True Colors

After my post earlier this week, a blogging friend made an encouraging comment, that it sounded like I had been passing through all these exciting events lately “with flying colors”.  I was flattered, but realized to accept her praise wouldn’t be entirely honest.  In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about things like anxiety, nerves, stress, and how often I’ve been facing them.

Let me provide an example:  my little girl asked me, “Mommy, why did you just say ‘OK’?” I realized that I had been whispering “OK” half out loud, repeatedly, and that she had caught me doing so.  I find myself doing this as a strange method of self-coaching when I’m feeling stressed about something.  The day we took L to his speech competition, I did this a lot.  It usually goes along with a nervous smile and the tightest trapezius muscles ever.  While I was inwardly fretting about driving directions, lunches, and getting from A to B on time, my dear boy was searching the competition location’s grounds for good trees to climb.  Now that’s wisdom from children!

This leaves me feeling very hypocritical!  I talk a good talk about taking captive every thought, about bringing all our troubles to the Lord in prayer, about casting aside anxiety and resting in the peace of Christ…but am I living it these days?  My mind has been worked up into a perfect storm of female hormones, human emotion, nervousness, control issues, stress, irritability, poor memory, and fatigue.  What a mess!

I can’t in good faith post what I do for this blog, without giving mention to the true colors of my heart!  I think of many of the psalms, written from “miry pits” and places of despair, loneliness, anger, fear…I’m not saying I’m feeling all of those things, but what I am saying, and taking comfort in, is that to be a Christian doesn’t mean having everything all together all the time or having all the answers.  It also definitely does not mean having a trouble-free life; on the contrary, Jesus actually promises his followers that they/we will face many troubles in this world!

The big question is, where do I go from here?  Upon acknowledging the state of things, what do I do?

Re-focus.  When I get into a mental funk like this, I often find I’ve been “navel-gazing”.  I make everything about me, which is totally backwards.  When I re-focus my vision on God, the other things fade away and the things that have been bothering me either don’t matter as much or I have a renewed perspective with which to handle them.  “Be Thou My Vision” is one of my favorite hymns, after all.

Rejuvenate.  I got little A ready for a nap earlier than usual this morning and we both slept deeply for two hours!  She has been struggling with some of the same things as me lately in a more three-year old kind of way, and I’m not sure if these are her unique issues or if she is mirroring what she sees in me.  I can tell when my children need extra rest, and know that we both certainly benefitted from that nap today.  Sleep is so restorative for my peace of mind, but I also am blessed by talking with family/friends, reading, writing, and exercising.

Remember.  I take time to remember God’s love and faithfulness.  Whenever we have to correct one of our children, we talk about what went wrong, make amends, but always end with a reminder of our constant love as parents.  Letting God’s perfect and everlasting love wash over my heart refreshes me and fills me with everything I need for a godly life.  This past Sunday at church, I almost wept in the first line of the first song–tears that would have released all that tension I’d been storing up, much to my own surprise!  Praying isn’t just about telling God what we need, but also listening for his voice.  I believe I get to hear what God would say to me, through reading of the Bible, songs of praise, testimonies of others, and in quiet moments when I am truly available in my heart.

I told a friend earlier this evening that I feel like I’ve been in a cycle that needs to break.  Somehow I’ve been ending up right where I don’t want to be–having spoken sharply, gotten agitated over a trivial matter, driven away loved ones trying to help with my desire to be in control, or missed out on daily joys because I’m mentally distracted and worn out.  I know God will pick me up as many times as I fall, but I’m also ready to run, not just stay upright!

“Jesus, here I am again.  I can’t do any of this on my own.  I have no desire to claim control or victory over anything on my own–I want to give you all the glory, because you alone can change hearts and minds.  Thank you for laying down your life for me out of the best love ever known.  May I live my life in gratitude and praise!”

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12 comments

  1. I like your 3 Rs! These are good solid stepping stones to victory. Sometimes we just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward while trusting that He is in this faith walk with us. I can most certainly relate to your words today! I’m doing the faith walk, myself, this week.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Keep walking in faith, friend!

  2. I know it sounds simplistic, but I heard something like “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The Lord told the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) So our confession is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phi 4:13) You/I will be the head and not the tail, on top and not on the bottom, our faith and confession gives us the victory regardless of the circumstances! God bless you, Younger Sister! \o/

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words and verses. I shared the verses from Philippians with my 3-year old last week, actually. I needed that reminder even more than she did, I think!

  3. God wants us to call on HIM when we are tired for HIS Glory. HE will give us the rest that we need. Being a Christian calls for more Faith believing in the in the unseen, unknown, despite the situation keep pushing forward and knowing it is alright and continue to do right. Thanks for sharing, and Be Blessed. Mtetar

    1. Thank you! I run to God and find rest…He is always there!

      1. You’re welcome, Joan! Have a Blessed Mother’s Day! Always, Mtetar

      2. Yes HE is! Be Blessed, and have Joyful Mother’s Day in advance. Mtetar

  4. This thing called motherhood is absolutely tolling. I find it hard enough with the ordinary everyday things but when extra things come our way….birthdays, in your case moving, trips etc., it really throws me for a loop. All I can say is that you are not alone!

    1. Thank you! It is encouraging to hear from other moms. I know we all struggle here and there, but we don’t always talk about it!

  5. I really enjoyed this Alison and could so relate. I’ve been like a zombie for the past month and it’s been hard to get back on track. I needed some encouragement today. Thanks! Blessingsxx Rowena

    1. I’m glad that you stopped by! I needed to re-read my own words today! The move has been challenging for L, leaving school and friends. Our summer has been different as a result, but good overall, and now school starts tomorrow! Lots of nerves! I pray for peace of mind and a breath of fresh life for you! –Alison

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