10 Tips for Reducing Stress: Part 1

Anastasis Faith

For many of you, school has already started. I start on Tuesday. This means I’m frantically trying to finish up my summer projects before all my time is gone. Combine with that a super busy family, the past several weeks I’ve been swamped by my To-Do list.

Maybe you’re like my sister who does not understand why in the world anyone would ever be stressed. But maybe you’re like me who wishes the world had a couple big giant PAUSE and REWIND buttons.

So recently, the tighter I wound up, the more I realized I needed to calm down even amid crazy busyness. Here is the first half of my top ten strategies that I have found very helpful in my life.

10. Be ready to leave, early.

Few things are more stressful than being late! So get ready long before you have to leave so you can just grab your purse/backpack/whatever and go. 


9. Listen to relaxing music

For me, this means peaceful music. I have a CD called Quiet Time that is gentle piano and guitar instrumental that I love to listen to when I’m stressed. However, this type of music makes my sister feel “restless and anxious.” So maybe for you, your relaxing music is heavy metal. :) Whatever it is, listening to music that calms you down is very helpful.

8.  Clean your work area and room

The messier my room is, the more cramped, tense, and overwhelmed I feel. It’s another thing on that mental To-Do list and it’s not something that I can escape. Even if it takes a couple hours, it’s totally worth it to have a clean room. It makes me feel like I’ve got everything under control. It also motivates me to get other things done.

You may not be the sort of person that minds the mess, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll find a clean room much more invigorating than a messy one.


7.  Make a To-Do list and prioritize it.

You’ve got a billion things to do zooming around your head. It’s hard to process. But when it’s down on paper, you’ll be surprised at how short it actually is compared to how long you thought it was.

After I get everything I have to do down on paper, I can prioritize them in order of what needs to get done today and what I would like to get done today. Then I always know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m supposed to be doing it.


6. Don’t worry yourself to sleep.

Once you’re in bed, you can’t do anything about it, especially not by worrying. As soon as the lights go out, stop thinking about what you have to do. Worrying late at night will rob you of sleep, which will probably result in a more exhausting and stressful next day!

This also applies to when you’re in the car, on the elevator, etc. Basically, whenever you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it. 


Come back next Friday to see the top five most helpful ways I’ve found to reduce stress!


What do you think? Are you a super stressed person? Or are you pretty chill? How do you relieve stress? Which ways listed above seem the most helpful? Has school started for you, yet?
 Share in the comments!

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies

Anastasis Faith

Photo courtesy http://ericasweettooth.com/2011/10/peanut-butter-nutella-swirl-cookies.html



Okay y’all, I’m pretty sure I found the most awesomest recipe in uh…the UNIVERSE. I guess that gives away the fact that it has Nutella in it. (Because obviously only the BESTEST things in life have Nutella involved) It is DELICIOUS and it involves (as I just said) Nutella and peanut butter.

Here is my new FAVORITE cookie recipe!!!

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies

Ingredients
·          1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature
·          cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy - I like crunchy)
·          1 cup sugar
·          1 cup brown sugar
·          2 eggs
·          2 tsp vanilla
·          2 cup flour
·          2 tsp baking soda
·          1 tsp salt
·          heaping cup Nutella

Instructions
1.  Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla together until smooth.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture.
3. Add Nutella in dollops over the top of the dough.
4. Use a butter knife to swirl the Nutella through the dough.  Do not over mix.
5. Chill the dough in fridge for 15 minutes before spooning onto cookie sheet to firm the Nutella.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Bake until slightly brown at edges.
7. Let cool a few minutes on cookie sheet before transferring.


Photo courtesy http://ericasweettooth.com/2011/10/peanut-butter-nutella-swirl-cookies.html


ENJOY!!!!!!! And leave a comment letting me know how this turned out for you!!

No-Part Pigtails!

