Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Covid-19, Goals, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

Month to Month Feelings

I was thinking about everything that has happened, and this is the blog post that grew from those thoughts. Please enjoy my ramblings 😉

This month I desperately need a strong month. I need a month to push and have it actually go well. The first quarter (oh my goodness, it’s been OVER a quarter) of the year has been harder that I can even say. This past month wasn’t what I wanted, but that’s okay. I need to be okay with it, and I am starting to be okay and even happy with it. There’s been so much good (SO much good. God has blessed me with overflowing blessings), but there has also been so much hard and even harder. So I want to push and be strong this month, but I also want this month to work for me. You know what I mean? Where there’s some months where you push and work but yet there’s too much hard and you don’t get where you want to be. In ways that feels like failure, but it really isn’t. Failure is completely giving up, not trying. When you actually try but not hit the goals you wanted to hit, that’s not failing. I honestly don’t know an accurate word for it. I wish there was one. But this month I am MAKING it work for me.

I always struggle with having a positive mood when things don’t go my way. I don’t mean that in a mean, self-centered way. I just sometimes am disappointed when God shows me that the plans are different that I thought. And in April I even struggled with some depression again. It’s hard in this time, with all the craziness in the world. And sometimes I don’t know how to help myself. But I have taking steps to take care of myself, and made an amazing essential oils blend, and I have been writing affirmations every morning and I am super happy about my affirmations this month. These are the affirmations:

  1. I am doing the best I can, and that’s okay.
  2. God has given me all I need; I shall not want.
  3. I am strong and confident in what I believe.

I highly encourage you to do some daily affirmations. It really helps. I also have been doing 3 positives every morning, and that is really helping kicking the depression away.

To help me stay encouraged throughout the day, I like to write some quotes of a whiteboard I have. One quote I found in an email really struck me, and I put that up on my whiteboard.

The deepest root of a Christian woman is hope in God, and it yields this strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering.

John Piper

This quote is so amazing! I truly believe this can happen for each and every one of us. We just need to be with God. We need to enjoy our time with Him. We need to not start our day without talking to Him. That is how we will become a “strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering”.

I want this month to work for me. I mean that as in, I want to do the work this month and see my rewards and my goals being met. So I am going to do as much as I can so I hit my goals. And the rest? Well, that’s up to all the people on the other side of this screen. If I have a goal to hit a rank in Young Living, or to get more Instagram followers, I will post what I can to encourage people to stick around, but to stay and engage, well that’s up to all the other people. I can’t make them, and that’s okay. But I will encourage others by being myself, and they will stick around. Someday I will find the people in my niche, and oh what a fun day that will be.

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts. It’s really crazy that this is going out on the Internet (well, you’re reading this so it’s out now) but I just want to share real feelings. Let me know if this resonates with you.

Be blessed!
Mackenzie 💕

Advertisement
Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Essential Oil FUN!, first post, Health & Wellness!, hope2020

Why I switched to Young Living!

Hey y’all! So, I have some very fun, exciting news for you guys!

As you know from some past posts, I use essential oils for so many different things. They’ve been so helpful! But, as much as I loved the brand I used, Dōterra, it just wasn’t the right fit for my family. We enjoyed some of them, but we couldn’t be 100% supportive of the brand.

I had heard of Young Living through many different people, on Instagram and in real life. And when I started looking at all their amazing products, I was SO excited.

So, at the end of January, my family & I bought a Premium Starter Kit. The PSK is their best kit in my opinion. It has 12 oils, with a sample cleaning spray, hand sanitizer and 2 packets of Ningxia Red, an amazing drink they have. It sounds great already, right? Click here to get started on your wellness journey! I AM SO STOKED. It took us a long time to decide to switch or not, but we did it. And it has been even more amazing than we thought!

We have started using oils for more and more things. We’ve signed up for Essential Rewards, their customizable subscription box, and it is so helpful! I just love how these oils have been helping my family and I. As you know, I struggle with chronic pain and some other health issues. These oils are really starting to help my pain, and even some other health issues I thought I just had to live with are getting better, along with finding a healthy diet and exercising. It is such a good thing. I also have been able to get one of their oil blends called EndoFlex™ and made an Adrenal Support roller bottle (stay tuned for recipes!). These blends are helping my hormones, my energy is getting better, and I love them!

