Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Be Generous and Willing to Share


This Thanksgiving season things are a bit different for me and my husband and it is making things more relaxed and enjoyable.


A Change of Plans

Thanksgiving is on Thursday, but my husband and I decided to have our Thanksgiving yesterday, on Sunday. Even though it is just the two of us and we weren't planning on having any company over, we decided on Saturday to move our Thanksgiving to Sunday.

I have mentioned before that I am a list maker, so I had already started the menu and shopping list for Thursday, and I had already made a to-do list for getting out all of our Christmas decorations, and where I wanted everything to go. I am working on Thursday, so I was planning out the timing of everything too.

What a relief it was when I suggested to my husband that if the turkey had unthawed by Sunday morning, I would fix it and then he would have all the food he wanted for the week. He agreed and so that became our new plan for the holiday.

On Sunday, by the time my husband was ready for breakfast, I had already started getting the decorations out, organizing them and decorating. I made him his favorite breakfast and we watched Andy Stanley's Sunday morning service.

This Sunday Andy's presentation was on the subject of showing people in our communities that God loves them, and not missing out on the opportunity to be extraordinarily generous. Jeff Foxworthy is the guest during this service and it was the perfect topic for our "Thanksgiving Day."

After the Sunday morning service, my husband and I started talking about a time when we had served people in our community in the past and how we had gotten lazy and stopped. We talked about how our service benefited those we served. We also discussed how serving others made us feel. The feeling of peace and joy that we have both felt when we served others is wonderful and it is a feeling that lasts for more than an hour or two.

We made the decision to start budgeting our time and resources and get back to the business of serving others.  

The rest of our day was very relaxed and enjoyable. I made lunch with all of Mark's favorites. He brought out the Christmas tree and put it up at a leisurely pace and put the lights on it. We watched, "The Town that Christmas Forgot", "The Tree that Saved Christmas", "Elf", and "Coming Home for Christmas". I ended the day talking with my parents for about two hours.

Be Generous and Willing to Share - #brendamueller.com #autoimmunedisorders #autoimmunediseases


Changing Your Mindset

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth . . . . Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:17a, 18
Living with one or more autoimmune disorders can cause us to turn our focus inward instead of outward. My challenge to myself is to turn my focus to the part of my community where I feel I can do the most good and it won't burden me physically. I don't think that will be a problem, because I'm getting energy from thinking and planning out what it is we are going to do as a couple. Getting a boost of emotional energy will sustain me and give what I need to move forward.

7 Ways to Serve - #brendamueller.com #autoimmunedisorders #autoimmunediseases #servingothers


7 Ways to Serve Your Community

  1. Serve at a local soup kitchen or food bank.
  2. Volunteer at the local animal shelter, rescue group, or humane society.
  3. Create care packages. Visit the Dollar Tree for great ideas.
  4. Visit people you don't know in the hospital with a balloon and flower.
  5. Provide the music for a Sunday service in the chapel of a retirement home.
  6. Reach out to a neighbor in need.
  7. Crochet baby caps for newborn babies at the local hospital. Here is the pattern I use for this project.

    PREEMIE (TO FIT 12″ CIRCUMFERENCE):

    R1: ch 3; 10 dc in the 3rd chain from the hook; sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [10] R2: ch 2, 2 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [20] R3: ch 2, (2 dc in the first st, 1 dc in the next st) 10 x, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [30] R4: ch 2, 1 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [30] R5-R8: repeat R4 [30] R9: 1 sl st (loosely as this is a decorative edge) in each st around, finish off and weave in ends [30]

    NEWBORN (TO FIT 13.5″ CIRCUMFERENCE):

    R1: ch 3; 10 dc in the 3rd chain from the hook; sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [10] R2: ch 2, 2 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [20] R3: ch 2, (2 dc in the first st, 1 dc in the next st) 10 x, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [30] R4: ch 2, (2 dc in the first st, 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts) 5 x, 1 dc in each remaining st around; sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [35] R5: ch 2, 1 dc in each st around, sl st to the 1st dc of the round to join [35] R6-R9: repeat R5 [35] R10: 1 sl st (loosely as this is a decorative edge) in each st around, finish off and weave in ends [30] Click here to watch a tutorial.

Action Steps:

When you serve, you can influence your community in positive ways. Get ready, because serving will have an even bigger influence on you. What can you do to serve others? Think about your:
  • abilities
  • skills
  • talents
  • resources
  • experiences
  • and temperament
Share your ideas in the comment section.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thankful Declarations


This is a new twist on an older post of mine. I wanted to take these statements and the declaration and make them thankful ones. So let's start our day in a thankful way!

Thankful Declarations - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseasesSTART YOUR DAY WITH THIS DECLARATION. SPEND TIME DURING THE DAY MEDITATING ON IT. REFLECT ON YOUR DAY IN THE EVENING.

I have been studying how positive thinking and speaking relieves stress and gives us peace. I have been putting the things that I am learning into practice and I am seeing a change in myself. Those changes are creating a more peaceful home for me and my husband. I’m sleeping better. My days are more productive. I’m paying attention to the blessings that have been coming my way because of it. 

Thinking and speaking positive words and affirmations is nothing new. I’ve heard it all before, but I’ve never really put it into practice. I’ve always told myself, “You’re a positive person, you’re always upbeat, and you don’t let things get you down.” However true that is there is a difference of being those things naturally and putting these things into practice every day.

