My Anxiety Jar

 

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Well it happened, it FINALLY happened. The isolated nature of our living conditions here in North Dakota brought me to my knees. If you are an anti-social person by nature, then you will probably have a hard time understanding what I am going to talk about here. I do not like to be alone, I have been this way since I was a child. I crave social closeness with others, and I love to talk. I’m pretty much an open book, just ask my closest friends, I will talk about pretty much anything!

 

In Colorado I had a great group of mommy friends that I saw on a nearly daily basis. I am realizing now just how lucky I was to have them! We stay connected now through text and social media, but I desperately miss the face time that we had. I mean no disrespect to my husband (he has and will always be my dearest friend), but for the last three months he has been my only source of face to face adult conversation. Just close your eyes an imagine it…..do you feel my pain? So last night when he fell asleep at 7:30, a dramatic scene, which would have won me an Oscar for leading role in a drama, unfolded on my sofa. Me crying, eating sweets and watching American Supernanny, you get the picture, it wasn’t pretty. At 11:00 I dragged my pathetic butt to bed at which point my husband made the innocent mistake of asking what was wrong! Well after an hour long monologue, complete with sobbing and squealing, I finally exhausted myself to sleep. I’m sure that if I had stopped to breathe and look at my poor husbands face, I would have seen a man both terrified and immensely entertained at the same time!

 

Regardless of how he felt about my tantrum, I know that my husband fell asleep praying for me last night. I know because this morning at Bible study God spoke directly into my heart. He spoke to me about wisdom and He opened my eyes to the truth of my emotions. You see, it’s not that I am genuinely unhappy, but last night I let the weight of my circumstances become my focus, instead of keeping my eyes on Him. In my moment of weakness I allowed the responsibility of my happiness to be dependent on other human beings, instead of my love and faith in God. But my God is so faithful and He didn’t just leave me there feeling stupid and weak, He continued to speak to me and show me how to live better!

 

In my Bible study we learned about four different types of hearts, two of which I can really relate to! One is the anxious heart, the other is the isolated heart. I know that I can be an anxious person, I have a tendency to place expectations on myself that are vain and quite frankly a waste of my time and energy! What is the point in wearing ourselves out striving to do things that aren’t really that pleasing to God in the first place? Some examples: Did I do “enough” housework today? Did I do “enough” activities with my children today? Did my family watch “too much” TV today? Was dinner delicious? Healthy? Did I blog today? The list goes on and on and on and, well you get the point. I’m not saying that a clean house, active kids and delicious dinners aren’t important, they are all great things! But when it gets to the point, like it did with me, that you cannot be happy unless you have satisfied all of your expectations for your day then it is just counter-productive! Let’s face it, being a mom is unpredictable, and you have to be flexible enough to say, “Hey! I’m just going to vacuum the rug tomorrow, because my kids need me today.”

 

With the lack of social outlets in my life currently, I was beginning to “busy” myself with an abundance of meaningless tasks and I was preventing myself from just enjoying my day! Well I am here to tell you that it stops TODAY! 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” And Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” How great is God that He has offered to take my anxieties (and yours too) and squash them! I plan on taking him up on that offer starting now.

 

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Tomorrow I will make my anxiety jar. I am literally going to write down my anxieties and place them in this jar, a physical representation of my giving them to God. I am a tangible person, but if you aren’t this may seem completely silly to you! But maybe for you it’s a journal, or a special place that you go and sit and pray immediately when you feel that anxiety coming on. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take God up on his offer and let go of that stress, it’s not yours to keep! I have a renewed sense of joy in my heart today, not because I have given all of my stressed to God already, but because I realized that I have a choice!

 

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this long and rambling post. I think that it is important as women to admit to one another that we are flawed. No more pretending like we have it all together all of the time! I for one am relieved when I find out that there are other ladies out there with similar struggles. I would love your feedback on this, please feel free to share this with others, leave a comment, prayer request, anything!

Comments

  1. Kelly – I can’t imagine being so isolated. You and I are very alike! My husband always talks about moving to the middle of nowhere but I don’t think I could do it {not sure he really could either}. I am glad you have found some piece and you know you are welcome back in CO for a visit any time!! :)
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  2. Kellie Sue says:

    Hi my sweet Kel!
    I miss you! I can relate to your feelings of loneliness completely and those anxious jitters and anything and everything, and sometimes plain nothing it seems! Our situations are very different, being that you have three wonderful kiddos, and an amazing husband; however, I think we deal with the same thing on a daily basis.
    I am confined to working at home (don’t get me wrong it has it’s perks), but with that comes some serious isolation. I sit in my apartment day in and day out for 10 hours a day. The constant stress of work, technology, and deadlines drives me batty sometimes. I have to religiously schedule times to work out so that it gets me out of my apartment!

    I love your idea of the anxiety jar! Sometimes work gets me so wound up that I even have stress dreams about work and it’s just SO not worth it. Starting the day with giving all my stress and worry to God is such a good practice. I think being women we often take the responsibility of making everything perfect, when in reality “God’s got your back.”

    Even though I’m far away, I think we should talk so much more! Let’s try to set chat dates so we can at least have some sort of human contact even if it’s through the phone. :) Love you lots!

    Kel~

  3. Hi Kel…Good! Sometimes we have to break down in order to break through. For me this is the case, and I know God loves me no matter what. Also, God made tears for a reason. Crying is healing and an emotional release valve if we’ve been holding things in too long. I have kept a God Box for many years now, and it is currently right up on top of my desk. Anything that’s stressing me out goes right inside the God Box. I also have friends that put their problems written on pieces of paper inside a water bottle, place it in the freezer, and put their problems on ice:) Journaling has also been an awesome best friend when I can’t talk personally with a trusted friend or mentor. This is one of the best, most honest pieces of writing I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you for sharing. xo!!

  4. Hi my friend!
    I miss you, and I’m sorry I’ve let myself get too wrapped up in my every day life to send you a note. Isn’t God great? Yes, I’ve had my share of self-pity meltdowns, and I’m not even out in the Boonies. I miss seeing you all the time- can’t wait til you come visit. Kayla showed me some pics of your fam- CUTE! Sophie and Malie talk about you a lot, they miss you. You should see my little preschoolers, they are so sweet. I have been amazingly blessed. Keep giving it all up to God!
    Love you lots,
    Mala

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