How to Stop Worrying



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Don't Worry! Smile and Be Happy!

I wonder how many hours of our lives we have wasted worrying about things that never happen?

Not too long ago I wrote an article about the spirit of fear. Shortly after I wrote it I had a very interesting conversation with an older woman I have known for a while. Even though she has always considered herself a strong Christian, fear and worry have been her middle names.

What made me stop and think was a story she told me how her granddaughter had to park in a parking garage every day. The woman went on to say that she worried herself sick each day thinking that something was going to happen to her granddaughter in that parking garage.

Years later, her granddaughter is fine and nothing ever happened to her. This woman has worried about many things like this all of her life and not one of them has ever come to pass. Do you know how much time and energy she has wasted in her life worrying about something that never even happened and the chances were that they never would?

How many of us spend all of our time worrying about things that will never happen? Think about your own life. What have you worried about in the past week, month or year that never came to pass or that, if it did happen, worked out fine? How often have you lived through it or it didn’t turn out as bad as you thought?

How often do we buy or see products advertised that are supposed to help take care of something we are worried about?

Maybe in Philippians 4:8 when it talks about thinking about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and anything that is excellent or praiseworthy, one of the things it really means is to think about these things because it will help you get rid of worrying and fearful thoughts. If you read the verses above it (Philippians 4:6) it says to be anxious about nothing and then follows with what kinds of things you should think about. Worrying thoughts are not on the list.

God gives us many commandments, all of which are designed for our own good. So often we are self righteous and proud of ourselves because we wouldn’t dream of committing adultery, murdering or stealing but how often do we fall into Satan’s trap and break what we Christians sometimes think of as the "little" or "not so important" commands of God like, "Do not be anxious," "fear not," "don’t gossip," etc?

Like the "main" commandments, He gives us these others for our own good and protection. In the same way we should give rules to our children for their own good and protection.

Worries and fears can not only destroy our lives but our families’ lives, just as murder, adultery and stealing can destroy their lives. If you think about it, worrying and fear is a form of stealing, adultery and murder. It steals good, loving and practical thoughts from our minds. It commits adultery by causing us to always think about our worries instead of God and our family. It murders because, if you worry enough, it will kill your physical body, your emotional life and your spiritual life, which will destroy your family.

Have you heard the story of the man looking down the road to see that 10 "worries" were headed toward him? He didn’t know what to do. He was so afraid but, in the end, only one of the worries actually arrived.

Don’t allow Satan to win this battle by keeping you wrapped up in your worries all the time. You and I both know worrying has never ever fixed one thing, whether it is your finances, your marriage or your kids. Get rid of your worries and fears so you can use the common sense that God has given you to deal with the one problem (like in the story) when and if it comes, because chances are it won’t even happen.

I hope you all have a worry free day!

      -Jill

 

Photo By: dvs

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Jill,

    Wonderful post! I can understand that right now many people are worrying about what the future holds. So many have extended theirselves finacially. I can see that there are many people worried about their nice have everything I want life style.

    If you tell some one they have to wait for something they look at you like you must be crazy.

    My husband and I are debt-free except our house and believe me we are working on that every month.

    We have decided not to buy anything except actual needs ( I did not say wants) We are going to ride this thing through quietly but we have no fear because we know that God is incontrol of all things.

    He knows when we need a drought and when we need rain. I believe it might be time for a drought when it comes to money. We are a very spoiled nation….

    I have already wrote too much but I hope you understand:)

    Blessings,

    A Friend

  2. Jennifer says

    THANK YOU! Today has been one of those worry days for me. My husband says I worry over nothing all the time. I have to try hard everyday to give them over to the Lord. Some people have addictions like soda or smoking, mine is worring.
    Jll,if you help no one today but me you did a great job to remind me to had it over to God. Sometimes it is just so hard to not worry (the human nature in me).
    I am going right now and give this worry to the Lord in prayer.
    Thanks for all that the both of you do. You have been a blessing to me.

  3. Jill Cooper says

    Jennifer, I am so glad it helped you today. I do hope I don’t come across as saying to stop worrying is a simple and easy thing because you hit the nail on the head when you said it can almost become like an addition.
    You are also very right and wise in saying the only way to overcome it is to take it to the Lord and drop it at His feet.

    Sometimes we need to do that more than once but there is light at the end of the tunnel because the more we make ourselves automatically pray about our worry the more it becomes a habit and what happens is before you realize it when something comes along to upset us you find yourself just praying about it instead of worrying because you have formed a new and better habit.

