Putting the Brakes on Worry

There’s a part of my husband’s personality that I don’t understand. And there’s something about me he can’t relate to.

He’s never tempted to worry. Ever. About anything. I don’t think he knows how.

I’ve never been tempted to drive fast. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. I’m content to poke along in the slow lane, and I don’t mind if people pass me.

The other day our worlds came together in a beautiful way–his temptation to push the speed limit and mine to race from peace to worry.  

It all started when he asked if I wanted to ride with him to test-drive the 1976 Laguna he’s restoring.

If you can’t see the video below, click here.

He cranked the old, red Laguna, and the vroom-vroom-vroom reminded me of the first time I rode in his 1965 GTO. We were 15 and 16. He’d shifted gears back then too. I remembered the power. The speed. My hair swirling in the wind.

He’s always loved fast cars and loud engines.

Here we are in his 1972 Roadrunner before prom.

He’s been pulled over for speeding dozens of times. When he was sixteen, he got stopped four times–in one day. It’s been years since he got a ticket, but if there were no speed limits…

After we rode in the Laguna, we ran errands in my Dodge Journey. 

Over 40 years later. The same man. Same love of speed.

But he did something totally out of character.

It was as if he became a new person. 

He drove slower than normal, content to let cars zoom ahead of him.

“What are you doing?” I said.

“Usually we get 20 miles per gallon, but I’m up to 26.4 miles.” He pointed to the white arrow between 15 and 30. “If we keep the red line on the right side of the arrow, gas mileage improves.”

In all our years together, he’d never acted concerned about gas mileage. 

“That’s neat. What’s your secret?”

“Feathering the gas pedal and coasting. Every now and then, I glance at the white arrow.”

He was driving slowly. Like me. With no sense of urgency. 

Understanding came in the flicker of a moment, and the Red Sea parted in my mind.  

Change is possible for anyone–even me! If my husband, who loves speed, can choose to a drive differently, surely I can do the same thing with my thoughts.

I can put the brakes on worry.

I can refuse to go from zero to a hundred in a matter of seconds.

I can focus on God the same way Rick checks the white arrow. 

I have a choice.

I don’t have to race full-speed ahead into worry. Instead, I can choose to coast and pray. Click to tweet

Are you struggling with something? Do you drive too fast? Does worry tempt you? Is it something else? Please share! 

Love,

Julie

Comments

  1. Debi Guise says:

    I love all your blogs.. this one is especially sweet .. Thanks Julie for keeping that writers mind constantly moving !

  2. sweet blog, wonderful reminders. thanks for sharing from your heart.

  3. Marjorie Hill says:

    Thanks, Julie. Enjoyed the ride. Hope y’all are well!

  4. Patricia Martin says:

    Julie, I am just like you! I dislike speeding and try to go under the speed limit. To me, diving into a pool is exciting, speeding is plain scary! How is Katie, Rilynn, and your mom and Rick? How are you?
    Xxxxoo((:

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Patricia, I didn’t put it in the blog, but he revved the engine of the old Laguna several times. And yes, probably pushed the speed limit.

      Did I ever thank you for the sweet post card you sent? I hope so. I meant to!

      Thanks for asking about my family. Thomas and Brittany are getting ready for the wedding–two months from now on May 19th! I’m so happy for them.

      How’s your family?

  5. Anna Haney says:

    Love this. I drive fast, not because I am a speedy person, but I think it’s because I get lost in my thoughts and don’t realize I am going as fast as I am. Don, however, rarely speeds. This puzzles me because when it comes to traffic, my husband is one of the most impatient people I know. In fact, the first time I was in a major traffic delay with him, I was like “who are you?” Don is, however, very conscious of gas mileage. Maybe his driving habits are more related to getting better gas mileage than anything else. Since we’ve been married, I have noticed myself being more aware of stuff like improved gas mileage and other habits he has.

    I think it’s wonderful that you two have been together for so long. Love the prom picture.
    Have a great day

    • Julie Garmon says:

      I love it! Y’all are kind of the opposite of us!! So neat. I can just see you, lost in your thoughts, tootling to work and realizing, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

      Love you, Anna. Thanks so much for being you. So grateful for your friendship.

