a few turns I didn’t expect. I really really enjoyed reading them, and since then I have one friend borrowing mine to read and another in line to get them next. I love them, and my two friends are very excited to read them! =)
They were very well written and loved the story line. I really appreciate how it is a normal average girl in normal and real life situations. Things happen, feelings can take over, feelings can blind, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus, and focus on what He is training us for, He will reveal our Mr. Right in His perfect timing. I really enjoyed them and am so happy I bought them!
L., age 17
Have YOU read the Mr. Right novels yet? We think you’ll love them just as much as the reader above! (Check out the novels here if you haven’t read them yet. And please let us know what you think of Julia’s story!)

Not Feelin’ It?

4 Dec

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Recently, a young woman wrote to me for encouragement. She had happily rededicated her life to Christ a few months ago, but wasn’t feelin’ it lately. Didn’t feel like going to church, listening to her pastor’s message, reading her Bible, etc. She felt bad and basically asked, How do I get out of this funk?

Ever asked that same question? ; )

When  we feel that way, we have to step back and remind ourselves of a few truths:

1) Our feelings often betray our true selves. In other words, feelings change like the weather; they aren’t dependable. Silly example, but one day a girl can feel lovely and confident, the next feel plain and insecure. Did anything really change in one day? Nope, just her view of herself, via her fickle feelings. In a few days, hydrating (seriously, not getting enough water is a huge mood killer!) and focusing on positive things, she’s back to feeling pretty good about herself again. Feelings come and go, and we have to control them rather than let them control us. And if we aren’t filling ourselves with the right thoughts, the wrong ones easily overwhelm us and take over!

2) Building our spiritual muscles is a lot like building our physical ones. Even though we know that exercising makes us feel the best, gives us needed endorphins and makes life much more manageable, it’s often the last thing we feel like doing. Ugh, don’t make me get on that treadmill!!! But if we PUSH PAST how we feel and do it anyway (because we know it’s the right thing and will get us the short and long-term results we really want), soon our feelings  catch up with us and we find satisfaction in exercising and seeing the results that come.

Same thing spiritually. We don’t always “feel” the connection when we pray or worship. But we are connecting all the same! And if we’ll push past feelings and do what we know is right (and good for our spiritual growth), those fickle feelings go away and we “feel” connected again. Either way, God loves us and wants to be close with us. Sometimes we feel it big time, other times we just know He’s real and with us regardless of what we feel. The truth will stand even when our good feelings take a vacation for whatever reason.

3) Sometimes we’re simply under spiritual attack. The enemy is working hard to get us discouraged and willing to give up or walk away from our faith. But the truth is that you have total victory in Christ. You have a Savior that holds you in His hands and can give you the will and strength you need to walk the road He has for you (no matter what the season or emotion).

So, once we remind ourselves of all this, what do we do?

Tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. You’re a new creature now, so you are not at the mercy of sin and discouragement. Fight back by reading your Bible ANYWAY! By going to church whether you feel like it or not. By worshipping because He is worthy of your worship, not because you feel goose bumps. (Sometimes you will, sometimes you won’t. But you’ll be rewarded for obeying, trusting in His wisdom and your relationship with Him more than your feelings in any given moment, week, or month.) Like the young woman at the beginning of this post, reach out to the right people for advice & encouragement.  Most importantly, ask God to help you feel loved and connected again. Because you are, and He will!

Hope this helps some of you today…

Love you, beautiful girls!

Happy first week of December,

Lisa

photo credit

Grateful for You

28 Nov

Give & Take

Hey, beautiful girls!

Thinking of you this morning as we prepare for a day of family, friends, and some of our favorite foods.

Hope the words in the pic above encourage you to reflect past simply having a day off school or work. : )

May we all feel an overwhelming sense of reassurance and gratitude that God is ultimately in control, and He is taking care of us in both small and big ways.

I want you to know I’m very grateful for YOU being a part of my life via this blog!

Sending you much love this turkey Thursday…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa

(Thanks to Pinterest for this pic!)

Victim or Empowered One?

16 Nov

Ever wonder if you can really do it? (Only you know what “it” is for you: succeed at school, make new friends, change your choices to get to a better place, stay strong in areas you may be weak, find out who you were created to be, pursue a big dream you have in your heart…)

Sometimes we look at our situations and feel like they are too big to overcome.  But feelings often lie.

The truth is that God can empower you to not only face what comes in life, but enjoy victory over it.

