Peace, Prison, and Victory

Peace, Prison, and Victory

Wife, mom, daughter, teacher, blogger, crafter, organizer - but most and best of all, I am a Christian. I am passionate about my family and my God. I am married to my best friend and am blessed with a one year old son who keeps me busy all the time staying at home with him. And I am glad to be in the service of our incredible and awesome God.
Tracy Watts

When worry strikes, it seems little at first.

But slowly, it creeps in and begins to wrap its tentacles. You begin to feel a hard knot in your stomach. The anxious tension in your shoulders. The nausea and restlessness. You toss and turn at night. You can’t seem to find the rest and refreshment that comes from sleep because sleep is nowhere to be found.

Worry isn’t peaceful. Worry breeds discontentment, doubt, and disorder.

And yet, doesn’t God offer peace?

Peace despite worry, despite trials, despite ourselves.

I look at Peter in Acts 12 and marvel at his apparent peace. There he is, imprisoned between two hardened Roman soldiers. He is bound with chains, with more sentries guarding his door, and yet, he falls asleep!

Instead of sleeping in peace, he could have stayed awake and worried, or do the things I might do when I worry. Peter doesn’t argue with God. He doesn’t ask God to rescue him or to ease his trials. Nor does he lose faith or lash out in anger or irritation. And he certainly doesn’t start cleaning things that didn’t need cleaning!

In fact, Peter seems so at peace that he is able to fall deeply asleep. He is so deeply asleep that an angel with heavenly light coming to his cell doesn’t awaken him! In fact, the angel has to both call him and basically whack him in order to wake him up!

Now that’s assurance. That’s real trust.

And Peter’s immediate reaction afterward helps teach me about how he got that peace in the first place. He obeyed God’s messenger immediately, he gathered with God’s people to share the things God had worked in his life, and he went to the work God had called him to do.

Peter had no illusions about what might happen. Death, torture, and imprisonment were much more an understood probability in the life of the Christian then. And he had the humility to think at first that what he saw that night was only a vision from God.

After all, why would God rescue Peter?

Why would he rescue any of us, for that matter? And yet he does!

1 Corinthians 15:57

That victory, that peace is only found in Christ. No, we don’t deserve or even sometimes expect it. And yet, it is there for the taking, if only we follow Him.

May you step out in faith and trust to experience that peace today too.


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Cast Your Cares on Him–Not Control Them

Cast Your Cares on Him–Not Control Them

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

Cast Your Cares or Control Them?

I Peter 5:7 says, “…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  I have read that verse so many times that I have memorized it.  We are supposed to give everything over to God, but that is so much easier said than done (especially for a control freak like me).  I knew I had to give my worries over to God, but I didn’t know how to do that.  After hearing the song “Cast My Cares” by Finding Favour on the radio so many times, I would cry when I heard it because I knew God was talking to me and I knew I was not obeying Him.

When my husband had his heart attack, I was so distraught.  I was trying to do everything and control everything.  I was having a very difficult time dealing with all that was going on in our lives.  It was at that time that I ran into a strong Christian friend.  (Funny how God does that.)  We started talking and I broke down.  She reminded me that I needed to give it over to God.  

What Does Casting Your Cares Look Like?

I looked at her and said, “I know I’m not supposed to worry, but I don’t know what that is supposed to look like.”

I could not believe that those words came out of my mouth.  Of course I knew what God’s word said.  So many times, I had quoted that scripture, 1 Peter 5:7, but I did not know how to live it.

Many times in my life I thought I had given my problems to God, but I had either given them to Him temporarily or not at all.  I would hold on to it.  I did not know what I needed to do to achieve this.  We are not being obedient to God if every time we pray and “give” him a problem, we turn around and five minutes later “pick it up” and start worrying about it again.  We are telling God that we do not need Him and we do not have faith that He will take care of us and provide for us.


Do You Pray About Your Cares?

Pray without ceasing!  1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)

Prayer is always the answer.  If we are praying and talking to God about our problems, then we cannot be worrying about them.  This is a constant struggle.  When we go to God with our problems, we should not just say a prayer and move on.  Ask Him to take them away.  Then in five minutes, when you want to “pick that problem” back up, pray again.  Continue to do this until you stop “picking it back up.”  God is bigger than all of us.  He can handle all of our problems.  (Of course, I say all this as I write this at 4:00 a.m.)

I will not say that I am at a point where I cast my cares on Him and am immediately over it.  That is going to be very difficult for a control freak like me.  I am working on it, though.  I have made great strides within the last few weeks.  It becomes easier each day.


Is there a care that you are not giving over to God?

Are you holding on to past struggles?

Are you ready to cast your cares on Him?



Resting in His Perfect Peace

Resting in His Perfect Peace

The waters, they rise and they fall, their rhythm is melodic. I am at peace. I can see goodness in the sparkle of sun which glints across waters pristine. I feel comfort in its steady and predictable movement. Hope arises in these moments. I float in the security of carefree waters.

