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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Yeehaw for Y'all!

Remember in the movie Steel Magnolias where Shelby has broken the news to M’Lynn that she’s pregnant? M’Lynn gets extremely upset—because Shelby is diabetic. As they’re talkin’/arguing/’, Shelby says this:

Mama, you worry too much. In fact, I never worry ‘cause I always know you’re worried enough for both of us.

I’ve recently confessed this truth to y’all: I’m a Worrier. I honestly believe I was born this way. Growing up, I worried about my siblings, bad weather, burglars who would not only rob us but also hurt us, money, failing/disappointing, being chubby. That I was going to have a fatal asthma attack. And on and on. And on. My worries were 18/7. Sometimes 24/7. (I had insomnia from the time I was about 11.)

When TLC was four months old, I took her to her first “Mother’s Day Out” at the big Baptist Church. She was to be there for six hours. After reluctantly walking out of the building and then sitting in my car in the parking lot, unable to drive away for at least fifteen minutes while I balled my eyes out, I made it a total of barely two hours. I got better—eventually.

She broke her right ankle on a trampoline at a dear friend’s home, while I stood there watching her jump, a few weeks before she turned three. She had a full leg cast and got quite excellent at running with it on.

It goes on. She broke her right arm the third day of second grade when she fell off the monkey bars at Recess. I took her directly to the Orthopedic doctor—45 miles away. At that point, we discussed putting him on a retainer, since I was convinced her bad luck was moving up her little body. I was extremely relieved when she didn’t want to do tumbling or gymnastics—like many of her friends—in the fourth grade. Seriously. Grateful.

The truly hardest years were junior high and high school. I worried about her safety. Her self-esteem. Her heart. She worked at a flower shop from 8th through 11th grades. When she was 15 ½, the owner asked if we’d allow her to get a hardship driver’s license—so she could help deliver around an area of about twenty miles. In a (long) van. WHHAAAATTTTT? Her Dad and I were very conflicted, but gave in. I’d been letting her drive out in the “country” near our home for two years prior to this and had worked with her to be careful, responsible and accountable. Still, I wanted to "tail" her every day—discreetly, of course—using my Nancy Drew techniques to keep from getting caught. I never actually did “surveillance” on her. Instead, I spent those years (okay, and her college years—and her first five years of life in the Real World after graduation—okay and even now) in worried prayer.

Finally... drumroll... The Yeehaw:

Recently I discovered a book in my home office closet I can’t even remember buying. I think it’d been in there for about three years! I LOVE IT. It’s called “The Worrywart’s Prayer Book—40 “Help-Me-Get-A-Grip God” Meditations and Prayers” by Allia Zobel Nolan.

To intrigue you, here are a few of the chapter titles:

Chapter 1—Get Ready, Get Set…Worry
Chapter 8—Chasing After Time
Chapter 10—Finding A Mate
Chapter 14—Who Stole My Body?
Chapter 18—Don’t Worry, Be Silly
Chapter 23—Angels Abiding
Chapter 24—Attitude of Gratitude
Chapter 31—What’s Done Is Done
Chapter 36—God Is My Sleeping Pill

The other thirtyish chapters are just as wise, witty and wonderful. Ms. Nolan is full of honesty, suggestions, and hope. She references lots of scriptures and ends each chapter with a beautiful prayer that sums it all up perfectly. It will continue to be an important resource for me, as I don’t see myself waking up tomorrow a completely different and changed Wife/Mom/Person.

Even if you’re not a Worrier 24/7, you do have those moments, right? This could provide insight and understanding into how you can overcome that immense anxiety and those unnecessary fears.

I’d like to end with one of Allia’s prayers (I capitalized the “Yous” and “Yours”—that’s one of my personal requirements in typing prayers):

Today, Lord, I will remember to look to You first and foremost before I start anything. Let me trust Your plans for me. Let me anticipate new beginnings—the way I’d imagine You’d want me to—as a child looks forward to a birthday gift. And, Lord, once I do get started, let me trust that You have my very best interests at heart, whatever the outcome, even if it’s not what I expected.



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