I’d been having a really bad day. You know, the kind of day where everything that possibly can go wrong, does. My toddler had thrown one too many fits, my baby needed a little too much of my attention, lunch was burning on the stove, and my house looked like a toy bomb had gone off . . . After a while little things seemed huge and I started feeling really stressed and frustrated. My blood started to boil. I wanted to blow my top. I wanted to yell at my family. I wanted to curl up on the couch and feel sorry for myself. I wanted to wallow in the notion that God didn’t give a hoot. But, I didn’t. I threw flour instead.
Let me explain.
When we are feeling stressed and stretched to the max, there are lots of destructive ways we can respond. We can lash out at our husbands and children. We can medicate ourselves with food, or shopping, or the Internet. We can look to our human relationships to soothe us. We can turn to substances like drugs or alcohol looking for a high to counteract our lows. We can vent. We can bail. We can sink into despair. Or we can cling to God’s Truth and find a way to keep on going.
When my day got uber-stressful, I felt myself starting to believe the lies of the Enemy. My problems seemed insurmountable. My stress felt unmanageable. My family felt like the enemy. Instead of lashing out or losing control, I found a way to get a grip. I grabbed the huge bucket of flour I was using to cook with, hauled it outside, and called for my husband and son. We took turns lobbing flour at each other, and before long we were laughing so hard, the stress we were facing just melted away.
When it was all said and done (it took us an hour to sweep up all the flour), I was reminded that living out God’s Truth is a choice. Stress is part of life. Bad days will come. Defeat and despair will always knock at the doors of our hearts. We can react in ways that hurt ourselves or our families, or we can find a way to keep going and cling to the hope God offers us in His Word.
You don’t have to throw flour to get through your own stress. You can take a walk, call up a friend, go pick flowers, knit, draw, sing, dance . . . the possibilities are endless. The point is to do something constructive that allows you to take a breath and get some fresh perspective.
What are some constructive ways you like to de-stress?