But what then, when the waters began to abandon their state of rhythm? The peace, is it there when the cacophonous overtakes the harmoniousness of the waters? When waters are dark and grey, do I still know that which is good? When my boat is rocked dangerously by waters rough and sudden, do I feel the same warm feeling of assurance? Can hope be sustained in the tumultuous moments? When my boat is tossed by waves dangerous and violent, will my world and all that I know be overcome and sink into waters deep?

You rule the raging sea; when its waves surge, You still them. Psalm 89:9 (HCSB)

The Ruler of All. He is the One who can silence the waters. He is the One who remains sovereign through all moments of life. He is the One in whom I trust; He is the One in whom my soul is anchored. 

I can rest in His sovereignty. When I am floating on waters safe and sure, I can bask in His goodness. When I am tossed about by the roaring waves, I can cling to His authority. Trust, it is there in the stillness and it is there in the storm. To know His sovereignty in all situations is to be filled with peace that is of perfection. It moves beyond understanding–it is not fear, but comfort. It is not worry, but confidence. It is not doubt, but certainty.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26-3 (ESV)

The seas of your life will rage. When they do, is your hope anchored to the One who can still them? Are you being held by steadfast arms through the waters which mean to drown and destroy? Can you find comfort in knowing that whatever the circumstance, you are His and He is yours?

“So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine.” – Oceans (Hillsong United)

He is there and He is waiting. There is no storm too big, there is no wave too high, and no waters too deep. His rescue knows no boundaries and His healing knows no limits. The grace and comfort He holds out to give you is everlasting; it is waiting for you to accept.

What storms of life are you going through right now? How have you found comfort by resting in His sovereignty? How has He carried you through the storm? 

Burying My Head in the Sand

Burying My Head in the Sand

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.

Did you know that ostriches do not bury their head in the sand when they’re afraid?  I discovered this fact while I was searching the inter-webs for this post.  So if you also have believed the age-old lie that ostriches bury their heads in the sand, I’m sorry to say that you were wrong, and now you know better.  And if you haven’t already had someone tell you “when you know better, you do better” then I must say congratulations!

I’ve seen someone type this phrase out online more times than I can count, and I have to say it rubs me the wrong way.  First of all, it assumes that we all will have the same feelings or beliefs based on a set of information.

Secondly it assumes that the information presented is infallible.  My friends, the only thing I’ve ever read that is 100% bulletproof, stands up against all opposition, and holds true in every scenario is the true word of God.  But I digress.  I didn’t sit down at my computer today to rant and rave about the catchphrase of the day.  No, I sit here today to talk about one of my own shortcomings.

I (unlike an ostrich) find myself burying my head in the sand frequently these days.  To say that I’ve become a proverbial basket case since I’ve had children would be a severe understatement.  Our world today seems to be an ever-changing cocktail of worrisome information.  We have access to more information than any generation before.  It’s wonderful, right?!  Uh, I beg to differ.  Hopping on social media for a quick update on my friends and family unleashes Pandora’s box.

Oh, I’m not talking about the latest murder, carjacking, or robbery, although these things are certainly worrisome.  No, I’m talking about things that burrow deep down into my heart and start my descent towards the sand.  I may wake up with my head held high, but you can bet that by the end of the day my brain is buried away where it doesn’t have to contemplate the latest problems of my world.

Besides the endless mommy wars (which are a total drag–aren’t we past this?) I find myself facing a barrage of information or opinions which start me questioning my choices and the safety of my children.  I mean, it seems like every day there’s a new car seat recommendation that I can’t keep up with.  Then there’s the guilt over the fact that my grocery shopping is either done at a sprint or with four needy humans in tow that results in a lack of anything organic.  Move on to the scare over vaccinations and I’m already starting to burrow.  The other day a simple google search about the little cuties oranges turned up a blog discussion about fruit dyes.  They’re dying our fruit?!  I mean, can’t a momma catch a break???

Human trafficking.
Dirty politicians.
Police being murdered.
Late-term abortions.
ANY abortions!

I just can’t.  I just can’t keep reading and thinking and worrying.

  • What happens if a vaccine hurts my child?
  • What happens if my children eat fruit that has been dyed?
  • What happens if we don’t do extended rear-facing and we have an accident?  Could I ever forgive myself?  I mean, I had read the information right?
  • I know better, so shouldn’t I do better?


At this moment I have to call up from my soul the lyrics of one of my very favorite songs.

Breathe, just breatheCome and rest at my feetAnd be, just beChaos calls but all you really needIs to just breathe.

Ah, Jonny Diaz!  Bless you for being the hands and feet of Christ to me in this situation.

