My Mom said she could always tell when I was getting sick because there would start to be a trail of used kleenex all over the house. While I am not as bad as I was about leaving my germ infested kleenex all over, I knew that the week leading up to my birthday, I could possibly be coming down with a cold. Not from the trail of used kleenex but because of my worsening sore throat. Then I was congested and then I admitted to myself that I should probably go to the doctor after having symptoms for a week.
I really wasn’t super bummed about having a cold. In the past year my anxiety and overall outlook on life has gone through a major overall. As my birthday was quickly approaching I was just super thankful that my family was not showing signs of stuffy noses and coughs.
Last Thursday, the day before my birthday, I made an appointment with the doctor. He said if my symptoms got worse to call and he would call in a prescription for me, but he was fairly confident that by the next day I would start feeling much better.
On my birthday morning I woke up to no voice. Yikes! I knew at this point I needed to get ahold of the doctor again. Thank goodness for text messaging and email. Josh was on shift but he was able to get in touch with the doctors office and explain what was happening and he also was able to come home for the day until the kids went to bed to help me. I really thought I could handle it on my own but I am so thankful he came home.
At this point, Caden started coughing, and I knew that he was sick too. So we decided to have a sick day, watch movies, and drink green smoothies. Not a bad way to spend a birthday cuddled up on the sofa with your loved ones, minus blowing crazy grossness out of your nose all day.
Right before dinner, as I was in the kitchen getting the food dished up on the plates, Maisie walked into the kitchen crying. This is not super unusual because when she knows it is getting close to a meal or snack and she can see the food, she wants the food. Suddenly my kitchen floor was covered in throw up. Again and again she got sick on the floor, on me, and on the floor again. I felt so bad for her. Once she was finished her little body was shaking and she nestled her head under my neck and snuggled in.
Dinner ended up getting cold as we cleaned Maisie up in the bath, the kitchen floor was mopped, and soon enough it was bedtime for the kids. Josh went back to work and I was asleep quickly after he left. Not the day I planned but I wouldn’t trade it.
The amazing thing about this to me is that in all of these moments I never once thought anything negative or wished the day away. I have really come to understand that life is such a gift and each day should be treated like it is. Sure it would have been nice if we had all felt better, but you know what? People get sick everyday, some much worse than a stomach bug or cough.
Perspective is everything and life should be treasured. Even in the moments when you don’t feel good. There is always something to be thankful for. This was such a great reminder for me NOT to allow negative thoughts to rule my mind. By keeping focused on all the amazing blessings in my life I was able keep myself out of the bottomless pit that I can easily put myself in with my negative thought pattern.
It was so fitting that the past week in my bible study was all about peace. God so knows what he is doing and how to prepare us. On this day He knew that I would need the extra reminder of all the great things I have going for me so I wouldn’t get weighed down in the muck.
As part of the study I was asked to write down three specific things for which I was grateful to God despite whatever difficulty I was currently facing.
The three things I was grateful for this day were…
- a roof over my head
- my husband who took time off to come home to help me
Next question. How can you incorporate these three things in your prayer strategy this week?
Then I incorporated these into my prayer life by praying for…
- our landlords and neighbors
- Josh, his coworkers, and our car that gets him from A to B
When we choose a thankful prayer over wallowing in anxiety and worry we demonstrate a sweet trust in God. This keeps us from being absorbed in our circumstances and allows God to activate a deep peace within us.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
I don’t know about you, but for myself having access to more peace is never something I will turn down. God’s peace is amazing. It is dismantling my emotional barriers and securing my runaway emotions. Which to me is the best birthday gift of all :).
PS…If you struggle with automatic negative thoughts like I do, try changing your perspective. Start a gratitude journal. Each day write three things you are thankful for. Seriously try it.