Tag Archives: Anxiety

My Home, My Sanctuary…

Birdnest on CrossI remember the days of chaos in my home. Screaming kids and stuff everywhere. Discontentment does that to our homes! I was not happy with anything, complained about everything and joy was superficial. This is not a happy home!

This is what chaos means according to Merriam Webster:

Complete confusion and disorder; a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything

So sadly, my heart and home were a real disaster area where one would rather depart from than be welcomed into!

If you want to put stress on your family, drive away your spouse, wonder why your kids are hanging from the chandelier, this may give you a clue. I truly understand because I was there once upon a time.

I did not have peace in my heart. God was not even welcomed in my dysfunctional  environment and there wouldn’t have been room for Him anyway. For years I existed in this disarray becoming more and more miserable.

Then at age thirty I was introduced to Jesus Christ. God used Christian media to show me what it could look like on the other side of my whirlwind. In my desperate state, getting ready to flee, unable to take many more days of utter confusion, I said yes to Jesus because of the testimony of a couple who were living much like I had been. When they received Christ, they found the Prince of Peace! You see, I was desperate and I wanted that peace!

Over the next 20 years the Lord began to redirect my life and turn it right-side up to where home looks completely different than it once did. His perfect peace filled my heart gave me a resting place within instead of that heart of discontentment.

As God’s peace infused my being I realized that my environment was beginning to be more orderly and complete. Dare I say that our environments reflect our souls? My home has become a sanctuary and a place of welcoming. I know God is here because of the peace I feel when I walk through the door. No, I don’t have altars set up but the environment is for the most part a welcoming place.

I am still working on my minimalizing to help me with clutter tendencies but it is coming along. This place is where my husband desires to be and on those hectic days out and about I long to retreat into because God’s peace is present!

So do you struggle with finding peace in your home?

Is it sometimes difficult to return to when there is disorder awaiting you as you open the door?

The most important element can be the state of your heart. Be willing to look inside and see what it is that may be out of sorts and begin to purge and rebuild from the Father’s perspective so that your heart and your home will exude His peace that passes all understanding.

Take a moment and visit Philippians 4 to help you in your pursuit of a “peace that surpasses all understanding…”

Father, I am going to refuse to succumb to chaos any longer and I ask for Your perfect peace to fill me and guide me as I learn to walk in it. I want to lay down all areas that bring confusion and chaos and I’m asking You to replace the messes inside of my heart and home in exchange for Your peace. I am trusting You to rebuild me as I hand over to You my surrendered heart…in Jesus’ Name.

Do You Fight Anxiety?

A flat tire on a Mercury Villager van.It was back in February that we said goodbye to our older Bonneville and welcomed a Fusion into the family. (When the kids leave, vehicles and animals become your kids — sort of.) I had only driven the new vehicle a couple of weeks when while I was driving to town the low tire-pressure warning came on. I thought I would just go to the post office and then stop to get air when I returned.

But when I parked at the station and looked at my right rear tire, it was flat. How in the world could a brand-new tire be flat? I asked the attendant, Davey, to put enough air in the tire so I could park and he could fix it for me later. But the tire wouldn’t even hold air, and that’s when he discovered there was a hunk of metal in it. When I picked up my car, he said there was a utility knife blade stuck upright in between the treads and there was no holding air. But he got the job done.

It was only a week later that I went to get in my car and saw the low tire-pressure warning again — another flat tire. What’s up with that? Well, last year we re-shingled our house and garage and a leftover shingle nail eventually found that tire. God, why in the world are we dealing with this stuff? Oh, how He must laugh when I say things like that. Of course, stuff is going to happen, always. I am not exempt from difficulties; I live in a fallen world.

In the fall of 2011, I began speaking for an organization called Stonecroft. Most of you might recognize the name if I say Christian Women’s Club or Connection, which is what many of the clubs are calling themselves today. My trips take me on some pretty far journeys since I live at the top of Minnesota in the “Icebox of the Nation” and to go anywhere seems like a journey of several hours. My longest trip has been to the North Dakota circuit of Harvey, Minot and then down to Bismarck — lots of miles.

Naturally I prayed that my tire would hold its patch job since I would be in the middle of unfamiliar territory and alone. After six days I was set to return home and was pretty anxious to see my husband after he had gallbladder surgery while I was gone. I was rolling right along from Bismarck early one morning when suddenly my low tire-pressure warning once again came on. I started to get nauseous and fretted because there was nothing that looked like a gas station as far as I could see.

I am thankful that God reminded me of Philippians 4:6, which I immediately put to practice: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

As I recited that verse, I felt God’s presence and care for me. I didn’t stop but began to pray for a station that would be alongside the freeway so I could check the tire. I looked with my mirrors to see if the tire looked really flat, and it didn’t, which puzzled me. But I made the choice to trust the Scripture I recited instead of giving in to my anxious thoughts. Philippians 4:7 says: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I relaxed in knowing that God would provide for my request, and I had an unusual peace that also flooded my uncertain thinking. It wasn’t right away, but a nice truck stop appeared fairly soon afterward and I was able to check the tire (not the rear patched one but my front driver’s side.) and put in air. I then praised my God for His immediate care for me, all alone in North Dakota on a big freeway. Isn’t God just so good to His children?

I made it all the way home, only stopping two hours from home to check the air. None had leaked out. Well, our neighbors repaired that tire and found another nail. I guess it is inevitable when you work next to the transfer station road where all kinds of construction waste are hauled.

But I’ve used those two verses often recently to conquer fear and anxiety and to strengthen others who are in situations of similar uncertainty. Write those verses down and memorize them. Just get them in your heart so that when times of unrest come you will have some ready ammunition to defeat the enemy’s tactics of fear and anxiety. To all who are in Christ: You are armed and dangerous. Now use it.