…ideas or thoughts that continually preoccupy or INTRUDE on a person’s mind… the things I over-think and think about for way too long, way too often…

  • My to-do list – I can often spend more time creating, listing and organizing my tasks than actually accomplishing them…
  • Plans – this sort-of fits within the to-do list category… but includes dates that go on the calendar that I have to fit my to-do’s around…
  • Times I mess up – I can replay embarrassing moments or word-mishaps over and over, wishing I could take things back or have a second chance to stay things stronger, funnier, more graceful, more patiently or simply not at all…

Because these are “intruders” of my thoughts, they are often difficult to ignore. However, with each day I realize more and more how I have to be careful to reign them in. Here’s why:

  1. My to-do list can become an idol directing my life. It causes me to spend time organizing tasks over spending special time in prayer or with people who need quality time. It can consume me with the idea that I can control or fix everything around me… it can cause me to become overwhelmed with duties, expectations and ultimately… “small stuff”. The biggest challenge to this struggle was April 1’s devotion in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. She writes, “You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day as it comes, and find [Jesus] in the midst of it all… your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with [Jesus]. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with [Jesus], even if many things remain undone at the end of the day.”
  2. I think planning is good… it helps you to set goals and be prepared for what is comingHowever, obsessing about planning limits my spontaneity and ability to “roll with it.” I have also come to realize that it can be overwhelming for other people. Whereas having a plan decreases my anxiety by allowing me to have clear expectations of what will happen, too many questions/details can cause stress in other people. It causes me to be unfairly frustrated with another’s low interest in planning when some instances are actually no big deal. This tension causes me to go against my goal to be approachable, relaxed and fun to be around.
  3. Focusing on my weaknesses, insecurities and mistakes negates the grace that God has lavished upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9). It also allows mindless things to occupy too much space in my mind.

So, I’m learning to let go of control and work on the things that I can change… I’m learning to obsess a little bit less and choose to focus on/discern what are more important things… I’m learning to be more comfortable in the moment and experience the freedom of accepting the things I cannot do anything about.


About melanieahill

I am a wife, graduate student, church staff member and most importantly, a work in progress. I am studying to become a licensed professional counselor and I absolutely love to cook.... and eat. I also love to travel, do some basic gardening and maybe one day I'll be a mom. There's a lot that I've learned in my 30 years, but I also know there's a lot more to go. It's an exciting journey!


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