Unplug The Stress

photo courtesy of Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

My jet-lagged, fogged-over brain woke me at 3:15 a.m. It was confused.

Then my anxiety-driven brain ratcheted it up a notch by going into overdrive with all that needs to be done in the next few weeks as we finish with the group of people we’ve had here for the year.

It was insane.

We just returned from a long trip seven time zones away, and my brain and body have yet to get in sync with each other. It’s frustrating–I’m ready to go at ridiculously early hours of the day when no one else is up, and I’m crashing by 8 at night when everyone is having fun.

This is not a productive time for me.

I need to be productive.

I feel it’s culturally appropriate to drive myself to finish more. There’s a sense that the value of an individual is in the quality and amount of what they produce.

That isn’t true at all. We’re valuable because we’re all made in the image of God. He’s invested Himself in each human being, whether we believe it to be true or not.

Knowing that, however, doesn’t keep me from pushing to do more. There’s the sense that embracing greater accomplishment will increase my worth to others.

That also is not true.

Jesus was never in a panic. He’s never pictured in the Bible picking up His robes and racing to His next appointment. He walked everywhere, and during the walks, He was able to teach and encourage the people who followed Him. He often spoke of not worrying.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?” Matthew 6:25-26

Worry accomplishes nothing. My dad used to tell me that if it would help, he’d sit with me for fifteen minutes and we could worry together. Double the value of the worry time.

There are many things to be concerned about in the world. Things over which we have no control. These things we can give to God in prayer.

Stress and anxiety wear us down, like sanding our souls until there’s nothing left. But recognizing our worth in God and giving Him our concerns frees us to find true rest in Him.

He invites us to let go of what we were never meant to hold onto.

He cherishes us that much.

13 responses to “Unplug The Stress”

  1. Dayle, this post really speaks to me, hits the nail right on the head. Where were you that you were seven time zones away? I really find this post valuable and have read it a few times. 🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were in Turkey for a board meeting. It was amazing–but I have yet to master the art of sleeping on a plane and we had to leave our hotel at 2 in the morning, so I managed to stay awake for 36 hours. I was a babbling mess. But it made me realize how I make that my norm too many times. Thanks for being such a wonderful word of encouragement to me, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for a timely reminder to slow down, don’t worry, things really are okay. Summer seems to be my time to go into overdrive though for what I’m never certain. I have a little plaque I used to keep above my desk at work. “Lord, let me not be so busy making a living I forget to make a life.” We still need reminders like that even when our work lives are over. Thank you for being that reminder!


    1. Michael, I love what that plaque says! I find that I’m always in a bit of a hurry–I’ve got some ADHD going on–and sitting still and truly understanding rest hasn’t hit me yet. I’m still learning!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep learning Dayle. Someday it will hit you…I can guarantee that!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Stress and worry are like a rocking chair. A lot of effort that takes you nowhere. I like your dad’s offer; I’m sure it helped highlight the futility of worry!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your word picture–I’ve never thought about it that way. A lot of work for nothing–I need to hang onto that one!


  4. Love all the lessons in this one–about value and anxiety—really good!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anxiety is something we too easily spiritualize because it makes us feel like we’re doing good things when we’re so stressed about everything. Being poured out. Like Paul. What everyone forgets was that comment was in his very last epistle–2 Timothy. Kind of a hoot.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Grateful for your post and the additional gems mentioned in the comments. I’m a bit out-of-sorts myself, returning from three hours back and prepping to leave in a few days for the Camino (six hours ahead). Excited to spend time with less stress. Just walking. And listening to what Jesus will have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ter, I know you’re gone now, but I truly hope you find the rest you need and that God longs to give you. May this be a time of deep union with Him and a chance to develop greater resilience of spirit and character. Love you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Spot on, kiddo. My coach would say there are only two approaches: pursue and produce or receive and reflect. We just need to be the moon and reflect the light. Thanks for this reminder.


    1. Super wise words, my friend! Pursue and produce or receive and reflect. I’ll have to remember those–definite words to live by!

      Liked by 1 person

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