Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Pack 8 Days in a Carry-On...or Not

The Hubster and I are going on vacation to Puerto Rico on Saturday. 



We'll be gone for a week, so don't wait for a post from me. You won't be getting any. In fact, as I write this, it's Sunday...almost a week before we leave, and I'm already packed and mentally checked out. This is my last post until March.


Did you know that most airlines charge for baggage now? Hubster doesn't seem to care (but he also didn't mind paying the extra $75 each way each person for extra leg room), but I refuse to pay it. So, I was determined to get everything in my carry-on: the hiking attire, 3 bathing suits, 2 cover-ups, 12 tops (too many?), 5 bottoms, 3 dresses, 1 floppy hat, toiletries, unmentionables, pajamas, reading material, purse, and an obscene amount of shoes/sandals.




And I did. Here's how I did it. First, I switched to a practical purse; a smaller one that can be worn across my shoulder and chest. Smaller wallet. Only carry what I know I'll need or use. 
The Daughter told me it was frumpy. Oh well. 



Since I am allowed one carry-on and one personal item, I got this cute backpack at Walmart and the purse will go inside the backpack. The Daughter didn't see the backpack. She probably would say that's frumpy too. Oh well. By the time you reach 54, who cares?!



And this becomes my travel attire.  The hiking shoes, since they take up the most room in a suitcase, the hiking pants, which can be unzipped at the thigh to become shorts (very handy when you get off the plane and it's 80 degrees) and my sweater...yes, a strange combination, but the more you can layer, the less clothes you have to pack. Along with a raincoat, which is not pictured (like the kid missing from the yearbook).




Next, start rolling. That's right. Instead of packing everything separately, pack in sets. These are my "pajamas (one set. I do have more)."



Place smaller item inside the middle of the larger item. Fold over and roll. 



Since the skort is bigger, that goes on the bottom, and the top, along with the "under" things, goes inside. This was hard to roll, so it was sort of folded/rolled.


Because of the wonderful world of electronics, this pile is no longer necessary. Only my tablet. And thanks to my local library, I can read free magazines through Zinio.




I started with what would go in the backpack. Since there's not a lot of danger in my luggage getting lost (because it's a carry-on), I didn't need to concern myself too much with making sure I had a change of clothes, etc, but I decided to pack those anyway in the backpack, along with my toiletries, medications, the pajamas, sandals, bathing suit, and a cover-up. 






Backpack packed! Now onto the carry-on itself.

Once I rolled up all my outfits, dresses and extra tops, here's what it looked like (notice the spray bottle? That's for getting out the wrinkles. Once you unpack and hang up the clothes, just spray some warm water on them and shake them out...gets the majority of wrinkles out. No need to fuss too much when you're on vacation!


Yes, I fit everything in. The bulk of the space was taken up by the darned shoes! I ended up putting back two pair. How many black sandals do you really need? I just need to remember my phone/tablet charger and I'm good to go!


Adios! Nos vemos en Marzo!

Bendiciones,
Maria

Oops! Hold on there, "Maria!" Did you check the dimensions of your bag to make sure it adheres to the carry-on requirements of the airlines?

Why, no, I hadn't thought of that, Self. 

Well, guess what? 

My bag was too big!!!

I tried another carry-on, and I couldn't fit everything! 

So you know what I did?

I opted to pay the fee to check my luggage. What's $25 when you're paying...er, rather, the Hubster is paying...all that money for a vacation? After all, it's vacation!

I guess I haven't made it into the Pinterest Hall of Fame. Oh well...like I said, by the time you reach 54...who cares?!

Sometimes God takes our self-righteousness and humbles us. Okay, I get it.

So, now, I can say, 
Adios!

Oh, and if you're very observant, you may have noticed the new "do." 

Bendeciones 
Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

Monday, February 16, 2015

God Help Me---I've Posted a Recipe!

God help me...I'm turning into one of "those" bloggers...the homemaking kind. The posting recipes kind. 

Those who know me know that domestic is not a word that describes me. This sign hangs in my kitchen.



It's sort of true.

However, I've been really into soups lately. I found this recipe...I think it was in Eating Well magazine. I tweaked it a bit to my liking. 

If you enjoy soup, and are into "souper" easy, this recipe is a breeze. It's also very healthy and low in calories (until you add the biscuits).




