Stress... how did Alicia know exactly what to make today's topic? We have a lot going on in our families right now. On top of our usual stuff Joe and Christine are both coming up on a series of new doctors' appointments (lots of paperwork), Isaac is looking at a job change (ah!), we've decided not to try to sell the house for at least another year or more, my mother and father-in-law are looking moving soon, we have two new sets of neighbors, my brother and sister-in-law have been talking about possibly moving to California, two of my sisters are pregnant, my youngest sister is getting married in August, and I'm trying to finish school up with Nate and get Joe plugged in with some special summer therapy services. Sometimes I feel like our life is always crazy, but this is crazy even for us.
When we go through stressful times it effects our body, mood and behavior. On top of the physical effects of stress, it often throws us out of our normal routine, and it can easily take our focus off of the One who is in control and put our focus on the things that are going on that seem out of control. I have had to remind myself over and over again lately that He is in control. God has a plan. Sometimes I am not sure what that plan is, but that doesn't change the fact that there is one. A plan far better than what I could put together, one infinitely better for everyone. A plan that uses everything for His glory. (And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28)
Even though things have been stressful I have tried to do three things in the midst of everything. First, I have tried to remind myself of His sovereignty. Father really does know best! It is actually a relief when I think of this fact. I think it kind of takes the pressure off of me when I realize that whatever the situation, whatever is stressing me out at the time... its all in His hands anyway.
Second, I have tried to refrain from old habits of stress eating. If it hadn't been for the Easter candy I would have done pretty well in this area. I did have a few days where the candy was out on the kitchen counter and I did a little nibbling... but when I actually realized what was happening I put it away in the pantry so it is no longer visible and easily accessible. Then I made a batch of the energy bites to fill in during those munchy moments when I am tempted by the lingering Easter candy! ;-)
Third, I have been consciously trying to find and focus on the blessings in our life. I know it sounds simple but its been an important thing for me to do. It is a good to be reminded of the good things in your life when you are going through hard times. I have a beautiful family, two supportive sides of the family who love us, great friends, we have a roof over our head and food in our bellies... God is good.