The Next Five Minutes…

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

~ Matthew 6:34

The_Next_Five_MinutesI can’t breathe. A pounding fills my ears. Taking another single step requires a momentous effort. Truth be told, I don’t know if I can do this. Life has overwhelmed me; I am drowning in a sea of heartache and worry. Just the thought of tomorrow causes panic.

As a Christian, we are reminded God is control of our tomorrows and we need worry for nothing. But what if tomorrow seems like an eternity away? It is today’s struggles overcoming our resolve to trust in the Lord and His strength. We aren’t worried about what is coming down the road. What’s standing in front of us is mean, ugly, and ready to devour.

My sweet friend, I’ve been there. In those moments I’ve cried out to the Lord, asking for His wisdom and strength. I’ve questioned my ability to conquer the challenge before me and come through to the other side. The Lord’s response was an unexpected one, “My child. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry about later today. Just pray, and focus on the next five minutes.”

The Lord knows me well. He knows my desire to see the bigger picture. He understands my weakness of seeking control; my foolish belief that if I could behold what’s coming down the road, and how long the battle will rage on, I would better endure the struggle I am facing. Thus He blinds me to these things, knowing greater comfort comes in trusting Him. He asks me to trust Him in the now.

The next five minutes are all that need hold my focus. For the next five minutes I am asked to breathe, pray, and be faithful. Five minutes. Not my tomorrow; not even the hours which fill my today. Just the next five minutes. I only need to hold for the next five.

When my five minutes have passed? “Again,” the Lord reminds me. “Be faithful in the next five minutes.” Before long, five minutes have turned into an hour; which has turned into ten. The day passes, and another begins.

In those five minutes, the Lord speaks to my heart; calming my fears and reminding me of Who is in control. I cannot change my tomorrow. I cannot change what is beyond my realm of influence. But, my God can. God is not asking me to face my giants alone. He is merely asking me to be faithful, no matter where He takes me. Filled with understanding, He does not ask me to look at all my days to come, and trust. He knows my limits. He asks me to trust Him now. In the here and now. In the next five minutes. And, should the Lord decide my journey is at an end… My reward will be trusting and waking in His presence.

For five minutes I can hold. For five minutes seems so small. I need only to trust and obey.

“Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 4:6-7

Your Turn!: Are you in the midst of a struggle, how can we pray for you?

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10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom

“Imagine never having to worry about your children again. That would be the life, wouldn’t it? No more sleepless nights, stressful days, or a stomach tied up in knots because of what your children are going through that you can’t control, or what might happen to them that you constantly fear.”
~10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom

10_Secrets_BookReviewIs it just me, or do we ladies worry a lot? We worry about pleasing people, we worry about doing enough, we worry about doing too much. We worry, worry, worry about everything and everyone. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back, refocus our thinking, and learn a few secrets to becoming worry-free.

In her book, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom, Cindi McMenamin helps us gain a better understanding from whence our worries derive and what a Biblical response to those worries ought to be. Gently reminding us of the Only One who can calm our fears and care for what we love far better than we can, Cindi does a lovely job addressing all areas of parenting and directing us to the Perfect Parent, Jesus Christ.

Covering such topics as “What If I’m Not Doing This Right?”, “Will They Ever Get Through This Phase?”, “You Did What?”, and more, Cindi McMenamin offers encouragement and Biblical wisdom.

“I’m sure you and I would never worry at all if we could be assured that our children would be happy, healthy, and safe all their days. But life comes with no such assurances. And while I personally can’t promise the well-being of your children, I can offer you ten ‘secrets’…”
~ Cindi McMenamin

While the entire book is a gem, filled with Scripture, my favorite portions of the book come at the end of each chapter. Here, Cindi includes “Putting Into Practice”; practical tips for putting each new worry-free plan into place, complete with an “In Community” section making this book a small group study! I would also be remiss if I did not mention both Appendix A & B; you’ll want to make a point of gleaning from those pages as well.

Although this book is mainly written for the benefit of mammas, I believe the Biblical wisdom found in these pages applies to all areas of life, not just parenting. God wants us to rely on Him, leaving our anxiety at His feet; fully trusting Him to meet our needs and the needs of our family.

I pray God would do a mighty work in each of us, giving us wisdom to train and disciple our children in such a way as would bring glory to His kingdom. May the Lord work in each of us as parents, helping us to live worry-free lives dedicated to His work.

Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 4:6-7

📢 Chime In!: Are you a worrier, too? Share with us your favorite Bible verses for overcoming moments of anxiety and stress!

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Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

– John 14:27

Let_Not_Your_HeartI am a worrier. Lord forgive me – literally – but this is true. If our routine’s off by just a smidgen, I start to sweat. Mass amounts of responsibility sit on my shoulders and I start to wonder if I can handle it all. Kids are getting out of hand, acting out, and I start wondering if I’m failing as a parent. My choices in curriculum and social activities begin to weigh on my mind. These are just the small worries.

If work is slow, paying bills is going to be tight, because we are self-employed. My kids need braces, all four of them. New laws in our state might force regulations upon us that usurp our parental authority. The list could go on.

It is in my nature to worry about everything and anything. I worry about having dinner finished at a good hour; using too much laundry soap; stretching our budget; whether or not I should have said those words to that person; and if I am ‘enough’ for the people who depend on me. I worry; I worry; I worry. This is who I am… on my own.

Ah! But that changes everything doesn’t it? What I am on my own cannot compare to what I am in Christ. In Christ, I am a new creation. (II Cor. 5:17)

My old nature is constantly battling with who Christ is trying to help me become. I can easily slip back into a pattern of old habits, allowing myself to be overwhelmed by life, forgetting Who is in control. My emotions war with the Holy Spirit who is trying to comfort me, offering me peace during times of trial.

Overwhelmed by Emotion

If gone unchecked, emotions can sometimes overwhelm; clouding our minds and paralyzing us. We cannot see the truth for the feelings standing in the way. We have allowed reason to fall by the wayside and allowed our hearts to dictate our current state of mind.

And yet, we are reminded in Jeremiah 17:9 that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We are not to be ruled by our emotions or the turning of our hearts. What we feel is not to be our focus, but, rather, what is true.

What Is True?

The truth, as we are reminded in John 14, is that we have been given a spirit of peace. Not just any peace, peace given by God Himself! We have the God-given ability to accept this peace and move forward, but we have to choose to do so. God will not force His peace upon us. He will not shove this peace down our throats. He will not beg us to take it. We must choose to accept His gift willingly.

Let Not Your Heart…

Our emotions are not going to gain control of themselves. We need to be proactive about not letting our emotions control us. We need to rely on the Lord and ask Him to remove this stress and fill us with His peace. We need to trust He is going to see us through.

This does not mean He will always meet our needs in the way we expect; sometimes He doesn’t! Christians die, go hungry, and are persecuted – we are told to expect this (John 15:20) – instead we ask that He see us through the trial and come out of this stronger. We accept that God is in control.

On my own, I am a worrier. In Christ, I am learning to have peace; peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). My friends, let not your heart be troubled. Instead, accept the gift our Lord has freely given. Peace which fills our empty hearts, calms our sea of emotions, and confounds the unbeliever. May we choose to accept the gifts Christ so willingly died to give us and enter into a life well lived.

🔔Time to Chime In: When worried, I find it helps to pray and reorient my focus. What helps you when emotions seem to hold sway?