Archive | June 2014

ANXIETY

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

What do you do when you are up against a deadline, time is running out, and everything that can go wrong does?

Does your stomach churn? Do you get snappy at everyone that crosses your path? Are you stalled from all the roadblocks, or do you hunker down to blaze the trail remembering with God’s help you’ve got this?

Yesterday was one of those days, and a day to practice what I preach.

  • Trying to get ready for a week of camp ministry for a record number of campers with only a few beds to spare.
  • Piled up laundry and the sewer backed up.
  • Discovering a pack rat in my garden chomping off my plants and trying to trap it.
  • Meal prep for Hubby and boiled over potatoes

Sadly I had moments where I failed to let God handle all my anxieties. I had to apologize to the mom who called wanting help finding a ride for her daughter to go to camp. I suggested calling another family with a daughter about the same age, and she replied, “My daughter doesn’t really speak to her.” Well, I did not respond very gently when I informed her that they would need to get over it, because they would need to get along and speak since they’d be spending a week in a crowded cabin together. I think my over-reaction took this mom by surprise. Unfortunately, I was a bit snippy, but a few minutes later with a returned call I was able to apologize for my behavior.

God knows we are not always going to handle anxiety, fear or stress very well. That’s why he gives us verses such as the one I began with. In the Bible we are also given many examples of people who needed the same reminders. At camp, we are going to be learning about Joshua. God repeatedly tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, don’t be terrified. Joshua is also assured that God is with Him. Although, Joshua’s assignment may have been monumental compared to what you or I are called, God’s promises are true for us as well.

It’s crunch time! I have today to complete the tasks of camp prep and pack. There will most likely be a few bumps in the road, but God and I got this! 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Broken Promises

Can I rant a bit today? I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever really done that on a blog before, but here goes. When did it become so easy to break promises in our society? When I was growing up, I was taught along with most of the other kids in my community, that if you give your word you keep it. In other words, if you say your going to do something, you follow through and do it! It was a commitment to fulfill whether it was harder than you thought it would be. 

Today, people are quick to back out of just about any kind of agreement, verbal or written. It seems to be the norm. If something a bit more fun comes along, just cancel the first obligation for the more exciting one. You may have more fun, but the other party had been counting on you. Now they are left in a quandary. It seems the more frequent this happens with small things, bigger commitments begin to be abandoned. Bigger commitments often involve hard work – physically, mentally, emotionally. When obstacles get in the way, instead of working through the problem it seems to be increasingly more popular to throw your hands up and say “That’s it; I quit!” Relationships begin to suffer. These relationships can be work, friendship, family and/or marriage relationships. Sometimes, the hurt and damage is irreparable – a job is lost, friendship is broken, family members no longer speak, marriage becomes 2 living separate lives and may end in divorce.

Quitting when the task is not as fun as once thought, or when it becomes hard work does not make a strong person. Too many quitters, makes a weak community. Then the trickle down effect takes place. Children model what they see, and another generation becomes an even weaker link.

What if God kept his promises at the same rate that we keep ours? What kind of God would that even be? I find comfort, knowing God keeps his promises. 

It is time to change this downward spiral! Make a commitment and stick to it through completion.

“It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.” Ecclesiastes 5:5

Grit your teeth and sweat if you need to, but keep your word, and be the example to this next generation. 

My Feet Took Me Where?

Today as I was walking on the dirt road, I was grateful for the old habit of looking down as I walk because a small rattle snake was stretched across my path. Whew!

Watching my feet has been my habit since childhood. I was often reminded to “look where you’re going”, and “you can’t see much looking at your toes”, or “look around; be observant.” My mom loves to tell of the time I watched my feet climb right over the fence.

As a child, our front yard was fenced in. This was to keep us little ones safe from the cattle trucks, pickups, and tractors that drove in and around our farm yard. We knew we were not supposed to open the gate and go out by ourselves.  However, one day as I was walking, head down, watching where my little feet were taking me, I came to the yard fence. Mom was watching from the kitchen window, and she says I didn’t stop. I just kept watching one foot follow the other as I climbed up, over and down the other side of the fence. According to Mom, my head stayed down until I was out in the middle of the barn yard. Stopping abruptly, I looked up and around, and hightailed it back to the fenced yard as fast as my little 3 year old legs could take me.

I’m not sure why this habit has stuck all these years. I do it so unconsciously. When I am with other people I try to be aware of keeping my eyes up, but when I’m by myself I rarely think about it.

Now you’ve learned something new and quirky about me. 🙂

Did you know the Bible actually addresses keeping your gaze up?

Proverbs 4:25-27 says “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” ESV

This is wise instruction to remember. In our walk through life, we are faced with many trials and temptations. If we do not keep our eyes fixed on the truth of God’s word, we will surely stumble. Don’t even swerve towards that temptation!

What kind of trail are you on? Is it bumpy? Have you taken time to ponder the path you are taking? It is never too late to turn around and get back on the road that leads away from evil.