Finding God: Turn Worry into Prayer

Who wants to be a worry-wart, anyway?  Here’s how to turn worry into prayer.

 

FearFaithChocolate (3)

Based on excerpts from Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life’s Worries (2013, Barbour Publishing). Link to purchase:

By Debora M. Coty:

I’ve spent decades honing my worry skills into a fine-tuned machine. I can whip pesky irritants into frothy, acetic colon-coaters faster than any juicer on the market.

Not good.

Worry is a type of fear that doesn’t seem like fear at all because it masquerades as taking responsibility. We can fool ourselves into thinking we’re putting on our big girl panties and doing the grown up thing by agonizing over dilemmas. And we just know that if we don’t keep hocking up our agitations like a cow regurgitating her cud, our lives will fall apart.

By worrying, we’re desperately trying to maintain control. We keep our manicured fingernails clutching onto every shred of our lives because underneath it all, we’re afraid to relinquish complete control to the Lord. Things, after all, might not turn out the way we want them to.

But there’s good news. Worry is a learned habit. And since it’s learned, it can be unlearned.

How? We have to train our brains to react to difficulties in a different way. A calmer, healthier way. Here are 4 simple anti-worrywart tools that can help you defroth.

Postpone worry. Set aside fifteen minutes a day as your designated worry time. Then, whenever a niggling fret worms into your brain jot it down in a “worry pad.”  Now you can stop wasting precious living time dwelling on it.

Morph worry into prayer. When you do get to that designated worry time, rather than chewing gristle that won’t ever digest, turn each problem into a prayer. Fretting is not productive. Prayer is. Prayer is the nerve that innervates the muscles in the hand of God.

“Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything” (Phil 4:6, NLT).

Rest in The Word. Another great worry-buster for restless nights when you’re more uptight than a twisted thong. Reflecting on a favorite scripture is a wonderful way to bring peace and relaxation to your soul. Choose a verse, say it aloud, then roll it through your mind until you can think of nothing else, like Matthew 11:29 (NIV):

“Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Exercise intentional gratitude. Anxiety is often the result of counting everyone else’s blessings but your own. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to most of us (why is it so much easier to grouse?) … it’s truly an exercise, requiring no less discipline than pumping iron at the gym. An excellent tool is the Hand Exercise: Don’t allow yourself to entertain one worry before you count off with the fingers of one hand five things for which to be thankful. As you physically recount your blessings, end with an open hand in a gesture of release to Papa God. Before you know it, your perspective will be more positive.

Worry isn’t part of the Jesus download, girlfriend. So let’s unplug our internal juicers and break out the Preparation P (Prayer) to dissolve those worrywarts.

Bio: Debora M. Coty is humorist, popular speaker, and award-winning author of over 150 articles and 13 inspirational books. Visit Deb online at www.DeboraCoty.com, befriend on FB (Debora M. Coty, author), and follow on Twitter @deboracoty.

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Finding God in a Teen Room Makeover (Book Review)

By  Karen O’Connor:

Sherry Kyle helped her daughters with a teen room makeover — and they ended up finding God in inner makeovers too.

 

Dream Room

The Girl’s Guide to Your Dream Room by Sherry Kyle

“Mom, can I please have my own room?”

The desperate look on my friend Sherry’s daughter’s face gripped Sherry’s heart. As a mom, she wanted to do whatever she could to give Brittany her own space. It wasn’t working out for her to share a room with her sister who was four years younger. The two were at odds with one another all the time.

“My nerves were on edge,” said Sherry, “waiting for the next fight to erupt.”

Little did she know at the time, however, that she would find God in a teen room makeover.

This creative mother loves to find solutions to problems that seem impossible so she went into research mode. After a bit of imaginative thinking, and plenty of prayer, Sherry came up with a workable solution.

“By placing a track rod on the ceiling and hanging paneled curtains, it split the room in half, dividing the space equally. Next, we painted the entire room a bright neutral color and purchased a second loft bed so my girls could each have a place to sleep and study. Then the fun part came––picking out separate comforters, rugs, lamps, and accessories to complement each daughter’s color scheme.”

During the process, the Holy Spirit nudged Sherry to teach her daughters “the importance of having an inner makeover as well as a room makeover—such as learning to speak kindly to one another, live humbly, and serve generously, to name a few.” Later on several occasions, the sisters pushed the curtains aside to talk to each other.

“I loved hearing the chatter and laughter, knowing they were spending time together,” said Sherry. “A little separation did wonders for their relationship—and for my sanity.” And in the process they all found God in the room makeover.

In addition, Sherry wrote a book on the topic of teen room makeovers.  The Girl’s Guide to Your Dream Room, for girls ages 8-12, (Legacy Press, 2013) gives girls and moms all the information they need to update the girls’ space! Filled with quizzes, stories, crafts, and tips, this book encourages girls to design a room that’s tailor made—just for them. Check it out. You can also find out more about Sherry and her other books at her website: Sherry Kyle: ReConnecting Faith and Fiction.

And for more help, see this YouTube video with ideas to help teens and tweens give their rooms a makeover: 125 Cute Bedrooms Ideas For Teenage Girls

 

 ©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor  

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Finding God While Growing Older (Billy Graham)

By Karen O’Connor:

We can find inspiration in many who are growing older yet continue to live with purpose.

 

The Rev. Billy Graham

The Rev. Billy Graham

“You’re 90 years old?” I asked Charlie, the elderly man who accompanied my daughter to an afternoon concert with my husband and me. As he slipped out of his seat and into the aisle at the end of the program, I noticed that he appeared to be about twenty years younger than the ninety he had claimed in our previous conversation.

He smiled. “Yep. Celebrated my birthday on Christmas Day.”

“Let’s have a party,” my daughter suggested. “We’ll meet at my house.” We did, and had a wonderful time sharing stories. We mostly listened to Charlie tell us of his many experiences while working as a nuclear physicist during his career, and about many adventurous trips he’s taken over the years.

As he talked and we hung on his every word, I realized how easy it is to find God while growing older—especially when, like our friend, we remain vibrant, connected to people, and grateful for what the Lord has done in our lives.

I remember reading a saying once by an unknown author. “Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many.” Those words alone keep me on my toes as I move into my later years. I may have wrinkles and white hair, but I’m still here—available to family and friends and aware of the great blessings God has graced me with.

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life. (Proverbs 16:31 the Bible)

For a beautiful testimony about aging, you might enjoy reading this interview with the famous Christian author and speaker Billy Graham: Q & A: Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals in Christianity Today. Perhaps you too, will then find God while growing older.

Enjoy also this neat interview with Franklin Graham on 100 Huntley. He talks with Moira Brown about what it was like as his father, Billy Graham, wrote his recent book on growing older.

Click here to find the Rev. Billy Graham’s recent book: Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well [Kindle Edition].

You may also enjoy taking a look at this YouTube video focusing on the hope of seeing change—regardless of one’s age and situation, at http://youtu.be/9IBC1aRjPuM.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor

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