Moving Past Fear + Anxiety

Moving Past Fear + Anxiety | Christian Girl Resource | Christian Blog | Overcoming Fear | New Wife Blog

Happy Wednesday!

We’re already half way through the week but I know it’s at this point that it can feel as though the weekend will never come. But it will be here before you know it and that’s why it’s so important that we learn to fully live each day as it’s presented to us. Otherwise we’ll look back on this year and wonder what we did with all that time.

One thing I know that can get in the way of us living our lives, and days, to there fullest is fear and anxiety. As women, we all deal with these two pesky trolls to varying degrees, but we’re usually no strangers to either. They implant themselves in our lives and cause commotion without any regard for our emotional and mental health.

But I don’t want to just talk about how real these things are, and our shared hatred for the trail of frustration they leave in their path. But I want to talk about actually moving forward from fear and anxiety. Because if the enemy can keep you stuck and frozen in your tracks, then he can keep you from experiencing the life that God has called you to: one of peace, joy and purpose.

One thing that I think is worth mentioning is how fear and anxiety both usually stem from either outside circumstances or thought patters about things that haven’t even happened yet. AKA, stressed out about life or worried about the future… two things that we have absolutely NO control over.

Because that’s when things get overwhelming… stressing out about things you can’t change. It never ends!

Understanding what is and is not in your control is vital to moving forward from fear and anxiety. While you can’t always change what life throws at you, or when negative and fearful thoughts start to sweep into your mind, you can decide what you’ll do from that moment on…

A couple weeks ago, our cat Mocha started acting weird. It freaked me out because I couldn’t ask him what was wrong and he was in so much pain it made my heart ache. It turns out he head a UTI, which is pretty common among cats. While he was sick, I sat in the basement with him, angry that the enemy would come against something we loved so much. Even though we were doing everything we could to get him better, the worst part of it all was the sense of fear that kept trying to come over me. It was paralyzing.

I knew I couldn’t let fear get anchored in my heart. I had spent so much of my life living in fear without even realizing it, that I knew I had to take a strong stance against it, or it would become a stronghold once again.

I remembered a song I had heard at a Hillsong concert we were recently at and I pulled it up on Spotify and played it for me an Mocha. Here are some of the words I heard…

Your love stood down death
Crushed the devil’s head
Fear is just a liar
Running out of breath
The fight beneath your feet
I’m standing on Jesus’ Name
So let the devil know not today
— Not Today, Hillsong UNITED

Listening to these words put so much into perspective for me. I got excited as I realized that fear has no control over me. As the song says, it’s just a liar running out of breath. It has no patience or perseverance. All it has are tricks of the mind, lies and confusion. Everything I have in Jesus is stronger, sturdier and far more superior.

I started singing this song on repeat and not only did Mocha get better, but I felt fear and anxiety leave my heart to more I said these words out loud. Sometimes, I think your own heart needs to hear your voice declare the truth. After all, you’re probably the most influential person to your own belief system.

You and I were not created to be dominated by fear, anxiety or any other ploy of the enemy that steals our joy, peace and power. It is possible to drive them away, but only if we learn to stand on truth before we feel it, and declare what Jesus did as greater than our feelings.

Listen to the song below and play it as an anthem over you, your family, and your home, whatever is in your domain. And whenever you feel that familiar sense of fear or anxiety start to creep up into your soul, turn this baby on and start speaking truth into your life.

You’ve got this girl. Don’t let fear keep you from the life you truly want to live. It’s not out of reach; it just takes a little intentionality and perhaps a good song or two.

Let’s take control of our thoughts together and start making the enemy regret he ever tried to mess with us.

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Walking with Vision

Bible Study: Fight Well Week Six

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].
— Philippians 1:6

The stories of our lives don’t wait to be written when we feel ready for the task…

Every moment of our lives, the chapters, story arches, victories and failures are being interwoven into the story that makes up your time on this earth, and the beginning of your eternal story. When we don’t think about it like this, we tend not to think about where our lives are going.

You were created to have vision, to walk with purpose and destiny in your bones, dissatisfied with anything less than everything God has for you. This is a big reason why the enemy is threatened by you. The attacks on your life have more to do with who you might be in the future, than who you have been in the past.

It’s as if when the enemy looks at you, he sees the end of the story. He sees your purpose fulfilled, your destiny discovered and it terrifies him! It reminds him of his eternal damnation and your eternal reigning. Too often we judge ourselves based on how we’ve acted, the mistakes we’ve made or the way our lives currently look, and it really doesn’t seem all that intimidating. We make the huge error of assuming this is the way it will always be (a HUGE lie of the enemy) making us passive in our pursuit for more.

