Anxiety: When The Valley Is Dark

Anxiety: When The Valley Is Dark

Travel Inspiration

Good morning!

Happy Friday! I hope it is a happy Friday for you. But if it’s not, welcome to my Friday anxiety post.

When The Valley Is Dark

When my anxiety was at its peak, I felt so discouraged. I was doing all the right things. I was praying. I was reading the Bible. I was gratitude journaling and exercising and eating right and breathing and EVERYTHING that you are supposed to do to banish anxiety. But every morning I woke up with a pit in my stomach. The days were hazily filled with fighting the thoughts. My nights were spent lying awake, exhausted, but unable to sleep.

During this time,  I hated talking to anyone. My anxiety had gotten to the point where I was having anxiety attacks every day and when I was in conversation with someone it was almost inevitable that tears would come. Of course, when people see these things they want to help and what better way to help than with a Bible verse? But where these were meant for encouragement, they only made me more discouraged.

The reason I am writing this to you today is that I know a lot of you are in this spot. You are crying out to God. You are on your knees begging Him to help you. You are wondering what you are doing wrong. You are at a loss as to why you can’t seem to get any peace from the Bible verses that should be bringing you peace. Verses like these:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.  Psalm 94:19

And there is many more.

Don’t get me wrong, these are wonderful verses! And now, I completely understand them and am so thankful for what God has done in my heart when I read them! But at the time, they were discouraging. I felt like a failure in everything. The verses made no sense as much as I wanted them to and no one I spoke to had any helpful advice. I was told that I was anxious because my heart was not right and even that it was a sin to be anxious! Now I know that my heart wasn’t right. Even though I deeply loved the Lord at the time, my heart still needed to be purified. But it isn’t a sin to be anxious. Anxiety is an emotion. One that will drive you to your knees, crying out to God and in turn understanding His awe-inspiring sovereignty.

I remember laying in my living room, feeling lifeless, wondering where God was. Was it a waste of time to call out to Him? Crying, I just said to God, “I feel so alone.”

And I did. But I was not alone in the least little bit. He was with me and was doing great works inside of me. You have to understand what God is doing when suffering comes.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:6-7

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

Friend, there is a purpose for your pain. You are being refined and I promise you, though it doesn’t seem like it now, there will be peace in the end.

This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'”  Zechariah 13:9 

Look at this. Do you know the story of the Israelites being brought out of Egypt? If you don’t, it is so good and will encourage you greatly! The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt and God rescued them in such a miraculous way! But being brought out of bondage was scary for them even though they were being rescued. Look what God tells them through Moses…

Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste–so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.  Deuteronomy 16:3

Ok, I am aware this verse may make no sense now. But God was bringing them out of slavery. He was rescuing them! But they left in haste. They were nervous and afraid. Why? SO THAT THEY WOULD NEVER FORGET.

Friend, you are going through affliction and there is a reason. So that you are brought close to the Lord and understand His salvation, love, goodness, and glory. It has to be this way so that you never forget what He has done for you.

Keep praying, keep reading His word, don’t look to the right or the left. Look straight at God and keep walking toward Him. You are in the right direction.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Blessings,
Angela

 

Free Fitness: Why You MUST Rest

Free Fitness: Why You MUST Rest

IMG_3225

Hey guys!

Welcome to the second installment of a blog series that I will be posting on Thursdays called Fitness Hacks: Free Fitness.

The topic of this post is rest. This may be a new take on it for some of you though.

Free Fitness: Why You MUST Rest

Managing stress is the first and most important step toward a healthy life. The reason for this is that we humans are delicate creatures! Somewhere along the line, we started thinking that a good life is one of striving and going above and beyond.

While this is the way of the world, it is not the way of the Lord.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:30

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.  Psalm 127:2

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.  Psalm 3:5

God has created us for His glory. He is the Shepherd and we are the sheep. He is the Vine and we are the branches. Do you see who’s doing all of the work? *Hint: It’s not us.

Now, we are to work hard (Colossians 3:23). But when we are submitting to the Lord and do HIS work, He enables us to do it. I love these verses!

