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November 10, 2021 5:00 am
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Parenting is tough and moms like Julie need encouragement when they feel overwhelmed and the first thing I did was turn on the Focus on the Family podcast about parenting. That is my go to is there's always a topic that is relating to what I'm going through at the moment I'm Jim Daly this season. Help us give families Hope and when you give today.
Your donation will be double donated focusonthefamily.com/joy when I'm under a lot of pressure, it really stresses me out like my boss looking over my shoulder. I think the thing that stresses me out the most is trying to balance work, family and friends and figuring out how they all connect thing that really stresses me out and gives me anxiety probably have to be lots of traffic. What kind of things stress you out.
This is Focus on the Family of today will be talking about some stress triggers how you can manage.
I'm John Fuller and your hostess focus president and author John with all the news we see every day we are bombarded with situations and circumstances that leave us feeling anxious and worried and I think it's wise to talk about that, especially as Christians I know when I'm feeling a little out of normal you know all find comfort in the words of Jesus.
Right from the Gospel of John, where the Scripture says in chapter 16 verse 33 in the world you will have tribulation, but take heart. I've overcome the world. That's an awesome Scripture of confidence and calm. It's good news for all of us and that's where we can live in rest knowing he has overcome the world. Here Focus on the Family we want to remind you of God's love, so you can live in that freedom. In his grace and power you can do all things even conquer anxiety in the course were talking about those normal things of anxiety not clinically diagnosed anxiety or depression, that's a different topic today were just going to discuss the normal everyday weight and worry of the world and what it puts on us and we have a great guest here to help us dig into this and get some great encouragement Deborah for gay has written a book called 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety that we have that here at the ministry of the phone number just a moment.
Deborah is a Bible teacher, a speaker internationally. She's a certified behavioral consultant.
She's been in the business world. She's got a great resume but she's got a big big heart and that makes her really exceptional and as I said, this book 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety. We do have copies of that here at the ministry. Just click the link in the episode notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family, Deborah.
It's great to have you back a focus. Thank you so much. I'm just delighted to be here. You just brighten every room. I love to hang out with so much fun when you're here. You bring no such great wisdom right from the Scripture and you hit a lot of the pain points people are feeling in this culture and then I think is a great place to start. So often now conversations are about how anxious people are today.
How worried people are today.
Do you think with all your interactions.
Is it worse today than it was 40 years ago. Or are we just as human beings in this world in the flesh prone to being worried and anxious I think is both wheat. We are prone to being anxious, and then whatever the situation is that bringing pressure to bear. It's just increasing anxiety, and in 2020 was a year that was just anxiety written and I like to always quote the Scripture because the Bible says be anxious for nothing, except be anxious for nothing, and I'm thinking what is anxiety anticipating a negative outcome have to remember that anxiety is anticipating a negative outcome. I'm anticipating something to go wrong. I was driving on the freeway and I got a special lane by myself going to LA because I have is lipstick on my car and I told my husband like that special night because everybody's going really fast in his will. So what's the problem when I'm anxious about the cut in front of me as I so want you to focus on thinking that they want cut in front of you as well that's a novel approach that you know but it was anxiety and whether you believe what you thinking there's a word that people have now coin called catastrophize and that is part of it. I mean even the fact that we've now created this word in last few years that people catastrophize things that's pointing to hire anxiety right to pay attention what we think about what you think about that sound like doublespeak.
Think about what you are thinking about because it bashes space. If you believe you got it you know we got to get back to this thing about what we believe because it really impacts every area of our lives. And so I think about when I think about, like when I was flying here and I was getting anxious because I'm been on a plane and 20 months I was getting really anxious and thinking what I'm thinking and play my crash.
I think we may have type class. I just don't like the typist I was feeling the fear I was I was anxious about feeling fearful will and you know I want to be respectful of those emotions because some people mean they really struggle with this and you know from time to time. Jean fits in the category, so I've lived very closely to that kind of anxiety and that feeling that the worst is going to happen.
