Lightening Up

I have an issue with stress.

Some people think I am patient. Others think me calm. I am neither, by far.

Lately- as in (since getting a puppy) I have come to realize how very tense, and stressed I am.

Every puddle, and today there were 4 in less than in one hour (while yesterday there was 1 the whole day long) and every whine from fussing kids leaves me feelings like I have HAD IT!

I know I am exaggerating. I know I need to “lighten up.”

But does anyone really know how you “lighten up”?

Today as I pondered my life and how I hate being this snappy, and irritable I started wondering and thinking about that phrase.

It is easy enough for my husband to tell me to “lighten up” when he sees me stressing over things I can’t change. But for me I can’t lighten up with just the snap of my fingers , or a deep breath.

When I consider myself from a different angle, I can see that I am just now like an extremely tightly tuned stringed instrument. Every little touch (puddles, whining kids, problems at work) to my string causes enormous sound (stress, sometimes angry words and responses).

I KNOW something has to change. I know how to loosen the tension in my violin. But how do I loose this tension in me?

Today I made a list of things that help me relax and lighten up, some of those were:
journaling, quiet times with God, bike rides, hot shower or bath, painting.

As I looked at my list I realized all of these things involve silence. No noise. Calm.

I realized today that if I am going to let go of all this built up stress and tension I am going to have to be more intentional in finding calm.

I find myself running circles trying to keep on top of a lively household and working kitchen. You know the runs to the store, planning meals, cooking, cleaning and doing it all again, and AGAIN. I find myself pushing myself and my family to do more, and get more done and do things right. But in all this scurry and bustle my stress only increases.

Because my house is never clean enough. The dishes never stop. The piles of laundry are lucky to get put away once a week. And the garden is never free of weeds.

But if I need to find peace to be free of stress then maybe, just maybe it doesn’t really matter how “perfect” my life is.

Will it really matter when I am dead and gone if my kitchen was spotless and my house clean? Of course not! Won’t it be far better to look back and see that I lived my life in peace and my kids remember my smile, not my worried, stressed, snappy face.

So perhaps like me you may need to stop fretting and let life get a little messy and start focusing on finding peace. Peace in your heart can be only found when we make time to be with Our God. When are quiet enough to listen and to talk to Him then life is so much more full of joy and fulfillment.

So that is how I will try to lighten up- how about you?

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