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  • Anxiety Series: #5 What is Driving Your Anxiety

    I feel like a broken record as I state off the bat this isn't all inclusive, or meant to do anything more than to get you thinking about what is behind the anxiety you are feeling. I am not talking about those that need medication for anxiety that tends to come out of nowhere, and are medically being treated. What this is aiming to do is help you to identify things that cause you anxiety so that you have a clearer picture of what your triggers for that are, and looking at where those anxieties lie. Remember that God isn't the author of confusion 1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, was in all the churches of the saints.". God also states in John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.". That word abundance is more of a "fullness of life", many put it as riches or things exclusively. Fullness of life brings that past material things into ALL aspects of our lives here on earth and beyond. We need to be aware of where our anxiety is coming from to understand why God is needed during those times of anxiety. Many times I hear Christians state that they don't need to hear that God can help or deal with their anxiety. This is complex because there may be multiple reasons why Christians feel this way, experiences, beliefs, not believing.... Ultimately it comes down to many people just living with and in anxiety because they just don't feel a way out. Going to God in the past hasn't led to the answers they sought, paths they were hoping for, outcomes they wanted and so on. So they are left without hope, without a way to deal with their anxiety. That was the reason for this whole series, to hopefully bring some new perspective, or hope, to those people dealing with that. If you are going to God with an outcome in mind, please be forewarned that many times that isn't how life goes with God and his plans. Sometimes there is pain, frustration, outcomes that seem to be worse before they get better. For me I am COMPLETELY speaking from experience on this one. God, time and time again, does things that go against what the people who have gone to him expect for outcomes. Let me point out that Israel was excited to be freed from being slaves only to head out into a desert and wandering for 40 years. Moses didn't expect to lead them and then find himself not even entering the promised land. Note again, the beauty in all that is Israel was taken through many aspects of growth out in the desert. Moses was shown the land his people were to have (which was SO much that only God would be able to have him see what he did), and then GOD buried him. I bring Moses up a lot because for many of us, we get being in something for years and the frustration, abandonment, sadness and such that we feel during that time. Like Israel, most of us lean on what we want vs. what God is providing. We turn down the daily mana for substance, spices, meat, etc. that WE want because that is what we are accustom to, or feel we are entitled to. Sometimes it takes us sitting back and trusting that God has these things under control and if we were just to walk that path he sets forth, even though we may see it in the rear view mirror, we can see the beauty in how God's plan is laid out. Now it's your turn to look at what drives some of your anxiety. This is your time to sit back and take some time looking inward. Don't rush through this, you have invested this much time, take this and look at what things you are dealing with and places you can use some of the tools gained through this series. What is one of your leading causes for anxiety? Write down some of your most recent causes of anxiety. How did you deal with those each time? How do you normally deal with anxiety? How often do you go to God and actually give everything to him and release it all even if the outcome is different than what you had planned? How do you feel about anxiety. What are YOUR beliefs surrounding anxiety and how does that match up with what the Bible says about being anxious. How do you feel about others anxiety when it crosses over into you, affecting your life/daily routine? How have your thoughts changed since working through this series?

