Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.

But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …