Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

by montejosmemorials on November 30, 2016

Spicy, Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

Spicy, Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

 

I don’t know about you, but when I am really busy, it’s a key trigger for inflammation to rear it’s ugly head!!! This month can be especially difficult for many, because we add so many activities on top of already full schedules. Inflammation is our bodies way of fighting foreign invaders, so can be good in one aspect, but we don’t want it to be out of control. This is one of the reasons I try to include this Spicy, Anti-inflammatory Lemonade in my day.

This lemonade is chock full of anti-inflammatory nutrients, and I love it hot or cold! It’s also so easy to change up, keeping the key ingredients the same. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you where I first learned of this recipe, because there are so many versions, so I can’t give credit.

So, what’s in it? Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral, and is said to be 5 x’s stronger than vitamin C to boost immunity. Ginger is another great anti-inflammatory spice and can help improve the absorption of nutrients it’s paired with. I have a few twists of fresh ground black pepper, which has also been known to help absorb and a myriad of other benefits, and a sprinkle of cayenne. It can be sweetened with your choice of sweeteners. I usually have a spoonful or so of maple syrup and sweeten to taste with stevia. I also alternate lemons and limes, with Apple Cider Vinegar. Many times, I’ll have a quart in the morning with lemon and in the afternoon with ACV. I have used different kinds of teas in place of water, to change the taste, but typically keep the main ingredients the same for the great benefits! I try to buy my spices in bulk and consider it a necessity to drink in a jar, wink, wink. If this seems like way too much work and you’d just rather take a capsule, here’s my favorite!

Here’s my loose recipe:

Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

2 to 3 lemons and limes or 1 to 2 Tbsp. ACV

1 Tsp. of Turmeric

1 Tsp. of Ginger

Sprinkle of fresh ground Black Pepper

Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper

Sweetener of Choice

Have warm or cold, with water or tea. use your imagination to come up with your favorite flavors.

Do you use any of these spices and if so, how do you incorporate them into your lifestyle?

I am helping our oldest son Caleb and as many of the students as I can from his school raise funds for their missions trips coming up in a few months, so the commissions from any affiliate links will go to them. Please save these links and use them when you shop to help fund their trips. It adds up quickly if we’ll take the extra moment to use these links. Share these with your friends too. Thank ya’ll so much!!!

 

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What’s In Your Heart?

by montejosmemorials on November 19, 2016

What’s in your heart? Those things God places in your heart, from the time you are small, will never leave!

I love missions! I always have. I was the little girl, the teenager, the young adult, and now the woman that cries every time a missionary would visit church and share stories. Now I have the blessing of watching our children walking in those callings too.

I was talking with someone the other day and she was telling me that when she gets married and has children, she wants their family to take a missions trip every year together, so they learn about missions. It started me thinking after she said that about how we had planted seeds, even though at the time we weren’t trying to be intentional about it.

My husband and I met through a ministry to the local migrant camps in the summer. When our children were small, they learned to give out sodas, food, pass out clothes, etc. We’d go and he’d have one on his back, me in a carrier, and others in tow. This has carried on as they have grown and we have been blessed to be a part of lots of local missions. I have fed that fire in our children with books and tapes of missionaries and being a part of whatever kinds of outreach we were able to.

The first time we went to visit my husband’s family in Guatemala, we asked for donations and were able to buy school supplies for the school in my husband’s village. This sparked something in our children.

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These were the pizzas delivered to the orphanage on the back of motorcyles in Guatemala. It was a sight to see all of those pizzas piled up and how excited the kids were when they were being delivered.

 

Our next trip to Guatemala, we were able to do more things. We had a Pizza Party and music at the orphanage, More Than Compassion,  and we were able to do some things in the local church and village as well. Each time God has increased what we were able to accomplish with the funds we had. I can’t wait to see what happens next time. Maybe we’ll even buy the property for the church we’ve been praying for.

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This was a small group in my husband’s village, where Caleb, our oldest son and I led worship. We were blessed to see God move in incredible power!

 

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After the small group, everyone who had been there went to this house to pray for my sister in law who was very sick. It was incredible to see the room filled with people who came to her to pray over her.

 

Now we have the privilege of watching our older children walk in missions. Our oldest son goes to a school that is extremely missions minded. They have local things going on, school ministries, nursing homes, disaster help, etc.,  as well as foreign trips, internships, and intense discipleship. Last year he went to Alaska and this year is going to Ethiopia. Our older children at home have been able to be a part of a local after school program as volunteers. It’s been awesome to see God open doors and opportunities for them to be a part of that has been specific to their giftings. God’s so cool to do stuff like that!

You may be thinking, “OK, this is a nice story, but what’s the point?” I am sharing these things with you to encourage you not to let go of what’s in your heart, just because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would. There may be imperfect family situations, it may look like your children aren’t walking in the direction you felt like they would, or they may not even want to have anything to do with God at all. You may feel like too much time has passed, that those things in your heart weren’t really from God, finances will never come together, my husband will never catch the vision, or thousands of other doubts. Don’t let those doubts mold you and hang on to those dreams! They may be hidden away in your heart, but they are still there. In the meantime, plant seeds in those all around you. You never know how what you can’t see will turn out.

When I was young,  I could have seen myself as a missionary living in another country. God hasn’t worked  it out quite like that yet, but He reminds me that David didn’t build the temple, his son did. I am raising part of an army that God is using in incredible ways and if you have children, grandchildren, participate in a ministry to children you are too! That’s probably more important than being the missionary, we’ve multiplied and now we can do more, wink, wink. When this season is over, I anticipate and am excited about having a more supportive role in our children’s lives to be able to come alongside of them in what God calls them to do, whatever that may look like.

I’ll be honest, that desire and passion to “go out”  is still there, that’s why I said it will never leave, but I can’t wait to see what’s still to come!!!  God’s not finished yet! How about you? What is in your heart that may need to be stirred up again?

I want to help Caleb and as many of the students as I can from his school raise funds for their missions trips coming up in a few months, so I am donating my affiliate commissions from now through Nov. to them. Please save these links and use them when you shop to help fund their trips. If only 15 of us spend $100, they’ll earn $100 and the more of us who buy through these links, the higher commission they’ll pay. It adds up quickly if we’ll take the extra moment to use these links. Share these with your friends too. Thank ya’ll so much!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Older I Get, the More I Have to Learn

by montejosmemorials on November 10, 2016

Has this thought ever crossed your mind? “The older I get, the more I have to learn.” Not only am I realizing how much I have to learn, but how much my children have to teach me.

Recently I have been learning more about about my strengths. Years ago, I took the giftings test at church, but we didn’t go into much detail. Caleb, our oldest son, took a more in depth strengths test last year at school. Seeing how the knowledge has benefitted him, I took the plunge and bought the book. It’s crazy how accurate it is to me. Now I understand how excited he was when he got his results. It opens up so many more avenues of understanding ourselves and others. I have a better insight into myself and the world around me, especially our children.

My top strengths are restorative, empathy, belief, connectedness, and developer. All of these are relational and are focused on problem solving, feeling others feelings, wanting the best for others and believing they can have it, having an intense belief that nothing happens by mistake and every detail of life is connected, deriving satisfaction from seeing others grow and improve, constantly feeling the need to mediate. Learning this has opened my eyes to so many things about myself, how I relate to others, and why many times, I feel like I am in a constant struggle. It’s hard to rest when I am continuously trying to fix problems, speak into situations, intercede for others success, wink, wink.

Sunday evening, I was with our 11 year old son at Cookout in Columbia. We were waiting for his brother, so we had been wasting time before we could pick him up. I was charging my phone and Samuel was standing beside the door playing with a yoyo. He’s always been very intuitive to people and situations around him, probably due to some relational strengths in him.  He got in the car and asked me if I’d seen the girl by the door. Honestly, I answered a half-hearted no. I was tired, it was late, and I was ready to get home, not focusing much on the surroundings. He didn’t let up. Next he said, “The lady in the car beside us asked her if she needed anything, but she said she was waiting on her parents.” Now I was realizing I needed to pay more attention. Sam realized she had been there a while;  she had several large tattoos across her neck and chest (These made him realize she wasn’t a young girl.) He had also discerned she was too old to be waiting on her parents and he felt like she had a need. He then announced that he thought she was sleeping and that wasn’t ok on the curb of a restaurant. He encouraged me to get her something to eat, so we went in, bought some food and a cup for a drink, and took them out to her. She said thank you and God Bless us, went in to fill her drink, and sat down to eat. We went back to the car and Sam and I prayed for her together.

