A Life Lesson From Winnie The Pooh

Title photo of Winnie the Pooh
A Life Lesson from Winnie the Pooh

I have always wanted to do something great with my life. Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t procrastinate so much or was less easy going, how my life would be different today. I am a time waster. I am not ashamed of being a time waster, but I do feel guilty. I allow fear and worry to make my decisions for me. I suppose I have always been this way, just not to such a severe degree. It is almost debilitating now. So, much so, that I am scared to do the things I enjoy. My fear is based on other people’s reactions and opinions. Only when I decide to not care about what other people think will I be free of my voluntary handicaps.

Recently, I have been overcome with worry and “what ifs”. So much so, that it has altered my daily mood and dampened my spirit. Of course, every time I worry and have what ifs running rampant through my mind, this verse in Matthew chapter 6 comes to mind, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” But this time, it did not bring comfort nor was it helpful. I was already drowning myself in worry and not allowing anything to penetrate my concerns.

What I didn’t know, was that in reading my child a night time story was where I would get my slap in the face comfort. The hit in the back of the head “Aha!” moment. These two sentences from The House At Pooh Corner is what had the power to penetrate my chronic worry and constant what ifs.

It was a windy day in the Hundred Acre Wood and Piglet was scared. Piglet pushed against the wind and heard the wind in the trees above. Scared, Piglet asked, “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?” “Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

“Supposing it didn’t.” Those three little words stopped me from reading on and actually penetrated my heart. In my constant worry and what ifs, I never bothered to think what if nothing happens? What if everything goes as planned? What if strangers or people I know could care less about what I am doing? Or so what if they do care? My child was already asleep after I read those sentences and I sat there rocking him, just pondering how easy and yet profound the statement, “Supposing it didn’t,” that came from a bear “with very little brain” was.

When you read the Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne, you begin to respect Winnie the Pooh for his different way of thinking. Even though he and his friends considered him a bear “with very little brain” he is the one everyone comes to for help because of his out of the box thinking. I chose this day to begin thinking like Pooh Bear. Every time I begin to worry, whether rational or not, I say to myself, “supposing it didn’t.” From that statement, instead of coming up with all the ways my predicament could go wrong and how people would react, instead I list all the ways it could right, which in turn changes my mood to hopeful and calm.

My challenge to you:

Join me and changing our “what ifs” to “supposing it didn’t.” List all the ways your situation could go right. If something does go wrong, look back at your list and determine if it would have been worth worrying about. Everything doesn’t always go as planned and it is not suppose to. Sometimes great experiences come out of situations gone wrong. Sometimes it is a learning experience to prepare us for events in our future, so we will be properly armed to tackle a bigger problem and defeat it. Go into every situation prepared with a worry-free mindset and when it goes right celebrate and when it goes horribly wrong (which is very possible) accept it, deal with it and move on. Don’t let life steal your God-given joy.

 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-5 (NIV)

 

6 steps to help prepare a worry-free mindset.
Join me in a challenge to change our “what ifs” to “supposing it didn’t.”

Lauren Ortiz is an introverted, self-employed, work-at-home mom. She has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Southeast Missouri State University and a Masters in Biblical Studies from Temple Baptist Seminary. When she is not writing, reading children’s lit or spending time with her family, she is helping guests create long lasting memories with her family photo booth business. Her ambition is to spread encouragement when life seems bleak.

Your Self-Worth Has Nothing To Do With You

There is this popular notion that a person’s value and self-worth is intertwined or, even worse, completely dependent on their accomplishments, family, friends and work. This notion carries a heavy burden to Christians and non-Christians alike. It seems to be inescapable.

Your value and self-worth and what you have or have not accomplished are two separate things. What you accomplish does not add to your value because your value was predetermined before you were created. Your value is so high and so rooted in God that you cannot add to it. That space, so to speak, is already filled to the brim and overflowing.

The Apostle Paul explains it best in 2 Timothy 1:9 when he writes, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, …”

Therefore, your self-worth is not

  • in how many children you have
  • if you have a husband/boyfriend
  • if you have family/many friends
  • in what you have accumulated
  • in your job
  • determined by what you do or don’t do
  • determined by how much money you have/make

Your self-worth will always be

  • rooted in God’s love for you.
    • “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 17-19
  • A love that is unchanging, unwavering, and steadfast, even when you feel unlovable.
    • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceaseshis mercies never come to an end; they are new   every morning; great is your faithfulness.   Lamentations 3:22-23
  • A love that created you.
    • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
  • A love that died for you and says you are worth spending eternity with.
    • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
  • A love that fights for you.
    • If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? 8:31-34
  • A love that gives you grace and mercy.
    • But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

Everyday, I have to continually remind myself of these truths because the world wants me to believe that I am on my own and my self-worth is completely dependent on outside influences. Their idea of my self-worth is exhausting and debilitating. God’s true version of our self-worth is refreshing and healing. It allows us to freely become the person God meant us to be, without all the world’s distractions wearing us down. Don’t let the world push you down. When life gets too hectic with the to do list that never ends, with countless people taking from you but not giving in return, when you feel depleted because “you just aren’t good enough,” immediately stop what you are doing, ignore the tornado circling around you, take a deep breath, clear your mind and say to yourself, “God determines my worth, God already says I am worthy. I cannot change this, and the world definitely cannot change this.

Lauren Ortiz is an introverted, self-employed, work-at-home mom. She has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Southeast Missouri State University and a Masters in Biblical Studies from Temple Baptist Seminary. When she is not writing, reading children’s lit or spending time with her family, she is helping guests create long lasting memories with her family photo booth business. Her ambition is to spread encouragement when life seems bleak.