Change is something that many people have become all too familiar with in recent months. Since the pandemic arrived, the lives of people right across the globe have gone through unprecedented disruption. This is a time that will go down in history and will be spoken about for generations. For those living through the pandemic, the changes that have happened have been a challenging adjustment to make. Almost overnight, everyday life was flipped beyond recognition, and daily routines, work, events, celebrations, and every aspect of normal life changed. It is little wonder that for many people, the impact of the pandemic and resulting quarantines and disruption has had a negative effect on their wellbeing. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ is a challenge in itself, especially as the pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Understandably, this is an uncertain time, so you may find that these tips for embracing change during difficult circumstances help:
Change is a part of life
Change is a central part of life which is crucial to remember when you are struggling to deal with change. It is understandable to want to resist unwelcome changes, but change is everywhere throughout life and is often unavoidable.
You may find it helpful to explore the subject of change itself and to understand some of the significant changes that have happened on earth throughout history. Reading books and researching subjects such as What every Christian should know about evolution will help to bring a fresh perspective to the idea of change.
Look for opportunities
Sometimes the most difficult circumstances provide the biggest learning curves. In the face of adversity, there is the opportunity to thrive, to grow stronger, and to demonstrate the power of your faith. The more challenging the situation, the bigger the opportunity to make a difference, to stand up and be counted. By reaching out to help others, you will provide proof that there is good in the world, that no matter how difficult a situation may be there will always be hope and someone that is willing to help.
When life gets challenging, the world needs kindness more than ever before. Bringing compassion and kindness into your heart and then sharing them with the world helps to create moments of positivity that are able to illuminate even the darkest of times.
Simply accepting the current situation may seem like an impossible task, but staying connected to your spiritual beliefs during this time is vital. We never know what God has in store for us as part of his plan. Having faith that you are on the correct path will help to ease your acceptance of the changes that are happening all around you.
Looking for opportunities to make the best of the situation as a learning experience is an ideal way to make change easier to accept. Embracing changes during difficult circumstances is not easy, but will help you to move forward with your life and will make it far richer as a result.
Wrapping Up Warm For The Winter: Cute Jumpers To Cosy Up In
The winter months are coming in strong, bringing with them cold weather and the desire to wrap up.
Scarves, hats and gloves are always great protection against the elements, but with the world spending that bit more time indoors due to the pandemic, they might be needed a little less this year. Instead, warm indoor clothes are needed. And we all know the best warm indoor clothing item is the jumper.
But there are many types, styles and fits of jumpers to choose from. Obviously, the answer is: wear them all! But if you are looking for something specific, why not peruse this list?
Image credit: TheUglySweaterShop.com / Wikimedia Commons
That’s right! December isn’t long away now, which means Christmas is right around the corner. And with Christmas comes Christmas jumpers.
Whether you go for a classy jumper or a full-blown ugly Christmas jumper is up to you, but the need to have at least one Christmas jumper in your winter wardrobe is a must.
Slogan jumpers are a classic and staple of most wardrobes. Slogans can range from old university names to inspirational quotes to vintage kids football teams.
If you have a particular interest in an area, there will be slogan jumpers for it, I promise. Grey’s Anatomy? Done. Taylor Swift? Done. Christian t shirts and jumpers? Done.
Image credit: Piqsels
A patterned jumper can be a really great way to add a focal point to an outfit, a statement piece, let’s say.
Patterns can range from the simple, classic stripes or polka dots to more extravagant patterns, like sheep or stars.
A patterned jumper is often the kind of clothing item that will get people stopping you, asking where you got that great jumper from!
Colour Block Jumpers
Just look at the popularity of Harry Styles’ colour block cardigan, and you’ll know that colour block jumpers are a trend this season.
Colour block jumpers are a great way to bring brightness to your wardrobe and outfits. It can be a great way to try out new colours you rarely wear, as the colour won’t take up the whole clothing item. You might find something new you like.
