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Archive for November, 2012

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Many of us prior to Thanksgiving, embarked on a daily practice of gratitude. So now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over, will it be a habit we continue to practice? If not, then why not? And if so, then why?

Practicing and being conscientious of the abundance and blessings in one’s life actually contributes to our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being, as we are multi-dimensional and our being is interconnected. When we conscientiously care for our being, ourselves, it is called ‘self-care’. 

Being Christian, we acknowledge our Biblical knowledge of how we are to ‘die to ourselves‘ in multitudinous ways, however if we do not live intentionally whether in service to others and to the Lord and with our own schedule and wellbeing, and in deliberate self-care practices, we may find ourselves in a state of overwhelm, frustration, stress and dis-ease

Surrendering ourselves to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of our lives is what brings peace, balance and contentment. Many of us discovered in our practice of gratitude, that peace, joy, more evidence of the fruit of the spirit and a sense of God orchestrating and leading more of our activities and appointments, were by-products. And these bring more ‘ease’ into our daily lives, diminishing the degree of dis-ease or lack of wellness. 

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Have you thought about the practice of gratitude being a ‘self-care’ habit? For this Health Coach, it has been and I have no intention of stopping now. I find myself almost lifted to new  spiritual growth and awareness of God’s Presence with me and in my life when I am practicing gratitude. I do it when walking the dog and find myself alone in a large park area so I can speak it out loud. I practice it through singing and worship and sometimes dancing when alone at home. I practice it verbally when reading the Word and what delights me is that I am discovering how often I do it silently when driving or going about daily errands. A huge benefit as well is how quickly I realize when I am NOT speaking with gratitude but with grumbling or complaints. I so appreciate the Holy Spirit’s quick prompting so that I can break agreement with the complaints, repent and again break forth with thanks.

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So as everyday self-care can include drinking more pure liquids such as water, eating a rainbow of colored fruits and vegetables,  exercising a minimum of 30 minutes per day, spending daily time outdoors, let’s intentionally add the practice of gratitude and enhance the quality and quantity of the life which God lends to us to serve him and others. 

What changes have come about for you from your daily practice of gratitude? Please share.

Recommended Links: 

21 days of gratitude

56 Bible verses about gratitude

The attitude of gratitude: A Bible Study suggestion

Gratitude Songs

Grateful even when it hurts

How to cultivate gratitude this holiday season

Lifestyle Wellness Coaching

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For many years, I’ve been familiar with the word, “soaking”, in regards to spending time with the Lord, perceiving His presence and simply basking in it and worshiping. At times I have an intense craving for being in His Presence and I so enjoy closing my door, turning on the music and just basking; with time being of no importance at all. It’s the place where ‘As I wait upon the Lord, I will rise up with wings like eagles, so I can run and not grow weary, where I can start walking and not faint”  Isaiah 40:31

I want to crave Him like that all the time. I DO want to desire Him more than anything else.

My human nature, my flesh, my ‘old man’, so-to-speak, often convinces me with so many excuses as to why I cannot schedule that segment of time into my schedule. I can justify almost anything. And then I live with the consequences of neglecting the Life Giver and the Bread of Life, My Comforter and Counselor and the Giver of Perfect Peace.

I upbraid myself when after-the-fact, I realize that I’ve sacrificed peace and soul-rest for chaos, stress and unrest. But our God is a Redeeming God and I simply need to stop, turn around, repent and run into His Presence again. His arms are never not opened to us.

Today I was gifted with finding a 5 minute audio devotional called, Living The Upgraded Life in a devotional soaking set by Graham Cooke. And oh, I was immediately drawn into God’s Presence and it felt as if I was lifted up to another dimension.

I want to gift you also with this. Please carve out 5 private, undistracted minutes sometime soon, to listen, to be still, to open yourself up, to receive and to be loved on and ministered to by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. [link is above underlined and bold]

Please share in our comments if you did and perhaps how you were ministered to.

Other Links:

Do you crave the secret rest of God?

Free soaking music with Julie True

 

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I am a Canadian married to an American and living in the USA, therefore US Thanksgiving occurs a month after Canadian Thanksgiving (October). It seems each Canadian Thanksgiving, a sadness of sorts creeps over me for a few days as I would like to be in my parents home, gathered with my family on that occasion. For some reason, the most meaningful holiday all year is Thanksgiving. For me it is a tangible, cognizant time of contemplation, soul-searching and celebration. I find it is a time of year when I truly draw close to God in relationship.

I don’t decorate much for other seasons or celebrations but I REALLY love to decorate for Autumn and Thanksgiving. I want to make a public proclamation in my neighborhood and present a reminder to BE THANKFUL. I even get my beagle involved 🙂 [More posting below photos]…

For a while now, I’ve been practicing the daily habit of Thanksgiving. I do it immediately upon opening my eyes in the morning, it’s very easy to do when I am outdoors in nature, which I am each morning for an hour (dog walking/jogging), during dog walking (my p/t job), cycling (trying to be consistent and cycle 10 mi/day) and then during the early evening physical activity (cycling, hiking or dog jogging).

When I find myself complaining in my ‘inner chatter’ about something, the Holy Spirit is so faithful to remind me to focus on the positive, so once again I declare with my voice things that I am thankful for. From time to time I even apply grace to find something to be thankful for midst the event that I’m not all so pleased about. This habit I’m trying to form takes deliberate intention and it is becoming more natural.

I find that as I practice this, my soul fills with joy, I smile more, I like to worship more and I am participating less in my chronic besetting sins, one of them seeing the glass half empty rather than half full. This week seemed extra challenging to me and I found myself grumbling profusely in my inner chatter. When I noticed how my body and emotions were reacting and ‘being’ when I involved myself in this, it is then that I ‘picked myself up by the bootstraps’, so-to-speak and once again turned my focus to “what is beautiful, right, pure, lovely, trustworthy…” Philippians 4:8.

I am finding when the enemy brings accusations to my mind, whether that accusation is against myself or someone else, and then a judgement forms, I MUST “submit myself to God and resist this with the Word of God”  James 4:7. I also do this with praise and thanksgiving. When I do, truly the heaviness and condemnation lifts and my heart is once again light.

When choosing my post title this morning, the word ‘cognizant’ came to mind. I went to the dictionary to verify that word.

Cognizanthaving specified facts or feelings impressed on the mind

Related wordsaware, mindful, alert, attentive, careful, cautious, heedful, observant, open-eyed, regardful, vigilant, wary, watchful, wide-awake, hyperaware, hyperconscious.

Does reading these words also cause you to say, WOW! ?, like I am? This is the point of what Scripture is speaking of, I believe. It certainly made a deep impression on me. It helped bring the prominent and substantial truth to me about how ‘hyperconscious’ and ‘vigilant’ I am to be to “follow after the Spirit and not the flesh/corrupt nature Romans 8:13

It’s all about P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E. isn’t it? A deliberate, intentional choice, effort [the active use of energy in achieving a resultto produce a habit, whether its the habit of thanksgiving or resisting being negative or critical.

How I thank God for the gift and presence of His Holy Spirit to us who are His! Aren’t you?

This morning on Facebook, a friend posted a link to a site for a 21-day gratitude challenge. I decided to participate. Will you also?

US Thanksgiving is 21 days away; let’s get started! Invite a friend to participate with you or to be accountable with. If you decide to participate, will you let us know on my Facebook page so we can all be accountable together and pray each other through the next 21 days?

I’ll leave you with this lovely song by Don Moen: Thank You Lord to help you get started!

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