Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brain Drain

Ever have days when you feel as if you are trudging through deep water?  And you wish the day would hurry up and be finished already?

Well, it happens to me. Over the years, I've learned to recognize the patterns of thought that bring it about and how Satan uses it to oppress me. As aware as I am of what brings about the oppression on these days I have to admit that I sometimes wallow in it for a while.

Call it self-pity if you will.

Let's use insomnia as an example since this is a problem for a number of people, including me. I'll have a sleepless night and feel "foggy", tired, and irritable by 7:00 in the morning. Since we are physical as well as spiritual beings, in prances "Old Slewfoot" determined to get a foothold into my day.

And it always starts with the mind.

 If you can overcome these attacks quickly you have a good chance of having a smooth day. If you don't put them down quickly? Well, things will probably just spiral downwards from there.

Usually I am the one who starts the mess with an internal dialogue that might go something like this:

"Oh, how am I going to get through the day? I'm exhausted and of course it's a work day!" (You can fill in things other than work - the point is that we sometimes set ourselves up for bad days.)

"Why can't I sleep normally like other people? Great, just great!  I really needed a good night's sleep, too. Oh well! Another day of walking around in a daze I guess!" (I say this to myself but sometimes secretly wonder if I'm really announcing my displeasure to God. After all, I already know I'm tired so there would be no point in mentioning it to myself, right? Think along the lines of telling others all about your exhaustion to elicit sympathy from them...lol)
If I let thoughts like these fester instead of ripping them out I can almost guarantee that they will get worse:

"I look haggard! Sheesh! Look at those dark circles! And to top it off my head is pounding. I can't go to work like this!"

(moan... groan)

"No coffee creamer in the house? Sigh. Figures there's no creamer today of all days. I could have sworn I just bought some." (Alright! Who used all the creamer?!)


Okay, this might be a rather simplistic example of poor internal dialogue but I think you get my point. If we crack the door open through negative thinking someone is going to try to stick his foot in there. And it's not anyone we want visiting. We all have trials of some sort on a daily basis and the way we think can set us up for failure. It can also put a damper on our families. Have you ever noticed that if you grumble in the morning others sometimes "catch it"?

Kind of like a virus. If I get up in the morning and speak any thoughts like these out loud all hell may break loose.

All hell? Very funny! Surely not!

Well, sometimes it seems like all hell. I've long learned that if you give satan an inch he'll take a mile. He thrives on little stuff like this because he knows he has the opportunity to nudge the door open further. And he's going to use that opportunity to his advantage. After all, sowing division is his game. If he can seed the family with discord in the mornings he knows it has a good chance of spreading from there.

Slam the door shut on poor internal dialogue before the foothold becomes a stronghold. If you give in to negative internal dialogue on a regular basis it can become a habit and once it becomes habitual to think in this manner you can be sure that satan will use it to undermine both your life and the lives of others.

And it all starts with the "little stuff".


  1. It took me five times to get those numbers and words correct in the boxes below so my post would be approved above! This one hoping to get it on the first try!

  2. What truth! You put into words what I've been realizing about myself so much lately. That I... well... grumble. I didn't think it "counted" because I don't speak the grumbles to other people (well, usually... smile...). But I do speak them aloud, to objects I can't find (they hide from me), to the jar that won't open (I just know it's deliberately arm wrestling), to the computer that keeps disobeying my commands. I don't know how many times a day I mutter "to" the computer: "Oh STOP it!!!!!"

    I've realized lately that this seemingly "harmless" behavior is building in me HABITS of thought and attitude. Uh oh.

    Thanks for a great post!

  3. A well written post making a good point very well.

    We all feel and behave as you describe from time to time. I do very often, especially at times when I'm in pain. Yes ... I DO tell the Lord about it, but He knows already anyway. So I ask Him: Why do you make me feel like that? Are we not friends anymore? Have you de-friended me on your Facebook or whatever system you have up there?

    I think He smiles, and slowly, the pain goes away. And the devil leaves me in peace ... for a while.

    God bless you Mary. Praying for you and yours.

  4. You are so right about kicking Satan out at the start of it. Every morning just as the alarm goes off he is there trying to ruin my day. It takes a lot of practice, but if I give him the boot at the beginning, my day goes a lot better. I'm still sleepy though! (The insomnia is pretty bad over here lately!)

  5. Hi Grace,
    Yeah, trying to decipher those words and numbers is a pain in the rear end. Always takes me a few tries :(

    Sending you a big hug too!

