Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Your Turn~ Day 17 {Make. It. Count.}

Constant headaches.

Tight shoulders.

Sporadic sleep.

If you were diagnosing a patient who told of these symptoms, what would your verdict be?

That's right!


It doesn't take much to spot stress running amuck in our lives.  The symptoms are easy to identify.  The results, hard to overlook.  Stress has become an epidemic.  A crisis in and of itself.  I've known its grip.  I imagine you have, too.

So, here's the million dollar question:
How can you and I take a bite out of the stress that is trying to eat us alive?

A few years ago, when stress was getting the best of me, I decided to spend an entire afternoon creating a game plan. You know, a plan of attack.  I was ready to give stress some stress of its own!

I thought about the areas of my life where stress was
stealing my joy,
stifling my growth,
and creating havoc.

Here's a sneak peak at what I came up with:

GOAL:  To Live Stress Free

I must do the following:

          1.       Not take myself so seriously:

a.       Laugh at myself more often

b.      Be willing to make mistakes

c.       Admit when I am wrong or make a mistake

d.      Forgive myself immediately

e.       Stop putting so much weight in the comments / remarks of others

f.       Stop comparing myself to other people

g.      Guard my heart

h.      Applaud myself more often!!!

2.      Be confident in who I am in Christ

a.       Stop fearing ridicule or failure

b.      Stop fearing / dreading new , challenging tasks or events

c.       Approach people, stop avoiding them

d.      Invest more in current relationships by revealing the “real” me, stop

pretending to be someone or something I’m not.  Be me!

e.       Try new things, go on new adventures

f.       Believe with Christ I can do all things

g.      Fulfill my dreams
h.   Speak the truth (no matter how hard it may be) in love and humility

3.      Give 100% to my health

a.       Make sleep a priority.  Nothing less than 8 hours will do.

b.      Drink water…..lots and lots of water.

c.       Be extremely selective about what I let enter my mouth.

                                                                          i.      More fruits, veggies

                                                                        ii.      Vitamins every day….twice a day!

                                                                      iii.      Less sugar, refined or processed food

                                                                      iv.      No more sodas

d.      Spend time outdoors, soaking up sun, reading and relaxing… least

20 to 30 minutes each and every day.

                        e.   Daily exercise -walking, rebounding, doing the elliptical, sit ups

                        f.    Be mindful and conscious of my posture.  Work on it daily.

                        g.   LAUGH!   LAUGH!   LAUGH!

                        h.   Hug, kiss and embrace each day!

                        i.    Spend time daily in prayer and reading God’s word

Of course, this in only a small portion of my "attack on stress".  In fleshing out my entire game plan, I also included areas such as "my marriage", "my professional life", "my relationships", "my finances", etc.. 
Every area of my life was spread out on the table of my heart, 
picked through,
and prayed over. 
As I prayed, God was faithful to reveal to me areas of obvious stress, as well as hidden.  He spoke words of healing, praise, direction, and boldness as together we tackled these strongholds and came face to face with the reality of them in my life.
Then, it was time to put my plan on paper
 It wasn't enough to simply think about it, or pray about it.  To Make. It. Count. and to make it make a difference in my life, I had to put plans to paper, and ideas into action. 
Once I had my plan, I referred to it often.  I kept it in the forefront of  my mind.  I tried to be intentional about stopping, thinking, praying and then basing my choices, my reactions, my "yes" and my "no", on my game plan.
Now, a few years beyond my plan . . .
Have I been successful in faithfully implementing this plan ?  NO!
Am I living a stress-free life?  NO!
Do I still fall back into some of my hold stress habits?  YOU BET!
However . . .
Am I much more aware of what causes me stress?  Yes, indeed.
Am I making positive strides in taking a bite out of the stress in my life?  No doubt.
Are my shoulders looser,
is my tension tamer,
is my heart more peaceful,
am I enjoying my life more? 
Day by day, moment by moment, prayer by prayer,
I am loosening the chains of stress.
And, I have to tell you,
the freer I become, the freer I want to be.
Are you dragging around a load of stress in your life?
Are you in a stress crisis?
If so, it's time to plan your strategy of attack. 
It's time to identify the areas in your life that need immediate attention. 
It's time to sit down with your Heavenly Father and unite forces to devise a game plan.
It's time to do something about it.
It's time to take your life back, and in turn, MAKE. IT. COUNT.
It's your turn.

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