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Volume 09, Issue 43: With Ease and Joy

If we are honest, life is a series of burdens. Each of us has different kinds. My pressing burdens have been my work responsibilities and I am the first to admit that it can get pretty overwhelming at times. I went through a particular YouVersion Bible plan last week on the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry provided by John Mark Comer that helped me push a reset button to surrender.

When the burdens weigh us down, we feel like throwing in the towel, giving it all up for an easier life. I was encouraged listening to one of the live speakers at the Global Leadership summit that I attended the other week. She is a young senior executive high up the ladder in the corporate industry who admitted what I haven't had anyone else in a senior position admit. That it's hard having big responsibilities, and that sometimes she just feels like leaving it all behind to go relax in her farm in the countryside. I completely relate. Often times I toy with the idea of replacing my job with something easier in my estimation like baking.

The burdens of our work responsibilities can be daunting, but there's a secret to copying that we need to be reminded of time and time again. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry study showed me what I already knew to be true but wasn't applying in my current situation. I desperately needed the reminder.

In the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry plan, John wrote that Jesus appealed to all the tired, weary and burned out and simply said, "Come, find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Jesus' open invite is to a life of rest and yet His imagery of an "easy yoke" is a bit odd. Far removed from an agrarian economy, we forget that a yoke is a tool for work; it was used to harness oxen together to plow a field. That sounds like the last thing a burned-out worker needs. The tired among us don't want a yoke, we want a vacation!

John continues, but Jesus is wise beyond comprehension. He gets it better than we often do, that life is an unending series of burdens. There’s no way around the weight of responsibility that is life this side of resurrection. What we need isn’t an escape from that weight, but a way to carry it with ease and joy. That’s what Jesus offers – a way to carry the weight of life with a straight back and smile on your face.

John reminds us that in the way of Jesus, Sabbath is a 24-hour practice of restful worship by which we cultivate a spirit of restfulness all week long. As we near the weekend, and look forward to a day of rest and worship, we need to remember that there are Sabbath moments all through each day - little opportunities to slow down and rest under Jesus' easy yoke.

There's no escape from the responsibilities of life. We can't throw in the towel and disappoint all those who look up to us as their role models. But we can carry the weight of our responsibilities with ease and joy by surrendering it to Jesus and asking for His help. We can move toward seeing the Sabbath as both a daily practice and a way of life.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 42: Your Difference Looks Good On You

I attended the Nairobi Chapter of the 2019 Global Leadership Summit a few weeks ago and was inspired by most of the presentations. To reinforce my learning from the summit, I committed to share my notes from the presentations that inspired me the most with my community. Today I want to share my notes from DeVon Franklin's presentation on harnessing the power of your difference.

DeVon Franklin is an award-winning producer, best-selling author and spiritual success coach. Beliefnet named him one of the Most Influential Christians under 40. He is CEO of Franklin Entertainment with 20th Century Fox.

DeVon's presentation inspired me to embrace my difference. Even though different is difficult, your difference is your destiny. Each of us has our own recipe for success. We have to own and cultivate the recipe that is already in us. Too often we try to become someone else at the expense of who we are.

Think about your life and make a list of the characteristics you bring to the table that differentiate you from others. Your difference looks good on you. You are good enough to find success. Your difference is good enough.

What would it look like for you to own your differences? What barriers, fears, or distractions keep us from living out our uniqueness? What needs to shift so that we are able to overcome those barriers?

Difference can be painful. It's hard to stand out. It's much easier to blend in with everybody else. And not everyone is going to embrace your difference. But your difference is the key to open the door to your destiny. Don't be concerned about fitting in. Own your difference, even when it's painful. Don't just fit in so as not to ruffle any feathers.

What makes you different/unique? What gives you a different world view, and why do you think this way? Don't exchange what makes you different for what makes you common. Resist the exchange temptation. Don't try to be a repeat of what someone else did. Take the bullet of being original and position yourself for your best life.

Let's aim to get to place where we can say "I am different, and I am okay with it". Feel good about being associated with yourself. Hang with those who encourage your difference.

Be salt and light. Start shaking your creativity on everything you touch. Shine your light in dark places. You may feel alone being different, but your difference doesn't require the approval of everyone. Let's build our confidence about our difference to be able to say, "I have me. I have enough all by myself. My difference is not only my destiny, my difference makes a difference".