  6. Becky Boyd says:

    Wow…Julie we are so similar. Charles bought his first car at age 15…a muscle car…he shifted gears in that car. I was taught to drive on a stick shift as well. We went in that car so many places and he also drove fast…which of course was the whole point of the fast car. He got pulled over too…but he knew a cop that would always get him off lol. And that cop would hear it over the radio & would come & take over the situation. Such as telling him to pop the hood so he could check it out. I loved going fast too! But now that I’m older I tend to be more careful and I am a huge WORRIER! I can’t seem to put the brakes on it ever. I love your story so much. BTW….Charles is now the poker driver because he just seems to take it easy behind the wheel. He’s never been one to be stressed or hides it well. He says it’s because men don’t have all of the “feelings” women have lol. He’s my rock always. But if he ever gets his muscle car back running…we could be in trouble because he doesn’t know any cops up here…. keep writing and I’ll keep reading and relating! Love the pictures because it brings back so many familiar times in my life!

    • Julie Garmon says:

      I have a feeling our two men would have a blast! As long as they weren’t racing each other. :)

      What kind of muscle car did he get years ago? I bet, somewhere along the years, we’ve had the same one.

      I’m sitting here smiling. So glad you and I are TWINSIES. :)

      Thank you, my friend. Loved reading your comment. And thanks for letting me know you understand me. And my husband!

      xo

  7. sandy coffey says:

    Love this mornings story. Fast cars, dragstrips, motorcycles, hotrods we have seen in our day also. Just a few speeding tickets and the older we got the slower the pace. Guess all the speedy has run out. Memories of speed gone by and now to a slower pace.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      So true, Sandy… Memories of speed gone by. Love how you said it. And I NEVER would’ve thought he could’ve changed.

      Thank you so much for reading and letting me know.

      Hugging you from here. Hope today’s going along smoothly for you~~~

  8. Vicky says:

    It’s almost as though, because your dear hubby is trying to get better gas mileage- going slower helps him reach his goal. I noticed with my own hubby, once we bought a Prius which also shows you when the car is working at its optimum level for the best gas mileage, he also slowed down! I don’t know that I could ever say to him- “you drive so much slower!” But its perfectly fine to say, we save so much money on gas with the Prius! I’ll take it no matter what brought him to slow down- he is the perfect role model now for the kids and I am so appreciative! Such great writing- I think so many of us can relate to!

    • Julie Garmon says:

      I’m laughing, Vicky! So true! They’d much rather hear, “My, my, look at the amazing gas mileage we’re getting,” than “Good grief, you’re driving slow! What’s up with that?”

      Thank you for reading and writing to me. xoxoxoxoxox You’re in my heart, always.

  9. Bev varnado says:

    Julie, I noticed you filed this under addictions. It has felt that way to me with worry, like an addiction. So, thankful for that option of choosing to stop. But, I need the moment by moment empowerment of God to do so. Appreciate the reminder.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Absolutely, Beverly. I DO consider worry to be an addiction. I can get just as out of sorts with worry as someone struggling with drugs/alcohol. Fear/worry…it’s one day at a time for me.

      Thank you for knowing what I’m talking about. I didn’t go into details with it in the post–the addiction part–but it didn’t feel honest not to tag it with addictions. xoxoxo

  10. Eileen says:

    I look forward so much to your posts, Julie. I feel as if you are describing me so much of the time. I read a quote in “Our Daily Bread” yesterday that I knew I just had to share with you. And, your post about worry was the first thing I saw in my Twitter feed this morning. :)

    “When worry walks in, strength runs out. But strength returns when we run to God.”

    Sending love, Eileen

  11. This is so sweet, Julie. What a beautiful example you are of going to long haul with each other … to witness change in each other …. I feel a bit in a slump right now … it’s tempting to worry, but I know God has got me. I watching, waiting … to see what God is trying to teach me.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Shelli….

      Oh, the slump of worry. Even after this post yesterday, for about an hour, something happened. Or at least I thought it was going to. I gave in to my temptation. Then I started praying out loud and it left me. I’m praying for you right now. I understand.

      I think most of us struggle with one biggie. It helped me to see it this way and go ahead and admit it. And praying out loud helps. And turning on good music. And opening my hands and raising them to Him.

      So much love, my friend. My sister.

  12. Suzette says:

    The timing of this could not have been more perfect. I found out today that I’ll be job hunting in the next few months. I’m worried. I’m 57 and don’t like change. I was questioning God’s timing. And just like that, BOOM, Julie writes about worry. Thank you for reminding me to trust His timing and be open to change.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Grateful tears just now, Suzette. Nothing–absolutely nothing–makes me any happier than to find out God’s working through me to touch someone’s heart.

