When you’re at the end of your rope, is happiness possible? Tricia Goyer, author of Heart Happy: Staying Centered in God’s Love Through Chaotic Circumstances, found a secret to happiness at one of her lowest points. In today’s episode, she shares that her life, just like ours, has had some painful challenges, but happiness has intersected those seasons in beautifully unexpected ways. Tune in to tap into a truth that we can all benefit from!

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Your Turn

  • How has social media lured you into “comparative happiness?” (Have you believed that everyone is happy except you?)
  • Have you been in a season when “all you had was Jesus”? How did that change your relationship with Him? With happiness?
  • What practical step can you take today to refocus on God, the source of true happiness?

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Episode #263 Transcript

Featured Guest — Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer is a USA Today bestselling author of seventy-five books and more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award finalist.

Tricia won the Retailer’s Best Award in 2015 and has received starred reviews from publications such as Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly; she also is a member of the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.

In addition to her roles as wife, mom, and author, Tricia volunteers in her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and currently leads a Teen MOPS group in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more about Tricia at triciagoyer.com.

Connect with Tricia thru her website, on Facebook, and via Instagram.

Transcript — scroll to read here (or download above)

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Grit ‘n’ Grace — The Podcast

Episode #263: How to Cultivate a Happy Heart in the Midst of Chaos

Amy
When you’re at the end of your rope, is happiness possible?

Cheri
Tricia Goyer, author of Heart Happy: Staying Centered in God’s Love Through Chaotic Circumstances, found a secret to happiness at one of her lowest points.

Amy
In today’s episode, she shares that her life, just like ours, has had some painful challenges…

Cheri
… but happiness has intersected those seasons in beautifully unexpected ways.

Amy
Tune in to tap into a truth that we can all benefit from!

Cheri
Well, this is Cheri Gregory …

Amy
… and I’m Amy Carroll

Cheri
and you’re listening to Grit ‘n’ Grace: THE PODCAST that equips you to lose who you’re NOT, love who you ARE, and live your ONE life well.

Amy
Today we’re talking with Tricia Goyer, author of Heart Happy: Staying Centered in God’s Love Through Chaotic Circumstances.

TRICIA GOYER is a USA Today bestselling author of seventy-five books and more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award finalist. She won the Retailer’s Best Award in 2015 and has received starred reviews from publications such as Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly; she also is a member of the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as wife, mom, and author, Tricia volunteers in her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and currently leads a Teen MOPS group in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more about Tricia at triciagoyer.com.

Cheri
What Does It Take to Find—and Keep— a Happy Heart?

Amy
Today’s fast-paced world has plenty of chaos to offer all of us …

Cheri
Work stress.

Amy
Financial fallout.

Cheri
Family problems.

Amy
Caring for kids.

Cheri
COVID.

Amy
… and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Cheri
Under circumstances like these, it’s easy to misplace our joy and peace—but we don’t have to.

Amy
Author Tricia Goyer understands what it’s like to be pulled in a dozen different directions with the longing and intention to do all things well.

Cheri
A busy homeschooling mom of ten children—several of whom are still in the house—caregiver to her nonagenarian grandmother, speaker, and blogger, she also knows what it feels like to fall short.

Amy
But through her years of trial and error, she’s found uncomplicated but effective practices for nourishing the soul—and that is of utmost importance, because everything stems from the heart.

Cheri
Heart Happy: Staying Centered in God’s Love through Chaotic Circumstances will inspire you to stay tethered to the Lover of your soul.

Amy
By taking time to make your heart happy in the Lord, you’ll grow closer to the Heavenly Father, fostering true transformation from the inside out.

Cheri
Peace and joy can be yours—no matter what life dishes up.

Amy Carroll
Well, Tricia, welcome back to Grit’N’Grace!

Tricia Goyer
Oh, thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here again.

Amy Carroll
Well, okay, so I have a curveball for you. First, I need to know – because you are a prolific writer – how many books have you written?

Tricia Goyer
It’s 80-something,

Cheri Gregory
Oh, my word.

Amy Carroll
Holy cannoli.

