Recently, I woke up with the thought that God tells us not to be anxious (Philippians 4:6). Our willingness to live out this guidance principle from His Word allows us to meet the challenges of life in a more purposeful, less-stressed frame of mind. Patience is a huge piece of emotional wholeness and comes from our living intentionally, or as I like to coin the phrase, “Life by Design, not Default”.
Later this same day, I decided it was time to untwist the cords on my plantation blinds on two windows upstairs. They have been left in a tied-up state because they are not in my typical line of vision as I mostly am downstairs. At first, I was letting thoughts of irritation invade my peaceful mindset and not utilizing patience. I was focusing on not wanting to do this right now because it was too warm in the room and the many other things I could be doing that would be of more value than standing there untwisting the blinds. As soon as I recognized that these negative thoughts were actually making the project more distasteful, I challenged my thoughts to reflect back on my early morning musings about patience and anxiety. I began to focus on how thankful I am to have a nice home and to have the opportunity to delight in making it a cozy and peaceful home.
I often get a front-row seat to moderate anxiety, with my beloved fur-baby, Max. He is a 4 year old golden retriever, and really has a challenging time accepting change. He wants to be fed and walked at the scheduled time his internal clock dictates to him. If I move a chair or a lamp, he has to review what has happened and be given time to adjust. If my hubby, Jeff, who is Max’s best bud is away, Max may pace a while, whine at the door or lounge with his big head and beautiful puppy eyes, resting on my lap. He likes sameness. He is incredibly anxious and pants fairly loudly when he isn’t having his routine to go down the way he expects.
I’m a lot like Max. I like to sit in my same place whenever I am. I like to drink my coffee or tea from one particular mug. I like the bed made as soon as I get out of it. When I return home, I beat a path to place my purse in the same spot on the same shelf, time after time. I actually do not like to travel (yep, now you know my biggest quirk), because I like to sleep in my own bed! My reasoning for this behavior is that, more than anything, I absolutely detest having to search for anything or readjust to new surroundings.
I began to think of how God is teaching me to choose to be patient and work in a calm manner, rather than murmuring, and allowing my feelings of discontent to make me feel like I have a right to grumble. I thought how I have been given a gentle nudge by Jesus, who loves me and wants the best for me.
In this and numerous other incidences, when I stop and listen to myself and overwrite my dislike for doing certain things or being in certain places, I can happily agree that the anxiety I feel around being dissatisfied can quickly turn to peace and a serene state of mind, when I choose to accept my situation and simply be patient.
As Grandma always said, typically about uncomfortable circumstances, “It came to pass, not to stay!”
Where can you focus today to help you reduce your anxiety and experience emotional wholeness and more lasting joy? I’ll bet it’s closer than you think!
Live Life by Design, not default. When you are intentional, you catch many more moments that will take your breath away!