living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Live Your Life With Joy!

“But none of these things move me,

neither count I my life dear unto myself,

so that I might finish my course with joy…”

Why do we need joy?

  • The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • When we cease to be joyful in the Lord, we aren’t very affective, are we? Can someone in a bad mood be a blessing to anyone? (the answer is “no”)
  • Does the world want what we have if we are miserable? (I doubt it.)
  • When I don’t have joy, even if I am quiet about it, it affects my family. When I’m grumpy, my family knows this, and my children’s moods often mirror mine!

 

What hinders our joy?

  • Things “moving us” like our verse speaks of. If something “moves me,” it will rob my joy. When we let life’s circumstances move us, it will take our joy away! Paul, in this passage, did not have much longer to live. And he knew it. His life as a Christian had SO many hardships as given in II Corinthians 11. But all these circumstances wouldn’t “move” him. He didn’t get off course! Life can be hard! If a loved one dies, or is diagnosed with cancer, or walks away from God, I’m not suggesting you walk around with a smile on your face. It’s okay to be sad and grieve . It’s okay to take time to rest. Just don’t let your course be altered!
  • If I “count I my life dear unto myself.” The work of the Lord is more important than myself! The apostle Paul was ready to die! We have to be ready to live a living death. A sacrificial life, where we are more concerned with others, and the Lord…more than ourselves. For me, taking care of my husband and my children is a more important job than anything I want to do. In my life’s course, this is the section of the race that I am in. It has hurdles! (called small children!) :)  Whatever season of life you are in, do that work for Christ! I recently read a book called The Stay at Home Mom. In that book, the author did a beautiful job of making me see that taking care of my children is great ministry for Christ! Doing a service for my children is doing it for Him! Remember in Matthew the passage where Jesus told the disciples that He was sick, and they cared for Him, in prison, and they visited Him? He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I am doing it for Him when I take care of my little people. In my life, I am Christ to my children. Until they can see Him for themselves, I am all Him they know. My relationship with them – how I love them, how I deal with them – gives them a picture of the Heavenly Father. My time with them is too short, too important not to live with joy! When I lose my joy, I am useless!

 

How do we get joy?

  • Jesus is your joy! If you have trusted Him as your personal Savior, He is your joy! You already have Him.
  • “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8) Spend time in His Word, and you will become more like Him, more joyful!
  • Keep your spirits up with practical things – surround yourself with happy people, play refreshing music, read encouraging books! Keep your head full of good things so there is no room for unhappy, discontented thoughts to take over.

Picture your course. How is it laid out? What sections have you gone through? Part of it has been smooth track, part of it has had hurdles, maybe part has gone through a lonely desert with heat and thirst. Now picture an Olympic athlete. Have you ever seen a track runner go through that finish line, the tape breaking across her chest, and NOT smile?! No way!

Let’s finish the course with joy!

Did you know????

Laughter is good for your health!

  • A good hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. It improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Mental health benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

{I googled, therefore it must be true}

❤ Joy

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How WE Unwind

It’s time to relax! We all need to! We clean, change, cook, repeat… all day! We are happy to do it, but sometimes we just need to recharge! So, a few of us have shared what we do…

