Friday, July 15, 2011

"Rising Above Worry and Stress"

Good morning my lovelies :) I pray you have all had a good night's sleep, and are ready to face the day running! I'm in much better Spirits today after spending some much needed time alone in the Word, study and prayer this morning. I started doing a "Women of Faith" study this morning titled "Living Above Worry and Stress". Wow. It was just what I needed! A friend of mine sent it to me months ago, but we were in the midst of move #2, so it found its way packed up and then back onto the book shelf. I was looking at my shelf this morning to see if I had the Max Lucado study on James (I often pick those up on a whim intent on doing them but never starting them!) when this jumped off the shelf at me. So, I decided that now is as good a time as any to start this study. If you'd like to do it along with me, get down to your favorite book store and pick it up! It's only about $8, and while I intended to do a chapter a day on my own, I can certainly slow the pace if others would like to do it with me. Just be sure to let me know you're doing it along with me so I know to slow down! If you haven't already, go to my Facebook Page and follow along with us there!

Today's chapter (Chapter 1) is entitled "Scattered Lives"! Yep, sounds about right to me! We get SO BUSY with life that we forget to concentrate on what's important. There's a section talking about clearing the cobwebs. Basically, it's asking what YOU do to relax, to forget about the stresses of the day and the chaos. Do you soak in a tub of bubbles and hot water? Do you take a walk? Go shopping? Garden? What do you do to unwind after a long day? For me, it's reading a good book. I'm actually starting a review for Tommy Nelson Publishers of a book titled "Sweet Sanctuary" by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Coloma. It's about a woman who finds her self amidst a very stressful, chaotic, and demanding time in her life, and she's trying to do it on her own. I'd say it fits the time of my life. She's dealing with financial crisis and family drama. I will be posting a review here on my blog for you to read when I finish it. What do YOU do to unwind? If you don't do anything, find something. It's really a very necessary part of your day. As necessary as doing the dishes, going to work, or taking a shower.

Being stressed and overwhelmed is a part of life. It's almost unavoidable. We go through seasons that things just don't go smoothly. But it's how we respond to those seasons that define who we are in Christ. Do you trust Him with your struggles, do you cry out to Him and give your fears and stresses to Him? Or do you try to do it yourself, and become overwhelmed and begin sinking into an ocean of debt, fear, anger, pain, and resentment? Let's be real for a minute, ok? I'm doing a LOT better than I have in the past about trusting God, but yesterday, I sank. I was drowning in depression and stress. I was completely overwhelmed. I whined on Facebook, even though I could hear God telling me "Brooke-don't do that. Please trust me.". I failed Him. But, I was able to get on my knees and in the Word and find my peace again. My goal is to get to the point that becoming overwhelmed isn't an option. I said a lot of not nice things about my hubby's employer, when instead I should have simply prayed for them, and our situation. ♫♪"He's still working on me, to make me what I ought to be...."♪♫

Psalm 102:1-3 NLT
1 Lord, hear my prayer!
      Listen to my plea!
 2 Don’t turn away from me
      in my time of distress.
   Bend down to listen,
      and answer me quickly when I call to you.
 3 For my days disappear like smoke,
      and my bones burn like red-hot coals.

Even David felt overwhelmed and stressed. So many of the Psalms are David's crying out to God to hear his prayers, his cries, and to save him from his enemies. Now, there was a man who knew what it felt like to never be able to relax. His enemies were so numerous, and always trying to kill him! But he didn't turn away from God (well, He did, but only for a season, and he paid for it), he kept crying out to God. Yes, God wants us to trust Him to take care of us. But, He also wants us to trust Him with our fears, our concerns, and deepest thoughts. He WANTS you to cry out to Him. Whine to Him... he wants to know your thoughts. Ask Him to help you to organize your time to better reflect Him. Ask Him to show you what in your schedule, in your budget, and in your heart is important to Him, and ask Him to help you rid yourself of those things that are not. 

Most importantly, get in His Word. You need to be studying the Bible EVERY DAY. It's so important not to let this get cut out. No matter how busy you are, find 15 minutes to read. I suggest getting a One Year Bible to help you organize your time. I'm on my 2nd year of using this great tool, and it's wonderful. It's broken up into 365 daily readings that are set to take approximately 15 minutes to read. The standard version includes passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Proverbs each and every day. I'm doing the Chronological version this  year, so I'm not getting all of that. I'm finishing up the old Testament, moving into the events of the New Testament. If you're just setting in to a pattern of reading and studying every day, I would recommend the standard version. It comes in paper back, and is relatively inexpensive that way. But, if you cannot afford one, and really want to study God's Word more, send me your address. I have ONE extra copy in the New Living Translation that I would be willing to send you. If you're not in His Word, you can't know what He desires for your life. It's important not only to read, but also to memorize His scriptures.

Psalm 119:11 NLT
I have hidden your word in my heart,
      that I might not sin against you.

Job 22:22 NLT
Listen to his instructions,
      and store them in your heart.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NLT
18“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.

I leave you with a quote from this morning's lesson:

"Scripture is filled with encouragement for our faith because we are so vulnerable to doubt and fear when we feel overwhelmed by life."
~Barbara Johnson

1 comment:

  1. This is an AWESOME post, Brooke! Looks like things are looking better for you even if circumstances haven't changed!! God is amazing like that when we allow Him to be in our lives as He desires to be. Its just so hard for us sometimes to Let Go and Let God.
    I wanted to mention about reading the Bible that you might want to let your viewers know that they can download "YouVersion" Bible to computers, smartphones, Ipads, Tablets and it has all different versions of Bibles and several different reading plans and devotionals and you can store notes and such while you read and study in the program! It really is something to check out. I use it and I can use whatever device I happen to have with me when I catch a few minutes to read. It keeps all info and syncs it together.