10 verses to encourage your soul

In these days of lockdown & uncertainty, we all need some encouragement. I hope these verses are a blessing, an anchor for the soul:

1.’I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’
(Philippians 4:13 ESV)

2.’Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’
(Matthew 6:34 ESV)

3.’You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.’
(Psalms 139:5 NLT)

4.’As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.’
(Psalms 138:3 NLT)

5.’Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock.’
(Isaiah 26:4 NLT)

6.’Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.’
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

7.’The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.’
(Nahum 1:7 NLT)

8.’Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’
(Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

9.’Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.’
(Psalm 55:22 ESV)

10.’Because I, your GOD, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, “Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.”‘
(Isaiah 41:11-13 MSG)

Blessings,

Ruth x

Arrival!

Advent means arrival in Latin-a special time to celebrate God’s arrival on planet Earth-

As a tiny baby
{God with skin!}

The arrival of the:

Promised Messiah
Wonderful Counsellor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace.
Light of the world
Lion of Judah
Word of Life
Hope of the Nations
Love Incarnate
Imanuel- God with us

‘Advent reminds us that God seeks us out where we are right now’
(Sarah Bessey)

Even on this Covid covered planet- especially at the end of a difficult year:

‘Jesus is God’s hand outstretched to us’
(Bailie Gillespie)

‘For the Lord your God
is living among you.
He is a mighty Saviour
He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.’
(Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

Even now,
‘The Lord is my strength and my song’
(Exodus 15:2 NLT)

Especially during this difficult time:
‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted’
(Psalms 34:18 NIV)

At this time of waiting & expectation, we can find hope:

‘You may feel like you’ve lost hope -but Hope never loses track of you.’
(Ann Voskamp)

‘As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.’
(Micah 7:7 NLT)

Our God is with us in the waiting .

He’s in the waiting

‘Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting’
(Kristene DiMarco)

We can keep on going through 2020, because He’s with us.

‘When you’re going through dark days, keep on going, because Jesus goes with you and He is your Hope, going through whatever you’re going through.’
(Ann Voskamp)

Take a moment to:
‘Be still & know that I am God’
(Psalm 46:10)

This Advent season, may you know
Hope
Peace
Joy
& Love

Blessings,

Ruthx

Lightness

Days feel heavy at the moment- the weight of the COVID pandemic has wrapped itself around our globe. Daily life remains altered as summer fades into autumn.Anxiety weighs us down. So do old regrets, failures & mistakes.

There’s an old song entitled ‘I am a new creation’ that talks of standing in God’s grace & having ‘a lightness in my spirit’:

‘A joy that knows no limit, 
a lightness in my spirit 
here in the grace of God I stand.’
(Dave Bilborough)

The lightness begins with our relationship with God through faith:
‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.’
(Rom 5:1-2)

How can lightness dispel heaviness?

We need to ‘Preach the Gospel to yourself’ We can leave the heaviness of sin with God for ‘as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’
(Psalms 103:12 NIV)

‘God’s faithfulness is greater than your worst mistake, greatest regret or biggest blunder’
(Jennifer Rothschild)

We can look beyond our problems to God-He is Majestic & Magnificent -Lord over all yet Abba Father.

And God doesn’t want us to carry heavy burdens. We’ll feel lighter if we leave them with Him:
‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.’
(Psalms 55:22 NIV)

We can feel lighter by turning worries into prayers:
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’
(Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

We can choose joy -This is much more than thinking happy thoughts

We can switch fear for trust
For,’perfect love drives out fear’
(1John 4:18 NIV)

When we trust God, we know this truth:
‘The truest thing about you is that you are the one whom Jesus truly loves.
(Sam Allberry)

And this brings lightness in our spirit.

Blessings,

Ruth x

Today I choose

Today may feel the same as every other day. These lockdown days blur into one another.

Today is Sunday-a time to pause & reflect. For this is the day the Lord has made & given to us as a gift.

Each day consists of many choices- seemingly insignificant. Yet when strung together they create patterns of our everyday life.

