A Birthday State of Mind

A Birthday State of Mind | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto  Credit



In March, my best friend hosted a mini-Quince party for her oldest. Turning 15 is huge in Cuban culture — with dance parties and big white dresses. Samantha’s style is more laid back and artistic, so she opted for a smaller party with friends where they painted on canvas. I visited a few days later, and she showed me a mug that she’d presented as a party gift to each friend for joining her birthday celebration.

On the side of the white ceramic mug, I read the words “Live Each Day Like it’s Your Birthday.” I snapped a picture of the mug and immediately said, “I see a blog post here.”

On Sunday, my friends Lolita and Carolyn took me out to lunch to start this year’s birthday festivities. We ordered an ice cream cake dessert with 3 spoons.

I took several days off from work this week to enjoy the sunshine and sand at the beach with my husband, and there are several surprises in boxes waiting for me at home.

On Friday, I’m having dinner out with my bestie, and on Saturday we will meet my parents for stroganoff at my favorite restaurant.

I may be celebrating all month.  “Ain’t nobody gonna to steal my joy” right now.

What if I were to live each day with a birthday attitude? I could wake up each day and put on a party hat that spreads cheer in this broken world.

How to Live with a Birthday State of Mind

  • Remember you are special: You have gifts and strengths that bring joy to this world. Let your little light shine and love with reckless abandon. You are here to proclaim His praises (I Peter 2:9).
  • Anticipate a celebration: Focus on the glory to come. On your birthday there is cake and presents, but as a child of God, we look forward with expectation to sitting at His banqueting table (II Peter 3:13).
  • Spend time with your loves: On special days, we spend time enjoying our people, but we must remember that every day is a gift. Don’t let busy rob you from the blessing of intimate fellowship today. Be fully present with your people (Hebrews 10:23-25).
  • Reflect on how far you’ve come: Birthdays are mile markers in life. It’s good to sit down and reflect on how we’ve grown in wisdom and overcome mountains with God in our corner. But, we don’t have to wait for our birthday to “remember” God’s handiwork. Spend some time today looking back at your week and noting how God has whispered to your heart. Jot a few things down in a journal or notebook for safe keeping (Psalm 105:1-5).

Make each day a celebration of God’s goodness and grace. 

Live Like it's Your Birthday | 3dlessons4life.com

 

Something to think about…

I’m sharing “A Birthday State of Mind” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.


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Anchored in Hope

 Anchored in Hope | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit

 

It’s crazy out there right now. Are you feeling it? The punches to the gut keep coming in the headlines, and the home front is under constant attack, too.

It’s hard to hold on to hope when your mind is cluttered with images of despair. How do you push back the darkness and press passed the doubt?

Watching the Olympics has helped some. I see hope in those determined feet bouncing off the diving board. I sense something greater is ahead when I watch the tiny power house gymnast stand on a precipice and say, “I got this.”

It’s amazing how flipping the switch on our perspective can pick us up from the mire and help us conquer the mountain.

Here’s the thing: Today, “I got this” because I’ve got Jesus in my corner.

So no matter how crazy it gets, I got this with Him.

See my hope is not rooted in the 6 o’clock news or the stock market. My hope is not founded on my dress size or my salary.

My hope is anchored to Jesus.

And this anchor is not weighted downward and immobile. I am tethered to an upward hope in heaven that keeps me moving forward.

How to Stay Anchored in Hope:

  • Look forward in expectation: One day, Christ will return to rescue us from the darkness. Stay focused on the glory to come (I John 3:1-3, NLT).
  • Shout out God’s praises: He doesn’t waste a single moment of your life. He is strengthening your frame through every difficult step you take in faith (Romans 5:1-5, MSG).
  • Trust Jesus with laughter and singing: Want to make the devil disappear? Start singing “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart” at the top of your lungs.  Stay lighthearted and worshipful as you wait on God (I Peter 1:3-9, MSG).
  • Pursue wisdom: Doubt dispels when you flood your heart and mind with truth (Proverbs 24:14, NIV).
  • Tap into your power source: The power of Christ who overcame death itself lives in you. The Holy Spirit will fill you up with joy and peace as you surrender to Him (Romans 15:13, NLT).
  • Remember God’s mercies are new every morning: God is still on the throne. The sun will rise tomorrow. Greater things are ahead. He loves you with an unfailing love that never quits (Lamentations 3:19-33, MSG).

Hope overflows from the soul that is anchored to Christ.  

Anchored in Christ | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Anchored in Hope” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

 

Thought-Provoking Thursday Spotlight:  

Dr. Michelle Bengston

Dr. MIchelle Bengston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.

Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression

-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide

  • An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
  • As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
  • Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations

As a board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson has seen the devastation that people experience when depression sweeps into their lives. She knew what research advocated in terms of the most effective treatments and prescribed them to her clients. But when she personally experienced to the ravages of depression, she found that the treatments she had been using with her patients didn’t help her. As a result, her personal experience became the catalyst for a more holistic approach to treating depression in others.

In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.

For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real help, hope, and healing for the future.

Dr. Bengtson’s book Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression (Revell publishers, August 16, 2016) is available for purchase now here

Hope Prevails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author, speaker and board certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them. She offers sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. Dr. Michelle Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com.

For more hope,  connect with Michelle through her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

 

 

Thought-Provoking Thursday Linkup:

 

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.


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Stay on Beat

Stay on Beat | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit

 

What’s that? my husband asked.

I looked in the direction of his finger and questioning eyes and smiled sadly.

“It’s a metronome,” I replied. “It helps keep you on beat as you play.”  The device had sat forgotten on the piano for years.

As a teenager, my hands had glided across the keys furiously on a daily basis, but then when I started teaching there were essays to be graded, high school basketball games to attend, and youth group car washes to organize. The keys grew dusty.

My fingers no longer moved with agility the last time I sat down and placed them on the ivory.

Mastery comes with dedicated passion and practice. I’d let both fall to the way side.

We polished the instrument to help return its luster and donated it to a neighbor’s son. Music makes his heart come alive.

My heart forgot how to play the melody.

What might have been if I had made up my mind to rehearse and refine my skills?

I will never know.

This morning, I remembered my piano as I read my Bible. The NET version chooses the phrase “practicing the truth” to communicate Paul’s challenge to the church at Ephesus.

I want my heart to stay on beat with God’s rhythm.

I must pour my all into daily preparation. I cannot let myself grow distracted or disinterested. Nothing is more important than this discipline.

Stay on Beat with Jesus | 3dlessons4llife.com

 

 

Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Stay on Beat” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.


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How to Fight the Worry Monster

The Worry Monster | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit

 

Last week, I learned something scary about myself.

My car was in the shop, so Bruce drove me to work. We’d stayed up too late, and I’d dragged my comatose body out of bed before its time. I sat in the car in Zombie wife mode. My whole being was communicating a message: Don’t talk to me. Trust me, this will not go well.

I really should have just stayed in bed and called in sick.

But I digress, I was telling you about the frightening self-revelation I experienced.

It all started when I decided to turn on the radio in hopes of waking myself up and hypnotizing myself into a happier mood. I turned the dial off my husband’s pre-set talk radio station (Yuck!) and landed on .K-LOVE.

The music was like caffeine in my veins. Soon, I was tapping along and even singing. Bruce was overjoyed to witness my resurrection from Zombieland.

After a song or two, the DJ’s started talking about something nonsensical and silly in the news. They bantered back and forth about how scientists have discovered that there is actually a Worry Gene.  Yep, that’s right. If you are a worry wart, it’s probably in your DNA. Blame your ancestors.

Bruce and I laughed about it as we pulled into the parking space at work. My knight in shining armor walked me in to the office and carried my heavy bags and even opened the door for me.

Squeak. “You’ve got a creaky door there, ma’am. I can take care of that for you if you have some WD-40.” I pointed my husband toward the office supply closet to see if he could find something to take the squeak out.

I watched him turn the corner and stayed by the door anticipating his return.

I stood in silence for what seemed like an eternity and shifted my weight from one foot to the other. After a few minutes, I frowned at the clock.

Why’s he been gone so long? I imagined my husband prostrate on the floor and not breathing. I considered calling 911.

Right before I broke down in tears, my man came bouncing around the corner empty-handed.

“I have the worry gene,” I confessed.  Left alone with my thoughts for more than 90 seconds, I will construct an imaginary apocalypse.

The Worry Monster is lurking around in the corners of my mind seeking to squelch my joy and steal my serenity.

Have you met the Worry Monster?  His ability to magnify your fears knows no bounds if you give him free rein.

Just a few days ago, I received a series of frantic texts from a friend who was facing the bully head on.  My response was simple:

Stop, Breathe, and Pray.

It’s like stop, drop and roll when your mind is on fire. You must turn your worries into prayers.

How to Fight the Worry Monster:

Stop: Tell your thoughts to obey what you know is true. Remind yourself that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7). Remind yourself of what is right, noble, lovely, and pure (Philippians 4:8). Chuck the enemy’s lies and take your thoughts captive (II Corinthians 10:4-5).

Breathe: Let God’s peace invade your soul (Psalm 34:1-4, MSG). Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Allow Him room to restore your soul (Psalm 23:1-3).

Pray: Turn your worries into praises and petitions (Philippians 4:6-7). Cast all your anxiety on Him, and let Him care for you (I Peter 5:7).

