Hello Friends and Family!
How are you all today? As I write this it is Sunday night for you – and I hope you are all getting lots of rest for the week ahead.
During dental school, I had a few different roommates – But one in particular seemed to emanate peace. There were three of us in the house at the time, one was in my class, and the other was studying to be a Social Worker (this is the beautifully peaceful one). It was one of many finals weeks for my classmate and I, when our roommate told us “Don’t work harder, work smarter!”
At first I was like- “Waaa? Im already planning out life like its my job- why would I waste time strategizing and taking breaks when I can just put my nose to the grindstone and keep it there?” other common thoughts included…
“Bathroom breaks? ‘Aint nobody got time for that!”
“Ok, if I just sit and stare at these notes for the next three hours- I can grab some lunch, study while eating, and then I should be good to study until dinner!”
“I’m gonna work through lunch, then eat in class while writing notes and checking e-mail and texting my husband. That way, everything gets done!”
Can anyone out there relate?!
It wasn’t until my fourth year that I realized I couldn’t do this anymore. My stress level was through the roof (had been for the past 3 years) and it starts to wear on you after awhile. At first you think- it’s only for awhile, once I get past X then I can relax.
I think that during these times stress becomes more of a habit than anything. And pushing yourself to the edge becomes a lifestyle- it can be hard to slow down when A) you feel like you need to in order to make life work and B) you are being so productive! (or at least it seems that way)
Do you feel tired? I know I sure did. Everyday felt like- “Woah, I’m exhausted! How am I going to get up, move my body, and actually care about things tomorrow?”
One thing that helped was this passage I found in one of my devotionals- I cannot remember which one (and they are almost all in storage right now)- but this passage has stuck with me:
“Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, Who always works without strain, and Who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children. When they restfully trust Him to do it, it will be done, and completely done. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that he more than fills our life… ‘Not overwork, but overflow.'” ~Herbert D. Arnold
Only God can accomplish the work He give us to do. He knows we can’t do it without Him- we were never supposed to! It gives me so much peace to know that God never overworks and always works without strain. God is never stressed out about His work. He wants us to work like Him.
I found that what my roommate said years earlier was true – we need to rest! (Isaiah 30:15- In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength) We need to consciously work with the Holy Spirit at heart – knowing He is not stressing or striving, but giving us all the things we need for each task as it comes. (Genesis 22:8, Romans 8:26, Exodus 14:14, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 28:20 and many more)
Question of the day: Have you gone through or are you going through a stressful time? What helps break the “Stress Cycle” for you so that you can live presently each day?