Whether you’re quite healthy, or have a lot of health issues, Young Living is a great brand for you! They not only have amazing essential oils, but they also have a makeup line, a supplement line, and a household cleaner line which includes laundry soap, cleaner, dish soap, and more! Plus more!!! They have so many different products to support you and your body. I just want to encourage you to feel the best that you can feel, and I believe that this can really help you. Your wellness journey is not only about your body, but it is also about everything you are around and touch. Those chemicals do get into your body, and there may be some not-fun effects. But I love that one brand gives you all the products other than groceries to help your wellness journey along.

And, in March 2020, if you get this amazing Premium Kit you will get a SECOND Valor essential oils blend! Valor is probably my favorite oil in the PSK, and you get TWO of them this month, when you also sign up with Essential Rewards, which I absolutely love! And you also get the Lavender Hand & Body Lotion, which I personally haven’t tried but sounds amazing! That is over $400 worth of Young Living products for only $165-you HAVE to take advantage of this!!! Click here to start your amazing wellness journey this amazing month!

I’m so excited for this opportunity. And I’m looking forward to sharing these cool products with you! So, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment, email, DM me, whatever you need to do to get the answers you need! I want to help y’all get the most help for you health. Love y’all!

Be blessed!

Mackenzie 💕

Posted in 2020, Bible Thoughts, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Why God Time is So Important – Plus FREE Worksheet!

Woah, I can’t believe that we are at the end of all the tips! Don’t worry, we will be having one last post to recap and give some extra super important tips that can change this whole battle. 😉 But this post is kind of my testimony of how God has gotten me through my battles with anxiety and depression. And some encouragement to fight this battle. I hope you are blessed by this post.

my story

I’ll be honest. There has been a LOT in my life. And some of it I’m not ready to share. But I want to share the part of my story when I really started to see why I needed my time with God.

My story starts the summer of 2017. I had an amazing winter and spring season, with getting to know many new people and friends through a retreat I went to. I was so blessed by everything that was happening. There had been some family stress going on, which was very overwhelming. But, I was able to keep myself going. Around the end of April my health started to go down hill. Not a ton, just more food restrictions. It was just one more thing, ya know?

So, with everything that was going on in my life, in June to July, depression hit HARD. I wasn’t able to be a part of some activities that I wanted to be in. I felt like I was excluded purposely, but now I can see it was just kind of what happened. It wasn’t anyone’s reason, just life.

It kind of wrecked me. I became so withdrawn, gained weight, and I didn’t want to do anything. That sounds really extreme when I write it down, and I kinda don’t want to keep it in here. But it’s the truth.

The only thing that kept me from drowning in my own emotions was the summer Bible study that I was a part of. We were going through this book on the Psalms. Every week I would hear the perfect message that I needed. Especially this one week when we went through Psalms 42 & 43 (fun fact: they were originally one psalm!). Here is the main refrain of the two psalms:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:5-6a

I studied this that week in July. And I went, kind of not wanting to go, that night. But then, on God’s timing, we talked about how this psalm was about depression. And leader was talking about these six steps that I have listed & talked about in this series. I started thinking about it more, but it still wasn’t getting out of that pit yet.

A couple weeks later, in the middle of August, I was drowning in my anxiety and depression again. Late at night, I was in a panic attack, and I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. So, in desperation, I grabbed my Bible and flipped to Psalm 42. I read it, and I cried. Then I read it again, and cried again. It became alive to me that one summer night.

And I won’t tell you it was all easy from there on. It was a struggle. Somedays I won, and somedays I lost. But I tried to follow these steps, and I know without them I would not have made it out of that pit. Because depression and anxiety are huge, gaping pits that the devil digs for us to fall into. God is the only one who can take us out of that pit.

God time, quiet time, what does it all mean?

Now that you know where I am coming from-a place of struggle, but learning and growing-I want to explain what I mean by quiet time or God time.

Some people call their time with God quiet time, some call in God time. Others call it devotions or devos. Whatever you call it, it is a time of the day where you separate yourself from the rest of the world and take time to learn more about our God. It’s a time of prayer, of communing with our Heavenly Father.

We need this time to give our worries and doubts and emotions to Jesus. We can’t fight and win the battle with our anxiety and/or depression without our Perfect Heavenly Father.

I will definitely be posting a post specifically about my God time. But it is so different for each person, and I don’t want to put y’all in a box. So definitely find what is right for YOU.

it’s a BATTLE

Without God, we will never win this battle. Because it truly is a battle. Anxiety and depression are two huge things that the devil uses to keep us from loving Jesus with our whole hearts. We need to have the armor that is mentioned in Ephesians 6:

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.

