Love Your Body—Why Are We Still So Angry?

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Here we are again—the last Monday of the month—Love Your Body Like God Loves Your Body Monday! If you’re on social media, or watch any kind of news or talk shows, you’ve probably noticed an undercurrent of anxiety and anger. It’s actually been going on for several years, during the election cycle. Last October, I wrote a post Love Your Body: Why Are We So Angry? where I talked about how to overcome the Election Stress Disorder so many people were experiencing.  We might have expected things to settle down and everyone to get back to normal after the inauguration this past January. But with daily news of protests and riots, newscasters continually stirring up fear and strife 24/7, the great divide between the liberal left and conservative right creating division in friends and family . . . the anger and angst is taking its toll on the American public.

So how are you doing? Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?

  • Insomnia?
  • Indigestion?
  • High blood pressure?
  • Weight gain or loss?
  • Uneasiness or anxiety?
  • Fear?
  • Misplaced Anger?
  • Restlessness?
  • Worry?
  • Depression

I have to admit, I’ve experienced some of these symptoms myself as I’ve been in the heat of the spiritual battle, but the Lord has helped me identify when I’m letting Satan’s “world” invade my space instead of me invading the world for God’s Truth. Christians champion most of the conservative right agenda, but since this world is not our final home, we must remember that our true allegiance is to Jesus Christ.

We’re not on the “right” side or the “left” side; we’re on Christ’s side!

Look at that list of symptoms above. None are from God! Yes, you can experience anger, but notice I said “misplaced” anger. That means you find yourself easily angered and acting irrationally at your spouse, the kids, the dog, your friend, your social media “friend,” the television, the media . . . yourself when you forget something or make a mistake.

Conservatives should be rejoicing as they watch platform issues they voted for checked off their “wish list.” But instead, many find themselves trying to figure out why they’re not happier.

Last week, I wrote about Fake News Trumps Good News. It’s hard today to turn on the news and hear anything positive. Even those “checked off” items are twisted and turned into bad news so many people don’t feel victory or happiness because they’re still in the defend-and-justify mode. Peace doesn’t even come in victory. Satan wins whether they win or lose.

Hmmm . . . we need to do something about that or our bodies will pay the price. And yes, I’m speaking to myself too because I intend to stay in the spiritual battle, and I hope you will too. Many have thanked me for my bold stand as a “voice in the wilderness.” But as I said in “Taking the Gospel Viral,” the opening article of February’s About His Work Ministries Newsletter, the original voice in the wilderness, John the Baptist, ended up with his head on a platter.

Here are several suggestions that help me stay strong for God in a world that is not God-friendly, while keeping peace in my mind, body, and soul. I hope they will help you too:

  1. Pray the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 every morning.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

  1. Join a Bible study group. We need to be among like-minded people who study God’s Word and pray together for our country and for each other. It isn’t enough to just go to church on Sunday or even to have our own time with the Lord. Both are essential, but being a Christian requires—yes I said requires—being around other Christians who can build us up, let us know when we’re off track, pray for us, and remind us that we’re in the world but not of the world. Many people don’t think they need small groups, but they probably suffer from some of the symptoms I listed above. There are many verses to support this kind of fellowship . . .

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20

  1. Don’t watch the news, engage in social media, or watch NCIS-type or disturbing graphic murder programs in the evening before bed. If you find your heart racing or angry, don’t watch them anytime.

Troubling news, social media, graphic pictures, and dialogue stay in your mind and can disrupt your sleep. The injustice in some programs haunts me. I’ll give you an example. At the end of last season, we were watching a new program, Designated Survivor with Kiefer Sutherland, about a terrorist attack on Washington killing the President and almost everyone on Capitol Hill. Sutherland, the HUD Director, was the next living person in line to become president. The program is full of deceit, lying, espionage, people and the media trying to take the new president down, and the viewer is privy to all of this . . . much like real life today. When we watched this program, my heart raced and I felt anxious. I finally told my husband I couldn’t take it anymore! In my downtime, I need to do something relaxing and refueling, especially before bed. Not watch something that leaves me anxious, unsettled, upset, and mentally exhausted. I would imagine you do too.

