Coping with Stress and Pressure

“When you are feeling under the pressure of life, be careful not to lose your way, your faith or your identity.  When I see the word “pressure”… I see two (2) words, PRESS and SURE.

The heavy weight of maintaining your family, business, ministry, job, studies, finances and meeting deadliness can PRESS down on you so hard that you can begin to question God and yourself.  You could begin to ask, “Are you sure God I’m supposed to be doing this? Are you sure I am anointed, blessed, talented, covered, called and destined to do this?  The phone isn’t ringing. The sales are slow. My progress is slow.  I feel stuck.  No one seems interested in keeping the family, the team, business or ministry together. You may begin to question yourself under the pressure and ask yourself, “Am I sure I can do this?  Am I sure God will show up?  Am I sure things will work out?  Am I sure I am qualified and ready? I’m not sure I can cope and handle this difficult situation.

When you are confused and discouraged because of the pressures in your life you could begin to give up.  You could easily give up your calling or decide to change your direction and do something different because your identity in God has been stolen.

These questions under pressure can cause you to experience Identity Theft.  External and internal voices, feelings and situations can cause you to lose your confidence and trust in God and trust in yourself.

   The term “identity theft” comes from the escalating criminal acts of finances, identification and credit being stolen. Those who fight against identity theft and arrest the criminals, warn people to do three (3) things to avoid identity theft.

I think the three steps can also be applied to protecting your spiritual identity. 1) DETER – minimize risk and safeguard important information and documents.

2) DETECT suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements.  3) DEFEND your identity and alert creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts.

Everyone needs to realize they are vulnerable to financial and spiritual identity theft.  Thieves are cunning.  They study your habits and routine.  They look for easy access to your information.  The enemy knows when you are feeling down, discouraged, hopeless and dePRESSed.  The enemy knows when you are vulnerable.

When it comes to proactive steps to protect your spiritual identity 1) DETER – minimize risk by protecting your heart and who you share your time, dreams, goals and conversations with.  2) DETECT suspicious activity by monitoring on a regular basis your relationships, what you say, how you feel and what you believe. Check your spirit to avoid depression, pity parties, sabotaging behavior like shame, guilt and procrastination.  3) DEFEND yourself.  Block the enemy from stealing your joy and purpose.  Before you slip into darkness and want to give up, remind yourself who you really are in God.  Speak your declarations and affirmations.  Proclaim again that you are worthy, qualified, blessed and resilient. Go for it.  Stick with it.  Don’t let internal or external enemies discourage you with doubt. Defending your dreams and goals is like hiding a priceless jewels so potential robbers won’t find them and steal them. Defend your purpose and those dreams and goals which are precious to you.  Defend and protect your identity in the Lord.  You are who God says you are. Encourage yourself and defend your worthiness, talents, dreams, purpose and faith in God.  Read Psalm 139:17-18 and remember how precious you are to God.

1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always  be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” ~ by Jewel Diamond Taylor

Jewel’s book “Thank You Lord I Don’t Look Like What I Have Been Through”

thank you Lord book promo

click here to order your copy today

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Helplessly watching my son fade away in pain from cancer so quickly, I know we were all in a battle to save his life. We were stressed, weary, in shock, sad and felt helpless and disoriented. These are the same symptoms that describe what military soldiers feel when they return home from battle, especially when the events felt unpredictable and uncontrollable. Their anxiety is called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  I don’t look like what I have been through.  Because of God’s grace I have “post-traumatic strength.”

The amazing gift of grace that I have experienced and want to share with you is that…even though I went through the most stressful and painful battle in my life (my son dying from cancer), I have not experienced post-traumatic stress. God has given me post-traumatic strength! I am resilient. I’ve been able to remain productive through my tears. Yes, there are overwhelming moments of feeling empty, nauseous, sad or bewildered… but I’m still standing. My faith was not robbed. I realized that the Lord can be with us where family and friends cannot. When you have grown in God’s grace through a spiritual battle you receive the gift of spiritual transformation. You begin to realize bad things do happen to good people. We will suffer in life. Strength comes from realizing you don’t have to suffer from your suffering. My spiritual transformation and feeling raw in my vulnerability revealed some insights which gave me strength instead of stress.

