Worry...the thief of joy

"I've always prided myself on the joy and light heartedness that I naturally carry with me, however the past few weeks have seemed to just straight up steal that away from me. Through many different instances I became worried, annoyed, sad, and felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, I've felt a mass amount of stress physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I've broken down a few times, frustrated at the fact of how much I felt like I was carrying on my shoulders.
I think it's so culturally "okay" to be worried, it's masked as "caring a lot", but the truth is, worry is considered a sin just as much as jealousy, envy, gossip, etc. Worry eats away at us, it puts stress on us and on our relationships, cause essentially, if it's about a person, we're taking the responsibility of that person on our shoulders, when that responsibility shouldn't be on anyone's shoulders but their own and God's. It really makes you become someone you don't want to be..internally and sometimes externally..and that's definitely what it's done to me the past few weeks.
I got to the point this morning where I was over it with feeling this way, I sat down and journaled it out, I decided to give all the stress, all the worry, all the cares over to Jesus, cause after all, that's super biblical, isn't it? ;) & it shouldn't have surprised me, but it did, that all that stress began to melt away. The truth is, the worries and cares don't become mine until I make them my responsibility, but just as quickly as I began to carry that stress, I can just as quickly let it go! I chose and am choosing to release it to the best, most trustworthy and caring person out there, who I know will take it from me and give peace in return. It's when I take my eyes off of Jesus that I make the decision to carry the stress and weight of life on my own shoulders. It's really essentially a trust and pride issue. Cause in my mind, for some stupid reason, I think I can handle life on my own, and I 100% totally cannot.
Today was just a beautiful reminder to trust, to let go, to not take responsibility that is not mine to carry, and to continue to be a person full of joy, no matter what the circumstances. I'm so much more at peace now than I've been over the past few weeks, and that is a beautiful place to be!"

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety (cares/stress/frustrations) on him because he cares for you."

Like this blog post? Check out more of Natalie Hochstatter's writing at www.bynataliejoy.wordpress.com

Your Plan To Impact The Future

Have you ever looked at people and wondered ‘What will be their impact on this earth?’ ‘Will anyone know that they were here?’ What is the significance of each of these people?  I have often wondered this.

I know that they are loved by God and they are eternally significant to Him. But He is omniscient (all-knowing) and He is omnipresent(present everywhere). But if we want our lives to really matter to more than just the infinitely loving heart of God then we need to think long term. We need to think about our legacy. What are you sending into the future? 100 years from now will anyone even know or care that you ever lived?

Recently I made a decision about what I want to have on my tombstone: I want it to say ‘Joseph Barlow 1962-20??’ and that's it because if they don't know me from some other way then it is not going to do them any good to know that my body is laying there. I want my life to be significant. I want it to matter. 100 years from now I want my impact on this earth to continue.

Do you?

Think about your legacy.

Think about what you are sending into the future.

The best way to send something into the future is to give it to someone who will be there. My children will outlive me. Hopefully by many, many years. Their children will outlive them by many, many years. So I want to pour into my children things that are worth keeping and things that are worth passing on to their children.

But what about people who don't have any children? I would say that we all have children! And you would probably say ‘Joe, you are crazy!’ But I'm not crazy, if you think about it in this way: Children are the ones that you have helped to raise. Children are the ones that you have put something into to carry on into the future. Children are the messengers from the present to the future. And if you share things with people and they carry them forward into the future and they deliver them to someone else, then I can tell you this my friend, your life is significant. Whether you have natural children or not. It does not matter. What matters is, are you putting anything into anyone else?

That is what legacy is all about.

Written by: Joseph Barlow