Sometimes the stresses of life have hit me in a big way — crazy things like thieves breaking in or two years of panic attacks.
But sometimes… most of the time… my stress has piled up in the little everyday stuff. Things like spilled hamster cages and floors covered in socks, legos, and pencil shavings.
Getting past my kids’ preschool years has worked wonders in this department, but somehow, there are still “those days.”
When Jarod was out of town a while back, my 6:30 wake up call was the sound of Jaden’s head hitting his headboard during a seizure (a condition he’s faced since birth).
The next crisis was an overflowing toilet, defiled towels, rug, and floors.
My mission of the day was to chase down a newly prescribed medication for Jaden, so while I mopped, I conversed with pharmacies, doctors, and the hospital.
I ended up spending the day with four kids in the car, eventually procuring a few sample packs of his pills, albeit only half the promised amount.
In keeping with the tone of the day upon our return home, I dropped — and broke — a gallon of milk on my kitchen floor.
And my final mistake was allowing my seven year old to sleep in my bed. His unconscious flailings kept me awake till 2:00 am.
Some days things roll off my back, and then there are the days that I Just. Can’t. Take. One. More. Thing.
The bickering, the noise, the clutter, the chores that never end, and the interruptions make my chest tighten and my head spin.
It seems so silly, after I’ve witnessed and been a part of life and death matters, to allow the stressors — which come from gifts — to make me crazy.
But that’s life.
And that’s sanctification.
I need Jesus just as desperately as I mop and telephone doctor’s offices as I do in trauma.
The God of Isaiah 40 who “will not grow tired or weary” offers to “renew my strength” whether I’m in a major life crisis or teaching my children how to resolve petty arguments.
This too is my refining fire.
Lord, please give me grace to embrace this process.
Things I am learning in these trenches:
- I need the nourishment of God’s Word more than I usually think I do.
- I must force myself to stop — to be still in God’s presence. I need to go outside, drink in the blue sky, sunshine, and bird songs. (And for just a few minutes ignore the backyard clutter I see from my lawn chair.)
- I need to get back up from my lawn chair and faithfully plod on.
- I can combat the “blues” in some surprising ways, like eating bananas (said to reverse depressing moods!) or taking magnesium (a natural stress-reliever).
- A minute talking with a friend or loved one on the phone or in person is far more encouraging than social media.
- Following a purposeful calling is more energizing than mere busyness.
- God is always ready to restore my soul. (Psalm 23)
- When I recount the faithfulness of God in the past, my faith for today and tomorrow grows.
When I fall down you pick me up,
When I am dry you fill my cup.
You are my all in all.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
Worthy is Your Name!
His name is worthy. Worthy of my devotion. Worthy of this uncomfortable sanctification process.
What are you learning in your trench?