A Method for Handling September Stress

A Method for Handling September Stress -christyfitzwater.com

Google calendar groaned just now, as I hit add, add, add. My life has been hard work this summer but fairly simple, and now it’s not. Now there is school, which comes with rapid-fire meetings, retreats, luncheons, and to-do lists. And we’re making a quick run to Wyoming for my mom’s retirement party. Then AWANA starts. And all of the birthdays. Taxes are due in a few weeks. I still need to paint the shed before snow flies.

Paper bag, please.

“Breathe in for three seconds, hold it for three seconds, breathe out for three seconds. Repeat,” says my husband, the licensed professional counselor.

I recently read this statement about Brother Lawrence, in the book The Practice of the Presence of God. Chew on this, all ye who stagger under your September calendars:

When he had some outside business to do, he did not think about it at all in advance. When the time came for action, he found clearly in God what he must do at that moment. For some time he had acted in this way without worrying beforehand. Yet before this experience of God’s ready help in his affairs he used to think a great deal about them.

What do you make of that, eh?

It’s the phrase “God’s ready help” that has stuck in my brain. God is going to be ready, when I get to each event, to give me whatever I need to pull it off.

So I was thinking that if I use the handy alarm feature on Google calendar, I can set it to go off at the time when I need to think about and act on the next upcoming event. For example, there’s a staff dinner at our school superintendent’s house, and all I need to remember is to take lawn chairs. So what if I set the alarm to go off, to remind me of the event and what I need for it, and then I just release my mind from needing to think of that as something “on the pile.” When the alarm sounds for the dinner, I know I will be exhausted after a full day of in-service training, but God will be my ready help in that moment, to hand me his strength and perseverance.

I mean, could this work for everything in September?

That would just leave me with today. Today is plenty full, but yeah, I can persevere through today, if I’m not carrying all of September on top of it, for Pete’s sake.

What I’m going to try and what I’m suggesting to you is a meditation, and let’s pull from the Good News Bible and Psalm 46:1:

God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

He’s always ready to help!

I find this requires a great humility and dependence, though. I have a tendency to want to carry all the things by myself. We have to trust God is going to be standing at the race refreshment station –hands out to give us Gatorade and orange slices right when we need them. If we believe that, we can then focus on putting one foot in front of the other instead of looking so far ahead, at how much is coming, and hyperventilating.

God is a ready help. God is a ready help. God is a ready help. Breathe it in for three seconds. Hold it for three seconds. Breathe out for three seconds. Repeat.

Let September come.

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  1. I tend to carry every single thing I need to get done on my head each day. That only makes it more exhausting. I’ll be trying this this week.

    1. It is exhausting! I’ve decided it’s really just a habit to develop -living in today.

  2. Michelle Newell says:

    Have you ever heard of “Getting Things Done” by David Allen? Your article is a beautiful Scripturally integrated version of one of his points. I love it when worldly wisdom matches up with godly wisdom. ? Makes my heart smile. Even the world stumbles upon God’s wisdom and truth without realizing it.

    1. So true! It sounds like a great book, but how much richer to have a solid biblical “why” behind how we live.

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