    I don’t know what your situation is but I do pray that it will all work out for the best for you.

    Jill

  4. marci357 says

    Thanks for this reminder!
    One I need soooo often!

    I need to remember that once I am as prepared as I can be, then to quit the worrying about it as it is a waste of my energy.

    Sometimes I just ask myself, what is the worst that can possibly happen? Then sometimes, once I picture that, it is not as bad as all the worry I was putting into it.

    Let go – Let God!

  5. Anonymous says

    Jill

    I love your post! I used to worry a lot ,but now I just say what is it going to matter a hundred years from now! I will not even be here!

    I had to let you know about the deal I found today at our local Big Lot store . Seems they had a lot of items from a Ekered { I may not have spelled it right} but any way those drug store items were 75% off! I got some great buys ! a box of enevlopes for 15cents! A pack of two bubble wrap mailers for 10 Cents{great for mailing pictures or other items} Lip gloss by cover girl for 25 cents! cans of ice defroster for your car for those winter mornings for 50 cents! I also found beautiful place mats that match my kitchen for 65 cents for 6 place mats and I got a matching tablecloth for $1.00 Just thought I would let everyone know to check their local big lots! Praise the lord!

  6. Theodora says

    Jill,

    What wonderful timing! I’ve been rather anxious about some things recently (such as an upcoming move and related financial things). Sunday afternoon after church I sat down with my Bible and a commentary, and read and pondered the portion in Matthew and Luke, where Christ tells us not to worry about food and clothes, and if we seek the Kingdom first, all these things will be given us.

    I was blessed by a trip to a friend’s getting cancelled (would have cost $200 just for gas) – my friend knew I was saving for the move and said I could come later in the year! :-) Such a relief!

    Thank you for the reminder.

  7. Victoria says

    It is very hard not to worry but I do like the idea of changing the habit from worrying to praying. I do pray a lot but sometimes worry takes over and I can’t climb out from under. My husband was just laid off and the worry and stress is all-consuming.

  8. MichelleFL says

    One of the greatest blessings I have received after renewing my relationship with Jesus Christ is the peace I received and delivery from a “worry addiction” that tormented me most of my adult life. I was constantly sick, had insomnia and my mind would just not shut down and rest from worrying. It is awesome to truly know that God is in control in all circumstances.

  9. Jack says

    If everything is going really well for you, enjoy it. It will not last, because everything passes by.

    If everything is just terrible, don’t let it destroy you. It will not last, because everything passes by.

    Each morning leave your worries outside the gate, because that is where they pick up the trash.

  10. Anonymous says

    My grand mother was like that. She would worry herself sick about things. I went ‘away’ to college, from Austin Texas to Huntsville Texas..she would send me ‘letter after letter’ with rape stories she clipped out of the Houston (where she lived) paper. She was worried that because I was going to Sam Houston State University that some convict would break out of prison and rape me. To my knowledge she was never a victim of rape. It always seemed to be on her mind. She was mugged once, I was 22 at the time, the man knocked her down and kicked her and broke her arm because she did not let go of her purse. He was never caught. She had a huge fear of it happening again. She locked herself in her house and I swear she never came out alone again. If my grandfather or another male family member could not be there with her she did not leave the house. What an awful way to live. Roxie

  11. Anonymous says

    Thank you, Jill. I am thankfully not a worrier, but when I occasionally have a big issue come up, I remind myself that worrying in basically not trusting God.

  12. Anonymous says

    My mother is a constant ‘worrier’ and I decided long ago that I did not want to be caught up in the cycle of non-productive concern. It doesn’t mean that I am not concerned or caring, but rather, when confronted with a situation that could consume my mind with worry-I give it over to the Lord and pray that His will be done. I will then find a productive way to deal with the stress, cleaning, cooking, or calling on someone who needs my encouragement. Prayer is an amazing avenue of comfort. Cynthia

  13. Margaret says

    This is a great post! I used to worry about things that I had no control over. Then, I learned I can “give my cares to Jesus” in prayer. I no longer carry my burdens alone. After all, a burden shared is a burden halved. Sharing your cares in prayer frees up your mind for more productive thoughts.
    Blessings to all!

