September 25, 2017

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Stress Management

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Dear Megan,

I have been feeling really overloaded and burned out lately and I’m not sure what to do to make it stop. I was on your GCH call last week and I completed the exercise you gave us and talked about in your blog last Friday…. but I just feel stuck with what to do next. I know I need to delegate more and God showed me some tasks He does not intend for me to do, but I feel like I could be handling it all (especially the stress) better. I’m hoping you can give me some advice on this!

~M.

Sweet sister,

Thank you for taking the first step by doing that exercise from last week ! I pray it was a blessing for you to be able to see in black and white how you are spending your precious resource of time. Our world makes it easy for us to feel overloaded, over burdened and over worked! What I heard through your cry for help is that you are looking for some practical stress-management tools to help you now that you are beginning to spend your time more wisely (as God intends you to).

Adopting healthy stress management skills will enable you to slow down, stop, yield and reduce speed at appropriate intervals on your path of life. In turn, your pace will be regulated and you will be lifted out of the ditch of overload and burnout. As you work through this exercise, you will see how you can begin to walk the road to transformation in the peaceful assurance that God will never call you to do more than He gives you time and ability to do (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

SLOW

{Slow down and make the necessary changes for good physical health}

  • Do you eat a balanced and healthy diet?
  • Do you exercise at least three times a week?
  • Do you take at least one day of rest per week?
  • Do you get adequate restful sleep most nights?

Psalm 127:2

 In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

{Slow down and evaluate your priorities}

  • Do the exercise from last week if you have not done so (Link up above)
  • Consider other priorities that should be on the list
  • Choose your commitments with careful prayer
  • Eliminate unnecessary stressful obligations
  • Don’t accept impossible deadlines
  • Don’t give in to the pressure of urgency
  • Tackle only one problem at a time

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Better one handful with tranquility
    than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

{Slow down and nourish your spiritual life}

  • Remind yourself daily to “be still, and know that (He is) God” {Psalm 46:10}
  • Open lines of honest communication with God about your concerns, needs, and fears
  • Set aside time daily for personal prayer and Scripture meditation
  • Memorize Scripture that builds assurance of God’s love {Psalm 36:7; Jeremiah 31:3; John 14:21; Romans 8:39}

Psalm 119:71

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees

STOP

{Stop and look at the real reason you are experiencing stress}

  • Do you try to meet your own needs instead of waiting on the Lord?
  • Do you think God cannot accomplish His purposes without your over-achieving?
  • Do you seek self-worth through proving your adequacy and effectiveness?
  • Are you Spirit-led or people-pressured?

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

{Stop, confess and turn away from any known sin in your life}

  • Do you manipulate or control others?
  • Do you feel envious or jealous of others?
  • Do you express your feelings inappropriately?
  • Do you overreact to criticism?
  • Do you have impure motives?

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

YIELD

{Yield to God’s sovereign control over your circumstances}

  • What is God doing in your circumstances?
  • In what way does God want you to change?
  • How does God want you to respond?
  • Do you have impure motives?

Proverbs 21:1

A king’s heart is like streams of water in the Lord’s hand:
He directs it wherever He chooses.

{Yield to God your rights and expectations}

Dear God,

  • “I yield my right to control my circumstances.”
  • “I yield my right to be accepted by others.”
  • “I yield my right to be successful.”
  • “I yield my right to be heard and understood.”
  • “I yield my right to be right.”

Proverbs 3:5

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding

RESUME SPEED

{Resume speed, living in the presence of God}

Dear God,

  • “I choose to let Christ live His life through me.”
  • “I choose to live in the present, not worrying about tomorrow.”
  • “I choose to refocus my thoughts away from my pressures to Your purposes for allowing these pressures.”
  • “I choose to have a thankful heart regardless of the pressure I feel.”
  • “I choose to call on You, Lord, for wisdom and peace.”
  • “I choose to commit to talking less and listening more.”

Psalm 62:1

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Managing Your Time

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This past Tuesday night I had the privilege of being a part of an incredible conference call with many of you and my dear friend Crystal Breaux. I gave a little assignment on the call and I know that many of you have taken me up on it with much success! Praise God! I thought it might help to give you more in-depth background on this subject of time management and the exercise as a whole. I pray this is a blessing to all of you!

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As Christian women, it is incumbent upon us to achieve good time management skills. We need to be on time for appointments, conference calls, or any of the millions of events we commit to. Some of us already have these skills and others of us need to do more work in this area.

I have found that when the events you commit to line up with your values, you have less of a struggle with participating or completing them. When events are contrary to what you feel is right, is it any wonder why confusion or stress can result? It has been said that if we do not control the events in our lives, then the events can overrun and begin to control us. So, my friends, now is the time to take control of our time and begin to prioritize more effectively!

