My Cotton Candy Thoughts

My mind feels like a cotton candy machine. It’s going in circles, and as it spins, it collects more to-dos, deadlines, and random thoughts swirling inside it. My brain starts to feel sticky.

Then I open my eyes and wake up. My alarm clock says it’s a couple hours before my feet need to hit the ground running, but my heart and my head are wide awake. And my stomach feels like I just ate too much of that airy, sugary, nothing-healthy-in-it, cone of pink messiness.


There are many morning – most mornings – that I am excited about what the day has to offer. Energized by the work in front of me. Grateful for family, friends, a home, love, work, music, the blue sky, baby giggles, pizza.

But. There are those days. Days when messy, sticky moments seem to start before my muscles even think about getting out of bed.

You too?

Maybe it’s because we’re over-achievers. Or Midwest farmer’s daughters. Or people pleasers. Or worriers. Or non-trusters.

Whatever our reason for letting that overwhelming to-do list gunk up our thinking and stick to our attitude, we don’t need to stay in that messiness. (By the way, “gunk up” just feels like the right action word, don’t you think?)

It’s what we do when those not-helpful thoughts whirl around in our brain that will determine what our day looks like.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

When the messiness wakes me up, I have a choice. I can lie there and swirl in the lists and worries.
Which. Does. Not. Help.


I can shift my focus. I can do as my friend David who wrote the Psalms teaches me…

I will enter HIS gates with thanksgiving and enter HIS courts with praise;
give thanks to HIM and praise HIS name.

Because the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalm 100:4-5)

And that’s when the messiness is replaced with hope.

What I focus on determines my feelings. So, since spinning in my worry list doesn’t fix, improve, or eliminate any of the troubles, I choose to stop focusing on it.

And when I start listing what I’m grateful for…all the things I am thankful for…my heart and my head respond. My heart rate slows down, my muscles relax. The day seems do-able. The cotton candy machine stops spinning.

In those few seconds between messy thinking and opening my eyes to face the day, I am choosing. I am in control of how I will face the day.

Life is too short to stay in sticky and gunky.

I am going to enter the day with gratitude. Thankful that God shows up every single time I ask him to.
Praising Him for his faithfulness.

And that will make all the difference.


Note: Revised this previously published post February 27, 2017

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