Generally speaking, I feel like stress is a state of mind. That any time one feels stressed they can find things to bring that stress level down or decimate it to oblivion. This week however, this week I have felt stressed, and the attitude adjustment I gave myself just made it worse.
Stress led to a bad mood. Being in a bad mood annoyed my generally optimistic self. Essentially, I have been getting on my own nerves. I've been performing the duties of two jobs at work, have been avoiding unpacking boxes, doing some volunteer work, and have a few other items on my mind as well. I had a plan to spend a relaxing evening outdoors and enjoy this pretty weather, and then that relaxing evening turned in to disaster (no need to air my hot mess). Let's just say... it's been one of those weeks you want to just come home and bury your head under a pillow. Oh, and eat lots of ice cream.
I sat down tonight to read some Hebrews. A few weeks ago I started teaching 1st graders on Wednesday nights (I know right - what was I thinking!! Thankfully it has been fun and I'm not as bad of a teacher as I thought I would be!), and we are studying the book of Hebrews. I began reading back over chapter 4 which we studied last week and had to re read a few verses that my mind told me to focus on.
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.Kacey's Translation: PUT UP OR SHUT UP! Don't get mad about the stupid stuff!! And if you aren't going to pray about it, stop complaining about it!
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
These last few days I have complained a lot... I've prayed, but I've complained more. And though the Lord knows what is in my mind and on my heart... hearing my complaints is not the same as hearing my prayers.I verbally admitted to the Lord that I was ashamed of some of the thoughts and intents He discerned. I had to ask for forgiveness for several things that I had said or thought... mostly just to myself. The only people in the world who knew about it wereme and God... but I had to talk about that with Him.
I also generally have the perspective that stress is a waste of time, that compared to most people, I have nothing to stress about. One of my general philosophies in life that that if I can't change it or fix it, why worry about it. Worry/Stress are negative uses of energy. A waste of time. They are not productive nor positive. Therefore - this week, when this stress hit me like a MAC truck running a red light, I had to admit it - admit that I had fallen victim to something I often openly scoff at.. I sat down and I laid that worry at the Throne of Grace. I got tired of taking deep breaths and giant exhales, and instead am hoping for a slower heart rate and less wandering mind. I realized that something I consider so trivial had overwhelmed me... and I was not helping anyone by keeping it to myself.
Isn't it amazing that we have a God who has "been there/done that." A God who knows what we are going thru and desires to give mercy to those who ask for it. I sit in awe of that. I exhale at that thought.
Now - I go to sleep with that thought... with those prayers.