Archives For stress

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Overload. As a mom with over 30 years of training, I know the problem well.

But after the last couple months I think I know it even better!

Surely you know what I mean by a mom overload.

Picture a cute little mule with a pretty pink hat loaded down with so many heavy bundles that her back is bowed and her knees are buckling.

Usually well equipped to tote her load, she is now straining to keep moving.

Maybe you never thought of a mule as cute. Or maybe you don't like my comparison of a mom to a mule.

But nevertheless, that is what I sometimes picture myself as! …A work horse for my family who needs to be equipped to carry loads selflessly, tirelessly and steadfastly no matter what my family's hiking terrain may be.

Since the end of February I have weathered some crazy days:

Unexpectedly moving my parents out of a 2600 square foot house to a 700 square foot apartment

Preparing their house for sale

Supporting my mom through an extremely painful illness and emergency surgery

Helping Nathan and Tara welcome their 4th child Andrew

Taking my mom back to the hospital for a second stay due to surgery complications

Dealing with a mystery appendicitis threat with my 12 year old, and

Weathering some nasty viruses in the house....

All during my most demanding season of speaking engagements of the year and my usual challenges of homeschooling, dishes and laundry.

Sometimes the demands of life can seem overwhelming.

And now that I am sandwiched in between 4 generations of people who need me, I am very glad the Lord has been working to increase my capacity to stand up under the unpredictable

Today, I want to encourage you with 7 things I realized I needed to appropriate in my life in order to keep smiling and trucking on through my tough season. (Which I am very happy to report seems to be easing up in its intensity!)

1. Trust God's timing over yours
When I got the call saying my parents' name had unexpectedly come up on a senior apartment waiting list, I was shocked. They had told me last year it could take a l-o-n-g time for a 2 bedroom that would meet their needs. It seemed like the worst possible timing to rush a moving decision and pack them up all during my busiest season of travel ever.

But God knew what He was doing! From His perfect vision He knew of the crisis in my mother's health that would put her and my dad in need of more support and services. Sometimes we can only understand His timing when we look back. But I guarantee His timing and plans are always better than mine.

2. Re-prioritize your many demands
Perhaps some of my subscribers have noticed a lag on my blog posting lately. It was necessary during this last season for me to do some re-prioritizing and let some things go. Frontline Moms was one of those things....and that is okay.

We cannot do it "all" in all seasons. Pray and trust God to help you lay the non-essential aside. And then walk away from those items on your list with a heart of peace that He will make up what you cannot do.

3. Let others step up...even when they do not do it as well
I was so grateful to my children and husband who stepped in to "cover" some of my jobs while I spent days at the hospital and at my parents' home packing. Looking back I can see how God built us into a team to survive the storm.

Some days I was tempted to feel guilty when I just could not cover all my bases. The children had to have a dad solution to their problems even when the mom solution might have been what they wanted. :) But that was ok! We all pulled together and love prevailed.

4. Give your body some room to tribulate
Fatigue and stress are tough on our bodies. I had to give myself some room when my nutrition slipped off track, my exercise routine went out the window, and my wrinkles were looking a little more pronounced. I learned to say to myself, "Lisa, you are going to get back on track again. Just do the best you can for right now and don't add guilt and condemnation on top of the burdens you are already carrying!"

5. Expect your weaknesses to rise up...again!
It doesn’t always seem fair that stress can cause our own personal performance to go down...just when we really need it to go up! I used to be afraid of my own weaknesses surfacing for others to see. But now I think of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: I boast of my weakness...for where I am weak, He is strong.

6. Know the season will end
As surely as spring follows winter, smooth seasons in our personal lives follow the hard. When we set our hearts on the Lord we can weather the difficult seasons with peace and strength. (See Psalm 29:11)

7. Feel the emotions...but cast them on God
Women are designed by God to feel emotions deeply. I think that is one beautiful thing about being a woman! But sometimes my emotions are just too much for me to bear (and definitely too much for others to understand.) Stuffing my emotions is not healthy.

But sharing my emotions with the Lord is healthy. Grief, anger, fear, sadness, pain, remorse, guilt...He can handle them and He wants to carry us through the storm. Learn to cry out to Him. Learn to let the tears flow as you cast the weights on Him. (See Psalm 55:22)

Image: Rowan “party Hat” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

 

Gratefully linked to Mom’s Library

 

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I love the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. Now is the time for me to catch up on all that stuff that has been bugging me for months but I just could not get to.

Maybe it says something about my personality, but I find great pleasure in lightening my load by clearing things out.

Not that I don't enjoy all the blessings that come our way....but sometimes too much is no longer a blessing. It has somehow become a weight.

As I have been tackling this project in my natural environment the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about my spiritual environment.

This morning our family enjoyed a fruitful time of prayer casting off some of the weights and worries and stresses that had entangled us.

College decisions, end of year studies, relationship disappointments, and financial pressures. It was time. We needed to pitch them on the Lord and clean out our minds (1 Peter 5:7)

So how about you?  Do you need to do some house cleaning and drop some junk in the natural....as well as the spiritual?

Are your kids looking for the freedom of summertime but weighed down with cares of this world?

