It is definitely time that I made me a priority in my life. I need to get healthy in so many areas. The huge amount of stress that I create in my life is just the tip of the mountain. Time to move this mountain!!
“Why do we accept stress as normal and ignore its consequences?” Tracie Miles asks this question near the beginning of Chapter 3 of Stressed-Less Living. Good question. She goes on to say that if we were diagnosed with cancer or something, we would immediately seek treatment. “Likewise, if you know you are stressed to an unhealthy level yet refuse to discover the real problems and implement necessary changes to help eliminate or reduce your stress, then you are, in essence, refusing treatment and jeopardizing your life.” (pg.62)
I love the way that she does not beat around the bush in making a point! Yes, I know that my stress level is at an unhealthy high level. Symptoms – high blood pressure, stress headaches/migraines, moody, emotional — to name a few.
So what am I doing about it? If you had asked me a year ago, I would have to say nothing. But over the last year I have very slowly started to address the issue. More so in the last three weeks, but I’ve started a new kind of health kick!
I would think that the highest stress point was about 18 months or so ago. Since then it has decreased, but still is not at a healthy level. The easy stressors to reduce were the ones that I was able to give to someone else. However, that does not make me feel great knowing that I have just given my problem to someone else. So replaced one stressor with another!
By talking about what is ‘stressing’ me out and admitting to my responsibility in creating this mess, I have been able to minimize a lot of stress in my life. Also by making commitments to my husband and son that I am working on learning to manage my stress better is holding me accountable to take action.
I am reminded of Philippians 4:7 “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
I want God’s peace all the time, not just moments here and there. So as I read chapter three ‘ The Silent Killer’ it really puts things into perspective. I need to do something and I need to do it NOW! By not acting until recently, I have put my physical, emotional, spiritual health at risk and also my relationships.
My first step to becoming a healthy, and stressed-less woman involves me spending time daily in God’s Word. Not just doing a quick devotion in the morning, but really taking time to soak up his word each and every day — morning, noon and night. The peace that comes from this simple exercise is amazing! I knew this was something that I needed to do, but never had that time or energy to put it into practice. “Never stop praying.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT). Having an on-going conversation with God throughout the day really helps. I still whine to him — I’m working on that. There are still things that frustrate me — he’s working on that!
The second thing that I have done to help make me healthy is to eliminate anything that is not important. For example, time that was wasted on facebook playing games — GONE. Worrying about things that I have no control over — GOING! While I am still on the computer a lot, it is spend in studying God’s word and messages through blogs and other postings from the Online Bible Study group.
The next thing that I am tackling now is healthy eating and exercise. I am trying to walk more. Simple thing of walking my son to school and then continue on to work takes some time each day, but it is only about 20 mins…so not a big commitment. Healthy eating is taking a lot more time. My husband needs to get a handle on his diabetes, so the learning curve is a little high. What exactly is a healthy choice? So I am reading a lot, but in the process of helping him, I am helping me too!
That’s all I have tackled so far!
When I think of trying to get healthy, I have always done it for me. This time I am doing it for God. When I stop and think of all that he has done for me and I do not have the strength or wisdom or desire to take care of my health …. I am ashamed. I have wasted so much time, but God has forgiven me. Now moving forward, things will be different. I know that I will stumble and maybe fall, but I am assured of his presence with me all the time.
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” (Psalm 16:8 NLT)
Tracie talks about God being the ‘Great Physician’ and he is. The need to cry out to him first when I am feeling stress building up is key to managing stress. God MUST be my first responder! Tracie made what I feel is a key statement on page 65, “I had sought out a cure from the Great Physician, and he had provided it. Not a cure for the problem but a cure for my heart as I dealt with the problem in his strength and under the refuge of his love.”
God will answer my cries for help, but he is not going to eliminate my stress. Not really what I wanted to hear, but it time to be bluntly honest. Thank you, Tracie for that! I need to know that no matter how many changes that I make, I will still have stress. BUT, God is there to help me manage and dealt with it.
“As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!” 2 Peter 1:3 NLT
As I continue to know God better, this will reflect in my life and the choices I make. I need to make healthy choices in every area of my life in order to be truly healthy child of God.