  • Kelsey ~ Getting out of the house for a bit is what really re-energizes me! Whether it’s browsing Marshall’s &Target, or even grocery shopping. I feel like a brand new person when I’ve had an hour or two out of the house. I rarely spend money on these trips, and if I do, it’s usually some cute little clearance item I found for less than $10. So that’s my inexpensive way to unwind. 🙂
  • Joy ~ A few evenings a week, I soak in the tub! After the baby is asleep, I’ll grab a book I’m reading and take as long as I want in there! It is SO relaxing! And, another thing I love to do is use this homemade, inexpensive sugar scrub on my feet. Click here for the recipe! It has kept my feet soft all summer long!
  • Tascha ~ I also enjoy getting out of the house for a little while. It is not a regular occurrence, but I enjoy thrift-store shopping and can come home with new outfits for the girls for less than $5-6 most times… and once this summer John watched the kiddos so a friend and i could go shopping together! it was soo much fun. Whenever I am able to leave the house for a couple of hours, I always come home with a renewed energy to tackle SOMETHING-be it an entire room or just get clutter picked up. During the school year our church has Ladies Meeting once a month and that is uplifting-getting to spend some time just chattin’ with whomever is sitting near you and hearing a devotional and eating some yummy food I did not cook!
  • Rachel ~ I don’t know about you all but I LOVE pictures! So, a couple of nights a week after I put the kids to bed, I grab a Dr. Pepper & hop on the computer to organize & edit pictures. This is such a relaxing time for me! I chuckle at all the fun we’ve had & enjoy the sweet memories we’ve made during the day or on our day trips with Daddy. It also helps me remember how blessed I am to have the family God has given me. And besides the cost of the Dr. Pepper – it’s free! 🙂
  • Heather ~ I love to go anywhere by myself.  I like to go to the stores that no one else in my family likes.  Those include Ross, Goodwill, & Hobby Lobby.  I don’t usually spend money either…except maybe a stop at Starbucks 🙂
  • Jennifer ~ I don’t take nearly the time for myself like I should. But, anytime I can either go grocery shopping, thrift store shopping, the library or a yard sale by myself for a couple hours, I take that time to enjoy the quiteness of the moment.  I love, in the evening, to read after the kids go to bed.  But, even in the midst of the busy-ness of the day, if I can have a nice smelling candle lit (the happy smell and cheerful flicker will lift your mood instantly) and some calming nature music playing in the background, that helps to quiet my spirit throughout the day.  Pretty simple, but it works for me! ♥
  • Heidi ~ I too LOOOOOVVVVEEEE to get out of the house. I’m thankful that at least twice a week either on my honey’s day off ill run some errands or one evening a week I walk across to my neighbor’s house (a girl I grew up with and go to church with…some of you know Nikki Gardner, her sister;)…we chat & have coffee. I also love to read. I can lay in my bed and read all night if I can…ha!
  • Alicia ~ Things can be very hectic and busy at our house. We are always on the go. So, my favorite unwinding days are days that we call “pajama days”. We don’t get dressed and we watch movies and just hang out together. We hide the van, ignore the phone, and close all the blinds so people will think we are gone! I enjoy those days to let me just breathe and slow down and not have to think very much and just snuggle my kids. We also enjoy going to a park as a family. Jimmy and I sit and snuggle and watch the kids play. That is very relaxing for us.
  • Niki ~ Mine are pretty similar to many others….my basic unwind at the end of the day is to get on the computer and browse for a little while….FB, Pinterest, something fun 🙂  I enjoy reading and a hot bath, but the bathroom is between the kids’ bedrooms, and if I go in there and try to take a bath while they’re in bed, it seems to always wake them up, and I end up more frustrated than relaxed! For something a little bigger, I really enjoy just being by myself – going to the library or a little shopping (even window shopping), going to Caribou Coffee!
  • Jeri Lynn ~ Before I even had children, I found myself needing to unwind from my busy schedule. I spoke to an older lady that I respected who encouraged me to take time to relax with a hot bath. I tried it, and it became a relaxing routine remedy. Add a favorite drink.. Add a book..  In very challenging times, I’ve found that I must listen to Christ-honoring music that points my mind to Him instead of my weakness. As a mother of nine, “Quiet. Alone. Time.” are precious words. This usually occurs when all are sleeping, which time gets later as teens near adulthood. Leaving the house to browse a store or library is enjoyable when planned ahead. Emergency unwinding may include my perceptive husband realizing it would benefit the entire world for him to take everyone to the park after I’ve been on solo duty for 13 non-stop hours for days! 😉 And he is a fun Dad who is usually ready for an adventure at any moment. It is a good thing to figure out what helps you unwind that you may be able to serve with a refreshed spirit.

And there you have it! Relax!