We as Frontline Parents must help our families maintain order. Our kids are looking to us to learn how to manage our lives so that peace and order drive out stress and chaos. Why not let the Lord start with us.....today??

-By Lisa Cherry

Image: Sara V. “Stress level: Midnight”
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

20 Stitches and 3 Lessons

Lisa Cherry —  February 27, 2014

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By Lisa Cherry

You may have noticed Frontline Moms and Dads has been uncharacteristically quiet the last week. And for a good reason.

A spectacular fall while I was traveling and speaking in Iowa last weekend left me with a head problem: 20 stitches in my forehead and 2 black eyes!

I will spare you the pictures and let your imagination fill in the blanks. (But think raccoon mixed with Frankenstein!)

This unexpected trial tried to put a stop to our ministry last week. But it didn't work.

After a trip to the emergency room and a new hairstyle, Matthew (our 15 year old) and I had a great time with the parents at ATF in Des Moines on Saturday and with a church congregation on Sunday.

Here are my top 3 lessons from this not-so-easy-experience that I thought worthy of putting into print.

1. Take the time to get a flashlight.

I was attempting to navigate a very dark room when I failed to see the piece of equipment on the floor that I tripped over. A few days later, a friend asked me if I knew about the flashlight app on my phone.

Of course, I did. But....I didn't at the time think of it since I was "sure" I could "handle" the problem of poor visibility on my own.....

2. Adrenaline can take you a long way... but it has a crash effect also.

God designed us parents with an amazing ability to handle stressful times. But we must also recognize our need to recharge our batteries after the storm has passed. I have learned the importance of giving yourself a "break" after tough times.

Avoid major decisions. Be easy on yourself. And wait for strength to return!

3. Vanity can still be a snare (even in middle age!)

We never outgrow our desire to "look good." But a little adverse turn to our physical features is a nice check-up for the problem of thinking too much about ourselves. This was the best lesson for me last week.

As I sank my roots deeper into Him, I was reminded of how fleeting external human beauty can be... but of how lovely His beauty inside us can become!!!

Thanks for many of you who prayed for me last week. I received so much love and concern that my heart was encouraged!

Today, I think I am looking much better. With a little make up and my new hairstyle, I am back to being socially acceptable! :)

Image:
Carlos Alejo "La saga del zoo de Madrid IV: La mirada del mapache
Flickr Creative Commons

License: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Here's another post with tips for trying times:

My Children Are My Hairdressers! 10 Tips for the Temporarily Incapacitated Mom

 

Gratefully linked to:
List It {Tuesday}
Faith Filled Friday
Heart-Filled Fridays
Fellowship Fridays
Essential Fridays
Wednesday's Prayer Girls
Proverbs 31 Thursdays
Thriving Thursday

christmas baking 3 cherry 2012By Lisa Cherry

Perhaps you're like me.

When November rolls around, you make a mental list of all of your holiday preparations. Trees, cards, baking, shopping, trips to light displays, parties, etc., etc.

In some sort of crazy way, it all sounds doable in November.

Christmas baking cherry 2012Then you hit about two weeks before the big day, and reality is staring you in the face.  Too many things are left on the to-do list!

Now what you do? Press them all through to completion and make your children live with a cranky mom? Consider this a "failed holiday?"

Well how about this option:

Pick one thing. Do it well. Then cross several other things off the list.

Christmas baking  2 cherry 2012That is the strategy I've used for several years now and it has certainly improved my holiday success.

Last night was my "one thing:" A big family get together with messy cookie cutters and lots of sticky icing.

What made the plan extra special was its location. Since a health issue has kept my mother homebound for a season, we all gathered to bake at my folks’ house.

We did it! We did it!

Now I am free to remember that since I was the one who put all the things on the list, I now can take things off.

Gratefully linked to:

Soli Deo Gloria

Happy Homemaker Monday

The Better Mom

Welcome Home

Modest Mondays

True Stories

Titus 2sdays

Teach Me Tuesdays

Works for Me Wednesday

Encourage One Another

New Equus

 


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By Lisa Cherry

Some of us Frontline moms are serving our families by homeschooling our children. For those of us called to serve the Lord in this capacity, we want to provide some encouragement and support. Please note our new featured tab Homeschooling Moms. We would love to hear from you as we connect our kids to the Father's heart. Invite your homeschooling friends to join us!

As a homeschool mom of ten, with 22 years of teaching under my belt, I have developed some quick tricks to help “boost me” over the hump of the mid-year burn out temptation which, by the way, tends to hit me like clockwork every February and March!

1. Remind yourself about the original vision. This seems pretty basic, but around this time of the year when the lessons are not quite on time to my September schedule and the long months of winter produce loud, bouncy boys wrestling between math lessons, I hear my own thoughts say, “Now why are you putting yourself through this, Lisa?”

At times like this, I have learned to quickly refresh my memory: I am a homeschooling mom because God called our family to this assignment. This isn’t a hobby or a whim. This is a holy mission to disciple and train up a mighty generation for Him. Of course, I will encounter obstacles. That’s part of my assignment. But I will succeed because, “Faithful is He who called us and He will bring it to pass!”

Continue reading “Three Quick Pick-me-ups to Get Over the Midyear Homeschool Slump” »