I don’t really want to admit it, but that would truly be out of a fear of you all thinking that I’m weak for being stressed. Since I just wrote about humility and false modesty yesterday, I think it’s important to share this part of recovery. Stress. You know that word, right? I know it, and sometimes it’s a bit too familiar to me.
I’m not stressed very often, but when I am, it does funny things to my appetite. It almost always kills my appetite, to the point of feeling zero hunger. This happens even if I have been active or just lived a normal day, ’cause we all know that living takes calories.
Why do I get stressed?
Yep, I do, and for a while stress even affected my cycle. Though I’ve been way more mindful of things that do stress me out, learning to say ‘No’, and not being as busy, I still get stressed. And stress does not do nice things to the appetite. I struggle to have an appetite when I’m racing through the day, a little too wound-up to just slow down, pray, relax, and do one thing at a time.
And even though I would like to use ‘stress’ as an excuse to not eat sometimes (for the sake of restriction), God has been teaching me about how to conquer stress and not let it paralyze me and my appetite.
First of all, though, I want to share the situations and places in which I’m not usually stressed.
The outdoors just fill my soul with a sense of peace and remind me of this hymn….
‘Then sings my soul my Savior God to thee, how Great thou Art… How Great Thou Art…’
Life just slows down when you’re outside, and I love the distractions being pulled away and remembering that Jesus is always with me, that Jesus is with me in the ups and the downs, that He has promised to never leave or forsake me even in the largest storms.
The outdoors allow me to just clear my thoughts and really focus on what is important.
“You alone are the LORD You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You. (Nehemiah 9:6)
Being outdoors causes me to pray and wonder instead of focusing on myself and all my problems…
‘O Heavenly Father,
Your glory is all around us and so full and beautiful and amazing, and it’s incredible to think that this is just a small fraction of your glory… Your glory is beyond descript; thank you for making the world and putting me into the world to serve you. Thank you for healing the broken, for your mercy, and your justice and truth! In Jesus’ name, Amen.’
Other places that I don’t feel stressed (most of the time)
#2) Being With My Family – We don’t get along perfectly at all, but my family is SO gracious to me and always constantly forgiving me, encouraging me to grow in the Lord, and repent of my sins.
They also remind me of the wonder of the gospel, how Jesus changes us and has brought our family together despite our many sins and the baggage we bring to the cross. They remind me of what a wondrous work Jesus Christ did there and the burden that has rolled away from our backs. My family is just generally an awesome blessing from the Lord!
‘So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.’ (Ephesians 2:19-22)
#3) Spending time reading God’s Word, seeking to know Him more, and being filled with His Words of life…
It’s amazing, because every time I read His Word, it’s like reading something new, because the words are alive. There are words of conviction, words of life, and most of all the amazing, awesome, incredible story of how Jesus Christ came down to earth, humbled Himself, and died for His enemies. The story amazes me every time and just fills my heart, especially when I feel empty.
‘For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’ (Hebrews 4:12)
And my last happy place that I could think of is ‘baking’ … (I love to write too.)
If I’m really overwhelmed with life I love to just STOP and bake. It’s such a gift. Thank you Jesus for the wonderful gift of baking and delicious food.
Now let’s get to the uncomfortable part.
I get stressed often on:
Days with lots of meetings
My Google Analytics (So silly…)
Writing Good Posts
Making Good Images
. . . And when I’m really stressed I’m just not hungry.
It’s tough to eat when you don’t have an epptite. It’s like willing yourself to go exercise when you have absolutely NO drive.
But I can’t let stress paralyze me, because God is not the author of confusion or stress. God is the author of order and peace. Christ Jesus gives peace. Christ Jesus doesn’t give stress.