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 41: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part IV)

As we come to the conclusion of this series, let’s consider a few more ways of taking care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for health issues to arise. And as I keep repeating, we are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. I reiterate again that if we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the road. This is no doubt a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves.

We have talked about practicing safe sun exposure, consistently eating a healthy diet, intentionally moving our bodies and investing in our mental health. Let’s wrap up with two more aspects to be proactive about in taking care of our health and investing in our future well being.

5. Drink enough water

Have you noticed that God gave us water wells, not soda, juice or coffee wells? That should tell us how important water is to our health. Drinking enough water in the right way is part of practicing good nutrition. Water plays a vital role in keeping our bodies healthy and fit. Water helps to cleanse the colon, release toxins from the body, boost our immune systems, raise our metabolism and aid in digesting food faster and more efficiently. Water keeps our internal organs healthy and balances our body fluids.

What I have learnt about the proper way of drinking water is to drink it first thing in the morning, drink most of it during the day and less in the evening, drink it on an empty stomach, and drink water close to an hour before and after meals. And you shouldn't drink your water with your food. Drinking water while eating dilutes your stomach acids. Experts have said that water is bad for your digestion when consumed during a meal. If gastric acid gets diluted, it's not able to digest your food thoroughly enough.

Scientists recommend drinking warm water over anything else. Ice cold drinks may negatively affect your digestion, and too hot drinks can scald and damage your esophagus. Warm water hydrates your body faster and better. It boosts digestion by stimulating natural digestive enzymes. Warm water makes it easier to break down food and it ensures better bowel movement, especially if you drink a glass of warm water right after you wake up in the morning.

6. Have a Health Check Up

Last but not least, having regular whole body health check ups is not a luxury when you know it's much easier to prevent a medical condition or address one at its onset than at an advanced stage. Have a whole body health check up once a year and keep a record of the results for comparison. If the check up reveals issues to be addressed, diligently follow through the corrective actions to get back in shape.

We have gone over six areas for consideration. It's time to take action if you haven't started already. Don't keep it on hold any longer. Admit where you are not doing well and start with small daily actions. If you are overwhelmed with something, break it down into smaller manageable chunks. should you be in the category of those who have their act together, don't wait to be a little heavier than you ought to before you incorporate physical activity and good nutrition in your diet. Don't wait to have aches to go for a health check up. Do these few things, and others that you know of a lifestyle.

Prevention is always better than cure. It's so much easier and enjoyable to exercise to keep fit and healthy than it is to exercise to lose excess weight. It's so much harder and frustrating to get rid of belly fat once the layer has accumulated and made itself comfortable in your midsection. It's much easier to avoid getting it in the first place through proper nutrition and exercise. It's much harder to repair years of cumulative sun damage than it is to practice safe sun exposure.

That said, it's never too late to get started on a corrective action plan. Granted, it's much harder, but it's certainly doable. With lots of determination and discipline, no mountain is too daunting to tackle. So, let's not let anything stop us from starting to proactively take care of our health.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 40: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part III)

Life can not be truly enjoyed in the absence of health. We are carrying on with considering ways of taking care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for health issues to arise. And as I keep repeating, we are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. I reiterate again that if we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the road. This is no doubt a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves.

So far, we have talked about practicing safe sun exposure, consistently eating a healthy diet and intentionally moving our bodies for all rounded physical health and fitness. Some people have no problem exercising, at least the ones I see at the gym, but I have noticed is that it is not stressed enough that how our bodies look and feel is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise and 10% genetics. This means that nutrition is king. You may work out all you like, but if you are consistently feeding your body crap, you are going nowhere.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's consider one more aspect of health to be proactive about in taking care of our health and investing in our future well being.

4. Invest in Your Mental wellness

Mental health is just as important as physical health yet many people don't give it much consideration. Things like low self esteem, lack of self confidence, negative thoughts and depression should not be taken lightly. Don't wait until you are in trouble to look for help, rather consciously reach out to those who can help whenever you need to talk through issues.

Issues of confidence and self esteem bear a lot on how we think about ourselves and the thoughts we allow to run through our minds. Being intentional about filling our minds with positive thoughts can't be taken for granted. Read and listen to uplifting content, train your mind to think lovely thoughts about yourself, your life; about people and life in general. Don't allow the negativity around you to contaminate your thoughts and beliefs.