How does a person get on top of that, though I think it's a lifelong struggle for many people is a lifelong habit we have to develop not doing that unless I do sound like a walking Bible when we embrace the Bible that work together for my good and not to be anxious for anything God is able to do abundantly above I can ask or think.
If replace those thoughts with those negative thoughts. You see Jim, the mind what we learned in physics that no two forms of matter can occupy the same space at the same time you can't think those negative thoughts and positive thought that the same time so my mom bought me. I try to have something to replace them. Yeah, I just replace that negative thought.
I casted down the command in the Bible, cast down those imaginations that rising up against what I know about God and I just got stuck to practice doing that and anything it is a daily struggle is a daily challenge or daily discipline daily discipline I better. In fact, let's get to a specific is in your book you talk about your own stressful situations and you describe a time when you had a stressful day.
I think it involved a phone call from your brother what happened and I think this will loop a lot of people in because many people go through experiences with the family.
When my mom was she's passed away now, but she had dementia and we had a brother who had had a battle with drugs, but we went to see the hats that they had a program where they would pay him to watch her, but he wasn't doing a good job and I had a board meeting coming up and I was just at the beginning stages of a condition, trigeminal neuralgia, one of the most painful diseases known to man and it was just at the beginning of that. It was a boy. Meeting dates I'm trying to get ready and my brother cause and he said nobody picked up my mom's medicine and and and about that time I staff person came in to give me some financial status to review for the meeting and I can immediately see errors and and then I have this pain hitting me. It was so much less.
Unlike Jesus came, just calm down rapture, please up and so was overwhelmed. It was overwhelming and use that word overwhelming.
But that was the time it really was overwhelming. So just to stop just took a deep breath and I to say I just cast this On you. I'm just show me what to do next and sometimes really stressed and overwhelmed. That's because we try to do so much with trying to do so much at once, and I like to just stop and say what to do next. Even if it's the next, sometimes we can get so stressed, we come to have to live like Bob our Northwest my priority, but the next hour you ever so much of your device in a variety of categories. As we've had several discussions with you on different books that you've written, it comes down to capturing what your behavior is not. I like that it's a discipline I don't typically utilize you know I do it in my mind, one of the things you recommend in your book is to identify those things that are causing you stress the stressors in your life. I'll do that, mentally, but I won't give it enough time and I really like the discipline that you bring to say, write them down so yeah so what is that list look like for you what I write like this just like today what my biggest questions I have a client's financial statements do when I get back home. I need to promote my book better by then.
I'll say okay and then there's some other things I have a friend was fighting for her life. I can't control that I can pray for her list of things that I have that within my realm of influence and things are outside of my realm of influence. The things that are outside I give them to die. I'll just pray about them and that's all I can do. That's all I can do the things that within my realm of influence.
I make a priority list. What should I work on first W. Most important, because sometimes you just find yourself reaching for things to do.
We have so much to do and everybody has to must know anybody that would like to do. Yeah, you feel the benefit of writing that down helps capture and contain the anxiety paper. You and I feel like I'm not out of control, that's interesting.
I can have uncontrolled and I in this may not even be relevant something for some theologians, but we know that's gifted to talks about right to the vision and make it plain so that you can run with it, writing down what I want to do and then I say okay and then I don't put too many major stressors on my list.
In the course of a day, you should have 10 things in this and I have to to do list once as to do and then other was safe to do today.
Real fast right and I don't put too many on that just as much as you can appreciate that you suggest in order to effectively deal with stress and lessen anxiety which is what were talking about. We need to have a secure foundation that not everybody listening is a believer in Christ were really talking about that the 80% of the audience.
The does believe in Jesus. That's number one. That's foundational, but you know describe that four-legged stool and have that listener in mind who may not have a relationship with Christ were hoping that we can make them so excited about how we are faring and having a strong foundation that that other 20%. One embrace, absolutely because he really is the Prince of peace where you live your life and really imagine living this life in my own strength right and that is one of the great Isaiah to all goodness, because you know self is so limited but I say life is like a stool and the basis of what you believe your spiritual foundation and therefore major pillars of life the physical. The relational the emotional and the financial every problem you have in life will eventually find us when one of those four categories.