Why am I sharing this? Learning more about my strengths has helped me understand why Sam couldn’t rest until we bought her food, and why I haven’t been able to stop thinking about why I didn’t connect with her more. Sure, feeding her was a step, but I didn’t try to mesh with her on a relational level. Giving her food was the easy part. For someone else who doesn’t have the strengths I do, this could have been the hard part. We all have a different part to play in the big picture. I realized later that I felt disappointed in myself. God had given me such a cool opportunity, not to only be light to the girl, but to step out just like Sam had.

As we left Cookout, Samuel told me how they had talked about giving to others in children’s church that day. I thought about how we reaffirmed what he had learned that day, that he’d learned and actually put it into practice. His child-like faith, stepped out to do what he knew was the right thing.  Sam was an incredible example to me that night! My biggest lesson was that I want and need my faith to be more simplistic like his. I don’t want to be fearful of people or situations, but to step out in those relational strengths that God has molded into me.

This reminded of an incident with our oldest son last year. Here is what he wrote. (Shared with permission.) “This guys name is Harry. He’s my friend without a home, ever since coming to SCSL I have come in contact with more people who live on the streets then I have in my entire life and I’ve come to realize that my heart does break for people. Last night after work me and Harry talked for an hour, and it made me remember something that @garrett_sho told me and others, most people who live on the streets are not starving there are plenty of good trash cans to get food from, what they are starving for is someone to listen to them. For someone to show that they care. If nothing else send up a prayer for Harry and all the other friends without homes. #scsl1516 #bringingbackblackandwhite #friendswithouthomes

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Harry, Caleb’s Friend Without a Home

I am certain God reminded me of this post Caleb had written last year. The conviction felt like a scolding, reinforcing that yes, I need to step out in faith. Looking back, I wish I had gone back in, sat down with the girl, and listened a while. I won’t beat myself up, but I definitely choose to heed the lesson. We’re always growing, and in that growth, I have promised that next time I will do better! Lesson learned! In the meantime, I will continue to pray for her as God brings her to mind.

To learn more about your strengths, I highly recommend the book called StrengthsFinder 2.0. When you buy the book, there’s a code in the back to go online and take the test. As parents, leaders, bosses, friends, we can so benefit from understanding ourselves and others more.

(The links to Amazon are affiliate links and from Nov. through Feb., the commissions will go to support missions at SCSL.)

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite DIY Project of All Time Thanks to Hurricane Matthew

by montejosmemorials on October 29, 2016

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If you’ve gotten to know me at all, you’ll know I am not the best planner. I have a list of good intentions a mile long! It’s not that I don’t want to do all of these things I’ve been dreaming of, but stuff just seems to happen that prevents me from getting to them. I’m working on it and am definitely striving to do better. Sometimes a life event happens that forces me to get to one of those good intentions, and that’s what hurricane Matthew did.

We had a Berkey water filter, in fact we had two, but the hard plastic that’s not supposed to break easily, didn’t work out so well for us. As much as I loved having the filtered water, I couldn’t bring myself to buy another one of the plastic ones, and didn’t have the budget for the big stainless steel ones.

I have really had that filter on my mind for a while, which probably meant God was nudging me to do something about it before one of those “life events” came along. In preparation, I had been doing a little research to see what other options we had. I still had my filters, just not the container part of the Berkey, so I was super excited when I ran across this Instructable.

Since hurricane Matthew was on the way, the thought of trying to buy enough water for 7 of us wasn’t at the top of my list of things I wanted to do. I had done a lot of research on the Berkey years back before I bought it and was very pleased with what it filtered. I loved the idea that I could filter water from extremely dirty sources, like a pond, and still come up with clean water. I had to get this project done so I could fill a few buckets, bathtubs, and be set if we needed the extra water and not have to fill the van with bottled water.

Andrew, our oldest son at home, came to the rescue. We recycled two of the five gallon buckets I had left over from coconut oil, a faucet from a glass drink container that had broken, my left over Berkey filters, and the Instructable.

In less than 10 minutes, Andrew had everything put together and we were filtering water. One of the greatest things about it for me, is it is 2 1/2 times bigger than my old one, so we can filter a lot of water, which our big family goes through and we saved several hundred dollars. It also was easy enough to make that I could pack the filters and faucet on our next trip to Guatemala, and make one there to use as well.

