“Brothers and Sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.”Philippians 4:8

Everybody gets discouraged now and then. Even my favorite Old Testament prophet (Elijah) threw a whopper of a pity party out in the desert, moaning “I have had enough, Lord…Let me die” (1 Kings 18). Since you can’t really count on your bad day ending with an angel showing up to tell you “Get up and eat” (don’t we wish!), it’s a good idea to have a plan in place to deal with discouraging days. That’s where the Feel Good File comes in.

Just like it sounds, it’s a file of things that “are good and worthy of praise” you can look at when you need a little boost. It can be a physical file—like a manila folder or a pretty box—or a digital folder. What goes in it? That’s up to you. A note or card from someone special, a favorite Scripture, an inspirational quote… When you find something that touches your heart, file it. And when you’re tempted to go sit in the desert a la Elijah, open your file and read through it. The things inside will make you feel better. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that things aren’t as bad as they seem—and even if they are, God is not surprised by your situation and He has a plan to deal with it. So do what Elijah did. Get up and eat, then get back to work.

FIVE:  Start, Already

I’m a planner. I love to plan and dream and think about doing this or that…but nothing happens until I stop planning and start doing. As the great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” So whatever your goals may be, don’t just think about doing them…do them. Listen to your inner Jewish grandmother and start, already!

Susan Ellingburg is a natural-born Texan who sings at every opportunity, reads as much as possible, and cherishes every day she gets to spend with friends. She's a serious foodie and not-so-serious gardener who is determined not to let being single stand in the way of living an amazing life. Read Susan's blog at TastingGod.wordpress.com.

Publication date: January 22, 2013