The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Bloom Where You're Planted

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

How are you doing on my suggested New Year's Resolution: "Do unto others as you'd like them to do unto you?"

Joel Osteen was preaching on the radio as I was driving home from Des Moines, Iowa Sunday and he was talking about people who try to rob you of your joy by continually being critical or putting you down.

His first suggestion was to stay as far away from people like that as you can who continually pull you down.

But sometimes, it may be a work associate or someone you live with.

Many times in that case, Osteen said, it is a tactic that people use to control another. If you respond by getting upset it actually encourages the negativity,

"Don't let people rob you of your joy, but ignore it," he said.

Choose to take the higher road. Keep away from spending your days in a bad mood and finding that you are spending most of your life upset because of this person.

Osteen gave several examples of times he could have given a person a piece of his mind rather than choose to take the upper road.

He also reminded that it is good to focus on how great our God is rather than on how big our problems are, because God is greater than any problem that we have.

I think sometimes when one thing bad happens after another or someone seems to be constantly putting you down, you are ready to put up your "dukes" and fight and get in a really depressed mood.

I think it is why grandparents always like to visit their grandchildren, they always seem to be in a joyful mood and full of "positive" energy.

They know more than anyone that a trip to the zoo, or to the park, or make a show, or shopping, is just the best thing to lift your spirits. Or even playing games around the table.

This Christmas one of our daughters brought the game "Speak Out". It involves putting a contraption in your mouth that keeps it open such as a dentist might use to work on your teeth. Then you have to read as many phrases as your partners can guess before a timer goes off.

You can NOT do this without laughing because it is impossible to pronouce words correctly. It's a crazy game but fun to try.

Another thing you can do is visit someone in the hospital or nursing home. Or go out of your way by running an errand for them. It will make one forget their problem and become more joyful.

Some other ways to relieve stress that sometimes come in the winter months are:

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time

3. Get up on time and start your day unrushed,

4. Say no to projects that won't fit into your schedule.

5. Delegate tasks to capable people.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more

8. Allow extra time to do things and get to places.

9. Take one day at a time.

10. Separate worries from concerns. Remember worry is like a rocking chair-it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.

11. If you can't do anything about a situation-forget it!

12. Have a backup- extra key in your wallet, extra house key buried in the yard, extra cash hid in the refrigerator (cold cash, ha!), extra stamps.

13. Really, don't sweat the small stuff.

14. Make friends with Godly people.

15. Write down thoughts in a journal and words of inspiration.

16. Laugh at yourself.

17. Laugh some more!

18. Develop a forgiving attitude. Most people are doing as best they can

19. Listen more!

20. Be kind to unkind people, they probably need it.

21. Eat right

22. Listen to motivational tapes while you drive.

23. Talk to God on the spot, He is waiting. Don't wait until bedtime.

24. Remind yourself, you are not the general manger, God is in control.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures and sayings on hand.

26. Do something for the kid in you everyday, especially if you're 80!

27. Live within your budget. Don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

28. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety.

29. Buy someone some ice cream.

30. Dwell on one thing you're really grateful for.