In today’s episode, we are joined by Peggy Sue Wells, an accomplished author and speaker. Peggy Sue shares invaluable resolutions and hints for 2024. She emphasizes the importance of self-care, including sleep, solitude, stillness, and observing a Sabbath. Peggy Sue also discusses the significance of loving others, understanding the impact of our experiences on our beliefs, and the power of prayer. Together, we delve into ways to live wisely and make a positive impact in the midst of a tumultuous world. Stay tuned as Peggy Sue also announces an exciting book giveaway for our listeners.

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Cynthia

Anybody who’s following the news these days knows that we are living in an absolutely crazy world. How do we live in a world that’s crazy? Well, I have a good friend named Peggy Sue Wells, who is also an author and a brilliant lady, who has written tons of stuff, and she is going to help us with that. So welcome, Peggy Sue. Tell us a little bit of wisdom about living in this crazy, nutty world.

Peggy Sue

The wonderful thing to think about is that when Jesus showed up on the scene when he was born in the manger and then stayed on walking amongst us for 33, 34 years, he came into what they considered at that time a very crazy world as well. And I love the thought that even when it’s crazy and spinning out of control, that God is at work, even in this. So, while we can sometimes have little influence on others, I think the best way that we can do our part is to be the best that we can be. Because if I’m the best that I can be, then I can also be a catalyst for others, for them to be able to achieve their best. And that comes down to self-care. And there are four aspects of self-care that I think are important because if we are healthy, physically, emotionally, spiritually, that helps others around us be able to also come up to that level because it encourages them. It also means that when God calls, know, Peggy Sue, I’ve got this for you to do. I’m ready.

Peggy Sue

I don’t have to go do a bunch of push-ups first because I need to get well, but I’m ready. And so to be ready, we need four things that start with an S. Sleep, solitude, stillness, and Sabbath. The first is sleep. We need seven to 8 hours per night. And so it’s important to look back and monitor. Am I getting a good seven to 8 hours per night each night of the week? Solitude. Am I taking a regular retreat of an hour, maybe half a day, a day, an overnight, or sometimes multiple days.

Peggy Sue

And we can do that because God calls us to come away and to be still, and we can do that proactively. Or if I run myself down, it’s going to be forced because I will find myself sick and on my back for whatever reason that I need to get well. And so if we can practice solitude by having that once a day, take an hour and be still and be quiet and shut off from everything? Once a week, take a half a day. Once a quarter. Can you go away for a full day somewhere and be able to have solitude? Just the ability to ground and center and think and to hear the Lord, to hear the Holy Spirit as he’s speaking to me. And then the next one is stillness, having a healthy morning and evening routine that includes prayer and Bible reading and taking that time to listen to my soul and listen to the Holy Spirit get outside for ten minutes a day. They have studies that show that people get outside for ten minutes, and I live up in the north where it can get pretty cold. And the rule up here is there’s no such thing as bad weather.

Peggy Sue

There’s only bad clothing. So, get a decent pair of boots and a coat, get outside for ten minutes. Because they’re showing that people who get outside for at least ten minutes a day, their emotional and mental state is so much healthier. And then the last one is Sabbath. And God has asked us, he says in Exodus 20 312, that one day per week we are to come apart and do what refreshes our soul. He doesn’t say we’re to do nothing. He says, do what refreshes my soul. And at different seasons of my life.

Peggy Sue

When I’m a mom of young kids, the thing that refreshed my soul was a nap. I needed a nap, and so I decided for that to happen one day a week, at least on the weekend. But now I’m a lot more adventurous, and I have more energy now that I’m an empty nester. And so, my idea of a good time is to go water skiing or skydiving or snorkeling or hiking out in the woods, find something that is exciting and adventurous. Other times, I just need to read a book. So it’s like, what is that thing one day a week that refreshes our soul? Because God asked us to do that one day a week for our Sabbath. And so when we’re doing those self-care things, then when craziness comes at me, I’m going to handle it a whole lot better. I’m not running on the ragged edge so I just flare quickly.

