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Emotional Health

Emotional Health/ Simplifying/ Spiritual

A Glimpse of My Morning Routine and How I Lack Nothing

Oh, how I have come to love the early morning and the sights, sounds and routine it brings. Sideways sun shining through trees creating haze.

I marvel at sunrays filtered through limbs extending faded light lines all the way to the ground.

It stops me mid-jog. It is amazing to see something that is usually invisible and only felt, not seen. I take a few pictures, trying to capture the fleeting visible…I zero in.

I am more in tune in the morning, at least once I am verticle for a few.

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Counting Gifts/ Emotional Health

The Most Simple Way To Boost Your Mood

distressed, moody wall

A Simple Way To Boost Mood

A pen, paper and a resoluteness to find my thankful. This is the most simple way I have found to boost my mood.

I know, I know. You have heard it before, it is nothing new — make a list of things you are thankful for and it could change you. It has even been studied. It may seem simple. but sometimes the most simple solution can be the most profound.

Even in my hardest days of cancer and chemo, even in my darkest days of anxiety, choosing to find something to be thankful for and deliberately writing my finds in list form changed me and helped get me through.

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Emotional Health/ HEALTH/ Nutrition

How Technology is Helping Me Reach My Wellness Goals in 2018

Thank you Nokia for sponsoring this post. Visit the Nokia Body+ site for more info and start the new year off right!

I am constantly looking for ways to integrate health and technology into my daily rhythms.  I want the pursuit of health and wellness to become second nature to me. I’ve found that using technology is a great way to create healthy habits that stick!

I am a 2-time cancer survivor, and I have shared several ways I pursue continued health, but I have not told you how simple technology makes it possible for me to move forward toward my health goals.

One of my goals is to create seamless daily systems that are as natural to me as brushing my teeth. Things I do without much thought; decisions so second nature that I make them automatically.

It might sound too good to be true, but this is where technology comes in. Technology keeps it simple, makes it possible and keeps it fun.

Using Technology To Reach Wellness Goals

Energy to pursue wellness goals is often dependent on a good night sleep. Good sleep is important for good health!

I read right before bed. Reading every day is good for the mind and soul!  I’m amazed that thanks to technology, I can have my whole library at my fingertips on my Kindle Fire tablet.  I make sure it is set on Blue Shade, as this blocks blue light which makes it easier to fall asleep after nighttime screen reading.

I also use my Kindle Fire to set my alarm to wake up in the morning. I love this alarm because when I set it, it tells me (in hours and minutes) exactly how many hours and minutes I have before the alarm will go off. I like the automatic awareness of how many hours of sleep I’m getting each night. I aim for 7 hours of sleep and most nights reach that goal.

When I wake up I do a quick morning yoga flow to get my joints working and blood flowing. I use the Yoga Studio App on my iPhone, or sometimes I grab my laptop and find great ‘good morning’ asanas on YouTube.

I then fill my water bottle with crushed ice with the press of a button–the technology of our refrigerator has been key to get me to drink my water each day. I am a crushed ice lover! My goal is to fill my 24 oz water bottle at least twice a day.

I then quickly set my Instant Pot up, and with another few pushes of buttons, make One-Minute Quinoa. This has been my go-to favorite breakfast for a while now, as it is so satisfying and full of great plant protein. Read about 3 of my favorite ways to eat quinoa for breakfast here.

I grab my cup of coffee that has been brewed automatically for me. I have learned to drink it black in the morning which steers me clear of starting the day out with sugar-laden creamers. Speaking of coffee, have you seen the new intelligent coffee mugs at Starbucks? They use technology to keep your coffee at the perfect temperature. I drool…and digress.

I then take my coffee up to my favorite nesting chair in my bedroom, and this is where technology really comes into play for me.

Using Technology for Emotional Health

I’m going to be dramatic here and say I do not know where my emotional health would be without technology. There are so many apps on my phone that are part of my daily routine that keeps my heart, mind, and soul healthy.

After I make my coffee I sit, sip and open up a Prayer App where I can keep track of my own requests (and those of my loved ones) every morning. I also use an app called Calm to meditate for about 10 minutes and then open up the Bible App — which has been life transforming.  I use Notes on my iPhone to keep track of all my daily affirmations and favorite Scriptures, and sometimes use them as prompts to journal my 3 pages a day.

These routines are a part of my everyday morning routine, and I feel “off” all day if I don’t wake up early enough to do them! They are all ways I reach my emotional health goals.

Using Technology for Physical Health

I continue to use technology as I get ready for my day. I step on my Nokia Body+ smart scale and take note of all the information it gives me in just those few seconds of standing on it. It gives the most accurate body composition readings, measuring weight trends, BMI, fat mass, muscle mass, water and bone mass–it even lets me know the weather! I love this thing.

