This month I want to talk about stress-free living. Summer shouldn’t be the only time we slow down and smell the roses. Why not make it a lifestyle? How do we do that? Let me suggest four important keys that just might help: 1. Keep it simple! Our lives are just far too busy at times. We exert so much energy and time trying to please, impress, or keep up with the Jones’ that it can get downright crazy at times. Even having someone over for dinner can become a major production. Whatever happened to “just come over and we will grill some hotdogs”? Okay, time to SIMPLIFY!!! God really does want you to enjoy your life! So why not start today? Ask yourself,”What is the one thing I could let go of today that would make my life a little easier?” Remember life is short so keep it simple! 2. Lighten up! Not only are we stressed out but we are ridden with anxiety and concern. Just get on a highway and you can tell from the aggressive drivers that people are in a hurry to go – where? Are you a person that is uptight and easily agitated? Maybe it’s time to lighten up! How long has it been since you really had fun? Fun doesn’t always have to be expensive or elaborate. Time for the kid in you come out! Go ahead and be silly. It’s okay. Rediscover some fun in your life. Sometimes we are just way too serious for our own good. Learn to laugh, even at your mistakes, and not take yourself so seriously. It is true that a merry heart acts like medicine. It is good for the soul. So lighten up! 3. Live in the moment! If we are not anxious to get to the next place or phase in our life,we are too often bogged down with our past and regrets. It’s a new day, a new moment that you will never live again so why not enjoy? Whatever happened to “THIS IS THE DAY that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it”? Your past is history and your future isn’t guaranteed. Why not squeeze the most out of today? Try something new. Go to a different store. Eat at a different restaurant. Speak to a stranger. Pick some flowers! Get creative and enjoy the moment while you can. Don’t live your life with regrets. Enjoy today! 4. Let go and Let God! Jesus said “My peace I give to you.” What a promise! God not only wants us to have joy in this life but peace. The antithesis of stress is peace. What would your life be like if it was peaceful? We are too often carrying things we were never meant to carry. Give over your worries, your anxiety and fear to God. Let go and let God. It’s time for peace! So what are you waiting for? I believe stress free living can become a way of life as we learn to simplify our lives, lighten up, live more in the moment, give our problems and concerns over to a gracious and loving God.