...your children are getting along and you hear one whisper to the other...
"Can't you tell she's having a bad day? Just look at her hair!"
I'm not sure, but I think stress is a problem that everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives. Some of us seem to have to deal with it more than others. Why, I don't know. Perhaps you can't say no to people. Or maybe, you're always looking to make others happy.
While putting others first is a great thing, in fact, we're supposed to do that, that doesn't mean there aren't those that abuse that particular character trait and use it for their own nefarious purposes.
There have been times in my life I was sure that I was headed to either an early grave or a complete breakdown. I'm really not old enough to be this way, but it's me. It's not right to worry, yet I do.
This week has been A WEEK. *insert rolling of eyes and rubbing of temples here*. I've just inherited a large project that must be done in, oh, three days. Humanly speaking, this project is impossible. There is no way this is going to get done. There is no way embarrassment won't mark me for at least a month after the due date. Plus, I believe I will go down in history after this particular project is finished.
Yep. You called it. I'm stressed.
But I'm working through it. When I get stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed, I tend to find something for my hands to get busy with. I work the frustration out. I keep busy until I can be calm and look at things a little differently than before. Being a stay at home, homeschooling mom, this means several things.
- Our house gets cleaned very, very well. And our children learn all those wonderful details of how to scrub the floors, fold the towels, straighten their drawers, keep their school desks shipshape, and the list goes on. (Don't worry. During these moments, I too am very busy. Right now, I'm pretty sure our oven would rival any brand new one for cleanliness - inside and out. I didn't know it could sparkle so much after 17 years of heavy use.)
- Amazingly, our children don't bicker or fight while I'm stressed. They can always tell when things just aren't right. Our daughter will always comment, ever so politely, that my hair looks exciting. That's her way of saying, "Uh, mom. Are you doing all right?"
- I find something to laugh at. Sometimes, all it takes to relieve the pressure is elbow grease and laughter. But be careful on this step. If you're laughing hysterically while scrubbing your floors, oven, or windows, be prepared to be considered a lunatic. Don't ask me how I know.
- This is the most important step. I pray more. The Bible says we should pray without ceasing, but I venture to say that everyone falls off the bandwagon on this point. Sometimes, when God's trying to get our attention, He uses difficult, uncomfortable things to do it with. Our prayers are precious to Him. They're a sweet savor (smell). Like the honeysuckle on our vine in the front yard, He loves it when we pray and tell Him our needs.