 

 

The Nokia Body+ is amazing and beautiful–it comes in white or black and has a sleek, simple, timeless design. This is one scale I do not mind leaving out for all to see.

I use the Health Mate App that sinks automatically with Body+ and provides encouragement and tips on how to best achieve goals. It is so handy and convenient. Automatic syncing is my new crush and any smart item I buy that does this for me is always a fav.

The Health Mate App has the ability to sync with other apps (like one of my favorites that my doctor recommended–the My Fitness Pal App) and lets you view a complete history of your health data, including sleep, activity, weight and more. You can track progress and see your improvement over time. I love being able to check out my health stats at any time using my phone. Usually, for me, it is when I’m lying in bed at the end of the day.

Keeping track of my weight and health stats is super important as a cancer survivor. It is also important (as one that takes 2 medications: one to keep cancer away and one for generalized anxiety) that I keep an eye on my weight. Both medications can cause weight gain, which is not fun, but I feel that both have saved my life in their unique way, so I am very thankful for them.

Keeping an eye on my weight is something my Oncologist tells me to do regularly and she wants me to report any sudden weight changes. It can be a sign that something is off. The stage of cancer I had gives me a high chance of recurrence, so we keep a close eye on these things! I love having a scale that is easy to use daily, has such high accuracy, is so detailed and reliable. It can also track up to 8 users which makes it very family friendly.

Technology For a Healthy Flow to My Day

After stepping off my Nokia Body+ scale (weighing at the same time daily is recommended) I then get ready for my day. Technology helps me here, too. I use wireless headphones that connect by Bluetooth to my phone and allow me to listen to podcasts while I put on my makeup and do my hair.

I used to dread this part of my day, but now I look forward to it because I feel productive while I am getting ready. If I’m not listening to a podcast or music, I will hit record on my Voxer App and talk to my dearest friends, walkie-talkie style, leaving my heart and soul recorded right there on the app for them to listen to whenever they have time. Connection with loved ones, especially when they are across the miles, is so good for my health!

By this time my morning routine is almost over, and I glance at my 30/30 App to see the morning routine I set up for myself there. I look through the things I have already accomplished and glance at what else needs to be done.

The app has shown me how technology really is helping me reach my daily wellness goals in an almost automatic way. Most of the morning routines that I’ve listed in the app, I now do without even needing to look at the app. They are all habits that bring a healthy flow to my day and help me reach my goals.

Wellness is holistic, and an organized flow to the day with systems and routines put into place make me feel productive but peaceful at the same time. Integrating technology has been a key player when it comes pursuing my health goals, and I hope I gave you some good ideas and inspiration for using technology to reach your goals, too!

Get 10% off at the Nokia Health store through December 1, 2018 here with this code: NEWYOU-T0T-R02


How do you use technology to reach your health goals?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Emotional Health/ FAMILY/ Love

Morning Pages + My Birthday!

Morning Pages - Journal 3 pages a day, in the morning

I’m not sure where I found the idea of Morning Pages, I believe it was on Instagram somewhere, and I was instantly drawn to such a simple idea:

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

I’ve been doing this for about a month and have enjoyed putting pen to paper and the freedom it gives to just breathe out my unedited thoughts. I have found it very freeing.

Some days it is list form and feels productive and a way to clear my head. Somedays I vent and it feels relieving and therapeutic. Sometimes it turns into words of thankfulness for this life I get to live–that is what happened today and I will share what I wrote below.

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

When I write my Morning Pages, I simply use a Moleskine journal and my favorite Sharpie stainless steel pen and make it part of my morning routine. I usually am sitting in what I call my ‘nest’ (a cozy corner chair in my bedroom) with the lights low, soft music playing, the diffuser going, and coffee on the warmer by my side.

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

This early morning routine has become a favorite part of my day, and I will write in full detail about it soon–it involves prayer, a couple of my favorite apps, meditation, music, essential oils, coffee, writing & yoga. Ahh…I’m eager for tomorrow morning just writing about it!

But first, today. Today is my birthday. I turned 42.

As a cancer survivor, I find myself quite surprised to be this old. Because my cancer was a later stage, I have a high chance of recurrence, but thankfully that statistic comes down with each year.

I am 7 years out, and I feel my heart could burst when I think about what a gift it is to have yet another birthday.

When I am 10 years out, my chance for recurrence will plummet. I am careful about expectations, and that is ok because it helps me stay thankful for each and every day!

Morning Pages --Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

Morning Pages Journal Entry:

November 27, 2017

 

Lord, you are good.

You’ve given me life…42 years.

 

Today is my birthday.

The blessing of years…of time with my loved ones and this good (sometimes hard) but mostly good life. 