The jumper dress is the ultimate hanging around the house outfit. Warm, cosy and comfortable: what’s not to love?
Another perk of the jumper dress: it can be both dressed up and down. You could totally wear it to a hang out with your friends at a local coffee shop, and wear it on a Saturday while you binge Netflix.
Great for a stylish walk around the woods, or hosting a winter celebration at home, the jumper dress will never let you down.
It’s good to keep warm in the winter, but it’s even better to feel like you’ve got a great outfit. Luckily, with jumpers, you don’t need to compromise either of these things. But is there such a thing as too many jumpers? Probably not.
The global pandemic has had a big impact on our world. For some people, it’s meant a huge change in priorities, as well as starting to think differently about your future.
Dating before the pandemic was a lot more straightforward, despite being hard at times! But it’s now set to be even harder, which is why it’s important to think about what you want. As things start to go back to normal, or at least as normal as they can be, you’ll need to revisit the dating world and get yourself back out there.
Here are some things to think about when it comes to dating post-pandemic.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Think about what you really wantLife is short, and it’s important to make the most of the time we have. When it comes to relationships and dating, you need to think about what you really want. This begins with focusing on yourself and thinking about what you want from life. Taking steps to boost your own confidence can help you give you greater clarity, while ensuring your own happiness comes first.
Find someone who shares your ideas and interestsOne of the most important rules of dating is not to waste your time. You don’t want to spend time with someone who doesn’t share your views and ideas on life and your future. You should have discussions about Christian dating and marriage at an early stage to make sure you both know where you stand. Spending the rest of your life with someone is an important step to make, and by finding someone who shares your beliefs and interests, you can look forward to a happy marriage.
Don’t feel pressuredThere can be a lot of pressure on women (and men) to be in a relationship, especially as you start getting older. But it’s important not to let other people’s expectations and opinions affect your choices. It’s important that the path you take feels right for you, and that your own happiness takes priority. If dating isn’t your priority right now, be sure to pursue your other interests and do the thighs you want to do.
Expand your horizonsIf you’re feeling frustrated by dating right now, it might be time to expand your horizons. Finding the right church could help you meet some new people, and potentially the love of your life. Get out there and socialize and connect with some like-minded people - you never know where it might leave.
The pandemic has left a lot of people with uncertainty, but it doesn’t all have to be negative. Now is a time to reflect on what you want and to put your own happiness first. While it might feel more difficult to date during a pandemic, it’s not impossible, so when things calm down, and you’re ready to re-enter the dating scene, do it with confidence and faith and see where it takes you.
Improving our living spaces is an important and worthwhile act of self-care. You don’t need to break the bank to improve your home; there are many simple ways to make changes. To design a home that improves your wellness, consider the following ideas.
1 . Keep It Green
Creating an earth-friendly home is a fantastic way to enhance your well-being. There are lots of ways that you can design a greener home, such as:
2. Improve Your Garden
Gardening is a fantastic hobby to help you de-stress, improve your well-being, and grow some healthy and nutritious foods. When you put effort into gardening, you’ll improve the quality of your outdoor space and achieve a sustainable lifestyle. There are a few applications that can be helpful to learn more about gardening.
3. No More Clutter
When our homes are cluttered, we tend to feel less comfortable and more stressed. Many people don’t even realize that clutter affects their mood (until they have a nice clear out)! Tackle one room at a time and separate your items into different categories. These categories might include ‘keep’ ‘sell’, ‘throw out’ and ‘charity store.’ To sell your unwanted items, you can use the following tools:
4 . The Natural World
Designing a home that improves your wellness doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is to pick out a nice selection of house plants for each of your rooms. House plants can help cleanse the air of harsh chemicals and toxins, plus they make great natural decorations. Anthurium plants are a great choice for the bedroom; they can boost oxygen and improve your sleep. Aloe Vera Plants are a great choice for the bathroom as these love humidity.