We must have vision for our lives. How will you fight well if you don’t know what you’re fighting for? I believe that finding your vision is only the beginning of the journey you will go on to walk out your purpose and discover your unique destiny on this earth. Remember, the enemy doesn’t attack what he is not threatened by, and there is something about you, the real you, and your future that keeps him coming back at you with more.

So throw your shoulders back girl… God’s got a story planned that will astound you and the rest of the world. Let Him do what He does best and stand firm in your vision.

And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
— C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

Always remember to fight your battles well :)

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Our First Dance + Thoughts on Marriage

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Cause it’s you and me and all of the people and I don’t know why, but I can’t take my eyes off of you.
— You and Me by Lifehouse

Four years ago I made one of the hardest, scariest and best decisions of my life. I said yes to date Jeff.

Now I know what you’re thinking… shouldn’t saying yes to marrying him be a bigger deal? Well, no because I knew deep down that if we dated, we would get married. That’s why it was so hard for me to decide. He was my best friend and I knew this decision would end in one of two ways, marriage, or by forever losing the one guy I cared about most.

I knew I had to take a chance and risk getting rejected by the only guy who knew me well enough to reject the real me. I said yes and it’s been the best decision of my life. Sure it hasn’t always been easy and there are plenty of days when I don’t feel like the stunning bride in this video. But the journey ahead is still so full of possibility and more and more I become so grateful that God brought us together to blaze the trail ahead.

Because it’s not just about who makes you “feel” great, or lovely, or wanted. It’s about who’s going to be there when it get’s tough, who will choose to love you even when you’re not acting lovely, and who will pursue his own relationship with God while you pursue yours. It’s an adventure and who you team up with is about more than mere emotions, for all emotions fade. It’s about who do you want by your side in times of peace, and who do you want to have your back in times of war.

This life is a battle and marriage is the ultimate strength to face it in victory. Choose wisely and if you’re already teamed up, remember that the enemy hates your marriage and he doesn’t attack anything that he isn’t threatened by. The attacks on your life have far more to do with who you might be in the future, than who you have been in the past. And there is something on your life and marriage that terrifies the enemy.

Put your armor on girl. This world needs you unified.

P.S. We practiced our first dance in the living room of my tiny apartment two nights before the wedding. I was so nervous and at one point, Jeff stepped on my foot. Can you spot my reaction?

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How to Fight Your Battles Well with Racquel Hudson

Bible Study: Fight Well Week Five

Racquel Hudson, survivor, fighter and overall strong girl, is on the Fight Well Bible Study to share with you the keys that brought her from sick on the couch, to living a strong, healthy and impactful life.

One of the most discouraging things that can happen when we're fighting a battle is when we don't see results. Too often we get distracted by the mindset that "If I could just confess the Word enough, then I could make this happen in my life." All of a sudden we start fighting to get victory rather than fighting from victory.

You are not fighting to move God or to get Him to notice you and your struggles, just like your church attendance and volunteer schedule won't change the fact that it's already a done deal. It is finished! God has already provided your complete healing, restoration, provision, prosperity, wisdom and purpose. It's when we get our minds off of what we can get from God and look at what He's already freely given to us, that we begin to start seeing those results.

Join us as we chat about life, Jesus, and fighting our battles well. You won’t want to miss what she has to say!

 

10 Tips to Save Time and Money at Disney World

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That’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.
— Walt Disney

There’s something undeniably magical about Walt Disney World. The unmistakable smell of vanilla in the air, the feeling that a grand adventure might soon find you, the possibility that nothing will ever be impossible for you… It’s no wonder Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world. But with an annual attendance of over 52 million people, there are bound the be some roadblocks on your journey to a happily ever after time.

Strollers and line-cutters and family reunions galore! We’ve almost come to the unspoken conclusion that our ultimate Disney vacation will end up being a huge money sucker that zaps you of energy AND all patience. But it doesn’t have to be! After all, if you’re going to fork over the money to go to Disney World in the first place, then you might as well make sure it’s enjoyable, right?

I’ve by no means perfected the Disney trip and everything I do know I’ve learned from my husband, whose quite possibly a bigger Disney fan than me… NAH! But growing up in Florida has it’s perks and he’s taken all his childhood knowledge and applied it to all of our trips (which are averaging around 3 a year!)

Now I want to share some of those tips and tricks that we’ve used for our Disney trips to help you with yours. Whether you’re saving up to take the family one of these days, or you’re a full grown adult who needs their Disney fix, these tips will help you save both time and money, two of the most difficult things to hang onto. Apply these tips and you’ll start to find the magic in your trips.

10 Tips to Save Time and Money at Disney World

1. Check Crowd Calendars

Before we plan our tip, Jeff will check multiple crowd calendars online (which you can find with an easy google search) to estimate when the heavy, moderate and light traffic days are. Now, these are just estimates based on previous years, but they have served us well in planning our trips around the more moderate to light days. This will mean less people on the streets, in the restaurants and in line. It only takes a few minutes but it will save you A LOT of time at the park.

