Pushing Through the Pain Towards Victory in Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

Pushing Through the Pain Towards Victory in Jesus

When I find myself exhausted during a long run, it’s easy for me to concentrate on how tired and weak I feel. If I stayed in that mindset, however, I would probably find myself defeated. I have to change my thoughts in order to find the strength to keep going. I need to remind myself to breathe and to persevere. I tell myself that pushing through the pain will be worth it.

 

It is during these difficult moments that I develop the most strength as a runner, and the same is true in life. Learning to endure during a difficult run is very similar to enduring through life’s struggles. If life was never difficult, we wouldn’t have the opportunity for growth.

We usually learn more through our struggles than we do in the good times.

 

We all endure trials. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one struggling or that your struggles are somehow more difficult than the struggles of others. The truth, however,  is that every person on this planet endures tough times. We all have a story to tell when it comes to the battles life has thrown our way. Continue Reading

Choose Joy! 3 Keys to True Happiness

Choose Joy: 3 Keys to True Happiness | alyssajhoward.comJoy is something we all hope for. I haven’t met a person yet who didn’t have the desire to find true happiness and contentment in life, and we all search for it in different ways. We focus on our careers, our families, helping others, our faith, etc. all in the hope of finding true joy.

An American author named Tom Bodett once said that in order to be truly happy in this life we all need “someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” If we look at his quote through biblical eyes, I do believe he’s correct. Continue Reading

Pace Yourself

One of the most important aspects of running is learning how to pace yourself. For starters, you have to pace your overall training. When working towards an upcoming race, it’s important to not push yourself too hard. Training properly involves a gradual progression of miles and speed. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast will ultimately result in injury and burnout.

Another way a runner paces themselves is during their individual runs. For me personally, I have a much easier time pacing myself during training than I do during races. It’s so easy to get excited about a race and to start running too fast in the beginning. Unfortunately, I burn myself out too quickly and have no energy left to finish the race. I literally have to remind myself to slow down when I start running.

 

We are often told that hard work will pay off in the end. At what point, however, do we cross the line between working hard and working too hard to accomplish our goals? Just as runners run the risk of burning out when training, we run the risk of burning out when we push ourselves too hard in our day-to-day lives. Continue Reading

Good and Bad Communication: 9 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Marriage | alyssajhoward.com

Good and Bad Communication: 9 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Marriage

My husband and I took a cruise for our honeymoon. During one of the shows, they brought a couple up on stage who had been married over 50 years. And when asked how they did it, the husband replied, “Two words… I’m sorry!” Then the wife replied, “I forgive you!” We all had a good laugh at the time, but their advice proved to be incredibly wise. Marital conflict is inevitable, but a lot of it could be avoided if we would simply learn to listen, communicate effectively, and admit when we are wrong. Continue Reading

3 Negative Attitudes That Will Destroy Your Marriage | alyssajhoward.com

3 Negative Attitudes That Will Destroy Your Marriage

The Bible tells us to fix our thoughts on “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” (Philippians 4:8) This outlook on life affects every aspect of our lives – including our marriage. The enemy likes to use our negative attitudes and thoughts to suck the joy out of marriages. But the good news is that we don’t have to let him. Continue Reading

The Truth About Marriage: Love is a Choice | alyssajhoward.com

The Truth About Marriage: Love is a Choice

As crazy as it sounds, divorce is almost seen as a rite of passage in today’s culture. It’s certainly seen as a viable option when our marriages hit rough times. The problem with this thinking is that ALL marriages hit rough times. So based on our culture’s standard, all marriages have times where divorce could be on the table as an option. Continue Reading

A Realistic Look at the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31

When speaking of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, Bible teachers often focus on the attributes that make her a good mother, wife, and keeper of the home. But this passage goes far beyond that. It describes her as a woman who is well-rounded with a good head on her shoulders… smart and resourceful. The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 provides both food and clothing for her family as well as her servants, manages the home and its finances, takes care for the needy, sells her own handiwork, and speaks wisdom and teaching to others. (She is one busy lady!) Continue Reading

The True Purpose of Marriage (according to the Bible) | alyssajhoward.com

The True Purpose of Marriage (according to the Bible)

We all know the statistics. Marriage is hard. But the truth about marriage is that with the right perspective (and help from the Holy Spirit), it can be one of the greatest blessings of our lives. One of the first things we have to remember about marriage is that it was originally God’s idea. (Genesis 2:18, 21-22) Not only that, but He outlines the true purpose of marriage in His Word. Continue Reading

Taming the Tongue: Why It May Be Time for a Heart Check | alyssajhoward.com

Taming the Tongue: Why It May Be Time for a Heart Check

The Bible is clear that we have a choice to make. We can choose to speak words of life or words of death. Our words can lift others up and encourage them, or they can cause irrevocable destruction. I know that I’m not alone in admitting that my words have landed me in trouble from time to time. I’ve certainly said some things that I’m not proud of.

 

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True Love is Patient (even when we don't want to be) | alyssajhoward.com

True Love is Patient (even when we don’t want to be)

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the Bible’s “love” chapter. You may have heard it quoted at weddings… Christian and non-Christian alike. The chapter gives us a long list of character traits that true love exhibits. One thing I find particularly interesting about this passage is that the very first attribute listed is patience. (Everyone’s favorite – right?) Yes, true love is patient, which makes the opposite true as well. A lack of patience means we are not operating in love.

 

True Love is Patient (even when we don't want to be) | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

Facing Criticism in a World that Loves to Criticize | alyssajhoward.com

Facing Criticism in a World that Loves to Criticize

Criticism happens. Occasionally it can be a positive or constructive tool in our lives; but more often than not, it ends up leading to hurt feelings and defensive emotions. In school, our teachers critique the homework we submit. In the workplace, our boss is criticizing our job performance. At home, our friends and family critique the choices we make in life. Facing criticism is simply a part of life, and we must learn to handle it with grace and understanding.

 

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Church... Do I Really Need to Go Every Week? | alyssajhoward.com

Church… Do I Really Need to Go Every Week?

This question is becoming more and more common in today’s culture. I grew up in church my whole life, and as a believer, attending church simply came with the territory. I never questioned going because I believed that it was something Christians were fundamentally called to do…much like prayer and reading the Bible. It wasn’t until I started attending public school (and left the comfort of my Christian private school) that I started meeting people who claimed Christianity but didn’t see the need to attend a weekly church service. This threw me for a loop. Honestly, I knew that going to church didn’t make you a Christian. I just didn’t understand why someone would not want to go.

 

Church... Do I Really Need to Go Every Week? | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading