God Rested. Why aren’t you?

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Welcome to our mini-series on fear, anxiety, and control. Last week’s post was entitled Remember Follow the Leader? Go back and read it, if you’d like.

In last week’s post, I wrote about how I had to learn to follow God’s plans and be willing to put aside my own ideas of how things needed to go. We reviewed how smart the ducklings are who follow their mother so they stay safe. We need to be as smart as they are and follow our leader–God. He is our creator and He knows best.

One thing I had to learn during my time of panic attacks and over scheduling was how to say no. No is such a small word, but I had such a difficult time saying it.

Before God revealed to me why I couldn’t seem to say no, I felt pretty good about how much I could handle. You’ve heard it said, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” I took pride in how much I could get done. I’m a list maker and a lover of checking things off my list.

Our culture has made us so connected via technology, we can get even more done. We’re never really clocked out at work. We’re never really out of touch because we live with our phone attached to us. We even get anxious if it isn’t. I wrote in Put Up A Fence how we need to fence off our personal lives from the web and to decrease our interest in other people’s lives.

Yes, I know we can’t completely disconnect from our fast-paced culture. But, we can control our schedule and say no to some things.  Let’s review what God has to say about rest. Sometimes to find the truth, one has to go back to the beginning. So, we’ll review Genesis 2:2

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

God, the creator of the universe, found it wise to rest. He even commanded us in Exodus 20: 9

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not work…”

Why would God rest? Did He need to? Or, did He pattern for us what He knew would be best for our physical, mental, and spiritual health?

Does it matter? Not to me. Here’s what I know:

He rested, He commanded us to rest and I do much better when I rest.

All things in creation have a season and I learned not all activities needed to occur in the same season. For example, when my children were involved in band and tennis, both requiring a lot of driving on my part, that wasn’t the correct season for me to be president of the neighborhood watch. That could occur in another season of life.

This week look at your schedule and take control of it. Pray over every item and ask God what you need to say no to. I encourage you to learn to embrace the power of saying no–it is very freeing.

I’m praying for you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

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Remember Follow the Leader?

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Welcome to week #3 in our mini-series on stress/anxiety/fear. Last week’s post entitled “Can’t Catch Your Breath?” touched a lot of readers. Wow! Feel free to go back and read it, if you haven’t already.

This week we’re focusing on the underlying root of most anxiety, at least it was for me. The underlying root causing my panic and anxiety attacks was a fear of losing control.

Many have asked me how I felt during that period of my life and the only way I can describe it is, “I felt like I was walking quickly (okay, running) on a treadmill while simultaneously juggling too many balls.” Plus, and here’s the real kicker–I couldn’t control the speed of the treadmill or how many balls I had to keep up with.

The treadmill was the speed of my days. The balls were the agenda items on my day planner. Important things such as getting the kids dropped off at school on time and hustling across town to be ready for my first patient. Making sure everyone had breakfast and an after-school snack PLUS the gear for the karate class or the band practice.

It became too much! Something had to give and that thing was me and my facade of control.

So, during those times of staying home recovering from anxiety, God began to show me this week’s Scripture.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and to not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

But, I didn’t feel like I was prospering. No, I was definitely not doing well.

Slowly, because I was slow to learn, God began to reveal to me things I could stop doing, schedule changes to make, after-school items to say “no” to. Yes, learn how to say “no.”

Our culture, which is not God-directed, tells us, “You can have it all! A happy marriage, a fantastic career, well-educated and successful children.”

Well, here’s a little nugget of truth–what the culture (directed by the prince of the world, aka Satan) says is a lie. Why are we surprised? That is all Satan knows how to do.

You can have a lot, mind you. But, maybe not simultaneously, unless you have a nanny (aka a stand-in for your parental responsibilities).

Back to our theme on The Boot which is God’s ways are best. God’s way is for one parent, the father, to work and provide for the family. The mother, who is best at the job, does the managing of the children and the house- a monumental job. These duties may be switched, but the point is it takes two.

Before you wig out and accuse me of being backward and stodgy, relook at what God has given you as your responsibility–the raising of children. Is there a greater job in the Kingdom of God? No. And, look to whom he granted the responsibility. No, to whom He granted the honor.

