August 8: fret and faith

A couple of weeks ago, I left all my kids home with Ryan and got a massage.

Okay, so, it was in a dentist’s chair. But since their chairs are fancy Brookstone massage chairs, I’m gonna call it a spa day.

Your molars show a lot of wear, she said. You clench your teeth a lot. Relax.

And since then, I’ve realized how often I’m chomping down. Relax. So many times a day — RELAX.

But my soul — it’s the same. A constant state of tension, waiting for it all to fall apart, feeling like it’s held together by a thread, a thread I have to keep tense, or it’s all over. We fall to chaos. I notice my clenched teeth, and I relax. I notice my clenched soul — but how do I relax? How do I dare to let go?

“Take my fret…
I will worship You Lord
Only You Lord.”

We sang that in church a few days later, and I realized the clenched teeth and the clenched soul — it’s a worship problem, ultimately.

Sometimes I’m hurrying to get us all ready to go somewhere, and Ryan will call me. Come look at how cute the baby is, or come read this email I’m trying to send, or just come and say hi for a minute. And I think, I can’t!! I can’t stop, or this will never get done. You don’t understand. I just can’t. But over the years, I’ve tried to learn to just pause and come.

And that’s part of how the Holy Spirit illuminates this worship problem.

Come to Me, I want to speak. Come to Me, I want you to rest. Come to Me, I can show you how.

And my soul screams, No! You don’t understand! I can’t come right now, or the food will never be ready and our house will never be tidy and these kids will never be dressed and don’t You see that it all falls apart faster than I can hold it together?

Clench. Grind.

Worship, but not the kind I want.


I make a list of the things I love:

Peace. Order. Faithfulness. Work. Calm. Beauty.

Sweet things, things that clearly are of God, created and exemplified by Him. But when any of those are on the throne of my heart, ruling my moments and my spirit, the fruit looks more like fret and frenzy and less like order and beauty. Ironic, yes?

I will
You Lord
Only You Lord.

3 Comments August 8: fret and faith

  1. Kathleen Moulton

    We are in such a hurry to perfect what we have ownership of and responsibility for.

    Including ourselves.

    The daily grind (no pun intended) is the environment God uses, causing us to see up close and personal what frustrates us. He places his finger on it and right away we kick it up a notch; pick up the pace.

    Do BETTER.

    No, no, God says. Decrease so I may increase.

    It takes time to learn this. God is not American!

    Too slow for me! Give me the to-do list; the bullet points.

    But soon, he settles our soul as we let the chaos ensue at times. After awhile, you don’t even notice it.

    That’s how God works. :)


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