But what we believe will flow down and impact how we behave manage in those areas you give an example. Let's say financially if I believe that cost him supply all my needs.
I believe in tithing. I believe that IKEA others were given to me.
So see, that's a belief in a stamp impacted my behavior. That's why I always say the Scriptures are practical because they tell you what to do and so you have to know when then you have embraced an erroneous belief because sometimes you blame is something that is not go to work on your behalf, and their impact in those areas and so that's why I say okay so look at the physical you need rest look at the relational I don't need to be in conflict with people I need to not walk in unforgiveness that's stressful. I'm always thinking about a person who's offended me that controlling my life. So if I just release them. Not because I believe I should based on the Scriptures I need to release every body I need to forgive and so that impacts how I run my relationships up as I'm sure.
I hope I make the point that watch what you believe a doable lease audit. Sometimes I just do a belief site. You can tell I like writing things down so I'm always analyzing what I'm believing about that business in alignment with the word of God is out of alignment. I'm going to have trouble in one of those pillars in my life. The other thing I love about what you express is your own your own shortcomings.
I so appreciate that about you. You mentioned in the book that you were distracted from prayer because you were looking for a CD and you know just consumed all your time describe that event because I so relate to. Like I have this thing to do and then I get caught up in fixing something yet yet and the distractions of so many until this week is hard to pray is hard to memorize the word, but I'm committed I'm trying to be committed to praying an hour but I am not there. Some days, so this particular day I said okay I'm ready to have my worship album.
I'm just gonna get ready. I got down on my knees and I didn't have the CD that I want to listen to us okay to me.
My dad is probably a chunk of my clock. This is using CDs. I looked in the car and there was it wasn't there, but the truck was in disarray/organize allows them so that is probably on my desk.
I went to my desk and I looked at the end of the papers everywhere night.
I didn't see yellow leaf just water the plants and some right here as I might've just checked the messages.
Bottom line was, by the time I got back to the prayer room.
I had about five or 10 minutes left my prayer time and I said oh man, this isn't working and I just didn't have time to enter into the presence of God and let me tell you that is key to peace. You need to enter into the presence of God every day so you can cast those cares upon him feel empowered for the day that is so important and so hard for us to do is a discipline yellow leaf will be there to take care of that but again I so identify with.
Let's also have you describe how we should take care of ourselves.
It sounds funny even a little uncomfortable. Talk about this idea of self-care but but it's important and we benefit from that. I think Jesus demonstrated that you think about it. Jesus was here healing people taking care of emotional needs, spiritual needs, physical needs, and he could've gone 24 seven right, but I know he peeled away and he sought rest and got away from the crowd so that he could revitalize and he's the son of God, yes.
So I mean if it's good for him. It's gotta be good for us. I don't know why we ignore that example not. I remember when the disciples came on remembered by rail when the battle they came back to Jesus and they told him that they had done in time and I thought he would like he said you need to go rest. Go get some rest of the state and the Bible says, but they had no leisure Jim that's critical. They use the word laser. The King James Bible, but they had no leisure.
Leisure is spiritual. We'll see leisure as being spiritual entities Deborah in this modern world are so many distractions and it's almost like industries feed off of the weather's media would have you think of gaming that's been a struggle with two boys in the home grown up as teenagers you know they wanted to play shoot them up games and those kind of things what's happening there and how do we get a handle and replace seeking the distractions with facing what's real and then dealing with the think is probably not be too hard to go cold turkey that you gonna have to do initially just to back it down a little bit right. That's true for all of us and end with social media. My cell banks spent too much time on Facebook and so I just suggest that you know we are not be in the present that we have times a week. We put ourselves on the calendar.
