How To Endure a Rough Winter

Are you feeling the winter blues?  Lack energy or motivation? Relax because you’re not alone. Winter is a tough time for many. The days are darker. The weather bitter cold and the extra stress and demands of dealing with snow and ice can put the grouch into anybody. But there are some things we can do to make the best of a rough season.

1. Make time to nurture yourself and turn inward. Winter is a great time for reflection. Slow down enough to think about what you want to change this year, rethink your diet, and get the rest the body needs during harsh winters.

2. Declutter and organize your home. There is something about getting rid of junk and seeing a clean place that lifts one’s spirit and helps us focus on what we really want in our homes and in our lives.

3. Organize your finances. Tax season is upon us and it is a perfect time to rethink how we spend our time and our money. Get a good filing system set up. Track your expenses.

4. Don’t use the weather as an excuse to not exercise. Exercise is a must. It keeps the heart pumping, the muscles strong, and the body flexible. Winter is a great time to take a yoga or pilates class. If the weather is bad, pop in an exercise video and get moving.

5.  Try out a new or favorite hobby. A friend of mine recently took up archery and he is so excited about it. Personally, I like to try new recipes and I can’t wait to use my new Panini grill pan.

How we see winter and rough seasons of life, has a lot to do with our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being during tough times. Like I say in my book, “The Power of Faith”, there will always be positives and negatives in life. It is up to us which we will choose to focus on.

I hope these tips and suggestions will help you see the bright side of a dark winter. What will you do this winter to make it more enjoyable? Love to hear from you. In  the meantime, stay warm and keep looking up!

Facing Unexpected Challenges

So how is your January going? Overwhelmed with the start of the new year and all the activities and to-dos it brings?

It’s been quite busy around here that’s for sure. Sometimes I think devilish imps are determined to sidetrack me from my goals, but I keep persisting. First, I took my car in for an oil change and realized I had an oil leak. So that set me back a good $270. Next my landlines went out so I needed to purchase a whole new system. And then, my laptop went black on me. I was able to get it up briefly but then, silly me, decided to try to reinstall the video graphics drivers and it went back to the black screen. I decided the laptop was too old and a coworker told me, “That computer has given you too much guff!”

“You’re right,” I said. “Enough guff.”

Then it was time to deal with all the decisions regarding getting a new computer: laptop vs. desktop, operating system Windows vs. Mac, size, processor speed, brand, well you get the idea. Bought one at Best Buy and then decided I wanted a bigger monitor, so took it back and got one at Staples and a new monitor – both on sale! I LOVE SALES! Somehow I feel like I’m getting a better deal. Plus this one is a Toshiba instead of an HP so am hoping I’ll have less problems AND it’s energy star!

So this week have been dealing with installing all the new software, checking my external hard drive for viruses, and deciding on an internet security suite. Oh, did I mention learning a brand new foreign operating system, Windows 8? Whew! Just talking about it makes me tired.

On top of all this, my youngest son took off for Minnesota for a new job.

Not to mention, I’ve been dealing with some health issues that are really sapping my energy. I am positive they are exacerbated by the stress. I am not in denial. I realize when I am under more stress than usual.

So why am I sharing all this? Because I want you to know that all of us are faced with unexpected challenges and multiple decisions which cause stress and distract us from our goals. The key I believe is to have faith and realize there is a lesson to be learned in all this. The lesson I learned is that nothing, and I do mean, NOTHING, is worth stressing about. Everything works out in due time.

My key verse is Phillipians 4:6 which says “Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in all things with prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God and He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding.”

Faith is believing that God is on our side and that he is working all things ultimately for our good although it may not seem like it at the time. God does have a plan and a purpose for these trials, just as he did with Job. God is still in control and he is the one who allows these things to happen. Our job is to discern the lessons he is trying to teach us in the process. Otherwise we are doomed to repeat the same sorry situations.

So, dear friends, take heart. Be encouraged. If your situation is particularly challenging, ask the Lord what he may be trying to tell you and what actions you need to take. My favorite verse these days is Romans 8:31 which says, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” And the answer is no one and nothing.

Until next time, stand firm, listen to that still small voice, and trust that all things will pass in due time. Let me know what situations you’re facing and I will be sure to keep you in prayer.