Friday, October 05, 2012

Lifting the Weight...

Stress.  Lately this has been a constant feeling for me.

I can’t explain it other than I just feel like I am carrying a 50 lb. weight on my shoulders at all times.  I can’t really pinpoint when it started…but I think the bulk of it has been the last couple of months.

This weight is made up of so many “worries” and burdens that I have right now.  And what’s frustrating, is that I shouldn’t be worrying about anything…that’s what God is for.  The Bible specifically tells us not to worry, and when I remember that, I can let most of the worries go.  But I still feel the burdens…and they are weighing me down.

One of my biggest fears is not doing a good job raising my kids.  I’m worried that I will not push them enough or push too hard; I’m worried that I won’t be strict enough or that I’ll be too strict; I worry that I let them have too much independence and then I worry that I don’t trust them enough; I worry that they’ll grow up, not have any drive, not have a career and then move back in with me.  I worry that there will be a teenage pregnancy that affects our family.  I could go on and on…

So I often question everything I do when it comes to the kids.  And when something is not working right, I extrapolate it and see them failing out of college or getting fired because they don’t respect their boss.  Ridiculous I know, but I still do it.

And four kids.  This is one area that I will be blatantly honest and say that unless you have four kids, you don’t know what it’s like to worry about the future of four kids. I have always worried about the kids and their futures, but it hadn’t become overwhelming until my fourth has left the baby stage and is more of a “person” to me than an adorable little doll :)  I know the odds are not in my favor for raising four “perfect” kids.  And by “perfect” I mean happy with their lives and successful by their own standards and leading a Christian life.

This is the constant worry in my life right now, especially as Kylie is getting older and the kids are involved in so many activities (is it too much?  Are we trying to make them “experience rich” while they are becoming “relationship poor” to quote Andy Stanley?).

And then on top of all of those worries, are the normal stresses of being so freaking busy.  I work fulltime, at a newer job no less, and there is a lot of new stress there.  And then there is the stress of my family, which I wish was not a stress.  It’s so hard being the only one with kids in my family.  Anyone who has kids knows that everything in your life changes when you have kids – priorities, time-management, and most importantly, there is absolutely no room for selfishness anymore.  Life is no longer about you in any way.  And for so many people who don’t have kids (definitely not saying everyone), they just can’t understand that.  And it’s even harder for me to understand that because I really was never that way.  Our best friends when we first moved to Columbus had little kids, and we knew that their lives revolved around those kids and we never put them down or made them feel left out because of that.  But alas…not everyone is like that :(

And then on top of these things are the issues of others.  I have friends that have health issues, spouses with health issues, and newborn babies with health issues.  I hurt for these people, and I wish more than anything I could drop everything and just help them.  But I can’t…I have a very demanding family-life of my own.  It’s hard when you’re limited on how much you can help.

So what can I do?  The only thing that I can do is pray.  I can pray for myself and truly give all my burdens and stress to Him and let Him handle it – because He can and I can’t.  Plain and simple.  And I realize that I’m not perfect (not that I think I am by any means) and that I will make mistakes…LOTS OF THEM!  And that when it comes to healing people or changing the hearts of people, the only person that can do any of that is God, and so I need to pray and ask Him to help…not think I can do it on my own.

So here you go God…everything is being put onto You.  Thank you for being so strong and taking these worries from me.

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