I can’t remember the last time I had what I would call a normal week. I am beginning to think that normals weeks are the new unicorn. They don’t exist but you still sort of hope for one. The last not normal week I had in Oklahoma was spent getting ready for our two week trip up North for the wedding. I was busy. The kind of busy where you just have to start cutting things off your list and “Want to dos” become expendable.
I was quite seriously thinking of scheduling a nervous breakdown sometime in August because breaking down any time before then was simply not an option. Too many people depended on me and there was clearly no way that the world would continue functioning should I cease to be ridiculously productive and efficient. My tasks were piling up and my life felt like a never ending mountain that I could not climb.
Then I had an amazingly profound and simple thought.
“Oh yeah, God.”
I have stressed through an entire week in desperation over my life and not once did I involve God in my stress. Not even once did I go to him in prayer or ask him to re-shift my perspective. I acted like the details of my life were paramount and capable of knocking the world out of orbit, I pretended the only one who would make everything alright was me. I didn’t trust God with my stuff and not until I had reached red-light nuclear levels of stress did I resort to asking for his strength and guidance. And if I am perfectly honest this is a trend for me. If life is great, then I feel like I have it all in control and I simply thank God for my daily bread, or daily sandwich. When life is stressful I struggle to juggle every ball perfectly on my own and not until I have exhausted every mental and emotional resource do I call in the big guns, God, to step in and help me out.
God shouldn’t be the secret weapon I keep in a silver, foam padded case and take out at the last resort moment. He should be the guidebook by which I live. And the worst part is that I know better, but I keep going back to it again and again. I loathe asking for help in almost every situation. For example I want to get all the groceries and both kids into the house in one load, every time. Think about that. Two kids 2 and under, a weeks worth of food for a family of 4 and 2 gallons of milk, in one trip. Stupid. If you ever catch me with casts on each wrist you will have no reason to question why. I was too stubborn to ask for help.
Stubbornness. It gets me every. time.
So when you recognize an unhealthy habit what should you do about it? I think step one is to identify it and then I would also go about treating it like a stalker. Expect it to creep into your life often when you least expect it. Just when you thought you had all the right restraining orders in place there it is, peeking out from your pantry or back seat. Be aware of the unhealthy patterns you gravitate for. Put their picture up (so to speak) so that when you see them you can deal with for what they are. Deadly really.
So you identify them and then you start the long process of researching and learning how to replace unhealthy patterns with healthy patterns. Confess your crap to someone, always confess to someone who can help you walk a new path. Get accountability and wisdom and knowledge and just keep replacing the bad with good. One of my favorite metaphors for this is to re-wallpaper the lies with truth. For example me? I don’t trust people, and I don’t trust God very well at times. I want to take care of everything in my life on my own and at an unattainable level. I need to learn to trust God, to daily admit that I can’t be the wife Kel needs or the Mom Caedmon or Noelle needs without his love flowing through me and his wisdom replacing the faulty human logic I am so fond of ingesting.
I can’t do it alone, I can’t do it perfect and neither can you. You have to daily realize that you need help only God can provide. Broken wrists are just stupid, either take 3 trips or ask for help. And your unhealthy pattern may be totally different than mine but I hope that it is still being identified in your mind. Mental and physical health are really optimal life choices, but they don’t come easy. We can do it, you and me and we should. God has given us these beautiful hours to spend, lets spend them in healthy places.