Tag Archives: worry

What I Quit Doing.

The past few months my stress level has been pretty low.  My load is no lighter.  As a matter of fact, it’s probably fuller.  My secret to controlling the stresses that I actually can control?

I quit dreading.

I quit dreading the commitment I made I wished I had not made. 

I quit dreading the thing I have to do whether I want to do it or not. 

I quit dreading the fact that pretty soon my alarm is going to go off, and I’m going to have to motivate two little people to get out the door to school.

I quit dreading obligations that take away time I wish I could spend….resting….replenishing.

Dreading makes everything worse.  My grandfather used to always say, “It’s worse to dread something you have to do when just doing it is bad enough.”  In other words, nothing is going to change that commitment.  That thing.  Those obligations.  And, dreading them makes the doing them that much harder. 

So, I quit.

I no longer worry or stress about when I’ll have my next down time.  My next reprieve.  Instead, I make up my mind to maybe say no to the next request.  Unless that request is a life-giving need.  Because, it’s in those life-giving times that I remember my life is not my own.  And, God is always faithful to make me lie down in green pastures and restore my soul.  And, this rain sure does make them even greener.  A little drop of a degree or 100 might help, too.  But, I digress.

Stop dreading.  Remember whose you are.  And, how faithful He is to give you exactly what you need when you need it. 

Deal?

Deal.

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Filed under life, Randomness

What If.

I’m gonna give it to ya straight.  I know I’ve blogged on this before, and I’m sure to blog on it again.  This is me.  In my head.  Driving my Yukon.  By myself.  Because, who helps one drive?  Stupid:  “by myself.”  But, I’m leavin’ it in this post.  ‘Cause I’m so see me, love me and all.  Rabbit trail, rabbit trail.

Back to inside my  head.  I’m drivin’ yesterday afternoon.  I’m thinking about how much Kris is gone lately.  He is a pilot.  Did y’all know that?  Those pilot people fly airplanes.  Away. 

Little fears start surfacing.

What if he is gone too much too often?  What if our marriage suffers?  What if my children suffer?  What if there is another snow day, and all of my kids are home ALL DAY AND NIGHT, and I’m the only parental reinforcement around? 

What if?

As fast as those thoughts went swirling around my head, another voice calmed my stormy mind.

“I will trust You.”

And, that was the next thought that dominated my little head.

When has He ever not proved Himself to me?

You may be allowing thoughts of fear consume your mind right now.  Worry.  Doubt. 

I can throw out the Matthew 6 scripture to you about not worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.  But, honestly, that scripture has never helped me with my worry one bit.

I’m just sayin’.

Sorry, Dad.

But, I can tell you that God makes good on His promises.  I can tell you that He has made good of my ugly finances.  He has made good of my messy relationships.  He has made good of those times where I distanced myself from Him.  He has made good of those moments where I failed as a mother.  He has made good of my disappointments.  He has made good of my broken heart. 

He has made so much in my life good. 

So, what if?

I will trust Him.

And, you, my friend, can trust Him, too.

If you would like for me to pray with you today about something that has you worried or an area of your life that you really need to trust God in, comment here or email me personally at durstee@aol.com  I will pray for you today.

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Filed under God Stuff, life, Spiritual Journey

Bounce Your Thoughts.

I have this sweet, little scripture hanging in my home:

Whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely…think on these things.  Philippians 4:8

I say “sweet, little” because, well, it’s a nice goal.  Don’t ya think?  But, who really takes it to heart and executes it in his or her life? 

Not me.  Not always.

I can let my thought life take me down a road of perpetual worry.  I can let my thought life cause me to become resentful of not having more time for myself.  I can let my thought life lead me down a road of becoming irritated with my husband, because he fails to see his clothes on the floor.  I can let my thought life do a lot of damage in a day. 

It can rob me of time that I can’t ever get back.  It can rob me of trusting in Him, because I worry.  It can rob me of enjoying a smile from my baby boy’s sweet face, because I’m thinking how little time I have to myself in a day.  It can rob me of appreciating how hard my husband works for our family. 

I’ve always heard we should “bounce our eyes” when confronted with something visually unhealthy.  That’s important.  But, so is bouncing our thoughts.  The moment we let a thought that is not noble, right, pure or lovely surface, we need to bounce it immediately.

What if every one of our thoughts was truly noble, right, pure, and lovely?  How different would our life look?  How much more would I enjoy the gifts God has given me?  How much more would I trust in my Savior who has NEVER let me down? 

