Today I’m home with only a baby and a toddler and as crazy as it sounds, it feels like a break. The three older ones are out for a bit and I’m trying to take a couple of minutes to quiet my racing mind and clear out some of the fog.
It seems that no matter what I eat or how much sleep I get (and I’m actually getting some thanks to Wonder Baby), by mid-morning I have no energy and feel like my brain is covered in a Delhi-like haze. This goes on basically until the evening and I feel like I have to fight to keep moving. My tendency is to jump straight to vitamin deficiency as the culprit combined with a healthy dose of cross-cultural and life stress. But maybe this time it’s more and my Western mind forgets to take into consideration the other possibilities.
For the past two weeks I’ve had a mind battle going on. Voices telling me a variety of unhelpful things that are only meant to tear me down. And I’ve believed them. In part because these are my weak spots and partly because I’m so exhausted I haven’t paid proper attention to my spiritual well-being. There are no excuses, really, but I am a task-oriented person who wakes up with a thousand to-do’s and I jump right in after Cornflakes. But with all the head-haze I feel like I’m running in place most of the time– only accomplishing maybe two of the million things on my plate. Teeth-brushing has become optional.
Over eggs and toast last week I told my husband about my malaise and all the voices that were being unhelpful, but I believed them and it was putting me in a perpetual bad mood. He had noticed. He looked up over his coffee and called them my Siren Songs.
Now the literary geekiness in me was impressed he used this allusion. And the other part of me paused to consider how right he might be about this. About my Siren Songs– the songs that I hear playing in my head that draw me in and are difficult to resist, but ultimately lead to anxiety and discouragement in my heart.
So what are my Siren Songs? Well, as a well-established melancholy I have a tendency to think too much about things, to be highly sensitive (that’s my INFJ talking) about relationships and a huge desire to do things that make a difference in the world. I put so much on myself– expectations and responsibilities– that I get weary under my own self-made pressures. And when the unexpected occurs or things aren’t going as I planned I tend to doubt my own abilities or question everything.
In the midst of it all, I had the chance to speak to my life coach (yes, I love having a life coach, she’s amazing) who gently reminded me that I do live in a very spiritual part of the world and we are trying to serve Jesus and love others in a way that sheds light on him, and well, that’s not what the enemy of our hearts wants. He wants me to live defeated, in a daze and confused and defeated. So I began to pray more in earnest for God’s protection over my thoughts and help throughout the day. And really I’ve seen a huge difference since then.
It’s 113 degrees, so energy is difficult to come by anyway. But in this season of life, with all we have on the line and all that the Lord is trying to do in and through us, I have to cling to him and trust his plans even when the days are full and it feels like I’ve accomplished nothing and haven’t even left the apartment in three days. I have to speak the truth to myself, even when it’s hard and my heart struggles to believe it and I need to listen to others who speak it to me, too.
In mythology the Sirens would attack ships as they sailed along to their destinations. They were only defeated when sailors realized the threat and plugged their ears as they passed by. In my life I’ve so often struggled with my own thoughts and I’ve allowed them to pull me under. But I don’t have to. I have a choice–unless it really is vitamin D deficiency then I need both vitamins and truth to keep my heart in the right place.
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