5 . Express Yourself
To design a home that improves your wellness, you need to create a space that helps to feel positive, relaxed, and comfortable. One of the best ways to do this is to express your personality through your decor. There are many ways that you can achieve this, including:
6. Deep Cleaning
When your home is lovely and clean you’ll feel healthier and more relaxed in your space. It can be a great idea to use green cleaners, as these are made from non-toxic ingredients. For more cleaning tips check out the following tools:
7. Design Cozy Spaces
Feeling relaxed and peaceful at home is all about comfort. Designing cozy spaces is a great way to improve your well-being. For example, why not try designing a cozy reading corner? You can do this by purchasing an armchair, a footstool, and plenty of soft throws and cushions. Purchase a miniature bookshelf, and decorate the corner using fairy lights and cute artwork.
8. Plenty Of Relaxing Scents
Aromatherapy is an ancient wellness practice that has a variety of different health benefits. Using the right scents, you can feel more relaxed, boost your mood, or create a calming energy for your home. Some of the best candles for relaxation include jasmine, bergamot, peppermint, lavender, and rose. Candles are one of the easiest ways to create a relaxing home space.
9. Beautiful Artwork
With the right artwork, you’ll make your home a beautiful space in no time at all. When you’re choosing artwork for your home, it can be useful to create a budget beforehand and determine the style you are looking for. Consider the interior style of your home to determine which kind of artwork might fit in best. Whether you’re looking for photography, a sculpture, or a painting, Etsy Marketplace is a great place to find deals on artwork.
11. Use Air Purifiers
Air purifiers can help you to create a healthier home by removing toxins, chemicals, and allergens from the air. With the right healthy touches, you’ll stand to improve your wellness levels.
12. General Wellness Tips
Of course, improving your wellness isn’t just about your home; there are plenty of other ways to boost your well-being. For a few more ideas to think about, consider the following:
As you can see, there are plenty of options to improve your home and lift your wellness levels at the same time. Throughout the process of simple interior design, we can express our personalities, make our homes more comfortable, and even live a greener lifestyle. Once you’ve decluttered your home, try to adopt mindful shopping habits. Think carefully before you buy each item, ensure that you are only buying things that you will use long-term.
Where Are You RoOted?
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said.
Although he doesn’t explicitly state he is the son of God in this exchange, it is enough for Peter to respond: Lord, if it is you…” I wonder why Peter didn’t distinguish immediately Jesus’ voice. As Christians, we will know Jesus voice and the more we mature, the more we become sensitive to distinguishing his voice from all the others: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
When we know who we are and whose we are, the stronger we can become to do the work of the kingdom and not fall into Satan’s snares. When we build our identities on the truth that we are sons and daughters of the king and heirs to the throne of God, we will be able to carry out the work of our Father, just like Jesus did. But when we build our lives on shifting circumstances (like raging waters) we will surely sink.
Peter believed Jesus was enough. Enough to come out into the water. Enough to walk towards. Enough to attempt the impossible. All because of one statement: “It is I. Do not be afraid.” But when we build our lives on the belief Jesus is not enough, this is when we get into trouble. Jesus in his compassion rescues us. But the more we practice allowing Jesus to be enough for us, the less we will sink, and the more opportunities we will have to proclaim the Gospel to the masses.
Where is your identity rooted?
If we want a life that defies limits, we need to know to whom we belong. We have to know Jesus is enough for us. Not only must we know it, we must believe that as well. We cannot live a limitless life if we build our identities on things that don’t matter. While God may choose to bless us with possessions and other benefits, this should not, and does not define who we are. We cannot be searching for approval in anything other than who God is.
Whatever your this is, I’m here to tell you there is joy available to you right now. (Even in the midst of a pandemic!) You don’t have to wait for your circumstances to get better.
In fact, I am writing about joy from a place of brokenness, not because I’m happy-go-lucky.
When you read the word brokenness, what do you feel?
Being joyful while broken is an act of worship. Obedience. Yielding. Making it about Christ and his Kingdom—not about me and this temporary problem. And this, all of this, is temporary except for my relationship with him.