  6. Hi Nancy,
    Lol! Things hide from me too :)

    Does the computer work better when you yell at it? I'll have to give it a shot...

    Thanks for commenting!

  7. Hi Victor,
    I'm sure everybody forgets to reign in their thoughts at times. I know I have and I always find it odd how much power they can have over my day if I let them.

    Thank you for your prayers! You are in mine too :)

  8. Hi Monica,
    I try to boot him early too. I may still be tired after but at least I'm tired with some peace. Attitude definitely makes a difference. The quickest way to add to insomnia is to get frustrated and cranky. Ugh!

  9. I can so relate to this! the sleeplessness, irritable mood, and negative thinking. Saying a prayer of gratitude in the morning when I wake up allows me to "put out" these negative thoughts so they won't ruin my day, and just praising God even through the day helps more than I may realize. :) :)

  10. goodness yes. Sleep deprivation does the same thing to me, too and then the migraine kicks in and its hard to be thankful to be alive. Thanks for reminding me its someone else's voice I hear when that happens cause I need to take the weapon out in those days (rosary)

  11. Mary, Mary, Mary...need I say more?

    Let's see...if I count the number of mornings like yours in the last 10 years or so...eek!! And I wonder why I am depressed?

    Insomnia is the worst, especially when it is chronic. I have started t view it as a special cross chosen by Jesus for me. Mother Teresa states when we suffer, we are close enough to the cross that Jesus can reach down and kiss us. She calls suffering a *kiss from Jesus*. She also calls any kind of mental ailment a share in the crown of thorns. Reflecting on these has helped me a bit more to be accepting and know that some good is coming of it.

    PS...no creamer? Are you kidding me? I mean having to use like 1% milk on a morning like that...you have my sympathy sister : )

  12. Hi Jade,
    I like your comment! A prayer of gratitude in the morning is a great way to start the day off on the right note.
    Glad you are back!

  13. Hi Anabelle,
    The Rosary is a great weapon! (And one I use often.)
    Sorry about not taking part in "God's love story" - my mind went blank each time I attempted it (of course I won't tell my husband that...lol).

  14. Hi Theresa,
    Mine tends to be chronic too. In other words - I feel for you! It's definitely a heavy cross and I've learned (the hard way) not to allow poor internal dialogue to add to it. Some days I still fail but it has become a bit easier.

    A kiss, huh? (wink, wink) Well, I guess some of us are getting our faces smothered, aren't we? (Thanks for the smile!)

  15. The first time I read this post, Mary, I felt that I wasn't really in the same place so I didn't comment. Then, a series of health issues with the children left me feeling right in that same place - or at least somewhere similar. A feeling of wading through mud and having to dig your way out before the day descended into something quite alien. Normally, I'm a positive person so I've had to really think of ways of dealing with these feelings.

    Thank you for another great post.

    God bless, Mary:-)

  16. Hi Vicky,
    I hope everyone is feeling better at your house. I'm not sure I expressed myself well in this post but it's basically about capturing thoughts in Christ. I used the "thinking" in my post as an obvious example but it usually tends to be far more subtle than this and I try to catch it quickly before it escalates into something more. For me, these challenges come most often when I'm sick and exhausted and my patience is worn a bit thin. By recognizing the pattern I can be prepared and tackle it through prayer as soon as the first negative thoughts hit my mind.

    God bless you too :)

    (Ahhh! I'm not blogging much, am I? Lol. I'm thinking that the breaks are getting longer and longer each time!)

  17. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Beautiful villas

  18. Hi Grace,
    Thank you, my friend :) I hope you are doing well! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  19. OK break time over! Time to come back! I miss you too much.

  20. You're funny :) Can't disobey a direct command now, can I?

  21. This is my day today Mary. And not only today I'm afraid. It is SO easy to fall into that negative thinking and speaking first thing in the morning...especially when dead tired and then it really does take root from there...

    Come back to the blogging world, I miss you. :) And email me a picture of that for sale farmhouse...I can always dream.:)

  22. I'm missing you, Mary! Come back! Please let me know that you are doing ok!!

  23. Merry Christmas...the day after! Hope you are well. Thinking of you today!

  24. Right on! I suggest a study of the book by Neal Lozano "Unbound," which is a complete program for combatting the spirits that haunt us. God is infinitely stronger than all of them combined and Neal gives us tools to use to get in the right frame of mind quickly.