Tricia Goyer
Yeah, she – my agent’s like, “You need to sit down and count.” I’m like, “I know! I don’t have time to count. Because I have a deadline next month.”

(Amy and Cheri laugh)

Like, after my next deadline, I will sit down and count how many books it actually is.

Amy Carroll
Amazing, amazing. And – how many kids?

Tricia Goyer
We have 10 kids.

Amy Carroll
10 kids, 80-some books. I – those numbers don’t even mesh in my brain. But congratulations on your new one. And we’re so excited to hear about your newest book, Happy Heart: Staying Centered in God’s Love Through Chaotic Circumstances. So how is this baby different and unique than all the other ones you’ve written?

Tricia Goyer
You know, this is really going deeper. I think I do a lot of sharing a little bit of my story. But this really goes deeper into my heart, sharing some of my struggles, some of the chaos. People know, you know, seven of our kids are adopted. And if you just look at my social media, it seems like everything is easy, and everything is wonderful. And, you know, I don’t spill the beans on who’s the hardest, and what’s the most difficult, but I really share how I have been impacted through just the struggles of bringing kids in from trauma, some of the struggles of things I’ve dealt with in my past that maybe was weighing down my heart. So I’ve really gone deeper to show that even in the midst of our chaos and our pain, and our hardships, we can have a happy heart that is centered on the Lord.

Amy Carroll
Beautiful.

Cheri Gregory
So talk about your search for heart happy, which is the title of your book. First of all, I’d love to just hear more about that phrase, heart happy. And then did you complete your search? Did you find what you were looking for? Just talk to us about that whole concept.

Tricia Goyer
I would love to say I found the answer. From now on, if you do these three things, your heart will always be happy. And I think –

Amy Carroll
You’d have a best seller! I mean, for sure.

(All laugh)

Tricia Goyer
So what I’ve discovered instead is such a process. And that’s a good thing. Because if we ever come to the place where we are happy and we don’t need God, then that would be missing out on so much. I really found that during my hardest times, during the chaos, during the pain, that’s when I turned to God. And that’s when I really had to seek Him. And in that seeking Him, I discovered that no matter what is going on in my circumstances, when I take that time during my day, to focus on God, to think of that I am his child, that He sings over me, that He has good plans for me, that He loves me completely. That gets my heart centered on what He is doing and what He can do in me, no matter what is going on around me.

Amy Carroll
So good. So break it down for us a little bit, Tricia, what does heart happy mean? And do you really believe that our hearts can find happiness?

Tricia Goyer
I do. But where I got that phrase from is one of my favorite heroes of the faith, George Mueller. Now for those who aren’t familiar with George Mueller, he lived about 150 years ago, and he was drawn to helping orphans. And so he started with a half dozen orphans. And then he grew one orphanage and two orphanages, and in his lifetime, over 100,000 orphans went through his schools, went through his the homes that he cared for. And he always said that he never would ask for, for things specifically, he would pray about it. And so his story is just faith after faith of him writing in his prayer journals of his needs and God fulfilling those things.

Well, he talked about how he – before he could handle the needs of the world, the concerns, he needed to get his heart happy in the Lord. And so he would every morning, he said he would get up and he would go to God’s word and he would say “What do you have in it for me today?” and he would not get up and deal with all the needs until his heart was happy in the Lord. And that inspired me so much.

I homeschool my kids. I’m under book deadlines constantly. I mean, all of us are living through a pandemic, there’s wars and raising costs of everything and we can get so distracted. And that really when I when I do that, when I center my heart on the Lord in the morning, whether it’s one scripture verse, whether it’s having time to read a chapter of the Bible, whether it’s journaling, prayer, when I could get my heart happy on the Lord, it changes everything about what’s going on in my day. My kids notice, my husband notices, I notice, because I’m coming to my day from a different place. I’m coming with – God is with me and cares for me. And He’s walking through this day with me. I do not have to face it alone.

Amy Carroll
It’s such a great insight that heart happiness, it affects other people as well as ourselves.

Cheri Gregory
Well, and what I’m noticing is I haven’t heard you mentioned the circumstances around you. Like this is – sounds very much like a protected bubble of you and God, you in God’s word, you in prayer. And so it’s very, very – almost exclusive, that exclusive relationship with God is where that heart happy is happening. As opposed to while doomscrolling through.

