by Drenda Keesee
How do you live a happy and healthy life?
Is it possible for everyone?
And how do we combat the negative effects of stress—oftentimes created by the actions of others we cannot control?
In a 24-hour period, I had to deal with dishonesty in two individuals, several rude clerks, airport scans and a search, a hair-raising taxi ride, a rip-off artist, 400 emails, several disappointments of people not following through on commitments, meetings, and a delayed flight which threw a day’s worth of appointments off.
At the end of the day, I found myself…
…stressed and trying to figure out what to do with the hotel’s bathroom trash can which was divided into two sections that weren’t labeled.
What’s this for? Is this recycling gone mad?
Tired, I stared at the little-divided trash can in disbelief and prayed, “God, our lives have all gotten so complicated! How do I stay focused on the right things when there are so many pressures everywhere around me?”
Do you ever feel like getting in an RV and driving to the desert? I do! And even though an occasional getaway is helpful, we can’t escape pressure. We must deal with it or it will deal with our health and happiness.
There are many who try to exercise to be healthy or obsess over every morsel of food that goes into their mouths. While eating a balanced diet of food in its most natural state and getting regular physical activity is very important to health and stress relief, what we do in the realm of the soul is just as important.
Yes, the wellness of the soul has a direct and overriding effect on our health as much as any food or benefit of exercise.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2, NKJV).
So how do we manage our stressed lives without getting under pressure and letting it affect our health?
The soul is composed of the mind, will, and emotions. Health does not result from just a physical act or restraint, but it truly begins in the area of the soul! As our soul prospers or as we develop a proper outlook and belief system, we reap the benefits in our physical, emotional, and even financial health!
True happiness is not a momentary emotion. It is a lifestyle of heeding God’s Word and letting it bring His goodness and plan into every area of our lives.
“He who heeds the Word wisely will find good. And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he (or she)” (Proverbs 16:20, NKJV).
To combat stress and live healthily, we need to feed our soul God’s thoughts, His promises, and His Word. His ways are higher and our trust must be in Him!
When we think pleasant thoughts and speak words of life, it is health to our lives. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb. Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16: 24, NKJV). What you believe, think about, speak, and act on will have the greatest outcome on your health, wholeness, and healing, and how you handle stress before it turns you into a negative, unhappy person.
What are you stressing over? Toddlers, financial problems, marital discord, in-laws, weight gain, health issues?
God’s Word has an answer for every stress that life can bring! It is a process of training the soul-feeding the mind God’s truth (renewing the mind with His Words), choosing and submitting to His will for our lives, and bringing our emotions under the control of our spirits. We must live out of our spirits, letting them be the place where faith grows and our feelings and emotions learn to trust!
9 Ways I Alleviate Stress:
1. Reading the Bible and finding a promise that corresponds to a situation I feel concerned about.
2. Praying and visualizing myself handing God the problem and really casting the care to Him, then thanking Him that everything is going to work out fine.
3. Going outdoors and doing something physical. My favorites are biking, hiking, swimming, or playing a game of basketball, kickball, or baseball with the family.
4. Traveling for leisure to the mountains to hike or to the ocean to ride waves.
5. Exploring new cultures, foods, history, art, and scenery.
6. Stopping to focus on all the great things in my life and being thankful!
7. Cruising in the car with the top down and listening to music.
8. Talking to my husband or family.
9. Spending a day with my grandchildren.
How do you alleviate the stress in your life?
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.