In our picture this week, we have a mother duck leading her ducklings. The ducklings know to stay behind her and to not stray. Oh, if we were as smart as the ducklings. They follow their parent.

Our parent is God.

Follow His lead.

Learn His ways and trust them.

Start now. He knows best how to prosper you and bless you. He has promised it and He always keeps His promises!

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Follow so you won’t miss next week’s post! And, if you aren’t already doing so, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or check out my website at ginnycruz.com

P.S.S. I cut back on my hours and we tightened our financial belts. The children limited their activities and thrived. Now, God has granted me time to get back to opportunities I never dreamed of and wouldn’t have considered, if I had stayed with my plan. Praying for you this week!

 

Can’t Catch Your Breath?

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My panic attacks began eleven years ago. Out of the blue, I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. It wasn’t long before I had hyperventilated and passed out.

The panic attacks continued and would always creep up on me in an unexpected fashion. Not when I thought I’d be anxious, but when I didn’t. Like when I was home alone or when I was driving to pick up the kids from school–things I had done thousands of times.

I ended up in the emergency room a few times convinced I was having a stroke or a heart attack. But, they disregarded my imaginations and sent me home. Home to find my own answers.

I researched on Google. Not a good idea, I admit. But, I was desperate and thought I was losing my mind. I jokingly told myself I was having a midlife nervous breakdown. My friends discouraged such talk; however, I’m still convinced that is what it basically was.

It was my coming to a point in life where I could not continue on my own strength. And, having to realize I should have never been trying to do it on my own. But, I had.

This week let’s focus on going back to the beginning in the book of Genesis and remind ourselves our breath is from God–each one, from the first cry after birth to the last exhalation before death. God’s breath is our breath.

During my darkest moments, when I was lying face down on the cold ceramic tiles, my mind grasping at something to hold onto, I began to recite the 23rd Psalm over and over and over. This would bring my breathing into a rhythm and calm me down. I focused on praising God by speaking or singing or shouting his words back to Him.

You might want to try that yourself. Or, pick your own Scripture to mumble under your breath to calm yourself down.

Here’s a link for one of my favorite praise songs which talks a lot about our breath. I pray it lifts you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com

P.S. More good stuff coming next week, so don’t forget to sign up to follow!

 

Let Go and Let God

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Welcome to week #2 of our quick study on making your life easier!

You want an easier life, don’t you? Of course, you do.

Last week’s blog post, “Build A Fence” gave you some hints on minimizing outside distraction and, more importantly, following the biblical wisdom of minding your own business. Trust me, your business will be enough to deal with.

This week, we’re discussing morning devotional time–the best way to begin your day.

Yes, I know. You don’t have time. But, once you make the time, you’ll wonder how you ever made it without this precious time with God.

Those morning minutes, while you sip your coffee and let the children sleep a bit longer, are YOUR time.

David wrote in Psalms 5: 3

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay down my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

I learned to do this the hard way. When my children were in middle and high school, busy was killing me. I began to have panic attacks and, for a while, could barely leave the house. During that time, I began to journal and do a morning devotion time.

It saved me. Not only did I begin to uncover things I needed to let go, things I needed to restructure (like my mornings) and things I needed to stop trying to control.

During the early-morning quiet, God began to show me ways to “let go and let God.” Some days I would fill entire pages with the recurring phrase, let go and let God. It was calming and freeing, in a strange way.

My prayer for you this week is for you to:

  • keep doing a daily walk
  • begin a morning devotion time. No excuses, begin.
  • write out your requests to God
  • learn to wait expectantly for His guidance
  • check the fences you put up last week. Maybe put up a few more.

God has much to tell you. Carve out a few minutes every morning to read the Bible, write out your requests, and wait expectantly for His guidance.

When you hear His guidance, do not argue with what He tells you.

Trust me, do what He says.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com

 

 

 

 

Put Up A Fence

Weekly Walk with Ginny

Don’t miss the wisdom this blog will contain over the next six weeks. From now until the end of May is one of the busiest seasons for many of you, especially if you are a parent of school-aged children or a teacher.

