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Idle Hands & Idle Minds

Idle hands are the devil's tools.
(here, my hands do the devil's work of melting snow)

I think that's the saying. My personal adaptation for today is:
Idle minds are the devil's playground.

When you clear my schedule of deadlines and projects and generally, anything of major substance, my mind is left free as a bird.

Free to dream, which I'd been looking forward to.
Free to freak out, which I hadn't anticipated.

Turns out, I'm not quite as amazingly zen-like as I thought. Once I started stressing a little, it was surprisingly easy to let it keep growing. I daydreamed all the things that could go wrong with the uncertainty and changes in my life. I had conversations with friends that were half reassuring and half commiseration. I berated myself for freaking out when I have SO many blessings I could be enjoying instead.

One day, I found myself thinking, I wish I could go back to October. October was a good month.

But the thing is, October was actually kind of stressful. I felt inexplicably sad in October. And unsure. And work was busy. Six months later, I look back and think October was great. Because I know how things turned out. Because the uncertainties of October became clear in November.

And I realized that in six months, April will probably be a very good month, provided I don't waste it away in irrational worrying.

So finally, after ten days of unpleasant neurosis, with the aid of wise counsel, some honest conversations & a fair bit of prayer, I have concluded:
I need to stop thinking so much and live in reality.

(here, my hand says STOP to the sun. Like my mind says STOP to fear)

Allow me to break this down:
a. Stop - I'm in control of this situation, because I am in control of my thoughts.
b. thinking so much - thinking is good, but it is possible to overthink. This is unwise.
c. and live - I need to be living my life as it is unfolding, fully present in today, not caught up in what could or could not be the future.
d. in reality. - my fears come down to "what ifs" and the thing about "what ifs" is that they are not reality. I need to act and think and respond to the things that are certain, not the things that my head decides will be.

Practical application for Beth's life?
1. Make plans. Don't "keep busy" to avoid thinking, but don't give myself days of nothingness with only my thoughts for company. Sometimes my thoughts are not friendly.
2. Refuse to dwell. I often have to tell myself to redirect my thoughts, to "let go" and trust that "time is your friend."
3. Celebrate. There are so many good things and people around me. I'm gonna focus on making the most of them.
4. Know Jesus more. Reality. Truth. These things matter to me and my sanity. And, I believe they're summed up in Jesus.


MLW said…
Remember - what God has done in the past, what He has promised to do today, what He has shown you as certainty about the future. Remember - think on these things and live today for His glory! Love your honest post.

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