 

You are a gift giver.

You wake me today with a list of gratitude on my mind first thing, you help me to see all the gifts.

 

I sit and inhale–the gift of scent. Frankincense diffused!

Morning Pages -- Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

And then, a feast for my eyes…the most glorious of sunrise, pinks and bright shades of oranges! You even sign your name on this gift, an electric wire pole in the shape of a cross, positioned right next to the glorious rising sun, a reminder of your Son. I go to daughters window for a better view!

Morning Pages -- Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

I sit back down in my cozy nest chair, sounds of calm music coming from speakers and morning voices of my 3 Lovelies drifting up through the vent.

 

Gifts.

 

I open your Word and you give yet another gift. Familiar words spoken so loud to me over the years, your voice reminding me to delight in you. Psalm 37:4

How could I not?

psalm 37:4

 

I read further and tears come, even a gentle reprimand from your word is so loving and personal.

It shows you know my thoughts, such intimacy.

I am fully known and fully loved.

 

“Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants. Commit your life to the Lord. Here is what he will do if you trust in him. He will make your godly ways shine like the dawn. He will make your honest life shine like the sun at noon. Be still. Be patient. Wait for the Lord to act. Don’t be upset when other people succeed.

But those who are free of pride will be given the land. They will enjoy great peace.

Those who do what is right will be given the land. They will live in it forever. The mouths of those who do what is right speak words of wisdom. They say what is honest. God’s law is in their hearts. Their feet do not slip.

The Lord saves those who do what is right. He is their place of safety when trouble comes.”

Psalm 37:4-7, 11, 29-31, 39 NIRV

 

You allow my birthday to land on a Monday, you know it is my most favorite of days.

A day to recover from a holiday weekend and get back to routine. You know I thrive on routine especially the one you have shown me:

 

The routine of dawn.

 

The sun rises and with it my most precious moments with you. 

These favorite morning meditative moments of breathing you in and filling my mind what matters most.

Your glory.

You.

 

Thank you for another year of life. 

May I have another and yet another after that?

 

I ask and you remind —

 

“better is one day in Your house than thousands elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10

 

And so I remember, no matter the day, whether here or in eternity, you are and will always be with me.

 

So…for this day,

& all my days,

I thank you.

 


What about you?

Do you regularly journal or want to?

Does the idea of Morning Pages appeal to you?

Counting Gifts/ Emotional Health/ FAMILY

What I Learned {Winter Edition}

What-I-Learned-This Winter

My friend Michelle DeRusha wrote a What I’ve Learned post yesterday that was linked up to Emily Freeman’s What I’ve Learned link-up, a place where bloggers gather and share all the things, big or small, that they learned that season.

I was inspired and decided to visit some old Instagram posts to jog my memory into what I’ve learned this winter. I was overwhelmed by all that I have learned. Evidence of God’s gifts.

Here is What I’ve Learned.

1. I. Must. Journal. It is free therapy!

Using a journal to count the gifts.

Journals capture the gifts and slow my heart down. Thoughts exhaled.

 

2. White dishes make me giddy.

Timeless white square dishes

A sweet Christmas gift from my Mom-in-Law. You can never go wrong with timeless white dishes! I love to add color with napkins or flowers at the table.

 

3. I prefer real fruit snacks to artificial food snacks.

snacks in white dishes

Snacks! Some naughty, some nice!

 

4. Red and Green are NOT my favorite Christmas colors.

Golds and sparkly silvers as Christmas colors

Golds and sparkly silvers are my favorite Christmas colors!

 

5. Sitting across from my teens with my man eating food I didn’t have to cook is my new fav.

Family Sushi Date

Lunch and a Movie Family Date. Loving this slow week between Christmas and New Years!

 

6. Making homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot is a breeze. 

Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt

Tower of homemade yogurt from the Instantpot.  This batch has maple syrup and vanilla in it. I left the consistency thinner and it is even better than my favorite store brand.  Natural probiotics!

 

7. Natural probiotics and seeds are amazing for digestion, and I’m obsessed with yogurt.

Homemade Instant Pot Yogurt

These little jars of homemade yogurt have been my breakfast, keeping me full well past lunch time! A little trick I’ve learned is this: use just a spoonful of Trader Joe’s Flax & Berry Dried Oatmeal Pack to act as a granola and add a bit of sweet. I also add the Trader Joe’s Ancient Seed blend. So delicious, filling and good for you!

 

8. I’m officially a superfood junkie — Gogi berries, Chia, Flax, Hemp.

I can't get over the deliciousness of #yogurt made in the #instantpot I love it topped with organic maple syrup, #gogiberries and chia/hemp seed mix. This keeps me full for hours and my gut happy with all those probiotics!

