A lesson from Moses in Psalm 90
For the past 3 decades I have struggled with anxiety.
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I finally received a diagnosis and could tackle the disorder head on. It would be great to say that having a diagnosis and getting treatment cured my anxiety – that I never worried about another thing again. But, I have come to believe that this is like the thorn that Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians – this is what keeps me coming back to Jesus.
Every morning, I want to pick all these cares back up, worry about the outcomes, and do all the hard work to make them what I think they are supposed to be. But every morning, I have to give them back over to Him. So, in a full-circle kind of way, anxiety brings me closer to Jesus. Just like a recovering alcoholic will always be tempted to go back to drink, the recovering anxious will always be tempted to pick it all back up and take it on themselves. Even if you don’t have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, it’s likely that you can identify with this cycle of anxiety in some form or another.
From this daily relinquishing is born the process of living an intentional life.
We can be intentional with laying down our anxiety, and when we do, we can thrive. If being intentional in this area is a good thing, what other areas of our lives can we be more intentional with?
In my latest book, Numbering Our Days: Combating Anxiety in the Power of Small Intentional Moments, I address the issue of anxiety and the role it plays in our lives. There are 49 devotions of daily reading intended to provoke thought. Each anecdote is meant to give you a jumping-off point to what you can do in your own life in order to live with intention. It will start as a conscious decision, a day-to-day choice to be intentional. But as you get more in the habit of choosing daily intentions, it can become a part of your life.
Psalm 90:12 cries out, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
This verse and the five that follow in that Psalm can become your theme for an intentional life. For when we see each day as a gift, when we see that we have a limited number of these twenty-four-hour opportunities, we have more of a desire to make them count. If you want to live a life of purpose, you have to live each day with intention. A purposeful life is made up of thousands of days, each one driven by the decision to be intentional.
Because a day in your own life is made up of a myriad of different parts, let’s separate those parts of the day so that we can focus better on each one. This isn’t something to obsess over and worry about getting right; instead, like everything else in life, it’s about keeping a balance. See it as a practice and not something to get perfect.
You were placed on this earth for a certain number of days.
You know time is precious, and you don’t want to waste it. You desire a life that has meaning and purpose. But your day is filled with dishes, laundry, carpooling, the nine to five, texts to respond to, soccer practice, and bedtime routines. You say you want a life that matters, but how do you do that in the middle of … life? With so many areas of everyday life in maintenance mode, there isn’t a lot of growth or improvement. And it’s not because you don’t want it, but with the rush of life, it often gets set to the side for another day. When this becomes our existence, day after day, we will find that we have lived a series of months, even years, unintentionally.
How can one stop the cycle of mindless living? How do we start to live each day intentionally? We start small. We look for purpose in the small moments of living and seek Jesus in the center of each of them.
Coupled with the book are additional resources for addressing anxiety in our daily lives. You can find more free resources HERE.
4 thoughts on “Combating Anxiety in the Power of Small Intentional Moments”
I like this phrase, “You desire a life that has meaning and purpose. But your day is filled with dishes, laundry, carpooling…” . It’s hard to understand that these are the moments that matter to our kids. This intentional living builds a good foundation for them.
Totally! We can get caught up with the thought that the small things don’t matter. But in reality, all those small intentional moments add up to big meaningful things!
Nichole, thank you for your guidance here through anxiety and intentional living. I daily have to submit to God for His way and guidance. If I start. feeling anxious then I am learning to go to God.❤
Such a powerful article! ‘ From this daily relinquishing is born the process of living an intentional life.’ 🙌