Trading Anxiety for Peace, Part 2 {Huge Giveaway!}

Feeling holiday anxiety? Find peace in this four-part series.

Welcome to a new four-part holiday blog series, Trading Anxiety for Peace. I’m celebrating one year since my Christmas Peace for Busy Moms online Bible study began, and I have a special 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway for you to enter! First, let’s dig into how to deal with anxious thoughts this time of year.

Dealing with Anxious Thoughts

Do anxious thoughts hold you secretly captive most days? That’s my story, for the vast majority of my life. This Christian life isn’t easy and temptations to worry abound.

In this busy holiday season, my anxious thought temptations don’t stop. They pile up like gifts under the Christmas tree. Or maybe they pile up in not-so-pretty packages like these:

  • bills (silly us–we bought both our vehicles in late spring, which means both insurance AND taxes are due during the holidays!?)
  • dishes/laundry/messes (I’m sure you get what I mean)
  • fatigue (the time change and middle-age insomnia are getting to me)
  • too-high expectations (those never go away, I’m afraid)

So there you have it…my list of no-longer secret anxieties. Even though I am always searching for God’s peace, anxiety is hiding right around the corner, waiting for me to let it in.

As a planner, I long to take action on this list. I need to spend a whole afternoon tomorrow working on our taxes, and find time this weekend to tackle the messes. It’s after 10 p.m. and I’m still awake, but sleep will have to wait until this post is published. My expectations–now those need more time to tackle than I have tonight, next week, or maybe until New Year’s Day.

But action isn’t what I need most. I need to transform my thinking.

A New Plan

Recently I was hired to write a series of articles for a Christian meditation app (it has yet to be released, but I’ll let you know when it comes out). Through research and writing, I learned the value of Christian meditation for replacing my secret anxieties with God’s peace.

Does Christian meditation sound a little strange to you? It sounded weird to me at first. Once I learned that it is simply using a chosen scripture as a mental focus point during a quiet moment, the weirdness factor dissipated. Then I realized how much I had already been meditating on God’s Word without even knowing it.

My theme verse for 2017 is this:

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Early this year, I made a graphic of that verse and made it my desktop lock screen and background. I saw it dozens of times every day. When I logged in, the words whispered truth to me. When I toggled between documents, God’s Word breathed peace on me.

Learn how Christian meditation can chase your anxious thoughts away.

In stressful times this year, I stared at my planner or calendar or current pile and wondered how I would get it all done. But as I reached for chocolate to relieve the stress, that verse would pop into my head, and I repeated the words slowly:

You…will keep… in perfect peace…those whose minds are steadfast…because they trust…in you.

Again and again I heard God asking me, “Sarah, do you really believe this verse is true?”

“Yes, Lord,” I replied with a convicted sigh. “I believe you will keep me in perfect peace, despite my stress, if I keep my mind steadfast based on my trust in you.”

That verse reoriented me so many times, I can’t even count. It literally chased away my anxiety.

In my Library, I have a printable featuring Isaiah 26:3 and other peaceful verses. It’s called the Christmas Peace Bedside Reminder Cards. There are six printable verses to help you meditate on God’s Word in this busy season on this page, along with several other printables to encourage you in this busy season. I hope you’ll find them helpful, friend! Take a peek at them at the bottom of this post.

Giveaway Time!

In all three of my books, I discuss strategies for fighting the sugar battle and dealing with anxiety. I’m happy to offer them in my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway, along with nine other great books I’ve read this year. I’ve reviewed many of these books on my Book Reviews page. These books are great resources for you, or you can use them as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Now it’s time for you to register!

12 days to enter this huge giveaway of 12 Christian books, Nov. 2-13, 2017!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules: Open to U.S. residents only. No purchase is required for entry. All entries will be verified. Entries that do not meet verification requirements will be disqualified. Twelve winners will be selected based on the top number of entries. Books will be mailed via USPS on or before Nov. 17, 2017. 

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this page and not to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Come back every day between now and Nov. 13 for more entries. Answer one of these questions for an entry (make sure to mark the entry form when you comment):

Questions for you:
      • What triggers anxious thoughts for you this time of year?
      • Did you choose a theme verse for 2017? If so, please share it in the comments.
      • How has this post inspired you to try Christian meditation for greater peace?
If you liked this post, I would appreciate your shares on social media!

This post may be linked up at #sundaythoughts#mommymoments, #modestmommondays#momentsofhope, #dreamtogether, #glimpsesofhisbeauty, #lmmlinkup, #gritup, #tuestalk, #teaandwordtuesday, #raralinkup, #tellhisstory, #coffeeforyourheart, #breakthrulinkup, #sittingamongfriends, #encouragingwordwednesday#porchstories, #writerwednesday, #rechargewednesday#livefreethursday#heartencouragement, #chasingcommunity, #tuneinthursday, #gracemoments, #saltandlight#thankfulandgrateful, #quietlythroughthursday, #encouragingheartsandhome,  #dancewithjesus, #faithnfriends, #freshmarketfriday, #graceandtruth, and #faithonfire. I love the blogging community and consider these hosts my friends–please visit their sites and encourage them too!

