My mind can go in a thousand directions at once. It’s like having a mental computer screen with twenty windows open at the same time. At any given moment, I might be thinking about how to help my daughter with school work, when my husband and I can have date night, how my parents are doing, and how I’m going to get everything done.
Sound familiar? By nature, we women are multi-taskers and care-takers, aren’t we?
All too often we live in a state of low-grade stress and worry
I live in a state of low-grade stress as I move through my days, knocking things off my to-do list, if I can find it in the first place! Rather than being present and focusing on the task in front of me, I let the 1,001 things that needed to be done yesterday cloud my perspective on today. Yet doesn’t Jesus say His yoke is easy and His burden is light?
I let low-grade worry hover in the back of my mind as I do my best to care for the people in my life. I’ll confess it right here: I worry about them more than I should. You probably do to. After all, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t worry about her husband’s job stress, her child’s academic struggle or heart break, and her friend’s depression? We love and nurture people. That’s what God created us to do. Yet doesn’t God call us to trust Him?
Recently God brought something to my attention: I’m letting work I have to do and people I love take center stage in my mind.
His Word gives me an action plan:
I love that image of Christ replacing worry at the center of my life. With Christ at the center, our minds are settled and our hearts are at rest. We know God is working everything for good.
Christ at the Center of Our Work
With Jesus at the center of my work, I don’t have to live like a crazed, jet speed multi-tasker. Each morning I can come to Him and ask, “Lord would you give me wisdom to plan my day?” Throughout the day I can lift up each task to Him and pray for help. At the end of the day, I don’t have to fret about what I didn’t get done because I know He’s guiding me, and His burden is light.
Christ at the Center of Our Relationships
When Jesus is at the center of my relationships, I can trust Him with my loved ones, knowing that He loves them more than I do. My worrying won’t help my people one bit, but my praying can move mountains. His power can do more than all I ask or imagine. Ultimately, I’m called to love people, not to be responsible for their well-being. I can live freely.
Am I living totally free from stress and worry today? No. But I’m making slow progress. Want to join me in seeking to make Jesus the center today? Let’s pray:
Lord, forgive me for the times I let work I have to do and people I love take center stage in my mind. Give me the grace I need to return my thoughts to you each time. Help me trust your wisdom, love, and power. Jesus, I want you in the center. In your name, amen.
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Ruthie Gray says
Amen, Betsy!!! If I just slow down and kneel, bringing my requests to Him FIRST each day, asking direction and being still in His presence, He calms that worry and leads my focus. We just have to keep reminding ourselves, don’t we? I love the verse about Christ being the center – not sure I really connected that from that passage in Philippians before.
Have a great day, my long-distance friend! I feel we don’t get to talk much, yet we connect in little ways each week! Love to you!!
Oh yes, we have to keep reminding ourselves, Ruthie. That’s me for sure. ALWAYS forgetting. I think for me worrying about PEOPLE is more of a problem than my work. But both are a problem. Yes, that version of the Philippians verse is the Message, and it is quite different.
True, Betsy! I love the MSG version of Philippians 4:6-7 you shared above. This is a reminder I need every week! Centered on Christ – wow. So important, yet how easily I get distracted and center my mind on other things. Thank you for sharing this:)
Oh I need this reminder not every week, but every day! Hah! I really do, Kristine. 🙂
Great post, Betsy! I love that we both wrote about worry today. I relate to having a mind that is full of far too many thoughts at the same time, but so true that if we focus on Jesus and keep him at the centre, the rest will sort itself out. Thanks for sharing this wisdom today.
Yes, I smiled when I saw you also wrote about worry, friend. I need to go back to this daily.
Christine Duncan says
Seeking to make Jesus the center of all the things… I grew up hearing this phrase “eyes on Him!” and it’s still true, when we make Him our focus He brings peace to our lives, and worry has to take a back seat. I think everyone needs this post today, Betsy… so good. xxoo #TestimonyTuesday
I love that: “Eyes on Him!” I hope I can remember that, Christine. What a good word.
Michele Morin says
When I saw the title of your post, I wondered if you were reviewing a book that I just finished reading: How to Overcome Worry by Dr. Winfred Neely. Because of that book, my mind is already on the track of weeding out worry, and your great observations and principles added to the process in such a helpful way! Blessings to you!
Jeannie Prinsen says
As someone who has a tendency to worry, I found this post really helpful. I love that translation of the Philippians passage! “Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers.” That makes me think of a piece of clay on a wheel. I could sit and look at the lump of clay or I could start shaping it into something — making it a prayer instead of a source of worry and fretting. I really like this today, Betsy – thanks.
I love that translation too, Jeannie. I rarely read the Message anymore, but that has stuck with me! I like your clay and wheel analogy!