Anastasis Faith

By Musical Girl


Pigtails are back! Not that they were ever totally out of style! When we were little girls we had high pigtails that were so cute. As I get older the middle part-line down the back is not as attractive to me. I don’t want to look like I am eight! But the solution is finally here! I am so excited to bring you this exciting, grown up, and fun hairstyle.

I apologize in advance for the terrible pictures, I now have great respect for people who take pictures of the back of their head.! :)

Steps:

You will need:
-hairbrush
-two clear or your hair color bands with you.

1. First, divide your hair into the top half and the bottom half.


2. Then take the top half and loosely put it in a rubber band on one side.


3. Take the bottom half and pull it to the other side and rubber band it.



One tip:


The top half side will need to be loose to cover the part line and so that your pigtails look symmetrical from the front. You will need to pull the rubber band down to make it look even.


There you have it, pigtails again! Another fun way to wear your hair in this hot summer heat!



What do you all think about this hairstyle? Are you going to try it? What are some ways that you wear your hair to beat the heat? Share in the comments!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 30

Anastasis Faith
Today is the last day of our Remembering Elisabeth Elliot series! I hope y’all enjoyed it as much as I did! Elisabeth Elliot was an incredible woman of faith, driven by the grace of God even through heart-wrenching pain.

Note: Starting on this coming Tuesday, the posting schedule will change to regular posts on Tuesday and Friday. Check back tomorrow for a cute, grown-up version of a hairstyle we have all worn and loved! And please take a second to answer the poll on the right sidebar about the things that distract you most from pursuing Jesus!

Now on to our last quote!

“It is in our acceptance of what is given that God gives Himself.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

Discontentment is one of the biggest things that has distanced me from God in the past. With most other things, I can bring it easily to God and ask Him to help me fight it. But with discontentment, it’s extremely hard because in my heart, I’m saying, “God, You made a mistake by not giving me _____ (fill in the blank). God, You don’t know what’s best for me.”

Discontentment distances me from God because I’m pointing an accusing finger at Him.

It’s when I accept that I have what I need and learn to be satisfied that Christ satisfies me with Him.

What are your thoughts on this quote? Do you struggle with discontentment? Any stories you want to tell? Do share!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 29

Anastasis Faith
This is the second to last day of our Remembering Elisabeth Elliot series!

“Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His Lordship.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

What are your thoughts on this quote? Has there been a time when you’ve decided to take your life, will, and feelings your own direction? Share in the comments!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 28

Anastasis Faith
“Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in them. Only love is eternal.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

Especially with the way the American culture is turning, I can often feel overwhelmed by just how much bad is in the world.

But Elisabeth Elliot’s quote is such a great reminder that God is greater than this world. His love reaches far beyond the influences of evil.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the course of this world? Has there been a specific time in your life when it seemed like evil had a greater influence than the love of God? Share in the comments!

Pursuing Jesus Through Purity: Part 3

Anastasis Faith
Last Monday and Friday, I posted the first three points for Adam Tyson’s breakout session entitled, “Pursuing Purity in an Impure World” as well as my comments on what I learned for each point. See Monday’s post HERE and Fridays’ post HERE.
Here is Point 4 along with my thoughts! Hope y’all enjoyed the series and take a moment to leave a comment!

3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
4.     Honor and serve other people (vs. 6)
…and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.”

I must not transgress my brother. By either purposefully or accidentally compromising my purity or someone else’s or both, I am sinning against God AND another person. Even if you like someone and he likes you back, you are both sinning against each other if you use each other for selfish pleasure, security, etc.
I talked about these on Monday already, but I’m going to say it again.

WRONG QUESTION: How far is too far?
RIGHT QUESTION: How far can I run? How holy can I be?

We must be pure…in thoughts

            See The Springboard Approach by Liza Grace for more practical tips in this area.