You know you put yourself on the calendar. You make a commitment. So when somebody ask you to do something you say I'm sorry to have another commitment. I have an appointment. What I do is with myself all the Deborah another concept that you mentioned is this idea of flexibility reducing one's anxiety.
I can relate to that. I appreciate that because I think that's true. Sometimes it can be a personality bent though. You know a rigid person of black-and-white thinker will struggle more than someone who can be in the gray you notes okay. I don't mind that's flexibility but speak to why flexibility allows you to be less anxious. I heard something.
This said that a flexible person will not be bent out of shape.
Okay well well you see because it when you think about when you're not flexible suffering like you are because you're the ones got to the inner turmoil why they doing it like that. I planted like this one thing just with the way I said it. I tend not to allow a lot of margin in my time and speaking so slowly I can plant biologists this like you know what, if you learn to just go with the flow week we have a friend who does that. And he just seems so, the time you don't get upset. He doesn't ask a lot of my people to do and that I challenge you to do that. Just take a deep breath and just be in the moment and just say it is what it is you know there's something about that just is what it is another area you mentioned in the book is expectation.
I mean, I'm telling you folks this for Christians, this is a core thing is we put so many expectations on ourselves on her spouse on her kids that you know they can only fail you know it's perfect. No one is perfect and end we have this. These should not I should put my put a lot of expectations on myself as a wife, especially been, let's say, a career woman, a woman whose busy makes you I have food at home and don't make my own food really require that you might like to know I'm thinking about an early sandwiches, but I think I want to have her say she was so busy trying to pursue a career she didn't take care of a home so I put that on his business and high expectations are either unreasonable, sometimes on express. Let me ask you this, though, why do we create those expectations. What illness is driving us to expect more out of you and you expected yourself all values that been shaped by our culture. Sometimes while I should do this you watch though she was in your life wash dishes that people bring to you but watch the shows that you have like a man should take care of this.
A man should take it, and I believe that we I think men should be responsible. I want to water the plants or something darkness action want to play house. Please roll things but you know what it's okay because now he waters place.
But you know you express your expectations because sometimes you be frustrated and anxious because you had an expectation that you didn't let anybody know you happy that you just think they should know where the irony is I think most of marital conflict is right here in the serve expectation that happen with the husband thinks is that they don't talk about what you got to talk about Conway.
You know, in a calm way I lost something at the hotel the other day and I was thinking, but Darnell's with me traveling II think he should make sure I don't leave anything in a room.
Well, it may be the sole expectation thinking and not just a couple of weeks ago were talking about this because she's been doing something that she thought she should do is my wife and we had unpacked that and it goes way back to when she was grown up and she watched her mom and she thought that I've been expecting her to do this thing, this whole time. It's like I never have thought about that yet, so doing that self introspection that you've talked about before. That's really key and putting it on the table in an in a nonoffensive way to say what you expectations of me and what you know, these are my expectations of you and those like I'm not expecting that I wasn't really planning to do that.
That's what you need. You know less. This work that out far healthier. Where than said it is so how can we set the tone for the atmosphere around us, especially in the presence of those that lean into anxiety. What's our roles Christians with those that we love that are around us family, friends who tend to be anxious people.
What can we do this set the atmosphere to make it healthier for them will first while we can be a model of peace we can model the peace that we want other people to have around us, so that means that even in our words are responses we don't have to realize we don't have to go lower body language. Watch your words at a situation reason I had my brothers. I was the first time since December 2019 and one of them was gonna be late and and he was upset with us but for whatever reason, but Darnell calmed him down so well in we would. I was just ready for when I was like what you just that was just a silly thing you did.
You drove up you didn't get out of the car, you should knock on the door. He left and he was so upset was that what did you not know. I see any cars out front Darnell when he came to simply calm him down so be that model of peace. Read the town that is just really crazy yeah, but that wasn't on it. You know will and so often when the person is expressing that kind of it's almost it's eye-catching you're catching because it's out of proportionality.