Through the bitter and sweet, the joy and pain, the bad and the good… we must learn how to ACTIVATE our faith in and out of season. We must learn how to MOTIVATE ourselves so the enemy does not overtake our gratitude, joy, health, peace, faith, hope, praise and trust in God. We must learn how CELEBRATE each day with thanksgiving, love, service to mankind and forgiveness. ”
Each time that I’ve been stretched to grow beyond my comfort zone, God was there. Each time I was stretched; I tapped into my power of creative problem solving, my flexibility, my sense of humor, my intelligence, my ability to let go, my inner strength and yes, stretched to give, be and do more than I ever knew was possible. I don’t look like what I have been through. And you don’t have to look like the abuse, dysfunction, grief, stress, sickness, struggle or heartache you have been through.

Life circumstances may be pressing you right now. Are you going to allow your challenges to stop you, stress you, strengthen you or stretch you?

Life circumstances may be pressing you right now. Are you going to allow your challenges to stop you, stress you, strengthen you or stretch you?
Miracles happen every day. Don’t let the spirit of defeat, depression and disappointment rob you of the wonder, blessings, favor, love and supernatural breakthroughs God can bring. God has given us the divine power to demolish strongholds. He is Baal-Perazim. He is the God of Breakthroughs. He wants to see us free. He wants to see us victorious, but we have to “grow” through the process.

I have been a Life Coach to hundreds of women over the years. I have heard painful stories of dysfunction, divorce, debt, disappointments and dreams deferred. Some of their stories sounded like mine. So many women, including myself, became burned out and had to WAKE UP to sadly realize we have been; asleep… living on auto-pilot… sleep walking through love-less marriages… struggling with child-rearing… grieving the loss of a parent child or friend… being silent suffers never speaking up… settling for a part-time relationship… tolerating selfish friends/relatives… walking on eggshells people-pleasing and just getting by hoping our man would change, our job would get better or our lives would just magically get better. Waking up and recovering from an emotional hangover is bitter and sweet. You can feel shocked and ashamed. But you also will feel free and finally exhale. You begin to breathe new oxygen. You begin to create a new normal for yourself.

Persevere through the hard times

      Millions of people suffer from depression (e.g. sadness, hopeless, fatigue and loss of interest). Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him/her.    For some this dis-ease is treatable.  Click this link to learn about the many types of depression.
      For some people depression is short term …a temporary blue mood.  Medical and mental health support is not in my wheelhouse.  I can offer emotional and spiritual support for those not suffering from chronic disorders of depression.  
      If you have short lived episodes of anxiety feeling sad and overwhelmed, I render these thoughts below for emotional and spiritual wellness with my Depression Poster below.

Sometimes you may feel that neither faith, joy or hope can find you.  You may be in a place of dryness, uncertainty and stagnation. You may stare at your low “joy ceiling”, pace the floor, sleep all day, eat compulsively or not eat at all.  You may isolate and want to give up because you ache for a divine and loving relationship, peace in your family, better finances, a home, increase in your business/ministry, help for your child, spouse of parent.  You may just want to be left alone or you may be yearning for connections and companionship. Maybe you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    If you find that all hope is gone, I pray you breathe in hope and remember the moments of sunshine and sweetness to heal your wounds and get through your difficult times.  I pray that you will not be weary in your well doing and live with hope, gratitude and resiliency.  I pray, that just like a flower is determined to bloom no matter the circumstances, that you will also bloom in spite of the brokenness in your life.
Flower-Crack-Sidewalk
     The flower in this picture went through dirt and broken concrete seeking the sunlight. Whatever you are going through, I pray that you “grow” through it so you can see better days.  I believe with every fiber of being that you can make it!  You are stronger than you realize.  Be resilient and push through your “dirt and broken concrete”.  Push through to see the light of your possibilities.  Push through today.  Push through believing that God is with you in the joy and pain…sunshine and rain.”  ~  by Jewel Diamond Taylor, author of “I Am Resilient, www.DoNotGiveUp.net/IAMResilient  To contact Jewel call 323.964.1736 or email – Jewel@DoNotGiveUp.net
depression press
Enjoy this upbeat song “Don’t give up”