There’s a difference between appreciating beauty and lusting. And by lusting, I mean wanting and trying to get something that doesn’t belong to you at the expense of another person for your pleasure. This can include wanting attention, affirmation, security, touch, the thrill of romance, etc.
Ladies, one of the very common ways a girl can get herself into trouble in her thoughts and emotions—and eventually body—is by putting herself into vulnerable situations. Don’t ever be alone with another guy in a room. Even if you trust him. Be wise. When you are in a tempting situation and your emotions are involved, it is very hard to resist. So don’t put yourself in a tempting situation.
Remember: succumbing to temptation isn’t worth it.

We must be pure in…dress

Don’t unnecessarily cause others to stumble. Sometimes we dress immodestly ignorantly and other times with full awareness. I found my brothers, parents, and The Modesty Survey (which I believe has been taken down) by The Rebelution to be extremely helpful as I decide what to buy and wear.
As Adam Tyson put it, “Clothes are meant to conceal, not reveal.”
Whenever you want to wear a questionable item of clothing, ask yourself, “Am I wearing this to conceal or reveal?”

Do you wear clothes to attract attention or respect?

In the long run, both you and the people around you will benefit more from you dressing modestly. Ultimately, of course, guys are responsible for their thoughts. However, as their sisters in Christ, it is our duty to try and help them out in any way possible—especially in a culture like ours. 
Remember, the guys you will attract by immodesty are not the kind of guys you want to marry.

Godly guys appreciate, respect, and admire modesty.

One thing I discovered from The Modesty Survey was that almost all guys agreed that, while the clothes do matter, it’s more about the way we act. A girl who wears completely modest clothing but who acts inappropriate can be more of a stumbling block than a girl who acts modestly but unintentionally wears immodest clothing.
Modesty is a heart issue. While I recommend evaluating your wardrobe, I would more strongly encourage you to evaluate your heart.

Wrapping up…

Some final thoughts that Adam Tyson shared was that we should fear the wrath of God because He is an avenger of evil (vs. 6). We are also called to remember our purpose as Christians (vs. 7) , that we should love Christ more. Trust and obey what God says because He knows what’s best. He has a vantage point that I don’t and my sin will have real consequences. It is worth far more (both now and in eternity) to trust Him and not indulge in sin.
Finally, I must yield myself to the Holy Spirit (vs. 8). It’s the Holy Spirit that gives me strength and power to live pure!

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8


What are your thoughts on purity and pursuing purity in thought life and dress? Any stories to share? Share in the comments! Also feel free to discuss things that you do/don’t agree with in the comment section! 

Pursuing Jesus Through Purity: Part 2

Anastasis Faith
On Monday, I posted the first two points for Adam Tyson’s breakout session entitled, “Pursuing Purity in an Impure World” as well as my comments on what I learned for each point. See Monday’s post HERE. After writing quite a bit for each point, I’ve decided to only post Point 3 and my thoughts today and Point 4 on Monday.

3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8


Of all the cups of water pictured above, which ones would you want to drink? I know I’d only want to drink the one on the far right. Even though the one on the left is the dirtiest, the one next to the purest one still looks pretty nasty. It’s not that dirty, you say. But it is still impure. Even a little sin—even a little impurity—can taint the whole glass.
That’s why complete purity is so important.

3.     We don’t have “rights.” Especially in this area of our life. We don’t have rights because we don’t own ourselves—Christ does.
A lot of times we’re influenced by the way the culture thinks: that we deserve pleasure. We deserve to do whatever we want with our hearts, minds, and bodies. We deserve these things and we are at liberty to get them by whatever means we can.
This is not true. We deserve to go to hell for our sin. But Christ paid the penalty for our sin. Now we belong to Him. Now our hearts, minds, and bodies belong to Him.
Because of that, we need to guard our minds/hearts.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23

“I have made a covenant with my eyes;
How then could I gaze at a virgin?”
Job 31:1
(Though we’re ladies, this principle of purity still applies to us.)

“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
 Matthew 5:30

Have you noticed that in most movies and books now, the hero and heroine fall in love based on their physical attraction to each other? This is because the world has a warped view of love. They often confuse love and lust.
        
