tending tuesday: practice the pause

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Welcome to Tending Tuesday!

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This week I want to introduce you to Amy Lynn Simon. She is a wife, mom and follower of Jesus. She writes to help women understand how they’ve been uniquely created to serve others with purpose.

Here is how Amy tends her way by the Word…

I struggle with anxiety. I also struggle with being so busy doing all the things that I forget to invite God into my daily life.

I pray and read my Bible in the morning, but then an invisible door seems to close when I get up from the table. I go about my day forgetting everything He and I talked about and the verses I read.

To combat both my forgetfulness and my anxiety, I started a practice of taking a couple “pauses” during my day.

Around 10am and 2pm, a reminder alarm goes off on my phone. I get alone if possible – usually out my back door onto my deck – and take a deep breath. I enjoy the sounds of nature and thank God for His creation and for His presence with me.

I also pray over the things I’m anxious about, naming them and laying each one at His feet. I thank Him that He is both willing and able to handle each thing I give Him.

I make a conscious effort to relax my shoulders (where most of my tension physically manifests itself) and take more deep breaths. I imagine Him present with me, caring about what I care about and loving me for who I am, not what I can accomplish.

It only takes a minute or two.

It’s a brief time to remind myself of what is really true and Who is really in control. Much of my anxiety comes from my thinking that everything is on my shoulders – it’s all up to me! My pauses are a reminder that God actually has it all taken care of.

It allows me to keep anxiety under control. It’s an opportunity to “check in” with myself and with my Heavenly Father.

Some days, I think I’m doing fine and don’t need to pause. I don’t feel overly anxious or frazzled and think that I’ve got this. Any spiritual practice can become a legalistic box to check, so I don’t want to end up there.

But even if I don’t feel anxious, it’s always good to reconnect with my Father and be reminded of His love for me. Frequently, when I take that deep breath and relax my shoulders, I realize I’m carrying more tension than I thought.

When my 10 year old plays with his friend next door, we ask him to stop home and check in with us after a certain amount of time. At the appointed time, he pops his head in and says, “Hi Mom! Everything’s fine!” before disappearing back to play. Other times, he might come in for longer to talk because he’s weighed down about a situation that he isn’t sure how to handle. We’ll talk it through and then he’ll go away happy again to play some more.

That’s kind of what a pause is. We’re checking in with God throughout the day, either just to say “Hello, everything is fine,” or to have a more serious discussion about a problem we’re having.

It’s made a huge difference in managing anxiety and in staying connected to my Heavenly Father throughout the day.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Will you take a moment to pause today and check in with your Heavenly Father?

Get Amy’s free “Spiritual Growth Journaling Guide” to help you in your walk with the Lord! CLICK HERE

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