Strangled by Stress

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18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19

I have decided to write a children’s devotional book.  Our devotional book for adults, With Unveiled Face, went on sale two weeks ago.  Our response has been great.  We are lining up book signings and hoping royalty checks come in soon to our church.  Our church is about four years old, but we meet at a local high school.  We have land on which to build, but are still short a bit to get the loan to break ground.  All royalties from With Unveiled Face go directly to my church.

The other day, my husband asked if I was going to keep writing now that one book was out.  I told him I was, but wasn’t sure which direction I should go.  After a couple of days of thinking about it, I feel like the children’s devotional is the direction for me.

That long introduction brings me to my point at hand.  Last night I was reading through some of Jesus’ parables while working on a devotional for kids and found one that applied to my life right now!  I know, shocker!  I was reading through the parable in which seeds are sown in random places.  Some wither and die, others grow successfully.  Like me, the disciples need a bit of explaining now and then.  In chapter 4 of Mark, Jesus explains why some seeds grow and others wither.

I am afraid I am too similar to the seeds thrown among the thorns.  I hear the Word of God.  I accept and believe the Word of God.  However, I let the worries, stresses, and plans for the future strangle my growth.  I focus too much on my day to day list of things to do.  I put too much emphasis on ways to make money, rather than trusting that God will provide.  I exert an extreme amount of energy on worrying that the kids will be okay, lesson plans are ready for the school week, our plates have healthy enough foods, our pantry stays stocked, the car gets the oil changed, and everyone’s clothing is presentable.  I understand these things are important, but not as important as keeping a focus on God.  After all, this life is God-given.  These worries are His blessings.

Today I am going to try to avoid letting the stressors of this life strangle the life God wants for me.  It won’t be easy. I have parent conferences until 8:00pm, dirty dishes in the sink, and laundry to put away.  But why wait until tomorrow?!  God wants my focus TODAY!



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