Blog, From Her, Parenting

The Silent Killer

Such a dramatic title! But it’s every bit as real as you reading this blog right now.

If you’re anything like me, you go through your days with a feeling of anxiety at some point and for WHATEVER reason.

Between having 2 toddlers 20 months apart, a 10 year old who has middle child syndrome, a 12 year old stepdaughter you constantly worry about and a 20 year old who’s on the other side of the United States that you daily think about and regret the past few years of not being more involved (oh my gosh i’m running out of breath!) – anxiety is BOUND to happen.

So, how do we juggle all of these challenges and emotions in a graceful, loving way? Well, for me – I don’t. In fact, in this Let’s Get Real peek into Laura’s life, It’s a struggle for me every single day.

silent killer

Despite recent circumstances in my life, I would say I’m doing fairly well. Friends who know my story have said things like, “I don’t know how you do it” and “You’re so amazing how you just keep going”.. and it’s only becauseof mygracious God that fills me with hope for tomorrow (and for the record, this circumstnce goes beyond having a blended family).

So what is this silent killer that serves as a common denominator in every situation?

It’s Me.

It’s this silent killer that holds me back. It keeps me bound in stress, anxiety, and insecurity.

So how do I overcome myself? What can I do to change my perspective in the hard situations I face everyday? I try to enforce these 3 tactics against myself.

Combat The Silent Killer With

  • Purpose-Driven Time – Carve out time with each child, go on dates, or just take a walk together. Something my 12 year-old stepdaughter loves to do is walk around our apartment complex. She THRIVES with love and a postive attitude when we’re finished – this strengthens our sometimes complicated relationship. My 10 year old LOVES talking about the latest Minecraft tactics, Lego playsets and whatever else I might seem completely detatched from, so I try to make the time to sit, listen and engage with her  on her level. As far as my little guys, they’ve always got my attention. This is the age where it’s impossible to avoid them (who’s with me? ha!).
  • Forgiveness – A blended family is primary battleground for offenses. No matter how much you love eachother, it’s going to be there. Recently, I spoke with our oldest (my stepdaughter) who is in college, and for a few years I haven’t been involved with her as much as I should have been. Having 2 kids within 2 years, her moving to Chico and us now moved to Tennesse, there has been lack of effort on my part. I had a hunch to apologize for my lack, and she forgave me. Turns out it’s something that’s been bothering her for awhile, but she never spoke up..Whether or not they’re your stepchildren or biological children, and regardless of their age – as a parent, be the example of unconditional love. It starts with forgiveness. Even if it’s asking forgiveness of something you meant to do, or not.
  • Tame Your Tongue – I don’t know about you, but I am one that can be quick to anger. Sure, I avoid confrontation. But when it comes to the one’s that are closest to me, I can only be pushed so far. If I feel that a situation is unfair, I’m quick to defend without wisdom. Proverbs  15:1 says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Knowing that our family is a battleground – your words can either make or break  the balance and peace in your home. I’ve learned that I need to wait until the emotions subside, and when an issue is to be addressed, it’s done properly, in order to correct and encourage, not destroy and build bitterness.

What are some ways that you conquer yourself? Do you find that at times, you can be your own worst enemy? If so, now you know that you’re not alone. Let us know how you go to war by commenting below! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more insights on A Blended Masterpiece.

1 thought on “The Silent Killer”

  1. What a great, heartfelt post, Laura!

    I have never struggled significantly with anxiety – but boy, have I struggled with a quick temper and an attitude of reacting vs. responding. I love the verse in Proverbs that you used, because it’s something I tell myself often… I often also quote James to myself…. “slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to anger”.

    You know what is not easy? Taming the flesh. I mean, if it WERE easy – Paul wouldn’t have said to crucify it and take up your cross DAILY. I mean, think about it – crucify?! That’s pretty harsh treatment, by any standard – and we’re to do that with a part of us that is very real, very present, and very very much seeking control (quite aggressively, I might add!)

    So, what do I do in these situations? I celebrate small wins. Small victories that prove that ‘He is still working on me… to make me who I ought to be’ – as the old song goes. Sometimes we chide ourselves for losing our temper, instead of realizing that it took us 2 whole minutes LONGER than it used to, before it actually happened! Hey! THAT’S A WIN!

    Sometimes the victory isn’t just in the abolishing of an act or conquering of a fear or whatever. Sometimes the victory can be measured by the steps we are taking to get there – and we need to celebrate them.

    Complacency is never good – but neither is stretching ourselves constantly without easing the tension. No tension = No growth. Too much tension = breaking moment.

    So, today, I pause to celebrate your small wins, Laura. The moments where you take even just 10 seconds before you respond. The moments where you are overcome with anxiety and frustration, and your first thought is to turn it to God.

    Love you, girl!

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