July is a month of excitement for me. As of July 11th, we are halfway through the baseball season, halfway through the summer, and halfway exhausted! June was such an incredibly busy month for me I have begun July searching for ways to manage the stress that has built up in my life.

This month, each Monday, I will be sharing ways to simplify. There will be practical advice on living and spiritual simplification. I pray by the end of the month we will be implementing the simplification process and find our lives in a peaceful place with a deeper connection with Jesus.

On July 1, I read a devotion that asked, “Carrying a heavy load?” I immediately responded with, Yes! June was so crazy busy that I let a few things fall behind. Now I have too much on my plate. I am behind on writing for the blog. I have to update my website. Our apartment looks like a tornado flew through. There are so many piles on my desk I don’t remember what color it is. Then I find myself on the computer trying to make a plan, but I am so tired I just want some down time, so I surf the web. I spend time on Facebook. I watch video after video. I spread the Insta-love to everyone I know on Instagram. Then I remember all I have to do and I become stressed and anxious.

What are the ‘too much’ in your life? Too much television. Too much Social Media. Too much time information. Too much noise. Too much guilt. Too much pulling you in different directions.

No matter how you try to avoid all stress, it is impossible. Our lives are overwhelmed with things to do, things we think we need to do, things we have to do and the never-ending list of to-dos.

Stress happens. It is how we view it that changes the extreme reactions. Simplifying our stress helps to reign it into a more manageable existence.

Stress is either positive or negative. Positive stress is the everyday activities that cause extra thought and focus but don’t take us over the edge of inability. Negative stress happens when we become engulfed with a deluge of stresses, and they lead us over the threshold of coping. Lack of coping happens when we take all the pressure onto ourselves. We need to be able to handle it. We need to take control. We need to juggle all the balls. We need to be in control of it all. To avoid this, we need to view the stresses in a new light.

See the stresses in life not based on feelings but faith.

Simplify stress by thanking God for the blessings before you. Positive stress creates excitement, motivation, and hope.

Make room for Jesus by simplifying the stress of too much, by choosing to choose.

Choose God-centered thoughts. His power, not mine.

Choose a Jesus focused plan. What do you want me to do for you, Jesus?

Choose Sabbath resting. Rest in Him.

Choose to impact the lives of others with Christ-like behavior. Reach out.

Choose to live life to the fullest no matter the circumstances. Celebrate life!

Let’s become simply stressed. Relying on Jesus for his power to work in us and through us. Let me know how it is working for you. What do you find the most stressful in your life? What are the top three stressors? How can you simplify that stress?