Don't Stress Out, It Will Kill You. Find a Smile In Your Heart! (And an extra podcast!)

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"In quietness and rest shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15

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Today, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We caught up on basic details and then she said, “You know, I am not a perfect mom but I try so hard to be a good mom but sometimes I fail..”

How often do we all feel that way? No mom is a perfect mom. Many of us probably all need to chill a little bit and take a chill pill-fun pill. I read somewhere that if you just sat and smiled about 10 or so times—totally smiling to the far corners of your cheeks and with your eyes—all in—that you would begin to stimulate happy hormones and actually start feeling less sad.

And laughing is healing, say all the physicians. How long has it been since you have had a smile in your heart?

Plan fun or laughing into your life every day. Remember when you used to be fun?

So often, we give and give and give and then wonder why we become grumpy or short in patience. But, God has put rhythms into our lives to remind us just how much we need our bodies to go completely away from the stress of the day in order to cope with the demands of life.

God Created Cycles of Rest

The day has a cycle about it--so many hours of light and darkness. In the light we can see to read, to work, to be active--but darkness was to be a signal of closing the day and its duties off.

Sabbath was also instigated by God to remind us to stop, to put aside work, to put aside the frenzy, to rest and cultivate peace and to restore.

In our 24/7 world, with false lights to keep us up and working all hours of the day, 24 hours of internet, 24 hours of tv, cars with lights that can travel all hours, etc., we lose the concept of day and night, work verses rest and refreshing.

Stress Kills

Numerous articles have come my way that says stress is at the bottom of multiple deadly diseases. Stress creates extra cortisol which is a hormone that puts the body in a continuous shock mode and taxes the adrenals.

No wonder there are so many stress diseases--heart attacks, obesity, thyroid problems, cancer, nervous and anxiety disorders, depression, mental disorders, and emotional disorders, diabetes. We are busy all the time, feeling guilty for all we do not get done and wearing ourselves out—but redoubling our efforts to work harder, do more.

And even Scripture tells us, “Fret not, it leads only to evil doing.” Proverbs

I realized many years ago that I was becoming very ill from so much push, push and work, work, work. I also realized that no one else was going to take responsibility for my health and well-being but me. I made a plan and put rhythms into my life that relieved the stress, gave me some breathing room for my body, mind and heart.

One of the reasons moms yell at their children is that they never get a break. Grumpiness and anger comes from pushing, pushing, pushing.

An hour of rest and getting away was a regular rhythm in our home. Every afternoon, I put a pot of tea to boil and poured out cups of tea, or little sippy cups of juice or whatever seemed good, and everyone learned, by training to go to their "places" for a personal time. (More on how I accomplished that later.) I could not have done without my hour in the day.I trained my children to it early, even as toddlers and it gave me the ability to have a one woman tea time.

I also, committed to Sabbath rest on Sundays--closed all of my "work" on Saturday and did not pick it up until Monday. It was all still there when I got back to it, but the world did not fall apart when I did not work on Sunday--but, I was much more able to keep up the demands of my life when I took off and made Sunday a day or worship, rest, pleasure, fun and naps for me.

Work and travel chases me every day, demands my life's blood. But, I rule over this force that would overcome me.   Stop. Put it all aside. Rest.

Other pleasures that I have fit into my schedule:

*A Saturday morning out for breakfast with a friend or my girls, most weeks and a rousing walk by the old Victorian Homes I love to see.

*15 minutes tea time on my front porch to enjoy the aspens and breezes every day during the late spring until late fall.

*A Nightly walk and ball throwing venture with Darcy Dog

*Books on tape in the car, in my bathroom when I am getting ready, when I wash dishes—to give my mind a little recreation and a great rousing story to distract me from the current issues.

*A phone call to my best friends, (the kids), and a handful of others.

*Sunday afternoon tea time and a sweet of some sort with my friends or family.

So, what will you do?

My mind needs it, my body needs it, my spirit needs it. But as a woman who is attempting to grow in maturity in the Lord, I have had to be intentional about being sure that I include rest, refueling, restoration and inspiration into my own personal life-not just once in a while, but regularly so that I can keep going and going and going.

People deplete me all the time, every day, wherever I go. But if I want to last for many more years of giving out and being in ministry and meeting my children's and husband's needs, I must pace myself. (And, by the way, that is why I am taking some time away from my normal schedule of online ministry—and you can pray for me, that I become refreshed and restored.

Learn to Ignore the Piles

And so, though there are many letters to answer, piles to organize, rooms to clean, groceries to shop for, people to call back, ad infinitum, I will lay them all in the file folders of heaven for God to keep. I have learned that they will all still be here tomorrow, and that God wants me to leave my burdens alone--as He is the father, I the toddler and He will indeed work in all of my circumstances without my help. But if I take responsibility to take care of my own heart and soul, I will last much longer, much better, and even have peace and quietness if I take time to rest.

And so, when I stop, my soul smiles a little more.

May your soul smile very soon.

I hope you will enjoy the articles I have stored up for my newest book, Mom Heart Moments. You can order your copy now and it will be sent out this week. It would make a great Christmas present!


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Books Referenced in this Podcast:


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