Anxiety and Community

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Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

In the world of Christianity, you will most often hear, just give it to God. You will also hear, these scriptures 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” and Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Here’s one more many recite in times of crisis, it’s found in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Although, these scriptures will give you peace (when you receive them) for all your concerns, they can also come across cold and churchy at times too.

My anxiety level for the past four months has been all over the place between trying to sell our house in Georgia, looking for a home church here in Florida, having one vehicle for our family of six, and wondering where in the world we are going to live.

It’s a weird place to be. If there was such a place as purgatory that is where I feel I’m at. Everything is on hold and I’m just sitting here waiting.

Cast means, to throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction. Yes, I’ve done this and peace comes, but after a week or so when I see no movement and no answers anxiety creeps in again!

I’ve learned when the feelings of anxiety overtake me I turn on worship music and pray. When the music isn’t penetrating my thoughts like I need it to I send out a S.O.S. to a few of my family members.

Don’t try to battle anxiety on your own! God did not create us to walk alone. He desires us to hold each other up when our brother or sister is too weak to stand.

My mama sent me this story a couple months back. It really shows the power of support.

When a mama elephant is giving birth, all the other female elephants in the herd back around her in formation. They close ranks so the delivering mama cannot even be seen in the middle. They stomp and kick up dirt and soil to throw attackers off the scent and basically act like a pack of fierce bodyguards.

They surround the mama and incoming baby in protection, sending a clear signal to predators that if they want to attack their friend while she is vulnerable, they’ll have to get through forty tons of female aggression first.

When the baby elephant is delivered, the sister elephants do two things: they kick sand or dirt over the newborn to protect its fragile skin from the sun, and then they all start trumpeting, a female celebration of new life, of sisterhood, of something beautiful being born in a harsh, wild world despite enemies and attackers and predators and odds.

Wow, what a visually….and in the subject line of my Mama’s email, “I’ve got you Sissy.” Talk about the water works flowing!

God knew I didn’t need another scripture, I already knew His promises, but they weren’t piercing through my thick scull. Instead, I just needed to know someone was going to battle for me when I was down and too weak to fight for myself.

I’m sharing all of this to say, the next time someone shares their fears and worries with you, don’t be quick to blurt out a scripture. Instead, pause a moment. Only God knows what that person needs. Yes, it could be a Bible verse or it might just be open ears, closed lips, and a tight embrace.

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Aligning the Heart and Mind

The Boy family is moving back to Florida, so this Father’s Day weekend we went house hunting around the New Tampa, Brandon, and Welsey Chapel area, with palm trees galore.  How exciting, right? No!

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It hasn’t even been a year since we moved to Georgia and we only closed on our current house seven months ago!

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to all the paper work of relocating and starting over again.

When my husband first told me about his job opportunity, we took a week to pray about it before making the decision. Mentally, I knew the right decision was for my husband to take the offer, but my heart was not in agreement.

I personally had no desire to move back to Florida. My husband’s company relocated us to North Georgia in July and I fell in love! Here we have seasons. Fall isn’t just a word you describe to your kids and show them pictures online of how the leaves change, but you are able to experience it firsthand. The leaves actually turn gorgeous shades of caramel, strawberry red, and a golden yellow. Beyond the seasons, our entire family is plugged into an amazing church. The girls have had opportunities to sing on a worship team and be a part of a Christmas production.  We also found a beautiful homeschool group where the kids have found sweet friends to hang out with weekly. Does God really want us to move?

Well, I was expecting a stir of excitement when we went down to Florida, but that didn’t happen, at all! For three days we looked at pretty houses and nice lots, but nothing inside me said, “yay!” To be totally honest I felt a sense of depression at times, numb, speechless, and could care less!

My wonderful husband was taking my “vibes” (if you want to say), personally. He wanted me to be happy and he could see I wasn’t.