I certainly know this first hand…. From the outside looking in, I have a pretty busy life as all of you do. I am a mom to 3 teens and 2 young adults (all 5  live under our roof.) I have a husband who travels just about every week for 3-4 days…so most of the time, I am a “single mom.” I work 20+ hours a week outside my home and I work 20+ hours a week as a Christian Life Coach. We lead a bible study in our home Friday nights and I volunteer with the high school kids Thursday nights at our church…and then there’s all of my other household duties, appointments, dates, etc.

Are you still with me?

To some of us, this may sound easy and others may feel overwhelmed by this concept, but God does not call us to anxiety or confusion…. That all comes from the Devil and he would love nothing more than to de-rail your day from the Lord’s purposes in your life. How much longer do you plan on letting satan win?

First, we need to understand event control: There are only 2 types of events

  1. The events we cannot control: traffic, weather, time of day, other people, your family
  2. The events we can control: the time I get up, the foods I eat, my exercise program, how I allow others to make me feel, and who my friends are

The problem lies in the basic thought patterns of most individuals…. There are some events in life I CANNOT control, but I believe I CAN!! There are some events in life I CAN control, but I believe I CANNOT.

We cannot control people, places, or things. The only thing in life we can truly control is ourselves. Also, others cannot make us feel a particular way, without our permission. If we feel bad, we have allowed this. It takes a conscious decision to feel good and remain positive…. understanding these concepts and successfully living them out will save you a lot of time!!!

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!”

~The Serenity Prayer

Increasing Productivity

When we control our events, we have increased productivity, thus, higher self-esteem! People who feel good about themselves produce good results! Isn’t it true that when you take the time to plan your day, you accomplish more than when you fly by the seat of your pants? Isn’t it rewarding to check off the things on your list and see what you have completed?

Ideally, your first step is to get a day planner or learn a new application in your smart phone. I prefer Microsoft Outlook because for my job, I spend much of my day on the computer and Outlook also syncs to my other mobile devices. In that calendar or day planner, you will be able to organize your day from morning ’til night. The benefit of this is that you will be able to see exactly how you spend each hour of your day.

I have an exercise for you to make you aware of how you currently spend your time:

First, begin by writing everything you do in real time as you go throughout your day. This includes everything from saying your prayers to brushing your teeth to having lunch with your favorite friend. Everything takes time! Next to each event, write down the time it takes to do it. Do this for three days to evaluate how you spend your time.

Next, you must plan your days’ events with priorities in mind. Use a letter A to indicate high value priorities, B for medium value priorities, and C for low value priorities.

  • An  A  event is a “MUST” (doctor appointment, boss meeting, pick kids up from school, etc.)
  • B  event is a “should do” (getting your car washed, calling your mother-in-law, sending a card to a friend)
  • C  event is a “could do” (read a good book, a sale at the mall, etc.)

       ****can you make any into a D event and DELEGATE????

This is a great way to see what we deem as most important in our lives. Is God really first? Or do we just say He is and put Him on the C list??? When we look at our list it is important to realize that no matter what, we should get every A event accomplished…then we can go to the B and C events are those we can push to the next day or things we can fit in if time allows.

What we realize when we schedule everything we do, like watching TV and spending time with our spouse, is that we sometimes spend more time watching TV than we do spending time with our spouse! The problem most people don’t realize is that WE CANNOT MAKE UP TIME!!! Once time is wasted, we cannot get it back. There will be time for re-runs of your favorite show, but if you show up for TV more than you do for your spouse, you may be watching those re-runs alone!

Optimum time management is when my behavior is in line with my values!!!

 To help you decide how to spend your day, pray for God to give you discernment. What is important and what is not? By listing all the things you do each day, you can begin to see what it is you spend your time doing. Most of us waste time, but until we look at it in black and white, we have trouble seeing it.

I spend the first 45 minutes of my morning with God every single day and since I have let Him have complete control of my to-do list, I am amazed with all I get done and how good I feel about it! I live for Him, so its silly for me to think that I can actually control my day! I can create boundaries around the tasks God wants me to complete but that’s about the extent of the control I have on my days!

We must live our everyday life and fulfill our obligations.

The Universal to-do list looks something like this:

  • Work (meetings, marketing/ publicity, desk tasks, planning, billing, reading, writing)
  • Errands (banking, gas station, post office, cleaners)
  • Children (school, lessons, sports, car pool, play dates, parties)
  • Appointments (health, fitness, beauty, car, animals)
  • Shopping (food, clothing, home, gifts)
  • Correspondence (bills, letters, cards, packages)
  • Home (cleaning, laundry, cooking, repairs, entertaining, gardening, decorating)
  • Family (holidays, reunions, get-togethers)
  • Friends (dinners, hobbies, coffee dates)
  • Church/Community (attend church, fundraising, service projects, Bible study)
  • Personal (rest, introspection, relaxation, grooming, creativity, education, pleasure)

Life is made up of one resource: TIME. You do have choices on how you spend your time. Start by considering why you waste time on the things that do not agree with your priorities based on what your values are. Re-evaluate the importance of these events.

