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I Finally Figured It Out…

Yes, at the tender age of 48.5, I finally figured it out.

I finally figured out that if I can’t settle on a direction for a long-term project, then God hasn’t given me the grace to do it.

In other words, I’m out of His will. Have gotten off track from my calling.

I’m talking about two things. First, this blog. Yep. You gotta know that if I have three blog posts within the space of six months that have a title similar to, “Changing The Direction Of This Blog”, then I’ve been hitting a brick wall during those six months.

Can you say, “Frustrated as a grasshopper in a jar”?

I’m also talking about my Crunchy Emily YouTube channel. I was sort of right when I wrote that post back in April about leaving YouTube. Except I wasn’t supposed to completely ditch YouTube, and I’m not supposed to be writing novels.

At least not at this point in my life.

I know God has called me personally to two tasks (apart from the calling He’s placed on J and I as a couple). First, I am to encourage and inspire my fellow believers in their walk with the Lord. Second, I am to teach believers how to walk in divine health.

So I’m laying down this blog, and my Crunchy Emily YouTube channel (I’ve long since lost the passion for the latter, anyway). However, the Holy Spirit led me to start a new channel called Emily Josephine Creates, and instructed me to vlog daily and share my heart. My hands are itching to write – specifically, to blog – so I’m going to reactivate my Emily Josephine Writes blog. The channel and the blog will be connected content-wise. The content will sometimes be humorous, and sometimes serious.

Soon I’ll be starting a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching health, aimed at believers. My book writing will lean toward non-fiction geared toward helping my fellow Jesus-followers to live more abundant lives.

I feel set free having made all those decisions, which lets me know that I am back on the right track.

So if you enjoy my writing, please follow me over at Emily Josephine Writes. Just remember, it’s going to be overtly faith-based here on out.

Blessings to you.

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Why Dieting Is A Bad, Bad, BAD Idea

“Why do I always gain back the weight that I lose when I diet?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, number one, join throngs of other people; and number two, the fact that you are asking it should tell you how healthy and effective it is to diet.

IT. IS. NOT.

Unless you are obese and have been told by a doctor that you’re likely going to experience a heart attack unless you lose a bunch of weight within the next few months, weight loss should never be a goal.

Yes, you read that right. But for those of you who can’t believe your eyes are working, I’ll type it again:

Weight loss should never be a goal.

I just singlehandedly put Weight Watchers out of business.

Ha! In my dreams. In order for that to happen, this blog post would have to go SERIOUSLY viral (hint, hint, my dear readers with thousands of social media followers among the lot of you).

Why weight loss should never be a goal

Here’s the problem with endeavoring to lose weight. Unless, of course, it’s the very first time you’re doing it and once you do, you’re going to be committed to never gaining the weight back. But that’s probably not you. You have probably dieted multiple times, lost and regained, lost and regained.

And if that’s you, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that after the first few times you diet, you start gaining back more weight than you actually lost. And on subsequent diets, you can never lose as much weight again. Or if you can, it comes right back on as soon as you start eating normally again – even if you’re eating healthier than you were before.

This happens because your body is designed to take in nourishment every day, enough to meet your daily energy output. So when you go on a diet, restricting your usual caloric intake, after a few days your body starts to think you’re beginning to starve. Thus, it slows down its metabolism, taking longer to burn calories.

Once you get off the diet, your body says to itself, “All right! Food! I better hang on to extra, in case we start to starve again.” And so much of the weight you had lost returns.

Yo-yo diet like this enough time, and your body decides that to keep you from starving, it needs to make sure you stay at a certain weight when you are eating your usual daily fare. This is called the “weight set point”, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be higher than what physicians have set forth as your ideal weight.

Worse, once your body has decided where your weight set point is, it will do everything it can to keep you at that weight. If you go on a diet, you will lose some – maybe even a lot – of weight, but chances are high that not long after ending the diet, you will be back to that weight set point number. Because, remember, your body is creating extra fat to keep you from starving.

So when I tell you not to diet, basically I’m telling you not to make your body think that you’re starving.

The superior goal to make

So, no more weight loss goals! Instead, determine to be healthy. Create goals that involve eating more fruits and vegetables and less flour and meat. Create goals to eliminate most processed foods. Create exercise and fitness goals.

Decide on, write down, and begin taking action steps toward eating and being healthier.

Forget diets. They don’t work. Now you understand why. If you know someone who keeps asking, “Why do I keep gaining all the weight back?”, make sure to send them a link to this article.

To your abundance,

Emily

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The First Step To Financial Prosperity

If you take any Personal Finance 101 course, the teachers are going to miss one huge, critical step to financial freedom. I just realized that in my book Hatching The Nest Egg, I missed the same step. Oh, you’ll still get a lot out of it when you read it, but I need to do a little rewriting.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers [emphasis mine].” (3 John 1:1-2)

The first “prosper” in the above Bible verse refers to material wealth. The meaning isn’t necessarily Bill Gates or Warren Buffet rich, but having plenty to take care of yourself and your family, and then some.

But the last phrase puts a condition on receiving that kind of prosperity: your soul must prosper first.

