Christian Life, Mental Health

Girl Stop Apologizing & More

Web_girlstopapologizing

Have you gotten your hands on a copy of Rachel Hollis’ latest book, Girl Stop Apologizing? Rachel lays out important actions she has taken to attain her level of success. In a world of people telling you to just follow yours dreams, Rachel explains that you can’t just dream, sit back and hope for the best. Achieving big dreams requires hard work, a plan, discipline, and sacrifice.

Rachel’s message is that we need to stop apologizing for who we are and how we are “wired.” We have to stop making excuses for why we aren’t succeeding and stop blaming others for our lack of progress. She shares what keeps her on track like her 10-10-1 rule, getting up an hour earlier than her family, finding a place to work that is not distracting, avoiding time-wasters like social media, eating healthy, exercising daily, creating measurable goals, enlisting help, being a hustler, and so forth.

I love Rachel’s personal examples and practical advice. If people put into practice just a few of her life-principles, they are sure to reap the benefits. This book is not about theology. It’s not about living a Christian life-style. It’s not even about being a mom. This book has a purpose and it hit the bullseye. Rachel talks about her personal health and fitness through eating, sleeping, and exercise, but she does not talk about taking days off. That was not the point of her book so I have no complaints for her leaving it out.

One of the stories Rachel shared was how she decided to forego resting at an airport, even though she was exhausted, so that she could work on her book edits. She mentioned that she was willing to sacrifice rest in order to meet her objectives. This story made me think about how many people out there sacrifice rest in order to be productive.

Many people have no idea that rest is an important part of increasing productivity. Medical research reveals that the brain needs days off in order to restore itself. Many studies even connect REM sleep to emotional memory processing (Walker & van der Helm, 2009). Professional athletes and trainers will tell you that you must take one day off a week for your muscles to rest and restore. The Bible even talks about how we should take a day off for sabbath rest (Exodus 20:8-11). Without rest at least one day per week, we end up being less productive on the other six days.

My encouragement is to read Rachel’s book and figure out how to apply it to your life. However, don’t become a “hustler” and neglect to take days to reset and restore in the process. Achieving your goals while being emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and relationally healthy is what will make you a real success story.

 

 

Reference

Walker, M. P., & van der Helm, E. (2009). Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychological bulletin, 135(5), 731-48.

 

 

Christian Life

Blunders of Walking in the Dark

Last night I awoke at 2:30 AM to make a trip to the bathroom. This is a frequent occurrence and I am usually very good at maneuvering in the darkness of night. I can’t explain what happened or how it occurred, but I managed to nose-plant into something that knocked me on the floor. From where I landed, the inanimate object that I walked into could not be identified. The pain in my nose was severe and it intensified as I tried to fall back asleep. In fact, it hurt when I woke up this morning and has left me with a dull headache all day.

As guttural moans of agony woke my husband, he turned on his bedside lamp and asked, “Why didn’t you use the light from your phone?” It’s a simple solution, yet I was too tired and lazy to put out the extra effort to use it. Although I walked with my hands out in front of me, I still couldn’t make it safely without light. Maybe I thought I was smart enough to feel my way through the obstacles and arrive at my destination safely?

Many of us walk in darkness all the time and wonder how we land ourselves in tough situations. In the Bible, Jesus talked about following him because he is the light of the world.  The truth is, when we don’t rely on Jesus to light our lives and direct our steps, we will always end up in painful circumstances. I learned a valuable lesson last night and let me tell you… sometimes the truth hurts.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will
never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 (NIV)

Christian Life

I Fell Off the Bandwagon

running3

After months of consuming too much food, growing horizontally and avoiding a sports bra, I finally laced up my athletic shoes and went for a run. It wasn’t pretty but I know it’s what makes me healthy! My lungs burned, my heart felt like it might explode and most people could have walked faster than my uphill pace. I felt like I was in a slow-motion video, but in reality, I was going as fast as my body would let me.

Last year, I could run an 8-minute mile with little effort, plus I completed a half marathon and a 12-mile Tough Mudder. Now I can barely run a 12-minute mile without feeling like I might die. It’s amazing how quickly we can lose our physical fitness, but it’s also amazing how hard it is to start at the beginning again – gaining flexibility, stamina, speed and greater lung capacity.

As I pushed through the pain of my short 1.7-mile run, I couldn’t help but relate this to God. Many of us go through seasons of consistently attending church, reading our Bibles, praying and growing in our faith. During these times we are often filled with strength, joy and watch our lives transform through the power of God. Then life gets busy…Our schedules change…We fall out of our routines…We start to grow weary… And we find ourselves right back where we started – feeling lonely, stressed, tired, bitter, depressed, even hopeless.

Starting over hurts! Sometimes we allow so many painful things to weigh us down without giving them to the Lord. It’s like we’re trying to run a marathon after gaining a hundred pounds and developing asthma. Yes, it hurts but we don’t have to run a half marathon at an 8-minute mile pace to hang with God. We just have to lace up our shoes and go out for a run with Him. God is patient and sets the perfect pace.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. NIV

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. NIV

Matt 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. NIV