Stress can be good

Ok, before you get stressed out with me about the title of this blog, here’s something good that I’m observing that can come from stress. Probably like you, I have varying degrees of stress in my life – from the quickie stress that comes from being late bc of traffic to the massive stress that can come from job & family pressures (or various other things). What I’m noticing is that the greater the intensity of the stress the more I find myself pressing into God & ultimately, it is never a bad thing to press into God nor to depend on God, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel.
So what we do with stress can often be more important than the actual stress 🙂

Puke nights

This might be a very little bit graphic, so pls be forewarned. It’s been awhile since I’ve had kids being sick in the night, but the last two nights have compensated for this shortage. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I can simply say that we should all be pretty dried out by now.
When we get in pukey seasons, these are some things that help me:
*remember that it’s a season, so there’s an end somewhere even when you can’t see or feel it
*puking often helps the stomach feel better, even though its gross while happening
*God has designed our bodies to deal in healthy ways w viruses & bacteria that want to be unhealthy in our bodies – God is the Master Designer
*I’m thankful that God gives me strength for not only work challenges but also for kids puking at 2am challenges. 🙂

something helpful for hardships

As a mom with 3 wonderful kids, I’m super high on my kids.  I think they’re amazing, funny, intelligent, kind, wonderful and they can almost walk on water, almost ,)  With that being said, I’ve noticed that my gentle efforts to wake them up every morning are sometimes not as effective as something less gentle – we call this the defcon 5-1 approach 🙂

While it’s unfortunate, it is also true that we sometimes learn the best and grow the most through hardship and struggle.  Even though I want to insulate my kids & protect them from every single hardship & struggle, this isn’t always what is in their longterm best interests.  Perhaps God sees us with the same perspective, knowing that we often grow and mature the most when we wrestle with hardships and struggle.  Perhaps this is why James says that we’re to be grateful for adversities – ouch!

that sinking feeling

 Sometimes I try to put myself in the shoes of Peter when he asked Jesus about trying to walk on water.  I think it took alot of guts, bravado and possibly faith to get out of the boat & walk to Jesus.  The rest of the disciples in the boat were probably scared, incredulous, amazed, astounded and possibly jealous that Peter could be so bold.  Nevertheless, it would seem to me that they had to stabilize the boat when Peter was getting out of it, so that it wouldn’t tip over (ever try to get in or out of a boat without the help of a pier???).  It took some teamwork to help Peter get out of the boat.  Once he started to walk on the water, everyone including Peter were probably shocked out of their skin.  But I think that Jesus had a smirk & maybe a bit of a sly wink.

When Peter started to sink, all bets were off and everyone except Jesus started to freak out.  Seems like this is often the case with me – I love the beginning of any adventure & the rush of adrenaline  that goes with the initial momentum.  But when I sense adversity or hardship, it’s easy to get distracted from keeping my eyes on Jesus and focus on the various struggles.  That’s where the sinking feeling starts.  So here’s some encouragement:  no matter what the circumstances, your feelings, adversities, hardships, struggles and what may seem impossible, we must give ourself no choice but to focus on Jesus.  All other focuses can drown us in failure, sadness, discouragement and struggle.

Solving Problems

We all have problems of different sizes, challenges, seasons & shapes. It seems to me that sometimes problems come in herds – either they’re few & far between or they seem to spill out from every corner & area of life.
Some problems we can solve on our own & some problems require help because they’re beyond our ability & resources. It seems to me that when I get in these problem intense seasons that I can get myopic & only see 1 solution or answer. The problem with myopia is that there’s limited focus & for me it’s usually on the wrong thing (the problem & not God).
So here’s the short answer: God has solutions, ideas, resources & methods for resolution of which we’ve never dreamed. I’m reminded that God has more answers than I had questions & God has more solutions than I have problems 🙂

Some thoughts about hardships

I’ve been thinking a little bit about going through difficulties & hardships – I’m not so keen on these seasons. However, if we keep our hearts & thoughts right there can be some magnificent outcomes. Consider the following benefits of hardships & difficulties:
*endurance – James 1:2
*Jesus’ power – 2Cor 12:9
*perseverance – Rom 5:3
*reliance in Jesus – 2Cor 1:8-9
*weight of glory – 2Cor 4:17

So there are many reasons for celebrating challenges & difficulties 🙂

do you ever struggle with love???

I’ve been talking with God recently about some situations for me that have been super difficult.  We’ve had some interesting discussions & I’ve expressed some of my frustrations & disappointments to God.  It’s been an interesting wrestling season of late & I’m not sure that I’ve totally turned the corner with some of my questions & uncertainties.

Nevertheless, I felt God really encouraging me a few days ago about His love for me.  When I asked Him about His love in relation to some of the difficulties & struggles that I’m going through, He challenged me to know that His love for me isn’t based on circumstances or situations.  Maybe you have also had this struggle – looking at the challenges in your life & asking God about His love in light of hardship & difficulty.

Just because we go through tough times, let’s never doubt His love for us – indeed, He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him & remain true to His purposes in their lives.  Be sure to doubt your difficulties before you doubt God’s love