The kids couldn’t believe how excited I was, but it really has been my favorite DIY project of all time! Not only did it turn out like it was supposed to, but even better!

You can get the filters, and even the faucet on Amazon, and recycle food grade buckets. If you don’t have them as I did, they can be picked up at grocery stores that have bakeries. I promise you’ll love it as much as I do. I am thinking I will get one of the guys to paint something on it to give it some character.

(The Amazon link is an affiliate link that I earn commissions from, and through February, I will be donating those commissions to missions. You can learn more here. )

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Don’t Compromise!

by montejosmemorials on October 27, 2016

I had a conversation with someone yesterday that somewhat baffled me! I know it shouldn’t have, because of the world we live in, but my top five strengths are restorative, empathy, belief, connectedness, and developer, which are all relational, these kind of conversations really get to me.

It started because he was badgering me about the election and who I would choose. I steered as far away as I could, until the subject of abortion came up. The questions began from him… what if your daughter was raped, what if you had a baby that “was special,” (my translation, not what he said), when do you really believe life begins… and so it went.

My intent is not to go in the direction of the election, because we each have to seek God for what we feel like is the choice he would have us make. I do want to touch on compromise for a moment. You see, this was a pastor I was talking to, someone who counsels others on how to make these choices. No wonder we’re so confused!

I know many say that you can’t know what you will do, if you haven’t been in a situation, but I disagree and said so to him! I believe life starts at conception, when the egg and sperm unite, I know if one of our daughters were raped, that we would not support abortion, and we did have a baby with Down Syndrome. We also lost babies that we look forward to meeting one day! We would not have traded a moment of Daniel’s life or what he brought to our family just because he wasn’t perfect and if we could take a baby to help someone who couldn’t keep it, to prevent them from aborting, we would. Some things we joust won’t compromise on.

Are these things hard? Absolutely!!! Is God still good? Without a doubt!!! Does He love you? More than you could ever imagine!

My prayer for this gentleman and all of those who are having to think about these topics is that we’ll go to God’s word for the foundation and let him speak to our hearts. Don’t compromise, God is faithful and will help you honor His Word!

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You Can Make The Difference

by montejosmemorials on October 20, 2016

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He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

I’ve always held fast to the verse about training up our children in the way they should go and when they are old, they won’t depart from it. I especially love The Amplified version that talks about pointing them in the direction of their individual gifts and bent. Although it hasn’t always been the easiest path, we are deeply committed to schooling in a way that focuses on the giftings of each individual.

Last year, we had our first opportunity of sending out one of our children. As much as we had focused on missions and in spite of the fact that I felt like we had been preparing our kids for this their whole lives, it was more of a challenge than I’d thought it would be, a whole new level of trust for Mom.  We always have loved, read, and listened to missionary stories and taking part in missions in as many aspects as we have been able to, so I knew that I was pointing our children in that direction, and it’s been incredible to see God work.

Caleb enrolled in SCSL, South Carolina School of Leadership last year. He tells lots of people that I forced him to go there, which may have been slightly true, but it was more of a gentle suggestion, wink, wink. Thankfully he accepted the suggestion, took it to prayer and received his own confirmations. He can’t blame the second year on me, lol, he did that on his own. 😉

If you’re wondering what SCSL is, it’s a leadership and discipleship program, where students are encouraged to find their God given strengths and giftings, and to walk them out in their lives as they are building family relationships that will be with them forever. They learn to process their past and gain leadership skills for the future and so many other things to build their lives. Many work to pay their tuition, as well as go to school, and have active parts of community and church ministry. There are others who are doing college at the same time as well as gaining ministry credentials. It’s intense, but incredibly life changing!

Each year, there are several missions trips that the students choose from. Last year, Caleb chose Nicaragua. I didn’t really think too much about it, probably since my husband is from Guatemala, we’ve been there several times, and the cultures are so similar. I know he speaks enough Spanish to get by and felt like he’d be right at home. At the last minute, the Zika virus showed itself, and that trip had to be rescheduled, so he was contemplating a stateside trip. This is where the new level of trust came in. He called and said they’d put a new trip together, but would need special permission to go. It was in a remote village in Alaska, the crime rate and prejudice was high, there was no legal system in the town, no way to communicate, etc. We told him to pray and decide what he was supposed to do, he did, and he went. God did some really cool things there.