  1. Don’t listen to naysayers and remove yourself from unpleasant situations. We live in a cynical world. In last week’s blog, I posted how Melania Trump introduced President Trump by praying the Lord’s Prayer. Immediately, the liberal media and many on the left criticized her. But she said in advance to her opponents, “I will stay true to myself.” I would add, always stay true to God. And no matter what happens . . . be joyful that you’re pleasing Him . . . even if that angers others. Don’t internalize the anger of others.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-9

Like Mrs. Trump, I’ve also had others criticize, misconstrue, or take out of context something I’ve done or said. Or I’ve been in the middle of a firestorm where I’ve had to say, “Enough! I can’t do this anymore!”

So Finally, brothers and sisters fill our minds with, 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. Philippians 4:8

  1. We’ve talked a lot about exercise on Love Your Body Mondays. It always gets the endorphins going and clears my mind of negativity. It’s also a great time to pray and talk to God because . . .

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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Love Your Body—Why Are We So Angry?

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

As if we didn’t have enough diseases to try to avoid, the current election has created a new one—Political Anxiety Disorder or Election Stress Disorder—hospitalizing many people across the nation. They’re so upset about the outcome of the election affecting their lives, that they’re having panic attacks and all the physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • Pounding heart, sweating.
  • Headaches, stomach upset, or dizziness.
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Muscle tension, tremors, and twitches.
  • Fatigue or insomnia.

“Anxiety weighs down the heart.” —Proverbs 12:25a

“So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body.”—Ecclesiastes 11:10a

Anxiety Can Lead to Anger

If you receive my monthly About His Work Ministries email newsletter,* the opening article this month was “When Things Are Out of Control.” I received more comments on that article then I have from any article I’ve written all year. When things happen that we don’t like or don’t want to experience, but can’t change, it makes us anxious and we can become angry. Anger is a legitimate feeling and reaction, but what we do with that anger can damage our health, our body, and our relationships.

Unbridled anger results in bitterness, hardening of the heart, and often an offensive attitude that expresses itself in vile words and/or aggressive behavior. While there may be a quick release of angry emotion, if the root cause of the anger continues it eats away at mind, body, and soul, and others become victims of the residual fallout.

As the election progresses, I’ve had the most angry, vulgar, mean, vicious lashing out comments I’ve ever experienced on my blog posts and Facebook posts. It’s alarming that people live with such angry, bitter thoughts in their minds and hearts and use hurtful, X-rated words in their daily lives. I’m sure when the election is over, they’ll find something else to be angry about and their health, both physical and mental, will suffer.

Today it’s almost impossible to have a debate without it turning into a disagreement.

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”–Psalm 37:8

Where is the Anger Originating?

“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”—Ephesians 4:26 NLT

“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”—Proverbs 14:29 NLT

Do you know the media outlets design the news to raise your blood pressure, anxiety level, and anger meter? They purposely create headlines to generate a negative response. The media wants you to engage angrily with either the person or situation their reporting on—they want you mad. Occasionally, they’ll throw in a feel good story, but usually it’s SENSATIONAL “BREAKING NEWS” not substantiated or factual . . . just hearsay, opinions, or “maybes” . . . and you walk away worried . . . angry.

As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!”—Proverbs 25:23 NLT

I write articles for an online Christian magazine, and they’ve discovered that the more negative the title, the more people read the article. Christians are being conditioned right along with everyone else.

Physical Signs of Anger

What does anger do to you physically? Some symptoms are . . .

  • clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth.
  • headache/migraines.
  • stomach ache.
  • increased and rapid heart rate.
  • sweating, especially your palms.
  • feeling hot in the neck/face.
  • shaking or trembling.
  • dizziness.
  • stress which can cause anxiety.
  • increased blood pressure leading to heart disease.
  • eating disorders.

You could pick from the above list, or add to it how you feel when you’re angry or someone around you is angry. Next time, take note of how your body reacts. Or better yet, learn to control your anger and remove yourself from an angry environment or situation.

What Can We Do About Anger to Help Our Bodies?