So, Today I choose gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for. Even in the middle of a pandemic, we can have an attitude of gratitude. We can list the everyday blessings that we are grateful for.

Today I choose Love

Love is patient. Love is kind

Love is from God, for God is love.

‘God loves you simply because He has chosen to. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. he loves you when no-one else does. No matter what’
(Max Lucado)

Love is not static or stagnant, as these words remind us:

‘Love doesn’t just sit there,
like a stone,
it has to be made,
Like bread;
remade all the time,
made new’
(Ursula K Le Guin)

Today I choose joy- deeper than happiness & independent of circumstances.

In days like today,
‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’
(Nehemiah 8:10 NIV)

‘Rejoice in hope’
(Rom 12:12)

‘Teach us to begin again with joy’
(Emily P Freeman)

All we are sure of is today- not tomorrow.

‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’
(Matthew 6:34 NLT)

There’s talk about these days being a ‘new normal’ A poster outside a local church in Greyabbey asks ‘Will you let God be part of your new normal?’

Today I choose to let God be part of my day.

Today I choose to follow God- even though I falter & waver along the way.

‘This is the one great truth: The only thing that is certain is uncertainty – and the certainty of God.’ (Ann Voskamp)

God is faithful- today & everyday. Always & forever.

Today, what will you choose?

Blessings,

Ruthx

Bright & beautiful promises

Planet Earth has been more difficult to inhabit in recent months- in an unprecedentedly unprecedented way!

It’s easier than ever to worry. There’s plenty to feel down about. Life feels like it won’t ever be the same again.

Thankfully in these shifting times God has given us everything we need:

‘We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.’
(2 Peter 1:3CEV)

‘And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises.’
(2 Peter 1:4 NLT)

God’s Word contains ‘great & precious promises’ God’s promises are like an anchor in stormy days, light for dark days & an encouragement to keep us going all our days.

Throughout lockdown I have been gathering God’s promises (Maybe you have too) And I’m grateful that ‘His every promise is enough for every step I take’ (Getty)

I read this promise to Moses:
‘The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, and I will give you rest-everything will be fine for you.”’
(Exodus 33:14 NLT)

These verses were in Chris Tiegreen’s devotional book:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
(Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

I like this alternative version of this verse:

‘That’s right.
Because I, your GOD,
have a firm grip on you
and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you,
Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.’
(Isaiah 41:13 MSG)

I found these words of Jesus on a little card:
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
(John 14:27 NIV)

This verse was on the corner of the Spectator newspaper:
‘You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock.’
(Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT)

These words were written on a greetings card in my Bible:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

These verses were mentioned in a podcast:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.’
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

I read this verse last week;
‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’
(Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)

These days may feel like a monotonous grey or even stormy black but,
‘The future is as bright as the promises of God’
(Adoniram Judson)

I’m grateful for God’s unchanging words today & always.

Blessings,

Ruthx

Nurturing the exhausted mind

‘When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.
(John O’Donahue- To Bless the space between us)

Maybe you’re feeling exhausted with stressed & strains of day to day life under the threat of COVID. There may be underlying issues that you’ve been carrying.You’re at the end of yourself & can’t take anymore.

The prophet Elijah had just defeated the prophets of Baal, yet he became afraid & ran for his life. He sat under a broom tree praying he might die (I Kings 18&19) He fell asleep,then an angel from God gave him some food. Strengthened by sleep & food he travelled for 40days then heard the still, small voice of God.

We can become exhausted like Elijah. Sometimes what we need too is simply food & a good rest, then some time with God to nourish our souls.

And God is always closer than you think:
‘God is everywhere, in all places &
there is no spot where we cannot draw near to Him &
hear Him speaking to our heart:
with a little love,
just a very little,
we shall not find it hard’
(Brother Lawrence-Practice the Presence of God)

The most important thing is to come to our God, to hear His voice. 

He says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28- NIV). 

Jesus said:
“Are you tired?
Worn out?
Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me
and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”
(Matthew 11:28MSG)

The next two verses in the Message say this:
“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”. 

