What Does Casting Our Cares Even Mean?


Kids hear everything.

A few days ago I received a reminder of this. Even when we think they’re not listening or won’t be interested in the conversation, they hear. They pay attention. And yes, they take interest.

In the process of running my mouth to my husband on a phone call I thought was private, I transferred worry. My eight-year-old son who should be thinking about Santa Claus or how he’s going to finagle his next piece of candy was worrying about his baby sister instead.

Because I was worrying about his baby sister.

Our fears have a way of spreading, don’t they? Like they’re contagious. We think we’re carrying these burdens by ourselves, as though the weight of them may crush us. And then out of nowhere we see the weight is also being carried by others. Other loved ones. Other friends and members of the church body.

The crazy part though? It isn’t being carried in a way that lightens our load. We don’t feel any release. They’re anxious because we’re anxious. Instead of releasing the burden, we hold onto it, unaware of its virus-like effect.

Will you continue reading with me? I’m sharing over at Purposeful Faith today about what “casting our cares” means in real life. You can read the rest of my post here.

Out of the Holding Pattern and into His Grace

faith vs worry

As soon as he sat down in the car, I knew something was wrong.

His face was downcast and his step had lost its usual after-school skip. I thought maybe he’d gotten a red mark at school, an indication he’d played class clown one too many times.

I wasn’t expecting what came in the following minutes.

“How was your day?”

“Fine,” he said without further comment.

I wanted to push further but restrained myself. I tried to calm my three-year-old’s incessant repetition of “Mama.” Then, as I was turning down the road back toward our house, it started.

“Actually, Sam made me mad.”

He corrected himself.

“Well, Sam made me sad.”

Tears fell and he covered his face. I was glad I was driving with him in the back seat so when he looked up, he couldn’t see my expression.

I took a deep breath and asked probing questions. I learned Sam had told my son they were no longer friends.

My mind flashed like a negative reel to a time many years ago when I’d heard those same words. I told my son I was sure this boy didn’t mean it and silently prayed. I asked why his classmate would say this.

I fought my lioness urge to track down the school bus, find this kid, and demand an explanation.

Later, after my son calmed and we talked more about the situation, my wise husband reminded me that at the tender young age of six, everything is in absolutes.

That will never happen. We never do anything fun. You’re not my friend anymore.

The next day when my son stepped off the bus in a chipper mood, I realized my spouse was right. I was relieved, but wondered what would happen if the situation had turned out differently.

My mind went outside of God’s grace into the unknown, and questioned the tiny details of my son’s life.

What if this sort of thing continued? What if he isn’t making the right friends? Would his tender heart later lead to heartbreak?

The further I went down the trail of circumstances I couldn’t control, the more restless and anxious I became.

Several days later, I sat outside soaking sunlight when God hit me with the truth of these words:

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 NIV

How often to I say I believe God with my mouth and my words but my attitude says otherwise?

He says he knows the plans he has for my children, and they are plans for good. He says not a sparrow falls to the ground without his care.

Abram’s story goes on to show he not only said he believed God, but was obedient and acted on this faith. You see, friends, James cuts straight to the heart of the matter when he says, “Faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:25 NIV

Faith moves us forward in obedience. Worry keeps us in a holding pattern of regret.

Faith means doing what I can to raise boys who love, forgive, and give grace, and then trusting God to do what only he can.

I trust him to protect them and watch over them. To guide their steps when they’re out of my watchful care.

It means relinquishing control to the one who is in control, and believing he’s more than capable of taking the wheel.

So today, when my mind becomes restless with worry, I’m going to surrender those thoughts to him and actually do something. I’m going to pray.

I’m going to fill the endless wheel of anxious thoughts with a list of his promises. I’m going to trade relentless worry with unwavering faith.


*Photo credit (text added)

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.

*Post written using this COMPEL tip: I turned off social media notifications and put my phone on Do Not Disturb.

When Worry Threatens to Ruin You


I told worry to take a hike once and for all.

I used the words in my son’s favorite Dr. Seuss book, “Please go now!” Except maybe I didn’t say, “please.”

My fight with worry started last week when my oldest child’s parent-teacher conference was approaching. Our record with parent-teacher conferences isn’t exactly the greatest. Most of them involve me sitting on the other side of the table feeling as though I am the only advocate for my child.

Don’t get me wrong. I love teachers. Some of the most influential people in my life have been teachers. Some of the best ones saw qualities in me I never saw in myself.

But when it comes to my six-year-old, the track record has not been stellar. Usually I leave the conference asking myself, “Am I missing something here?”

So, I wasn’t sure if I was going to schedule a conference. It was, after all, optional. Maybe we could just use a day off.

But I had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach. My first grader was coming up with negative reports on his behavior. My husband and I were working through it but I didn’t feel like we were getting to the bottom of the cause.

That’s when my inner worrier kicked in. My mind raced ahead to endless possibilities of what would happen if this problem continued. It raced ahead of God’s grace and provision into the unknown.

Into a place where I had no control.

Into the classroom at the conference, imagining conversations that would never take place. It really got quite ridiculous.

So, against what I thought was better judgment, I scheduled the conference. I prayed for God to be present and for his Spirit to guide us in asking the right questions.

As my husband and I sat talking with my son’s teacher, I could not have been more surprised. She was understanding. She wanted to work with us as a team. She knew that it was a long day for a six-year-old.