Life is too short to waste because you can never recover what you lost. When you realize this, you will see the changes you can implement. You will then begin to experience relief when you have more time to spend on the things you cherish and less time on the things you don’t.

How to realistically manage your time wasters (TV, Facebook, email, phone, etc…)

I schedule it in! Seriously! It might look like I am on Facebook all day because I have it available to me on mobile devices, but I only really spend TIME on Facebook in the morning and in the evening for a half hour at a time, if that.

I do not answer my phone every time it rings and I do not answer emails as soon as I get one. I carve out periods of time in my day for those things. Now, if it is my spouse or one of my kids, I answer when I can; but for calls that I KNOW are not urgent, I give them a backseat until the time I have scheduled for that. Otherwise, I would let my day get de-railed all over the place! Satan would love that, right?

You might not like to hear this, but I don’t watch TV. Now, I have other ways I unwind, but TV is not one of them. I like to play words with friends or read a book, but that time is scheduled and it is a “C” item for me…as time permits. God is so good, He knows when I need that time and He always makes a way for me to have it!

Now…. have you done this exercise yet? I would love to hear your thoughts in a comment below!

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Life’s Healing Choices: Chapter 8 Review

■Realize I am not God

■Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, that He has the power to help me recover

■Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control

■Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust

■Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character

■Evaluate all my relationships.  Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others

■Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will

■YIELD MYSELF TO GOD TO BE USED TO BRING THIS GOOD NEWS TO OTHERS, BOTH BY MY EXAMPLE AND BY MY WORDS

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.
Matthew 5:10

CONGRATULATIONS!!!  You have completed this part of the journey of healing with us.   But it is only the beginning.  God is beginning a great and awesome work in each one of you.  It has been an amazing privilege to go down this path with you and to see how He has been creating new creations in all of us (2 Corinthians 5:17).

This last week of the study, we discussed recycling our pain.  Some quotes to remember from this week:

‘God never wastes a hurt.’

‘What joy it brings our Father in heaven to see our pain turn into something good.’

‘This is your life, child; this is why I’ve allowed so many years of pain and suffering, to help another of My children in need.’

‘We are Redeemed! What greater promise and truth is there?’

Isn’t it absolutely mind-boggling to realize that we serve a Father who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to walk on this earth…to teach us…to be punished and crucified so that we can have this freedom?! His word tells us ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you’ (John 15:7).  All we have to do is believe, receive, walk in His ways, give our hearts to Him, and He will give us the desire of our hearts. I have to say, I think of that and absolutely do a happy praise dance!!  He is so good to us!!

At the end of the book, John Baker shares the Serenity Prayer with us.  When I attended Celebrate Recovery for 2 years, we said this each week.

Prayer for Serenity

God, grant me the serenity (peace John 14:27)
to accept the things I cannot change (only You can),
the courage to change the things I can (be strong and of good courage Joshua 1:9),
and the wisdom to know the difference (Matthew 14:16).
Living one day at a time (patience),
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace (John 16:33);
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is (righteous judgment John 7:24),
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right (trust Psalm 37:3),
if I surrender to Your will (in my weakness, He is strong 2 Corinthians 12:10);
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life (content Philippians 4:11-13)
and supremely happy with You forever in the next (joy James 1:2-4).
Amen!

*parenthesis are my notes as God showed me in the 2 years at Celebrate Recovery

As you say this prayer, remember John 15:7 when He tells us if we abide in Him…we can ask whatever we wish, and it will be done for us. He will give us the desires of our heart.  If we truly believe and walk in this healing, He will answer this prayer with a Yes and Amen!!

Continue to immerse yourselves in His word, surround yourselves with people who will encourage and lift you up, and let Him love you and heal your hurts, habits, and hang-ups continuously.  You have grabbed His hand, now continue to walk with Him down the pathway to peace.  You have received VICTORY in Jesus’ name.

Take some time and listen to this song: 

When you have stopped dancing and celebrating—find the closest mirror, look at the beautiful reflection God has made in you and say, ‘Look at me now, I’m stronger this time around!!’

Let’s Pray:

Gracious Father, we cannot find enough words to express our thankfulness for the grace, love, and healing You have given us.  Our hearts are overflowing with joy that You love us enough to clothe us in Your righteousness.  Father, take our hurts, pain, habits, and hang-ups and use them to glorify Your name.  It is only through You that we can truly say we are healed, we are stronger now, and we can trust that You will continue to take us on this journey to completion.  As we finish this study, help us to push on, stay committed to this healing You have given us.  Place people in our lives that will encourage and walk beside us.  Bless each one that is reading this prayer, Father, and their families. Father, we cannot say enough how much we love You.  We do give all the glory and honor to You daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Please be sure to check out our Facebook Fan Page on Monday, when we will announce our next online Bible study!! You won’t want to miss this one!  

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If you would like to send a private message to Laurie in regards to this blog, please email her at Laurie@girlfriendscoffeehour.com