Chicken, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup



Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups chopped kale
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 diced sweet potatoes
2 32-oz boxes of lowsalt, lowfat chicken broth
1 package thinly sliced chicken breasts
2 cups egg noodles or pasta shells (I used egg noodles)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in olive oil; add chicken. Meanwhile, in a large pot, add kale, sweet potatoes, celery and chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat/simmer. Once chicken is cooked through, remove from frying pan and cut into small pieces. Add to soup pot, along with the onion in frying pan. Simmer until potatoes are soft and kale is wilted (about 30-40 minutes). While soup is simmering, cook egg noodles/pasta shells. When cooked, but not soft, add to soup pot. Serve with Pillsbury biscuits. Serves 6-8.  

Enjoy!

Oh, and don't worry. This won't be a habit (I hope).

Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

Friday, February 13, 2015

Loving the Lonely

Since Valentine's Day is here, I thought perhaps I could write something appropriately lovely about romantic love.



The problem with that is that I really don't like Valentine's Day. I never did. 

Back in the day when children gave valentines to certain chosen ones and not the whole class, I went home with a very small collection. I wasn't exactly Charlie Brown, but I certainly wasn't the most popular.

All of December, I battled what I thought was S.A.D. (Seasonal Affect Disorder). The problem with that is that it's so hard to diagnose. It could have been depression, or simply extreme sadness. It was around Christmas, when everything is supposed to be jolly and happy, and most of my memories of Christmas are not great. It seemed to lift in January; maybe it was more of a H.A.D. (Holiday Affect Disorder).

I was having a particularly rough day one day. I couldn't seem to stop crying, and I didn't even know what I was crying about. Every tiny thing that didn't go just right set me off.



I know it bothered the Hubster. Men don't like when their women cry. They can't fix it. Mine usually ignores it. Which, depending on the reason for the tears, can lead to more tears. Or not. No wonder he ignores it. He's probably afraid that I might pummel him or something. 

At any rate, the next day, Hubster came home from work bearing flowers and a very appropriate Hallmark card. It wasn't gushy. It was funny/cute. He knew I needed to laugh, and he knew I needed to feel loved. (He also knew that as much as I would love and devour chocolate, I'd also cry over how fat I would continue to get having eaten said chocolate). 

Those flowers, at a time when they were least expected, meant more to me than five dozen overpriced red roses on a required day.

That's why I don't like Valentine's Day. It's way overrated. Everything is overpriced. People's expectations are too often unrealistic, which can lead to severe disappointment and disillusionment.

And what about those who are not involved in a romantic relationship? 

I remember when I was a single mom and the church I attended held a "couple's dinner" for Valentine's Day. I wasn't allowed to go because I was no longer a "couple." Being a divorced and single mom is difficult enough, but exclusion adds hurt to an already hurting soul. 

So all the single women tend to get together and do something fun in order to forget about the special day that they just wish was over. I'm not sure if the single men do. I seem to know more single women.

I could talk about Jesus being the lover of our soul, our "husband" as it says in Isaiah 54:5, our all in all. And that is true. But honestly, some folks just don't want to hear all that...again. They just want to be included, and not shunned because they are not part of a "couple." People want to know that someone still cares about them...as an individual.

The fact is, there are a lot of people who are lonely. 


  • Single people who don't have a significant other to love on and receive love from. 
  • Married people who feel stuck or are ignored, abused or living with someone with an addiction who can't give that person the love he or she desperately desires or needs.
  • People in a romantic relationship who know that the romance has grown cold, or that they're not with the "right" person, but choose to stay over being alone.
  • Children who don't quite fit in to the norms of society and desperately desire a friend.
  • Those who've lost a child, miscarried, or feel the pain of not being able to conceive.
  • The divorced, who often feel judged by their status, and sometimes struggle with guilt.
  • Widows and widowers who seem to feel the loss more on a holiday.
  • The elderly, who vividly remember the time when they were young and vibrant, and are looking at their last days ahead, but everyone is too busy with their lives to visit.
  • The homeless, who are so familiar with seeing faces of disgust and pity, but not genuine care.
  • Parents of addicts.
And so many more. Look around you. They're right there. They might be you
.
Instead of preaching ABOUT Jesus to them, let's try to BE Jesus to them.

What can you do this weekend to brighten someone's life? 
How can you show love, kindness and care to someone who is alone or feeling lonely?