For example, summers are insanely busy. We NEVER go in the summer. Too hot and too crowded. But, we will go in early May, after spring breaks are over and before school lets out. Or we’ll go at the end of September when the weather is cooler but before the Halloween crowd shows up. There are always less busy days around your favorite holiday, so you don’t need to sacrifice those for a good trip!

2. Chase Disney Cards

We love Chase and one of the awesome features they have is their Disney credit and debit cards. Jeff and I both have their Disney debit cards and when you use it at the parks, some places will give you a discount equal to an annual pass holder.

One place I know of is Joffrey’s Coffee, which I’ll talk about soon, who gives you 10% off for using you Chase Disney debit or credit card. Some restaurants, shops and stands will also offer discounts. It doesn’t cost anything to get them. You just need to have an account with Chase Bank. Easy peasy!

3. Hotels Outside the Parks

Now I know it seems magical to stay at an official Disney Resort and if that is your dream then I say go for it! Or start saving now for the future. But remember that when you go to Disney, you tend to spend very little time at your hotel. Instead of blowing all your money on a resort that will make your towels look like Mickey (which I get… it’s cute!) stay at a hotel or resort and use your rental car to get around.

This is what Jeff and I do every single time and it’s worked out AMAZING! Some of our favorite places to stay are the Polynesian Isles Resort, the Hilton Garden Inn at Sea World, and The Berkley Orlando (which also has no resort fees!) They are all nice, clean and only a few miles away from the parks.

Do some research and stay at a nice place where you can relax, get some sleep and come and go from the parks as you please. Now that’s a vacation!

4. The Resort Tram

This tip we happened to stumble upon one hot Florida day when the line for the tram taking us from the ticketing center to Magic Kingdom was crazy long. We glanced over at the tram next to it, which had no line, and a fella who was walking up said, “Hey, you know these trams go to the same place, right? They just stop at the resorts along the way.” What!

We had no idea. So we hopped aboard instantly and waved goodbye to all of the sweaty people standing in the heat as we headed off to the Magic Kingdom.

This tram does stop at the resorts along it’s route, but it only spends about 5-8mins at each stop. There are two resorts on the way to the Magic Kingdom and one resort on your way back to the ticketing center. Besides, when you’re trying to stay out of the heat as much as possible, it’s so nice to relax on a tram with air conditioning… sipping on your Joffrey’s Coffee ;)

If the line for the normal tram is giving you a stomach ache, then hop the resort tram and breath a bit. There’s really no rush!

5. Disney Diversions

Multiple times a day, Disney puts on a large parade or street show, where people (especially those with children) will line the streets to catch of glimpse of their favorite Disney Princess or surround a street show in hopes of being a part of the act. But this is when we hit the rides!

These shows and parades are what Disney calls “crowd control” and they can be your cue that a lot of people will be distracted for the next 20min or so and won’t be going on rides. This is a great time to high tail it over to a ride you maybe don’t have a FastPass for and enjoy a little less people in your life.

6. Soda Fountain Free Refills

One thing about Disney is you pay for everything and you rarely get things for free… like refills. Most of the soda fountains are located behind the counter and what you get is all you get. But there are a couple of places that Jeff and I have found that have soda fountains out for the people to use. That means, you could buy a soda once and come back and get refills all day!

Two of these places we know of are the Electric Umbrella in Epcot and Backlot Express in Hollywood Studios. These also make great lunch places if you’re looking for something that’s not too big or expensive. Besides, who doesn’t love their iced cold diet coke to last all day!

7. Joffrey’s Coffee

I love coffee. It’s just the way I am. It’s also the way Jeff is and you better know that we need our coffee fixes while on vacation… especially while on vacation!

While there are a couple of Starbucks around the parks, they are crazy expensive! More so than normal it seems. And if you want to get coffee outside the park, it’s usually bad by the time you make it in. Joffrey’s Coffee shop is one of those places that is a God send! Delicious coffee, affordable prices and several locations around each park. It’s hands down our favorite place to grab a cup at Disney.

My favorites right now are the iced vanilla latte and the frozen cappuccino (if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat). They also give discounts to chase Disney card holders, like I mentioned earlier. There’s usually never a long line because I don’t think people are too familiar with them. There also happens to be a location at the transportation and ticketing center on your way to Magic Kingdom. Remember how I said I like to take the resort tram with my Joffrey’s Coffee in hand?

