Having too Much Time to Think

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Too much time?  Did she really just say that?  I know that’s what you are thinking.

But when you are married to a chef, and are by yourself (or alone with your kids) a lot, especially at night, you have a lot of time to think.  Sometimes too much!  (Actually, I’m guessing that this is the case for many women, whether they are married to a chef or not.)

Having all this time to think is tough . . .  Time to think about finances, am I doing what I should as a Mom and wife, what am I doing wrong as a Mom and wife, I wish I didn’t care about my house being clean, I wish my husband was able to be home more, why did God choose to take my Mom home to be with Him as such a young age, why am I so scared to share what I believe with others, why are my kids so messy – I must be doing something wrong . . . oh my goodness . . . steam of consciousness . . . this is my mind all day long!!

Don’t get me wrong.  I am busy.  I am far busier as a stay at home Mom than I was as an elementary school teacher (before kids).  But being busy at home is not the same as being busy at work.  After my Mom died, it was much easier for me to be in my classroom the distraction of 32 4th graders, than to be at home, by myself while my husband was at work each night.  Work was a great distraction to the worry and sadness I was feeling.  I no longer have that escape.  I am home a lot.

Thinking about things isn’t a bad thing in and of itself.  It’s when that thinking turns into worrying that it’s a problem.

I have always struggled with worrying.  I hate that I struggle with this!  The Bible is very clear in many places that we are not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:24-34, Phil. 4:6 just to name a few).  I truly believe that God is in complete control of this world that He created and that He has a plan and purpose for everything.  Through all the trials and hard times in my life, He has been there and given peace that is totally unexplainable, except through Him.   So why do I worry?  Do I really trust Him as I should?

So why this post this morning?  (3 questions in a row . . . wow!)

Last night I received an email from a friend telling me that her dear sister-in-law and her unborn baby were killed in a car accident on a local highway yesterday afternoon.  Her 18 month old daughter who was also in the car, was fine.  She leaves behind her sweet 18 month old, her husband, parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and friends.

As I read that and could picture my sweet friend typing that in tears, I was overwhelmed.  The house was quiet, the kids were in bed, my husband was actually home, but asleep on the couch across the room from me.  Time to think . . .

I immediately put the keyboard down and began to pray for the family as tears came to my eyes.  God is good, all the time, even in tragedy.  And while I don’t know why He allowed this to happen, I know that He will use it to bring honor and glory to Himself through this godly family.  Please pray along with me for God’s will to be done in this situation.  (And I know it’s not a coincidence that I read this blog post on praying for God’s will to be done just yesterday afternoon.  What a great (and difficult) reminder and challenge this was to me!)

Then I begin thinking again . . . thoughts come flooding into my head with memories of Tom’s car accident, memories of my Mom, grandparents and friends who have lost their battles with cancer, what if I were the spouse who had just received a call that my husband was in an accident, what if it were my sister in law?  Our minds can overwhelm us too easily.

These thoughts make it hard to sleep, hard to parent and just plain hard to function!

As I think about my day today, full of trips to the bus stop, playdates, coffee with a friend, homework, a very late night for my husband in the kitchen (he told me his to-do list as he was leaving . . . I think I should have sent a sleeping bag so he could just sleep in the restaurant), I will have a lot of time to think.

The struggle today will be not to worry.  Not to worry about my friend and her family, not to worry about all the “what if’s” that will pop into my head all day today because of this accident, not to worry about the future, etc.

When my mind starts racing, many times my friend Amy comes to mind.  She is a friend who can take one look at me and know something is wrong.  I take one look at her and just spill my guts instantly.  She is the kind of friend who when asked for advice, goes straight to scripture, because she knows God’s words are better than hers.

But what comes to mind in these instances is her teaching on the passage in 2 Corinthians 10 about taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  I think she quotes that scripture every time she speaks at Bible Study!  We are in control of our minds and we need to be taking captive those thoughts on worry, those “what if” thoughts so that we are in obedience to Christ.  We need to be thinking about things that are true and honorable, pure and right like Philippians 4:8 talks about.

As I get ready to tackle the day, I will pray for my friend and her family each time I think of them.  2 Corinthians 10:1-5 and Philippians 4:8 are printed out on a paper and will sit on my kitchen counter today so I will see them and be reminded of them constantly as I go about my day and have all this time to think.

Does anyone else struggle with this?  Are there specific times of day this is harder for you than others?  (Mine is at night when Tom is working late and the house is quiet.)  Please comment below and let me know I’m not alone!  

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2 Comments

  1. Julie G

    You’re definitely not alone! I think it can be hard when there’s not another adult around to talk to. Sometimes when I say what I’ve been worrying about out loud to my husband later, it sounds so silly. I try to remind myself of that, and to think on what is true! God’s truth never fails.
    Praying for the families affected by this accident.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      It’s funny how saying something out loud does sometimes make us realize how silly it was to worry. That’s happened to me many times too! Thank you Julie. 🙂

      Reply

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