What’s a stressful day look like in your world? In a 24-hour slice of time, you can find out that you missed an important deadline at work because you failed to thoroughly read an email, you get a bill from the toll roads people that shows a penalty of $300 because the initial bill of $3 went to the wrong address, you get an email from your child’s teacher for a conversation about her (lack of) progress, your spouse has an allergic reaction sending both of you to the ER, and your other child breaks her tooth, so you leave your wife at the ER to take your child to the dentist. Also, while you were away from home rescuing your family, your pet dog ripped one of your pillows to shreds because he wasn’t getting the attention he believed (and still does) he deserves, and of course the other regular stuff like 4 small mountains of laundry backed up while a load in the washer is now starting to smell after sitting in it for 2 days, a dishwasher that isn’t working, your car is making a noise that you’ve never heard before, and you just saw that bill of $300 again.
After having a day just like that, I wanted a break. Instead of me peacefully wandering around tide pools and looking out over the expanse of the ocean like in the picture, my getaway was the garage. I just stood there just staring at the reflection of myself in the car window. I reminded myself few things.
- Stress is a part of life. It will always exist, and the key is how I handle every challenge. Unfortunately, I found out that eating half a box of Oreos just makes things worse for me in the long run.
- Crisis is a part of life. Even in moments that need an immediate response, I still can make a thoughtful response instead of a rash reaction that 9 times out of 10 end up not-so good.
- God is there. He’s not panicking. He sees this whole crazy world and is not panicking. Don’t panic. Pray instead. I know I don’t know it all and put my trust in the One who does. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
Most folks don’t live in a place where they can walk out from their place onto the rocks and stare at the ocean. Your getaway maybe as simple as encouraging yourself in the reflection of your car window. Hope you cope in life is a pattern your children can and most likely will follow. How are you coping?