Saturday, October 3, 2015

Choosing Joy

Day 3-Capture

My first thought was pirates, but huh? My second was wow, my head is all over the place, how do I capture all these unrelated thoughts and make them into something cohesive in the next few minutes?

The irony is not lost on you here is it?

Not to sound like somebody's granny (no offense Grannies!), but 'back in the day' I did not imagine my 50's would look anything like they do. First of all, 50's?? I'm in my 50's???

I. am. 50-something.

I have to say it like that to believe it, because honestly some days I just absolutely cannot believe it. Why did I ever think when I reached this decade I'd be struggling to find things to do, enough to keep my brain engaged? Nothing has surprised me more than discovering I have the opposite problem. I thought life would somehow shrink as I got older, and instead it's gotten bigger.

There's a word I've tried so hard to ban from my vocabulary these past couple of years, and that word is worry. When you're a natural born worrier a whole heap of discipline is required to combat your DNA, and I feel like I've made progress. For one thing, I try to never begin a sentence with the phrase 'I'm worried...". In fact, unless I'm admonishing hubs or one of my girls 'not to worry' I try my best not to even utter the word.

Worry is poison to the soul.

Oh there are so many things I could worry about at this stage of the game if I let myself open the door just a crack. For starters we're in the throes of some major life changes including retirement and a change of address. We're currently building a house, or trying to anyway. I won't even mention it's been raining cats and dogs for the past nine hundred and eleventy days.

That one bears repeating doesn't it? We're building a house.

I have young adult daughters, and you moms of littles if you thought you'd lose the desire to manage their lives once they were adults you might be surprised to find the urge remains. Just this morning hubs asked me if one of my girls had taken care of something and I said, 'she's a grown up and it's hers to take care of'. Go me! Because a few years ago I'd have steamrolled right over that little thing that needs taking care of.

And don't even get me started on the Pandora's box of health related stuff that just seems to happen once you cross the 50-mile mark. You look pretty healthy. You work hard to take care of the body you've been given, but y'all stuff happens and you just have to deal with it. I've heard about so many serious health issues friends are facing, young women in their 50's, and the mind can so easily travel the worry road there if I let it.

Then of course, there's the whole big wide world that's such a scary sloppy mess in 2015. If you think about that too long you'll never get to sleep at night, so what's the solution? How do we women who seem built to worry not worry?

Believe it or not there is an answer, a command actually and that command is 'Do not worry.' Simple, right? Ha! I searched a concordance to see how many times God's word instructs us not to worry and couldn't find an agreed upon count. At least once though, and since one command was enough for light to fall upon the earth it should suffice in this instance too.  

Something that has helped tremendously in my quest to worry less, pray more has been committing these two verses to memory. Making them my mantra in times I'm prone to worry, which if I'm being honest, can be every day.

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." 2 Corinthians 10:5

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Take every thought captive.
He has overcome the world.

Sometimes I have to say the words aloud, repeat them over and over to myself until they sink in, but that's what's so amazing about God's word. It does sink in. It permeates the deepest places of our hearts and minds where worry is born and blooms and grows wildly out of control if we let it.

I read a book on Proverbs a couple of years ago where the author (Debbi Bryson) talked about how in times of worry we need a divine shift. That is, moving worries from atop our own shoulders and shifting them onto His. I like the word picture this paints and it's stayed with me in my arsenal of weapons against worry.

Because worry is a battle and it's the absolute enemy of joy.

Choose joy.

Take every thought captive.
He has overcome the world.


  1. I keep going back and back to that 2 Corinthians verse.
    Enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  2. As always I relate. My motto is simple "let go, let God." It really can take away worry.

  3. Well said Joyce and amen!!! Sometimes it's hard not to still mother my girls too. I'm learning though and I'm trying to just pray and love them and leave the rest to God. It is a battle for me though sometimes.

  4. My proverb is "It is what it is." Either I can accept it the way is or I can do something to change it. Worrying about tomorrow just robs robs us of the joys of today. I don't meanto be so cliché, but there is truth to it. My DW is a worrier. I understand.

  5. It does take discipline. I used to worry constantly about silly things. My Joe always says... Worry is interest paid in advance for trouble that rarely comes. I always remember that, and now I have your two verses to back it up!

  6. I always turn to prayer (especially to all our family's guardian angels) and it does take the worry away.

  7. "Sometimes I have to say the words aloud, repeat them over and over to myself until they sink in, but that's what's so amazing about God's word. It does sink in. It permeates the deepest places of our hearts and minds where worry is born and blooms and grows wildly out of control if we let it."
    This just this! I have to do this all the time but I am so thankful that it does sink in, into the deepest parts of our heart and mind. Feels like it takes forever somedays.
    Thanks for stopping over at my place today! I enjoyed this reminder and truth for my heart as it likes to wander into worry and doubt often it feels like more times than not.

  8. My daughter is 40 and I still struggle with trying to find the balance necessary to mother a 40-year-old. It's not easy.

    And worry ... oh my goodness. There's worry built into my DNA and of course, as we age, worry seems to rear its ugly head a whole lot more often. While our brains know all the advice against worrying, our hearts often overrule, which is why I think that scripture is so helpful. We're living proof that we need help with worry. I remind myself of what Jesus taught us: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  9. Well I certainly identify with this post and I imagine many of us can. I've struggled with worry my whole life, and realizing it IS just part of my inborn nature was something I came to understand years ago. And just so you know, worry and wanting to manage your adult children's lives spills right over onto your grandkids as well. I think you've done well in letting go of "managing" better then I did, lol. At least with a couple of mine anyway. They just kind of needed it more what can I say? lol But I have FINALLY let go of that job and you know what? It is as freeing for them as it is for me. Some scripture I've ALWAYS leaned on as one of my favorites is Phil 4 eight. Pretty much that whole passage actually. But whenever I find my heart and mind FULL of worry I remind myself what He said to fill it with instead.... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. I love that. It;s like it's permission to just think about whats GOOD. And I try....oh how I try. Find the good [it's always there] in any situation or time, and then set my mind on it. The Lord knew of course how much help we'd need in this area so He gave us very specific directions. DON'T worry, and THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS....

  10. Great post, Joyce. And you can take that from a natural born worrier. Enjoy your week.

  11. Regarding over 50 health...I had an aunt(in her seventies) who told me on a 40 +something birthday that "after 40 it is patch, patch, patch." Now being a few years older...I know that she was right! Yikes! I am fortunate to have nothing big...but aches, pains, and a changing body keep on busy. Ha!
    Good luck with clear skies!

  12. Since fear is a synonym for worry, the word count comment reminded that I read somewhere that the Bible says "do not fear" 365 times.

  13. Oh, my goodness, I think you nailed it for all of us. But, I've done so much growing in this area in recent years. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be here. :o)) But, as Debbie said, when the Grans start coming along it makes it even harder. You are so right, it is the robber of joy! Great and inspiring post. AND, so hope the rain stops and that house gets started.

  14. That verse in John is one of my favorites!
    Unfortunately I have to practice the other one as well. Should cross stitch it on a pillow.