When I think of brokenness, different biblical examples come to mind. Jesus blessed the bread before he broke it. (He blesses us in our brokenness, too.) He gave his body, broken for our sins. The alabaster box was broken to anoint Jesus’ head with oil. Or we can go even further back and think about the broken pottery shard of Job. Brokenness doesn’t mean forever hopelessness.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) shows us in the middle of brokenness, Jesus kept his focus on the joy yet to come. When we keep our gaze on Jesus despite our own broken places, he nurtures our faith and will lead us to future joy.
In Matthew 26, after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, while they partook of the Last Supper together, Christ told them of his impending betrayal and sacrifice. So as they waited for what was up ahead, even in the midst of concern and confusion, they sang a hymn after they shared the Last Supper. This is an example of being able to have joy despite brokenness.
When joy ministers to the broken heart, it creates peace. All is well, not because it is well now, but because I know it will eventually be well. This helps me be able to say “all is well” right now, in the middle of the current trials.
After Resurrection Day (Easter), Christ followers had their hope fulfilled. We as New Testament believers hold on to the hope of Easter and trust he will come again. But the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter, Saturday was silent.
Can you imagine what believers felt on Silent Saturday? Perhaps they felt like those of us who are in-between what was and what is yet to be. Those of us in the middle of a wait. Knowing Silent Saturday was just a blip before Resurrection Sunday helps me know my own in-between is on its way to transformation, too.
Jesus didn’t stay dead and our dead spots (our trials, problems, challenges, waiting periods) don’t have to stay dead either. Something alive (something new) is coming! Those bad times aren’t final. It leads to the joy found in newness of life.
When a Christian gets baptized we quote something like, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life,” (Romans 6:4 ESV).
What do you think of when you read “newness of life”? It begins with believing the hope of the resurrection. We don’t have to wait for heaven for God to be our blessing. Even if our bad circumstance doesn’t get better, having God ever so near is the peace that takes the sting out of suffering.
This is why I can have joy in my brokenness. In the middle of my wait. And so can you.
About: God’s Grin Gal, Kathy Carlton Willis, writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith, whimsy and wisdom. She coaches others to remove the training wheels of fear and not just risk, but also take pleasure in the joy ride of life. She is known for her debut book, Grin with Grace, and for her grinning Boston terrier, Hettie. Her new book, The Grin Gal’s Guide to Joy is inspiring Joy Sightings everywhere.
Living in the In-Between
“But we were hoping He was the One who would redeem Israel. And besides all this, it is the third day since these things took place.” Luke 24:21.
Have you ever thought about what everyone must have been thinking when Jesus had been crucified? Three days passed before the fulfillment of his prophecies took place. But what about the days in between?
Three days to wonder if Jesus was who he said he was.
Three days to go back to the familiar.
Three days to switch from hope to despair.
On Friday, the two disciples must have been scratching their heads, wondering if they had gotten it all wrong. Because time had passed, they thought Jesus was not going to be the One. Little did they know, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus was walking alongside of them, even when they didn’t recognize Him.
That is, until Sunday came.
A hopeless world quickly turned from despair to hope.
If you ‘re living in the in- between, don’t fear. In this ever- changing world, these are crucial times to cling to God more than ever. Cling to the promises of God. If your life looks more like Friday, hold onto hope that not all is lost.
Because it’s always Sunday somewhere.
When Sunday comes, hope is sure to follow.
When Sunday comes, we worship a risen Savior, the One even death couldn’t defeat.
In life, we have Fridays and Sundays in our lives. Sad days and happy days, and days somewhere in between. Rejoice everyday, because Fridays can be turned into Sundays if you look hard enough.
What is This You Have Done
What is this you have done?
By Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller
In Judges 2:2, God asks, “What is this you have done?” of the Israelites after they resist his directions. He draws their attention to the reason for their current difficulties, which he has provided for the consequences of their disobedience. His intention is to motivate them to see the damage sin brings. Yet, they seem clueless. They don’t see the connection.