And for those of you who fit into one of the above categories...I know who some of you are...I love you. And so many others do too. I may not be able to BE Jesus to you this weekend, I may not even talk to you this weekend, but you are loved nonetheless. 

It's one day. It'll pass. And life will go on as usual.

But for some, the pain of loneliness won't pass with the passing of a holiday. We would do well to remember that.

Blessings Along the Path,

Mare

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Draw Me In

Have you ever sat in the stillness, the quiet, and...

Nothing?

You sit there and sit there and sit there and wait for that special "quiet time anointing" to fall. You wait for the cacophony in your head to still so that your mind can still so that your body can still. 

Still...nothing.

You close your eyes and try to enter the presence of God, and you just can't.

Then you start to feel guilty because you really don't feel like sitting there anymore. So you get up and start doing the dishes and whatnot, asking, "Where's the presence of God? Why can't I find it?"

Or maybe that's just me.

But you see, it's not about conjuring up God's presence. We can't make it happen. We can sit and wait, and sometimes nothing happens. That doesn't mean that God's not there. He is always there.
His presence is always present.

We just don't always "feel" it.

Several years ago, I came across this scripture:

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8)

I'm tempted to go into the explanation and significance of the Tabernacle here: the Outer Court, the Inner Court (or Holy Place) and the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies. But that would take longer than I know you'd like to spend reading this blog.

Instead, I'll let you research that yourself if you're not familiar with it. There is a vast array of books and articles written on this subject, but the best way to familiarize yourself with it is to read Exodus 26; all of Exodus if you want the context.


The bottom line is this: Tabernacle means dwelling place. It was a place to "contain" God in a tangible form; a place for His glory to dwell, so that the Israelites could worship Him in the wilderness. When they drew near to Him in that Tabernacle, God drew near to them. God dwelt among them.

God dwells among us in our wilderness as well.

When we recognize and repent of our sin, we draw near to God. 
When we make the effort to sit in the stillness, the quiet space, we draw near.

But He is the One Who draws us in.

Consider this:

My soul longs, even faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 
(Psalm 84:2)




As the deer pants for streams of water, 
so my soul pants for You, my God
(Psalm 42:1)


God is the one who puts that hunger for Him in us...so that everything in us cries out for Him...our soul, our heart and our flesh.

He beckons us. 

We respond.

That's what makes us go to that place of stillness, that place of quiet in the first place. 

It makes no difference if we "feel" His presence or not. What's important is that we respond to the call. 

He draws us in. 

We draw near to Him. 

He draws near to us. 

It never ends. 

Even when we give up and get up and go wash the dishes. Even when we believe we've somehow missed Him. Even when the lies fly into our heads like flaming arrows telling us that we've failed and we're a miserable excuse of a Christian. Even then. Especially then. 

He is always beckoning, always drawing us in.

After I read that scripture all those years ago, I wrote a song. I used it as my way of responding to God. It was my private song I sang in my prayer closet.

I almost didn't include it on my last album. It was too intimate. But at the last minute, I decided I needed one more song. I went into the soundbooth and just sang. I didn't think about technique or anything. I just worshiped in response to His beckoning.

Funny, when I got out of my own way, the anointing of God fell on me in that soundbooth. Please enjoy this video of my song, Draw Me In. I hope and pray that it may help usher you into the Holy of Holies.


Blessings Along the Path,

Monday, February 9, 2015

Doing the Very Thing You Hate to Do

Every Saturday, when the Hubster and I go grocery shopping, we encounter someone at the exit (and sometimes at the entrance) collecting money for some cause or another.  

This past Saturday was no exception. A man was stationed in between the two exit doors, so you had no choice but to walk by him. He wasn't just standing there with his donation jar. He was asking for money. 

The one cause I never say no to is the food bank. I figure that if they're at the supermarket, handing out flyers, they must be in short supply. And I admit, I don't tend to think about the food bank when the need is not in front of me.

But when I'm on my way out, and I'm asked if I will please donate to a cause I've never even heard of, and I get this every week...well, it makes me want to push those dollars down deeper in my pocket, rather than pull them out. I find it downright annoying!

I complained about this to the Hubster while we were walking to the car. 

"I hate when they ask for money. It's one thing to stand there, but when they ask...I hate that." In his usual fashion, he grunted (Sidenote: Did you know that a husband's grunts can mean 500 different things?).


Anyway, we got to the car and that was that. It was forgotten. 