  14. Anonymous says

    Jill,

    I have always been a bit of a worrier. However, I have continued to set my mind on the Lord, and to remind myself daily that my life is in His hands. A few weeks ago, the worst thing that could happen to a woman happened to me — I lost a child. People could not believe how calm and collected I was. It was terrible, that’s for sure, but as you mentioned, we live through things. God has a way of giving us grace in the most desparate circumstances that we otherwise would not have experienced. In our weakness, His strength is made perfect.

    My suggestion to people is to get as close as you can to God (really, He lives inside us by His Holy Spirit, but I think “closer” is something we all can understand). That way, when the worst comes, we actually can feel His presence. God Bless. Love your columns and articles. Kellie Alexander, Missouri.

  15. Jill Cooper says

    Oh, Kellie, I don’t even have words to tell how sorry I am. You are right there is no greater loss that a woman can experience than losing a child. Your sweet, sweet testimony says more than any words I could say at this moment. Just remember that if a time comes and the hurt is so bad that you feel you can’t even pray for a moment there will be others of us out here who will be praying for you so for a moment you can just rest in God’s comfort and love.
    I am sorry. Love, Jill

  16. Edie says

    There is a quote from Jan Karon’s book, Patches of Godlight, that goes something like this: “I’ve had many troubles in my life, most of which never happened.” Thank you for taking the time to keep on encouraging all of us.

  17. Jessica says

    Thank you! I have tried telling people this and they act like I am crazy. I also tell them being prepared for the future and worrying about the future are two different things.

  18. mindy says

    great post!! I love reading that chapter because you focus on the good and honorable things and its great to be “reset” when you get overwhelmed by these times-thanks for the reminder

  19. Rachel D says

    Like others, oh how I needed to be reminded of this today! I have been worrying myself sick (literally) over so many things that are going on right now. And you’re right about it being the same thing as murder, adultery, etc.

    Thank you for your encouragement!

  20. Marilyn says

    I have read that worry is “anticipatory despair” Also in the Bible didn’t Paul say that he had been up and he had been down and had learned that in all things he would be content.(Forgive my loose paraphrase, but I am sure you know the verse I am speaking of) We have to remember that all things work together for good for those that are called according to his purpose. Hard to remember sometimes. My favorite, that I tell myself often, is “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” In my case I am forever thinking of the sound mind part, with all that goes on here.

  21. Lynn says

    Fear has torment. I have been tormented for most of my life. I refuse to let it continue. When I am afraid, I will trust in God. Now I have to develop the habit of praying and thinking good thoughts. Thanks for writing this reminder.

  22. Julia says

    Great topic and one many of us need to hear about. The way I stopped worrying so much was to set aside a certain time each day to worry about everything I wanted to worry about. I set aside the time from 3:00 p.m until 3:15 p.m. This helped me to virtually stop because at 3:00 p.m. I usually didn’t remember to worry so I had to stop worrying until the next day at 3:00 p.m. I still have to do this at times, but it will work if you will do it. Worrying will destroy all the joy in your life!

    • says

      Julia this is a good tip. I tell people the same thing if they are depressed (not clinical depression of course, you need help with that). I say set aside 15 mins. to be depressed and at the end of it you have to stop.

      You are so right. It really works and most days is hard to make yourself worry or be depressed which ever the case. It actually gets funny because I have caught myself grunting trying to be upset and I can’t.

  23. says

    This is a hard thing to stop doing when you learned it well from your mother and she learned it from her mother and so on. I wonder if it is part of the genes as it seems humanly impossible to stop some of these cycles of how you think and how you are. God willing we must put forth our best effort indeed. I have been fearful of my MIL for most of my married life and would get physically ill worrying about visiting her for days and how she would treat me and how I would handle her. After the visit ended I was almost ashamed as to how things actually had turned out. Yes, there were the instances of personal insult and attack. But it no where near served the worry that I had spent days getting physically ill for. The part of most things not ever happening is very true. Trust in God and having faith in his plan for us is also true. He is all wise and our knowing Father who we were created in his image and countenance (what a blessing that is). Overcoming the natural man of worry is indeed a personal goliath we all face, especially the insessant-born worrier like myself. God bless all you brave woman out there and keep all the good advice coming this way. Amy in Utah.

    • says

      You know one thing which I have found helps be to deal with things in this area and many others is for the same amount I love God I in turn hate Satan that same amount. When I find myself doing something which is wrong I stop and think I will not let Satan have the upper hand in this or any part of my life. This doesn’t mean I don’t trip up or fall but it does help put things in true perspective – at the times I do these things Satan is controlling me and it makes me mad to think he is laughing at me and thinks it is funny he has made another of God’s children trip up. Really gets my dander up.