Clueless could really be every person’s middle name. At the time of temptation, we are blinded by the demand of our own desires, which seems absolutely reasonable to choose. We expect our choice will bring our good. And then God or people don’t respond according to our selfish expectations. We wonder why and act sinfully, feeling justified. Then we should ask, “What is this I’ve done?”
Judges 1 gives the back story to God’s question. The Israelites enter the land promised them by God, but they don’t fulfill their part of the covenant. God promises to empower them for war to take total possession of the land of milk and honey. Instead the Israelites allow many of the Canaanites to live among them.
As a result, God says, “You have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you” (Judges 2:2-3, italics added). He is asking them to evaluate their motives of demanding their own way, thinking the Canaanites offer some kind of benefit. They refuse the truth God will only drive out the Canaanites if they obey. God keeps his part of the covenant—the Israelites will still inhabit the land, but it won’t be as trouble free as it could have been. The remaining unbelievers will be a temptation for the Israelites to abandon worshipping their true Lord God.
What motivates the Israelites to disobey their loving Master who knows what is best for them. Are they worried? Their strong and courageous leader, Joshua, has just died and they are without leadership. After traveling together for a long time, each tribe has now gone off to inhabit their assigned land. Do they feel alone? On their own? Sometimes those are the feelings and lies we believe when God doesn’t seem faithful.
Often, we think God has promised us some “land,” and then obstacles block or hinder us from having complete fulfillment. There’s the possibility we didn’t hear correctly, or we have disobeyed. If some people are thorns in our side, what is God trying to reveal about the motives of our own hearts? Have we begun worshipping something or someone else rather than our faithful God? Has our trust in God diminished because what we thought was promised hasn’t occurred? Or maybe the thorny people are just the hazards of living in a sin-controlled world and their presence says nothing about whether we obeyed.
But we can be assured this fact is absolute truth: God is faithful. He always keeps his covenants and promises even if he must allow consequences for our disobedience. But like the Israelites, even consequences of “thorns” and “temptations” are God’s faithful calling to motivate us to turn back to him.
Almighty God, I praise you for your faithfulness, even though I am not faithful. Thank you for staying true in wanting my best.
The Millers have been in ministry since 1978 as speakers, authors, and lay counsellors. They married in 1970 and God empowered them to overcome the dysfunctional marriage and family they had developed early in their marriage. Larry is a retired police lieutenant from Huntington Beach Police Department. Both individually and as a couple they have authored over 55 books and spoken in nine foreign countries. They live in Southern California and are parents and grandparents. Visit them at www.KathyCollardMiller.com
Kathy is making a copy of God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature available to the winner of a book drawing. Enter by win by …… . The winner will be drawn on …… (US addresses only can win.)
This guest blog is adapted from God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature
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Part of the job of a disciple of Jesus is to build up and support other Christians in their walk with God. Sadly, if lifting and encouraging others is not a talent that comes naturally to us, this can be a challenge. Of course, in such a situation, it is wise to remember that God does not ask us to outwork anything he does not provide to us first. Although, a little guidance from others in the Christian community like you will find in the post below, doesn't hurt either!
Don't judge them.
It is easy to judge others. In fact, sometimes, we do this so quickly that it is automatic. However, the Bible warns us that judging others is terrible practice. In fact, one reason for this is because judging someone creates a barrier between you that can make a loving relationship that much harder. After all, if we hold negative judgments, then emotions like anger and even fear will become involved.
Additionally, the Bible suggests that by judging others, we are raising ourselves up into a God-like position. Unfortunately, we do so without having access to the motivations behind the person's actions. Something that only God has, and so is likely to lead to inaccurate or false judgments, which will serve only to tear others down rather than building them up.
Do support key stages on their walk with God.