Ephesians 6:10-16 CSB

We need to always be on alert, with the armor of God on at all times. It’s sometimes is hard to understand how to use these pieces to fight our spiritual battles. So, I decided to make a free, 3-page worksheet to help you through these steps.

I used this site to help me put together the worksheet. I so hope and pray that it blesses you. Even as I was making it, I was learning more about the pieces of armor, and seeing how good God is that he has blessed us with this passage.

Enjoy the worksheet, friends. I pray that it helps you grow closer to Him in everything. And let me know in the comments below, some posts you would love!!! It’s almost the end of this series, and I am so excited to see what’s next! Let me know some ideas! Love you all. Be blessed!

Mackenzie 💕

Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Exercise Daily to Lessen Anxiety & Depression!

It’s time for post #3 of my series about lessening anxiety and depression! This post is all about exercise, and how to find the right type of exercise for your brain and body. I hope you enjoy!

why do I need to exercise?

Exercise is another thing that I think people either love or hate. But our bodies are made to move a LOT more than they usually do in a day. Less than 5% of adults have 30 minutes of exercise a day. 30 minutes of movement (movement to get your heart rate going) is what we are SUPPOSED to get. And kids are on screens 7 1/2 hours a DAY! That is wayyy too much screen time in my eyes.(not intention pun lol) And it is even harder to get active, because only 1 in 5 homes have a park or recreation center/gym within a half mile (click here for the statistics). These facts show that we are not getting enough movement, and the reasons why we don’t, make sense.

Not only does exercising strengthen your body, but is also helps your brain and emotions! This is a little explanation from WebMD:

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.

WebMD

how do I change this cycle?

But when you exercise, find the best version of it for YOU. Some people love CrossFit, or gym equipment. Others like yoga or Zumba (aka dance exercise or dance cardio). Whatever gets you moving that you ENJOY, do that.

My fitness journey has been definitely long and crazy. My whole life I have had low muscle tone, and that means I had to ‘exercise’ as much as I could, but I fought my parents the whole way through. It wasn’t fun to me, and I didn’t understand how and why it could help me.

Finally this past year, I started to see how important it is. I did yoga through the Down Dog app for a while, when my pain was bad and I couldn’t do much at all. I usually did about 15 min of Hatha yoga in the morning that’s a little more strenuous and strength training. At the end of the day I did 10-15 min of the Restorative yoga, which is all on the floor and just mostly stretching, which keeps my muscles loose while I sleep. And for me, yoga is super calming and lessens my anxiety.

But after my bad flare in December, my muscles became so tight that yoga became kind of painful. And I needed something else to get my heart rate going, so I actually started doing PopSugar’s Dance Fitness exercises. I LOVE them! They’re so much fun and I get my heart rate up, which is something yoga doesn’t do as much.

I rotate between the 10 minute dance video and a couple of the different 30 minute videos. Here are the links!

If I’m doing the 10-minute dance video, something I am trying to do more is do a bodyweight exercise or walk around with 3-pound weights for about 7 minutes. It gets me moving even more, and is really strengthening my body.

And I know that lots of people with chronic illness & different kind of health issues can’t exercise much. And that’s okay! Even if it’s just walking around at home for five minutes or doing yoga or dance, just get MOVING! Learn your limits, and push yourself as much as you can, but don’t overdo. Find the perfect balance for your body!

I will be keeping y’all updated on my fitness and health journey over on my Insta!!! Go check it out here!

I’m so excited to see your reactions to this new post!!! Leave a comment about your health and wellness journey! Let’s change this world by being statistic-changers!

Love y’all!
Mackenzie 🥰💕

Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health

Healthy Food to Battle Anxiety & Depression!

As I talked about in my previous post, I am doing a little series about battling anxiety and depression! It’s a real problem and I want to help you get through this rough time. So the first post on this series is all about having a healthy diet & eating healthy food!

diet…good or bad?

I know the word ‘diet’ can have a really bad connotation to it. And there are some diets that are not good for your body. We should truly stay away from UNhealthy diets. But all I mean by “diet” is that we need to eat food that is healthy and good for your body. Not all food that is healthy is good for YOU personally. For example, for most people can do certain grains like rice, or even regular potatoes. But for me, if I eat those things, I do NOT feel good, and it’s like eating more ‘junk food’ for me. Eating healthily is different for everyone. If you are eating things that are bad for your body, your brain will not be able to work near as well. Take time to find the best way to eat for your body and your lifestyle.

