This is your 5 Minute Reminder to Stop Worrying

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I saw this today and thought, yep, that about sums up where I am right now. 

 

Now, I’m not sure if my theology quite  puts me at the place where I think God is deliberately setting me up, but I definitely think he allows me to get into places where I am not in control and all I can do is trust him. 

 

I have to tell you, I don’t like this place. When a problem presents itself, I am one of those people that wants to come up with a plan right away and then implement that plan right away, whether I have given it enough thought, prayer, counsel etc…I just want to be moving…forward…sideways…any direction, as long as I’m moving and not in a standstill. 

 

I am fortunate to have married the man I did. He is a great balance to me. His inner rhythm is at about half my tempo. Where I rush and scurry, he slowly ambers along. Where I finish the job quickly, though a bit messily, and perhaps not quite the way it was supposed to be, But it’s done! He methodically takes one step at a time, takes a lot longer than me, but ends up with a perfectly finished product that doesn’t need any tweaking. We balance each other well, because he can come to a complete standstill and sometimes needs a bit of nudging, while I need someone to rein me back a bit, hold on, let’s think about this a bit longer.

 

Right now we have two major areas in our life that need some solutions. Right now. Like, maybe yesterday. Or last month. 

 

And I am very impatient to see these areas fixed. Very impatient. It interrupts my sleep. It messes with my peace. I feel like I am on edge, unable to relax because these things are looming. 

 

In both situations, we can do nothing. We are waiting on other people to do their part, and we have no way of hurrying up the process. Though I am tempted to suggest some ideas, maybe if we did this, this, and this it would hurry it up? But really, that’s just me fretting. 

 

This past week, everywhere I turn, whether it be my daily bible reading, a church service, memes on Facebook…everywhere…the message says, over and over again. Trust God. Have Faith. Don’t Worry. And so, I say, yes, I am just going to give this to God and stop worrying. And then five minutes later I find my mind stuck in the same rut. Oh, yeah. Wait. I’m giving this over to God. Ok. 

 

This has not been one of those sunbeam-through-the-clouds situations where I say, Oh! I get it! I just need to trust that God is taking care of this, now I am going to stop worrying! No. It’s been more of a daily, every hour, turning it back over to God. Forgetting. Worrying. Turning it back over to God. Forgetting. Worrying. Turning it back over to God. If you get what I’m saying. 

 

Does this make me an imperfect Christian? Lacking in Faith? I don’t think so. No, I have not been an example of calm, unshakeable faith…but I have consistently been calling on God for help. God and I have had a lot of conversations about this. I feel an urgency to stay close and connected to him right now as my worries try to overwhelm me. I feel his hand on me, I know that not only is he working in the physical realm, but he’s also working on my heart, wanting to grow me in this area of faith. And that’s a good place to be. 

 

Last night I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t picked out our new Bible Memory Passage for the new school semester. This last semester we covered some of the basics with Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer. We’ve already done my two other favorite Bible passages, Psalm 139 and 1 Corinthians 13. What should we memorize now? I flipped through my Bible and hit on the book of John. I love John. Especially the passages where Jesus prays for his disciples, and talks about the vine. I scanned a couple chapters and decided, lets do John 14: 1-6. 

 

So, this morning, I quickly looked at the first verse again, so I could memorize it and teach it to the kids while we were driving to school. 

 

It says,
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

 

And there you have it. My daily reminder to stop worrying, believe God is who he says he is, and he can do what he says he can do. 

 

I will continue to remind myself of this. Every five minutes if necessary.

 

Don’t Worry

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to not worry? About anything? I know the Bible tells us not to worry, and we pay lip service to that. But deep down, if you are anything like me, you have a running list of things that you can drag up at a moments notice to worry about. I’ve been reading more about the sovereignty of God. And it strikes me really hard, how foolish worry is. Either God is in control or he isn’t. If he is, then why are we worrying? If he isn’t then yes, we should definitely live our lives in fear and trembling. My reading of the Bible seems to say that actually, Yes, he is in control. So, why the heck am I worrying about everything? 

 

Does he love me or not? We sing the song “Yes Jesus love me…” and smile at our children when they sing it so sweetly. But do we believe it? If Jesus loves me, and he is God, then what on earth do I have to worry about? 

 

I think what scares me, is that we don’t have any promises in the Bible that say we are going to live a life without pain, without hardship, without trials. God doesn’t promise that. He does promise that he will be with us always, that he works all things to good, that he will never leave us or forsake us. But I worry…I don’t want trials and hardships. And I have a hard time seeing how God can be in control and love me when I am suffering. 

