swallowed up

When we finally reconnect at the end of the day, my husband and I will ask how each other’s day was.  Frequently, its a quick bullet point review of what the kids did, who he met with, what I picked up.  Sometimes, its just a sigh followed by just a few short words.

The other day it was,

“I feel swallowed up.”

Grammer aside, it was the exact thought floating through my head.

Swallowed up by all of the things I need to be directing in our life.  Swallowed up by the amount of fear I feel sometimes sending my kids off to school where I can’t protect them.  Swallowed up by the amount of stuff we have, that I am cleaning up, organizing, and putting away.  Swallowed up by the pain in people’s eyes around me.  Swallowed up by the pressure I have to keep our family connected to each other.  Swallowed up by decisions that I can’t even let myself think about yet.

Swallowed up by the heaviness of a life that seems unbearable to hold up.

Funny thing how even though I know that God is bigger than it all.  I still picture myself standing all alone holding it all up.  Watching the waters rise around me, feeling as if its about to swallow me.  Like an island about to be washed away, forever.

Why is it after years of seeing God’s goodness and recognizing His provision, I often avoid his refuge?  Why do I not run to His word and let those words cover me?  I need to be dwelling in Him instead of dwelling in my worries.

He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in he shadow of the almighty – Psalm 91:1

Circumstances in life are so easily overwhelming, often leaving us feeling swallowed up.  Our eyes need to be upwards and less inward; bringing our eyes out of focus on the things around us and more into focus on His love for us.  We find strength when we adjust our focus on God’s character.

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word -Psalm 119:114

There is not an emotion we feel that God cannot redeem.  As sure as my eyes close for the night and open for the sun I am reminded that His refuge is greater than anything I can provide for myself.  There is a longing in each one of us to feel taken care of,  and there is someone who will fulfill that longing for us.  Though His words may sometimes not seem like enough, they provide something this world cannot give; hope.

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Training myself to be still

be still

Sometimes I am almost terrified to be still with God.

I worry a lot, about a lot.

Instead of going to God with my anxious feelings, I worry.  Somehow I think the worry will conquer something…it doesn’t.

I often think that if I am still long enough with God, he will want to show me things I need to change.  Most days I can’t even go to that thought of changing myself.  I am just tired, I’m overwhelmed, and just weary from life.  Change is often hard for me and just the thought of one more thing on my plate to work harder at is plain old exhausting.

Lately when I have been running and painting I have had a lot of time to think and sort of go over why I automatically think that God wants to tell me the things I need to change.

Why do I think he wants me to feel guilty about the things I am not “perfect” at?

What if God just wants me to be still and know that He loves me?  What if He just wants me to be reminded that today He is with me…  What is He wants me to be still with Him so I can hear His gently voice telling me He cares about it all, every small detail of my day?

I am practicing a new method of combating my worries and my anxious thoughts.  Super silly and ridiously simple, but I put on some music, sit down, close my eyes, and repeat His words.

I repeat over and over that He is God, the ruler of all.

I repeat that He is sovereign and nothing is out of His control.

I remind myself over and over again how He loves me unconditionally.

How his view of me is so different than how I see myself.

He sees me as whole and not broken, and rejoices in the fact that I am not perfect.  Because if I was He wouldn’t be needed.

I thank God that His perfect grace fills in the cracks in my broken life.

I let the promises sink in and breathe.  I breathe every word in as slowly as its needed.

I am daily retraining my fleshly view of God to be less about guilt and more about love.  Thankfully His love is more abundant than I could ever imagine.