Spiritual Mood Swings

At some time in all of our lives, we will experience suffering, inconveniences, heart ache and stress. If our faith is not built up, we can find ourselves bi-polar in our faith.
I admit there are times when my faith is extremely strong and unwavering. There have been times when my faith swung to the extreme and doubt, fear and worry crept into my soul and attitude.
I can relate to the apostle Paul who wrote in Romans 7:19 how he felt confused and double minded about his actions and faith. Do you ever go from one extreme to another extreme in your moods, feelings, beliefs and faith? Have you ever gone from peace to stress in 0 – 60 seconds? Have you ever said you were going to forgive someone, stop feeling angry or stop worrying about your children, health, finances or job? Have you ever thought that because you were in a season of suffering that God had forsaken you? Has trouble ever knocked on your door but your faith did not open the door? Have you ever started the day off in peace and then something happens on your job that causes your mood and faith to swing to the extreme? Do you only have faith and peace when everything is going well in your life? When “shift happens” in your life, does your faith shift to doubt, anger and worry? Does your “pendulum of thought” swing back and forth exhausting you and robbing you of rest, peace and faith in the Lord?

James 1:8 reminds us that being double minded and indecisive makes us unstable.
As I encourage myself each day…I want to encourage you also to avoid being bi-polar in your faith. If someone is diagnosed as mentally bi-polar they are usually given some medication (which has side effects). However, to be spiritually bi-polar I prescribe meditation, not medication. When we meditate and pray, the only side effect is that our peace, rest, joy and faith are restored. We must practice this daily not just when we are in a storm or on Sunday at church. Daniel prayed three times a day and was delivered from the lion’s den.

The benefits of prayerful meditation are many;
. Strengthens your relationship with the Lord
. Deepens your faith and ability to surrender to the flow of life
. Increases gratitude and strength to endure difficult times
. Gives you insight and clarity to see purpose through your pain
. You are able to hear from clearly from God what should be your next step.
. You are able to self-correct any negative thoughts or feelings
. Lowers high blood pressure.
. Relieves stress and anger.
. Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks.
. Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems.
. Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior.
Improves the immune system.
by JewelDiamond Taylor, author of “Shift Happens“, conference keynote speaker, women’s retreat leader, women’s life coach “The Self-esteem Dr.

This Horse Has a Powerful Message for You

“I live near many neighbors who own horses. While in the store the other day I talked with neighbor Karen in the store. She proudly showed me pictures of her three horses. She has one show horse Sabrina, another named Tahoe and the miniature horse Delilah who will never grow any taller (pink blanket). Karen rescues horses that are neglected and abused. Wow! That’s her calling and passion in life.  We all have different callings.

horse story KarenI realized in some ways that I rescue people who want to give up or who have lost their faith and passion for life. The small miniature horse had never seen over the wall because of her size. Once Karen rescued her, Delilah has seen so much more and spends her days with healthy and cared for horses. She was confined and limited physically and visually. I thought about people who are not around healthy people. There are so many who have never SEEN “over the wall” of their fears, abuse, poverty, small thinking, addictions, family dysfunction and broken hearts.
That short encounter standing in line at the Dollar Tree Store with Karen and hearing about Delilah reminded me why I do what I do.  After 30 years on my path of speaking, teaching and rescuing others with limited vision, I think God knew I needed some affirmation and a divine push so I wouldn’t give up. I want to inspire others to climb, leap and see over their walls. I want to inspire people NOT to have a limited and miniature size faith. There is so much more of life to experience. My joy and purpose is to inspire people to have the courage, faith and perseverance to overcome the walls that THEY BUILD themselves AND the walls the enemy, the haters, the critics or society builds to limit them.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor, http://www.DoNotGiveUp.net
“With you I can charge into battle; with my God I can leap over a wall.” Psalm 18:29

Don’t Give Up

You may feel your life is blessed …but in a mess.  You may feel your car is a lemon; your body image is ugly, your heart is broken and lonely, your life is on hold, your bank account is low, your faith is stretched to the limit, your job is stressful and your life won’t get any better than this.