  24. Katelynne says

    Jill,
    Thank you for writing about fear and worry. I never thought of it in the light of stealing, adultery, and murder. Like so much of your writing I have been encouraged to continue in my true hearts desire. You have many, many times given me the knowledge to grow towards my goal. May our awesome God bless you mightily!

  25. Julia says

    God helps us in all things and will help us in this as he does command us not to fear! Prayer is the answer, but sometimes we need tips that must come from Him to help us get out of the worrying habit.

  26. Kelly says

    Great article and a good reminder. I often catch myself worrying and not being able to “let go”–especially when it comes to my children. Recently I was praying about my son because I was worried about him and realized that my hands were clenched–like I was holding tight on to him and my worries. I realized I needed to open my hands physically so that I could let go of my fear spiritually. It was harder than you might think! By the time I was done praying, my hands were relaxed and more open. I was really trying to let God handle the situation instead of thinking I needed to do it. The next day I asked forgiveness for not trusting God to take care of my kid. God loves him even more than I do–he will not leave or forsake him!

  27. Jeannette says

    Thanks for the great reminder! I think fighting the temptation to worry is one of the hardest spiritual battles. One “weapon” I found to be helpful in fighting that battle is gratitude and thanksgiving. As I begin thanking God, I remember how He has been faithful in the past and all the ways He is providing for me now. The worries then are washed away in the praises.

  28. Sandy Schultz says

    Jill – I can’t thank you enough for writing this, and publishing it TODAY. I really needed to hear these words and your wonderful way of explaining it. Thank you for the Bible reference, too. That just confirms your words all the more.

    Again, thank you. You have helped me more today than you will ever know.

  29. Alicia Webster says

    I agree with everything that you wrote, but I find myself absolutely stuck in worry mode. It is so strange to me, because I was never like that before I had kids. Before the age of 36 (when I had my first child), I took many risks in life, more than most people I think, and I was very confident that I could handle anything thrown my way. Now I have a 5 yr old, a 4 yr old, and a 3 yr old, and I worry constantly that harm will come to them. I think that whereas before I had nothing to lose, now I feel like I have everything to lose. I know that I can take care of myself, and my husband is very self-reliant as well, but this world seems so unsafe for children and so hostile to the idea of them being innocent. I think that the reason that my husband doesn’t worry as much as I do, is because he has always been a nicer person than I am. I worry about divine retribution for unkind things that I said or did in my life. “Sins of the father will be visited upon their sons and their son’s sons…” or something like that. And the really hard part for me is that I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying, even after the kids grow up. I’ll worry that I can’t protect them when they are away from me, even when they are married with their own kids! I even worry that if I refuse to give the devil the upper hand, and I stop worrying, that I’ll be guilty of pride and conceit and then I’ll REALLY get my comeuppance. As you can see, I have issues :) I really admire people like Michelle Duggar because not only does she have all those children, but she seems perfectly able to release her worries to GOD and then live her life in joy–I wish that I could do that too.

    • says

      Alicia I don’t usually do this but you might like to watch our pastor which we post each Sunday so people can watch his live service. He talks about all the things you mentioned all the time and how to deal with it.

      We sometimes get the idea that God is a mean hard fisted father who is waiting to punish and discipline us all the time. Once I realized how much He loved me my whole world changed. You said how much you love your kids and want to protect them and see that no harm comes to them well do you know God loves you just like that. The same way you love your children. Are you standing at their bedroom door waiting for them to do something wrong so you can do something to punish and hurt them? Of course not. You spend your time trying to show them how to do things and if your 3 year old makes a mistake you patiently show him how to do it again and again if need be how to do it.

      Can you imagine, God loves us more even then you do your kids. He gives us some commandments or rules not so that He can make sure we toe the line but to protect us in the same way you worry and want to protect your kids. You have told them not to run out into the street after a ball or anything. Why? Because they could get hurt.

      In the same way He tells us to forgive ourselves (or other commandments) because He knows how unforgiveness can cause angry, guilt, fear and many other awful emotions that will rob us of joy and peace and all the things you desire. In the same way we can see what is best for our children He sees what is best for us.

