Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stress

Okay, here's another slice of my life and it can be easily summed up in one word: STRESS. I am always a little overwhelmed upon returning home from a trip, but today even more so.

I confess I feel a little silly confessing my stress because I know there are those who suffer real stress: a debilitating disease for example. Or chronic pain. Or financial strain. Or loss of a loved one. Or any number of other overwhelming and unimaginable stresses. In comparison, my stress reads more like the perceived perils of a small town housewife. Not exactly life or death stuff here.

However troubles are troubles. A burden is a burden.

And stress is stress.

Another trip out of town two days from now. Meetings. And more meetings. A jury summons. School supply lists and orientations. Bible study prep. And on and on it goes.

It is not merely a question of redirecting priorities and scratching one or the other items off the list as unnecessary or indulgent. All are critical. All are necessary. All are compulsory.

And I just want to lay my head on my desk. Or crawl in bed and sleep til October. Or run away. Or escape. Or, really, the most tempting, quit. Just quit it all.

But instead of quitting, I find myself succumbing to the even less effective response of whining: I can't do this. Not only that, I just don't WANT to!

And I think therein lies the stress. I'm not in control. This crazy schedule has been imposed upon me. No one asked me if I wanted twenty five million different things to do in the next two weeks. No one sought my permission for a jury summons a week and a half before school started. I'm not in control and it is driving me crazy.

STRESS.

No doubt you have your own stresses. Listen, we all do. The question becomes how do I respond when the stress inevitably comes? How do you? Take a page from my book: whining and wishing it would all go away does not help. Nor does lying awake at night worrying over each and every item and its many possible ramifications. Actually, worrying does little but increase my stress level all the more. Certainly you've discovered the same.

Stress comes. What will we do with it? I do not have any pat solution to offer, certainly not as one who has achieved some stress-free state of nirvana, because I haven't. No way, no how.

But rather as one stumbling along this journey as well, here is the Truth to which I find I must cling in order to know calm in the midst of the whirlwind that swirls around me:

Cast all your anxiety on him [all of it! and all means all!] because he cares for you.
1 Pet. 5:7

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Ps. 62:8

Do not be anxious about anything , but in everything [everything!], by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving [being thankful!], present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil. 3:6-7

your Father knows what you need...
Matt. 6:8

10 comments:

  1. Boy do I know this, I know this, I know this. It hasn't started yet for me, but in another month, when school and Bible studies and ball practices and rehearsals and choir practice are all in full swing, I will be where you are. And I will whine, and feel overwhelmed and overworked and underappreciated and like there are not enough hours in the day. And some days there just are not. And on those days I usually cry. And then I pray.

    And my prayer sounds something like a desperate version of this

    "Lord, I cannot do this. I am unequal to the tasks in my life today. I cannot do all that has been asked of me. I ask that you fill in the gaps in my abilities, that you guide my footsteps and my schedule. I ask for strength for the journey and patience to not take my frustrations on my family. Help me to keep my eyes on you and your sufficient grace."

    And this prayer is what I am praying for you today. Hugs.

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  2. I am feeling just as you are these days. In fact, I just wrote the same thing, "I'm not in control. This crazy schedule has been imposed upon me. No one asked me if I wanted twenty five million different things to do in the next two weeks," the other day. Yes, I feel like I am just responding to everyone else's demands and needs, and that I'm not being proactive in any of the things that will help keep my life in balance (or get it back to balanced!).
    Anyway, I said a prayer for you today. With the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to do all that God has for you to do in the next little while.
    Blessings and prayers,
    Gena

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  3. All I can say is...I know the feeling. I have a long drive tomorrow...I will pray for you.

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  4. I, too, am praying for you. I love how in the midst of stresses, when we give it over to our precious Father, He makes ways that no man could. And when you look back on it, you will find the ways that He has touched you during this time and you will smile at how much He loves you! Good stuff!!! :)

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  5. thank goodness He knows what we need and He is on our side...
    blessings on you

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  6. Great post! Phil. 3:6-7 is one of my favorite scripture passages. Something else that comforts me is this: Be still and know that He is God. This is written on my refridgerator whiteboard as a daily reminder that God is always there and in control.

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  7. I'll be praying for you. I know how it is when the stresses come...but you are wise to rehearse those promises from God's Word and turn to Him! He IS in control - amen!

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  8. I can totally relate to being overwhelmed with stress. I am getting better at lightening my loud so I can manage my days better.

    Thanks for sharing the versus. I will pray for you this week.

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  9. Thanks for the reminder - I'm a little stressed myself right now. I usually don't dwell on things and get worked up/stressed/or worried, but when I do Phil 3 is my "put it in perspective" verse that reminds me where to put my worries and where and when I can find true peace to overcome my stress.

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  10. What a beautiful post! I truly appreciate you sharing your heart. You have given me quite a lot to thing about.

    Blessings-
    Jenny

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