Friday, June 24, 2016

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Nests

I took a walk around town this morning. I thought of my friend Nancy as I got to a certain road where red-winged blackbirds swooped overhead and shrieked at me angrily. It reminded me of our walks in Chandler, Minnesota and the times of year when we would carry an umbrella and pop it open when we got near one corner where the blackbirds threatened to dive on us as they protected their nests. We felt silly, but it worked to keep those pesky birds off our heads.

"You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair." (Martin Luther) That's the thought that also came to mind as I walked and looked up at the blackbirds winging crazily back and forth across the road. 
This picture makes my arm look huge! :-)

I stuck my arm up on top of my head as I walked, hoping to keep the birds from attacking my poor head. I felt silly, but it worked. 

As I continued walking, my mind turned to the thoughts that sometimes want to attack my mind. I had one of those days on Wednesday. I knew that Thursday was going to be a busy day working at the food stand at the Butler County Fair, working a few hours at Allison Little Lambs daycare, and then going to a concert at the fair at night. I dreaded the day and all sorts of thoughts began making a nest in my mind. What if...? 

What if I don't feel very talkative and I feel too shy to work up front at the food stand? What if I have to work in back and I've never done that before? What if I get all sweaty at the fair and then I have to rush to shower before the daycare? What if we don't get a good seat at the fair concert? What if I feel depressed and I can't handle such a busy day? What if...? What if...? What if...?

Those anxious, annoying thoughts built a great big worry nest in my head and pretty much ruined most of my day Wednesday. Of course, it turned out fine. On Thursday I felt talkative, I worked up front, it was cool so I didn't need a shower, and we got to the concert in plenty of time and enjoyed a good show. All of that worry for nothing.

I do that way too often. I waste time that I could be spending doing something productive as I let those worry thoughts build a mental nest. I really need to focus more on taking steps to prevent that. When I sense those thoughts flying around in my head I need to throw up my arm and keep them from landing. 

Maybe that means thinking about a Bible verse or two that can get my mind off my worries and remind me to trust God instead. Maybe it means talking to someone who can point out the flaws in my thinking and remind me that it does no good to worry about most "what ifs."

I can't stop those thoughts from flying crazily through my head, but I sure can stop them from landing and making themselves at home.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27 NIV)

Are unwelcome thoughts building a "worry nest" in your head? How can focusing on God help you to keep those thoughts from landing and staying in your mind?  


  1. This is really good, Robyn...I can relate to sometimes letting those worry bird thoughts build nests in my mind too. Turning a worry into a prayer instead or remembering to "Be still and know that I am God" helps me. But I wish I had such big strong arms like you ;)

    1. Ha! Thanks for the comment, Lynn. If you want huge arms like me, just eat plenty of ice cream, peeps, and candy corn. :-) Turning worries into prayer is a great idea!