I did not want to get out of bed this morning.
I had woken up around 4:30, and by now it was past 6 AM and for one thing, I was still clinging to a sliver of hope that I might be able to get a little more sleep.
My mind kept racing as I lay there, trying to get back to sleep. Some of the thoughts were serious, some frivolous. My brain kept bouncing around between meditating on scripture, thinking about my stuck-in-the-outline-stage novel, and composing Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction (it’s been at least 10 years since the last time I actually wrote fan fiction, but my brain refuses to give up the habit). Finally, after my husband got up to take care of the dog and eat his breakfast, I decided to quiet my mind by saying my morning prayers.
But when I finished, instead of feeling ready to get up and start the day, as I contemplated doing so, mentally going over today’s To Do list, a deep tiredness began to creep over me. I don’t mean sleepiness–that might have actually been useful in the moment–but a sense of weariness and overwhelm, and suddenly instead of fanfic my mind was seized with a barrage of negative thoughts.
It’s getting to be that time of month, when my hormones flare up and make it exceedingly difficult to maintain a sense of objectivity about my life. Suddenly all I could focus on were all the ways my life is less than perfect, all my flaws and failings, all the things I want to accomplish but can’t because there’s just not enough time. I was also thinking about one particular chore on my To Do list, a phone call I needed to make that was making me feel intimidated and filling me with worry.
The old me would have not just allowed that train of thought to continue, but would have packed her emotional bags and climbed on board to ride it all the way to depression-town, where I would have spent the next several days feeling miserable and making my husband miserable, to boot.
But now I know better. Now I know what to do.
The first thing I did, still lying in bed, was to offer up an honest prayer to God, telling him how I was feeling and all of the things that were weighing on me. I acknowledged that He’s bigger than my problems and also stronger than PMS hormones, and asked Him to give me the strength I needed to get out of bed and start my day.
The next thing, as I stood in the kitchen waiting for my coffee to brew, was to give thanks for all the good stuff in my life (which is actually a pretty long list), and to sing hymns of praise.
After breakfast, I went for a long walk (exercise is also an effective way to get some happy, mood-altering endorphins flowing, not to mention that Vitamin D seems to do wonders for my mood and energy levels) and used that time to intercede for other people.
By the time I got back home I had prayed for several people who I know are facing some monumental challenges right now, and I had completely forgotten about feeling sorry for myself in the process. I found myself able to rejoice in a new day and the opportunities it holds, and to tackle that phone call with a sense of peace instead of dread.
Of course, PMS isn’t usually a one-day event, so I need people to pray for! So tell me how I can pray for you this week (you can e-mail me if you don’t want to leave a public comment)?
Relevant to the “old me” vs. the “new me” and my new-found ability to stop the negative thought train in its tracks, I encourage you to check out today’s excellent devotional at Proverbs 31 Ministries — especially if you feel hurt or haunted by the past.
I have a question before I sign off. On my old blog, I had been doing a weekly update at the start of each week going over my bullet journal and my goals for the week. I stopped a couple of months ago when I became too overwhelmed with freelancing projects. Is this something you’d like to see me start again? If so, leave a comment and let me know!