Category Archives: Health

The Five HAPPIEST Hygge Things this Spring!

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YAY YOU (and me, too!)! It’s THAT time once again for our Top Five Faves of the month! April’s Theme: “HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!” And who doesn’t love a whole lotta happy – especially when it’s also HYGGE?!

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed are those of you who run to Him!

Psalm 34:8

Here’s what’s making me happy and comfy this month:

Comfort: YIN YOGA!
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures that are held for longer periods of time—for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana (or pose) for five minutes or more. Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. (Wikipedia)

yin yoga

 

I LOVE the slower pace and the intentional quieting of the body and mind while holding poses. This is a GREAT class for anyone like me with connective tissue diseases (like Lupus, RA, etc.) because it’s nurturing, yet very effective! My FAVE place to take this class is at a local salt room (local peeps, check out Tavoos Spa and make sure to take class with Karen Flynn). The added benefit of being in the salt cave just adds something special to the practice! Makes me happy, sisters! You can find videos of yin yoga online and even on some on-demand services. Check it out and tell me what you think!

Delight: COASTERS!

Frankly, everything in this month’s faves delights me!  But these custom made coasters?!  They’re extra awesome. Nothing makes me smile bigger than elephants! (See this post from Jen Hatmaker as to WHY!) So, in prepping the logo and contents of this summer’s upcoming “Breathe Box by …spm ministries…” (stay tuned – big reveal coming in the next few weeks!), I knew we had to add something whimsically pachyderm-ical to the mix! An artist friend of mine – shout out to Tammy 😉 –  is the one making the actual stone coasters that will go into our boxes this summer (trust me, they are going to be fantastic!). But for a prototype, I designed these on Shutterfly and ordered them so I could get a feel for size and weight!

Coaster

HOW CUTE ARE THEY?! If that doesn’t make you smile just a little, I’m just not sure if anything will!

Enlighten: TRUTH!

Speaking of elephants, I’m super in love with a new retailer I found online called Sugarboo and Co.! They have an awesome elephant logo AND the coolest collection of unique, whimsical gifts and other wares I’ve seen around in a long time! This beauty right here is their “365 Gathered Truths” box, filled with – you guessed it – 365 quotes that give comfort, smiles, and humor.

365 Gathered Truths

 

AND…they even offer a refill pack over 365 MORE gathered truths once you’ve made your way through the first pack! You can check out their online store here: https://www.sugarbooandco.com/
Motivate. SOCKS!

Aside from the aforementioned yin yoga classes, working out doesn’t necessarily make the list of daily priorities in my life. I’m trying to change that. So when I saw these awesome socks from Notes to Self, I had to get THIS pair!

Happy socks

Perfect, right? Motivation to get moving and makes me smile when I’m all finished and get to take my gym shoes OFF! I got mine on amazon.com; but you can check out their website here:  https://www.notestoself.com/  They have a bazillion different sayings and colors!  Perfect gift to yourself – or someone who needs a little happy right now!  🙂
Nourish: TEA!

I’ve always been a lover of TEA! ALL kinds of tea from hot tea to iced tea; straight up or tea with milk;  and of course tea with lemon. You name it, I like it! This winter, I was introduced to David’s Tea and love their fresh approach to flavors, packaging, and the winsome way they put together their storefronts. Check out this assortment of teas that allows you to try out lots of different flavors to find your favorites! A carousel of tea?!

David's Tea

Yes, please! My personal favorites: Buddha’s Blend (white tea blend with floral goodness), Grapefruit Rose Starburst (excellent hot OR cold); and Blackberry Jasmine Blast (try it iced with agave – you’re welcome); and Candy Cane Crush (so. so. good.).  Their teas are available loose or in tea bags! Visit them online at:   https://www.davidstea.com/us_en/home/ or pop into a local store if there’s one nearby. Happy vibes all around!