  • Anxiety Series: Stories That Help Shape Our Journey - CONFESSION TIME

    So I have a confession to make, holy cow, I went around to so many friends laughing because I'm SO broken some days. Seriously, there are days that when I swear Matthew 17:20 “Because you have so little faith,” He answered.“For truly I tell you,if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,‘Move from here to there,'and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”was written with me in mind some days. I am the most amazed at my lack of true faith some days, have I not been reading what I have written?? Let me start from the beginning... SO, after writing ALL 4 parts of this series I found myself in a situation with one of my kiddos that, sigh... I literally heard in my head more than once that I needed to stop what I was doing to pray. Seriously, here I am, total mom mode as one of my kiddos NEEDED ME (they didn't I'm a mom, they needed mom to go to God on their behalf, I'll get back to that.) as they were in a "crisis" and circumstances were out of their control. I was soon to figure out mine also. I was busy calling the school and places trying to get this whole situation they were in taken care of, fixed. I found myself at dead end after dead end, the whole time literally having this conversation in my brain as it was telling me (dude it was God's prompting, the whole time) to pray first and give this to God. I have seen, and even shared here, time and time again GOD come through and yet here I was, once again attempting to drive this car off a cliff vs just follow the directions God was giving. Guys, I kept at this WAY too long, went through SO many calls, PLEADING to get the outcome I wanted to happen for my kiddo. I wanted to be there for them, to make this better. My heart was TOTALLY in the right place, well so I thought. My HEART told me to stop all the running around and pray. God was telling me like the ghost on the top of the engine in 'The Polar Express', "take a brake kid" as it He banged on the brake. I am SO not kidding when I tell you that I did finally listen. Not before being like a stubborn kid wanting their way, I did it all my way until I was out of options and THEN went to God. I grabbed a stick because there are no hedge balls this time of year, and after 5 minutes of discussing with God how a stick wasn't the same and didn't cut it for what I wanted to pray into, I got to the meat of the conversation with God. I gave it ALL over to him, I don't even remember throwing the stick because I kept on letting him know that I totally ignored him, that I knew better, all about this blog and then with a big deep breath in, I laid it all out on him and told him I KNEW this wasn't at all going to look like what I wanted. It was ALL on him and the only answer that was going to work was the one he had. I went back in. I had a kiddo not wanting to go to school, to practice and was even done with work. They were defeated, tired, frustrated, beat down and until that prayer, there was nothing I could do. I walked back inside and went about my day. That afternoon my kiddo came down, not happy but leaving... for practice. I said goodbye and off they went. THEN they didn't come home from practice but went to their job. From there they came home, had conversation, then went to bed. The next morning they got up WITHOUT ME WAKING THEM, got to school ON TIME.... I stood, totally stunned... and when they left went on a whole apology with God about my wee little sad pathetic faith and seeing that mustard seed mountain moving happening. That kiddo and I had been where we were the day before, and that is NOT how it ends when mom runs that plan, despite all my heart and best mommy efforts, that is NOT how we end that story. my mountain was moved and I PROMISE you a mustard seed was probably the size of truly what I had at the point I went to him. I just need to share that anxiety is something that we all face, I GUARANTEE I have witnesses to that as I was fighting so hard for my kiddo in all the wrong places. I am SO thankful and grateful for a God that saw that, reminded me, and through ABUNDANT grace, come through for me, LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES, when I FINALLY sought him and was "anxious for nothing". I hope this helps to see we are in this together, I have my battle grounds as you do. I can tell you I GET anxiety, I GET frustration, I GET how hard this is. I also COMPLETELY GET what God says, as he lovingly and frequently calls us to him. He calls us to be anxious for nothing and cast out cares on him. He is there and waiting. It's not too late to seek him out. It takes work yet, isn't that work so much more fruitful than the work we do that leads to more worry, more heartache and outcomes that aren't nearly what they are when God leads?

