10 Changes You Can Make Along With Me.
Updated: Mar 26
You probably do it every time you go on vacation. Vow to bring your relaxed habits back into your daily routine. It never really works. The stress is usually back in full swing before you even unpack your bags, and all that’s keeping you sane is a look ahead on the calendar to the next trip away.
Could have written the book.
Slowly over the last few weeks I’ve been writing down how I want my life to remain changed by this three-month mission. While it’s been different than a vacation it has had some of the same aspects. Primarily no traditional school or work. Obviously, that would be the way to ensure this feeling of calm and peace remain. So, we’ve decided to pull the kids out of school and quit our corporate jobs.
Kidding. I know you’ve all been waiting for that announcement, so I just had to hear your reaction. No, we are going back to our traditional United States lives . God has plans to use us in Pennsylvania, at QVC at UPS and we are nothing if not obedient. But, with the help of the Lord, I am determined to keep the peace. Maybe not to the extent I feel it here on a leisurely Saturday morning staring out at the Pacific Ocean, but at least in some ways.
1) Sleep. As a health coach you know I preach about sleep as much as Jesus. It’s the number one indicator of good health. If I were to take you on as a client, we would spend the first few weeks on sleep alone. I’ve never slept better than I have here, since I started tracking sleep twelve years ago. The reasons why are plentiful; less stress, no need to wake to an alarm, very, very little if any alcohol and none after three PM, outdoor active job, did I mention less stress? My HRV is the best it’s ever been, my resting heart rate is between 47-51 and I can feel it. Part of that comes from not eating much after four pm. In Mexico we eat before the evening events and not after. When we're back in PA and kids have sports and clubs and all the stuff, I will still work as hard as I can to eat as early as possible.
2) Which brings us to All. The. Activities. My kids aren’t hyper sports lovers which makes it easier, but we still have four to five nights of classes, sports, and church. But one big difference in Mexico is the sabbatical. Every missionary family I’ve met practices the sabbatical. Not usually on Sunday because that’s a big day of work when your life is spreading Jesus. When we get home, we will have at least one day a week with no extra activities. Work and school and nothing more. Family and rest only.
3) Limit Amazon (QVC, online ordering, Target runs etc..) to one time a week or less. At home I spend hours doing bills twice a week, going through receipts and categorizing etc. It fills me with stress. Here in Mexico we’re just not spending much money and we're not shopping as much. We literally can’t! We’ve done Amazon three time since we’ve been here sending it to the US and going to pick it up across the border. I ordered one thing from QVC (Vital Reds by DR. Gundry) and we grocery shop primarily on Mondays at the open-air market and that’s it! It’s so freeing! No target runs every other day or swinging by the store on the way home. There is less in our fridge, less in our house and you know what, were happier!! Less is more.
4) Be content with serving one. I talked about this in an Instagram/youtube video at length. I used to believe to use the gift God gave me to reach people for Him, I had to extent to the masses. I’d look at my viewership on TV, my social media followers, my book sales, even in my bible study I’d take it personally if I didn’t have a literal packed house. Here I’ve learned that God will provide the audience I just need to show up. Sometimes he wants me to just serve one person and that’s all it takes to do His work. For me this looks like more time with friends. Lunch dates, weekends away, lingering over coffee after church, answering viewer emails, and being content to talk to one.
5) Which leads me to more human face to face connections. I may be saying no to back-to-back zoom meetings (see # 8) , but I am saying yes to more physical interaction with people. Our health depends on community. It strengthens our immune system, regulates stress hormones and reduces our risk for heart related disease. We are sadly lacking in “community” in the United States. I may not live with my parents and siblings and generations in the same town as they do in Mexico, but I can build that by saying yes to being with my close friends, in person as often as possible. And I can say yes to offers of help more. Why is that so hard for us as residents of the United States?
6) Less concern over appearance. This one is going to be a challenge since its my job. I will say, I was never overly vain to begin with. If you follow me on Instagram you know I am continually appearing makeup free with wet hair. But other than when I’m on TV I have to let some of the stuff I focus on go. My nails are a mess here, my hair is grown out and wild, and my eyebrows are going a little rogue (I actually tried to make an eye brow stencil out of a water bottle.) And Ive notice a little more cushion around my mid section. This is all kind of hard for a woman who makes a living in front of a camera. But once again, its so freeing to let some of this go a little more.
I’m still working on my list but here are a few more quickies I’m committed to…
7) No TV. We’ve had no TV here. Haven’t missed it. Don’t need it. This one won’t even be a challenge since we canceled cable before we left. (Settle down I still get QVC online.)
8) I will no longer be in a hurry. Go back on Instagram or youtube and watch my 15-minute rule. I will not schedule things back-to-back. In Mexico no one hurries and there is no need. Even in a medical clinic where they are saving lives, we shut down for lunch and take things slow.
9) Afternoon walks with my husband. Essential!
10) Less concern over a clean house. OMG what a mind shift. Here I didn’t have a vaccum for weeks, I don’t even see the kids space upstairs, we don’t always have water to the house so I can’t clean and were lucky we don’t have dirt floors. Yea, im never stressing over a clean house again.
A big part of this is just trying to live with less stuff. Easy for me to say as the girl with three kids, a big house, a dog, nine chickens, a pool, and a boat. I’m not saying any of this is bad an im not bragging at all. God has blessed me, He has worked hard thorugh me and I am grateful for all of it every day. But it needs not be the focus and drive of my daily life. Time away from life to hear the Lord, is also time away from stuff. Which leads us back to giving. While we have always tithed, always given, I’m recommitted to radical generosity even more than before. If you can take one thing away from what I’ve learned I hope it will be just that.
(okay and better sleep. No, no really,)
Giving is getting. It's that simple. Want peace? Give more. Less stuff, more time for relatio nship. Maybe its as simple as that.
If you're feeling moved to give, we are still in need of just over 2500 US dollars to buy a van or car for the clinic. Or if you have a vehicle to donate please contact us! We are also down two doctors and could use one more nurse and administrator especially since my family will be leaving in three weeks. So fully tax deductible monetary donations are what they need. The amazon wish list is also up to date. The shipping address will populate in your address book and say Brendan Mayer.
If you made it this far, you are super committed and thank you!!!! You have all been such a force of prayer and encouragement on this journey. Keep following my daily posts on Instagram and I'll be back on air at QVC on April 20th. xoxox