Monday, July 9, 2012

5 Easy Tips for Fighting Off Stress

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Psalm 5:1-3
O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

On several occasions, God has woken me up in the early morning and nudged my heart to meet with Him.  In fact, one morning last week I woke up before daylight and sleep escaped me. No matter how hard I tried to catch a few extra zzzzz's, I couldn't shake the feeling that my Bible was calling my name.

So just before sunrise, I wrapped up in a robe and went out on my deck to sit in the early morning light. As I listened to the soft chirping of birds and crickets, I filled my lungs with the fresh morning air and began to read my Bible and talk with God.  Before I knew it, an hour had passed, and the time came to get on with my daily routine.  

I knew the day was still going to be a hectic one. Stressful situations were the same as they were the day before. Difficult circumstances still had to be dealt with.  Busyness still swarmed around me. But my morning was not not routine at all.  I could tell a difference in myself. I felt refreshed, re-energized, renewed, lighter. I felt happy. I felt good. I felt at peace.

Just as I mentioned in today's Proverbs 31 Devotion called Breakfast Buddies, I experienced once again the benefit of having breakfast with Jesus. Unlike many other days where I ignored God's whispers to arise, this day was off to a great start.

Not because anything had changed in my life overnight, but because of what God had done in me that morning. He had called me into conversation, spoken to my heart, lifted my burdens, strengthened my spirit,  and helped me to have a more positive perspective about things that had been causing me stress and worry.

In Psalm 5:3, David states that each morning, he would bring his requests to God. He did not say that at the end of the day, he talked with God. He did not say that occasionally he would find some free time to pray while he was riding his camel from one city to the next. Nope, he said "each morning", as in, EVERY morning.

Each one of our lives is busy. Stressful. Maybe even chaotic. So how unfortunate it is that we take for granted the opportunity to have Jesus wash our stress away for the day, simply because we are too tired, or too busy, to give Him our devoted time in the morning.  

Notice how in Psalm 5, David not only spoke to God in the morning, but then "he waited expectantly" to hear from Him.  David knew that peace could only be found in God, despite the stress or adversities that he was facing.

Do you enjoy being stressed, distressed and depressed? Are you okay with spending your days worrying, fretting over problems, frustrated with life, and wondering if anything can ever change?

I certainly don't want to waste my life feeling that way, and I'm sure you don't either. Stress is a part of life, but sweet friends, Jesus is the answer to your stress.

Psalm 5 tells of an afflicted man who knows he cannot make it through his day without starting it off with God. David is a godly role model for us, and provides insight to 5 easy-to-remember tips that will help us embark on each day equipped and empowered with God's strength.

Those 5 tips are simply:  1. Awake   1. Arise   3. Pray   4. Wait   5. Praise

I am certainly guilty of not always giving in to God's nudges for early morning conversation, yet I know that when I do, the little bit of sleep I sacrifice is a small price to pay for the blessings I receive in return.  
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Have you ever witnessed the power and strength and blessing that comes when you spend time with God early in the morning?  How has having breakfast Jesus made a difference in your life? 

If you have never considered the importance of getting up early to spend time with Jesus - or if you feel consumed by stress and have been desperately searching for relief to help you get through the day - will you commit to giving Jesus a try?

Leave a comment and share your experiences to encourage others, or post your new commitment!

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17 comments:

Tammy in GA said...

I am so not a morning person. I would gladly sleep until 10 am every day if my kids would let me. I too have those mornings when I awake early and feel His nudge to get up. When I do I am a much different person than when I don't. My head understands getting up and spending time with Him each morning should be priority. My heart even longs for this. My body on the other hand rebels against it.
I want to change my habits. Maybe one day I will be able to get up and spend that time with Him on a regular basis. Thank you for your message today- it spoke directly to my heart!

Amy mccrary said...

I struggle with stress and anxiety but I know if I surrender my God gives me peace and strength to complete my day.

Karen said...

