Stay Calm and Cast On

My family and I are gearing up to head to the shore for our annual vacation with my husband’s side of the family. I have been joining them on this trip since we began dating nine years ago. It’s where we were married and where I find some of my greatest memories - memories I look back on now to see some of God’s most splendid creations - sitting on a grand beach looking out into a vast ocean; looking up at the night stars; seeing not only colorful sunsets across the bay to the west, but sunrises to the east; realizing my own strength running along the beach across the whole island; and the fun times spent with new family and friends. I am truly grateful for our ability to spend time with family at the shore.

In this stage of life, with two young kids (one and two years old), my “gearing up” is not only making sure we pack all we need, it's the anxiety that comes with travel. The anxiety is real! We will be surrounded by water, lots of people, different schedules, plus I can get hangry and irritable, and I can assure you that trait was passed on to my children! Since my first child was born, the thought of going away from home did not bring excitement of a new place and fun, but instead brought anxiety of what could happen, or in my mind, what would definitely happen. 

So begins my third very anxiety-driven trip to the shore with kids.

It also begins my first trip post-baptism. My first trip having my heart filled with Jesus’ love and joy. My first trip doing the best I can to lay my worries and anxieties at His feet - harder said than done sometimes. But giving our worries to Him is exactly what He tells us to do.

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

In Matthew, chapter 6, there is a section headed “Do Not Worry.” 

25-27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

31-34 So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

(Please read the whole section if you can, Matthew 6:25-34)

I can spend my time worrying. Worrying about what MIGHT happen. Worrying about a kid being unsafe; being overwhelmed by lots of people; schedules shifting; kids not getting enough sleep and being grumpy; or us getting hangry. Or I can know that God has us. God will keep us all safe. He will make sure we are ok. He gives us joy.

Psalm 94:19 “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

I (we) need to keep looking at God first. We know all He has done and can have faith in all He will do. I will be ok, because God brings me joy!

So instead of it being anxiety-driven, having reflected on these verses, I am writing this thinking  how much more at ease I am this year compared to past years. Thinking of how some of you may have your own anxieties in this most common season of vacations. Or, maybe there is something else that is ailing you. A worry of a sickness in a family or friend; a big move; the want or need of a new job; all the to-dos; or what ever may hold your worries.  

I pray you can find your answers in God. I pray you can cast your worries on Him. I pray you can find God’s joy. Let us look to Him and let us be thankful!

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Get to know the Blogger…

Do you love animals, if yes then which one do you love most?

I love all (ok, most) animals! In terms of pets, I love dogs! We have one very large (90 lb.) labradoodle named Captain! When I go to the zoo, otters are a must see! I’m also a huge fan of goats - fainting goats to be more specific! I want one…or five!

Do you have any weird phobias?

I cannot handle used stickers. Is that weird? When a sticker starts coming off of something like an old/used toy, or my son moves a sticker from one part of his shirt to another, the idea of touching it makes me want to throw up! So I really appreciate all those people who take the name tags off of my children as we exit the Greenhouse at church!