Where do you go when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the stress and pressures of ministry and family life? Do you head to the mall for a little “shopping therapy” even though you’ve already maxed out your budget? Maybe you pick up the phone and pour out all your troubles on an unsuspecting friend. Or perhaps, like me, you’re tempted to run to the refrigerator for an unhealthy treat that was supposed to be for the kids and definitely is not on your healthy eating plan.
There’s nothing wrong with shopping, talking to friends, or even enjoying a treat once in a while, but if we make a habit of looking for relief and comfort in those ways, we’ll add to our stress and trouble rather than alleviate it.
So what’s a busy ministry wife supposed to do? Where can you go to find true stress relief and deep, heart-level comfort?
Over the last few months I’ve been building a new habit of running to the Psalms when I’m feeling stressed. Spending time there has taught me that God wants to provide rest, relief, and an escape from my troubles. He wants to be my fortress and a shelter when I am feeling stressed by the pressures of life. These blessings are part of my benefit package as a daughter of the King, and praying and personalizing the Psalms is becoming my bridge to peace. Here are a couple of verses that have been meaningful to me. Copying them out on 3 x 5 cards was a good exercise to help me slow down and let the words sink into my heart and soul.
“But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in You. For surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with your favor (your love) as with a shield.( A full-body, head-to-toe shield)” Psalm 5: 11 -12
“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock in whom I take refuge. . . I call to the LORD who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. In my distress I called to the LORD. I cried to my God for help. . . from His temple He heard my voice. . . .He parted the heavens and came down.” Psalm 18: 1 – 3, 6 – 7
When I am in trouble, stressed, and overwhelmed, I can call out to God for help, comfort, and relief, and He will answer me, meet me where I am, and provide what is needed . . . and that’s so much more satisfying than a trip to the mall or the ice cream shop! So next time you’re feeling stressed, why don’t you write down those issues and share them with Him, then read through a Psalm or two, looking for God’s answers for those problems.
What are some of your favorite verses from the Psalms? Share them with us so we can all be encouraged.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carrie Turansky is the best-selling author of 8 novels and novellas, some of which have been translated and sold overseas. She has been a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Genesis, and Carol Award and winner of the Crystal Globe Award. She has been a member of ACFW since 2000. Carrie writes contemporary and historical romance for Barbour and Love Inspired. Her latest releases are Christmas Mail-Order Brides, Seeking His Love, and Surrendered Hearts.
Carrie is a Proverbs 31 She Speaks Graduate, and she speaks to women’s groups and to writers’ groups on a wide variety of topics. For more info on her speaking visit her web site.
ABOUT THE BOOK - Surrendered Hearts
Jennifer Evan’s life changes forever when a gas pipeline explodes, starting a fire at her apartment. Losing her home and beloved dog are terrible blows, but the ugly scars that cover her arm, neck and shoulder steal her confidence and cause her fiancé to desert her. With her funds depleted and her job on hold, she heads for Vermont where she hopes to reconnect with her brother and find a way to rebuild her shattered life. Bill Morgan, a strong and quiet man whose faith runs deep, challenges her view of God and faith. Will she hold on to the pain of her past, or will she surrender her heart and find the faith and love she seeks?
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win Surrendered Hearts, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, June 1st. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Since this is an e-book, you will receive a coupon code to use at the Smashwords website for the free book. They have formats that will work for just about any e-reader or for the computer. Good luck!