Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monsters in the Night

As a child, I stayed awake many nights wondering what kind of monsters lurked in my bedroom. Were they mean ones or nice ones, the furry kind or slimy kind? Did they want to eat me up? Surely they weren't there to make friends. I was convinced that if I put my shoes on the floor with the toes facing the bed, the monsters would think I was still up, just standing there by my bed, not actually in my bed, and wouldn't mess with me. If I had to turn off the light myself before getting into bed, this posed a tricky situation that could result in a monster grabbing my ankle on my way to the pillow. So, I would literally leap from my doorway into my bed in hopes of tricking the monster and avoiding him having me for a midnight snack. Don't laugh, but I remember doing this well into my teenage years.

These days, or nights rather, I rarely consider the monsters I imagined as a kid. But I have encountered a new set of monsters that are comparably scary. The difference is, I'm not afraid to talk back to them now. I even know some of their names . . . Worry, Anxiety, Frustration. Anxiety visited me last night and he brought his friend who always mean to me. I don't know the friend's name, but he relentlessly kicks me while I'm down and tells me how I have failed once again.

It was 4:00 am and I shot up in my bed, suddenly realizing we are this close to running out of toilet paper. Big deal, except it's supposed to snow half a foot today. And I just braved the store yesterday afternoon with both kids in tow, fighting and carrying on as we whizzed past the toy section. And the craft section. And the dresses. And the cookies. And then Miriam slammed the cart so that poor Charlie ran into a display, which commenced the crying, and the scolding, and the hissing and the embarrassment. I am vaguely certain I saw the kids AWANA director stroll by at this point. I was sure that he was calling social servies or texting God, but either way the kids shaped up right away after that.

So, you can imagine how the monsters started berating me in the middle of the night. "You're kind of a dummy. Why don't you make a list." "Better not tell Glenn. He will tell you he told-you-so, that you've got to make a list." "How are you going to drive in the snow? What if you get stuck at the end of your driveway, or at Walmart, or worse?" "Maybe you can use Kleenex if you run out of toilet paper. Hahahahahaha!" "Did I mention what a dummy you are?"

This badgering went on for quite a while while I tossed and turned, unable to sleep. Finally, at ten to six, I got up. I checked the toilet paper. We have at least nine rolls.

(To make matters better, everything is cancelled today. Homeschool moms hope for snow days too, you know.)

Here's a set of verses that I have hidden in my heart but need to pull up to the surface more often so I have something to chuck at my monsters when they come to call.

"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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4: 6-8

Had I remembered this passage, I would have asked God for His peace and gone back to sleep. I thought that memorizing scripture was enough, but for certain things, at certain times, I guess I need a more in-your-face approach. I will write this verse on a card and tape it somewhere in the bathroom . . . above the toilet paper holder, perhaps?

1 comment:

  1. I'm terrible at scripture memorization, but that's actually one I have memorized. Seeds is awesome and I probably wouldn't remember any verses without it....
    that verse REALLY comes in handy.