Friday, June 15, 2012

getting out of a stress jam

This is what the traffic in Uganda looked like. 

Cars passed so closely I could reach out my window and touch the man in the car next to me.  There were stop signs, but nobody stopped.  No lines mapped out a tidy plan for driving on the road.  A constant jam of cars and people and bicycles.

That’s what it has felt like in our house the last few weeks. 

It’s not so bad when one member of the family is stressed.  The rest can walk gingerly around and even go out of their way to show compassion.  But when three out of four have shoulders tight? 

Yesterday I was stressed.  I stopped by Jayme's room, and she was stressed, which made me more stressed about what she was stressed about.  Within seconds of that conversation Matt called stressed, which made me more stressed.  I responded stressed to him, which made him more stressed about what I was stressed about.

Lord, have mercy. 

That was when I remembered what my Navy friend said.  He was trained that when things got stressful on board ship he was to take control by keeping his voice completely even and calm. 

In the middle of stress –the discipline of the voice. 

1 Peter 3:4 says a woman’s beauty is her “gentle and quiet spirit”.  When you most want to lay your hand on the horn and scream, that’s the perfect time to speak calmly instead. 

So I threw up a prayer for help and put on a quiet, calm voice to go talk to my daughter. 

Aaaah.  Much better.  We calmly worked the problem, and we both relaxed a bit. 

When stress escalates from all directions in your house, what do you do with your voice?

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