I can’t get over the deliciousness of homemade yogurt!  I love it topped with organic maple syrup, gogi berries, and chia/hemp seed mix. My gut is full and happy!

 

9. Even in the winter, just 5 minutes in nature gives me life. I must get outdoors.

 Icicle ice storm

The sun is out and our 2 -day ice storm is melting all beautiful and shimmery! I took my DSLR out for a walk today to try and capture the wonder of melting ice. I wish I could have captured the sound of ice cracking and icicles landing in pieces on the ground. Magical!

 

10. Donut cakes will never get old. So easy. So yummy! Unpack and stack!

Donut Birthday Cake

Colsie’s Sweet 16 donut cake.

 

11. Crafty projects are so much better with the help of a friend. I need to ask for help more often!

Hexagon tiles and washi tape

It was a wine and washi tape kind of night! Thank you to my sweet Renee friend for helping me with #ifgathering2017 decoration prep.

 

12. Peeled grapefruit is worth it. Every. Single. Agonizing. Second. It builds patience. It tastes amazing.

peeled grapefruit

Peeled a grapefruit for the first time ever. Have you heard it’s a thing?  It was delicious!

 

13. When sitting inside, look up and out every once in a while. I might just see this!

Beautiful clouds

The clouds above my house right now.  “GOD’s strong name is our help, the same GOD who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8

 

14. That if I push into the hard, I will get glimpses of eternity. 

All The Way Home by Jill Briscoe

“…But my cross, Lord, I will carry, Home, Lord, home, Lord, ALL THE WAY!” I have a hero who carried his cross all the way home to Jesus. His bride told me “he made it all the way home to Jesus this morning, all the way home.” There was much cross-carrying done in this beautiful family the past year and a half. Watching them has changed me. {hand lettering by my Avery}

15. In the hardest moments, God reveals himself, for he is always present. Nothing can separate us from his love.

Church and steeple

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8

 

16. I need light. Sunlight, twinkle lights, fairy lights. I may even buy this happy light!

Twinkle lights sunlight

I have a thing with light. Give me all the string lights, sunlight, & twinkle lights! “For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. This God- his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:29, 31

 

17. Moments are fleeting. 

She is a flurry of activity...opening letters from colleges, looking for car keys and a lost glove, shoving feet into snow boots all while talking on the phone to her boyfriend. I snap this photo of my Teagan, capturing the moment before she's gone. Here today gone tomorrow. #iblinked #17yearsold #myjoy

She is a flurry of activity…opening letters from colleges, looking for car keys and a lost glove, shoving feet into snow boots all while talking on the phone to her boyfriend. I snap this photo of my Teagan, capturing the moment before she’s gone. Here today gone tomorrow. #iblinked

 

18. Difficulties, when handed in trust to God, bring peace. 

Lessons of trust come wrapped in difficulties. Be steadfast, the payoff is peace. "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Lessons of trust come wrapped in difficulties. Be steadfast, the payoff is peace. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”
Isaiah 26:3


Thanks for reading what I’ve learned. What have you learned this season

Did you enjoy this post? If so, you might enjoy following me on Instagram, as these photos and captions are all from my Instagram account.

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Emotional Health/ FAMILY/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

Help in Suffering

Help in Suffering

“God, I look to you, Your where my help comes from.”

God I Look to You, Bethel Music

 

I listen to this song and it takes me back as often songs do.

A slight ache starts in my inmost being and I remember that time of desperation.

I listened to this song and my soul cried desperately to you.

 

 

You came.

You were there.

You saw.

You hid me under the shadow of your gentle wings. I was covered, hand-held. Never alone.

 

You held and helped me in my suffering.

 

God you reign and so does your timing.

I cried out for you to take it away.

Your timing was not what I desired, but I held on because I was held.

 

I trusted you and you showed me that you are safe,

you’re worthy of my belief,

your plans better and bigger than mine.

 

God I looked to you.

You were and are where my help comes from.

You gave me wisdom and showed me what to do

 

You led me right to  Psalms and to

the right book

the right therapist,

the right medical doctor

and the right medication.

 

lift-eyes-to-hills

 

You made my path straight

You brought healing in your time.

You lifted me out of the muck and mire and set my feet firm.

 

Lord, I still need you.

When I cannot stand, help me fall on you.

When I stumble catch me, turn my eyes and face to you.

Help me to keep looking up at you.

 

I will love you all my days.

You have become so very real to me, especially in the trials this life brings.

 

You have not left me alone.

Forever all my days, I will praise you!

 


The time of suffering I mentioned above was when I was in the thick of anxiety. If you are in a season of suffering, hold on! Look to God. He promises to never leave or forsake His children. He is with you and will get your through.

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