Is there a way to really give every day stress to God? I’m not talking about highly overwhelming situations where anxiety sets in and we can barely function; I mean the day-to-day routines and schedules of life.
I get up at 4:45 and put on my makeup before heading to the gym. Before sitting down to read my Bible, I rush to put on my gym clothes before running out the door. I don’t necessarily like getting up this early. Actually, I don’t like it at all.
After the gym I rush home to get the boys up and ready for school. I cook breakfast, throw some clothes in the laundry room and pick up as much as I can before heading out the door again.
By the time I get home from dropping them off at school it’s been fours hours since I woke up and it’s only 8:45.
I can’t tell you I’ve always done it this way. My schedule has been tweaked and adjusted over the years. But, to be honest, this is the best way I can manage to relieve everyday stress. If I don’t get up earlier than everyone and read my bible and go to the gym … it won’t get done. And if it doesn’t get done then I start to stress out and get frustrated.
What is stress?
Why is it that most of the time, stress is centered around our to-do list? If we have too much to do, we stress. If we don’t get enough done, we stress. And when we get too stressed, we throw in the towel and give up.
It’s a vicious cycle and stress is detrimental to our mental and physical health. It affects our families because when mama ain’t happy ….
You get my point!
According to the online definition, stress is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”
We can look around or have conversations with any woman in our lives and we can conclude that we are all busy. There are times when I talk to other ladies and won’t even complain about how busy I am because I’m just preaching to the choir.
To complain to another woman about my to-do list is pointless. She’s not going to feel sorry for me. She’s just as busy as I am.
In some ways it used to be cool to be busy. Now it’s cool to talk bout self-care. You can read any blog for women or listen to most podcasts and hear all about self-care. But, I’m not going to get into that today.
The point is … we’re all busy. But is our to-do list a have-to or a get-to?
Are you the cause of your stress?
One day I complained to my husband about my to-do list and how stressed I was. On and on I went about how I had to take the boys to school, go to work, shuttle kids to practice, cook dinner and …
I was waiting for a pity party. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me and give me a pep talk. Wasn’t he going to say, “Babe, you got this. What would we do without you? You are the glue that holds this family together”?
He looked right into my eyes and said, “Do you get to or do you have to?”
He went on to say how that many of the things I mentioned I choose, or get, to do. I don’t have to do them. It stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t have anything to say because he was right. I chose to take my boys to school. They could ride the bus, but I love the time I spend with them so I take them.
I don’t have to teach. I choose to go to work. It’s a joy to teach my students, so I choose to do it.
I don’t have to sign my boys up for sports. But I encourage them to play because it builds character, skills and helps them in social settings. So, I choose to do the sports thing.
The more we talked the more I realized a lot of my stress is caused by me. If I choose all of these things, I cannot complain about them. That only stresses everyone else out. I bring everyone in on my stress and I don’t want to do that to my family.
Am I being a good example of someone who handles things well in my home? Not when I complain about the things I get to do.
When my husband said all of these things to me, it really changed my perspective. I now look at things from a get-to or have-to perspective.
How do we give everyday stress to God?
There is a great example of how to handle stress in Luke 10:38-42. Mary and Martha lived in the same home and had the same responsibilities. One was stressed and the other was not.
They chose different things. They were in control of their stress. How they chose to handle it determined their outlook and perspective.
Martha took on the tasks of cooking and serving her guests. Jesus was one of them. At first glance, we think this is a noble and great thing to do. I mean service Jesus?? What greater honor?
But Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His teachings. She left the tasks and fellowship with Him. And Jesus said she chose the better part, and He wasn’t going to take that away from her.
What does this mean? There’s a way to help eliminate stress in our lives and it all goes back to what we choose. Do we choose the task over time with God? When we do, we are stressed. Do we choose the better part? Do we choose what’s necessary or are we busying ourselves with things that aren’t as important?
The challenge today is to evaluate your get-to and have-to list. Out of all the things you do, are you rejoicing over the get-to’s or are you complaining because you have too much on your plate? If you do, eliminate some things to relieve the stress.
It’s o’kay to take some things off your to-do list. And don’t forget that the most important part of what you choose to do is sit at the feet of Jesus.
To listen to this week’s podcast episode “How to give everyday stress to God” click here.
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