Come check out my very first VLOG post.
Everyone struggles with something. For some, it is drugs and alcohol. Others its work, sex, or any other habits that keep us in bondage. Yet others struggle with food or rest.
Yes, I said rest.
My biggest struggle is rest. All around rest. I am talking daily rest, weekly rest, ” I need a vacation” kind of rest.
I enjoy the quiet of the night and the darkness. It is peaceful and still. There are no more expectations on the time because I should be sleeping. I love laying in bed and most mornings I don’t want to get out of my cozy warm bed. Don’t get me wrong, watching the sunrise, after a long nights rest, is indescribable. But then there is that moment at 10:30 every night, I think this thought.
” What is the harm in not going to bed right now?”
When I am really struggling I agree with this thought almost every night. Then the next morning I remember all the harm it does. I know it. I can feel it the next day, but then by bedtime that very same night, the whole process starts all over again.
I know that I function the best if I am in bed no later than 10:30. And every night at 10:30 the struggle with staying up and watching one more show is there again.
Some nights I do great other nights… are not so good.
A year or so ago I watched an episode of Bible Health Secrets. During one of my prayer times after this, I felt that God had clarified some thoughts I had been wrestling over. (This docuseries is amazing by the way.)
Our flesh craves things that do not bring us life. My two big ones are bacon and rest. God and I are on a journey to examine the “rest” in my life.
After all of this talk on what our flesh wants, it got me thinking. My hunger to stay up late is no different than someones “hunger” to eat a whole pint of ice cream every night.
In the above-mentioned docu-series, fasting was also brought up. Most people think of fasting in regards to food. Biblical. Check! Over the years God has shown me that fasting is more than just about food. God has asked me more than once to go on a TV fast. As all good parents do, you limit or remove any item that your child is consumed with to help them get back on track.
I can’t tell you how much extra time I find in my life when I fast from TV or screens in general for that matter. In most of the seasons of my life, if I find myself in need of some extra time, I remember those moments that I fasted from TV and sometimes if I am in dire straights go back to my TV fasting.
“Picture this with me, sitting down on my favorite comfy spot and fasting from food and TV, while sitting and drinking a wonderfully warm mug of green tea. Then on my lap is my Bible. A thought like this always brings me such rest and peace in my soul.”
Until I have to do it. ( the fasting from food and TV part that is.)
Have you ever had this thought quickly run through your mind:
“Do I watch 30 min of
It got me thinking why is it so easy to not do the life-giving thing for ourselves, and in turn so easy to DO the death-promoting thing instead? “
It hit me! In that moment, that all of the above is a flesh thing. It’s no different than Eve and the snake.
Once I get on that good old consistent sleep wagon. Its all gravy. I feel great, my back does not hurt as much. Abundant living right? Yes, but then life happens and I am back here struggling to get back on that wonderful sleep wagon.
It all boils down to these 5 steps.
Joy is never taken from us, we freely give it away.
– Sandy Nikson
You are not alone. Even Jesus struggled. Yes, you read that correctly. Jesus struggled. He warned us that in this life there would be trouble. But that He overcame this world, so WE could have life in abundance.
I am struggling too. Struggling is a part of life. It’s not fun. It is hard. No one wants to struggle.
I find in these moments or seasons of struggle, are where supernatural beauty can be found. It’s where, I think, God puts life-changing nuggets, as my friend once called them, in our paths to find.
I was looking out my car window waiting at a stop light when I had a thought- one I think most of us have had, from time to time. The thought was,” whats the point of doing good?” I save money and it’s never enough. Or, I did everything I was told to do, but that too was still not good enough. I think the hardest struggles are the ones you work hard at, put forth your very best, but the result you were working so hard to achieve, didn’t turn out the way you expected it would.
As I sat in my car thinking about this, for less time than it took for the light to change. These were the options I came up with.
Give up on being good. What is good anyway? My good can be different than what you think is good. Or what my neighbor thinks is good. I could decide to be self-focused and do life completely different. I could give up on going out of my way to be kind. I could be nasty and bitter. In other words, do the exact opposite of what and who I am right now.
I could continue to keep walking the path I believe God has laid out for me to walk. I could continue to show God’s love through my imperfect human self. Or I could do the things God leads me to do, even in the face of ” not good enough.”
See, I know that God is glorified in my weakness.
I know you are thinking, that’s great, but weakness doesn’t feel so good.
In my experience, and the more times I am reminded about this- when I take the time to picture my weakness glorifying GOD! The easier it is for me to feel weak.
I tried Option 1, about 5 months after I graduated high school. Now looking back it was exhausting and I felt burnt, dry, empty and so many more feelings inside. Yes, I got to DO what I wanted in that moment, but that “high” never lasted long and the feelings came right back. Sometimes with more baggage than I had before. Yuck!
Five or so years of living with this mindset, and having a beautiful newborn son, at that time. I knew something had to change. I had this feeling that I needed to KNOW what was actually written in the Bible.
Since that moment, and until now, I slowly began to choose option 2, day by day. Someday’s I went back to option 1, but now those day’s have turned into moments that only last the time it takes for a traffic light to change.
I finally came to realize, in this moment, more than any other. If I do my best and even if it is, “not good enough”, in my eyes, in that moment. I have the peace, now; that I did my best. I know it. God knows it. The cherry on top of all of this is, unlike option 1, there is no baggage that comes with it.
