Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stress relief

Does anyone else take their problems to bed?

Last night, I turned down the sheets, fluffed a pillow and snuggled in next to my angst. All night I tossed over it.

The result of stress-nurturing: a migraine. A migraine while Tim's out of town - there's no relief riding up at 5 o'clock.

I saw a way out last night. I just chose not to take it. That way looked narrow and hard. Watching a mindless show and obsessively checking facebook during the commercials seemed an easier fix.

Distraction is a difficult idol to please. I found my hands itching for something else. Can I crochet, check facebook, watch tv, and read? Would that many distractions keep my mind away from the real problem?
The narrow way that led to life: read daily Psalms. I put off reading all day, favored the blog and baking and cleaning and stress. Late night, girls asleep, house dark and quiet, soul troubled. If God had started tea and opened the book for me, he couldn't have set me up better. But I ignored him. Looked hard at the book and in my heart of hearts, didn't want his fix.

My aching head could not carry the weight this morning. I dragged myself to pages of living water.

And found the peace I needed. The passages weren't specific to the stress, but the trust in God was.

And God's word starts chain reactions. Words I memorized for just such situations, muted under the enemy's breath, until other Godly words brought them to mind:

Cast your cares on the Lord because he cares for you. 

Trust in the Lord with all your strength.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit.

Consider HIM so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
These words are peace bringing, eternally orienting, ever applicable. With a heart centered, my head comes back in line. Maybe not the pain, but the the thought line.

Again, God uses everything, even migraines, for his good purpose.

For more on fighting the path of distraction: How to Unplug

For more on worshipping through reading:
If you read the Psalms only for doctrine, you’re not reading them for what they are. They are psalms, songs, poetry. They’re musical, and the reason human beings express truth with music and poetry is to awaken and express emotions that fit the truth. John Piper at Desiring God
For more on reading Psalms daily: Psalms in 30 days -- It might look complicated, but this plan gives you a Psalm from each book in Psalms {roughly} each day. I find that at least one will fit my day, better than when I would read five kingly Psalms on a day I was feeling serf-ish.

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