Hello dear reader! Welcome to the fifth installment of the summer series How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord. If you missed the introduction, click HERE.
Today’s guest author is Emily Conrad. I met Emily through one of her short stories titled Returning Christmas and was so touched I immediately subscribed to her blog. It’s been an honor getting to know her better through emails since. (You can also read Returning Christmas and other short stories by Emily at her website listed at the end of this post as well as her debut novel Justice!) Emily has a gentle thoughtfulness that pervades her writing, and I’m thrilled to share her heart and words with you today. I just know you’re going to love her!
Worry, for me, is like listening to someone chew crunchy food.
I can’t ignore it, as much as I know I should. Both worry and my tablemate’s choice to munch on kettle cooked potato chips seem to be out of my control, something I must endure until the annoyance finally, graciously ends.
In the meantime (like the mature adult I am), I helplessly latch onto the noise until it’s all I think about.
Crunch, crunch, crrrrunch.
However, while I don’t feel God has given me the freedom to rip bags of potato chips from unsuspecting snackers around me, He has given me tools to silence worry.
[bctt tweet=”While I don’t feel God has given me the freedom to rip bags of potato chips from unsuspecting snackers around me, He has given me tools to silence worry. ~Emily Conrad” username=”PearlNAllard”]
Tools to Silence Worry
One morning a few weeks ago, I woke before dawn, and worry began to crunch away in my mind. Twisting and turning couldn’t silence my anxious thoughts.
Thankfully, our very own Pearl Allard had recently featured Philippians 4:8 in a printable she gifted to her email subscribers.
To silence worry that morning, I thought through the verse, something I could do without further rousing myself by going to get my Bible because I had it memorized.
Or, um, I had a version of it memorized.
THRPLA EWOP – Pretty Gibberish
Here’s what my brain has filed under Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is thrpla ewop. Think about these things.”
That’s from the ECT (Emily Conrad Translation), which in this case is based on the NLT.
Thrpla is pronounced thur-pla. Ewop is like Ewok from Star Wars, just with a “p” at the end.
The prettiest bit of gibberish I know, as each letter in those made up words represents a word in a list of uplifting things to think about when my brain would rather ruminate on worry.
Simply pausing to sound out thrpla again and recall what each letter stands for is like switching worry from potato chips to cucumbers—I may not be resting in worry-free silence yet, but worry has definitely been downgraded from its most annoying volume.
True. Honorable. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Worthy of praise. (I memorized from the NLT, and these are the words that version uses.)
To take the worry-cancelling process the rest of the way, I followed the prompt in Pearl’s printable by matching one blessing or truth to each of these descriptors.
True: Jesus loves me
Honorable: He died for me.
Pure: God’s love.
And on down the list again and again until my mind stopped chewing on worry.
The strategy worked because nothing stops mindless eating than being truly satisfied. And nothing truly satisfies us like the nourishment we find in God and in Scripture.
As if with choice meat you satisfy my soul. My mouth joyfully praises you, whenever I remember you on my bed, and think about you during the nighttime hours. Psalm 63:5-6, NET
[bctt tweet=”When we’re nourished and satisfied with God, we won’t try to fill up on worry and other harmful substances. ~Emily Conrad” username=”PearlNAllard”]
I don’t know about you, but I’m not usually worrying when I’m feasting on Scripture. Instead, worry breaks out the potato chips when I’m in the middle of other things—trying to sleep, paying bills, driving.
For this reason, it’s important to have access to Scripture everywhere we go. One way to obtain this is through memorization.
Packing To-Go Snacks for the Soul
The process helps us read our Bibles more carefully—we must if we’re to remember each word in order. And once we have a verse committed to memory, the Holy Spirit can serve it up when we need it, like when we’re lying awake, listening to worry.
So, think of memorizing the Bible as packing to-go snacks. Making over a diet to ensure good nutrition isn’t easy, but eventually, our habits will skew healthier. The more we commit to memorization, the easier it’ll come to us.