Tricia Goyer
Absolutely. Yes, and I think it is something we do have to protect. One story that I tell in the book is that one morning, two of my teenagers got up early. And they were in the living room – and I usually do my quiet time between five and six, they’re usually not up something woke them up was probably a storm or something. They were down there. They were rowdy, they were wrestling and I’m like, “Okay, if you’re not Jesus, right now, I don’t want to hear from you.” This is my time to spend time with God and I set them back up to their bedrooms and was like, go lay in bed for a while, you’re fine, the storm is passing. And I really have to protect that time in the morning. I make sure to try to get up before my family. Or even if I don’t, they know like if they’re going to be in the room when I’m having my Bible time, when I’m reading, when I’m praying, I need that to get centered on God before I can handle anything else going on. So it is also something we have to protect.

Cheri Gregory
So I’m hearing the ‘b’ word, the boundaries word coming in here. This is not just something that happens to happen. So. Alright, so, Tricia, this is not in our notes, but I’m just so curious. Do you know what Enneagram type you are?

Tricia Goyer
I have no idea.

Cheri Gregory
Okay. I mean, have you ever done –

Tricia Goyer
Tell me! Tell me! I’m very much a doer. And this is another thing too. I’m very much – I love lists. I love getting things done. I also love like, if there’s a cause I can stand up for? Orphans. We’ve adopted seven kids. Teen moms. I’m that type of person.

Cheri Gregory
Well, just from your Facebook, your social media profiles, and and the time we’ve spent together. I mean, Amy, do you have a suspicion?

Amy Carroll
I think she’s either a one wing two or two wing one probably.

Cheri Gregory
Okay. Okay.

Amy Carroll
What do you think?

Cheri Gregory
I was going to go with seven?

Amy Carroll
Oh, okay.

Cheri Gregory
Or eight. But so here’s the thing. Enneagram aside, I look at someone like you, and I assume that you have a gene that I don’t. Like, you were just born heart happy. You were born Tigger. And I happen to be have the genetics a little bit more for Eeyore. So you know when I read a book like this, I’m always going into it very skeptical. Well, goody goody gumdrops for her. She got given the the happiness card. And, you know, I didn’t get that. So is there – is this ability to be heart happy something we can all do with equal ease? Is is even easy? And why or why not?

Tricia Goyer
Yeah, well, I think, first of all, it might be easier for some people, but I don’t think it’s easy at all. Let me just say that, because our life bombards us constantly no matter if we have a more positive outlook on life, a more negative outlook on life. There is just stuff that is thrown at us. I mean, when in every day – my grandma lives with us, too. She’s 92. I have five kids at home that I’m homeschooling. So it’s dealing with, no, you really do have to sit down and do your math. I have kids that are living out of the home, that aren’t necessarily living the way I would like them to be living. There’s all those concerns, there can be so much that can pull me down and bring me down. And there was times – I do talk about this in the book – in the midst of dealing with kids from trauma, where I was assaulted a lot verbally by them. There was a time I had to go on antidepressants for a season because I couldn’t even like get out of bed.

And so I know it’s so easy when we look at people on social media and we’re writing these books and we’re doing these things. In that moment, I can get up and talk to a crowd and be happy and bubbly. And then the next moment I’m crawling into bed, like overwhelmed with the things of the world. And so I think that is one thing that’s hard about social media – and I’m so glad, my original three kids, I didn’t have that comparison. I was just able to develop who I was as a mother and my rhythms and how I interact with my kids without like, oh, what’s she doing? What’s she doing? It’s so overwhelming. And now, I’m more confident in my role as a mom. But I still am like, who I should be, like doing more nature walks with my children, or whatever it is that there’s all these outside voices and influences in that comparison. So whether we’re comparing, like, oh, she has a more outgoing outlook, we never can always see like, what’s really going on.

