The alarm went off at 5am, I pressed snooze and back to sleep I went, hoping that another 10 minutes of sleep would take away all my tiredness but knowing it really wouldn’t. Next thing I knew, it was 6am…ugh…slept through the snooze again. I woke up quickly and my day of insanity started. Making sure the kids were up and getting ready for school…that they were moving along and getting what they needed done…as they dragged their feet every step of the way. My stress level was already at 60% even before the day had begun and I felt it climbing as the seconds went by. So goes most of my days lately. There is not a day that I don’t feel stress. Now, the big things don’t stress me out…not sure why…finances, sickness, the craziness of our government, etc…those don’t cause me stress. Maybe that is because I realize they are too big for me to deal with or control…they are better left to my big God who can do anything! But, it is the day-to-day stuff, the situations that are right in my face that cause me the most stress.
I have been struggling to make time for God and studying His Word lately, and I knew this was not helping me in the “stress department”. I was looking for something structured but flexible that could help me to draw closer to God. Proverbs 31 Ministries was starting a new online bible study, using Tracie Miles books called “Stressed-Less Living”. Obviously, in my present stressed-out state, the title of the book caught my eye. After looking into it more, I realized that it might help me with my present struggle. The study seemed to provide structure and flexibility…I was sold!
As I was reading the first chapter this past week and doing the homework assignments, there were a few things in the book that Tracie said that hit me like a ton of bricks. She wrote, “So if the truth be known, all of my stress was really self-induced”. Oh boy, did that hit home. Was I actually causing all of my stress? Did the finger that I was pointing at everyone and everything else, really need to be pointed at me? How convicting! Well, that really opened my eyes to what I had been blaming my stress on….my kids, not enough time, other people’s schedules, expectations of others, etc. After thinking and praying about it, I realized that in trying to control everything around me, I was creating the stress inside of me. Yuck…I didn’t want to admit that. It was so hard to own up to that, but I needed to.
The next line in the chapter that jumped out at me was, “You have complete control over whether you spend life stressed and depressed or happy and fulfilled, despite the circumstances you face”. Well, that seemed to go along with my discovery that all my stress has been my own doing! I have tried to teach my kids that the only people/situations they can control and changes is themselves, but obviously I seem to have forgotten that for myself lately. I have some learning to do and I am excited! I am praying that as I learn to keep my stress in-check, I will be able to teach my children to do the same thing.
I am looking forward to these next 11 weeks or so, as I continue on this journey of letting go and letting God. I am excited to be studying, learning and growing in this online study along-side over 6000 Christian women located all over the world. How amazing technology is…it can truly be a blessing at times!