  1. Our anger may stem from feeling out of control. We don’t think we can make a difference or change our circumstances, but we can. When you’re doing something about a situation and you feel a sense of hope and purpose . . . your anger subsides. I’m going to refer you to a post I wrote for Crosswalk for how to make a difference one person at a time: You Don’t Have to Get Elected or Make Movies to Change Culture.
  2. In my Bible study Face-to-Face with Euodia and Syntyche: From Conflict to Community, I discuss the damage anger can do to our bodies if we don’t learn how to deal with it:EuodiaSyntycheCover72dpi1-200x300

Anger is an emotion felt in the moment that requires quick resolution. Many horrific acts occur and hateful words hurl in a “fit of anger.” You cannot retrieve actions or words.

            Uncontrolled raging anger makes us, and everyone around us, miserable. Pastor Doug Fields, likes to describe anger in terms of “outies” and “inies.” An “outie” is someone who spews out anger and doesn’t hold anything back. You know exactly how mad outies are and they want you to know. Often outies are over their anger once they have their “verbal vomit,” as Pastor Doug calls it, and they’re ready to move on. The problem with outies is the potential for people to be hurt, and even maimed, during the verbal, and maybe even, physical outburst.

            Inies on the other hand are the ones that profess they aren’t mad. “Everything’s fine.” they say, maintaining a thin smile while stewing and brewing inside. They may stuff down their anger for a long time while it burns, churns, and turns to bitterness. Inies find quiet, sly, unexpected ways to express their anger, or some never let go—the anger eats away at them physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the rest of their lives. Other inies only can hold their anger inside so long until the pressure builds into a sudden and violent explosion—the fallout being lethal to themselves and anyone in the vicinity.

            So how do you have healthy anger? Here’s the “ABCD” steps to take:

Acknowledge—that you’re angry.

Breathe—take a time out and step away from the source of anger.

Call on God—He knows what you should do regarding the source of your anger—ask Him.

Defuse—release your anger to God.*

*Excerpt from Face-to-Face with Euodia and Syntyche: From Conflict to Community

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7

stay-calm

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Love Your Body—Be Brave!

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

I’m back! Did you miss me? For the first time since starting the Monday Morning Blog when I launched my website January 2013, I took a three-month sabbatical to finish writing my latest book, Mentoring for All Seasons: Women Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. Those who have followed my blog, know that in the past I’ve blogged right through writing books or invited guest bloggers—which by the way still requires me to edit and post, so there’s work and time involved. But this new book had a very short writing window and I had lots of travel and some health issues requiring medication, so I decided to love my body and prioritize my energy and time limits. Not that I don’t love writing to all of you, and it was anticlimactic every Monday morning not reading your comments, but I knew you would understand.

I’m Writing a New Book and I Need Your Stories!

Mentoring for All Seasons is in the editing process now, and thanks to many of you, there are amazing stories from both mentors and mentees from every season of life from tweens to aging! I know this book will bless you and it will be available fall 2017. I’ll keep you posted as the publishing process progresses.

Looking at the calendar and seeing that this is the last Monday of the month—where did September go—I realized I would be starting up the blog again with Love Your Body Monday! I knew then the Lord wanted me to share with you a post I had planned on writing later . . . but during my walk this morning, God said now was the time for two reasons:

  1. My next book—yes, you read right—God has put another book on my heart based on brave women of the Bible encouraging women of today to be brave. I’m NOW receiving stories of times God has asked or challenged you to be brave spiritually, physically, emotionally, or in any way. I would love to share your story in my next book, so contact me for more information.
  2. Elizabeth Vargas recently shared her testimony on TV and has a new book on being an alcoholic—last night hubby and I watched the 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer and Elizabeth Vargas that we had DVR’d, since it aired originally while I was still finishing my book.

I’ve always admired Elizabeth’s news anchor reporting and how confident she seemed. She’s articulate, classy, attractive and was doing well in a male-dominated profession. Several years ago, I was sad to hear her announce that drinking, mainly wine then, had gotten out of control and was interfering with her family and work, and she had sought help. I was surprised, but applauded her acknowledging her addiction. I had no idea that her battle with all alcohol had continued until in her own words: “I was nearly fired from my job. My husband left me while I was in rehab, I hurt my kids tremendously, and I nearly lost my life.”

