On stress, anxiety, and casting all my cares on God

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My extraordinary husband championed the truth of entering into God’s rest in his Sunday morning message at our church this week.

(Read Hebrews 3 and 4 for the Biblical perspective of rest.)

This word could not have come at a better time for us, as this week and month have the potential to be the most overwhelming in our year thus far.

I am due with twins in 2 months, and trying desperately to take it easy so as to keep the kids cooking longer. This isn’t easy at all because….

Today, our house will finally approved for occupancy! We can move in now. But I am at the mercy and help of friends and family to do all the work, organizing, and heavy lifting. I am humbled to have such a wealth of help in our life. However, I feel the need to be ultra-organized and aware of how I want our home arranged, so I don’t have to ask anyone to do it over again. I also have this nagging fear we will be living out of boxes for the next 3 months, which might make life difficult with new babies.

Speaking of babies, I have a MAJOR lifestyle transition approaching fast. You could describe me as a flitting social butterfly, with the curiosity of a puppy, and the multi-tasking abilities equal to a blade of grass. I am good at one thing at a time, and it usually takes me an hour to get into my groove. Schedules feel like cages to creativity. However, deadlines produce high levels of productivity (the life of a procrastinator).

Well…
Babies need schedules.
Babies don’t have deadlines, per-say.
Babies can be party-poopers (I’ve heard of babies literally gifting parents with blow-out diapers at their first social event in months).

I am so excited to meet these kids, snuggle and feed them, shower them with love and truth and care, and walk with then on our family journey to be more like Christ. But I am not naive of the potentially stressful changes I must make to do so.

Add to the list: a shift or two in our finances, new job opportunities, and the great blessing of our adoption process from Africa… It’s an equation for stress and anxiety! Or it would be if my God was any smaller.

The Holy Spirit taught me 2 applications through Shane’s message that I would appreciate being held accountable to this week:

1. Doubt is the enemy of rest and peace. Shane put it rather eloquently: “when we feel stressed-out (to the point of anxiety), we show how little we think God is.”

When we make our fears or circumstances bigger than they should be, we start thinking God is smaller than He is. Hebrews 3:8-19 narrates how the Israelites did this to God in the dessert, and therefore missed out of true rest in The Lord.

When we miss out on true rest, we start looking to other remedies for our overwhelmed-ness: TV, vacation, relationships, “venting.” But these do not satisfy or relieve.

2. We must look at God (through His Word, not our ideas about him), to learn his priorities, His Big-ness, and His love for us.

When we focus in Gods priorities (to live as a light to the world), we can let go of our own priorities (like having a perfectly organized home or new furniture for the new house). This greatly reduces stress!

When we let go of the notion that “I must do everything myself” (pride), and humbly cast all our cares on Jesus, we become rested, settled, relaxed and refreshed. (Read 1 peter 5:6-7 for more).

Today, my prayer mirrors Hebrews 4:16…

“Lord, I need your mercy and grace. I come confidently to your throne – not to TV, Facebook/Pinterest, a nap, or even waiting till every thing gets done-I come to your throne alone to settle my spirit, remove all anxiety, and produce the fruit peace in my life.

Thank you for being Big enough.”

I am also singing a song I learned as a child… It is a simple but excellent reminder:

“My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!”

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