[bctt tweet=”Think of memorizing the Bible as packing to-go snacks. ~Emily Conrad” username=”PearlNAllard”]
Also like eating healthy, memorization doesn’t have to be drudgery. Choose verses and passages that encourage you. Think up memory tricks like thrpla ewop that’ll make you smile every time you stop to think about it.
By filling up with Scripture, we can go into our days—and nights!—nourished and ready for anything!
Except kettle chips. I can’t help you there.
Emily Conrad lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her debut novel Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.
Connect with Emily:
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she’s pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake’s coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God’s love and in each other?
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/justice-emily-conrad/1127841580
19 thoughts on “#5 – How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord – by Emily Conrad”
What? Kettle chips aren’t nourishing? 🙂
Thank you, Emily, for reminding us of the importance of dining on the memorization of Scripture. I’m really good at paraphrasing and often, I’ll say things like, “Well, I know it’s in the Bible and it’s something like this…” 🙂
I will have to try your idea of packing to-go snacks. I can do that! 🙂
I’m glad the idea sounds doable! I do try to get it word-for-word if I’m memorizing, but I’m also grateful that if we can get close enough in a paraphrase, it’s easy to plug what we do know into a search engine and get the verse, as well as the context. So many resources so we don’t have to go hungry! 🙂
Michelle, I’m with you. Too bad kettle chips don’t count as nourishment. 😉 Thank you for your encouraging words! Hugs!
Another great post Emily!
Thanks for sharing
Good luck and God’s blessings
Pam, I’m thrilled you enjoyed Emily’s post! Isn’t she great? Thanks so much for joining the conversation!
Thank you for stopping by, Pam!
I love how you write, Emily! I appreciate an author who encourages me to think deeply and leaves a challenge to apply what I’ve learned.
Stacey, I completely agree! So glad for your presence here. 🙂
Thank you, Stacey! It’s an honor to have my work referred to that way, since I like that kind of writing, too.
I was successfully releasing all worry until…you said you couldn’t help with the Kettle chip thing 🙂 LOL! Seriously, great post. Worry is like a bad boyfriend. It won’t go away. Neither will God, my perfect husband Who lures me with Truth, perfect and pure love. The choice is clear. The challenge is real. I pray we all choose wisely when worry takes a swing.
Haha! 🙂 Kettle chips. Such a problem 😉 I love that analogy of worry being like a bad boyfriend and God, the perfect husband. What a great way to think about it!
Well said, Mary! I’ll raise my teacup to that! I appreciate your presence here. “The choice is clear. The challenge is real.” Truth!
If I needed to read one message today, this one was it!
I have perfected worry to an artform. Somehow, even as a child, I “forecast” the worst possible result of every situation. It is as if I thought, “Well, if I anticipate the worst, I won’t be shocked when it happens, and if the worst doesn’t happen, I’ll enjoy the unexpected happy surprise!”
This habit is so ingrained, I have to give myself permission NOT to worry about something. I need ideas, and Emily’s ideas are the kind I like–doable!
Thank you, Emily and Pearl, for this delightful read!
Worry really does become ingrained. Sometimes it takes me a little while to recognize what I’m thinking as that habit creeping in. So glad the ideas sound doable! Thanks so much for joining the conversation!
Debbie, so glad this encouraged you. Isn’t Emily great? And I had to laugh, because you might have described me! Glad we fight in good company against the joy-stealers. Kettle chips are my favorite though…
I like kettle chips too, Pearl, unless I’m not the one eating them. Anyway, the problem is me, not the chips 😉 I’m working on it 🙂
I hear you, Emily. I fall into the same boat. 🙂
Thank you so much for having me on your blog and in this series, Pearl! I love the work you do here!
Emily, thank you so much for joining me and the others in this series! Potato chips and to-go snacks have new meaning now. 😉 Hugs!
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