In the last post, I explained extensively how to have abundance in your spirit and soul. But though it was extensive, after I published it the Holy Spirit began tapping my shoulder and whispering that it wasn’t comprehensive, that I’d missed a key element in having abundance in the soul.

And it’s this element that you must have if you ever hope to have financial prosperity.

Yes, getting rid negative, fear-filled thinking and hateful thoughts and replacing them with faith, a positive mindset and the determination to love the world as God does will take you a long way. But you will still feel like life is trying to play darts in the pitch dark unless you have this one key.

That key is purpose.

If you want to have any level of financial prosperity, you must have purpose. Motivational speakers will tell you that you have to “find your why.” But many people’s reasons for doing something are shallow and weak. When people run into obstacles, their “whys” fall apart.

You have to know your purpose for being put on earth. And with all due respect to Rick Warren, it goes beyond having a relationship with God. I’m talking about a purpose that is specific to each individual.

Your purpose might be to start and run an orphanage in a developing nation. It may be to write uplifting novels. It may be as simple as giving words of encouragement to everyone you meet as you run your errands and work at your job every day.

Despite what society (especially society’s religions) have led us to believe, one purpose isn’t better or grander than another. Every purpose is equally special and important, because it was granted to the person by their Creator. What we do with that purpose while we’re on earth is what makes it grand.

So the next question is, how do you figure out your purpose? The answer is coming up in the next (well, actually, first) Motivational Monday post. If you don’t want to miss that or any other future blog post to help you live a more abundant life, be sure to sign up in the form on the sidebar to receive instant notifications in your inbox every time I publish a post.

To your abundance,

Emily

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True Abundance Comes From Within

A few posts ago when I introduced the concept of an abundant life, I listed the broad areas of life that you can change in order have more abundance in your life. But I glazed over the most important aspect of living an abundant life: the state of your spirit and soul.

The spirit and soul are two different entities. Your soul is that intangible part of you consisting of your mind, will, and emotions. Your spirit is the core of who you are, and is eternal. It seems intangible to us because our experience on earth is purely physical. However, a spirit is a tangible entity when viewed from within the spiritual dimension of the universe, a dimension we are not privy to unless God gives us a vision of it. This has happened to a few people, but it is rare.

Your spirit lives within your non-eternal body. The state of your spirit can affect the state of your soul and body, but not vice-versa. The state of your soul can and does affect the state of your body, and sometimes vice-versa (for example, dealing with any physical malady can lead to depression or indifference).

How to have abundance in your spirit

The first order of business in living an abundant life is to have a relationship with your Creator. If you feel empty inside, a high from drugs won’t fill the space, pleasure from sex won’t fill the space, money, material wealth, fame – none of that will fill the space. Our spirits have an empty place that only God can fill.

And before you tell me that you’re a Jew or a Christian or otherwise believe in God, it’s not about belief. Belief is a head thing. It’s a mental acknowledgment of truth.

Rather, experiencing God’s presence inside you is about faith. Faith goes one step further than belief.

Faith is a heart thing.

You connect with God heart-to-heart. How do you do that? Pray. Pray and pray and pray, asking God into your spirit and life, until you feel your Creator’s love, peace, and joy fill you. At that point, you know the connection has happened.

Any sense of peace or joy that comes outside of faith in an eternal, loving Being will be short-lived and shallow.

But when the peace and joy and the sense of being loved result in God actually entering into your life, you will have a more abundant life than the healthiest and wealthiest atheist on earth.

How to have abundance in your soul

Some people who receive Yeshua as their Savior or otherwise humble themselves before their Creator instantly get set free of bondages of the soul. These bondages include addictions, psychological and emotional wounds, hate-induced feelings like bitterness and resentment, and mental illness.

Others need to continually pray for strength and deliverance in order to be set free in their mind, will and emotions. Still others need the help of a godly therapist or support group for certain problems.

While having God fill the void in your spirit goes a long way to improving your mental state, often you have to walk with Him for a long time – even years – in order to be released from some of the chains around your soul. I’ve only recently experienced the chain of the poverty mentality slide off me – and I’m getting close to fifty years old! Some Satanic hooks are too deep and have caused too great a wound for Father to rip it out all at once. He has to gently work at it over an extended period of time so that your soul isn’t overwhelmed by the healing.

And trust me – we are all works in progress until we die. And possibly after! Mountaintop experiences where you feel lighter than air and like everything is great, inside and out, don’t last. That’s because like ogres, we all have layers (that’s a Shrek joke, in case you missed it). God deals with us about a problem, we overcome it, we walk on clouds for a little while. Then He reveals another problem, we overcome it…get the picture?

In other words, the way to have abundance in your soul is two-fold. First, make a conscious effort to improve the known shortcomings in your mind, will and emotions. Ask God for wisdom and guidance. Take the next step that you know to take.

Second, when something comes up you weren’t aware of, allow God to work. Cooperate with the work.

“…even as your soul prospers.”

“Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” Though the words were written by the apostle John around 2,000 years ago, surely it’s not a stretch to believe he was inspired by his loving Creator when he wrote them.

God wants us to prosper. But before wealth and health – abundance in our physical world – must come abundance in the soul.

And that soul-abundance cannot come without abundance in spirit that results from a relationship with God.

Wishing you abundance,

Emily

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