Worry Into Prayer

As we’ve been dreaming and scheming over this winter, I’ve felt more anxiety than ever in my life. There are so many unknowns and I love to know. There are so many what ifs and I don’t like to play those out in my mind. There are so many new experiences and my mind has tried to process it all. There’s so much new knowledge and as my sister told me, “only so many plates can fit on the table before they start falling off the edge”.

Through it all God has been so faithful. There have been quite a few moments where Andrew and I have looked at each other and said, “Should we just quit? What in the world are we doing? This is too much. I don’t think it’s going to work.”

But God.

Every time we find ourselves at that breaking point, God steps in. His words are life-giving and He shows up in big ways. And I’m always humbled and always awed. At this point in my life I probably shouldn’t be. I mean, he’s come through for the last 42 years. Why do I think He won’t this time?

And, yet, I keep finding myself worrying and fretting. I keep getting to the point of giving up. Someday I’ll learn… maybe.

This latest habitual cycle surrounded newspaper, cardboard, and compost. Sounds ridiculous when I write it out, but there you have it. Who knew you could have anxiety over finding enough trash and poop, but turns out you can!

But God.

I was chatting with my milk guy about starting a CSA and he got so excited. He was thrilled and wanted to tell all the other families that get milk from him. As I drove away from his house, I was feeling so anxious. I should feel excited when people want to sign up but I wasn’t feeling it that day. So I prayed as I drove. I asked God to provide the compost and newspaper we needed.

It was a 30 minute drive to where I was headed. When I got there I checked my phone and I had a couple texts from my milk guy. One said, “hey, you can use my tractor anytime you want and I have a huge pile of compost and a couple farmers I know have compost too.” The next said, “my wife can get pallets and pallets of old newspaper if you need it.”

I mean, could God be any more visible than that?? Here I am worrying and God has it all lined up already. I even told God one day, “if you really want us to do this, then you have to provide what we need.”

God’s like, yeah, I know. I already have it sorted out.

I’m not usually a worrier. But this has often seemed huge to me. I’m guessing you have something in your life that seems huge too. Maybe you’re trying to launch a business, maybe you’re facing some serious difficulties with your spouse or with a child. I don’t know how this is going to all turn out, for you or me, but I do know God is here, ever present and ready to hear our prayers and answer them.

I remember a pastor once tell a story. A man came to him and said, “I don’t know how to meditate. You say meditate on the Word but I don’t know how. What does that look like?” The pastor replied, “everyone knows how to meditate. Do you worry?” The man answered, “yes, sometimes.” The pastor asked, “what does it look like when you worry?” “Well,” the man replied, “I usually can’t stop thinking about whatever it is that’s worrying me. I go over and over it in my mind, thinking through all the possible outcomes.”

“Then you know how to meditate”, the pastor told him.

Did you know you get to choose what you spend your time thinking about and worrying about? You really do. It may seem impossible but you can take captive every thought. I’m not saying it’s easy but it is possible.

And when I find myself worrying, mulling something over and over in my mind, I know it’s time to pray. I can turn those worries into prayers pretty easily by focusing them upward instead of in a speak in my mind. I’m not perfect at it, but I sure have had a lot of practice this winter!

Guaranteed I’ll have more opportunities to practice this. But I’m not going to worry about that! (See what I did there?;))

Is It Here?

Spring, I mean. Is it real? If you lived in Minnesota for any amount of time, you know to question this kind of weather in March! If we know anything, we know March is deceitful. They say March is “In like a lion, out like a lamb” and vise versa. But sometimes it’s just a cute quiet little lamb or so we think. Turns out it was just a wolf in sheep’s clothing the whole time! Then April comes, exposing the lie with cold, freezing rain, snow, and blustery wind.

But, right now, on a day like this, is hard to imagine it’ll go cold again. The sun feels warm on your skin, you can see grass (even if it is brown), birds are chirping, and even the breeze feels warm. I’ll take it.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about our days. We look forward to spring, planting the garden, seeing flowers come up, taking walks again. We are always looking ahead. But really, we aren’t guaranteed the days ahead. We only truly have today.

Am I living today for all is worth? Am I glorifying God in my actions today? Feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the spring project list? Getting frustrated with the kids who can’t figure out math? Answering texts instead of listening to my kids?

I have to remind myself I can’t get it all done today. I just can’t. And I have to remind myself that’s ok. I like to check boxes and see a to do list crossed off. There’s just all these little people keeping me from checking any boxes!

And yet, God is reminding me even as I write, that these little people should be at the top of my list! These little people are the only eternal work.

As the spring project list looms and I feel buried by it, I need to remember I only have today and I have a lot of important work to do with my kids. If the apple trees don’t get pruned, it’s ok. If the basement doesn’t get cleaned, it’s ok, if the laundry piles up, it’s ok. (I’m saying this on repeat to myself all day today. )

If you have a hard time, like me, keeping yourself from worrying about the to do list, take a deep breath with me, go outside, listen to the birds, feel the sun, and enjoy. Remember those birds never worry about what they are going to eat and they are always taken care of.

Here are some gorgeous wild flowers my aunt took photos of in Germany to get you by until ours start peeking through! These flowers never worry about what they will wear and, yet, are clothed more beautifully than any of us could ever be.

So, don’t worry. Don’t even worry if this is real spring or The Spring of Deception. Your Father in Heaven cares deeply for you and knows your worries. He also knows best and only wants good for you.

Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7