It's a lovely grey fall Saturday morning and I'm logging into my blog for the first time in over a month. A Disney Pixar movie is playing in the background, laundry is whirling in the washer and dryer, my sweats and hoodie and fuzzy socks are unbelievably comfy, and this mint hot cocoa is delicious.
Life has been stressful lately. The kind of stress that you can't do anything to stop. Life happens and often it's rather crappy.
Stress comes in so many forms and fashions.
There is the stress of fighting insurance companies.
There is the stress of huge bills that the insurance policy won't touch.
There is the stress of living with chronic illness.
There is the stress of injuries that never heal.
There is stress of possible looming surgeries.
There is the stress of endless medical appointments.
There is the stress of balancing two jobs and paying the bills and still maintaining a life.
There is the stress of having nowhere that feels like your own home.
There is the stress of watching the grandpa you love disappear almost completely.
There is the stress of watching your dad and aunt and uncles deal with the deeply hurtful and complicated process of helping aging parents.
There is the stress of chronically sick siblings.
These stresses (and more) have been trying to suffocate me the past couple months. My response has been to drown myself in junk food and sitcoms and dramas.
These stresses, these things that threaten to overwhelm, they're not extra special or extra big or in any way more than what the average person deals with on a daily basis.
This world is full of pain and injustice and unfairness; it's full of brokenness and stress.
It steals joy and peace and simplicity and balance and happiness if we let it.
It can steal creativity and the ability to pause and process and write.
It is now Saturday afternoon and a few more loads of laundry have gone through and a few more dishes have been washed and clean sheets put on the bed and How The Grinch Stole Christmas is playing in the background while I eat my late lunch.
And amidst these simple Saturday activities, I've been thinking and pondering and I'm determined to cut the crap and not let stress have such a hold on me.
Priorities need to be shifted and attitudes changed and old habits kicked and new habits formed.
So here is a public declaration...
...to spend less time stressing and more time talking to Jesus.
...to eat less junk food and comfort food and work out again
...to read more good books and watch less TV shows
...to spend more time journaling and blogging and less time freaking out in my head
...to stick with the budget but not hyperventilate and obsess about it
...to get the medical attention I need and trust God for the finances
...to fight the insurance company with peace in my heart no matter what the outcome
Because who we are is not determined by our experiences or trials or stresses but by how we respond to each of those curveballs that life throws at us.