I Stopped The Crazy Spin Cycle Before It Could Ruin My Day

    Today is a day to share about the need to take that Grace and let your cup Overflow! I shared about my constant need to return to the fountain of Grace to refill when Guilt overwhelms me. Now I want to keep that Guilt away so that it loses the capital G in my life. I want the only Capital G to come from Grace. One way that this happens is by returning to that Grace fountain even when I am not overwhelmed! When we get into that headspace where we are just spinning, we have already made it far down the rabbit hole. We don’t get there in one moment. We are overwhelmed by things piling up, even if just in our head.

    I woke up this morning to a crying baby who needed food, which meant that several hours before I wanted to be up I had to wake up to stress. I am not someone who can usually wake up and jump right into the day, so this was something that could have turned disastrous quickly, but it didn’t. I got up, made a bottle and fed her. She remained wide awake so I got myself up for real and let her play while I did my Bible Study in 1 Samuel. Before 8am I accomplished more than I thought I would all day! This was something to stop and praise the Lord about! And I did a little dance.

Next I decided to take it a step further and do my workout before Davy even woke up! Unheard of! Davy is my little alarm clock, and every time I change my schedule to wake up before him he wakes up 30 minutes before that (and his bedtime never changes…yep, grouchy toddler). So, I went and got my workout clothes on and when I exited the bathroom, he was sitting up in bed. I took this change of plans in stride and sent him off to play so I could continue with the workout plan (neither of my kids like to eat within half an hour of waking up usually). This is another praise because I am also really good at avoiding things that are for me. I did my workout, which was a fit test today. I started out doing better in each exercise, but the last few exercises I did worse than before. This is where the Crazy Cycle started spinning. I also ate before I worked out and I think didn’t wait long enough, so all at once several factors started getting to me. And I think Satan saw signs of stress or something because guilt started jumping on me and as I walked past the calendar I glanced at it to see the page of instructions for the surgery that has been canceled. I started to get snappy (how could this pillow have fallen onto the floor?) and mad (what are these socks doing in the bathroom floor?!) and in the shower I had an argument in my head about all the anger I had, and as I heard the words in my head I knew I had let the Crazy Spin Cycle get to full speed in a matter of minutes.

Pictured here: Davy in a laundry hamper helping to give a visual for the Crazy Spin Cycle, with a smile to help us all avoid it in the future.

As I shared with Louis about my frustrations with his clothes on the bathroom floor (which had nothing to do with anything I was feeling), I finally broke down and shared the above story. As he listened he was quick to point out the different things I had done well, the major deal it was that I had been able to do more pushups. Then we stopped and prayed. My entire day went better from then on. Now here I am even taking Quiet Time! Alone time for myself! And as I took a few deep breaths I knew that a major part of my mood improvement came from taking time throughout the day to Praise the Lord! To take His Grace and slather it all over my day.

(Do you ever read a blog and think, “Sure that works for her, but I have no idea how to do that!” Especially with tips like: Have Faith, Give Yourself Grace, etc. Hopefully you don’t leave here today with that thought, and if you do feel like that please comment!)