8. My Disney Experience App

This is hands down one of the greatest tools Disney has for making your time in the Parks a breeze. One feature that a lot of people don’t know about is ordering online. A lot of restaurants and food stands have “online order” lines that are usually much shorter! This is for people who have used their My Disney Experience App to order food using the card they put on file. You order, pay, choose a pick-up time and simply walk up to the counter and grab your food. All of the people in the regular lines will watch you with a sweaty jealously :)

The other feature that the app is probably used for the most is scheduling FastPasses. Ever notice those FastPass lines for your favorite rides? Yeah, that’s where you get those. You are allowed up to 3 FastPasses at one time per day, and once you use up all 3, you can start scheduling more one at a time for the remainder of the day. You can generally schedule them up to a week in advance and Disney Annual Pass holders can schedule them up to 30 days in advance.

My biggest advice? Pick the 3 busiest rides you want to go on in that park to schedule FastPasses for and then wait in the smaller lines (perhaps with a Dole Whip float you picked up in the online order line) and enjoy the magic Disney puts into them. Jeff and I are on top of our FastPasses and we rarely ever stand in line for more than 30min…

Some of the rides I would recommend scheduling FastPass for?

Magic Kingdom: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain

Hollywood Studios: Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, Rockin’ Roller Coaster or one of the shows (Rockin’ Roller Coaster has a single rider line which we normally use because you really don’t experience the ride with the person sitting next to you. It’s too fast and too dark)

Epcot: Test Track and Soarin’

Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Na/vi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR

Remember you have one hour to use your FastPass (for example from 12pm-1pm) but Disney does give you about a 15min grace period at the end.

9. Check the Wait Time Before Using a FastPass

One quick tip about FastPasses is if you have one scheduled for a busier ride and you notice the normal line waiting time has gone down, then as long as you have plenty of time left to use your FastPass, go ahead and wait in the normal line, then run back and use your FastPass. That way you get to ride twice!

For example, let’s say you have a FastPass for Splash Mountain from 3pm-4pm. It’s currently 3:05pm and you arrive at the ride to find that the normal waiting time is only 25min… very rare for Splash Mountain! Wanting to take advantage of this short wait time, you could go through the normal line, ride the ride and then pop back out with enough time to use your FastPass!

To do this, you’ll need to go and check on your ride at the beginning of your FastPass. That way you would have enough time to get through the ride before your FastPass expires.

10. Disney’s Annual Pass

And now for the grand finale… Disney’s Annual Pass! I know what you’re thinking…. “aren’t those like really expensive?” Well, they certainly are not cheap. But they have been well worth the money for us. I feel you get your money back by your second trip. So by biggest advice for you Disney fans on a budget is to pick a year where your vacations will be to Disney and then invest in the annual pass.

Here are some ways that the Annual Pass has helped Jeff and I save time and money!

  1. You can park hop as many times as you want. No need to purchase any tickets. You can also sleep in and head to the parks whenever you want because you don’t need to be there all day to feel as though you are getting your money’s worth. You already are!

  2. Free parking at all parks. It’s usually around $20-$25 per day per park! That adds up real quick! Just flash your pass and a photo ID and you’re good to go :)

  3. A lot of restaurants, food stands and shopping stores give annual pass discounts from 10, 20 and sometimes even 30% off! You can find a complete list of where this discount is offered and how much it is HERE!

  4. Ever notice those snappy magic bands everyone’s been wearing to the parks lately? Well you get one in a color of your choice for free! No need to hold onto tickets. It’s all loaded on your band. It also connects to your My Disney Experience App to hold all of your FastPasses and reservations!

  5. Since selfie sticks are not allowed in the parks, it’s hard to get a good photo of you, especially with all of the people! But with the annual pass, you get all of the professional photos offered on the streets for free! Remember all the photographers standing around? Yep! Just get your photo taken, let them scan your magic band, and your photos will be waiting for you in your App, where you can download them for free for up to one year. Perfect for couples who want some nice photos :) **Also, if you or your loved one are planning on running in any of the Disney Races, you get all of those professional photos for free too! They are incredible!

  6. There are even special hours that the park has open to Annual Pass holders only. You can find these with a simple google search and you may want to take advantage of these!

Well there you have it. Our most practical tips for saving time and money at Disney World. These by no means are all the ways to save, but if you’re planning a trip in the near future, I highly recommend putting some of these into practice. And you’ll probably start finding your own ways to save.

The point is that going on a Disney vacation is more possible then you may realize. It just take some planning, intentionality and a few insider tips to get you there. Don’t buy into the hype that Disney is miserable. Sure there are plenty of miserable people there but you don’t have to be one of them! Enjoy the magic of the parks and be swept away in a world of possibilities. If you’re anything like Jeff and I, you’ll come back more refreshed, inspired and driven than before.

But they say if you dream a thing more than once, it’s sure to come true.
— Princess Aurora

Here’s to dreaming big!

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