Until I got to my volunteer "job" that evening at a local performing arts center. I am often asked to assist with directing people to the nearby parking garages, and I always answer with a cheerful, "Sure, I'll be happy to help with that!"  I enjoy talking to people when I'm standing on the street corner, but mostly I say yes because when I get back to the theatre, my job is done, and I get to see the whole show. But with the extreme cold, I actually said no. (Gasp!). Yes...I said no.

So when I got to the theatre, I assumed I'd be ushering. When the house manager saw me, he stopped short and sort of grinned. I said, "What?"

"I need you to do something tonight."

"Okay." I'm always usually willing to jump in wherever the need is, and I wondered what it would be. There are not typically any variations to the duties of the volunteers.

"Something very important."

I started to get excited. Why was I being singled out to do this "important" job? Out of 25 or so people, why me?


He handed me a basket. 

"I need you to go through the audience and ask for donations for the victims of last week's fire."

"Okay. I can do that."

Wait...did he say..."ask?"

As if reading my mind, he continued. "Just walk up and down the aisles and yell out something like, "Please donate for the victims of the fire!"

Oh, no! I'll do anything. But please....PLEASE...don't ask me to do the one thing I hate doing! I can't. I can't beg for money.

So I took my little basket (which, by the way, is not the one in the picture, nor is the sign) and stood in the lobby as people came in. But they were busy taking off their hats and coats, and putting their tickets away and finding the rest rooms. Then they were busy at the bar. Spending money, I might add. Money that could be placed into my basket. Suddenly, I was on the other side of the basket, making judgments about the apathetic and uncaring people! Of course, they probably didn't know what my basket was for, since I WASN'T SHOUTING OUT ORDERS TO DONATE!

So I meandered into the theatre. I walked up and down the aisles with my little basket. But I still didn't open my mouth. All night, before the show and during the TWO intermissions (yes, of course there were two intermissions...just to make it even worse for me!), I walked up and down the aisles and around the lobby. Occasionally, I blurted out, "Donations for the fire victims!" and kept walking. 

People did donate. Some called me over. As they fumbled for their wallets, they'd ask me about the fire and the victims. At times, I felt like I was an usher at church. One lady even asked me for change.

Perhaps I was chosen for this very special job because it's no secret that I am outgoing and love to talk to people. Perhaps it was punishment for saying no to "parking." Perhaps because I said no, I was an extra body, since they had to find someone else to do the parking...and they didn't know what to do with me.

Whatever it was, I think it was ironic that the very thing I complained about that morning is what I was asked to do that evening. 

God really does have a sense of humor.

Be careful what you complain about...it might come right back at you!

Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

Sharing this post with Monday Musings, Sharing His Beauty, Testimony Tuesday

Friday, February 6, 2015

Let It Go, Elsa! and Winner Announced

Is anyone else sick of the song, "Let it Go?"

Personally, I never liked it. (Here's the song, along with the words,in case you've been vacationing on Mars)




I finally watched the movie to see what the hype was about. Maybe if I saw it in context, I'd like it more. 

I thought the movie was cute, and yes, hearing/seeing it in context made more sense, but I still don't like the song. 

But enough already. Let it go (yes, pun very much intended)!

Oh, I just have to mention one more thing...Elsa did not invent that saying.

"Let Go and Let God" (Alcoholic Anonymous)

I don't think that's quite what Elsa was trying to convey...her song was a bit more self-centered.

Since we're on the subject of self...

I'm at a time in my life right now where I've decided to let a lot of things go; things that I care or cared about. Things that mean or meant a lot to me. Things that were once so important that I can remember striving to attain them. Let it go. 

Ministry opportunities. Trying to push open doors that God wanted to remain shut for me. That can be awkward, embarrassing and sometimes even painful from hurt that occurs while we're struggling to get through that semi-open door. Let it go. 

Acting opportunities. I love being on the stage and being part of the creative process of seeing the written word come to life. But I also know the vast chunk of time that it demands. And I'm not willing to give up my time right now for things that I know will be "chasing after the wind." Let it go. 

Time stealers. Overcommittment. Worrying that if I don't do it, someone else, someone better will take my place and they'll be loved more than I would have been. Let it go.

And these pesky things:

To be chosen. Let it go.
The need to be right. Let it go. 
Saying "yes" when I'd prefer not to. Let it go.
The desire for approval. Let it go.
The struggle for acceptance. Let it go.
The chance to belong. Let it go.
Getting in the middle of chaos that doesn't belong to me. Let it go.