Because there were seasons I was writing book, I was doing podcasts. And then I was also facing this trauma that came upon our home from the trauma that our kids face, and there’d be times I’d be on the in on the floor in a fetal position. Like, I cannot even get up. There was a whole month, I can’t even look at my email. I’m like, I had book deadlines. I just couldn’t cope, because so much was going on. And so yes, and no. Generally, I can be a more outgoing person. But there have been seasons that have been very hard, and very dark. And that’s when I discovered how much more I needed Jesus.

And I remember one moment like “God, You called us to adopting these kids. You knew what would be coming. Like, how could you do this to me?” Like, it’s supposed to be easier, like, we love them, and they’re supposed to accept our love, and everything’s gonna be wonderful. And I really was almost like, upset with Him for allowing so much hardship to come into our lives. But it was that still small voice that said, “But would you need me as much right now?” And I’m a very capable person, I can do a lot. And it got to the point where like, “Oh, I really, really do need You. I’m not just saying I need You. But I need You to get up off this floor and go make dinner right now.” And so that heart happiness came from this book came from during one of the lowest seasons in my life, when all I had was Jesus, I couldn’t just keep putting on my smile on my face and going out and serving people because I had nothing left to go.

Amy Carroll
Well, thank you for sharing that. Because it does give you the credibility to write this book and talk to us about it. And I’ve heard you hint at what this next question is, but go deeper with us about why is it so important to remember what God has done in and for us? And how does that perspective change our hearts?

Tricia Goyer
Yeah, and I think so many times, we are looking at a Christian walk of what we need to do, of what we need to accomplish, instead of realizing what God has already given us. He’s given us Himself, hHe’s given us a son. He has good plans for us, even though at the time it may not seem like it. And so in those moments where we feel like there’s no way my heart can be happy right now, I would sit there and remember, like, there is a heaven right now under our angels before the throne. And it really – one special time in my life was my grandpa, he passed away in 99. But he lived with us five months before he passed away. And right before he passed away his last waking moments, he all of a sudden, he started praising God and crying and he was my very low key, very gentle grandpa, I’ve never seen him like raise his hands and praise the Lord. And he was worshipping God. And he said he saw Jesus standing there with his arms extended to him. My grandma called me she’s like, come here, and he’s just raising those hands and praising God. And he was close to death. And so before I mean, he was barely talking and suddenly he’s worshiping and he said, “Smell those flowers. Do you see that? Those birds? Do you see that lion?”

And so in those moments, when I’m like, this world is too hard. Things are, you know, God, why are you allowing these things to happen? I would remember that moment. And when I walked in that room, it was almost like heaven was there. I could almost like feel like if I turned around, I could see an angel because the presence of God was so strong. And so just remember what God gave us like, first of all, He gave us a son. And He gave us hope. He gave us peace. He gave us joy. But also He’s giving us eternity that He has prepared for us. And so I think remembering what God has done instead of I haven’t done this today, I haven’t kept this up. I’m not good at this relationship. We instead of focusing on that, and where we’re falling short, just turning our attention of what God has provided can change everything.

Cheri Gregory
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, beautiful story.

How has being centered in God’s love, as you describe it, changed you? And how has it changed how you interact with your family and with other people?

Tricia Goyer
Oh, it changes everything. And I think one of the things when we’re centered on God’s love. Another thing that I want to say is that it’s you know, yes, we wanted to have our quiet time but there’s other ways we could be centered in God’s love. In our daily life, by the work we do, by our conversations, and then also caring for our souls.

And so as a mom with lots of kids around grandkids, I have a grandkid. And one of my older daughters is over here right now, it seems like there’s never time. But if we look at the things that can feed our souls, and going for a walk, you know, taking time to have a bubble bath and reading a novel. And for me, during the pandemic, I started watercolor painting. In fact, the painting on the cover of the book is actually one of my watercolor pieces that the publisher was like, “We want something from you to go on the cover.” because they read the book. And so I didn’t even start that until the pandemic when I’m home, and I need an outlet, because I just have all these kids all the time.

And so it becomes important when we take care of our soul. Because when we take time to do that, our interactions with our family are better, I’m at more peace, I have more joy, the things that are stressful, like when I walk out and realize like the kids were in the mud, and they got the floor completely dirty after I just cleaned it. I realized, like, you know what, I’m at a peaceful place. Like, because I’m feeding my soul. Because I’m trying to juice it doesn’t matter. It’s like, okay, I’ll just gonna sweep the floor, where before, and my kids can testify, I would always be like, on the edge of my nerves, like any little thing I’m going to – not necessarily explode, but they will see my face very clearly, that mom is not happy in this moment.