Afterwards, as I reflected on the words exchanged, I realized all my worrying had been for nothing. I praised God for the peace I now had.

And then I wondered, if the conference had not gone well would my worrying have changed anything? No. No, it wouldn’t.

In Philippians Paul tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

But he doesn’t just give us instruction. He also gives us a promise for what will happen when we do this. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

When we pray through circumstances we can’t control, we place our faith in a God who is in control.

When we offer praise and thanksgiving even though we’re unsure of the outcome, we find peace.

So that day after the conference, I sent worry packing. I know he’ll try to rear his head again soon. And when he does, I will remember the words of Paul.

I will remember in the midst of situations I can’t predict, I can trust the One who goes before me.

I can give thanks even in the unknown.


*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.

What if We Laughed at the Future?

My fear of the public stage began when I was ten years old.  It was my third piano recital, and I had practiced the piece until it was flawless.  As the expanse of faces fixed their eyes on my tiny frame while I sat in the spotlight, I moved through the first verse effortlessly. Then something happened.

hands on piano

I reached the bridge and instead of trusting my hands and letting instinct guide them, I thought about the notes that followed.  My mind went completely blank.

As I sat there for what seemed like an hour wondering what to do next, I decided on my next move.  I would play the part remembered.  The chorus.  And the next verse after that, then the ending notes.

When I remember that experience, I’m struck by how often I take the same approach toward life.  Instead of trusting my maternal nature and instincts, I worry about my children’s future.  Instead of trusting God to provide my family’s every need, I worry about whether our renter’s are going to make their payment this month.

I am constantly thinking about the days ahead, but not in a way that invokes laughter or smiles.

I skip over the grace God has provided right here in this moment, and let my mind race into the future, into the unknown, outside of the blessing He’s placed in the now.

What if instead of stressing about the days to come, I laughed at them?  The woman described in Proverbs 31 does just that.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”  (Proverbs 31:25)

This woman isn’t laughing at the future because she’s fickle or flighty or irresponsible.  In the preceding verses she is illustrated as someone who provides for her family, is generous to those in need, is loving and wise.  As I picture her laughter, I picture a woman who is resting in the preparation she has made for the days to come.

I picture a woman who is sharp enough to realize that worrying accomplishes nothing except add to her grey hairs.  She knows she serves a big God who is made small by the lines of tension beneath the eyes.


We often associate worry with wisdom, but the Bible suggests laughing at the future is a smarter choice.

Do you know what the people in the audience said to me repeatedly after that piano performance?  After I’d locked myself in a bathroom stall and cried tears of embarrassment?  They said, “Well done.  You kept going.  You handled that so well.”

Falling short is inevitable.  We will fail.  We will make mistakes.  But when we know we gave it our best shot, we can look back on those moments and laugh.  We can even look forward at the days to come with the same attitude.

We can rest in the assurance that no matter what lies in the days ahead, God will be there, waiting to catch us if we stumble.


This post was written for the Woman to Woman (#W2W) link-up over at For His Glory blog. A beautiful group of God-loving women who meet every week to encourage and inspire.  Click the button below to learn more.



*piano picture courtesy of Arts in Motion

Changed and Transformed

As I thought about the list of things I wanted to accomplish over the next few months, my body was consumed with stress.  It’s a personal demon I’ve struggled against my entire life, and often when I think I’ve rid myself of him he pounces me in a corner when I’m least expecting it.  I sat down to begin the online Bible study which started that day, and quickly realized I had not given myself enough time to get through the lesson.

How was I going to squeeze more hours into the day?  How was I going to complete the book proposal that I’d barely started?  How was I going to get my tedious, everyday, stay-at-home mom tasks done like the laundry, and dishes, and the homework?

The next day I started having heart palpitations.  My two-year-old was also knee-deep in a phase of screaming at a deafening pitch and volume when he doesn’t get what he wants. My response to my physical state was to worry more and go on and endless chase of hypothetical questions which led me to a very dark place.

One day about a week into my Bible study, when I was several days behind, my youngest slept later than usual.  I had time to soak in the words and let them penetrate deep into my soul.


When we’re in the battlefield of life, old truths can often take on fresh skin.

The truth that became new to me again was this:  He loves me.  He loves me despite the unrealistic expectations I place on myself.  He loves me so much He prayed for me when He was about to be beaten and hung on a cross to bear the weight of my sin, even though He was perfect in every way.

His love enveloped me like a warm blanket, sheltering me from the tempest I had created in my own mind.

He gave me a Helper so that I am never alone, even when I lock troubles away for fear that releasing them out into the open will make them more real.

As I read His living word, I was filled with joy.  I began praying the truths aloud over and over.  I sang worship songs aloud.  All of these things went contrary to my nature and felt strange and awkward at first.  But the more I continued, the more wonderful it felt.

One of the beautiful things about the joy of the Lord is it cannot be contained.  It spread to my husband and my kids.  We chased bubbles around the back yard and enjoyed spring while the laundry sat piled on the dryer.

My heart is now at peace.  Physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

And I know that when He says his peace “will guard (my) heart and mind in Christ Jesus” that he means it in every sense of the word. (Proverbs 3:6)


Linking up with the lovely ladies of Proverbs 31 ministries today for Blog Hop as we go through Wendy Blight’s Bible Study, “Living So That.” Find out more by clicking the button below.

P31 OBS Blog Hop