Hello, I’m a Recovering Worrier

I’ve been sick for about a month now. I’ve had a myriad of symptoms assail my body, the latest of which is loss of smell. This means a loss of taste. This means awfulness! I love to cook and eat, and it’s becoming depressing not being able to smell or taste. I’m praying my bronchitis and sinusitis clears soon; but I realize I’m been battling more than just poor health.

That looks like a good one!

She’s imitating me!

I’m fighting this looming feeling that something greater is wrong with me. That old worry feeling of “The-bronchitis-isn’t-going-away-so-it-must-be-cancer” has resurfaced. I’ve had it before with horrible headaches…”Something worse must be wrong with me!”

I’ve been writing this blog for about 2 years now, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I still have these kinds of worries. I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t kicked the old habit yet. Continue reading

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There is Not One Right Choice

This last week we spent time with our fun MN family. After a week at the beach, we were set to return when a unique opportunity arose. My DH was invited to take a continuing education course taught by a prominent Seminary professor.

If you know my guy, you know he’s a nerd and a half who could spend all day talking theology. But he was conflicted. In fact, a bit anxious.

He couldn’t decide whether to stay for the class or return home to prepare for church events. He had a nagging feeling in his gut that he should go home. However, after much thought and discussion, we chose to stay.

What struck me about this whole process was his nagging feeling. He never has those kinds of feelings…so my first thought was, “This must be a sign from God that we should go home.” Yet there was no compelling reason to go home (for me) other than his feeling.  Continue reading

Do Your Worries Stem From Insecurity?

I woke up the other night and I couldn’t breathe. My chest was tight, my heart was thumping, and my mind was in shock. It felt like a panic attack.

All because of a dream.

I’ve had bad dreams before, about death and other awful things, but this was by far the worst. I dreamed that Jim had an affair, had no desire to reconcile, and actually thought very poorly of me. It was a nightmare.

My dear husband has never given me any reason to have this dream. He is faithful, committed, and one of the greatest blessings in my life.

When I finally woke from this hellish dream, he was there to hold me, calm my sobs and process the happenings of this facade.

At 4 a.m. I realized that I still have a couple of insecurities lodged in my heart. Again, not because of Jim’s actions; it stems from my own self-doubt.

Am I loved?

Am I accepted?

Am I intelligent? Continue reading

What is God preparing you for?

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my fear of strangers. I talked about how sometimes I am suspicious of others and how it can inhibit my witness. I think God must have read my post because I had two unique opportunities this week to work with strangers.

The first was with Mimi. Mimi is a wonderful 26-year-old woman of faith. Mimi also has special needs. She stayed with us for the weekend while her typical caregivers were out-of-town.

Caring for a special needs person is something that has never been on my radar. However our friends needed help, and asked us to consider watching her.

Normally I would be too worrisome to do something like this. What if something happens to her? What if I can’t handle her tantrums? What if something goes wrong? Would she be ok with the kids? Usually I would just say NO because of fear.

This time I said yes. I talked with my friend to prepare myself as much as possible. I was ready to bless Mimi. But I was unexpectedly blessed by Mimi. Continue reading

Worry Can Wreck My Witness

This may sound silly, but strangers scare me. I’d make the perfect 4-year-old in that sense! I am not the most trusting when it comes to meeting random people.

worry can wrecks my witness (1)

Did you ever read the Bernstein Bears Learn about Strangers? Sister Bear learns that one can’t always trust strangers. By page 5 or so, she begins to see the world as a dark, scary place with sinister strangers lurking around every corner. By the end of the book, however, Sister Bear has a more balanced perspective on a world with strangers in it – cautious, but not fearful.

Unfortunately, I’m stuck on page 5…strangers cannot be trusted. I feel this especially at the grocery store.

I know my point of view is unhealthy. God showed kindness to me 2 times this week through strangers. I found my daughter’s shoe hanging from a stop sign because a stranger took the time to tie it there to be found. And, of all places, a stranger at the grocery store bought my kids candy (in my presence!) in the check-out line. I shared these experiences on Cast Your Worries Facebook page and heard a couple more stories of stranger’s kindness. Continue reading

I Can’t Live Like I Was Dying

Remember Tim McGraw’s 2004 country hit, Live Like You Were Dying? If you’ve forgotten in the last 11 years give a listen.

I’ve been a fan of the song for a number of years. Tim sings about a man who discovers he doesn’t have long to live due to a terminal illness. His response is to check off his bucket list and to soften his interactions with people.

In light of his imminent death, he

– loved deeper
– spoke sweeter
– was finally the husband that most the time he wasn’t
– was the friend a friend would like to have
– read the “good book”
– gave forgiveness he’d been denying
Live like you were dying is a simple phrase that has nosed its way into my thinking. In fact, it’s influenced big and small decisions in my life.

Should we go to get frozen yogurt today?
Yes, because you never know when you’ll die.

Should I call my parents tonight?
Yes, because you never know when they might die.

Should I do a mud run in August?
Yes, because you never know when you may get into an accident that leaves you paralyzed…or you might die.

Should I do a puzzle with Little Sister?
Yes, because you never know when she might die and you’ll regret not spending more time with her.  Continue reading

The Worry Hidden in Perfection

Meet a dear friend of mine. Let’s call her Mandy.

Mandy has never called herself a perfectionist. In fact, she believes herself to be the exact opposite. You might say an imperfectionist…or as she says, “I’m more type ZZ than type A!”

Mandy’s dresser has been covered with clothes (outside the drawers) since she and her husband married.

pictures from graduation 078

Mandy’s dresser in her first apartment…note her husband’s (we’ll call him Tim) dresser which is perfectly clean. Not much has changed in 10 years!

When company comes, they can often find unpaired socks in the kitchen next to pizza crumbs under the table. But Mandy doesn’t mind. She believes it shows character. Continue reading

Is Celery Healthy?

This is a question I get a lot in my house.  Is _________ healthy?

Is watermelon healthy?

Are cookies healthy?

Which is healthier: peanut butter or jelly?

I have two reactions to these questions.

1. Pride
My babies are thinking about food and trying to eat healthy. What parent doesn’t want their kids to make wise choices about the food they eat?

2. Worry
Unfortunately, this reaction far outweighs my pride.  You see, I’m concerned my kids are beginning to develop my food disorder.  They’re thinking way too much about if something’s healthy or not.  It hasn’t inhibited them from eating foods, but they’re often asking about the nutritional value of a meal. They’re looking for the best foods to eat.

I know how to answer their questions about cookies and watermelon.  I bust out some Cookie Monster wisdom: Continue reading

15 Signs You Might be a Worrier

*This list is not meant to be diagnostic.  I am not a medical professional nor do I play one on TV.  This list is a collection from my own experience and those of friends.  It’s meant to let you know you’re not alone…and that maybe worry affects your life more than you’ve considered.

white van

 

1. One of your first thoughts when you have a headache is that it must be brain cancer.

2. You fear you’re headed for divorce when you argue with your significant other…or when you don’t argue enough. Continue reading