***

 

Enter your email address below to instantly receive access to these Christmas Peace printables:

  • Study Guide & Christmas Prayer Directory
  • Cook Once, Eat Twice Meal Ideas
  • Peace Scripture Memory Page
  • Bedside Reminder Cards

You’ll also have access to many other resources in my newly updated Library, and you’ll instantly receive the mini book 5 Days to Greater Peace!

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  • Such an encouraging verse! I’ve actually never really took note of that one in terms of anxiety. Definitely going to be meditating on it this week/weekend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Nicole–it has really transformed my thinking. I’m glad God led me to choose it for 2017. For next year, I don’t know which one I’ll choose yet…I need to pray about it!

  • Esther Dorotik

    Speaks to my heart, Sarah! So often I’ve traded His peace for the worries of this world, reaching for all forms of “chocolate.” All the while, He calling me to “Come away to a quiet place and get some rest.” Rest from the worries, rest from my racing heart, simply resting in His presence and the truth in His word. Love this and your giveaway! Someone will be super blessed by it!!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Esther! Yes, sugar was the topic of my first post in this series. God is helping me choose his Word over sugar since I wrote it. I hope to find some true heart and body rest this weekend too. Blessings to you, friend!

  • I love the example you shared, Sarah, how meditating on that verse brought you such peace and increased your communion with God. I’ve always been drawn to biblical meditation and was reading ‘Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation’ by Robert J. Morgan before Hurricane Irma stole it from me. 🙂 Your post has encouraged me to put it into practice once again, especially now. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Carlie! Thank you so very much for sharing this book recommendation. Sorry that you suffered loss from Hurricane Irma though. I’m glad you gained some encouragement from your visit here today!

      • Thank you, Sarah! And thanks for visiting my site and for your thoughtful comment, which unfortunately got deleted in error. 🙁 I love the ‘fishermen’ you have chosen. Blessings to you!

        • Sarah Geringer

          That’s OK–blog glitches happen to me too sometimes. Happy Saturday to you!

  • Sarah, love the idea of choosing a theme verse for the year. Will start praying about that for next year; I want to have one. 🙂 Meditating on scripture invites the author of those words into the room, and where He is, peace is. Am thankful for the reminder today to meditate on His words. Bless you, friend. xoxo

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hooray! I’m glad that my post inspired you, dear Brenda. When I pray for God to reveal the verse for me, I’ll pray that he will reveal one for you too.Blessings to you!

  • Yes! Wonderful post, Sarah. Christian mediation is the only thing that actually transforms our thinking. Until we change our thought patterns and take every thought captive, we’ll lose out on real peace of mind. And I love Isaiah 26:3. Thanks for this reminder! Hugs! 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Karen! I’ve learned so much about Christian meditation this year, and it’s transforming me from the inside out. Thank you for your kind words. Blessings to you!

  • bluecottonmemory

    Focusing on him and his promises – instead the worries and little foxes – it changes the peace ratio in my heart and mind! This post is such good, soul-nutritional encouragement on how to keep focused on the right things! Shalom!!!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you so much–your posts are a treasure to me. Shalom to you as well, friend.

  • Rachel Lee

    Sarah, I used to be a little weirded out by the word, “meditation” as well. That word unfortunately has so many negative connotations, for me personally, but also among christian circles. In truth, I think meditation was God’s idea first! “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) Meditation is in fact a necessary part of taking our thoughts (anxieties) captive and making them obedient to Him!
    Good word today!

    Also, I became a subscriber today! I hope I win the giveaway!!!! ;););););)
    Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Rachel! I’m so thankful to have recently met you through linkups. I’m SO glad you and I are now fellow subscribers! God surely wants us to learn from each other, right? 🙂 That psalm you mentioned is so powerful. I plan to write more Christian meditation-themed posts in 2018. Blessings to you! Have a great weekend.

  • Summer Overstreet

    I was introduced to Isaiah 26:3 earlier this year. I do not know how I have missed it all this time! I have never chosen a “verse for the year” but I love your idea and will definitely do that in 18! Thank you for the suggestion, sweet friend!!!!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi sweet Summer! I’m praying about a new verse and a one word too. My one word for 2017 was Act. I may choose my one word for 2018 based on the verse God picks for me. Happy weekend to you, friend!

  • Kim Jolly

    What triggers anxious thoughts for me at this time of year? While everyone around me seems so busy…my life is the exact opposite. Frequently, I wonder if anyone sees me or remembers me. I’ve learned the hard way to not say anything or truly share my heart, because I’m not “heard”; therefore, my pain increases. So yeah. the anxiousness of the question: do I truly matter to anyone?

