I have issues. This should come as no surprise to those of you who read my blog regularly. I wrestle with waiting on God, I struggle with insecurity, I have to cling to God’s grace on a daily basis, and work harder on this whole marriage and parenting thing than I have worked on anything else in my life.
And that’s not all.
I worry a lot.
Fear is a battle for me.
When I am in a “good” place emotionally, spiritually and physically I can quickly recognize my fear triggers, and rise above them. However, when I am tired, stressed, dealing with a difficult child, at odds with Joel, and doggy paddling my way through the waves of unpredictability, I am not so quick to resist worry. My mind blows things out of proportion.
And I end up exhausted.
Realizing this about myself, I have learned a few things about how to regain control of my emotions, and pull myself up out of this pit. There are four little steps I take to move from living overwhelmed to overcoming living. This is today’s Friday’s Free Advice:
- Spiritual dimension: Read the Word of God!
Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)
God’s word takes away the confusion and distorted messages my mind conjures up. It brings me back to the truth, and truth trumps fear every. single. time.
- Physical dimension: Get some rest!
Go to bed early. Take a day, or morning, to flop around the house. Schedule it into your week, if need be. I know life gets really busy (I know this because we are busy quite frequently). I also know that when I have gone too long without rest I burn out. In fact, this morning as I write this, I am sitting here in my jammies with a cup of coffee on my desk. I am resting.
- Relational dimension: Deal with it!
This is probably the most difficult step for me, and I can’t say that I do well in this dimension consistently. However, I am learning and growing (remember…I am clinging to grace on a daily basis!).
Just last night Joel and I had a long heart-to-heart. It was a much needed talk, and as I anticipated bringing things up to him I was a wreck internally. Yet, it proved to be a powerful moment in our relationship. Instead of avoiding and pushing issues aside, we confronted, listened to each other, talked them out (until 12am), and drew closer as husband and wife.
- Soul dimension: Pray!
The famous philosopher of the 90’s, M.C. Hammer, once rapped, “You’ve got to pray just to make it today…Come on, let’s pray.” Okay…a little cheesy, but he was totally right. I really do need to pray just to make it today!
When I’ve saturated my mind in the truth of God’s word, addressed any physical or relational issues, I then wrap them up in prayer. By this time, fear has vanished and my heart, mind and soul are back on track. Life will constantly try to throw curve balls, but keeping the focus the One who will carry us through them all is the greatest comfort of all.
As we drifted off to sleep last night, Joel prayed over us. It was the sweetest night’s rest I’ve had in a long time.
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (KJV)