Even Godly women sometimes find that no matter how hard we try, keeping our stress in check or finding life balance is becoming more and more challenging. The other day, I woke up and just felt a little, “off”. Then when I realized I had zero patience throughout the day and felt myself being negative instead of looking at the glass half full. I realized that my perspective and stress were a bit out of whack. Sometimes when I feel this way, my natural reaction is to isolate myself, decide to work from home, and sulk. In actuality, when I instead opt to surround myself with girlfriends, my sister, and other avenues of empowerment, I find that it is just what the doctor ordered!
We all experience certain levels of stress in our life regardless of our age, profession or level of faith. Unfortunately, most of us cannot simply unload stress like putting down a heavy purse. It seems to be intrinsically woven into the very fabric of our lives. It lurks somewhere beneath our skin (usually in a knot between our shoulder blades). When it happens to me, it keeps me up at night, affects my mood and my productivity. Yet, Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30). Letting go of our stress and leaning on God is medicine in itself.
Have you heard the analogy comparing our stress to a glass of water?
If I held out a glass of water and asked a few people how much they think it weighs, I would get a variety of answers…maybe 10 ounces, or 12…maybe 16 ounces. In actuality, the absolute weight of a glass of water is not relevant; it depends on how long I extended my arm and held onto it. By holding this small amount of weight, I would not be affected at all. If I held it for an hour, I would probably get an ache in my arm. If I held it for 6 hours, the issue would be much more severe and my arm would likely go numb. If I continuously held my arm out holding a glass of water for a day, I would probably need to seek medical attention. In each case, the weight of the water doesn’t change, but the longer it’s held, the heavier it feels.
Holding onto this water is like holding onto our stress. A little stress is not going to cause harm or pain unless we continuously hold onto it. Taking some time for ourselves by walking away from our stress is key; this is the case even if we have to return to it. The Fabulous Conference is a perfect example! I have found that over the years in attendance, it is a time when I do not think about much else during the conference. I put my worries down and allow myself to be fully engaged with other Christ followers, focus on my relationship with God, and of course, my connect with my inner-self.
Decide what works best for you when you need to “put the water glass down” for a bit. For me, it is quality time with my husband; being outdoors; playing volleyball; hanging with my sisters and father; and of course, our dogs (we may or may not have just spent much of yesterday at the doggy Easter egg hunt and have annual doggy birthday parties : ).Regardless of what it looks like when we all mindfully choose to honor ourselves to engage in “me time”, we should all relish in this decision! When I opt to de-stress and create more room in my mind for God- I have an overwhelming feeling that it is easier for Him to work through me. I am consistently working on this. My daily intention is to trust in Him more, de-clutter my mind through prayer, make an effort to create time for positive relationships, and create meaningful and enjoyable memories.
I am looking forward to this year’s Fabulous Conference with all of you fabulous ladies!
Registration ends April 10, 11:59pm! Don’t miss your chance to join us for our BIGGEST Fabulous Conference ever!!
Volunteer celebration has changed! It is April 18, 10:30am to Noon at the CedarCreek Perrysburg campus.