On My 32nd Birthday…

On My 32nd BirthdayMy 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
  • antibiotics

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
  • doctors

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 :).

xoxo, Tamara

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.

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  1. Tamara, we are so much slots it’s crazy. My husband is in the fire service as well. We have 2 boys and a 17 month old girl. I am a stay at home mom and I too get trapped in the negative thought process, feeling sorry for myself when I know I have SO many blessings to be greatful for. My anxiety has been through the roof for years and seems to be getting worse the older I get. Add germaphobe on top of that and you can see I have a real problem. How did you change your thought process to help you with this? Would love any encouragement.

    Bethany

    • Hi Bethany, We do have so much in common. I am so sorry you are dealing with anxiety also. My heart goes out to anyone who experiences this because it can be such a hard thing to break free from. What really helped me was first realizing that I had a problem and that I couldn’t fix it. I tried so hard to fix it by myself and when I vocalized to others that what I was doing wasn’t working I was finally ready to ask for help. I went to see my doctor and received an antidepressant and referral to see a counselor. I found a christian counselor in my neighborhood and totally gave it my 100%. It was hard and scary to be open and really dig into what was causing me to be so anxious. The gal who worked with me was great and emphasized the Lord in the process and also that I needed to find out what was triggering my thoughts so when those thoughts happened I could stop them before I began to spiral out of control. I was in counseling for 6 months and on the medication for 8 and the combination really helped me to get out of my head and back into being able to enjoy all the blessings in my life. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you need anymore information :). xoxo

  2. Thanks for the help. I was on an antidepressant through high school till about 4 years ago. I didn’t know what it was like to be off and I feel like my mind is so much more clear being off. I don’t want to go back to them but would love to find a Christian counselor in my area! I don’t think people really understand how crippling it really is. I truly admire you for being able to share something so personal. I wish you were closer so we could grab some coffee/ tea and have a chat. I truly pray I am able to rid this of my life. Thanks again.

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