Sleep More, Worry Less

We are just going to pretend like it hasn’t been six weeks since I last blogged. M’kay?

Also, the whole daylight-savings-fall-back-get-an-extra-hour thing? It’s a lie, y’all. There is nothing extra to be found in children who wake up earlier than they should. All you get is a child who is tired but doesn’t know it and refuses to do anything about it. Instead of sleeping, she gets in this position and cries big, pitiful tears…for hours.

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I have been studying for several weeks now on the topic of worry and anxiety. I will be speaking to a group of ladies on this very topic and, well, I’m a bit anxious about it. (The irony is not lost on me.) I take speaking engagements very seriously. I consider it an honor and a privilege to stand before others and open Scripture. I feel a great responsibility to do it well.

As I have been reading, two very familiar passages came to mind. The first is in Acts 12 when Peter is imprisoned awaiting execution.

Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. – Acts 12:6

Peter is bound with chains. There are soldiers on both sides. There are people guarding the doors. Herod has killed James and has plans to kill Peter. And Peter, well, he’s sleeping.

I lose sleep over bills, writing deadlines, silly arguments and whether or not I have served too much chicken this week. Peter’s life is on the line and he is sound asleep. Here’s the thing. It would not have done any good for Peter to stay awake and worry! Psalm 127:2-3 tells us that is it useless for us to stay up light or get up early due to worry. God gives His beloved sleep. We can sleep knowing that we are watched over by the God who never sleeps (Psalm 121:4.)

The other passage that came to mind was Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8.

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves….

And they went and woke Him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” – Matthew 8:24-25

It’s easy to jump straight to the “ye of little faith” part and judge these men. Let’s not do that. They were in a tiny fishing boat, friends. There was a “great storm” and their boat is taking on water quickly. So, yes, they were feeling a little anxious.

They did not, however, sit there wringing their hands and worrying. They did not take a moment to contemplate all of the worst case scenarios. What did they do? They went to the One who could actually do something about the problem at hand. What a concept!

Sweet friends, worry never works anything out. You have never had a problem that, when all was said and done, you thought to yourself, “I am so glad that I spent those nights worrying about that.”

What are you worrying about right now?

That situation could end up two ways:

  1. You can worry and lose sleep and stop eating and it could end up being nothing as bad as what you are imagining.
  2. You can worry and lose sleep and stop eating and it could end up being exactly as bad as what you are imagining.

Either way, your worry did nothing to change the situation. Do you want to know what could change the situation? Go to Christ with it. Cry out for Him to show up and do what only He can do.

Then, go to sleep. ❤

Is There a Plumber in the House?

washingdishesThere is currently a plumber under my kitchen sink. Judging by the pounding and heavy breathing, I can only imagine that it will cost a pretty penny. Now, just to clear things up, this is a different plumber than the one who was under that same sink just a few short weeks ago. That plumber, my friends, may or may not have been the one to see me do the ugly cry and then call me later to make sure “we were cool.” What I’m telling you is that I am having some plumbing issues.

No one has to tell me that things could be worse. I do not need to hear about all of the people who are struggling with much bigger things. I know that, in the grand scheme of things, this is simply an annoyance. The truth is that the little annoyances of life can be the final straw when you are the one washing your dishes in a bucket. Can I get an amen?

It’s there, in the little anxieties of life, that we can find Satan hard at work. It isn’t the huge issues that take us out. We can rally for the big things. We will trust God for miracles. But those little things – they can be like death by a thousand cuts. They can become a distraction which the enemy will use to his advantage.

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Take a moment and read Luke 21. It’s okay. I’ll wait.

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In this passage, Jesus is teaching about some hard things to come:

The destruction of the temple

Wars

Earthquakes

Famine

Pestilence

Persecution

Heaven will pass away

Earth will pass away.

Those are some big things. Yet, we are instructed to not worry about those big things. In hebrews 2 1verse 14, Jesus tells us to settle it in our minds beforehand not to worry about what we will say when we are imprisoned.