If you follow my blog or Facebook, you know my thoughts on drinking alcohol. It’s a recreational drug, and in my backsliding years I drank so I know exactly what alcohol does. It destroys families, marriages, leads to death, health issues, and tragedies, misbehavior, loss of inhibitions, and is a disastrous role model for children and grandchildren—and yet alcohol lines the shelves of family grocery stores and is in many home pantries or out in plain view on kitchen counters and wine racks.

And just like Elizabeth Vargas, most “moderate drinkers” are in denial and justify their drinking as: being able to handle it, not hurting anyone, takes the edge off, relaxes me, only drink socially, like the taste, everyone drinks a little . . . even my friends from church . . . until as Elizabeth found, “I drank moderately for 20 years. It wasn’t until my 40s that I fell off a cliff.”

In an interview with Elizabeth, Dorri Olds wrote in 20/20 Anchor Elizabeth Vargas Talks to The Fix About Anxiety, Alcoholism, and Recovery: “When Diane Sawyer and Vargas did research for their recent 20/20 special, they learned that 63 percent of female alcoholics suffer anxiety. Being postpartum or perimenopausal puts you at even higher risk for self-medicating with alcohol. And women with anxiety issues are twice as likely to relapse.”

Is that you or someone you know? Postpartum? Perimenopausal, or menopausal? Anxious? Worried? Overwhelmed? Do you or they have a glass or two or three every night that started out after the kids were in bed, but now starts while fixing dinner or early afternoon . . . or after the kids leave for school? Are you or they hiding how much you/they drink? Do you/they drink and then drive . . . with children in the car? If yes to any of these or similar questions, you/they need help.

In the 20/20 interview, Diane Sawyer listed trigger points to drinking such as tired, angry, lonely, hungry . . . and Elizabeth says hers is anger. Diane asked what she does now, and Elizabeth said she picks up the phone and calls someone. A mentor would be so helpful. A brave step.

What Should a Christian Do?

Here’s where many of you will disagree with me, and that’s certainly your freedom . . . a word tossed around a lot lately . . . but it’s also my freedom to say my opinion. Elizabeth Vargas cannot be around alcohol anywhere; she lives one sober day at a time. How many women in your sphere of influence might be in that same situation and you don’t know it? I’m saddened when I hear of Church moms, women’s, Bible study, or small groups going out for “drinks” or having wine and alcohol when they get together in the name of the Lord. How many “Elizabeths” might be among you who are too embarrassed to get up and leave, and you’ve just contributed to their temptation and possible downfall . . . you’ve caused them to stumble. Or maybe you’re the “Elizabeth.”

tell-time-generic

Is this really how you want to teach your kids to tell time?

I’ve seen this “How To Tell Time” sign tossed around Facebook with many women, including Christians, “liking” and laughing about it. Mommies who are responsible to help their children tell time . . . putting this sign up in their homes for impressionable kids to infer that the way to tell time is . . . you sit with a coffee cup and Bible in your hand in the morning and a wine glass and wine bottle in your hand at night. What kind of message does this send to your children? Or if Elizabeth Vargas walked into your home after “coffee time,” she would have to politely leave:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone [including your children, grandchildren, seekers,new believers, addicts, unbelievers] to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

Being Brave Often Requires Vulnerability

Elizabeth has written a memoir to help others who might see themselves in her story and get help before they lose everything like she almost did; she did lose allot including her marriage and time she can never recover being the mom she wanted to be to her children. Vargas said she would die for her sons. “I love them more than anything in the world. I would do anything for my children. But I couldn’t stop drinking for them.”

elizabeth-vargas

I chose to talk to you, my followers, today about Elizabeth Vargas’ story because of her vulnerability, not only in her book, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction, but also in the 20/20 interview on National TV, which was an extremely brave act of courage. The woman we see in the interviews about her addiction and her new book is not the woman we all saw anchoring the news for years . . . even as far back as 911 and before!

On Amazon, the description of the book uses the word brave: “From the moment she uttered the brave and honest words, ‘I am an alcoholic,’ to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Vargas began writing her story, as her experiences were still raw.”

