We moved from one house to another this past week, and a curious tidbit of information was brought to my attention by my daughter, Jess.
“Dad, did you notice we all stressed out at different times during this whole thing? It was kind of cool how we all didn’t go crazy at the same time, and how we helped each other.”
“Wow,” I thought, “she’s right.”
See, my daughter and her two kids—my five-year-old grandson, Joshua, and my eight-month-old granddaughter, Jenna-Marie—are living with us. Having two families in one house keeps things interesting, to say the least, and my wife, Laura, and I love having our grandkids living with us. We also realized, however, that we were moving two families instead of one. Twice the stuff. Twice the work. Twice the stress.
Before the move I was going full-on kooky-pants, walking around, looking at all the stuff we had to move. I mean, it was suddenly everywhere: in closets, under beds, in the garage, in the storage buildings, in drawers…
My head was swimming and I couldn’t think straight. I was beyond exhausted and had no energy. The stress was overwhelming, even though I’m the only one who was feeling it. Honestly, this was the closest I’d ever come to having an actual panic attack.
I was really worried, but decided not to lay down and let it beat me.
“I’m totally freaking out,” I told my family, “but I’m working through it.”
And, not surprisingly, we got through it.
Then we had to clean up the old place.
THAT was when Laura stepped up, not like I did, not freaking out, but fully determined to get it done. She felt a great desire to finish the job of moving and leave it looking nicer than when we moved in.
“It looks fine,” my son would say at various points during the whirlwind cleaning, to which my wife would respond, “No, it’s not fine, we have to get this place as clean as possible.”
She wasn’t a Nazi about it, but rather, had her five-hour cleaning agenda, and wouldn’t rest until it was all done. The rest of us were just sorta there, doing whatever needed to be done.
Finally, we’d finished the move and the cleaning, but it was my daughter’s turn to get “anxiety’d out,” as she called it.
She was looking at all the boxes, televisions, movies, CDs, DVDs, bathroom stuff, kitchen stuff, toys and clothes in the new place—it seemed to be EVERYWHERE—and felt a driving need to get it all put away ASAP, to make the house livable.
“It’s cool, we’ll get it,” Laura and I told her, yet she stayed up late and got up early for three long days, working hard and making the place beautiful.
Crazy how we all had our specific “freak out” times, and how the others were there to help us through it.
I was reminded of all the times over the last 31 years of marriage when Laura and I would fret over different situations, at different times. It was RARE, and in fact almost unheard of, for both of us to get anxious at the same time.
Either I would be totally losing it, and she would calmly point out the reasons why everything would be ok, or she would be concerned, and I would naively tell her it was all going to work out.
“Not sure how,” I normally say, “but it will.”
And somehow it always does.
To be quite blunt, Laura’s God-given gift is encouragement, so it’s normally HER telling ME that life isn’t being flushed right down the crapper.
Thank the Lord for her!
If we’ve entrusted our lives to Christ, He’ll take care of us. Now, I know that’s much easier said than done, but it’s true.
I’m also fully aware the Bible tells us not to worry, but for most of us, this is extremely difficult:
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time. (Matthew 6:34)”
“Yeah, easy for you to say,” I actually told Him one time. “You’re God.”
Rude, I guess, but the Lord created me and He knows I’m blunt as a spoon when it comes to honest prayers, many times apologizing afterward.
But the Bible is full of reminders of how much He loves us. He’s trying to give us the road map to an abundant life.
This being said, the Lord also knows we are still going to worry, so, for most of us, He’s given us people who will be the Yin to our Yang. The peace to our freak out. The encouragement to our discouragement.
The person may be a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend, a mentor or a pastor, but God put these people in our lives to help balance out the kooky.
Be calm and let them do their job, why don’cha?
When you read the word “encourager,” if you think of a specific person, be sure and have them on speed-dial, and don’t be afraid to be brutally honest when things get difficult.
Let them help you when you’re in the valley.
“Help each other in troubles and problems. This is the kind of law Christ asks us to obey. (Galatians 6:2)”
That’s all I got for now. Love ya, and am prayin’ for ya, as always.