There’s a saying going around that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible. I haven’t counted so I can’t verify the truth of that statement, but I do know it’s in there enough to qualify as the most repeated command in the Good Book. Oh, and yes, “fear not” is a command.
It seems God has built into my body a stress detection system. When fear, worries and pressures start getting to me, the muscles in my lower neck and upper shoulders tighten up into a snarl of strained sinew. I call it my “Fear Knot” and it’s my own personal alarm telling me it’s time to step back and do these things:
1. Breath. Up until recently, I wasn’t aware that I haven’t been breathing correctly. Shallow breaths let in the bare minimum of oxygen, causing my cells to practically suffocate. So I’m learning to take deep, belly breaths — just like my vocal music professor instructed me years ago. Singing requires good, cleansing breath — so does living. I knew that — I just forgot.
2. Sit up straight. Confession time: I’m a sloucher. It’s a bad habit. Shoulders back, chin up, ten-hut.
3. Enlist PB to give me a rub down. I sit on the floor in front of him and he works my shoulders like a pro. I have to join him in watching “Duck Dynasty” but that’s even worth it. He tends to like the idea of me sitting at his feet anyway.
4. Take a walk at the lake. Being out in nature reminds me there is a world beyond my office. And a magnificent one, at that. (A kayak ride around the lake with friends is even better!)
5. Pray. I pull out my go-to list of stress-busting Bible verses. I say them out loud in order to get my mind to listen to my heart.
Where do your “fear knots” tend to show up? How do you loosen the ligaments, tame the tendons, and stomp out the stress?
I love the ones you entered for fear,( or stress). I find that talking to a good friend helps too. Also petting and spending time with the pet, cat or dog.
p.s. ( thanks Cindy for suggesting the kayak trip around Devil’s Lake. It was awesome).
I’ve been thinking a lot about all your thoughts on fear–hard to know which one I fear the most–maybe mine is not always writing the right way and not making sense and everybody will laugh–or saying the wrong things and hurting some ones feelings–or losing a loved one before there ripe old age–or wondering if a church can survive with out youth–or worry how the next adoption will go–or will our business survive because we are getting old–will God approve of what I am doing–I could go on a little longer but I have decided to climb in my fathers arms and let him take my fears and let me rest—-(and it’s ok to sigh a lot–it’s somewhere in the bible–I think it’s some where in Isaiah.)
I will say one more thing–Dinah–you through your writings always seem to hit a home run–they have touched home plate many a times–don’t stop–keep on swinging.