Monday, October 4, 2010

To Worry or Pray ...

Many people know that our family is facing changes.  The 'Joes will be stationed somewhere at some point in the future. We’re not sure when, not sure where … just not sure.  What we are sure of is this: though uncertain about the particulars, we are certain that change is coming --- and possibly sooner (or later) than we even think.  (Clear as mud, huh?)

Over this past year, I have had many people express their concerns over this change that will happen.  Most of these people we know personally, so their hearts are evident with their concern for us.  “I worry about you”  “I am very concerned for your family”  “I don’t know how you (Granny) will handle this”.  All of these concerns come from the very heart of people we love dearly.  So, I just want to take a moment for them.

Please do not worry … choose to pray. 

I have learned and am still learning that “worry” changes nothing – except for my stress level and blood pressure.  When I worry about something, I’m basically saying to God that “I have this under control God.  I can handle it on my own, and I really don't need You on this one”  And although I really don’t have it under control, I sure don’t want anyone looking at me as being weak.  So, the worrying sets in and takes up residence in my soul – my stress level goes through the roof because I am absorbed in worrying. My blood pressure hits its highest level that it hasn't in … well, forever.  My heart begins its arrhythmia beat --- boom boom skip boom boom boom skip boom … And, eventually I end up in a panic.  All of this because of that 5 letter word. Jesus Himself had these words to say about “worry”:

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 food, and the body 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?  Matthew 6:25-27 

My King James Life Application Study Bible gives seven reasons not to worry, and I want to share them with you.  All of these are taken from Matthew 6: 25–34:

            The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of you life.
            Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today.
            Worrying is more harmful than helpful.
            God does not ignore those who depend on Him.
            Worry shows lack of faith and understanding of God.
            These are real challenges God wants us to pursue, and worrying keeps us from them.
            Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.

But by turning my worries in prayers …

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

These words from Paul are some of the most comforting words I have ever enveloped.  Yes, I do mean enveloped.  When I turn my worrying into prayers, I am saying to God Almighty:  Come into my heart, my mind and envelop every space within me – enclose  every space. I’m giving You every emotion, every control-driven part of me. You gave me my life, and I trust You. 

I will admit that the upcoming changes will be challenging.  And to answer some of the concerns I’ve heard – yes, I have grown “attached” to Lucy.  Who wouldn’t grow “attached” to a precious grandchild living in your own house?  No, I’m not sure what life will be like without her here every day.  As she runs around the house calling for “Strawberry Shortcake! Ginger Snap! Orange Blossom!”  Or when she looks at Granddad coming home from work “Hey, Granddad, you're home now!”  Or when she’s ready for bedtime, and she gives hugs, kisses and “noses” to Granny & Granddad.  “I love you, Granddad!  I love you, Granny!” comes out of her sweet little voice.  Yes, life will certainly be different in our house. 

However, Granddad and I have laid the foundation for our relationship with the ‘Joes, and with our little Lucy.  From the very first moments of her earthly life, we have been there.  Yes, she is a tremendous part of our life, and she will continue to be so, just as her parents.  Soon it will be time for the ‘Joe family to continue on the road that God has paved for them.  Just as it will be time for Granny & Granddad to continue on to the next chapter in our lives – empty-nesters.  Of course Granddad is busy with work,  we both have church activities, and Granny’s “to-do” list has been growing some various projects lately (from organizing photos to writing to working out to learning more about healthy eating to … well, as you can see, my list is growing).  And who knows where Granny will be next!

So, with this next step for our family, our family is not allowing worry to settle in.  All of us are just praying.  I heard many years ago from an online devotion:  “Prayer isn’t the least I can do, it’s the best I can do.”  We choose to pray ... not worry.   

“… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11    

And yes, who wouldn't become "attached" to her?

(This is the first time I have edited a post with a link, so hopefully it will work!  I know I've given Mrs. GI Joe's blog link previously, but she has updated some of Lucy's 2 year old pictures . Yes, more reasons as to why Granny & Granddad are attached!)

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