Peggy Sue

I can take a breath, I can receive it. And what I’m finding is when someone comes at me, because they’re going crazy, and we all have different opinions. A lot of times if I just say to them, so what’s going on with you? And suddenly, all this stuff comes out because they needed a place to vent. And so, what I was catching was just their problems and their challenges. And so, for us, as authors, there’s times that we can give a presentation about something or give someone our book. And if someone comes back to me just so quick, like, your writing stinks, and this is a bad idea, and this is awful. And I’ve seen better. I’ve learned that that’s not something I take personal.

Peggy Sue

I’ve learned to say, so what’s going on with you? It’s not about me. It’s because they’re living in that crazy world.

Cynthia

Yeah. This idea of getting outside, is that the same idea as maybe going to exercise? Because I exercise pretty regularly, several times a week, and it’s aerobic exercise, but I’m not really much of an outdoor person. So, is that a substitute for that?

Peggy Sue

You can do that. I tend to do yoga myself. Had a back injury a couple of years ago, and the chiropractor said, if you do yoga, you’ll be okay. And I’m like, okay, who knew? And it is something where, for those moments, I come apart. And moving is Vital. However, there is no substitute for going outside. There really is something to it. And if you live anywhere near trees, there’s the pheromones that the trees produce. There’s the sun and the Vitamin D that comes.

Peggy Sue

And there’s something about that fresh air. Also, when I walk outside, suddenly, my world is so much larger than it is because I’ve decided to stay inside because it’s comfortable. I get outside, and the vista is bigger, and it’s like, oh, these things that I’m uptight about, they’re minuscule compared to the whole outside world. Sometimes we just must just buck up and do the right thing because it’s the right thing. The other thing is, one time a week, and possibly on that Sabbath or at the beginning of the week, is to just take role on your body. And just on a scale of one to 05:00, number one, running on empty, or number five, never been better.

Peggy Sue

And to rate physically, relationally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and vocationally, where am I standing? And if I’m fours and fives on all of them but one, then I can be like, okay, this one’s out of balance. What do I need to do this week to bring that back to where it needs to go? And so if we can, one day a week, take an assessment of ourselves, and then once a month, I like to go back and write what were my wins for the month, and then what are the three big goals that I have for next month? And Jim Collins has said, if you have more than three goals, you have none. We are not capable of focusing and achieving more than three. It’s just too much. So, if we choose anywhere from one, two, three goals, it doesn’t have to be three, it can just be one. But to say, at the beginning of the year, I’ve set my goals for the year. These are the three things I want to get done this year. This will move me forward in these areas, physically, emotionally and vocationally.

Peggy Sue

And then what is the thing that I can do this week that will move me forward in that goal? And so at the beginning of the week, set out, these are the three things I want to accomplish this week. And then the night before I set out, what are the three steps I can do tomorrow that will move me forward and then do those three things first thing in the morning. And then I’ve already made progress. Anything after that for the day is gravy. But that way we have this focus, and it’s something that we prayerfully talk to the Holy Spirit, talk to God about and say, God, beginning of 2024, it’s the beginning of January, beginning of February, beginning of March, what is it that you have for me? Write that down. It has to be written down or we lose sight of it. And then what are the steps to get there and then move forward with each week evaluating how’s it going each month evaluating how did I do last month? What do I want to accomplish next? And it keeps us on track. And rather than being pulled away on those rabbit trails, that isn’t necessarily what God had for us.

Peggy Sue

And then along the way, there’s going to be feelings of rejection that come up. And that, for me, is where I stumble. And so when something is said, not said done or not done, that leaves me feeling rejected. The fascinating thing about that is I get that pain, that zing, that, oh, my gosh, I’m rejected. I go into trauma brain, and so the thinking part of my brain goes offline. And so now I’m in trauma brain, which means I’m just reacting. I’m not responding, I’m not thinking. I’m in automatic pilot, and it’s never good.