So, here at The Boot, we want to make it a bit easier for you.

This week let’s focus on the purpose of fences. Stay with me on this.

One of the ways we stress ourselves out is we get too involved and focused on other people’s business. In today’s digital world, everybody puts their business in the public square, so it’s easy to be a busybody.

Our Scripture this week is from 1 Thessalonians 4: 11, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands…” It sounds so calming doesn’t it?

Does anyone today lead a quiet life? Do you? Between text alerts and social media beeps, everyone else’s business tweets it’s way into your quiet time, into your time with your children, and into your bedroom.

In the old days, people kept their business private. Conversations were contained in the home across the kitchen table or in letter form. People had fences to mark their yard. It was clear, what happened on their side of the fence was their business, not anyone else’s.

As a child, I walked the streets of my small town without fear. And, I learned early in life, a fence means you stay out.

The Godly wisdom for this week is to put up a fence. Stop keeping up with everybody’s kids and their vacations. Stop drooling over their new kitchen remodel or their latest photo of what they ate last night. Truly, it isn’t any of your business. Yes, your “friends” have posted their personal business on a public forum, but you can choose not to view it or care. Do not make their business your business.

Raise your hand if you need less stress. Okay, I see you.

Here’s what to do this week:

  • Focus more time on your own children and family
  • Visualize ways to erect fences in your life. Maybe you need to stop following certain people on social media or mute your alerts during the evenings
  • Do not concern yourself with what is on the other side of your fences
  • Always take daily walks and spend quiet time with God

The Father himself tells us to lead a quiet life, so go ahead and take Him up on it.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com

 

 

Feeling Down?

Weekly Walk with Ginny

How are you?

We ask that of each other often, don’t we? And the common response we give when asked is, “I’m fine.”

But, are we…fine.

Oftentimes, we are far from fine. But, we know when the person asked us, they didn’t really want to know how we were. It was just the polite thing to ask.

But, I am asking you, “How are you?”

Our Scripture this week is Psalm 42: 5 where David asks, first to himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”

I don’t know about you, but I feel much better about myself knowing David talked to himself, as I do.

I question my thoughts all the time…sometimes out loud.

“Why are you so sad?”

“Why are you thinking that?”

“Why are you focused on that?”

David was asking his soul similar questions. But, here’s what’s different. He immediately tells his soul, “Put your hope in God, for I will praise him my Savior and my God.”

It’s like he was giving himself a good talking to. Kind of like when my Grandma used to say, “time to get over yourself.”

This week as you do your daily walks, I encourage you to memorize this Scripture and ponder how you can use the same method David used. Pull yourself out of the doldrums by praising God.

It’s the biblical way to handle doldrums or downcast spirits and here on The Boot, we believe God’s ways are best. ‘Cause they are.

Love y’all,

Ginny

 

 

 

Do You Believe?

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The very first verse in the Bible is, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

And, that is where the faith begins.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s, basically everyone believed this. It was not discounted in the public school curriculum where I attended. But by the time I was entering high school, and certainly, by my college years, this basic belief was under attack by the scientific community.

We have the Big Bang theory trying to describe the beginnings of our world. We have Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution discounting the concept of God’s original design of each plant and creature in its proper form. According to Darwin, Adam and Eve evolved from a lower life form, IF they actually existed.

I’ll not argue these theories in this post. That’s not my purpose and there is no reason. No one really knows. But, we all believe something.

What do you believe? Do you believe you are a distant relative of a prehistoric man, an ape-like creature? Do you believe the earth and the universe were created from a cosmic explosion?

Maybe you’ve taken a little bit of this belief and a smidgen of another. You can’t even explain it to yourself, you’re so confused.

God is not the author of confusion. The devil is. If you are confused, then maybe you’ve gotten off track with God’s divine plan and order.

Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Are your beliefs holding together into a cohesive idea? Can they withstand spirited debate?

No? Then, I invite you to start at the beginning with Genesis 1:1. Decide today if you truly believe what it says.

Love y’all,

Ginny