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
Psalm 18:33

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  Proverbs 16:3

So when we strive, when we burn the candle at both ends and spin our wheels trying to glorify ourselves, it is HARD. But when we rest in the Lord, fruit is brought forth! And there is so much peace, you guys.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

I know many of you are in situations that are stressful that you have no control over. This is different. Know that God has not left you and there is a purpose for your pain…

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 
Hebrews 12:11

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

But today I urge you to get alone with the Lord and ask Him to show you things that are in your control to change. Many times we are stressed out and burned out by things that we don’t even need to be doing in the first place. Ask God to reveal to you your true heart and to change it for His glory.

I know this may seem like it has nothing to do with fitness but it has everything to do with it. You MUST rest before you can move forward to a healthy lifestyle. Without peace, your overall health suffers. You can’t sleep which caused overeating. When we are anxious, we hold onto weight. Not to mention, all of this leads to extreme exhaustion which makes life HARD to live. You may hold it together for months or even years but the crash is coming and when it does it will be a hard hit.

God has created us to need Him. Call out to the Good Shepherd. There is peace in the pasture, my friends.

“‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.  Jeremiah 33:6

Until next week, blessings.

 

The Secret to Success

The Secret to Success

If you are down this morning,  here are a few words of encouragement.

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  Proverbs 16:3 

You know that I am a huge advocate for the Bible. We must read it so that we know what all the verses we hear all the time mean in their proper context. If you have read the verse above and wondered why God hasn’t blessed your endeavor, you may have taken this verse (or any verse) the wrong way like so many of us have. We have to remember that God doesn’t bless just any endeavor. He blesses the one that He wants to succeed.

It all begins with submitting fully to the Lord. We have to remember that it’s all about God, not us.

Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”  Isaiah 43:7

Once you give yourself completely to God, prepare to be amazed! You are now in the perfect position to be a vessel for His glory and it is nothing short of a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring experience! You don’t have to be afraid that what you are doing is wrong. We are called to abide. That’s it! Just do what’s in front of you and God will do the rest.  I know I am not alone in going crazy wondering what God’s will is for me and if I am on the right track to it. Spoiler alert: if you are abiding daily, you are right where you need to be! God is the one who gets the get’s the first move.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
Exodus 13:21

So how do we abide?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

You cling to the Vine!

You read your Bible daily.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;  John 8:31

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  John 15:7

Pray continually.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  Jeremiah 33:3″

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Matthew 7:7 

Remember, we aren’t asking for selfish desires, we are asking for God to glorify Himself through us.

Rest.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

REST! Relax and know that when you are abiding in Christ, when you are a vessel for His glory, you have no other choice but to succeed! Success is certain.

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.  Psalm 46:5

She will not fail

If the Lord wants something done, it will be done. Congratulations. You have learned the secret to success.

 

 

 

 

In The Kitchen IV

In The Kitchen IV

Good morning!

IMG_3351
A Peach! In my four years of wrinting this blog, this is the first appearance of an actual Georgia peach.

Today I am sharing some more of my kitchen adventures. The orange titles will take you to the recipes. Enjoy!

Breakfast

Right now I LOVE energy bites lately! I haven’t been in the mood for a huge breakfast in the mornings lately and these have been perfect. They are sweet, easy, and packed full of nutrition.

Cherry Pecan Energy Bites

fullsizeoutput_f4c
Cherry Pecan Energy Bites

Click the title to see the recipe that I went off of. I took the recipe for Cranberry Almond Energy Bites and just swapped the cranberries and almonds for dried cherries and chopped pecans. SO GOOD!

My Own!

fullsizeoutput_f93
My Own Energy Bite

Sunday night I actually concocted my own energy bite! Here’s the recipe. I haven’t named them yet. Haha!

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup creamy natural nut butter
1/4 cup honey

Instructions
  • Mix together oats, cherries, pecans, flaxseed, and coconut. Then add nut butter and honey and stir until evenly combined.
  • Roll into 12-14 balls and set in freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Move to the fridge and grab for a quick for breakfast or snack. 🙂

Pumpkin Pecan Overnight Oats

IMG_3144
Pumpkin Pecan Overnight Oats

This makes a lot so you might want to split it into to two servings. But it’s yummy!