 

What if God is using those hardships and trials to change me? What if it’s more important to him that I grow to be more like him than that I stay in a state of constant ease and comfort? That seems very un-American. The American dream is to pursue wealth and happiness. Going through suffering that changes our character and strengthens us and makes us more like Jesus, just doesn’t seem right. Not very loving. God’s must have lost control somewhere along the way.

 

My dream is to live a life without worry. To be able to confidently say, God’s got this. He’s in control. I can trust him. He loves me. 

 

No matter what the circumstances, I want to walk in his perfect peace. 

 

Lord may it be so. 

 

Though I am secretly worried about what trials and hardships I will have to overcome before I finally get it! I guess it comes down to faith. And the Bible says that we can ask God to strengthen our faith…:”Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” 

 

I guess that’s my prayer tonight as I write this. Lord I believe. Help my unbelief! 

 

 

Car Trips, Sick Kids, and the Effects of Worry

This week has been a bit tough. My husband has been gone for a whole week (gets home tonight, yay!). He and my oldest son went on a road trip to Montana where my son is going to be at a Bible School for a year. They took a bit of time so they could visit Yellow Stone National Park and camp along the way. It was their “We Did It” trip that we are trying to have with each of our high school graduates, celebrating their success at graduating, and our success at keeping them alive for this long. They had a good time and I’m glad that they were able to take the trip. But, it’s been a long week. 

First of all…My son who just left has a driver’s license. I am now taking over all the driving that he did for our family. Yikes. I had no idea I had become so reliant on him to drive my other teenagers to all their events. It was usually not a big deal for him because he was attending the same events, but still, I had no idea. I am suddenly living in my car. 

Second…My two year old waited one day after his dad left, and then proceeded to get some kind of stomach problems that has had him throwing up every night and having crazy-crazy diarrhea. Also occurring at night. During the day, he runs around laughing and playing, eats ok, has a couple diapers that are bad, but then they become fine. Then night time hits and once again he is projecting body fluids everywhere. I finally took him to the doctor today and her opinion is the initial bout of stomach sickness messed up the balance of his guts and so now we’ve got to work on getting that back into order. 

In the meantime, I’m walking around half-dead because all night long I’ve been jerking awake wondering if he’s about to throw up on me. Because, of course, a sick baby’s place is with his mom, in her room, on her bed. The first couple nights I didn’t know he was going to get sick and he came and found me in the night in distress. After cleaning him up, I laid him down next to me in my bed. Watching over him. Making him feel safe and secure. Except that I was then a nervous twit all night. Every time he would cough or sneeze or moan or even roll over, I was leaping from the bed, ready to run him to the bathroom as fast as possible. I had special blankets laid out on my bed. Here, this is your blanket. If you throw up or your diaper leaks, it can all happen on this easy-to-wash blanket. Except, of course, he didn’t want to stay on his special blanket and he would keep rolling over and snuggling up to me and I would just lay there, eyes wide open, feeling like I was holding a ticking bomb. Needless to say, I am on the third day of having to strip my bedding and wash it. 

Third reason it’s been a rough week…Today I went down to the gas station to buy a container of Gatorade for the sick boy.  I opened the little fridge door at the gas station, reached in to grab the drink I wanted to buy, and something went POP in my neck and I was suddenly in very bad pain. Because, you know, reaching for a drink is very strenuous on the body. Good grief. So I then spent the morning heating and icing my shoulder as the pain continued to spread. It has eased up a bit as long as I don’t turn my neck to the right or the left. Who needs to turn their neck anyway? 

I’m trying to have a sense of humor about all this, but I’ll admit my stress levels have been a bit high. I find myself worrying a lot. It’s very possible that my neck popped because my muscles have been in a constant state of tension from trying to carry the weight of the world. 

As I sat here icing and heating my shoulder, God reminded me of something. This is his family. These are his kids. This is his house. He’s in control. He’s got this. Me getting all tense and stressed is not solving a single problem. He has helped us through all kinds of crazy problems in the past, and the current things I’ve been worrying about, he’s going to take care of those too. Right now, all I need to do is take it one moment at a time. It’s going to be ok. 

So, I’m going to sit here and rest my neck. Get my kids to help with the immediate chores and just try to relax for a bit. God is good. I can rest.