Peggy Sue

And I always make up a story that’s negative about myself in it, and then I stay stuck in that. So, what I’ve learned to do to get my brain back on the thinking track is to acknowledge this hurts. This hurts. And as soon as I can acknowledge this and name it, I come back into thinking again. And then I can go back and say, what are the facts? And the facts are, this happened, and I felt rejected. Okay, but then stick with the facts. Don’t make up a story.

Peggy Sue

I can stick to the facts that say someone had an event and they didn’t invite me. You know what? It’s okay. They get to make that choice. Also, I don’t know what’s behind that choice. I don’t know what pressures they’re under. I don’t know what goes on. Because we must remember that people do what they do for their own reasons. It rarely has anything to do with us, because think about it.

Peggy Sue

When was the last time you offended someone you probably weren’t intending to? You’re just living your life the best you can. And so, I’ve learned to give that kind of grace to others when people are driving and they cut you off. And I’ve seen other drivers get angry about that. I don’t get angry because I’m like, that could be me. I’m just driving, thinking, putting my list together of shopping, and I don’t realize I’m cutting somebody off. I’m not doing it on purpose. And so I don’t take offense at that.

Peggy Sue

And that’s what we’ll start to do more often, is to realize, okay, I’ve just been rejected or just felt offended. But what are the facts? The facts are that car moved into my lane. They probably weren’t thinking and just move forward with it. And so then we cannot be tangled up in all these negative stories and these things that suck our energy away so that I’m not moving forward in my life.

Cynthia

Like you’re discussing the lizard brain that just reacts and gets upset.

Peggy Sue

Yes.

Cynthia

To get your mind working instead of your lizard brain. I love that. Lizard brain.

Peggy Sue

Yes. Trauma brain, lizard brain, they’ve got to be the same. Also, people talk about being foggy. They’re not consciously making decisions. It’s like making a decision is almost impossible because their brain is offline. To also remember that people make all kinds of decisions. We have family members that will make decisions that don’t make sense to us. We have neighbors that make decisions that you’re like, really? What? You have people that vote differently than we do, people that believe differently about different topics sometimes instead of thinking, oh, if they were just smarter, if they just had more of the details, surely they would think the same way I do.

Peggy Sue

But that will never happen because we all make the decisions that we make because we believe something, and our belief is based on our experience. So, like, for instance, if you had a great experience in school, you’re going to think school is a great thing. If you had a terrible experience as a student in school because you didn’t fit, your experience is very different, and you’re going to have a different opinion about it. People feel the way they do. They make the decisions that they make. They vote the way they vote. They have an opinion about a particular topic based on the experience they’ve had in their life. The only way that I can know why you feel the way you do, what your opinion is, what your experience is, is that I come close to you to help you carry your burden.

Peggy Sue

And as I help you carry your burden, I get to hear your story. So, for instance, I have a friend whose brother passed away, and she was overseeing his estate, and he had a wife that was quite the hoarder. And so they went up to the home to see what can they do to make arrangements so everybody’s in a healthy situation and what all details needed to be taken care of. And her and I were talking about it over the phone, and I said, gosh, you hear about hoarders. I wonder what’s behind that, what motivates people to have that type of behavior? And she said, oh, well, we know. She said her dad had been a Gestapo agent in a concentration camp. And as the war ended, he snuck over to the US and is living undercover, not wanting anybody to know who he was. And this is who raised this girl.

Peggy Sue

And I’m like, oh, well, then she’s doing horrific.

Cynthia

He has a perfect reason for being that way, of course.