And so when I take time to get my heart happy in the Lord, whether it is through that devotional time in prayer, whether it is feeding my soul, my interactions with my family, in my work, or whatever I do, are completely different because I’m satisfied. My soul is fed, I’m not running on empty and trying to just serve other people.

Amy Carroll
So good. Well, so I hear in the going back to sweep the floor again, I think I might be right about the Enneagram thing. I might recognize it.

Tricia Goyer
I’m gonna have to go look it all up now and figure this out.

Amy Carroll
But how have you personally struggled with wanting to prove yourself to God? And have you – how have you learned to correctly align your intentions?

Tricia Goyer
That proving myself thing is a big thing for me. And I grew up with a Hispanic mama and grandma. The house was always clean, they always had good dinner cooking. And so I think those expectations of that’s what life is supposed to be like, which for many years, when I only had three kids, I was kind of able to do that. And then we adopted seven more and suddenly, like, what in the world, I cannot do this anymore.

Top that with I became a teen mom when I was 17 years old. So I had my first baby. And then it was really during that pregnancy when I dedicated my life to the Lord. And I was so ashamed of all the mistakes I had made that I wanted to be the best Christian out there. So I’m going to take my kids to church, every time the doors are open, they’re going to be in Bible study, we’re going to homeschool, I’m going to be a writer, I’m just going to do all these things for God, out of good intentions.

But it comes to the point where we cannot keep going on that no matter how good our intentions, there’s just hard stuff that’s gonna happen to us. And I remember one day, in my laundry room, there was literally a five foot pile of all the dirty clothes my kids had, and my house was a mess. And it’s noisy. And this is not the type of life I’m used to. I’m used to be able to have more control. And suddenly, I was so overwhelmed and like, I can’t do this. And I felt so unworthy. Like, I’m failing God. So it’s not just more. It’s not just I can’t do it as a mom, but I felt like a failure. Like God, you’ve given me this task, and I just can’t do it.

And in that moment again, it was a still small voice that said I love you just as much. And I knew what that meant. I love you just as much even if you have laundry, even if you missed your deadline and have to have more time even if you wrote your voice raised that your child I love you just as much. And that moment was such a breakthrough that I didn’t have to prove myself to God. I felt like that little kid that was like me look at me like what I’m doing for you. And now I’m like okay, yeah, that was laundry like right now. There’s piles of laundry but laundry room, but I have so much more peace about it knowing I just have to do what God called me to do. And I have to turn to him. And I have to love Him and love the people around me and that’s it. Like if I don’t get to laundry today, which I probably won’t, it will be okay and it’s just such a different place to be than where I was before where I felt completely insufficient when I wasn’t able to keep all those tasks in my head that I thought I needed to do.

Cheri Gregory
So good. So good. I’ve never had – in our house, we call it Mount Washmore, it’s never been quite that tall. But this is the ongoing struggle for so many of our listeners is that, you know, we would love to take a little break, we would, you know, even tell ourselves, well, I wouldn’t be so hard on myself, but somebody has to do all the things. And if I don’t do it, it’s not going to get done. Or, you know, nobody’s going to magically show up to do it. So practically speaking, how can we get out of the rut of the busy life and shift our perspectives more towards God? Do you have some tips for us?

Tricia Goyer
Yeah, I think one of the things that I’ve learned to do is like, understand what really is a priority. So it is priority that I spend time with God. I have to educate my kids, because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Like, I want to spend time with my husband. We attend church. Like, these are priorities. We try to have dinner as a family. But there’s so much that have placed like in my mind that this is a priority that really isn’t a priority. And I encourage people to look at your calendars if you’re doing something that you’re doing because you didn’t want to say no. And something that maybe worked for a season that is no longer working for a season.