Hope the amazing girl in this video encourages you that:

1) It’s important to be honest, intentional, and persistent regarding the challenges we face.

2) Attitude is everything, and we can choose to see challenges as opportunities.

3) It’s all in how you view yourself: victim or empowered overcomer.

4) Positive support in your life is crucial. Be real with positive mentors who love you, and then let them cheer you on!

5) With God’s help, hard work, and consistency, you really can do anything!

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13 (Amplified; underlined emphasis added by me ; )

“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4:13 (The Message)

Love you, beautiful girls!

Lisa

Why Can’t I Read This???

10 Sep

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School is back, and many of you are once again buried in books and computers, quizzes and tests, classes you like and maybe even those you can’t wait to be done with already!

As a former high school teacher, I’ve seen some pretty funny things over the years with students. One of my favorites was when I was monitoring an elementary student who was doing his science homework. His assignment was to write down the chapter vocab words in his notebook and then go back and fill in the definition of each term from the glossary located in the back of the book. (Ever had to do this?)

This boy worked quickly and diligently, proudly handing me his notebook upon completing all the terms. I scanned the list and took a double-take. Yep, every single term was perfect. (Seriously, not even one spelling error that I could see). I handed the notebook back to him and said, “Um…could you read me the first definition please?”

The kid glanced down, started reading, and suddenly stopped. A shocked look on his face, he cried, “What in the world? Why can’t I read this?!

We both had a good laugh when he realized that he had painstakingly copied every definition perfectly—IN SPANISH! Apparently, there were TWO glossaries in the back of his science book, one in English, the other in Spanish. This actually very smart student was so focused on what he was doing (finishing boring homework he had no interest in), he hadn’t connected with the words he was writing. He had written out hundreds of Spanish words without bothering to process or understand them. Had he simply paid attention, he would have noticed his mistake on the very first definition.

So, what’s the take-away? You really can go through the motions of doing something without connecting. Yet if you don’t connect, you’re often wasting your time. Or at least not getting as much out of the experience as you could have.

How are we simply “going through the motions” in our lives? Are there ways that we are missing out by not truly “connecting” to what we are experiencing? This can apply to school, work, relationships, or even the time we spend reading our Bibles or worshipping.

As we start a fresh fall season, take a moment now and then to check if you are really connecting to life around you. I promise that you’ll get a lot more out of…well, EVERYTHING, if you choose to be present in the moment.

(So happy to be back writing with you girls now that it’s fall. : )

Have a fabulous week!

Much love,

Lisa

Summer Break from the Ordinary

30 Jul

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Hey, girls!

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer, a break from the ordinary in some way.  That’s what this summer has been for me, hence my hiatus from posting the last eight weeks. But though I’ve had to step away from the computer, you have been on my heart and in my thoughts!

Recently, my husband shared with me a dream on his heart, something he wants to do to help people in life. Driving in my car a few days later, singing along to my new favorite song, the kids in their own world, laughing and talking in the backseat, I was suddenly struck with a thought:

This dream my husband shared is also my dream! I was instantly swept back to a moment when I was a teen, reading a certain book for the umpteenth time, inspired by the beautiful passion in its pages, telling God how much I would love to help people in this way. And now, so many years later, my dream was coming out of my husband’s heart, waking up desires I had set aside for the moment.

Tears began to fall as I realized how very good God is, that in His amazing plan for us, He remembers and answers dreams for His glory.

If you are a young woman reading this, know that the time you spend pursuing God now counts more than you may realize. Go after Him with all you have. Spend time on your knees with Him in both prayer and worship. Let His Word become life to you. Read (or listen to : ) books that inspire you for more than just yourself. Let God develop you in the days, months, and years to come, knowing that while life may have many twists and turns as you follow His direction, God will use the dreams He’s given you, amazing you with not only how big His plan is for you, but also the immense privilege it is to be a part of it.

I plan to be back writing weekly in September, but until then, check out the many other posts waiting for you in our archives. I pray they encourage you as you finish out a great summer! (Oh, and our workbook officially comes out on Amazon, etc., in August, so please write and let me know what you think once you get one! : )

Much love,

Lisa

Here are some favorite posts you might want to check out first:

The Perfect Guy

Beautiful Dust

Go Ahead — Shine! 

Not Alone!

Series: Assumptions (10 posts)

(photo credit: Moyan Brenn)