Sometimes I just have to stop it all and:
Sleep (Psalm 127:2)
Pray (Philippians 4:6)
Be Still (Psalm 46)
Wait on the Lord (Not do… do… do…, but Wait) (Psalm 27)
Think about how God promises to feed His children. He meant for us to feed our bodies for His glory. He feeds the soul and the body, and it’s not wrong to eat. Don’t get stressed about eating when you’re not hungry, because your body does need it. (Ezekiel 33)
Go Outside and wonder at the AWESOME Living God (Psalm 48)
Talk to Others and bear their burdens… Sometimes it’s so therapeutic to just take the eyes off of ‘me’ and bear another’s burdens. It really increases my compassion and reminds me that Jesus Christ is the solution to not just their problems but mine too. (Galatians 6)
Those are just a few of the things I do when I’m stressed.
The last thing to do when you’re stressed is to move faster. Jesus Christ commands the winds and the waves; I don’t. By just spinning my wheels or rowing faster, I’m not going to make the world go round, but Jesus Christ is the Maker of the World. The Holy Trinity is powerful; the Holy Spirit comforts; the Lord Jesus Christ gives peace with God, with ourselves, and with others, and God the Father sent Jesus Christ to earth, out of His great mercy to bridge the unbridgeable gap.
If God Almighty does all these amazing things, why would I be stressed? If He can open eyes, save souls, and form a beautiful baby in their mother’s womb, why would I ever be fearful?
Now, yesterday, we went on a 24 hour vacation.
It included some delicious eats, so I thought I would share just a few of these things for you. I’m so thankful that I wasn’t super stressed; there were moments, but it was definitely better than Emily being the ‘stress’ monster on road trips that she usually is.
So… what did the ‘non stressful’ eats include? I admit that I did have some anxiety over the restaurant meals last night, but by God’s MIGHTY powerful grace, I was able to conquer the fears and enjoy some amazing food.
Amazingly Delicious Slice of Caramel Pie… – This was SO good. We split this with a slice of chocolate cake and tiramisu. It was all made in this cute little shop in Vail, CO. Wow, you need to go there. It’s called the ‘Alpen Rose.’
This photo of this amazing Caesar salad with a caption to explain the ‘terrible photo’ – Sometimes I can’t edit photos to make them look beautiful, but it reminds me and you that my life is not perfect and that I was broken and bruised by sin. However I can be completely real with you and say that because Jesus Christ has healed and saved my broken vile sinful self and made me whole. There are still valleys and mountains but none of them are without hope because Jesus has conquered and is conquering all His and my enemies!!!
Baking GOODIES! I baked Lindsay’s Paleo Banana Muffins with toasted coconut on top, and boy are they so delicious. 🙂 They don’t taste paleo or gluten free at all. Well, the chocolate chips don’t make them Paleo, but still.
This Cinnamon Bun – Did someone say that it was ‘National Cinnamon Bun‘ day yesterday, cause we were able to celebrate with this memorable cinnamon roll!
This Hearty Breakfast with a ‘Farmer’s Omelette’ and hashbrowns and a bagel… – I haven’t had a bagel in so long, but this really hit the spot. Now I want to go hunting for a Panera Pumpkin bagel.
Never underestimate the simple strawberry…. 🙂
Ok, and tomorrow, stay tuned, because I want to do a photo dump of the awesome fall colors in Colorado. Even though we are a mostly evergreen state, I’m so thankful God placed beautiful aspens here. They are incredible, and maybe I can get you to want to come visit me if you see how gorgeous they are?
And…. I’ve been really humbled by these verses and comforted at the same time, so I thought I would share them as a final thought.
‘ ‘For verily He took not on Himself the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Therefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor those who are tempted.’ (Hebrews 2:16-18)
I want to learn more of that humility. <3
Questions for You:
1. Does stress affect your appetite?
2. What do you do when you’re stressed? Could you relate to any of the things on my list?
3. Where do you feel the most peaceful?
4. Other thoughts on stress? Tips to keep life simple?
Linking up with Amanda and the other people to ‘Think Out Loud,’ too!