For example, I love like Community Bible study, or Bible study fellowship, or Bible study at my church, like just take me with those women. I love just sitting there with them. For seasons of my life, that is not possible because I’m homeschooling. And I would try to finagle it and work it around. And I just realized, like, there will be another season when I can do this. So it really is prayerfully looking at what can I take from my calendar? And then before adding anything, does this need to be on my calendar? And I’m constantly saying no. In fact, I’ve gotten to the point where before I’d say yes, too much, and then I have to come back. Now, unless I feel God leading me, I’m just gonna say no to everything. But we have to really protect that time and not have those unrealistic expectations. And I think those unrealistic expectations come to see what everybody else is doing. And our kids can only do one activity per year per child.

And you know, now that I have adult kids, they turned out fine. They weren’t in every club, in every sport. And they love God, and they’re very successful people. And so I realized, like, sometimes we think that these things need to be done. 100 years ago, you know, kids weren’t signing up for sports and on every activity and on Zoom calls and all these things that we think they need. And just going back to like, what is really required, what is more important for our family, and really focusing on that.

Amy Carroll
Good.

Cheri Gregory
Sounds good.

So our faithful friends who listen to Grit’N’Grace always have the best questions. And so we’ve had a listener submit a question; I broke it into two parts. So Amy, okay, you start with the first part.

Amy Carroll
Okay. ‘In the last two years, you know what I’m talking about, and now it’s only gotten more heartbreaking. I have friends who’ve lost so many family members in a year, including beloved pets. I want to be present for them and their grief and love them and be a light for them. Yet, even though I’m a believer, I have trouble negotiating the fear and anger myself. So when I’m having trouble seeing God’s love, how can I stay centered in it?’

Tricia Goyer
Oh, that is so good.

Amy Carroll
It is good. This is tricky right now. We all feel it.

Tricia Goyer
Yeah. And right now my daughter is a missionary in the Czech Republic. And so as we’re recording this, all this stuff has just happened recently with the Ukraine, and her church, which is 70 to 80 people and their little neighboring churches have already as of three days ago, helped 1000 Ukrainians come across the border, resettle in their town. My daughter was just talking today, and she and her husband have the tiniest little apartment ever. Their apartment’s probably as big as my living room, and like bathroom. And that’s her whole apartment. And she’s talking about how she’s talking to someone today, and she’s probably going to be taking in a mom and some children.

And so I’m thinking like, it just keeps getting worse. Like as soon as we think we’re just going to get used to one thing, then there’s another thing. And this is a very practical thing with my daughter, I mean, she’s actually going to be taking in refugees into her home. And so – plus, I think we have a larger network of people now than maybe we didn’t have before with social media, and long distance friends, and we’re able to keep track of people. So it seems like we become so bombarded. And what I’ve found is we can be overwhelmed. But again, it goes back to taking it to God. And when I see a need, whether it’s sending a text message, sending a note in the mail or even praying on Facebook, and in that moment, instead of saying I’m going to pray for you, I’ll just type out a prayer. If I hear something that’s going on with a friend I will just send a prayer over. And I know it’s hard to for people to ask for help. So usually I’ll just try to do something where I know we’ll be helpful.

We had a friend that recently was in the hospital, she’s a homeschooling mom. And I’m like, I’m dropping off a meal, I didn’t even know her that well. I always cook a lot of food. So I’m just going to cook up, throw a little more beans in the pot and cook more. And so I think thinking of some little thing, if you know someone that you can take a meal to, or send a text message that can help someone and know that in that moment, I can take it to God, like, you know, all whatever concern we have. If He calls me to do something, I’ll do something, but if not just take it to God, and leave it in His hands. Because I think our hearts can be so overwhelmed, and so burdened from all the things that are going on.

And even with my daughter, I’m talking today, I’m like, okay, as soon as you have a family, let us know, we’re going to send you some money to get some more food or whatever. And I know that I don’t have to carry, like, yes, I’m going to be there for her and support her. But I don’t have to worry day and night about that situation. I’m going to take it to God and take her to God in prayer.

Amy Carroll
Well, and that’s so practical, because you’re doing something immediately. So instead of a list of things you want to do building up and adding that layer of pressure. You’re like responding in the moment. And I that’s very practical. I like that a lot.

