Friday, January 11, 2013

Blessed, but Still Stressed

Many times I am asked how I can be both blessed and stressed, and why do I say “still stressed” instead of emphasizing the ‘blessed’ part. As a Christian, should I even admit to being stressed? Well, I am stressed.

I have a full-time job and a part-time job. I am a college student. I am a wife, mom, Nana, sister, friend, and a plethora of other things too. These different definitions of who I am have expectations of me. Laundry, cooking, supervising children, maintaining home schedules, commuting to and from work, doctor appointments, transporting children to activities, occasionally babysitting my grandchildren, working, paying bills, attending church, studying, taking tests, researching, filing, paperwork, and on and on.

There are also things I want to do:  I enjoy reading, playing brain-games (Scrabble, Boggle, trivia, Sudoku  etc), I dream of getting a good night’s sleep, I am trying to get healthier/lose weight, I love watching crime dramas and other shows, I like attending plays or going to the movies, I would like to spend time with my friends, visit family, organize my home, go for walks, and learn new things.

Each of these requires time and effort on my part.  Over the years I have read various blogs, articles, books and magazines on time management and organization.  Guess what?  Like most people, reading a small snippet about it is all the time I can spare.  I do the best I can but often fall short of the goals I have set for myself. 

That isn't what causes me stress.  Trying to decide what should take priority at what time and how urgently they should be done. That’s where the stress comes in. In a given day I will have worked for 8+ hours, studied for school, made dinner, checked on the kids’ homework, read a devotional, prayed, hopefully worked out, made phone calls, balanced a checkbook, paid a few bills, reviewed upcoming plans for the kids, checked on my grand-kids, and a multitude of other things on an ever expanding list.  I get a lot of stuff done, but I often don’t feel like I've accomplished much because I have to do much of it again the next day. 


BUT…

I am amazingly blessed.  First and foremost, I am a child of God.  I am a Christ Follower.  I woke up this morning so I could go to work.  I have jobs that enable me to earn money to help pay bills.  I have a reliable vehicle (which I love!) to get me to and from my jobs.  I am able to attend college and increase my knowledge.  I have a house to shelter me, filled with love it is also my home.  I have indoor plumbing and climate control.  I have a comfortable bed to sleep in and a husband to hold me tight.  I have children who need me and want me around (most of the time).  I have grandchildren to spoil.  I have clothes to wear & I have money in the bank.  I have my parents, siblings and other extended family whom I love.  I have friends.  I have a church home and a wonderful Sunday School class to attend.  I have a gift for writing poetry and a blog that some people actually read!  I have my eyesight (with the assistance of contacts) to see flowers blooming and my grandchildren playing.  I have my hearing so I am able to listen to my children laughing and get lost in the sound of music.  I can smell the rain and freshly baked bread.  I am able to taste fresh coffee and enjoy a homemade meal.  I can feel my husband’s arms wrapped around me in a loving embrace.

When I say I am amazingly blessed, it is an understatement.  I do not take my life for granted.  I do not take being a redeemed, forgiven sinner lightly.  I am in awe of what our God can do in the life of a woman who has fallen more times than she can count.  I do not pick myself back up, but by reaching up to the loving arms of my Savior I am pulled up every time.

SO…

How can I be both blessed and stressed?  Easy.  I am a fallen, sinful human (stressed) saved by grace and love (blessed).  Why is my title “Blessed but Still Stressed” instead of “Stressed but Still Blessed”?  Because my blessings always come first.  That is what I want to focus on, my blessings are what strengthen me to get through the stresses.

Today, may God bless you, encourage you and lift you back up no matter how many times you've fallen.  If you’re stressed, remember, in many ways you are also blessed.