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Hope for the Anxious During Unsettling Times

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2020 6:00 am

Hope for the Anxious During Unsettling Times

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 23, 2020 6:00 am

Author Deborah Pegues offers an insightful look at worry and anxiety and presents effective strategies to deal with the stress they cause. She encourages us to rely on God's power to find strength and peace in the midst of any problem we face.

Get Deborah's book "30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety" for your donation of any amount:

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Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

The issues in your marriage seem insurmountable. You can break free from cycles of pain with help from Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive. We helped thousands of couples over, find out which program is right for you and hope essay questions need to be that the monitor that measure the temperature to be the thermostat set the temperature when I set the environment within us that the mind said that without having any adversity with me.

We can do it through Christ who strengthens us.

So that's what we gotta do this. I'm going to guard my peace.

This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly yesterday. Never forget a thank you for joining us on John Fuller John with all the news received daily about the code 19 pandemic of the racial tension leading to protests and riots.

The upcoming presidential election. We are bombarded with situations and circumstances that leave us feeling anxious and worried and that's a I'd say a normal response. Counselors often report anxiety is running rampant as clients come to meet with them. It's a pandemic in itself. During these times, though I find comfort in the words of Jesus from the Gospel of John chapter 16 verse 33. He says in the world you will have tribulation and we all say yeah but take heart I have overcome the world. What a comfort that our faith is based on something that transcends the troubles of this world. That's good news for us in here Focus on the Family we want to remind you of God's love for you so that you can live in that freedom that this life doesn't hold you in bondage in his grace and power you can do all things and that includes conquering anxiety and were going to talk about that today with a great guest in a couple weeks ago we spoke with Deborah today.

She is a perennial favorite with our listeners here at Focus on the Family and we talked about managing anger. If you didn't catch that.

Please go to the YouTube channel or I get the app get a copy of the download or a CD.

Let us know and we be happy to help you with that today she's back with a look at worry and anxiety.

I would be talking about her book. It's a short little book but a very powerful one 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety. Deborah welcome back to focus.

Thank you so it's good to have you here again, let me ask you right out of the gate as a behavioral consultant you work with people all the time that's what you're doing is trying to help them.

What are you hearing about the way anxiety is affecting them.

What you sing in the culture as your coaching people with their emotions. Anxiety is running rapid and non-Christians as well experiencing little anxiety myself right now but I know what's driving at my house was getting ready to leave town point get away and stay at home by myself is going to be gone about eight nights. I am just already anticipating state. Working all night long settlement got a bit dark and so glad you experience that I'm sorry to say that to you but I'm the same way when Jean and the boys are out of town or something and I'm home alone.

I hate it.

It's not where I want to be.

I only like being at home when Jean was there and the kids are there, it's that much better feeling right. What is that say about us space to something we believe we did not like standby myself out 21 years of marriage I stand by myself. I just don't and we also had a break-in and attempted commendation and I think that's gotten part of it, surely that makes more yeah of course yeah and Deborah you are you describing your book a time when you had a particularly stressful day. I think it related to your brother just to jump to another example of anxiety and stress what happened with your brother and how did you manage it well… And my mom was alive and I was hacked to make sure she got taken So the state had a problem when they went even higher relative to take Someone and he had given her medicine. She had run out of it and I was a boy meeting day had a presentation of doing project for this church. I was at sea. Epilepsy was just too much coming at him. He had just started with this condition, trigeminal neuralgia, it was my my, jealous Heidi. It was so much converging and said I just felt so stressed I just said Jesus, now I got I got through it because sometimes you and this is the season we got a way to practice taking a deep breath as spiritual. I believe you just take a deep breath and just re-center yourself and say listen. What should I do next. Sometimes I'll just ask God what is my next step too many things to do. What is the best use of my time what to do next Deborah into what that identifies is your ability to identify the stressors.

You know that is half the battle I think is know the stressful situation you're in. Being able to call it out that you you're self-aware enough to say this is causing me stress and then you can deal with it much better.

Rather than just reacting right and not even knowing why you're reacting absolutely silent. Make a list of the top three things. Top five things that are really stressing me now and ask myself things within my realm of influence, something I can't help it. I can't help the traffic. I can't help the political situation was stressing me what stressing me even now I have so many friends on opposite sides of the political divide and so just trying to be that peacemaker. I'm finding that stressful and in that Kaiser stress leads to anxiety, so I can get together for a fun time because I noticed he's this she's not that I'm about to be stressful to say just identify first about what is stressing me was within my control.

What's not one thing you mentioned in 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety is this need for secure foundation. You then use an analogy of a four-legged stool. One of the legs of the stool to give us that secure foundation. What I say like is like a stool basis all your beliefs and then the four last four pillars of your life in the physical. The relational the emotional and financial.

