I love to be busy and this summer I’m not. I’m not writing a book, leading a conference or shooting a video—all things I’ve enjoyed doing this past year. On top of all that, I’m practically an empty nester. After having a household of seven children just a few years ago, I’m down to one child at home, my 17-year-old son Hunter.
All this free time makes me a little anxious. Not having deadlines and the pressure to produce leaves me nervous. It sounds crazy, but without a daily list of things-to-do, I’m out of sorts.
The more I think about it, I realize I depend on accomplishment to feel good about myself. When I don’t have tangible results to show for my day, I’m more likely to feel down and tense. I looked up anxiety in an online Bible concordance, and found the apostle Paul’s beautiful words about it in the book of Philippians.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Prayer. Most of my prayers are breathed heavenward while I’m jogging. But since my stress seems to increase when I’m not busy and active, I feel drawn to try stillness. Every morning I’m taking some time to be still. I pull a chair on my back porch into the sunshine, sit, close my eyes, breath deeply and enjoy the warmth. I hear bird chirps, and feel life in me and all around me. After several deep breaths, I describe how I’m feeling to God and listen.
Meditation and prayer are time-honored spiritual practices for finding direction and peace. The Psalms say, “Be still and know that I am God.” It’s my hope that slowing down each morning will help me to relax and love myself as a child of God even when I don’t have a million things to accomplish.
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Theresa is a former model and nationally certified fitness professional who teaches people to use their faith to inspire fitness and their fitness to strengthen their faith. She is the author of Shaped by Faith: 10 Secrets to Strengthening your Body & Soul, and two exercise DVDS: Pilates for the Soul
She and her husband, Robin, have seven children and live in Calhoun, Kentucky.
You can email her with any questions or concerns.