When All You Want to Do Is Eat Chocolate

chocolateLast week was one of those weeks. The kind where you want to crawl out of your present-day life and magically pop into someone else’s glamorous Instagram life. Where every element of the day seems too much for one person to handle, and you need copious amounts of comfort food. (For me that translates into chocolate, chips and guac, or a soothing glass of wine.)

To say I felt a little overwhelmed was a huge understatement.

Work was a mess. It was like all of our freight had multiplied, giving birth to new box babies overnight which now crowded and covered every inch of our warehouse. And as I was trying not to cry with all that needed to be done, stress was added by seeing a lovely new pop-up store as I raced from work to school to pickup my daughter. A rather large business that would be in direct competition with our mom-and-pop operation for the Halloween season.

So I did what any good Christian girl would do and told my brain to simply trust in the Lord, sent up a little flare prayer, and ordered the tauntings of what if to be silent.

But I didn’t really mean it.

You see, I have this habit of grasping what I should do, going through the motions of proper protocol, but then giving my heart a pass on the appropriate follow through.

Although I know I shouldn’t worry, I repeatedly give anxiousness VIP clearance to wrap its fingers around my mind and my heart in a crazy paralyzing sort of way.

I know it’s unhealthy. I know from past experience that worry will only weigh me down. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. But for whatever reason, I roll out the red carpet anyway.

So there I was, adorned with a scarf-like heaviness clinging to my body. It wouldn’t leave. Like an adoring pet, it lay down with me at night and then woke me in the wee hours of the morning. Night after night. Sometimes for more than an hour or two.

And then finally! This morning, exhausted and weary, I heard God’s voice. (For whatever reason, I often hear Him speak to me in the shower.) And I heard Him say three things, loudly and boldly. It was a direct command, not a feel-good pep talk.

He said: List them. Lay them down. Leave them there.

What, Lord? Is that You or just the noisy shower water speaking?

Then I heard it again.

List them. Lay them down. Leave them there.

So I toweled myself off and began to LIST them. All the things holding my heart and mind captive.

       – Work stress

       – Missing Amanda in NC

       – My daughter’s migraines

       – The growing mountain of to-dos

       – A family member’s recent passing

       – Worry that I won’t be enough … that the pieces of who I am that are split apart into so many slices of life pie won’t be enough to fill the bellies of all I’m trying to serve.

And in obedience I LAID them down:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Then fighting everything within me that desired to pick them right back up again, I LEFT my concerns there. At His feet. Where they belong.

And it hit me. By holding onto my worries I am saying “no thank you” to His peace.

That reality crashed into the walls of my heart like a ton of guilt-ish mama bricks.

Oh how I want and need peace. Peace from the One who can calm the wind and the waves. The only One who can calm the storms raging inside of me.

How about you? What’s keeping you up at night and making you long for comfort food?

Maybe it’s time you did some soulful housecleaning.

Maybe it’s time to list them. Lay them down. And then leave them there.

Your heart will feel so much better if you do.

And besides, you can always eat chocolate after the fact.

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Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.
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About Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family’s party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won’t go away.

Comments

  1. Anne-Renee this is among the best pieces you’ve written. Out of your fatigue and emotional pain, you have uncovered the true power of God’s spirit for all of us. Philippians 4:6-7 is just words on paper until you act on it and apply it to your life as you have done. God bless you, my daughter. This is a wonderful revelation for young moms all across our nation. dad

    • Thank you for these kind and gracious words, Dad! I am thrilled that you take the time to read and listen to our Masterpiece Mom banterings. In the case of this post, God made it so clear what He was saying, I was simply the messenger. The words just flowed from my heart into my fingertips.

      Sure do love and appreciate you and Mom. You guys reflect the love of Christ so beautifully. I am honored to be your daughter. Love and hugs, your AK girl xo

  2. Very beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I’m in the beginning phases of a writing journey and recently wrote some thoughts with the same scripture reference.
    It’s not always easy to lay our burdens down, but definitely worth it.
    You have a beautiful writing voice 🙂 May God bless your journey!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful words, Misty! The journey of release is seeming to be a rather difficult one, but I agree, it will be well worth it in the end. Writing it out helps me to sift and process, and gives voice to the need for accountability in the struggle. May the Lord bless you as you follow the writing passions He has put on YOUR heart. Hugs!

  3. Anne-Renee, your post stirred a knowing within me that I too need to lay burdens down, thank you for your transparency. What affected me most was reading your father’s comments to you, it brought me to tears. My dad died this time of year almost 12 years ago, I was 18. Each year I make peace with his death in a new way, and this year I find myself longing for the comfort of my father. I’ve leaned in more to the word and prayer and through that I’m discovering what a gracious Father I have, that he truly delights in who I am and that he is a Good, Good Father. He releases the burden of what I’m missing here on earth.
    And I’m so delighted that your Dad would take time to speak life and love into what you do, that is a precious gift 🙂

    • Oh my goodness, Christina. Thank you for your openness in sharing pieces of your past as well as the things God is presently stirring up within your heart. Isn’t it amazing how God just knows the perfect timing to bring words of hope and healing into our path? He is indeed such a gracious Father. Praying you will continue to find fullness and peace as you continue to lay those burdens down. Fullness that can only come from God and God alone. Sending hugs your way…

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