Last night he prayed about our move and our future. He then wrapped me up tight and prayed for me personally. After he stepped away, the tears streamed down my cheeks and I heard God say, “It’s time to move!” Not once, but three times, I heard God speak directly to my heart, “It’s time to move!” He knows I’ve been stubborn in this area and He didn’t want to leave room for me to question. For the first time, I felt peace, I felt my heart let go.

Afterwards, a memory came to mind of when I was little playing with my cousins, at my Mema’s house, and my Dad would stand up and say, “It’s time to go!” I automatically knew, I wouldn’t get another five minutes to play even if I asked. When my dad said it’s time to go, he meant it and I knew it! There was no room for doubt or pity parties. My mind, heart, and emotions would snap into place and I would leave my Mema’s house with my head up and a smile on my face. I can now say the same about Georgia, my mind, heart, and emotions have snapped into place, my head is high, and there’s a smile on my face because Father God said, “It’s time to Move!”

Thank you, God, for giving me peace about this new adventure. I pray for all my sweet friends out there that may be facing difficult times or big changes and their hearts are not in agreement. I pray you soften their hearts to hear your voice and I pray that you will give them peace today.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Receive It

 
This morning, while driving home from the gym, I started praying over big decisions that could affect our near future. Words like peace, guidance, wisdom and direction rolled off my tongue. That’s when I felt it! This was not a new prayer, these were not foreign words from my mouth, but this prayer I have prayed over my husband daily! In that very moment I felt His peace. It was there the whole time, waiting for me to just receive it. I felt God say to my heart, he’s already walking in my wisdom and my will because you seeked me way before the decision arose!” 

Friend, if we aren’t careful, our prayers can become redundant. Like a child shivering every night in his bed. His parents have already provided him with a blanket, all he has to do is WAKE UP and get it! 

God is standing at your feet with peace, wisdom, guidance, love…your answered prayer, if only you’ll WAKE UP from the motions of redundancy and receive it! 

Pray and God will Meet our needs…

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Just finished our second Christian Heroes: Then & Now by Janet and Geoff Benge. George Muller was not always a man of God, he was far from it actually. This past month we watched God call a man of brokenness and use him for greatness! George is a man of noble character and a true hero.

I recommend this book for good independent readers or for a read aloud with the family. Watch God answer George’s prayers day after day!

You can find the entire collection of Christian Heroes: Then and Now, here at YWAM publishing or here at Christian book store.

Who’s at your center?

20140913-105252.jpg“Whatever we place at the center of our lives will get the bulk of our care and attention.” -George Muller

To be totally honest and transparent…God at times was put on the back burner. I had a newborn to take care of or two toddlers and a newborn. Then there was my husband, the house, bills, and don’t forget about the mountain of laundry piling up! There was always something, always an excuse!

Thankfully, I realized I needed change. My priorities were wrong and my marriage was feeling it. There would alway be a “to do list”. There would always be something or someone screaming for my attention. I had to choose….God or all these distractions. You also have to make a choice and it’s not a one time affair, but everyday you have to choose…how much do you want God?

Signs that God is Not at your Center:
-weariness
-fatigue
-angry
-short temper
-anxious
-depression
-bitterness
-low self-worth
-tension with your spouse
-lack of self-control
-poor quality of sleep
-problems with critical thinking

Now I ask you…What’s at your center?

(The Message)
Romans 12:1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

 

20 Ways to Saturate Your Day in Prayer:

Prayer

1. Making up the bed in the morning
2. Brushing your teeth
3. Walking around the house
4. Emptying the dishwasher
5. Cooking breakfast for the family
6. Packing lunches for the kids or husband
7. Clipping coupons
8. Ironing clothes
9. Organizing your closet/cabinets/drawers
10. Running errands
11. Working Out
12. Mid-afternoon breather/refresher/quite time
13. Folding laundry
14. Scrapbooking/sewing/painting your nails
15. Cooking dinner
16. Vacuuming and mopping the floors
17. Cleaning the kitchen
18. Planning your schedule for the next day
19. Tucking your kids into bed
20. When you lay your head down night

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing. in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” -Luke 18:1

“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” -1 Chronicles 16:11