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For Jesus And For The Culture. . .Being Black, Christian and a Millennial In America

Why Morning and Evening Routines are Important: How They Affect Your Day

Dear Reader: 

There’s a lot of debate about morning and evening routines. Some people swear by them, while others think they’re a waste of time. What does the research say? Are our morning and evening routines necessary? The answer is yes – for both your mental and physical health! This blog post will discuss the benefits of morning and evening routines and how they can affect your day-to-day life.

What is a morning routine, and why is it essential for your day

A morning routine is a set of activities you regularly do, typically after waking up and starting your day. Many people find that having a morning routine helps them to feel more productive and motivated throughout the day. There are many different ways to create a morning routine. The most important thing is to find what works for you and to be consistent with it. It’s also important to consider the best time to wake up based on your daily schedule. You may also find it helpful to write down your goals for the day or week ahead of time. A morning routine can help you make the most of your mornings and set yourself up for a successful day.

How to create a successful morning routine that works for you

A successful morning routine is all about finding what works for you. For some people, that means waking up early and taking time for themselves before starting the day. For others, it’s about taking things slow and taking the time to enjoy breakfast. But there are a few key things that all successful morning routines have in common.

  • They all start with drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. This helps to rehydrate your body and jump-start your metabolism.
  • They all include eating breakfast. This gives you energy for the day ahead and helps you to focus on your tasks.
  • Successful morning routines always end with taking some time to relax in the evening. This allows you to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Evening routines – what they are and why they’re important

Most of us are creatures of habit, whether we realize it or not. We tend to like having set routines that we can follow day in and day out. This feeling of predictability and stability can be exceptionally comforting at the end of a long day when we want to relax and wind down. That’s why having a regular evening routine is essential for adults and kids. It offers a sense of calm after a busy day and can help improve sleep quality, promote healthy habits, and reduce stress levels. Plus, it can be a great way to bond with your family as everyone winds down for the night.

How to create an evening routine that will help you relax and unwind after a long day

After a long day, it can be hard to unwind and relax. However, creating a calming evening routine can make a world of difference. First, keep your routine relatively simple and consistent from one night to the next. This will help your body and mind know what to expect and make it easier to stick to the routine. Secondly, schedule enough time for winding down and relaxing before bedtime. This means disconnecting from electronics, reading a book, taking a bath, or whatever else helps you to feel calm and sleepy. Finally, avoid doing anything that will make it harder to fall asleep, such as working on a project or eating a large meal.

You can do a few things to increase your chances of success. This will help you stay positive and keep going even when things get tough. If you Slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself – everyone makes mistakes. Pick yourself up and start again tomorrow.

My dream morning routine is to do some sort of exercise every morning even something light as stretching but in reality that doesn’t happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t aspire to it. Every new day that dawns, we get to begin again!

Routines, Rituals, and Practices 

Dear Reader, 

This month we’re going to talk about routines, rituals, and practices that make our lives better. We’ll talk about morning and evening routines, spiritual practices, exercise, and even cleaning! God wants us to have an abundant life and there are things that we can do to help ourselves along in that direction. Science even supports the idea that routines, rituals, and practices can help us become more healthy and happy. 

I do have a caveat. Everything in moderation. Yes, we need to exercise but not for 12 hours a day! Yes, we need to eat, but not 8 x a day. Yes, we need to clean, but we don’t have to go so hard that our lives are out of balance. God is about balance. So as we talk about different tools for health and well-being let’s all remember (ME TOO) that everything must be in moderation.  I hope you can incorporate some of this into your life and live a Godly, balanced life. See you soon!

 Tips for Resolving Family Conflicts

Dear Reader, 

As you know, this month we’re talking about family and so we have to get into how to practically resolve/ diffuse family conflicts. 

  1. Be Honest:

God does not say that you have to lie to reconcile with people. That ain’t biblical. You can still be true to yourself, have a different opinion and be respectful.  How the other person reacts…. Is not my concern. I’m only in charge of me. 

  1. Be Open 

No one is going to be of one mind with me. If I like oxford commas; they write runon sentences. It’s not about agreeing. You can disagree and still reconcile.  This is especially important these days as most topics light a fire to the family dinner table. 

  1. Be Safe

You can’t reconcile with everyone. If your family makes you physically and/or emotionally unsafe, walk away. For years, the church used to encourage women to go back to their abusive husbands and say that is just the way of the Lord. IT IS NOT. God does not want you to be in harm’s way. He came that you may have life and have it more abundantly. 

  1. Use “I” Statements 

This phrase comes from therapy community but it communicates an important conflict resolution principle which is, keep it on yourself.  For example “I don’t like when you mention my weight at dinner. It makes me feel like you don’t value me or I’m not pretty. It does not communicate any concern for my health. It does the opposite.” You see how that is much different from “ you’re always so mean to me, telling me I can’t afford soda because I need to lose weight, you’re just the worst !”

  1. Pray

The spirit of discernment is essential to resolving conflicts. You may not know just when the right time to approach an issue is. Sometimes the when is just as important as the how and why, when its about reconciliation or resolving conflict. 

I hope you can take things tips to heart and practice them. Have a great day. 