Next, if you want to lift up your fellow Christians, supporting them as they hit the critical stages with their walk with God is an excellent idea. Of course, that means being there for them as they attend their first service or gathering, as well as outside of Church. In case they have any questions or worries, they need assistance with.
It also means being there to support them when they make the decision to get baptized and commit their lives to God. In fact, some people even choose to give gifts to commemorate this important step. Such as fancy bibles or religious jewelry like the pieces you can get from this website and others like it. While others opt to throw parties after the baptism service to celebrate, support, and welcome the new Christian into the fold.
Don't gossip about them to others.
Within the Christian community, you will find a real sense of trust and togetherness. Now that isn't to say that everyone will always get on, and agree with others' decisions. However, despite this, it is imperative not to give in to the temptation to gossip and spread the private news of others around.
In fact, doing so can be harmful is so many ways. The first is that it can create lots of opportunity for judgment and rejection. Both things that we wish to stay away from as Christians. Additionally, breaking trust in this way is also something that can hurt the person doing it as well. With this in mind, if you want to build up other Christians, be sure not to gossip about them behind their backs. Instead, forgive them or offer loving and constructive criticism if you think they are falling into sin.
How To Save On Holiday Shopping
This is a guest post from Brittany Fisher:
Easy Changes to Help You Gain Financial Freedom
Finances can often feel like a complicated subject. There are thousands of books on the topic, magazines dedicated to money management and investment; sections of the newspaper devoted to stocks and business, television channels exclusive to finances, podcasts, radio shows, and classes everywhere teaching some method or another on budgeting. While there’s a lot of information at your disposal, you don’t need to become a finance expert to have financial freedom. You can start improving your finances by implementing a few easy changes.
Look for Alternatives
We live in a world of options. No person or business has a monopoly on entertainment products or services, which gives you options on almost everything you consume. For instance, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies. Streaming services are an affordable alternative to satellite or high-priced cable; and there are plenty of streaming device options that will suit your needs and offer you access to thousands of shows and movies.
If you enjoy audiobooks or books and pay for subscriptions, look into getting digitized library cards so you can tap into thousands of free book titles, including new releases. If you enjoy a gym membership, shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal in town. You don’t have to give up what you love to be smart with your money — just do a little research to ensure you’re getting the most for your dollar. You may find there are stores and providers that offer identical or comparable products or services at a lower price.
Change How You Give Gifts
Gift giving should be an enjoyable experience. Celebrating birthdays, weddings, holidays, new babies, and graduations should be stressless and not cause you anxiety about going into debt. When at all possible, plan ahead. If you know you will need to give gifts, as soon as possible, budget for the expenditure, shop sales and clearances, and use promo codes and/or coupons.
If you give gifts to groups of people, such as neighbors or co-workers, make homemade gifts that will show your effort and thoughtfulness while saving you money. Homemade gifts are not always cheaper than store-bought, of course, so do the cost benefit analysis first; but if you can save by making a crochet hat or baking cookies, that’s the way to go.
“One month free.” “3 months for only $24.99.” “Cancel any time.” “Check out these spoilers!” That’s how they get you. Whether you’re subscribing to certain lifestyle items, books, games, magazines, monthly beauty boxes, and/or food delivery, subscription prices can add up quickly. If you forget to cancel at the end of the promotional period or you don’t use the subscription enough, it’s time to cancel now. It may only be $9.99 here or $14.99 there, but over the course of the year, those costs add up. Don’t get rid of subscriptions you love and use all the time, but do take time to evaluate how often you use each one, why you have it, and if you still need it.
You don’t need to invest hours of your life every day to understanding finances in order to be financially smart. Budgeting and financial planning don’t need to be painful, either. Every so often, take a look at where you are spending money.
If you have extra money going out to overpriced goods or services, then you should look for alternatives. If you spend over your budget every year on gifts, then it’s time to look at other options and bring the joy back into gift giving. If you have memberships or subscriptions that drain your bank every month, then take time to evaluate what you actually use. Smart budgeting is not deprivation — it’s just planning.
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