Worry and fear are other elements that steal from our mental health. Allowing the fear of the unknown, of what could go wrong, of what would happen if you lost this or that to dominate your thoughts can be extremely detrimental to your mental well being. If you are a worrier, you must know that no amount of worrying can change your situation even a little bit. You have the power to interrupt your thoughts and direct your mind to think on something else.

Brisk walking is known to be fantastic for maintaining mental wellness. This is something we can do proactively to maintain our mental health. Walking improves your mood and self-esteem and eases anxiety. Studies have shown that brisk walking helps to preserve the manor in areas that are involved with learning and memory. So, go out and take a walk, and while you are at it, smile.

Nurturing our spirituality through daily quite time with God does wonders to our mental health and stability. If you find that you are repeatedly unstable in your emotions, up some days and down other days, committing to a daily quiet time session of taking in the Word of God, talking and listening to God and  pouring out your heart to Him will effectively calm you down and stabilize your emotions. You will be settled within and you will no longer be tossed to and fro by the happenings around you.

Reading great literature that motivate and inspire you to become your best self also goes a long way in building your mental wellness. Steer away from negative and depressing material. There are so many relevant motivational content out there. Listen to speakers who motivate and challenge you to become. Choose happy movies to watch over sad ones, movies that warm your heart and leave you with a smile on your face.

We could go on and on about mental health, but this post is already too long, and there are other areas for us to consider to proactively take care of our health. Look out for more fun stuff in the part IV next week.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 39: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part II)

Your health is your wealth. It is something you want to be intentional about investing in. We are continuing to consider ways of taking care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for health issues to arise. We are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. Things that are related to stress levels or poor nutrition or lack of exercise. If we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the road. This is a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves.

Last week we talked about practicing safe sun exposure and consistently eating a healthy diet. Let us now consider one more area, before delving into a few other areas to be proactive about in taking care of our health with regards to lifestyle changes.

3. Move Your Body

Physical activity is typically left for a select few yet we all need to exercise regularly for physical health. You don't have to go overboard or go to the gym if that's not something you enjoy, but choose a daily exercise routine that suits your fancy and stick with it. Repetition and consistency is more important than how long or how hard you work out each day.

I enjoy taking a long brisk walk outside, which I combine with weight/resistance training 5 times a week. Some people enjoy jogging/running, others aerobics classes or dance classes, others weight training or resistance training at a gym or at home. Other people enjoy swimming or other forms of sports such as football or tennis or basketball for fitness. What's your preference? You must have at least one that you do consistently as an investment to your health.

The World Health Organization recommends that we get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity a week or a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity each week. A walk can count if your heart rate is high enough. A brisk walk, jogging or running is good for cardiovascular activity but a well rounded exercise regiment should include more than just cardio. Include some weight training and/ resistance training in your workout.

A lot of women shy away from weight training especially because they think they are going to bulk up like men. That can't happen unless you are going way overboard with your weight training, like lifting very heavy weights for several hours each day. The World Health Organization recommends that an average adult does at least two sessions of weight training a week. This is important because as we age we tend lose muscle mass. It's a normal part of aging. Another normal part of aging is losing bone density. We can slow that process down with weight training.

It doesn't matter what age you are, you could be in your twenties or thirties. It's never too early to start preserving your muscle mass and preserving your bone density. If you are a beginner, you should always start with a professional, learn the proper moves so you don't get injured.

For the older folk, since we lose muscle mass as we get older, it's necessary to do more resistance training than aerobic exercises. Most people focus on cardio and steer away from weight/resistance training. If you are in your forties or fifties or older, don't cut out aerobic exercises but be sure to do quite a bit of weight training and resistance exercises as well to maintain, build and replace your muscles. I have learnt from other people's experiences that it's really hard to get muscle tone after the age of 45. You would have to work doubly hard compared to what you might have done in your thirties in order to get strong muscles. So the earlier you can start weight training, the better for you.

Let's continue with some of the other areas of proactively taking care of our health in the next post. Look out for more of these fun stuff in part III, and as you read, be sure to position yourself for the lifestyle changes you need to make to proactively take care of your health. Remember, your health is your wealth.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi