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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stress vs. Contentment

"But maybe you don't want to serve the LORD. You must choose for yourselves today. Today you must decide who you will serve. Will you serve the gods that your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River? Or will you serve the gods of the Amorites who lived in this land? You must choose for yourselves. But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

Tulip Fields, Mt. Vernon, WA

As is probably true in yours, my life is a bit, ehm, chaotic – and just for fun we will add in uncertain and unknown.  My husband’s transfer STILL has not been 100% verified, we are still looking for a new place to live and my delivery date is drawing nearer and nearer with each passing breath.

I lay in bed last night feeling the weight of all the “pendings” – job, move, baby prep, delivery, baby arrival… and could feel the stress level climbing. “God” I cried out “I don’t want this to be a stressful time; I want to actually enjoy being pregnant. I may never happen again!”

Clear as day into my head popped the statement: “Stress is an option; you do not have to choose it.”

Wow.  So right. I have an choice, I can partner with the spirit of stress and feel fully validated by the people around me by doing so (we are going through a lot of change right now with no clear answers and a baby due in less than 8 weeks) OR I can choose to welcome the opposite spirits of peace and contentment to walk with me.  The latter sounds so much more enjoyable!

How often do we let stress take over our lives, drive our decisions, actions and outcomes? How often do we let the weight of our circumstances determine what we do? How often do we stop, realize we are partnering with something that is not of God, repent, and choose a different way?  For me, lately, not enough.

My circumstances and reality are not comforting – don’t take me wrong, I am not sleeping on a sidewalk in the rain with no blanket – it just is not what I envisioned bringing a little girl into.  And, being pregnant, my emotions and ability to flex, be understanding, patient and go with the flow has been taken down a few notches. I let this want, this innate desire, this “need” drive me into a state of stress and discontentment. Not good. Not good for me, not good for my marriage, not good for the baby. Then I realized what was going on and had to make a choice.

Do I choose to partner with Stress and his companions (anxiety, sleeplessness, restlessness, overwhelmed, fear, uncertainty) or do I choose Peace, Contentment, Trust and Rest?  The former is much easier and comes as second nature; the latter is much harder, a conscious decision and thought process – but in the end, better.

What do you choose?
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