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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Too Much Stress?

We've been talking about taking every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (See Are You Scatterbrained?)
and how noise hinders us from doing that (See Getting Past the Noise—The Value of Silence.)
But what about your stress?
Too much?
When I first was treated with Adrenal Fatigue, I read articles that stated “minimize your stress.”
How do you do that?
My stress seems to keep multiplying!
Know what the doctor said first. 
Say, “No.”

You know if you’ve been reading me, I’ve stressed— busy doesn’t mean godly.
Not everything is for you to do.
Our society looks at busy-ness as success.
We’ve adopted that in the Christian realm.
Busy-ness is the devil’s joy
Recently, I had to stop helping serve the meal at church. 
God was telling me if I expected families to eat together, then I shouldn't encourage them not to, even at church.
It took me several weeks to finally tell God, "Yes, I'll obey."
It was the only thing that I could do at church.
That was hard to tell the ladies.

My son tells of the Ukrainian refugees who attend his church. 
They are used to walking everywhere. 
They say, "This fast-paced American lifestyle is hard to do."
Walking everywhere slows down the pace.
Driving makes it easier to rush.
Expectations increase when you can get there quickly.
Takes a conscious, deliberate action to SLOW DOWN and say, "NO!"

David wanted to build God’s temple. 
Worthwhile? Of course.
Needed? Yes.
But not for him.

The doctor suggested, “Ask for help.”
That’s a hard one for me.
Or any mom. Isn’t it? Who asks for help?
My husband has started to wash the dishes since we’ve moved here. 
He knew I couldn’t ask for help.

The doctor instructed, “Know your limits.”
If you’re in the middle of a project, but you’ve reached half of your limit, STOP.
Even if that means leaving those dishes in the sink and washing them later.
So you don’t ‘hit that wall’ where all your energy is spent.”
How hard is it to stop in the middle of a project (especially with those dishes staring you in the face)??
HARD.

“If you’re good for 4 hours of work,” he suggested, “work an hour, rest an hour, work an hour, rest an hour.
After the four hours of work, you still have reserves. It won’t take a day to recoup.”
Makes sense?
It’s either that or go till you hit the wall, then be forced to rest for DAYS.
Still hard.
Age has a way of slowing us down. 
We can't do it all, like we did.

Know what else is part of this program?
Meditate.
For me, it seems forced—to sit for 10 minutes and do nothing but think about your breathing?
Yeah, right.
The doctor said, “if breathing isn’t your thing, concentrate on a phrase.”
I can do that. Consider part of a verse for 10 minutes.
This exercise helps your body, stuck on “flight or fight” mode, rest so it can heal.
These get easier.
And considering a phrase from a verse is comforting.

Some of you understand what I’m talking about.
Forcing yourself to rest is HARD.
But that’s where healing comes.

Know why David knew he shouldn't build the temple?
Prayer.

We don’t do that.
We ask for God’s blessings for the decisions we’ve already made without Him.
But we don’t seek His Face for His will before we act.
His burden is light. 
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30.

(I've written about this before, see the articles: Are You Stressed? and Stressed? Read a Book)

If you’re overwhelmed, it’s not from God.
Being busy, staying busy is where Satan keeps us.
God gives us rest.
When we are so busy, we do not pray, we're too busy.
God wanted Martha to stop and choose time with Him. 
Mary did. She was praised.
But I don't like to be a Mary.
Why?
I don't like to feel needy, be submissive and do it someone else's way—it's called the sin nature.

You may not be diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, but you could probably diagnose yourself with being too busy. 
Especially if you measure how much you pray and seek God’s face, compared with your service. 
Christ’s ministry was marked by PRAYER first and always.
We want to do great things for God, but don’t even consult Him.
Our works are for nothing.
Wasted.
Wood. Hay. Stubble.
Waste of time.
Even those witnessing times? 
Yep. we haven’t asked God to prepare hearts.

Stressed?
It starts with asking God what’s important to Him for you to do right now.
Listening to what He says.
Then only doing those things.

My yoke is easy. My burden is light.


Displaying 1 comment

I can see you're preaching to yourself again! Do you read this article every day to remind yourself of your own good advice? I like your idea for meditating, to pick a phrase from a verse and really think on that for 10 minutes. I don't have much stress in my life any more, but must admit that what I do, I mostly bring on myself. I just realized, a lot of times I don't see what I'm going through as stress, I call it "pressure." Sounds better for some reason! Thanks for the article, we all need the lesson. MANY diseases are exacerbated by stress and our world is overwhelmed by that. Stress has become a way of life, the norm. And it's not what God meant for us. Maybe we should ask ourselves if we are stressed, is it because we're out of God's will?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Or here:
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