How in the world do I find myself in this place over and over again?  I mean, I’m pretty sure if you do a search of my blog posts on here you’ll find that I reach this place pretty frequently.  How fortunate for me that we serve a God full of grace, mercy, and forgiveness!  How foolish I must look to be sticking my head in the sand day in and day out.  Has the Lord not made it clear to me who has control of my life?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothes you-you of little faith?  So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:26-34


Do you ever get overwhelmed by the worries of this world?

What things make you want to bury your head in the sand?

Battling Anxiety During Pregnancy

Battling Anxiety During Pregnancy

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time.  There are all kinds of things that can bring on that sweaty hands, all-consuming angst that just leaves you feeling weary.  For me, pregnancy seems to be a vessel that my anxiety rides on.  I have had varying degrees of anxiety during my four pregnancies.  My first seemed fraught with anxiety that my baby wouldn’t be okay, or that he would somehow be hurt by something I did.  During my second pregnancy, my anxiety got so bad that I actually struggled with postpartum depression for nearly a year before the fog lifted enough that I realized something was wrong.  Each time the feelings seemed to creep up on me and had the potential to leave me feeling less than in control.

As I’m nearing the end of my fourth pregnancy, I’m finding the same things that triggered my anxiety in my second pregnancy are beginning to trigger anxiety during this one.  My triggers are: bickering between my children, aloneness for too many hours in the day, not having a plan or knowing the schedule for an upcoming event, prolonged loud noises, and my biggest one–the neighborhood kids.

Yes, you read that right.  I live right next to an elementary school.  I am surrounded by school-aged children.  I hear them constantly.  They don’t bother me when they are at school.  The sounds of them playing and yelling during recess cause me no alarm.  Their chattering as they walk to school in the morning doesn’t phase me.  Sure we’ve had a ding-dong-ditcher a time or two in the morning, but generally mornings aren’t an issue.  No it’s after school that my anxiety really peaks.

They’re walking home and I hear them.  I hear them swearing, screaming profanities in front of my house.  I hear them playing and horsing around.  I hear them running up onto my carport and sometimes ringing my doorbell and running away as fast as they can.  I hear them after the crossing guard has closed the gate and gone home.  I hear them running, riding bikes and scooters, and yelling to each other from across the street.  And I see them.  I see them riding and running through the four-way stop that only half of the neighborhood observes, without even looking.  I see them going back and forth in front of my house throwing garbage and sticks at one another.  I see them hanging on the gate and swinging it as hard as they can trying to break the lock and chain on it; yanking and kicking the signs on the gate trying to rip them off.  I see them, I hear them, and they disturb me.

I worry that they’ll try to get in my backyard and steal my children’s toys again.  I worry that they’ll climb the trees outside my fence and throw things at my windows again.  I worry that they’ll damage one of my vehicles or get hurt on my property or teach my children a word that I’d rather they not know.  I worry that they’ll be hit by a careless driver as they play in the middle of the street.  I worry that they’ll break out in a fight that I am helpless to stop.  I worry.  And so the days go.  As my pregnancy progresses it usually gets worse.  I wake up in the morning dreading the afternoon.  I find myself agonizing over the squeaking sound of the gate opening in the afternoon, signaling school’s release.  I find myself worrying incessantly about them, and my children, and my house, and me.

And then when the baby comes, in that period when life should be sunshine and roses and snuggles and soft baby smells, I worry.  They disturb me.  I get mad that they’re so incredibly loud right outside my house when my sweet, peaceful baby is resting.  I get worried that they’ll come to the door or window and look in while I’m breastfeeding and bonding with my baby.  And when I let all of that worry and anxiety envelop me, I get lost in it.  And then I yell at MY children.  I get frustrated and upset at every unhappy sound or too loud noise or extra question they ask.  It is nothing more than Satan finding a foothold in my life.  It’s happened once postpartum and I will not let it happen again.

As I feel this all-too-familiar anxiety creep over me, I am beginning with a plan this time.  I will not allow these feelings to control me.  I will not allow a cloud of depression to steal away my memories of my baby’s first weeks.  I will not allow Satan into my home and my emotions.

Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This verse always makes me chuckle!  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Isn’t that so true?  Why would we waste a moment worrying about the events of another day when there is more than enough worry for today?

Phillipians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This verse gives me a road map for exactly what I need to do.  I need to stop being anxious, bring my worries to the Lord through prayer, and I will be filled with the peace of God that will guard my heart and mind.  How encouraging!  And how simple!

I recently listened to a sermon in which the speaker was commenting on the fact that we often rely on prayer as a last resort.  We say, “Well we’ve tried everything else, now it’s up to God” or “All we can do now is pray.”  This really struck a chord with me.  How often do I waste time worrying and fretting over something and finally I’ll resort to prayer? Why didn’t I seek the comfort only the Lord can bring in the beginning?  This is definitely something that I plan to work on.

Do you ever experience increased anxiety during certain times of your life? 

How do you cope with the anxiety you feel?

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