According to the National Headache Foundation more than 45 million Americans suffer from various types of recurring headaches. Reports show that the majority of these headaches are tension related. The NHF suggests that “learning to live one day at a time” may relieve anxiety that contributes to the pain and inconvenience of muscle-contraction headaches.
Long before this admonition appeared on NHF’s “52 Ways to Reduce Stress” list, Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Today has enough dilemmas. Learn to face life one day at a time.” (Joan’s paraphrase of Matthew 6:34!)
This advice is difficult for some of us to follow. After spending today making big plans for tomorrow, we then worry that something might go haywire. We pray for direction with a choice, and then worry we made the wrong decision. We advise others (whether they ask for it or not) and then worry that they won’t heed our counsel. Persistent worry becomes a pain in the neck…literally.
Yet with God’s help we can learn to focus less on tomorrow’s “what-ifs” and more on doing the best we can at the current moment. Then our muscles can relax and we can breathe deeper, reducing our worry-related pain and tension.
Fact is: The elimination of all stress is impossible in this imperfect world. AND I find it encouraging that practicing “living one day at a time” can alleviate unnecessary anxiety in my life. What about you?
In my last blog post (Is Freedom Fading? 3 Ways to Honor Our Country), I promised to share a personal story with you. So here goes:
I gave my third-grade granddaughter a cute cloth bag embroidered with the words “Be still…”, a key chain with a cross, and a journal notebook with a Bible verse on the front cover. She loved it! And decided to take it with her to school.
The next morning she proudly showed it to the friend who walks to school with her. “Annika, you can’t take that to school,” said her friend. “It’s against the rules!” That made Annika sad, but she chose to dismiss it since her friend often embellishes her stories.
When she got to school another third-grader said, “You can’t have that at school, Annika.” Several more agreed. ”You just can’t do it!” piped up another friend. So Annika stuffed her prized possessions in the bottom of her back pack.
After school she told her mom (our daughter) what had happened. Mommy Lynnette said, “Oh, they are wrong, Annika. You CAN take that to school if you want to. The law and the constitution say you can.”
Several days later I was there when Annika came home from school with her “Be Still” bag, cross key chain and journal in her hand. She had carried it every day that week, because she knew the truth: In the United States we’re free to express our faith.
Mis-truth and intimidation have infiltrated the minds of even grade school children in our country. Annika’s friends are probably not anti-God, yet what they’ve heard and seen from the anti-Christian voice has had a negative trickle down effect. That’s the objective of those who purpose to take away the religious rights that our Founding Fathers built into our constitution. President Ronald Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Let’s join together to never forget!
Your Turn: What have you done to remind the children in your life that freedom is still ours under the law of our land? I’d love to hear your stories.
It’s July and I’m still thinking about our country’s birthday. During my life I’ve enjoyed freedom that others in this world only long for. I’m grateful. Yet now I notice facets of this freedom fading. What can I do?
One thing I can do is SPEAK UP about what I believe, need, and want for the United States of America. I admit that’s not always easy when often the underlying message in our schools, communities, and the media is “intelligent and caring people never alienate others and are always politically correct.” I suspect this means “shut up about your faith, especially if it differs from what I think or believe.”)
Right now I’m thinking of three doable ways that you and I can honor and bless our country, imperfect though she is. We can:
Happy Birthday, USA!
Often my husband (a veteran of the U.S. Army) is asked to sing “God Bless America” at gatherings. Just last week he sang this song at the funeral of our friend Dean who served many years as a loyal FBI agent. Dean loved his country.
I love America, too. Although I acknowledge her imperfections. Like many others I pray for God to bless, protect, and work through the people within her boundaries. Will you join me today in singing these words (either aloud or silently)?
God bless America. Land that I love.
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies. . .
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
Wishing you a fun, safe and memorable holiday from my family to yours!
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.