That’s it for this month’s top five happy favorites! Looking forward to seeing you back here the first week of May for our special summer kick-off edition, new website links, giveaways, new content, and OH. SO. MUCH. MORE!

In the words of Bob the Tomato, “God made you special and He loves you very much”!  How happy is that?
Peace, love, and SO MUCH JOY!

Wendie

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It is WELL with my soul!

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We’re back and SO excited to get back into our Bible study sessions with YOU!  This semester, we pick up where we left off in Seamless, by Angie Smith!  Next week, we’ll do a quickie recap of what we covered last fall, so we’re all on the same page.  This week, let’s just catch up with who WE are as a ministry and what we’re all about!  We’re so glad you’re with us!  🙂  Welcome to our semester called, “Bloom”!

Bloom logo with frame

We are  SPM Ministries.  We stand for SPIRITUAL teaching; PRODUCTS and PROGRAMS that inspire; and MEANINGFUL investment in organizations and events that support women and children in crisis.  My current prayer for this ministry is that He would use it to fan that flame so our faith would be evident in all aspects our lives, not just our Sunday (Church Day) lives, Tuesday (Bible Study Day) lives, etc.

Every day, every moment, every decision. So we can say and feel that we are walking well with God. Be able to say “It is well with my soul”. Not just “at the end of the day”, but at the end of EVERY day.

I’m talking about soul-level wellness. Not just a healthy soul – which, of course, is important. But, you see, there’s a difference between health and wellness. Wellness goes deeper, lasts longer, exists on a continuum, and can be difficult to measure.  But it means more in the long run than “health”- at least in my own definition of those two words.

I’m a little obsessed with the healing miracles in the Bible. I love all the miracles, of course. But there is something so, so, so comforting and reassuring about the healing ones. This one might be my fave:

LUKE 5:12-13

One day in one of the villages there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus he fell down before him in prayer and said, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.”
Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there his skin was smooth, the leprosy gone.

“I WANT TO. BE WELL.” YOU GUYS.  Jesus wants to make us well. He WANTS it. He’s not just, “Eh, sure. I’ll heal you. Or, “Nah, I’m not feeling it today, man.” He’s like – HECK YEAH I DO. THANKS FOR FINALLY ASKING. I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO ASK.

Now, one of the things I want to point out first is that the precursor to healing (regardless what kind) is faith on the part of the one needing healing. Even demons flee out of their victims when Jesus commands them because they KNOW Him and His power and must submit to Him. So, it’s honest belief in who Jesus is that opens the door to the miracle.

The next thing I need to say is that physical healing, in the way we pray for it, does not always come to our bodies here on earth. I don’t know why.  And it isn’t fair.  But life, this side of heaven, rarely is.

But hear me out on this idea of healing. Especially in the story we read above.

Of course, leprosy is a physical disease. And Jesus provides physical healing there. But what if, and this is pure conjecture on my part, there’s a double meaning with this one?

Leprosy destroys nerve endings and inhibits the ability to feel pain. In other words, the afflicted may not be aware of the effects of her wounds. Infection gets in and runs amok, making things even worse and systemic, and the person is oblivious to the damage.

Why am I telling you this? Because sin works in the same way. Left unchecked, we begin not to notice or feel the effects of it on our spiritual wellness. This, in my humble opinion, is why we are repeatedly called to repent of our sins.

Here’s where this all gets even more interesting. The Hebrew word for repent is shuv, and one translation of it is to physically return to where you came from. It means, “Come home”.

What Jesus demonstrates in this healing is not just a physical healing, but also one of the SOUL.  “PLEASE COME HOME,” He says. “I WANT YOU TO.”

Comehome

Last semester, woven into all the stories we read (and we will continue to see) is this: Man mucks things up. Man grumbles to God. God is merciful and asks man to repent. Atone. And it looked brutal in the Old Testament to us because it’s through altar sacrifice and things that seem certainly foreign at best to us and downright cruel at the worst.

