Getting Through the Hard Days

I'm a pretty optimistic person.  I try to focus on the blessings around me rather than the brokenness and disappointments.  Most days I see the little things for what they are, inconveniences.  Skipped naps, whining, bickering between siblings, canceled playdates, or just the fact that I'm exhausted and would like to sleep in once in a while.  But sometimes, a big storm brews and I start to feel anxious and overwhelmed.  I get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach like when I was a kid standing in the bathroom stall before a swim meet, certain I was going to lose my last meal. It's all-consuming, and awful.

This week I had several of those moments.  It's a really strange thing, sometimes I don't even know right away why I'm feeling anxious. I have to go back through the day and think about what happened, conversations, or things I had been thinking about recently, to figure out why the world feels like it's caving in. My first instinct is to feel helpless and sad.  I become paralyzed and don't know what to do.  I turn to distractions in hopes that it will lift my mood.  For me, that would be tv shows and food after the littles are in bed.  Reality shows and sugar to be exact.  But it never helps, at least not in the end. It only does what it can, distract for a while.  Once I'm in bed with the darkness around me, the anxiety creeps back in.  

So what do I do when life doesn't go according to plan?  When friendships seem scarce?  When money is tight?  When wars are raging?  When babies are being killed?  When my attitude is more about getting through the day rather than treating it like the gift it is?

I step back.  I get outside.  Away from all the "stuff".  I look at the mountains, climb the hills, smell the flowers, feel the ocean water, gaze into the sky.  I feel small.  Then I read the scripture, pray and remind myself even though I'm so tiny in this great big universe, God loves me enough to call me His child. He is everything I need.  He is in control.  Always has been, always will be.   

I HAVE CALLED YOU BY NAME; YOU ARE MINE.  ISAIAH 43:1

I'm reminded that God placed me where I'm at for a reason.  The people around me, they are in my life for a purpose.  My passions and gifts may not change the world, but maybe, God will use them to help one person.  My kids will someday grow up and they will go out into the world to shine a light.  Just my role as a mom, as mundane as it may seem at times, is so important.  Our life isn't meaningless, it's being used.  And each of our lives are being used in different ways to bring glory to God.  We aren't being called to be the Savior of the world, we already have a Savior!  We just need to be faithful where we are at.  

Breathe.  Love.  Know that nothing happens outside of God's will.  Do what you can, where you are at.  Be thankful for your blessings.  Share your joy with others.  Seek God first.  

DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN TO GOD.  AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS.        PHILIPPIANS 4:6