How to Stop Being Too Busy to Live

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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“Busy” has become today’s buzzword.

Have you noticed that when you ask people how they are, the first words that usually come out of their mouths are, “I’m so busy.”  Not only is “busy” a buzzword, it’s also become a badge of honor. The busier one is, the more important one is.

Closeup portrait young, happy, smiling, man showing a time out gesture with hands, isolated white background. Positive emotion facial expression feelings, body language

But the busyness lie has a way of finding us out. Sooner or later, our busyness will catch up with us and expose the truth that we are too busy mostly about nothing.

This happened to me when my children were small. I was complaining to the Lord one day that I did not have enough time to do everything I had to do. Expecting a little sympathy from the Lord, I was taken back when He said to me, lovingly but firmly, “MaryAnn, you always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.”

Whoa!

“O-O-O-kay,  Lord,” I replied. “Either I’m totally disorganized, or I’m doing some things You have not called me to do.”  In my case, it was the latter, as I am an organized person by nature.

As I asked the Lord what I was doing that He had not called me to do, I was surprised when He pointed out several church ministries in which I was involved at the time. Good things.

But not good for me.

Besides, other church members were called to those ministries, and I was robbing them of their ministries.

A bad thing!

So, I gave up those ministries and began earnestly to seek God as to what He had called me to do. As I let go of what I wanted, God gave me what I needed. A writing ministry to glorify Him, to get to know Him more intimately, and to teach me His ways in the process.

One of the biggest bonuses I received from stopping the aimless busyness was that I finally started to live. No longer was I barely keeping my head above water and merely surviving. I startd to enjoy my life. I started to smell the roses and to seize the precious moments of life as they presented themselves in quiet, subtle ways. 

In short, I began experiencing the abundant life Jesus died to give me (John 10: 10).

How? By making my time with Jesus the most important priority in my life. By sitting continually at His feet. By refusing to take a step without first seeking Holy Spirit’s direction.

In Luke 10: 41-42, Jesus is having a conversation with Martha. Martha, you may recall, was the sister in the Mary-Martha duo who was constantly busy. Her busyness kept her in a continual state of anxiety, worry, and stress. Sound familiar?

In talking to Martha one day while she was busy, busy, busy, Jesus said this: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10: 41-42

The good part Marthat’s sister Mary chose was to make spending time with Jesus more important than anything else. More important than preparing the meal. (Jesus fed five thousand without cooking, remember?)  More important than cleaning the house. (When Jesus is present, the dust can wait.)

More important than anything else we think we must do.

How so? Because when we spend time with Jesus first, He loves on us and we love on Him. Out of that love (BEING) flows His guidance (DOING). When we’ve spent time first with Jesus, we don’t waste time doing things He doesn’t want us to do. He shows us what is most important in His plan for our lives on that particular day–and every day. He spares us from needless worry trying to figure things out on our own, trying to figure out what needs to get done first and how to get it done.

Most of all, when we seek Jesus first, we remain in His Presence all day long, basking in His love as we listen for His voice and obey His instructions. Talk about living in peace and joy!

If you, like me, have struggled with busyness, yield your struggle to Him now. Then live moment by moment in His sweet Presence. Soon, when someone asks you the reason for your peace and joy in the midst of a busy-crazed world, you can say, like me, “I’m joyful and at peace because I live in a different dimension of time–Eternal Time!”

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: Do you struggle with busyness? How do you deal with it?

TWEETABLE: “How to Stop Being Too Busy to Live” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)
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You Can Conquer Worry

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself thinking that the worst is going to happen? Are you continually uptight about your finances, your health, your marriage, your children, your job? If so, I have good news for you that will set you free from worry.

Chinese worries

First of all, recognize that worry is a learned habit. No one is born into the world a worrier. So, since you once learned the worry habit, you can unlearn it.

Let’s explore together the root cause of worry. In this world, there are two basic forces at work: the life-force of God (called faith) and the death-force of Satan (called fear). Worry is really a form of fear, and, therefore, comes from Satan.

It is not God’s will that you worry. God makes this very clear in the Bible, the operating manual He provided for us when He created us. For instance, He says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Elsewhere He says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:34).

These two statements are not suggestions, but commands. Since God commands us not to worry, this means that we have the ability not to worry, for God never commands us to do something we are incapable of doing. Moreover, if we disobey God’s command not to worry, we become guilty of sin. Yes, worrying is a sin!

Perhaps, however, you feel that you just can’t stop worrying, no matter how hard you try. What can you do? Here are some tips that have helped me when I’ve been tempted to worry:

1) Decide and determine that you are going to obey God’s command not to worry, no matter what the cost. Since God created you with a free will, you can choose not to worry.

2) Do not give in to feelings of worry. Resist them. To give in to feelings of worry is to feed those feelings. To resist feelings of worry is to starve them.

3) Realize that worry is a malfunction of the imagination. At any given moment, our imaginations are being controlled either by faith or by fear. When we worry, we allow fear to have the upper hand. This is why God instructs us to keep our minds filled with thoughts that inspire faith: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

4) Realize that worry is not a sign of responsible behavior. Many people believe that if they do not worry, they are not acting responsibly.   On the contrary, to worry is to act irresponsibly, for worrying clouds logical thinking and results in poor decisions.  

5) Understand that you will never completely conquer worry in your own strength. You need God’s help. Happily, that help is always available: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Psalm 46:1-2).

A wise person once said, “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” Don’t let worry empty your today of its strength. Instead, replace worry with trust in God. When you do, not only will all your todays be filled with peace, but so will all your tomorrows.

