When fear consumes

I don’t watch the news. I don’t read the newspaper. My internet is not bookmarked to MSN or NPR. Go ahead, judge. Tell me I should be more educated. Or more informed of world and community events.

My TV is on DVR mode where we watch EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE. of Paw Patrol. My daily reading consists of Brown Bear Brown Bear, Lego Ninjago, and a blog post on the top ten perks of being pregnant. My computer is bookmarked to PBS Kids (and Facebook). Again, judge. Tell me I need to get a life. Tell me my life shouldn’t revolve around my children.

The truth, both judgments are probably legit. And I lied, a little. I sorta, sometimes, watch the news. Nor do I read Eric Carle every bedtime.

Last Sunday, we were driving home from my mom’s house. With my children asleep, the sound of the radio in the background and a black backdrop lit only by the lights of cars driving to and from, my mind raced. Christmas presents I need to buy… Phone calls I should make… Ways to make my son more respectful… On and on it traveled in an endless road of necessary and meaningless thought.

I looked back at my kids. I could see their silhouettes highlighted by the passing cars. So peaceful. So angelic. So perfect.

Then my mind went there. It traveled into some nightmarish cave. I thought of someone coming into my home and taking my children. Asking me whether or not I believed in Jesus and if I did they’d take my kids from me. I thought of the places I could hide. Where I could go. What if they make me choose a child? How would I do that? How could I do that?

Those fears consumed me in that passenger seat. Queasiness set in and I just wanted to throw up. It was a nightmare. Just a nightmare. A stupid hijacking of my imagination.

Again, I looked back at my sleeping beauties. Still peaceful. Still perfect. Still with me.

In that car, my world consisted of me and four other people. My reality is pretty rosy. As a parent, it is my responsibility to take care of my children. To provide for them. To love them. To guide them. My responsibility to them is what consumes me.

The world outside of my car is a very scary place. If I let it, it would consume me. Fill me with fear. With hatred. With knowledge I don’t care to possess.

That night, driving home, I grabbed my husband’s hand and I told him how incredibly thankful I am to live where I live. My channel may not be programmed to CNN, but I’m informed enough to know that there is no threat of terrorists knocking down my door to question my beliefs, take my children, or end my life. I am thankful to have an open forum. I am thankful my fear of persecution, in that form at least, is just a terrible nightmare.

I guess in it all, I have to assess what I am allowing to consume me. What, or who am I tuned into?

Romans-12-2-Message

If it is the world. I will be of this world. Cynical. Foolish. Ignorant.

If I tune into the Word of Christ. If I set my moral compass on the true teaching of Jesus, I will be (or will try to be) compassionate, wise and humble. I may be judged. I may be outcasted. But I will be free.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.

You will be changed from the inside out.

Romans 12: 1-2 Message version

 What is consuming you? How do you balance the struggle of being in this world but not of this world?

For me it is a daily struggle. Praying for us all.

XO- Erica

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