We need to slow down (even during lockdown) get rid of distractions & clear away the clutter in our minds.Sometimes we’ve got to leave what is good and choose what is better – quality time with God. 

Life goes better if we speak to Him before we speak to others. If our relationship with Him is first priority, all other relationships go more smoothly. Time with God is always the best option especially when we’re exhausted.Without Him we’re just running on empty, getting stressed out and heading for burn out.

Each day God wants to guide us to make full use of limited time-not so we’ll get dizzy with to-do lists-but so His priorities will be ours and we’ll achieve what he wants – things that’ll last.

When life seems busiest, we often need to stop and simply draw aside and come to our Heavenly Father, who knows what we really need. And sometimes our deepest need is to simply be still, to care for our soul and to find rest in God alone
(Psalm 62:1)

The Psalms are punctuated by the word ‘Selah’, or ‘Interlude’ as the Message translates it. We need to punctuate our life with interludes, quiet pauses with God.

‘Step out of the traffic!
Take a long, loving look at Me, your High God above everything’
(Psalm 46:10 – The Message)

In the middle of busy days, God give me quiet moments- 
To pause and pray.
In the hectic busyness of life, help me to be still.
To cease striving. To calm down.
To catch my breath.
To forget about what’s going on all around, cramming in on my mind.

Help me to be still, and know that You are God. 

That You are in control:
• when things are all right
• when things are all wrong
• when the pressure feels high 
• when life tumbles down.

Even then and even now help me to be still and focus on You, rather than my problems.

Amen

Blessings,

Ruthx

PS Four verses for the exhausted mind:

‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.’
(Psalms 91:1 NIV)

‘The Lord said, “I will go with you and give you peace.”’
(Exodus 33:14 CEV)

‘You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord GOD is the eternal Rock.’
(Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT)

Jesus said:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
(John 14:27 NIV)

Stilling the unquiet mind

‘In rebuilding a broken world, we will have the chance to choose a less hurried life’
(Alan Lightman)

Apparently we think at least 60000 thoughts per day. That’s 2500 an hour. That’s a lot of thoughts!

Our mind is seldom quiet & 80% of our thoughts are negative. Worries for today. Anxieties about our future. About Coronavirus. Regrets. Insecurities. Things we should do. Things we shouldn’t do. Legitimate concerns.Worst case scenarios.Things we have no control over.

If only it was as simple as thinking happy thoughts as Ronald Dahl optimistically suggested. If only we could quieten our mind & rebuild a better life post-COVID.

We need to still ourselves & our minds.

‘Lives that are busy & always on the move do have a tendency to be shallow & scattered. Those who wish for something more substantial,for something deeper & more focused, must give themselves the time & space to reflect’
(Tony Horsfall)

We need to quieten our mind to hear God.

‘If we want to get better at hearing the One who speaks “in a still small voice”, we must befriend silence. If we are to host the One who says, “Be still and know that I am God”, we must ourselves become more present. We expect his voice to boom like thunder, but mostly he whispers.’
(Pete Greig)

We need to get away from incessant mental chatter.

‘Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.’
(Psalm 46:10 MSG)

‘Living reflectively provides opportunities during our day for a closer look at things,at people, at ourselves & at God.The faster the pace of life, though, the more we will miss those opportunities.’
(Ken Gire)

We can quieten our souls through prayer & reading God’s Words in the Bible.

‘Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,’
(1 Peter 2:2 NIV)

This will hush our minds & bring deep contentment:

‘I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.’
(Psalm 131:2 MSG)

The great & precious promises of God calm our heart & mind.

These promises have settled my unquiet mind. May they calm your unsettled mind too:

‘For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.’
(Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!’
(Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG)

‘The Lord said, “I will go with you and give you peace.”’
(Exodus 33:14 CEV)

‘For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.’
(Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

Blessings,

Ruthx

Is there room in your heart?

‘Is there room in your heart
For God to write His story?’

