This day may be filled with the unexpected. Sometimes the unexpected can cause anxiety in us. We don’t have to be filled with anxiety. There is a way to quickly reduce anxiety. It has everything to do with Jesus and time. Jesus is waiting to take anxiety away from us. In fact He tells us to give Him ALL our anxiety because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). This means, He knows there are going to be times when we’re experiencing anxiety. The question I get most based on this verse is, “How do you cast your anxiety on Him? I don’t know how to do that.” There is a way to quickly reduce anxiety. Today, I’m going to share how I do it.
Happy New Year! We’ve completed one week of 2018. I don’t know about you, but my first week of 2018 has been a full-on force of embracing who I am, imperfectly me.
I’ve been sharing with you for three weeks now who Jesus is to me. I could keep going because I can think of so many more things He is to me. But I have the rest of my life to keep sharing with you who Jesus is to me and why. I have lots of stories to share in the future. But today, Christmas Day, I do have a little more of who Jesus is to me that I want to share with you and then I have an important question for you to answer.
Most of us have traditions we carry on year after year. Yesterday I shared one of mine. I listen to Christmas music while I wrap gifts. Well, I have another tradition I continue year after year. I’m not sure when I began this tradition, but I know it’s been decades I’ve been buying myself a Christmas gift. I wrap it and place it under the tree. The tag says, “To Michelle, From Michelle.” You’re probably wondering why I do this. Besides that it’s fun? On a serious note, I’ve come to believe there’s a deeper purpose behind my gift giving and receiving.
The last two days have been filled with lots of Christmas preparations. It’s a fun time of year for me. I enjoy shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts, and giving gifts. Today, I spent a lot of time wrapping gifts for my family. As is my tradition, I listened to Christmas music while I wrapped. I found myself dancing with delight to some of my favorite songs. As I was finishing up my annual Christmas wrapping, a song was playing that made me stop. I smiled as I sang along to the words of “My Jesus I Love Thee.”
Many times over the years I’ve prayed prayers that are risky prayers to pray. I’ve mentioned a few times, be careful what you pray for because you may just get it. One of those risky prayers I’ve been praying a lot this year and in particular this fall is: “Jesus, break my heart with what breaks Your heart.”
Today I was remembering what a dear friend shared with me a few years ago. She shared how she wanted to be thin, so she started watching what thin people do and what they don’t do. Then she started following their ways of living. In a short while she started losing weight. A few months later she had lost so much weight she couldn’t believe how thin she was. You could have put two of her in a pair of jeans she once wore. She said she learned in order to be thin she had to live like a thin person lives. So she did.
As Christmas Day is getting closer, I found myself feeling frazzled tonight. I can’t point to just one thing that’s produced this frazzling. It was a collection of things that put me into a glib moment. And yes, this was a passing, shallow moment. Even though today was my last day of work at my day job until Jan. 2, I still have lots of work to do to prepare for the Christmas Day I desire for my family (well, and myself). As I began to think about all the things I still needed to do, I started feeling frazzled.
One of the many fun things I like to do with children is sing. When my own children were little, we’d sing all kinds of songs. Now that I’m a grandma, I find myself singing songs again. Not too long ago as I was sitting playing with my one-year old grandson, after we played pat-a-cake, I started singing an old song I had not sung in a couple of decades probably. Out it came, and he was mesmerized by my singing and hand motions. He watched intently and then I took his little hands and helped him do the motions with me. I was teaching my grandson this song:
Did you know the Bible is filled with blessings? Depending on the source you use, there are 7,000 to 8,000 blessings. Clearly our God loves to bless. Today, I want to spend some time reminding you of some of the wonderful blessings Jesus grants.