Fake Problems: A Sermon to Myself

Allow me a minute to worry about some things. (This is my blog so I can whine if I want to.) Claire has another UTI, her 8th since last June, so I’m worried that she’s either in constant pain or that she just has a bad personality. Trevor cried awhile last night with an earache and screamed for a few hours this afternoon just to get on my bad side, so I’m worried that I may throw him off a cliff. I have a cold and am still recovering from emergency surgery a couple months ago, which brings me to the thousands of dollars in medical bills we owe a certain hospital nearby, a little overdraft problem that has yet to be resolved, and the constant fear we have of not surviving another year of drought. I haven’t spent a single minute in the last two months away from my kids because we can’t find a babysitter in this godforsaken desert, and all I want is an afternoon alone in town to get my hair cut, I mean seriously. We’re on our millionth day in a row of wind, my house has yet to turn into a Pinterest board, and our DVR is packed full of unwatched episodes of The Voice because who has time when they have to sit up and worry about stuff? Not to mention Matt’s problems, like figuring out where to put a bunch of cows and how to grow mass quantities of plants without rain so we can eat and buy Kindle books next year, and also trying to be a good dad and make it in once a week to help with the whole bath-bedtime routine.

Those are my worries today. How sick are my kids? Could my hair be any uglier? Can we burn this entire house down and start all over? You get the idea. I didn’t even realize I was worried about anything until a couple nights ago when I just became overwhelmed with the fact that we are living on the prairie raising two kids with no grandmas or even helpful little old ladies in sight. We’re two hours from the pediatrician, 7 hours from my mom, and 40 miles from the liquor store. Matt is home maybe once or twice a week in the evenings and we’re not even to our busy time yet. Moms who wait for bedtime know the phenomenon that is 4:00-8:00pm. It’s been scientifically proven that those four hours are actually 20 hours. So my days here are 44 hours long, and that is a LOT of time to worry.

And actually, I’m not even a worrier. One of my spiritual gifts is faith! I am confident in what I hope for, certain of what I do not see. I know God is in control of all of this. And that’s how I know today, without a doubt: the devil’s been talkin’.

He tries this kind of thing a lot, sneaking up on people who have no reason to worry with a barrage of little problem arrows that eventually hit the bullseye. None of what I wrote in those first two paragraphs is concerning, and actually, none of those things are real problems. They are what I like to call Fakeprobs, a representative of Satan and the bane of my existence. Fakeprobs can appear out of nowhere. You’re going along good, haven’t cussed or yelled at anyone in a few days, and your baby gets a runny nose. Then the other kid has a fever. Then the Maintenance Required light comes on in the car. You visit a friend’s house that is newer and nicer than yours with soothing paint colors and granite countertops. Then suddenly no one cares about you, there will never be enough time or money, life is too hard, you’ve lost your funny, and you’re crying on the couch shoveling spoonfuls of cookie dough in your mouth. Fakeprobs, the only attendee to all my pity parties.

I’m usually not aware of a Fakeprobs attack before it’s got me in a chokehold. I’ll notice a couple of arrow piercings here and there maybe, but no big deal. Pick up some meds for the baby, take the car for an oil change, whatever. But Fakeprobs is sneaky. One or two clean shots on the outside perimeter over a few days, then a well-executed shot to the heart and I’m going down. Bam. My day is full of worry and insecurity and fear that I’m not doing anything right.

Here’s the truth about Fakeprobs, though. It is a lie. There is no arrow Fakeprobs can shoot my way that can take me down. My shield, my God is bigger than sick babies, tantrums, bank accounts, corn fields, and dust storms.

Read this. Now read it again.

See what God does there? He promises to save me from the traps and pestilences and arrows and plagues that destroy my quality of life here. He is saving me from worry, fear, and insecurity, and he is protecting me from all the Fakeprobs that make me think that I’m too impatient to be a good mom, too selfish to be a good friend, too hypocritical to write about the greatness of God on a blog.

But my God is bigger than Fakeprobs. He is sustaining me one day, one minute at a time. He gives me patience and wisdom and strength to parent the most rambunctious kid, He gives me peace and faith in very uncertain farming times, and He gives me the absolute best people in the world to love and lean on when I pluck out the pity party arrows and get back to work.

Yesterday I asked Trevor what he wanted for lunch. “Who cares, Mom?” he replied. That kid doesn’t have one cell of worry in his body. He knows he will be fed when he’s hungry. He knows he has shelter and clothing and love. Fakeprobs doesn’t pierce his shield. He is living life and loving every second of it because he is a flower in the field and all his needs are met by a God who loves him.  Get the picture?  So here’s to a patched up shield and a quiver full of arrows and another day to let our faith be bigger than our fake problems.



6 thoughts on “Fake Problems: A Sermon to Myself

  1. Those seasons are the roughest! One thing I’ve noticed is that after the smoke clears from times like these, I appreciate the peace and calmness WAY more; kids’ health is suddenly glorious and an afternoon to myself is way more heavenly than I could ever have imagined. That, and I notice that looking back, I grow so much closer to God during those seasons. When the Army decided to station us in Alaska, I HATED it and missed home so much. Looking back, that was one of the best “growing seasons” of my life.

    And, P.S., I thought since I live 30 minutes from the NM border that maybe we are not so far away and I could come to your rescue and kidnap your children and send you to the beauty salon–but lo and behold, we are 6.5 hours apart 😦

  2. Oh, if onllllyyy we could trade babysitting. Ah. (What I really need if for you to come DO my hair, you’re so good!) And yes, I totally agree…we have a couple of really good weeks ahead after we make through this one. 🙂 Time for you to blog about all your experiences now…

  3. Oh, Michelle, such a good reminder that I needed. We have such a gracious Lord. My prayer for you and your sweet family from Numbers-
    The Lord bless you and keep you;
    The Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.”
    . . . . and send us abundant refreshing precious rain!

  4. I didn’t know you had a blog until last weekend! After much blog stalking and catching up on your previous posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that you and I are living the same life—Only you’re in the NM desert, and I’m in Coleman! So glad to know I’m not alone! This post was especially refreshing for a worrier like myself. I worry ALL.THE.TIME. It’s a constant struggle for me….Constant. Many of my days are filled with prayers asking the Lord to control my thoughts. If left up to me and my own strength, my mind and my worries run rampant, and it’s not pretty. Thanks for sharing, and encouraging! Much needed for me today, and always!! 🙂

    PS- I think you have great hair.
    PSS-I don’t have granite countertops either 😉

    1. Shaunna, Lol! Thanks for your kind words; you haven’t seen my hair in person lately so I’ll take that with a grain of salt 😉 I guess we can still cook in our sad little granite-less kitchens and not worry about it too much! Hope your family is doing great. No worrying today!

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