Keep that same energy

I just got back from vacation and it was amazing. My husband knows how to show me a good time. It was exactly what we needed after having a rough winter. I love to travel, going places doing things, just being out of my house and doing something new. Research shows that it’s easier to get through your days if you are planning a vacation or have something to look forward to. Why is that? Shouldn’t we have joy in our day to day?

Keep that same energy is Teyana Taylor new album title. I haven’t listened to it but the title really got me thinking. How do you do that? Once you get back from vacation why is there such a plateau, such a crash? It literally has a name…post vacation blues. When you are on vacation there is such a high and when you get back home its like, uh, let me get back to the grind. I want to break that cycle.

When I got home I didn’t get all sad, like man my vacation is over. Instead I’m making the best of my time here. I’m taking that just go with the flow vacation vibe and carrying that into my work week. I dont want to be down and just waiting to leave again. I want to enjoy my time in my home and in my city, just like I do on vacation.

I want to keep that same energy. I want to be carefree and let the stress roll of my back.

How am I am going to do that?

1. Be here now- when I am vacation I’m not on my phone. I am just enjoying each moment. I will continue that philosophy when I am home, limiting my time on social media and group chats. This way I am in control of what I take in.

2. Quiet time- when I am on vacation I dont have to rush through my devotional. I really get good one on one time with God. It is harder to not rush my devotional at home but it can be done, I just have to be more intentional with my time.

3. Be active- if you can believe it, even though I did a lot of laying around on vacation I actually exercised every day too. Definitely not something I do at home nor will I necessarily be able to duplicate but I can get close. Being active puts me in a better mood than laying around. Instead of getting off work and trying to catch up on shows or social media and I am going to try to do some physical activity.

4. Try new things- best thing about vacation is trying stuff you wouldn’t normally do at home. That can be anything, new food, drinks or experiences. Why can’t we do that at home? I am lucky that I live in a city that I can find all kinds of new things. So once a month I am going to try and find something or someplace I have never been before.

I know none of these things are super hard but it is the small things that make vacation great. If I bring all the small things I like about vacation into my every day life then I can bring a little bit of vacation back with me.

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What are you feeding your soul?

What you feed your soul is just as important as what you put in your body.

  • Poison- Things that will kill you such as self defeating thoughts.
  • Junk food-stuff on tv, no nutritional value, making your spiritually fat
  • super food-bible

Most people genuinely try to eat healthy, whether its organic, vegan, more water, shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, etc. You probably are fairly diligent in your exercise program. Making sure you hit the gym a few times a week or do some type of physical activity. However,are you that diligent about what you are putting in your soul? I would hope so, but I don’t always think that is the case. If you only talk to God on Sunday at church then your spiritual diet is probably a little junk food heavy.

If the only time you pray is over your food or when you are in deep trouble then you may want to make some modifications. You don’t want your spiritual diet to make your soul sluggish. You may not be able to hear God because you have a bunch of things in the way.

Do you ever listen to inspirational or gospel music? Or is it secular music all the time? Nothing wrong with secular music. I enjoy a trap beat as much as the next person but with any diet, it needs to be balanced. You can’t just eat Flaming Hot Cheetos and never have carrots. You should try to balance your secular music with some inspirational music. What are you watching on tv? Is it a steady diet of “reality tv?” Fistfights, drink tossing and love triangles? If so, maybe limit how much of that you are taking in. I enjoy escaping into fantasy, especially after a long work week but I caution that from being the only thing you watch.

priority

Just like a diet is a lifestyle change, your spiritual diet should be one too. Just like you always keep a few staples in your diet, there should be some staples in your spiritual diet. Those staples include a quiet time with God, bible reading/studying, and prayer. I would say those are three main things you need to grow your relationship with God. I try to do those things before I go to work in the morning and before I go to bed at night so I am covered in my comings and my going. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or intense. There are a lot plans you can find that will give you structure to your quiet time. I try to do 15 minutes before work and 30 minutes when I get home. I have my quiet time before I turn my tv on when I get off. I want God to know that he is a priority in my life. There is always time to make changes and adjustments. God sees your heart. No matter how big or small, just get started.

zachariah 410

Greater expectations

I was at leadership meeting at church and the guy leading the class asked us what God is working on in us. One person said self forgiveness. He said he felt like he was putting expectations on himself that God had not put on him. I have been thinking about that statement all week.