(Casting crowns)

I like the idea of life as a story-His Story. So this question made me stop & think. It’s from the lyrics of a Christmas song from Casting Crowns. Echoing the words of the inn-keeper who had no room for the baby Jesus, the lyrics ask if we have room in our hearts to allow God into our lives.

Our lives are like an empty page without God, waiting for the Author to write.

If you haven’t invited him into your life, He’s patiently waiting. It’s as if He is standing at the door knocking (Rev 3:20)

Even in these surreal days of global lockdown:
‘In a world that’s figuring out how to open back up, you’ve got to keep figuring out all the ways to keep your heart open to God.’
(Ann Voskamp)

As COVID spreads, we try to keep our lives open & we are connected by stories:
‘The universe is made of stories,not atoms’
(Muriel Rukeyser)

‘We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.’
(Jimmy Neil Smith)

Even in difficult dark days, God can write His story & bring meaning to our lives:
‘Things can change. People can change, stories can change, lives can change.’
(Ann Voskamp)

Sometimes changes are tiny, almost imperceptible:
‘Small things don’t always turn into big things.
But all things begin small,especially in the Kingdom of God.
Acorns become oak trees.
Embryos become President.
Life starts with breath.
Love starts with a Hello’
(Emily P Freeman)

What makes the difference?

Listening to God:
‘I began to listen to His Word while I ran and I let God’s Story in me play louder than any other story around me.’
(Ann Voskamp)

We can try to listen to God’s gentle whispers rather than the noise all around.

After all,God is the One who knows the beginning & the end of our story:
‘You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.’
(Psalms 139:16 NLT)

We can be grateful that God uses our story as part of His grand epic story.
‘I’m thankful we have a God who sometimes chooses to tell his big story in small, delightful, quiet ways’
(Emily P Freeman)

He writes the story & we can share it.
‘Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story’
(Psalms 107:2 NIV)

‘When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s.God is the larger context & plot in which our stories find themselves’
(Eugene Peterson)

‘The God who made us,on purpose,for a purpose,with great love, has laid out a plan for your life,& for my life’
(Shauna Niequist)

When times are hard, when a deadly pestilence is a daily reality, we can still trust God with our story:

‘Everything’s going to be okay-
because the Word Himself walks into our story and walks with us,
until the story ends in His time, in His ways,
for our ultimate good and for His ultimate glory-
and that is why everything’s going to be okay.
And if everything’s not okay yet,
everything’s not over yet. 
(Ann Voskamp)

We can grip onto His promises:
‘Even when the future is unknown, our purpose is not.’(Rend Collective)

God always sees the big picture:
‘No book is a chapter,
no chapter tells the whole story,
no mistake defines who we are.
Hope makes our lives page turners.’
(Bob Goff)

There is always hope:
‘When you invite God into the story he does so much better than you could do in your own strength’
(Cory Asbury)

We live in a story of more than happiness:
‘In Christ we live a narrative of joy’
(Emily P Freeman)

So, today, here & now
‘You, as you are right now, were written into the Story from the beginning and you have a place here’
(Sarah Bessey)

‘Is there room in your heart
For God to write His story
You can come as you are
But it may set you apart
When you make room in your heart
And trade your dreams for His glory
Make room in your heart’
(Casting crowns)

Blessings,

Ruthx

Settling the anxious mind

Even though we trust & believe God, we can still feel restless with thoughts tossing to & fro. At anytime & worries can be bubbling just beneath the surface.

Especially in days like these. Anxiety brings worst case scenarios to the front of our mind. Internal conversations with ourselves can lead to symptoms of stress. Spinning & spiralling thoughts. We get so wound up that sleep eludes us.

‘Many of us find our thoughts circling around problematic circumstances or people. For others of us, anxiety has become the soundtrack of our day, we hardly notice it playing in the background of every scene.’
(Jennie Allen)

But we can stop in the middle of our random, haphazard thoughts to pause & pray.

We need to ‘help create space for your soul to breathe so that you can discern your next right thing in love as we live together in Christ’s kingdom and bring the world along.’(Emily P Freeman)

At the start of each lectio365 devotional we pray these words:
‘As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.’