Love: doing what’s best for the other person. Selfless perspective.
Lust: doing what’s best for me. Selfish perspective.

Whenever you find yourself “falling in love” or being tempted to sin, ask your these questions, “Do I want to give to this person or take? Are my motives selfless or selfish?”

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 John 4:16

God loves us with a pure love. He gives us the ability to love with a pure love.
Ladies, there are guys out there who will try to tell you they love you when really they only lust after you. If they truly love you, they will protect your purity. If they lust after you, they will try to compromise it.  Don’t be manipulated!! Don’t fall for this trap! Don’t believe their lies!
If you are tempted to see how close you can get, that is a major red flag that you are either in or you desire a relationship that will not glorify God. It’s a sign you are “following your heart.” It will make you more prone to believing the lies that ungodly guys and Satan will try to make you believe.
Don’t follow your heart.
Ever.
Follow God.


How do you fight for purity in your life? Any stories? Share in the comments! 

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 27

Anastasis Faith
“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

God sure is faithful, isn’t He? We never have to worry about glancing around and saying, “Wait, I think I lost God…”

He’s always right there beside us—even when we run from Him. He is there to pick us up when we fall, to strength us when we fail.

God will never leave you alone on this journey through life. Even in the darkest moments in your life when He feels so far away, He’s actually still right there.

God will never leave you alone.

What are your thoughts on this quote? Have you ever felt alone? Have there been times that God seems so far away? Share in the comments!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 26

Anastasis Faith
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

This quote brings to mind Philippians 4:11-13, 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Christ is beyond enough to satisfy us completely. If we find ourselves discontent with where we are in life, then the solution is to turn to Christ and ask for Him to fill us.

No matter if I get everything I want, I will never, never be completely satisfied without Christ.

Are you content with your set of circumstances? What are some changes in your life that you might have thought would make you happier? Share in the comments!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 25

Anastasis Faith
We’re close to the end of our Remembering Elisabeth Elliot series! Today’s quote is powerful and though-provoking! Share your thoughts and stories in the comment section!

“You can never lose what you have offered to Christ.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

Pursuing Jesus Through Purity: Part 1

Anastasis Faith
            Recently, I attended a breakout session titled, “Pursuing Purity in an Impure World,” by Adam Tyson. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on what I learned in that session, using his four main points. I will post his first two points and my commentary today and his last two points and my thoughts on Friday.


3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

In order to pursue Jesus--a holy God--we must ourselves me holy. We must be pure. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8) 
Purity on our own is impossible, but God can create purity in us. However, it’s a process. I have to fight for purity in my life—especially as our world grows darker and darker every day. Temptation is everywhere. You can’t even go grocery shopping without being assaulted by inappropriate pictures on magazines. The Internet is full of it.
Temptation is rampant.
But as Christians, we must strive for purity. We must fight for it.
How do we pursue purity in an impure world?

1.     Abstain from any kind of sexual immorality (vs. 3)

Abstain: far off, avoid, running away.
Abstaining is running away from everything that carries a hint. God’s will for my life is my sanctification, which means completely abstaining from sexual immorality. This includes every hint in body, mind, and heart. We must be completely pure.
In our culture, the motto is, “If it feels good, do it.” We must avoid that motto! It is dangerous!
A lot of times, questions are asked, “Should we kiss before we are married? Should we kiss before we’re engaged? What about this? What about that?” Almost always, the real question behind those are, “How close can I get?” Don’t ask that question. Instead, ask, “How far can I run?” Because even just “a little” can lead to sin in heart and mind, if not in body.

2.     Learn to have self-control (vs. 4-5)

Self-control involves every part of a person, including eyes, mind, hands, heart, etc. We need to learn to control our members. We must “possess” ourselves in holiness and not let sin drag us down.
Self-control means purifying our thought life (see The Springboard Approach by Liza Grace) and our motives. 
Having self-control also means not letting yourself believe or act upon the lie that you need a guy. It means resting in God and believing His Word, and acting upon that.

