Tag Archives: stress

Bragging Rights

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Family Pics '14 0150 (edit)

Have you ever taken one of those life events stress inventories? I’m pretty sure we win the biggest score this year (I’m all about winning, so don’t rain on my parade if your score is bigger!). Moving to a new state, starting a new job, starting seminary, building a new home, and having a baby are all BIG life events, and we get to check each one of them in one year’s time. It’s enough to make me want to lock myself in a closet for a week and just cry. I can’t tell you that it’s all been bad. Some of it is very exciting while other parts are frustrating and cause anxiety. But then you add to all of those BIG life events the “adventure” of learning a new location (my goodness, you people don’t know BIG until you’ve been to Houston…I’m saying….), finding a new church, and making new friends (did I mention I’m an introvert??). Someone get me a paper bag so I don’t hyperventilate.

For some reason, I’m doing fine! (well today…ask me tomorrow, I may not be so fine.) The insanity doesn’t seem so insane. That Reason is my God. Oh how I love Him.

I wrote about the blessing of the thorn as something that keeps us humble. I’d like to boast in my God for this post. He is the One who gives us good things. One of those things is faith or trust. I have seen Him turn my anxious heart into one of bold trust in Him. Here’s a simple, very real example. I am due to give birth to our third boy April 17 (can you imagine three little Farmer boys? seriously…I’m going to be one fit momma). We close on our house April 9. Now unless the medical world has come up with some medicine that miraculously allows you to have your baby whenever you want, I’m pretty sure I can’t depend on this little one to show up on his due date. I can’t even depend on him to hold off until after we get moved in. For all I know, he could come tonight. This REALLY bothered me for, oh, the last 8 months. I just want to have it my way. I would tell people at church, “Please pray that the baby comes on or after his due date!” But then I went to the doctor for my 36 week visit, and she tells me I’m already dilated and thinning out some. *GASP* Let the panic attack begin. I freaked out for a few days (packed my bags since I was so sure he’d come at any moment), but then I got wise and started to ask my friends to pray for me. Keep in mind every cell in my body and thought in my mind was set to anxiety overload. There was nothing I could do to change this, or the events that will soon take place. I was so pathetic, and yet God breathed peace into my heart and mind, allowing me to stop and rest in Him. He spoke truth over me, and I can have full assurance that whatever happens is going to be the best (and though the best may be hard, it’s still the best).

I can boast that my God is able. There’s nothing too big for Him to handle. There’s nothing too small for Him to care deeply about concerning me. He is able. (Mark 10:27; 1 Peter 5:7)

I can boast that my God is strong. In my weak moments when I lose perspective and begin to worry over the things in this life, He gives me sufficient grace so that when I’m weak, He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9; Deuteronomy 11:2; Psalm 68:35)

I can boast that my God is in control. Though everything seems absolutely chaotic, and nothing feels at peace or settled, He is unshaken. His plans are perfect and nothing can disrupt them. (Psalm 33:10-11; Job 42:2; Psalm 93:1)

When I’ve “got it together”, it’s only because He’s holding me together. It has nothing to do with how spiritual I am or how good I am at handling stress. I’m a wreck without Him (just ask my children when I’ve started out in a bad mood for the morning…oh Jesus, help me…).

I just love how my God handles me when I’m a wreck. He’s no drill sergeant. He’s not interested in giving a guilt trip. He doesn’t even act disappointed that I can’t get myself together.

He’s so kind. And truthful. And compassionate.

So when I’m in negative mode, I don’t have to be down on myself and feel guilty that I’m just not trusting Him. What I should do is recognize my weakness (admission), go to Him (confession, utter dependence), ask others to pray for me (humility, intercession), and let Him do His work in my heart (sanctification).

He delights to give His children good things and to see us walk in truth (Luke 11:13; Psalm 145:9, 15-16). When we give thanks for what we receive from Him and when we know the truth of who we are, we bring glory to His name. When we have been overwhelmed by His goodness, may we be quick to turn to Him with hearts full of gratitude  and shout with joy about what He’s done.

 

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Overwhelmed

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Okay, silly question. I’m sure everyone of you has felt overwhelmed. (If you cooked the Thanksgiving meal for the first time this year, I’m guessing you might have felt overwhelmed.)

I must admit I’ve been completely overwhelmed this past week, but it’s for reasons you might not expect.

  • A friend calls to ask if she can watch my kids so I can pack our things to move.
  • Our Sunday school class throws us a going away party.
  • They take the time to write notes of encouragement which are worth more than any amount of money.
  • They actually give us money to help with moving.
  • The girls bought me necklaces to remind me that no matter where I am, I am loved by some pretty special and amazing Oklahoma ladies. 🙂
  • Another friend calls to see if she can watch the boys over the weekend so I can pack while my husband is gone.
  • Sunday evening one of the girls from my class brings over meals so I can finish packing my kitchen.
  • Monday morning another one of the girls brings more meals to last until we move on Thursday.
  • Monday my dad comes to help finish things around the house that my husband would have done (except that he had to start working at his new job in Houston that day). He spent the whole day there.
  • Monday evening a group of people from my class come over to help move boxes and do some heavy lifting so I don’t have to (and because I can’t…being 5 months pregnant will do that to you…and who am I kidding, I’m a light weight anyway!)
  • Tuesday I get multiple calls, texts, and fb messages asking how people can help for loading day on Wednesday.
  • Tuesday evening my mom drove up to help that night and the next day. She’s incredibly amazing and can do everything (watch the kids, clean, pack, load…oh yeah).
  • Tuesday (LATE) evening my husband and his mom flew in from Houston and our SS teacher picked them up at the airport since he just happened to be in the City. My mother-in-law is also amazing and helped with pretty much everything. These ladies deserve medals.
  • Wednesday a neighbor (who is also part of our class) asks if she can watch my boys while we are loading everything onto the moving truck. THIS SAVED MY LIFE…and my kids’ lives…you get my drift? She watched them all day.
  • Wednesday morning at least 15 different people came through to help load up our things. And they were HAPPY to do it. Such servants…
  • When we realized that not everything would fit into the U-Haul, we called my dad who had already offered another trailer. He got it ready and brought it down in time to finish loading up everything that night. He also drove it ALL THE WAY to Houston that following Friday.
  • Wednesday night our SS teachers had made dinner for an army and let us join them so we didn’t have to worry about what to do for dinner. *Sigh* I love these people.
  • Because we had no beds or blankets, a church friend offered their home while they were away visiting family for Thanksgiving. (Is anyone crying with me yet? I just can’t even…)
  • We were somehow able to leave on Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving day) and the traffic was absolutely perfect (you know this is a miracle if you’ve ever driven through downtown Dallas people. a miracle.).
  • We arrived safely that evening and were welcomed by my husband’s family who also helped unload the truck into our storage unit the next day. (and his parents are letting us stay in their home until our home is built…which isn’t until the end of March!)
  • We got to have Thanksgiving dinner that night 🙂

My heart is full. And it is overwhelmed by the kindness of God and His people.

I didn’t list all of those things to make you think I’m someone great but to show you how truly GREAT our God is and how amazing His people are when they simply follow the voice of the Father. They were His hands and feet in the most literal sense. And just imagine countless other things they have done even before this week approached, not just for me, but for others.

I’m sure I’ll be overwhelmed in other ways in the coming weeks (like when my kids disappear in this massive home and I find them “cleaning” the toilet or “playing” in the hot tub or “decorating” grandma’s bathroom or…you get the picture). All I need to do is look back at how I have been overwhelmed by His goodness and just remember. He took care of me then, He’s going to care for me today. And the next day. And always.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1