But through Jesus, through the Gospel message, that changes. It’s about coming home. It’s not about doing predetermined penance. (And I’m not trying to step on your toes or belittle your methods if that’s your thing.  I respect and have benefitted from the sacramental healing and privilege that comes with it.)

What’s I’m trying to point out is this:  It’s about coming home. Asking if He wants to make me well and hearing Him assure me He does. Letting Him reach out, welcome me back, and pull me close. Asking Him to hear me out, forgive my indiscretion and/or indifference. To grant me healing and wellness where I need it, in accordance with His plan and will for me, personally, and my life. Touch my spirit and heal me.

I’m making a daily intention – every day – to come home to Him. While we’ve seen foreshadowing and evidence of Jesus already in this study, we’re about to move into teachings where His presence is going to be in our faces. And the coolest part is that we won’t even wonder who He is or question what He can do when we finish.

If you’re still with me and reading this, then I thank you.  Welcome Home.  🙂

See you next week where we pick up where we left off!  If you’re doing the Seamless study with us, read over your completed weeks 1-3 in your books! Have a great week, sweet loves!

Peace, love, and SO MUCH JOY!

xoxoxooxox,

Wendie

 

Anxiety. We can either pray, or we become prey.

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You guys,  the struggle is real.  The anxiety struggle, I mean.  And as we learned last week, it can come from just about anywhere, anytime.

For instance, several years ago (okay, it was 20 years ago…) I was on an airplane.  It was one of those tiny little puddle jumper things with propellers that was supposed to fly me from Chicago to Indianapolis.  Just looking at the thing made me jumpy!

And here’s the thing.  I was a nervous passenger to begin with; I always had been.  But sitting on the runway at O’Hare, looking up at the dark and stormy sky wondering how this tiny little plane was going to fly through it, my anxiety ramped up to all kinds of crazy.

We took off and about 10 minutes into the 45 minute flight, the plane got caught in the thunderstorm storm.  It was struck by lightening (apparently, this isn’t a big deal to airplanes, but I assure you it INDEED was a BIG FAT DEAL to me), the plane dropped about 1000 feet,  and the oxygen masks dropped down.  Yes.  THOSE masks.  The ones you are instructed to put on YOURS  first before helping others.  The only problem was, I couldn’t move because my body was frozen in fear.  And I wasn’t traveling with anyone.  And the flight attendants were busy in the chaos. So…no mask for Wendie.  Luckily, it was some sort of electrical malfunction from getting electrocuted in a tin canister in the sky (!) and we actually didn’t need them.

Anxiety, anyone?

Obviously, since I’m sitting here writing, all turned out well. We turned around mid-flight and landed safely back at O’Hare.  But, OH.  I was SHOOK, sisters.  SHOOK.    I was convinced, actually, that I’d never board another flight in my whole-living-life.  This was going to be problematic, though, because I lived in England at the time and traveled often for my job.  Um, red flag alert.

(I think now is a good time to tell you that I eventually got back on a plane and sort of overcame this weird fear of flying.    How was all this possible, you ask?  Well…I sought hypnosis treatment from a certified hypnotherapist in England who also happened to be a dentist  – I’m totally NOT kidding you so you can now begin to wonder about my healthcare choices.  But that’s SUCH a long story.  Saving that beauty for another day… 😉 I love cliffhangers.)

(Oooooh.  And speaking of in-flight anxiety stories, the next time we’re together, be sure to ask me about flying with a guy whom I affectionately call “Double-Double Mark-Mark” because he needed a double-double adult beverage to make it through a flight from Chicago to Sarasota.  We ended up sharing our iPad with him so he could watch “Gnomeo and Juliet” to calm his nerves.  It was all good until he offered the remainder of his adult beverage to my daughter – who was 11 at the time.  Um, no thank you, kind sir; perhaps it’s time for you to close your eyes for a bit.)

I SWEAR, you guys, I do not make these things up.