And if you have a day where you don’t eat the best, THAT’S OK! If you aren’t extremely allergic to the foods, you can have a grace day here and there. But just get back to it after that great grace day. 😊

And I know that there are many people with health issues in this community and cannot eat so-called healthy foods regularly. And that makes this post hard. But just do what is best for your body. Whatever happens to make you feel better, do that. And don’t feel guilty-that’s the worst for your body AND your brain.

Some resources I have used to eat healthier are:

I love this website! – the recipes are perfect for my body, and I know that the recipes will turn out well!

I also love this cookbook! Some of the recipes I can’t have, but she gives a lot of common sense information. Totally a must-have for homemade, healthy cooking!!!

Last but not least, my parents got me this recipe binder!!! I love to write the updates to some of the recipes that I make. I love how beautiful it is!!!

be okay with your life!

Whatever your life is like right now, make time to take care of your body. Food is so much more important than we ever think. And I really want to help y’all in this weird process. So, come follow me on Insta (@dayofsunshinediaries #shamelessplug 😂) and be encouraged by my food journey. I am really hoping to keep being authentic and true to y’all with all of this. My food journey is SO much different than the rest of y’alls stories, but I still want to encourage others.

Love y’all SO much!!!

Mackenzie ❤️

Posted in 2020, 2k19, Bible Thoughts, Chronic Illness Things, first post, Health & Wellness!, Mental Health, thoughts

How-To Guide to Lessen Anxiety & Depression!

It’s the winter months, and this is the time of year where anxiety and depression runs rampant in our minds and hearts. I think comparison is way up during this time of year and we can be so stressed by day to day life. I understand these feelings, because I deal with anxiety and depression off and on. It is a battle. We all fight it, even those who aren’t normally anxious or depressed. We all feel anxious sometimes. We also all can feel depressed. That is the real one of the two feelings I am writing about-no one ever wants to talk about. And since it hasn’t been an easy topic, it seems like no one deals with depression. But the truth is, many of us deal with depression. And, you know what? Depression in of itself is NOT okay, but don’t blame yourself. It is OKAY.

A couple years ago I was a part of a summer bible study that was going through some of the psalms (I’ll link the study book down below). One week we studied Psalms 42 & 43 which both talk a lot about depression. The leader of this study gave us these six things to do to help get out of the “depression slump” we can easily land in.

And even since then anxiety and depression have been increasing more and more. As much as I would love to think and talk over why this is, we have enough debates everywhere else in the world right now. We need to know practical steps to battle it instead of debating it. So, I am starting a 7 week blog series about 6 steps to battle anxiety and depression. I really hope it encourages you, whether you are yourself dealing with depression or anxiety, or know someone who is in the MIDDLE of this battle.

So, that’s all for this post! But stay tuned for the next six posts ’cause they are going to be PACKED with great things. So, come follow this blog either on the sidebar here ➡️ or scroll way on down below ⬇️. Love y’all so much!

Posted in 2020, 2k19, Chronic Illness Things, first post, hope2020, Mental Health, thoughts

Excited for the NEW Year!

Welcome to the new year! And the new decade. That is still SO crazy to say. 😂 But I just want to come on here and encourage you as you start your new year. I also wanted to recap some of what my 2019 was and talk more about my 2020 word of the year, as mentioned on my Instagram a few days ago. Let’s get into it!!!

renew 2019

My 2019 word was renew. This was actually my first year doing a word of the year. And It was really cool, when I actually remembered to think on it 😂. But this year was truly a year of renewal. It was hard, the hardest year of my life by far, but the biggest thing that I renewed this year was my passion and drive. At the beginning of this work I was lost, thrashing in a sea of doubt. But as I went through the year, I started to find my feet on a solid surface again-on God and His promises. I renewed my passion for Him this year and I am just SO excited to see when God takes me in this coming year.

December was HARD. My health was acting up so much (and still is!), and it was a pretty bad flare. But I believe it is serving a purpose-to make me lean more and more on Jesus and what He did for me on the cross. I learned so much about Him, and about myself this month. As hard as it was, it was a blessing. And it was a lesson that I needed. I know now that I had to go through that to see how strong I really can be with God with me 😍❤️

now…

2020’s word is all about trusting and waiting, knowing great things will happen, but going through the trials beforehand. This year’s word is…

hope!

