10 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress

biblereadingchallenge_day247So I have to tell you that when I first typed the title of this post, it read: 10 ways to relive stress. Wow- that would have been a hit! Just what everyone is looking for. A way to relive stress. Ha.

It’s no secret that the Woj tribe is a lively one. Our family is very active and engaged in church and our community. We are a blended family, have a newly married daughter, a special needs daughter who has a rare terminal illness, and five more children. There are school activities, functions, loads of papers being shuffled, homework, music instrument practices, drs appts. and well, you get the idea.

I’m frequently asked: How do you do it? And I typically assume that the definition of “it” means “stay sane.” So I wanted to share a few ways to relieve stress. Maybe you’ll find one or two that could work for you!

ways to relieve stress

1. Set the timer and just sit for five minutes.

If I don’t have five minutes, I set it for three. Sometimes I close my eyes and sometimes I stare blankly. Just telling you the truth. But either way, I focus my mind to rest.

2. Pray.

I know that having quiet time with God each day is important and I do my best to spend that quality time each day. Honestly though, God and I have an ongoing conversation throughout the day. Many times they are interrupted, but I have always found time to pray while doing monotonous tasks. One of my times of that nature is washing the dishes. Helps me be a little more thankful about all the dirty dishes too. 

3. Exercise.

Running is a wonderful way I relieve stress. Gives me prayer time and keeps me active. Maybe you’re not a runner, but you enjoy walking. Or playing tennis. Or riding a bike. Whatever the activity, be sure to take the time to do it. I’m a better wife, mom, and writer when I run.

4. Sip a cup of afternoon tea. 

I’ve found that reading a short devotional over a cup of tea when my littlest goes down for nap can rejuvenate all the energy that toddler body just extracted from me during the morning. Check out how to make your own Scripture tea for added creativity.

5. Phone a friend.

Where do you think the Millionaire show got the idea? In the current digital age, I think we are talking less and less on the phone. Verbal conversation, even over the phone, provides voice inflection and emotional response that you can’t read when texting. Go ahead, use that lifeline!

6. Light a candle.

Candles implore the eyes and nose to relax. Lighting a candle in the room can work wonders. Just use safety. Please. There’s my disclaimer.

7. Read Scripture.

The Bible verse lists I’ve shared on the blog are ones that I use in my own life. Sometimes I have a list posted on the fridge as a daily reminder and whenever I pass it, I pick a verse and meditate on it as I go about the kitchen. As added encouragement for this point, you might also be encouraged by 7 Creative Ways to Saturate Your Life with Scripture.

8. Just breathe.

A few deep breaths in and out to clear the mind are sometimes just what is needed for a mini-stress relief session.

9. Anticipate a future scheduled time of rest. 

If vacation is coming, have a countdown! But since vacation doesn’t come nearly as often as we would like, plant a moment in your mind that you expect to sprout shortly. For example, I always look forward to date nights with my husband and that is stress-relieving.

10. Find something funny and laugh.

I can always count on my husband to make me laugh. I love that about him. But sometimes I have to just sit and watch the antics of my 4 yr old and 2 yr old so I can have a good laugh. Or I might have to watch the Youtube video where this goat is subbed into the song at certain points. Poor Taylor Swift.

Will you share with us what you do for a mini stress relief session?

whimsical wednesday
Bloggers, thanks for linking up! Have a Whimsical Wednesday!

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Because True Love Goes Above and Beyond

biblereadingchallenge_day231

She was a foreigner, learning the language and culture.

I’ve never been outside the US.

Her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law left this world much earlier than anticipated.

I don’t want to imagine what it’s like to lose my husband. Or any other godly men in my life.

She was forced into finding a job and established a strong work pattern.

I’ve typically enjoyed the option of choosing my job, even when it was a difficult one.

She left a statement that has echoed for many years and you’ll find it in Ruth 1:16&17:

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” (ESV)

Because true love goes above and beyond.

It pledges allegiance, goes to battle and stays by your side in the trenches.

It not only marries you for being you, but for being your best you…and your worst you.

True love doesn’t simply repeat the wedding vows; it sits on the deck 50 years later holding hands.

true love

It walks around outside your body in the form of children and extends further than you ever dreamed.

Today I did something I have no desire to do. Never want to do again. Didn’t enjoy at all.

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I held a snake.

You see, I hate snakes. I already explained this a few weeks ago when I reviewed the Nature Bible (which is awesome, by the way!) So why did I do this?

Because my kids wanted me to. You can imagine the encouragement when I protested at touching the snake:

Aww, come on, Mom!

You can do it!

There’s nothing to be afraid of!

And so I tiptoed above my fears and reached beyond my own desires to do something my children wanted me to do.

Yes, I’ll do anything for them. Even hold a snake that most likely will give me nightmares.

Because true love goes above and beyond.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything.

I Cor. 13:7- Amplified Bible

This snake is a bit of a silly example and I’m still meditating on the redeeming love Ruth experienced. But for now, I’m wondering:

Have you ever experienced love that went above and beyond?

If you have written about it, I’d love it if you’d share the story and link in the comments! Or if you’ve simply read someone else’s story about going above and beyond, I’d love for you to leave that link too. Have a great beginning of the week!

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The Truth About Christian Purity

bible reading challenge

Today I’m inviting you to step into a discussion on the importance of purity in the lives of Christians.

What does purity mean in the life of a Christian?

What happens when we make mistakes?

Why is it important for Christians to be pure?

truth about purity

In preparing to write this article, I first reviewed Dictionary.com ‘s definition of pure:

pure: free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind

It’s interesting how the word “pure” is a positive, wonderful word when it comes to drinking water to sustain our bodies. But somehow, the same world that wouldn’t think of drinking contaminated water will often ridicule people who desire to remain pure in their relationships.

Purity in the life of a Christian means making the proper choices to be without sin in your life. So no matter your life status, single, married, divorced, remarried… God wants us to be free from contamination in our relationships.

If you’re familiar with the Bible story of David and Bathsheba, then you may know that David committed adultery with Bathsheba, then murdered her husband. And we have a detailed account of David’s sinful choice and the circumstances that followed. The following is an excerpt from my  free ebook, Outside the Zone:

David made mistakes.  A huge mistake.  He committed adultery and then murdered a man over it.  There is no scale of sin degree in God’s eyes.  David was still a man after God’s own heart because when he did sin, his heart immediately repented.

Do right, but when you fail, not if, but when, turn immediately to the Lord again.

Psalm 51 is prefaced with the words “To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” I would encourage you to read this entire Psalm, but I’ve highlighted just a few of the verses below:

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

When we make mistakes in the area of purity, we have the freedom as Christians to make our hearts right with God through repentance, as evidenced in the example of David.

In regards to the importance of purity in the life of Christians, I love what Paul says about the reason for purity:

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Tim. 1:5

In February of this year, my pastor preached a sermon series entitled “Great Sexpectations” and the four week series covered what the Bible says about God’s plan for sex and marriage- one man and one woman for life. Interestingly enough, I’ve grown up in church and I’ve heard loads of sermons about how wrong sexual sin is. And it is wrong- the Bible is clear.  But I honestly can’t remember hearing any sermons like the ones my pastor preached, especially the message entitled “Walk the Line.” I highly encourage anyone reading this post to head over to the church website for this awesome series if you’d like more answers to questions like:

“How far is too far?”

“Can I (fill in the blank)?”

“Is it wrong that I/we do this?”

I’m so blessed today to be a part of a group of Christian bloggers uniting in a discussion on  purity.  We’d love it if you’d join the conversation and read more posts like this one, which you can find right here.

Do conversations about purity engage your heart on the subject? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

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