Don’t be a Worry Wart when God has already called you to be a Prayer Warrior.  

How to Fight the Worry Monster | 3dlessons4life.com

(Side note: I am in love with this graphic!!!!)

Let’s Talk:  How do you tackle the Worry Monster?

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My desire is to lift up holy hands and “Pray Big.” Want to join me? I’ve created a private “Pray Big” Facebook group for like-minded sisters to share their stories and surrender each one to our mountain-moving God in prayer. Let’s cry out to God together.

Pray Big

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am sharing “How to Fight the Worry Monster” and joining like-minded sisters at Give Me GraceSpiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Fresh Market FridayBlessing CountersTell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Three-Word Wednesday, Intentional TuesdayPurposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Testimony Tuesday, and Moments of Hope.

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Fight for Your Happy

Fight for Your Happy | 3dlessons4life.com



Put ’em up!

Some days, I feel like I am going 12 rounds with a big bully named the Gloomster.

Smack! He unmercifully jabs at my heart and seeks to demolish my passion and purpose.

Thump! My oppressor taunts me with verbal blows. You can’t win this fight. Defeat is certain. I’m going to leave you slumped on the floor and gasping for breath.  

Some days, I am weary of the fight. But then I remember that I am not fighting alone. I look up and catch a glimpse of a great cloud of witnesses cheering me on and saying, “Keep your dukes up, girly.” I stop listening to the bully and I hear the gentle voice of my Champion encouraging me to stay in the ring and keep fighting the good fight.

The power within me is so much stronger than the forces against me. I just need to fight smart.

I need to fight for my happy. Just like David knocked down a giant with 5 little stones, I can sling my faith forward by using simple tools to win the war.

5 Ways to Fight for Your Happy

  1. Look for the beauty in your day: Take a few minutes each day to pause and remember how God has blessed your life.  Count your blessings and name them one by one. Some days you need to make your own sunshine.
  2. Listen to your heartbeat: How’s your heart? God created you with special bents and gifts. Happy looks different for each of us. Take the Happiness Style Assessment to discover what makes you tick. You might enjoy exploring a museum, reading a book, chatting with friends over coffee, baking treats for your neighbors, or weeding the garden. Sometimes, we focus our energy on activities that don’t fill up our tank. This assessment will help you understand how to invest your time in the right things.
  3.  Put fun on your to-do list: Throw a kitchen dance party. Use your hairbrush as a microphone and belt out some karaoke in your living room. Spend at least 15 minutes doing something completely silly today. You will feel better.
  4.  Make room for rest: It’s okay to take it easy sometimes. The Lord Himself has given you permission to take a day off and just breathe. He didn’t include that in the Bible as an after thought. If you choose rest, you will be renewed and find your happy again.
  5. Feed your soul with words that heal: Read your favorite psalm and slowly meditate on each phrase. Dust off your favorite children’s book and do a read-aloud. Spend a few minutes lingering over an entry in your favorite devotional. Sign up for Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Happiness Dare Challenge and get a little happy in your inbox for 10 days.

Beat your enemy to the punch and stand strong and happy in the power of God’s might.  

Something to think about…

 

I’m sharing “Fight for Your Happy” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.

 

Linkup

 

Thought-Provoking Thursday Spotlight:  Jennifer Dukes Lee

 

Jennifer Dukes Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to be happier?
No matter who you are or how you feel, chances are you would answer yes. And Jennifer Dukes Lee was no different. For years, she wrestled with a constant nagging sense that she wasn’t as happy as she could be. At the same time, she felt guilty for wanting something so “shallow.” After all, doesn’t God only care that we find joy in our circumstances? Or is it possible that God really does want us to be happy?

Determined to get answers, Jennifer embarked on a quest to find out whether our happiness matters to God and, if so, how to pursue it in a way that pleases him.

In The Happiness Dare, you’ll learn what she discovered, including how to:

  • Understand the five happiness styles and maximize yours
  • Overcome the four biggest obstacles that stand in the way of your happiness
  • Find your happiness sweet spot―the place, relationship, or activity that gives you the greatest sense of well-being
  • Discover what you can do in just five minutes a day to be happier

Will you take the dare?

Join Jennifer in the pursuit of your truest, most satisfied, and most faith-filled self.  Head on over to Amazon to purchase The Happiness Dare.

The Happiness Dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Dukes Lee is an award-winning former news journalist, an (in)courage writer and a blogger athttp://www.JenniferDukesLee.com. Jennifer once took a dare to find out whether happiness matters to God and, if so, how to pursue it in a way that pleases Him. Out of that quest, was born:The Happiness Dare: Pursuing Your Heart’s Deepest, Holiest, and Most Vulnerable Desire.

Thought-Provoking Thursday Linkup:

 

Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂

As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.

Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.


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