Based in Frederick, Maryland, Digital Ink & Parchment is a blog by Alexandria Pallat. Her posts explore the integration of faith in every day life.

Day 13: Help My Unbelief

Day 13: Help My Unbelief

How did it go?

Hazy is one word to describe today.

I just felt as if I was existing in a constant haze. I couldn’t focus for the longest time. When I finally did, at least, I got a project done that I didn’t think I would get done today. I was proud of myself in that moment.

I managed to listen to the most recent Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast episode, which was great. It served as a good "distraction" for my spiraling mind on my commute.

I also listened to TED Radio Hour’s episode Prevention. But I’m going to have to re-listen because I started working on my project as this episode was finishing, so I didn’t get to really catch all of it. What I did catch, though, was really good. The only problem was it begins with the concept that stress would be less stressful if we planned for it. I beg to differ on that. I’m a planner, but that planning has gotten me into chaos in life. Plus, thinking about all that planning, and all the “if this happens, then…” scenarios, makes my head spin, which ends up causing anxiety. Maybe, though, what he is suggesting is a healthy balance of planning. Maybe that’s what I missed.

Because of the haze of today, though, my day seemed to go by pretty quickly. Before I knew it, I was picking up Belle from “dog daycamp” and bringing her home, which is, of course, always the best part of my day.

What did I learn?

 Well, I tried setting a timer for myself every 90 minutes to check in with myself. I was trying to hold myself accountable that for those 90 minutes I remained focus on whatever task I was working on.

Then I decreased it to every 60.

After the third time trying, I quit.

And I’m so upset with myself that I did!

But I began to get frustrated. I found I had the same thoughts every time I would “check in”. What’s the point of checking in with yourself if nothing new is happening!?

As I settled down in the evening, though, I realized checking in with myself wasn’t about getting immediate change in my attitude or thoughts. Instead, it was about knowing where my thoughts were that could distract me and writing them down, releasing them to God so I no longer held on to them.

I learned that boredom frustrates me and actually causes me a bit of anxiety.

I also learned I associate God and prayer with instant gratification. And that is no way to have faith. Because, as the Bible study I am currently working through has reminded me, we are put in desert seasons for a reason: God is trying to work on us, humble us, shape us into who He needs us to be before we can continue on.

Even the Christian podcast I listen to reminds us that we need to trust in God’s timing, that He must work on us before we can receive anything He has in store for us.

So, I’m going to try that checking in process again. Sure, maybe I’ll start low—maybe at 30 minutes—just so I feel accomplished when I do it. But I’ll bet as I keep working—as I keep holding myself accountable, as I keep humbling myself to Him, and as I keep searching for Him—I will see God move in miraculous ways.

Sometimes just a little hope, just a little belief, is what gets you through.

"Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" - Mark 9:24

Day 14: A Day in the Moment

Day 14: A Day in the Moment

Day 12: Seeing in Others What We Hate About Ourselves

Day 12: Seeing in Others What We Hate About Ourselves