This is exactly what God is working in my life right at this moment.  He is teaching me how much I need to bounce my thoughts.  And, oh boy, will I need some reminders and accountability on this one.

How is your thought life?

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Filed under gratitude, life, Spiritual Journey

FEAR. It’s A Dirty Word.

Kris:  “Remind me to talk to your doctor Thursday about the H1N1 vaccine.”

Me:  “Haven’t we already discussed this with him?”

Kris:  “Yes, but I need more clarification.  There could be over 90,000 U.S. deaths this flu season.”

Thankyousokindly for giving me something else to worry about.  It’s not like I’m not already consumed with my Anna’s pre-school assignment on decorating her family shield.  A little Hobby Lobby here.  Some photo printing there.  It’s kind of a big deal, yes?

It’s easy to give into the ugly, four-letter word, FEAR.  And, I’m not talking about a pre-school project.  I’m talking about things that can create an emotional response to circumstances beyond our control.  If I allow it, I can downright talk myself into a fear frenzy.  I began doing just that last night while talking to my dad.  I briefly paused, and these words fell off my tongue:

“We just need to pray protection.”

Oh, well, there ya go.  Let’s invite God in.  Swell idea?  How often I make God the size of my biggest problem. 

He’s bigger.

He’s already told us what to do with our fear.  He said our fear can just go straight to hell. 

Okay, that’s not exactly what He said.  But, He did say this:

 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

And this:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7 (Gotta love the KJV)

Oh, and this:

The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

No matter what the day brings, I know I have nothing to fear.  Because, nothing can separate me from His presence.  When I walk through the waters, He will be there.  When I walk through the fire, He never leaves my side. 

And, so I say to FEAR:  You can go straight to hell. 

And, Big Mama would follow that declaration up with a little tongue talkin’. 

For real.

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Filed under God Stuff, prayer

Nothing Can Separate Us.

I read this last night before nodding off to sleep.  I’ve read it many times before.  But, this time it just pierced me. 

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

Even when we go through difficult times, His love still surrounds us. 

And, nothing can separate us from that love.  “Neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow….” 

Just thought maybe somebody needed to hear that today.

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Filed under God Stuff, life, Love

Sometimes, I just need a high dose of protein and a little prayer.


After Sunday’s lunch choice – Whopper Jr. from “the” Burger King – I thought it best that I fast yesterday.  But then I remembered how ludicrous fasting is and caved in about, oh 8:00 AM.  I’m not much for fasting food.  Not even for Jesus.  I’m not sayin’ I wouldn’t.  I’m just sayin’ I’m not much for it.  I usually give up something like the internet in lieu of food for a day instead.  And that, my friends, is torture enough.  Amen?  Yes, I see that hand.

By the way, I had not consumed a meal from Burger King in YEE-ERS.  I stood in line THIRTY minutes at the Atlanta airport with my six year old to satiate my yearning for the BK.  No regrets folks.  No, not one. 

This post really has nothing to do with boosting my iron deficiency or elevating my cholesterol, but I was just sittin’ on this information and it just flowed off of my fingertips.  So, there ya go.

In other news, I listened to President Obama’s address last night.  I’m pur-tee sure it’s no secret that we are in an economic crisis.  Many are living in fear.  Many are frustrated.  It is so easy to become disheartened in the midst of struggles.  We pray and pray for our marriage to get better.  We pray that God would change something within our own life over and over again.  We pray for healing day after day. 

So what gives?  How long do we pray?

Psalm 86:3 says “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you ALL DAY LONG.”

In other words, keep praying NO MATTER WHAT.  No matter how hopeless things appear, no matter how frustrated we become, no matter how broken our hearts are.  Keep praying. 

I have a lot of good days that I remember to take my burdens to the cross.  Then, I have a weak moment like yesterday afternoon, and I say things to my husband like, “Um, how about a little reassurance that everything is going to be okay?”

Kris can give me that reassurance the best he can.  But, only God can give me a peace that really does surpass any kind of understanding I may have or ever will have. 

So, I remembered.  Oh.  Lookie there.  I could pray about this.

I know, I know.  I’m a clever one.

Our heavenly Father never eats or sleeps.  I know, right?  He waits with bated breath to hear my voice.  To hear yours.  Take your fears, take your worries and lay them down at His feet.  Speak His name, or heck, cry out to Him, and let His reassurance engulf you.  Let His peace do a number on you.

And, no matter what, don’t stop praying. 

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

What, me?  Anxious?  Nevah. 

