About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as the former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host for ten years. Renee is a mom of three Joshua (25), Andrew (22) and...

Related Resources & Gifts
Find more at DaySpring.com
Related
Resources
& Gifts
Find more at
DaySpring.com
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I must have the same kind of brain-wiring that you have, because given a spare moment or a pause in activity, my brain goes right to that rocking chair! I had been meaning to read A Praying Life by Paul Miller for ages, and finally picked it up this year. Imagine my surprise when I read this:
    “Instead of trying to suppress anxiety – to manage it or smother it with pleasure – we can turn our anxiety toward God. When we do that, we find that we have slipped into continuous praying.”
    That slippage is the only way I know of to turn worry into something productive.

    • I love that Michele!! Instead of trying to suppress, manage or smother our anxiety we can take it to God and slip into continuous praying!! And isn’t that just what Paul is telling us to do too?

      Let’s keep talking to God about all of it. 🙂

  2. Such a useful post. It’s clear and sounds easy but needed the reminder! Stop worrying. Pray. Thank God. We forget we are in the hands of the most powerful, benevolent, wonderful, the only God our creator – we therefore have nothing to worry about but in this crazy world we need to remember this is the case. It’s so easy to get caught up and swept away by life….

    • Yes it is, Jas. My prayer is that God will help me recognize that I’ve slipped into worry and turn toward Him sooner, in a posture of surrender and trust. Handing over all my thoughts and concerns to the One who offers to carry them and me, too.

  3. Renee,
    A friend of mine once lovingly told me, “You know, Bev, you think way too much.” Not only am I a deep thinker, but I’m a wide thinker (one who tries to think of a million things at once). This is not good or healthy. I love the verse you quoted and I so wish that shifting gears from “worrying” to “praying” was easy. It makes me think of when I learned to drive a stick-shift car. Shifting gears was HARD. I stalled out countless times. It was only with practice did I get the hang of when I needed to shift from one gear into the next. I think our minds are kind of like that….the more I practice shifting from worry to prayer the easier and more natural it will get. Someone once told me to “practice with the small stuff” so that when the really big worries come along you’ll be ready. Thanks for a much needed reminder to get out of my rocking chair going nowhere.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, I absolutely love your analogy of shifting gears when you are learning to drive a stick-shift. It is hard!! Only practice makes it come naturally, eventually. As I read your words, God reminded me of my struggle learning as a 16 year old and how going up hill was the worst. Praying up hill is the hardest but if I practice on a smoother surface, I”ll get the feel of it for the times when life is more of an uphill battle. Thank you so much for sharing your insights. 🙂

  4. Exactly what I needed to read this morning. As a new school year looms, and I put on our calendar for the fall all the scheduled activities for the kids, I am worrying…. How will I get everyone to where they are going when I am working? How can I continue to get healthy meals ready? How will one of my children deal with school (and life) when I’ve learned he has issues with executive functioning? I am always apprehensive with the change of a new season, but I need to get off the rocking chair, start asking God for what I need, and trust Him! I can do all things through Him who gives me strength!

    • Oh Kristen, I so understand. Im with you, asking God to help me with all the things of being a working mom. And, I have a 3rd grader with significant learning disabilities (working memory, focus, executive functioning). So hard. Praying for you and your kiddos today!

      Ps. I have some things Im doing to help my girl, and to help me balance it all that I’d love to share with you. But I don’t like sharing advice that’s not asked for :). However, if you’d like to know what is working for us (Im not selling anything, I promise) email connect@reneeswope.com and my assistant will make sure it gets to me. 🙂

  5. Boy did I really need this this morning. God is so so good to speak!! My husband lost his job yesterday and all I have done since is worry…worry about the bills, worry about the kids, worry about him finding another job, worry about his mental state etc etc etc. I couldn’t even sleep last night because I kept waking up thinking about it. I am so good to speak that I know God’s hand is in all of this because I know He is but why can’t I tell my brain that. Thank you for speaking truth to me this morning just when I needed it!

    • Jesus, you see the path and the future you have for Julie and her husband. You saw this coming but they didn’t. You have gone before them and YOU will carry them through this valley of loss, shock, sadness, concern and trust. I pray that You would remind Julie it’s okay to be concerned. It’s okay to be disappointed and feel a huge range of emotions. We see through the Psalms the honesty of King David as he struggled and questioned everything. And we see that as he poured out his heart to you, his eyes lifted up. He was reminded of Who You are and how good You are at being God. Help Julie to coach her thoughts with the pattern of prayer Paul’s teaches us, and the example of authentic conversational prayer King David demonstrates for us. Turn her and her husband’s concerns into deeper intimate communion with you, and Lord take what Satan wants to use for bad and turn it into good. Provide and protect in ways that could only be YOU so that they will know and trust You more than ever before as they walk through this together. In Jesus’ name amen.