Caleb's team in Alaska

Caleb’s team in Alaska

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Caleb & Valeria from the SCSL team and one of the children in the village in Kotlek.

This coming year he has an opportunity to go to Ethiopia. Before he found out that Ethiopia was a scheduled trip, he had a dream about Ethiopia.  We already, as a family, have a love and passion for the people there, because we have friends who adopted from there and God has connected our families. This makes it extra exciting, so I want to come alongside of him in his fundraising efforts. Committing to this trip is a huge step of faith, because he is already working as much as he can in the free hours he has, but it’s just not enough to pay tuition, live, and plan for a missions trip. As a family, are asking for your vitally needed support. (Caleb’s support letter is below.) There are several ways you can play a key role.

1. The first way is to pray. We would ask that you cover every aspect of this trip in prayer from fundraising and provision, to safety and accomplishing God’s heart and purposes while there.

2. The next way is to give financially to help raise the $3600 he needs to go on this missions trip. Tax deductible donations can be made at this link and designated for Caleb Montejo, missions fund, http://www.scsl.com/giving/tuition-payments/, or checks may be mailed to Christian Life, 2700 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29210.

There also is a GoFundMe link, but is not tax deductible and they take a fee out. https://www.gofundme.com/scsl-ethiopia-orphans-missions-trip

3. The third way is to change where you shop. You’re already spending the money anyway, so keep spending, but allow part of it to go towards helping Caleb and these other students. Here are the companies I have affiliate links with,  including Amazon and Ebay. You probably already purchase from them, but if you click my link instead of the regular one, it will generate commissions. Please make sure to keep this handy, so you will remember the links. They are listed here.  http://www.joycemontejo.com/scsl-missions-fundraiser-links/  If you forget, just go to http://www.JoyceMontejo.com and there is a box on the sidebar that says SCSL Missions Fundraiser Links.

When you shop with these links, 6 to 30% of your purchase will go towards Caleb’s trip, depending on which company. My prayer is  not to only support him, but to help as many of the other students as we can!!! I would love nothing better than to get his covered and several others or take the extra earnings and split between the students who still need help.

Many of them are working extremely hard and just can’t earn enough in the time they have to accomplish their goals, so it’s up to us to help them! Every time I see one of their GoFundMe links, I send up a prayer that God will raise up people to help these young people who are giving all to learn to serve God! What a blessing it would be to them, to have some of the financial stress and burden lifted, so they can focus more on the ministries they are working in.

So, to summarize, we need your support! I am asking you to join forces with Caleb and others to help raise the funds for their missions trips. I have heard many times that some are called to go and some are called to give to those who go. We have an opportunity to support those who are called to go!

Please share so we can get as many people using these links as possible!  When you are ready to shop, come to http://www.joycemontejo.com/ and click on the block that says SCSL Missions Fundraiser and choose the link you need. I know it’s a little more work, but the rewards to these students will be worth it!

Hugs and Blessings!

Joy Montejo

Caleb’s Support Letter

Friends and Family,

Since I was a boy I have loved the rush of adventure. Whenever my family would pack up for a road trip, I would get a certain feeling of excitement. Part of the reason is, when I was a boy my mother would read me stories of missionaries going to foreign countries, it awakened a wonder for faraway places. I remember looking through my grandfather’s national geographic magazines and seeing tribes of people from Africa or Papua New Guinea, and telling my family how I wanted to go those places one day. Even though that sense of adventure has always been rooted in me, it wasn’t until last year, when my school took a trip to Alaska became more than just a trip for excitement. It was then when the passion for adventure and sharing the love of God with people became one singular passion instead of being a separate goal. When I saw how the love of God could heal broken people and how hungry people were for the love of God, it broke me like I had never been broken before. Now this year I will have the opportunity to go to Ethiopia and love on some kids in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One of the things I remember from Alaska is a saying the Pastor Jimmy, our guide in Alaska, told us. “People are used to what they have been getting, but when you give them a taste of something different it makes them hungry for that new thing.”  I have the opportunity to share that new thing, but there is always the matter of support. The whole trip is going to cost 3600 dollars, so I am asking people to come alongside me with your prayers and if possible your financial support. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, love to all.

