Tag Archive | stress

Do The Next Thing

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes without heavy editing on a one-word prompt. Today we talk about the word “next.” 

I have a tendency to get overwhelmed fairly easily. I can look at all the things I have to do, all the things that are coming up, and stress about what that’s going to look like to my low-energy body. And I have a heart rhythm issue that rears its ugly head when I am stressed. This week had that over-stressed potential.

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My husband has been gone this week, my daughter and mother in law, who lives with us, have both been sick, and life still had to go on. I still had to have food in the house. I still had to care for my 15-month-old grandson most of those days.

And then our water heater went out.

And I have 36 people coming for Easter.

And my oldest is graduating from college in a couple of weeks.

And now I’ve got the cold my daughter had, albeit a light version.

So how do I maintain peace and not let the stress, well, stress me out?

Just do the next thing. Don’t look too far down the road. Just take the next step.

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And I breathe deeply, letting the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

It’s oh so necessary.

Especially when I just now got a text that my husband’s flight home this afternoon has been cancelled.

Breathe in peace. Breathe out stress. Breathe in peace. Breathe out stress.

FMF button

 

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Sweet Surprise

secret_surprise_2For my 30th birthday, my husband threw me a surprise party. We went out to dinner and were just planning on going home and hanging out. This was before we had kids, just 9 months after we had gotten married and 4 months after we had moved to Florida from my home state of California. Needless to say, my stress level was very high, even though some of those events were good ones. Like the getting married part.

When we got to our apartment, I was met with a sweet group of friends all gathered to celebrate my day. It was truly a surprise, which is often hard to pull off, and a lovely reminder of how much I am loved.

Those kinds of surprises are great. Others, not so much. Like when your favored team loses to a major underdog in the surprise performance of the century (looking at you Virginia). I don’t like those kinds of surprises.

C.S. Lewis wrote a book back in 1955 titled Surprised by Joy, which tells the story of his conversion to Christianity. Although he says it’s much less a chronology of events than it is a look at his life as only C.S. Lewis can tell it.

Surprise. Something unexpected.

I remember when my kids were little and I wanted them to keep a secret about secretsomething, like a gift for someone, I would tell them it was going to be a surprise rather than a secret, because I wanted to ensure that they didn’t keep secrets. I knew the stories of abuse that have happened with a relative who would tell a vulnerable child that this behavior would be their secret. They weren’t ever to keep secrets from us.

But surprises are meant to be fun. I like to think of them as good. I think that’s what Lewis found as he came up with the name for his book. He was an atheist. He didn’t know what he would find when he turned back to God. Joy was unexpected.

In some cases, we may wonder why we are surprised at the things God does. We ask Him joyto provide, and He does it. Sometimes it’s not in the way we expect, so we can call that a surprise, but not the fact that He does it.

It’s not the same as being startled.

It’s different than being shocked.

Some people don’t like surprises, and if I had to guess, I would say that it’s because it takes a modicum of control away from them. Just tell me what’s going to happen already. I want to know what to expect.

But that’s where trust comes in.

I’m not in charge, and if I allow myself to be surprised, I might just be blessed by a God who wants to give me all good things.

Like C.S. Lewis and joy.

 

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