Pam Halter
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Things I've Learned - part three
4/15/2013 6:14:06 AM by: pam

I’ve learned to slow down. Anna can’t move fast or engage in too many activities. It just isn’t possible. At first, I felt frustrated, but then I realized my hectic schedule was killing me. I had fooled myself into thinking I worked better under pressure. High blood pressure, depression, anxiety and panic attacks told me differently.

But the problem I see in slowing down is guilt. I think about everything I used to do: teaching Sunday school, leading junior youth group, sitting on the Missions Committee, organizing Christmas gifts for needy families, putting together meal schedules for people who've had surgery or a baby, etc, arranging funeral luncheons, singing in the choir, directing the music for summer theatre, homeschooling Mary, and MORE. All at the same time!! I thought I was being such a good Christian. These are all good things, right? And I felt guilty of letting most of these things go.

The enemy of doing good is doing good. Too much good, that is. Did God really call me to do all these things while trying to take care of Anna? I neglected the most important things of all – yes, my husband and my family – but I was also neglecting myself and my relationship with God. I'm sure the devil was laughing hysterically.

When depression and stress became unbearable, my family doctor put me on Paxil, which turned out to be poison for my body. I came real close to a nervous breakdown. I thank the Lord for a great psychiatrist who diagnosed the problem and put me on the right medication. I also learned I have a mild form of bi-polar disorder called cyclothymia. And it's under control with meds. I've learned to embrace life without the huge, ever changing emotions I lived with my whole life. It now feels good to be on level ground.

I've also learned when I slow down, Anna is happier. She feeds on my emotions. When I'm satisfied with what I'm doing, I feel better, too. I can get quiet within myself and hear what God would have me do. And it feels pretty darn good.

Trust me when I say no one I know was ever as busy as me. And I know the guilt of letting good things go. But I've learned Anna's care is more important than anything. She can't take care of herself, after all.

How can you slow down? What can you give up to be able to better take care of your child and yourself? Do you need me to shake my finger and tell you to stop? I'm happy to take on that responsibility.


Comments

pam From At 4/19/2013 7:33:21 AM

None of us is free from enemy attacks, dear friend. But thank the Lord, He rescued me ... and you!

jenny From PA At 4/19/2013 7:08:49 AM

One thing I learned in college has stuck with me my whole life: ""Need - does NOT necessitate God's WILL."" I was set free with that saying. Pam... little did I know that the happy, vibrant Pam I knew growing up struggled so. That made me so sad to read... God was preparing you for this...

pam From At 4/15/2013 8:18:49 AM

Putting everything in front of God and our families is a lie from the pit. Let's all shake our fingers together!

Julie Ann Monzi From Gettysburg, PA At 4/15/2013 7:46:13 AM

It's hard to remember that our first duty is to our families. I have to remind myself of that all the time.

Tammie From Mullica Hill At 4/15/2013 7:30:50 AM

Start shaking that finger Lady! I need some reminding to slow down especially now with all my uncertainty regarding my health. This is difficult to remember, as moms we are hardwired to take care of everyone else first.

pam From At 4/15/2013 7:14:21 AM

You're entirely welcome! I am shaking my finger at you. :)

Cindy Mann From Franklinville At 4/15/2013 6:53:12 AM

Oh Pam, you have no idea how much I needed to read and receive these past two entries. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now to go and be obedient to what I was told through them. The hard task of un-busying and ""not-adding-to-my-list"" begins...

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