Posted in theology

Week’s recap, & Calming-Down Techniques

By Elizabeth Prata

This has been an interesting week, hasn’t it? I’ve watched political events unfold at lightning speed, my mouth metaphorically hanging open. In my 60 years I’ve been witness to some of the most amazing events in history, but this past week, rather since November 3, 2020, has left me speechless.

If the Big Tech Oligarchs have their way we conservatives & Christians will be left literally speechless soon, right? I’ve tried to write essays this week that encouraged, that referenced some events obliquely without delving. I read a tweet from a missionary friend who wrote, “Husbands, guard your wife against information overload. She may not want to hear you constantly talk about how the US is falling.” So true.

I have to guard myself against that, and I LOVE information. The relentlessly bad news, coupled with near-impossible ability to assess its credibility, means I have to push away and do some calming techniques. I’ll lay those out below, but first ICYMI, a recap of the week’s essays:

Yesterday morning I did a short essay on NASA discovering a weird glow or light in the far universe where only dark spaces were supposed to be. I coupled that news with an exhortation to reread and believe Genesis 1:1, because the time is now where we must solidify what we believe and why. Did God really say…In the beginning…? What’s that Glow in the Middle of the Universe?

In the essay Who will it be…how will it be? I made a reminder that God used ‘good’ pagan leaders and evil pagan leaders for His purposes, and that as long as we look to Him and trust Him, we will be OK.

Living In Limbo discussed how it’s like we’re in the eye of a hovering storm like those photos from the National Weather Service, a shelf cloud looming, all demonic looking and evil. Lightning bolts coming down from it, darkness all around. I’m waiting. It’s limbo. It doesn’t feel real, and how to combat the feeling of being stuck in limbo.

On Free Speech discusses the importance of free speech and what happens to a community or nation that squashes it.

I wanted to spend a moment focusing on one of God’s promises, in order to be encouraging, God Answers Prayer.

I feel jittery and unsettled. I know that heaven is my home and my citizenship is up there, but I live here at present. It’s OK to love your country, love the way of life God has granted us for a time, love what we have known. It’s OK to mourn their passing. So, what do I do to calm down? In no particular order:

I go outside: I’m not a huge outdoors fan but I recognize the value of changing my scenery and breathing fresh air. I love to photograph birds, so that’s what I do outside. I bird watch, look at the sky and clouds. When the weather warms a bit I’ll got the nearby State Park and amble along some trails or sit by the rolling river and waterfall an listen to the water. It’s refreshing.

I sing along to hymns: Hearing myself repeat God-glorifying words is comforting. I choose hymns that focus on heaven, too, in order to keep my perspective eternal. I live by myself so my off-key warbling won’t hurt anyone’s ears, lol.

I read the Word: Not study, not looking up the Greek or Hebrew words, not reading the notes at the bottom, just read it. Let the word wash over you and into you. I was reading 1 Corinthians yesterday and even though the content was negative with Paul sarcastic and angry and all that, the Word itself brought tears to my eyes because it’s so beautiful. Just read.

I visualize: I close my eyes and visualize the scenes in the Bible that depict heaven. There’s no place like home, and heaven is our home. Picture it, think about it, and as the song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” Where is Jesus now? Heaven. Look to Him as He is now, and picture the place He has prepared for us. I usually do this after I pray.

Pray. Nuff said.

I drink tea. I do the whole ritual, putting hot water into the teapot to pre-heat it, setting the electric kettle on to boil, selecting which tea I’ll have this time, choosing the teacup. It only takes a few minutes. I enjoy having the pretty china around me. Taking care of myself in this small way is a stabilizing influence. If you have small self-care routines you enjoy, stick to them. They can become grounding points throughout the day.

I use my exercise bike: I hate exercise but recognize the endorphins circulating in the body cleanse the mind. But, ugh. 🙂

What do you do to calm yourself in troubling times?

EPrata photo

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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