Why Do We Worry?

What kinds of things do you worry over? Do you ever let worry overwhelm you to the point you forget just Who is in control? Today Sarah Ruut reminds us that though we may worry and fret over many different things in this life, there is One whom we can trust to hold everything in His hands.

But first, for my book-loving friends, I wanted to let you know Intertwined is still on sale for under $3! (ecopies). You can get the kindle version here, nook version here, and CBD’s transferable e-version here. PLUS, CBD has my next novel up for pre-order for 31% off regular price here. (You can read some of the early reviews that have come in here.)

Why Do We Worry? by Sarah Ruut

It had been a long day. I finally headed to the store with my four kids (7 and under) for groceries. The problem? It was 5 o’clock.

why do we worryI knew they were going to get hungry and fussy, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I was already pinching pennies, so a fast food meal – or even a snack – was out.

The 30-minute drive did not bring any ideas. Instead, I spent the time fretting and stewing, tying my stomach in knots instead. I just knew the next hour would be miserable for us all.

With the youngest in the seat of a cart, I boosted my daughter into the main part of the basket. As we started walking into the store, the kids got excited.

“Look, Mommy! I found a dollar!”

I turned, expecting to see an ad or receipt. There in her hand was indeed a dollar. But not just a one. She held a ten-dollar bill out for my inspection.

What do you do with stray cash? I looked around to see if there was anyone who could have left it, but no one paid us any attention. No one was walking from the area as if they had just left a cart.

People just don’t leave ten-dollar bills laying around, though. Who even pays cash these days, right? The whole situation, after the worrying I had been doing about my finances, was a bit shocking.

We continued into the store, and the Lord spoke very clearly.

“I feed the birds of the air and clothe the lilies of the field. Why don’t you trust me to take care of your children?”

I fought tears as the full reality washed over me. My fretting was the exact opposite of faith! If I truly trusted God, I had no need to worry.

We used the money for a box of granola bars and a drink, which we paid for and consumed before doing our “real” shopping. The kids survived the trip, and I kept my sanity. But the lesson that day has never faded.

There are so many times in our day-to-day lives when it is easy to worry. Whether leaving a baby with a sitter or allowing a teen to take the keys, sitting with a loved one in the hospital or watching a tornado bear down on a town, there are things beyond our control that we fret about.

person-371015_640But if we truly believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will, do we really have any reason to worry?

Doesn’t He love our children (spouse, family, friends, etc.) even more than we do?

Can’t He calm the storm with a spoken command?

Doesn’t He own the cattle on a thousand hills?

We don’t have to worry. We don’t have to fix it. We don’t have to have all the answers.

We simply have to trust the One who has it all under control!

Sarah Ruut Pic
Sarah Ruut is an avid reader who loves sharing about books and their authors on her blog. You’ll find devotionals as well as reviews of Christian fiction, interviews with amazing authors, giveaways and more at sarahruut.com. You can also connect with Sarah on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

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livingbygracepic.jpLet’s talk about this! What are some worries that you tend to focus on? How do you work through those worries? Do you delve into the Word, pray, or both? What are some of your favorite verses to think on when you begin to feel worry? Can you think of a time when you felt His peace and provision so deeply, the worry disappeared? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook, because we can all learn from each other!

Coming soon I’ll be doing a blog series titled “The Brain Experiment” where we replace negative, anxiety-producing, and self-defeating thoughts with truth and watch how this impacts our emotions and behaviors. So, stay tuned! 🙂

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Finding Peace in the Crazy

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Photo by LoganArt taken from freedigitalphotos.net

This is almost ironic–the day after I make a vlog sharing my tendency to worry, stress and fret (when I should be still!) my article on Internet Cafe’ Devotions on embracing risk goes live. The two might seem contradictory… or maybe not. Because surrender is a constant, daily battle. As is learning to trust, and I say learning intentionally, because I believe we should be active participants in the processes that deepen our trust in Christ.

But that’s a blog (or maybe vlog) for another day.

If you have a tendency to worry, to work every what-if situation in your mind until your stomach knots and your temperature rises, if you’re like me and would rather avoid those uncomfortable stretching moments, you may be able to relate to the below. (And um… 4:00 yesterday quickly turned to 8 am today… Sorry about that!)

(After you watch my vlog, join me on Internet Cafe’ to take this trust thing one step further, figuratively and literally. Read more HERE.)

