STRESS – SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LAUGH
A little laughter:
“Stress: The confusion created when one’s mind overrides the body’s basic desire to choke the living daylights out of someone who desperately deserves it.” (Author unknown)
“I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.” (Jennifer Yane)
“God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.” (Unknown)
“Sometimes it seems your ever-increasing list of things to do can leave you feeling totally undone.”
~Susan Mitchell and Catherine Christie
And I’m particularly fond of this one:
“Stress is when you wake up screaming and realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet.”
I’m a list maker. I love “To Do” lists.
I feel so efficient when I mark things off.
If I’ve already accomplished something before I make the list, I’m inclined to add that too, just so I can mark it off. There are control issues here.
So, the challenge, from a speaker years ago, piqued my “list-making” interest.
“How would it change you,” she asked, “if, after you have looked at your To Do list, you set it aside in the evening and began a new list? A “Done” list. A record of all the things that you did accomplish during the day.”
“Everything!” she emphasized. Like…
Got out of bed. Got ready for the day. Made lunches and got kids to school. Talked with Jesus on my way to the store. Held a meeting. Did a presentation. Visited with friends at lunch. Had the car checked. Read my devotions. Made dinner and cleaned the kitchen. Talked with the kids about their day. Picked up the husband’s clothes left on the floor (just to be nice). Wrangled kids through a bath and teeth brushing. Read to them before bed. Prayed with them. Kissed sweet heads goodnight…
“And then see,” she challenged us, “Just see if you aren’t starting to feel a little better about how much DID get done, not how much still needs to be done.”
So, I tried it. And I got hooked on it.
It opened my eyes to how much I really did do during a day. No wonder I’m tired at the end of it!
It did not change how much still needed to be done – but it began to give me a better idea of how much I really was doing. Some of those things were really more important than what I had listed to do.
Because how many of us write down on our lists – “Kiss my children” or “Do something nice for my spouse” or “Pray for the children to be strong in the Lord?”
Yet, those are the day to day things that ground loved ones and grow relationships.
And, sometimes, in the writing down of what has been accomplished, we are able to see more clearly where we would like to spend our time, and how to make changes to our “To Do” lists.
Try it — see if it changes the way you feel about yourself when you lay your head on the pillow. No – you did not get everything finished on your “To Do” list — but your “Done” list is really pretty amazing.
And speaking of “Done” – In the end – we win – we are going to be make it through this.
Past all of the stressed out craziness, sadness, pain, overwhelming schedules, seemingly impossible trials – past them all – stands Jesus.
He stands there in that gap we live in, between “Doing” and “Done.”
His is the hand that stretches out across the water when we feel like we are drowning…
That Anchor in our storms and stress — That Peace that passes all understanding — “Do not be discouraged, Child, you can overcome because I overcame for you. You’re going to make it through.”
So, in the middle of your stress this week – remember these things:
1. Breathe – deeply – not just breath, but Life.
2. Put aside the “To Do” list and make a “Done” list.
You’re going to make it through this. You have THE Life – you have THE Anchor – you have THE Peace…even in the craziness…His hand stretches out across the water to pull you back.
“…God, desiring to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose…in order that…we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…” Heb. 6:17-19