First day of school and I’m already getting notes from my younger son’s teacher saying that he is not listening. Well, of course he is not! He is a boy! A few days later, it’s back to work for me. It’s Monday morning and I can’t find a parking spot near my office. So I have to walk a significant distance with a bag full of books in one hand, and an oversized purse and my lunch bag in the other one while wearing uncomfortable shoes. I finally make it to my first class, and the computer doesn’t work. My next two classes are packed full of first level students who have no interest in learning Spanish other than, “it’s required,” which isn’t the greatest motivator.
My stomach is unsettled and my brain is racing. I need a break. I go for an unhealthy drink at the vending machine to find out that the price has gone up! I eat lunch on the go, finish up my last class and run to the distant parking spot where I left my car. By the time I get there, I have ruptured blisters on both my feet. A forty minute drive later I’m home to get my boys off the bus. Then, I find out that my little one decided to forget what triangles and rectangles are. I spent all afternoon working on shapes, and arguing with my too-smart-for-his-own-good older son about how for a number to be in the millions, it needs to have at least 7 digits!
“Why didn’t you guys eat your lunches?” “Well, I didn’t like that sandwich you packed,” says one, and the other one tells me, “I didn’t have time to finish.” I need a break. I send them both outside and then realize that it is almost six o’clock and I haven’t even started dinner. My husband comes home and I send him outside too. “Go practice shapes with Dylan!” I yell as he gladly goes out the door again.
It seems like dinner is going to happen after all; then I catch a glimpse of the pile of clean clothes downstairs already mixing in with its dirty counterpart. At some point I also have to iron shirts and clean, at least the bathroom. After dinner the kids have some time to play and relax while I start preparing my lessons for tomorrow. Soon it’s time for baths. Bedtime is here, at last! “Be quiet while I read…do you not want me to read this book?” “I can’t sleep. It’s too hot. Can you stay here a minute.” I need a break, so I do stay. I lay down on my older son’s bed and I snooze for a few minutes.
After the boys are out, I get up and finish my lessons. My hair is a mess. I need a haircut really bad. Where did I put that piece of paper? “Mama, can I have some chocolate milk?” “No! All the cups are dirty.” Whine, whine, and whine some more until there is silence, blessed silence. Finally I get a few minutes to talk to my husband. Bad idea, since a simple question ends up turning into a brain-twister of grave proportions. My brain is fried. I need a break. I go to bed to wake up and do it all over again, tomorrow.There are stages, seasons of life in which it becomes very hard to remember what the Word says about not letting stress take away our peace. The season of parenting young children is one of them, but there are many others. Every season brings with itself its own stress. The season of worrying about aging parents and how to best care for them, for example, is another highly stressful and gut-wrenching one, as I’ve lately discovered. There is also the season when we have to deal with our own aging and our own transitions. There is the season of new beginnings, such as adjusting to married life, or to an empty house, or to a house full of teenagers or infants, or to a new job or to a lack of thereof.
It’s all so very hard. What are we to do? Well, all I know to do is to dwell in His Word and cling to His promises for dear life. One thing I am thinking about doing, but haven’t had time to do yet is to pull out several verses from Scripture that pertain to not being anxious, and keep them handy for when I forget. One that will certainly top the list, once I get to it, is Philippians 4:6-7: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I want that peace that “transcends all understanding.” What can I do to get it? I can present my requests to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving. I praise Him, for He is worthy of all our praise and worship. I ask Him in faith. And I give Him thanks. I recount His many blessings on me, and I thank Him for He has been faithful in my life; and He who has been faithful, will be faithful again, and again.
Jesus Himself told us that He has given us His Word so we can have peace. He said in John 16:33: 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And as we have already realized, we will have trouble indeed; but the one thing we need to realize also is that our faith is in Him, and He is the One and Only who has overcome the world.
May the words of Paul to the Colossians in chapter 3:15, 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful, be our exhortation to strive for a life filled with the peace of our Lord and Savior.
Other Scripture that may come in handy when faced with the anxiety:
Please add your own and share with us!