Hope is my word for 2020. I know this year will be a year of ending a LONG waiting season. It is a year of finishing a transition season and moving into something so much greater that I can ever imagine. I am PUMPED for this year! 😁

I know it will still be hard, but I also believe and know that God is doing a good work in me. It’s like a puzzle or a painting. During the work of making a beautiful painting, there will be parts where it looks like a mess, and other times where it looks almost like it is almost finished, but something else will be added to DOUBLE or TRIPLE the beauty of it. That is what God is doing with our lives. He is painting a beautiful picture of our lives, and these beautiful pictures are just a DOT on His canvas of the whole time of the world.

It’s going to be an amazing year. And I am SO excited to be sharing my year with y’all. I love sharing what’s going on in my life on this blog and my Instagram. If you think someone could be encouraged by a post, go and share it! I just want to encourage others while I walk my own journey. I want to be with you as you go through the dark times that WILL happen. Let me know how I can pray for you! Prayer is one thing we always overlook but is the biggest thing we could ever do to help others. I pray for the people who read my content regularly and I so want to help you in ANY way I can. ❤️

So, what are some of your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you have a word of the year? Remember, whatever you do to prepare for 2020, that we will never be able to keep them perfectly. But that’s okay!!! Jesus gives us grace upon grace. Love yourself well by not feeling frustrated if you break a resolution. It does make a difference 😊❤️

Have a blessed New Years!

Mackenzie 🤗❤️

Posted in 2k19, Bible Thoughts, Chronic Illness Things, Mental Health, thoughts

Christmas with Chronic Illness

To be completely honest, I was going to post something totally different for this week’s Christmas post. But since, as I kinda announced on my Instagram (hint hint: follow @daysofsunshinediaries 😜), I’m going back to what I originally started this blog for: to encourage others, specifically Christians, who have chronic illness. And it has been two rough weeks for me. So I want to talk about chronic illness and Christmas. Because it’s my life.

As I was thinking about Christmas, and how hard it is for me, not going to the normal Christmas parties and gatherings of my church and family. Actually, as I am writing this, I am missing out on my youth group’s Christmas party, because of my flare of pain. It’s hard. And I completely understand.

But I don’t want us to give up on the reason for the season. Sometimes we can so easily think that Christmas is all about the food, the parties, and the gifts, but those are the last things we should think of when we think about Christmas. We need to think about the amazing gift God gave us-His SON came down to earth to save US!

Sooo, how do we focus on the reason but not the things?

The world wants us to focus on what we need to get or have or do, and what our social media should look like during the holiday season. But when we have chronic illnesses, and aren’t able to get and do and even just look like everyone else on social media, Christmas is different. We’re different. But, honestly that’s okay.

Sin is in the world and we deal with the effects of sin on our bodies. It’s not fun. But it’s okay. Because one day we are going to have glorified bodies forEVER! So we can life with this earthly body for a short time on this earth, but if we believe in our awesome God, we will be raised with Him and have glorified bodies and praise and glorify Him for eternity.

Jesus Christ came down to earth to live a perfect life in a ‘messed-up’ world and died on a cross-the epitome of shame!-and rose again three days later to conquer death so we may live forever with Him!

How do I still enjoy the Christmas season?

I love the reason for Christmas! But it’s hard to think of all the things that people will be doing during the holidays while you’re stuck at home. But it really is fun to hang out at home! Here is a few fun ideas to do while at home, either alone or with friends:

  • Learn a new craft-I am learning lots of embroidery this Christmas break!
  • Play fun games with your family or friends! I know my family loves all of the Forbidden Island games, plus Clue, Life, and just simple card games!
  • Read some good books! Christmas break is always a good time to catch up with some great books! I’m reading Adorned by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth-it’s so good!
  • Watch some Christmas movies! I think Hallmark movies are amazing! Or “Home Alone” 😝
  • Listen to some good podcasts-oh I have so many favorite podcasts! But some of my most favorite ones are “That Sounds Fun” with Annie F. Downs, “The Porch”, and “ESV: Every Day in the Word.”

There’s a lot of hard things that chronic illness add to our lives, but we can also have so much fun-in our own ways.

Keep remembering the Reason for Christmas!

It’s hard around Christmas for chronic illness warriors. But I want to make things special for you all. Comment down below anything about your Christmastime. I want to support you in this season.

Products I talked about in this post!

Love you all so much!

Mackenzie ❤️