I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Too Much Stress?

We've been talking about taking every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (See Are You Scatterbrained?)
and how noise hinders us from doing that (See Getting Past the Noise—The Value of Silence.)
But what about your stress?
Too much?
When I first was treated with Adrenal Fatigue, I read articles that stated “minimize your stress.”
How do you do that?
My stress seems to keep multiplying!
Know what the doctor said first. 
Say, “No.”

You know if you’ve been reading me, I’ve stressed— busy doesn’t mean godly.
Not everything is for you to do.
Our society looks at busy-ness as success.
We’ve adopted that in the Christian realm.
Busy-ness is the devil’s joy
Recently, I had to stop helping serve the meal at church. 
God was telling me if I expected families to eat together, then I shouldn't encourage them not to, even at church.
It took me several weeks to finally tell God, "Yes, I'll obey."
It was the only thing that I could do at church.
That was hard to tell the ladies.

My son tells of the Ukrainian refugees who attend his church. 
They are used to walking everywhere. 
They say, "This fast-paced American lifestyle is hard to do."
Walking everywhere slows down the pace.
Driving makes it easier to rush.
Expectations increase when you can get there quickly.
Takes a conscious, deliberate action to SLOW DOWN and say, "NO!"

David wanted to build God’s temple. 
Worthwhile? Of course.
Needed? Yes.
But not for him.

The doctor suggested, “Ask for help.”
That’s a hard one for me.
Or any mom. Isn’t it? Who asks for help?
My husband has started to wash the dishes since we’ve moved here. 
He knew I couldn’t ask for help.

The doctor instructed, “Know your limits.”
If you’re in the middle of a project, but you’ve reached half of your limit, STOP.
Even if that means leaving those dishes in the sink and washing them later.
So you don’t ‘hit that wall’ where all your energy is spent.”
How hard is it to stop in the middle of a project (especially with those dishes staring you in the face)??

“If you’re good for 4 hours of work,” he suggested, “work an hour, rest an hour, work an hour, rest an hour.
After the four hours of work, you still have reserves. It won’t take a day to recoup.”
Makes sense?
It’s either that or go till you hit the wall, then be forced to rest for DAYS.
Still hard.
Age has a way of slowing us down. 
We can't do it all, like we did.

Know what else is part of this program?
For me, it seems forced—to sit for 10 minutes and do nothing but think about your breathing?
Yeah, right.
The doctor said, “if breathing isn’t your thing, concentrate on a phrase.”
I can do that. Consider part of a verse for 10 minutes.
This exercise helps your body, stuck on “flight or fight” mode, rest so it can heal.
These get easier.
And considering a phrase from a verse is comforting.

Some of you understand what I’m talking about.
Forcing yourself to rest is HARD.
But that’s where healing comes.

Know why David knew he shouldn't build the temple?

We don’t do that.
We ask for God’s blessings for the decisions we’ve already made without Him.
But we don’t seek His Face for His will before we act.
His burden is light. 
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30.

(I've written about this before, see the articles: Are You Stressed? and Stressed? Read a Book)

If you’re overwhelmed, it’s not from God.
Being busy, staying busy is where Satan keeps us.
God gives us rest.
When we are so busy, we do not pray, we're too busy.
God wanted Martha to stop and choose time with Him. 
Mary did. She was praised.
But I don't like to be a Mary.
I don't like to feel needy, be submissive and do it someone else's way—it's called the sin nature.

You may not be diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, but you could probably diagnose yourself with being too busy. 
Especially if you measure how much you pray and seek God’s face, compared with your service. 
Christ’s ministry was marked by PRAYER first and always.
We want to do great things for God, but don’t even consult Him.
Our works are for nothing.
Wood. Hay. Stubble.
Waste of time.
Even those witnessing times? 
Yep. we haven’t asked God to prepare hearts.

It starts with asking God what’s important to Him for you to do right now.
Listening to what He says.
Then only doing those things.

My yoke is easy. My burden is light.

Displaying 1 comment

I can see you're preaching to yourself again! Do you read this article every day to remind yourself of your own good advice? I like your idea for meditating, to pick a phrase from a verse and really think on that for 10 minutes. I don't have much stress in my life any more, but must admit that what I do, I mostly bring on myself. I just realized, a lot of times I don't see what I'm going through as stress, I call it "pressure." Sounds better for some reason! Thanks for the article, we all need the lesson. MANY diseases are exacerbated by stress and our world is overwhelmed by that. Stress has become a way of life, the norm. And it's not what God meant for us. Maybe we should ask ourselves if we are stressed, is it because we're out of God's will?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

Receive weekly articles by giving your email address below:

Find more articles about faith here:
A Few Words about Marriage
When Suffering Gets Personal
What an Amazing God We Serve
Response to Healthy Gaming
How Miserable Are You? Are You Happy?
The Need for Meaning Even in Pain
Reminders of What's Important
God's Unmeasurable Love
A Quarter of a Century Spent for Our Country
What Were You Thinking?
Who Are You Watching?
Boundaries for a Better Life
God's Boundaries
Memories of a Hero Mom
The Ripple Effect
How Do We Think Like Jesus
Litany of a Waiting Woman
Ever Cook a Frog?
New Year's Reminders
They Galled Her Gammy
When God Speaks
A Russian Christmas Story
Be Thankful
Be Grateful
Are You Tired of the Same, Old Thing?
Laughter—Why Laugh?
Are You Disturbed?
Unity of the Brothers
Encouragements To Declutter
Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
Too Much Stress
Getting Past the Noise—The Value of Silence
Are You Scatterbrained?
How Good Are You?
Looking for Something Good To Read?
A Cup of Cold Water
I Will Trust When I Cannot See
Encouragement—What Is It?
Being in God's Presence
"Einstein and the Professor"
When God Is Silent
Do You Crave Beauty?
Using Stories to Discipline
The Danger of the Wrong Story
Using Stories to Teach Lessons
God is in charge of the future
November Dare Joy Challenge
Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
Looking for Jesus
What Do Your Prayers Reflect?
Life's Little Pleasures
Daniel—Greatly Loved by God
Take Every Thought
Jars of Clay
What Do Your Words Reveal about Your Heart?
How Do You Get Strong Faith?
Too Busy for God's Word?
How Do You Think Like Jesus?
Reflections from a Mom
Pain—What's It Good For?
Why Marry?
Consider the Robin
One Life Who Made a Difference
What Day Are You Living In?
Interrupted by God
Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?
Are You Beat Up?
What's Your Hurry?
Are You a Manipulator?
Are You Salty?
Are You Condemned?
Trying to Understand?
Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?
Do You Eat Your Stress?
Need Focus?
Going through Trouble?
Immanuel—God with Us
Looking for a Relationship?
When God Says, "No!"
What Do You Do with Left-Overs?
How Great Is Your God?
Are You Needy?
How Do You See Sin?
What Do Your Words Mean?
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2