Season: 1 Episode: 009
We say we can give our stress to God, but do we? Why do most women walk around filled with anxiety and high strung? Today, Shanda shares practical tips for how to eliminate stress in our lives, and verses from the Bible that tell us how to give stress to God.
“Do you get-to or do you have-to?”
“If you want to be stress free, you need to be down with the OPP.”
“When we choose to sit at His feet, we choose what’s best .. not what needs to get done.”
Blog: Stressed Out
Instagram and Facebook: @shandafulbright
Join my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2584147064952378/?ref=group_browse
Feel free to email with questions or episode topics. If you recommend a topic for an episode and I use it, I will dedicate it to you.
Hello my friend, and welcome back to episode 9 of Her Faith Inspires. Today, we are talking about stress. How do we give every day stress to God?
This episode topic was given to me by my friend, Chelsea. Chels, this one’s for you, my friend. And by the time you listen to this episode, you’re going to have baby #2 so a big congratulations from me to you.
And along with Biblical examples in this episode, I will also give you some tips and tricks that have helped me. Although, the good Lord knows I do not have the whole stress thing mastered. I think God is actually laughing right now because He sees me doing an episode on this topic.
Ok, so let’s get to it!
As we cover stress and how to give it to God, we will evaluate the following things:
First, what is everyday stress? Is it necessary or is it borrowed trouble? You tell me.
Second, what are the main things we need to implement into our day to make sure we stay less stressed. And is there a way to really give our stress to God?
And lastly, what are some strategies to stay organized and eliminate stress?
So, what is every day stress? And how should we view our to-do list and responsibilities that usually cause us to stress?
I have always been more of a stressed person. I think my husband definitely keeps me grounded when I get carried away with anxiety and all the things I have to do.
But one day, I was complaining to him about all the things I had to do and he totally changed my perspective on it. He said, “What do you have to do and what do you get to do?”
When I thought about it, my “have to” list was a lot shorter than my “get to” list.
Some of those things I get to do are: I take my boys to school. They could ride the bus, but I want to drive them. So, I get to. And one day, they won’t need me to do that anymore. When I think of it that way, it becomes a joy and not a sacrifice.
That alone relieves stress.
I get to write, blog, podcast, and not go to my teaching job. When I did teach, I chose to teach. No one forced me to choose teaching as my career. Was it stressful? Very much! But I get to teach. I don’t have to.
What am I trying to say? Sometimes we look at things that we choose to do and we stress over it. And yes, some things have to get done: Dinner, cleaning the house, the kid’s homework, bills that need to be paid, etc. etc.
Our perspective about what we do alleviates stress or adds stress. So, my first tip is … make a list of the things you get to do and the things you have to do. Which list is longer? What are the things you choose to put on your list?
I told my husband that I had to go to the gym. When I do, I have to get up at 5am to make it to the gym at 6am. It’s exhausting sometimes. But then he brings back logic and says, “You don’t have to go to the gym. You get to.”
Gosh,I love that guy, but why won’t he let me throw a pity party every now and then?
Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans.”
Go back to your to-do list and commit your get to’s and your have to’s. Ask God for a different perspective and face tomorrow with a different outlook.
Ok, now let’s talk about the main things we need to implement into our day to make sure we stay less stressed. And is there a way to really give our stress to God?
These things we need to implement are not tangible things. They require forethought on your part.
If you want to be stress free, you need to be down with the OPP (Ok, that was taken from a song from my teenage years. I don’t even remember what OPP stands for. Hopefully it’s nothing bad.)
Anyway, OPP stands for organization, preparation, and planning ahead.
A lot of times stress comes from a lack of all that I just mentioned. I’m a very scheduled and routine person. I’ve always been that way. And now, with all that I do, I have to be even more organized.
So, that brings me to organization. 1 Cor 14:40 says, “But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.” Of course Paul is talking about the church here. But it goes for everything in life.
On Sundays, I order all of my groceries from my grocery store app for the entire week. The boys have snacks for lunch and my dinners are planned for the week (this is the planning part of being organized).
If I don’t order my groceries, that means I have to make a trip to the store on Monday. Mondays are my busy days. I would totally add stress to my day if I skip this step on Sunday.
Also, I make sure my boys have chores and my house is cleaned first thing in the morning. I also heard a tip that someone said if you just make your bed each morning, you already feel like you’re organized.
If I can’t get my dishes loaded in the dishwasher, I at least put them in the sink because having my counters cleaned makes my kitchen look clean for the most part.
And how about preparation? Proverbs 24:27 says, “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field and after that build your house.”
That means, you have to gather together all you need before you can get the job done. Most of the time we have good intentions but because we’re not prepared we cannot do what needs to be done.
