Monday, September 19, 2011

When Stress Starts to Strangle: eMpowering Mondays

Stress isn't always bad for me. Sometimes stress motivates me and makes me productive. But then there are times when I feel its nasty grip around my neck and I begin to suffocate, panic, and give up. Last night was one of those times when I felt like stress was strangling me and taking the very life out of me. I sent a Facebook message to a friend of mine and it said something like this:

Please pray for me right now. I think I am just tired and a bit overwhelmed. I had the opportunity to speak at a church this morning and that went well...but I have struggled ever since I got home. My house is a wreck, I have so many to-do projects, lots of writing to do this week, AND I am preparing to speak at our church's women's retreat this coming Sunday morning. Needless to say, I am not emotionally or spiritually prepared. I know this is an attack and I just need someone to pray for me. Your name came to mind. Would you please?

Have you ever felt this way? That's a rhetorical question. Because if you are alive, I know that you have. So, what do we do when stress starts to strangle us?

1. Pray and ask for prayer. Prayer ushers in the POWER of the Holy Spirit that comes alongside us, that strengthens us, encourages us, and motivates us. Don't be afraid or too prideful to reveal your stress to others so that they can pray for you. There is POWER in prayer.
2. Put it all on paper. (or your computer...whatever tool you use most.) Often when we actually write everything down that we need to do, it is less overwhelming. When things are just floating in our minds, we cannot manage them as well. So make a list. Write down everything that comes to mind that you need to do, or even want to do. Then...
3. Prioritize your to-do list. What has to be done today? What can be done tomorrow or even next week? Honestly, organizing your closet can wait. Cleaning out your kitchen catch-all drawer is not necessary today. (Oh, wait, that was my list!) You get the idea.
4. Pass on duties to others. Delegate! Are there things on your list that others can do.  My sweet friend that received the above Facebook message reminded me to even involve my children in sharing the load of duties. (Thanks, Melanie.) Yes! Bekah can fold clothes and Ryan can unload the dishwasher. Those responsibilities can seem minor, but when combined with many others, they can be overwhelming!
5. Procrastinate. NOT.  Oh, this one is a biggie for me. A friend just shared with me last week about this very subject. She told me I needed to read the book titled, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. Though I haven't read it yet, it is on my book list. And, I just can't help thinking about going ahead and eating that "frog"(that one thing that I don't want to do) and moving forward with my list. (Good stuff, thanks, Teri!)
6. Plan some time with the Lord and with friends. Fellowship with God brings perspective and peace. When we spend time with Him, thanksgiving inevitably results. We realize how much He has blessed us and He gives us perspective on our impending to-do lists. Fellowship with friends provides accountability and much needed laughter and conversation. Don't ever estimate the power of spending time with God and friends!

I hope this list of six will help you with your to-do list of sixty. Stress will come. It is inevitable. But it doesn't have to strangle you. 

I would love to have your comments. I read every one and usually respond to each one. So, comment!!!!(And do it now, because it won't happen later! ) If you are reading by email, click here.

Unwrapping the gift of God's power over stress,


Linking with Jen at...


Andrea said...

Great article!

Sharita Knobloch said...

Great thoughts, boss! I definitely vote you read "Eat the Frog." Its an awesome reminder that if you eat a frog (paperwork, dishes, your biggest rock) right away each day, that the rest of your list is so much easier to tackle. I've been praying for you & shall continue.

Oh, and don't forget if you need to delegate, you have a willing intern @ your disposal. (Although me organizing closets results in several trips to Goodwill)

Love you!

Melanie said...

Sounds like a great plan to me! And I do love the idea (Well, I don't really love it but see its value.) of doing the thing you most dread first - eating the frog.

I'll be praying for you this week.

Cheryl said...

This is the second post I've read today about stress, and probably God's perfect timing. After a weekend away for to chaperon a high school marching band competition, my "to do" list seems large and looming as well. I'm often reminded of the first priority in the daily devotional book "Jesus Calling." It seems counterintuitive, but spending time with God when our list looms large, is in fact, the very thing we need most.

Blessings, and welcome to The High Calling!

marygems said...

I need help with stress STILL and I'm over 60- is there any hope for me?
My best offering to you is to suggest you take the "shoulds" right off your list and concentrate on the " musts" only when a stress attack hits. I always dial a prayer partner- and notice the relief comes in quickly- so praying for each other is a vital key. It's ok to ask!
God Bless you- I'm praying for you Kelli

Laura said...

Visiting from the sisterhood. You are so right about what to do when stressed. I've had more than my fair share lately and it is a lot. Writing down helps as does allowing yourself grace. If it does not get done as fast as you think it should then so be it. I think it's great you reached out for prayer. It's not only a gift to you, but a gift to the person you asked.

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments and your prayer! I am glad to know that I am not the only one dealing with a stress. So glad to have friends like you all to share with!

Jen said...

This morning as I was outside doing my quiet time, and while also ruminating over all the "shoulds" of life right now, I was so blessed by this verse. It's a well-known verse, but when it popped into my daily reading today (I'm doing the One Year bible) it felt fresh and new, like it was meant for me, put there specifically for this day.

"Don't you know that the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grown faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives peer to the those who are tired and word out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28b-31

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Thanks, Jen. God is so Good...this was my quiet time scripture a week ago. He is a God of repetition!

Teri said...

I'm FINALLY making it over here to comment -- SO proud of YOU for eating the FROGS! Hey, did I also tell you what ELSE the word FROG stands for to me? Fully Rely On God <-- FROG --> So not only are we eating them, but we are FROGGING all day long {relying on God}

Love ya Girl!! xoxo

Keeping it Personal,
Teri Johnson