Oh, and it’s that time again–another book launch is upon me! Which means, in the next couple months, I’ll be visiting numerous websites, answering interview questions, sharing stories behind my stories, testimonial devotions and more. I’ll try to keep you updated of all my happenings and visits.

Today I’m on the Internet Cafe’ (linked to above). I visited Robin Mason’s blog to talk about self-protecting (or not) when we’re under attack. You can read more HERE.

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Photo by Unsplash taken from Pixabay.com

I’m also on Preslaysa Williams blog talking about one of my favorite subjects–love! 🙂 You can read more HERE! God has done such amazing things in my marriage, and thanks to Him, my honey and I will be leaving soon to head back to Seattle–where it all began–for a special anniversary week. To add fun to fun, I’m editing, now, a novel set in Seattle (which will release in March), so I hope to take lots of pictures for Pinterest!

Don’t Worry; Be Happy!

Picture2The Bible is full of admonitions not to worry, not to be fearful, to rejoice in the LORD, and to accept Christ’s peace, but how do we do that in the day to day? And what do we do when our emotions rebel against our head? 😉 Today I’m thrilled to have my dear friend, critique partner, and fellow Christ to the World writer back with us sharing her heart on how she believes we can maintain a joyful heart.

Don’t Worry; Be Happy! By Tanya Eavenson1120282_laughter

Do you remember that song by Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry. Be happy?” Instinctively I start to sing the next line before my lips can follow along, landing somewhere along here:

“Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo,  don’t worry  oo-oo-oo-oo   be happy now  Oo-oo-oo”

There’s just something about that song that makes you want to sing and smile. You can’t help yourself.

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Wow, I like the cheerful heart better than the crushed spirit. Don’t you? But sometimes things happen in our lives or the lives of others around us, causing a chain reaction that is out of our control and affects us in some way.

What do we do? Do we humble ourselves and pray, or do we worry?

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

Scripture tells us we should pray; when we do, “7 …the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God will give you peace in every situation and it’s not just any peace, or one we create for ourselves the lasts one minute and is gone the next. But a peace that we can’t understand that calms us to our very core, one that comes from the Father, reassuring us that we aren’t alone.

At the beginning of Philippians 4, scripture very clearly calls us to rejoice. “Rejoice in the Lord always.” I know it’s not easy to rejoice all the time, but God is saying to choose to rejoice in any and all circumstances. Not because of your circumstances, but to rejoice in Him– Who He is, His love for you, for your life in Him. Rejoice! For the Lord is near!

If we take a step back and look at our lives, not our circumstances, but what Christ has done for us and His grace, we can only rejoice. And if you’re rejoicing, your heart is a cheerful heart and good medicine for your soul.

Which do you choose?

Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been involved in ministry for fifteen years teaching youth and adults, and doing counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world.

Visit her online:

Website: http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/

Google +:  https://plus.google.com/111621198804346509165#111621198804346509165/posts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/@Tan_eave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tanya-Eavenson/129609683872033

Blog: http://guidedgirls.blogspot.com/

And check out her debut novel, a beautiful story of God’s unconditional, ever-reaching, ever-healing love:

Unconditional:

Elizabeth Roberts can’t remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to Unconditionalforget her infant daughter’s death, her husband’s affair.

When his wife’s coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can’t erase his betrayal, but with God’s help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.

She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?

Let’s talk about this:

When talking about fear vs. faith, worry vs. prayer, I often think of the verse Tanya referenced, Ephesians 4:6-7. Read it again, taking notice of the words in bold:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

When you present requests to God, how often have you paused to thank Him for what He’s done? I’ve found, when I do so, suddenly, my current problems diminish in light of His power demonstrated by His faithful acts. For example, if I’m concerned about our finances, when I pause to thank Him for all the ways He’s provided for our family in the past, I remember He’s always provided for our needs, so why should this instance be any different?

I’ve often found negative thinking breeds negative thinking and fear, if left unchecked, begets more fear. But how can actively determining our thoughts, or, as the Bible says, taking our thoughts captive, help us combat fear?

What are you worried about today? What aspects of God’s nature combat that fear? I encourage you to write ten things you know to be true about God. Keep those written attributes with you, and when you begin to feel fear creeping in, pull them out and pray them, thanking God for being who He is.

(If you struggle with fear and/or anxiety, you might find the following article helpful: Battling Anxiety.)

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Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, on Living by Grace, or join our online Bible study. We’d love to have you!

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