Sleeping until 8:00 a.m. is sleeping in for me. That was good! Since then, not so great. So I’m going on a free-writing rampage with this post.

We hooked up my laptop with the broken monitor to an external monitor so I wouldn’t have to disappear into the basement all the time. I just put it in sleep mode when not in use because the laptop doesn’t have a dock with a convenient power button. However, sleep mode leaves the laptop running. Maybe I’m nuts to worry about this, but I thought the constant heat can’t be great for the mother board. So I shut it down completely last night. When I turned it on this morning, it didn’t remember the monitor set up. I wasn’t aware of the Fn + monitor function to switch it over, but my husband finally figured out to press the power button and shut the laptop right away to get it to power up on the external monitor. That problem is solved now.

Using photo processing programs on the laptop is slow and presents errors because of it. Still a problem. Anything of great importance (work for actual clients) must be done on my desktop in the basement. My office. MY space. And it has to be done during times that are convenient to me. That may be times that are inconvenient to whoever may be trying to sleep in the space I must walk through to get to my office.

OK. There it is. Probably the root of the tension and anxiety. My “yes” nature and apparent gullibility led me into a situation that I’m ready to be out of. I’ve been ready to be out of it for the past couple months. That’s a lie. I’ve been ready for several months. I’ve already told the remaining children living at home that if they ever have a friend in need of a place to stay, don’t even think of asking me. I’m not doing it anymore.

I don’t like being the one to tell someone no, especially knowing that it will make the person’s life harder. However in this situation, I truly believe the best solution would have been to just stick it out where she was. What I thought was being helpful has ultimately turned out to be a disservice to all involved.

I want my house back. I don’t want to have to step over gates anymore that are tearing up my walls. I want to be able to go wherever I want in my house without worrying about inconveniencing or waking anyone or having a big dog beg for attention and sticking her nose in places it shouldn’t be. I want our mulch to stay where we put it. I want the anxiety of the dog interactions to be gone.

Yes, the dog is cute. I really do like the dog. I’m just not a big dog person. Did it once. Never planned on doing it again.

Current mood: extremely anxious.

’tis the Season to be Jolly | Who Stole My Jolly?

Where Are You Christmas?

“My life is changing. I’m rearranging. Does that mean Christmas changes, too?” I thought it would help to get the trees up earlier this year, but it hasn’t. I’m not at a Scrooged point because I really do want to feel the joy of Christmas. Instead, I’m feeling stress and anxiety over trying to make a perfect Christmas in the dawn of an imperfect situation.

I walk into stores and walk back out with nothing. I’ve already established the fact that I hate shopping and prefer to get in, get what I need, and get out as fast as possible. OK, so I get sidetracked from time to time if something catches my eye but for the most part, shopping and I are not close friends. This month, I would not consider us to be friends at all.

“If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel like Christmas all the time.” The problem is that retailers have taught us something different entirely. They seem to sing, “If there is money or credit cards in your wallet, we will feel like Christmas all the time.”

Today, my feeble mind forgot that there is no Macy’s at Park Meadows Mall. So I made a half loop around the mall, looked at a few things, then spent too much on some Mrs. Field’s cookies to soothe my frustrations before leaving. There was one moment where love welled up in my heart and my mind as I walked out the doors of JCPenney to the parking lot. I heard a bell ringing outside the door. Without a second thought, I scooped up all the coins in my clutch and slipped them into the red collection pot for Salvation Army while smiling warmly and with a twinkle in my eye at the woman ringing that bell. There you are, Christmas!

Worry Addressed in the Bible

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Oh, to be a bird in the air or a flower growing in a field! But we’re not. However, the human ideal of what we must do to survive – no … to merely exist is blown entirely out of proportion fed by desire alone. All forms of media tell us we must have the latest and greatest gadgets, and we must dress in the finest clothes and wear the finest, most expensive jewels. Do you ever wonder why trends change? Money! Those who are easily molded into the epitome of the latest look have spent as much money as they’re going to on achieving that look. So a new look must be fashioned. Wanting to be accepted or noticed, those same people will give away or sell their old stuff and purchase new stuff. A lot of my stuff, I’m not ashamed to say, comes from Target, Walmart, Ross, and Marshalls. I’m not one to go out and buy something from an expensive store in a mall just because Peggy Sue Mergatroid is wearing the exact same thing. I seriously don’t get that way of thinking anyway. Why would I want to wear something just because someone else is wearing it? I want to wear things that look and feel good on me. “Oh, but it’s all the rage!” you say? And your point is…?

That may have strayed a bit from the verses above, but I felt the urge to express that thought!

My next thought is on verse 34 alone: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” This is where most people stop with that verse, but it continues: “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” So this is not telling us to just live our lives carefree or willy-nilly thinking that God will make sure our needs are met. We do have to tend to today and what is right in front of us. Unlike when Scarlett said, “I won’t think about that today. I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.”, this isn’t a free pass to procrastinate or push all your cares away until it’s more convenient for you to deal with them. Tomorrow holds it’s own trouble, but you do have to deal with today’s troubles today.

Proverbs 12:25

25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”

Worrying makes us anxious, and if you stop and pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re in the midst of worrying about something, you will notice that your heart literally feels weighed down. You’ve all heard it described as a weight on one’s chest, right? Well, there ya go! Likewise, when you’re happy, you feel as if your heart is floating in your chest. Which would you rather feel a majority of the time?

Philippeans 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

When you’re anxious, you tend to fear the worst possible outcome of whatever the situation may be. If you take the time to really think about it all, really put everything into proper perspective and count your blessings, then you’ll find that things generally don’t look quite so bad anymore. Remember what Maria sang to the Von Trapp kids about remembering her favorite things? Well that kind of positive thinking actually works! The peace of God truly does transcend all understanding. I don’t understand it myself, which is something I struggle with just accepting without needing to understand it. What helps me is this: I know that each who believes has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to live and dwell within us. If you are of a faith that believes in a triune God, then you must know that this means God Himself is within us. I’m just going to let that one sit there.