Anxiety and Resting in Jesus

rock-that-is-higher

“I need to make puppy chow,” I told myself as I thought of what to bring to our Christmas gathering with our kids and grandkids this year. Last year I was sick that whole week prior to our gathering, so when one of my granddaughters asked me on short notice to make puppy chow, I knew I had to tell her I was sorry but I couldn’t this time. Even when I’m at my “normal,” I have to pace myself in order to reserve energy for the day of an exciting event.

And now a year later, it was still bothering me! It’s crazy how hard I can be on myself sometimes. I texted my granddaughter, “Guess what I just made?” She had no clue. She said she often doesn’t remember her food requests.

It baffles me why I get so wound up when I can’t do something someone asks of me. I’m always overanalyzing. Often when I think people must feel hurt or let down, it ends up that the situation never entered their minds again. Like water off a duck’s back.

At times I feel more grounded in Jesus and filled with His love, and all the stress and worry falls away. But then the I-never-do-enough monster knocks me flat and helpless.

I carry this drive that I must “do” more to show I care into my relationship with Jesus as well. I need to relax and let it sink in more that He is going to love me no matter what. I don’t have to earn His approval. He loves me just the way I am. And He knows I love Him. He just wants me to “be” the me He created me to be in whatever season of life He has placed me, not to stress out about doing more or being better.

Sometimes I have to persuade myself, “Give yourself a break! Why are you always putting yourself on a guilt trip? Just cool it. Relax and let yourself lean into Jesus, His love, His grace.”

Broken one, He loves you, too! Do you sometimes fret that you should “do” more? For Him and for others? We don’t have to earn His love or approval. He accepts us just as we are. He loves us unconditionally. He freely gives us His grace. He longs for us to leave our worries and cares to Him and to lean hard on Him within the circling arms of His love.

“God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this;
it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward
for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.”
Ephesians 2:8-9
“Give all your worries and cares to God,
for He cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:7

In Jesus arms

Lean Hard

by Octavius Winslow (1800s)

Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of your care;
I know your burden, child. I shaped it;
Balanced it in Mine own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to your unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers;
So will I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder that upholds
The government of worlds. Yet closer come:
You are not near enough. I would embrace your care;
So I might feel My child reclining on My breast.
You love Me, I know. So then do not doubt;
But loving Me, lean hard.

A Child's Trust

“Be Still, My Soul (In You I Rest)”
by Kari Jobe

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48 thoughts on “Anxiety and Resting in Jesus

  1. Absolutely this, Trudy: “He just wants me to ‘be’ the me He created me to be in whatever season of life He has placed me, not to stress out about doing more or being better.” If what you post here every week is any indication, I have a feeling you are doing far more–with far greater impact–than you could even imagine. Praying that you will be still while you’re resting in God’s love today …

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      1. The feelings are mutual, Trudy! I thought of you and this post today when I heard a song on the radio called “Tell Me” by Carrollton. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but I thought you might want to check it out. Hugs!

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        1. Thank you so much for thinking of me and taking the time to share this song, Lois! I haven’t heard that one before. It really brings tears to my eyes and is so what I need to remind myself often. It also makes me think of one by Jason Gray – Remind Me Who I Am? “Tell me once again who I am to You…” Thank you for blessing me. Hugs back to you!

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    1. Hi Rambling. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find your actual name at your site. Anyway, Jesus knows your name, and that’s what’s important, right? 🙂 In your post about Christmas, I love how in your prayer you ask that we spotlight Jesus and not distract from Him. We so need that every day, don’t we? Thank you for your kind words and blessings. God bless you, too! May our lives daily spotlight Jesus, not us!

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      1. I am known by Cindi Ruiz sis. On Facebook, and in many places, yet, in times past it was said of me: “you know her; that zealot always rambling on about Jesus” and well, it just kind of stuck…. Yessss, its all about Jesus and His glory, as my message this morning spotlights. God bless you. I do hope our paths cross more and may you be blessed….

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  2. Dear Trudy, Oh yes, these thoughts are so familiar to me! I too struggle with that “I-never-do-enough-monster,” and find myself over-analyzing my words and actions. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, encouraging thoughts today. I know that Jesus is calling me closer through these days also. And, closer to Him–It is the most blessed place that I want to be, so why do I find myself resisting that? He is so good to continue to call us into His heart. May we respond with faith to His voice. Hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

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    1. I knew you would identify with this, Bettie. I think the “I-never-do-enough monster” is especially hard on us when our chronic illness limits us. It bothers me, too, why I resist the very way Jesus calls me closer to Himself. My heart says Amen to your words – “He is so good to continue to call us into His heart.” Yes! May we respond to His voice! Thank you for your encouraging words. May He help us to rest in His love and not resist His ways, the very ways He brings us closer to Himself!

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  3. We can be so hard on ourselves can’t we? Our gender tends to strive for perfection and our nurturing nature can get caught up in ‘doing’ for others to feel we are good enough. Yes, our Father is opposite of that, just wanting us to be with Him. Thanks again for sharing a song too!

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    1. Yes, we surely can be hard on ourselves, Lynn. I’m so glad our Father offers infinitely more grace than we do on ourselves. May we daily remember He just wants us to be with Him, to rest in His love and grace!

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  4. “He just wants me to “be” the me He created me to be in whatever season of life He has placed me, not to stress out about doing more or being better.” Trudy, I needed these words today. The poem and song are also beautiful! Lean Hard – love the thought that we can come close and lean hard. The picture of Jesus with the girl is a powerful image of being held in His arms. I love it! Love and hugs to you!

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    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, Michelle. It’s not easy, is it? The poem, song, and picture really drew me in, too. We’ll have to keep reminding each other that Jesus invites us to lean in harder, letting go of everything else and just rest trustingly as that little girl in the picture. May we learn to lean hard and just be who God wants us to be! Love and hugs to you, too!

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  5. Great pep talk, Trudy! It reminded me of a quote from one of my studies this week: “He won’t love you better when you become better.” I’m glad you were well this year and had the strength to enjoy your family at Christmastime. Blessings, dear friend!

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    1. Thank you, June. I intend for my posts to encourage others, but they do often end up in pep talks for myself as well. I love that quote. I think you shared it over at Barbie’s? What study is this you’re taking? I looked up the woman’s name, but there are several studies. May we daily remember the unconditional love of Jesus!

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  6. There is never more or better with God. He just desires time with us which sounds easy enough. He loves the you He created and wants you to live the best you “you” can be.

    Your words are a reminder of how I need to lean in more often and let God pick up the slack. We are not superhuman and we are not expected to be. Thank you for shining a light in what is truly important today.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Mary. How true there is never more or better with God. He wants us to lean into Him, and as you say, He never expects us to be superhuman. May we learn ever more deeply to be the person God created us to be!

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  7. You’ve got my number with this one. I am constantly needing reminders that there’s nothing I can DO that will make me more worthy or more loved by God than He has already made me, by grace. Thanks for these good words.

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  8. First of all I had to stop and look up what puppy chow was because I’d never heard of it- it sounds good!
    I definitely need reminders of God’s grace at times, that he call us to be who he has created us to be, not to reach certain standards or compare ourselves to others.
    I love the poem you shared!

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    1. Oh dear, Lesley. You just reminded me… I was going to link it to a recipe! (I’ll do that as soon as I’m done commenting!) Yes, it is good. Many of our kids and grandkids love it. 🙂

      I, too, need those reminders that I don’t have to reach certain standards. And I often struggle with comparison and come up short. Thanks be unto God for His free grace! Yes, isn’t that poem awesome? May we learn to surrender our cares and worries and lean hard into Jesus’ loving embrace!

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  9. I never thought about how our doing creates anxiety. And it certainly does.

    I am not so much someone who feels like I haven’t done enough for others, but I am definitely that way toward God. And I KNOW that I have been saved by Grace and that NOTHING I can do saves me or earns me anything. But my old ways seem to creep in.

    Thank you for the encouraging reminder that we have our all in Him. I loved the poem you posted. It painted a beautiful word picture of the Lord carrying our burdens, beautiful!

    When I redecorated the room that is now my office, I got one of those wall art stencils and the verse I chose, which is a reminder I need constantly, is: Be still and know that I am God. Amen!

    Blessings,

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    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, Karen. I struggle, too, with those old ways creeping in. I love that poem, too, and the picture it paints. “Be still and know that I am God.” Such a great verse to put as a reminder in your office. I often have to remind myself of it, too. May we learn ever more deeply that God’s grace is free!

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  10. I think all of us are guilty of falling into the “I have to do” trap, especially when we want to please those we love. Thank you, Trudy, for reminding us that we only have to “be” to be fully loved by our great God.
    And I’d love to know what puppy chow is, too! 🙂
    Blessings!

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    1. Hi Martha. I often have to remind myself, too, that we only have to “be” to be fully loved by God. Blessings to you, too!

      I have now linked “puppy chow” to the recipe if you’re interested in trying it. 🙂

      May we daily rest in Jesus, just being who He has created us to be!

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  11. Dear Trudy … what a lovely reminder to lean into Him, gently, purposefully, expectantly. Everything and everybody else can wait ’cause no one satisfies and refills us with love and peace like He does.

    Blessings,friend …

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  12. Hi Trudy,
    I’m laughing that your granddaughter couldn’t even remember what you wanted her to make! Realizing that things we thought were so important really aren’t is truly freeing, isn’t it? I love your thoughts on unraveling the high expectations we hold ourselves to and carrying this through to our relationships with God. When we’re tired of trying so hard, then he shows us that he accepts just as we are — and that’s an amazingly beautiful truth! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Valerie. Yes, it really surprised me that my granddaughter didn’t remember what she asked me to make last year. I would save myself a lot of stress if I wouldn’t worry so. We do put such high expectations on ourselves, don’t we? Even in our relationship with God. God is so very patient with this slow learner. He shows me again and again that He accepts us just as we are. May we cling to that “amazingly beautiful truth!”

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  13. Hi Trudy! “I know your burden, I shaped it.” What a powerful line that was for me.
    I know what you mean about wanting to have everything for everybody, I’m like that too. I was glad that you decided to opt out last year though. Imagine if you had tried to make that chow feeling as weak as you did?
    Lean hard. I like that too. I’m going to remember that today, and practice leaning more. I can’t stand without him anyway…
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. I’m so glad the line in that poem impacted you, Ceil. Yes, it truly is powerful. He knows our burdens so well that He hurts with us. I will practice leaning more right along with you! May we let go of our burdens and fully lean into Him!

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  14. My mother-in-law makes something like puppy chow at Christmas too—but she didn’t make it this year, now that I think about it! Sad. Oh well. Maybe she was taking a rest herself. 🙂 We do all need to remind ourselves that God is more interested in our hearts than in our “doing.” Thanks for this, Trudy!

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    1. Cool, Lisa! Yes, maybe she needed a rest. 🙂 Yes, God is more interested in our hearts than in our “doing.” A truth that’s taking a long time to sink in. But we’re on a lifelong learning journey, right? One day at a time. One step at a time. May we daily remind ourselves that God’s love is unconditional and His grace is free!

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  15. reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha. we get so busy doing things, we forget what is really important, that is to love God and love others… whether we have puppy chow or not! 🙂

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    1. So true, Karen. I couldn’t help but smile at your “whether we have puppy chow or not!” May we learn more and more to sit at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His love, and spilling it out onto others!

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  16. Awww, Trudy. I’ve put myself through some of that same torture. Worrying and fretting because I had to say not to something….worrying that I had let someone down, or worse, offended them. Only to find out that they had forgotten the entire incident.

    You’re so right. God just wants us to be. We don’t have to do or perform. We already have His approval and all of His love. There is such comfort and freedom in that, isn’t there?

