little worried mind


I love the movie “About Time.” Have you seen it?

The romantic comedy centers around a guy named Tim who, through no explained reason other than it runs in his family, can travel through time. When he asks his dad for advice on how to use this gift wisely, he rules out money and focuses on finding love. When life provides its funny, embarrassing, heart-wrenching and unforgettable moments, Tim is able to relive and change things while discovering sometimes that’s not always for the best.

One of my favorite lines comes from Tim around halfway through the movie after his family experiences a tragic event.

He says, “There’s a song by Baz Luhrmann called ‘Sunscreen.’ He says worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life will always be things that never crossed your worried mind.”

I’ve thought a lot about this line lately because I can often be a complete worry wart. But the thing is, every time I thought I had cancer, or carpal tunnel, or sleep apnea, I never ended up having those things. And when I worried about my car getting struck by lightning as I drove in a storm last summer, I ended up home safely. And every single time I worried something bad happened to one of my loved ones because they were running late, they always showed up eventually.

It’s the things that never entered my worried mind that actually came true: Rolling my car two different times; my best friend’s mom being diagnosed with cancer; my grandpa dying just a week or so after entering a nursing home facility; learning someone who was once close to me committed suicide.

A little more than a week ago, I sat on the floor with my husband crying about the possibility that things could change drastically in our lives. I worried for days, waiting for answers. While I don’t think this experience was worthless because it helped me turn to prayer and think of others who have it much worse than me, I probably missed a few moments that were beautiful because my mind was on something else.

It’s hard to see a sunset if your head is buried in a pillow while your mind turns all the negative possibilities, or hear a joke and lovely laughter following if you’ve tuned out the world. Sometimes worry is enough stop everything while the world is still moving in its wonderful ways. And those moments spent stewing over troubles that aren’t happening yet are moments you’ll never get back.

I know it’s going to take me a long time to figure out how to stop worrying. Sometimes, for some reason, it feels productive, and makes me feel like I’m preparing myself before a storm breaks. But if there is a way to stop and completely feel life as it happens – good or bad – instead of imagining the worst before it happens, I hope to find it.

I think it’s OK to cry, to feel pain and empty when the world takes us by surprise. But that’s the thing – the bad things always seem to take us by surprise and the stuff we worry about often fades away as real life happens.

beauty life stars

each by name


I don’t consider myself a religious person anymore, but I do believe there is someone out there who knows all of us – and perhaps all the stars – by name. Sometimes that’s what gets me through the day. To be known by a God who is greater than life makes me feel like I’m here on purpose along with all the other people and creations in the universe.

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope your weekend is wonderful.

beauty life love stars

slowly, then all at once

the fault in our stars

I promise this won’t turn into the death blog, but I just finished “The Fault in Our Stars,” a book I enjoyed very much for several reasons, including the way death was described and dealt with. It looms over the book’s characters, who are teens with cancer.

The book is written in the voice of a teenager, which was enjoyable. I liked her spunk and edge while facing horrific things. The book gave me perspective of what having cancer at a young age might feel like – to always wonder if you’re going to live or die, and continue living anyway.

I’m going to share some of my favorite lines – some may sound familiar as they seem to keep popping up on Pinterest … at least in my feed.


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I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.

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My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.

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That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence.

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When you go into the ER, one of the first things they ask you to do is rate your pain on a scale of one to ten, and from there they decide which drugs to use and how quickly to use them. I’d been asked this question hundreds of times over the years, and I remember once early on when I couldn’t get my breath and it felt like my chest was on fire, flames licking the inside of my ribs fighting for a way to burn out of my body, my parents took me to the ER. nurse asked me about the pain, and I couldn’t even speak, so I held up nine fingers.

Later, after they’d given me something, the nurse came in and she was kind of stroking my head while she took my blood pressure and said, “You know how I know you’re a fighter? You called a ten a nine.”

But that wasn’t quite right. I called it a nine because I was saving my ten. And here it was, the great and terrible ten, slamming me again and again as I lay still and alone in my bed staring at the ceiling, the waves tossing me against the rocks then pulling me back out to sea so they could launch me again into the jagged face of the cliff, leaving me floating face up on the water, undrowned.