He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

19 June 2010

Worry Kills {Psalm 127}

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stay awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil: for He gives to His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord... a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who gills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

I am... well, I used to be a CrAZy Type A personality who stressed about every last detail because I wanted people to think I had it all together. I would go to some pretty ridiculous lengths to be sure that my room or house was always clean, my clothes always had the right labels in them, my room or house was always decorated the best {even if it was to my financial detriment}... I worked very hard to make sure man thought well of me. When I became a wife the worry started to pile up. Not only did I have to impress the people with my amazing ability to make things sparkle but now I had to have the perfect marriage. I wanted to be the woman you looked at and wanted to be. {As I'm writing this, being honest isn't so easy.} Along with the goal of perfection came some unpleasant side affects. Constant worry, exhaustion, insecurity, and, oh yeah... panic attacks {those are fun}. I can't remember a time where I didn't worry about something. Now it would be easy to go back into my childhood and bring up all my deep dark things that made me this way but the reality is that when I became an adult it didn't matter. I was {and am} responsible for my current actions and my worry was flat out wrong. Maybe there's nothing wrong with wanting to have it all together but I know that I was going about it to the detriment of my mental stability and the happiness of my family.

It was when I had kids that the Lord got ahold of me with the words of Psalm 127. The amount of pressure I put on myself was unbearable and I found myself constantly falling apart. I'm not talking meltdowns, but I got angry a lot and poor Dear Hubby and CJ got the brunt of it. Looking good in the eyes of the world had become my god.
Our pastor said something months ago that stuck with me and looking back it makes total sense

Anger happens when you aren't getting something you think you deserve.

I thought I deserved a clean home, and well decorated walls, and the perfect marriage, and perfect children who obeyed without question, and time to myself, and clean laundry in my drawers at all times, and the right labels on those clothes, and eating out at the right restaurants. I put so much weight into those things that I missed the point completely. I have been commanded, by God, to submit to my husband not complain when he doesn't do things the way I think he should {I Peter 3}, to be an example to my kids and to take pleasure in the gift of having them instead of pitching a mommy fit when they don't behave the way I want or when they whine, cry or fuss {Psalm 27; Proverbs 22:6}, and to love others as I love myself instead of trying to impress them to make me feel good about myself {Matthew 7:12}.
It is amazing how once I figured this truth out, my life became more relaxed. Even now, my impulse is to do things the "right" way {right=the way that would make me look good but not necessarily God-honoring} but I am now able to fight that temptation and move on without regret or worry. It is liberating!

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