Miracles happen every day.  Don’t let the spirit of defeat, depression and disappointment rob you of the wonder, blessings, favor, love and supernatural breakthroughs God can bring.   Say “yes” to miracles, hope and God’s gifts of peace and provision.   Proclaim and announce to the enemy within and without that something great is about to happen.  (Request a free copy of Jewel’s e-book “Something Great is About to Happen” – send request to Jewel@DoNotGiveUp.net)

Nothing you have done has been a waste of time.  Whatever you are going through, let it grow you.  Everything you have been through is a stepping stone to your next level.  Don’t let boredom, depression, fear or procrastination steal your joy or success.  Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.  Whatever you are going through, you can make it.  Do not put yourself down.   Do not count yourself out the game.  Do not dump your anger on others or play the blame game.   Do not shut down, withdraw and isolate yourself.  Help is on the way.   Cancel the pity party.  Get up!   Shake of the stress, doubt and worry.  Focus on solutions.  Pray for discernment, courage and wisdom.  Analyze your options.  Make a decision.  Take action and move forward one step at a time.  You will have a great testimony of your faith, endurance and creative problem solving skills.   You will come through this stronger and wiser.

stay focused

Watch Out for the Doubt

You may be saying to yourself…”It’s taking too long for my blessings to come.  I’m a good person.   I tithe.   I serve.   I help others.  I do the right thing.  I’ve turned my life around.   I don’t cheat or steal.   I offer up my prayers.   I’m a loving person.  Where is my mate, home, happiness, job or health?”

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverb 4:23)

Guard your heart and emotions.   When you experience struggle, lack, shame, rejection and setbacks, these life experiences can shatter your sense of worth and hope.   When things don’t work out or you feel your blessings of success are being blocked…be careful of those self-diminishing thoughts i.e. “I’m a loser, I can’t win, Why am I doing this, It won’t work, I can’t do this. What’s the use?”The enemy of doubt and defeat can take over if you don’t guard your heart and thoughts.   You start to question your ability and opportunities.  A season of drought can cause self-doubt and drain you of your strength.

You can’t hurry God or take short cuts.   You don’t want to compromise your character or lose your faith, lose your way, lose your mind or lose your patience.   When things go wrong, you don’t have to go wrong with them.  Looking for love, comfort or a hiding place in someone’s bed, a bottle, food, drugs, excessive spending, anger or isolation are not the solution.   Learn how to respond to stress and changes in your life with courage, optimism and prayer.  Count your blessings.  Go on a fast.   Get outdoors.  Go for a walk.  Do not isolate yourself and turn your home into your cave. Your home should be your sanctuary. Enjoy some uplifting music.   Don’t call up the “energy vampires” (you know those negative people who drain your faith, peace and strength). Make positive connections and be accountable to someone you trust to help you grow. Listen to my CD message about the toxic “straw” people who are unhealthy and detrimental for your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  Take your attention off yourself and encourage someone else today. Place your attention on solutions, faith and action.  Alter your thinking by laying your problems on the altar.   Be encouraged and resilient.   Some situations are beyond your control.      The situations in your life that you can’t control or change … will change you.  The question is, “How will you be changed?  Will you be bitter or better?  Will you get stuck in your pain or will you be self-motivated to press and persevere?  Will you live with shame, anger or blame or will you become super intentional to learn the lessons so you won’t have to repeat them?  Will you become more compassionate, discerning, and proactive or will you start acting like a powerless victim?  Will you find your voice or will you become helpless and passive?  Will you have more faith or have more fear and anxiety?  Will you be crushed by the weight of life’s demands, trials and tribulations or rise and be resilient?

“Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart” (Psalm 31:24).

Surrendering and being still until your storm passes is not a sign of weakness.   Sometimes it’s the best and only thing to do.

No matter how good a person you are or how much preparation you make, stuff happens.

No matter how strong the attack, be still and Trust God.