The night before the interview with Olds, Elizabeth said, “I asked my son last night, ‘Why do you think I’m writing this book?’ He said, ‘Because you’re brave and want to help people.’ I hope people will be kind.”

As the 20/20 interview closes, Elizabeth said she has a “favorite saying” . . .

When you pray to God, there are three answers:

  1. Yes
  2. Not Now
  3. I have something better for you.

In another interview when asked what helps her stay sober, she said mediation and prayer. To Diane Sawyer she said, “When I lay in bed at the end of a good day, I say, ‘Thank you God for this day.’”

To read a blog I wrote Love Your Body—Don’t Drink Alcohol

For the full 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer and Elizabeth Vargas

To share your Brave story with me for my next book.

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It’s good to be back!

Slow Down You Move Too Fast!

IMG_20140201_162933_202

Thought you might want to see what the garage door looks like down for a feel for the scene of the “accident”

Garage door half open

About where the garage door was when I ran into it–of course the car was not in the garage but out in the driveway.

All my life, someone has been telling me to slow down. I walk fast, talk fast, move fast, think fast, type fast . . . you name it, I do it fast. Consequently, I often run into things and usually am touting a bruise to prove it. When I had my tonsils out at five years old, the hospital was ready to turn my parents in as child-abusers because my legs were battered and bruised. My parents quickly explained that I was just an accident-prone, fast-moving kid.

I’d like to say I’ve outgrown those clumsy, fast-moving tendencies . . . but alas, I have not. Last Sunday morning, I overslept so I was rushing to get ready for church. I heard my hubby start up the car, so I grabbed my Bible and purse and flew down the stairs and into the car. Just as Dave was pulling out of the garage and telling me how nice I looked, a questioning voice came into my mind, Did you unplug the straightening iron?

Without stopping to consider if I had or not, I leaped out of the car telling my husband over my shoulder that I had to run back in the house. He just happened to be in the process of putting down the garage door . . . and the next thing I remember I was lying flat on my back in the snow looking up at the half-way down garage door above me.

I thought the door was coming down on me, so I jumped up just as my husband was getting out of the car to see if I was OK. I took inventory that nothing was broken, ran back in the house, confirmed that the straightening iron was indeed unplugged, and ran back to the car.

I asked my husband “What just happened?” He said that he was in the process of putting down the garage door and “You jumped so fast out of the car that I tried to stop the door from coming down. But before I could get it back up, you ran right into it.” That explained the extreme pain I had over my left eye. He said I lay on the ground for a while before getting up, and he was just coming to see if I was all right, when I stood up.

Fortunately, I fell back onto a soft mound of snow, which saved me from pounding the back of my head on cement and probably doing some real damage. As I walked into church that morning, I was still dazed and seeing stars. I wondered if I had a concussion and worried that I was for sure going to have a black eye and a goose egg on my forehead, since there was no time to ice it. Or I should say, I didn’t take time to ice it . . .

As I sat in church and started seeing more clearly, I began praising God that He must have laid me down gently in the snow after my forehead went full speed into the open edge of the garage door. And I thought about the fact that I knew the straightening iron was unplugged, so why did I question myself?

Deadline Attacks

I just happened to be on a book deadline and always seem to come under attack when I am writing something about strengthening marriages and family. Then I knew the source of the questioning voice—it was Satan planting doubt in my mind. And because I do everything fast, I hadn’t stopped to discern the origin of that voice. I had run right into what could have been a devastating accident. In hindsight, I saw clearly the trap I had fallen into because of my rushing.

 Hearing God's Voice

Then to confirm my enlightenment, I came across the above diagram on Facebook. Some of you might have seen it since I posted it on my timeline and explained how I had let Satan’s voice cause me to . . .

  • Obsess over the straightening iron not being unplugged, even though I knew for sure I had turned it off. So even if still plugged in, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But I also knew that I had unplugged it. I fell for the doubt trap that sly Satan set for me.
  • Worry that I might cause the house to burn down in the hour and a half we were at church.
  • Confusion about whether or not I had unplugged the straightening iron.
  • Pushed out of the car.
  • Frightened that I was going to have a concussion.
  • Rushing all morning . . . head long into an accident.

