This is a picture of my two love buys with my buddy Holly. I love how Mark is waving!
Please check Suzette's post today on Chapter 13: The Relationship Between Stress & Fear
Stress. We've all felt it. Whether it's working full time, being a stay at home mom, serving at church, being a good wife, or all of the above, our lives are jam packed with insane schedules and demands. We are pulled in many different directions, and though some of us may be really good time managers, wonderful multi-taskers, or amazing care takers, sometimes it just feels like the world is spinning and you can't keep up. Ever been there?
Stress can affect our diet, our sleep, and even our bodies. We live in an informational overload world where we get over involved because we fear saying no to people, and sometimes our home life may suffer because of it.
Sometimes we feel family stress, financial stress, informational stress, tyranny of the urgent stress, you name it, it's out there. What do we do? How are we to live our lives in the world today that pushes on every side?
First, let's go to God's Word:
What does God say about fear?
2 Timothy 1: 7 states "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
What does God say about how we are to live each day?
This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
What does God say about what we are to do when we feel like our "yoke" (burdens, stresses) are too heavy?
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
As far as I can see from these biblical truths, God does not want us to fear or be stressed. It isn't His plan for us and it isn't the kind of life He wants us to live. God wants us to place our stresses, burdens, upon Him, and He will give us the rest that we need for our minds, and our bodies, and our souls. He wants us to rejoice in each day, not feel stressed or overwhelmed. Each day is filled with so many great ways to serve, love, and honor Him. How can we find those opportunities if we are too busy stressed out?
Now, I sound like I have it all together, right? You might be thinking...is she nuts? Does she know what my life is like? Does she know how busy and overloaded and stressed I am? Actually, I do. Picture me, with 2 babies trying to get anything done around my house. Picture me trying to leave the house with two babies. Picture me trying to entertain or even feed two babies. Are you laughing? Can you see it? Trust me, I get stressed just like the rest of you. I think my most difficult day in the whole week is Sunday...isn't that awful? Sunday is supposed to be the day of worship. The day that is joyous. But for the longest time, and even now I struggle, trying to relax, breathe, and focus on preparing my own heart as I make breakfast, dress babies, change diapers, clean up, feed the dog, pack the diaper bags, pack the car, remember our tithe, remember our Bibles, uh oh, Mark's unhappy, oh no, Julia's cranky, "Hey honey, does this tie match this shirt?" Sundays can be a nightmare and I can stress over the tiny details, or I can let go, and stop being a control freak, and trust God that we will get there on time, we will all be dressed and showered, we will all be fed, and the kitchen will be neat.
I've realized that being stressed is a choice, just like rejoicing in each day. You can choose to enjoy each moment of your life or be stressed and grouchy (yes, I can be grouchy, ask John) or breathe, relax, and give it to God.
That's why I love reading Suzette's blog on Fridays because she talks about simplicity. And I know that is what God wants our days to be like. He wants us to be free to worship Him, love each other, share a smile, enjoy nature, and have time to be a witness to a lost and dying nation. If we are too stressed or busy to enjoy our life, soon it will be gone and what will we have to show for it?
Don't be afraid of making changes in your life to take things out, make things different so you can actually enjoy each day. "Take some bold steps of faith and change anything the Lord leads you to change. If what you are doing with your time is not bearing good fruit, then make a change."
Sometimes, it can be as simple as going to the 11:00 service at church rather than rushing to make the 9:15, sometimes it can be working out at night rather than first thing in the morning, whatever it is that makes your life more simpler, and less stressed, do it!