Ever had days where you stomp around, and are irritable and exhausted? I really try not to act like this, but I’m here to tell you that sometimes at the end of the day, that might just be me. I had every kind of reason for it – I took care of the children, did mountains of laundry, cleaned, gardened, worked outside, and and and… But my reason really didn’t matter. And now I know it doesn’t have to be like this!
Ask yourself what’s out of control in my life that I can change.
I sought the Lord and asked:
- What is stressing me out?
- What changes can I make?
- How can I minimize my stress to help prevent my emotions from taking control?
- What is God’s will for me?
God promises to give us wisdom.
All we have to do is ask for wisdom and He will give it to us. (Proverbs 2:1-9). 1 John 5:14-15 says that when we ask for things in His will, He will give it to us as well. I knew He would give me wisdom, and that I could use that wisdom to find an answer. So I asked for wisdom. And then…
I got a really practical answer to my questions.
I have so much more joy and energy now. I jump out of bed in the morning like I used to when I was a kid. I am a stay-at-home-mom so the answers the Lord gave me pertain to running a household, but I believe the principles can apply to all. They have made such a difference in my life, and maybe they can help you too.
My 4 Steps to Turn Stress into Happiness
- Make the Lord a Priority
It all started here. I wake up early, go to my laundry room, and make fellowship with God a priority. I wake myself up while listening to Christian podcasts, having coffee, and spending time with Him while doing my laundry. I did this for a month and now have a new habit. (See my Victory is Waiting For You post). Seek the Lord and ask Him the questions above.
- Get a Calendar
Seriously. I was forgetting things. I was stressed out by projects and responsibilities in the house and on the ranch. I started to treat my job like a real job. I keep a calendar now. I organize my day and my week. Of course I kept a calendar before, but I wasn’t using it to guide my day like I had before marriage and kids. I printed out a calendar. It was very basic, but by using it I learned how I like my days organized. It even helped me establish a routine and prioritize what was important to me. Yes, I am a bit of a nerd. But now I am on top of my schedule again. I keep my monthly planner on the kitchen counter, and even my husband looks at it while he sips his morning coffee.
- Clean House
Nothing makes me feel behind the power curve like a disorganized house. Now I have a cleaning schedule that works. I clean every Monday. I literally write it down IN PEN on my calendar and try not to schedule anything else on Monday mornings. The girls get to watch a movie. I wear running shoes. To top it off I listen to my favorite music on my headphones.
Sunday evening, I pick up and the clean the kitchen, if possible. This one step saves so much time on Monday. I start power cleaning at 9am on Monday and am done by 10:30.
- Plan for Sunday
I love to cook, but not on Sunday. I almost never had a plan for it, and it made me cranky. The Lord used our Sunday meals to teach me to make planning ahead a regular part of my life again.
Now I also write this in pen on Saturday on my calendar: prep Sunday meal. Sometimes, we even invite company over for this Sunday afternoon meal. It’s nice to share a hearty Sunday meal and spend the afternoon enjoying time with friends and family. Now Sunday cooking brings me joy.
Now Mama’s happy.
My attitude affects everyone in our home. If I’m unhappy, so is everyone else, which makes me even more unhappy. By being organized and not constantly “busy,” I can be at a state of peace, or pretty close to it. And we can have a great day.
How about you? What’s causing stress in your life that is something you can do something about? Ask God to show you what you can do to bring His peace to the disorder in a practical way. You might just find these previously stressful areas to be your newest greatest blessings.
NOTE: After writing this post, I came across a great blog post entitled “Home: A Place to Manage, Not Master” from the True Woman blog that relates to this subject. I thought it was very encouraging and wanted to share it with you!