This week was rough. I just have a lot of things going on right now and I felt like I was doing a disservice to God but I couldn’t put my finger on why. It lead me to do a lot of research on condemnation vs conviction, which I will post about next week. I still didn’t feel like I had the answer though. I have been pretty diligent. Usually when I feel this way, I fall into a Netflix of Hulu binge but this time I didn’t. I’m still reading everyday, through the bible in a year plan on YouVerse bible app and having my quiet time. So I asked God, what do you want me to do? What do you expect of me? Just a few days ago.

He gave me the answer today. In Deuteronomy, God says all he wants you do is fear him and do what pleases him. That’s it. Sounds pretty simple. In a way yes, but in a way no. I have been doing a lot of research on what pleases God for quite sometime. There are a lot of things in the bible about what doesn’t please God but I feel like there is less emphasis on what does please him.

deutloveGod

I think that is because God doesn’t want us to work ourselves to death in trying to please him. Loving him with all your heart, soul and strength is not an easy task. This is why he gives us grace. Grace to mess up, grace to mistakes. He sees our hearts and our intentions.

what-is-grace

He just wants us to do the best we can. I lose sight of this because I have placed expectations on myself that God never did. I never noticed I did that before. I have been trying to grow so fast. I want to be as close to perfect as possible, which really isn’t humble. I want God to know I’m paying attention, that I’m not just being a reader of the word but a doer of the word. James 1:22-24.

Are you being too hard on yourself? Try not to be. Don’t run from God when you feel this way, run towards him. He will always give you answers and typically sooner than you think.

SOAP bible study method

Do you feel like you do enough bible study? I know I don’t. I have been trying to do 30 minutes a day 5-6 days a week. The struggle is definitely real. Its hard. There are so many methods out there. I am going to be trying a few of them out and letting you guys know how they work. The SOAP method is one I found on Pintrest a few years ago and I really like it. Its so simple, it can easily be done in 15 minutes. Its a great way to get some time in with God and it helps you dig deeper into the word. If you want to longer than 10-15 minutes you could do longer passages but when I first started out, I did one verse everyday. I wrote them down all in the same place, so when I when I needed that encouragement later it was handy.

SOAP-Bible-Study-Method

S: I do believe, help me overcome my belief! Mark 9:24

O: I do believe; I’m just scared it wont happen. I do believe, I just don’t want to be disappointed.

A: This verse is instruction. God is telling me to ask Jesus to help me with my unbelief. God made me a promise that I am waiting to be fulfilled and I believe but its hard. Jesus went through the same thing I am going through which is why he wants me to ask him for help.

P: Jesus please help me with my unbelief. I am trying so hard but I have wanted this baby for so long that I don’t think I can take another disappointment. Please help me pray without ceasing. You say ask and we shall receive. Please intercede on my behalf. I know you have been were I have and you didn’t let your circumstances change how you feel about your father. You were able to keep your faith. Please tell me what to do to be all more like you. I’m ready and willing to do whatever it takes. Thank you for being an intercessory for me. With you I know I can do all things because you give me strength. Thank you. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual check

We are almost 40 days into 2018. I know you are putting together goals and vision boards and speaking affirmations over your life. This is all great stuff. One thing though, have you thought about your spiritual goals at all? As we get settled into the new year you should ask yourself some questions. Are you any closer to God than you were last year? Are you consistently having a quiet time? Have you memorized any bible verses? Writing goals down is great idea but you won’t be able to accomplish these goals nearly as well if you aren’t putting God first in everything you do.

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish and do in summer of 2017. I literally made out a list the weekend before memorial day and prayed to God to help me accomplish every goal that I had set. It happened. I was surprised! It wasn’t difficult at all either. I wasn’t really solely on my own skills or abilities. As we walk into this new year, take stock of where your relationship with God. Try to make that a priority in 2018 as well, just as much as you want to go further in your career, exercise, and visit your Grandma more often.

Here is the spiritual check I did last month. SpiritualHealthCheck by Trevor J. Partridge

It is easy to understand and is broken down in to different sections. Scriptural reading, stewardship, sharing your faith, etc. Its gives you a range from optimal to you still need to work on some things. It definitely provided some clarity and direction for me in 2018. I know I need to work on stewardship, sharing my faith and scripture memorization. If you can, find an accountability partner. Someone that is going to help you stay focused and accomplish these goals.

Proverbs 16-9

I know I want 2018 to be a better year than 2017 was and I know that I can accomplish that by giving God my goals. Actually praying about the goal or the plan Before I decide to do it, not after. Praying before allows God to help you formulate the best course of action and it is saying, I give this to you Lord, and I trust your process and results. Its not to late to decide the course for the year. I didn’t decide until May that I wanted to turn my 2017 around and I am so glad I did. Write out what you want to do and talk to God about it. The best thing about writing it all done is that you watch God do all things you asked him to do.