YOUR TURN:  Are you a worrier? If so, what have you done to overcome worry? Please post your comment in the box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLES:

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” ~ Anonymous (CLICK TO TWEET)

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Copyright 2000-2016 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. Dr. Diorio is a freelance writer and award-winning author of You Were Made for Greatness!

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Copyright 1999; 2016 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. Dr. Diorio is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Selling Yourself On You 

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Why Worry?

 WHY WORRY?

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Are you a worrier? Do you expect the worst to happen? Do you find yourself in constant dread that something will go wrong?

Beautiful worried businesswoman at the desk.I know how you feel. You see, I’ve had a life-long struggle with worry.  But, by the grace of God,  I have also come a long, long way in overcoming it.

When I ask people why they worry, here are some of the answers I get:

  • I worry because it’s the responsible thing to do.  Is it?
  • I worry because it gives me a sense of control over my situation?  Does it?
  • I worry because there is a lot to worry about.  Is there?
  • I worry because I can’t NOT worry?  Really?
  • I worry because that’s just the way I am.  Is it?

Worry is the misuse of the imagination.  If you can worry, you can also NOT worry.  It all depends on how you use that amazing part of you designed by God to create.

Worry is simply negative thinking gone awry.

So, what are we to do when we are tempted to worry? The answer is found in Philippians 4:6-8:  “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Prayer will knock worry right out of your life.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Christian who hid Jews during World War II.  She was captured and placed in a concentration camp.  Here is what she said about worry: “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles: it empties today of its strength.”

Are you allowing worry to empty you of your strength for today? If so, stop wasting your energy on worry.  Instead, pray. Then begin using your imagination to think of good things.

The Apostle Paul says it like this in Phlippians 4:8: “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

This is the formula for overcoming worry.  And it works every time!

In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, learns that worry and fear have no place in God’s plan for her life. 

Available in Kindle and print versions.

If you would like to learn how to overcome worry, check out my book YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! You Were made for Greatness

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

 

 

You Can Conquer Worry

Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself thinking that the worst is going to happen? Are you continually uptight about your finances, your health, your marriage, your children, your job? If so, I have good news for you that will set you free from worry.

First of all, recognize that worry is a learned habit. No one is born into the world a worrier. So, since you once learned the worry habit, you can unlearn it.

Let’s explore together the root cause of worry. In this world, there are two basic forces at work: the life-force of God (called faith) and the death-force of Satan (called fear). Worry is really a form of fear, and, therefore, comes from Satan.

It is not God’s will that you worry. God makes this very clear in the Bible, the operating manual He provided for us when He created us. For instance, He says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Elsewhere He says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:34).

These two statements are not suggestions, but commands. Since God commands us not to worry, this means that we have the ability not to worry, for God never commands us to do something we are incapable of doing. Moreover, if we disobey God’s command not to worry, we become guilty of sin. Yes, worrying is a sin!

Perhaps, however, you feel that you just can’t stop worrying, no matter how hard you try. What can you do? Here are some tips that have helped me when I’ve been tempted to worry:

1) Decide and determine that you are going to obey God’s command not to worry, no matter what the cost. Since God created you with a free will, you can choose not to worry.

2) Do not give in to feelings of worry. Resist them. To give in to feelings of worry is to feed those feelings. To resist feelings of worry is to starve them.

3) Realize that worry is a malfunction of the imagination. At any given moment, our imaginations are being controlled either by faith or by fear. When we worry, we allow fear to have the upper hand. This is the reason God instructs us to keep our minds filled with thoughts that inspire faith: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

4) Realize that worry is not a sign of responsible behavior. Many people believe that if they do not worry, they are not acting responsibly. On the contrary, to worry is to act irresponsibly, for worrying clouds logical thinking and results in poor decisions.

5) Understand that you will never completely conquer worry in your own strength. You need God’s help. Happily, that help is always available: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Psalm 46:1-2).

A wise person once said, “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” Don’t let worry empty your today of its strength. Instead, replace worry with trust in God. When you do, not only will all your todays be filled with peace, but so will all your tomorrows.
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Copyright by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.  All Righs Reserved.

The Worried Heart

Do you have a worried heart? I used to struggle with worry, but I’ve learned a few things along the way that may help you, too.

What is worry?  The word “worry” comes from the Greek word merimnao which is actually a combination of two other Greek words, merizo and nous. Merizo means “to divide” while nous means “mind.” So, to worry means to divide the mind. When the mind is divided, so is the heart.

The Book of James tells us that a divided mind is an unstable mind (James 1:8). So, when we worry, our minds are actually unstable. And an unstable mind is incapable of making a wise decision–or any decision at all, for that matter. Moreover, worry adversely affects our physical bodies, which are the temples of the Holy Spirit.

Not only does worry split the mind and hurt the body, but, more significantly, worry is also a sin.  We rarely look on worry as a sin, but if we did, we might be more intentional in overcoming it.  

One insight that greatly helped me in overcoming worry was to realize that worry is simply using my imagination in a negative way.  Each of us has an imagination. We can choose to use it to picture positive outcomes for our lives, or we can choose it to picture negative outcomes for our lives. The good news is that we have a choice. Choose to use your imagination to picture positive outcomes for your life and worry will no longer plague you.

Overcoming worry involves creating a picture in your imagination that corresponds with God’s picture of you as found in His Word.  When your picture and God’s picture agree, you set in motion the power of agreement as described in Matthew 18:19.  When the power of agreement is in effect, faith is ignited to receive what God has for you.

Corrie Ten Boom who survived the concentration camps said this: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.”  

The Word of God is our antidote to worry. When you are tempted to worry, meditate on these words of Jesus:

Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Matthew 6:34 – ““So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”

Finally, remember this: what we worry about rarely comes to pass. So why waste precious time worrying when we can spend that same time trusting God and resting in His love for us?

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.