A Mom’s Thought Life
A couple of years ago, I literally thought I was losing my mind. This was not the usual harried mommy stuff of forgetting where car keys were, having three jars of cinnamon because you could never find the other two you bought the week before and calling your children by their siblings name…no, this was, ‘I. think. I’m. going. crazy!’
So after exhausting the possibility with my saint of a husband, I made an appointment to go see someone to either confirm, or deny, that I was in fact headed for a nervous breakdown that would cause me to…who knows what!
Turns out the guy I chose was a Biblical counselor; a trained psychotherapist who used the Scriptures. Each week, I would sit on a worn out, very comfy couch in his small office and cry…talk…cry…talk and cry at the same time…talk…cry… And he quoted Scripture…listened…quoted Scripture…asked leading questions…quoted Scripture…listened…asked leading questions about the Scriptures.
One day I had had enough! So through the ugly cry, with red, puffy eyes and a faucet for a nose, I demanded an official diagnosis.
“Pretend you’re filling out an insurance paper on me!” I demanded. “What is my diagnosis!”
“A habit of wrong thinking,” he calmly replied.
“Treatment plan!” I challenged.
“Replacing wrong thinking with the Word of God,” he patiently answered.
“Prognosis?” I asked.
“God never fails,” he countered.
And my 55 minutes was up for the week.
On the drive home I thought about my ‘diagnosis’ and realized that I was indeed very sick. For as long as I could remember, I had been plagued with thoughts and questions that began with, “What if…” and were quickly followed by, “Yeah, but…”
For as long I could remember I had been filling my mind like it was one giant, stinky garbage can. I read terrible books, starting at a very young age when my grandma would pass on The Enquirer and True Crime. I grew up watching whatever: MTV, crime shows, murder mysteries, soap operas, you name it. This bad habit carried into my adult life.
You know the saying, garbage in…garbage out.
I was filling my mind with garbage and it was regurgitating itself in my thought life. And regurgitated crap makes for a crappy thought life.
So I bought a Bible and started looking up Scriptures on my mind and what God said I should be filling it with; things like truth and beauty, purity and excellence. I bought a camera to help me stop and notice the things God wanted me to think about. I stopped watching the news and following clicks around the web to scary stories meant to inform but only cause me anxiety.
I still slip up in my thought life from time to time. And let me tell you, it scares the you-know-what out of me!
This usually happens when I’ve let something slip: not enough sleep, a click here or there on the web, a flip through the television channels, listening to a ‘scary for me’ story from someone at church. I immediately have to self-correct, see these feelings and thoughts for what they really are and do what I know to do, replace my thoughts with God’s thoughts.
Jenny is a Catholic wife and homeschooling mother of 7. She is the administrator of Suscipio, a communal website for the Catholic woman on the web to find daily encouragement and support. She *seriously likes Lawrence Welk, Nutella on a spoon, marching bands and ice water. *She reserves her love for God, not things.
Read more in the Mom to Mom series.