      None of us are perfect no matter what things look like on the outside but thank goodness we don’t have to be because what we believe as Christians is Christ died for all our sins, the ones in the past, now and the ones we will do in the future. They are all covered up and there is no way God will strike you down or want to pay you back because He can’t even see them because Christ has covered them all with His death.

      What we don’t always realize is the bad things which happen to us are not God wanting to punish us but the results of our own rebellion and doing what feels good to us anyway.

      For example you tell your 3 year old not to run on that concrete because you will fall and hurt yourself. They don’t listen and do it anyway so what happens they fail. First what happened wasn’t your (the mom’s) fault but the child’s disobedience and second you don’t beating him with a belt while he is laying there hurt but you go, pick him up and in spite of him disobeying you lovingly put a bandaid on his hurt. You may gently admonish him but you aren’t going to strike him down. How can we even think God is less loving with us.

      You might check out Pastor Bob next Sunday he will certainly change the way you look at the Lord.

  30. Anne says

    Thank you for being true to your faith. Especially in today’s world, so many compromise their faith for “fear” of offending someone else.

    May our Lord bless you mightily!!

  31. Roxie says

    I always thought my grandmother was NUTS. The woman’s middle name should have been worry. She used to read the Houston paper and cut every article about rape out to send it to me to warn me. She lived in fear I would get raped while in college. When we had our talks she always warned me about men, men trying to take advantage of me, men loving and leaving me. I used to listen to her. I loved her more than I can say. She was the kindest person I ever met. Yet, I never ever thought to ask her WHY she had such fear for me. I was never a rape victim. No man took advantage of me…
    Yet, I think there is a “worry” gene in our family. Now MY middle name is worry. Only not about rape. My worry is for a son that shows no signs of growing up at the age of 34. I do take my worry to the Lord. I am sure He is tired of hearing my pleas.
    Thank you for your ideas. I will keep taking this worry to the Lord. I do have faith that somehow, some way, the Lord can make good come from all of this mess.
    I am just a stress mess to be honest. Just over 3 weeks ago my son tried to kill himself. He jumped from a moving car and was almost killed. He spent almost 2 weeks in ICU then he went to a mental hospital. He was there just a few days and they had to release him. I know full blown FEAR. It grips my heart when the phone rings. It makes me sick to my stomach. I have got to let it go and KNOW that I KNOW God can take care of it.
    Thank you. Roxie

  32. Wanda says

    I find that early morning and nighttime present me with the most opportunities for worrying. Even though I learned years ago that worrying is not productive, it still presents a challenge. Most things I worry about never happen. Difficulties I never dreamed of have happened. Worrying robs me of many things, as you mentioned in your article.

    When I wake up in the morning, I know I need to get up and get busy, thus occupying my mind so I don’t worry so much. If I stay in bed, my mind quickly finds things to fret about. At night, if I can’t get right to sleep, I read or watch a quiet movie or listen to quiet music to distract me so I don’t worry. No news, though. It’s too negative. I can usually fall asleep more quickly with something on in the background.

    Thank you for these reminders. I used to believe that worrying helped prepare me for whatever might come. Now I know it just sucks the energy from me and limits my capabilities to cope with life’s challenges.

  33. Debbie says

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! The Lord has been wonderful this week! We are supposed to be closing on a house, that we are trying to buy, on Wed.. So far it doesn’t look promising as there are issues with the title company. But God has brought me something from His word everyday since Sat. on this. And today your message was just so encouraging to me too! Thank you and may the Lord continue to bless you!

  34. Agnes says

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful piece of wisdom today. I am working hard to lock it in my heart and keep it there.

  35. says

    One, little thing I learned to do when fighting intense, almost debilitating fear, was to speak scripture verses about God’s care, loving kindness, protection, love, etc. out loud. When we are talking out loud (sometimes I had to get really loud)we can’t think about worrying or being fearful. Here’s a little example: start thinking a thought then try counting to ten out loud while continuing to think that thought. See? Can’t do it. It’s a simple little thing but has helped me immensely. Psalm 91 and 27 were some of the most frequently used verses. Also Isaiah 54:17 and Luke 10:19 and….and….and…God is So Good!