What thoughts do you have on pursuing purity? 

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 24

Anastasis Faith
“The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

As a girl raised in a Christian home, I’ve always been “the good girl.” Comparing myself to others fed my pride and made me think, “I’m really not that bad.”

It wasn’t until I started catching glimpses of the holiness of Christ through the pages of Scripture that I realized I wasn’t “not that bad.”

Compared to people around us, we may look pretty good. But the people around us aren’t the standard—it’s the holy God of the universe. Compared to Him, we are filthy.

The Bible shows us what we truly are.

However, it also shows who God is—and He is a gracious God willing to forgive us of our iniquities and make us straight like Him.


Have you considered yourself “pretty good?” When has God showed you His holiness in the Bible and convicted you of your own sin? Share in the comments!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 23

Anastasis Faith
“The work of God is done on God’s timetable. His answers to our prayers come always in time—His time. His thoughts are far higher than ours, His wisdom past understanding.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

Have you noticed how many of Elisabeth Elliot’s quotes are about trusting God? It’s so important—and yet it’s so easy to rely on ourselves or worry instead of placing our faith in God!

Isn’t it incredible that we serve a God whose thoughts are wise beyond the wisdom or even comprehension of man? All the more reason I should trust Him with His timing.

What experiences in your life have caused you to put your faith in God’s timing? Share in the comments!

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot: Day 22

Anastasis Faith
“God has promised to supply our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

I LOVE this quote. Such a great reminder! I easily get caught up in discontentment, wishing and wanting for things to happen or the Next Step in life.

I don’t need what I don’t have. And the things that I think would be good for me are, in fact—at this moment in time—not good for me. Because if they were, I’d have them.

What are your thoughts on this quote? Has there been a time when you realized that something you want isn’t what is good for you? Share in the comments!

The Springboard Approach

Anastasis Faith
By Liza Grace
I don’t know about y’all but my thought life isn’t something I’d want played on a giant TV for all my friends to see! My thoughts can be harsh, discouraging, uncharitable, unkind, ungodly, and selfish.
I was very aware of that and tried to clean up my thought life but I didn’t know how. Then I heard of what my family calls the Springboard Approach. I don’t even remember how I heard of it, but it has helped me grow in my thought life and enabled me to even glorify God with my thoughts!
The Springboard Approach is simply to turn to Scripture, prayer or godly song or poem lyrics when you think a bad thought. Just like you can’t shove all the darkness out of a room to make it light, you also can’t just stop thinking bad thoughts hoping good ones will pop into your mind!
This can be difficult and it requires a lot of will power, but I personally think it’s one of the best things you could do (Besides accepting Jesus!) because what fills your heart and mind comes out in your speech and actions.
The Springboard Approach can be used in many different areas! I like to use it to deal with crushes and comparison.  As soon as I think of that special someone or I catch myself harshly judging someone for their looks I can “spring” from that thought straight to Scripture!
This is a great tool also because if Satan knows that every time you think a bad thought you go straight to the Scriptures, he will stop sending those thoughts!
Like I said, this requires a lot of will power sometimes! But its so worth it to glorify our great big God with our minds!

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8
“I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
Psalm 119:11

Practical Tips:
--Make a list of the sorts of sinful thoughts that enter your mind (like comparison) and set up springboards for each one. Mine have a person to pray for and a memory verse.
--Whenever you catch yourself sinning with your mind, recall your springboards. It takes a lot of practice, diligence, and God’s grace, but killing impure thoughts will purify your motives, attitudes, words, etc.
--When you fail, don’t give up. Because God’s grace is stronger and bigger than your sins. “For I am confident in this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)  

What do you think about the Springboard Approach? Do you plan on using it? What sorts of springboards would you use? Share in the comments!


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