Peggy Sue

And so that’s the thing. I can make a judgment from the outside, but then when I come close to this person, I had an uncle, a great uncle, anytime back in the day when the mod squad came on, which is a television show that some people aren’t old enough to know, but there was three young detectives and one was a black man. And every time that show came on, he would turn it off. And he just didn’t want to see anything that had somebody that was African American on it. And I was like, gosh, what is that? Because I’m living in California and I don’t get it, and we don’t have those issues. And anyway, I learned later he was a teenager when his dad was walking home from work, and he was jumped by a group of men who beat him to death. And so because that was his experience. He had that opinion.

Peggy Sue

So again, it’s not like if somebody’s opinion is right or wrong. It is, what’s the story behind it? What is the experience that they’ve had? And so if we can get close enough to hear each other’s stories and help carry one another’s burdens, we’re going to react to people that think and feel differently than us in a different manner. And so above all, it comes down to, how can I love today? How can I love in this setting? What does love require in this situation? And that’s where we must be so tuned into the Holy Spirit, because I can say to the Holy Spirit, God, what do you want me to do in this moment? And there’s times where God has given me a snarky comment because you know what? That was how that person needed to hear something. There are other times where it’s been a gentle hand on a shoulder. There are times where it’s a gift with a note that says, I am sorry for what you’re going through right now. And then there’s been other times where I’ve gone to my mentor and I’m like, I don’t know what to do with this. And she’ll say, well, what’s God telling you to do? And I’m like, nothing. He’s telling me nothing.

Peggy Sue

He’s totally silent. And she says, then do nothing because he will let you know when he wants you to step in. And in the meantime, sit back, pray, and just remember, God is at work, even in this. He’ll let you know when he wants you to participate.

Cynthia

Well, those are several issues. I mean, you’ve gotten self-care, you’ve gotten our mind. I think one of the biggest things that I see that kind of unsettles me is I see our nation unraveling. And even the whole mean, you know, all this stuff going on with Israel, which is just horrendous. These are things I can do nothing about as an individual. So how can I live wisely even in the midst of that?

Peggy Sue

Definitely we are in prayer for our brothers and sisters in situations like Israel, where, like you said, it’s abhorrent. And so we just pray and pray because the things that I cannot be involved with, God is there. And it’s like, God step in and any way that I can be there to be praying for them and lifting them up. And it’s like Daniel, when he prayed and prayed and prayed, and when Michael showed up and he know your prayers counted because I was at war with the enemy in the heavenlies. And so our prayers are important and to remember them constantly. And so if we can be holding them up before the throne, the priests would come in with their vests on, and they had the stones that represented each of the tribes. And they literally carried the tribes before God’s face every time they walked in for prayer. And so that’s what we do.

Peggy Sue

We carry the people that we’re concerned about. We carry situations that we don’t know what to do with, things that are way beyond anything that we can handle, because God is in charge. And so we be in prayer all the time, and then be the best that we can be. Because when the day comes that God says, I need you to move, I need you to do something, I need you to step up. We’re ready. And also, if we can show love to others in the same way that Jesus did, there’s a possibility that we can make a difference in people’s lives, so that someone who may be tempted to do something awful could maybe just have that opportunity to rethink something. But it’s definitely, what does love require in this moment? And being as loving as I can, you know, God gave us these two commands. Jesus took the ten and distilled them down to two.

Peggy Sue

Love God, love people. And loving God is not terribly difficult. I mean, God’s been awfully, awfully good to us. Loving people is the difficult one. And when we give our hearts and our lives to the Lord and make him Lord of our lives, that first commandment of love God with all your heart. We’ve done that. It’s settled. It’s secure.

Peggy Sue

Our eternal life is done. And so we don’t have to keep going back going, God, are you happy with me? Are you happy with me now? That’s all done. Instead. It’s okay. God, help me now to love your children. Help me now to love those that you love. Because the people that annoy us, they’re still God’s children. They are our siblings.

