Sunday, July 1, 2007

“Remove the stress in your life”

A doctor told me this two years ago. I was in pain constantly - my whole body ached and my back, which was injured, h.u.r.t. I couldn’t think straight because of the pain, and I was having other symptoms, of which I will spare you the details. After collecting a running tests on all manner of bodily fluids, I was told that the stress I was under had triggered an autoimmune disease, but I was not actually diagnosed (probably sparing me great insurance woes in the future). I was told to rest more - at least eight hours a night, eat right, and eliminate the stress in my life.

Yeah, right. I’m a mom. The stresses of my life all have names, need lots of love, and look too cute asleep in their pajamas snuggled up with their Linus-blankies. And those sweet stresses cause more stress - they unknowingly reek havoc wherever they run, dropping toys and gold fish on the floor and then walking on them. They require feeding and that means cooking and that necessitates cleaning which takes time - and by the time the job is done, it’s time to start again.

At the time the not-diagnosis was made, I had been running a five-year marathon of being the main caregiver for a medically-fragile child, and it was topped off with a great sprint of grief. Some how I really don’t think that doctor would have approved of me having two more children. I did clean up my diet and quit routinely eating things that I’m allergic to. I still don’t sleep much because babies will do that to you.

I learned that “removing the stress” doesn’t necessarily mean “don’t be in a stressful situation.” It means that I must watch my attitude because life happens, but being stressed is a choice. The washer breaks, but I don’t have to lose my cool. Tires blow out, but I don’t have to give up my peace. My children can be running through the house like cheetahs, but I don’t have to be stressed about it. I can hand each thing over to my sweet Jesus, and He’ll give me peace and joy in each situation.

One question, though - if that’s all you have to do to remove stress, why is it so hard to do it?

4 comments:

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Stress is just another word for life I think. But you're right, it's all in how you deal with it. When you find the magic potion let me know, we'll market it and be millionaires!

Diane said...

That is the million dollar question. I've been working on reducing stresses but more than that I've been trying to find healthier ways to deal with it. I actually suffer from anxiety and I feel really guilty sometimes because I know as a Christian I shouldn't have so many "worries". Anytime I hear a message preached that worry is not of God, and it's sinful, I panic. I went through so many heart tests, EKG, Echocardiograms, I had to wear a halter monitor for 3 days and then 30 whole days, you name it, I've had it done...to just find out it's STRESS.

So, why can't I just not stress out? Why isn't it easier to deal with? great question. I"m working on it. Giving things to God sure is easier than mulling it in your mind over and over again.

Changing our perspective and looking at the big picture and the end of the race is what I need to focus on. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect on this some more.

ComfyDenim said...

Why is it so hard to do?
'cause we're human. It's our natural inclination to take everything on ourselves. It's easier, too.
The alternative would require us to stop. breathe. and "give thanks IN all things...being anxious for nothing."

Andie said...

What a powerful and meaningful post. Remove the stress..yea right! I love my little stressors, but sometimes, I don't handle the stress well! I know it is those days that it's my attitude, not their behavior that needs readjusting. Thank you for that reminder...this week has been "one of those days" that I dread. I'm the one who needs work, they are my loveable children who I wouldn't trade for the world!
Blessings-Andie