Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life changes & stress... all by His grace alone

So today it hit me in church... that point where life changes collide with stress and you no longer are responsible for your actions. It might be something huge or it might be something small... but there's always a breaking point. Today I hit mine... Which instantly reminded me of a book I read in 9th grade. It was a road trip with just my mom and I. My uncle was very ill. My parents were in marital struggles. I was in teenage angst. And I think my mom just threw her hands up in exasperation and we quit life for a week. It was totally awesome.


 I read Shirley Maclaine's Out on a Limb . There's been lots of chatter about this book for years for various reasons and I'm sure some folks have really had some life altering lessons that they've taken with them. The only scene I truly recall is her hitting her breaking point in elementary school. Something small happened and she just lost it. She began giggling, then laughing, then almost cackling until she literally fell over, desk and all. The principal had to call her mother and send her home because she couldn't stop laughing enough to regain control and rejoin her class. This was nearly me today, sadly in Mass.

Just one final aside before I move on to the actual point... I spent yesterday typing up schedules, maps & instructions for my husband & child care provider for the week. It's my first AND ONLY 40 hour week for training at my new job. I didn't realize how much I actually run in our household and how much we all will rely on God's grace alone to make it through the week. I thought about how it seems every week I kneel and pray for God's grace for a successful week. Sometimes I think yikes, maybe I should slow down or work harder at prayer or self control... that my sheer dependence upon God's grace for survival used to feel like a fault. But today, I realized not just in cognitive ways, but whole heartedly, that my reliance on God's grace isn't a fault... it's most important strength.

So after the prayer for grace... I look over to my son who was up all night with ear infection #2 :( Who is attempting not to nod off. He's chosen to maintain alertness with what appears to be isometric stretches which struck me as the exact stretches as the dart throwing athletic date in those Zoosk commercials:



I lost it. Tears... shoulder quivers... I regained my composure enough to not be excused... by God's grace alone. But I have thankfully laughed a lot of that stress right out of my hair!

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