Peggy Sue

And we need the Holy Spirit to help us do that, because loving others is not easy. My little friend Katie Lee, we were talking the other day, and she said, if you’re a family that can get together for the holidays and not want to kill one another, she said, you’re unusual because people being together and being in close proximity, we bump up against one another and we irritate and we annoy, and it’s difficult even within a family. And so that’s where it takes the Holy Spirit to say, help me to be loving in this situation.

Cynthia

So it sounds like you’re saying, overall, to take care of yourself in terms of your physical health, your mental health, and then the best you can to love other people around us and then pray for those situations that we can’t do one thing about, even though absolutely, it drives us crazy. I mean, you think about the book of Habakkuk, and you saw his frustration as he was looking at God going, wait a minute, Lord, you’re not taking care of this. Look how this is falling apart. Well, we all, as Christians feel that way, but that’s when we drop to our knees in prayer and let him.

Peggy Sue

Know our frustrations, and we be good stewards of what he’s put in our hands to do. He’s given us bodies. He’s given us the United States as our home. For those that are listening here in the States, it’s like, where has he planted me? How can I be a good steward in the place where he’s planted me? And then let those ripples and those influences move forward from there? I want to be able to stand before the Lord and say, I was a good steward. Thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you’ve given. And I’m ready when you call me.

Cynthia

Right. And what you’re saying is you can do what you can where you are, because you can’t change where you are. You are who you are, and you can only influence a certain circle of people. And so you be the best you are for where you are and pray.

Peggy Sue

And also, there are people in this circle, because while something is happening on the other side of the globe, that’s happening there. But here in our circle, you and I can both look around and we can see neighbors that are struggling. We can see community members that are hurting. We can see friends that are in the hospital. We can see things that can use our help. And so we come to them in the way that we can be the most benefit to them.

Cynthia

Yeah, those are really good ideas. Self care, thinking about not using our lizard brain and then trying to love people today, as well as loving God and spending time in prayer. Those are good points. Excellent.

Peggy Sue

And the self care is so important because that way, I’m part of a solution, not part of a problem. Because how many people have we met where it’s like, golly, you know, to take better care of yourself, you’ve chosen not to. Now everybody around you has got to pitch in. In different areas. There’s a lot of things we cannot predict. And there’s a lot of things that we can’t help. But for the things that I can do my part for, I want to do my part for that so that I am part of the solution, not adding to the problem.

Cynthia

Right. Great topics. Now, would you mind sharing with me what you’re going to give away this month?

Peggy Sue

We’re going to have a drawing. Yes. I’m so excited to do drawings because I love to give my books out and you are so kind to give me the opportunity to do this. But I have a series called the Mark Wayne Adventure series. And so if you like fast Adventure and you like short chapters where a lot of action happens, you’re going to want to read this series. So there’s four books in the series.

Peggy Sue

And so the next book will be coming out in March. And so I want to give the four away. Now, they can be read as a standalone. If you read them as a series, you’ll kind of notice different characters that you’re like. Oh, yeah. So that’s their backstory. So they can stand alone, but you’ll enjoy them as a series. And I’m going to do all four of the series as ebooked as a giveaway.

Peggy Sue0

It’s a $32 value, but somebody will be able to read those all the way through and enjoy just a good entertainment. I promise. I will take you places you’ve never been before. I will teach you something about history you’ve never known before, and you will experience some adventures that you haven’t done before.

Cynthia

And, you know, the way you’re describing that I want to read them because I love adventure. So, I’m going to write those down for.

Peggy Sue

Oh, they are so fun. And they’re available on my website on ebook or paperback. But yeah, peggysewells.com, you can find them there. Of course, everybody’s got them on Amazon and they’re done at Barnes and, and, you know, the normal places, but you’ll always get a better price on my website.

Cynthia

Yeah. Okay, well, we’ll tell people that. So thank you, Peggy sue, for being with us, particularly here in the beginning of the year as we start this election year. So we know it’s going to be crazy, but we’re glad that you’re kind of giving us some grounding for that. So we appreciate you being with us.

 

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