The smart phone started buzzing under my pillow at 5:00 a.m. I groped for the button on the side to snooze for the third time. My husband kicked the covers, to let me know it was waking him too. I swung my feet over the side of the bed and sat up straight. My sleep had been shaky, and it took me a moment to come around.
As soon as I did, I winced at my worrisome thoughts. They were standing in line like tattle tales waiting for the teacher. My shoulders slumped at the noise and I felt deflated.
I shuffled to the cupboard and grabbed a mug then on to the refrigerator. I splashed some creamer in the bottom of my cup, and poured hot coffee on top of it until I saw the color of caramel. I stood still and took a long, slow sip. Then I made my way to the couch intending to have my morning quiet time, but my mind sounded off like a jungle. I closed my eyes and took several deep inhales to clear my head. I tried sending things into the darkness around me as I let go of my breath. Still busyness clung like a baby Kola.
After thirty minutes of trying every mindfulness technique I know, I got mad. I turned on the lamp above me and folded my arms hard across my chest to make the point. I growled at myself and said out loud to Jesus, "I just can't turn my mind off -- help!"
I picked up my journal, planning to dump the deafening thoughts. "At least if they're written down, I can worry about them later," I persuaded myself. As my pen moved messily across the lines moaning, a different thought came. "Lay each thing at Jesus' feet," it suggested.
I began to do so, "Jesus, I lay this strained, stubborn relationship at your feet. You know the one."
It felt good but something was still off.
I tried another and added a sentence, "Jesus, I lay my work gremlins at your feet. I trust that you won't let them eat me for lunch."
It was better, but my business still felt unfinished. "What's missing?" I asked. And a verse came, "Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I tried a third one, " Lord I lay my money stress at your feet. I trust you to teach me how to save and spend toward my highest commitments. Thank you for the exact amount we have and all the non-money stuff in our lives that is worth infinitely more than millions."
Finally, it was the gratefulness that grounded me.
Line by line, I lay down cancer, conflict, chaos, confusion, clutter, earnings, expectations, outcomes, overwhelm, ambitions, anxieties, frustrations, and fears. I declared my trust and dug for the treasures in each one.
As I did, my mood lightened and my mind loosened. Even my big, bossy ego backed down a bit.
And I realized by moving my issues out and away a stitch, I gained perspective. I could clearly see the weight I'd been carrying. I was able to ask which matters were mine to pick back up and tote forward and which ones to leave be because they don't belong to me.
I'm learning this is a wonderful way to reclaim my peace when it playing hide and seek. I can write, say, or simply think to myself, "Jesus, I lay __________ at your feet. I trust you with _____________. In it, I still have _____________ to be grateful for."
Want to try it? Oh, I hope you do!
I invite you to pause right now and try this with something that is upsetting or overwhelming you.
And... tell us about right here! Leave your personal discovery using this process and inspire others in the comment section below.
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