That causes major stress! All because of a lack of preparation.
Preparation also requires we see distractions and we steer clear of the things that will keep us from doing what needs to be done in order to become less stressed.
Proverbs 22:23 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” In this case, the penalty is stress.
What are some things we need to be careful of: social media. It will suck all of our time and before we know it we will be stressed because we spent time on it instead of doing what needs to be done.
Or, if you’re like me .. you’ll get mom guilt and anxiety because you’ve neglected your family and spent more time on social media than necessary.
So, sometimes we have to prepare for the distractions to keep stress away just as much as we need to prepare for the tools to get things done.
And the final P: planning ahead.
This one is huge with me. I keep a weekly planner and in that I keep a schedule of things that I have to get done each day.
I also log all appointments for my entire family in my phone. When a doctor’s office secretary tries to give me an appointment card, I always tell them no. If it’s in my phone, it’s as good as chiseled on stone tablets.
Besides a weekly planner, I update my planner daily, highlighting and crossing off anything I got to and things I need to do the next day.
Also related to planning ahead, is planning dinners ahead of time. Our dinners change depending on our schedule.
This may sound silly but I also plan what time I need to go to bed in order to get enough sleep since I do wake up early to go to the gym. If I don’t do that, I won’t make it to the gym.
I plan my bible study times and time with God, depending on my schedule the next day because I want to make sure I spend time with the Lord.
Planning ahead is very important if you want to eliminate stress.
And that brings me to my last tip that I heard on the Living Easy Podcast with Lindsay Maestes. She said to make an ABC, 123 list that needs to be done each day.
A is the most important. The A list is the list of non-negotiables. And I always, always say that a non-negotiable has to be spending time with God. If you really want to give your stress to God, you will sit at His feet first.
So that should be on the A list. And then if you have several A list items, you will prioritize them by A-1, A-2, A-3, etc.
The B things are the secondary things on your list but not as important as the A list. It could be something like cleaning out the fridge. You know it needs to get done, but if not today, then maybe tomorrow. But it is a priority this week.
And the C list may be other things like eating lunch with a friend or something you want to do but must get though A and B before you can.
I love this, because it causes us to prioritize. And it makes us focus on what’s most important and because we plan ahead, we will get things done.
Can we really give every day stress to God?
There are a lot of verses on anxiety, peace, worry, etc. All of those things are related to stress.
But the best possible bible story I can give you regarding really giving God our every day stress is Mary and Martha.
In this story (which is found in Luke 10:38-42), we see two sisters in the same environment with the same responsibilities. Now, if they lived in different households and had different responsibilities we could argue that their stress levels should be different. One could be more stressed than the other because she had more to do. Her to-do list may have been more strenuous or more demanding.
But, no. These two sisters had the same plate and both of them chose to handle it differently.
Just think about it … Jesus is in their house and they want to be good hostesses. They want to serve Him and prepare food for Him and His disciples. But Mary wasn’t concerned about the to-do list. She chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen. To soak up all the words He spoke and to allow her spirit to be filled with the peace of God.
Now, Martha. Martha is my girl because I totally get her. She was in the kitchen all by herself slaving over the dishes, the preparations and the fact that dozens of men were in her house was stressing her out!
I’m sure she sighed, groaned and banged pots and pans together to get people to notice she needed help because that’s what I would do, but to no avail.
Finally, Martha broke and went to the Lord with her frustrations. She said, “Lord, don’t you care that I am slaving away for you and your disciples and my sister won’t even help me? Tell her to help me!”
And I love what Jesus says because it should be a lesson to us when we talk about stress in our lives.
In verses 41-42 He says, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Really zero in on His words here: He acknowledged her stress… worried and trouble over many things. And then He spoke to her need and not her to-do list when He said, “One thing is needed.”
What’s the one thing? Well, we have to go back to Mary to figure it out .. sitting at His feet. Taking time before anything else to rest and soak up peace at the feet of Jesus.
This is hard, my friend! Trust me! I want to get to my to-do list before anything else and God beckons me to sit with Him so He can show me what’s really needed.
And when we choose to sit at His feet, we choose what’s best .. not what needs to get done.
How do we sit at His feet?
It’s easy .. spending time in His word daily. Pray and talk to Him. Let Him know your needs and He will work it out in your life. When we do this first, everything else is a bonus because we’ve already fed our souls.
I hope that helps you understand how to give everyday stress to God. It takes us choosing to do what’s best every day. And that’s sitting at His feet.
I want to thank my friend, Chelsea, for this amazing topic again. Chels, I hope that helps you out.
And that’s it for today’s show. If you have a topic you’d like me to share on the podcast, email me at hello@shandafulbright, and I will get on it!
I hope to see you next week with a brand new episode!