Monday, January 20, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Thankful!

Well it's been two months since my last post.  I'll blame it on the holidays, like everyone else does.

I had the joy of going home for Thanksgiving and spending the weekend with my extended family (including my sister's boyfriend, my fiance, and all our pets).  Life was crazy between Thanksgiving and Christmas as we prepared for Christmas at Murphy-Harpst.  The kids performed a spectacular Christmas play; we did an advent bible study; and, the elves survived the influx of gifts, sorting, and delivery.  I then got to enjoy another week home with my sister and parents before kicking off the new year.

January has been cold in Georgia (too cold for my taste, at least), so a lot of activities have been occurring inside.  Track practice at Murphy-Harpst has been inside nearly all month, but we're running our first 5K of the year this coming weekend.  Bible study has been going well, and I'm sharing some of what my Sunday School class discusses with the kids.  Since I volunteered to help teach Sunday School this quarter, it's really nice to look at each lesson and how it effects me, but also be able to hear the kids' takes on things.

The first chapter I shared with the kids was procrastination.  It's a new year and everything we put off until the new year is still waiting on us.  With a couple extra days out of school due to the weather, we joked that maybe the teachers were procrastinating from coming back.  The next week, we talked about stress and how most of us don't deal well with stress.

One of the young men asked me during our discussion, "Ms. Jerrica, why don't you talk to us about things that you deal with too?"  I chuckled and told him that everything I talk to them about, I deal with on a personal level.  Our conversation continued, and we contemplated Paul's words telling us not to worry.  It's hard to read those words, because I think everyone worries.  But, Paul's directions don't just tell us not to worry; they give us an alternative.

Philippians 4:6-7
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 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."

The author of Slaying our Giants says that there are two ways to deal with stress and anxiety: concern and worry.  Concern is when you do what you can do and allow God to do the rest.  Worry is when you mull over the same thing over and over for no reason.  Our tendency is to worry about things.  I do it. You do it. We all do it.  Most of the time, our worries are out of our hands.  If you're worried about a friend or family member, you can talk to them and try to help.  But, once you've done your part, you have to give the rest to God and trust that God's will be done.  Only then can we experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.

On Friday, I was in a car accident, and afterwards I thought to myself that there were several ways I could respond.

  1. I could be angry at the person who caused the accident, who was not paying attention.
  2. I could be worried about how I'm going to get places with no car, not enough money to buy a new one, etc.
  3. I could trust God.  Tell God my needs and thank Him for all He has done.  
With only minimal soreness, I am healthier than most people on a normal day.  That's not something to be angry or worried about.  That's something to be thankful for :)  Have a great day, and remember to tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

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