Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Handling Stress

I keep replaying yesterday in my mind over and over. It was just one of those small situations- conversations- that came and went. I sat there with my mouth closed, thinking and knowing what I wanted to say but not saying it.

I was in a women's group and we were talking about stress. We had been sharing about our lives and everything that was wearing us thin. We all felt overloaded and too busy with activities. Someone suggested cutting back on activities. But, we lamented that even when you restrict the activities for each family member, there can still be places to be each night of the week. We were all feeling burdened by commitments. Someone asked if it was possible to keep from getting stressed. 'I mean, HOW are we supposed to handle it??"

I sat there not saying what was on my heart because I didn't want to say the "churchy thing." All day I have been wondering if it is a bit ironic that the right thing is so simple that we make it hard. The right way to handle the daily stress: Talk to God. Take it (all of it-- every little tiny stress) to him in prayer.

Now that I think of it, my answer is convicting. Why do I tend to pray about the big things and stress over the daily grind? I spent the last week overburdened and unable to relax at night. I prayed--sure-- but not over the nagging things I couldn't get my mind off.

I am convinced that the only way to let it all go is to pray about it. And maybe that means writing it down in a prayer journal (oh, wait- I don't write any more) or typing it out on the computer. It helps talking to a friend or spouse but it all changes when we pray. Praying not only changes my attitude. It allows me to let go. It is a turning over of self. If I really want to get rid of stress, I have to be willing to own up to it and turn it over. I have to stop clinging to the details of my life so tightly that my knuckles are turning white. I have to give up. I have to recognize my need for God more than my need for control.

Now that I have hashed out my thoughts in this post, I realize where I am going to spend my energy this week.


Kimberly said...

How fitting and reaffirming that I would flit over to your blog after posting on mine and find a story that's conclusion seemed to so mirror my own.
Prayer - what a wonderful, powerful thing. Why is that it sometimes seems like a last resort when it should be our first stop?
Thanks for a wonderful post.
I miss you dearly my friend!!!

AJ said...

Thanks for this post. It is something that I really needed to "hear" right now! I love you!

Barnes Family Lovin said...

was "boob mom" the first idea??? i love barnes yard!

leigh ann said...

Great thoughts, JA. Thanks for being on this life journey with me, though we're separated by a bijillion miles. Maybe one day... :)