Monday, April 12, 2010

this post weighs a ton!

I started coming down with something awful on Friday night while on a downtown date with Husband. Naturally, I assumed it was Cholera, Scarlett Fever, or the Bubonic Plague, but it turned out to be only a nasty throat infection which brought a high fever with it. Amazing how quickly antibiotics, rest and H2O can work together and heal the body.

Husband was the best caretaker. I am constantly edified the more and more days we spend together that I chose the right one (and daily stunned that he chose me!). In addition to refueling me on meds and water, he kept cold rags on my head, regulated my body temp, took all his phone calls outside of the house, and brought me a de-pollinated bouquet that he arranged himself from outside.

I just had to brag on him for a few paragraphs :)

From my morning reading, I felt compelled to share this. If you're wondering where all the "worry" stuff is coming from, it's because I've started reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World because I wanted an "easy" devotional read to take a break from my hefty EfM readings. Goes to show my snobby self, huh? This "easy" read has made a lot of sense and been very spiritually fulfilling.

The author, Joanna Weaver, says:

"It's been my experience that God usually won't take away our "friends, those things we look to for comfort-- even if those "friends" aren't good for us. We must be willing to release them ourselves. And until we do, the battle for the mind will rage on...

We must be willing to take an active role in the battle against anxiety.

[...] as I began to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5), anxiety began to lose its hold. Instead of being led astray, I took a second look at each thought as it came."

Weaver says she then asked two questions about each thought:

1. "Where did you come from?"

(i.e. What is this thought's source? Is it real or did I fabricate/imagine it?)

2. "Where is this thought going?"

(Is this thought productive? Can I do anything about it (and if so what-- (that action part))? Will this draw me closer to God/peace or will it draw me closer to anxiety?)

Pretty smart, concise questions, I thought.

If I were to add one, it would be:

3. How important is this in the grand scheme of things?

(i.e. Aren't there more important things I could actually do something about right now?)

There's so much in the Bible about our "imaginations" being wicked. Years ago, this intrigued me and I thought by "imaginations" Scripture meant creativity. By no means, as Paul would say. It means fabricating worst-case scenarios, allowing unproductive or even self-destructive (a.k.a. sinful) thoughts to rule our clarity of thought and peace of mind, to harbor bitterness and resentment rather than forgiving, to allow ourselves to think "I'm inadequate," to make our plans without seeking God's ultimate will, and to imagine that those things/habits/addictions/acts ("friends" as Weaver calls them) are comforting us or building us up when, in actuality, they are tearing us down. Imaginations are what stand in the way of our taking productive, positive action, not the brainstorming or constructive thinking which leads to productivity and/or Holy-Spirit driven genius and good work.
All of this negativity, in other words, is generated from our lack of faith in and seeking of GOD, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist (Romans 4:17)
My Most Constant, Unproductive Fears:

1. Not succeeding through grad school, even though I thoroughly feel it was God who opened those doors... how ironic that I would have anxiety over entering a door that I faithfully feel God both led me to and has opened for me.
Idiotic and definitely unproductive.

2. Losing long-cherished friendships due to moving around too much and living too far away.

3. Oddly enough, car wrecks and air raids (yeah, I know. It's so bad I have stop to myself from physically cowering when I hear planes flying over head. My whole body freezes. You would have thought I'd fought in Iraq or Vietnam.)
Absolutely absurd to worry over and thoroughly unproductive.

4. That I will be inadequate in the things that I take on and in my relationships with others.
5. That I will forget someone or do something that makes another feel abandoned or unloved. This fear I feel can be productive as long as it drives me to act upon not forgetting other people. It's unproductive past the point of marking calendars and setting reminders on phones.


  1. I started to read this book a while back & never finished... bc I was too busy & even tho' that was WHY I wanted to read the book! ... to try to figure out how to become more of a Mary & less of a Martha. Maybe I should bring it on the plane w/ me :)

    Your post reminded me of something Beth Moore said in her Esther study the effect that "What IF..." so often is more or less an acronym for "What I Fear..." Isn't that so true? Esp when we let our imaginations run wild instead of taking our thoughts captive as you did a fine job describing how to do here.

  2. I have heard that's a great study, too! A friend recently recommended it to me.

  3. Sure hope you are feeling better real soon. I always walk away from a visit here with many, many things to think about. Thanks for keeping my spirit in tune.

    Kate - The Garden Bell

  4. A very thought provoking post! I hope you recover quickly and keep those productive thoughts coming!


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