Are You In Panic Mode?

Sometimes life gets complicated. Most times we make it more complicated than it has to be.

When there’s so much piled on our shoulders, it’s really easy to get caught up in the chaos of it all. We lose focus and feel out of control.

Our spirits lose a little more of that precious peace we need so badly. If we stay in that kind of chaos, spinning aimlessly, we will inevitably spin right out of Gods will.
Not long ago I was feeling buried. I’d taken on too much. My mind was on a constant loop. With several projects going at once, I was consumed with keeping all these different plates spinning. 

I was tired. 

I was worried.

 I was distracted.

When I finally asked God for clarity, to simplify things for me, He led me to Deuteronomy 6.

Not the entire passage but the simple title above the chapter in my bible.

 

It leapt off the page with a life of its own.  It happens every time God speaks through the word. His  message comes with a profound gift of understanding. 

 It’s like God is shining a holy light into our personal situation. He is an unmoving lighthouse of truth in the darkness of an ever-changing storm.


Love The Lord Your God

That’s all.

Love. The. Lord. 

All we need to do is keep our eyes fixed on Him.

 Keep loving Him more than anything or anyone else.

Keep seeking Him for guidance and wisdom. 

Keep trusting Him to work out all things for my good.

We have just one plate to spin, not many.

 The rest is in His hands.

The burden is lifted.

We can find peace in this one truth,

God’s got this! 

Relax.

 

How The Heck Do You Make Friends?

I hold her against my chest and stroke her hair while she cries. She says she has no friends.  She says every time she asks one of her classmates to “be her friend”, they say no so she runs away.

My heart breaks into a thousand pieces inside my chest and I can’t think of the right thing to say.

So instead I try to buy time by asking her questions like, “Who says no? Which kids?  What are their names?”  Like somehow this makes a difference.  Like somehow that’s going to help me zero in on some way to turn that no into a yes.

She takes a few minutes because she doesn’t want to tell me or maybe she’s just trying to formulate her thoughts into words, which is hard for her even with the four sessions of speech therapy a week.

Finally she mentions the name of a girl I know. I’ve noticed her while chaperoning field trips, or helping with classroom parties. She’s the popular one. The leader. The one all the other girls clamor around.    The one who, Annie says, tells her to “stop” whenever she tries to join in.  The social gatekeeper.

And I feel the anger simmering in my belly. I wish I could just grab this girl by the arm and make her be friends with Annie. But that’s not the way to make friends, so I say nothing.

Does this nonsense really start as early as first grade? Are these the same sweet little munchkins that circled around her last year, full of welcoming hugs and kisses, when two months into the school year, she was placed back into a kindergarten class for the second time around because she wasn’t keeping up with the first grade curriculum?  How did they grow fangs already?

So I squeeze her a little tighter, and say, “Forget those girls. There must be other girls in the class you could try to make friends with.”  Other girls looking in from the outside, like her.  Yes, that’s it. Outsiders unite!

“But I want to be friends with ________!”  and she breaks into breathless sobs again because another wave of humiliation and rejection crashes over her.

I’m at a total loss. As a mother, I don’t know what to do to make this better. I have not the slightest clue how to ease these emotions she’s processing. As a person in general, who’s lived and functioned in this society for nearly 41 years,  I’m baffled by my social skill set deficit.  How the heck do you make friends with the popular girl?

I’m desperate so I say, “Maybe if you bring her a present, she will be nicer to you.” As soon as it’s out of my mouth, I sense  there’s something really off about this approach.  It doesn’t sit right with me. It feels like bribery and it’s pathetic but it’s all I’ve got so I roll with it. “I just bought some really pretty lollipops for our treasure box.  You can bring her one of those tomorrow.”

She lifts her head and her eyes brighten a bit.

Uh-oh.  I can see I’ve given her some hope.

Oh God, please let this work. And God, if it doesn’t, please give me the words to get her through it.

 

lolipop

God or Money?

“No servant can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts.  What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:13-15 
o
I grew up in a financially unstable home. While we always had food to eat and a roof over our heads, I recognized, even at a young age, the struggle to keep what little we had. In my adulthood, I’ve realized a deep, unhealthy urge to rely on money for my sense of security. When there is enough of it, I feel like I can conquer the world. But when funds run low, my soul starts to tailspin into worry and irrational thinking.  What a flaw of mine!  What a lack of trust in the amazing God I walk with.
God is the only eternal source of security and peace. Money has never been able to heal my heart or give truth enough to help me overcome some of my deepest fears. Yes, we work at our jobs and one of the end goals is a paycheck.  There’s nothing wrong with needing or wanting things money can give.   The problem arises when our faith and trust in money overpowers our faith and trust in God.   When it consumes us, we become slaves to it.  It’s a lesson that God reminds me of over and over.  He is the one providing, not only for my financial needs but for my spiritual and emotional needs as well.   I could have nothing by the world’s standard but if I have God, I have EVERYTHING.
God, help us to focus on the things that matter to You. Lift our eyes to see only You. Help us to be a good stewards with what you have given us. Help us find peace in You and let us rest there, Father. Help us to not care about the worldly things. I know, I know and I know, You are the only treasure worth having.
God or money? I choose God. He will take care of the rest.