Caleb Montejo

 

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The Pumpkin Spice Latte that is Indulgent and Health Building

by montejosmemorials on September 15, 2016

The Pumpkin Spice Latte that is Indulgent and Health Building

by Joyce Montejo

 

Fall is fast approaching and everywhere you go there are comfort drinks filled with everything we shouldn’t consume. I’ll admit, I fell prey to the temptation yesterday when we were out and about. Instead of feeling guilty, I came home and set out to make my own. Here’s what I came up with and it was super yummy! I felt like I had really indulged, but not only did I avoid the sugar and milk, I added some great benefits to my drink.

Pumpkin has always been one of my favorite things to sneak into stuff. It’s easy to add a cup to soup, because it stirs right in without adding a lot of flavor, but adding some veggie nutrients at the same time.

I included two variations of the recipe, because everyone won’t have CinnaMate, but when you see the benefits, you’ll want to get some! It is an extremely powerful herbal combination designed to provide increased energy and focus through natural stimulation, enhanced digestion, and sugar management. It includes Yerba Mate, which includes 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and many other key plant compounds. Cinnamon, which is mood enhancing, has been known to reduce blood sugar levels, and support healthy levels of cholesterol, is another key ingredient. Nopal, known to have adaptogen properties, Banaba, and Thyme are also included. you can learn more here. I love the energy it provides without the crash.

I found that when I drank it hot, the coconut milk was creamier, but the almond milk was better when it was iced. Don’t forget to top it off with some whipped cream.

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Are Your Expectations of Yourself Unrealistic?

by montejosmemorials on September 5, 2016

Are Your Expectations of Yourself Unrealistic?

by Joyce Montejo

By the end of August, I usually am at a place of pure exhaustion! I find myself more emotional, harder to get along with, and having more of a complaining spirit. We have a lawn maintenance business that we work on the side, in addition to my husbands full time job. Our boys do most of the work, but I am still the scheduler, driver, biller, etc. In addition to all of my other responsibilities, when the end of the summer rolls around, I feel overwhelmed. I have let jobs around the house pile up, am not eating as well as I should because we have been so busy, and in need of some self care.

Since our oldest son went to South Carolina School of Leadership, a leadership, discipleship, mentorship school last year, he has expanded his grass business to the area he lives in. He is paying tuition and his living expenses on his own, and cutting grass has allowed him more opportunities to earn in the short time frame he has free from school responsibilities. He has done a great job cutting grass, but his forte is not working on the machines. The majority of his work needs to be done from Friday to Sunday evening, so when something goes wrong on those days, he has limited time to work. This past week, we had the tropical storm come through SC on Friday, and when he got to his first job on Sat. morning, the mower wouldn’t start. He tried all of the methods he knew, Facetimed with Dad for anything he missed and still was not able to get the mower going. After that, he went on to complete a few small jobs with the weedeater and resigned to wait for us to help Sunday.

Saturday evening we loaded up the van with an extra mower to trade with his in case we couldn’t get his going, and all of the things we would need to help him catch up. Sunday morning we got up early to make the two hour drive in time to go to church with him. I don’t know why I allow myself to forget how concerned God is about me sometimes, but I am guilty as charged. I want to walk in faith all of the time, I want to be joyful and full of hope as I go through my days, I want to trust God with every detail of our lives, but more often than not, I don’t do as well as I wish I could. But you know what? God is always, always, always, faithful to put us where he needs for us to be, or him to show up in our lives!

Ok, now that I’ve given you some background of where I was this past week, I will share with you what I believe will be an encouragement to you too! As the Pastor was preaching and speaking into so many areas of my life, I couldn’t help but think about how he divinely sets up our lives, if we let Him and stop striving against the circumstances in front of us, to give us what we need. So, there I sat, because of Caleb’s broken mower, being reminded of some things I needed!

The Pastor has been preaching out of the book of Elijah, and this week was from 1Kings 19:1-18, on Elijah’s "burnout". I am going to summarize some of the main points.

We are always in danger of overexhaustion, and it can effect us in so many ways. Burnout, depression, exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, are some of the things I hear when we feel this way. It can also manifest itself in physical ways too.

What are some of the reasons for burnout?

Accumulated effects of stress (this builds over time).

Lack of physical care.

Unrealistic expectations.

Effects of spiritual warfare. (In Elijah’s position: The prophets of Baal, a hostile environment, the effect of Jezebel, and a long campaign were contributing factors.)

