This challenge comes from the beautiful Tracie Miles. (Check her blog out at http://traciemiles.com/.)
I love that this isn’t a “how to,” that it’s deeper and gets to the core of stress. It isn’t about getting rid of stress by removing the stress, but how to OVERCOME stress for good.
Day 1: Great start!! Getting away from blaming stress on others or our situations and start relying completely on God for His peace and guidance.
There are a lot of things in my life that could/are causing me stress: unemployment, health, parenting, grief, debt, money (in sooo many ways!). They do cause me stress, sometimes more than others. Surrendering them to God gives me courage, hope, and a fresh ability to take on the day it’s challenges — not borrowing stress of tomorrow’s.
Day 2: Peace. We all want peace — peace in our lives, peace in our relationships, world peace. But today was a GREAT reminder that true peace comes from God and can be in ANY circumstance, not just when we are living without conflict or struggle. Because we will face struggles in life, finding that peace from God will help us to maintain no matter what is going on in our lives.
My view of peace today: a simple life. No drama. Just living for Christ and loving others. When I think of peace, I think of being outside, a slight breeze, warm sun on my face, and resting in the love of Jesus for me. I don’t have to have the physical parts of my scenario…I only need the resting in Jesus part.
Day 3: Reclaiming our identity in Christ and not how the world sees us or how we see ourselves. This could be life-changing for many (me included!). I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. And I can beat myself up over those imperfections or I can accept God’s love and forgiveness despite my shortcomings.
Today I am choosing to embrace and reclaim my identity in Christ. I don’t have to prove my worth. My identity has not been my identity in Christ. It has been wrapped up in proving myself and striving for perfection. I struggle with this more than anything else.
Day 4: Negativity. The old glass half full/glass half empty debate. The beauty is that you get to choose your view. You get to have complete control (!) over this area of your life. You may not be able to control what happens — but you can control your reaction.
My mom likes to remind (nag) me in this area. She is consistent in reminding me to have a positive outlook. I am blessed to have her to quickly reshape my attitude (even when it annoys me or I want to wallow in my own pity). Negative attitudes = stress, positive attitudes = peace. No matter what the circumstances are.
Day 5: Trained to be stressed. Fed lies about productivity and accomplishments being the measure of our worth. Our society has programmed us to believe that it’s every man for himself, we must be the most productive, most accomplished, most successful to be significant or have worth. That’s not Biblical, that’s not what God says about our worth or our value to Him.
Spending time with Jesus gives us strength and yet so often, we don’t spend time with Him because we don’t “have time.” (Being a Martha, not a Mary.) So relevant to really readjust our priorities and see what we define as being more important than our time with Jesus. We need to follow God’s leading as we seek to redefine what activities we participate in and what our priorities should be. Being in the middle of God’s will brings peace and comfort.
Part 2 coming soon!! And I encourage you to sign up and do this challenge too! It has been AMAZING. God bless!!