  36. Alicia Webster says

    Thanks Jill, I will definitely check out Pastor Bob this Sunday…We haven’t had cable in years, so I hope the link works for me–I’m sure it will.(you see, I am worrying about the link not working–I told you I worry too much :). I used to watch Joel Osteen when we had cable and he really made me feel better too…Ironically enough, one of his catch phrases was “faith not fear”, which my husband says to me all the time…maybe my problem is not worrying, it’s a failure to listen!
    Thanks for your kind words–

    • says

      Alicia, Pastor Bob is on the internet and not cable so you should be able to get him. If you don’t want to wait until Sunday you can watch any of his sermons any time. Sunday is just when they have the live services. When I watch the already taped services I just fast forward through the the music and to get to the message if you want. Here is the link if you want to watch sooner Calvary Chapel You can also type in a subject like worry, fear and it will give you a list of sermons on those subjects. It’s real easy. I like to say Pastor Bob is comforting, eye opening and much more.

  37. Rachel says

    I once had a friend who was raising three children with no financial help from their father. She was trying to go to college and sometimes work three jobs just to get by. Once she said to me, “Worry never paid a bill I ever had.” There is a lot of wisdom in that statement. And I think it also calls us to action. She knew there would not be money coming from any other source, so she had to make the living. Worry and regret would not get the job done. I tend to be a take action person too. That really helps with worry, because you are doing something. Of course, there are some situations that no action will help. We really do have to give all things to God.

  38. Kathy Conto says

    Just want to let you know that you have really been sharing some very worthwhile topics. I have enjoyed them and plan on sharing them with my homeschool group. God Bless I am
    A person who does very little worrying because I put it into God’s hands. When I was younger I worried alot but now that (let’s just say over 50) I have learned that God is in control and all the worrying in the world is not going to change anything. At my age you have to use your time for much better things than worry.

  39. Lee says

    Great advice. When worried about a future possibility I just try to picture that it happens and work out how I will deal with it. Takes all the pressure off.

  40. Penny Williams says

    Thank you soooo much for this reminder! Phil 4:6 is my ‘motto’ — we’ve been through a lot of trials, and prayer works… worry doesn’t. Worry eats at you from the inside, much like Satan wants it to. Prayer fills you with God’s love, hope, and peace.. aaah, what a feeling! Another thing I tell myself is: ‘God’s in charge’ (not me) and by the way, if you put your worries/problems at the foot of the cross, leave them there. Don’t keep picking them back up because He’s not working fast enough for you. I’ve learned that the hard way. Thanks for all you posts!

  41. Theresa says

    Worry has stolen many hours from me as well as my health at times. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this – what you said is something we all know but need to be reminded of.

  42. luna says

    My mother has ALWAYS been a worrier always thinks the worst ;It is hard for me to be opposite. She is very religious but I wonder if she understands

  43. Lesley says

    I am a senior and have been a chronic worrier all my life. Now my husband is not well and times are even tougher, and I am beginning to have health problems from the ongoing anxiety.
    I was so happy to see the article “Don’t Worry”… and the reminder that it is in fact a sin to worry and not trust in God. I am going to try harder to trust that God will look after the necessities for us….He always has, and pray for more faith. Thank you for the timely reminder.

  44. Debi says

    The whole fourth chapter of Phillipians is absolutly awsome. If we would purpose in our hearts to live be those verses, not only would we personally be better off, but so would those around us.

  45. Karen Bower says

    As I’m getting older, I realize that I’ve used worrying as a preventative measure. My dad used to say to me that the things we worry most about never happen. Yes, I worried even as a child. So. . . . I think I’ve used worrying to keep things from occurring. It certainly doesn’t work all the time but I know that nothing happens as I imagine that it might. Yes, I do have faith that God will see me through tough times.