What To Do When You Hear Satan’s Voice

When I heard that doubting voice, I should have:

  • Prayed and asked Dave to wait a moment.
  • Rethought my steps of leaving the house.
  • Confirmed in my mind that I had turned off and unplugged the straightening iron, or calmly told Dave I had to go back in the house.
  • Waited for him to put the garage door back up.
  • Walked slowly back into the house.
  • Looked where I was going.

I have printed out God’s Voice/Satan’s Voice diagram, and it’s on my desk to remind me to slow down and take the time to listen carefully and know the source of the voice I am hearing. You may be wondering if you can really hear God or Satan, and the answer is absolutely. Usually, we don’t stop long enough to hear the still small voice of God because it’s drowned out by the clamoring loud voice of Satan.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

If you’ve ever felt obsessed, worried, condemned, discouraged, confused, pushed, frightened, rushed, defeated, exploited, depressed, anxious—you were listening to Satan. God doesn’t talk in that tone of voice to us.

God’s voice is calm, comforting, convicting of sin, encouraging, enlightening, guiding, reassuring, loving and “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” (Psalm 46:10).

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2).”

After a lifetime of rushing, slowing down will not come easy for me, but I know with the help of Jesus, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NLT)

How about you? Anyone tracking with me? Please let me know how you’ve learned to slow down. There’s strength in accountability, and I need all the help I can get!

Worry’s Growl

Thanksgiving is barely over when the pressure of Christmas and the month of December descends upon us. This seemed like a perfect time to introduce my readers to my dear friend and fellow author, Kathy Collard Miller, and her new book Partly Cloudy and Scattered Worries.

Partly  Cloudy

By guest blogger, Kathy Collard Miller

I headed out on my jog, evening the storm clouds that threatened rain above me. Oh, I so want to run, and I can’t run tomorrow. I’ve got to do it right now even if it rains. But by the time I’d run a mile, the drops started and got bigger and bigger.

Oh. I’m so disappointed, I mourned, as I turned and headed back. But then, a new resolve overwhelmed me. By golly, I’m going to run even if I get wet. It’s just too important for my health.

I continued running and the drops fell continually but were not drenching. As I ran, the rain slackened, yet clouds off in the distance were a dark, threatening color. Will it hold off? By the time I’d passed my three-mile mark, the sprinkles stopped, and when I looked up at the sky, the dark clouds were gone. Where did they go? I turned to look for them, but they had dissipated, though the sky was still overcast.

For the next two miles, no rain fell. As I reached the last half mile, the storm clouds opened up again and my clothes were reaching the wet category. But I didn’t care that my hair was wet; it had been an exhilarating run. Walking for my cool-down, a few rays of sun broke through the clouds, splashing the luscious, colorful hues of a rainbow across the sky. Wow. I would have missed it if I hadn’t risked getting wet.

My run could have been a really unpleasant experience but the warning of rain had turned out to be a worse threat than the actual rain. In the end, I was rewarded with a beautiful rainbow that I would have missed had I not run.

That day as I ran, I saw an analogy to worry. Its growl is worse than its bite. Worry can easily cause us to focus on disaster while taking away our ability to trust God. Yet even if what we fear happens, it’s often not as bad as we thought it would be. We might even experience the “rainbow” of God’s blessings in some unexpected way.

BOOK SUMMARY AND AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

It is possible to worry less through trusting God more. Regardless of the storms of trials, temptations, worry, uncertainty, confusion, or regrets that you’re facing, you can trust God more. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries offers a conversational style, personal testimonies, practical illustrations, and solid biblical teaching for breaking anxiety and the devastating effects of worry. Each chapter includes Discussion Questions for individuals or groups, along with a “Letter from God.” In addition, a profile of a woman in the Bible who struggled with or experienced victory over worry is featured in each chapter to inspire every reader to see God’s hand in her life.

Kathy Collard Miller is a speaker and author. Her passion is to inspire women to trust God more. She has spoken in 30 states and 7 foreign countries. Kathy has 49 published books including Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible (Thomas Nelson) and she blogs at www.KathyCollardMiller.blogspot.com. Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband of 43 years, Larry, and is the proud grandma of Raphael. Kathy and Larry often speak together at marriage events and retreats.

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