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup greek yogurt
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbs chopped pecans

Stir all ingredients together in breakfast bowl and refrigerate overnight. Wake up. Enjoy!

Odds and Ends Overnight Oats

IMG_3274
Odds and Ends Overnight Oats

So basically overnight oats have four basic ingredients: oats, greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla. From there you can get creative and make them really fabulous! Here is one I made with odds in ends I had in my pantry.

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs dried cherries
1 Tbs chopped pecans
1tsp chia seed
1 tsp ground flaxseed

Stir together. Set in fridge overnight. Enjoy in morning!

Dinner

Creamy Parmesan One Pot Chicken and Rice

fullsizeoutput_f95
Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice is one of Jason’s favorite dinners. This recipe is a bit healthier and Jason said it was definitely one to have again. I would have to agree! It’s great with broccoli.

Garlic Butter Chicken

IMG_3110
Garlic Butter Chicken

If you are looking for a healthy but flavorful dinner, look no more. This was very easy and a crowd pleaser (“crowd” being the Teal fam). I even got to use my new skillet!

fullsizeoutput_e49

Dessert!

Being that I am a newbie baker, I have been playing it safe with mostly cookies. But we all have to start somewhere right? Here are some amazing cookie recipes that I found that I know any cookie lover will enjoy. You will notice that most of the cookie recipes I share are “soft and chewy”. To me, this is the only way cookies should be. 😉

Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies 

IMG_3146
Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft. Chewy. Peanut buttery. Perfect.

Brown Butter Cookies

fullsizeoutput_f97
Brown Butter Cookies

 

These delightful morsels veer a bit from the everyday chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie. I thought to myself, these are for the Ben and Jerry’s lover. No vanilla here.

That’s all for this week! Let me know if you try one of these recipes or have one that you are in love with right now.

Have a great da, Peaches!

 

 

 

Anxious? Suffering? How To Run To God

Anxious? Suffering? How To Run To God

 

Good morning!

I hope you are well but if you aren’t, you must run to God.

james 1_12

I think many of us are confused on exactly how to run to God when tragedy strikes. We pray for God to fix our situation. We try to find verses that help us to understand what we are going through. We go to church and listen to sermons that hopefully help us deal. But while all of those things are good, peace is found when we fully humble ourselves before the Lord.

How To Run To God

Humbly Cry Out To God

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.
Matthew 17:5-6

When tragedy strikes, get on your knees and cry out to God. Tell him all of your fears. Tell Him all of your thoughts, He knows them anyway. There is no sense in not being honest because He knows every thought and every feeling you are experiencing. Be completely honest yet humble and reverent. He is the Lord of the Universe.

Ask Him To Open Your Eyes

Next, ask the Lord to open your eyes to what He wants to show you. Ask him to give you wisdom and knowledge and understanding. This is why we go through trials.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7

Open Your Bible

You are going to notice that most of the steps begin with “Ask the Lord”. This is because when we are suffering, we are to go to Him and nowhere else.

Open your Bible and ask the Lord to let you absorb every fiber of it. The Bible is God’s voice. Ask Him to give you understanding and He will!

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 
Matthew 24:35

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Suffering is the season of listening. Stop everything and listen to the Lord. Open His word,

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Relentlessly Seek God

The definition of relentless is “oppressively constant; incessant.”

This is how you are to seek God right now. When you wake up, in every free moment, before bed. Be thankful that God is asking you to do this because this only is asked of those He loves.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19

They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 
Hebrews 12:10-11

Have Faith

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 
Matthew 7:7-8

I know without a doubt that if you are suffering and you humbly run to God you will receive the peace that surpasses all understanding. Then you will have no choice but to tell others about what happened. I know this because God reveals Himself through our weakness!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
1 Corinthians 12:9

So friend, run. Run to God and nowhere else.

Blessings,
Angela