Life is spelled… Stress

pressures without, pressures within…

Paul understood life… life is not a stress free walk in the park.

One person stated, ‘people are either heading toward crisis or heading out of crisis.’ I believe it.

Attempting to do great things adds to the stress.

Example, this is our busy time of year. We wrap presents for 12 days at the mall, help others who have no food, help with rent, and who are broken. We host a party for 1400 of the less served of Dayton enlisting hundreds of volunteers.

Any idea how much planning and work go into pulling off something this big? More than most people know.

Add general stress of work, and work relationships, fulfilling spiritual expectations, adhering to job descriptions, long hours. Then add family, financial burdens of relatives, missteps of friends, kids acting out and general life = S T R E S S.

How do we handle all the above? Sometimes I handle life well, other times not so well.

What helps?
1. Dreams…I dream a lot. Often a dream reflects what I and others are going through. It’s like a pictorial dumping ground. Like a few days ago we found out we needed to add all day Friday’s to our already heavy schedule at the mall.

In a dream I heard… take advantage of every opportunity. So when I woke up I wasn’t anxious about where all the wrapping people were going to come from. I was more focused on … taking advantage of every opportunity.

A situation at work was extremely stressful… Last night I dreamed about Grace…I even was asked to pray at a large meeting. So in my dream I prayed all about God’s goodness, and grace extended toward our staff, toward the people of the Vineyard, and toward the people of our city. Many people in the crowd applauded.

So I’m leaning into grace today.

2. My relationship with Jesus… How people make it without him is mind boggling.

3. My relationship with my wife. She is secure, stable, and smart.

4. My value of God’s word. Recently, during a time of my mom in laws surgery, she’s 84… we actively practiced… let the peace of God guard our hearts and minds in / through Christ Jesus…the passage is in Philippians.

5. I’ve learned to pick my battles. Is this irritation really that serious? Does it really matter in the current view of things? Will it really affect what we are accomplishing today? So what if it’s not done my way. Hey, I’m glad it’s getting done. Don’t sweat the small stuff…everything is small stuff. Like printing 300 letters having 4 people proof read and yesterday a staff person shows me the date at the top of the letter. 2006…so with crafty pen in hand…

6. Stuff breaks…Cars, computers, ipods, steros, houses, etc. No it’s not the enemy…just life.

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