I love mantras and my main one that I try to live by "Walk humbly with God and do the work at your hands" has slowly been replaced with some deep negative ones...really without my conscious consent.
Honestly, I have been struggling with a bit of depression lately. I have allowed half truths to steal my joy and rule my mind. I have three children and the youngest is only a few months old, so I can blame it on lack of sleep or being to busy to process life, but truthfully its lack of mental discipline. Perspective is powerful! Instead of seeing things through the happy/blessed filter fresh with God's new mercies every morning, I have allowed a moldy filter full of self-pity/fatigue to brew out nasty leftovers. (Can you tell I drink coffee?)
So, like a play reel, God rolled my thoughts through my mind and challenged me to CAPTURE THE THOUGHT AND MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO HIM.
Thought #1 - I have to stay home with 3 kids all day long; staying home is hard.
Thought #2 - I have to homeschool because I want to see all my kids firsts, protect and shape them.
Thought #3 - I get no little to no "me time".
Thought #4 - I miss my freedom from when it was just my husband and me.
Thought #5 - Being a mom is harder than being a dad.
Now, don't get me wrong. Parenting is hard and there is an element of truth in all the above statements.
Perspective is everything! And we can choose to see things positively (the above thoughts all have negative emotions behind them) or we can allow "truth" to be colored by half truths.
So....the challenge... NOTICE - CAPTURE - RETRAIN
Truth #2 - I don't have to homeschool. I can try it and pray if it is best for my children each year as they grow and mature. I will never see ALL my kids firsts but I should treasure the ones I get to be a part of. And God is the only one who can protect them and shape them through whatever they face, good or bad, in life.
Truth #3 - I get to get out once or twice a week by myself for a few hours which is more than some moms. I have a husband who encourages me to make time for myself and who is willing to watch the kids to make that happen. I have family that help watch my kids so I can attend work functions and have the occasional date night. Plus who says "me-time" is a right?! Choosing to be a married and/or be a parent means sacrificing some "me-time"....well if you want to be a good parent or spouse anyway.
Truth #4 - Yes missing the past is normal, but just think how much you would miss your children if they were to not be a part of your present!!! And for some parents that becomes a reality so try to remember that your kids are a blessing to treasure for as long as you have them - tomorrow is not guaranteed!
Truth #5 - Being a dad has difference stresses, like providing for the family (growing expense each year that your kids are alive...rent/morgage...the lights on...food...diapers...shoes...college...weddings...etc). Dads have to try and balance being there for their wife and kids after working 40 hours or more to provide, while trying to stay healthy and workout (because no wife wants a husband on the verge of a heart attack), and trying to have some "me-time" of his own so he has something interesting to talk to his wife about after being married for 10 years. There are always two perspectives and it is easy to lose your spouse's!!! (TRUST ME I WILL NEED TO COME BACK AND READ THIS PARAGRAPH MANY TIMES!)
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If you notice he lies are short little mantra like statements easily repeated in your head, so no wonder they drown out the truth.
It takes work, aka discipline, to:
notice the lie...
and retrain your mind with TRUTH
Lord, thank you for keeping me up last night and showing me the hard truth about my thought life lately. Thank you for restoring perspective and please give me the extra energy it takes to discipline my thought life and see truth and choose joy...