  46. says

    Hello Jill and Tawra. I first found your invaluable website a year ago – when the banks foreclosed on our business – it was a terrible shocking awful catastrophic time but a year later we are still here. I know that eventually we will lose our home – one we have worked for for the past 42 years of our marriage – but we are coming to terms with this – eventually. The only thing is to thing to the FUTURE and never look BACK and think how things might have turned out. We were NEVER profligate, cheated anyone in our lives, did any dirty deals, it just happened in the financial crunch that affected you in the USA and us in England. Thanks to your wonderful Living on a Dime site – and the immeasurable sensible advice you give I have managed to get through a shocking year – and know in my heart more bad things for us are to come – but there is no going back and I believe you have to be positive at all times – hard and heart breaking I know how this is. I am nearly 62 (!) and have just been offered another job in my local hospital. To all people reading this I would just say – keep a strong heart. Last Christmas I was offered 4 weeks work in a busy hospital department (typing Clinics) and although some may have thought it was a real “come down” after all my years of secetarial/PA experience (47!) and running my own business – I was “reduced” to temping on an office. Well, I stayed the 4 weeks and was offered more work until now – 8 months of working there later I have been offered a really good job with a Consultant! I am very pleased – though anxious about taking all this responsibility on “at my age” – but I WILL do it. So please never think any offer of work/help is not worthwhile – it is. It is not where you start… it’s where you end up that matters. By continuing to live frugally and taking your wonderful advice my husband and I have managed to save a considerable amount of money – more than we ever had when we run our £2m business!! Living frugally has always been with me as I married very young and had 3 children very quickly thereafter. It is not rocket science as they say – it is just being sensible and careful. Why work many hours a week just to waste it buying “treats” we don’t really need – we are all guilty of that at some time I suppose! I have cut our spending down to bare minimum and when I think of what we have saved it has all been worthwile and I would kindly and honestly send best wishes and hope to everyone out there who is struggling in these hard financial times to make ends me – a lot of it depends on your mental attitude. If we have “I deserve better” attitude all the time and refuse to spend sensibly – then things will only get worse. I have cut down SO much and when I went through my house – and saw I had (I am very ashamed to say this….) 80+ odd towels, 30+ teatowels, etc. and more shampoo and soaps in my bathroom than would stock a small shop!! I realised how MUCH I had needlessly been spending – it was just because I had the money at the time – with NO thought for the future. Now that I have to work until at least I am 65 (I started at 14) I make sure I save as much as I can for my much older age when I worry what will happen to us. I would add that my husband found a good job too – at 64 – so there IS work if you want it. It might not be the job you want – but it is work. There is ALWAYS a solution to ANY problem – it might not be the one you want – but there is an answer to everything – just think about it. My only sadness is that I have very wealthy friends who are all coming up to retirement and when they tell me of all the cruises they are planning – all their holidays to exotic places – how they are re-modelling their houses I would be less than honest and human to say I feel sad that I will never be able to do these things. I always put on a happy face and NEVER let people (even my three sons and their partners) know how sad and crushed I have felt and sometimes continue to feel. It is a good act for others – but at times I confess I do have to nurse a broken heart for everything that we have lost and can’t do in the future. BUT we are alive and healthy and thankful for that. I am not ever saying facing financial hardship/ruin is easy – it simply is not – but having a Positive Mental Attitude is a great help – it is no good wallowing in sadness – it doesn’t get you anywhere – so please take heart anyone who is struggling and sad and facing an uncertain future – we will get through this. Sorry to go on so long – but I am so grateful to be able to be in contact with you and your invaluable website. I so enjoy reading every single article as it comes by email – don’t know where I’d be without you. Keep up the good work and stay hopeful and switched on to frugal living. Best wishes from England!

    • says

      Jenny what an uplifting and encouraging post especially because I know how tough the situation is that you are in now. You do have a super good attitude and you showed exactly what I sometimes have a hard time explaining and that is even though you need to and can have a good attitude that doesn’t mean that you don’t have other emotions like being sad or discouraged sometimes. I loved how you showed all sides of being in your situation.
      Can’t thank you enough for the great post. You made my morning.

  47. barb~ says

    Yes, Jenny, thank you for your wonderful post! I am living through something similar at this time. About 95% of the time I cope with the losses and setbacks pretty well-not perfectly, but, I’m still standing and moving forward! The 5% of the time when I feel weak and struggle to maintain my positive focus God ALWAYS sends a messenger of hope when I need it most. Jill and Tawra continue to bless and enrich my life daily. Your wonderful story of hope and survival as been especially meaningful to me today.

    Many blessings to all!

  48. says

    I have finally set every thought captive to Christ. I have had worry most of my life because of an unstable home life and I have found that most things that we worry about do not happen, but some do. Even when they do , God will see you through…It’s not easy but trust and obey.

  49. Anne says

    This post os most timely. Only last night I was awake for 2 hours worrying about things that have happened and upcoming events. It seems as though the middle of the night seems to be the time when all problems comes and settles on my mind enough to wake me and keep me awake for hours.

    I know the scripture (Philippians 4:6) says to be anxious about nothing, and this is very hard for me. I am trying to learn to “take every thought under control” but right now my heart is heavy with events in my home.

    Thank you for your encouragement. I appreciate your website.