I am a morning person and love the quiet time on the patio having a cup of coffee with my Best Friend. He lets me tell Him anything. Oft times this is when I make a written list of 'thanks and praises'-it is amazing to see the depth of the list; or pray thru each line of the prayerbook entries; but my favorite - picture Him holding me gently in His loving arms reassuring me that He has me safe and secure (this is truly my favorite as it infuses me with the knowledge that HE LOVES ME! and knowing He does love me, He will hold my hand and will take me thru the day if I let Him lead the way.)
Thank you for your message today and Blessings

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This "blog" along with Breakfast Buddies, is so what I needed today. The reminder that with God all things are possible. I was able to reflect on how when I put Christ in the beginning of my day, things seem to just be better. I can not say how much this has blessed me and is what I so needed!
Angela

Anonymous said...

Tracie, thank you for reminding me to keep first things first. I have strayed away from my regular morning devotions/quiet time with God in the past several weeks. I have let the busyness of life get the best of my time. Your post spoke to my heart and let me know that I need to get up and get with my breakfast buddy so that I will be able to handle whatever comes along in my day. God bless and keep you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I love getting up early and spending time with Jesus. Lately I have let other things take that time. Man, it really messes things up when I haven't spent my time with Him!

Anonymous said...

I love having JESUS as my breakfast buddy. It has changed my life. Now HE is in CONTRO!!!

Rosemarie K. said...

"Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you." Psalm 143:8 (NLT)

Tracie, what a beautiful verse to begin each day with. Thank you for posting.

The Sullivans said...

I'm convinced this devotion was just for me!!! I long to get up and have Bible study and prayer before my day begins; it's so hard to get out of the bed!!! But I'm left stressed and depressed and longing for more. I'm also not sure exactly what to do with my "quiet time". What suggestions do you have to read or where to start?

Tracie Miles said...

Thank you all for your comments and for sharing how God used this devotion to speak to your individual heart in a unique way!

Mandy Currie said...

Tracie, thank you so much for a lovely post. I treasure my time with the Lord, my hubby has started waking me early but he's such a chatterbox that I have to wait until he goes shopping before I can have my quiet time. These are treasured moments and I sneak them every day. God bless you. Kind Regards Mandy Currie

peppermtz said...

Dear Tracie,

Well done, Mom. Your idea of becoming a breakfast buddy with your little guy AND continuing it to this day is fantastic. I'm sure the two of you have had many special moments that you will both treasure always. Please continue being your son's breakfast buddy all through middle and high school. Even during the terrible year of thirteen (yep, it's coming), carry on being his breakfast buddy. Even when he acts like he doesn't want you to.

My missionary (Japan) gramps was dedicated to spending the first hour of every one of his days with Jesus in the Word, singing, and praying. He was such an inspiration to me. I have long been out of the habit, so thank you for reminding me just how important it is to start my day with Him.

Sincerely,

Pepper

Gina P said...

After I read your blog, I realized that GOD was "nudging" me @ 4am to come and have a little talk with HIM. I had been tossing, turning and stressing. I thought I need to get up and fall on my knees, but quickly dismissed the thought-too busy counting how many more hours until my alarm clock would be blaring in my ear.

I always talk to GOD in the morning and sing a song of praise, but at times I feel like Im rushing the time to do other "important" things. After work, I come home and get into the WORD, but now I feel I need to reprioritize and have a little talk with Jesus in the morning-more sincere and in depth....I think it will alleviate some stress and pressure that I face throughout my day for I will be fully armored with CHRIST.

Anonymous said...

Your daughter Morgan's twitter avatar with her boy, Evan is so original, so suggestive and perfect for an article I'm writing on Christian girls and their boyfriends.

You're doing such a great job as a parent!

Chelsea

Tameshia said...

I am not a morning person, but lately I have been wanting to have a closer relationship with God. So I am up for the challenge to start my day each morning with Jesus as my breakfast buddy:)

Baking Journey said...

Morning time is so special and I am blessed beyond measure to have a special place wo meet with the Lord. And then with my friends like you. I hear the birds, crickets and morning sounds of summer now---the sounds of God's creation praising Him--- Thank you for the reminder. I am not consistant, but do so enjoy these mornings.

James Bond Bond said...

Your writers are enormously tremendous.
Danny Lowery