Yeah, there's usually something else going on there you you're the beneficiary of some other problem. A person will not answer turns away the wrath we have to always remember that it takes some discipline to give a soft answer when you equally frustrated yeah yeah about Stephen being stoned to death rates for those only thing more. Don't hold this against a lot of that's the opinion I got dropped right that bring in the military to go but I mean that does show you the spirit of God and how effective he can be, even in the life and death situation like that that that area Scripture really captures his Stevens laying it all down there. He knows what is going to and he's not clinging to this amazing while that's helpful you use an acronym stress walk us through the stress model. How do you use that in the day-to-day way. Well, I got Josh fattened in the 20 chapter of second Chronicles and I so when you know when update on three armies will come against them and so these are the things he did first of the S was seek God's guidance.
Always ask not what to do at the T is for trust when he tells you to do is listen. Yet the Army put the prizes out front and made no sense. Just trust what God tells you to do our is to remember past victories. There's nothing like getting building of faith and to remember what your past victories. Somebody had a victory, you need to be able to recount those of a story in the Bible where there was a bit virtual, absolutely DES will exalt God above the problems that sounds simple but many times we just, you know, we exalt the problem about God we bring God down to the level of the problem. Somebody is dying from pancreatic cancer.
So was no not too hard for God's legs.
God above the problem is solicit the prayers and support of others, to men of a struggle in solitude. We don't have to struggle alone. That's what a brother is born for adversity's people for help.
It's okay to ask for help, then the S is and on the promises of God stand stand so good Deborah, I mean it just all fits together. Lastly, and I think we've had this discussion before the importance of humor in all things and how to laugh at yourself like I think is really the first order and then circumstances being second but speak to the importance of laughing webmasters like medicine and it is the best medicine when you anxious is stressful when they dine out and I was about to pray and we join hands and he said father we come before the grown of the race. Darnell I do that all the laughing I can stop that and and you know my body is shaking I'm laughing so hard and I told him I said to stop praying sake get myself together. He said I wasn't going acknowledge the devil finding what you know you just found the lamp he got a find humor in that sometimes if you're not able to. That's a place to start. What's what's quenching your ability to laugh at some of these have something to Jim and I am wrapping up when I was at a church speaking and I was about 10 minutes into my message and one the smoke machine that came in the stages, now, so I just said is smoke.
What a fun way to this Focus on the Family, patient Deborah is a firecracker every time she's here. We laugh and get a solid reminder of God's best for us know he does not want us to live in bondage or live with anxiety or stress.
He wants us to trust him and act in love to those around us and we know some situations go beyond just laughing off those circumstances and that's one reason we have a team of caring Christian counselors on staff that you can call and go online even to set up an initial consultation to speak with someone they will listen to your specific need to pray with you and give you a pathway toward healing and most likely provide some resources for you.
Books and other things that you can read to help your situation.
Yet it's a great team third therefore you and then we do have other resources. Of note, like Deborah's book 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety and we have that right here at Focus on the Family to get your copy from us and I donate.
As you can to give families hope every day were helping couples on the verge of divorce families in crisis. Bewildered parents that have come to the end of the rope. Frankly, frightened mothers considering abortion kids in foster care and the needs that they have and others who need the hope. Jesus came to give them and hear the end of the year. We really need your help. Let's do ministry together as we gear up for 2022. We want to save and strengthen even more families with Scripture-based resources and programs and when you give a gift of any amount today will send you a copy of Deborah's book as our way of saying thank you and right now, your gift will be doubled through a special urine matching opportunity provided by some generous friends of the ministry. That means your gift will have even more of an impact more ministry so do that ministry by partnering with Focus on the Family, God's going to do some things in 2022. We really believe that and we invite you to join the team and donate and request a copy of 30 days, worry and look for contact details in the episode notes or give us a call 800 K join us tomorrow as we hear some words of wisdom, especially from Tatian is what people think you will is what you are when no one else is around. We need to be men of godly character Jim Daly entire team Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive just like a warm fireplace when it's cold outside and enjoy the Christmas season gives comfort and draws us closer to loved ones.
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