  • Anxiety Series: #4 Strategizing - Part 2

    Continuing on from part one.... Prayer: Obviously I just went through this one in more detail in Series #3, however I would be completely remiss if I didn't touch on this again. PRAYER is SOOOO powerful. God calls on us to pray (1 These 5:17-18), to come to him (John 3:16), to seek him (Matt 6:33). Prayer is the way to communication through the Holy Spirit, fellowship and relationship with God. We really need to remind ourselves that prayer is a tool; Prayer is purposeful - When you use a tool there is a point that you go to that tool to grab it to use it for which it was intended (yes, I am also one of those that may use it for which it isn't but for this we will pretend that isn't the reality it is.) Prayer, when you are fighting a battle, should look a lot like someone going into battle, focused, purposeful, ready for action. Prayer takes commitment - I DO NOT have data to back this next statement but I am really confident when I say we have all said prayers just to say the prayer to get on with THE PRAYER. THAT isn't true commitment, I get its commitment due to the fact you are doing it to get through it. When I am talking commitment I am talking about you take this tool, come out purposeful and commit in your heart, and with EVERY CELL OF YOUR BEING that you are giving this to God. You want to know you are in a fight? This will be that time because you will fight your very self to get this to be a thing. Your doubt, your past perceived failures, your feelings of inadequacy, every doubt that God is or isn't real will potentially be present at this time. This is work, this tool makes you roll up your sleeves and dig in with every bit of strength sometimes. Then yet some days it's totally easy. Just know it will ALWAYS be work, it is the action God calls for us. Commitment takes throwing aside every bit of doubt, fear, anxiety, needing to be in control of whatever it is you are bringing, and get rid of all that and come OPEN, EMPTY and READY to receive whatever it is you are asking. Commitment means "whatever the path is I am here and ready to walk it fully". Commitment means this may not look AT ALL like what you were hoping for BUT YOU DO IT ANYWAY because you know God has your path. Are you ready for that? It's tough, but dude this part is where the rubber meets the road and you go all in and God is allowed to show up. It's awesome. Prayer takes setting time aside to fully give what is needed to that communication - Would you take a tool out and not give it the time it takes to use it before throwing it away because it doesn't work? No brainer, Prayer takes committed (yes, I am driving that in) time. MAKE TIME, it's not like the alternative of sitting in anxiety is more fun than talking with the Lord. The many people out there that won't make the time for God and then sit struggling day after day in the anxiety they have isn't exactly the answer either. Prayer takes practice - Here is where honesty for most comes in, we all know prayer is important, but so many will say "I am just not good about prayer", "I don't know how to pray", etc.. PRACTICE, make the time, COMMIT and PRACTICE because soon practice turns into developed skills useful for the things we need them to be. Prayer is no different Prayer takes faith - That commitment above doesn't work without faith. You have to know what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 states "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". You thought commitment was hard? Now understand that faith is trusting in something you can't necessarily prove to people. People can see outward manifestations of faith but no one can actually see your faith. This is you and God, this is personal, this is the true inward heart of who you are in Christ. Are you in Christ? Is Christ in you? only YOU can answer that. Faith is what activates ALL of this. You can't fake faith with God. Through faith comes that trust that he will be there when he says he will. I promise you that prayer leads to some serious ability to gain and grow in faith from God because he is true, he is faithful to us, and he will back his faith in your life as you let him. I know you are tired of hearing this but faith is action, faith takes believing, and walking out on. These are those times that faith is seen in more people, during times of trials. Faith is the action you take in prayer that says you are all in and ready to walk out on what God has for you. Faith also takes the knowledge that the path you are given isn't the one you had planned, yes, I went there again. Prayer is an act/a walking out/action - This is your statement to God that you know who he is, you have gone through all the above to be ready to walk out and know that you left it all here with God and are ready to go forward, free from the burdens you left behind in prayer. Philippians 4:6 calls us to be anxious for nothing THROUGH prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, and letting our requests be made known to God. Prayer is the action to the belief that God says "be anxious for nothing" AND he states in 1 Peter 5 to "cast our cares on him". We cast our cares through prayer. This seriously is a geek moment for me because I find ALL this completely amazing, beautiful and worth all the work it takes. When I go to God in times of anxiety ridden prayer I remember Philippians 4 and I come to him with EVERYTHING. I release the issue at hand to him, I talk through it and I give that all to him. Sometimes it's in complete detail and sometimes shorter and to the point "God this {insert issue} is more than I can handle and I NEED you to take this from me". I give God the stuff I have done that probably didn't help because, well I'm not perfect, and usually I add to my own anxiety with my responses to it. I give him the good, the bad and the ugly and cast all that upward until I am emptied of all of it. Again, if I missed saying this takes work, it takes effort, and it sometimes takes me fighting my brain interjecting what I just handed over.... These are the moments that I laugh at how insane I would sound if people really knew what I was dealing with some days. I have committed to God's promise that I am to cast it all to him, to be anxious for nothing, and if that means I have to take a minute to argue with my brain? That it doesn't get to bring that back down to me? Well then we now take a minute to fight (I seriously argue with my brain like it's separate some days from me) and find other things to distract those thoughts away from what it needs to let go of. OK, so when I have BIG issues I'm dealing with, I usually do all this with a hedgball/hedge apple that I get from my yard. It's my thing, (Just when you thought I couldn't get more