Our instruction, sweet sisters, is to watch that our hearts are not weighed down by the cares/worries/anxieties of this life.

But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. – Luke 21:34

It is at this point that I wish I were sitting face to face with each of you. I wish you could see how I am about to jump out of my skin because I know that you know what I’m talking about.

Jesus warns us that the day of His return will come upon us suddenly.

Why?

Because we were not living in anticipation of His return.

Why?

Because we were distracted.

By what?

The worries of this life.

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Can you see how the enemy works? He knows that we are going to take those big things straight to our God to handle. He knows that, when tragedy strikes, we will fall on our faces before our God.

But when the car breaks down or the toilet overflows or the kids lose the library books or there is an unexpected bill or, someone work with me, the kitchen sink will not drain and you find yourself washing your dishes in a bucket that you are pretty certain was last used to soak someone’s feet?

At that point, how easily are we distracted from the work of Christ?

The next time you feel overwhelmed and heavy hearted over the day to day worries of this life, be reminded that these annoyances are Satan’s pathetic attempt to distract you.

Do not let it work. Let’s stay alert. Let’s spend our days anticipating Christ’s return so that, when He comes, we are not caught by surprise and can say, “Yes, Lord, I was expecting you.”

You all are loved.

To Meditate or Not to Meditate

Would anyone else confess to being a bit of a worrier?Ella Bible

Anyone?

Oh, yes. I see that hand. Thank you for your honesty.

Sometimes, when I read certain portions of Scripture, I get a little knot in my stomach. I begin to question, “Will I be around for that?” Or, “Does that apply to me?” So, when I begin reading where Jesus foretells wars and famines and persecution? Yeah, the worrier in me begins to arise. Then, I read this…

Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer… – Luke 21:14

and I smile.

What the Lord is saying here is, “Do not start worrying about this now.” He says there will be wars, earthquakes and terrors. Believers will be persecuted and imprisoned. Then, as if he sees the wheels beginning to turn in my mind, he says, “But do not meditate on that now.”

Synonyms: chew over, cogitate, consider, contemplate, debate,deliberate, entertain, eye, kick around, ponder, mull (over), perpend, pore (over), question, revolve,ruminate, study, think (aboutorover), turn, weigh,wrestle (with)

Sarah BibleBecause y’all know that, left to my own devices, I’m going to be contemplating some famines. I’m going to be pondering some imprisonment. I’m going to be wrestling with the whole terrors and signs from heaven. But those are not the things that I am to be meditating on right now.

So, just in case you are like me and prone to worry, I’m going to give you some things that we are supposed to be meditating on.

Happy meditating, y’all!

The Samuel Project (Day 11): God Speaks to the Worrier

Often, I say that my spiritual gift is worry. That is tongue-in-cheek, of course.

I worry about big things like what kind of world my kids will have to live in when they are older. I worry about little things like what my kids will be for Halloween or if my almost 3 year old will ever be potty trained.

Some of us are certainly prone to worry, aren’t we? Please tell me I am not alone in this.

Have you ever wondered what God has to say about this human tendency? You probably know the answer, but let’s listen anyway.

So, what does God say about worry?

What I Read:

Matthew 6 / Luke 12

What He Said:

If we read God’s Word carefully and listen intently, we will find that God certainly has a Word for us on the subject of worrying. And that word is:

Don’t.

  • Don’t worry about what you will eat (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about what you will drink (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about what you will wear (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about your life at all (Matthew 6:25.)
  • Don’t worry about the future (Matthew 6:34.)
  • Don’t worry about what to say to those who oppose you (Matthew 10:19.)
  • Don’t worry about defending yourself when you stand for Him (Luke 12:11.)

I think God is pretty clear on this subject, don’t you? Big thing. Little things. Family issues. World issues. Heart issues. He has it all under control and we add nothing helpful when we worry.

Trust Him.

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This post is part of a 31 Day series. Read the first post here.

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For a little more on the subject of worry, join me over on the MODSquad Blog (Mothers of Daughters)! Hop on over. I’m waiting for you!