What are some remedies?

Getting into God’s Presence.

Letting God know how you feel, getting your complaints out to Him.

Food and rest.

Double check your thoughts and make sure your reality is real and not inflated.

Adjust your expectations if necessary.

Move on to a new assignment, sometimes a change is necessary.

Many of these points were great reminders for me! Especially since I am in recovery for adrenal fatigue, I need to be careful of how I treat myself. Stress, not eating well or not resting as I need to, and placing expectations on myself that noone could accomplish are huge triggers for overexhaustion. For so long, I had to limit many activities, and for the last year and a half or so, since implementing adaptogens into my nutritional journey, my stamina and emotions have been in much better balance. I have to remind myself continually, because they have worked so well for me, that herbs are a part of a healthy lifestyle and don’t have the ability to make up for all of the things I don’t do to take care of myself. Good food, rest, exercise are all necessary and important for a healthy, balanced life in addition to being in The Word, God’s presence, and fellowship.

Some great applications were made for us to apply to our lives.

Burnout may occur and many times does occur in the seasons or moments of our lives, when we are in the midst of our greatest accomplishments or achievements.

The Lord is not angry with us when we become weary.

"Working harder" can often make us feel worse and the problem greater.

Remember that God’s approval is what really matters.

"Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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."

So, I’m starting today! As fall is approaching, which is our next season, I am paying attention to what God spoke to my heart yesterday, because of a broken mower, for my next life season. How about you? How do you do in these areas and what are some of your helpful tips?

*You can listen to the sermon I referenced here titled Burnout, 9/4/16.

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Are adjectives like crunched, stressed, pressured used to describe your life?

by Joyce Montejo

 

Do you constantly feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day? I have been guilty of saying that, but when I think about it, it makes me laugh. God knew what he was doing when He designed the day, how many hours, what times were light, and when to sleep, but I cram as many things into that time as I possibly can.

In earlier times, days were controlled by natural light. Now we have the option to accomplish whatever we want to, whenever we want to, and we do. Then we add all of the extra stimulation we get from electronics. There’s the learning aspect, so we stuff our brains full, the social media aspect, knowing what everyone is doing and the pressure we let ourselves feel trying to keep up with that. No wonder so many struggle from depression and anxiety! There really is an overwhelming amount of stuff in our lives, so what do we do?

I try to prioritize, but many times I feel like there is nothing to let go of. Do I stop homeschooling, quit our businesses, don’t eat or sleep? That sounds kind of funny, because those definitely aren’t options!

One of my "light bulb moments" was when I realized I need to prioritize the things that keep me positive and feeling good, and I am better able to accomplish the other things.

Prioritizing my devotion time and knowing that it doesn’t have to look the same way for me as it does for you, is huge in helping me not feel so overwhelmed, even though our schedule is still the same, it totally changes how I feel. Healthy eating and using my herbs, are a huge part of keeping stress levels at bay. Again, this doesn’t have to look the same for all of us. For me it may be Trim Healthy Mama, for you it may be vegetarian. Coming to the place where we don’t feel like we have to be in bondage to a certain thing because it’s popular, or working for others take a lot of pressure off. Find the best eating lifestyle for you. The same goes for exercise. It helps me to feel more energetic, but I had to realize that it has to be  20 minute walk or a short low impact workout video, not a 5K run or an hour high impact video, otherwise it has the opposite effect. If those work for you, great, but if not, implement what does, and don’t feel pressured. Our goal is to decrease stress, and not feel so crunched for time!

I read something this morning that sparked sharing these thoughts with you. It was talking about the Proverbs 31 woman and how we can feel guilty if we don’t accomplish all that she did. Their closing thoughts were that she clearly was energetic and strong, but in order to do all that she did successfully, she had to have been caring for her own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as well.

My prayer for you and myself too is that we would allow God to arrange our days and help us to know what things to include and what to leave undone, as He gives us a peaceful mind and orders out steps.

How about you? Are there some things you need to work back into your schedule to care for yourself and some things to let go of?

 

 

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I Haven’t Done My Part, How Can I Help?

May 28, 2016

I Haven’t Done My Part, How Can I Help? by Joyce Montejo There has been something heavy on my heart recently and I am going to share with you and ask for your help.  There are many different kinds of friends who will be reading this. Some are long time friends, who know me very […]

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