Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Not a Fair Trade at All

Be anxious for nothing. That's what Paul told the believers in Philippians 4:6. Obviously they didn't have a handicap van and people parking in the way of the lift in a clearly marked restricted area! (People wrongfully taking handicap spots is one of my pet peeves btw.)

As a caregiver you know how anxious life can be at times, or all the times sometimes. Surely Paul would rethink these instructions were he here today, or maybe he wouldn't. Every single day there are constant opportunities to be anxious, sometimes it even feels like we are living anxious. If we do not guard ourselves we can be one huge bundle of anxious as we walk through the day. And it can take the smallest thing to cause us to explode.

One of the strategies I use for dealing with anxious thoughts is to turn them into prayers. Sometimes, when I remember, I turn them into thankful prayers. Then not only do I have peace in my heart, but His peace invades it as well. And when I give Him these crazy, out of hand thoughts, He faithfully places His peace to guard my heart.

Sometimes these transitional prayers come easy, other times they are difficult. But I am learning to stop the thoughts before they run totally away with my peace of mind and heart. One of my friends told me one time that I have a "Google Mind." She said when someone starts talking or something happens I can take one little hint and my mind starts spitting out results, scenarios, etc. She's pretty much right too! My mind goes so fast and my thoughts can go so wrong so quickly. It's a constant struggle to keep my thoughts from getting totally out of hand. I do that by turning them into prayers and thanksgiving.

One issue for me has been finances. I'm sure no one else has that to worry about along with the other caregiving responsibilities! Right? When it gets too tight for my comfort, which is a lot lately, I start thinking of things to be thankful for. We have never missed a meal, our lights are still on, I am still able to work, etc. I find that when I turn my crazy thoughts into thankfulness His peace begins to shore up my mind. My hope, strength and peace do not come from being able to work (although I am thankful for that); but they come from Him to guard my mind. My work becomes keeping my mind on Him and seeing Him as my provider no matter what the bank account says!

You know what? He gets my anxiety.And He will take it if I will give it to Him. I have to let it go so that He can replace it with His peace. It's not a fair trade really - He takes my anxious thoughts, and I get His peace. I'm okay with that!

Today I will make a conscious effort to give Him my anxiety and allow His peace to reign in my heart and mind. When my thoughts start trying to run off with my life - I'll stop, pause and turn my thoughts to Him. My meditation will be on His ability to provide peace. I will choose to embrace it and walk in it today. Will you join me?

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