      I’m praying right now. Lord, make the path clear for Suzette. She’s feeling a little fearful in this new area of her life, but You help us overcome fear. Your Spirit is alive and well in us. I ask for Your will to be done and she can even have a sense of excitement come over her. We know that “perfect love casts out all fear.” So love You. We trust You…

  13. Kim says:

    Hi Julie,

    I’m not even sure where to begin. Yes, I am a huge worrier. And my word for 2017 is Hope. I am not doing a very good job of clinging to my true hope, God. I keep forgetting, letting stresses and concerns overwhelm.

    Jan started with my 94 yr old grandfather stepping out in front of a pickup truck and breaking his left shoulder, right foot and one finger on his left hand. He’s doing ok, but he’s still recovering.

    Feb. was a double whammy with some serious medical issues with my dad, and we have some really hard and ongoing things we are dealing with at church right now.

    Then Mar. arrived. My 16 yr old daughter injured her knee in a soccer game last week. We are heading up to Decatur this evening for an MRI because they think is was serious and she may need surgery.

    I really needed to read this post. If I can just shift my focus like Rick did, I’ll be ok.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Kim,

      I can feel this in my heart for you right now. Physically. I feel the clenching of my heart.

      Father, all these things going on right now surrounding Kim, You see them. These are Your people. You can. You know. You understand. I pray right now that the heaviness, the worry, will lift from her shoulders. Help her breathe easily. Restore her joy. Show her what to do at just the right time. We pray for healing and hope for ‘her people.’ Oh, how we love You.

  14. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Worry? I do not think a whole day goes by without at least one worry in it. This morning, I worried about several things before I even got to my quiet time, such as, with almost 20″ of snow, how would Faith get to work? She has to be there, it’s her first week on this job. (She got there fine!)

    But as my quiet time drew to an end, that same snow brought a sense of silence and serenity. All was quiet and still except the birds at the feeder. I realized I’d been awake half the night with anxieties pressing on me, and my to-do list for the day was exhausting me before I even wrote it down.

    So…I stopped, took a few deep breaths, and stayed still for a while. Then, I made the unusual decision to NOT DO anything! We’d started a puzzle yesterday, while the storm raged outside, so I made a plan to do the puzzle and watch some Disney movies we have that no one else likes to watch anymore (too slow for them!), such as “The Ugly Dachshund” and “The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit.” It was a nice day.

    Sure, with a few phone calls, some worries tried to sneak in, and there is one working right now…but I’m trying to look at them as out of my control and in God’s, for truly, I can do nothing about them myself. Now, if I can hold onto that for tomorrow… Hmmm…do you think I can get away with another day like today…puzzle and movies, or maybe even reading and instrumental cds? ;)

    BTW, as for the speeding…I’m much like you on this one. I love something a friend said to me many years ago: “As soon as you go one mile over the speed limit, your guardian angel flies out the window.” Certainly don’t want that to happen, do we??!! Blessings, Julie!

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Cathy, I could literally feel Peace come over me when I read how you spent yesterday. I think you get an A+! And look how quickly you let the worries float away!!! You even began to see the snow as beautiful instead of something to trigger fear.

      Jumping up and down in my heart. Such a great thing…..especially for people like us. :/

      Only God.

      Your Sister–especially in driving…and our tendency to try to take the wheel in life. xoxo

  15. Lux G. says:

    You went with your husband for prom?! Wow! That’s so cool..and romantic.
    You look good in that dress.

    I must learn from your husband not to worry. Fascinating gift! :)

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Yes. Lux, we started dating when we were 15 and 16. Married at 18 and 19. Only God b/c we were too young to have any clue what we were doing.

      Thank you for letting me know you’re reading. I’m not kidding. The man doesn’t know HOW to worry. And I can’t teach him. He’s not interested in learning!!!!!!

      • Lux G. says:

        Ah, he must write a book about it. It will be a bestseller. I for sure will be buying. Haha.
        Oh, wow. Good on you, guys. There really is forever. :)

        • Julie Garmon says:

          You know, you’re probably onto something, Lux…a book on how to never, ever worry.

          Thank you for you sweet comment. Blessed me, big time. Feel it in my heart.