Mary Geisen says
What a beautiful offering! I imagine if we got together we would find out we are very similar especially in the worry, multi-tasking arena. I forget that choosing Christ as my center will take care of all the tabs open in the computer of my mind. Reality will show you that I don’t do better by trying to do more.
The Message version of Philippians states it so well. I want Christ to displace the worry at the center of my life. Thank you for this reminder!
For me, worry over people is more of an issue than worry about my work, but both are true for me. I’m learning!
Naomi Fata says
Yes so true, worries do press in on me in the day to day activities of life. Constantly I want to draw strength from God in finding freedom from worry
Thanks so much for reading today, Naomi. May the Lord give you that strength and freedom!
bethany mcilrath says
That little word “instead.” Love this! Thank Betsy!
Ginger Harrington says
So true, Betsy. That low-grade stress, humming in the background of our thoughts. I love that God has provided freedom from worry.
Yes He has, Ginger. Now if only I can just live that way! 🙂 So challenging, isn’t it? Yet what a relief when we give Him our worries.
Lauren Gaskill says
Amen sister! You are so right … it’s all about slow progress, and we are all works in progress in Christ Jesus. So thankful He doesn’t give up on us, even when we backslide every now and then. Love you!
Oh yes, I’m definitely a daily backslider, Lauren. Believe me. I need His grace more each day. Love you too.
Right there with ya, friend. So thankful He’s a patient God, because I honestly don’t know how He hasn’t just had enough of me and my stress and worry already. Thank you, Jesus. Thanks for another opportunity to recenter today and seek to put Christ in His rightful place. ((xoxo))
Well, Brenda, if He can put up with ME, I’m sure He has grace for you too. 🙂 Yes, each day is a new opportunity. xoxoxo back atcha!
Ever the expert in grace, isn’t He? So generous and patient–and we’re just so blessed. Good to know we’re not alone in these things. 🙂 Thanks for commiserating, friend. ((Hug))
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
How insightful. It doesn’t always have to be the all-consuming worry, but sometimes the low-grade stress that we hold onto for long periods of time will be what takes us down. So true. I wholeheartedly agree that the antidote to worry is prayer and in particular prayers of praise and thanksgiving. It’s hard to worry simultaneously with giving thanks. God knows what we need and what is best for us – wouldn’t we do well to follow His advice. Much needed today….thank you!
Oh yes, Bev, that is so good. The importance of worship and thanksgiving! Thanks so much for sharing that. 🙂
Sarah Donegan says
Christ displacing worry.
I love that visual!
Thank you, Sarah. Me too. 🙂 Thanks to Eugene Peterson and The Message. 🙂
Abby McDonald says
Betsy, this is so good. So good, my friend. And so well timed, as always! I think you described me to a T in your first few paragraphs. 😉 I love that Message version of one of my favorite verses. Yes, Christ at the center. I’m centering my mind on Him and his perfect peace today. Thank you for this. Love you. xoxo
Amen, I’m trying to center my mind on Him too. Woke up a little crabby today 😉 but He rescued my day.
Tiffany Parry says
Low grade worry and stress – I don’t think we realize how much it really weighs on us. I love your encouragement to keep Jesus at the center. That takes purpose and intention, but rolling all of those burdens over onto the only one who can truly manage them, makes life so much lighter. As always, you point us back to Jesus and His mighty power. Love you, friend.
I love you too, Tiffany. Oh yes, you’re reminding that I’ve let that low-grade stress creep back in today, Tiffany. Yes, it takes being intentional, doesn’t it? Yes, He lightens our burden.
Great words here Betsy to uplift and remind us all that if we truly trust in Jesus, our worrying doesn’t align with our faith. I’m in this same boat and trusting in Jesus to carry me through life’s ups and downs. Thanks for the reminder Christ is at the center so we can be at rest.
Blessings to you Jill, as you seek to put Him in the center. Yes, we’re all in the same boat, and Jesus is in here with us!
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
I am a worrier and I don’t think I could read reminders like these enough!
Aimee Imbeau says
Betsy, I love the idea of asking God to give me wisdom in planning my day. I do ask that in a way, but I think I need to do it more directly. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
I’m trying to grow in this area and ask more specifically too, Aimee.
Betsy- thank you for this reminder! I’m good at fast-paced and not so good slowing down.
I need to center myself on Him during my day more!
Michele Morin says
I need continual reminds that Jesus will bring “rest for my soul.”
Thank you for encouragement today to keep my eyes focused on Him.
SHANNON GEURIN says
Hi there dear Becky:-) what a message of truth here! Your encouragement blessed me today!
Thanks for stopping by here, Shannon. Blessings to you.
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