It is very freeing to decide to let it go. But not without letting God.

I am now on the other side of 50. I've decided that it's time to step down from certain things and make room for the younger generation to use their gifts and talents. I'm not being forced. But I remember being that younger generation, and the frustration I felt when older people insisted on holding on to their traditions and ways. And how I wanted to force them out so that I could have my place in the spotlight. What did they know? I didn't think of the time that would come when I'd be that older generation. I didn't realize that they knew a lot more than I gave them credit for. I didn't know that they could teach me a lot about what I thought I already knew.

My time of striving is over. My time in the spotlight may be over (at least for now), but my time of ministry is far from over. In fact, I feel as if it is just beginning. Because I let it go. And I looked to God. I know that He has a plan and I'm in it. He knows what's best for me. And because I've let it go and given it all to God, who knows...He may just decide to put me back in that spotlight. Or not.

He has given me the gift to write, but I am allowing Him to write new chapters in the book called my life. And that is so exciting!

I no longer feel the need to be known. I am known by God.

Sorry, Elsa, you've got it all wrong. It's not about letting it go and living a life of isolation with no right, no wrong and no rules. Because here's the thing:

If we simply let go, what do we have to cling to? But if we let go and cling to God, we can trust that He knows what's best for us.

My acting, my singing, my speaking...basically, my time on the stage and platform are not over. But my days of performance are. Being on the other side of 50 does that to you. It changes your perspective; it gives you hindsight. 

I don't know what God's got in store for me. But I'm excited to wait. To observe. To watch a younger generation rise up. To teach them what I know. To learn from them. To once again breathe instead of gasping for air while I grasp at life. To be still instead of striving. To be calm instead of frantic. To decide what is best for me instead of letting others decide. 

To let it go.

Because I am known by God. 


What about you? 
  • What is it that you're holding onto that God wants you to let go? 
  • Why have you been holding on to it? What are you afraid you'll lose if you let it go?
  • What would happen if you let it go, knowing that you are known by God?
  • Don't just let it go. Let it go and let God decide, show you, instill creativity in you, write the new chapter in your life. 

**Deborah Piccurelli and I would like to thank each one of you who took the time to read the interview and review of Deb's book, Hush Little Baby. Extra thanks to all who commented, in hopes to win a free copy. Congratulations to Abby MacDonald, whose comment was randomly selected to win! If you didn't win, you can still purchase Deb's book on amazon.com.

Listen  to these words from Audrey Assad (Known) instead of Elsa's:



Blessings Along the Path,
Mare


sharing this post with Faith Filled Friday, Blessing Counters, The Weekend Brew, Still Saturday, Sunday Stillness, Faith 'N Friends, Grace-Truth, Unite

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

God Bless That Man!

I used to be a very nasty driver. If someone cut me off, I'd give him the one-finger wave and call him a choice name that cannot be repeated in this holy blog. 
photo credit
Then I had kids. And met Jesus in a personal way.

I couldn't very well teach them these things, could I? 
I couldn't very well say and do these things and still please God, could I?

But it was so hard to break that habit, and I really wanted to let everyone else know how stupid they were. Plus, it made me feel better to vent my anger and frustration.

But it was wrong on so many levels.

Then I read in Romans 12 (the "love" chapter):


Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse. (v12)

It was the word, "curse" that caught my eye, because at the time, I was being convicted of how my truck driver mouth displeased and offended God.

Okay, so maybe these drivers weren't exactly persecuting me, but they sure were ticking me off (which is not exactly the word I would have chosen at that time).

I really wanted to do right by God, but I was having such a difficult time changing!

Well, I thought, I could bless these idiots stupid drivers other drivers who aggravate annoy me do things that cause me to lose my temper instead of cursing them.

Huh.

So I decided to try it.


It wasn't long before my whole driving demeanor changed. People didn't annoy me so much anymore. And I genuinely felt to bless the person as they went along their merry way, oblivious to the fact that they just did something that almost caused me to have a fatal accident.

The best part was when I heard my kids in the back seat say, "God bless that man!" when they didn't hear me say it right away, or saw me losing my resolve...or sometimes, before I even had a chance! And I had to laugh.