Cheri Gregory
Yeah. And then the second part of her question was, ‘What are some real life things we can do to keep chaos controlled, and really allow God to minister to us in our humanity?’ I love that last part, really allow God to minister to us in our humanity. I know a lot of our listeners fight the idea that we are human.

Tricia Goyer
Yeah, that’s so good. So some of the things are, there are times that I say, you know, sit down with your Bible, pray. There are times when I emotionally could not open my Bible, because I was so, the grief is so heavy on my heart. And so I would turn on my Bible app. And I would take it to like the Psalms and push play on the audio, and just lay in bed with the covers over my head and let God’s word just go over me. Sometimes I fall asleep, even as the Bible has been read over me.

Worship songs in the car, I always have connect my Spotify to the car, and we always listen to worship songs. That’s our go to thing in the car. So my kids, when they say, can I pick a song, I already have my list and we’re gonna pick a worship song.

Audio books, I’ve read some encouraging audio books of – I love Grace, Discovered, I think it’s called, by Jerry Switzer, was about he lost three family members and how he went through the darkness and how God was there.

And so whether it’s books or God’s word, I also have – you know, just texting friends and asking for prayer. I have one really good friend from church, and I would just text her like, I’m having a really hard day with these teens. And she’s like, you want me to come over? And I’m like, no, it’s fine. Like, because we want to like, not think we’re human, we just want to like think that we’re going to be okay. And I was laying in bed crying. And she walked through the door, and came into the bedroom. And she just sat at the end of the bed. And she just sat there. And after a while I started talking about it, she started talking about it, and it lifted my spirits so much to know that here is, at 4:00 in the afternoon, my friend is just gonna come over and sit on the end of my bed as I’m having a really hard day.

So we do have to realize, like we are human. And if we don’t feel like we can even open our Bible, just let the Psalms, like play the Psalms, or play a worship song or do something. And let God’s Spirit minister to you in that way.

And I love like Jesus expressing emotions to like when he went and saw Mary and Martha after Lazarus died, like he knew he was gonna raise Lazarus from the dead. But yeah, He wept with them. And so I think just remember, like Jesus is there and he cares about our emotions, and He’s also weeping with us, because he’s also heartbroken by the concerns of this world. And it’s okay, like, don’t feel like I have to bounce back. At this minute. It’s okay to sit with God and let him sit with you in those moments, and really let him minister to you in a way that only God can.

Amy Carroll
Beautiful.

Tricia, what closing words do you have for our friends who are listening who really want to learn to stay centered and God’s love through chaotic circumstances?

Tricia Goyer
You know, I think like any habit, we need to develop habits over things that we’re already doing, like I mentioned, in the car, we’re gonna listen to worship songs in the morning. My go-to thing is I have a little basket next to my couch and my Bible’s there, my journal’s there, my highlighter pens are there. And I think sometimes we feel like, I’m not doing a good job. But if we can create these little habits that can grow into bigger habits, it can make all the difference. So maybe just today, write a scripture note, and stick it in your pocket and that can be your habit. Or just put your Bible and buy your couch and in the morning, whatever time it is, read for five minutes. I think if we build up small habits, it will help us to get centered on God’s love and centered on His peace no matter what is going on in our lives.

Cheri
Friends, we so appreciate you tuning in each and every week.

Amy
And we’re especially grateful to Tricia Goyer and her publisher Salem Books for making this week’s episode of Grit ’n’ Grace possible!

Cheri
Check out this episode’s webpage at
https://GritNGraceThePodcast.com/Episode263/

There you’ll find this week’s transcript; a link to Tricia’s new book, Heart Happy: Staying Centered in God’s Love Through Chaotic Circumstances; and a link to Tricia’s website, which is full of fantastic resources.

Amy
Be sure to join us next week when we’ll be processing what we learned from our conversation with Tricia Goyer, author of Heart Happy: Staying Centered in God’s Love Through Chaotic Circumstances.

Cheri
For today, grow your grit …

Amy
… embrace God’s grace …

Cheri
… and as God reveals the next step to live your ONE life well …

Amy
… we’ll be cheering you on …

Amy ‘n’ Cheri
So TAKE IT!

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