Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Reset Button

My mind is swirling in at least a dozen different directions.
  1. Insurance claims. Where is my refund? 
  2. Cancer. I hate it. 
  3. Medical logistics. When is my next appointment? Who is taking me? 
  4. Son starting middle school. Starting elementary school was a disaster because they just didn't get my son or his special needs. Now there are multiple teachers and none of them know him. Add to that he regularly asks, "Are you dying, Mom?" Will he be okay? Is he ready for this? Am I ready for this?
  5. Daughter starting fourth grade. I hear it's one of the hardest years. Body changes. Bullying. She just announced she wants thigh-high, lace up sneakers to "rock a look" for the first day. After years and years of frilly dresses, she wants to wear a hoodie at all times. What just happened here? She hates my bald head and scars. Is that why she's hiding? What's going on in her mind?  
  6. Bills. That bleeping stack.
  7. School lunches. To pack or to buy?
  8. Thank yous. Do people know how much I appreciate their help?
  9. Shoes. Just stop growing, feet. 
  10. Van. Needs new tires.
  11. Husband. Oh yes, I still have one. I should thank him and ask how he's doing instead of dumping my stress on him the minute he walks through the door.
  12. God. Yes, He's still there, too. Clearly, I missed my quiet time today.
Do you see how this happens? Does this ever happen to you? Because I didn't put God first on my list, my fears trump everything else. My mind literally spins from one item to the next, and my anxiety builds with each thought. I start to panic, my breathing escalates, and then frenzied, unfocused activity begins just to do something -- anything -- to help remove something from my list. But wait -- there's a better way! 

For those of you who think I'm Little Miss Perfect, this post stands as proof that I'm still very much a work in progress. One thing, however, I've become a pro at is catching myself quickly in moments of panic and pressing the reset button on how I can deal with the situation better. That reset button always has God's name on it. Imagine a big red button labeled GOD. That's what I see in my mind. 

Whenever I'm spiraling out of control, I mentally push that button and take a long, deep breath. God's not a magic genie who appears to make my life easier. He's not a fairy godmother who blows in on a cloud of glitter to make my life pretty and happy again. 

He's love. He's peace. He's goodness. He's forgiveness. His word in the Bible tells me what to focus on and what to let go. Reading it helps me define what's important in my life and what's not. Praying to Him helps me release my anxiety and place my problems in His capable hands. No, I can't see Him. Yes, this involves faith. But it comes with practice, and the relationship with Him is so worth it. What I'm sharing today is just the tip of the iceberg...

So, looking back at my list after my reset with God, I can categorize my list into things that I can do and things that God has to do. My list now looks like this:
  1. My job: Make sure I get my quiet time with God daily. (Right now, it all feels like quiet time, but I need focused, intentional time more than ever.)
  2. My job: Thank my husband and greet him with love and respect at the door.
  3. God's job: All school concerns. I will pray. He will work out details and be present in every aspect of my kids' school year. As for lunches, who cares -- as long as they eat something.
  4. God's job: Insurance, bills, tires, shoes, etc. God always provides for our needs. Period. We prioritize expenses. 
  5. Me and God together: Thank yous. Be intentional showing gratitude, but let God bless friends and family for their acts of kindness.
  6. Me and God together: Cancer and logistics. My job is to take care of my body and spirit. God's job is to heal me and meet my logistical and practical needs. The pressure is off. Time to go make myself a cup of tea.
I feel so much better now. It feels like I can exhale again. Like the universe just gave me a long, all-consuming hug. God's got this. He's got it all. I can rest in that.

What's on your list this week? How can you hit the reset button with God (maybe even for the very first time) and bring more peace to your soul? 

Love,
Emily

Let your gentle spirit be known to all. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. - Philippians 4:5-6



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