But here’s my main point:  my anxiety in those airplane moments was totally rooted in my need to CONTROL things.  Problem is, I’m not a pilot.  Not even close.

That’s the thing, really.  Control.  Well, it’s our need to have control. Which is just a dressed up word we use when we decide we need to manipulate our circumstances instead of letting God take His rightful place at the helm.  Girls, when we grab control, we are essentially saying we don’t trust Him.  And if we don’t trust Him, we are playing right into the hands of our enemy.  (See this post regarding our enemy and his manipulative ways for more info…)

Pray or Become Prey

I love this quote from Beth Moore: “When it comes to anxiety, we can cast it and pray, or we can keep it and become prey. We’re not convinced God is listening.  If we really believed He – the creator of the Universe  who has all things at His fingertips – if we really thought He was there, we would pray.”

So what’s a good Bible study girl to do in the face of such anxious times and circumstances?  Ladies, we need a plan.

Our plan is 100% scripture-based (and therefore TRUTH-based) .  It starts with knowing what anxiety is and how to call it out, and finishes STRONG with declaring Truth over ourselves, our circumstances, and even over others.

If you are interested in attacking anxiety instead of letting it attack you, click here for our girlfriend’s guide to kicking it out of our lives.  Remember from last week, it may not change your circumstance or situation, but it sure can bring you freedom from the freak-out surrounding it.  And that freedom allows us to step out in faith and take action when and where it’s needed.

God is good all the time, sisters.

isaiah 41 10 scripture card

Following our She PERSISTED study?  You can click here for our homework for week six!  Can you even believe we are HALF WAY THROUGH this awesome study?!  And for those of you who like all the extras, click here for some great online resources supporting our topics this week!

Smooches and prayers for FEAR-FREE moments this week!

Peace, love, and SO MUCH JOY!

Wendie  xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Note:  I take anxiety, on the clinical level, with extreme seriousness.  Prayer and a relationship with God have been incredible tools in my own toolbox for dealing with it, personally.  Having said that, if anxiety is affecting you in ways that disrupt your sleep, your daily life, your ability to take basic care of yourself, and/or your ability to relate to others, PLEASE reach out to a professional (doctor, therapist, pastor, counselor).  Help from every level is so important in conquering it.  If your anxiety or depression makes you feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else, PLEASE tell someone immediately and call 911.  I’m praying for you.  Relief IS possible, sweet friend.

 

 

 

Please Take Care of YOU!

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This week, we have the chance to hear Shauna Niequist talk about her book, Present over Perfect, with Oprah! I especially love this video because it serves as such a great reminder that three spokes of our OVERALL health:  body, mind, and spirit  – are intrinsically linked.  We are our own version of a trinity, sisters!  Just as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three unique entities yet also one united source, we are too!

Our power pack scripture for the week speaks to this truth:

1 thess 5 23 card

Now, we are NOT God, of course, or even mini-Gods. That’s  not what I mean. But we ARE created in His image.  And the truth of the matter for us as humans is that we are at our own personal “best” when all three spokes of our wheel are functioning and in balance together.  When one piece of our “triune”,   is out of whack, it does affect the other pieces. Each part needs nourishment and nurturing.

Yung Pueblo Quote

 

Next week, we’ll begin a 4-week study of the connection of our spirit and our mind, and how we can learn to lean in and on God to help in the fight with things like anxiety, fear, depression, attacks on self-esteem, etc. THIS week, we’ll watch this video from Shauna and Oprah to hear about the importance of self-care and its effect on our overall health.  Our homework will focus on mindfulness and living in the present moment!

Let’s watch Shauna describe what happened to her when her own life got out of balance and how she got back to a well-balanced place.  Here’s the link!  Enjoy!

If you are following along at home with our study, click this link for Week Three Homework!  And if you like all the extra goods (!), click here for Week Three Resources!

See you next week, sweet sisters!  Be good to yourself this week – body, mind, and spirit!

Peace, love, and JOY!

Wendie