God is so great to me all the time, but I love that He meets us where we are at and talks to us in ways that we get it. He showed me Option 1 this way.
A cold, gray, wall that leads nowhere.
I know I have so many things I want to do and see and people to help and talk to. The abundant life that Jesus died to give me. I want to experience life in abundance as many days as I can before I get to live in Heaven with God forever. So a cold, gray, mindset; does not get me to the places and people I want to see and experience. So that is not the option for me.
Then I thought of Option 2 and this is what God showed me.
This picture shows me that regardless of what I feel like, see, think or believe about my current struggle.
Leads me to the life that I want to live out.
I would love to hear from you.
What are you struggling with?
In these moments, at the traffic lights, what options come to you?
Please feel free to share them in the comments section. Or join us in my Facebook Group: Simple Life Steps with Sandy
I was first introduced to, “wellness” by a supplement company. I learned a lot, but I was taking tons of supplements. More than any one person really needs.
I kept having this nagging feeling, “why am I taking so many supplements and not food?” What is food for if I NEED all of these supplements? Long story short, I started to listen to that nagging feeling and began to do my own homework.
Supplements are used for a variety of reasons. For example, some Vegans may have a harder time meeting the recommended Vitamin B12 from food, so this would be an area for supplements, if recommend by a health professional. Athletes are another area where supplementation is a hot topic. Specifically, with protein shakes, these things scare the pants off of me. Why? Supplements, including protein shakes, are not regulated and can be unsafe. This book goes on to say that not even dietitians can accurately know what to do with some of these supplements because of the undisclosed ingredients. Yikes!
I have spent HOURS checking labels of supplements over the years and it was time-consuming and expensive. It would have been a lot easier and faster, going to the store, buying high quality whole food, not to mention cheaper and then preparing it myself.
“There is no strong evidence for health-related benefits of consuming dietary supplements for individuals eating a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy and lean protein.” Brittany Nikolich, RDN, CD
Food or supplement. Labels are vital. Don’t get me wrong, reading labels is worth the time. I recommend, reading the labels and getting familiar with the ingredients that you are putting into your mouth, especially on a daily basis. Yes, even that long, folded up piece of paper that you get with your medicine, or at the very least research the ingredients online. You might be surprised what you find. (I know I was shocked!) Ask questions. Know what you are putting into your body. That way you will not be fooled by marketing and misleading information.
For more information on this topic check out Consumer Labs,they go way more in-depth.
I personally follow a healthy combination of, way more whole foods and only the supplements that my doctor and I agreed on. The vitamins and minerals that I don’t get enough of from food or ones that my individual body needs more of, for whatever reason that is.
Which means :
I would love to hear from you on this topic. Share in the comments below.
If you have not seen my “How to Read and Understand Food Labels” presentation, it will be coming on here shortly. Otherwise ask in the comments below and I will find away to get it to you sooner. (website learning curve)
As I sat, during my prayer time, I thanked God for my health. It occurred to me, I thank Him for that almost every day now. Maybe even more than once a day. I was so sick, for such a long time. (Check out my about me page for more details on what that looked like. )
So I wanted to share this with the world.
Thank you, Lord, for my health. You and you alone gave me a priceless gift. I will be forever grateful. So I have devoted my life to sharing what I have learned and continue to learn from you daily Lord, to help others in their journey to health and wellness, because of that gift.
John 10:10 is one of my favorite verses. ” Jesus came, for us to have life in abundance.” I hold this verse dear to my heart. I was not living life in abundance. I could barely live. I want to live the life Jesus died for me to have. Hehehe, I was going to type ” So every day now I live life to the full ” as other translations say, but as I sit here typing this to you, I laugh. I laugh because now I think I am overcompensating for the past. I try to put too much into a single day. That’s not healthy or helping me either. Errr ! :-p So I guess the moral of this story is to live life in abundance, off balance, on purpose. 🙂
I am grateful that I have healthy children.
I am grateful that I have food in my refrigerator. Even if it is more lettuce than “fun food”. It is still food and that’s more than some people have.
P.s Don’t get me wrong lettuce, veggies and greens are very good for everyone. Including me. I am just not a fan of eating them. Just being honest.
There are countless studies on the benefits of gratitude and thankfulness in regards to health and well-being. I wanted to share with you some information I have learned on my Journey to becoming a Certified Health Coach.
Here goes, we were assigned to watch this video for part of a lesson.
My takeaways are :
I have seen this countless times as of late and its time that I stepped up to this challenge. So here was the challenge. To write down 3 new things each day that you are thankful/grateful for, for 21 days.
From what was mentioned in the video this is to help train your brain to scan the world for the good things instead of the bad. The bad are so easy to see but awful to deal with and live out.
So today’s three are :
1. I am Grateful for friendships that remind me that I am enough just the way I am.
2. I am Grateful that I have a job(s) that I can love on people. Treating people the way I want to be treated is not always an easy job, but if done with the right heart and intentions. It’s a great feeling and everyone wins. (I think it makes God smile too!)
3. I am Grateful that God loves me no matter what. That He sees who I will become and not for what my past looks like.
So take this journey with me! You can participate too! Post your 3 below in the comments, journal yours in a notebook or spectate on mine and others. Either way is fine with me. Hope you join us in one way or another. I am so excited to see what God has for me/us on this trip.
*Dopamine fascinates me. If you want to know more about it I have included some additional links for you to check out.