How to Stay Calm In an Insane World

So many of us are currently battling anxiety; a mere glance at the headlines confirms why. If current events have tangled your heart with apprehension and stress has gripped your soul, I get it. The world is uglier and darker than just 18 months ago (and on many levels so much worse than I ever imagined witnessing), and what I’ve come to realize is that what worked prior to The Crazy That Is Now Our Planet won’t necessarily cut it today.

Here are some tips that help me. I trust they will help you maintain a calm heart, in spite of what’s going on in your life and around the world.

Pay attention to what you’re focusing on. It’s good to be informed. It’s not good to be obsessed. Watching the news, scrolling through social media to cull information, and the quest for updates on current events are understandable, even essential to a degree. And there’s nothing wrong with keeping apprised of what’s happening nationally (or even worldwide). Especially so we can pray. But our hearts were not designed to accumulate a constant barrage of information, facts, and (let’s face it) darkness that is reported 24/7. When we spend too much time absorbing distressing information, it will negatively affect us.

Recognize that peace is an intentional choice that requires effort. Peace doesn’t automatically fall into our hearts and minds, it must be sought and chosen. We do that by making time for daily scripture reading, prayer, and worship. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and though He is always with us (Matthew 28:20) , we must choose to acknowledge Him and spend time with Him. His presence in our daily, moment by moment real life changes everything.

Don’t underestimate unplugging. Our souls crave peace and quiet. Unplugging from technology helps us recharge and gives us time to ponder and relax. I love connecting with nature. A walk or bike ride refreshes me as I take in the fresh air, the bird’s songs, the gorgeous clouds. Not a fan of outdoors? Soak in a bubble bath. Meet a friend for tea or coffee. Read a good book. Take a nap. Bake cookies. Make the choice to let your soul recharge.

Don’t underestimate worship. This week has been rough for many. The heartbreaking mess in Afghanistan weighs heavy. In my home we also had sickness, among other things. All in all, it was an overwhelming week. My stress level was so high I felt on the verge of tears several times. So I went into my bedroom, closed the door, and I worshiped two ways. (1) I played my favorite worship song on repeat, allowing it to wash over me. As I sang and worshiped God’s presence rushed in and seriously calmed my heart. And (2) I opened up the YouVersion Bible App and played Psalm 23 on speaker mode, listening to it (and joining in) over and over.

Stay Connected to Scripture at All Costs. Now is not the time to skip your daily Bible reading. Scripture is living and active, it transforms us, teaches us, and fills us with truth. Our hearts and minds desperately need truth now more than ever. If you don’t have a One YearBible get one. They’re awesome. Reading 15-20 minutes daily gets you through the entire Bible in a year. I’ve read through various translations more than 15 times, it's life changing!

Remember that You are never alone. Oh, how we need to know this! He is always with us. He is in the fire with us (Daniel 3:8-25). He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5-6). He is for us (Romans 8:31). And nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38). This perspective comforts and reassures our hearts.


Through my books I love to help readers know God, know Scripture, and know how to pray. Click on the images below to learn more about each book.

             

Condemnation vs Conviction

It can be difficult to tell when we are being condemned or convicted. Join me on YouTube as I discuss the difference and cry out to our great God in prayer!


Condemnation makes us cringe and feel guilty. It makes us feel like we are just a mess. It makes us focus on ourselves. Conviction is the power of the Holy Spirit. It leads and guides us to things in our lives that grieve God. It can bring relief and joy because it is an opportunity to turn to God to repent and be forgiven! It returns us to a right standing with God.

We do not have to live a life of shame because of our past or because of what happened 5 minutes ago.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21

Let's pray to walk in freedom from condemnation and embrace the conviction that leads to forgiveness and a clear conscience. ✝️🙏 

Father, we thank You that we do not have to walk around feeling condemned or guilty. We do not have to listen, or come into agreement with the accuser of the brethren. Lord, we can run to you when we've done wrong to your throne of grace, where you are waiting for us because you love us with an everlasting love. Lord, thank you for that. Help us to cooperate with you, Father. We ask these things in the awesome name of Jesus, amen.

To hear the entire devotional and prayer, please watch my YouTube video.

Have a blessed day,

Through my books I love to help readers know God, know Scripture, and know how to pray. Click on the images below to learn more about each book.

             

A Podcast to Help You Battle Anxiety

Hi Friends,

I hope your summer is going well. But if anxiety has a grip on you far too often (and hello, the world is nothing if not anxiety-provoking), join me as I chat with my friend Jill Savage. We talk about dealing with anxiety and how important it is to actually pray for ourselves. I think you will be encouraged.

Just CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast. You can also find Jill's podcast, "No More Perfect" on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 



Every Detail: An Excerpt from "Prayers to Calm Your Anxious Heart"

Hi Friends,

I hope this new season finds your heart well. I felt led to share a chapter from Prayers to Calm Your Anxious Heart. May it calm and encourage your heart. 

Every Detail

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)


How immensely encouraging and comforting it is to know that God Himself personally goes before us. Absolutely nothing takes Him by surprise. When we’re uncertain or confused, He is consistently steady and near. When our closest friend moves out of state, when our job description changes extensively, and on days when tears sting our eyes more than once, we don’t have to allow anxiety to get the best of us.

When uneasiness clatters against our hearts, how reassuring it is to know that the Lord is with us and for us, clearing the way ahead. He knows every turn and all the details of our path, and in His kindness and goodness He orchestrates the specifics that deeply concern our hearts. Through each disappointment or setback, He never fails us or abandons us.

Nothing in life remains constant, and course changes inevitably happen. Yet, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the solid Rock our hearts lean on when the unexpected occurs. We never have to fret or yield to apprehension, because whatever each day holds, He is with us—His beautiful presence leading, calming, and reassuring us every step of the way.


PRAYER: Lord, I’m grateful that You see the big picture in my life, and yet You still oversee even the smallest of details. When unexpected changes happen, help me remember that You go before me in all I do, orchestrating all that concerns my heart, planning my way today and every day. Because You oversee everything, never failing me or abandoning me, I can choose to resist apprehension and rest in your faithfulness. I love that Your awesome, mighty presence leads me, reassures me, and calms me. You are the solid Rock stabilizing my heart, and I am grateful. In Jesus’s precious name, amen.

Focusing on Him and Trusting Him,

 

There is ALWAYS Something to be Thankful For!

With so much happening in our nation and so much cause for prayerful concern, we must make a genuine effort to continue to cultivate thankful hearts. 

There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for! 

LET'S PRAY:

Lord, even when so much in life and in our nation concerns me, I don’t want to be oblivious to the blessings all around me. Help me to cultivate a heart that recognizes each blessing that remains in my life: The roof over my head. A sweet pet. The sun on my face. Food in my pantry. Family and friends who love me. A smiling person. Laughter! A song that I love. A beautiful breeze or a cozy meal after a long day. Help me to recognize these gifts and others that You lavish on me daily—peace, joy, security, and most of all, Your precious presence. Your presence changes everything—it changes me. My heart is grateful, Lord. Thank you that JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Thank you for Your faithfulness and kindness. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.