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Filed under God Stuff, prayer

I’m here to help. In case You need it.


Me:  John Henry, take that ball out of the living room.  If you hit the television, you will be in some serious trouble.

Anna:  And, get a spankin’.

Me:  You’re not the parent, Anna.

Anna:  I was just sayin’ it for you!

Me:  I don’t need any help, thank you.

I wonder how often we think God needs our help with things.  Ya know.  Just in case He forgets what His Word says or something like that.  

I’m not saying we don’t pray.  We need that.  He digs that.  I’m just saying that some things really aren’t about us.  Some things should just go into the God box instead of the Me Box.  And, most things are beyond our control anyway.

And, that’s okay.

He’s God.

I’m not.

I don’t even play the role of the Holy Spirit well.  Believe me, I’ve tried.

Let Him do His thing.  He’s pur-tee good at it.

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

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Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff

If He can send frogs from heaven, He can certainly sweep up spiders.


I’m not a fan of the spider.  I mean, in general, spiders do not bother me.  But those deadly ones, well, they tend to make me brush my shoulders at the mere thought of them. Yes.They.Do.

My good friend cleans my house.  Yes, this makes her a really good friend.   She informed me that she killed two brown recluse spiders in my house the other day.  Loverly.

I immediately advised my knight in shining armor of our house being overcome by poisonous arachnids, knowing he would draw his sword and fight every single multi-legged creature to the bitter end. 

“Call Orkin,” he suggested.

Oh, Kris, you steal my heart.  And, I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and my husband who sat upon him was called “Scared of Spiders. “

So, yesterday morning I found myself praying for protection over my children.  “Oh, Lord, do away with these spiders with your miraculous power!”  I’m not sure why exactly I started praying like one of those old time television evangelists.  It just seemed appropriate.  Before you know it, I’ll stop wearing make-up and my hair will be in a bun. 

A spider-killer from Orkin came for a visit after I let the Holy Ghost loose in the house.  She (hear that Kris?  SHE?) did some sort of spider-killing treatment.  I’m hoping those crawlers are gone in the name of Jesus.

At times, I feel a bit silly praying for such things.  But, then I remember, what concerns me concerns Him. 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”  1 Peter 5:7

Lord knows, those arachnids worry me.

Anything worrying you?

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Filed under prayer, Randomness, Uncategorized

What’s got you so worried?


My blogging friend, Cindy Beall, once wrote “worry is a four-letter word.”  This couldn’t ring more true for me.  I wish, oh how I wish, I could just cease all worry once and for all.  It doesn’t work that way for me.   Pastor Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv once illustrated that we have two boxes:  the “God box” and the “Me box”.  Those things we have control over go into the “Me box”.  Everything else….those things we cannot control…..go into the “God box”.  Here’s the kicker:  the “God box” should be much larger than the “Me box”.  As a matter of fact, it should reach heights of biblical proportions.  Get it?  Biblical proportions?  Anyway, back to worry.

 I am really good at putting my “stuff” in the God box only to take it out when He chooses to keep me waiting.  Oh, please tell me I’m not the only one.  My worry has caused me do some really drastic things….and also reach some pretty ridiculous conclusions.  I thought I’d share a few.  WebMd.  Been there?  Don’t go.  I’ve turned headaches into brain tumors with only 2 weeks left to live.  Oh, and that pain in my chest?  Well, we all know where I must have taken that one.  Then, there are my children.  I do not go to bed most nights without checking in on my youngins just one more time.  And, I actually look to see that their little tummies are pumping up and down.  Can any other moms out there admit to similar obsessions?  Yes, yes, I see that hand.  Thank you, Sharon.  Let’s not stop here.  It would be wrong to omit the time that I called the emergency flight services to track my husband while he was flying home….then I had our local control tower contact Kris upon his approach into our home airport.  The message the controller gave him?  “Mr. Takle, you better call your wife as soon as you land.  You’re in trouble, Captain.”  For real.  Okay, so he wasn’t in trouble.  But, when I could no longer track his flight on our flight tracker system (as I always do), I, well, you know……I worried.  Drastic times call for drastic measures.  Can I get an Amen?

Matthew 6:34 says “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today”.  I have to be honest.  This doesn’t make me feel any better.  But this does:  6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)  Here, Paul is prescribing prayer, good thoughts, and gratitude as the cure for worry.  You see, when we pray and count our blessings, it puts our worries into perspective.  If you can do something about it, get busy.  If not, go to the God of peace in prayer.

What’s got you worried? 

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Filed under God Stuff