Have you ever had one of those days where the cares of the world (or really your small section of them) were so heavy on your shoulders, you were practically laying flat on the floor trying to carry them? I had one yesterday.

The day started off with me bringing a few things that were concerning me to Jesus, asking Him to be present in situations that concern our family, things we cannot control. My heart was heavy with worry and concern, but I did my best to lay it down.

By 8:15 am, I’d picked it up again. And, as the day progressed, I — unaware of what I was doing — had three or four other concerns that I also allowed to weigh me down. I’d been sick with a cold and had barely a whisper of a voice with which to manage the children. I had a babysitter back out and had to scramble to find a sitter for a commitment the next night.  One family member with health issues was constantly in my thoughts. I ran out of cloth diaper detergent and refused to put three children in the car to go and fetch some.

It was turning into a terrible horrible-no-good-very-bad-day.

I was aware that I was feeling low and moving slow. And I pretty much did the opposite of what I should’ve done: I just wallowed in it.

Boys at the Beach

{There was indeed a trip to South Africa that I’ve told you nothing about so far… and I promise to share some photos and stories from it with you. But you don’t have to be at the beach to have a happy day!}

Fear has this funny way of sneaking in a side door. Often, we don’t even realize that fear is at the root of an issue or situation that we’re discouraged about, meanwhile, it’s busy building all sorts of traps and snares in our hearts and minds, meant to keep us fearing instead of trusting.

And fear can be terribly paralyzing. If we don’t allow it to draw us closer to Jesus, you can be sure it will be quick to pull us away, and we will struggle to make our way out of it.

I moved slowly and laid lowly throughout the day, and just sort of chalked it up to “having a lot on my mind” and “feeling a little under the weather,” but truthfully, I was making a conscious decision to allow fear to have its way, instead of choosing to hope, to trust, to have faith.

When we choose to cling to a care or concern in our lives, we are often choosing not to bring it to the God who can remind us of Who He is, how sovereign He is, and how much He loves us.

I’d written Psalm 16:11 in my journal that morning, and (obviously) promptly forgotten it:

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

If I had chosen to turn back to the presence of Jesus, to share my cares and concerns and allow Him to rescue me from fear, I would’ve found joy in His presence. And for the believer, the joy of the Lord is a strength like no other.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

I chose to sit, sapped of strength, because I chose not to go back to the source of joy: Jesus.

This morning, as I reflected on why yesterday was lousy and what I could have done differently, I read Romans 8:5-6 and had an Aha! moment of enlightenment:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Why did I feel a little like warmed up death yesterday? Basically, because I allowed all the cares of this world to be the place where my mind dwelled pretty much the. entire. day.

When we set our minds on the hope that we have in Jesus and the truth that this world is just a shadow of what’s to come, we can find life and peace. 

Is there anything God can’t handle? Anything He can’t walk you through? Absolutely not!

We can trust Him and we should trust Him.

So don’t be a ninnymuggins like me and exchange the joyous gift of today for a pile of cares and concerns that won’t change just because you’re worrying about them.

Find life and peace in God’s presence, and let today be an unexpectedly wonderful gift.



Two Kinds of Homesick

March 6, 2014 The Good Word
With Dad

It was a year ago today. Perhaps even a year ago this very moment, as I type these letters, that the phone rang. We were sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, just HH and I. Kids in the bed, life peaceful, lots on our minds, lots to think about, but it was the happiest […]

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For When It Just Doesn’t Seem Good Enough

February 16, 2014 The Good Word

Question. If you were given a moment to give a personal State of the Union address — one that simply pertained to all things related to the life of {Insert Your Name Here} — what would it say? Do you think you’d come up with a list of all good things? Mostly good things? You […]

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The Worthless Whisper

January 22, 2014 Stories

It was bright and sunny Sunday morning. The birds were singing, the sun was bright, the kids were excited, and we were running late. The Hubs had to be in Greenville early to assist with preparations for a guest speaker, and we hoped I’d be able to arrive with the kids in order to attend the […]

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January 1, 2014 In the Name of Love

A little over nine months ago, I was in my brother’s car. We’d left the hospital where my Dad lay unconscious, still breathing, but almost no longer with us. Russ was getting a bite to eat, I was getting fresh air, and it was hard to know what to say, what to think, what was […]

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A Very Merry Christmas

December 26, 2013 The Christmas Story

I’ve normally been a bit more ‘prompt’ in posting a Collie Family Christmas Card of sorts — to send cheer and warmest wishes to you friends and readers I hold so dear. But I juggled a few new special privileges this Christmas season and the time for sitting down for a Christmasy-year-end-wrap-up didn’t permit. So […]

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The Christmas Story: The Beginning and the End

December 16, 2013 The Christmas Story

I love a good story. And one of my favorite parts of homeschooling the Bear has been getting introduced to new stories in the children’s books selected for the Five in a Row Literature series. We read a new book every day for a week and pull out different things to discuss: perhaps a science […]

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With Love for Madiba

December 6, 2013 South Africa

Last night, Mark and I read the news for the first time — that South Africa lost her greatest son, as Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. In South Africa, he was affectionately referred to by two special names from the Xhosa language: his tribal name, Madiba, and Tata, meaning father. Perhaps […]

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