    • Julie,

      God – you know the plans you have for Julie & her family. Plans to prosper them & not to harm. Plans to give them a hope & a future. Send Julie some peace that you are & will always be with them in the midst of this valley. Help her to see you working on their behalf. Send a Whisper of Rest to Julie reminding her that all will be fine just trust in you wholeheartedly. Help Julie to do breath prayers & stop worrying but send those anxious thoughts to you as prayers. Shower them with grace & hope. Show them that you have better plans than they could ever imagine. Calm their anxious minds & help them defeat Satan & glorify you in the process.

      (((((Hugs)))))

  6. Worry, seems to be my constant until I fill my thots with Prayer and thankfulness…I seem to be on a see saw. I think this verse needs to be written on a plaque by my desk, memorized again and again!

  7. We as women are wired to worry I believe. It is not always a bad idea right? I mean if we don’t worry, who will worry for us, with us?? And that is where I got it wrong for so long. Our wonderful Savior always will provide everything we need. We just need to invite Him in and tell Him of all our worries, hopes, dreams. Thank you Lord for showing us your unconditional love even when we are so consumed with the worries of this life. Thank you for sharing this needed message to remind us to let our minds to rest and bring it to You Lord.

    • Maylee, girl we got it wrong together. I used to believe if I didn’t worry about something, then God would forget to do something about it. Like it was up to me to keep “it” on His radar screen since He had so much on His mind.

      Oh my. So glad He’s taught me how aware HE IS of all my concerns – even when I forget to talk to Him. He invites me to come to Him for my heart’s sake not His. He tells me to unload the heavy weight of burdens by talking through them all with Him, because I can trust Him to be God and be good at it too. Bless our hearts, we’re learning. Praying for all of us to find a resting place in Jesus today.

  8. Thank you Renee for this great devotional. God led me to read this this morning and it is just what I needed to hear. I can so relate to the rocking chair thinking. I am going through some medical issues right now, and know that only the Lord has the answers I am searching for. Wasn’t seeing my overthinking of the problem as worry, but that is exactly what it is! Peace be still, the Father loves us!
    Blessings!
    Joyce K

    • Thank you Jesus for leading Joyce to read today’s post and find YOU here, whispering to her heart that You’ve got her. You’ve got all the answers and peace her heart needs. You are so good, so caring, so kind. I pray that You will guide her steps and lead her to the resources she needs for her health issues. Help her to know the balance of seeking wisdom vs. falling into worry. Help her to talk with you through this whole process instead of talking to all the worries in her mind. In Jesus name, amen.

      Praying for you and trusting He will lead you each step of the way, Joyce!!

  9. Thank you for this wonderful post. I absorbed every word. I know God is holding me and helping me to break this chain of worry. Thank you Renee.

  10. This is exactly what I needed today. I feel very not in control about an ongoing struggle and it wears me down and fills me with anxiety and uneasiness. I thought I was trusting God in this but I can see that I’ve given Him just enough to look like I’ve put it in His hands but not fully. Thank you for blessing me today!

    • You are so welcome Tanya! Im so glad today’s post encouraged your heart and helped you see where worry is sneaking in and taking away the peace God wants to give you. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard when an ongoing situation (that we can’t control) steals our focus. I’d love to pray for you:

      >> Lord, you know what Tanya is walking through and you see the toll it’s taking on her. You led me to write about this and You led her to read it. I pray You would show her in a very tangible way how to trust You with it – today, and tomorrow and the next day, and the next. Remind her of your grace and patience, your constant love no matter what. Help her to trust that YOU are a sovereign God in this situation and only You can handle the weight of carrying it. Give her to courage to let you. In Jesus name amen.

  11. Renee,

    My husband is more the worrier than I am. He tends to not sleep well concerning himself with much. Years ago he was concerned he would lose his job. I simply told him that God has taken care of you lo these many years. Never once were you without a job. simply trust God & pray about it. God has always taken care of my needs no matter the situation. I simply & fully trust Him with everything. Oh I may have anxious thoughts & concerns. Those I turn over to God in prayers. Women have a lot on their plates with work, caring for children, home & church responsibilities. It can be easy to become overwhelmed with deadlines, etc. Like Paul told the Philippians “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. One way this is accomplished is by simply doing breath prayers. Breathe in & say simply Jesus. Breath out & then say help me. This can be done anywhere anytime. It will relax you & turn your worries into prayers.

    Blessings :_

  12. I like to rock and even swing but worry, cast it on Him. He cares for me and all of us.

  13. Renee, we are wired so much the same! I don’t think of myself as a classic worrier either, by but mental wheels rarely stop turning. Just like you can sit in a rocky chair and hardly notice yourself rocking, so it can be with my thinking, pondering, strategizing, planning, etc, slowly rocking into worry. Thank you for this timely reminder, friend! xx