Strung Out on “What Ifs”

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My schedule is a wreck.  In working full time, helping to take care of my elderly grandmother, blogging, and trying to make time to care for myself physically and spiritually, Fridays seem to be my only day to myself (even though eight hours are still dedicated to work).

So when the dealership called at 7:45 Friday morning to tell me that my car would be finished by 8:30, hours before I planned for it to be done, I panicked.  

Yes, my appointment was at 8:00, so this was actually great news, but if I went to pick up the keys, then I’d have to work through my lunch hour.  And if I worked through my lunch hour, I wouldn’t make it to the bank.  And if I didn’t make it to the bank, I still wouldn’t have money to pay the rent.  If I didn’t pay the rent, I might be forced to move out.

My mind is great at hyperlinking to the worstcase scenario.  So by the time I pulled my mom’s minivan into the lot of Sheetz (where I planned to buy something for lunch), my brain was strung out on “what ifs”.  I blindly grabbed a mango drink in a fun bottle, a bag of nuts and a pre-packaged sandwich and headed to the checkout.

I tossed back more than half the bottle of the mango tastiness, then noticed the label on the bottle: “Mellow Mango: SLEEP Sweet Dreams”.

Uh, what?

I turned the bottle around and read the back: “contains melatonin, L-theanine, magnesium, and 5-HTP to lull you into a deep, relaxing sleep that leaves you ready to take on the next day.”

The next day?  No, not the next day – today is MY day!  My mind went into overdrive as I went to pick up my keys at the dealership.  How was I supposed to work the next seven hours and be awake to enjoy my only real evening off?

Luckily a couple cups of tea did the trick, but my clean eating plan was definitely shot for the day.  Additives, and chemicals, and caffeine…oh my!
It was a total failure before 9 a.m.

And so then my mind went back into the downward spiral of “what ifs”.  I effectively blew a day of clean eating, and weekends are when I tend to be more relaxed in my eating plan. What if I gain back a bunch of weight over the weekend?  What if my cravings for caffeine return?  What if the new clothes I bought last week don’t fit on Monday?

But you know what, I made it through the remaining eight hours of work.  I went to dinner at my parent’s house, I picked up my car from the dealership and spent some quality time with the bestie.  This weekend, I was easy on myself and my eating plan, and this morning, my pants still fit!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the “what ifs” if something doesn’t go our way. 

Why do I turn into a perfectionist diva when that happens?  Simply because it’s easier to trust and rely on myself, than it sometimes is to trust and rely on a God who is bigger, stronger and much wiser than I can comprehend.

Needless to say, I learned a lesson on Friday.  Okay, a few different lessons:

  • Lesson One: It’s okay to stress; sometimes that is how I can become more productive.  But what is not okay, is to allow it to work me into a frenzy, which allows me to do careless things, like drink 3/4 bottle of melatonin at 8:30 a.m.!

  • Lesson Two: Relying on God and his purpose is scary, but it’s so much better than the crazy half-witted plans that I dream up.
  • Lesson Three: It’s important to read labels…even if they’re slapped on fun bottles.  That’s it.  READ labels!
So…tell me, what mishaps in the chaos of life have you
experienced that have turned into impactful life lessons?

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  1. I’m so glad I stopped by – I SO could have written this post! As much as I try not to overload myself, it just seems to happen anyway. I get super frustrated because I don’t get to do what I want to do because I’m stuck spending my time on things I have to do. I’m now following you on fb and twitter – I’d love follows back (lisalewiskosterspeaks on fb) Nice meeting you!

    1. What’s up, kindred spirit!? I pray that this post has spoken some truth to your heart and that the next time you find your thoughts getting wrapped around in a giant knot of chaos and worry, that you’ll take pause to consider that God’s in control and will lead you through. Thanks so much for following! I’ll be sure to return the favor!

  2. i am the worst about getting caught up in the “what ifs”!! i love lesson 2 – God’s plans are ALWAYS so much better! i need that reminder everyday! thanks for your encouraging post!

    1. Hi Robyn! I’m blessed to know that you were encouraged by this post and that you were able to take away such a valuable lesson, as well! Many blessings to you as you continue your journey in Him!

  3. Your reactions are so common to so many people. It makes me remember when I was helping to care for my Mom and grandmother and how easy it is to overreact to everything. I could feel the panic in your post as you detailed everything. Great post. Dropping by from the link up. Take care of yourself!

    1. Sheryl, thank you for your kind words and for stopping by! Sometimes I doubt my writing style and if it really reflects the message I’m trying to convey, so I’m blessed to know that the sheer panic of the moment was clearly displayed in this post, haha, even if it meant sharing such a half-witted experience! I look forward to see you back here again real soon! Be blessed!

  4. I totally hear you! My reaction is, often, to let it build and build and build until I just cry. It’s this weird thing where if I feel out of control, it totally overwhelms me and I feel like I’ll just burst out crying any minute. Sometimes, I just have to find a place to be alone and let it all out, and then get back to work. I think there’s a lesson in there, somewhere…lol Just working on not letting things get to me so much and realizing that I can only do so much.

    1. Oh Naomi, I’m a crier too! There are times that just letting it all out through silent dew drops is the best way to handle whatever you’re going through. I recently heard a saying that, tears are sufficient when we cannot find the words to pray. I hope that you will remember that God is not blind to your tears and that He will guide you through whatever circumstance has succumbed you to weaping.

  5. Oh my goodness. I think we all have days like this. But, the lessons you shared, especially #2, are great things we need to remember. And like you said, sometimes it’s okay to stress. I can sometimes get more done when I’m crunched for time or under a little pressure. But, too much and I will crack down, majorly! Know you definitely are not alone in days like this. Just yesterday, it was a day where I dropped, spilled, lost, everything I touched. And today (I’m a barista) I literally spilled coffee beans EVERYWHERE. So thankful for shop-vacs! 🙂

  6. While I love the lesson in this post, that drink just cracks me up, you didn’t notice the big SLEEP written there? (I probably wound’t have a year ago either but ever since Jared’s dietary restrictions we read every single label)

  7. I’m just now getting caught up on your posts… but I loved this one. What a funny story that made a great point! I would have so picked up that bottle without realizing too!

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