‘In stillness we cease our activity; in silence we stop our talking’ (Tony Horsfall)

When we are still we can hear God’s gentle whisper:
‘What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.’
(Getty& Townend)

Read the verses below slowly. Hold space for silence.

Repeat allowing the truth to soak in. Write out,print out or underline the verses.

‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.’
(Psalms 42:11 NIV)

‘When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.’
(Psalms 94:19 NIV)

‘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 MSG)

When God renews our mind, His presence & peace displaces worry.

Draw near to God & He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Repeat- re-read those verses again

Reflect & Respond

‘Living reflectively provides opportunities during our day for a closer look at things,at people, at ourselves & at God.The faster the pace of life, though, the more we will miss those opportunities.’
(Ken Gire)

Reframe the words of the verses into prayer.

‘The truth is that the God who is creator & sovereign over the universe & the God who conquered sin & death is the same God who wants to be with you in your pain, doubt, shame & other circumstances’
(Jennie Allen)

In these days of distancing & shielding, God is still our Shield:
‘But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.’
(Psalms 3:3 NLT)

So, ‘Don’t try to handle your anxiety. Bring your anxiety into the presence of Christ’
(Emily P Freeman)

Blessings,

Ruth x

Gathering our scattered mind

The mind has a mind of its own.’

In days like these, our thoughts are scattered like dandelion dust in the spring breeze.That’s why we need to gather our scattered mind. Gathering our wavering & wandering thoughts is part of mindfulness.

How can we gather our wondering thoughts & have a deeply grounded faith?

How can we be well-balanced & stable when we can feel just the opposite? As someone said ‘As emotionally stable as an IKEA table!’

We need to look beyond ourselves to our Maker.

In these days of pandemic, lockdowns & other unprecedented things leading to anxious thoughts,we need to remind ourselves:
‘You are the one in whom Christ delights & dwells & you live in the strong & unshakeable kingdom of God’
(James Bryan Smith)

God is our anchor in these troubled times.

He will keep us grounded in these stormy seas in 2020. So, instead of trying to cope, ‘let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.’
(Ephesians 4:23 NLT)

Renew means to give fresh life & strength to. So,
‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
(Romans 12:2 NIV)

We can pray & ask:
‘Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us-
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.’
(Getty/Townend)

I’ve been very blessed by recently discovering Lectio365 . This is a daily audio devotional with contemplative prayer & reading designed to recentre our thoughts on God.

At the start of each lectio365 devotional we pray these words:
‘As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.’

We can pause & be still before God in the posture of prayer. Breathe short prayers from the heart to centre our mind on God

We usually have so much inner noise & mental chatter that we need to ask God to quieten us. To settle our minds & still our souls.

We can pause & pray:
‘Be still,
and know that
I AM God!’
(Psalms 46:10 NLT)

We can notice how we are really doing & name these feelings to God.

We may be anxious, angry, down, disappointed & we can tell God & be real with Him. With His help we can untwist tangled negative thoughts.

Read some verses quietly & slowly. Read them again throughout today. Reflect & respond.Perhaps print some out or mark them in your Bible to return to or memorise

Read these verses about our day to day life- even during lockdown:
‘So here’s what I want you to do,
God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life-
your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-
and place it before God as an offering’
(Romans 12:1MSG)

Read this verse again since it follows on immediately after:
‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
(Romans 12:2 NIV)

Read & reflect.Reframe the words into a prayer:
‘Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.’
(Matt 6:34MSG)

‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’
(Philippians 4:7 NIV)

Then God’s peace will guard your mind,so Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”
(John 14:1 NLT)

Read a Psalm-maybe a familiar one.Listen to Emily P Freeman read & reflect on Psalm 23.

God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
You let me catch my breath
And send me in the right direction’
(Psalm 23:1-3-The Message) 

Remain grounded & steady as you gather your distracting, scattered thoughts.

‘You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted’
(Colossians 1:23 MSG)

Blessings,

Ruth x