From Worry to Joy

Contributor:Rachel Brune, Family, Youth & Children Director

As I sat down to write this article, my phone kept chiming, dinging, and bonging with notifications and updates of Hurricane Florence heading straight towards our recent home of North Carolina. The updates kept coming, from family members asking if our house was “safe,” to friends sharing personal experiences, decisions to stay or evacuate, and, of course, hurricane memes--it’s a thing!.

This just seemed like one more thing to worry about in a month full How can we help ourselves and our families to overcome the stress and anxiety that life seems to bring?

Two things seem to help our family out:
action and prayer.

I always feel better when I’m actively doing something, and I try as much as possible to turn worry into actions. We can study for tests, do homework for grades, spend time with family and friends to regroup after a particularly trying day at school or work. When it comes to larger issues, ones out of our control, there are still small actions that we can do to help keep busy, for example, put a disaster preparedness kit together. Back of worries. Like many families, our daughters are starting in a new pre-school and daycare.

My spouse and I are both starting new academic semesters. Many friends are dealing with financial difficulties and, of course, here comes the hurricane season, ending with triple threat. You heard that right; after Hurricane Florence, there are two more lined up!

All this worry: worry about tests, worry about grades, worry about friends and family, worry about natural disasters. in North Carolina, I feel better seeing all the offers that people have made to host evacuees and their pets, the stories people share of what they keep in their “to-go” bag, or updates people send out when the grocery store down the block gets in a new shipment of water or batteries.
Eventually, though, we reach the end of planning and action, and that is where we can turn with our families to faith and prayer. Whether it’s saying a prayer around the dinner table for all those in harm’s way, or coming to celebrate on Sunday with our parish community, we can alleviate worry through action and the act of prayer.

And so even as we meet new challenges, we can remember: Turn worry into prayer, turn prayer into faith, turn faith into joy.

SOURCE: Parents, September a.ka. Disaster Preparedness Month, may be over, but it’s never too late to plan ahead! A great family activity is making a plan together to respond to unforeseen circumstances--don’t forget to include your pets! You can find tips, checklists, and toolkits at: https://www.ready.gov/september

Tralee Johnson