Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stress and Focus

We, as a family, live a very blessed and happy life.  God is so good to us always.  Period.
Tim and Carolyn recently went to a wedding together.
I know that I write a lot about the happy and blessed life we have.  In all truth that is exactly the life we lead but also because that is the part of life I choose to dwell on.
Carolyn with her pony Millie.
The other side of it all is that our life can be incredibly stressful.  I do share a lot of that part of our life as well.  We never know when a huge spike of stress is headed our way.  It is hard enough in life to handle normal stress of everyday things happening beyond our control but add to that, many special needs children, the many health issues that come up and the worry... that if left unchecked, can consume me.  I could let it stifle me, make me sick and paralyze me.  I am not going to lie and say I have never started down this slippy, dangerous, road.  I am human and have and do let stress get to me sometimes but I wanted to share what helps me the most, in our daily stressful life and in times when stress gets turned up a notch.

Number One: Is definitely my faith in God.  Gods Word is very comforting to me and knowing that God loves not only me but those I love and our children so much more than I ever could, gives me peace.  Knowing that God knows the details of my life and the desires of my heart.  That nothing happens without God knowing and that He works all things together for good for us.  I know that fear is the opposite of faith.  So when I start to feel fear, I try to remind myself that God can handle this and will.  This is all a great comfort when trying to handle very stressful times and it builds my faith.   God's Word is truth, it is He Himself and I can trust in His promises for me, my family and my life.
A very bright rainbow that was over our farm for a good thirty minutes Wednesday evening.
Number Two: Is choice and focus.  We can choose, to an extent, what we want to focus on in our life.  Do I want to always focus on the bad?  Or try to find the good in a child or situation?   Do I want to feel fear, frustration and dread about something or choose to focus on any positives I can think of about the same situation?  When I start to feel myself being pessimistic I try to redirect myself and find something happy and upbeat to focus my thoughts on.  Snuggling with baby "K" is a great de-stresser.  So is reading to the toddlers or stopping to play a game with or watch a show with the other children.

Number Three: Is to take one day at a time.  Looking down the road to a serious surgery date or appointment can bring stress and anxiety.  Also, times when a child is going thru a season of daily trying behavior..  You know, the one you think they will never stop and makes you dread your day and the next day and the next and the next...Those are times that have taught me to live in the moment and take things one day at a time.  Sometimes on a particularity hard day or in a very bad situation, we have to take it a portion of the day at a time.  I do mean this literally.  When trying to handle a child's bad behavior or when a child is suffering, taking a portion of the day at a time, to focus on keeping positive, is all I can  handle.  Otherwise I would feel totally overwhelmed.  There is nothing harder than seeing the ones you love dearly suffer, be depressed or cry, when you can not do anything to relieve it.  Dropping all extras in our life, at those times and focusing on making the best of a short portion of a day, at a time, is best. 
My sweet William...His personal dog (Will), that is with him always, has been wasting away for about a year.  We have had her to the vet more times than I can count.  Yesterday, we were told she has a one pound, in-operable, tumor in her abdomen.  She is not suffering yet, so they sent her home saying she has a few days to maybe a few weeks to live.  We are all so sad but it is  hard to see William grieving and so sad.  I snapped this picture last night of them watching a show in his room.  Even though he smiled I can see the worry and sadness in his eyes. 
Number Four:  Is to talk to someone.  I talk to God all day long.  Yes, I pray with out ceasing.  Sometimes I need to pray without ceasing.  Also, my husband is my very, best, friend.  I can talk to him about anything and he is a great listener.  I trust his opinions and direction.  He has a way of gently defusing my negative emotions quickly.  I have a few other people close to me I feel I can talk to about things, when I get down, discouraged or need advice.  William, in particular, has very good discernment.  I often ask him his opinion when having a struggle in my spirit about things. 

Number five: Try to keep a sense of humor.  This really helps when the flu goes thru!  Or when dealing with behaviors in my children beyond my control.  Trying to keep things as light and happy as possible really helps.  There is definitely a time for grieving and sadness but in normal day to day life, my family looks to me to moderate the temperature of feelings in our home.  The happier and more upbeat I am, they will usually follow suit.  My children know I can be just as silly as they can and often dance with them to silly music. I chase the youngest thru the house for a ticklefest and make goofy jokes, rhymes or songs up to amuse them as we drive or play games.  Also, when I am feeling down...just being around children brings me such joy.  They do say the silliest things and do the cutest things.  They just melt me at times.
Pure Sweetness!

Number six is something I will mention but admit I rarely do.   That is to stop what you are doing and have "you" time.  Work on a hobby.  Pamper yourself. (Yah, not happening but I hear it works for some people.)  Or for me, it is just going for a walk or driving to a store alone, walking up and down the isles and reading labels.  Even researching on the internet things I need to know to help the kids is relaxing to me.   As knowledge makes somethings such as diagnosis, home therapy ideas and natural ways to treat things, so much less stressful. 

I am sure there is so much more, but to me, these are the ones that came right to mind.  Most of the time I have not only normal life going on... caring for and home schooling the children, running our home and keeping up with our small farm.  But also many appointments and therapies with lots of phone calls to schedule and followup on things.  Then many of our children's health issues I could get lost in worry about.  If you are trying to deal with something stressful or have a stressful life, try talking to God about it all.  I learned a long time ago I am not superwoman.  I can not carry everything that is in my life alone.  All of my strength and help comes from God and God alone.  Try praying and handing it all over to God and reading His Word for encouragement.  It does make a world of difference.  The other above listed coping suggestions really do help so much too.  We just relax, keep taking one step at a time and we get thru a day whether it is good or bad.

I am not perfect and have many times fallen into a puddle of tears on the floor when everything seems to go wrong at once.  Only to have God pick me up and carry me thru the day, as that is the only direction to go, so He mercifully carried me thru it.  Many times God has used friends and family to encourage me which heartwarmingly is a stress reducer.   God is so good.  So here I am again.  Grateful and blessed.   Encouraged by the outpouring of friends and family alike just when I need it.  All the glory to God!

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.




  1. (((((((((HUGS)))))))))))) Altho our families have more hardships due to the special needs of the children, God always seems to out weigh them with Blessings doesn't he?
    We were once attacked and accused by 3 of our very own adult children. (one birth, two adopted as infants) I thought I could never get through that. And yet, when God carried me through (that experience) He taught me to LOVE those who "hated" me. Now today I freely pray for all of my enemies with LOVE. (right now it's MA's sisters who are spreading lies about us) I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could honestly pray for them like that! God took a negative experience and taught me one of the most beautiful lessons in life ever!! Praise God!

    1. Yes, I agree 100%. The good times and blessings over run the hard things. God is so very good. How hard to have people you love turn on you for no reason. We have experienced some of that as well over the years with a few people that we felt close to. It hurts but you are right. Must be put under the blood of Jesus and forgiven. We are supposed to pray for our enemies and those that dispitefully use us. Praise God you have compassion and love toward them, to pray for them. It is very freeing isn't it? God be with you and your family. His mighty hand of protection on you all always.