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder that God just wants us to be in Him. Sending you a hug today, friend.

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    1. Putting ourselves through that “torture” really is what it is, isn’t it? Thank you for understanding, Jeanne. Often people are more gracious than we are towards ourselves, aren’t they?

      “We already have His approval and His love!” Yes, there truly is such comfort and freedom in this. But sometimes it’s hard not to fall back into that doubting mode. May we cling steadfastly to the truth that we are preapproved in Jesus! Hugs back to you!

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  17. Oh Trudi I needed to hear this so badly tonight- I think it is the word I was asking God for this morning. I Have been feeling so badly about not being able to blog and wanting to “do more for God and be more for him etc. I have felt guilt and am so tired already I have been adding this feeling to the load. Thank you for the freedom here! I love that picture and the poem too.I have to tell you that this morning I had to take my daughter for a 5:45 am neurologist appt. and when we got home about 6;30 I was praying and trying to decide if I should go back to sleep or stay up and spend time with God I felt the Lord say “Choose rest” this freed me up and quieted the feelings of guilt for not spending that time with God.- and, I got time with him after I woke up anyway so- All that to say.. This speaks a similar word to my heart- Rest and be with Him and let him carry us close to his heart. Thank you so much with much love and hugs

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    1. Oh Susie, I am so grateful and humbled that God used this as an answer to your prayer. That guilt can really wipe us out, especially when we’re already tired. We are so much harder on ourselves than God is on us, right? Thank you for sharing that God told you to “Choose rest.” That reconfirms it to my heart that God isn’t after us to “do” more but He is tender and loving and just wants us to rest and be with Him. May we let go and let Him carry us close to His heart, His heart of loving embraces, not harsh demands! I’m sorry your daughter had to go to a neurologist. I hope she will be ok. And you have health problems yourself. Everything that is happening in your life must be so overwhelming. You remain in my prayers. Just rest in Him and His love. When the time is right, He will bring you back to be able to blog again. God bless you and give you peace and strength!

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  18. You’ve been reading my mind again, Trudy! So much I can relate to here. Apart from “puppy chow” that is. I thought it was some kind of food for dogs until I checked out the recipe.. 🙂 And oh what reassurance Jesus gives to us wearied and worried ones! These lines snagged my attention more than most: “But loving Me, lean hard.” They suggest we reveal our love for Jesus by the measure we are trusting Him, leaning hard on His mercy and grace, deeply rooted in His constant unconditional Love for us. Yet this doesn’t call for anxiety or self-criticism, for we can only love God because He first loved us and daily shows us how to better love Him, ourselves and others as He intends us to. Much to ponder here! Blessings and hugs. xox

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    1. Thank you, Joy. Blessings and hugs to you, too! I think our chronic illness adds to that anxiety that we can never “do” enough, don’t you? I’m so glad the poem has given you pause to ponder. Jesus’ love is so unfathomable. May we let go of all that hinders and press harder into His side and His love and grace!

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  19. I can so relate to this, Trudy – that monster tries to get every single one of us. I love your encouragement to lean into Jesus (and the poem) and allow ourselves to rest and be refreshed. I practiced that quite a bit this Christmas and the pace is simply good for the soul. Blessings, friend!

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  20. I wonder if this weakness, “the I-never-do-enough monster”, as you call it, is stirred up by the accuser to bring turmoil to our souls so that our focus will be elsewhere, ANYWHERE ELSE than on Jesus and heavenly things. I wonder if we were to realize that the tempter is at work trying to distract us, maybe we would deal with it as a temptation and get out the Sword of the Spirit to chase off the evil intruders. (P.S. Did you read my post, “Lessons from the Wilderness”?) ❤

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    1. Thank you for telling me of your Wilderness post, Ruth. I’ve been overwhelmed lately with trying to read everyone’s posts. That tempter knows our weak and vulnerable areas so well, doesn’t he? Yes, he wants our focus to be anywhere else rather than on Jesus and His unconditional love and free grace. May we daily remember that greater is He that is within us than he who is in the world!

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