Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

pregnantbellyI walked into Tom Thumb last week to grab a few items for dinner. I swiftly passed by the sweets section not intending to buy anything from the bakery on this occasion. This cookie cake caught my eye and brought me the biggest smile! It was a giant chocolate chip cookie covered in bright yellow frosting with chocolate icing revealing a big smiley face. You know the big eyes, mouth and nose. Insert big smile here!

Immediately the song began to play in my mind. I could hear the snapping of the fingers and whistling …the familiar lyrics echoing the tune by Bob Marley “Here’s a little song I wrote, might want to sing it note for note… Don’t worry be happy! In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double. Don’t worry be happy!”

I did pass on buying the cookie cake that day. But the picture has popped in my mind every day since. It seems as though I just can’t shake it. Some could think it’s because of my sweet tooth and desire for the delicious delicacies of a sugar rush. But it’s not that. It’s the picture, the word, the sign that God keeps repeating over and over again in my mind. It may appear differently at times, but the same theme, the same word keeps playing.

Even now as I just you tubed the video of “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” An advertisement began to play with a giant orange yield sign that said “Worry” followed by another Bob Marley song “Baby, don’t worry about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be alright.”

A favorite game on my app right now is 4 pics one word. It gives 4 pics on display and blank squares for you to stretch your brain to guess the word. There are hints of letters below for you to choose and place the letters correctly. You are given coins for each correct answer. It’s challenging and fun to see the pics and guess the words.

It seems as though that game has been playing out in my real life these days. I can see signs and apply them to my every day life. They can be simple, ordinary, plain signs that are so random, but speak so clearly to me.

Worry being something that I can be so free of at times, but it can also creep back in at anytime. I try to run away from it, but then turn around and there it is chasing me. How do I escape it? How do I get away? When something keeps replaying over and over in my mind of how I can approach the task ahead of me, or a new venture, or challenges with my teenage boy… the list goes on and on and these crazy thoughts tend to overwhelm my mind.

I picked up my Message Bible the other night with a silent plea of help me as I flipped it open. It landed on exactly the verses that I needed to hear at that exact moment.

The header of the scripture read, “It’s a good thing to hope for help from God.” The verse is my absolute all time favorite; so when I flipped directly to it, my heart was so filled with peace instantaneously.

I read the familiar words….

But there’s one thing I remember… God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over) He’s all I’ve got left. {Lamentations 3:22-23}

I fell asleep with those words ringing in my ear. Knowing that while I slept, God was watching over my family and I, and there was nothing to fear. I would awake in the morning with a fresh start, a new day to leave my worries behind and give them all to God. Whether I voice them out to Him, write them out in a journal, use scrap paper that I have sitting right beside me, or whatever is close at hand.  I can write out the things that are weighing heavy on me, the cares and worries of this world. I can release them and no longer be chased by the worries when I write them out and give them to God. Knowing He is in control.

No matter what situation you may be facing … big stuff, little stuff, and everything in between, God is for you. He is able. He will never leave you or ask you to handle it on your own. He asks you to reach out, reach up to the One who is holding you.

I am reminded of sometimes when God shows up at the eleventh hour. This is how God loves to work in our family. Oftentimes waiting until the last bit of time, cutting it short, arriving just in time. We are learning that this stretches our faith in more ways than we can ever imagine.

We sold our home a few years ago and had movers scheduled to arrive the following morning. We had been searching for a rent home, had looked at many, but did not feel a peace with any of them yet. I remember sitting outside on the back patio, looking at my husband praying for a home to just fall out of the sky. At that point we were desperate and needed a place to stay for our family. We knew that God was going to provide, but it was cutting it so short. Within a few minutes of asking for a home to fall from the sky, a close friend of mine said she was washing dishes and had a thought to call me and tell me of a home her friend had on the market. We went and looked at it, and immediately felt such peace and knew this was the home for us. Our movers came the next morning and started packing up. It was down to the wire, the eleventh hour. We did not know at the time where were going to end up, but we trusted God in the process.

I am a very laid back, care-free, easy going, go with the flow kinda girl. This is how God loves to work in me and through me. Many times delivering a word or message at the last moment. I can pray, seek and ask Him for a word weeks in advance. Oh but God, He loves to deliver at His precise time. Not when I may want it, but when He says its time. I have learned to be content in His delivery process. Not necessarily watching the clock and pointing at the timer saying ok, there is only this much time left before______…. but am now learning the joy in the waiting and knowing that God will completely come through in every situation!

What worries are you holding on to right now? It could be a slew of different things. The worry seems to weigh you down. It could be school, tuition, bills, rent, food, clothing, hospital bills. It could be worries about your pregnancy, your little ones, childcare, baby daddy, where to live, a job, the list goes on and on. You know what has been playing over and over in your mind. Can you do me a favor? Will you grab some paper and write those things down. Allow this to be a release for you to let go and let God. When He takes over, AMAZING things happen!

I just did a word search for “worry” on bible gateway. Do you know what? It had a quick search result from the message bible showing 56 results about worry. Guess how many of them are worded… “Don’t worry!”?? Lots of them! Perhaps Bob Marley was inspired by the Bible when he was writing the lyrics to his songs about worry.

I love these references to name a few:

And now, my dear daughter, don’t you worry about a thing; I’ll do all you could want or ask. Everybody in town knows what a courageous woman you are—a real prize!  {Ruth 3:10-13}

And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words. {Matthew 10:18}

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. {Philippians 4:6-7}

Simple enough. It’s easy to read these words and think, ok, I can do that. But we are required to follow through with it. Just try it, you will like it!! When worry tries to creep its way in, just pray & be happy and allow God to do the rest.

When I was pregnant with my first baby, my hubby had a cute idea to paint my belly. He came outside with yellow, red and black paint. He took the paint brush and began to paint a giant yellow circle on my tummy. It tickled so much and couldn’t help but giggle and shake my tummy when he painted. I asked him what he was painting? He said it was a surprise. Then he painted a big smiley face with a tongue sticking out… yep, the same face that I saw last week on the cookie cake. It brought sweet memories of my days being pregnant. The days go by so quickly. Take some time to enjoy the moments.

So all of this to say, no matter what you are facing. No matter what comes your way…

Don’t worry, Be happy!

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. {Philippians 1:3-6}

Written by Salina Duffy

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