    Thank you for this post!

    Blessings,

    Kim

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Kim! So glad to meet you here! Wow, what a powerful answer to this question. I have struggled with feeling unseen and lonely for most of my life, so I feel like I can relate. When I studied the Bible, I found my true worth in Jesus, which helped me deal with my pain. I hope that helps you too. Questions: how did you find my post, and do you blog too? I’m so glad you shared your heart here, and I’ll be praying for you.

      Blessings to you too!

      • Kim Jolly

        Hi Sarah! I’m glad to meet you too. I’m learning to find my truth worth in Jesus–this is something I’ve been working on for awhile now.

        I think I found your blog through another blog (Counting My Blessings). Yes, I blog, here’s the link: http://faithjourneywithkim.blogspot.com/ .

        Thank you for your prayers!

        Blessings,

        Kim

        • Sarah Geringer

          Thanks for sharing your link, Kim! I’m heading over there right now to check it out.

  • Jamie Sumner

    Ohhh boy, this: “But action isn’t what I need most. I need to transform my thinking.”

    This is me to a “t”. I always want to DO whatever it is to solve the problem/minimize the chaos (especially during this holiday season).

    Thank you for this and for re-directing my attention (once again).

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Jamie! I appreciate your kind comment, friend! I pray that you will find extra peace this year as you draw closer to God!

  • Cheering you on in the monumental trade, Sarah, and also trusting for grace (and wisdom!) to make good choices in my thought life and my scheduling for this upcoming Christmas season.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello dear Michele! I’m sure you are busy with the upcoming season. I love hearing your personal stories that you share once per month. Can’t wait for that blessed December post!

  • Wow thanks for sharing those 3 points. We all have human struggles but it so comforting to know God is more powerful than all the weights, and stands arms wide open to catch our anxieties on himself. One thing that helps me as well as reciting and reading scripture, is to not live up to others expectations of what the holidays should like. I am learning how to reply with grace and gentleness instead of making a snappy comeback or turning the hurt inward. It took me a while though but God was patient with me!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Meghan! Glad you stopped by here today! Oooh, I love your idea of reciting scriptures out loud! That’s a great way to add a layer to meditation. Me too–I’m trying hard to overcome the outward and inward sharp comments, and God is being patiently walking up that mountain with me!

  • I love this post and giveaway. The thing that triggers anxious thoughts in me during the holidays is all the extra work. I’m chronically ill and the holiday work bring me much more pain. Each task is fun, but I dread the pain-filed results. I spend much more time in prayer, asking God to give me the strength to do the tasks, in order to have a pleasant Christmas season.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lisa! I am so glad to meet you online 🙂 Praying God’s peace for you, along with strength and healing, so you can shine the light of Jesus on all around you this busy season!

  • The holidays are prone to bring us anxiety … often wrapped in packages we didn’t expect. Love this heads up to be aware, proactive, and to grab hold of those verses that reacalibrate our minds and hearts.

    May we know when to say yes, to say no, to let go, to be still.

    Thanks, Sarah.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Linda! I agree, the anxiety often comes wrapped up in jack-in-the-box styles. I feel more peaceful when I prepare for Christmas things to go a little southward, rather than hoping everything goes perfectly. I agree–let our yes be yes, and our no be no, now and always. Blessings to you!

  • I loved this post. I can’t wait to come back and peruse the library. Hoping I know how to get in. I want to keep that peace during the holidays. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV” Thank you!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Maree! Are you a subscriber? If so, you’ll get the library “key.” Blessings to you!

      • I thought I was subscribed but maybe not. I am now. Thank you!

        • Sarah Geringer

          So glad to count you as a subscriber now. Many thanks!

  • Sarah, I love your Isaiah verse and I agree about Christian meditation. It’s not weird, it’s what we’re called to do, not an emptying of the mind like Eastern meditation, but a focus on God’s Word. Thanks for sharing and what a great giveaway!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Donna! Yes, I’ve learned so much about meditation this year, and I’m glad it is grounded in God’s Word too. I am happy to have hosted the giveaway. It will bless many as I put their packages in the mail today and tomorrow. Blessings to you!

  • If I’m not careful, I can become completely consumed by the stress of the season. I strive to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, the Prince of Peace. What a great giveaway. Someone is going to be truly blessed!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Barbie! The Prince of Peace surely helps me through the season too. I have 12 packages to get in the mail today…it’s like Christmas a little early in my home. Blessings to you!

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  • Meg Gemelli

    Meditation is such a delicate, learned skill. We’ve been talking about slowing down in my small group lately. I’m really glad that you’re educating people on what scriptures have to say about it!