You sit straight up in bed, woken from the middle of a very in depth dream by the sound of your little one crying. You stumble out of your room and into the baby’s room. You bend over to assist your distraught child, only to find the lost pacifier has been found and plopped in his mouth without your assistance.
Now try to go back to sleep…. Haha.
Worrying is something every woman struggles with, I think. I have struggled more with anxiety and worry as a mom than I ever did before having kids.
What do you do to fill the “worry hours”. Those hours when you are so stressed, tired, or unsure of whether you are even doing anything worthwhile, what is going through your mind?
For me, those hours quickly fill with the “I can’t, so I won’t even try” thought. It’s a crippling, anxious-ridden thought, resulting in depression, apathy, more anxiety, and little to no action. This thought creeps in slowly and takes me down. It rules me. I have to fight it!
Fighting bad thoughts means proactively thinking good things. Pulling out the diseased tree, planting a new healthy one, and then cultivating it constantly.
Take the bad out and put in the good.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
How do you do this? It takes practice and discipline, but here are two simple ways:
As you feel that anxious thought fill your mind, bring it to God! Sometimes we feel the need to have it all together before we talk to God, but that’s not what he wants. He wants his children to come to him. He knows all our thoughts and feelings already, why not talk to him about it? He knows us inside and out, he knows our past, our present, and he has a firm hand on our future. How comforting is that when we are filled with anxiety and fear, the One who is orchestrating and completing our future, who had promised to do so, and has never failed to fulfill his promises perfectly, wants us to come talk to him.
So, pray. Pray in the morning. Pray at mealtime. Pray in between emails at work. Pray during your commute (with your eyes open!). Pray when you wash the dishes, the floor, the table, the clothes, the babies, your hair (that alone is a good amount of prayer time). Pray when you wake up in the middle of the night to feed your baby, to calm a nightmare, or to go to the bathroom. Pray when it’s easy. Pray when it’s hard. Pray.
Read God’s Word
The text itself, not a devotional inspired by it, not a theological debate on a podcast, not a good Christian-life-help book, not even a sermon online (though those are good too). Read the text yourself. A book, a chapter, a story, a paragraph, a verse. Read it, dwell on it, remember it continually throughout the day, pray about it.
Why is this so important? Because nothing else will make an impact on your life and your heart like the Word of God. Nothing else can save you. Nothing else can change you. Nothing else can help you fight like the “Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17).
God gave us His Word so that we may know him. Nothing else will show us who God is like His very Word. In Him we have hope, peace, know true love, and learn how to live. He is the one who commands us to not be anxious, and He tells us how to do that. So, read His word. He thinks it’s important, you should to if you are His child.
I have a couple apps on my phone that give me access to God’s Word all the time. As a mommy of little ones, it’s hard to get alone time at all, so a few minutes to read on my phone, even while I’m holding my children, or making lunch, or whatever else, has been super helpful! I use the ESV Bible app, and the She Reads Truth app. The websites for both are also very good, full of helpful resources. Enjoy!
Here’s a bonus third thing:
Develop close friendships with those who are praying and reading too. They will encourage you, teach you, love you, exhort you, and ultimately help you grow. They may not be who you usually hang around with, but that may be for the best. They may be older, may be younger, may not have anything else in common with you, may be a relative, may be married, may be single, may work full-time, may be a homemaker. Whatever, they are pursuing Christ-likeness, just like you. Run this race together (Hebrews 12:1; Proverbs 18:24).
Soli Deo Gloria!