Thursday, October 30, 2014

Living in the Moment

They say you learn something new every day.

Well, let me share something I learned yesterday. First of all, let me share where I learned it.

I learned it in therapy.

Hey, at least now the title of my blog makes sense again. I haven't been in therapy since before Al's stroke. So, it was about time that I sought some kind of counseling again since I've been through just a little bit of trial and trauma in the past four years.

Without even mentioning the stroke and the myriad of appointments and interventions and therapies for my husband, I can compile quite a list of stressors that have invaded my life:  depression, anxiety, PTSD, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, sleep deprivation, a nervous breakdown, multiple changes in jobs and insurance, and now, for the first time since the stroke, both my husband and I are unemployed, which means we're living just above the federal poverty level.

Oh, and did I mention that three of our children have been violently plunged into puberty, and one of them is currently learning to operate a motor vehicle?

You would think I'd have a therapist on speed dial.

But no, sadly, I haven't made time for therapy since the onset of these tremendous changes in our life almost four years ago.

This will be a story for another time, but I was unexpectedly thrust back into therapy yesterday. And I've already learned a lot.

You might think I should have known this already since I'm very well acquainted with depression and anxiety. But here's the wonderful little nugget of wisdom I learned today and I want to remember this, putting it into practice as much as I can:

Depression is dwelling on the past; 
Anxiety is dwelling on the future; 
Contentment is living in the moment.

Well, that seems easy, doesn't it? I suspect it will be harder to put a plan into practice according to this truth than simply absorbing the profound realization of that statement.

But it makes so much sense, doesn't it? When I get depressed about my life, it's almost always about my mistakes and seeming lack of ability to deal with all that life has thrown at me. However, Scripture tells me:
Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19

God is always, always doing something new. And He is never surprised about our situations, our reactions, or our disobedience. He is always one step ahead of us (or maybe a thousand steps?), working it all together for our good and for His glory.

And if anxiety is worrying about the future, then what is my problem, exactly? Really? Okay, so I really do want some things in our life to change. And it is really scary to think about the lack of definition for our future when neither Al nor I have jobs. 

Of course, the answer to my anxiety is in God's Word as well:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, 
present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7

So now, as I accumulate the proper tools, I will work on cultivating contentment.



Living in the Moment.


  1. This is beautiful and encouraging! Thank you!

  2. I'm being in understanding here. About 4 years removed from similar craziness. Hang in there.