When Things Just Don't Go Right
This morning as I was sitting at my computer counting ticket sales for our daughter's upcoming theater performance, my husband called from the back door, "There's a dead kitten back here."
With a heaviness I put on my boots and went out to view the tiny little body, somehow escaped from her chicken wire safe space, and loved on just too much by our over-eager Great Pyrenees puppy. As I fetched the shovel I shook my head thinking of how much death is part of our life on the farm.
What I had anticipated as a relaxing first week of school vacation has proven to be an exhausting week of ill-health and crisis. Nothing has gone the way I expected, from my body's functioning to our family's schedule to blogging here.
We all have weeks like this, sometimes even years. Maybe it's just a string of things that don't go right, but sometimes it includes great loss and tragedy. And in the middle of it all there is much temptation to despair.
There is a peace when things are in order, not only in the physical realm, but also in our minds. And when that order gets rifled through, it is sometimes hard to hold on to serenity.
I confess I have had my moments this week. I would love to tell you that I have had perfect self-control and was able to turn peacefully to the Lord for all my needs, but the fact is there have been a few tear-filled sessions.
I want to share with you a few things I have done this week that have helped. To be honest, I write this mostly so I can look back at it when another week like this hits me. It is so hard sometimes to remember what to do when you are in the middle of a crisis.
I have changed the sleep rules this week. Half way through the week I stopped setting my alarm. Blessedly, it took only a few days of oversleeping for my internal clock to be reset. This morning, without an alarm, I woke right up at 4:00am.
I also have been napping whenever I feel tired and am at home. Most of the time I just lie down on the couch so the children have easy access to me (and yes that means the naps have been interrupted, but it is still extra sleep). A few times I actually laid down in bed.
I have discovered that I am chronically dehydrated. This has led to several health problems that are quite annoying. When I am home I am setting a timer for every hour, and drinking an 8oz glass of water standing right there in the kitchen. When I go out I am taking a bottle of iced water with lemon to make drinking more appealing.
Lots of Salad
This may sound silly, but I have been craving and consuming huge amounts of salad. I believe it's my body's way of helping me restore internal balance. I never get a heavy feeling after eating a salad like I do after many other meals. To keep my protein levels even, I add bits of meat or cheese or sunflower seeds.
Yes, of course I have been praying, but sometimes when you are so low you find it hard to know how to pray for yourself. In these moments I reach out to others and ask for prayer. There is tremendous grace in God's allowing others to intercede for us. Perhaps it is part of His design for us as a body. I rarely struggle to pray for others even when I am struggling to pray for myself.
Be Obsessive About Bible Time
With so much on my mind this week, there have been several mornings when I have allowed myself to become distracted before getting in the Word, and my time of study has suffered. My peace has suffered too. There is nothing like the living and active Word of God to put everything into perspective. I want to start my day with right thinking, not distracted by my worries and to-do list, or by the current bad news online. Penny at Living Above Ministries recently wrote a great post about this... What Do You Open First?.
This one is the hardest for me. This week I have had to let go of a number of things I had planned to do, including blogging. It is very hard for me to do this without feeling guilty and like a failure. Yet I would be the first to encourage this very thing in anyone else. Sometimes the person I have the hardest time extending grace to is myself.
How about you? When you run into one of those weeks, what do you do to make it through and remain peaceful?