Those areas all have incidences of stress and anxiety. And right now that the financial part people at some people have already lost jobs. Some are anticipating losing a job when we understand the nature of anxiety anticipating a negative outcome. You can anticipate a negative outcome in a relationship. They expected more divorces now we have the pandemic because couples are spending too much time kids but it's terrible so you know, but those areas will anxiety and so you gotta do what you need to do I tell my husband go on a trip that's fine to go by yourself. That's what you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of being married to me. I can imagine that you're not energetic at all like the grass grow. Now I think is very peaceful as any boring so amazing is so typical of couples right opposites marriage.

Other Deborah you once were distracted from prayer. I think this is so funny is a great example.

I love your example because they're very straightforward. Very you know common to all of us but you were wanting the special prayer time a little quiet time to get rid of your anxiety and what happened.

Well I didn't allow enough time so I so important but I said okay I'm set is ready to listen to this CD by artist. I just love I get down and I can't find things in the trunk of my car go to the truck is not damp with live disarray. There's I organized the truck quickly went back to the office to check messages and understand just I just wanted I'm right here okay just check a message at the time I got back to my prayer room. I literally had about five more minutes method.

This Howard that has gotta spend securing my foundation. The importance of being in the presence of God and how to conjure down when you get there and ask him about all that's going on. Anyway, I get a chance to do that and let me tell you it shows in how you relate to people. That's why I say to deal with anxiety and stress secure foundation getting the presence of God and decide how you gotta respond today to get in the presence of God and receive his strength.

But today I declare that this is the day that I'm going to exemplify good that I do what I had time to play was a great lesson in how to relax but really actually relaxing stress results that importance on self-care. I do want to punch that again because I think in our culture it so difficult to do and then we start making excuses for you know like what you just said you know I gotta do this right. Gotta do that with the kids. My husband, my spouse, whatever might be and you diminish the self-care area and it also feels a bit selfish as a Christian to be too concerned about self-care, but you give us that best punch. Why should we embrace self-care because Jesus set the example I was storing when his disciples came back saving the world and they said this is all the way down in his only response was we need to get away for a while and she saw the need to do that to take these times are you going get quiet and rebuild yourself on the inside how much more should we do that and when we doubt it shows when I'm tired, I'm more irritable. I just need to just get away and be quiet and not say yes to so many things that spotter self-care saying no is a significant part of self-care cutting get there. Deborah I know my wife Jean has struggled with that she's doing far better now than she did. You know, 10 years ago and in her younger life and she was just a yes I'll help you kind of person. In some ways that's really sweet, but you can get to the point where you're over yes thing people if I could say it that way and you end up so thin that you are burned out so that for that person that sees you know it's a bit rewarding to be available for other people to help them. It's very Christian to want to give. That's all good but when it impacts you negatively, and then you begin to get a little anxious about your use of time or you're worried that you made two commitments at the same time know what you do. What are some steps that personality type that that individual can take to be more assertive for their own well-being. First of all you got understand why why are you saying yes and it looks very noble in many cases, but sometimes we don't want people to be upset with us.

If we say no and so I always make an appointment on my calendar and even in my own heads. I have appraised values. When people ask me to do something I really want to say no have another commitment. What I do have a commitment I committed to not weigh myself yes all the time and be comfortable with you and because you know if you don't manage yourself and again Jesus was the example we do that so that we can be when they came to Jesus and said, this story said Mark one first. Like you, and then he goes on to say, but he said going to the next house because that's what I've come to do, to preach healing is great, but my primary goal was to take. Stay focused on our priorities. You really can't be everywhere at the same time and expense.

If you have children and a husband was my priority. God, my marriage, and then maybe my church, my career, I keep that in this gym.

We do this finding.

I think you know not to call me. That's my date night consistently 27 years date night so I think so. We got it because we teach people how to treat ask about what we allow so we teach people always validate those boundaries and time frames.

We set our family. Just keep doing and you got to go right grow more resentful.

Deborah you are CPA by training and I know the covert situation and other things of put a lot of pressure on people's finances. That's one of the legs of the four-legged stool.

Your ability to manage money. You have a extensive list probably 1213 items. What are a couple of those and will post those at the website. With your permission, Deborah so people can go and take a look at it but what jumps out at you right now from that list the people need to be mindful of when it comes to managing their money to get anxious because it looks like you got a run out because what they thought was their source was just really a channel and I like the people always remember that God is your source he chose your job to be a channel for your finances, but he has many other channels, and so just like on your television safe hand.the remote let him select the channel don't be anxious about this, but what you can do is prioritize your spending get what your spouse and just spend money according to God's priority agree on a source of division agree on what the parties will be. This is what will spit and stick to it. Once you come to an agreement but most about just don't worry anxiety again is expecting a negative outcome when you are worrying you need to stop and say what I my believing what I believe it because usually where he comes out of false belief about God. He is able.

