Growth Can’t Always Be Measured With A Ruler

Stress

Image by alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

I still have a long way to go.

Growing. Stretching. Absorbing. Changing.

Some days I think I’ve got it all together. Whatever “it” is. I’ve got it all figured out. I’m on top of things.

Other days I know I don’t. I wonder if I ever did.

I look at other people. I think maybe their lives are right. And good.

Even if they aren’t.

I measure myself.

I come up short.

I want more.

More of what is good. More of what makes me happy. More of things going my way.

More. More. More.

Ungrateful.

The dark emotion washes over me like the cold waves of a surly ocean. I am overcome.

I breathe deeply. I don’t really like this place.

I snip at my kids, ignore my husband, don’t even want to pet the dog.

Who am I?

I breathe again.

Ann Voskamp reminds me in chapter 8. I know this woman’s words are a gift to me from God Himself. There is no other explanation. God speaks in many ways–and sometimes it is through a Canadian woman, a farmer’s wife, a home schooling mom of six. I am humbled.

On page 143, her words sear through me. Cutting me. Straight to the place that oozes with the ungrateful. The worry. The stress. The parts of myself that I don’t like to show.

“Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stiffness.  How I angle my jaw, braced, chisel, the brow with the lines of distrust. How I don’t fold my hands in prayer…weld them into tight fists of control…… Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I’m the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and churn and ruminate? Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is. And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, is it really my attempt to prove how indispensable I am? Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow.”

And on page 146, ” Stress isn’t only a joy stealer. The way we respond to it can be sin.” ……”I’ve got to get this thing, what it means to trust, to gut-believe in the good touch of God toward me, because it’s true: I can’t fill with joy until I learn how to trust: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow.” (Romans 15:13)

I breathe again.

And I work on giving thanks. I need to give thanks. I must give thanks.

In order to see.

#155  Rainy days

#156 Warm light spilling through the kitchen

#157  Green showing through melted snow

# 158  Children laughing

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Growth Can’t Always Be Measured With A Ruler

  1. You need to check out the women’s bible study The Frazzled Female…. I am doing the second part of this study now with my small grp. Your post ties in well with the study. Have a good week. Blessings,

    • You are right. Sounds like you had the same kind of day I had, last week. BTW, I read your post on the adoption of your Chinese daughter. I loved that post. I could feel your anticipation and excitement as you waited for your #8 to be called:)

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