1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
There’s always talk abounding about the “haves” and “have nots.” This is especially a cause for stress and anxiety when you’re one of the “have nots.” One kind brings anxiety when doing their bills and the other finds relief that they can pay their bills.
Some people haven’t had any time when they were worried if there would be enough food for their family or if their bills would be paid. They grew up in a family where both parents had good jobs and they never knew what it was like to go without. For them, doing bills doesn’t cause them anxiety.
Then there are the fathers and mothers who feel guilty because even though they work hard, their paychecks are not enough to make ends meet.
What’s a parent to do? There doesn’t seem to be a way for either the “haves” or the “have nots” to find balance. It’s okay to want to give your family your best or at least provide shelter, food to feed their families and be able to pay their bills.
How do successful people balance family time and the ability to pay their bills? Do they feel relief when they sit down to do their monthly bills?
Industryweek.com posts the article, “12 Key Strategies to Achieving a Work-Life Balance,” which provides for us some ideas on balancing life. A few of their ideas are track your time. Make a list of all the things you do each day and how much time you spend using it. This will show your priorities and give you a bird’s eye view on how you’re spending your time. Another way is determining your priorities. As you review your list of what you do each day, it may reveal how your priorities are off. One way is making time for you. Perhaps spend thirty minutes off your computer to take a walk or write a note to a friend. Find more ideas in the article.
It can be difficult to balance work-life and finances. But if you follow some of the advice in the article above you may find areas where you’re wasting time that could’ve been spent earning income. This will help you feel like you are more in the category of “haves” instead of “have nots.” It will also help you relax your anxiety when doing your bills.
Look at the Bible verse above. Loving money can indeed pierce you with many griefs. Be careful to check your motives and actions.
1 Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not a God of disorder but of peace – as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
So many decisions.
So many worries.
So many thoughts swirling inside your head.
When your mind is filled to the brim with decisions that need to be made, worries, and thoughts, confusion shows up and threatens to tip your boat over.
When you’re in a hurry or when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, all the expectations and responsibilities, you can’t think. There’s so much pressure. You don’t know what to do.
Water begins to pour into your boat.
You bail the water out, but it’s not enough.
Then a wave towers over you and floods your boat.
How do you stop the confusion? Life can be hard. And with life comes change. You might not want to change. But if you’re in a storm of confusion, change may be your ticket out of the storm and back onto the shore where you can ground your thoughts and take that deep breath and find peace.
You may need to write down what you’re confused about. You might even want to read what you wrote out loud. Or maybe you need to take a break and focus on something else for a while.
Huffpost.com in their article, “4 Ways to Find Direction When you are Feeling Confused,” gives us some ways to let go of confusion and find joy again. First, accept where you are, then take a deep breath, focus on what you know instead of what you don’t know and be patient.
And if you seek God, he will help you make it to shore safely. For God is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace.
Judges 7:3 – Now announce to the army, “Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
Right now, there are states who have or are considering lifting their stay-at-home orders.
How do you feel about that?
Will you leave the protection of your home?
Do you believe that it’s safe to go out in public?
Will you still fear contracting the virus?
Do you believe the officials that it’s alright to resume many of your daily activities?
Will you go back to work? You may need the money, but you may also fear for your health.
These questions and more are being answered as many are glad the stay-at-home orders have been lifted. But are they making the right decision?
Anxiety isn’t going to be put back inside a box with a lid on top. Anxiety may influence many to stay at home any way.
I have mixed feelings about going out once more.
But if you go out, will you wear a mask, or will you ditch it?
Just because stay-at-home orders may have been lifted you may still have social distancing when you go to the grocery store and it doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear a mask.
Be wise in your decisions. Be sure to find out what your state has to say about orders being lifted. Many don’t have an end date when they will lift the order. Abcnews.go.com in their article, “When Each State’s Stay-at-home Order Lifts,” provides a detailed list of each state’s decision.
People.com also provides information on the end of stay-at-home orders, in their article, “Here’s When States Under Stay-at-Home Orders Will Begin Lifting Restrictions.” However, it says to beware not to rush things. The U.S. has only started to peak in numbers of outbreaks.
Look at the Bible verse above. When faced with going into battle, the Israelites were given permission to leave and go home if they were afraid. Many did leave but some remained. The same kind of fear may come upon you. Will you remain indoors, or will you go out in public? God will help you make that decision. He is ready to give you his wisdom so you may confidently stay at home or venture out.
Nehemiah 4:10 – Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
At a time when people can’t work or even go to church, it may feel like we have nothing to give. But you can if you try even in a small way.
Some ways that I’ve seen is to make cotton facemasks for hospitals and agencies that are involved in helping the many who need a facemask. You can go online and do a Google search to find patterns and how to make the masks.
Another way I’ve seen up close and personal is to send out cards to encourage others. This last week I received two cards and it really lifted my spirits. I’m usually the one who sends out birthday and get-well cards. How refreshing to give and receive in this way.
Still another way that you can reach out without leaving your home is to make phone calls. Many people are feeling like they’re on a desert island with no one caring about them. Making calls can make you feel like you do matter.
Let’s look at a few other ways you can encourage others and how giving back releases joy. Azbio.org in their article, “Opportunities to Help Your Community During the COVID-19 Emergency,” list some other ways to help such as donating blood, helping a food bank and donating money to organizations and individuals who need financial help such as listed on .
Other ways to help include engaging in school at home, avoiding social gatherings, use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options. Here are a few more, avoid discretionary travel and practice good hygiene including washing your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, sneeze or cough into a tissue then throwing it away, and disinfecting frequently.
Another way of giving can be found on creditcards.com, in their article, “How to Donate Unused Reward Miles and Points,” by giving reward miles and points to charities.
During the time when Nehemiah was alive, the Israelites were trying to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. There we three opposing men who were trying to discourage the workers thus making it difficult to complete the wall. Therefore, Nehemiah had the people hold a sword in one hand and work with the other. He also gave the people encouraging news that the LORD would help them complete the project. Thus, they continued working.
This time can seem scary, but with the help listed above you can contribute in your own way. It does feel good to give back and release joy.
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
We’ve all heard about the crazy things that women crave during pregnancy. But there is also another kind of craving. One that calms us when heavy burdens and fears are on our shoulders.
Food in this cause is one of the key “okay” things that we can use while facing challenges. Especially if we feel unable to do anything about a certain trial we are going through.
So, instead of looking at a possible toilet paper shortage, do we turn to food as our releaser of stress? Some do. But don’t be angry with the person who does turn to food.
At first, food can indeed provide an escape. Certain foods like candy raise your blood sugar and at first you feel a high in your body. But watch out! Soon after you finish your candy, your blood sugar will plummet.
Take a look at an article on healthline.com titled “16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety.” Here you will find some healthy ways to reduce stress and fear such as exercise, supplements like green tea and lemon balm, chewing gum which causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people and promotes blood flow to your brain, laughter and learning to say “no.” Another idea is to speak kind words to others. This may help them feel better about themselves and allows anxiety to fly out the window.
These suggestions and others listed in the article are useful, and you won’t find your blood sugar going up and then crashing on the shore of more stress and anxiety.
Even as your anxiety weighs down your heart, a kind word from a friend or a Bible verse given to you by God can help cheer you up.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.