weird, BOOM there it is). I am visual and when things are this big I SUCK at handing them all over and not keeping a piece to hang on to in case God doesn't handle things the way I want (yeah, I never said I was smart, that even SOUNDS dumb, and yet I do it time and time again). This started when I was in my 40's cuz, well, I am a SLOW learner and giving EVERYTHING over to God has just not been my thing. I had just been diagnosed with cancer and I just had this huge weight, and everything and everywhere I went had this darkness to it, hard to explain but something I didn't want to live with anymore. I stood one morning in my living room and prayed everything, the cancer, the fear, the fact God had given me 6 children after ALL the years trying and this was how this ended? I prayed that all this was TOO HEAVY, too much, I couldn't do it alone, I held my hands in front of me and pictured a basket and prayed it all in to there and then I literally handed it all over to God. I told him he knew I suck at listening so shout, KICK OPEN THE DOORS to the extent I heard the foot hit the door, and I would walk 100% out on the path he had for me. I was ready, I COULDN'T do this without him. I reminded him that I would probably try to pick things up, but with everything I had I was working towards NOT being that anymore. That was when I got two separate calls from my Step-Mother in law and then my Father-in-law who both swear to me, and had been so busy they didn't realize they both had the same thing happen, they audibly heard God say I wouldn't die from this. Whether you believe in that or not, I did, and I walked out on that and II have never looked back. So now I pray everything into that hedgeball I talked about, I feel the weight in my hand and just mentally pack everything into the hedgeball and feel the weight increase in my hand as I fill it with everything I need to let go to God and then I pitch it into the woods. Please note, I love the fact that the idea that ball will degrade, and then come back new and fresh is awesome. HOWEVER my hubby reminds me that now I'm going to have those trees all over and they can be a bit of a pain. NEVER THE LESS it's my thing, it gives me something I can see, feel and touch and THROW away from me giving that to God. Ok, except for the ONE time I did that and it was a thing I knew would be something REALLY hard for me not to hang on to. I laughed when my dog brought it happily back to me after I "released" it. I hadn't fully, I knew I hadn't, so I looked up and went "HA HA very funny God, I WILL let this go". I re-threw it and then put Systemic Theology by Wayne Grudem on Audible so I could keep that promise with keeping my mind occupied with the word vs my thoughts. THIS ISN'T EASY handing everything over and trusting through faith. It is work, but my life has been changed HUGE since the first time I did that. I have seen God so huge I will NEVER look back. I am just ONE story out of so many. Read the Bible, it is FULL of these stories. It's up to you to take these tools out to use them. What is the alternative? I have lived the alternative and I can honestly say my life has never seen this type of peace doing it my way. Support: Finding those people in your life to lend you support during high anxiety times can bring more than just comfort. Knowing you aren't going through whatever it is you are dealing with alone. Whether that be an online group, or whether that is in person, finding others that share in what you have going on can be extremely comforting and helpful. One big note on this is I would watch out for, even faith based "ministries", that "deal" with issues through anger, constantly living in vs growing through whatever it is you are going through and those that offer "fast/easy solutions" with out looking at what it is you are going through. An example of a good support person was as I was going through some really challenging times with one of my kiddos I found myself just at a spot that was unsure, worried and treading in ground I had never been. I was actually seeking someone else when my pastor just happen to be there instead. Granted looking back at that moment it's hard to NOT see God, at the time I had it set to go speak with another friend. Long story short, had my pastor not taken that time to see me where I was I wouldn't have gotten a talk that was from someone that not only had been where I was, they were still dealing with a lot of the same. He started off by saying he didn't have all the answers that I was seeking, but in just being there and helping me sort out some of the frustrations I was having, and understanding that I was not alone in dealing with what I was, changed that WHOLE situation from that point forward. Between he and his awesome wife I had someone to lean on when I needed that, they both helped support me with my faith but also offered up a knowledge of where I was that not everyone had. Since then I have been able to be there for others BECAUSE of the love of God in the people who supported me. They built me up, they lifted me when I was frustrated, they listened, they guided, they were a critical part of the body of Christ right when I needed it. Finding a support team that brings you to a place where you can seek God with them is a great way to develop support that lasts. Make sure that you are leaning in on believers that meet you where you are, support you through Christian based and backed principals and enjoy that God can work through them to help bring that love of God that is needed in times of anxiety, worry and stress. There are SO many other ways to deal with anxiety and add more tools to that tool chest. I would LOVE to hear more of them. Please feel free to comment below as to ways these, or other "tools" have been used out of your own toolbox.

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Programs (16)

  • Shifting From Anxiety to God

    Two week study to help give you prompts to start putting the tools from the Anxiety Series blog posts into action.

  • Step 1 - Read "Anxiety Series: #1

    WELCOME! Hey there! Thanks for choosing to use the interactive option to reading the Anxiety Series. This is a great way to get some of that deeper discussion and thought going to what is being talked about in the series, and I can not wait to see the feedback from this. During the next couple weeks we will be taking time to read the post and then take to some deeper connection to what is being presented to help support you, and empower you, as you work on placing God into those anxious, stress filled or difficult moments we find ourselves in. The goal is to help to manage and gain some good habits on dealing with those times in our lives. Are you ready?

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