Many years have passed since then. My children are now adults. I wish I could say that they have kept that tradition, but I have been a passenger with both. One typically says nothing about other drivers; the other...well...that one has a ways to go with the whole blessing/cursing thing.

As for me?

I typically have a lot more patience driving these days. Maybe it's age. Maybe it's because I'm just not in a hurry to get anywhere anymore. Maybe I just realize that we all do dumb stuff when we drive (Sometimes I'll do something dumb, and afterwards, I'll say, "Oh, I'm sorry!" as if the other driver can hear me!). Most of the time, I realize that drivers are not intentionally singling me out. 

Mostly, it's just not worth my time to become offended at things anymore, on the road and off. I've learned to be forgiving and not take things personally. And my life is richer and more peaceful for it.

However...I wonder if it's time to get back to that which started it all...blessing instead of cursing. I'm not doing either. But maybe it's time I start blessing again.

You may want to try it. It diffuses the anger and kind of makes you chuckle!

"God bless that man."

Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Don't Let Worry Steal Your Sleep

The other night I lay in bed pondering the finances.  I'll bet none of you have ever done that.  
I was reviewing the bank balances in my mind, and realized, Hey, wait a minute...we're short $1,000 in our Mortgage account (the checking account designated to pay the mortgage, taxes, etc.). And I have to pay the mortgage after this paycheck. How did that happen?

I "sat bolt upright in my bed," and grabbed my phone, quickly logging on to the bank website (gotta love technology!). Yup! Sure enough, there it was, glaring at me. The balance, minus the $1000 that should be in there.

It happened because we transitioned from having the bank hold our tax money in escrow to paying our own taxes. I figured it all out and we should have come out ahead of the game. I went over and over the numbers countless times. I even made a makeshift spreadsheet. But I forgot that I tapped into it for Christmas presents, renewing the passports ($110 each!) and a few other things...including the taxes.

My stomach churned. We have a cushion in the account, so the mortgage will get paid. It will just leave us with...well, $1,000 less...in the account going forward. Not the end of the world, but it could be the end of my job as the Accounts Manager of the House of Flaherty...that is, if there was someone to take my place. My only competition doesn't want the job.

Did I beat myself up for messing up the calculations I'd so diligently went over and over?

A little. But not for long.

Did I worry? Did I lose sleep? Did I have dreams of foreclosure? Did I lie awake trying to figure out how to replace the money that wasn't exactly missing, but had just been displaced? 

No.

Many years ago, my father told my mother this bit of advice when she lay awake worrying:

What good is worrying going to do in the middle of the night? It won't change or solve anything, so you may as well go to sleep.

I never forgot that. And I never let worry steal my sleep. 

Menopause, yes. Worry, no (Well, to clarify, I don't actually let menopause steal my sleep. It just does...and I don't worry about it. I just go with it). 

I recently read somewhere that worry is not trusting God. 

That makes sense.

When we worry, we take the situation back from God. We're making ourselves a little god, putting ourselves above God, by saying, "You know what God? I don't think you can do this. I think you might need my help. I'll take it from here." 



Can any of you add a single hour to the length of your life by worrying? (Matt 6:27)

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34)

Isn't that the truth! Each day has its own worries. But do you see...the DAY worries...not the person. 

Matthew 6 is loaded with "do not worries."  Jesus tells us to look at the birds. Right now, the ground here in New Jersey is covered with snow. But I don't see any birds wringing their little bird hands, nervously waiting by the snow-covered grass wondering where their next worm is coming from. I doubt they toss and turn in their nests, wondering with wide eyes opened all night where they'll get the sticks to add on to their nests when the babies come.

But I can't help it, Mare. I've always worried. I'm just a worrier.

Yes, you can. And no you're not. Those are excuses to hold on to your worry.

You can help it by simply turning your thinking; by making a choice.

  • Choose to trust. Let God deal with it. 
  • Choose to break free from the patterns of the past.
  • Choose not to slap a negative label on yourself!
  • Choose not to lose sleep over a situation you have no control of in the middle of the night. Get the sleep your body needs in order to deal with the situation the next day, if necessary. 
  • Choose to fight the battle in your mind!
  • Choose to declare yourself a victor, not a victim!
  • Choose to think instead on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." (Phil 4:8)
Does what you're worrying about fit into the choices? Does it fit into the things in Philippians 4? Chances are, if you're worrying, then it doesn't. 

Make a choice to change today. Don't let worry steal your sleep, or your peace. 

Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

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