  16. Shawnelle says:

    Beautiful julie! Thank you . This speaks my heart too and I also have a choice! Love the part about Red Sea! And Gabriel loves the car…

  17. B.J. Taylor says:

    You nailed what’s going on with me today (and yesterday) when you wrote “I have a choice.” There are so many choices to be made day by day. Today I will take it one day at a time and even one hour and sometimes one minute at a time. Dealing with making myself feel good and not letting someone or something else affect me. Choices!
    Many hugs to the daring girl who rides in the red car. And that pic of the two of you before prom is A-DOR-A-BLE!

    • Julie Garmon says:

      We are so much alike, B.J. Twins. Across the country.

      Praying both of us today will be the daring girl who rides in the red car. I’ve gained so much courage from watching you over the past 13 years.

      One Day at a Time. No other way.

  18. Julie Dibble says:

    Julie,

    This tender story of you and your husband is powerful in its message. I am praying both our minds will slowly digest His wisdom to store away for the right time. Blessings to you and your husband, the other Julie

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Amen, yes, yes, Other Julie. This morning, I woke a little bit too early. I opened my hands and let more thoughts go. I reminded myself of my blog post!!!!!

      xoxo And thanks for reading and writing to me. To us!

  19. marci says:

    I tried to write yesterday, but kept getting an error. I will try again, but I will not worry. I am not sure if you will see this as late as I am writing or not. I have stuggled with worry, and like your Rick, Chas does not worry. I have been trying to pray at the first sign of worry. That is the best thing I can do. “Lord I trust you with this”. That is not to say there is never a time I worry. When my daughter was traveling, and so tired, she could barely make it here, and then while traveling, got word there was a fire at her place. I did a lot of praying.
    Glad you shared with us your own struggles. Wow, so young! Yes, what did any of us know at 18, but what was it we didn’t think we knew! The picture of you and Rick is so sweet, and you both look like babies, so young.
    Blessings!
    Marci’a

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Hey, Marcia!

      I sure hope the error wasn’t on my end. :/ I’m glad you kept trying and made it through! Yeah, I know. Our hubbies are so much alike.

      Praying we live with open hands today, letting go, giving our worries to Him ASAP!!!

      Thanks for being you. xo

  20. Julie Gilleand says:

    Here I am late to the table again! First, I really love the picture of the two of you dressed for prom. What a cute young couple you were/are! I am like you in that I am content to drive the speed limit (or slower) and don’t mind those who pass me. I’m a relaxed driver (unless it is crazy traffic) and just enjoy the ride Rod, my husband, has that need for speed thing too! All our boys, while not speedsters, do like to drive a tad faster than the speed limit, or at least faster than me. I have been the butt of “slow-driver” jokes in our home for a long time!! My dad drove just like me. He drove slow and relaxed and enjoyed the ride. My laid back tendency, tends to also keep me from worrying about things too much, but secretly I think I just play down the worry rather than admitting I have any! My mom worried about everything, all the time and I think growing up with that made me want to overcompensate for that by at least pretending not to worry — to try and be the voice of reason. Maybe the pretending somewhere along the line became actual non-worry. I don’t know. And that’s not to say that I never worry. I do sometimes and sometimes I do a really good job of it too! It’s just not my natural mode. Maybe we need both kinds of people — the worriers and the non-worriers, just to keep each other balanced! But it is nice to know there can be change too, when it’s needed, hoped and prayed for especially!

    Blessings,

    Leafy

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Leafy!! Welcome home. I had so much fun watching you and Rod have fun! It looks like you had an amazing time!!

      You know, you maybe on to something big with your worrying– or rather, non-worrying. Sort of a “fake it ’til you make it” mantra. I like that… A LOT. And after you fake not worrying for so long, maybe you forget what you were trying not to worry about. I love that!

      Thank you chiming in. So glad you joined the party here with his. Bet it’ll take you a few days to get settled into the regular routine of everyday life. :)

      Much love, my friend~~~

  21. sue says:

    ear julie, this post absolutely spoke to me, as I too am a worrier, and am married to someone who like your Rick,probably doesn’t even know how to worry! Enjoyed the photos down your memory lane, it looks like you and Rick have a similar love story to us ! I am going to try and put the brakes on my worry, thanks!~wink~
    Blessings,
    Sue

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Sue, I’m discovering when a worry starts, I can say, “Stop. Go away. Leave me alone!”

      Thank you so much for your comment. Glad you understand.

      xoxoxoxoxox

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