    • says

      Anne I know what you mean. Night is especially hard. When you have problems then add to it the exhaustion come evening we can become very weak physically, spiritually and mentally. Thank goodness the Bible says God understands our weakness. What helps me when I feel a “spell” coming on at night I get up and tell God “I am to exhausted and confused to control my thoughts. I want to but can’t. I want to praise you but I am too tired to find the words or to pray so I am putting on this praise music to let you know this is what I believe and feel even if my emotions don’t allow me to right now.” I then start playing my praise music, sitting there not moving or doing anything with my eyes closed. Sometimes in 15 mins. I feel better. Sometimes it can take a couple of hours. But the funny thing is the nights I am awake for 2-3 hours listening to praise music and get up in the morning, I wake up refreshed more so then if I had tossed and turned all night. My problems aren’t gone but I have more peace and don’t have that hung over heavy feeling.

      Do you know that the angels are in heaven standing around God all excited and waiting to see how we are going to react when problems come our way. I just can see them in my minds eye standing poised ready to shout with joy and dance when something hits me between the eyes and weighs me down and I say it hurts so bad but I know your are still my God and in control. Can you just see the angels rejoicing when you say that. Compared to their disappointment when we just give up have a pity party or not have faith. Even more so what God is thinking. I know how bad it hurts me when my kids don’t trust me or won’t let me comfort them so I can just imagine what God must feel when we do the same to Him.

      I really think at times we are harder on ourselves then God is. He didn’t say we wouldn’t have problems or that our hearts wouldn’t be heavy but He did say don’t be afraid, I know how hard it is and I am there with you but He can’t help us carry our burden until we are willing to stop holding on to it so tight and let Him have it to carry. He is a gentleman and won’t grab it from us.

  50. Bea says

    Jill, It’s funny you should mention Angels because I was just reading about them last night. Since I’m Catholic we sometimes believe things other Christians don’t, but the book I was reading was about a Catholic woman who had Angels appear and speak to her. She was a mystic and they told her about how much our Guardian Angel loves us and helps us, and also how, if when we pray and ask the Angels to pray with us, they will. She was able to listen to their beautiful voices praying with her and how comforting it was. Heaven loves us and is always with us.

  51. Michele says

    Thank you Jill. I needed to read this. The past weekend, instead of enjoying my time with my husband and two sons, we spent the time worrying about money (my husband and I). Thank you for perspective and reminding me that God will take care of our problems if we let him.

  52. Anne says

    Jill, thank you for your wisdom and insight. I never thought of praise music, this is a wonderful idea. In my quiet time last week, God told me that I must surrender everything to Him. This is hard, but I know something I must do.

    I appreciate you and your encouragement.

    Thank you!!

  53. Mary Jane says

    As someone who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and chronic depression, I knew that my lifelong torment had to quit. I am also a Christian since my teens. My childhood was such that anxiety is not an unexpected result in my life. I have been feeling much better for a few years now, but it has only come from turning to God, getting into His word to get to know Him and His promises, and during times of real worry, to make a serious effort to recount God’s track record of faithfulness to me. Literally, I make a real or mental list of previous answers to prayer, and times when God came through for me. I tell myself, “If He has done so much good for me personally, He will see me through whatever might be ahead.” I also had to take responsibility to do what I could for myself, that would help alleviate anxiety. Specifically, for me, I had to pay attention to the quality of food I was eating, and portion control. As I have gotten older, caffeine and sugar play more havoc with my system than they used to. Exercise was a big issue, as was going to bed at regular times. I had to learn when to say “No” graciously when my energy and emotional resources were running low, and risk being unpopular. I recognize that my fears and worries are most likely to crop up when I am exhausted or sick, so when I feel anxious, I tell myself that after I am rested or well, I will reconsider my problem, and see if it isn’t better by then. Also, I have to be a grown up and do appropriate research and get help for things that I really do need to deal with, and often they are not nearly as dreadful as I imagined them to be. A phone call for information, a doctor’s visit, a price estimate, etc. all go better if a person just does a little research with courtesy and yes, honesty. I am not afraid to say to someone, “I don’t know what this means, or who I should talk to, but could you help me?” I also limit what I watch on the news, what I read, and what kind of conversation I hang around for. Constant complaint and negativity wear you down. My Pastor always says (when people ask prayer for an unspoken request) “Of course I’ll pray for you, but my imagination is often more lively than true reality.” So it is with worry and fatigue. Thank you for this post.

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