There I was, headed off to a women’s retreat in hot Desert Springs, Calif. Cena Abergel had never met me before, yet she cheerfully picked me up from the airport, welcomed me into her home for the night, and drove me to my next location (after the retreat), which was hours out of her way.

So when she asked if I’d like to be part of her Tehillim group, how could I say no?

That was December 2015. I’ve been in the group ever since.

Each Shabbat, I read Psalms 120 through 150, those designated for the day of rest. Being committed to the task but not observant, I’ve read the Tehillim portion in English on trains, buses, in Starbucks coffee shops and anywhere necessary to stick to my commitment. My group of six other women rely on me to finish the entire Psalms during Shabbat.

Eight months later, it all came together for me when I had the opportunity to visit the City of David in Jerusalem. That moment was simply chilling. Standing where King David might have stood, looking out over the landscape of Jerusalem as he might have, gaining a greater understanding of his enemies and the blessings before him, unlocked the words I had been saying every week for nearly a year.

Below are three passages from the Shabbat Psalms that guide and inspire me to serene pastures amid the tumultuous tides of life.

1. “Those who tearfully sow will reap in glad song.”1

Life isn’t always easy, especially when you experience periods of depression, anxiety or stress. However I feel, no matter how lousy the mood, I take one positive action after another.

I may be weeping, but I’m moving forward. Often, life comes down to consistency, grit and perseverance. This passage reminds me that no matter how depressed I feel in this particular moment, a new day will come. And I’ll be proud that I, like David, tearfully sowed.

2. “If G‑d will not build the house, in vain do its builders labor on it.”2

We attempt to control everything and everyone in our lives. We try to control finding the perfect spouse, getting the perfect job and having every plate spinning in the air perfectly balanced. As the saying goes: “Man plans, and G‑d laughs.”

Step back. Take a deep breath. And let go. Do everything in your power to create the life you want. And remember that G‑d is in the picture: that thought alone can alleviate stress.

Not everything is in your control. Phew, isn’t that a relief? You don’t have to juggle the universe. We play our part, and G‑d will play His.

3. “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, human handiwork. They have mouths, but they speak not; they have eyes, but they see not; they have ears, but they heed not . . .”3

We’ve become so defined by what we do, how much we own and our status in society that who we actually are no longer seems to matter. We’re lost in a sea of false idols: money, wealth, possessions, success, looks, vanity. We’ve become blind to the essence of other people, deaf to words of truth, and our speech has lost its value in the petty.

How much does so-and-so earn for a living? He has a beautiful trophy wife! Wow, did you see how big her house is? When is she going to settle down and get it together already?

While physicality is nice for our enjoyment, when did it become the primary goal in life? Let’s talk with such fervor about another person’s character and virtues. We are not what we own or what we do for a living. We are who we choose to be, which is so much grander than any possession we can possibly acquire.

These psalms have the power to set us free from the societal chains of having it all—all the time in every way. We are continually blessed to have a roadmap back to our true selves. Let’s chart our course forward!