You may be experiencing envy, threats from bill collectors, loneliness, heartache or wondering how you will get through your season of drought.   Read more in my book “Shift Happens.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor

God’s Perfect Ways

“During troubled times you can have blessed assurance, perfect peace and a strong faith. If you can feel and really understand the words of Psalm 23, you will know why I say, “I am too blessed to be stressed” 

The Lord is my Shepherd (perfect salvation).

I shall not want (perfect satisfaction)

He maketh to lie down in green pastures (perfect rest)

He leadeth beside still waters (perfect refreshment)

He restoreth my soul (perfect restoration)

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness (perfect guidance)

I will fear no evil (perfect protection)

Thou art with me (perfect companionship)

Thy rod and Thy staff (perfect comfort)

Thou preparest a table (perfect provision)

Thy anoinest my head (perfect consecration)

My cup runneth over (perfect joy)

Surely, surely (perfect confidence)

Goodness and mercy shall follow me (perfect care)

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (perfect destiny)

 

If you have my book SISTERFRIENDS, this above message is on page 82.

Release Words of Faith

releasing birdsRelease words today of love, faith, courage, optimism, healing, faith, forgiveness, enthusiasm, cooperation, joy, peace, truth and gratitude.

Let your words of success take flight.

Shout words of victory and power to encourage yourself.

Fill your atmosphere with words of strength, determination and hope.

God’s Word in Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue.   Words are carriers of meaning, emotion, faith, fear and energy.

A repetitive teaching from my parents still echoes in my mind… “It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.”   And I remember, “Think twice before you speak.   If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

And I heard as a child, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  Now that statement is not true.  Words do carry the potential to hurt, linger, humiliate, misdirect, anger, sadden or crush one’s spirit.

word stones

Remember words can heal or hurt…bless or stress…create or destroy…attract or repel…motivate or discourage…decrease or increase your opportunities … demean or develop a healthy self-image.  As parents we are not perfect.   We often carry our wounds from words and then unknowingly pass them onto our children.   Once we forgive, heal and become aware of the impact of words, then we can break the generation cycle of low self-esteem and crushed spirits.

“The game of life is a game of boomerangs.  Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy. ” by Florence Scovel Shinn “Your Word is Your Wand.”

Think twice before you release words of anger, jealousy, lies, gossip, criticism, fear, vulgarity,  lack, excuses or defeat.   Different words evoke different feelings.

Send out your words like arrows with great intention, power and focus.

Don’t underestimate the power of words to make or break you financially.  Your words are boomerangs.   If you constantly speak only about lack, you will experience more little and lack.

Be more and more aware of God’s abundance, love and infinite provision; you can never really feel a state of lack and stress if you remember the truth … “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalms 23:1)

What words are you speaking and releasing today?

What words have taken flight and will return because of the law of cause and effect?  You possess what you confess.   If you believe the Word of God, speak and release your words of faith and believe the promises for your provision.  Read Mark 9:23

Let Hope Feed Your Soul

The definition of HOPE is to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence…the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn’t permanent. ~ Jean Kerr

If you’ve destroyed a man’s hope, you’ve destroyed the man. ~ John du Plessis

There is no worse death than the end of hope.~ Pelagius

One who has health has hope, and one who has hope has everything. ~ Arabic Proverb

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.~ Psalm 1:24

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up. ~ Anne Lamott

I have put my hope in your word. ~ Psalm 119:74

Hope dies last but is first to be resurrected from the ashes.~ Leonid S. Sukhorukov

Hope is the poor man’s bread. ~ George Herbet

Fear can hold you prisoner.  Hope can set you free. ~ The Shawshank Redemption

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

If it were not for hopes, the heart would break. ~ Thomas Fuller

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. ~ Psalm 23:18

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Our ancestors had hope for freedom.   Our President Obama had the audacity to hope.    Every time I’m at the end of my rope… I still have hope. ~ http://www.DoNotGiveUp.net

To book Jewel Diamond Taylor for your conference, women’s ministry, leadership training or seminars for overcoming depression, grief or stress, call 323.964.1736