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Posts Tagged ‘worry’

worry

I’ve never been much of a worrier. Oh, occasionally I’ll notice I’m “concerned” more than usual. Notice my use of the word “concerned” – it’s much more spiritually acceptable than to be “worried.” Worry implies a lack of faith. Concern seems like I’m focusing on the bigger picture. Nah – it’s the same thing.

I think worry is just another form of fear. Worry will only cause you to look at the problem, not at the solution or the One who knows the solution. Do you ever worry about something? Do you fret, or become anxious about your job, your finances, your kids, your spouse, your schoolwork, your travel plans, your recreational plans, your extended family, your health? See where I’m going with this? Worry is fruitlessly focusing on something you can do absolutely nothing about. If you could, you would. So because you’re feeling helpless, you resort to playing “what if?” 24/7.

Stop it. When you feel that old “worry wart” syndrome coming on, nip it in the bud! Turn your “what ifs” into “why nots.” Give God your concern…and have fun watching Him come through for you again. It’s His job after all.

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)

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lack-of-money

Day 17 – Dropping my Poverty Mindset
Let me give warning right up front. This blog is not an expert’s advice on how to get rich, get out of debt or win the lottery. This is just a few thoughts I’ve had recently about how much I allow my mind to be consumed with money, especially the lack of it. And what I intend to do about it.

Let it be said that no one says, “I have enough money. Stop giving me anymore.” Well, maybe someone somewhere, but no one I know personally. In fact, most of us could use a little more every once in a while. We all have bills, some planned for like mortgages, car payments and school loans. Others are bombarded with emergencies like car repairs, doctors’ bills and “Yikes! I owe the IRS?” But there are actually some people who need money but don’t fret about it. And that’s where I want to be.

I have a poverty mindset. It manifests itself in worry, anxiety, stress, anger, bitterness, depression, envy and greed. It also takes away my joy, my happiness and my spontaneity. The words “No! We can’t afford that!” flow from my lips a lot. That attitude then spreads like a cancer into my kids, my husband, my friends…whomever has to listen to it, over and over and over.

Maybe you can relate? Ask yourself a few telling questions.
• Do you justify your lack of funds and make excuses?
• Do you complain about paying taxes on an unexpected bonus or reward?
• When something is free, do you grab as much as possible, even if you don’t need it?
• Is the concept of working for free crazy to you?
• Do you promise God you’ll tithe when you can afford it?
• Are you jealous when others are blessed with money or physical things?
• Do you go to bed most nights worrying about money?
I have to admit – I’ve had to answer “yes” to a couple of those things.

I have found it’s all about attitude and obedience. I tithe. Not because it’s some formula for getting rich but because God says I should. If I can’t be obedient in the little things, how will I ever handle the really big stuff?

I’m learning again to trust God (BTW – this lesson is never one you learn and move on…its presented over and over and over again). He is my source…not my employer, not my husband, not the government. With God there will always be more than enough. The only lack with room in my life is lack of worry, lack of stress, lack of anxiety.

I’m going for extravagance. Extravagant love…extravagant giving…extravagant grace…extravagant trust…extravagant obedience.

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burger

The Lenten season has just begun and I’m blogging about all those things I’m going to give up. By the end of this 40 Day journey, I may be skinnier. Yay.

Day Two – Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

I don’t know about you but I like to be comfortable. When I get home from work I often change right into fleece lounge pants and a sweatshirt. Very attractive, let me tell you. The combination of the fabric and the looseness just makes me feel so good…so comfortable. And when I’m grumpy, or cold, or anxious, or sad, there’s nothing like my mom’s homemade chicken and noodles…or big piece of lasagna…or greasy cheeseburger…or deep dish pizza. Comfort food .

But today I’m going to give up my comfort zone. I’m going to get outside the fleece-lined box I like to crawl into to avoid change or escape the world and its worries. I’ll drink tea instead of coffee. I’ll eat a salad instead of a slice of pizza. I’ll choose prayer over worry. I’ll make a new friend instead of the safety of those I already know. I’ll change up my routine, just because.

Change is a necessary component of life. Probably the only time I’ve chosen to embrace it is when I’m the one controlling it. The Bible is full of accounts when change happens and how we can deal with it. God asks Abram to change locations, many times. Abram didn’t argue, he just went, even when he didn’t know where he was going. I want that attitude. “It’s not about me, Lord. Wherever you send me, I’ll go!”

How about changing a name? God changes Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. Pharoah changes Joseph’s name to Zaphenath-paneah (just try to find a necklace with that one on it). Usually with these new names, came new promises. My Lord – who knows me by name – calls me blessed, chosen and loved. Good name.

In Gen. 15 God appears to Abram in a vision (how’s that for outside your comfort zone?). God is once again reassuring Abram that he will have a son of his own flesh. I especially like this part in verse 5: God took Abram outside of his tent (where he was warm and comfortable) and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars…if indeed you can count them.” God showed Abram how big His vision was – more offspring than the stars in the sky. Allow God to take you outside your comfortable tent and show you the BIG dream, the BIG vision He has for you. But you’ll never see it from the comfort of your tent. You’ve got to step outside!

Tent-Night-Sky

Maybe God will ask you to move, or change your job, or look up an old friend, or make a new one, or try a different food, or take a missions trip, or pray with the clerk at Wal-Mart. How about this one? God may ask you to stand up for your faith when no one around you is doing so. Are you comfortable with that? Are you going to give up your comfort zone? I’m going to try. And that’s all God asks.

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