At the beginning of the day I am choosing to start my day off with this declaration:

“I am thankful that this will be a great day. I am thankful that I have God’s favor. I am thankful that He is directing my steps. I am thankful that I will succeed in all that I do today and I will have peace.” 

That statement alone gives me energy. Let’s break this down.
  3 Thankful Statements = 1 Thankful Declaration - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

I am thankful that this will be a great day! This is a choice. From the moment we get up we can decide whether or not today is going to be a great day or a bad day. We can choose to be happy in all the things that are going to happen in our lives today, or we can dwell on everything that may not go right during the day. We can choose to focus on our problems and not count our blessings. And don’t forget the people around us will know what kind of day we are having. It will show on our face in our body language and in our speech.

I am thankful that I have God’s favor. How awesome is this? Say that again, “I have God’s favor!” What does that mean? The favor of God can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord.” What does it mean when you favor someone? You want to spend time with that person. You want to see them succeed. You enjoy their company. That is how God feels about you and me! Favor is closely related to grace in the Bible. Those who have received Jesus as their Savior are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9). They know the favor of God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), but those who have saving faith in God’s Son are declared righteous (Romans 4:5; Philippians 3:9) and live in God’s favor. The most basic answer to “how can I get God’s favor” is “believe in the Lord Jesus.”

I am thankful that God is directing my steps. Proverbs 16:9 says that we can make our plans, but God will direct our steps. I love knowing that he can see what lies ahead. God loves us and is wise. As a loving teacher he will give us the instruction we need. If we are open he will teach us the best way to accomplish our goals.

I am thankful that I will succeed in all that I do today and I will have peace. God wants us to be a success. He doesn’t want to watch us struggle and feel defeated. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11. I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. (CEB)

While you are going about your business today, I want you to keep this verse in mind. Remind yourself throughout the day that God is thinking about you. He is rooting for you to succeed during your day. He wants you to have a day that is peaceful when everything feels like it is melting down around you. He gives us peace that passes all understanding. He will give you hope for today and tomorrow.

GOD GIVES US AN INSTRUCTION AND A PROMISE:

An Instruction and Promise - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases Philippians 4:6-7 (KJ21) Fret not about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The instruction: Don’t get stressed out. Give thanks to God for everything that is going on your life. He knows what is happening in your life, but he wants you to come to him and tell him.

The promise: God will give you peace. This is a peace that we don’t understand. This is the peace that a person who has a terminal illness but still has peace about their situation. The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God is not the peace of this world. The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27).

MY DECLARATION FOR YOU:

My thankful declaration for you - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Are You Choosing to Worry?

Will the holidays bring you worry or joy?

Deck the halls with boughs of holly and tis the season to be jolly are familiar lyrics to a favorite Christmas carol that we are hearing in the stores as we head into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season and this can be a season of worry and stress. Look at the lyrics to "Deck the Halls": "Deck the halls with boughs of holly". Are you worrying over your house being decorated for the holidays? "'Tis the season to be jolly". Are you jolly when you think about the family members that will be arriving to eat at your table? Does it make you jolly thinking of those loved ones or are you picturing the Griswold's Christmas vacation? I have good news for you! “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV) Verse 6 tells what we are to do: Be anxious for nothing. With thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Tell him what is causing you stress and worry with a thankful heart. Be grateful that he is there listening, he understands and he has the answer you are looking for. Verse 7 gives us a promise: The peace of God, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. We all have choices when it comes to handling stress in our life. We can:
  • Worry
  • Choose to ignore it
  • Relax and trust God
The Bible says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” How can we trust God and worry at the same time? We can’t! If we say that we trust God and then go about the business of worrying about everything, then we aren’t telling the truth. By worrying we are saying that we don’t believe that God will do what he says. The Affects of Stress on the Body - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseasesBy making the choice to worry we are asking for trouble when it comes to our health. Worry will fan the flames of inflammation when we are living with autoimmune disorders. If you choose to worry this is how the stress can affect your body when it doesn’t have an autoimmune disorder:
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomachache
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Tense muscles
  • Depression
When we are living with autoimmune we can have these flares brought on by stress:
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased physical stamina
  • Brain fog
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever and chills
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Muscle aches, pains, or stiffness
Along with eating a healthy diet, we need to make sure that worry and stress isn’t eating us. If you are worrying about tomorrow, you will feel it in your body. We are reminded in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Isn’t that the truth? 10 Things Most of Us Worry About - brendamueller.com - autoimmune disorders/diseases Most of us worry about these things:
  1. Money
  2. Health
  3. Getting older
  4. Work stress
  5. Gaining weight
  6. I need to find a new job
  7. Paying rent/mortgage
  8. Worried about my physique
  9. Wrinkles or ageing appearance
  10. Financial/credit card debts
Matthew 6:25-34 tells us why we do not need to worry. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. The next time thoughts of worry start to creep in and you feel your stress level start to rise, remember to worry is a choice and you can control it. Living with autoimmune disorders will give you enough things that you cannot control that will affect your health. Here is the good news: You can control the amount you worry! Control the amount of worry in this blessed holiday season, and you will have a wonderful time with family and friends.

Action Steps:

  • How have you seen worry impact your physical health?
  • What area in your life is causing you worry and you are struggling to trust God?
  • Do you have a favorite promise from God that you declare to help you trust him more and worry less?