  1. Share your praises and thanksgivings with God all day long. A journal of thanksgivings is wonderful, and a good rule of thumb is to write 5 praises in it each day. The key to doing this is to write them down right away. Sitting at the end of the day and trying to remember is really hard. It is almost impossible to think of things to be thanful for when the Spin Cycle gets to full Crazy Speed.
  2. Admit that you have some Crazy in you. As women especially we can get very touchy about being called Crazy, so save your loved ones the frustration and just admit it now. If you admit that there are some times that your frustrations, anger, anxiety, mania, worry, or whatever else you tend to call it rule you, then we can pry that loose and start to remove it with some Grace and Praise!
  3. When you discover that you got to full Crazy, go back over the events to try to find the trigger. It is not good to go over the events again just to prove you were right. In my story above it may seem so fast, but it is usually not that fast for me. Sometimes I am crying and yelling for hours before I recognize that nothing is getting done because I have gone off the rails of reality. It is only recently, in the past six months that my emotions have stopped having first say in my actions. Finding the trigger (disappointment because I had set up unrealistic expectations for my ability to do tricep dips & the recurring disappointment that my daughter’s surgery was canceled) allowed me to give that to God specifically. I spent a long time just going back to God with, “I am sorry for losing it again” and never giving up the things that were pressing Start on the Cycle.
  4. Don’t press Start on the Cycle the next time. For me this is taking down those surgery instructions which are now meaningless and throwing them away. Mentally I need to return to the purpose for working out, which for me is Stamina and Strength. I want to be able to keep up with my kids and be able to lift them onto the changing table. While I might have argued with myself that my failure was a failure in Strength, I have lifted both kids up just fine today to change their diapers. I had someone share once about getting over an addiction. It is no good putting the magazines in the closet. You know you are going to open that closet every day, so just burn the magazines. Don’t let the Crazy Cycle be your habit aka addiction. Burn the triggers.
  5. Find Accountability. Let someone call you Crazy. This is a hard one for me, but I think it is essential. We were not meant to walk this road alone. We have Jesus interceding for us, and we need others. I don’t mean you need to actually use the word Crazy. My husband says Spinning, Boiling, Simmering, or makes references to Rabbit Holes or Train Tracks. Find what works for you. Accountability is not someone who says Good Job all the time, but someone who can stop you from taking a wrong step. Let someone in, and let them tell you what you are doing. Also that my hubby is willing to change diapers, stop and help me talk it all out, point out the praises, and jump in to help clean while I worked on some homeschool projects keeps me sane. He can call me “Crazy” because he is in the relationship 100% so I know he has my best interest at heart.


Book Review: The House On The Gulf: Okay

The House On The Gulf

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

A story of a broken family trying to support and take care of each other. The family moves to Florida because a college there has a program for single mothers. Their mom wants desperately to be a doctor, which is years and years of schooling. Her son finds a job house-sitting  and they all get to move into the house for the summer which allows for their mom to go to school. However, the younger sister senses that something is not quite right. The reader travels right along with her, never knowing if the truth has been discovered fully or not.

This book was so sad. Even the ending remained rather bleak. I would only recommend this book to others who already knew the author’s style and tone. I would probably not recommend this book to anyone who did not already love this author.

Due to the upcoming Tucson Festival of Books I am eating up the many many authors and many many many many books those authors have written. On a recommendation from a friend I wanted to make sure to read a book by Margaret Peterson Haddix before March 9th when the Festival begins. The only book at the library during a quick and insufficient glance through the children’s section. My return to the library after reading this book was much more successful because, A) I looked in the teen section as well, and B) I checked both hardcover and paperback books in the children’s section, and finally C) someone had returned some of the books that were not available on my previous excursion. Therefore, I hope to have some more reviews from this author’s bibliography soon.

Book Review: Bigger Than A Bread Box: Great

Bigger Than A Bread Box

Laurel Snyder

An emotional book of a girl dealing with her parents’ separation. She finds a magical bread box and begins a moral adventure of discovering more about herself, her mom, and people in general. The author was not writing an autobiographical account, but had obviously put quite a bit of thought into the emotions, mental processing, and psychology of the events in the story. In the acknowledgements she acknowledges this fact and admits that she did quite a bit of “dripping” on her keyboard as the typed. The writing style sounded like a real person telling a story. It was told from the perspective of a 12-year-old, and often sounded like she was writing about it after the fact. The writing style mirrored a way of sharing that I hope to put into my own writing about my self or any story about people I ever work on. It was honest and therefore true even though it was not based on true accounts. The Bruce Springsteen references were spot on as well. Definitely an author I would read again.

I would recommend this book to any young child in double digits. I think that the book had a lot of lessons in humanity that are worth the read for any child whether they are struggling with some of the trials of family or not.