Tag Archives: fear

Out of the Mouths of Babes

What do you fear? In my Sunday school class this week we pondered the same question. What makes us afraid? Each of us comes from our own set of experiences, and therefore we form our own fears. As children we probably have more fears than as adults. I recently saw a photo of my friend and her two-year-old Lauren. Lauren was latched on to mommy, crying because she was afraid to ice skate. As children many of us rely on our parents to comfort us during scary times, but as adults we tend to depend on ourselves. Did you realize your independence in times of fear can actually be a sin?

God wants us to rely on Him for our strength. Our basis for our Sunday school lesson on “finding God when we are afraid” was 1 Kings 19:1-17. In this scripture Elijah gets word that Queen Jezebel is going to have him killed, so he flees and hides in a cave. Sound familiar? This is happening now! Christians are being killed right now! How will you respond when standing in the face of fear? Will you run and hide like Elijah?

During our prayer time in my Sunday School class I ask the kids to quickly share what they are going to pray for. We first praise God for who he is, ask God to intercede, confess what we have done, and finally we thank God for his blessings. Adding this prayer practice has really made the class blossom from buddies to accountability partners. One student has been asking God to help his baby teeth to fall out on their own. He has been persistent and faithful in asking, but it didn’t happen. He had to go to the dentist to have the teeth extracted. In the past when he underwent the same procedure he was full of fear the whole drive there. Seeing that either his teeth fell out or they were extracted before last Sunday, I asked him how it went. He explained that he had to go to the dentist for the extraction. I inquired if it had effected his faith in God now that it seemed God maybe didn’t answer his prayer. His answer was amazing. He said something to the effect of, “I felt peace.” He went on to explain that the rest was horrible (the procedure and recovery), but he didn’t place any blame on God that his teeth didn’t fall out naturally. He knew God was with him when he felt complete peace on the way to the dentist, and that was enough for him to keep believing.

This week I thank God that He is a peacemaker. He knows our fears and our doubts. He hears our every prayer, and just when we think He doesn’t care He shows up and gives us peace. As a parent comforts their crying baby, how much more will God comfort you? In our times of crisis, even in times when we must choose denying God or dying for our beliefs, may we be strengthened by God’s comfort and peace.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know what’s on your mind.

She Now Knew She was Mighty

As I sat there in the front row, literally one step away from the stage, my fingers fidgeted with the folded up piece of copy paper. I looked over at my friend as she twirled her pen with one hand and a lock of hair with the other. We were preparing to perform the very vulnerable task of sharing our original poems with an audience of mostly complete strangers. I had spent all day fretting over this moment that was about to happen, even while I was at work at the local hospital.

A coworker asked me how I was feeling, and I replied, “Freaked out, terrified!” I explained that I was about to conquer one of my greatest childhood fears, reading in front of an audience. You see, growing up I was a very slow reader and often I would be chosen to read in front of the class, a task that was not only daunting, but mortifying. I wasn’t dyslexic. I didn’t have any learning disabilities that I knew of. I just wasn’t a very skilled reader. I was such a slow reader I would have to lug home all my text books in order to get any of the class work done. That meant, not only was I doing homework, but the work that was intended to be done in class as well.

Back at the coffee shop 25 years later my knuckles are turning white from making tight, nervous fists. I get up to use the bathroom again, thanks to my nervous bladder. I see my tiny folded up poem almost slip from my pocket into the toilet but catch it just as it’s about to make it’s final dive to the great unknown. It occurs to me at that moment, ‘I’m going to open with this, and once I laugh I think I’ll be okay.’ People always tell me I have an infectious laugh, so I thought I’d just lighten the mood.

Finally the emcee announces that it is my turn. I take that one tiny step to the stage, grab the music stand, which will mainly act as a stabilizing device as my knees shake beneath me. In the other hand I grab the mic. This is my moment to prove my bullies wrong. “Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I’m going to share a poem I wrote, which I almost just dropped in that toilet right back there!” Laughter filled the room. A small bit of relief came over me. I started, and I could tell I sounded just like my elementary school self stumbling over each word, but by the fourth line something extraordinary happened. I looked up to see that the crowd was rooting me on with their encouraging smiles. Wow! It was no longer children laughing and pointing, but people of all ages and races smiling, giving me a thumbs up, and gasping as I read the last line, “she now knew she was mighty.” I did. I knew I was mighty. I was mighty enough to conquer my fear, and not only that, do it better next time, show fear who is boss.

I’ve heard it said that everyday you should do something that scares you. This was one of those things, and it felt so good to laugh about it afterward with complete strangers outside my favorite coffee shop last Thursday night.

I hope my story inspires you to conquer your fear, whatever it might be. Share it with me by clicking on “reply” at the top of this post, and share this post with others in your life that have a fear to conquer. You definitely know someone.

Find What Frees You

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn't we be slurping up the Spirit?

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn’t we be slurping up the Spirit instead of chomping on worry?

In our everyday lives we experience ups and downs, but as we experience them we often don’t consider their root cause. I have recently reached a three-year goal of becoming debt-free, and now I am embarking on a new challenge of tackling a life long struggle with stress-management. Since my financial plan worked so well, I am going to use the same ideas from that curriculum to develop my own stress-free plan.

The first step in my financial plan was taking an inventory of my spending for one or two months to find out where my money was going. In the same way, I will take an inventory of my energy. Where am I spending my energy? To do this I have begun using green and pink index cards. I record particularly relaxing moments on the green index cards and particularly stressful moments on my pink cards. At the end of this first inventory period I should have encountered many of each experience. I will collect the pink cards and match them up with scriptures that bring truth, clarity, and perspective to that stressful moment. With these recorded in such a practical manner I will be able to refer to them as they come up again during daily life. Will I encounter new stressors in my life?  Of course I will, but God’s Word can be applied to any life circumstance.

I hope that this technique will inspire me to seek God’s truth in times of tension, and to live a life of complete spiritual freedom. I will keep you informed of my progress and any tweaks I apply to my technique.

And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”

Luke 12:22-32

In all circumstances I will not be afraid, I will not worry, but seek His kingdom, and all these things will be added to me. Join me on my journey to becoming stress-free.

“More Heart, Less Attack”

Be the light in the crack
Be the one that’s been there on a camel’s back
Slow to anger quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attackBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attackThe more you take the less you have
Cuz it’s you in the mirror staring back
Quick to let go slow to react
Be more heart and less attackEver growing steadfast
And if need be the one that’s in the gap
Be the never turning back
Twice the heart any man could haveBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attackI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m nearly sanctified I’m nearly broken
I’m down the river I’m near the openI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m near the sanctified I’m near broken
I’m down the river I’m near the open

I’m down the river to where I’m going