Biblically Imperfect Families

Dear Reader, 

I wanted to start off our foray into families with an exploration of biblically imperfect families. You know the ones I’m talking about. Starting with the infamous: Sarai and Abram, turned Sarah and Abraham… to Esau & Jacob. Let’s not forget Mary and Joseph. Can you imagine not having a conjugal relationship, yet somehow your betrothed is pregnant? Especially in a time when God had not yet been revealed to act in that way. Especially in a time when Holy Spirit was not a concept. Joseph is like a Biblical MVP. 

If I were doing the canon bible edit job, I would probably have never included these stories especially not in the raw form. I would’ve somehow sprinkled in the “ they all lived happily ever after” part. But that is not the truth. There was no happily ever after. They did not suddenly get it. They struggled. They faltered. They did not just make it work.

On Sarai & Abram

In the story of Sarai & Abram, Sarai , who became Sarah, had a major wound. Her wound was that she couldn’t give birth. Imagine, everyone all day is getting pregnant and popping out babies and you’re just there. Years are passing and nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. So you have a bright idea. Your servant can have a child for you… it’s sort of the same, right? Uh nope.

Sarah’s wound, her makeshift solution, and Abraham’s acquiescence to the plan would be the source of strife for generations to come. 

This story is usually told as a cautionary tale of don’t come up with your own solution and trust God’s plan. Today I want to use it for a different reason. Honestly, Sarah asked Abraham to send them away, which is probably a kindness. There are numerous stories in the bible about just how easy it was to die back then. Sarah was just hurt and angry. She wasn’t murderous or suicidal. She didn’t jump to any conclusions. It was a bad situation of her own making and she really did her best to make due and then when she reached her limit she merely asked to send them away. 

On Jacob & Esau

Jacob and Esau were brothers. The way inheritance worked back in the day was that only one person would get “the birthright”. This entitled them to be the head of the family or to get more of a share of the possessions etc. The story is kind of weird. It’s not like Jacob was jealous from birth and wanted to steal it. His mother was playing favorites from the beginning; so she, inadvertently, or not, caused the rift between them. A rift that only continued to grow til Jacob stole Esau’s birthright. However, the story doesn’t end there. This Biblically imperfect family story actually ends with a reconciliation… many many years later, of course. 

God doesn’t leave things at a low note. If you’re struggling with family relationships, I want you to have hope that things can change.

Working out faith with Family

Dear Reader, 

This month we’re going to be talking about all things family. Whether a family of choice or family of origin, whether they be friend or foe, let’s talk about family and faith. God wants us to have connections with people. No person on this earth is an island, nor designed to live on in isolation. AND NO ONE IS PERFECT. Families have all sorts of issues. They’re not called generational curses for funsies. Where there are people, there will be problems. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about where boundaries should be or where there should be a brick wall. 

Please know that you and God are responsible for your own life. Talk what I write with a grain of salt. I can only share my experience. Life has ebbs, flows, and changes in circumstances so what may be okay for me today, may not be ok tomorrow. The only thing that doesn’t change is God. 

Encourage Yourself

Dear Reader, 

This past weekend was my birthday so I took a little break for my birthday from posting. But one of the greatest tenants of living in gratitude is to actively encourage yourself. Most of the negative scripts that subconsciously run through our minds and break us away from the path of gratitude are actually brought to us by friends and family. Sometimes we have to close our ears and guard our minds and hearts.

 I’m reminded of the Tri-City Singers & Donald Lawrence’s song “Encourage Yourself.” The lyrics of the second verse are: Sometimes you (sometimes you) have to encourage yourself/Gotta pat your own self on the back, yeah, yeah/Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test/And no matter how you feel (no matter how you feel)/Speak the word over your life, oh, oh/Speak the word, and you will be healed (you will be healed)/Speak over yourself (speak over yourself)/Encourage yourself (encourage yourself) in the Lord.

So today I wanted to talk about some practical tips to engage in encouraging yourself. 

Encouragement on a monthly basis

One of the ways we can encourage ourselves on a monthly basis is by engaging in reflection. What’s different about this month than last month? The issue with this kind of open-ended reflection is it may cause you to reflect on the negative things. You may consider all the mistakes you made instead of all the wins. This is why I have a google drive encouragement folder. This folder contains the compliments & words of encouragement others have made to uplift me throughout the month or even years prior. It is helpful to be reminded of who I am. Record the good so that you can remind yourself. 

Encouragement on a weekly basis

Engage in weekly record keeping. For me,  this means I have a weekly work journal. What are my work wins for the week? What did I accomplish? I also have a weekly spiritual journal. What are my spiritual wins for the week? What did Pastor say this week that’s giving me life that I need to carry with me this week? I also engage in weekly habit tracking. Did I take 10,000 steps every single day this week? Awesome. Did I read a whole book? Cool. 

Encouragement on a daily basis

God is my refuge and strength. In order for me to walk in that, believe that, and practice that, I need to have contact with God. My prayer life looks different on different days. If I can spend a whole hour with God, praying aloud and singing in my studio apartment, that’s awesome. If all I can do is pull up Jireh on Spotify and listen to it while I read a single devotional on the Bible app, that’s ok. What’s been giving me some life these days is prayer journaling. I spend part of my morning praying on the page. I think this helps me start the day in a place of confidence and not in a place of scarcity and anxiety.