Gotta believe that you got embrace that he's able to do even more than you can ask or think.

Now that's back as I can think of a lot of stuff he's able to do more than that.

So that's what I say stay out of debt. Don't do emotional spending.

This is not the time to comfort yourself with high-priced restaurant that you avoided it because she didn't want to cook just to do the things that are practical. Deborah you're touching on this, but I want to hit it straight on. We do turn to distractions as a coping mechanism to escape stress and anxiety.

Why we need to be mindful of the what those distractions are what are some of those distractions and how do we avoid those pitfalls. Well listen I passed the Todd message was that he said sounded distracted by divine distractions that had a friend who lost a daughter recently and so I had that day laid out but I just felt like the Lord was saying call her and just listen to her. I talked to her and so that wasn't a distraction but with God it you do that with the last. You have to have a prioritized list of don't put too much on stress you out as well.

You know you put about two or three major things you going to get done today. That's all you got to get done and you beat yourself up if you didn't get to the rest of them. That's why you probably only need to see about three of them at a time. List my list have list but same time. Deborah is in that regard. How do you create margin if you know your list into three major projects that you need to get done today that takes you pretty much to the end of the day.

How do you remember to be present for that friend. For example, that you gave when it's know some might feel even though it's catastrophic. In that case, how do you turn your mind and your emotions that this is not an interruption, but it's most likely what God wants you to concentrate on right now and not be put off your balance. Because of that you can just decide to get this item on this list today to be done today is just that's why we need to get up in the morning so we had those muscle prone to having this list up and say God is what I think I need to do today. But even now I lay it out. I just pray that your feet so that you can prioritize it. We went gotta stop trying to live in our own strength in our own rationale because sometimes he's got to do something different and it's okay to give yourself permission also give yourself permission to be productive 24 seven yesterday that's out so late because I slept from 3 to 6 appreciate what you're saying is even just yesterday Jim and I took a walk after work and we had kind of an agenda for what we really talk about on this walk and sure enough we ran into some neighbors. We haven't seen for ever and we talk to them for 15, 20 minutes and we left. I just said that was kind of a divine appointment. People should be the priority and I'm so glad we saw those folks and we did eventually get what we wanted to talk about but if I had my list in mind, I'd be waving at them and walking right by I hear you saying people really should be the priority, especially now because we need each other in such an extent that you can interact with people. God uses people and some people have bring us joy, so don't get so focused on the goal. Don't get so focused on the goal that you stop being a person well in that regard to expectations can be you know terrible in terms of our expectation of our spouse and what that person will do today for me.

We have all that going as well.

How do we manage those expectations. Well, here it is expectations you have of yourself. What yell sometimes we live in should say I have an expectation of myself that I should always have food ready to do. I Susie homemaker here because I think part of his I feel guilty for working so much but I make sure my husband has his favorite meals always there, frozen in a serving side, but he told me the other day when I was trying to get ready for the launch of my new book, he said, require that if you you know he said you need to do that but I think it worked like midnights. I want him looking for food, so we can evaluate the expectations that we have a backs up and asked us is that reasonable, but we also gotta manage expectations that other people have. To what extent we said yes because we don't want to disappoint somebody.

Is that reasonable expectations we other people isn't reasonable. Have I expressed that those are the kinds of things we gotta look at because a lot of times we don't express our expectations. It creates more stress because now was sitting here thinking somebody should now but we didn't have :-) and getting your frozen food ready for Darnell and finishing your book what to do it by midnight through incompatible goals. That sounds exhausted. Cynthia was a mentor for you in somewhere friend explain the story of Cynthia and what she taught you well. She lost two children on the freeway. It was just a traumatic time but here's the deal. She is one of the most joyful people you going to find she says where there's a crisis Christ is and she models this kind of peace she had to get there because she can even get out of bed, either for the first few months after her children die, but then she found a letter that they had each letter and it was just very empowering. She set the tone for how she's going to respond to stress. I always say Christians need to be that thermometer that measures the temperature we gotta be the thermostat we got a set the temperature we got a set the environment within us that the mindset that without having any adversity this this requires supernatural intervention and I talk about when I say we can do it.

I mean we can do it through Christ who strengthens us and so that's what we gotta do this I would have a peaceful atmosphere. I'm gonna glide my piece.

What are chickpeas, so good. Let me give you little experience I had and have you speak to it.

I remember being at lunch with the nonbeliever. We're just eating and he was saying to me you know I'm really concerned.

I said what were you concerned about.

He said well you guys in the Christian community are so anxious right now but everything that really troubles me because of you guys are anxious knowing what you believe. I'm really anxious and I thought wow what what an expression of what we need to be in Christ. For those who are watching us that we claim Christ, and yet were anxious, which makes potentially makes them even more anxious because were supposed to be the people that believe in the hope of Christ right.

We are not anxious for anything. In fact, Paul says that. Be anxious for nothing, it's hard to do what is hard to do program just have to do it when I say program to set the program to separate the word of God and it shakes and informed how you think and what you do. This is our finest hour.

Listen out of my speaking engagements were canceled because of COBIT so I can just easily upset. Oh my God what to do now what I'm going to do now. I say God when you say next is a created God and so we have to always recheck our beliefs, believing what my not believing about God when I have this anxiety, I'm not believing that supply all my meat according to his great riches as resources, not my paycheck chose a different channel. Now I gotta go with the flow. We need to model this to the world.

Jim if we gotta get people to really embrace Christ. They need to see a difference. This is our finest hour. We don't even need to talk negatively. We don't need to join an awful conversation. You need to say God is doing this thing.

That's what he's doing.

Deborah, let me ask you to that kind of context and how you have managed releasing tension. I think I'm a bit of and avoid her in that regard. You know if there's something going on, I'd rather solve it quickly and move on.

I don't like lingering intention is probably part of my childhood experience and of being an orphan kid in all the turbulence going on when I was a child but you know I just don't like hanging out intention.

If you're going to be this tense conflict to go do something you guys work it out, and that's probably know some I need to work on. But how do you manage that tension. How do you de-escalate tension address that you can do to fix the situation. Do that you don't linger as a confrontation and I use that word strategically means coming together face-to-face together face-to-face with somebody out of the way because there are things we can't resolve. My niece went to the hospital and I almost didn't survive COBIT but I couldn't do anything about it except a lot of people praying about it because that's practical. I like to say that praying is practical. Worshiping is practical. Confronting is spiritual when we go back on those spiritual disciplines. Less work those relationships that keep them free of conflict. If we can, and that means confronting the issue. If you go outside of this very common and I'mjust be quiet for a moment and your spouse joined you, but you really wanted to be alone. Before you go.

I'm going to have some quiet time now rather than saying he sees I'm reading the Bible to talk to me because he loves you, that does to express high needs to keep in tension and anxiety and stress out of your life. Express what you need to weigh this God honoring rather than waiting for somebody to like that you express what you need yeah and you know it really does lead to the next question about the use of laughter and humor in your relationships. That's what's a fun way to get your point across. But how how critical is humor in relationship we need to laugh at his medicine as the Bible says is medicine.

I go to YouTube, but I type in funny jokes find a clean jump live. I have books that have funny jokes I like reruns of things that are not so sexually these days.

I like what I Love Lucy clean things like that you know there's still something to laugh about the joy of the Lord is our strength and we need to practice that it is and don't use too much. That's so true existed, it creates anxiety and you and that worry Deborah.

Let's end with your stress model. I think this is a good acrostic that people can use once they learned but use the word stress and then each letter represents something.

Can you go through that with this report shall actually stress STRESSSS must seek guidance TSI trust when he tells you to do are is remember our past. Victor basically didn't want to do it again as they sought God above the problem. Don't bring God down to the level of your problem is solicit the prayers and support of others, and other assets stand on the promises of God's promise to meet all your needs his promise and Dr. Joy allowed them to do so good Deborah 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety. What goal it's a great goal, particularly for us as Christians to get a handle on these things that are like wild animals and us.

If we don't unleash them they will do damage and so I so appreciate the insights that you bring the list that you talked about again will post those at the website people can get that if you can help us in this ministry put an arm around someone through Focus on the Family by supporting us with the donation of any amount and will send you a copy of Deborah's wonderful book 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety as our way of saying thank you and again. Deborah, this is been so good you're you're so pithy in applying God's principles and I think that's why listeners respond so favorably to what you have to share. Thank you for being with us.

Thank you so much for having me if you can donate today when you call 800 K in the word family as Jim said, that allows us to go to reach out and broadcast like this, and to provide care in Christian counseling services. You can have a one time consultation over the phone with one of her counselors at no charge that's made possible by generous donors. So as you can, please donate when you call 880 family were online in Europe on the link in the Jim said when you donate today will send a copy of Deborah's great book 30 days to taming, worry and anxiety and be sure to join us again next time as Ryan and Selena Frederick sheer encouragement to let God's light shine through your marriage God has given me the position of either helping my husband really help that role or really cutting him off and allowing sin and brokenness to just take over on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once were, help you and your family thrive.

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